Letterheads

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This page shows examples of all letterheads known to have been used by Osho. Some were official, some makeshift, all have a story or two. Included in this page are also the papers Osho used for name-papers. Most of these were also used for letters, so there is a decent cross-over, with no compelling need to separate the two.

Some notes on the different types of letterheads follow the Gallery below. Pages for each letterhead (linked from the Notes section) feature full descriptions and links to all the letters and name-papers that use them.

Gallery

Notes

Osho's homes

Source for info on Osho's homes in Jabalpur is mainly Neeten's Osho Source Book, which in turn cites mainly Gyan Bhed ...
Osho stayed in many places in Jabalpur. No letters are known from the period before he went to Sagar to get his MA. In Sagar he stayed with two of his professors, Dr. S.S. Roy and Dr. S.K. Saksena, and also at times in the students’ hostel. After getting his position in 1958 as a lecturer at Jabalpur University, he stayed in Bhaldarpura, from 1959 to 1960, then for some months in the house of Gupteshwar (unknown) on Devtaal Rd in the Garha area.

From late 1960** to 1968 he lived in Napier Town in the house of Shree Devaki Nandan, who provided enough space for Osho to keep his growing library, give talks and introduce his listeners to meditation. Then he shifted to a house in Kamla Nehru Nagar on Garha Road.

At the end of June 1970, he made his big move to Mumbai, landing first in an apartment in CCI Chambers in the Churchgate area arranged by a close supporter, Himmat Bhai. This could not last long however, since other residents could not tolerate the crowds that were soon coming, especially their use of the elevators, so a large ground-level flat was found in Woodland, on Peddar Rd. Neeten has him moving there in Nov 1970. It too was soon too small but manageable until the move to Pune came in March 1974. Then of course, Pune One, the Ranch and the rest, as they say, is history.

Prof Saksena

Professor S.K. Saksena, as mentioned above, was one of two professors at Sagar University with whom Osho established remarkable relationships. Osho News features two discourse excerpts where Osho talks about Dr Saksena. Few letters are known from this time, with only one of them using an identifiable letterhead, that of Prof Saksena: ProfSaksena-1

Mahakoshal

In the late 50s and early-to-mid-60s, Osho held forth in the Philosophy department at Mahakoshal Arts University. Our earliest Mahakoshal letterhead, used in a letter in Oct 1960, also gives his home address as Yogesh Bhavan, Napier Town. He inserts by hand a "115" before the "Yogesh Bhavan"; more correctly it should go before "Napier Town", but there is no space there. In fact, this letterhead doesn't work and, after some attempts at inserting 115 in subsequent letters, he gives up and eventually gets new letterhead. This is just the beginning.

The Mahakoshal letterheads in one way can be considered a subset of the Napier Town letterheads, in the sense that he was living in Yogesh Bhavan, 115 Napier Town the whole time he taught at Mahakoshal, except for his earliest days in that position. The Mahakoshal letterheads all include his home address in Napier Town, while the Napier Town letterheads below do not mention Mahakoshal.

The wiki doesn't have any letters from the period prior to the first Mahakoshal letterheads, except for postcards and inland letter form letters written to Deriya Ji in earlier 1960, so these are likely his earliest personal letterheads.

They come in three forms, in a rough progression used in letters from late 1960 to 1962. After that, he did not mention Mahakoshal in letterheads any more. Details at Mahakoshal-1, Mahakoshal-2 and Mahakoshal-3.

Taaran Taran

(Sant) Taaran Taran was a 15th-16th c Jain mystic whose influence was profound in the part of India Osho grew up in. In fact, his parents were members of the sect which arose from Taaran Taran's teachings. Osho has spoken on him in a number of talks among his published works and probably a fair bit more is lost to posterity. More about him here.

Osho was both a speaker at and organizer of Taaran Taran's birthday celebrations. Thus his name appears on these Taaran Taran organizing committee letterheads, though he used them only rarely for letters, since they were not his personal letterheads. Two of them even give the organizing committee's office address as 115, Napier Town, his personal address. Still, they seem to have been used mainly out of need in the moment, the last known use in 1961. Details at TaaranTaran-1, TaaranTaran-2 and TaaranTaran-3.

Napier Town

Yogesh Bhavan, 115, Napier Town in Jabalpur, is the place where Osho lived continuously longer than anywhere else. Osho's time in 17 Koregaon Park in Pune amounts to more in total years, and is certainly higher profile, but for continuous residency, Yogesh Bhavan is the one. That time period is when he began gathering the people that would be with him for the rest of their lives. He was experimenting with how to reach out to people and connect with them, and his letters were a part of that, so there are a lot of different letterheads from that era.

