Meditation camps (Hindi: sadhana shivir) have been a feature of the sannyas landscape since 1964. Prior to that, Osho was lecturing, traveling and becoming well known as an electrifying speaker, but he saw that people were not being transformed, so he introduced camps, extended retreats where the focus was experiential rather than filling one's head with concepts. He would still speak at these retreats, often at length, but the event was not over when he stopped speaking. Then it was time to visit the interior landscape, to experiment with his techniques and use his words as signposts of things to look for, guidance regarding pitfalls and so on. Most of the day(s) would be spent in self-exploration, using a variety of ways to ask "Who am I?" Deeper and deeper. See also Talk:Osho: Call of the Ocean for a nice quote on why camps came about.
From the back cover of The Perfect Way, an English translation of his discourses at the first camp in 1964: "These discourses are the outcome of Shree Rajneesh's first testing of a new idea, the meditation camp, envisaging an intensive programme lasting several days, which enabled the seekers to dive totally into an atmosphere of meditation."
As they evolved, camps were held several times a year in various formats, lasting a couple of days to as many as fourteen, and in "exotic" locations mainly around the northwestern states of India: seaside resorts, hill stations, usually but not always away from cities. Nargol, Matheran, Mt Abu and others became fabled places in the sannyas iconography.
Traveling to such places came to an end in 1974 after Osho moved to Pune, but the camps did not end. At Shree Rajneesh Ashram, it became possible to have these intensive retreats more often, though they were conducted by others who had imbibed them sufficiently to be able to lead them. But even with others nominally leading the meditations, Osho still came out daily to give discourse in the morning and darshan in the evening.
The camps eventually settled into a somewhat standardized format, which ran more or less the same for the last five years of Pune One, and that was: 6-7 am, Dynamic; 8-9:30ish, Discourse; followed by Sufi Dancing, Vipassana, Nadabrahma and Kundalini and then an evening meditation which would be Gourishankar for one camp and Nataraj for the next, while Osho was giving darshan. The camps ran for ten days, from the 11th to the 20th of each month. For most of that time, both daily meditations and whole camps were led by Sw Christ Chaitanya.
Camps also flourished in other places around the world but especially in India, even while Osho was still in the body. Osho's indefatigable roving ambassadors led hundreds of three-day, five-day and ten-day camps in all parts of India. Some of the best known leaders of those camps were/are Sw Anand Swabhav, Ma Yoga Neelam, Sw Narendra Bodhisatva, Sw Chaitanya Bharti, Ma Dharm Jyoti, Sw Anand Arun, Sw Chaitanya Keerti, Ma Amrit Mukti and Sw Satya Vedant.
The easy availability of such opportunities to jump fully into Osho's meditation techniques made it easy for newcomers to get a feel for it, though they weren't only for newcomers. And so camps continue to this day around the planet, as focused retreats or also sprouting new forms such as 21-day Dynamics or Mystic Roses, intensives spread out over a longer period.
- see also
- Bhagawati's visit to Mt Abu in Osho News
A timeline of available info thus far is presented below regarding Osho's historic traveling Meditation Camps, from the days when he was based in Jabalpur and Mumbai. Info comes from here and there, two main sources being The Rebellious Enlightened Master Osho and Neeten's Osho Source Book. Links are provided where applicable and available for the books arising from camp discourses. A few other "special" / traveling events are included. More info will be coming, and see also Timeline (link on every page in the upper left sidebar) for a more detailed look at discourses, letters and events of Osho's public life.
