Your Source of Religio – Osho

The other day you spoke about siddhas, arihantas and acharyas. Could you speak about bodhisattvas. Is there any relevance in these sansads now? Please comment.

The Rajneesh Academy has many dimensions to fulfill. One I talked to you about was to appoint acharyas, siddhas, arihantas. These are not clergymen, not bishops and cardinals and popes. They don’t have any function to perform – marriage, birth of a child, circumcision, death, no. Any friend, any sannyasin can do all these things. […]

So there is no question of clergymen. In fact, it is a question of friends. Somebody dies… then those who were close to him; they should perform the death ceremony. The clergyman may not have even known the person; he will simply repeat a certain ritual. It is better that friends perform the ceremony.

If there is a marriage, there is no need for any clergyman. Moreover, it is very strange that most of the religions’ clergymen are celibate – and they are performing marriages! – just doing something which is a sin. Friends should do it; those who know the lovers should perform the ceremony – not in the name of God, not in the name of any holy book, but in the name of love.

If a child is born, then friends should be present there, helping the child, helping the mother, making the atmosphere as natural as possible. No clergyman is needed, not even a doctor is needed – just people who love, a small group of people who love. Their presence will help the woman to go through the pains more easily. Their presence and their understanding will help the child to enter into the world more lovingly. Now, a clergyman doing circumcision…. It is not a very great welcome to the world. It is really hurting the child.

What the doctors have been doing has not been very friendly. Yes, it has been professional, but their profession is based on wrong knowledge. As the child is born, the first thing the doctor will do is to hang the child upside down, and to hit the child on his bottom – that is the traditional way – so that the child starts crying. But this is not a great welcome to the world – coming crying into the world!

And immediately he cuts the cord that joins the child with the mother. That too is not right. But he is in a hurry; every professional is in a hurry. He has to do many other things; there are other mothers waiting. The whole hospital is full of pregnant women; he cannot waste unnecessary time.

The room is full of glaring light. And nobody thinks that the child has been for nine months in utter darkness; his eyes are very delicate. This blinding light perhaps may be the cause of all the glasses that you see in the world. Eyes are damaged from the very beginning.  Friends should think of the child, his future, because the first step is almost the most important step.

Only candlelight should be there, not glaring electric lights – there is no need! Incense should be burning there; the child should be received with flowers, roses. And the child has been in his mother’s womb at a certain temperature, floating in a liquid which is exactly the same as sea water. As the child is born, immediately he should be put into a tub with the same temperature he is accustomed to, with the same kind of water, the same salts, which are very relaxing. And don’t be in a hurry to cut the cord. Let the child first start breathing. And once the child starts breathing, then cut the cord.

Right now what happens is that doctors cut the cord – and then they have to hang the child upside down, to hit him on the bottom, so out of shock he starts breathing. But this is treating the child like an old Ford – you have to push from the back for half a mile, then it starts. This is stupid. Yes, it is done quickly. It is in favor of the doctor, but not in favor of the child, because he has not started breathing on his own and you have cut the cord. You have created such a great fear of death that it will follow the child his whole life.

First wait – and it is not more than three minutes – until the child starts breathing on his own. When he starts breathing, then cut the cord, because then he does not need it and it won’t hurt him. And he will never be so fearful as you see people are fearful now. Then take the child and put him on his mother’s belly. He has been inside the belly – don’t take him away so far, so quickly. Put the child on the belly, because he knows only one contact, only one warmth, and that is his mother’s body. He is acquainted only with his mother’s body, so let him rest. After a good bath, let him rest on his mother’s belly. You can play the guitar. You can sing a beautiful song – nothing like jazz!… something soft, something more Eastern and more classical, which is soothing and which will make the child comfortable in his new world. […]

I have told you about these three titles – siddha, arihanta, acharya – which are experiential. I have also created three groups which will be active only when I leave the body. So you will have to wait a little for them to become active. While I am here there is no need for these three groups to be active.  But these three groups belong to Rajneesh Academy.

The first group is the mahasattvas. These are the people who will become enlightened before my death. The second group is the sambuddhas, who are already enlightened, but because I am here, they will remain anonymous just out of their gratitude. The third group is the bodhisattvas, who will become enlightened before their death.

So I have chosen names for these groups, and I have directed the groups about their numbers – that these numbers should remain constant, and if one person dies, how he has to be replaced. I have given them all the instructions. But that is not of any use to you.