There are five "straight" Napier Town letterheads, plus the three Mahakoshal ones above, which give Napier Town as his home address, plus two of the Taaran Taran ones also above, plus four below which have his name but make Jeevan Jagriti Kendra (JJK) the entity at 115. Plus there are the more unusual FlipSides, Sadhana Shivir and Satsang ones below. Details:NapierTown-1, NapierTown-2, NapierTown-3, NapierTown-4 and NapierTown-5.

JJK Napier

There are four letterheads known so far in this class. Two have Acharya Rajnish up top and Jeevan Jagriti Kendra at 115, Napier Town on the bottom, a third has the same information and placement in Hindi/Devanagari, with one small detail different, that being that the Devanagari version of his name, when transliterated "properly", would come out as the now more familiar "Rajneesh". Transliteration standards are still evolving even as of this writing in 2020; back then, things were pretty loose, and "Rajnish" could hardly have been judged a mistake. In fact, it shows up in a Bombay-era letterhead as well, before consistency took over. All of these first three so far have been found only in letters to Sohan and Manik in 1965 but are likely to show up elsewhere as well.

The fourth in this class has a couple of aspects that set it apart. First, a simple matter of layout: it has the "Acharya Rajnish" up top, as before, but with the address text running sideways up the left side. It is the feature between them that is the most striking though, a design/logo of a single paisley teardrop. More about this paisley design at the letterhead page. Here we note it is the first image of any kind to appear on any letterhead, save for one in JJKNapier-1, which was not widely used at all. A near-identical paisley was added soon afterward, leaving out the JJK and becoming a simple Napier Town letterhead (#4 if you're keeping track). And for the record, the image in the much-neglected JJKNapier-1 was also re-used in the equally neglected Novelty-1 letterhead. More at JJKNapier-1, JJKNapier-2, JJKNapier-3 and JJKNapier-4.

Flip Sides

As the name suggests, these letterheads come in pairs. The concept is of a two-sided letterhead, with different information on each side. Either side (or both) could be and was used for writing letters. They are clearly seen to be reverse sides of each other by the flip side bleeding through in images of the letters. So far we have only one example of this type, but both sides were used in numerous letters to Sohan and Manik. FlipSides-1 and FlipSides-2

Friends' businesses

Numerous examples of this kind of letterhead have come to light. Apparently Osho found himself in various situations needing to write a letter but not having his personal or related letterhead available, so, "Hey, you got some letterhead I can use? Thanks!" Particular examples found so far are:

Vijay, Gadarwara: Possibly not even a "real" letterhead, ie designed as such, but a business invoice. It reads, "vijay grih nirmaan saamagri bhandaar", "Vijay Home Building Supplies", in Gadarwara. Only one letter is known to have used it, written to Sohan in 1965. FriendsBiz-1
Gulabchand, Rajkot: As it happens, Osho found two different letterheads to borrow from Gulabchand Talakchand of Rajkot, one for his home, with only his name and address, and one for work, a business called "Jyot" in downtown Rajkot, with a three-digit phone number. FriendsBiz-2 & 3
Dhimantlal, Surendranagar: Dhimantlal M Shah was a lawyer in Surendranagar at the time of Osho's letter. FriendsBiz-4
Doogar, Calcutta: "Doogar Brothers" in Calcutta (Kolkata) is an unexpected location here, as Osho is not known to have gone there much at all. And an odd business it appears to be too, dealing in two very disparate commodities. FriendsBiz-5

It may be added that all these friends' letterheads, business and otherwise, were used in the same year, 1965. There may be a story in that fact as well.

Sadhana Shivir

There is only one letterhead known so far in this class, and only one letter known to have used it, written to Sohan in 1965. There is every reason to believe it was not a one-off thing though, as Osho was just getting into the swing of Meditation Camps (Sadhana Shivir) in 1965 and might well have wanted to promote them. So we shall see. SadhanaShivir-1

Satsang

Again, there is only one letterhead in this class, and only three letters known to have used it, written to Maitreya and Sohan in 1965. The main interest in this letterhead revolves around the implications of its text information. The central part, "Satsang, Dedicated-Monthly for the Spiritual Resurrection of Man", suggests a previously unheard-of periodical Osho was behind, and with the backing of a prominent Indian freedom fighter: Seth Govinddas was not only the editor, but part of the family who owned the mansion, Raja Gokuldas Mahal, where the periodical was nominally based. Satsang-1

Kamala Nehru Nagar

Considering the stupendous variety of letterheads used during the Napier Town era, the simplicity of such use while Osho was at Kamala Nehru Nagar is impressive, a 180º turn. There is only one known official KNN letterhead; the only alternatives used while Osho lived there were the Rorschach and Novelty letterheads next below. And the Rorschach may turn out to be a kind of Novelty letterhead in the end, in that they all lack explicit verbal-conceptual content. The KNN letterhead became a model for the main Bombay-era letterheads that followed, its simple, straightforward design re-used with only addresses and phones updated. KamalaNehru-1

