Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Sahaj Marg Diaspora!

Taken and Translated from an article by Alexis on Elodie's Blog in Europe: Pour Que Vive Le Sahaj Marg titled:
Srivastava, Kasturi, Narayana et les Autres

Srivastava, Kasturiji, Narayana and The Others

The Diaspora of Senior Preceptors

Professor of Philosophy now retired, SP Srivastava taught yogic science at the University of Lakhimpur (Uttar Pradesh, India). His meeting with Babuji dates to 1948-49. He chaired the working committee of the Shri Ram Chandra Mission Shahjahanpur for ten years, from 1984 to 1994, taking advantage of the time to publish the second part of the memoires of Babuji. Subsequently, he distanced himself from the son of Babuji and the teaching of Sahaj Marg. He wanted to abolish the border between so-called hard sciences, yoga and spirituality. To this end, he created an association with a Belgian branch that is called Shri Ram Chandra Memorial International Society Promoting Spirituality As A Science (INSPSAAS).

The Shri Ram Chandra Mission Shahjahanpur quickly becomes an empty shell after his departure. Raghavendra Rao and Ramachandra Reddy had accompanied Umesh Chandra Saxena on his tour of the U.S. in 82, but he was more opposed to Rajagopalachari than loyal to the son of Babuji. The behavior of Umesh annoys and displeases him. Gradually, the senior preceptors take their distance. The real Sahaj Marg is now taught by a galaxy of preceptors spreads across the country as through a network without head or structure, traveling from one community to another, including abroad.

Raghavendra Rao gave up his place on the Working Committee, which he had held since 84. The full preceptor is now in his ashram of Raichur in Karnataka, where he teaches the Sahaj Marg of Babuji to all those who come to see him until the end of his life in the spring of 2006. With the complicity of the police, and armed thugs, Rajagopalachari immediately grabbed his ashram. Shortly after, Suresh Kumar Makam created a blog to his memory (http://makamsureshkumar.blogspot.com/). Karnataka is rich in old preceptors: in Gulbarga, the full preceptor Narayan Rao, born around 1922, continues his teaching, while Dr. Rao Shiam steps back for some time. In Bangalore, the former judge of the High Court of Justice, the full preceptor Vital Rao, affectionately nicknamed "Judge", also continued his teaching, despite his age (he was born around 1924).

Ramachandra Reddy, meanwhile, also abandons his place on the Working Committee and returns to Cuddapah in Andhra Pradesh. The full preceptor creates the Chandraji Shri Ram Maharaj Seva Trust, a separate structure on behalf of the Mission so as to avoid any legal disputes, and teaches Sahaj Marg until his death in 2008. This structure is currently headed by TV lawyer Srinivasa Rao. Jogarao, a very old preceptor, born about 1913, died last year at Hyderabad.

In Europe, Andre Poray (born about 1909 and died at more than 90 years of age) is one of the first Westerners to have met Babuji. First friends with Rajagopalachari, this full tutor of Sanary Var (France) is very distant from him from 80-82, during the tours of Babuji to Munich and Paris. He then established an association, under the (French) legislation of 1901, called "The Road to Reality" where he taught a Sahaj Marg slightly tinged with Tibetan Buddhism to which he was particularly attached. Rajagopalachari had initially offered him to join him, before his removal from office of preceptor, which had given him a "good laugh", like other preceptors.

As in India, there are today independent groups in France in Lyon, Tours and Paris, in the southwest and the Maritime Alps, but also in Spain at Barcelona, and even in Switzerland. Each year, a European meeting was held in October at Sanary. These disciples of Babuji received from time to time the visit of these great preceptors, or attended meetings with them in India, at the mercy of their whereabouts. In late 2008, Cyrille Roux emerged from the shadows to speak on the Web and make known the existence of their groups. Why?

Narayana and Kasturi, unlike the previous, have always thought that Babuji had prepared Rajagopalachari as his successor as president of the Shri Ram Chandra Mission. Consequently, they never followed his son Umesh. However, they deny anyone the right to proclaim to be the spiritual representative of Babuji, as today Rajagopalachari is doing.

Kasturi Chaturvedi, full preceptor and the only "Saint" of Sahaj Marg in the words of Babuji, met him in 1949. From Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh), she teaches the Sahaj Marg of her timeless master with a certain degree of independence vis-à-vis the Shri Ram Chandra Mission, and always stayed away from its administration.

On April 30, 1995, she delivered a memorable speech before Rajagopalachari in Madras in the presence of 12,000 of his followers when she first recognized that Babuji had prepared Rajagopalachari as his spiritual representative and President of the Mission, adding that Babuji had dictated to her his statement of Rajagopalachari's nomination for the presidency - it is the taking of this position by Kasturi which would have led to the withdrawal by Umesh in 84 and Srivastava was appointed in his place, in order to avoid a possible bursting (explosion) of the Mission . But after this introduction, all the rest of her speech focused on the fact that she can no longer accept Rajagopalachari as his "idol worshipers" have made of him, with their propaganda.

