Thursday, November 17, 2011

Trouble at the nunnery

We were sad to hear about the recent death of Madhuva ...

... a devotee of Sri Lakshmana Swamy and his adopted daughter Mathru Sri Sarada. Then the bizarre news filtered through that Saradamma had ordered the immediate demolition of Madhuva's house so that his ghost had nowhere to rest. (Obviously no squatting rights for dead devotees past their sell-by-date!)

Swamy and Saradamma are very reclusive. They hide away in a spiritual fortress in the midst of a large garden behind huge metal gates. They are rarely seen: especially now that they have ceased their slow-motion Drive-by Darshan (It was like something from a silent movie, their car trolling around Arunachala at 5 miles/hr!). Swamy attained the Self in front of Ramana in 1949 and is probably the last living vestige of Ramana's era. Then Saradamma became enlightened in 1978, recreating a father-husband fixation on Swamy, modelled on the relationship between Ramakrishna and Sarada Devi. But perhaps the Divine Duo are most famous for their mad devotee at The Gate and believing that one of their dogs is the reincarnation of Ramana's grandmother.

The whole thing is a complete mystery, the rules to which no-one is ever quite sure. Swamy and Saradamma actively discourage seekers who have to prostrate in the dirt in the driveway for endless months (and sometimes years!) in the hope of being accepted. Even the great David Godman who penned the turgid No Mind, I am the Self is no longer considered a devotee and has been ejected from their orbit. Like a game of snakes and ladders: you're in and then you're out!

Their most extreme teaching concerns SEX which has been a source of angst and division between their devotees for many years. Saradamma usually mandates celibacy and advises couples to renounce sex and even to separate if they truly want liberation. Effectively there's a caste system. Those who get to work in the garden or serve the ashram are considered to be higher than the others who grovel in the driveway. It is also believed that devotees who are married are not equal to those inside The Gate because these have gained access to the garden by virtue of their sex-less purity. It's a veritable nunnery full of repressed passion where physical love is denied and only love for the guru is permitted.

Saradamma has been meddling in people's personal lives - breaking up relationships in the name of a higher spiritual good - for over 30 years. An ex-devotee from the 1980s told us he was still bitter about losing his girlfriend after Saradamma told her to renounce sex. This has only intensified. A long-term devotee, married with children, who lived in the same street as the ashram was recently told if he wanted to be near the guru he had to practise brahmacharya. i.e. if he couldn't give up his marriage and family life, it was best for him to move away. (With Saradamma it's my way or the highway!) At around the same time, she split up another family by sending a wife and child back to their homeland, while the husband dutifully remained behind in the garden. Marital separation was enforced and even if the couple are reunited here in India, the pressure for a sexless marriage will likely lead to divorce.

What is the basis of this monastic requirement? This is more to do with deeply conservative Hinduism than anything about enlightenment. Brahmacharya in its true sense means complete non-attachment to all things. It indicates being able to experience everything (including sex) without holding on to it. Traditional Hinduism however has rejected sexuality outright and imposed a moral hierarchy where celibacy is superior to being sexually active. This is a materialistic interpretation of brahmacharya which objectifies reality then renounces one aspect of it. Meanwhile Saradamma's injunction that "the ideal man-woman relationship is one in which the couple live as brother and sister" comes from the example of Sarada Devi, the Martyr-Saint of Hindu womanhood. Sarada Devi was originally betrothed to Ramakrishna at age 5 before joining him in a sexless spiritual marriage aged 18. Ramakrishna regarded her as the Divine Mother and her motherly care for her devotees was legendary. Saradamma is projecting this one-off, 19th century, Indian union on all of her devotees, regardless of their culture. Further Sarada Devi (in contrast with Saradamma) is known for often recommending that her devotees took on married life in all its aspects.

And there is a fatal flaw. Saradamma insists there is no mind. She says: "Everything is done by the Self." If this is the case, there is absolutely no one or any thing there when something happens. Any human act is spontaneous and entirely without volition, even the act of choosing itself. Saradamma therefore knows that the lowly devotee could never have done anything else (even though their experience is different to the Jnani's). The bottom line is there is no one to have free will or choice. Everything including the human being is an empty apparition, ultimately devoid of substance. So sex may arise (if you forgive the pun!) but there is no-one doing it - a kind of ego-lite phantom intercourse!

