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Follow the money.
  • Roman April 2011
    Posts: 347
    Money, power and sex always somehow go together. I think that most of the people participating here in discussions or at least reading them were to some degree subject to sometimes extreme swAmi’s fundraising methods. He did not have any problem to name people, who did not give enough and chastise them in front of large crowds of co-devotees to fill them with shame and embarrassment. How could you not to give to the Greatness? Oh, we fear for your karma. People were and are buying apartments in Jadan ashram for retirement and the apartments are nowhere in sight so far. And other and other things. Every country has different tax laws. But I can speak at least for the US. If you give money for some charitable cause you have the right to demand a trace where the money is exactly going, how much of it etc. From my own experience, that was impossible for me to provide when I was in charge of the US ashram. I am not saying that certain good things did not happen. But that’s just some percentage of funds which are raised around the world for the cause. I am also not saying that this does not happen anywhere else. Many scandals in charitable organizations like United Way and others prove that. But we all know that this is another eight hundred pound gorilla in the middle of the room. And those three gorillas are holding their hands. There is not much more room left.

    Please remember: You have the right to ask where money is going. You should ask and question. You have the right to demand an audit of books if you think you did not get appropriate answers. Truth is a tricky thing.
  • %5BDeleted+User%5D[Deleted User] April 2011
    Posts: 0
    Some of the money went to buy his titles.. they cost a lot...
  • Roman April 2011
    Posts: 347
    I've seen that first hand when he bought his first Mahamandaleshwar title from Akhara. It was quite a transaction. Of course the main intermediary was our great linguist Govindpuri.
  • joyriver April 2011
    Posts: 101
    Haaaaaaa? I did not know he bought his titles.
    Now more and more strange things happen to surface regarding swAmi.
    Thanks for this blog, too!
  • Roman April 2011
    Posts: 347
    Once the infected wound bursts, all the crap inside has to come out. I have feeling that we ain't seen nothing yet. Thank you for joining this forum joyriver.
  • %5BDeleted+User%5D[Deleted User] April 2011
    Posts: 0
    Roman, would you give more details of that title buying transaction that you saw first hand?
    thank you
    someonefromhungary
  • Roman April 2011
    Posts: 347
    It was during 1998 Kumbha Mela in Haridwar which was also first Kumbha Mela visited by YIDL disciples from all around the world. swAmi needed to be more recognized in India. They did not give much damn about some Mahaprabhuji from Rajasthan and stories like that. They have plenty of those there. I have no idea how, but somehow he found Mahanirwani Akhara and decided to join them. I am sure he wanted to show that if he is part of leadership of this ancient organization it will give him validity in India. These are my conclusions and can be counterattacked be swAmi and others that it was not like that, I don’t really care. That is not important. What I witnessed with my own eyes is. My lawyer advised me rather not to use names at this point just in case all these things end up somewhere in court. Then I will go full force. I’ve mentioned before, that Govinda (everybody knows he was the treasury man in the Ashram) was there. The others present on swAmi’s side were three non-Indian swamis including me, a man of Indian origin who lives abroad and another ashram member. I do not recall how many people were there from akhara side but the room wasn’t too big. Definitely three or more. The reason we were there was that the akhara did not want swAmi as mahamandaleshwar. He did not have much history with them and he is not of Brahmin cast. We swamis there, as I understand now, were there to show them that swAmi has many disciples all over the world (America, Europe and Australia) and he will be helpful for them. I do not speak Hindi but we got translations and explanations during and after the event from those present who speak Hindi. The Indian man, whom I knew very well was the one who was negotiating the bribe (“dakshina” they will say) and convincing them to accept swAmi as mahamandaleshwar. Then the treasurer handed over a big bag of money, they counted it without any shame and that was it. Afterwards they invited us to eat with them great Indian food. Somebody may say: “It’s a culture, that’s how things are done there.” I’ve heard swAmi saying it lot of times. I am just asking you: “How many titles does he have now?” Even when I was still there, his business card was in a form of a booklet. Ridiculous. Buying the titles and having others paying for it? Lots of people lost all their savings to bearded and/or bold men with crooked legs from culture they idolize but really don’t understand.

