Comments & Responses - December 1996
This was received 24 Dec 96:
I was contemplating about participating in the SYDA activities seriously, but now after reading your articles have serious doubts. It looks to me that if you are just a lay devotee or belong to the outer circle, there should not be much trouble. After the Kundalini experience is true. That is why people in the first place become attached to SYDA. is it not. Even though you folks have been hurt, I wonder has the shaktipat thing, the meditations and all been a positive experience. I would appreciate if you could let me know.
Thank you for your message. I hope my responses are of some help, please feel free to discuss any of these items further. The spiritual path is wonderful and I really have great respect and admiration for anyone who attempts to discover Spirit inside themselves and in the world around them.
I dont think so. There is a strong ongoing request for money from the local centers and from the main ashram in s fallsburg (and ganeshpuri) that never stops. There is ongoing pressure to prove your worth by doing seva ("selfless service"). Seva in and of itself is a wonderful practice, if it is asked for and performed with the right understanding. Unfortunately, this is not the case in syda. They ask and ask and ask. After a while you dont feel part of things and accepted unless you join in.
Then there is the issue of listening to people talk about life and reality in a syda way. It is very unreal...a denial of feelings and reality. They dont want to talk about problems, and this happens on the local level. Also to have people say that a person (in this case Chidvilasananda) is perfect and that everything she says and does is perfect...thats a problem when there is too much evidence to the contrary. Why put yourself through that?
Yes I have experienced strong spiritual experiences at syda. (I have also experienced strong spiritual experiences elsewhere). When you get 50 or 500 people together chanting and meditating it is quite easy to have these experiences. Im not sure that is why most people come to syda and stay. Spiritual practices, done on a daily basis, can be quite rigorous. Certainty there are many people in syda who may have this attitude and practice. (but remember these are the same people who do not want to discuss or own the many many problems that exist in syda. do you want to be doing your spiritual practices with people like this?). And if I am going to practice Kundalini, I want someone I feel I can trust and is qualified.
I am grateful for the many things I have learned...and yet I would not recommend anyone to go to syda. there are other places to do the same that do not seem to be so tainted.
This was received 22 Dec 96:
SUBJECT: Criticizing does not require much contemplation and has no effect but spreading confusion.
When you'll be able to bring something uplifting to the world you'll stop all that. Anybody can say anything about anybody. It is easy, so easy... Do something good for others and these poor texts will disappear from the web. May the grace of the Siddhas forgive you.
As you did not include a return email address, I assume you really don't want to hear what I have to say and only want me to listen to what you have to say. Well, that really provides for an open two way dialogue now doesn't it? So I respond here.
I think your first statement, "criticizing does not require much contemplation" is really an indicator about yourself. As you don't know anything about me and as you don't know how much time or thought I have given to what is written here at this site, you can only be talking about yourself. The truth is that I have spent years trying to sort out what I know to be so about Siddha Yoga. I have talked to the Guru, I have talked to the Swami's, I have to talked to my friends and family. I have read scripture, I have prayed, meditated and chanted upon the problems. Truly, I wish all this was not so.
As to whether I am "spreading confusion" or not, I guess that depends upon your point of view. Are you confused? I don't feel confused. Have you read everything that is here? If you have, of course there must be part of you that is just a bit confused, wondering if it's true. Wondering how one day everyone is bowing down to Nityananda (jr.) and the next day he is the devil. Wondering where does all the money go. Wondering how do you get direction from a living master who won't let you talk to her any more.
Confusion is often the reaction to having to hold two different points of view; you believe that siddha yoga is the perfect path and that Chidvilasananda is the perfect master and yet you just can't ignore the fact that George Affif, a convicted child molester, was in charge and spent all that money on the lake.
Many people have responded positively to what is written here as it confirms for them what they have thought all along.
How can the Siddhas forgive me? If everything is Shiva and everything is already perfect then why do I, or anyone, need to be forgiven for being perfect?
I truly do not believe you sent this email with "love". Rather, I think there is anger, fear and confusion.
This was received 20 Dec 96:
Subject: Thank you re Leaving SYDA
After the radio broadcast 2 weeks ago I got so angry. I didn't know why. I tried to define it with a friend but could quite get a finger on it. Whether it was the absolute crap that was dished out over that radio broadcast by that Swami in South Fallsburg. This will deepen your Sadhana. What utter crap. Here in Australia .. once in a blue moon we get to see Gurumayi .. how the hell will not having physical darshan with Gurumayi deepen our Sadhana - we barely ever see her physically anyway. We have heaps of "you pay" to see her Satellite Intensives, plenty of "you pay" Radio Intensives ... no real Gurumayi. I think in after thought that it was the no-thinking gullibility of the people in the room. They actually took notes on everything this Swami said. And at the end ... they nodded there heads and thanked Gurumayi for deepening our Sadhana.
I got onto the Internet early this week .. and being a good Siddha-ite I looked up Siddha. Guess what I found ... and found out. My God, all those years with those niggling doubts - unbelievably you guys answered so many of my questions. The information just blew my eye sockets out!!!
Needless to say, when Gurumayi comes to Australia next year in March, guess who's NOT paying to not have physical darshan with her. I am so angry. Australia only gets fed information by South Fallsburg .. and even then it is censored I'm sure. But one more piece of information ... Australia is footing the bill for the whole tour and South Fallsburg are walking off with all the money raised from the Intensives/Book sales etc.
Over $1 million dollars ... the message went out of Melbourne to all SYDA centres to start giving money to pay for it. When asked "Why not use the Intensive money to cover the costs , there is more than a profit from that" the reply was "Oh, that money is used for the eye program and feeding starving people". I estimate the 3 Intensives will bring in over $3 million. Allot of eyes being fixed there. People are giving money to raise the over $1 million as we speak.
Thank you very much again, I can't get onto AOL but I have read the copies of some of your discussions on AOL via some other Web site.
Thanks for your kind message. Yup there are lots of us here in cyberland looking and writing about the many many problems in sy. All those nagging doubts that have been brushed aside because they were "maya". Well you have seen the real maya: Chidvilasananda and siddha yoga!
I understand and support your anger! It is a very healthy reaction to a very unhealthy situation (some call it a cult...there are many different kinds of cults). The healing process of finding out one has been lied to takes time. To feel all those feelings (sy has never wanted you feel your feelings as they have been trying to tell you for months ? years ? that something is very very wrong).
The money is the give away. Her last tour to the west coast (US) and Mexico was completely funded by the local centers and local ashram. SF did not pay a penny for it (the estimated cost was over $1million dollars) and SF (read Chidvilasananda) got the profits from all the intensives! Now lets talk about how much money they really spend on feeding the poor and the eye camps....The problem is we can't because they won't show the public their books! I wonder why???
Anyway, we have found it very important to talk about our process of leaving and you are welcome to write me anytime.
This was received 17 Dec 96:
Thanks for your work in getting the site together. I know for a fact that it is even reaching those few people on line in the ashram and having a healthy effect there.
Keep it up!!!!