Monday, May 08, 2006

Letter from Michael, Ex-Preceptor of SRCM

Letter from Ex-preceptor of Shri Ram Chandra Mission

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Always more money !":

I was involved with SRCM for over 10 years. I started in 1979 and became a preceptor in 1988. I chose to leave the organization in 1990, when forced to accept all authority in the organization without question, even if it goes against the principles of the organization itself. Since leaving, I've learned much about the true history of Sahaj Marg including meeting one of Lalaji's last living diciples. I found that Sahaj Marg is actually Sufism, which probably had its roots in ancient Yogic practicies. Lalaji NEVER intended an organization to be formed around his legacy. He chose not to create one in his life and only encouraged those around him to continue their spiritual quest and spark the spiritual quest of others. I've met Babjuji - very impressive and loveable man, but all his proclaimations of authority and exclusivity are based on visions and dreams we can only trust he actually had. Sahaj Marg has several significant flaws, many of which go against the very principles it expounds:

1. They believe that only the highest regions of spiritual attainment are only possible through devotion to the living successor/Mastor of Shri Ram Chandra Mission. They don't acknowledge this to new abhyasis, who are told instead, simply to try the practice and see the benefit. Its the classic bait and switch guru trick and is taught to Preceptors in their "Preceptors Only" books and training sessions.

2. Money runs the organization. Raising money is a constant discussion within preceptor meetings, although the changes in the organization may have moved this responsibility to regional coordinators. I sat in secret meetings discussing how to get recently joined wealthy abhyasis more involved so that they will donate. Sadly many of those people had no idea that they received such favoratism and access to Chari because of their money, not their spiritual purity.

3. The inner circle around Chari is controled and manipulated by their lust for personal power and self importance. My run in with Chari revolved around his assumption that I actually coveted my position as preceptor, which I didn't. He remains upset to this day that he could not control me as he does others using promise of preceptorship, spiritual power, and access to the "inner circle" if only I would just obey him and "The Mission" without question.

4. If Sahaj Marg is to be judged it should be judged by the quality of their abhyasis and their progress, not the principles that it expounds. Many abyasis and preceptors have serious mental illnesses that continue to worsen over the years. Many involved and in positions of power continue to show after 20-30 years, no reduction in selfish, egotistical behavior. This is because, while the philosophy sounds pure, the organization thrives on position, money, power, physical closeness to the "Master", and above all, unquestioning obedience to the Master. I recieved a letter once from Chari that insisted that I was disobedient in matters of the Mission - I guess because I questioned the sanity and integrity of some in positions of authority. Interesting concept, but not published in any Sahaj Marg books. Not even the ones you pre-pay $250 for.

Personally, I have found my last 15+ years away from SRCM far more enriching than my experiences in SRCM. I've had to face my own shadows and have found gentle guidance in the absence of Chari, who insisted privately to those around him that I would surely have a great spiritual fall. I continue on my spiritual quest with inspiration and confidence as you all will as well if you choose to leave. The divine is not so exclusive as to limit access only to such an obscure organization.

... and as for Suyash's comment that , "We all donate out of faith and love of Sahaj Marg, Nothing else"... Well, I guess the concept of "obedience to the mission" is now an official thing. I'd plead with him and others that think alike to question this thinking they've been indoctrinated in. I respectfully suggest Suyash and others re-read Reality At Dawn, especially the part about charging money for spiritual training, that it should be free and is everyone's birthright.

Then there's the part about God not being found in an organization or a sect. Then again, Reality At Dawn used to cost $1.50 and was given away for free to new abhyasis. I certainly hope that abhyasis these days aren't avoiding the older books because they don't cost as much as the new ones!

With honor to the divine in YOU,



Michael said...


I've set up a Blog with more history on my experiences in SRCM in the "old days".

Anonymous said...

I am suffering the continuos absentism of my husband who is a preceptor giving all his free time to that organisation I am a foreign person in Belgium and after giving him a son , he found that I am a selfish person who wants to have him all to myself but I sincerely think that having a poor salary all this idea to run to celebrate Chari for his birthday to Dubai ! and later to Denmark in the same month is unacceptable and all this nights alone because he is giving sittings are leaving me empty ... do you think Chari will approve this in the name of his mission ???

4d-Don said...

Hello Anonymous...

I have re-directed your comment and question about Chari to Michael who has his own blos at
I posted it under the article called "Identifying Guru Exploitation" and asked Michael to give you his opinion on this. He knows Chari better that I do.

From my own perspective, I sympathize with you and will pray for you. My wife of 35 years has and I are now seperated after she joined and was in SRCM for 3 years.

I do not know what to say except that Sahaj Marg was a truly spiritual movement in the beginning and has now, under Chari, become an "idolatry" and a "money machine" for the Brahmin leadership. I and other ex-abhyasis are trying to warn other potential victims of SRCM about the problems SRCM causes in peoples' lives and you can join with us and start posting you experiences on the blogs around the world. There are many in Europe. Chose the ones you like.

Chari will ignore the problems as he always does. I have requested that he command or suggest that all abhyasis and preceptors make peace in their family before going to meditate, as most religions state. I have not had any response to my requests. It probably goes to a "pool of volunteers" who are the PR machine of SRCM. They only deal with a small percentage of letters and ignore the others with short "form comments"....

Try and keep smiling...This too shall pass....

Keep on the Sunny Side of Life..


Michael said...

My direct experience as a Preceptor in this system is that a spouse gets little sympathy when they complain a Preceptors time spent doing Mission work.