Interviewed by telephone by Shashwat Pandey, February 20, 2009, she now says that Rajagopalachari is not the master of the Shri Ram Chandra Mission, but only its manager. She now claims she has never seen his letter of appointment and that the only Master of the Mission is Babuji. She then denounces very guarded and yet acerbic manner, everything that Rajagopalachari does. (celebrations of weddings, major ashrams, calls for donations, a publication of Whispers, etc..). She also says that she knows that all the ashrams established at the time of Babuji were taken by force by supporters of Rajagopalachari, and that a trial opposes him to the descendants of Babuji, all because there is a lot of money involved, hence the current evolution of the Mission and that she regrets and that she has now left. Despite this, Kasturi is an authoritative figure in the movement of Sahaj Marg, Rajagopalachari has kept her on his list of preceptors. She also adds that Lalaji has nothing to do with Sahaj Marg, one of her followers adds that Lalaji is Santmat.

Her collaborators Akshat Gupta and Pandit Ji Somesh have created a blog devoted to her in November, 2006 (http://kasturibhenji.blogspot.com/), available only to its members since the spring 2009. You can find a presentation of her books on http://kasturibhenjibooks.blogspot.com/ and some of her speeches on http://kasturibhenjitalks.blogspot.com/. In France, after Cyril Roux, it is also Denise and Jean-François Minceta, from Tours and now exiled to Canada, Victoria, British Columbia, who in late 2008 mention the groups which are linked to her, the translation of her texts, etc.. Why do they come from the shadows now after 25 years of silence?

After Babuji and Kasturi, Dr. KC Varadachari (14/08/1902-30/01/1971) is probably one of the greatest historical figures of Sahaj Marg. The meeting between Babuji and Dr. Varadachari dates from 1955 and rapidly turned into a deep friendship. Holder of the famous Vivekananda Chair at the University of Madras, and professor of Philosophy at Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh), he created the Sahaj Marg Research Institute in 1965 and contributed to the spread of Sahaj Marg to the general public and its re-anchoring around the Hindu Raja Yoga. But in 1970, He gives Babuji warning about the risks of "drifting" of Sahaj Marg teaching due to its rapid expansion.

Karumbur Chakravarthy Narayana is his (Dr. KC Varadachari) third child, born June 11, 1939. He met Babuji at his home for the first time in 1955 and was introduced to Sahaj Marg in December 1956 at the age of 17. Babuji asked him in 79, to assist Rajagopalachari in his duties as president of the Shri Ram Chandra Mission, after his death, which he performs up to 91. He has even taken the lead in 89 of the Sahaj Marg Research Institute founded by his father. But he eventually quits to found the ISRC (Institute of Sri Ramchandra Consciousness) in Hyderabad in August 1991. He complains of his (Chari's) developing of a cult of personality through the unhealthy concepts of a "living Master" and of being the spiritual representative of Babuji, which he is not.

With the ISRC (http://www.sriramchandra.org/), KC Narayana teaches a Sahaj Marg heavily borrowed from the ideas of his father, Dr. KC Varadachari and the Pranahuti Aided Meditation (PAM). The ISRC has approximately 150 instructors, mostly in India and the USA, two of them reside in France. It has also created its own research and training center called Imperience (http://www.imperience.org/) and its own Sahaj Seva Foundation samsthdna (http://www.sahajsevasamsthan.org/), which manages a hospital, schools and is manufacturing various products.

Present on the web for a long time, the ISRC and Narayana have also created a website dedicated exclusively to Doctor Varadachari (http://drkcv.org/), which can be easily understood because of his reputation. But on June 23, 2008, it is the self promotional website of Narayana, which is born (http://www.kcnarayana.org/), contradicted by the facts that what is taught is supposedly focused on Babuji and is totally depersonalized. So he does not hesitate to list his qualities we, to quote the words of praise for him from Babuji, supporting evidence of his support, and talks about his career and his family ... In short, all the ingredients to personalize spirituality in the ISRC fashion, are now in place!

Let us Recap.

Today, with the disappearance of one and the other, over time, there remains little more than the grand-son of Babuji, Navneet and Puneet Kumar Saxena, head of a mission that has become virtual since the taking over of the Ashram of Shahjahanpur, in a series of lawsuits against the California (1997) Mission of Rajagopalachari. After the diaspora of senior preceptors, there remains the full preceptors; Kasturi in Lucknow, Narayan Rao in Gulbarga and Vital Rao in Bangalore, with many scattered communities in India and abroad, not forgetting the very structured ISRC KC Narayana . For his part, Rajagopalachari seems more or less to be manipulating the last surviving son of Babuji at Shahjahanpur, Sarvesh, and the grandson of Lalaji, Dinaysh at Fatehgarh.

See also: Epitome of Sahaj Marg, by Dinaysh, Grandson of Lalaji

No comments: