Ma Anand Sheela, Osho’s Most Trusted Confidante, Opened Up And Said Sex Was Never Misused. Sure, Okay
Since I was a little kid, the only gods I have believed in or prayed to have been the ones my parents used to worship. A practice that is pretty common in Indian households – we practice what our parents preach. But what once used to be blind faith, soon transformed itself into a well-informed and personal choice. As I came of age, I decided to put my faith into a superpower that I like to believe exists. And while there are many like me who limit their beliefs to a power more than a figure, there are also quite a few who would rather make a guru out of an ordinary person and follow him to their last breath. One such guru being the infamous Osho, and my god the stories abound, and disciple – Ma Anand Sheela. She recently spoke about her relationship with late Bhagwan Rajneesh aka Osho.
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The inspiration, for the lack of a better word for it, behind the famous show Wild, Wild Country, Bhagwan Rajneesh or better known as Osho, was hailed as a guru who built a Utopian city for his followers in Oregon, USA to further his ideologies of free will and free love. Practicing an unusual form of meditation that included lots of screaming followed by free dance, attracted followers in hundreds and thousands, one of whom was Ma Anand Sheela. A close aide of Rajneesh, Ma Anand Sheela recently opened up about Osho and her equation with him, to famous Director Karan Johar at ‘The Conversation’, an event that was organised by Humans For Humanity.
Admitting to still following the communal lifestyle, despite the controversies that stemmed from it, she talked about how sexuality was never misused in Osho’s teachings, unlike what was portrayed in the show Wild, Wild Country. She said, “There was no misuse of sexuality in our commune in Pune or in Rajneeshpuram. We talked about sexuality openly. It’s like when you are attracted to somebody, you express your attraction.”
KJo, went on to question her about her very own unrequited love for him, to which she said how he too, was in love with her. She said, “You should see some of the photographs and see how he looked at me. And the way he said ‘Seela'” Quoting an instance from the time the two saw the movie, Umrao Jaan together, she mentioned, “There was a poetry on love in it. We finished our work and then Bhagwan said, ‘Seela, come sit here’. I sat with him and he explained every word of that poetry to me. It was divine.” But was quick to mention how there was no sentiment of sex or lust in it.
She mentioned, “There was no sex with Osho. Our relationship was not sexual. The integrity mattered because I was already drowning in him.” But Karan Johar didn’t leave it at that. He pushed her, asking her whether or not she believes in his theories of sex, she said, “Not just me, but I think everybody believes in it secretly. They want freedom from their relationships and enjoy themselves.”
From someone who started his preachings with talk of free will, self realisation and free love, to soon have turned into a front for immigration fraud, assassination theories and much more, excuse us for trying and failing at taking Ma Anand Sheela for her word when she talks about the purity of his practices. She, who had pleaded guilty in 1984 to attempted murder and assault for her part in the bioterror attacks of Rajneesh, and was sentenced to jail for 20 years, only to be released after 39 months on parole. She is back in India after almost 34 years now, and says she has no regrets.
When Karan Johar asked her if there was something she could say to Rajneesh if he were here, she said, “I would tell Bhagwan, ‘You went with the wrong people who drugged you. And you shouldn’t have allowed it and you were too smart for that…’ But it was his choice.”