    Another interesting thing I’ve found out in course of last few weeks. When Jasraj was to become mahamandaleshwar, all Australian ashrams were ordered to give money for the bribe/dakshina. I’ve always liked Jasraj (it was many years ago) but this is just pitiful. I do understand that it was swAmiwaranada’s idea and he has no shame. Just another Australian mate’s gone. Well…
  • %5BDeleted+User%5D[Deleted User] April 2011
    Posts: 0
    thank you, Roman. do you have any estimation of how much money could there be in that bag that you say you also saw them counting?
    someonefromhungary
  • Roman April 2011
    Posts: 347
    They were counting, I wasn't. It was definitely many times more than what I had in my pocket (about $500 US in rupees). At that time I had been already questioning within myself some of swAmi’s conduct and that whole situation just added to my unease. Also, if I give just kind of estimate, I am sure that somebody will challenge that figure as incorrect, because I do not know exactly. The exact amount is not the point. The point is how almost overnight (fact checkers, please don’t take that literally) YIDL became part of akhara they’ve never heard about before. And yes, it was and still it is just politics. No big deal. Let me ask you a question (you someonefromhungary and anybody else): Originally, have you signed up for politics or yoga?
  • %5BDeleted+User%5D[Deleted User] April 2011
    Posts: 0
    politics? I don't understand... can I ask why are you asking this?
    my wish is to hear what others say about their experiences to help me decide. and I wanted to have an idea of how much money could have been involved given that in this topic we talk about that aspect. thank you very much for what you have shared. was it a problem that I asked about it?
    all the best,
    someonefromhungary
  • Roman April 2011
    Posts: 347
    By politics I mean swAmi doing politics, not yoga. Akharas are part of social/economic/political structure in certain parts of India. That's what I meant. No, it is not a problem you have asked. I answered the best way I could.
  • %5BDeleted+User%5D[Deleted User] May 2011
    Posts: 0
    dear roman,
    i think you are very jealous on your ex guru
    did you ask yourself why?
    did you got any realization in your life?
    at least in material life, do you have enough money?
    do you have a wife and children?
    did you made a professional career? or you are still taxi driver or cleaner?
    i think not
    you are not realized man, full of negativity, on no any field you are not happy and finally now you have the possibility to show you inner feelings of non satisfaction
  • %5BDeleted+User%5D[Deleted User] May 2011
    Posts: 0
    the normal person with happy life is not saying bad words to others
    and has no time to spent to criticize other because he is enjoying the life
  • Nasralpuri May 2011
    Posts: 12
    Normal person with happy life is unfortunately forced to say bad words to others all the time. Normal person is forced to defend what they have. Someone attacks them, they have to hit back. Sometimes with bad words, sometimes with a fist, whatever is appropriate. It is ugly, it is not noble, but it is normal. I love anger and I love hate. If I had not repressed these two for so long I would not have been trapped in the YIDL hell for so long.
  • Roman May 2011
    Posts: 347
    Dear Ann, finally. Finally somebody is talking! Thank you! Now let me answer some of your questions. Jealous? Not really. I don’t give a damn about him. If he was not sticking his thing into mouths of babes I wouldn’t care less. Realization? The answer to this question is in the eye of beholder. As anybody else, I’ve realized some things in my life, some I haven’t. That’s life and it is the same for everybody. So called “self-realization”? We are born and we die. That’s the only thing sure in our lives. What happens after that is up to our beliefs. I don’t believe in that. I am born again rationalist/scientist. That brings us to the nonsense talk about my “professional” carrier. I have master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Czechoslovakia. Before I defected 25 years ago, I was working in one of the top research mechanical engineering institutes as a junior researcher. I was studying vibrations. Why I studied mechanical engineering? That was the only thing the regime would let me study. I was not communist and I had some so called “contra revolutionary” history. My heart wasn’t that much in it but I did get the degree because I was always very good with math, physics and natural sciences. The things in the institute got quite difficult due to the pressure exercised on me to join the party and other stupid pro-regime organizations that I decided to leave. At that time also I was doing yoga with YIDL in Prague. Thanks to Helsinki’s conference and Gorbachev I was (after 7 years of applying) allowed to visit my brother who had been living in West. I took that as an opportunity to leave not knowing that the end of communism was near. At that time, nobody could imagine what will happen 4 years later. I came to Vienna and was working in the ashram, was one of the main workers who build swAmi’s first Vienna apartment (flat). To support myself I was doing all kinds of odd jobs. I was never afraid of work. Eventually I got political asylum in the US and immigrated to the USA. Big part of my intentions was to help establish US YIDL organization. There was nothing for real here at the