Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chari & Sahaj Marg(tm), The Western Industrialization of Spirituality

Taken and translated from an article: Chari ou Industrialization Spirituelle à l'Occidentale, on Alexis' Blog in Europe: La Fabuleuse Épopéé Du Sahaj Marg.

Chari & Sahaj Marg(tm), or the Industrialization of Spirituality, Western Style!

Eldest in a family of three boys, Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari, called Chari was born on 24/07/1927 in the suburbs of Chennai. His mother died when he was 5 or 6 years. Graduated with a bachelor of science degree, he joined the industrial conglomerate TTK (Group) & Co in 1955, where he quickly takes the direction of its subsidiary, Indian Textile Paper Tube Co. Ltd., until his retirement in 1985. He is married in 1955 to Sulochana, with whom he has an only son, PR Krishna, who was born two years later. He (PR Krishna) has two children: Barghav born in March, 88 and Madhuri, in 91. Sulochana died on 02/11/1999.

The Tamil-speaking Brahmin, eating rice and smoking Dunhill cigarettes, knows Western culture well and masters it perfectly. Clever businessman, he knows how to lead men and manage their affairs.

Chari met Babuji in 1964. He became his secretary in 1970, he received from him a declaration of nomination as President of SRCM in 197474. Both travel the western world to present Sahaj Marg, until 82.

But Chari is rejected by most senior preceptors who deem him too westernized. At the death of Babuji, they prefer Umesh, the son of Babuji
(who presents a more recent letter of nomination signed by Babuji) . From then on, Chari now presides over an unofficial SRCM, but manages to get control of the trademark of Sahaj Marg(tm).

Chari re-groups back to the southern ashram of Chennai, where he does not hesitate to blackmail the preceptors in a letter, giving them the choice between expulsion or allegiance. He also takes over some ashrams by force, such as those of Visakhapatnam, Nellore and Vadodara between 1984 and 1985. More importantly, he travels every continent in search of the legitimacy which he lacks, making the West his bridgehead.

To better mesh with Western expectations, he does not hesitate to change the spiritual practice, and to revisit its history. Once codified and ritualized, the legend instilled, and the spirituality well standardized, the product, the brand Sahaj Marg (tm) is filed on Jul. 29, 1997. To top it all, the registration of the SRCM ( California -1997) society are filed in the wake.

KC Narayana (son of Dr. Varadachari, friend of Babuji and Master-in-waiting) leaves in 1991, Kasturi distanced herself in 1995. One and all accused him of yielding to the cult of personality.

The strategy of the seduction of Westerners used by Rajagopalachari and his management methods have been proven effective, if we are to believe the figures put forward. Babuji had about 3,000 followers and 180 preceptors in 1983. Rajagopalachari carried that number to 20,000 in 1991, 50 to 55 000 in 1995-97, and 75,000 in 2000 with approximately 1,500 preceptors.
(Lalaji, Master of the Naqshbandiya Sufi Botherhood, in the 1920's - 1931, had 212 disciples)

With his success and the money coming from his Western troops, Rajagopalachari returned to India in 1999 to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Babuji. On April 30th, he opened the Babuji Memorial Ashram, at Manappakam on the outskirts of Chennai, an ashram of five hectares which can accommodate 13,000 people inside the meditation hall.

If one believes the principal parties involved, the return of Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari to India is a smashing success and is crowned by a resounding victory over his rival organization, the Shri Ram Chandra Mission of Shahjahanpur (1945). In 2003, he announced that the number of his disciples was multiplied by three in three years. From 75 000 in 2000, it would then be increased to 200 - 300,000 from 2003-04.

In 2005, he reached the height of his power, Rajagopalachari appoints a successor. He makes recognized the SRCM(tm) at the Department of Public Information United Nations, (UNDPI) and launched the "New Bible" of Sahaj Marg(tm), a book that compiles the words of Babuji from beyond the grave, as reported by a medium, and creates a school and some retreat centers ...


- Sahaj Marg & The Successors of Chari

See also:

Sister Kasturi Speaks
Translation and Transcript of Sister Kasturi Interview (Feb. 20, 2009)

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