The (not so) Natural Path
Sahaj Marg or Shri Ram Chandra Mission
All statements from Sahaj Marg, Sahaj Marg Research and Teaching Institute (SMRTI), Yogabhyas (formerly Ramashram), and Institute of Ram Chandra Consciousness (ISRC), litterature are supported by copies of the direct quotes and I can e-mail the direct quotes and context if requested
I am not a "religious" person anymore, but have been exposed to religions all my life and now that the "new age" or "new" religions are reaching our shores under the guise of "spirituality" I have been prompted and encouraged to write this blog as a "heads-up" to other ex-religious and truly spiritual persons, after my wife of 35 years has become "enthralled" with one of these so-called "Gurus" out of India. Meditation yes, surrender and obedience to a man, to the point of "killing your mother" if ordered to, to show your obedience to the Guru (quote from Heart of the Lion)....NO! NEVER! It is not right for Christians. It is not right for Jews. It is not right for Muslims. It is not right for Sahaj Marg. Thou shall NOT KILL! Killing is not spiritual! I will not obey to that point!
This one group, Sahaj Marg, is targeting women of menopausal age and children (5-7) through a school curriculum, (see Sahaj Marg and its Children, by Hakewill, Elizabeth, And Romano, Leslie-Editors), and is involved with a group called the International Association of Spiritual Psychiatry, (one contributor on Sahaj Marg web site is a member of both groups). This European psychiatrist and preceptor of the Sahaj Marg group, has done studies on 54 of his "abhyasis" (disciples) and has reported his findings to the Guru. Creating a dependence on the guru and Sahaj Marg through "surrender" or "emtying the mind of wordly things" like the problems of family, friends, pets, etc...is high on their agenda. In his New Years (2001) address, Chari (the guru of Sahaj Marg) states: "you will have no relatives and friends "..... Sahaj Marg withdraws the "abhyasis" (disciple) from all responsibility in society and draws to itself all the love, affection and material support that would normally go to the family and friends of the disciples. This in the name of spirituality and reaching "liberation" of the re-incarnation process (birth and rebirth)
Sahaj Marg is also receiving support from a group called CICNS in Europe who takes on the role of "spiritual mercenary" and attacks anyone who, having been victimized by a pseudo-religious or pseudo-spiritual group, tries to expose the group that does the victimization. This group (CICNS) has recently defended Sahaj Marg in Europe after the "water purifier" or "Divine Water" scam in Denmark was exposed by European reporters. The CICNS, although abhorring "witch hunts" and "McCarthyism" in their charter, indulge in the same practice to protect their clients. I could be their next target so if you don't get my next instalment, call the cops, you will know why. Chari likes the term "spiritual warrior". It's sort of like the oxymorons "fornicating" for virginity or "War against War". Some reporters have since infiltrated Sahaj Marg and are preparing a report.
This group, Sahaj Marg, claims that one can be Christian or belong to other religions and still do their practice. This is a lie. The Guru of this group, Chari, through reference to the previous guru, claims to be the representative of God Himself (not Herself) and that the guru is the "flesh and blood incarnation of the Divinity". No Christian could serve that Master and Christ at the same time. According to Christians, Christ was the "Lamb of God", the "Messiah", and part of the Trinity. Chari, in his book "Heart of the Lion" wants his "abhyasis" (disciples) to be like lions. He even claims that "one lion is worth 500 sheep". The metaphor does not go un-noticed. Christians take notice. These groups often meet in Church facilities.
Read carefully (from their on-line newspaper)
Sahaj Sandesh No.: 2005.31 - Wednesday, June 22, 2005
ABHYASI'S QUESTION:"..... why do I have to give up my existing religious practices....."
MASTER'S ANSWER: "All religious practice involve the worship of God as being outside us. It is called Bahya Upachara in Sanskrit. Spirituality puts God where HE really is - inside the human heart, and indeed at the heart of every created thing, as Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita. One cannot mix the two. In the Vedas Murthy Pooja is called the lowest form of worship. Mantra is only a way of pleasing the mind, and bhajans please the senses, while giving the illusion of being a form of worship. I trust that this will be satisfactory. If people have more questions, they should be encouraged to read the Gita slowly, and try to understand it. Love to all."
