Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Beauty -- A Guest Post by Sundari

It’s been 37 years since I joined Guru’s Path in 1972.

I never thought the day would come that I would be telling this story, but I guess it’s time. Before I start though, I just want to say that I have no regrets, only gratitude to my Guru for making me the person I am today, for sharing his precious life with me and for giving me an opportunity to serve him and my fellow disciples through his music.

I also want to say that I came into the world only for the spiritual life, it’s all I ever wanted and all I will ever want.

To all the wonderful disciples I have loved and laughed and cried with over these years, I love you and I always will. Please know you will be in my heart forever. I am sorry that the way we have been taught makes it impossible for us to continue walking along the same road together. It’s so sad we are forced to cast people out of our hearts and lives who have served the Supreme side-by-side with us for decades. But unfortunately that’s the way it has been set up. I did it too and it broke my heart every time.

So now…

On the day before my birthday this year I received an unexpected gift from Ashrita – my complete and total freedom. After 37 years, I was told to leave the centre.

The day began like any other day. As I had done each Friday morning, I got up at 5 am, put on a sari and headed to work at Ananda Fuara to do my job baking and then later waitressing. I had no idea what would be in store for me when I got to work.

A long-time co-worker and friend put on a hysterical display that caused shock and fear in the other two workers who were with me that morning. She ended her tirade by marching to the door, flinging it open and saying, “Suchatula made allegations and she left, Bihagee made allegations and she left. What are you still doing here? We don’t need your stupid cakes and we don’t need YOU!!!”

Just to set the record straight, Suchatula never made any allegations or even looked at the internet sites about Guru until many months after she left. And on that Friday morning, Bihagee was planning to go visit a dear friend in Seattle. She herself didn’t find out that she had left the path until she was informed by her parents that Ashrita had called Bulgaria and told her centre that she had become a hostile force.

Now about me…

First of all, let me say, I was not thrown out by Guru. I served him sincerely every day of my disciple life and would have continued probably to the end of my days. I truly believed as I sadly went home that morning that my brothers and sisters would see some sort of light, come to their senses and realize there had been a horrible mistake.

I begged Yogaloy to give them some time, let the dust settle and please not mention my name in his blog. But I was sadly disappointed. It seems Ashrita called a few members of the Committee and my fate was decided.

I won’t go into details, but my story, Guru’s reasons and even my reactions were very similar to Sevika’s. I had a sexual relationship with Guru.

People ask, “Well, why didn’t you leave?” I say it wasn’t that simple. First of all, I loved Guru, adored him. He was the Supreme, God on earth, my Father, my Mother, my All.

How could he ever be wrong about anything and who was I to question him?

He offered to help me purify my vital life and I would be foolish not to accept. I just never expected that this purification would take over two decades.

Like Sevika, I thought I was maybe the only one, or one of very few women involved in this activity. I eventually felt I was performing a service, maybe even helping Guru in some way to remain on earth. It seemed like a worthy sacrifice.

I was told from the start I must never tell a soul or even write anything down and that if I told, nobody would believe me and they would think I was crazy. That should have made me nervous and it did. But by that time I had completely severed all connections with my family (at Guru’s command) and had no friends or support outside the centre.

If I had left I would have had to move out of my home as well. I guess I just wasn’t brave enough or self-confident enough to make that decision.

About my family: in the early 70’s my sister, my mother and I were all disciples. After five years my sister left, followed a year later by my mother. At that time I was told to send my family a telegram asking them never to call or write to me again.

I was told that my mother’s leaving was a crime against her soul and that if I were to talk to them they would not realize the seriousness of their error and later in life they could go deaf or blind. To protect my parents from that fate I didn’t communicate with them for the next 20 years even though we had been a very close family.

I later learned that my mother had cried every day and said she almost wished I had died because at least that way they could have had a funeral and some closure.

Isn’t it interesting to know that these people, my family, actually loved me and prayed for my happiness every day of those 20 years, while respecting my wishes and never once contacting me?

They embody the true essence of spirituality.

Whereas my long-time co-worker and friend at the restaurant, who has worked beside me for decades, sung thousands of songs with me, and shared my whole disciple life, could in one day become so unimaginably hostile.

It all boils down to defending the lie that is at the very heart of what remains of the centre without Guru. It’s the reason that my friend and those in her boat have embodied the very worst qualities of the Spanish Inquisition and the Salem witch trials. Did not our beloved Thomas Jefferson wage a campaign for religious freedom? How then does she have the right to try to corner each worker and ask them, “So are you with us or against us? Are you on the side of light or on the side of darkness?”

I would like to ask my former brothers and sisters, who are so hasty to believe I am evil and a hostile force: please just use your heart and even your brain for a minute and tell me, what could I possibly gain by making up a lie about this after spending the last 37 years (all of my adult life) serving Guru?

I have transcribed and prepared for publication thousands and thousands of songs. I have spent countless hours creating and repairing an extensive database of those songs. Guru often said, “No Sundari, no Sri Chinmoy’s music.”

This has been my entire life’s work. Why would I throw it all away?

I have absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose. I have lost my job, my former friends, my good name, my spiritual family. I have gained nothing except my freedom to finally speak the truth.

Even that would never have happened since I took my promise quite seriously, keeping a secret for 23 years that caused me tremendous inner conflict. But it was a sacrifice I was willing to make to protect my Guru and my brothers and sisters.