Rorschach

There is only one letterhead in this class, and it is certainly the strangest of Osho's letterheads, an inscrutable blob whose overall shape is whatever the viewer sees it as. Thus, the name Rorschach has been chosen to evoke the impression created by this funny blob. Within the blob are what appear to be Devanagari characters, but whether they are intended to convey some verbal message or are just Rorschach-like gibberish remains to be determined. We are awaiting an informed opinion on this. There is otherwise no textual information on this letterhead. As far as we know, it was used on only four occasions, in 1968 and 1969. Rorschach-1

Novelty

These curious items appeared, as far as is known, only in 1969, and were each used only once. Their verbal content is nil, nor do they purport to offer any conceptual content via their design. They are just design patterns: a couple of them use flowery images, one an abstract fractal-like image, and one with no image at all, the form offered consisting of the cut of the paper on top. Quite possibly they were not created for him but just bought as-is on a one-off basis. Novelty-1, Novelty-2, Novelty-3 and Novelty-4

Churchgate

Churchgate is the area of Bombay/Mumbai Osho first lived in when he moved there. His apartment, #27, on the 4th floor of CCI Chambers, at 210, Dinshaw Vacha Rd, was a large one but almost immediately inadequate for the burgeoning numbers of those coming to experience him, and furthermore eliciting non-stop complaints from other residents due to his visitors' overwhelming of the elevator. Thus, he stayed there only a few months before moving into his next place, Woodland, and generated only three known letterheads, one in Hindi and two in English. Perhaps even just one English one would have sufficed, except for the spelling mistakes in the first one. Churchgate-1, Churchgate-DN-1 and Churchgate-2

Woodland

Woodland was Osho's classic home in Mumbai, where he lived from late 1970 to March 1974. It was a large enough flat to accommodate live-in secretaries and caretakers, Osho's ever-growing library and up to two hundred seekers for talks, plus it was on the ground floor. There were two letterheads in the earliest days while he was still Acharya Rajneesh, one in English and one in Devanagari, and using the Jeevan Jagriti Kendra logo.

When his name changed to Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, two more came out, for the first time employing the device of English (Roman) letters but augmented with a Devanagari "header line", the horizontal line connecting all the tops of Devanagari letters into word units. A new, squared, stylized "om" logo (ॐ) was also introduced, replacing the JJK logo. "Bhagwan Shree" did not last long on the letterheads, his name there getting reduced soon to just plain "Rajneesh", still in the faux-Devanagari style. And late in the game (1973-ish), a name-paper has appeared which looks very similar to the just plain Rajneesh except it a) has a new phone number and b) is narrower. This latter effect may be a trimming after the fact, though. Woodland-1, Woodland-DN-1, Woodland-2, Woodland-3 and Woodland-4

Usage survey

Letterheads below are in chronological order of first appearance, as they are in the Gallery above. In some cases, due to limited availability, little is known about how much they were actually used. The table is copied from Letterhead - Letters table,where usage themes are explored in more depth.

letterhead date range total letterhead date range total
ProfSaxena-1 Jul 57 1 FriendsBiz-1 Aug 65 1
Mahakoshal-1 Oct 60 - Apr 61 22 FriendsBiz-5 Aug 65 1
TaaranTaran-1 Nov 60 1 JJKNapier-4 Sep 65 - Jun 66 22
TaaranTaran-2 Apr 61 2 NapierTown-4 Oct 65 - Apr 68 31
NapierTown-1 May 61 - Mar 63 130 NapierTown-5 Jul 67 - Jul 68 6
Mahakoshal-2 Nov 61 - Sep 62 5 KamalaNehru-1 Aug 68 - Feb 71 37
TaaranTaran-3 Nov 61 1 Rorschach-1 Sep 68 - Jul 69 4
Mahakoshal-3 Nov 62 - Sep 63 31 Novelty-4 Jun 69 1
NapierTown-2 Jul 63 - Jan 64 14 Novelty-1 Jun 69 2
FlipSides-1 Oct 64 - Jul 65 20 Novelty-2 Oct 69 1
NapierTown-3 Nov 64 - Mar 65 5 Novelty-3 Oct 69 1
JJKNapier-1 Jan 65 1 Churchgate-1 Oct 70 4
JJKNapier-2 Feb 65 - Jul 66 6 Churchgate-2 Oct 70 - Mar 71 15
FlipSides-2 May 65 - Jul 65 2 Woodland-1 Dec 70 - May 71 45
SadhanaShivir-1 Jul 65 1 Woodland-2 Jul 71 - Nov 71 4
FriendsBiz-4 Jul 65 1 Woodland-3 Aug 71 - Mar 72 5
FriendsBiz-2 Jul 65 1 Churchgate-DN-1 Sep 71 1
FriendsBiz-3 Jul 65 1 Woodland-DN-1 Sep 71 2
Satsang-1 Aug 65 - Oct 65 3 Woodland-4 Apr 73 1
JJKNapier-3 Aug 65 - Oct 66 11