time. Just few scattered people here and there. When I came here, I checked about my degree. I would have to go for many years back to school to validate my diploma. I did not do it because I knew if I do that the yoga part would have to make a lot of sacrifices. I don’t blame my decision on swAmi. I was always taking responsibility for my life. With some friends we worked hard to create the US YIDL organization. I was supporting myself and did many odd jobs again (What the hell you know about living as a refugee in foreign country, lady?), but I was never a “cleaner”. I think swAmi gave you wrong information. They need to update my file down in Vienna. One of those jobs was a cab driver which enabled me the flexibility to teach and organize yoga during the day and drive hookers and drunks at night with name Swami Rameshwarananda written on the side of my cab. Sometimes I would sleep just couple hours. Eventually, we’ve opened a new center. I switched to driving during the day between classes because the night driving was quite dangerous. One guy from Pakistan I knew got shot for $20. He died. At that time I was living in the center sleeping in the hall on the floor. There was nothing else there really. I was going to take shower to one of our students who was kind enough to let me. The board of the American ashram itself without me ever instigating anything suggested that I should get paid modest salary of about $20,000 (20 000) per year before taxes to focus on yoga part because I was the key person there. That way I can get an apartment to live in normal human conditions. Some of the board members are still there and you can ask them. I agreed with one condition that I will rent the apartment which we will use for swAmi when he comes to visit. This way we could save some money to pay for his hotel. That’s what we did. Then eventually we grew more and decided to buy a building, trying to get a loan from a bank. We had to get some personal guarantors with their personal assets to back up the loan because the organization didn’t have enough credit. We eventually got them. One woman, who had the means, said she would do it but wanted to be on the board as one of the directors because as business person she wanted to make sure that her money won’t disappear. The board accepted that because otherwise we would not get the loan. After we bought the building I let go of my apartment and suggested that my pay should be reduced. We did some adjustment. That was at time that swAmi asked somebody in my present if he could get the profits from the sale of the building. Well, he could not. He had no rights to it and he stopped asking (If any of those American disciples read this today, I swear it’s true. You can believe it or not. But you need to know.) When I decided to leave swAmi (read my open letter for more reasons) he used all his delaying tactics. The woman who helped us as guarantor but was not exactly what you would call bhakta (but was/is a lawyer) decided to help me after I explained the situation to her. They increase my salary to $30,000 per year until I leave (that was the measure to pressure swAmi to do something) and to return investments in the ashram to those people who gave them because of me and not swAmi. This I actually wanted to make sure that nobody would sue the ashram after I leave. I still was stupid enough trying to protect them. Then swAmi finally came with one swami to replace me. I was filling him in, introducing him to people to ensure continuity of the transition. To ensure no more prolonging of my stay, there was date of the transition period in board meeting minutes. When they finally recognized that I am gone, they wanted me to get out asap that they wouldn’t have to pay me money. I don’t like being pushed around. I did not leave when I was asked to leave but I did about month before the limit anyway because the whole situation was really stressful. I got a job for a building company and started my next “professional” carrier there. I taught some yoga classes afterwards in few places where I had good group of people but eventually I stopped doing it because it interfered with my work. After I’ve learned secrets of the trade I started my own business. I am fully licensed building contractor in state of Virginia. I work for the company who took me in after leaving yoga and I have my business on the side. I am making enough money to support myself. Not as much as Tony but I have no complaints :) Times were tough for last few years, but it was tough for everybody. The older I get I am focusing more on the high skilled carpentry work like fine furniture and cabinetry making and also on antique restoration. I don’t sit in the office pushing papers. I never liked that anyway. I love what I do and I am very good in it. Regarding questions about my family I will tell you just one thing. Yes, I have a family. And it’s none of your f***ing business. Negativity? After I spoke to some of those women I got angry. Yes. Nothing wrong with that. I have been in many places in my life, some high up and some low down. One thing I’ve learned is to help. Help to those who cannot speak, be advocate for those suffering injustice, protect with all my power and strength those who are weak. Not just by talking and walking on the clouds. By real actions and deeds. I have many scars on my body and in my heart from that. But it was always worth it. Maybe that’s not the satisfaction you are talking about. It’s mine. I hope this answers your questions.