As a result some of Saradamma's devotees have begun to question her. Is any type of prescription really necessary if whatever happens, could not be otherwise? Do they really need a formula for enlightenment if everything is the Self and there is no one capable of following it (or not)? Do they really need threats if they do not comply with Saradamma's wishes? On her website for example she promises: "If anyone claims to be a jnani, he is the worst sinner and will lose all peace life after life." (We also have a track record of not liking these clowns either!). All of this is simply divine play - the maya of the Self. Saradamma also says: "It is good for the devotee to fear the guru." Fear, coercion, vengeance, and punishment: is this the modus operandi of a truly enlightened being?

Such a teaching divides people into the good and the bad on the basis of an ego with the power to choose when that choosing is under the jurisdiction, only, of the Self. This is pure dualism and it creates the problem it solves, producing the unworthiness that is subsequently prayed upon. Like the concept of original sin, the seeker is made out to be wrong, impure and not worthy and then needs the guru's formula to save them. This is nothing short of the doctrine of moral purity forced on us by the corrupt regimes of world religions. It is also no different from the mind-bending dictates of Christianity which places absolute authority in God's human representative on earth and imputes an ultimate state in the name of God.

And yet there is another sting in the tale ... The guru with their improbable demands is also the maya of the Self. These devotees who scramble so desperately to be in the garden have failed to realise that the figure advocating such stringencies in the bedroom is empty too. So Saradamma, enlightenment and her teachings are simply shadows on the wall while the whole vista of reality beckons beyond ...

Instead Saradamma's devotees are clouded by the delusion that what they see before them is truly God in human form. This is exactly the same materialistic interpretation of reality which underpins the prescription of celibacy that has come to haunt them! They have also succumbed to the belief that the "I" is a totally real material object which can die in the Heart and can be removed via physical proximity to the guru or by the practices of self inquiry, surrender and devotion. Saradamma's devotees are desperate to build their homes on the ashram wall to secure their place in paradise and to hug The Gate day and night in the hope of their own personal enlightenment! They are consumed by spiritual ambition, self-advancement and greed - and when they die, their hungry ghosts will be chased away as so much waste and flotsam ...

Is it any surprise then, that there are reports of Saradamma shouting at Arunachala in despair at being sent such poor devotees? But from our perspective it seems more a case of the Guru and her devotees mirroring each other in a game of dualist denial spiced with a touch of hocus pocus that fuels their mutual elitism.

Mistaking the guru for a material object and failing to realise that they - like the world - are not wholly real leads to a type of pain and suffering which can never be alleviated. This is not the pathway to enlightenment; it is the Gateway to Hell!


  1. the road to enlightenment is never travelled... those who had travelled had never shown the path to others.. reality in life sucks, till then every one has to be in maya stuck in the matrix life long...

  2. Rumour is she is Kali. They are closer to the original gurus of ages I think. Maybe their time is passing!

  3. Weak desires can be removed by introspection and meditation, but strong, deep-rooted ones must be fulfilled and their fruits, sweet or bitter, tasted.


  4. You cannot come close to capturing the extraordinary excitement of discovering Ramana Arunachala; it's transformative.
    If mature you can live without Bollywood/hollywood romance and sex.
    You can live an authentic life with or without a partner and still be filled with joy.

  5. Thanks for the explanation of Brhamacharya. I never understood why there was so much fuss about sex in particular. It seems to me Hinduism and much of what goes on in Gurudom is about CONTROL. Control of diet, love - normal healthy things - which are a part of human existence, so there is a focus on the GURU. This is personal dominion I think not enlightenment.

  6. You have to remember that the level of most seekers is extraordinarily low. They just want something and liberation is their object. They think they can gain the Self if they are good and if they are bad, weak or lazy they won't get it. So they work very hard on their practice, being nice to everybody they meet and generally being very false and assinine in every comment that they make. Desires cannot be removed by practice. This is the great mistake. That is the ego removing the ego. Incredible arrogance. Self-enquiry, devotion, surrender: the realm of fools. There is nothing wrong with desires. They are the SELF.

