27 August 2012

Some Unconfirmed Information about Amma

Someone sent me a link to a discussion group about Amma yesterday, which contained a letter written by Gail Tredwell (Gyatri), who was Amma’s personal assistant for 20 years until 1999, when she left for various reasons. This led me to Gail’s blog post in both French and English which lead me to a recent article in the Rolling Stones online magazine.

Generally I would ignore such information, as I was involved with Muktananda during his years of scandals, with Maezumi and sasaki during their years of scandals, Seung Sahn and Thien-An during their scandals, and I find what scandalizes most people around gurus does not move me in the least to trust them less, nor their ability to help their students. However, I post this hear only to generate some prudence. If anyone wants to comment and set this straight, please do so.

What is described here, however accurate or inaccurate, mostly involves her leading students and not Amma herself, although Amma too, does not come away unscathed, and that which directly involves Amma is not nearly so unfavorable.

I really don’t know the truth, but post this information here is as it is only a small fragment of what is now viral on the Internet.

Almost every one of my teachers was involved in some “scandal” or another, and these situations had no influence on how I felt towards them. I trusted my own feelings with each, including with Robert, where I saw everything that happened.

Remember, gurus are also human no matter how ‘evolved” or not, and if they do not act like you think Ramana acted, that alone is not sufficient grounds to reject them. Follow your own heart in these matters.

36 comments:

  1. There is always plenty of blame to go around: bottom line, Maybe if we weren't so gullible, so desperate, having so little trust in ourselves we wouldn't put ourselves in positions for others to abuse us and mistreat us. Nobody uses me or takes advantage of me without my permission, whether conciously or unconsciously.

    This by no means lets the abusive teacher off the hook. It just incorporates both parties, the teacher and the student.

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    1. I was also taken aback after reading Gail's book. I was wondering how she was talking in this video - http://youtu.be/dz6bFeYUNCU?t=46m28s - which was shot just few months before she left ashram. In that she seems to be happy with everything in her life. And of course it doesn't look like she was coerced. I am not a "fan" of Ammachi and was curious to know whether she was actually telling the truth. I felt that her narrative in the book and her narrative in the video at that time expresses a feeling of deep found confusion in her mind. And as humans we all have the freedom, and transferring the responsibility of our own misadventure on the actions of others is to fail in owning responsibility for our lives. A more balanced view would have done justice to her book, and also to this discussion.

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    2. This blog gives the view from the other side about Gail's mental state.

      http://ammascandal.wordpress.com/category/amritanandamayi-scandal/

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    3. https://letterstothemother.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/letter-from-an-atheist/

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  2. Hello EDj,
    "follow your own heart" is what i am trying to do for several years and about Amma i am talking about what i was feeling with her and in her ashram in France !
    i was seeing her for two years in paris at what it happened in her arms was tremendous : the first time it was like she took me away in marvellous paradise and after i was seeing persons and all things as they did'nt exist like cardboards and there was love everywere . I was staying in that state of love for three days and it desapeared .
    The second time ,two years before , i was in a very bad moment because i had no money and no job because of my guru who put me in a very bad situation and the sangha where i was beeing for several years was exploded !
    She took me in her arms and cheffed my back with his hand and i discovered after that all fears and sadness was going away and when i came
    back at home i was like see-through , my body was like it was empty and air was love and i was seeing people like things hung in the air . it was very funny ! and there was no distance with others , i remember i was in tram and suddenly i was going to a woman who was coughing at the other end of the tram and giving her a sweet , but without any thought in my head , it was my body only who moved ! And all life was so easy and so light !
    After two days that vanished but terror didn't come back and i was feeling quiet . No long time after, i was founding a job during five years with handiccaped children in school (autist)and it was a very very good time !
    After i had so gratitude that i wanted to live in ashram /France when it will be possible in the future.
    But the last time i was seeing Amma , she seemed very different : not with the beautiful light around her head and she looked like a very tired woman and no sympathic air, her gestures and smiles seemed to me no truly , like mechanical ... and when i had a huge it was very strange , she looked like empty and i was seeing me to clasp her and telling : i love you but it was like something was pulled from me to her ! it was very strange , like somebody operated in me ! atmospher around was always pleasant and i came back in the same state , transparent and love everywhere in three days !
    i came back to her France ashram but i didnt feel very well , like a no clear atmosphere and the most important things there was seva still and still and money still and still. Teaching was very limited ,people in adulation ... only thing very pleasant were bajhans .
    And recently i was descovering the blog what you are spoken about and rolling stone article . I was informed also about strike with nurses in her hospital from India and many things like that which are wrong .
    I don't like to burn what i have whorshiped but now my heart tells me i have to go away . And it is like that i was found you here , attracting by what you are writting in a french blog which translated it and also the beautiful energy in it !
    much love
    coquelicot

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    1. All the best...you can go away...Amma never say No
      In fact, you don't know who is AMMA and who are you, but AMMA knows who is she ans and who are you....