    Roman
  • batawebatawe May 2011
    Posts: 409
    well, let's add something to the puzzle, it will be more fun;)
    ann, in a sense your last statement "...has no time to spent to criticize other because he is enjoying the life", is in fact correct - once you have finished with something you are just finished, you do your thing and don't bother with what is happening at neighbour's backyard;), that's the ideal, so, either you are already a saint or a robot;),...sometimes it's hard not to say something...sometimes when you say it it's wrong and sometimes when you don't say it, it's wrong...and like the nature of the sentence, with every new word, retroactively the meaning of the sentence is grasped, meaning that today's experience and yesterday's experience are like those words in the sentence, than today's words might give different meaning to the whole picture in a different way, otherwise we can come to the conclusion that nobody needs to say anything to anybody and nobody wants to hear negative words about themselves either, but they come anyway...and what we will do with them it's our own decision/re-action/comprehension...but if you are a saint, you will not be bothered;)

    ann: "the normal person with happy life is not saying bad words to others"
    applied on this sentence: "you are not realized man, full of negativity, on no any field you are not happy and finally now you have the possibility to show you inner feelings of non satisfaction"-------isn't it the same thing ann?;)

    etc.
  • Roman May 2011
    Posts: 347
    And one more thing, Ann. I've always paid all my taxes, even as a cab driver. I have nothing to hide. Do you or does he?
  • Tony May 2011
    Posts: 172
    Wow, Ann... "The normal person with happy life is not saying bad words to others
    and has no time to spent to criticize other because he is enjoying the life."

    Really? Let me get this right. You see something wrong, something that deeply offends you, and you just leave it at that, you won't criticise anyone because you are happy? You won't speak up against abuse and injustice, because you are busy enjoying your life?

