When Akshaye Khanna spoke about dad Vinod Khanna’s decision to leave his family and career, take sanyaas: ‘An earthquake has to happen…’

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On Vinod Khanna’s 76th birth anniversary, here’s looking back at his decision to leave his family and become a disciple of Osho. Indian Express, October 7, 2022.

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Vinod Khanna
Vinod Khanna passed away in April 2017 (Photo: Express File)

Actor Vinod Khanna’s decision to leave his family and successful career behind and become a disciple of the spiritual leader Osho in 1975, left many mystified. His elder son Akshaye Khanna was just a toddler at the time, and was not able to comprehend his father’s decision later in life. However, Akshay later admitted that it was only when he turned 15, he understood the influence of Osho and the Rajneeshis in his father’s life.

In an interview to Mid-Day a couple of years ago, Akshaye had said that giving up family was only a part of the renunciation or Sanyaas. “The influence… to not only leave his family, but to take ‘sanyaas’ (renunciation). Sanyaas means giving up your life in totality — family is [only] a part of it. It’s a life-changing decision, which he felt that he needed to take at the time. As a five-year-old, it was impossible [for me] to understand it. I can understand it now,” Akshaye said. The Taal actor acknowledged that it must have ‘moved him’ deeply inside, enough for him to take such a life-altering decision.

“Especially, when you have everything in life. And when life doesn’t look as though there’s much more that you can have. A very basic fault-line/ earthquake has to occur within oneself to make that decision. But also stick by it. One can make the decision and say this doesn’t suit me — let’s go back,” he added.

Akshaye also corrected the belief that Vinod Khanna returned to his family as he grew disparate about the movement. He clarified that his father returned after the US government disbanded the commune. “It was just the fact that the commune was disbanded, destroyed, and everybody had to find their own way. That’s when he came back. Otherwise I don’t think he would’ve ever come back,” he said.

Akshaye said that he always had great respect for the spiritual leader Osho. “I don’t know if sanyaas is something that I could do. But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy his discourses, respect his intellect, oratory skills, and his way of thinking. I have deep respect for him,” he added.

Vinod Khanna passed away in April 2017 after battling cancer. After his debut in 1968 with Mann Ka Meet, he starred in several iconic films later, including Mere Apne, and Chandni, with Sridevi and Rishi Kapoor.


Osho News tribute to Vinod Bharti (aka Vinod Khanna) (1946 – 2017)

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