Neeten introduces his updates on this momentous body of work.
Start of the journey and the work
Adventures and surprises happen on a daily basis when you’re on the road in India, and if you had entered The Gateless Gate to the ashram earlier in Poona, these experiences would be multiplied and expanded in ways you could never have imagined. At least that’s how I felt when in January 1981, in the latter days of Poona One, I participated in a few groups, listened to Osho speaking in his mother tongue, and had a silent darshan with Osho, bestowed on me in the office by Arup (Garimo), a darshan which took me on a journey to unknown and blissful inner spaces. Not that I dared be initiated into sannyas. Oh, No!! From the very start, my escape plan was ready, having booked a one-week tour in Bhutan to visit dzongs and wooden Bön temples in the mountains. “Your mind is tricky,” Teertha told me later on in Oregon, and so right he was.
But during my weeks in the ashram, a few other matters also attracted my attention. A living, well-read, and bibliophile Master at work,with numerous works published across multiple media platforms. For a librarian like me, all this would sow the seed for a deep and lifelong interest in understanding what this was really all about, and my energy was from now on devoted to this investigation. Hence, 35 years later, the Osho Source Book was born after some initial publishing of articles on Osho in magazines and scholarly journals.
My position as a lecturer in the north of Denmark gave me the opportunity to go on sabbatical leave whenever I wished. And yes, that was really something I did wish! Five times during my employment I was out of there and off to the mountains in the Himalayas or southern China for six-month periods. Gradually, the academic environment lost its allure, and as a senior, I decided to quit and make room for my own projects.
Throughout the years I’ve been working on the Osho Source Book, it has been a blessing to combine my spiritual tendencies with my professional skills as a librarian and researcher. Each day began with a windy morning stroll along the sandy beach nearby, inhaling enough oxygen for my writing until noon and enjoying the network of helpful sannyasins and friends.
What you’re about to read in the Osho Source Book is likely to be ground-breaking and unprecedented in publishing history. Few historical people, if any, have had more than 500 biographies or research articles written about them in the first 25 years after their death. This claim is supported by references. Winston Churchill appears to be a close second right now, but keep in mind that any documented bid with a name that beats Osho’s record will be rewarded with a bottle of French champagne in the mail!
The overall structure of the digital Osho Source Book, with its three ‘volumes’, is intended to resemble the well-known linear format of a printed book, with its volumes, parts, and front and back matter placement. Simply go to the table of contents and enter whatever part you want, then continue using the search functions. However, be aware that it is quite huge! It would be over 3000 pages in length as a book, with images, audio, and video.
You might find it helpful to know that this production complements what you’ll discover at www.sannyas.wiki, a professionally organized database presentation with a lot of source material and highly handy search options. Anything you don’t find on one of those sites will almost likely be found on the other.
- Volume I (1931-1974) Gadarwara. Jabalpur. Bombay.
- Volume II (1974-1990) Poona One. Oregon. World Tour. Poona Two.
- Volume III (1931-1990) References. Bibliography. Sources.
The first volume, which has been accessible since 2014, is based on my own research and covers Osho’s early life and work. That is, back when Osho spoke in Hindi and his audience consisted entirely of Indians. It is based on Osho’s own words, biographies, and over 20 years of field work across India. Many interviews were conducted with elderly Indian sannyasins who could still recollect the early stages of Osho’s work, and it was my aim to document their collections of images and early publications in addition to their narratives.
The second volume of the Osho Source Book was edited by me, but authored by others. We’re now compiling a variety of sources in the various languages for the years following the arrival of Westerners, which will result in a wealth of writings in this volume about their days around Osho. The idea is to build a vibrant mosaic of Osho and his work, with the narrators’ testimonials constantly complementing one another without further commentary from me. Hopefully, this may inspire more Osho research and writing, or simply allow sannyasins to have a stroll down memory lane.
Volume three presents a vast number of references, and in the bibliography, all publications in English are listed with some excerpts from introductions and discourses. Finally, in the sources section you’ll find e.g. indexes to periodicals, filmography, manuscripts, press releases, numerology, astrology, palmistry, and what not.
Only a few things may still be in progress, but there’s already a lot for you to enjoy.
Supplements and updates should be available in 2023.
Three significant sannyasins stand out among the large number of sannyasins who have kindly offered to share their golden moments and collections with me, and they must be thanked. Nikalank Bharti, Osho’s younger brother, was an early collector of Osho’s work from childhood and his ‘first librarian.’ Also Arvind Kumar Jain, Osho’s secretary in Jabalpur and preserver of numerous manuscripts and virgin prints. And finally Yog Chinmaya, Osho’s secretary in Bombay, who meticulously collected and kept Osho’s early published booklets and periodicals. They all are remembered with gratitude for their unwavering support and encouragement of my 15-year-long project of writing about Osho. My heartfelt greetings also go out to my affluent benefactors in Hong Kong and Delhi.