    Do you remember the ending of "And Justice for All" when Al Pacino's character (defence attorney Arthur Kirkland) tears into the corrupt judge Fleming whom he is actually supposed to represent? It's an awesome scene. "You sonofabitch, you! You're supposed to stand for something! You're supposed to protect people! But instead you f...ing murder them!"
  • michalsladek May 2011
    Posts: 17
    Great reading. I feel you. I remember the Enenkel times too. If you ever come to Australia, you are welcome to stay in our house brother. Take care.
  • michalsladek May 2011
    Posts: 17
    That comment was for Roman. You are invited too Tony. Part of the builder's clan ;-)
  • Ivan May 2011
    Posts: 161
    I would like to share a anecdotal story about money hustling on YIDL. In 1998 I worked as a pujari in Jadan's Śiva mandir. When the group came with swAmi it was told to them that they should give a pack of agarbattis every morning on puja in order to please Devpuriji. Agarbattis had to be bought in Jadan shop, of course, much more expensive than the max. retail price. Every morning I used to pick all the boxes of incense and return them to the shop. There was some boxes coming and returning for numerous times. Before of that someone (Govinda?) bought in Haridvar two big jute bags with hundreds of really big, butt ugly and cheap rudraksh malas. So when the winter group came swAmi told them on satsang how beneficial big rudraksa is and look the coincidence- we somehow have hundreds of that crap. This stories aren't nothing special, I know, because I knew a lot of people giving to swAmi really serious amounts of money but they are only small, anecdotal, examples of misused trust and making money on some spiritual pretext.
  • %5BDeleted+User%5D[Deleted User] May 2011
    Posts: 0
    My name is Govind Puri and I am writing this post to comment on some statements Roman made lately on this forum. As I am the person Roman describes as someone who was involved in swAmi's Mahamandaleshwar title, I think this is enough for some credentialas about what I am going to say.
    1. Nobody can buy Mahamandaleshwar titel in India. Nobody. Period. Since 1997 I attended 5 Maha Kumbha Melas and saw cases where some sadhus were trying to become MM of certain Akharas, but were refused. No money in this world could buy Swami Jasraj Puri his Mahamandaleshwar title. He was accepted because of his qualities. If you know him, you'll understand what I am saying.
    2. The money, dakshina, is amount that is donated to Akhara by each and every sadhu, be it Mahamandaleshwar or ordinary sannyasin of that particular Akhara. The governing body of the Akhara decidedes what will be the amount for each category of sadhus in that Akhara one should donate. Here I must admit, that due to our inexperience, we were affraid that we might be ripped off. The years that followed proved that our fear was without any base.
    3. The large amount of money Roman saw was for the bandhara. That is the obligatory feeding of sadhus and all the people connected with Akhara. Every Mahamandaleshwar is obliged to do it during Kumbh. That is the rule since God knows when. In 1997 in our Akhara there were ca 2000 sadhus, and during last Kumbh there were ca 3500 sadhus.
    4. Roman states that Akharas have certain political power in some parts of India. Maybe, I don't dare to comment on that. I don't have such experiences or knowleadge about Akharas and politics.
    The sole purpose of this post is to offer another point of view on this Mahamadaleshwar title topic.
    To all of us, I wish peace of mind and healthy happiness.
  • %5BDeleted+User%5D[Deleted User] May 2011
    Posts: 0
    My name is Govind Puri and I am writing this post to comment on some statements Roman made lately on this forum. As I am the person Roman describes as someone who was involved in swAmi's Mahamandaleshwar title, I think this is enough for some credentialas about what I am going to say.
    1. Nobody can buy Mahamandaleshwar titel in India. Nobody. Period. Since 1997 I attended 5 Maha Kumbha Melas and saw cases where some sadhus were trying to become MM of certain Akharas, but were refused. No money in this world could buy Swami Jasraj Puri his Mahamandaleshwar title. He was accepted because of his qualities. If you know him, you'll understand what I am saying.
    2. The money, dakshina, is amount that is donated to Akhara by each and every sadhu, be it Mahamandaleshwar or ordinary sannyasin of that particular Akhara. The governing body of the Akhara decidedes what will be the amount for each category of sadhus in that Akhara one should donate. Here I must admit, that due to our inexperience, we were affraid that we might be ripped off. The years that followed proved that our fear was without any base.
    3. The large amount of money Roman saw was for the bandhara. That is the obligatory feeding of sadhus and all the people connected with Akhara. Every Mahamandaleshwar is obliged to do it during Kumbh. That is the rule since God knows when. In 1997 in our Akhara there were ca 2000 sadhus, and during last Kumbh there were ca 3500 sadhus.
    4. Roman states that Akharas have certain political power in some parts of India. Maybe, I don't dare to comment on that. I don't have such experiences or knowleadge about Akharas and politics.
    The sole purpose of this post is to offer another point of view on this Mahamadaleshwar title topic.
    To all of us, I wish peace of mind and healthy happiness.
  • Roman May 2011
    Posts: 347
    Of course it is a custom, of course it is dakshina and of course it is bandhara. Because all are so special and great people. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and sounds like a duck, it's a duck. Does not matter what you call it. Just another point of view.
  • %5BDeleted+User%5D[Deleted User] May 2011
    Posts: 0
    dear roman,
    thanks for your explanation. you did a great karma yoga and you did good karma.
    but i also hope that in so many years near the guru you also had some spiritual experiences.
    i am also many years by swAmi and i even pass trough more difficult times as you had, it was metter of life and i was very angry but i fight and discussed with him but after all i remain because when i am on the satsang with him i feel divine and until now it did not meet any person in my life that he is like swAmi. i know when he starts with the treatment is very hart and mostly 90% of disciples left him, but this is normal in yoga tradition, disciles comes and goes, it is not at all easy with a guru.
    alwasy when i am telling my experinces to other i will never choose in next life yoga because it is the most difficult way. at the moment i have good time but i do not know which exam will come tomorrow.
    i am just preying god to remain with swAmi till the end of my life

