In a 1968 lecture series, later published under the title From Sex to Superconsciousness, he scandalised Hindu leaders by calling for freer acceptance of sex and became known as the "sex guru" in the Indian press. When in 1969, he was invited to speak at the Second World Hindu Conference, despite the misgivings of some Hindu leaders, his statements raised controversy again when he said, "Any religion which considers life meaningless and full of misery and teaches the hatred of life, is not a true religion. Religion is an art that shows how to enjoy life." He compared the treatment of lower caste shudras and women with the treatment of animals. He characterised brahmin as being motivated by self-interest, provoking the Shankaracharya of Puri, who tried in vain to have his lecture stopped.
According to Rajneesh every human being is a Buddha with the capacity for enlightenment, capable of unconditional love and of responding rather than reacting to life, although the ego usually prevents this, identifying with social conditioning and creating false needs and conflicts and an illusory sense of identity that is nothing but a barrier of dreams. Otherwise man's innate being can flower in a move from the periphery to the centre.
Similarly with respect to Rajneesh's embracing of Western counter-culture and the human potential movement, though Mullan acknowledged that Rajneesh's range and imagination were second to none, and that many of his statements were quite insightful and moving, perhaps even profound at times, he perceived "a potpourri of counter-culturalist and post-counter-culturalist ideas" focusing on love and freedom, the need to live for the moment, the importance of self, the feeling of "being okay", the mysteriousness of life, the fun ethic, the individual's responsibility for their own destiny, and the need to drop the ego, along with fear and guilt. Mehta notes that Rajneesh's appeal to his Western disciples was based on his social experiments, which established a philosophical connection between the Eastern guru tradition and the Western growth movement. He saw this as a marketing strategy to meet the desires of his audience. Urban, too, viewed Rajneesh as negating a dichotomy between spiritual and material desires, reflecting the preoccupation with the body and sexuality characteristic of late capitalist consumer culture and in tune with the socio-economic conditions of his time.
Hugh B. Urban said that Rajneesh appeared to fit with Max Weber's classical image of the charismatic figure, being held to possess "an extraordinary supernatural power or 'grace', which was essentially irrational and affective". Rajneesh corresponded to Weber's pure charismatic type in rejecting all rational laws and institutions and claiming to subvert all hierarchical authority, though Urban said that the promise of absolute freedom inherent in this resulted in bureaucratic organisation and institutional control within larger communes. 2b1af7f3a8