The Sahaj Marg practice demands that the disciples "surrender" thenselves to the will of the guru and become a "living dead", to be done with as the Master wills. That way, the disciple is not responsible for his/her actions and does not accumulate any "samscaras" or Karma.
In Europe, the reaction of the citizenry has been that people who do not take responsibility for their actions do not make good citizens, parents, teachers, judges, politicians, etc.... According to media reports, some public figures have been forced to resign their posts or leave Sahaj Marg. It seems that we, as a society, are always trying to get our servants, the bureaucrats and the politicians to be "accountable" and now this guru wants his disciples to surrender to a man, and not be responsible for his/her actions. It seems regressive.
This group has had two schisms in the last 15 years, and the track record of their claimed "brotherly love" is not impressive. Law suits have taken away the right of the "break-away" groups to use the Ram Chandra material. That would be the equivalent of the Catholics stopping the Anglicans from using the Bible as their "Holy Book". Not exactly "brotherly love" and "Unity". They seem to be a group of businessmen who have taken over a small meditation group and changed it to serve their purpose: self aggrandisement. The guru and the organizers can have a life, have dreams and accumulate and live in wealth but the disciples, who feed them with gifts of money and adoration (idolatry) have to deny their dreams, their families, country, culture, etc....
Sahaj Marg has taken the "renunciation" of the spiritual (ascetic) path and made it "detachment" (one can acumulate as long as one is "detached" or "at arms length"), added the "obedience" of the warrior path, and is taking its disciples back to the Christian "dark ages" of "indulgences, or accumulation of "spiritual" credits (spiritual capitalism), which caused some of the christians of Europe to break away from the Holy Roman Catholic tyranny. In the Sahaj Marg system, the disciple does not have to be a "good", "kind"," generous" person, he just has to be "odedient" and the guru will save him. Suits our "quick fix" population. Sahaj Marg has been called the "Macdonald" of spirituality.
These groups could be listed among the "false prophets" mentionned in the Bible. They offer anything and everything that might sell. Here is a short list of their "come-ons".
Brotherly Love and Unity- Group has had two schisms and other "discontents" at the highest levels in India and Europe as Chari pushes for "commercialization" and more "converts" to support his financial investments in castles and commercial real estate. Ram Chandra use to say that religion divides and spirituality unites. by their own criteria, they are not "spiritual", and by their own record and statements, their religious or "charitable" status can certainly be questionned.
From Heart of the Lion...Page 14
....So I repeat, the Guru is the only friend. In fact, I have said this so often, that in the Sufi philosophy, the Guru is called Friend. "The Friend is coming". Because he is the only fellow who can give his life for you. He is the only fellow, therefore, to whom you must hand over totally, a Power of Attorney....."Do with me as you think I deserve to be done with. Kick me when I have to be kicked. Beat me when I have to be beaten. Curse me when I have to be cursed. But make of me what you think I should be eventually, because only you can do it."
So once more I say this in all humility....if you must have a Master, find a fellow who is capable of, you know, throwing you around, beating you up, cutting you to pieces. Remember Parushurama's father and the stern test that young boy had to make for obedience...."Kill your Mother"...."Yes"...
He pulled out the sword and cut off her head. He said, "I am pleased with you my son. Ask for anything you want." He said, "I want my mother alive." And He said, "So be it." and she got up and walked off. The Guru is the Guru, is the Master, when you say of destiny, it means life and death. He must be the Master of your life as he must be the Master of your death.
Bring peace to your life and family-Guru's son commits suicide. K.C. Varadachari's, (guru in waiting), daughter dies after refusing arranged marriage. Preceptor's husband dies, divorces new husband and now has "boy friend". My wife leaves after 35 years together. Other examples in Europe where victims are speaking out.