The turning point finally came when a co-worker mentioned to me that he had read Suchatula’s story on Yogaloy’s blog (which of course I had never even heard of before, being an obedient disciple who doesn’t read things on the internet about Guru). Having lived with Suchatula for years and having watched her leave with absolutely no idea why, I was curious enough to look for her account and it didn’t take long to find it.

At this point I must say that my sexual relations with Guru had ended a few years before, back during the time when so much information first appeared on the internet. I truly believed that he had seen the danger of this activity and ceased altogether. But reading Suchatula’s story made me realize that it had not only continued, but had changed into something far stranger than anything I had known.

My experiences with Guru had been entirely private and just between the two of us, while Suchatula’s involved another woman. The strangeness of that and the devastating effect it had on such an exemplary disciple upset me deeply.

It’s one thing to make a personal sacrifice and surrender, but to see your sister’s spiritual life completely destroyed is another thing altogether.

When asked by Viddyut if I believed her story, I said yes I did. It just had the ring of truth. And then, when he found out from Bihagee that she had suffered the same fate while in Bulgaria 3 years ago, it was all just too painful to bear.

So this is my crime.

I sympathizing with two women whose spiritual lives will never be the same. I don’t pretend to be all-knowing and of course we can never judge the actions of an Avatar. It is said, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Guru’s Life-Tree produced many wonderful fruits.

It also produced a few not-so-wonderful ones. I guess it is up to us to make our own decisions about our lives based on what feels right in our hearts and our souls. That’s the understanding I’ve come to anyway.

It’s a whole new world.

May the disciples who are left to carry on Guru’s message somehow find the strength and the wisdom to listen to their hearts, overcome their fears and realize that Guru does not need us to defend him.

He needs us to embody true spirituality as a testament to the Light he gave us. One way leads to a slow and painful death, the other to life.

We must choose.

With love,
Sundari

52 comments:

by Charlie Rebich, said...

Wow Sundari, thank you for your incredible honesty, bravery and compassion. I am totally blown away by it.

sunirmalya said...

dear Sundari,
that is about the bravest thing i have ever read. (there are tears here..)

i often write too much on these things, so i just want to say that you are a diamond, you have always been a diamond and to me and those of the disciples past and present with a heart, you will always be a most beautiful and treasured diamond of God.

i also want to say what a powerful thing you are doing. What a great and powerful Suchatula did- it is amazing the power sometimes of one truly authentic action.

For me, the second best decision of my life was to join the centre, and the best has been to leave.

The lie that your spiritual life ends the day you leave the centre is akin to the lie about original sin for christians - i think those lies are worse than murder because they imprisoned us. Believe me, my spiritual life has really accelerated since i left and the disciples are still a beautiful and special place in my heart, especially those with authenticity like yourself and Suchatula.

All love and gratitude dear sister

Elizabeth K. Kracht said...

Thank you for sharing your story Sundari. I appreciate your willingness to share it. And I'm very grateful that my brother has created a safe and supportive environment for you and others to do so.

I want to say more, but I'm rather speechless, for a change.

No doubt I'll chime in again. But please know you have my utmost respect.

Love back at you, Nirbachita

JEEVAN said...

Lov ya Sundari !
I am profoundly sad.
J.

Justin said...

"...if religion did not change it would be dead. In the long history of man's search for God and a basis for right living, the changes almost always come as something better. Each time the new ideas appear they are seen at first as a deadly foe threatening to make religion perish from the earth; but in the end there is a deeper insight and a better life with ancient follies and prejudices gone."

The only thing I would add to the above is that those changes are possible only when the truly brave and sincere make tremendous sacrifices for truth.
Thank you Sundari, you are an inspiration.
-Justin

Anonymous said...

Sundari,
Best wishes in these difficult days. I was on the path almost as long as you - and I pray that time and perspective bring a greater clarity in the coming weeks, months, and years.

Lynn said...

Sundari, good for you, your bravery in coming forward will , I'm sure, be a great help to others struggling with these toxic secrets that are the not so wonderful fruits of Chinmoy's legacy. Reconnecting with family and old friends will be a powerful healing process, my best wishes and love go out to you.
Lynn/Durga

Celia said...

Wow. Sundari, Thank You so very very much. Like Liz I am speechless. What more can anyone say. I am sure there will be more but for me, at this point with you, Bihagee and myself coming forward with the truth, I do not see how the centre can continue to ignore what is so blatantly true. I wish they could see how they are only hurting themselves by trying to keep the truth hidden. Thank you for being so brave and kind.
Much Love to You, Celia (Suchatula)

Anonymous said...

Hi Sundari,

thank you for sharing your story in a balanced, dispassionate and moving way. Expression of your truth is - and will remain - a great service to others, inside and outside the Centre.

Scission of the relationship with CKG requires inner strength, discernment and trust in the truth. Think of it as a graduation.

Peace to you,

Terra.

terraaustralis01@yahoo.com.au

Elizabeth K. Kracht said...

Perfect quote Justin. Change is the one constant in this life, the one thing we can all count on. And nothing is impervious to change.

With this information the Centre could move forward and thrive. This is the Centre's golden opportunity to embrace change and open its heart. But it would take some truly profound thinkers and feelers to do so--people thinking outside the box that don't look at these truths as an enemy, rather, an opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Another self styled sexual martyr rides the wave of deception.....is,nt ignorance amazing.
This transparent wave of deception and the timing of it, gives it all away.

Anonymous said...

