Bye Bye Gurumayi or Farewell to the Resort for the Rich and Famous
Gosh, where do I start to tell my story? You know, I've had my doubts about Siddha Yoga for about 3 years, but I must say, that my experiences have been nothing quite as torturous as some of the others on the net.. I can understand though, as many of the individuals in the other stories literally gave up EVERYTHING to live in the ashram because they wanted to be close to the guru and then get treated so terribly. You know, before reading the other stories on this site, I felt so alone. That I was the only person in the world who 'suspected' or 'felt' some of the things voiced in these letters. I can sum up my feelings toward SY in once sentence.... The South Fallsburg Ashram has become a Summer Resort for the Rich. It's just not the same organization that I entered into 10 yrs ago. And I, quite frankly have been turned off by what I have seen over the past few years.. The last time that I was at the ashram was about 2 years ago. I was visiting friends in that area of NY, so I thought I'd go to an evening program while Gurumayi was there. While I was there, I met an old 'sevite'. We used to belong to the same Center and had done a few intensives together.. She was happy to see me and when I asked her how she was, she told me that she had lost her job. But, not only that, she had been very ill. But, that's not what concerned her, it was the fact that she had no money to take any intensives that most concerned her. And she went on to explain that she was so greatful that she had contracted this illness, as medicaid and social security were allowing her to stay at the ashram and continue in Siddha Yoga... OK, I thought, that sounds pretty WRONG to me.. But, I just kept it to myself... How crazy was this girl - or how addicted was she that she thought that using money from the gov't that was to be used for food, living expensives, was to be spent on SYDA? How hooked was she? This is how people get in SYDA. Nothing matters but that next intensive, that next darshan w/Gurumayi. They don't see things clearly. Their life does not remain their own. ..I know, because I too was once like this! Then, of course there was darshan. People were supposed to form a nice orderly line and be loving and patient until it was their turn.. As I saw people stampeding into a pile to be one of the first to greet GM, I thought, "What's wrong w/this picture ?" This is supposed to be the most wonderful, peaceful experience - awaiting your moment w/the guru and people are shoving and pushing one another to get to the front of the line first. How could people who have spent the whole summer w/her act this way? I had just walked through the gates a few hrs before and I had more respect and dignity toward others than most of the people there.. It may sound like a silly example, but it stands out in my mind as an instance where people don't actually follow the teachings.. An instruction so simple as "Be patient and wait your turn!" was ignored! The darshan line says it all -Siddha Yogi's are so very very very greedy. Yes, Greedy. Opulent, greedy people. Whenever I receive a packet from SY that says "Spend the Summer w/Gurumayi" I laugh out loud and say " AND HOW MUCH WILL THE INTENSIVES COST THIS TIME?" And then I laugh even louder when I see how much the price has gone up.. It's a game. It's a funny game.. Everything has gone down hill as far as I'm concerned in SYDA. I don't like the way things have changed. How everything has become so formalized. From not having a 'free amrit' in the centers to having the center leaders and MC's sound like a bunch of robots when they greet people in the programs. People are beginning to sound like they belong to a cult when talks become so 'depersonalized' and people are asked to spend more and more money on intenisves and courses. I never understood why the intensives were not paid on a sliding scale basis. And, I've often wondered, do the siddha yogis in India pay $400 a piece to receive shaktipat? How does that work? I have had too many unresolved 'issues' with Siddha Yoga and thanks to your web site, I think I'm resolved once and for all to put all of my Siddha Yoga memorabelia away. Unlike some others contributors to this site, I am not so much angry with gurumayi as I am disappointed with the organization. I really believed for a long time that I had found my heaven on earth. It took me about 6 yrs away from the Ashram to truly see it for what it is. It was something that I invested alot of time and money in and I thought that I would be on that path for a lifetime. I do hope that some of GM's 'spies' are reading this note. I don't know if SYDA can reform itself. If there was a way - I wish it could...
As I have stated, I cannot support any of the other accusations that were made from some of the other letters, but, I have known, in my gutt for some time, that many of the more obvious and outward things that were going on - that I - not even a SYDA big wig could see- were just plain wrong. Thanks everyone, for helping me believe in what I've known for some time. I appreciate your support.
Submitted: November 1996