Monday, March 24, 2014

SRCM and Sahaj Marg in France

Translation of an article by Alexis: "SRCM et Sahaj Marg en France", on Élodie's blog in Europe: Pour Que Vive Le Sahaj Marg.

March 24, 2014

SRCM and Sahaj Marg in France  

From: SRCM in France, an article (French) by Alexis (on his blog)

In Brief:

- 1200 abhyasis (disciples) in 2013 (estimate)  

- 9% of membership outside India (27% of Western Europe) 
- 0% annual growth (stable since 2000)  
- Penetration:  almost 20 Abhyasis per million inhabitants (15 worldwide)  

- Preceptors:110 in 1995, 97 in 2007 
- 2013 Estimate: 110-120  

- Ashrams: Augerans Castle, headquarters of the Mission in Europe, (1988 to 2003)   
- Other major ashrams: Paris, Montpellier & Nice  
- 43 centers and 6 areas in 2006-09: 8 major centers (including 3 with an ashram) and 35 smaller centers, including 8 without preceptors ...  
- 1 association under Law 1901 SRCM created August 9, 1986 in Dole (Jura), repatriated from Paris 
- Turnover > € 300,000, variable depending on the year  
- Assets > 2 million euros  

- Amount of the basic fee: 150 € since 2009, previously € 75  
- € 836,000 of French donations to SRCM and SMSF India, over 7 year period (2006-12), according to the FCRA (Indian Ministry of Home Affairs)

Established in 1972, Nice is the first western center of the SRCM with the famous André Poray as full preceptor.  And for a long time, after India, France was the next most important country, because of its abhyasis community. Numbers have flirted with the 2 000 at the end of the 90s, only to collapse to around a thousand. Not because of the French policy around sects (cults)  but due to significant internal dissension.

Chari does not have only friends in France.  An important part of  Babuji abhyasis (disciples) refused to follow Chari at his death, with André Poray at the lead.  More rebellious and autonomous communities still exist today, particularly around Vendôme and Lyon.

In 1986 the association, SRCM France, was created. In 1988, the Augerans castle (39) was purchased to become the European headquarters of the Shri Ram Chandra Mission and the first Western ashram. It was sold in 2003, under pressure from Chari.

The geographical distribution of abhyasis is very uneven. They are focused  mainly in the Paris region and in the south around Montpellier and Marseille, Nice and Toulon. Already in 1995, the Ile de France and the southern "zone" of ​​abhyasis made up three quarters of the abhyasis, two thirds of the preceptors and half of the centers.

The Management committee merges with the Board of Directors of this Association under the Act 1901. It is composed of the President, Chari, Vice-President (Country-in-charge), a secretary, a treasurer, an internal auditor and a person in charge of external relations as well as some members, many of whom are foreigners.  There are also various sectors (committees): finance, internal information, seminars, legal, publications and editions, and centers.

In terms of the spiritual organization since 2012, France and its Vice-President (CIC) are under the responsibility of a Regional coordinator for "West Europe" (RC), itself under Region-in-charge for "Europe" (RIC). Then France is itself divided into two zones, north and south with their Zone-in-charge (ZIC).  These "administrative" divisions change regularly according to Chari's mood and according to the favors/punishments Chari wants to give to one or to the other (thus, there were six such areas in France in 2006-09). Then, a few years ago, was grafted on to this hierarchy the "developers", responsible for the development of small centers in the area to which they are attached.

In 2009, Chari unilaterally decided to double the disciple's contribution from 75 to 150.  Previously, 3/4  of the abhyasis were contributors: half of the contributors paid €75, and 48% were paying more and  2% were paying less.  Of the basic €75,  € 60 went to the national level, only €15 remained at the local center ...


See Also (in French):

 Other Articles by Alexis : 

And Also:

- [Diaspora, les Indiens d’outremer]
– [Chari chez les Soviets]  
– [Le Sahaj marg en son berceau indien
[Géographie du Sahaj marg]
– [IMPORTANCE numérique et géographique]


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