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Book Name : Don’t kill him – The Story of my life with Bhagwan Rajneesh

Author Name : Maa Anand Sheela

Published By : Fingerprint!

Genre: Memoir
Reviewed by: Vertul Singh

                                                                              A bewildering tribute to a Guru!

Don’t kill him – The Story of my life with Bhagwan Rajneesh is a bestselling memoir by Ma Anand Sheela, a devotee and later Personal Secretary from 1981 to 85 to Mr. Rajneesh the God man.

The present generation would scarcely believe the spiritual junoon that was Bhagwan Rajneesh as he was referred to, during his heydays in the seventies and eighties. Not since the days of the crusades, a phenomenon was ever able to create a mass hysteria as he did. But unlike other spiritual movements the membership to this coveted cult was highly discriminating and was akin to plutocracy where D’incurables élitistes with tons of money clamored for instant epiphany.  Among the spiritual Gurus none have as yet matched his chutzpah and controversial lifestyle with the nom de plume of the ‘Sex Guru’, which he carried from his Koregaon Park Poona Ashram to the Oregon Ranch named Rajneeshpuram in the USA.

Obeisance to a guru

Obviously an account of his life coming from someone who watched the Bhagwan up close and personal would make a great reading. The book is an obeisance to a Guru but at the same time tongue in cheek, it also narrates the pettiness and the freaky cultish therapy’s advocated by Rajneesh. The group dynamics specially the crab mentality which the so called Sanyasins in search of salvation resorted to are also recounted a la gossip columnist. The book begins with loads of justification for countering the allegations against the writer by Rajneesh. Not surprising therefore, that the culmination of the memoir comes first when the writer justifiably, though in a slightly confusing manner tries to eulogize her master and then makes him complicit in all the so called crimes that were being perpetrated by the inmates of the Ashram. Throughout the book Rajneesh has been referred by the writer as ‘Him’ or ‘Bhagwan’. At times due to her incoherence in the otherwise highly captivating narrative craft, the reader is left wondering whether it is a candid memoir or just another smear campaign by a disgruntled follower. For instance she writes “This exploitation (Emotional and material) was dirty, ugly, and repulsive, especially coming from Bhagwan. He totally exploited his people. But with Bhagwan, it was also possible to learn if one was willing and ready. This exploitation was a price that I gladly paid and paid to the fullest extent.”

Clearing the mystery

However, all of this gets a stamp of credibility as none before Ma Anand Sheela busted the myth that Rajneesh claimed he was. Since his entire activities were clouded in an iron curtain and a deliberately cultivated mysteriousness around him. Ma Anand Sheela threadbares this “These (Media) appearances were important to Bhagwan because, according to Him, they were the best and the cheapest means of advertising for us. Their purpose was to create as much controversy as possible by making extravagant claims and inflammatory statements in an extremely obnoxious and provocative Manner”.

His controversial book

His book From Sex to Super consciousness published in 1968 convulsed the traditional mindset so much that the Indian Parliament actually held a discussion session to ban it. Born as Chandra Mohan Jain in 1931, Rajneesh was a small town guy from a mofussil town of southern Madhya Pradesh. He started his teaching career from Raipur Sanskrit University and Jabalpore University and soon catapulted himself as a ‘Sex Guru’ reaching out to millions of his followers from all across the world.

His philosophy

He promulgated a new philosophy and outlook to life with a clever intermingling of the hedonism and materialism of Charvaak and the nihilism of Friedrich Nietzsche. He further borrowed majorly from Buddhism and specifically from the Zen school of thought thus evolving and conceptualizing his own theory of the ‘New Man’. Unlike his earlier avatars and the Swamys, his spiritual materialism justified the debauchery and gay abandon of the west which was already in the grips of the beatniks and the hippies. He created a cultish image where he shrewdly infused many pop trends and particularly pop music in his Transcendental meditation. For example, he borrowed from the hugely successful and historical ‘Woodstock Festival’.  He became so controversial that twenty one countries denied him entry permission. After his death his followers unanimously decided to call him ‘Osho Rajneesh’.  He was deported from USA and lived his last two years in his Poona Ashram till his death in 1990. His epitaph reads...

Never Born
Never Died
Only Visited this
Planet Earth between
December 11 1931-January 19 1990


About Vertul Singh: Vertul Singh is a government servant and a published author; he has written a novel titled ‘Ek Guna Bekhudi’ and a novella too titled ‘Bafliaz ki Kaneez’. Although he likes writing fiction in Hindi he prefers to write articles in English and has over 150 published articles to his credit. 

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