When I am not here, then the people who will be running the commune will need elders for guidance. These three groups will provide all kinds of guidance. They will not have any power; they will not be holding any post, but they will be available to all the people who are running the communes here and around the world, for any guidance.

When I say they will not be holding any post that does not mean that anybody who is holding a post cannot be a member of any of the groups. As a group member, he will not be holding the post, but as an individual he can hold the post. But while he is on the post, he cannot function as a member of the group.

I want these groups completely free from any politics, so they can have a very nonpolitical vision.

And if they need to, all three groups can meet and take decisions, and their decisions will be absolute. All their decisions have to be unanimous. Unless they come to a unanimous decision, it is not of any worth. So it is not a political thing, that majority decision will win. They have to argue, discuss, persuade, and come to a unanimous decision. Then only can they advise the people who are in power to follow it.

Osho Academy will become your source of religio.


From From Bondage to Freedom, Discourse #28

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Five Categories of Teachers – Osho

14 October, 1982 in INS Portland Oregon

Osho’s visit to the U.S Immigration and Naturalization Service was in connection with an application for permanent residence in the USA, filed on his behalf a year earlier. These extracts are from highlights of what Osho said about his work and vision.

Q: Okay, do you consider yourself a teacher of religion?

I will have to explain it.

Q: You may feel free to explain that to me.

In India we have five categories of teachers. The first category is called the Arihanta; he’s a teacher and also a master. Being a master means that he has realized what he says. For example, Jesus will be called an Arihanta because whatsoever he says is his own realization. He says, “It is on my own authority.”

The second category is called the Siddha. The Siddha is only a master. He has realized but he’s incapable of communicating it. He cannot say what he has realized; in a way he is dumb. And there have been many saints in the world who have not spoken because they cannot manage to bring the beyond within the words. That too is called a Buddha, a teacher.

The third category is called an Acharya – who is only a teacher but not a master. He knows exactly what he’s teaching, but not on his own authority. The Pope is an Acharya. If Jesus is an Arihanta, then the Pope is an Acharya. He is speaking on the authority of the Bible, not on his own authority.

The fourth category is called Ubadhyay – one who is not even certain of what he says. Perhaps fragments are true. P.D. Ouspensky has written a book on Gurdjieff: In Search of the Miraculous. Its subtitle is “Fragments of an Unknown Teaching”, and he’s very true in writing the subtitle – only fragments, because he could understand only parts of it; parts were beyond him. He’s also called a teacher.

And the fifth is called a Sadhu. A Sadhu is one who has not achieved but is trying sincerely to achieve. He may be just one foot ahead of you, but he can teach that much. He cannot claim the achievement; he cannot say with certainty that this is so.

English is poor in that way, it has only two words. English is poor in many ways, particularly as far as religion is concerned, but is bound to be so. Eastern languages are poor in scientific terms. So you have only one word, teacher, for everything. You can call me a teacher but to us it means a very lower category.

Q: Where would you put yourself on this list of five categories?

I am an Arihanta. You can call me a super teacher, because I speak on my own authority. I don’t have to rely on Jesus, or Buddha, or Krishna. What I say, I know. If I don’t know, I don’t say it.

Q: Do you consider Sheela enlightened?

No, not yet.

Q: Does she not have the power to conduct sannyas?

She has the power to conduct Sannyas, as one of the Acharya category – those five categories all can conduct Sannyas – but she has to conduct Sannyas only with my consent, she cannot conduct Sannyas on her own.

Q: Sheela has not reached?

She may reach any moment, but she has not reached yet.

There is some discussion of the running of the ashram in Poona. Osho explains the difference between the day-to-day running of the ashram and the spiritual work.

About these small things I give them absolute freedom. As far as initiation is concerned and the inner transformation is concerned, sannyas is total surrender. Either you are a Sannyasin or you are not. You cannot be in a doubtful situation.

And it is not democratic; remember… no transformation process can be democratic because it is like asking the sleeping people, “Would you like to be awake?” So what?… A sleeping person has to be awakened. He cannot be asked. He may even resist, he may even fight you, that you are disturbing his beautiful dream.

I’m not talking about the society. For the society and the political world, democracy is perfectly okay, but for any inner transformation process democracy does not work, it has never worked.

[NOTE: This was published in The Rajneesh Times, 26th August 1983 while Osho was in silence.]

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Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from and