Wednesday, September 23, 2009

SRCM (California-1997)! For North America, Austerity or Expansion?

Article by Alexis taken and translated from Elodie's Blog in Europe: Pour Que Vive Le Sahaj Marg

Remember, people of MOLENA, Georgia, and Monroe, New Jersey: You heard it first HERE.

At the small village of Dole, France, (in Western Jura, near Burgundy) where the European Headquarters for the Shri Ram Chandra Mission (SRCM) used to be before the atmosphere "soured" between the residents of the small village and the "Mission", and the SRCM moved it's European headquarters to Vrads Sande (castle) in Denmark. This conflict allegedly erupted because of the "cult-like obedience" to the Master demanded by Sahaj Marg, the interference of the MISSION in community politics, and the verbal attacks by the current Master on the traditional religions of the area (Christianity). That "soured atmosphere" allegedly culminated with the bussing in of "residents" at election time, threatening and attempting to change the mayor (also the banker) of the small village, and not adhering to community development plans in the "expansion" of their Augerans Castle (that was previously owned by the Peugeot (automobiles) Corporation), and offers to take over the "education" of the village children. (see: Value Based Spiritual Education (VBSE) curriculum and related articles)

(All these allegations are gleaned from (french) local newspaper articles.)

For more of the history of Sahaj Marg or Shri Ram Chandra Mission (SRCM) in Europe,
or to contact ex-members in Europe:

History of the Augerans Castle Headquarters for Europe of the Shri Ram Chandra Mission (SRCM California-1997)

Alexis' Blog:
Le Projet Sahaj Marg
Elodie's blog: Pour Que Vive Le Sahaj Marg

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Austerity or expansion?

October 2008, the SRCM (California-1997) Center in Chicago acquires a new home. April 2009, Chari gives the "go ahead" for a new ashram in New Jersey. July opening of the Sahaj Marg Center in Cleveland and the green light Chari on the resumption of the expansion of North American Ashrams.

Obviously, the financial austerity introduced by Chari less than a year knows some sprains. If your plans are still blocked, be aware that this is not the same for everyone. Some have more luck than others! Unless the windfall caused by the sale of Whispers No. 2 has unlocked everything. The austerity in SRCM, would it already be a distant memory?

Molena Ashram is the headquarters of the SRCM USA (80 miles south of Atlanta, GA), it covers 13 hectares (32 acres). Its extension was already scheduled for September 2008 speech before Chari's austerity speech from Dubai. The Expansion Committee included 2 work phases. The first was to begin in October 2008 and end in April 30, 2009. It involved the creation of a 2nd extra wing with a meditation hall of nearly 300 m² (3000 sq ft), an extension to the dining hall, bedrooms and toilets and a new cottage. The second phase was to create a large meditation hall outside, instead of the tent which hosted large gatherings.

All this was blocked in late 2008!

This was not the only project, the extension of the ashram at Sunderland-Pioneer Valley (MA) was also in the cards, as well as the acquisition of a center for New Jersey and the purchase of land in California. Remember that each ashram is managed by a Management Committee (AMC) and the Beavercreek, Dayton (OH) did not seem to have any special needs.

In addition to its 3 ashrams, North America had available on a full-time basis localities (rented or owned) for the 3 Canadian Centers Toronto, Vancouver and Nelson. Thus, since July 2006, the Toronto Center rents a room for 60 to 90 people who come to meditate for about 1,500 € (2,300 USD), rent fully supported by one hundred active abhyasis since local groups have to bear the all of their expenses. Previously, an alderman had lent them a room for free since July 2004, as the SRCM is a "non-profit organization".

All projects were blocked ... except October 5th, 2008, the Chicago Center (IL) became the purchaser of a locality of more than 200 m² (2400 sq ft) in Warrenville for a group of about 60 abhyasis and approximately 15 children.

In April 2009, Chari gave permission for the future acquisition of premises near the Center in Cranbury, New Jersey. On July 5, 2009, the Cleveland Center (OH) held the first satsangh in its new location, bringing to 5 the number of North American locals, held full-time by the SRCM. The Center held a regional gathering from 11 to 13 September to inaugurate its new building. This is one of the two historical centers opened by Babuji in the United States in 1972, along with Stonington, Massachusetts.

Also in July, Chari has given permission to begin the first phase of work in Molena. The search for land to expand the area of the Sunderland ashram was re-started. Indeed, the Ashram serves both abhyasis in the northern United States than those in southern Canada. A fundraising campaign for the ashrams started in September.

Cranbury is not that a proposal for the acquisition of a simple room, it's actually a project for an ashram for New Jersey, 80 miles southeast of Manhattan. The building permit should be obtained in late September early October, before the final purchase. This is an area of one hectare (2.7 acres) in Middlesex County in Monroe. It could accommodate 150 people, with parking for 50 vehicles, a kitchen, storage room and a cottage for the keeper. The launch is already planned for late winter.

In short, for the SRCM (California-1997), North American ashrams owned 3 and 3 centers before the permanent austerity speech of Chari a year ago. It already has 5 centers, and soon 4 ashrams, and expansion projects are underway in two of them.

That's austerity !

Don's comments:

(One can certainly ask. Where does all the money for all these "expansions" of the SRCM(California-1997) into North America, Europe and around the world come from? Donations? Does it not sound like a "missionaries" invasion from the "Indian Missions"? Funded by ??? Chari's "Corporate" friends? Is SRCM(California-1997 simply a "marketing" scheme? )

No comments: