Why Indian godmen mostly face sexual allegations?

Media Watch

Excerpt about Osho from an article discussing Indian godmen Paramahamsa Nithyananda alias Nithyanand and Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insan. By Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, published in Blitz Weekly on 25 December 2020.

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The author muses if Nithyananda was “copying his predecessor”:

Nithyananda’s idea of establishing a ‘Hindu state’ might have come to his mind from the plan of another godman named Bhagwan Rajneesh – who was deported from the US in 1985 after his attempt of establishing a city in Oregon was foiled.

In 1981, the Rajneesh movement’s efforts refocused on activities in the United States and Rajneesh relocated to a facility known as Rajneeshpuram in Wasco County, Oregon. Almost immediately the movement ran into conflict with county residents and the state government, and a succession of legal battles concerning the ashram’s construction and continued development curtailed its success. In 1985, in the wake of a series of serious crimes by his followers, including a mass food poisoning attack with salmonella bacteria and an aborted assassination plot to murder US Attorney Charles H. Turner, Rajneesh alleged that his personal secretary Ma Anand Sheela and her close supporters had been responsible. He was later deported from the United States in accordance with an Alford plea bargain

Rajneesh (born Chandra Mohan Jain, 11 December 1931 – 19 January 1990), also known as Acharya Rajneesh, Bhagwan Shri Rajneesh, and later as Osho, was an Indian godman, mystic, and founder of the Rajneesh movement.

During his lifetime, he was viewed as a controversial new religious movement leader and mystic. In the 1960s, he traveled throughout India as a public speaker and was a vocal critic of socialism, arguing that India was not ready for socialism and that socialism, communism, and anarchism could evolve only when capitalism had reached its maturity. Rajneesh also criticized Mahatma Gandhi and the orthodoxy of mainstream religions. Rajneesh emphasized the importance of meditation, mindfulness, love, celebration, courage, creativity, and humor – qualities that he viewed as being suppressed by adherence to static belief systems, religious tradition, and socialization. In advocating a more open attitude to human sexuality he caused controversy in India during the late 1960s and became known as “the sex guru”.

After his deportation, 21 countries denied him entry. He ultimately returned to India and revived the Pune ashram, where he died in 1990. Rajneesh’s ashram, now known as OSHO International Meditation Resort, and all associated intellectual property, is managed by the registered Osho International Foundation (formerly Rajneesh International Foundation).

Personally, I don’t have any prejudice about Rajneesh or Osho. Instead, I was moved by one of his many quotes, where he said: “Any religion which considers life meaningless and full of misery and teaches the hatred of life, is not a true religion. Religion is an art that shows how to enjoy life.”

Absolutely! I think, any religion that only talks about enduring pains and agonies in this worldly life for an unending reward, in the life-after – is totally unacceptable to me. Moreover, any religion that only talks about serious punishment for the “sinners” in the “next life” or any religion that teaches the culture of hatred and gives provocation to its followers to kill people of other faiths for gaining a “free pass” in heaven, which is filled with luxuries and sexual arrangements are nothing but a religion of perversion.

While about Nithyananda, I will certainly brand him as a criminal instead of a godman, I most definitely cannot give ditto to the allegations against Bhagwan Rajneesh as being a sex guru or a conman. He must have been a victim of social and political elites, media, and a few of his greedy comrades.

Let me make one point clear. The Hindi word bhagwan does not stand for God. Instead, its meaning is blessed one – used in Indian traditions as a term of respect for a human being in whom the divine is no longer hidden but apparent.

Read the full article here

Salah Choudhury

Internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-jihadist journalist, counter-terrorism specialist, and editor of Blitz.


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