Learn to relax- main preceptor and husband of preceptor in Western Canada die of "stress" diseases (heart attack and stroke). Preceptor in US, contributor and web master of is on Blood Pressure medication and sounds like a man under stress, as he pathetically tries to please his guru who is trying to shut down his Web site. He boasts on his site of offering his son to the Guru on a stormy night, and transmitting to older women who do not want to be transmitted to. I have made a copy of his site and protected them and can show you his files. He might be off-line by the time you read this. And he is a writer for the group.
Heal your disease- (See above for examples of un-cured diseases at the "preceptor" level of Sahaj Marg) One preceptor stated in a news article that Sahaj Marg keeps diseases away. Physician heal thyself before you sell it to other!
Learn to meditate -(or learn to surrender, empty or "cleanse" the mind of, or ignore, your problems, and open up to "transmission" by a man....voluntary brain washing and instilling new Sahaj Marg values...obey only the "authority" of Sahaj Marg. Quote from Sahaj Marg Litterature: The fact of unknowing, which Lalaji expressed so simply- Ignorance is Bliss. When there is a fire and I don't know that there is a fire, I am comparatively happier than if I know there is a fire.....From "Salient features of Sahaj Marg" Series 2 (Page 20)
Learn to concentrate -(or learn to concentrate on the Guru or Sahaj Marg). Spokesperson claims in university newspaper that Sahaj Marg increases student's ability to concentrate. Group is targeting universities for recruits with the University of Texas, Austin, Texas as headquarters under Santosh Khanjee, a local developer, and preceptor in charge of international affairs for Sahaj Marg.
Take control of your life- (or become a "living dead" and surrender control of your life and death to a man in India, his family and successors)
Freedom....From "Salient Features of Sahaj Marg" Series 2 (page 26)....
In examining this idea of freedom, we have been led to the conclusion that what we have thought of as a loss of freedom is nothing but a state of surrender to the Master's will. We have not lost freedom in the sense that we have been deprived of it. We have voluntarily, whole-heartedly and devotedly surrendered it to the Master of our Soul. To those who are fortunate enough to arrive at this stage, the Master is no longer a guide for spirituality alone. He has now become the Master of one's life in all it's aspects of existence. He becomes the father, the mother, the son, the teacher, the doctor, in fact, there is no role that He does not play in the abhyasi's life. He has taken total charge of the abhyasi. So we see that only our surrendering to Him can bring about a state where He can take total charge of us!
Analysing this further we find, surprisingly, that a great and unimaginable freedom is now confered on the abhyasi. It is the freedom from freedom itself. It is the freedom of invulnerability. We may even say that it is the freedom of invincibility. We are no longer answerable for our actions. We merely obey. The person who issues the orders, the Master, assumes complete responsibility for anything we do. We are no longer vulnerable to the world.
Try it for six months and see- (or within six months you will not be able to leave)
Non religious and non-denominational (you don't have to leave your Church)- (A lie...their organized events are on the same dates ie Christmas, Easter, etc... and both claim to BE representing the ONE and only God and both want all your time, devotion, and financial support. Their numbers are growing with "disillusionned" Christians and the "lost sheep" of other religions. Claiming to be "not a religion" does not make it so. This group is "organized" and are as much an idolatrous "religion" as a cult of the individual or "special person" and not a "spiritual" movement. The focus is on a Guru, a man, and not a Spirit. Sahaj Marg is not a system, like other yogas or spiritual practices that empower the individual. Sahaj Marg empowers the Guru and Sahaj Marg. The abhyasis is and will remain a "serf". The women of Sahaj Marg, certainly will, as they cannot become gurus as they are not destructive enough, as stated by Chari in a speech at Satkol airport. It is an "idol" worship very much akin to what we see in the entertainment and sport industry. The entertainment industry is more honest about it's goals.
From Salient Features of Sahaj Marg (SMRTI Series 3) Page 52-53
Sahaj Marg has nowhere said temple worship is wrong, nor does Master expressly forbid idol worship. ....
