When the Guru holds us spellbound, how can we ever truly be free?
Thank you for creating this blog and allowing it to unfold. I found it one night when I searched the words ‘where is Gurumayi?’ That is, afterall, the question on most of our hearts. I’d like to share some of my thoughts and would welcome anyone’s feedback. I would appreciate any help, any thread. I found Siddha Yoga in 1993 when I was introduced to the Oakland Ashram. Since that time many of my family and friends have experienced Siddha Yoga, Gurumayi, Intensives, Shaktipat, Seva, all of it. Many of us still, to this day, maintain our pujas at home, chant the Guru Gita, chant with friends together at people’s homes. In short, the practices continue, and I for one am grateful for all that Gurumayi shown me. The practices live inside of me, living Guru or no living Guru. Whatever has become of Gurumayi, the organization, the people who gave so much of themselves to the pursuit, I have no insights, and no judgments. What I've received from Gurumayi and Siddha Yoga has been transformative and I owe a debt to her. She is still and will always be, my root Guru. I do, however, have a deep well of grief inside of me because I want to know why this amputation of the living Guru, with the pre-recorded New Year’s messages, and the empty Intensives, are not explained to the devotees? What happened? What events occurred that set this plan to withdraw into motion? To the point, I am asking everyone to send their threads of possible reasons, facts, links, sightings, evidence. There must be facts, right? In all the web sites and comments, it seems no one has any actual proof or evidence of where Gurumayi resides, lives, travels. No one describes who are these SYDA Trustees? No one can even say whether or not Gurumayi is in South Fallsburg, India, or wherever. Does anyone actually know the people who are still 'running SYDA'? That's the question - the starting point. As a researcher, I know there are facts, trails, ways to explore threads to get to the truth. How has this occurred that she has erased all trace of anyone’s first-hand experience of talking with her, seeing her?Therefore, is there anyone in this forum that can state that they know someone who has actually talked face-to-face with Gurumayi in the past two years?For all those statements that Gurumayi is out and about and teaching in SMA, not a single person I’ve known who has been in South Fallsburg for the past two years has seen her – not once. So it becomes a mystery, and that is the manipulation that causes my sadness. I have known people from Oakland, managers and SYDA administrative people, who have traveled to SMA and not seen her, or spoken to anyone who has seen her in person. How does this happen? And, Why? As someone who is deeply grateful to Gurumayi for her teachings, who still offers dakshina, and who also has seen the shadow side of the SYDA organization, I simply want to know that Gurumayi is alive and how she may be living her life now. I respect that she may have changed how she wants to continue her lifetime here. Yet I can't imagine that she will just go away, and leave this big question mark for a global community of devotees. And I want to find facts about SYDA, this foundation of trustees we all hear about. I do not understand why her devotees are so disposable in the eyes of SYDA? And who is SYDA today? Where can one find the Trustees names? Back to facts. I am a researcher. What are the links and the pointers that others have found to begin this search of factual evidence of where Gurumayi is today, and how SYDA is controlled and by whom?Any help appreciated.With respect,Devotee with my Researcher’s Cap finally on
Dear R+LI'm glad you found your way to Rituals of Disenchantment. Some of the answers you are looking for can be found here. The steps you are taking now have put you on a a path that many of us have already followed. Our journey is recorded in the posts and comments on this blog. Read them. That is your research assignment.
OH---R&L one more thing...Re: your questions about current SYDA mgmt/Trustees. I'm certain that as SYDA and Prasad are non-profits, information about who runs them is public knowledge and should not be very hard to research. even online. I'm also QUITE certain that whoever is fronting these orgs, particularly SYDA would rather not be a public face. Basically, the people who are left are only in charge of running Siddha Yoga into the ground, collecting "dakshina" from well-meaning people like you (hoping to cover operating expenses) until such time as the whole house of cards collapses and they have to shut it down. Frankly, I think that will be whenever "they" determine that there are too few devotees left to make much of a fuss. Because--and this just came to me--I'll bet what they are REALLY afraid of is a class-action lawsuit. As in, what did they do with all that money collected over the years for building projects that never materialized, plant and infrastructure "maintenance and upgrade" on real estate that is rotting upstate, or which has already been sold off (sadhana kutir). The last time they got me involved in trying to raise money was around 2000 when their was that BIG push to get people to put SYDA in their wills, leave them stock, etc. Stated reason for needing this wealth? To insure SY keeps the "teachings" alive for the next 100 years. Well, as you've realized, the money flowed in but nothing is flowing out--no big teaching initiatives, no massive outreach, no global "satsang" building. NADA. So, if someone wanted to sue the directors and trustee of SYDA for breach of contract, I think they would have a very good case. It's the kind of thing that I'm sure keeps the likes of Dan Katzen up at night. Speaking of Siddha Yoga royalty, the Katzens, Janet Katzen has a moderately successful makeup and skincare business called Sphatika, which probably means something in Sanskrit like "flawless" or "eternally young". You might start there and see how much Ms. Katzen and her investment banker hubbie are still involved. They seem the ideal couple that SYDA would want to keep happy with "private" darshans in Goa, or Sitges, or wherever Her Highness is holding court these days when she can wrestle herself back into the saffron.
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