  7. It seems to me that Saradamma wants to control everything and everyone and is living in a fantasy land. You can't model other peoples sex lives on your own fixation! Its wrong for her to manipulate and abuse those who are somewhat lost and searching.

  8. They sound like a couple of nutjobs to me

  9. The tempestuous longings and fears that assail us, as well as the views and opinions that confine us are sufficient evidence of this. Whether we talk of succumbing to irresistible sexual urges and addictions or being driven by neurotic obsessions, both are psychological ways of giving into desire and instant gratification.

  10. The world of spirituality has moved on and this guru is past her "sell-by-date". Seekers are beginning to realise, just from science alone, that free will and choice is impossible. Impulses hit the brain 30 seconds before we do or think anything, entirely shaping our actions and thoughts. Nothing we ever do or think is our own. Spiritual prescription is obsolete and not necessary. Saradamma you don't need to hide these "higher teachings" anymore. Update or get forgotten and stop keeping your devotees in chains.

  11. The old dilemma of practice versus non-practice. Some seekers need practices and as you say there is no- one there to do otherwise. Other seekers are more advanced and don't need practices. The guru must cater for both: Saradamma seems to be there for the dumb-asses mostly. But I heard that one of her devotees is realised. She is wise to keep silent on that one.

  12. You want to let it all hang out!
    Suggestion go to Osho's. Country club atmosphere, swimming pool, yoga....all at a cost mind you, dig deep in your pocket, nothing's for free cause it's a business, a spiritual business.
    You can talk about tantra, sex, being inhibited, uninhibited. It's all happening.
    Anyone still concerned about their lower regions and private bits can go to Osho's and give it an airing!

  13. Q : Is marriage a bar to spiritual progress?
    Ramana Maharshi : The householder's life is not a bar, but the householder must do his utmost to practise self-control. If a man has a strong desire for the higher life then the sex tendency will subside. When the mind is destroyed, the other desires are destroyed also.

  14. The Gate is a place one should avoid under all circumstances. Once you enter that street and approach that wretched place of despair, you are under the influence of Saradamma’s black magic. She will scan you on your vulnerability and your wallet and then decides whether to pull you in or feed you to her dogs.

    If you are accepted you are allowed to sit at the Gate for an hour a day to test how stupid you are. If you are stupid enough you may sit longer until you spend your whole useless life dwelling at that wretched place. All in the vain hope of catching a glimpse of her Holiness. Look at what happened during her so called “realization”. She was in great pain because the self was trying to break out of her head and she was afraid that her skull would break. So she put her head at Lakshmans feet and he let the self out by mumbling some mantra and so it was killed. It's Monty Python in India with John Cleese making a guest appearance as the self.

    Anybody who believes this kind of mumbo-jumbo is an idiot, this sounds more like a voodoo ritual or a session with the neo-druids in Wales.

    Then there is her land buying business, she lets rich devotees buy up the land around the ashram, in the ashram’s name off course. So she has become the spider queen, lurking in the center of her web, feeding on her victims till they die and than she gets rid of their wretched ghosts.

    Anybody noticed the similarity with Radha Ma, that other silly poseur pretending to be a guru?

    Saradama is just a poor wretched, psychotic woman with a huge father complex, labelling sex as dirty and an obstacle to realization.

    So instead of wasting your time at the Gate, why not listen to the exhortations of my manic friend Bobbie who wants all low life westerners to return to their countries and do karma yoga by clearing up garbage (see the Garbage Gal chronicles under the Radha Ma article in Gurusfeet). Realization will be almost guaranteed though it could be a little smelly. So just hold your nose!

    P.S. Glow have you actually read the post or are you just feeling trite and prissy this morning? It's about power, control and the deformities of spiritual ambition. NOT a Pune style orgy!

  15. Dear Sri Sri Kevinadaji & cronies,

    Why do you waste your God given talents posting such rubbish on the net? I feel you would be better off becoming Sanitation department workers in the west. WHY WASTE IT IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY!

    The Garbage Gal

  16. Yes, Ramana said: "When the mind is destroyed, the other desires are destroyed also". By this he means there is no longer desire linked to the ego. But there is not a total absence of desire like some complete vacuum. Otherwise the realised one would be a blank zombie. That is the realm of nihilism and Neo Advaita. Desire still arises but there is no one there in connection with it. And, for some enlightened ones this desire is sexual and for other enlightened ones it is not. This is all part of the mystery.

  17. Did you know that when a seeker confessed to Ramana that he had sexual desire for a woman, Ramana said that even in the case of adultery, he should remember this was still the Self. In good ol' Biblical style this passage was then edited out of the record. Ramesh knew about this too: he mentions it in one of his books.

    Ramana was asked a question by a young man with much sincerity and humility: "I am carried away by the sight of the breasts of a young woman neighbour and I am often tempted to commit adultery with her. What should I do?"

    The answer from Ramana was: "You are always pure. It is your senses and body which tempt you and which you confuse with your real Self. So first know who is there to be tempted. But even if adultery happens, do not think about it because you are yourself always pure. YOU ARE NOT THE SINNER."

    'Confusion No More' by Ramesh Balsekar, from the chapter Sin & Guilt, page 57.

  18. Lakshmana Swamy teaches "one without a second", echoing Shankara. This is not enlightenment. Advaita is "not two", something which is descriptionless and cannot be objectified. Shankara however makes enlightenment into a "one" once "two" is eliminated. "One" is an object and therefore an ultimate state, which is still in the realm of maya.

  19. 'I was also concerned to hear about the charging of hefty fees at some of Ramesh's retreats for spiritual aspirants, when Sri Nisargadatta never asked for a paisa/penny from anyone. And so I left off any further contact with Ramesh, inwardly wishing him all the very best. It would not be until early 2005 that I would hear of the charges of serial adultery by Ramesh with some of his female students.'

    Timothy Conway

  20. Basically, there is difference between Love and Bliss. Love is Debt (Runa) we have due to our Prarabdha karma. We either owe it to somebody or 'need' to get it from somebody. To love is to "go outward", it actually is mind going outwards, as in, we are looking for fulfillment through another and Whereas Bliss is totally different, its purely from within ourselves alone! Here there is no requirement for an another to get some fulfillment. We are ourselves 'Purnam', 'Whole'

  21. I remember the story of one Bhilva
    Mangal. He was mad after a courtesan and one
    night to reach her (she was on a balcony of a
    house), Bhilva took a hanging serpent, thinking
    It was a rope, and reached the balcony! The girl
    told him:- why not show this madness, towards
    Krishna? Bhilva Mangal undersood the truth
    immediately and became a devotee-poet of
    Krishna. He is the author of Krishna Karnamrtam

  22. From my personal experience (sorry I don't have any sanskrit or scripture to back it up). It is only after the experience of 'Wholeness' that one can be in relationship with another, basically there is no need to use another to tick off an egoic fantasy wish-list of desire and need. If you don't need anything from another, you can truly BE with that person. It's a completely different dynamic, open, fluid and utterly new.

    Moral prescription does not help, it just creates an emotional time-bomb of repression which will kick-off and blow up in someone's face!

  23. Ramesh's sexual behaviour does not invalidate the quote from Ramana!

    The version I heard was that the young woman in the story came from Kerala, where traditionally the ladies went around bare breasted. This was the cause of the lust which so unnerved the young man.

    And as for Ramesh, considering he was an octogenerian at the time of the scandal, his vigour is quite amazing. The Self put some serious lead in his pencil, why begrudge an old man his consolations.

  24. If you are into Ramana or one of the Indian greats you will believe celibacy is the One True Way. If you are more into the tantric or a Western guru, sex will not be a problem or may even be part of the path to enlightenment. The problem comes when one guru set themselves up as an authority and then puts themselves above another, saying their teaching RIGHT while all the others are WRONG. Surely this is the biggest no-no and the danger sign we should all be looking out for?

  25. Holiness is falling in love with your own self.
    This is devotion, and it is not different from love!
    What you love you are devoted to and
    what you are devoted to you love.

    When this love has no object, and goes nowhere
    but to itself, it will reveal itself to you in whatever
    form you desire; manifest or unmanifest.

    If you desire this love don't try to love a particular
    person because this love has no personality, no
    form, and no name. God is this love.


  26. "Trying harder and seeking approval are two of the most widespread conditioned behaviors for achieving happiness.. Almost equally common are our many addictive behaviors, starting with our addictions to pleasure and diversions. In themselves, pleasure and diversions are fine, and they can certainly make us feel good. But whenever we have addictive behaviors—whether to food, alcohol, sex, or working out—we are driven by the compulsion to keep returning to whatever we're addicted to, in the promise that it will continue to make us feel good"

  27. Gurus, power, sex and ambition are always a tricky combination that very few can actually handle. History is full of examples of gurus who totally lost it, but kept going on with their show and their devotees follow like sheep as if nothing has ever happened.

    The trick is off course that a jnani is beyond all this and has to live out their remaining vasana’s (whether he/she is a mass-murderer, a rapist or an American politician). Under the flag of being a jnani you can do whatever you like, even destroy the lives of your devotees.

    I will repeat Sarada’s words…….
    "If anyone claims to be a Jnani, he is the worst sinner and will lose all peace life after life." But I want to add that if a “jnani” betrays the trust, devotion and surrender of the disciple, he/she is worse than that and lives in hell already and forever!

    P.S. A tip for Sarada, it's free because I don’t want to steal from a beggar. Follow Mooji’s trick, point a camera at the Gate, put that on your website and ask people $50 per hour to sit in front of the virtual Gate in their virtual world (which actually became more real then the “ real” world). Success is guaranteed and you can buy all the land and expand your bloody empire and even annex Arunachala and put a big Golden Gate on top, maybe you can ask Mac-fucking Donald to sponsor it.

  28. Yes Papaji did say "If you desire this love don't try to love a particular person". For those who are stuck in the desire for enlightenment, this type of desire is deadly and to love a particular person will only exacerbate the problem. However you, like Papaji, have missed one thing and you have taken his quote out of context. The desire for enlightenment, just like the desire for a person or sex is not under anyone's control. That desire is either there or it isn't and there is nothing YOU (or a guru) can do about it until it falls away by itself.

  29. Any guru who is truly liberated would not even see the I to advise it.

  30. Saradamma has made the mistake of all gurus, proving she is not enlightened. She takes the I for granted and tells the seeker what to do, hoping they will work it out at some point that the I is the problem. This is the old traditional way, But you can't ride a bicycle without getting on it. The I who tries to do something about their state and change it is the problem. And the I cannot eliminate the I. Better to never touch methods or you will be trapped forever.

  31. From personal experience, celibacy is hell. You cannot make yourself not want something, it just gets worse. The wanting has to NATURALLY cease and this only comes little by little after one has once again indulged and been burnt in the flame. Sometimes the wanting never ceases and the seeker has to face the fact that they are an addict for life. If you are unlucky enough to be with a teacher who preaches celibacy as a method for enlightenment at the same time, your pain will be much worse than even the addict. For you will be constantly at odds with the guru and there is nothing you can do about it. Then you have 2 addictions: sex and the guru. A guru is so much more trouble than you ever bargained for. You have the sex problem and the problem that you will never be enlightened while you have the sex problem. Why not just have the sex problem and ditch the guru? I found that after I did that, the sex problem was much easier to deal with and sex was not so much a problem as I ever thought. Sex does not have to be bad. Even in the state of ego there are many times when sex is selfless and unconditional and there is real love between the 2 people. Fixating less on sex means most likely the addiction will pass. My conclusion? A guru is not necessary. I can't remove the addiction myself but my guru sure as hell couldn't either. AUM.


  33. There are far worse gurus than Saradamma in Tiruvannamalai. I think she leaves it to her victims. Most of her devotees want a method and even ask for one, so she gives them one. Swamy is into japa and her way was devotion/surrender. But they both know that ultimately it is up to the Self. They leave the devotee to find that out for themselves. She does have more advanced devotees who don't need a method (and quite a lot of useless ones who can't use a method because they can't sit still). But she keeps quiet about the more advanced ones so as not to stir up jealousy. The disturbing aspect as you say is the prescription. There are so many paths up the same mountain. Each has his/her different way. Celibacy is not always necessary and it is more a case of what each individual wants and needs.

