(MENAFN- IANS) Vadodara, Sep 10 (IANS) As we made our way to Vadodara, we anticipated meeting the bold and enigmatic Maa Anand Sheela, known for her pivotal role in the Rajneesh movement and the Netflix series "Wild Wild Country".
However, what we encountered was a gracicaregiver whose life story has traversed some of the most intriguing landscapes on the planet.
Sheela, 73, now residing in Maisprach, Switzerland, has come full circle by returning to Vadodara, the city where her journey began.
She fondly reminisced: "I wanted to come here before I die. I visited my house but it's in bad condition now."
She is a Gujarati Patel and she even spoke toin the local language.
She calls herself "close to her roots".
Her journey from a young girl Sheela Patel in Vadodara to becoming the influential figure Maa Anand Sheela who managed Rajneeshpuram, Oregon, was marked by what she refers to as "stupid courage".
Sheela reflected on her transition, saying: "It was stupid courage, not defined courage like this. It helped me in transition. At that time, I didn't think of the future."
Maa Anand Sheela, renowned as the Rajneesh movement's spokesperson from 1981-1985 in Oregon.
She was imprisoned for 1986 conviction of attempted murder and assault tied to the Rajneeshee bioterror attack, she relocated to Maisprach, Switzerland, where she oversaw two nursing homes.
When asked about the current landscape of spiritual guin India, Sheela expressed her contentment, stating: "I am done with guru shopping in my life. Now, I don't go to gurus. I have found my diamonds; I don't need anyone else. I have no judgments for others but even most guread Bhagwan's teachings!"
"I would want to call myself a criminal but not a spiritual person as spirituality is a very hollow word. Spirituality has become fashionable in the moment. All these meditation apps are doing business, and I don't want to harm it, but they offer only a few minutes of relaxation, nothing else."
Discussing the trend of young people opting for singledom over marriage, Sheela commended their choice, saying: "I call that intelligence! Marriage is for the convenience of society, but life should not always be for convenience. If you like yourself and want freedom, then stay away from relationships and marriage. Learn to be alone."
Her deep affection for Bhagwan (Osho) is evident in her words: "What I feel for Bhagwan has no limits. I look at him, and I melt. The quality of love I felt shines in my work."
Osho once called Sheela, a "criminal", compared her to "prostitute" but Sheela has only love for him.
She said: "Forgive, guilt, or regret are not words I use. They are Christian words, and Christianity teachesto be guilty and forgive. Bhagwan has cured me!"
Sheela emphasized the fluidity of relationships, stating: "The word 'adultery' doesn't exist. Multiple relationships are healthy. Just take care of sexual precautions. Don't make it a moral issue. The moment you make it a moral issue, you fall into the trap of guilt and forgiveness, and with it comes depression. If you want to be happy in a relationship, don't lose your freedom."
As she looks ahead to her remaining days, Sheela aspires to be constructive and spread positivity without seeking approval, concluding: "Whatever last days I have in my life, I want to be constructive and bring positivity without seeking approvals. I do what I do for my pleasure."