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What was it like to live in the community of a spiritual anarchist? To be buffeted in the energy-field of the most controversial mystic of the 20th century? Osho, then known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, drew world attention by driving Rolls Royces, dressing in otherworldly robes and attracting vast numbers of red-clothed followers. His iconoclastic views punctured the serenity of both Indian and American society, and the world press had a field day attempting to discredit him. Yet the power of his radical spiritual vision has infiltrated the 21st century in broad swathes, his hundreds of books still sell in scores of languages and his work continues to be celebrated worldwide.
These simple tales of the jolts and joys along the way to transformation give us an intimate glimpse into the relationship between this rare contemporary mystic and some of his thousands of ‘sannyasins’, who came from all walks of life and several continents to live and work around him.
Savita Brandt is a British psychoanalytic therapist who has been an Osho disciple for 38 years. She edited Osho’s books and was a regular writer and columnist for the print magazine, Osho Times International. To compile this collection, she talked to scores of Osho’s devotees, past and present, gathering together their intimate, provocative and sometimes comical memories.
“The man glimpsed in this diverse collection of stories, told by an equally wide range of individuals, charms and baffles, inspires and unnerves, amuses and shocks in equal measure, but clearly without any kind of negative intent.
“These well-contextualised anecdotes bring back to life a particularly colourful episode of late 20th-century history.”
– Clio Mitchell, PhD
Freelance journalist, former commissioning editor at The European
“Savita Brandt has given us a vibrant picture of what it was like to be with an enlightened master and live within both the high spirits and the depth of intensity that infused Osho’s approach to life.
“I could not put the book down. And even as a long-time Osho sannyasin myself, I was humbled by the wisdom that transpires through these stories. So many reflections and facets to Osho’s work…it was as if I was a part of each of them – or all of them at once.
“I strongly recommend reading the introduction before jumping into the stories themselves. The direct involvement of Savita’s personal experience with the master shows a masterpiece of clarity and gives a rare insight into the flavour of each of Osho’s communes and what was going on in them. Armed with this background, it is easier to enter more deeply into the core of the book, and to understand the courageous experiences that enabled these storytellers to make the leap into a different world.
“This book offers all lovers of life a unique introductory portal into the world of the mystic. It is a rare pearl; a delight. It gave me a sense of belonging to a mystery school whose doors are still wide open – the mystery school of existence itself.”
– Savina Longhi (aka Amrita Suha)
Former trilingual executive secretary to international organizations )
in Paris, Milan and Brussels
“It’s brilliantly presented, beautiful to look at, and makes absolutely fascinating reading. It’s the one book we all need to keep on our bookshelves besides Osho’s own books, to remind ourselves of how he worked on all the various aspects of human nature we presented him with, and to share the joy of our fellow travellers on the journey to our true nature.”
– Pankaja Brooke
– Author of Love Life of a Cheltenham Lady and Games of Love and War
“Savita Brandt has dedicated more than ten years to gathering first-hand accounts from Osho’s closest disciples – including those who were with him before he became a world-known spiritual teacher.
“Encounters with an Inexplicable Man offers a view of Osho that has never been seen before. You will find both the man and the master; you will participate in those early years when he was on the road and the later years in his ashrams and communes; and you will share in the lives of those people who left everything to come and live close to him.”
– Florencia Varas
Former correspondent for the London Times and Sunday Times for
Latin America and author of Coup! Allende’s Last Day
(Stein & Day, New York 1975)