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Author & Philanthropist

Date & Time

Monday Mon, 16 Nov 2020


Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560 071 India
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+91 98865 99675 bic@bangaloreinternationalcentre.org

‘Everyone has an opinion of me in the world! I do not expect them to change. I accept life as it comes!’

Irrepressible, honest, bold and charming, there are few who can claim to have lived life on their own terms like Ma Anand Sheela. Yet controversy continues to follow her today whether it be 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 80s, she was the personal secretary of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and managed the Rajneesh commune in Wasco Country, 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 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.

Part of the WorldLit series in collaboration with Bangalore Literature Festival

The event will be uploaded on our YouTube channel with subtitles. Don’t forget to click on the ‘CC’ button.


Sheela Birnstiel (Ma Anand Sheela)

Author & Philanthropist

Ma Anand Sheela or Sheela Birnstiel managed the Rajneesh commune and the city of Rajneeshpuram in Wasco County, Oregon, U.S.A. She was the personal secretary of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh from 1980 to 1985. More recently, she regained her spot in the limelight because of the Netflix series, Wild Wild Country. Sheela founded beautiful care homes for underprivileged young and old persons. She manages two care homes in Switzerland and Mauritius.

Milee Ashwarya


Milee Ashwarya is Publisher, Ebury Publishing and Vintage Publishing at Penguin Random House India. Her
focus has been on championing the best voices in fiction and non-fiction while publishing a range of bestsellers
across segments. Her authors include Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Piyush Pandey, Hussain S. Zaidi, Yuvraj
Singh, Hindol Sengupta, R. Gopalakrishnan, Karan Johar, and Ravi Subramaniam to name a few.