  34. The Roman Catholics introduced celibacy to ensure that all land and estates went to only the Church on death. Asian courts and kingdoms are well known for mandating celibacy to prevent treason and uprisings forming around a rival heir. Essentially the aim is to ensure that all power and focus goes to the king only. The amount of energy that flows during sex is colossal. Like any spontaneous act, if that energy is harnessed or tapped, it can be powerfully subverted towards a certain personality or goal. This is what celibacy is all about. Manipulation. Power. And individuality. Like a type of sex magick, celibacy is used to try to bring about an end result, i.e. enlightenment. As history has shown, it can only have a bitter end. The Christian Church is characterised by paedophiles and homophobes, devoid of love for its fellow man. Meanwhile the emperors are gone and the barbarians came flooding over the walls, destroying every last Son and Daughter of Heaven.

  35. " The amount of energy that flows during sex is colossal"
    Perhaps you're in Tiru reading Freud?
    It sounds like Sigmund's your chosen guru.

  36. So, Kevinanda got it all wrong??? The useless devotees have to work inside because they can not sit still and the advanced ones sit at the gate! Or if the gate-dwellers are not the advanced ones where are these advanced souls, could they be the DOGS?

    And what would be the position of the gate dwellers if they are even less then the useless ones, are they the ones who have to find it out for themselves?

    Dear, dear... and also jealousy playing an important roll in this drama.

    Saradamma seems to be the headmistress of a kind of pre-kindergarten ashram and plays the all knowing, loving and caring mother and I bet she loves the power.

    Instead of fooling around with helpless and vulnerable people and destroying their lives she should go back to Andra Pradesh and take up some useful work, like sweeping the roads or feeding the poor (she thinks that you should not waste 1 rupee by giving it to poor people!!!)

  37. So Saradamma loathes and despises the poor. Lives in a fortress with her 'Spiritual Father' and wastes loads of money on endless building projects (including a guest house for non-existent devotees). Sounds a bit like psycho-Cinderella or is it just good ol' fashioned Greek tragedy?

  38. One dog is famous for rolling on its back and waving its ass in the air (Ramana's grandmother?) The other sits serenely and is unconcerned by proceedings. The devotees at the Gate tell off the first one for its sexual displays. The other dog is said to be more advanced. If you're really lucky you get to wash the dogs: another day in Paradise!

  39. The argument between the Brit Brat and Saradamma was also about lots of money that another devotee promised for the Brat's eco/save the poor projects. That transaction was cancelled by SM, who told her faithful disciple NOT to waste any money on projects for the poor or planting trees. And the disciple-sheep said - "of course Ma I'll do anything you order, thank you Ma for your good advice, who would I be without you!" (grovel, grovel) The Brit Brat and his wife were so pissed off that they finally broke all connection with Saradamma.

  40. Saradamma is not liberated. She attained death of the mind which is not the same as death of the ego/self. David Godman confuses the mind and the ego in his book and often mistakes them for the same thing. The ego includes the mind but is not just the mind. Hers is a "personal enlightenment", similar to an awakening, where the mind has gone but not the ego overall. That is why she imposes her personal path of celibacy and surrender on others. She is not the real deal!

  41. Sure looks like great service to humanity:

    Landscape design in Collaboration with Govinda Luke Bowley A 4000sqm compound
    is being turned into a interior world of 3 houses, pool with pavilion, small forest, rock –
    tropical - and suspended gardens, sunken garden around a deep well, outdoor
    bathrooms, savanna and water-tank all of it assembled to provide views on the nearby
    holy mountain and yet creating privacy in its different indoor and outdoor spaces. The
    buildings draw on traditional construction technique combined with large
    Roof-overhangs and high thermal mass thus ensuring cool interiors in the very hot
    climate of the south Indian countryside. All architectural and interior elements are
    custom designed and manufactured by local craftsmen whereas the infrastructural
    elements rely on technology to ensure environmental sustainability.

