I do not wish to recount the details of what happened to me.
It is the same story as Suchatula’s, who is one of my best friends and with whom I have been suffering through all this. How things might have been different had one of us just shared our story with the other?
That is what I would like to write about here.
For those who do not believe our stories, I want to explain my feelings. So much has been written already.
It has taken me almost three years to leave the center. Even this I did not do on my own. Before I even managed to share my pain with my parents, Ashrita had informed them that their daughter was out of the center.
Because of my complete faith in Guru, I did my best and accepted that, somehow, what he had asked me to do was okay. But it wasn’t easy. I had to fight so hard with myself. I had to convince myself that this thing Guru asked of me, which was so against my spiritual, religious, mental and human views, was okay.
At the same time, I felt so bad, so guilty for doubting my spiritual master. I was punishing myself for not having enough surrender. No matter which way I looked at it, I was always somehow a culprit.
In spite of all that, when I weighed the beautiful moments and experiences I had on the path, all that my spiritual life had given me, all of my sweet spiritual family members, against the pain I was feeling, the balance still tipped in favor of my disciple life.
I couldn’t share my secret turmoil with my parents, who were on the path. I couldn’t tell my few best friends, and to be honest, I did not want to. How could I share something like this? How could I possibly betray my Guru, my spiritual master?
Would my friends believe me?
Maybe I was the only one.
I wanted to walk into the sea and just have it over with. In the end, I decided I would have to quietly accept what Guru had asked me to do and somehow continue with my spiritual life, the life that had shaped me into a much better person, the life that had helped me find out so much about myself.
Oh, but it was not so easy.
Believe me, I did my best. I tried so hard that almost nobody thought I was troubled. But it was difficult. There I was, spending my time with my friends, working, going to the center, doing all a good disciple is expected to do and at the same time feeling bad for not doing it 100% the way I had done done it before 2007.
I was having a hard time and blaming myself for having a hard time. The guilt and secrecy really pained me. I was hoping for an answer from Guru, who then suddenly passed away. That did not help things.
Then one of my brother disciples in San Francisco, Viddyut, told me about Suchatula’s story. As a good disciple, I had never read Suchatula’s story, despite the fact that we had been such good friends before she had left the path.
My world completely felt apart.
Guru had asked me to do the same thing. If in any way I had been defending what had happened to me, now that I realized that others were also involved, I simply couldn’t handle it anymore.
All my fears were confirmed.
It was so painful, standing in front of Ananda Fuara, trying to assimilate it all, while Viddyut patiently tried to help me recover from the shock. At the same time, I will admit it, I felt relieved that all was out in the open. I can finally share, talk about it and receive understanding, belief, and care.
A load was off my heart.
Oh, only if all was so easy. The realization of it all was excruciating. My head would not stop aching, thoughts too big and heavy for my little brain to handle were pushing their way in. I felt as if someone heavy was sitting on my chest and would not move.
I couldn’t breathe, I had no desire to eat or sleep.
The only person I told was Donka, one of my best friends. Even then it took a while for me to start explaining what had happened to me. So judge me if you want, but I had to tell someone, and better someone that was far from San Francisco.
Next, I was finally able to call my other best friend, Suchatula, with whom I had not spoken to since she herself had left the center. We talked for hours and hours. If only one of us had shared with each other earlier…
She came and picked me up. After a day together, she drove me to the airport.
If only this was the end. It was not easy for me to be in the center struggling with this secret, but it sure is not easier now either.
I had to call to my parents, knowing that they would not only suffer as disciples, but would naturally blame themselves for not protecting their child (as any good parents would). They are not to blame though. I have always made decisions for myself.
I am now dead to my many friends in the center.
They have not called me or contacted me in any way. I am suspected of being hostile and mentally ill. But believe me, I do not blame them, because I know how the center works. I know how they have to protect themselves, even if it means considering me dead, so that they can protect the precious, beautiful life we all had.
My world has been shattered. Now, I have no desire of joining any other spiritual group. Everything I gave heart and soul for has been stained. But again, I do not regret my years as a disciple. If I had the chance to go back 10 years and make the choice over, I would take the same road.
I only wish to share that it has not been easy, and it certainly is not easier now.
Just telling this story to one person has been such a painful experience. I do not have the strength to tell other disciples, as I have been blamed of doing. I did not call New York and never tried to convince people to leave the center. I simply could not do that.
I have decided, though, that I cannot and should not continue blaming myself anymore.
Thank you all for your support and love. I know that things will get better. Let everyone decide what’s best for themselves.
Just do not accuse us of writing lies.
I so wish all of this was a lie.