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  3. Hello Lila ,
    i will dont speak about psychologique reasons whick make us abused because there are many and we have to know them to stop that .
    But it may be a great different with spiritual teachers because of the great true we have to put in them if we want to change and to become more free from our conditionings !
    when i met my terrible guru i was thinking he was a great guru because he seemed so free about rules and usual behaviour , he drunk many whisky , he have sex with many girls and he always toasted us about any thing we were thinking or doing and he was seeing across us and telling how we are to others people all time . it was never restfull !
    i was thinking about zen guru like Marpa , or Deshimaru and i was very proud to have a guru like that !!!
    But it was horrible to bear him and i was staying near him for three years with
    a dozen of persons . All his words were true but his comportement was becoming more and more cruel with time and i realiszed he did not love human persons , only power on them . It was always challenges to push back still ans still our limits ! I think he was becoming a crazy man ...
    But i see really this meeting was a good thing for me now it is finished and i am free from him ! but i dont dream about another guru like him !!!
    much love
    coquelicot

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    1. Coquelicot, you said, "But it may be a great different with spiritual teachers because of the great true we have to put in them if we want to change and to become more free from our conditionings"

      That was my point exactly.

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  4. This poor lady and all the other women I saw around Ammachi from 1987 until I stopped seeing her looked so unhappy and miserable. Meanwhile the swamis were having a great time. I have known many "devotees" of Ammachi, ie people who don't know her as a person but believe she is God. If they go to see another teacher they are terrified. They will drive hundreds of miles to another city to see the other teacher so as not to be reported on. This is a cult. Anybody who says they are personally God, as in "I am God and you are not." is a liar and a cheat. This would include Ammachi, Karunmayi, Sai Baba and any number of other so called avatars, who shamelessly hoodwink well meaning fools into giving up their time, energy, and money.

    Charlie

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    1. Yes... I only went to see her once, more than 10 years ago now, and I remember wondering what all the fuss was about. All these people around me swooning in ecstasy, and all I could see was this chubby little Indian lady sitting on a throne, centre stage, surrounded by swamis in orange dhotis, who seemed very officious and militant.
      They were like spiritual crowd control.
      At first I thought perhaps it was my own lack of vision that kept me from being able to participate fully in this experience. But on consideration left happy enough with my own intuition that something definitely cult-ish was going on.
      Many years ago, a Christian lady who was trying to do a 'conversion' job on me said "don't judge Christ by his followers" and I've always considered that a good enough yardstick with which to judge these so called "spiritual" scenes.
      It certainly seemed to apply in the case of Bhagwan Sri Rhajneesh. I never read an utterance of his that did not ring true to me, but if I was to judge him by the actions of his devotees, I would have called him a nut job.
      I believe the same thing happened after Muktananda's death, with his 'senior' devotees fighting over the division of the spoils like vultures over a corpse.
      So, however good, bad or indifferent a teacher Ammachi is, and wouldn't know. The fact of her having acquired such a massive infrastructure around was inevitably going to lead to controversy.
      All the teachers I have been attracted to have never asked (me) for a cent, you included Ed, and I see that as being indicative of the authenticity of the teaching.
      And it's never been about the money (I once spent a small fortune on the Landmark Forum!). If I like what I hear enough, I'm willing to pay for it.
      I've never been asked by the ones that I count as genuine.
      Coincidence? I think not.

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    2. People who born of incest will follow such trash gurus, India is full of B.shitters, if those teachiers were so goo you wouldn't have seen all those street side beggers and disillusionment in India, it is absolute hell, so dirty and smelly place to go for a picnic!!! so called dirty mystics are performing street magic and calim divinity!!!!

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  5. " and I find what scandalizes most people around gurus does not move me in the least to trust them less, nor their ability to help their students."
    Sorry but i don't understand very well what you are saying with that !
    if those scandals are about abusing candor or fragility from young students and making all that is pleasant for them, sex, money etc... because they are free and that world does not really exists it looks very strange and frigtening !!???
    And you say, to excuse them : they are human persons !
    So what can we hope with jivan mukta if they are like anybody ? what is better with them for world ? i thought that it was a must for humanity to have
    so beautiful persons like jiva mukta to improve life on earth , like you try with helping cats and explain to people not to eat them .
    I see it is not only a distraction for you , so why all the jivan mukta do not make other things like that to make life better on this planet and coach human people about good actions ?
    surely there is some thing i have not perceived ... so i'd like you to explain .what are jivan mukta usefull ??? just to teach students to discover how life is a dream ???
    sorry to write so much but what you say give me trouble !
    coquelicot

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  6. I mean does she actually have a teaching? Or are the hugs it?