Isn't ignorance amazing, indeed.
That Anonymous is about as ignorant as it gets!
Idiot!

Anonymous said...

Ooooooh.. dont those eyes have a deceptive glint about them.
Sorry i dont buy it..she waits until she gets kicked out..then as a counter attack she pulls out the good ol sex scandal......sorry..i dont buy it. The timing of her counter attack betrays her completely.

Anonymous said...

Eamon/Anonymous 5:01:

http://www.srichinmoyexpatriates.com

If the Centre made you so miserable, why are you paying so much attention to it? Is it important to your identity, and website, for this info to be false? Is this how you are proving to those in your country that you really are a good disciple after all?

The Centre was 100% guru's making.

You left the Centre because of the disciples? Because they were being mean and labeled you a bad egg? You might want to consider dropping that story as the story of your life.

Talk about martyrdom.

Y. said...

Two points:

@Anonymous 6:47: You've got it backwards. Sundari quietly brought this issue to her Center leader. Her Center leader reported it to NY. Then she was kicked out.

Sundari was kicked out of the Center for having sex with Guru. Ironic.

Then she came out publicly.

@everyone else: I'm invoking a new rule here in my gentle fiefdom. I'm calling it the "coffee shop rule" until such time as I come up with something better.

This is my virtual coffee shop, where people come to discuss issues large and small, important and trivial. Sometimes we don't agree, but we're all trying to move the dialog forward, we're trying to build.

So, here's the rule: if you wouldn't say something in a friendly way to someone's face over coffee, don't say it here.

If your comment -- in my sole discretion -- adds absolutely zero to the dialog or violates the coffee shop rule, then I'm not going to post it.

If you don't like it, go start your own sight.

One final note. Notice I'm not saying I have to agree with you or your point of view. If you don't believe Sundari or disagree with any of my other viewpoints say so. You're entitled.

But add something to the dialog. I wouldn't let let know-it-alls and assholes into my coffee shop and I'm not going to permit them here either.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting my website www.srichinmoyexpatriates.com By the way Lelihan, a 1970,s disciple will be using my website to post excerpts of his new book "One less rascal" on my website, about his experiences in the centre in the 70,s....just to let u guys know....hope this post does,nt violate ur coffee shop rule Y.

Y. said...

Eamon,

Of course it doesn't. I've been meaning to compliment you on the aesthetic of your site. Looks very nice.

I especially wanted to compliment Lelihan on his really interesting post on the transcendental photo and the woman who took the picture.

Only one problem: you don't allow comments on the blog posts! (Either that, or I couldn't figure it out.) Hmm ... I think you should enable comments and them, perhaps, you'll think up a coffee shop rule of your own.

In any event, I did go back to one of my much earlier blog posts -- "Awakening" -- and put a link there so that people interested in how the Transcendental Photo came to be can read Lelihan's interesting post.

simoncarroll said...

I really appreciate the tone of your blog Yogaloy. It has really resonated with me. Theres been a very engaging investigative aspect to it. I've held my breath a few times during the year and every time been exhilarated at the way you've taken on board new discoveries and insights as new information has arisen. I expect Abode Of Yoga will go down in histories of the chinmoy-saga as a valued forum for discussing and discovering the truth of all previously hidden matters 'chinmoy'.

As for me, even though a short-time 'disciple', the impact was life-changing. My chinmoy-ification continued quite strongly until the day I stumbled upon the Yahoo sri chinmoy info site 4 or so years ago. (sure is a wonderful and comprehensive data base to search there).

Like most current and ex disciples I was at first shocked and then incredulous at the revelations. Like many others, I've had some time to 'process' the info. Its all been sanity-inducing and in the end consciousness-elevating.

Anyway, thankyou to the sister-disciples and others with a lot to lose who have already gone public. I'd like to join with the throngs I expect there are, in cheering all who are in the process of breaking free of that secret veil. I sense this is a marathon that really must be completed.

-Simon Carroll (NZ/Sydney/Adelaide 1975-78)

Eamon said...

Yogaloy....im actually not very good with the internet, im currently in Bali right now working with my webmaster trying to improve my website so people can comment... drop in a post a comment... it think its working right now.....click on comments on the bottom and post!
There is a real need for an alternative forum with a level headed moderator as many of the expatriate disciples in contact with me are not "Rabid Guru haters"

Eamon said...

Yogaloy, your the first person to host a relatively balanced forum for expats of the centre....as you can see it gets heated when people like me post alternative view points.....the ex disciple forum in yahoo group is an all out "demolition unit" for Guru and the centre. Many expats like me do not feel all out hostility for CKG..

Anonymous said...

Leaving the Centre, very voluntarily as I did, was NOT the end of my true spiritual life in the LEAST, but simply a graduation, if you will, from the Spiritual Kindergarden that was and IS the Sri Chinmoy Centre.

Lex Hixon, the original (SCC-wise) Purushottoma was no fool. Hardly. He was a TRUE seeker and REAL devotee of Sri Ramakrishna and the Mother, Sarada Devi, as was his totally wonderful wife Sheila (Parameshwari). The came to the Centre as sincere seekers who hungered and thirsted for truth, only to find that Guru Chinmoy and the SCC was nothing more, nor anything less, for that matter, than a "spiritual kindergarden," full of naive true believing, wide-eyed and busy-tailed goody-two-shoes type of innocent seekers (for the most part) who were blindly devoted to an ego-inflated, and self-aggrandizing, and very self-proclaimed Avatar, who was very much NOT the Real Deal.

