“Whatever is in you has to come out”: An Individual’s Journey through Bhagwan’s Communes and Beyond
This essay seeks to recount the intimate history of Madhuri Z K Ewing's late-twentieth century experience in a mystical intentional community under the Indian guru known as Bhagwan. Rather than focusing on aspects of the Rajneesh movement that have since been sensationalized by popular media, I explore a deeply personal account of one woman’s experience over the course of her twenty-six years spent in Bhagwan’s communes in India and Oregon. To embark on her path towards the Self, Madhuri muddled through decades spent in community where she submitted to authority and let the powers working around her strip her bare. This essay is far from comprehensive and seeks to illustrate facets of Madhuri’s journey that speak to her identity formation within the Rajneesh movement and the tension between intense individualism and collectivism.
American Communal Societies Quarterly
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