Another topic that Osho made nearly central in his message was rebellion, revolt against dogmas and the limitations of conditionality. Here he coincided with the tendencies of his time – the 1960s of the 20th century – when the sexual revolution occurred in the West, and the movement of the hippies emerged, those who wanted freedom and spiritual transformation. In Russia, by the way, the so-called “Thaw” also occurred after a long period of repressions. It can be said that Osho embodied people’s striving for freedom in the spiritual dimension. It reached the point that he called himself a spiritual terrorist, which now, of course, sounds somewhat different than it did then, when terrorism had not yet become one of the main threats to people’s security. Osho called for not making compromises with the lies spread by priests and politicians and was therefore very inconvenient for many of them, since his criticism was scathing, witty and precise.
Mystics are always connected to the tendencies of their time, even if they surpass it. The most outstanding of them, like prophets, lay down new models of development for the future; others simply carry out the work of connecting the Higher with the earthly. Like conductors of the Will of God, they cannot be totally removed from the processes going on in humankind. If you attentively look at the life of any mystic – under the condition that we will have sufficient information about him – then the connection of his message and the Work with what has happened at that time with people will definitely be opened to us. That was how it was with Osho – his rebellious spirit very much fit in with the West, and exactly for that reason the majority of his students came to him from there. They also provided the topics of his talks, orienting Osho to view the texts from all traditions, in order to give answers to questions that people brought to him from all corners of the earth.
The interaction of the Master with students is always reciprocal: he influences and acts upon them and they – in part – on him. Their need is responded to in the Master, expressed through practices that he creates for them, and their unexpected questions engender answers, also as unexpected, but opening new aspects of the Truth. The higher the quality of students, the higher the quality of the Work, which can be done with their direct participation, and then the more the Master is opened as a conductor of the Higher to a person and from a person to the Higher. It can be said that without talented students, sometimes it is simply impossible for the Master to be fully opened. Osho had a lot of students, but he accepted them, so to say, on the fly, practically on the spot. A person could come to the ashram for a week and receive initiation as a student – sannyasa. Thus was Osho’s approach to sannyasa – on the one hand, he broke the traditional Hindu notions of discipleship, and on the other, he took students almost by the same principle by which people add friends in social networks now – the more the better. Osho himself believed that even such initiation could change a person’s life, and could lead him to exercises of meditation and in the end, to spiritual transformation. There is not particularly a lot to say here, except that each Master picks his own method of awakening people.
Time has shown that since the majority of sannyasins received sannyasa so easily, then they just as easily parted with it. But the casualness of the attitude toward everything was in general part of Osho’s message, so there is nothing to be sorry about here. At some point, Osho’s students numbered in the tens of thousands, but it is impossible to work effectively with such a number of people. In a situation when there are thousands of students, constant direct contact with the Master is not realizable, if, of course, you aren’t in the “inner circle.” Therefore, Osho’s students worked on themselves by themselves, performing dynamic and other meditations and trying to practice awareness.