It is SO gratifying to see the TRUTH of Guru's flagrant abuse of his power over others FINALLY come to light in a way that cannot be DENIED by anybody with even an iota of intelligence or a modicum of common sense.

Eventhough the Sri Chinmoy clones and mindless minions of the Maestro's "manifestation" are themselves Masters...Masters of Denial, I think that now, with these latest revelations, even they will have to admit that where there is smoke, there usually is fire.

And Guru's gun has been smoking for quite a while, obviously.

It's time for the current, and many of the exes, to finally wake up and SEE the fire, as well as smell the roses.

Let me tell you, as DIFFICULT as it certainly was and IS, in making the necessary adjustments to the so-called Outer World, it really is worth it ultimately.

Yes, Virginia, life, even spiritual life, goes on apres Chinmoy and the Centre.

And it goes on ABUNDANTLY as well.

Aum. Shanti.

And Tat Tvam Asi.

Swadhin Gary (1970-19980

Anonymous said...

Thank you Sundari for telling us your story, and also Celia for yours. You are both very courageous. Long live truth!

Anonymous said...

Hey guys, if you want to join the ongoing conversation over at the #1 ex-dee site on the whole Hostile Forces controlled Internet, please join us at:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Sri_Chinmoy_Information/

Not everyone is a vehemently anti-Guru and his "divine" shenanigans as I am, that's for sure.

Rudra's posts are EXTREMELY reasonable and we even spread our umbrella wide enough to include "interesting" guys like Eamon as well.

Aum. Shanti.

Swadhin aka Deano ('70-'80) or Gary
Duke of Dharma

RosalieM said...

Dearest Sundari,

I left a message on your phone but I have no idea if someone will erase it. I'm also reluctant to leave a note in your mailbox because someone might toss it. This is Parashita Rosalie and I am here to help you if you need it. I still have rainbows shining through my window from the crystal angel you gave me years ago.
I am so sorry you, of all people, are going through this. I dreamed we were having tea together right before your birthday. Please contact me. My email is PRWrite@aol.com and I left my phone number on your answering machine. God bless you.
Love,
Parashita Rosalie

Anonymous said...

The terms "rabid guru haters" and "demolition unit" nicely articulate the intensity of feeling Eamon (and presumably many others) has towards the messengers of bad news about CKG. It's terribly, terribly hard to have your world view crushed, to discover that the world's most perfect man was indeed something very different.

It's been my observation that as the acceptance of the truth about CKG is allowed to sink in, it can release some very strong emotions. Fear, confusion, dismay and intense anger. And then there is the issue of being cut off from close and long-term friends in the SCC organisation, after previously being cut off from outside friends and family. It's all quite traumatic and the process of recovery takes time.

A large part of the recovery process is the repossession of a person's heart and mind, previously surrendered to the guru. It is through this that an individual becomes strong and finds independence.

Terra.

terraaustralis01@yahoo.com.au

Anonymous said...

All the women and men who have or will come forward to bravely reveal the truth about CKG and the centre should be commended. You are all doing a great service to the community of current and ex-disciples who need to know what really has gone on in the spiritual community they’ve given so much to (spiritually, physically, emotionally and materially). I hope we all can learn and grow somehow from this experience. And that we can all go on to live healthy happy lives where we can regain trust in ourselves, each other, and in the spiritual journey. And thank you again Y. for hosting this forum, so rooted in openness, respect and mutual support of all us struggling to come to terms with these revelations.

Anonymous said...

Dera Sundari,

What a brave step you have made. To me you embodied and you still embody the essence of what made the Center inspiring. The Committee has used foolish and harsh control tactics because they know nothing else. It appears that, in the absence of a spiritual focal point, and resisting necessary changes, the Center is vulnerable to decay from within.

All the best, may your journey bring you happiness and peace.

Scooter

Anonymous said...

These are troubling stories even to an independent observer.

For faithful SCC disciples who claim pure devotion and faith in their teacher, Truth is to disavow the possibility that the experiences of these women and others could be real.

Among the faithful, the dismissal of these disciples can be explained conveniently as “a hostile force” creating the impression in these women that they had sexual experiences when none occurred.

Did Sri Chinmoy explore sensuality/sexuality with his female disciples? He would not be unique, although it would be a painful shock to the faithful.

Sundari with 37 years (a lifetime) of commitment to the SC group, even abandoning her family for the cause. Two younger women, who were devoted, faithful and serving. Why in God’s name would three honest people make this stuff up and ruin the rest of their lives?

Is protecting Sri Chinmoy’s reputation to the point of defaming its former members the sole aim of the SC group, or, as a non-profit organization, should the group be seeking answers? Is the SC organization legally liable if its leader abused members? Do the girls claiming sexual experiences require professional counseling if they suffered harm? Should they sue the SC organization for damages and the cost of counseling and support?

There is no question that tens of thousands of people benefited spiritually from this incredibly inspired and gifted Master and continue to do so. A few of them, unfortunately, say they were co-opted into sexual activities by the Guru and others were asked to perform lesbian acts for his amusement. That is shocking, hard to believe stuff and inconsistent with his public image.

Do we explain the possibility for the sexuality by saying Sri Chinmoy was also living a human life? People surrounded him all the time. Except, in the early morning. Who was watching Sri Chinmoy at 3 am – 6 am when these women allege the sexual adventures occurred?

