Veteran Bollywood actor Vinod Khanna was a man who made his way into the hearts of the audience in the 1970s and 1980s. His diverse body of work earned him acclaim, and he became a leading figure in Hindi cinema with his fine performances. However, at the peak of his career, Khanna left Shobiz and became a follower of spiritual guru Osho Rajneesh. He frequented Pune’s Osho International Meditation Resort (Osho Ashram) and in 1982, he moved to Rajneeshpuram in Oregon, USA with his mentor.
Today on his fourth death anniversary, we revisit Vinod Khanna’s effort with Osho.
Ashram spokesperson Ma Amrit Sadhana shared with TOI how Khanna was a “good-natured and a profound mediator”. Sadhana once interviewed the actor of Amar Akbar Anthony where he described how “Osho’s words introduced him to an eternal truth: death”. The actor, named Swami Vinod Bharti, was a gardener by Osho and had to oversee the garden of watering, pruning, trimming, planting, etc. in Rajneeshpuram.
Khanna echoed similar views on the Simi Garewal chat show when he was asked about his sudden decision to abandon films and family to follow his “inner voice”. The actor replied, “Everyone has to travel alone. You come alone. You go alone. “
Last year, Khanna’s son and actor, Akshaye Khanna, also spoke in detail about his father’s absence when he was just five years old. Not sharing his father’s decision until he was 15 years old, he told Mid-Day, “At the age of five, it was impossible to understand. Osho had nothing to do with my thoughts on why my father was not. Came much later. “The actor of Section 375 later understood,” This is a life-changing decision, which he (Vinod Khanna) felt he needed to take at that time. Something must have taken him in so deeply, that he felt that such a decision was worth it for him. Especially when you have everything in life. And when in life it doesn’t feel like you have much. “
Akshay also dismissed rumors of his father’s downfall with Osho which led to his return to India from Rajneeshpuram. “The situation in America with Osho and the colony, friction with the US government” which was his father’s return, he said. In fact, Akshay never regrets his decision to follow his father to a spiritual master.
Vinod Khan passed away on April 27, 2017 after battling bladder cancer for years. In his long Bollywood career, he acted in more than 100 films, and was an active politician, and Member of Parliament of Gurdaspur, Punjab.