  42. Wow what a pad! Is this an example of compassionate conservatism and do they throw dog biscuits at the sadhus when they leave the compound in their cavalcade of limousines?

  43. Not sure what this place is for, but appears like it is where poor Luke nee Govinda is planning to teach his students and have some quality time with his wife & family now that he is free of the shackles of his gurus. No wonder he was angry when he begged money of the sheep and the sheep refused! What an affront, how could the sheep refuse to part with his own (hard earned money at that) given Luke's noble goals? He was after all begging to help other downtrodden souls and trying to get some hardly earned money!
    Ramana Maharshi uses a great example to illustrate this--a lame man loudly exclaimed "If only someone helps me get up, I will go to the battlefront and defeat the enemy". Helping others is possible only when we are beyond help ourselves, i.e. self-realized.

    What great characters we meet on our quest in spirituality! Each thinks that all those who have trodden the path before were/are fools, and he is the only bright kid in the block, capable of unraveling the truth that has eluded everyone else before him.

  44. Kevinji,
    When everything is an apparition and a phantom is not Saradamma also an apparition, and, likewise, are not her devotees grovelling before her also apparitions as well? Is her insistence on celibacy also not mere apparition then? So, why this bellyaching for things that are mere phantoms? Is the bellyaching also an apparition? So, in this grand scheme of things, who is objectifying whom and what is being rejected and overcome -- the guru objectifying the devotees' problems, or the grovelling devotees objectifying their guru, or the know-it-all onlooker objectifying the guru and her hapless devotees?

  45. Dear Lost in Cleverness,

    Ermmm ... Did you read the post? It says quite clearly that both Saradamma and the devotees grovelling before her are apparitions. And it also says the bellyaching about celibacy is being done by her devotees -- who don't realise -- they are apparitions, their guru is an apparition (and also her insistence on celibacy).

    Maybe we should send you to Govinda's "worthy works" seminar. You can shed lots of monies, earn merit by acts of karma yoga and for homework, a little philosophical kindergarten just to flex your mental muscles.

    And to be blunt why not take the piss out of this whole wretched charade? That is just as much an apparition as your patronising mindfucking!

  46. I am so glad to find this blog. I read the book by Godman on these two and thought it was one of the weirdest things I've ever read. Obviously, Swami has had some "issues" esp. when he thinks that a lizard is a former house cleaner coming for darshan. It is straight up bi-polar stuff.
    Yes, Sarada is strikingly beautiful, but this reclusiveness always seemed weird. Playing with dolls - is that how we end up? Geez, get a degree and help some folks.
    How did Godman get sucked in, I wonder? What is he up to now?
    Also, I found it strange that RM's pet cow achieved enlightenment, but what about his followers? When you read Godman's "Be As You Are" RM seems like a Neo-Buddhist, but when you do a little digging it seems like straight up Hinduism.
    Thanks for having this. There used to be a blog called cultbusters - srf that was fantastic, but the owner took it down. These things are much needed - I still almost fall into the web from time to time and these blogs help me keep on balance.

  47. Ramana sat at one place.
    Adi Shankara was always on move.

    Buddha had 40,000 disciples moving with him where ever he goes.
    Dakshina Murthy had only four disciples.

    Ramana was wearing kaupeena (loin cloth).
    Sri Krishna was wearing Pitambara (Pattu) and use to decorate himself very well.

    Each realized soul is unique - like each flower in garden is unique.
    Can we say one flower is better than another?

    A disciple came to Buddha and said "You are great ...".
    Buddha said "Before me there were 13 Buddhas. They did not teach. They did not come to public. They just took the negative vibrations of the world and released positive vibrations back to the world. Otherwise world would have been filled negative vibrations".

    For most of the enlightened souls the moment of realization and moment of dropping the body is the same.
    As Ramana explined, its like an elephant entering thatched hut.

    Some realized souls keep the body, come to the street and work with people.
    And some simply stay away from public, do their work and drop the body.