Members claim the defense, “I did not see it and these activities are inconsistent with my experience of Sri Chinmoy. Thus, it could not have happened.” Refuting the “I did not see it” defense are 7, 8 or 9 living women who publicly allege sexual liaisons.

The SC group should proactively pursue ways to clear the good name of their teacher. Engage a lawyer or former judge to manage an independent inquiry. Let current members (especially women) speak to a board of inquiry. If the allegations prove false as the SCC says they are, then case closed. If they prove true, at least those following this interesting blog have an answer.

Maybe to force action, advocacy-focused members can print up T-shirts and buttons that say, “Sri Chinmoy: Inquiry Now.” Picket SC-owned meditation centers and businesses wherever they are located with signs and call the TV stations to spread the story. “Inquiry Now.”

Some legal considerations: A NY State non-profit may be required to investigate allegations of “whistleblowers.” A summary dismissal by the group may violate Federal, New York City and New York State Whistleblower laws.

The paper, “Clergy Sexual Abuse Litigation: The Policymaking Role of Tort Law” by Timothy Lytton of the Albany Law School, might have some suggested remedies. Mr. Lytton argues correctly that private lawsuits can have a powerful and beneficial effect on policymaking. Ref: Albany Law School, 518-445-2397.

To avoid legal action, the SC organization should advocate for an open, fair and impartial inquiry that will ultimately prove these allegations false (or true). Once Truth is known, the SC group can get on with the good work of sharing the inspiration of their teacher. The secrecy that shrouds this debate should finally be pierced once and for all.

Let Peace founded in Truth come to all Kingdoms. Good luck with it.

-Legal Eagle

philip said...

I feel for you Sundari..... I see you've done deep forgiveness....We who have given away our power in the past have suffered for it.....Now reclaming our power and giving it to God within. Bless the light bringer....Guard against the enslaver. Yours in the Light...Prabuddha

Anonymous said...

Before I left the center about seven or eight years ago, I remember a young girl from Europe living in new york. I thought her name was Bihagi, someone please correct me if I am wrong, because I do not want to spread false information. As I remember it, this young pre-teenager was living in New York while her parents still lived in Europe. I thought it was rather alarming that her parents had allowed this, but no-one could (or would) tell me the story of how she happened to be there. All the NY girls were clucking about how 'special' she was, and no-one seemed to think it was anything to bother about her being there alone. I remember that she was very involved with the music groups, I think she was put in charge of the group of young girls who were even younger than the 'young girls singing group'. Is this the Bihagee who has now claimed to have been brought into chinmoy's lesbian performance circle?

If this is the case, it is probably the most damning story to yet emerge about guru. If he took a young pre-pubescent girl into his care and groomed her to be part of his perverse sex-life, then that is truly abhorrent. He was at least fifty years older than her.

All the parents of children who were brought up in Centre should now be told, by whatever means possible, that two of the girls from the young girls singing group have now come forward to allege sexual abuse by chinmoy. This makes me sick in my gut.

Celia said...

To the above anonymous:
You are thinking of Bileena from Austria. She was also in Paree's singing group and Yes, you are correct that she was in charge of the small children's sing group.
I am not aware of her participation in
"chinmoy's lesbian performance circle".

However, I do see that you get gist of the situation when you say,
"If this is the case, it is probably the most damning story to yet emerge about guru. If he took a young pre-pubescent girl into his care and groomed her to be part of his perverse sex-life, then that is truly abhorrent. He was at least fifty years older than her.

All the parents of children who were brought up in Centre should now be told, by whatever means possible, that two of the girls from the young girls singing group have now come forward to allege sexual abuse by chinmoy. This makes me sick in my gut."

Bihagee came to the centre as a young 14 year old girl from Bulgaria. Her brother was in the centre for a short time and her parents were, as of last week, still in the centre. She has been living in San Francisco, working at Ananda Fuara for seven years now.
Bihagee is now 25 years old. Her experience came at the age of 23.
There are four women (that I am aware of) that were/are involved in the "perverse sex-life" all joined the centre around the age of 6 years old. All four are now in their 30's and are all currently in the centre and all are part of the "Children Singers".
Paree's international sing group. Three of the women have remained quiet. One has decided to tell the entire of "Paree's Group" and others, that we are hostile forces. If we are hostile forces for telling truth then so be it. I was not at all hostile to the centre. My intent was only to let the truth be known. Now that they have decided to campaign against me I see no reason to hold back any more information. I was naive to believe that the centre could hear the truth, face it and deal with it.
As far as I am aware, there are 8 members of "the children singers" that were/are involved. Two of us did not accept it as God Will and we have left the centre the other 6 remain.
I hope this clears things up a bit for you.
I will never understand why ckg had us do such acts. I do not know who or what he was. To me it is only important that the truth be revealed then others can decide if they want to follow a teacher who did not practice what he preached, kept dark secrets and told lies.

Niklas said...

Sundari: It's been a long time. Thank-you for the courage to tell your truth. Your strength is inspirational.

Best of Wishes to you as you continue to forge ahead.

Niklas

Anonymous said...

Dear Celia

thanks for clearing up my confusion over who Bihagee is. You email makes me feel sick. Whatever people think about Sri Chinmoy, the way he flattered the young girls, told them they were elite and enticed them into his perverted web is unforgivable. Do you know if the young singers from Germany and England were also involved?
Many thanks for sharing your experience.

From someone who remembers you with fondness.

