Freotopia > organisations > Sannyasins


Paula O'Brien:
In the early 1980s, the world media depicted the emergence of a spiritual movement popularly known as the Orange People, or Rajneeshees. Dedicated to an Indian guru, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, they dressed in orange-coloured clothes, wore a wooden beaded-necklace with a photo of the Bhagwan on it and called themselves sannyasins, a term traditionally related to Indian religious discipleship. The spectacular nature of this movement invited the attention of the media and indeed, generated much interest, particularly in their sexual practices. As with other media inspired fashions, the movement appeared quickly and seemingly disappeared as quickly. Rajneesh was extirpated as a unique person in much the same way that superstars pass in and out of the world. Most scholarly work on the subject considers Rajneesh and the Orange People to be a product of their time, the media effectuating the primary evolution of the group. During this time, Fremantle in Western Australia became a major centre for the movement. O'Brien, abstract (part).

Image from unknown source showing people outside the Trades Hall in Collie St when it was a restaurant called Zorba the Buddha - one of the names that the Bhagwan adopted.

References and Links

Fox, Charlie 2019, 'Fremantle's counterculture: India and the Orange People', in Charlie Fox et al. eds, Radical Perth Militant Fremantle, Interventions, Melbourne: 305-314.

O'Brien, Paula 2008, The Rajneesh Sannyasin Community in Fremantle, MA dissertation, Murdoch University.

The Beloved (Joseph London, 2020) doco in three parts; 260 min.

Wikipedia page

Garry Gillard | New: 23 May, 2017 | Now: 9 November, 2023