Osho: The Buddha For the Future
by Maneesha James
We all know sex sells. It’s de rigeur to be provocative to cut through in this era of over-saturation. The Netflix documentary series ‘Wild Wild Country’ blazed that trail straight into the controversy surrounding Rajneeshpuram, Oregon. Now insider Maneesha James cracks open a cosmic egg in the first book of her trilogy on the radical teachings of Indian mystic Osho.
Insubstantially characterized and minimized as the sex guru of the 70s and 80s, Osho is now increasingly recognized to have been amongst the preeminent thinkers of the 20th century. His insights into the afflictions of the human mind have never been more relevant, and never more threatening to the world’s broken status quo.
Maneesha spent 7 uninterrupted years amongst the free spirits in Osho’s ashram in Pune, India, a mecca of the human potential movement. Then she took the roller coaster ride of the most audacious communal experiment of our generation in Rajneeshpuram, Oregon, way, way out in truly wild, wild country.
Now she tells her smashing story, full of uniquely penetrating and personal observations, amidst jam packed incisively curated quotes from Osho himself, all certain to drop jaws. And yes, there’s sex!
That thrilling ride is over, but this book bottles lightning, and in its wake, more of Osho’s lightning is generated. (Harp)
Review by Lars Beijbom
I have just read Maneesha James´ book, Osho, the Buddha for the Future. ”Just” is perhaps not the correct word. I read it on my computer, which sits on my kitchen table. I can´t really bring it to bed, or any other cozy place that might be more conducive for relaxed reading. But that turned out to be a blessing in disguise: It took me a few months to finish, which let me have her words really sink in. Plus I didn´t want the book to finish!
Like Maneesha I also went to Pune in India to see Osho in the 70´s. The first half of the book deals with her coming to, and subsequently staying in, the ashram in Pune, very near Osho. Her recounting of those years is totally enthralling. Her words take you there, let you breathe and almost feel what life around such a remarkable man as Osho could be. I found myself laughing, crying… being totally swept away! Her words make me recall the very essence of what it meant, and still means, to be a sannyasin of Osho´s: This man, who was the greatest mirror to my own innermost being I have ever met or been near.
Maneesha´s sense and care for detail is quite something else indeed. She takes you to her very core. And throughout the book she recounts events and people with remarkable accuracy. This is especially so when telling us of the years in Rajneeshpuram. My personal experience of those years is limited to visiting during the summer festivals, only for a few weeks at a time. Again Maneesha´s words give you an incredible ride through a very wild, raw and very experimental time. And of the events that finally, and very sadly, brought the whole experiment to an end.
If you want to know what life with, and around, Osho could be, I recommend this book from the bottom of my heart. –Lars Beijbom, Lund, Sweden
Review by Ushma Hinnawi
I have read OSHO: the Buddha for the Future with a lot of interest. Life with Osho is described from the point of view of a person that has lived inside the commune and not only this, but who was also very close to the Master.
The docuseries, “Wild Wild Country,” describes only the external facts while Maneesha James accompanies us with much grace, intelligence and love to understand how precious is Osho vision, focused on love, awareness and celebration.
Most people only became aware of Sheela’s criminality after she left the commune. Maneesha, through interviews with some that were part of Sheela’s inner circle and other sources, for the first time reveals the horrifying extent of Sheela’s power-hungry mind.
In contrast to those criminal acts Maneesha puts the focus on how great it was to be in, what was for her and many others, an amazing adventure with Osho, celebrating, enjoying the moment and feeling gratitude for life.
This book has kept me engaged with a story from the inside and has left me with the fragrance of clarity, honesty and love.
Thank you, beloved Maneesha, for this. I am looking forward to read the next two books of your “thrillogy”! -Ushma Hinnawi
Review by Anand Milarepa – Required Reading
For anyone interested in knowing about Rajneeshpuram and what happened there, and those who ask me about it, I always refer them to Maneesha’s trilogy of books Osho asked her to write.
- Osho: The Buddha For The Future
- Osho: 12 Days That Shook The World
- Osho: One Man Against The Whole Ugly Past Of Humanity
There are an infinite number of lenses to view something from: as infinite as there are minds in existence. Another of these myriad lenses came into focus recently in the form of the docu-series “Wild Wild Country”.
Since it premiered, I have heard lots of commentary, things like: “Wow, it gave such a balanced perspective!” Yet, as I see it, it is just another lens – maybe balanced, maybe not – only this time viewed through the eyes of two young film-makers whom I am quite confident have never done an Osho meditation in their life.
For me, these kinds of things, no matter how balanced one thinks they are, will always be a personal perspective, a perspective that, more often than not, says something more about person whose lens it is than the actual truth. Netflix is about entertainment. And ‘Wild Wild Country’ is entertaining in the best sense of the word. Nothing like sex, guns, and cults to tickle the mind. Clint Eastwood has nothing on us!
On and on it goes: another round of tail-chasing discussions and interviews with people asking the same eternal questions (the best ones are from the Americans): What about all those Rolls Royces? What about all that sex? What about all those guns?
I ask you: Do you see any thread in these questions and the collective unconscious mind of Americans? Just more of the mind chasing its tail while trying to understand something beyond its grasp: meditation i.e. Osho. I have said many times before and I say it again: Want to know about Osho? Start meditating. First know meditation and then maybe, just maybe, you’ll come to know Osho. It’s the only way.
