For the first few days after Sheela and her gang escaped, everyone felt greatly relieved. Now, as the horror stories unfold, people are reacting by not coming to work/worship, or working without being there.
There is suspicion, anger, resentment, and mistrust of those who were associated with Sheela and who have remained.
Where do we go from here?
Nowhere! We are going to be here. It is a significant question. It represents many sannyasins’ minds.
Basically, this is how mind functions. When you get rid of something which was binding you, enslaving you, which was a fascist thing, you feel relieved, ecstatic. The moment you heard that Sheela and her gang had left, you danced throughout the city’s streets.
But I knew that the second part would be coming soon – because for three and a half years Sheela and her gang were taking every responsibility, were taking every care, and you were, in a way, unburdened.
Now that you are free, a question of responsibility arises, and that shakes you. You have been dependent, and now you are independent. It will take a little time for you to change yourself from dependence to independence. You will have to pass through this trauma.
This is simply a trauma.
You are worried because many of the people who were part of Sheela’s group are still here. You should not be worried. They are here because they have revolted against Sheela and her group. They have done more than you have done. You should be respectful to them.
Sheela had asked all of them to go with her. They refused. They wanted to be here with me and with you and the commune. They had not come here for Sheela; they had come here for me. One of the sannyasins, Ava, even went with Sheela, but came back – not even reaching the goal – the Black Forest in Germany, where they are hiding like criminals.
They are no more wearing sannyasin dress, so they cannot be recognized. And they are hiding in a small village, afraid – because they are going to be caught. Whatever they have done, they have to be rewarded for it.
Ava returned from the middle of the journey because, even being with them a few hours, she started feeling sick. The whole group was pathetic. She phoned here, and I told her it is her home, she can come back. These people were corrupted, led into things by Sheela, Puja, Shanti Bhadra, and they were as innocent as you are. They did whatever was told to them. Won’t you give them a chance to change? Don’t you have any love for your own people?
Even if Sheela, Puja, Savita, Shanti Bhadra – who have all committed crimes of the first degree – if they ask to come back, I will welcome them, because their very asking to come back means they have understood, and they won’t be the same again. And whatever they did, good or bad, their intention was never bad. They were doing it for you. Their end was never bad, their means may have been.