To other abhyasis, the preceptor has become such an idol. I believe that any abhyasi who says, "my preceptor" when talking about the preceptor who is serving him has fallen into this form of idol worship. Here it is the preceptor who has been transformed into an idol, or idolised. Here again the Master may be in the background, but is that Master's rightful place? When Master says that every gods are fuctionaries of Nature, and are there to serve, and not to be served, can we deify preceptors and relatives in this way?
I must say that preceptors generally do not fall into this error. But abhyasis idolize them to the extent of ascribing to them the credit which should go to the Master. Where our credit is given, there goes our gratitude and this is followed by our love. So, wrongly ascribed credit can be disastrous in leading to the creation of an idol for us. So Master's message is quite clear. All credit goes to our Master. When we give credit where it is not due, that too is a form of idol worship. We should beware of falling into such errors.......
Sahaj Marg is Free - From Salient Features of Sahaj Marg (SMRI Series 3)- Page 25
"To think that my Master depends on my donation could very possibly be a sin. Masters exist in a dimension where money does not play a part. Whenever he makes us donate something, he does so to lighten our burdens. Our contribution to our Master's work is perhaps of the same proportion as the squirrel's contribution to Lord Rama's work."
Note: His oders are for the disciple to obey, and purchase all his books, tapes, and attend all his seminars and pay for the "regurgitated" material over and over, as well as his and his entourage's travel and living expenses. Let us not forget that the disciples are expected to to "proselytize". I figure my wife (who became a disciple three years ago) has given him and Sahaj Marg, between $5,000 and $10,000 so far. That's a pretty big "squirrel's contribution" for our humble (disability pension) household.
The scam of "transmission" is one worthy of any cult. The disciples actually believe that the Guru is in India transmitting from his "club", or his retreat in the Indian ocean. It is the "preceptor" (usually a woman) who is actually doing the transmission work for the Guru (without pay) and on a voluntary basis. And God only knows what they are transmitting to the "marks". They (the preceptors) have "surrendered", are not responsible for their own lives, and are "living dead" and hence, are not in control of their own lives.
In my area, the preceptors and abhyasis I have met are no Sister Theresa's involved in the plight of the sick, and the poor in the community and in my opinion, not people I would teach my kids to emulate. I think that Sahaj Marg teaches them to not care, or as they call it "be detached". I see that at the upper levels of Sahaj Marg where Chari mentions in one of his books that Ram Chandra was not a generous man as he would not give 5 rupees to a beggar. The few donations I have seen from the group have been "high profile" and have PR value. And the ethics of spending one's meagre income on a trip to India rather than on one's family on "social assistance" is, in my mind, questionable. If I had money to spend on spirituality, I would help the food bank, my family, or the poor in my community rather than millionaires who invest in castles and commercial real estate. Most religions would agree that service to the poor is more spiritual that living in a castle. Sell the castles, feed the poor.
Chari (P. Rajagopalachari), the current guru, is a retired mill manager, brahmin of the "upper caste", who spent most of his life as a plastics engineer and manager of a Textile Paper Tube mill, in India. The Chief Preceptor (Priest) is a Mr. Bhaskar K. Rao, retired General Manager of the State Bank of Mysore in India, and in charge of North America and International Affairs is a Mr. Santosh Khanjee, businessman. Not high "spiritual" credentials. These are not Mahatma Ghandi's or Dalai Lama's who have devoted their lives to spirituality or philosophy or philanthropy. They have devoted most of the time in their lives to money and real estate, but now they want to be revered as Saints and Holy Men....
The Group, Sri Ram Chandra Mission, purchases and owns castles and Commercial property all over Europe and around the world and they constantly travel, free of charge, to be adored by their "fans"....not exactly humble and Christlike. On idolatry, according to Chari, it is accepted as long as the disciple "idolizes" the Guru and not the preceptor. They give very little to the poor, though they claim legal "charitable" status. Since they meditate, in India, they claim to be "Environmentalists" helping to clean the slums of the world through meditation. They have been placed on a list of "cult activity" by a committee of the french government. They recently moved their headquarters in Europe from France, where the citizens of the village of Augerans raised the alarm, to Denmark where they purchased another castle. Ah! The simple life of the saintly capitalist.