    ps
    i know nika from the beginning and i can just tell you that what she is telling is not true
    she was manipulated from cici sw chidanad because he was not promoted to mahamandaleshwar, he lost his yoga center last year and the video production and than he exploded, unfortunatelly i know all this story because my friend got the yoga center back, more that 3 years ago swAmis starts the process to give the bilding of yoga center back but cici did not like and already that time his answer was or i or she and now he left and he also got married...
    i was in the past also cici followers as the other 8 people who left from koper but when i was in novi sad ashram few years ago i was shocked from his manipulation and dictatorship
    sorry to tell you this but is true, this is my experience and already on that time i told to all these people from koper who left yoga now, but...
    why other people from koper did not left yoga? because were not manipulated from cici, they were not going each month to novi sad
    why novi sad yoga still exsist even many have been telling that it is not any more?
    the group is bigger as before, many people was not going to satgang due to cici and now starts to come
    so you see there are different visions

    did you meet some other guru or spiritual master in your life?
  • %5BDeleted+User%5D[Deleted User] May 2011
    Posts: 0
    it is pitty that you all letf a spiritual path, i hope that you can find some other guru which suits better to you
    any way we will meet each other on the satsang in next life
    mahaprabuji is collecting us from life to life
    i also left my guru in my past lifes probably
    but i hope that in this life will not happen
  • truthseeker May 2011
    Posts: 541
    Ann, you don't need a guru:
  • %5BDeleted+User%5D[Deleted User] May 2011
    Posts: 0
    may be you do not need a guru but i need
    i am not so much spiritual develop to find my astral guru and i still did not realized my inner guru in agya chakra
    i hope to find it soon but until that time i need swAmi
    good that you practice yoga or some other way
    we are in eternal development and may be in next life you will be my guru
    yoga is so difficult that i hope not to get the realization in this life and i will need one offer who can teach me in next life
  • truthseeker May 2011
    Posts: 541
    Ann, your reactions show that most yoga-practioners are nice, idealistic people who believe in the good. That's very positive, but it also makes them vulnerable for gurus who only want to profit from their naivity to get power, money, sex, etc.
    How do you know your guru is not like that? The world is full of frauds, also in the 'spiritual business', and some of them are very sly! They will pay for their bad karma however.
  • %5BDeleted+User%5D[Deleted User] May 2011
    Posts: 0
    sorry that you have such a bad experience with your guru,

    as i already told it was not easy my yoga path
    but i can feel his devine energy, i am very sensitive and also one natural healer who can see aura and more more other things confirmed me that swAmi is shiva
    he is just powerful shiva principle
    you can also ask some other healers or similar and they will describe you his cosmic power
    they will remain shocked of what they will see

    with this power it is very dangerous to play
    i can tell you this based on my own experience and i can just tell you be careful if you fight with such a power,
    i do not want put you fear but i pass trougt many difficulties because i was fighting with him
    but leave the people to have experience this is the best evolution
  • truthseeker May 2011
    Posts: 541
    Ann, I regarded swAmi as my guru, had a mantra from him but now realise he never was a master of anything, except fraud. A loving person whould never want to have the power over people that you describe about swAmi, it's demonic. You are still in his spell, it looks like you are afraid of him. I have had the same. But it's all in your own mind, if you face it courageously with this knowledge you will get rid of it.
    Let love guide you, not fear!
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