Ma Anand Sheela, Height, Age, Boyfriend, Husband, Children, Family, Biography & More

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Husband: Urs Birnstiel
Age: 72 Years
Hometown: Baroda, Gujarat, India


Ma Anand Sheela

Full nameSheela Ambalal Patel [1]CN Traveller
NicknameThe Queen [2]Ranker
Other name(s)• Sheela Silverman
• Sheela Shelfer
• Sheela Birnstiel
ProfessionPersonal Secretary to Osho (Rajneesh)
Famous For Convicted for largest bio-terror attack in Oregon (US)
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 164 cm
in meters- 1.63 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 4”
Eye ColourDark Brown
Hair ColourGrey
Personal Life
Date of Birth28 December 1949, Wednesday
Age (as of 2021) 72 Years
BirthplaceBaroda, Gujarat, India
Zodiac signCapricorn
College/UniversityMontclair State College, New Jersey

Note: She was a follower of a religious cult called "The Rajneesh Movement"
AddressBadhof 103 CH-4464 Maisprach Switzerland
Controversies• In Wasco County 1984, the Rajneeshees were denied to build a city and expand their territory after moving to Oregon in the United States by the local residents. The religious cult tried to get involved with the local government. Ma Anand Sheela, who second-in-command in the commune conspired with the commune to poison local residents by using salmonella bacteria and many other methods to make them ill and prevent them from voting and swing the election. It was claimed as the largest bio-terror attack that the United States had ever witnessed affecting the health of 750 people and hospitalizing 45 people. [3]The Live Mint
• In 1985, Her guru Osho (Rajneesh) accused her of fraud, arson, wiretapping, second-degree assault, immigration fraud to the FBI after she fled to West Germany with a few of the members of the commune. The FBI took the matter into their own hands based upon the accusations made by Osho against Ma Anand Sheela and found her guilty. Ma Anand Sheela has been convicted for these charges and was sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment. [4]The Live Mint
• In 1999, she was convicted for the murder in Switzerland of US federal prosecutor Charles Turner in 1985 by the Swiss court. [5]Swiss Info
Relationships & More
Marital StatusMarried
Affairs/BoyfriendsOsho (Rajneesh) [6]Hindustan Times
Husband/Spouse• Marc Harris Silverman (Swami Prem Chinmaya)Ma Anand Sheela's husband Marc Silverman
• John Shelfer (Swami Prem Jayananda) John Shelfer
• Urs Birnstiel (Swami Dhyan Dipo) Ma Anand Sheela with Urs Birnstiel
ParentsFather- Ambalal Patel
Mother- Maniben Patel
Ma Anand Sheela with her parents

Anand Sheela

Some Lesser Known Facts About Ma Anand Sheela

  • Did Ma Anand Sheela drink alcohol? Yes [7]The Guardian
  • Ma Anand Sheela was an Indian-Swiss, who served as a personal assistant to Osho (Rajneesh) from 1981 to 1985. She was one of the dominant voices that propagated the “Rajneesh Movement .” She also used to manage Rajneeshpuram ashram in Wasco County, Oregon, United States.
  • At the age of 18, Ma Anand Sheela studied at Montclair State College where she met Marc Harris Silverman, and fell in love with him, and got married eventually.
  • Marc Harris Silverman was 21 years of age when he met Ma Anand Sheela and suffered from lymphoma disease. He was told that he had only two years to live by the doctors but, he lived well beyond the tenure that was mentioned by the doctors.
  • Ma Anand Sheela lived with her husband Marc Harris Silverman, in America before moving to India to pursue her spiritual studies and became a disciple of Osho (Rajneesh) and started being called “Ma Anand Sheela” and her husband took the name of “Swami Prem Chinmaya.”

    Ma Anand Sheela

    Ma Anand Sheela with Osho

  • Ma Anand Sheela and her husband Marc Harris Silverman purchased 64000 acres of land in Oregon (US) to establish a recreation center called “Chidvilas Rajneesh Meditation Center” for Rajneesh devotees to propagate his philosophy to the western world.

    Ma Anand Sheela

    Ma Anand Sheela with the commune

  • After her husband died, she married John Shelfer who was also a disciple of Osho.
  • Ma Anand Sheela used to manage all day-to-day business matters of the Rajneesh Foundation. Ma Anand Sheela was the second secretary of Osho (Rajneesh) after Laxmi.
  • She was involved and led the commune in the $5.75 million Oregon deal that would help them to establish a utopian town called “Rajneeshpuram.”


    Rajneeshpuram signboard at Antelope, Oregon, US

  • More than  7000 followers moved to Rajneeshpuram, which was a city in itself and had facilities like an airstrip, public transport, restaurant, malls, police force, fire department, townhouses, post office, and even a zip code.


    Rajneeshpuram today, now owned by Washington Family Ranch

  • Ma Anand Sheela met with Indira Gandhi for talks to set up an ashram in India in order to expand their movement and popularizing the religious cult among the masses.
  • Ma Anand Sheela wrote a book titled  Rajneeshism, where she shares insight into the life of Osho and his perspective with people however, the name of the author has not been credited and the editor has listed it as “Academy of Rajneeshism.” 5000 copies of this book were burned at Rajneeshpuram.
  • Ma Anand Sheela left the commune and fled to Europe. This angered Osho (Rajneesh), who broke the vow of silence and accused her of several crimes, which turned out to be true. She was arrested in West Germany and extradited to the USA.
  • She was the one, who initiated the largest bioterror attack in American history causing health problems to 750 US citizens. Ma Anand Sheela was sentenced to prison for 20 years for the convicted charges and was on parole for 39 months in 1986.

    Ma Anand Sheela

    Ma Anand Sheela convicted for her criminal charges

  • After serving in prison, she moved to Switzerland and married a fellow Rajneesh devout Urs Birnstiel, and became a Swiss citizen. Urs Birnstiel died of AIDS after his marriage with Ma Anand Sheela.
  • Ma Anand Sheela bought two nursing homes in Maisprach, Switzerland named Matrusaden (mother’s home) and Bapusaden (father’s home)
  • In an interview, she was asked about the persona she had to create to become Ma Anand Sheela, to which she answered

    That is true. When you are protecting a community and an asset like Bhagwan, you have to show your strength. I was trained by Bhagwan himself to be quick and witty. This is one of the biggest conflicts that my siblings have. They could not understand what they were seeing me as on television. They would call me up and say, ‘Stop being rude with the media!’ And I would tell them, ‘Don’t give me advice, I have another adviser, and that’s my boss Bhagwan’. I had to carry out the role, no matter what. I had to play the role. Life is the biggest act. That act never troubled me, because I embraced it. And even now, that’s why I can enjoy life so well”

  • Ma Anand Sheela appeared in Netflix’s Wild Wild Country documentary which was released in 2018 and Youtube Channel ” BBC stories” published a video named Wild Wild Country: What happened to Sheela?

  • She was interviewed by Karan Johar in 2018 spoke about her lifestyle in comune at Oregan, United States. She also shared an interesting insight into her relationship with Osho (Rajneesh)

    You should see some of the photographs and see how he looked at me. And the way he said ‘Seela’…” Sharing an anecdote, Sheela recalled an evening she spent with Rajneesh as he watched the classic Umrao Jaan, featuring Rekha and Farooq Shaikh.”

  • Ma Anand Sheela’s biopic was announced that would be produced by Karan Johar and Priyanka Chopra was being lined up for her role in the documentary, to which she did not give the permission and send a legal notice to her through mail as she wanted Alia Bhatt to play her character in the documentary.