Which religion has the most spiritual followers?

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Dressed in orange, long robes and celebrating wild meditations, the followers of the controversial guru Bhawgan, the sannyasins, became world famous in the 1970s. Sannyasins still exist today, for example in Munich.

From: Anja Wahnschaffe

Status: 07/12/2016

Sannyasins meet every morning in the "Osho Leela Center" in Munich to celebrate the "dynamic meditation". This rather wild-looking meditation consists of five phases: From chaotic breathing, laughing, screaming, crying, dancing, jumping to standing still, everything is included. It's all about exhausting yourself, explains Taru of the Osho Leela Center.

"Because that's a good chance that you can come out of your mind and really go into silence. The important thing is that it's not serious, but it's also about partying, dancing, feeling good."


Bhagwan: More than a youth sect

The sannyasins do not call themselves a religious community. But as a youth sect, as it was called in the 1970s, you can no longer simply see it today. Above all, they want to live out their own individuality and assume that they will come to the truth through spiritual experiences, usually during an ecstatic meditation.

The main rule of sannyasins is that there are no rules. Only the experience that you seek in meditation counts. Sannaysins consciously try to get away from dogmas and traditions. Because that's how Bhagwan taught it and that's how they still practice it in Bavaria today.


Bhagwan was the most famous guru of the 1970s and 80s. His followers, the sannyasins, seek truth through spiritual experiences. His movement was always controversial, some see him as the prototype of a guru.

facts and figures
According to estimates, around 30,000 to 40,000 sannyasins live in Germany today. There are no numbers for Bavaria.

Beliefs and goals
The sannyasins usually want to have spiritual experiences in an ecstatic meditation. It is important to them to look for their own individual, spiritual path. The master-student ratio plays a major role.

(The positions, tasks and affiliation to a religion or belief community of the people named in the article refer to the year 2012 and may have changed in the meantime.)