Ma Anand Sheela is a redoubtable stateswoman who hit international headlines with her grit, gumption and sharp tongue when she built and ran Rajneeshpuram in the US of A.

I posted about my meeting with Ma Anand Sheela or Sheela Biernstiel, who lives in Switzerland now, on my social media. Since some of you aren’t on my Facebook and most of you aren’t on FB at all, I thought of reproducing it on my favourite platform —

When I met her, I was greeted by a warm and soft-spoken person whose calmness was contagious. Was she indeed the skilful éminence grise who kicked up a storm with her witty comebacks and provocative one-liners (remember: tough titties)? What left people in awe is that even back in the ‘80s, the 70-year-old had the guts to live life as she wanted to and totally own her story with all its vagaries, including prison time and controversies.

When I complimented her on her courage and vision, she told me, ‘You all have to create your story and you have many ways to create it.’

But living life on one’s own terms isn’t easy, Ma— I complained. Surfaced the old resolute voice: ‘Not easy is not a good excuse either… To not live life in your own way is a very coward way to live,” she said with conviction, adding, “Life is tough, baby. Life’s not easy. You have to go through your crisis, don’t look for easy, don’t make it easy for yourself. Easy is for cowards. Be brave. What you have to do, you must, easy or difficult. Whatever difficulty comes, say, ‘Ah! I can do it’. The choice is always yours. It happens that sometimes you choose the wrong, then accept the consequences.”

But how does one stay calm in the midst of a storm, how did she manage it? “I don’t blame my crisis and catastrophes on others. I take responsibility for my crisis, I try to analyse it understand it and I don’t put my burden on others…”

And what lives with me from the meeting are her following words: ‘I can tell you one thing — I love my life!’

If you have watched the famous Netflix series Wild, Wild Country (pretty lopsided IMHO), you know about the storm she had to brave. But she lives on, inspiring generations of young women around the world. You might or might not agree with her, but you can’t take away from her that she lived fantastically, and continues to write her story.

Here’s when we met

I hope it inspires you to live life well. In that pursuit, let me offer you blogs which serve as the guideposts on this journey  

Transformative Ideas

The Mind and the Present: The mind and the present intersect when we are aware not only of the thoughts but also the background on which they exist. When choice and clarity merge, we can choose which thoughts. Niranjan Seshadri’s articulates how to take the mind from habit-driven to immense potential in this blog.

A Debate between Ramayana and Mahabarata: What ensures success — human action or destiny? Vejay Mehta looks up the two significant texts to find the answer. He illustrates that Ramayana places emphasis on efforts, while Mahabarata says destiny is powerful. So, what’s the conclusion? If it is in your destiny, you will make an effort to click on the article and find the answer… Kidding. It’s a profound perspective that you ought not to miss.

How I Found My Ikigai: There are several ways to find one’s ikigai. Ikgai is the Japanese concept that translates to that which ‘brings you joy and inspires you to get out of bed every day’, or simply the ‘reason for being’. Here’s how Anitha Babu found hers on the auspicious Diwali night.

Dazzling, Valuable Golden Bangles: Compassion is a golden virtue. Those who help others will have their names written in gold letters in the history of a beautiful world. Chandrika Shubham Saini’s name will be there, too. She donated not one but two gold bangles on her way back from a trip. And here’s the interesting story.

He is Still My Brother: Grief never really goes away. We grow around it, and it becomes smaller. Eventually, we learn to live with it. It took Niraj Chandra a very long time and a simple line from his granddaughter to fill the void his brother left several years ago when they were both very young. Niraj feels his brother protected him, even as the brother sacrificed himself for their father. If you are dealing with loss, these words might help you.

Significance of Dattatreya Jayanti: Lord Dattatreya is worshipped as the unity of the Trinity — Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu. Kalai Selvan’s blog is a quick guide on everything related to the Lord! From the legend around His birth, to the rituals attached to Datta Jayanti, and the significance of worshipping Him, here’s everything you want to know to begin your journey.

The Sahasrara – The Mystical Thousand Petals: Back in 2007, Pariselvakumar Panneerselvam’s parents were chuffed. , Pariselvakumar had completed the post-graduation in maxillofacial surgery. He was to start his practice. Or so they thought. ‘Much to their ire, I took a six-month sabbatical from everything and devoted my time to what I loved the most,’ he writes. With intense sadhana, reading, and contemplation, he saw the petals of the famed Sahasrara opening up. He writes all about his experience in this amazing blog.

ज़िन्दगी: Depression is real. Postpartum blues are solid. Shalini Pandey pens this deeply personal verse about the time when postpartum depression swallowed her. For anyone dealing with a crisis of this nature, Shalini says, ‘A  change of perspective can save us from many such sufferings.’ Dear members, If you need help with mental health, please seek professional help. You might contact our Life Guides.  

Quote of the Week

I found the quote here.

Wisdom from Swamiji

The Eight Worldly Emotions: We are guided by four positive and four negative emotions. When the positive ones get triggered, we feel we can take on the whole world. The negative ones cripple our life energy. Spiritual leader Om Swami explains the eight emotions and how to deal with them in this must-read blog.

5 Ways for Coming Out Of Negativity: If you let negativity become your habit, you will mostly find yourself sulking. Swamiji offers five suggestions to help come out of a negative mindset. Find out which one works for you?


Today, I leave you with this soulful Indian flute music that we play in my house often. It is based on Raga Yaman.

YouTube video
This indian flute music is magical, isn’t it?

Have you checked out the QnA feature yet? I am loving it!

Until next…