Don’t Kill Him by Ma Anand Sheela is a book that has all the elements of sparking a controversy but it has not been written with that intention. When I’d put up its book review on my blog, I got so many hate comments and mails saying notorious things about Ma Anand Sheela and her life which I royally ignored. When I finished the book, I wanted to interview her. I got in touch with Fingerprint publishers who have published this book and they helped me in getting this interview done through e-mail.
Me : Don’t Kill Him, Interesting title for a book. What made you keep this title?
Her : While I was writing the last chapter the title “Don’t kill Him” descended on me in sleep. It is very appropriate. It often happens in life that we misunderstand and are ready to ignore and throw the qualities of an individual and brutally destroy them. Some do it in the name of protection and some do it as revenge.
While I was writing this book I had some visiting journalist. They showed me the public relation material they had obtained from Poona Ashram. In this material they had no mention of Bhagwan’s important experiment in Oregon. The whole five years of His life in U.S were omitted.
His commune was His life’s dream. It was His vision and that was removed from His biography. He was ruthlessly amputated just to avoid the scandals He Himself had created. This is how people kill Him.
Me : OSHO is still being followed worldwide, were you afraid about that fact that this book might trigger another controversy while you were writing it?
Her : When I was writing it I had no thought of controversy. My life was then already was a controversy. The character assassination of mine was done thoroughly by Bhagwan and His devoted sannyasins.
Me : Why did you feel the need to write this memoir after all these years? Is it because you were never heard while you were facing those rough times?
Her : I wrote this book for my father. It was his wish that I do not keep my valuable life’s experience to myself. He felt with my openness many can be helped. I wrote this in honor of my father.
Most people are ready to believe that which is negative. To be objective and level headed is rare in the world.
Me : While I was reading the book, I could see that you kept everything balanced, the good and bad things about Bhagwan Rajneesh. Why?
Her : I loved Him. Love gave me the intelligence not to judge Him. Love offered the patience to deal with arising doubts in mind.
Me : If you hadn’t joined Bhagwan Rajneesh’s commune, what would you have done with your life?
Her : When I met Bhagwan I was a student of fine arts. I was accepted by a wonderful artist named Ed Harding in Michigan, U.S to be his student.
I would have gone there and learn art. Instead I have learned art of living with Bhagwan.
Me : At a point, it is stated in the book that you felt that Bhagwan has been murdered when you got to hear about his death due to heart attack, what made you feel so?
Her : I and Bhagwan had a special bond. If He would have died of a natural cause I would have felt it. I did not feel anything when He died and when I heard about it. It was not natural. Of course it is only my feeling.
Me : Have you purposefully left out a few incidents while writing this memoir? Are there any such incidents? Would you like to share them here?
Her : Every day of my life with Bhagwan was filled with incidents. Each day felt like an eternity. I never kept a diary of my life. I wrote this book almost in a state of trance from my heart. What came to my feelings I wrote. It is impossible to remember all I have lived, learned and experience in full. I can say I have not avoided any theme consciously or cleverly.
Me : Tell us more about yourself. What do you do in your free time?
Her : I am work animal. I love to work. I keep myself busy on a daily basis. I was recently asked by someone, “When will you retire?”
My answer was, “When I die.”
Work is my hobby. Now I am sixty three years old. Once I am done with my daily work I am tired then I retire in bed with my dog.
I read, watch a bit of TV and relax.
I live a life of hermit in a sense. I live and work in a same house. People I come in contact with are the people I work with. I have a loving contact with my family. I am not part of any club or organization.
In a worldly terms I live a boring life!
Me : Why should people read “Don’t Kill Him”?
Her : People should read “Don’t kill Him” if they want to know Bhagwan in totality.
Me : Any thoughts about writing more books in future?
Her : I have written two more books.
“My Treasure” was for my daughter Anuja. It was her wedding present. It is a small book which gives direction to daily conflicts of life. It is in German.
“Love Inspires” is in German. It is about life after Bhagwan and is about my work now.
This was the interview where Ma Anand Sheela has candidly replied to all my questions. Also, in the end on her e-mail, she’s written this
“I was able to reply this in my lunch break. If you have more questions please feel free to ask me.
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your objective book review Mr.Gupta.”
I am so glad that an author has appreciated my review in such a way. It has boosted my confidence by several folds.