Book on controversial spiritual guru Ma Anand Sheela to hit stands soon

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New Delhi, Mar 6 (PTI) A book on the life and times of Ma Anand Sheela, former aide to infamous spiritual guru Osho Rajneesh, will hit the stands by second-half of this year, announced Penguin Random House India on Friday.

Sheela Birnstiel, who goes by the moniker Ma Anand Sheela, got into spotlight after the Netflix documentary series 'Wild Wild Country'. She managed the Rajneeshpuram ashram in Wasco County, Oregon, and was the personal secretary of Osho from 1981-1985.

The biography, titled 'By My Own Rules', beside laying bare details of Sheela and her role in the rise and fall of the godman Osho empire, attempts to present readers with an 'unwaveringly honest view of her life after Osho'.

'It takes a lot of courage for any publishing house to work with someone with my history-for I am no writer; I am simply narrating my life. I believe that experiences are, at times, mightier than literature,' said Sheela on her upcoming book. The 70-year-old, who was alleged to be the primary perpetrator of the 1984 Rajneesh bio-terror attack in Oregon, post the attack fled to Europe as a fugitive accused of arson, wiretapping, attempted murder, and mass poisonings.

Later, she pleaded guilty to attempted murder and assault for her role and was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison and paroled after 39 months. Presently, she runs homes for the disabled and elderly in Switzerland.

'Ma Anand Sheela is unconventional, fearless, strong, and spirited. She has had an adventurous and extraordinary life, and has always lived it on her own terms.

''By My Own Rules' is her memoir in which she talks about her life and work in Switzerland, her family, her memories of Bhagwan Rajneesh and what continues to drive her to live her dream even today,' said Milee Ashwarya, publisher, Ebury Publishing and Vintage Publishing, Penguin Random House India. PTI MG MG

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