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Zorba the Buddha"Sex, Spirituality, and Capitalism in the Global Osho Movement"$
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Hugh B. Urban

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520286665

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520286665.001.0001

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“India’s Most Dangerous Guru”

“India’s Most Dangerous Guru”

Rajneesh and India after Independence

Chapter:
(p.25) Chapter 1 “India’s Most Dangerous Guru”
Source:
Zorba the Buddha
Author(s):

Hugh B. Urban

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520286665.003.0002

This chapter traces the emergence of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh as a hugely popular but also tremendously controversial spiritual leader in the decades following India's independence. After achieving enlightenment in 1953, Rajneesh quickly established a reputation as the most iconoclastic guru of modern India, mocking national heroes and attacking established religions. With his rejection of all established religious institutions and his critique of mainstream politics, Rajneesh represented in many ways a radical response to the turmoil of Indian religious and political life in the years after independence. Yet with his uniquely protean, shifting, and plural identity, rapidly changing names and adapting his message to new audiences, Rajneesh was also a uniquely “postmodern” sort of guru.

Keywords:   Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Indian independence, iconoclastic guru, modern India, Indian politics, postmodern guru

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