New Delhi: Osho Rajneesh disregarded all laws, ethics and legalities as he wanted to create a society of his own vision with its own laws and rules, says a former personal secretary of the controversial spiritual guru in a bare-all memoir.
"Don't Kill Him! The Story of my Life with Bhagwan Rajneesh" documents the experiences, observations, feelings and life of Anand Sheela while she was working with Osho as his aide from 1981. She resigned from her post in 1985 and fled with the commune's fellow members to Europe.
Osho, livid at her "betrayal", accused her of planning a bio-terror attack, a murder conspiracy and scooting away with USD 55 million. Sheela pled guilty to some of the charges and served 39 months in prison. And she also managed to forgive her guru.
Sheela says she saw Osho extremely charismatic, brilliant, inspiring, powerful and loving and also being ridiculously manipulative, vengeful, self-serving and hurtful.
"He disregarded all laws, moralities, ethics and legalities of every community, society, and nation because he wanted to create a society of his own vision with its own laws and rules.
"I witnessed how he was at the top of his game in Bombay and Poona, how he gave shape to his commune, how he worked with people and how he manipulated the media by generating controversies," she writes in the book, published by FingerPrint.
Sheela also observes Osho's decline saying it "began in Oregon with his dependence on painkillers and other drugs and which ended with the ultimate downfall and dissolution of the commune in Oregon".
Sheela, who was born Sheela Ambalal Patel to a Gujarati family in Baroda in 1949, says she loved Osho and trusted him implicitly and blindly.
"I've a deep and abiding respect for his teachings and remain his loving devotee even to this day." She feels Osho was robbed by his own people.
"And today his sannyasins (devotees) are too frightened and ashamed to talk about Rajneeshpuram. In my opinion, his people diminish him by not talking about this most important time of his life."
Writing about his death, Sheela says she finds it difficult even today to believe that it was natural. Osho died of heart failure in 1989 at the age of 58.
"Even today, I do not accept that it was a natural death. If it was natural, I would have certainly felt it," Sheela claims.
The first few chapters of the book deal with the period immediately following the author's departure from Rajneeshpuram and the beginning of the legal process against her in the wake of allegations of wrongdoings against her.
In the second part of the book, Sheela picks up the thread from the beginning when she joined Osho's movement around 1972 at the age of 20.