The original Ram Chandra (Lalaji... there are two Ram-Chandras, Babuji, the Founder of Sahaj Marg, and Lalaji, a Sufi guru the Founder (Babuji) met a few times, and who is claimed by him as "adi Guru"...thirteen years after his death) meditated for seven months and became a Master. Chari's father joined the group and one week later was traveling through Europe, claiming to be a Master through a "mirror image ritual" (you see me as a man but I am a Guru). This caused a stir in Europe. Dr. K. C. Varadachari, a professor of philosophy, who was to be the next guru before Chari came along, and who wrote extensively on Sahaj Marg including an introduction in one of Ram Chandra's book, took distance the group. In his story on the ISRC Web site, there is mention of his turmoil and anguish over his daughter's death after an arranged marriage that she did not want to go along with, and Guru Ram Chandra's son committed suicide. (see ISRC web site-Story of Varadachari) After Dr.Varadachari's son left the group he formed the "Institute of Ram Chandra Consciousness" (see web site) and has warnings by his father on his site about Sahaj Marg and about the "commercializing" of spirituality in Sahaj Marg by "certain people". The courts have been used to prevent ISRC from using the Ram Chandra material. That would be the equivalent of the Catholics using the courts to prevent the Anglicans from using the Bible as their Holy Book. Not very "spiritual" or "brotherly" or "uniting".
Beware of real estate and other scams. Real estate and property rentals are for sale on the Internet with "come-ons" such as "live next to the Master". According to a newspaper report, a questionable "Water purifier" is for sale on the internet from Vrad Castle, Sahaj Marg headquarters in Denmark, by the mate of the main "preceptor". Before moving the headquarters of Sahaj Marg to Denmark, the Peugeot (auto manufacturer) castle in Augerans, France was the group's headquarters. The French citizens raised the alarm and the Shri Ram Chandra Mission moved. (there are many French newspaper articles about the battle between the citizens of Augerans and the "cult of the Living Dead" in the Augerans region of France, as Shri Ram Chandra Mission is listed in a French Government Report on Cult activity in France)
I am still researching this group and will have other material to offer in the future. I have read most of their material and have protected myself by making copies of everything I find and I am ready to send copies to anyone who e-mails me.
Information is our best protection. These groups have found resistance in Europe and have found a soft underbelly for their "immorality on the path to the great Morality" in North America with the Christian Church scandals that have hit the news in the past years. People are confused and seek answers. It seems that the more fundamental or extreme the answer, the better it is for some. We are seeing that the fastest growing religions are the more fundamentalist (Islam, Fundamentalist Christianity etc..) It is sad to see women's issues lose the ground that was gained over the years with the support of men like myself (I organized two unions for women..one failed, I lost my career and one succeeded) and sell their new-found power and freedoms so quickly to these new religions. Maybe Margaret Atwood is accurate in her "A Hand-Maiden's Tale". I hope that not all women will voluntarily give up their new powers. I hope and I trust that not all women are gullible enough to acceptand swallow all these man-made rules by "god-appointed" god-men.
This Guru states "women cannot be gurus because they are not "destructive" enough. He also is quoted as saying that we can only talk to women about unimportant things like "food and the weather or they (women) make a scene". In other words, to be a Guru, one has to be destructive. I agree with that one...
So, my warning is "watch out for your families". Maybe North American and European women will get up off their knees and show these so-called teachers or gurus, what "transformation" means and not "destruction".
Institute for Ram Chandra Consciousness (Dr. Varadachari's Site)
Listings of Real Estate and rentals near the Guru
Just one or two of Sahaj Marg requests for Donations (see President's Fund)
Peace on Earth to All of Goodwill