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    1. Anyone who has to ask this question hasn't bothered to pick up a book on her or read the quotes on the web. Her teaching is basic Advaita Vedanta for the masses, with some extraordinarily pithy deep observations thrown in occasionally for advanced students. She is a teacher for the masses, and so much of her ideas and stories are geared to simple seekers. But she certainly can hit the high notes when she wants.

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  7. YOU WANT GOD? YOU GET GOD.
    YOU WANT A PERSON? YOU GET A HEADACHE.

    :D

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  8. From Robert Adams about his first awake :
    "So this great compassion was there. Since I was everything, the compassion was for everything.
    No thing was excluded, for the things were really the self.
    And then there was this fantastic humility. The love, compassion, and humility are all
    synonymous. I'm trying to break it down to make you understand, to an extent, what was going
    on. The humility was there not to change anything. Everything was right just the way it was.
    Planets were exploding, new planets were being born. Suns were evaporating, new suns were 53
    being born. From the suns the planets came, and then life began on the planets. All this was
    taking place instantaneously, at the same time. And yet nothing was taking place at all.
    Therefore the humility is that everything was alright. There was nothing I had to change. There
    was nothing I had to correct. The people dying of cancer were in their right place where nobody
    dies, and there is no cancer. Wars, man's inhumanity to man, was all part of it. There cannot be a
    creation if there is not an opposite to good. In order to have a creation there has to be opposites.
    There has to be the bad guy and the good guy. I was able to understand all these things. "
    i am juste discovering that on "we are sentience" ...
    "no comment"as S. Gainsbourg would tell ... only to open his heart!
    coquelicot
    coquelicot

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  9. and after he says :
    "The point I'm trying to make is this. If the end result of realization is love, compassion, and
    humility, what if we were able to develop these qualities now? Do you see what I'm getting at?
    If we are able to develop this love, this beautiful joyous love, for everything, without exception,
    without being judgmental, and we had a great compassion, for everything, without being judgmental. ..."
    .....

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  10. Don't know why but that word "develop" makes me cringe!

    Adam M.

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  11. This may sound crass it is not intended to be I have a dear friend Nicki who always says - " You are where you need to be" and she meant all of us!!
    it always rung true for me and was an antidote to being in traffic jams!!!
    And aint life sometimes just like one great big "traffic jam"...

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  12. For all the people who are bend on believing all the horrible lies about AMMA, may God help each and everyone of you. Faith cannot be forced on anyone -you either have it or not at all. If you are disbeliever you will always find things to convince yourself that you are right about your view -- this is egoism and for each one of you who say wicked things about AMMA, rest assured AMMA will only give you love in return...

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  13. Jai Amma!!! I could go on for days about the miraculous experiences I've had with Amma. She is the real deal. Like Christ, Buddha, Rama, Yogananda. She is divine mother. The mind will never be able to fathom this. It's an experience in the heart. Only the heart and soul understands. She is beyond the mind and body. Those masters you hear of having sexual relations are not true masters because a true master has no desires. They are here to serve. They walk the talk.

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    1. You are in for a big wake call. She hugs a lot of people, true, but she enriches her relatives (lies about it to our faces!!) And builds an empire while falsely collecting donations for the poor. There's nothing spiritual about this scam! Don't be a fool! Yes, there is a lot of energy, but so what? $he has over $300 million in foreign bank accounts. Wake up!

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  14. Amma hasn't explained how her relatives have become so wealthy. Rolling Stone article claims she gave gold etc to family and lied about it later. Still no reasonable explanation.

    Also look at line 86 of Indian gov form. It means in one year ashram got $2 .4 million dollars in interest from their foreign bank accounts which must value over $100 million!

    See http://fcraonline.nic.in/fc3_verify.aspx?RCN=052930183R&by=2010-2011

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  15. Amma has over $300 million in foreign bank accounts!!!

    Divide the $4.27 million of foreign 2011-2012 interest income by a representative 1.25% rate of interest, gives an amount on deposit in banks of $342 million!