Anonymous said...

ear A. (above)

I know the truth is soooo painful and Yes, Sickening as well as sad and hurtful. I completely agree with you.
That is why I chose to leave the centre.

I do not know how many girls in total were involved.
I am unaware of any of the German girls. The 8 girls from Paree's group, that I know were involved,
come from US, Canada, England & Bulgaria. Some lived in the US, not in their native country.
Some of the older women involved are also from the US, Canada & Puerto Rico. I do believe others (Both Paree's group & older) were involved but I do not know for certain.
All we can do is let the truth be know. Some do not want to hear the truth. I am speaking out for those who do want to hear the truth.
Thank You for asking,
Celia

PS to Joe:
I could not sign in. Not sure why.

sunirmalya said...

i think it may be time for some distance with all this.

when i was getting out of the centre, the one thing that really worried me was that there was no coherent alternative, no examples of disciples leaving the centre that were not angry and bitter, no examples of ex's doing something really in the spirit of why i joined the centre, nobody lifting up the world anymore.

there are going to be now all sorts of people and opinions, some who know everything and still think of Guru as the last avatar of this era and others who could be more aptly described as the 'anti-guru'. Sheesh they are here on this forum.

we should not be trying to convert people to our own ideologies, to have them be 'born-again'. We are just another bunch of rabid fundamentalists if it comes to that.

Rather i think it is our role to be the visionaries of a world of love and oneness, of peace and harmony. Just as we have done throughout our lives in the centre, we had to put the information out there and see who would come to it, so it is true of this. Yogaloy has done a great and measured job of putting the information out there.

Now we should get on with the inspiration we had to change the world and be a part of the tipping point that is sweeping the globe. My little part of that is http://meditation.org.au and http://freemeditate.org and http://worldpeace.org.au

We have now 120,000 people subscribing to our free learn to meditate podcast and over 30,000 people signed up to our meditation society all over the world. Our vision is for 1 billion people meditating in this generation. We are not asking people to join an organisation or religion, but rather to form their own little groups and be inspired.

In my 30 years i have seen meditation go from 'wacky' to 'common sense' - in the next few years i believe it will become 'mandatory'. I would love us to form a publishing group that gave disciples and ex's a place to write and express their inspiration to the world.

We have much to offer and we are much needed. Peace out!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Celia

Thanks for your informative reply. I am of the same generation as the mothers of the girls in Paree's and the European singing groups. I knew many of the mothers well. I know that in some cases when their daughters were suddenly elevated into the 'elite' groups, they (the mothers) were simultaneously demoted to the finges of the centre. Some of these mothers suspected that chinmoy was interested in their daughters sexually, mothers tend to have instincts about this type of thing, but their hands were tied. They wanted information, but if they asked they knew they would be reported and kicked out, so they kept their anguish hidden in their hearts. In that way they could at least stay in the Centre and keep some kind of contact with their daughters.
When Rose told her story (which can be checked out in the Sri Chinmoy Information site), she indirectly referred to 'P and G' as being involved in these practices. After reading it I told a mother of one of the girls in Paree's group what I had read, and she became hysterical, wanting to know if her daughter was involved. I told her I did not know. She then put down the phone on me and has never spoken to me since. I know of three or four mothers who were in this position and going absolutely crazy with worry about what was happening. You have done a great service by coming out and telling your story.

It would be great if the committee would now come out and hold an open inquiry into guru's sexual behaviour and is consequences. But I somehow think they will continue to deny it, even though, or perhaps because, some of them were, allegedly, involved in the sex-circles themselves.

You have done a great thing by coming out and exposing these things. I truly hope that you can sucessfully rebuild your life and that you will act as an inspiration to others to come out and tell their stories.

With much love
A

Anonymous said...

Gday Sunimalya, there is a coherent alternative!.....
www.srichinmoyexpatriates.com
Some of the golden oldies have started posting their early experiences when they first entered the centre..makes for interesting reading.Anyone else who would like to post their early life in the centre email srichinmoyindependant27@yahoo.com and i will stick it up
E.

Elizabeth K. Kracht said...

It never crossed my mind that the mothers of the Centre would have had suspicions about their daughters, but then they are mothers, of course they would have. How powerless they must have felt. I'd like to hear more about that.

It's very sad to think these children were raised in the Centre and used in this way. It's as though they were no different than crops or animals raised for experimentation to guru. It's warped.

And, sadly, probably a reflection of something guru may have experienced in his own young life, and/or the only way he knew how to create a sense of family for himself.

These kids are victims, and I don't mean that in terms of holding onto the identity of being a victim. I'm sure with all the stuff going on in the Centre, they aren't sure what they are feeling right now, with the possibility of the truth being revealed.

Regardless, even if they feel that what happened between them and guru was okay, I hope they will share their stories. I wish we could hear from more mothers and fathers as well.

Celia said...

Dear A.
Yes, Like Liz, It never really crossed my mind what the parents thought or went through when ckg added the girls to the singing groups. I guess all our attention or mine anyway was on the group itself. If none of this crazy sex & secret stuff ever occured then I think we'd all be in agreement that the centre would have been a beautiful and great place to be. I for one do believe I am a better person for living my spiritual life. The centre had and I believe still dose have so many kind hearted sincerely, God loving people. Sure there are those who are viciously trying to stop us from telling the truth but on the whole I do believe there are many good people that do not know the truth, may never hear the truth and are leading a very sincere spiritual life. Again those who have heard will have to decide for themself. It takes a HUGE effort to change your life and I understand that many will simply not want to do that. I am happy to know that by coming forward I have helped those who want to know the truth. That was my only intent. If you would like to speak to me personally (Anonymous- Mom) then feel free to contact me at suchatula@gmail.com and we'll work out a time that works for both of us.
Thank you again for your input and support.
Sincerely, Celia

Patricia said...

