Ma Ananda Sarita
Now a tantra teacher in the U.K., lived on Rajneeshpuram the whole time.
I was there with the first 20 people before Osho came to the ranch and then I was there until there were only six people left. We took a desert and we completely transformed it in only five years and turned it into an oasis. People were working 16-hour days but always singing, dancing, hugging, laughing, and having love affairs. It was a very vibrant and alive place and very joyful. Most of the people who were there had no idea about the crimes that were being committed by Sheela and her close entourage.
The documentary was very touching and fascinating to watch. They tried to be very balanced. However I did find what was missing was more about Osho and the meditative aspect. There were personal development groups happening, people were coming from all over the world to work on themselves. For the outsiders looking in, they would think “oh, that’s a cult,” but you know, the fact of guru and disciple has been a thousands-of-years-old approach to life in India and I think it should have been at least given some kind of attention or spoken about in some way.
In the very early days, I was working in Sheela’s house as a cleaner and later on I was shifted to work in the press office. I saw that things were going in a not very pleasant direction with her and the people around her. I saw that she was under a lot of stress. Osho had invited her to live in his compound, and he advised her to work during the day but in the evening to come back to a meditative space in his compound, to leave the work behind — she chose not to do that. When people are under stress, they do strange things.