Two-letter "codes" are Indian state abbreviations, RJ = Rajasthan, MH = Maharashtra, GJ = Gujarat, JK = Jammu & Kashmir, PB = Punjab, MP = Madhya Pradesh, HP = Himachal Pradesh, DL = Delhi, HR = Haryana, BR = Bihar
camp discourses / notes 1962 -- Jabalpur, Khandari Water Works No discourses were recorded. This was Osho's first camp-experiment, a sort of beta or proto-camp, with no lodging arrangements or travel to far-away places, but a focus on meditation rather than listening to words. 1963 -- Jabalpur, Agriculture College This three-day proto-camp was reported in the local papers and attracted many more participants. >> More Jun 3-7, 1964 -- Ranakpur RJ Sadhana Path (साधना पथ) / The Perfect Way / Path of Self-Realization / Path to Self Realisation All the English titles above are translations from Sadhana Path. All sources agree that this was Osho's first full-featured meditation camp, with discourses recorded and turned into a book, and travel to an exotic location. A new phase of Osho's leela was launched! >> More Fall 1964 -- Matheran MH (5 days) This camp known for the hundred letters Osho wrote to Sohan after her tearful parting, published in Path Ke Pradeep (पथ के प्रदीप) (2) / Life Is a Soap Bubble Dec 12-14, 1964 -- Jabalpur MP not really a camp but an urban event, a "gyan satra," or "knowledge or wisdom session" Jan 20-23, 1965 -- Mumbai another urban "gyan satra" / "knowledge / wisdom session" Feb 2-?, 1965 -- Ajol GJ unknown Feb 12-15, 1965 -- Mahableshwar MH Dhyan-Sutra (ध्यान-सूत्र) See discussion re dates and discourse series, may actually be Dhyan Darshan (ध्यान दर्शन). Jul 24, 1965 -- Bhavnagar GJ Dharm Ki Khoj (धर्म की खोज) May not have been a meditation event (at one day), perhaps just a talk Feb 4-6, 1966 -- Tulsishyam, Saurashtra GJ Chal Hansa Us Des (चल हंसा उस देस) So far only two discourse dates are known, with little prospect for more. A puzzler! >> More Mar 20, 1966 -- Ahmedabad GJ Karm Aur Dhyan (कर्म और ध्यान) May not have been a meditation event (at one day), perhaps just a talk. >> More May 14-17, 1966 -- Udaipur RJ unknown >> More Aug 1966 Jabalpur -- resigned from his position as ass't prof to devote his whole time to lectures, travel and being available to his people Oct 28-30, 1966 -- Nashik MH Jeevan Geet (जीवन गीत) Dec 26-28, 1966 -- Chikhaldara MH Chikhaldara Shivir (चिखलदरा शिविर) Very little is known about this camp, which may have run more than the three days shown. More about that at Chikhaldara's discussion page. Apr 13-16, 1967 -- Shardagram school in Mangrol GJ Rom Rom Ras Peejiye (रोम रोम रस पीजिए) Details of place and time for this camp did not come whole but were pieced together inferentially. More about that at Peejiye's discussion page. Jun 4-7, 1967 -- Udaipur RJ Apne Mahin Tatol (अपने माहिं टटोल) This camp is the one described by Osho in Jyun Tha Tyun Thaharaya (ज्यूं था त्यूं ठहराया) (and translated into English as ch 8 of Early Talks) when he "released" Bhuribai's book, she being a female guru who came with 15-20 of her disciples to the camp. >> More Oct 18-21, 1967 -- Matheran MH Asambhav Kranti (असंभव क्रांति) Nov 19-22, 1967 -- Bombay Chit Chakmak Lage Nahin (चित चकमक लागै नहीं) / The Independent Mind Not a "standard" camp inasmuch as it was in the city, but otherwise, yes. Its seventh and final discourse is more or less missing, but its one-time existence appears solid. See Chit Chakmak's discussion page. Dec 23-25, 1967 -- Lonavala MH Anant Ki Pukar (अनंत की