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The wild 1970s. The search for new consciousness, spirituality and sexual liberation. In England, the young Hugh hears of spiritual teacher Bhagavan Shree Rajneesh from listening to a cassette. He travels to India on a journey in search of himself. The young Indian girl Sheela is being taken to the charismatic guru by her father and knows at the age of twenty-one that being with this man is everything she wants.

In his ashram in Poona, Bhagwan has his disciples practice meditation and tantric sex to attain higher consciousness. Hugh witnesses the rise of the guru while serving as his bodyguard. Sheela becomes his personal secretary and the powerful boss of Bhagwan's model commune, which grows up in the mountains of Oregon during the 80s. It is here that five thousand young people attempt to create an ideal community by way of example to the world. The guru, who is derided in the Western press throughout the 70s as a "sex-guru", makes headlines with his Rolls-Royces. The dream ends as a nightmare with Hugh suffering a spiritual breakdown and Sheela in prison. When did it all begin to go wrong?

"GURU – Bhagwan, His Secretary & His Bodyguard" – a spiritual journey to the depths and shallows of the human soul.

Category Documentary
Director Sabine Gisiger & Beat Häner
Production Das Kollektiv
Country Switzerland
Format HD, DCP
Runtime 52/98 min
Year 2013
Broadcaster SF / SRG SSR, Spiegel TV, 3Sat
Language English
Genre Biography, Human Interest, Religion & Spirituality, Society


  • "Competition" Vision du Réel, Nyon
  • "Official Selection" Appellation Suisse 63. Festival de Film Locarno

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