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    1. What is the money used for? Charities. And there is no waste. It's done in a completely different way than most charities. No administrators getting salaries, in fact everyone works for free. If you had a lot of donations and wanted to make money instead of losing money with inflation, would you not invest it? The thing is, would you report it on your income tax if you were doing something wrong?

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    2. That's the party line. The reality is that only a small percentage of the money goes to help the poor and the needy, meanwhile the relatives have become exceedingly wealthy. Amma has lied to all of us. She is not who she says she is. AIMS is not a charitable hospital, the housing for the poor has a fictitious number assigned (think half the number and we'll be closer to truth), they cook the books, Amma has ties to the ultra right orthodox Hindu political parties.

      You are so thoroughly brain-washed. I hope you prepare yourself for the real world because you will be in for a big let down.

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    3. Okay, say Amma cooks the books as you say. Say she has only built half the homes for the poor as her PR people say. So now my question for you is, "How many home for the poor have you built." How many people have you inspired to live a spiritual life?

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    4. People should keep in mind that what is given to
      Her as GURU DAKSHNA is Her PERSONAL PROPERTY
      and SHE has all the RIGHT to do what She WANTS to DO with IT.

      GURU DAKSHINA is NOT ASHRAM PROPERTY and WHAT SHE DOES with
      GURU DAKSHINA NEED NOT HAVE ANYTHING TO WITH ASHRAM.

      Only the money received with Ashram receipt need to be accounted.
      Other things given to HER with devotion and faith are ENTIRELY at
      Her DISPOSAL.

      How easy it is lose track of basic things and faith.
      Everything will fall in place once we remember our dearest friend
      who will never fail us:
      The LORD of DEATH who is also the LORD of IMMORTALITY.
      It may not be difficult to see how much energy is
      spent on meaningless thoughts and how easily they will get
      absorbed back into primordial energy when final dissolution
      (PRALAYA) or change of YUGA (or cycle of creation) dawns.

      NO LOGIC, NO DEBATE, NO PITIOUS CRY, NO
      SENSE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS OR WRONGNESS WILL HELP
      AT THIS STAGE OF CHANGE OF COSMIC CYCLE WHICH
      EVEN MODERN SCIENCE DOES NOT DENY.
      ONLY SURRENDER WILL HELP US WITH PEACEFUL EXIT
      AND REBIRTH OF NEW DAWN.

      Humble Salutations to the Supreme Source of all the things that ever was,
      that is, and that ever will be.

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  16. It is significant that they did not use a Swiss account, as many Indians do (politicians and businessmen) to stash away black money. Commendable.

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  17. I've been living at Amma's ashram for 18 years and nobody has ever made me do anything I didn't want to. But then, I am not trying to be the top of the heap like Gail Tredwell was. I knew her and she was crazy and mean, contrary to this innocent personality she tries to maintain. One time she got her orange saree out of a laundry basket and put it on all wrinkled and dirty. She complained they hadn't washed her saree fast enough for her. So humble. You'd think she could get it together to wash one saree herself. She yelled at me one time when I came for an appointment. 'No!!! Get out!' She wouldn't let anybody near Amma when she was there. She or one of her little clique she gossiped with got to do everything so of course she was tired. It was such a relief when she left. Thanks to Krishnamrita, we got to take turns spending the night in Amma's kitchen every night. Everybody had jobs helping Amma that they never had before. Amma's mood improved, since she didn't have someone picking on her all the time. Even so, Amma was sad that Gail left. She cried sometimes at bajans. Does Gail have any real love for Amma? It's true what the person said, people will malign her, but Amma will give Love in return. She is a genius. I have seen her answer a question in a way so we see things about ourselves. She will keep someone like Gail very close to her, other crazy people too are allowed to stay in the ashram. All to try to get some movement in their psyche toward seeing themselves in a true light. I'm afraid it didn't work with Gail. I have a feeling there is pure evil in what she has done. She is not always telling the truth and she says things in a devious way. She uses the name Priya as a pseudonym for a person who she told to leave the ashram when she did, when Priya is the name of a girl who has a similar job now. Devious. Maybe Amma's family house was where they kept the ashram valuables before they used them to pay for 250,000 homes for poor people.
    The weather in India is depleting for a Westerner, so much sweating. And the food doesn't have the vitamins we are used to. So we often look washed out. I still like staying here in India watching to see what Amma will do next. She is divine, and you have to have a lot of maturity and insight to see that watching and judging a divine being requires more possibilities than you have entertained until now. Try to get through it with expanded awareness.

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    1. Before Gail ran away, everyone could see how awful and sick she looked. She wanted to have a break and Amma wouldn't let her (it takes more than a week to build back health). If she hadn't run away (yes, she had to go into hiding), Amma would have driven her to mental and physical collapse. But then it is nothing new for Amma's swamis to have nervous breakdowns and be suicidal--it is all part of her path behind the smoke screen of love and hugs.

