George Meredith (sannyasin)
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|Born||George Alexander Stowell Wynne-Aubrey Meredith|
1944 (age 75–76)
Quetta, British India
|🏢 Organization||Osho International Foundation|
George Meredith, also known as Devaraj, Amrito, and John Andrews, is a notable member of the Rajneesh movement who served as personal physician to Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. He later became vice chair of the Osho International Foundation following Rajneesh's death in 1990. He initially came to public attention as a member of the party that fled Rajneeshpuram, with Rajneesh, following the 1984 Rajneeshee bioterror attack.
Early life, education, and medical practice
Meredith was born in 1944 in Quetta, in the British Raj (now Pakistan), the son of Lt. Col. J.W.-A. Meredith and Maureen (née Stowell) Meredith. His father was an army officer under the British Raj; his parents divorced when he was about four years old. Brought up in the Church of England, Meredith had a "conventional upper middle-class" upbringing, attended public school, and was rugby captain at St Thomas' Hospital in London. There he trained under orthopedic specialist, James H. Cyriax. As Member of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom, Meredith had a medical practice in Lewisham and had served in 1974 as the medical head of a Kuwait hospital.
Abhay Vaidya describes the youthful Meredith as, "disillusioned with the Cold War, attracted by Communist ideology, and his readings in radical psychiatry and the break-up of families all around". Christopher Reed wrote in a 1988 profile, "The good doctor seems tohave been remarkably unspiritual." Meredith is quoted saying, "...politics, whatever else it was, was a personal affair. It was basically how you and I treated each other. But how would that change the world?"
He found the Rajneesh's discourses about God refreshing, and admired his "deep understanding of the human mind". Meredith believed the "meditations, therapies and advice" of the Rajneesh helped with "the search for meaning and an alternative to mainstream religions ...[he] found shallow".
Meredith "took sannyas" on April 24, 1978, and was then named, "Swami Devaraj". He joined the Rajneesh at the Poona ashram, and from 1978 through May 1981, Meredith was a doctor in the ashram's health clinic.
He lived in Rajneeshpuram in Oregon from 1981 to 1984. In January 1987 he returned to India with Rajneesh (then called Osho), and by 1989 Meredith (then called Amrito) had become part of what Abhay Vaidya calls "The 1989 Coterie: Jayesh, Amrito & Anando". According to Vaidya, "The suave and handsome British doctor Amrito was a key member of this coterie."
After Osho's death, he said, "What Osho taught is that the next jump for humanity is not changing the shape of your nose or face, but changing the shape of your inner space."
He has served as a board member of the Osho International Foundation, "a Switzerland-based nonprofit which owns all of Bhagwan's (now called Osho's) intellectual property and continues to run a vast meditation resort in Pune". As of 2018 he is the foundation's vice-chair. He is now called either Amrito or John Andrews.
Footage of Meredith appears in the documentary television series Wild Wild Country (2018). He and the series' directors "just couldn't make [an interview] work with timing and the production schedule".
Meredith was the victim of an attempted murder by Jane Stork (also known as Ma Shanti Bhadra) in July 1985, and he was hospitalized in Bend, Oregon for ten days. Stork was sentenced to ten years in prison, and was released after two years served.
Amrito was present in 1990 during Osho's death (but did not sign his death certificate). Asked by Christopher Reed to give his account of that death, Amrito said,
So I'm saying to him, "We need proper intensive care now, should I call the cardiologist?" And he says, "No, existence has its timing." So then you're a doctor sitting there, like "Well, the guy say no to any further medical intervention and it's his body and one thing he's always been quite clear about, everyone has a right to their own body, no one else has any right to interfere."
In a lawsuit filed by "Osho Friends Foundation & Others", Yogesh Thakkar alias Swami Premgeet and Kishor Raval alias Swami Prem Anadi, charged that Michael O'Byrne, John Andrews and Philip Toelkes forged Rajneesh's will. The legal battle has not been resolved as of 2018.
He married Eileen Pembridge in London in 1970. His second wife was Wendy (also called Devena), with whom he had a son, Deveda. In 1984, he married Françoise (Wizenberg) Ruddy, known as Ma Prem Hasya, who died in 2014.
He has written two books:
- Meredith, George (1987). Bhagwan: The Most Godless Yet the Most Godly Man. Rebel Publishing House. ISBN 9783907757178. Search this book on
- ————— (1991). The Choice Is Ours: The Key to the Future. Osho International Foundation. ISBN 978-3893380831. Search this book on
- "England, Andrews Newspaper Index Cards, 1790-1976". www.ancestry.com. 16 October 1944. Retrieved 2018-07-20. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Vaidya, Abhay (15 March 2017). Who Killed Osho. Om Books International. pp. 51–53, 81–83. ISBN 978-93-86410-02-3. Search this book on
- "Guru's uncertain health improves en route to Oregon (part 6 of 20)". OregonLive.com. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
- Reed, Christopher (22 Jun 1988). "From Lewisham to enlightenment". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. p. 23. ISSN 0261-3077. OCLC 60623878. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
- Pomfret, John (20 May 1990). "With Free-Love Guru Dead, India Commune Goes Mainstream". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
- Silman, Anna (24 April 2018). "Bhagwan's Doctor Gives His Take on Wild Wild Country". The Cut. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
- "Former Aides to Guru in Oregon Plead Guilty to Numerous Crimes". The New York Times. 23 July 1986. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
- Zaitz, Les (April 21, 2011). "Utopian dreams die in murderous mood". The Oregonian. Retrieved July 24, 2018. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Escaping the Bhagwan". WA Today. World Australia. 9 April 2009. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
- Mehta, Sunanda (15 April 2018). "Guns and Roses: Osho's disciples recall their days in the wild, wild country". The Indian Express. Indian Express Limited. OCLC 70274541. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
- Vaidya, Abhay (19 September 2013). "Osho's will surfaces mysteriously 23 years after death; sparks controversy". Firstpost. Network18 Group. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
- "England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916-2005". www.ancestry.com. 1970. Retrieved 2018-07-21. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Aderet, Ofer; Shubert, Omer (2018-05-17). "'Wild, Wild Country': Meet the Holocaust Survivor and Archnemesis of Ma Anand Sheela". Haaretz. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
- George Meredith on IMDb
- Spirit Matters Talk (podcast), John Andrews Interview 2016-05-13 (audio, 42:46)
- Spirit Matters Talk (podcast), John Andrews Discussion (audio, 13:00)
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