Irrepressible, honest, bold and charming, very few can claim to have lived life on their own terms as Ma Anand Sheela has. Yet controversy continues to follow her. Whether it is her portrayal in Wild Wild Country or the Osho International Foundation’s take on the Netflix series, a wide spectrum of opinions has cloaked for too long the real Sheela Birnstiel. In the 1980s, she was the personal secretary of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and managed the Rajneesh commune in Wasco County, Oregon, USA. She was eventually sentenced to prison, served her time and walked out in three years.
Today, she runs homes for the disabled and the elderly in Switzerland. Almost three decades later, she is still in love with Bhagwan and his teachings. From rebuilding her life from scratch in Switzerland to an interview with Karan Johar on her grand return to India, she is adored and vilified by the world at the same time. In her memoirs, By My Own Rules, Ma Anand Sheela bares all-her life, her lessons, her beliefs, her inspiration and what makes her live life on her own terms.