Dear Sundari,
I am very appreciative of your courage and nobility in coming out with your sincere and poignant story.
This week must have been like an earthquake for you. But truth is now on its way, thanks to you, and Suchatula, and now Bihagee.
We are all seekers of Truth, so we can only rejoice. With tears of compassion for each one of you and for all the others as well who are still silent (but for how long?).
I am happy at the thought that you will now reunite with your family. And we, your old "sisters and brothers" out there in the big vast "ordinary" world, are with you with all our hearts.
Subala

PS. And bravo to Yogaloy for this generous place for free expression.

Markus said...

Hi Sundari,
Thank you for your post. I always admired you and since one of my deepest connections to guru was through his music, this is no surprise!

I am so sorry about your experience with your old friend from the centre. I think this is just one of the many ways our mind (hers, in this case) messes with us. If we aren't strong or willing enough to accept inconvenient truths, our mind is always ready to offer us an easy (if terribly destructive) alternative, in this case: "I can't accept what she's saying, so she must be a 'hostile force'"

Anyway, I strongly believe that many of us have much of the light that Sri Chinmoy (with our help?) brought in and as difficult as all this seems, I think in some way it is opening up new channels and as we separate more and more from a tightly held (restrictive?) group, there is much opportunity for this light to spread out into the world.
--maybe not in the way our ego-mind was imagining: Some "glorious" new religion or some outer recognition of how great and important our group was...but in God's own way (much less theatrical and much more esoteric and unfathomable?!)
Anyway, I feel that you are a big part of that.

I'd love to get together sometime, if you are open to that. You can email me at markusbohu@earthlink.net

Markus (ex-Ananda Fuara worker and singer/flautist)

PS: It's nice to see that, while you might not have the support in the remaining Sri Chinmoy Center, you are certainly not lacking support anywhere else--as the 40 comment attest)

Much Love

Lewis said...

Sundari,

Life will open up in front of you - your family will be glad to have you back. Healing takes time. Be patient with your good self.

I know.

Be well,
Lewis aka Saumitra

SJinEug said...

Sundari,
Tammy and I are wishing you well.
Still in Eugene, Steve aka Dayal

Paul Strom said...

Hi Sundari,

From what you've written, it's clear that there is much wisdom within you; the result of decades of your practice. I feel you're unlikely to "throw the baby out with the bathwater" as so many have done, or been tempted to do, after their Centre experience.

It's important to know that you and you alone are the owner of your life of sacrifice. The fact that there are discrepancies in what you or others once believed to be true and your own experience does nothing to diminish who you are and what you have done in your life of sacrifice.

Practice is practice. Sacrifice is sacrifice. A sincere offering is, and always will be, a sincere offering. The circumstances of your life may change, as everyone's does, but the substance of who and what you are is unaffected by apearances. The friendships I made during my time in the Centre have remained to this day, and are some of the most exceptional people I have met in this life.

Be as gentle and loving with yourself as you were with the guru. The divine exists wherever you find it, but especially within your own heart.

Take care,

Paul AKA Pratul

philip said...

Paul Strom aka Pratul has posted a very insightful,loving,and spiritually mature comment about Sundari's revelations.So refreshing after wading through all the anonymous and ego centric condemnations from the sightless ones.

Be Well in the Light,
Philip Augustus Browne
aka Prabuddha

Stefan Bright said...

It was 1973 or 74 (I can't remember exactly) that I knelt at the feet of the guru, awaiting the naming of our divine enterprise. It was also the beginning of my life as "Taranga," for with the naming of our store I was receiving, that great badge of honor, My Soul's Name. What a badge of honor it was. I strutted proudly outside the newly christened music store on Parsons Blvd. and felt that life as I new it was gone forever.

A few years later I would be leaving the center, a new statistic in the rapidly growing group of lower vital disciples who found love in all the wrong places. But love was what it was. Not a vital love but a love of oneness and sharing of the heart's deepest space. Somewhere in this heart's deep space is the fountain of consciousness that pierces the veil between the physical world and the Soul's kingdom.

It took many years to shed the feeling of loathing I had for myself. 'Bad disciple, bad disciple! Suffer for your indiscretions'.

So what's the problem here? The Mind. The un-illumined mind. The ego mind. As the most intelligent species on the planet we still don't get it. We are in the infant state of mind. We haven't progressed to that deep state of knowing that gives freedom to the defensive ego-mind. Even these so called enlightened beings are still strapped with this infant mind. Because we haven't evolved beyond it. No matter how many lay claim to the throne of avatar, they do it with this infant mind of homo sapien. Not until our species has mutated to the next levels of consciousness will this ego-mind be gone. And gone with it all the draw backs of living a full and conscious life...depression, anxiety, jealousy and on and on.

So how does this philosophical view of our future help us now? It doesn't really. It may give us pause for thought but it doesn't soothe the pain that all of us feel on a daily basis. We can't live in what is not yet.