For someone like me who lived the Ranch in all its glory (and yes, they were the four BEST years of my life), I can say from first-hand personal experience that when I read Maneesha’s books, they are word-for-word a precise accounting of Rajneeshpuram, The Ranch, or “Wild Wild Country “as we currently call it. Her trilogy is an unbiased documenting – remarkably uncolored by hers or anyone’s mind-lens – of what Osho calls “The Great Experiment”.
I can still remember the feeling when I finished her third book, putting it down and thinking: “My god, she has managed to do what no one else but she could have done”. I knew precisely why Osho entrusted only her, whom he referred to as “his editor”, with this task: to document the FACTS for future generations, so that those sincerely inquiring will come to know the truth. It made me happy this morning to hear from her that she is making the series available to a wider audience in the form of e-books. The first one, Osho: The Buddha For The Future, is now available on the links below. Kudos, Maneesha! -Anand Milarepa
Review by Sanjiva – What the Documentary, ‘Wild Wild Country’, misses.
This book gives the real story!
In this book, Osho: The Buddha For The Future, Maneesha James gives a unique and intimate account of her life close to Osho in Pune (India) and Rajneeshpuram (Oregon). While there where people building a beautiful and loving commune and city around Osho, Sheela was on all kinds of ego and power trips that became extremely dangerous inside and outside the commune and which, in the end, would destroy this “experiment to provoke God”.
Osho: The Buddha For the Future is a must read if you want to learn the real story of those years. Maneesha did incredible work in recollecting so much information from many of the people that lived there and providing the details of the pressure from the government to end such an amazing project of meditation, awareness and love – Sanjiva
Review by Devakrishna
Just finished your book now! What a ride! I love it! It is like “Wild Wild Country” but from the inside out! I like that you did not spare anyone (Shiva, Somendra, Sheela etc ) I loved it! I felt the same about these people as you wrote but you deepened it in a wonderful, articulated, detailed, fun and light way!
This book will be a bomb !! Loved also that through the book you constantly kept questioning everything…asking pertinent questions about situations, about peoples’ actions and attitudes, about yourself: “Why did this happen?” Why that?” “And if this …. why then that?” and so on. It gives the reader plenty of space.
Review by Bodhi Aloka
Osho: The Buddha For the Future is a masterpiece of investigation into the life around a Buddha, an enlightened being, the Mystic Osho. And it is not by somebody outside the scene; it is directly from within. Maneesha James has been with Osho since 1974. She is a full-hearted disciple, absolutely honest and authentic. She radiates love in every sentence of the book and, on top of that, with a lot of humour.
The book is in two main parts. In the first, she describes how she found and met Osho and became a resident in the ashram in Pune. This section is very juicy and loving and shows the beauty of living and working in the presence of the Master. She points out how a buddha responds to situations, to disciples and the questions that come up in their day-to-day lives. She thrills the reader in such a way that you feel right there, in the middle of the ashram so much so that you can even smell the air, hear the birds singing and feel the energy of the Master.
The second part is set in Rajneeshpuram, Oregon, USA. It has the same brilliance but this time leads the reader into what turns out to be a futuristic thriller, one in which there is even attempted murder. Like a surgeon, Maneesha shows, from her own point of view, how the drama develops. Even if there are many shocking revelations and very sad moments, loving, honest and very precise, throughout, Maneesha holds the hand of the reader.
As a reader I learnt so much about myself. By the end I felt as if I had participated in a 3-month therapy group and had learned enough about myself to last a lifetime! -Bodhi Aloka
Review by Chris Borrett
I just finished reading Maneesha’s Osho: The Buddha For the Future eBook on Amazon Kindle.
Why I particularly love Osho: The Buddha For the Future so much is because I have been well acquainted with Maneesha over a long period of time. In that time, she has always described things, people and events with such a rare touch never polluted by gossip, nastiness, sensationalism, personal aggrandisement or self-interest. Whatever she says and, in this case written, you can be sure of its impartiality, authenticity and sincerity.
No wonder that shortly after the events described in her book, Osho asked her to record them quickly, so that the facts as they happened would not be distorted and that a proper and authentic record would always be there for those more interested to know the truth behind the lies.
I was one of the many who did see the Netflix series, which was surprising because I had no intention to do so. As it happened, I managed to watch all the episodes, waiting in each episode for at least some of the underlying Mystery to be documented and for Osho’s Vision to be mentioned, which didn’t happen.
Osho’s whole emphasis is on Meditation, Love and Awareness and that each of us needs to take responsibility for our life; not only that, I mistakenly expected that the fact that Osho is THE most prolific Author in History be mentioned and that the subjects of his books range from all and everything from the cradle to the grave, from Sex to Super consciousness.
If you would like to know what it’s like to be a Modern-Day Seeker and what that may involve, what it’s like to have a Master such as Osho and how to integrate Meditation into your life, Master or not, this book will help you; not only that, it also could reignite that passion and give you back that fire in the belly. -Chris Borrett aka Samveda
Review by Kashmira Mody
I might be a minority in that I did not see “Wild Wild Country.” Mainly because I am in a live experiment with Osho, today and now – so there is little curiosity in listening to a non-disciple’s account on his most audacious attempt in lifting human consciousness!
Maneesha James’ book is a totally different matter altogether! Ostensibly it covers the same “time period” as the net series – just ostensibly. Hers is the gripping tale of a seeker’s journey towards awareness – when one is lucky to have the support, the compassion and the love of a living master.
For those of us on a similar journey, her description of our struggle to recognise our own inner Buddha and go past our conditioning and limitations filled my heart and brought tears of gratitude.
So this might be the book you read this year. -Kashmira Mody