This is the story of a Englishman who gave up a job in journalism to spend fourteen years with the controversial Indian mystic Osho, also known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and frequently referred to as ‘the sex guru’.
His guru was always controversial with his teachings on sex and spirituality, rumours of orgies and because he owned ninety-three Rolls Royces.
Early in 1976, Subhuti travelled to India to meet Rajneesh in his ashram in Pune, became initiated as his disciple and immediately began to have mystical experiences, which he attributed to the powerful energy field surrounding the guru. He stayed for six months, participating in the ashram’s notorious Encounter Group and other therapies designed to release suppressed emotions and awaken sexual energy
Subhuti would stay to live and work on his master’s ashrams for fourteen years, first as his press officer in Pune, India, then as editor of the community’s weekly newspaper when Bhagwan and his followers shifted to Oregon, USA, and built a whole new town on the massive Big Muddy Ranch.
There Subhuti was a first-hand witness to the scandals and hullabaloo that accompanied the guru, including tales of broken bones in no-holds-barred therapy groups and Tantra groups that encouraged total sexual freedom, and the increasing hostility with the locals which would lead to Bhagwan’s attempt to flee America, his arrest and imprisonment. .
He was on the Oregon Ranch when Rajneesh’s secretary, Ma Anand Sheela, plotted against rival cliques within the ashram as well as a range of murderous crimes against state and federal officials which feature in hit Netflix series Wild Wild Country.
Yet, amidst it all, Subhuti could see the profound revolution in spirituality that Bhagwan was creating, leaving a lasting impact on our ideas about society, religion, meditation and personal transformation.
According to the author’s understanding, it was the controversy itself, plus Bhagwan’s refusal to tread the path of a spiritual saint, that became the stepping stone to a new vision of what it means to be a spiritual seeker.