Religion: God Sir at Esalen East

India's ex-sex guru tries instant sanyas

Bald bearded and photogenic. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh was once known as India's sex guru. At Mount Abu, the hill resort in Rajasthan where he operated from 1969 to 1974, he dispensed tantric yoga, chanting and meditation. Western pilgrims would sometimes doff all their clothes and wriggle in ecstasy, while the more inhibited Indians stripped down to their underwear. Photographers clicked merrily away without hindrance.

As permissiveness spread, Westerners felt less need to travel to India to shed inhibitions with spiritual sanction. So the swami of sex began tailoring...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!