A documentary came out in 2018, and everyone was shocked to see this documentary. Wild Wild Country was a documentary based on Osho’s life. After watching this documentary, one character got the most buzz: Osho’s personal secretary, his girlfriend who betrayed him, tried to kill him, i.e. Maa Anand Sheela. After this documentary, more and more people searched Anand Sheela on social media. Recently Netflix released a documentary called Searching for Sheela, where she narrates her life story and also answers questions about her relationship with Osho.
Anand Sheela, who served food in Rajneesh’s canteen, became his secretary. Anand Sheela has been accused of poisoning 700 people and how despite the Rajneesh who had taken Anand Sheela to jail, till date Anand Sheela describes herself as Rajneesh’s girlfriend.
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How Anand Sheela Started
Anand Sheela was born in Baroda, Gujarat, by the name of Sheela Ambalal Patel. Rajneesh’s house was in front of where Anand Sheela’s uncle’s house was. So it was not so much trouble for her to meet Rajneesh. This was the first time she met Rajneesh. She went to her uncle’s house and went to Rajneesh’s ashram with her father from there. The first time she met Rajneesh, Rajneesh hugged her and then placed her head on his lap. At that time, Sheela felt very good and felt this is the satisfaction she needs in life.
After this, Sheila went to study in the US, and she also got married there. During this time, she remained a follower of Rajneesh. Sheela used to Listen to his audio recordings, follow his talks. Once she visited India, she came to India with her husband and stayed for a few days at Rajneesh’s ashram in Pune. At the Rajneesh Ashram, Sheela loved it so much that she decided to take Spiritual training. She and her husband started taking spiritual training from there and became followers of Rajneesh and stayed in the Pune ashram.
Sheela changed her name to Maa Anand Sheela. During this time, Sheela served food in the canteen. After some time, Sheela’s husband died, and Sheela became lonely. A controversial report also says that Sheela herself has admitted that she had killed her husband by injecting him.
Anand Sheela was addicted to Rajneesh’s ashram, and we all know that people used to get Addict to Rajneesh’s ashram. Vinod Khanna of the Hindi film industry became addicted to Rajneesh’s ashram at the peak time of his career. This is why his sudden fascination had engulfed the world, and after leaving everything, leaving the industry, leaving his stardom, he became a follower of Rajneesh. He was introduced to Rajneesh by Mahesh Bhatt, who was also a follower of Rajneesh.
After this, Sheela had a long affair with a Rajneesh follower who used to work in the same ashram. She wanted to get closer to Rajneesh. While working in the ashram, Sheela prepared a map in her mind that how to reach near Rajneesh.
And the best way was to become Rajneesh’s personal secretary. But then Rajneesh had another personal secretary, Lakshmi, who had been doing her work for many months. After some time, Sheela quit the canteen and started working as Lakshmi’s assistant. Only Laxmi was left between Rajneesh and Sheela. Now Sheela had to increase her power to bring Lakshmi down, and Sheela started increasing her strength.
Sheila used to listen to all those quarrels in the ashram and would solve them herself. She did not even tell Lakshmi; that is why Sheela gradually became powerful. People started telling Sheela their problems, and Shila started solving them.
There came a time when Lakshmi was removed, and Sheela became Rajneesh’s personal secretary. When a lot of questions were being raised on the followings of Rajneesh, Rajneesh found it very difficult to stay in India because the way he used to teach was entirely against Indian society. There was free life in his ashram. Sheila herself has written in her biography that every follower in the ashram could get intimate with anyone there. Sheela has also had a lot of affairs in the ashram, and Rajneesh gradually became special for her.
Shift To USA
Officially, Sheela was Rajneesh’s secretary, but her stature had increased a lot. Sheela was crazy for Rajneesh. She loved Rajneesh immensely and did everything she could to make Rajneesh happy. This is why when Rajneesh started having problems in India, Sheela was the vital person who shifted Rajneesh’s entire ashram to the US. Later, Sheela was made the official spokesperson. During this time, Sheela made a massive township plan in Oregon, US, with the foundation money. And for this, 64 thousand acres of land were purchased in Oregon.
Sheela and her entire team and 7,000 followers and Rajneesh went to Oregon and a plan to build a township. A lot of people joined him even after leaving for the US. Many high profile people among them were ready to donate their wealth to Rajneesh. This was the reason Rajneesh lived a Lavish lifestyle. Forty million dollars was his month’s expenditure. He owned a Night Six Rolls Royce car and also held a private plane.
At a time, Sheela and her companions had to get weapons. Rajneesh’s followers roamed in the area with weapons. The reason for this was that, where the township of Rajneesh was being built, there was another township just a few kilometres away, and the people of that town used to fight with Rajneesh’s followers. Those people once attacked Rajneesh’s ashram, in response to which Sheela arranged guns for all her companions. Everyone took training and even prepared for war.
She also had many media interactions and used to sit Sheila herself with guns in the media. Many times Sheela showed the middle finger to the reporters in the news and even called them to pimp. The most beneficial thing for Sheela was that Rajneesh had observed a silence ever since that she came to power. If Rajneesh used to talk, it was only with Sheela. If Rajneesh has to convey anything to anyone, then it is through Sheela. Sheela was the only medium to reach Rajneesh. Sheila was such a smart lady who knew how much information should reach Rajneesh.
The local elections took place, and Sheila wished to have two seats in local elections. For this, Sheela started mobilizing people. Many people were homeless. Sheela filled them in the bus and brought them to their range so that their number would increase. They could win when voting. However, when all these things were exposed, and it was found out that Sheila was doing such an act to affect the voting, the US government became cautious.
When this tactic of Sheela did not work, she took another route. She put a poison named Salmonella in all the salads in 10 restaurants. 750 people became ill after eating the salad, and as a result, those people could not go to voting, and the government of Wasco County collapsed. The US government became angrier about Rajneesh after this incident.
The US government took the case of making 750 people sick, which was very serious. Investigations were started. There was talk about Rajneesh’s money, what happens in his speech also became a topic of discussion. Also, this entire incident has been named Bioattack, which is the largest bioatack on the US so far.
Sheela ran away to Switzerland with a follower of Rajneesh from Rajneesh’s plane. Despite being stuck in all the cases, Anand Sheila’s confidence level did not waver one percent.
Rajneesh accuses Sheela of many types. He said that Sheela tried to kill all the people around me. She made a recording device fit to know what I talk and whom I talk to in my room. Apart from this, he also said that she gave Slow Poison to my personal staff, to my doctors, to all the people around me. Coffee used to be mixed with poison and sometimes in their food.
Rajneesh also said that he made a big mistake that he made a waitress a personal secretary. However, he maintained that she never got intimated with Sheela, no matter how big his girlfriend is.
Anand Sheela Imprisonment and Release
After a few days, Ma Anand Sheela was brought back to the US and then she was 36 years old. He was sentenced for electronic eavesdropping, immigration fraud and the Salmonella scandal.
In the month of July 1986, Ma Anand Sheela, who was found to be friends with various friends, was 20 years old and Ma Pooja was sentenced to prison for 15 years for helping her. But due to good behaviour, mother Anand Sheela was released from California jail in December 1988.
Sheela paid the state of Oregon $200,000 as part of a settlement with state and federal authorities then, the total amount was decided by the court was $469,000. On the same day, after leaving jail, Ma Anand Sheela left the USA and boarded a plane to Frankfurt, which was in West Germany then.