New Delhi: On Monday, Netflix released the trailer of their newest documentary based on the life of Osho’s controversial closest aide, Ma Anand Sheela. The documentary will take a deep dive into the journey of Ma Anand Sheela who was Bhagwan Shri Rajneesh’s secretary from 1981 through 1985. The film will feature inputs from her and excerpts from interviews after she returned to India in 2019 after 34 years.
Public opinion on Sheela is divided as some view her as a criminal after her time in prison, while others identify her as an icon for her remarkable work with Osho.
After witnessing the intriguing story of Osho in the Netflix documentary ‘Wild Wild Country’, it will be interesting to see Ma Anand Sheela, Osho’s right-hand woman’s story.
However, before you watch the intriguing documentary ‘Searching for Sheela’, here are 5 controversial facts to know about Osho:
1. Bhagwan Shri Rajneesh, famously known as Osho, was extremely critical of national icon Mahatma Gandhi for advocating socialism. According to Osho, socialism would lead to poverty and strongly spoke out against it in his lectures.
2. While he was a professor of philosophy at Jabalpur University, he travelled across India to give lectures in which he heavily criticised orthodox Indian religions as oppressive. He claimed that they were filled with empty rituals and instilled fear in their followers.
3. Osho spoke freely about human sexuality which scandalised many. In his lecture series titled ‘From Sex to Superconsciousness’, he advocated for a freer acceptance of sex. This earned him the label of the “sex guru” by the Indian media.
4. After his Pune ashram felt too small for his disciples, Osho and his commune moved to the State of Oregon in the US and bought a 64,229-acre ranch, establishing it as the city of Rajneeshpuram in May 1982. The commune gained notoriety with its neighbours as many called Osho’s followers as part of an ‘alien’ or religious cult.
5. According to Osho’s personal dentist Swami Devageet, the religious leader would consume nitrous oxide on a daily basis while he was in Rajneeshpuram as it gave him a euphoric feeling. Devageet even wrote a book ‘Osho: The First Buddha in the Dental Chair’ in which he documented funny and insightful conversations he had with Osho.
The controversial figure Osho was deported from the US in 1985 due to being indicted with immigration fraud. Following his deportation, he returned to his Pune ashram and held his last public lecture was held in April 1989. Osho, who was fondly called Bhagwan by his followers, died at the age of 58 on 19 January 1990.
The documentary ‘Searching for Sheela’ will release on April 2, 2021, on Netflix.