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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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“Beware of Socialism!”

“Beware of Socialism!”

The “Anti-Gandhi” and the Early Rajneesh Community in the 1970s

(p.49) Chapter 2 “Beware of Socialism!”
Zorba the Buddha

Hugh B. Urban

University of California Press

This chapter situates Rajneesh's early movement amid the debates over Indian religion, society, and economy in the late 1960s. Not only did Rajneesh make a name for himself through his iconoclastic spiritual ideas, he was also an outspoken critic of Indian economics and an early advocate of American-style capitalism. His early book Beware of Socialism! (1978) was at the forefront of a greater shift in India away from Nehruvian socialism toward an increasing embrace of capitalism and the larger global marketplace. Setting himself up as a kind of “anti-Gandhi,” he rejected the asceticism, simplicity, and nationalism of the Mahatma in favor of a full acceptance of sensuality, the body, and the global economy. This ideal was also realized in Rajneesh's first spiritual commune in Pune during the 1970s, which became a kind of global node that brought together Western capitalism and Eastern spirituality in a unique new transnational religious experiment.

Keywords:   Rajneesh movement, Indian economics, capitalism, Nehruvian socialism, anti-Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi, Pune ashram, Eastern spirituality, transnational religion

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