पुकार) / Work Is Love Made Visible Not a "standard" camp but a think-tank kind of event "to discuss how the color of peace may be spread far and wide in this vast ocean of life," possibly preparatory to a much larger gathering to organise the expansion of Osho's "work". The apparently five talks from Lonavala are not the only talks featured in Anant Ki Pukar but they set the theme. See also A Gathering of Friends, an independent translation of the first talk. Feb 3-5, 1968 -- Ajol GJ Antaryatra (अंतर्यात्रा) / The Inner Journey May 2-5, 1968 -- Nargol GJ Shunya Ki Naav (शून्य की नाव) This book aka a part of a four-volume series, Neti-Neti (नेति-नेति) Various dates and places camps said to have taken place in GJ, MH, RJ, MP, DL, PB, HR and BR between the two Nargol camps Oct 30 - Nov 3, 1968 -- Nargol GJ Prabhu Ki Pagdandiyan (प्रभु की पगडंडियां) Feb 13-15, 1969 -- Baroda GJ unknown series with the theme of freedom. >> More Feb 20 or so - 24, 1969 -- various MH and GJ unknown talks in Nagpur, Nashik and Rajkot. >> More Feb 25-27, 1969 -- Junagadh GJ Satya Ki Khoj (सत्य की खोज) / The Beginning of the Beginning This book aka a part of a four-volume series, Neti-Neti (नेति-नेति). Also it must be noted that other dates have been suggested for Satya Ki Khoj, Jan 16-19, 1970. Read all about it at Satya's discussion page. Mar 20-24?, 1969 -- Matheran MH Sambhavnaon Ki Aahat (सम्भावनाओं की आहट) This book aka a part of a four-volume series, Neti-Neti (नेति-नेति) Mar 29 - Apr 1, 1969 -- Patna BR (not a camp :-)) Osho speaks at the Second World Hindu Religion Conference, debating with the Shankaracharya of Puri and creating an uproar. >> More Jun 8-10, 1969 -- Ahmedabad Prabhu Mandir Ke Dwar Par (प्रभु मंदिर के द्वार पर) Some details uncertain about Prabhu Mandir, see its discussion page for more. Aug 3-5, 1969 -- Ludhiana PB Not a camp, thematically diverse talks to different groups in these three days. Unlikely that a single book or audio series resulted, ie perhaps (parts of) more than one, along the lines of Rajkot Mar 1970 below. Sep 17-30, 1969 -- Pahalgam JK Mahaveer: Meri Drishti Mein (महावीर : मेरी दृष्टि में) Pahalgam, which Osho has often spoken of as Jesus' final resting place, is some 100 km from Srinagar, which Osho visited before the camp. Additionally, Osho spent several days in Pahalgam prior to the camp. Thus, the precise date is not known of a talk where Osho addressed followers of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, published as chapter 7 of Early Talks, but it was in Pahalgam around this time. That talk was the first time Osho spoke publicly at length in English, and also the first time to a Western audience. See also the discussion page for MMDM. Oct 28-31, 1969 -- Dwarka GJ Main Mrityu Sikhata Hun (मैं मृत्यु सिखाता हूं) / And Now, And Here, Vol 1 >> More Nov 25, 1969 -- Mumbai Floating and Dying Meditation (Bahana aur Mritana), introduced in Dwarka camp above, given final form in Chowpatti, Mumbai, at the Birla Kreeda Kendra Dec 9-12, 1969 -- Junagadh GJ Jeevan Hi Hai Prabhu (जीवन ही है प्रभु) Mar 6-9, 1970 -- Rajkot GJ Shunya Ke Paar (शुन्य के पार) This book aka a part of a four-volume series, Neti-Neti (नेति-नेति). Also note same dates as other series below. Seems that Shunya was given in the mornings and Naye Samaj in the evgs. Thus, this Rajkot event is likely not a camp, in the meditation retreat sense. See Shunya's discussion page for more. Mar 6-9, 1970 -- Rajkot GJ
(Yes, same dates as above!)