      Gail was like a mother to the Indian girls of the ashram. Many people even to this day are alarmed by the lack of nutrition, health care, proper exercise and sleep allowed the girls, not to mention their crowded living conditions. Gail was concerned about many of the girls having signs of malnutrition and had to go behind Amma's back to give them vitamins and other essentials, because Amma didn't care and wouldn't allow it--meanwhile Amma was shifting assets to the family and socking away millions in foreign bank accounts.

      Perhaps we have only seen the tip of the ice berg. What exactly is Amma's relationship with the ultra conservative Hindu political parties? Is it true that Amma's brother is now one of the biggest landowners in Kerala? What is the $300+ million in foreign banks going to be used for? It was collected in the name of charity, but only about 9% actually gets spent on charity (if that). With so much secrecy and deception, one can only guess how bad it will get. What next? Money laundering?

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    2. One young guy called Satnam Sing whose death will explain every thing to those unbeliever of Gail story!!! none of these people are willing to talk about it.

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  18. I went through Gail's book. Its a mixture of good and bad opinions about Amma. Sometimes she is using Amma's own words that she (Gail) liked. Suddenly, the story twists into one of sex and deception. She accuses the swami Balu as being a very devious character. However, those who have known him think otherwise. Why don't other young female devotees complain about him?

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  19. I find this all of great interest. There is some sketchy information presented here on a topic, and then we are invited to "follow your own heart in these matters." I would like to ask, are we really able to do that? Based on what, HOW are we to do that?

    We seem to enjoy blogs like this because scandal is of course intriguing. That's how the Hollywood gossip mags survive. That's how the news media survives,

    For some strange reason, we read and hear things and if they excite us,if they affirm what we WANT to believe, that's it. We grab on to it and "own" it without ever bothering to research the facts. So basically we just mindlessly take in what we're fed. Think about it. If people are concerned about "thought control", whether it be by government, media,organizations or false gurus, this might be a hint how easily these things are done.

    And consider how we love to hear gossip...we love to spew..we love to put down anything that we don't "like" whether it's religion, skin color,views,culture..whatever...without considering the other side. We love to hear what affirms what we WANT to hear. But...do we ever consider checking out WHO is saying it? What their agenda is in saying it? what the motives are? Do we even care? Do we have an interest in "truth", or are we just looking for the thrill in being affirmed? or maybe the excitement in the dark and morbid.

    We always want to feel we are right. Who wants to be wrong, after all? We're all human and all these things are very human.

    However, for those of you who just might be interested in "truth", I would like to suggest that whatever you see, hear or read, that you be open-minded enough to at least check out the full story or situation..look carefully at BOTH sides of any issue before making a decision...whatever it is...politics,religion,news,blogs,gossip,opinions,etc....and THEN make an educated choice for yourself....just a suggestion...

    Since this site is focusing on the Gail Tredwell/Amma situaiton, I would suggest you try doing the same here. People have posted things here on both sides simply out of opinion and not giving actual facts for the most part. Things will be stated as fact, but with nothing to back it up. Take hold of your own "truth" and take the time to look into more information. That blog mentioned above --ammascandal.wordpress.com is worth looking at if you're at all interested. I did, and found it all very informative. It filled in a LOT of missing pieces that are simply not brought up in blogs like this one.

    May we all truly find a way to "follow your own heart in these matters" and perhaps also learn to live with love and respect for ALL others...

    Thanks for letting me share these thoughts.

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  20. I have witnessed in fighting at some of the public presentations. One person told me to have Amma bless something and then donate and sell it as her personal property. I have read similar stories to Gail's by ex followers. Even one of her main Swamis left because of corruption. This cult like activity seems to be money focused by selling enlightenment. I'm glad I left this crap behind.

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  21. Gail Tredwel wanted to know God and joins an Indian ashram.... (It is not necessary to be in an ashram to find God) anyway, she soon found the monastic life tough. This is because there is strict disciple to follow in an ashram.

    She wanted to leave the ashram and enjoy a worldly life... get married and settle down.
    She did just that.... and the ashram provided her the financial assistance to do that.

    Now 15 years later, this book is created... with the influence of some hidden people whose agenda is to discredit the ashram.

    In this book they have distorted all the facts, fabricated stories to generate emotion among ordinary people, who do not know the truth about an ashram (spiritual hermitage) or a Guru (a spiritual master).

    This is in concise, what has taken place.

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