Chari puts significant pressure on Preceptors to introduce new abhyasis to the system without much regard for the impact it has on Preceptor's families.

My speculation is that Chari sincerely believes that he is building an organization (SRCM) to serve some urgent need that he believes will exist at some point in the future. This is the only explanation for the lack of concern for the impact this "growth at all costs" has on the behavior exhibited by his inner circle associates, the spiritual progress achieved by disciples, and the impact on the families of disciples.

It's not that I think Chari doesn't care about you or your family, it simply is not his priority given the urgency of his Mission.

I am sorry you are going through this, and even more sorry to tell you that neither the SRCM nor Chari will not come to rescue your marriage. Only a change in your spouse's behavior can change the circumstances you find yourself in.

I will pray for you and your family.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Michael and Don

Yes, please pray for our family. I was born in a traditional and catholic family and I am very happy in my own religion, ( I don't need another group to find my "spirituality" ).
I was hoping to hear another thing about Chari because I am afraid that our little family is not my husband's priority ... and I cannot appeal to the principles of that organization... because family is not having the first place … I even think they think in SRCM as their new/own family…
Also I have seen that they only succeed if both of them are believers... take this as an example…..
A few months ago a young lady started to practice meditation with my husband, he was teaching her at her own place, at the hours she needed etc... And I realized that he is starting to act indifferent with me as a couple (not with the child). I have seen some of their exchanges via internet and they are so much nice and sweet than his way to talk to me ! ... it is not jealousy ... I think that it is a dependency that preceptors and abbashys developed … last seminar they were sharing the same room ( fortunately with my little kind between them ) and I told him that it is not correct … his answer … I do not trust him …
We’re planning to go to a matrimony counselor …but I don’t know what to say!! I am afraid to open a war to this organization as all the times I have protested I receive the same answer … I have chosen this engagement …. Yes it was true when he was a single man … but now with a wife and child??? Do you know someone who has succeeded in that kind of situation??? Do you have some ideas to try to make him change of attitude in a clever and maybe not frontal way??? of course the first will be a lot of prays !

4d-Don said...

Hi anonymous...

I have not published your second comment as you are getting into specific aspects of your life and I wanted to ask you if you wanted that published for all to see, including your husband? It might hurt his ego as men are more prone to having their egos crushed by involving others in their relationship. And it might put a wall between the two of you as a "betrayal". It might be better done in private. I will tell you my experience

My wife of 35 years, joined the group 4 years ago. After the first or second meditation, she came back with a statement that did not sound tolerant or spiritual to me: One of the preceptor said that she would not live with someone who was not an abhyasi (disciple). She was looking for a boy friend at the time (her husband (also a preceptor) having died and could not find one among the abhyasis and she was concerned about not living with someone of a "different faith".

After that, when attendance to the seminars were organized as a group, somehow, all the other abhyasis including the preceptor would cancel out at the last moment except this one male abhyasi of the same age as my wife. So they would travel together of course to the provincial capital, to California etc...

We are now seperated after 35 years together.

I sympathize with all you say and not being a counsellor, nor a de-programmer, the only tools I have COMPASSION, SYMPATHY, LOVE and PRAYER. It was not enough to keep us together but maybe my destiny was not to stay with my ex-wife but to do the work of exposing this group for what it is. It seems to have been divisive for others in Europe also.

Let me know if you are sure that you want the last comment posted and you might want to think about what you say here as your husband might see it. We (Michael, Christian, and Myself) are on the SRCM radar and are targeted by the SRCM establishement, so your husband will know about us. If you think that your title of "anonymous" is enough, I will publish it next time.

Keep safe and Pray for strenght...

This too shall pass....

An old Acadian saying:

You gotta laugh cause it's not funny!! ;-))

It's easy to laugh when it's funny, it's when it's not funny that you gotta laugh!! ;-))


Anonymous said...

Thank, you you're right I rather prefer to have direct exchange with you are other friends that could give me ideas and maybe some contacts here in Europe to be prepared when I will start to to "marriage therapies" with my husband... next 12 of June !!!
Now I understand how to write here and I was offering to send Don and you fresh material if you need emal is , if you have some minutes of your time I would like to heard from you and Don...
Thank you for your prays !!!

4d-Don said...

Hi anonymous..

Send me your e-mail... I will not publish it and I will send you mine..



Anonymous said...

I really enjoy reading your blogs as they are honest, I actually feel sorry for all the lovely caring people involved in this organisation, the best thing really to do is prove there is life outside of these teachings and always try to keep it light no matter how difficult, it perhaps teaches we ourselves how to become more spiritual and unselfish, the whole episode has been shocking for me.

Anonymous said...

My dear brother Michael,
i am putting my comments here not because i am follower of Sahaj Marg or i trust my Master. I am surprised and shocked after reading comments frm my elder brother. I am not rich, i m not in so-called 'inner-circle' but over a period of time, i started feeling like part of the family. May be your attention was more around then inside. Once i asked him the question arnd the similar, His answer was - Just ignore. All this is illusion, dont get trapped in that. Do your duty and forget the rest. Remember, you are going to die one day, only focus on wht Babuji always taught us. That day probably i realized. And you are talking of Inner Circle, i m sure you wld have heard that He has chosen His successor, and people had to see him to know abt him. Its not required to be in the inner circle, as somehow He knows who is the right person for particular job. May be this is never ending discussion, and i am in no way authority to question your experience. May b one day when we meet, we will discuss. May b u can drop me mail - Thanks & Love.Rajneesh