Naye Samaj Ki Khoj (नये समाज की खोज) See Naye Samaj's discussion page for its turbulent history of trying to find some dates where it can rest. (Other dates and locations for Naye Samaj include Ludhiana Aug 1970, below.) Mar ?-?, 1970 -- Ludhiana PB Dates were sort-of found for this event but have a conflict. >> More May 2-5, 1970 -- Nargol GJ Jin Khoja Tin Paiyan (जिन खोजा तिन पाइयां) / The Journey of the Kundalini / The Mystic Experience / In Search of the Miraculous, Vol 1 the camp where Osho introduced Dynamic Meditation Jun 29, 1970 -- left Jabalpur for Mumbai ~Jul 29-?, 1970 -- Baroda GJ (Baroda is now known as Vadodara) Flight of the Alone to the Alone / The Great Challenge camp details unknown, only ref is an interview on this one date Aug 20-23, 1970 -- Ludhiana PB Naye Samaj Ki Khoj (नये समाज की खोज) Not a "standard" camp format, ie retreat with committed meditators, but Dynamic was held in the morning on an open area with discourses in the evening on a larger open area. The evening talks were another four of the talks for Naye Samaj. See Osho discourse given on 23 Aug 1970 pm for an account of those four evenings, including a disturbance created by Hindu chauvinist agitators. Aug 25-27 (?), 1970 -- Baroda GJ (?) Camp details unknown, existence questionable >> More Aug 28-31 (?), 1970 -- Ajol GJ Jo Ghar Bare Aapna (जो घर बारे आपना) >> More Sep 26 - Oct 5, 1970 -- Manali HP Krishna: Meri Drishti Mein (कृष्ण : मेरी दृष्टि में) / Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy orange and mala. Picture of that first group:
Front L to R: Ma Yoga Laxmi, Ma Dharm Jyoti, Ma Yoga Prem, two unknown kids, Ma Yoga Bhagwati, Ma Yoga Samadhi
Behind L to R: four unknown, Sw Anand Murti, Ma Krishan Karuna, Sw Chaitanya Bharti, Ma Anand Madhu (the very first sannyasin), Sw Yoga Chinmaya, Sw Govind Siddharth
Oct 17-20, 1970 -- Pune MH Yog: Naye Aayam (योग : नये आयाम) / Sun of Consciousness / Nine Sutras Nov 29 - Dec 7, 1970 -- Ahmedabad GJ Geeta Darshan, Bhag 1 (गीता दर्शन, भाग एक) (2) This camp began the massive series Geeta-Darshan (गीता-दर्शन), which continued through the next five years, mainly in Mumbai and Pune Dec 21 - 25, 1970 -- Bombay Dhyan Darshan (ध्यान दर्शन) Apr 4-10, 1971 -- Mt Abu RJ Ishavashya Upanishad (ईशावास्य उपनिषद) / The Heartbeat of the Absolute Sep 25 - Oct 1, 1971 -- Mt Abu RJ Nirvan Upanishad (निर्वाण उपनिषद) / Behind a Thousand Names At this camp, according to one source, Osho created a new mode of taking sannyas. See "Sadhu" and "Sadhvi" for details and sources. Osho also introduced Mulla Nasruddin stories in this camp. Nov 27 - Dec 5, 1971 -- Pune Dhyan Ke Kamal (ध्यान के कमल) This was not a "typical" camp in that it was urban and talks were given only in the mornings. It is not known how much of the rest of the day was given to meditation practices, but evenings were given over to another discourse series. The full Dhyan Ke Kamal series was not completed until the tenth talk in Jan 1973. Jan 8-16, 1972 -- Matheran MH Sarvasar Upanishad (सर्वसार उपनिषद) / That Art Thou Mar 25 - Apr 2, 1972 -- Mt Abu RJ Kaivalya Upanishad (कैवल्य उपनिषद) / That Art Thou Oct 13-21, 1972 -- Mt Abu RJ Adhyatma Upanishad (अध्यात्म उपनिषद) / That Art Thou That Art Thou for details.
See also Osho News: A short story narrated to Anuragi by Vishnu who, as a 23-year-old, met Osho in Mt. Abu where he took three photographs.
Feb 9-17, 1973 -- Anandshila MH The New Alchemy: To Turn You On / Samadhi Ke Sapt Dwar (समाधि के सप्त द्वार) In this camp the main talks were in Hindi, for Sapt Dwar, and the part relating to New Alchemy were only meditation instructions, though extensive enough to comprise the 17 chapters of New Alchemy's Appendix. >> More
And where exactly Anandshila was in terms of locatable on a map is not yet known, but basically not far NE of Mumbai, in the vicinity of Ambernath. >> More
Apr 6-14, 1973 -- Mt Abu RJ The New Alchemy: To Turn You On / Sadhana-Sutra (साधना-सूत्र) Talks are given separately in English (New Alchemy) and Hindi (Sadhana Sutra). Neither is a translation, and both are based on Mabel Collins' book Light on the Path. >> More Jul 8-16, 1973 -- Mt Abu RJ The Supreme Doctrine Talks based on Kenopanishad, given in English Oct 5-13, 1973 -- Mt Abu RJ Kathopanishad (कठोपनिषद) / The Message Beyond Words Talks given in Hindi Jan 11-19, 1974 -- Mt Abu RJ Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi Talks given in English, based on Akshya Upanishad