I've spent the last 32 years, since I left the center, meditating and reading. Still on the path of discovery and still trying to justify my life in and out of the center. I've found a lot of material that has helped. To mention a few of my favorites..."Pathways Through to Space" by Franklin Merrill-Wolfe (thanks to Amita for this one,) "Reality" by Peter Kingsley, which is an homage to our western philosophers Parmenides and Empedocles (read this and discover the deepest form of meditation ever, Incubation,) "The Power of Now" and "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle (these two changed my vision of life and set me on a new journey) and finally "Letters from 500" by Robert Potter.

This last one "Letters from 500" was written by a dear friend of mine who has been on the path of consciousness awareness for all of his life. Remarkably he has channeled this information from a being 500 years in our future. Now I know how sensitive we exe's are to more mumbo jumbo in this vein but I assure you the message is loud and clear and when you read it you will see - or not.

I have started a blog supporting excerpts from the soon to be released book. With all that I have read and felt this one surely resonated the most with me and anyone else who lives in their heart and the the moment will feel the same. It is starting to get some exposure and I hope some of you, if not all will check out the blog.
http://lettersfrom500.com

In response to Sundari, who I remember well and was always drawn to by her unfailing devotion and oneness for the Supreme, it's just a matter of time. You are your greatest champion. The love your Soul has for your human experiences will take you to heights yet discovered. Your devotion and love for the Absolute is the binding thread through all your incarnations, even to the next mutation. You are the Goddess. You are the way.

There is no judgement in the illumined being only allowing what is and appreciation of the experience.

With Love and Appreciation to all of you.

Stefan

Steven Cravis said...

Dear Sundari,
Thank you for your story, honesty and bravery. You remain the same beautiful, spiritual and talented you.
-Steven

surya said...

In my heart I know that Sri Chinmoy would never do the things he is being accused of doing here.

At the same time I can not see a single better option to damage his work of bringing illumination to the earth and inspiration for mankind, than to make allegations such as these.

I have not yet overcome my weakness of sexual urges, therefore it did happen for a short while that I was capable of imagining Sri Chinmoy being subject to the same weaknesses.

Projection is a powerfull tool in psychological manipulation.

But after that short time the warmth and expansive feelings I have experienced from knowing about my Master came forth so strongly that it became impossible for me to see the guru as a hypocrite.

The good Sri Chinmoy has done for the world is so amazing that it strikes me as not so unexpectedly there would be an attack from the negative forces in the earth atmosphere with great deception.

Y. said...

Surya, thanks for posting.

As someone who never witnessed any sexual misconduct by Guru myself, I understand the conundrum these allegations present. Ultimately, it's for each of us to decide -- as individuals -- what story to believe.

I see no need to re-state all the arguments -- pro and con -- that have been articulated in the many comments here. In the end, though, I did find one insight helpful, which is the realization that I no longer have a personal, emotional need for Guru to be special, or magical, or divine, or an avatar (whatever that means).

Once I gave up that emotional attachment, that personal emotional need that Guru be something special, it became a lot easier for me to listen to and look at the evidence unimpeded by the fog of emotion.

Phulela, Sevika, Rupavati, Suchatula, Sundari, and Bihagi are women. They're not "negative forces in the earth atmosphere," which frankly strikes me as a misogynistic euphemism for "bitches."

If you choose not to believe their allegations, then so be it, but do so based on the allegations made and the evidence available to you. Have the courtesy and courage to judge these women as women -- all devoted disciples who gave their all to Guru for decades.

Because if the only way that you can makes sense of somebody with Sundari's stature in the Center making such allegations is to fall back the nonsensical idea that she's a "hostile force," then you're only fooling yourself.

fiona64 said...

In the late 1980s, my college gal-pal J. and I visited the reading room at 16th and Taraval for a lecture. There, we met Shiva and Bitapi (I am sure I am spelling these names incorrectly), two very nice young women who worked very hard to convince us that we needed to join the SCC Right. This. Minute.

Something about their over-enthusiasm disturbed me and I decided not to join, but J. signed up. Soon, she had given notice at her home in Marin County to share a two-bedroom apartment in San Francisco with four other SCC "girls." Her main hobbies of playing music and historical reenactments went by the wayside, although she did sing in one of the groups that performed at Ananda Fuara.

I will admit that I really liked the restaurant and still talk about it to people whenever they ask for a vegetarian recommendation. But, I digress.

Eventually, J. cut me out of her life because I was not a member of SCC. I ran into her again many years later, when she had managed to extricate herself, and she told me about all of the grief she got from people whom she had believed to be her friends.

The whole thing made me ineffably sad at the time, and now to see these revelations (of which I knew nothing until today, frankly) just makes me wonder how much worse it was than J. ever let on.

Thanks to Sundari, Suchatula and all of the others for standing up and telling their stories.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Sundari,
Love and support to you and your friends for the lawsuit! May Truth shine above all. And may other wronged souls be encouraged to speak out loud too - there is plenty to be cleared out.
Hug,
S

Mallika Henry said...

After all this time I'm reading these honest words by Sundari and I'm so glad she owns them. For me, that is the issue: owning your own spiritual life or not. Projecting your own spiritual agency on another, or appreciating its own potency within you. I'm just preparing for a trip to Egypt and marveling at the subtle spiritual thinking of people who lived 6,000 years ago. It's a part of who we really are. I wasn't in these circles--kept at a good distance by the same people who have been scapegoating others all these years--and I have the greatest sympathy for those who must have suffered these terrible conflicts. But it seems clear to me, there is no reasonable reason to exonerate the man who made it all possible. There is all the reason in the world to stick with the pilot inside who can sort out the spiritual from the dross.