    For sincere sadhakas who are in a hurry - traditionally Guru recommends to follow Yama, Niyama (in which Brahmacharya/Celibacy also included).
    This is to preserve the spiritual energy that is generated during sadana.
    If Yama, Niyama is not followed, that energy gets dissipated and then it would take long time to raise Kundalini.
    Its like - you are pouring milk from top and the pot has holes.
    Pot is never going to get filled up.

    The brings us to the question - Should an enlightened soul follow all these rules (Yama, Niyama)?
    He need not follow, because medicine is for the patients not for the doctor.
    His body just finishes the Prarabdha karma.
    Like Ramana explained, fan continues to rotate for some time after it is switched off.

  48. Interestingly Saradamma dashed to the Ramakrishna Temple in December, barely within 3 weeks of your article:

    She is also listed on the same page as the horrendous Santosha Tantra, a NY yoga freak who looks like a reject from Last of the Mohicans and of course, thinks she is enlightened. Santosha visited Saradamma in the 80s - read here:

    and is influenced by Adi Da. The only good thing about her is that she put Godman firmly in his place. He boasted about his sadhana to her - 6 months in a cave - and she asked him why he'd bothered!

  49. I checked out the second link as the first didn't take and couldn't help but wonder if a Carnival Cruise wouldn't have been better than staying in a "compound" in a 3rd world country. The shower room looked gross - you'd be better off not taking one!
    Adi Da seemed like a lunatic from what I gather and I'm done thinking that either Lakshama Swami or Sarada are enlightened (I don't pretend to know what that means).
    Isn't living in a cave kinda like the old phrase. "crawl under a rock and die"? I really liked Godman's book about RM - it really screwed me up for a while, but "No mind, I am the Self" was so ridiculous I had to question everything - so it was good for that. Damn, I bounced a check to buy that book!

  50. Supression is not going to work.
    Sublimation is the solution.

    As per Yoga and Ayurveda, once in every 3 weeks semen gets filled up and the sack presses a nerve.
    Married men as they have access to woman, will have sex and empty it.
    Unmarried looses it in dream.
    Some how the sack needs to be emptied.

    Yogis use Hatha Yoga techniques to convert semen to Ojas.
    Pranayama is one of the keys for this sublimation.

    Staying away from woman kind of techniques help to some extent but not a practical solution in modern world.

    You can start your journey with these books:
    1. Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha - Satyananda Saraswathi - Bihar School Of Yoga
    2. Ayurveda: Science of selh healing - Vasant Lad
    3. Brahmacharya - Swami Sivananda

    Hatha Yoga + Vegetarian food + Satsang - should help

  51. This is Hindu Brahminical bullshit which assumes that there is someone with sufficient purity, intelligence and moral fiber to choose the right method for enlightenment and stick to it. Any method - including "sublimation" - is all part of the MAYA. A method does not truly result in enlightenment; there is not truly any liberation; nor is there truly anyone there doing such a method. This is just the way it SEEMS from the perspective of EGO. If a seeker sublimating their sexual impulse happens, this is the spontaneous play of maya: a mere appearance totally devoid of significance and a beautiful illusory dance. But the seeker and the false teacher fall in love with the illusion and then start to believe in it: that there is actually someone there, that there is actually enlightenment, and that that someone can choose to do something to make that enlightenment happen. Even this, ALL OF IT, is a glamour and a fairy tale, simultaneously real and unreal. Both you and the guru - and all that happens in this world - are the stuff of dreams and nightmares, dreamed yet never dreamed, suffered yet never suffered, even though they feel so real ...

  52. Ego, maya, perspective etc. C'mon! Can't we just look at life and enjoy the pleasures it affords. We aren't going to end up like Ramana - if we were we would have already. Forget being a vegetarian. How about having a healthy sex life with someone you love or enjoy and getting something out of the life you have without being so damn heavy about it?
    Let Sarada get a college degree and practice medicine and put the dolls down. How about raising some children while she's at it? Thrill us with a wholesome mind before "destroying" the mind and conning everyone with word games about how you really don't have a mind! No, all these head games and guru dancing etc makes me think we need to get laid more!

  53. Vedanta is not for beginers ... i mean for those who are still struggling with Annamaya Kosa level issues like sex.
    Such people need to start with Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama.
    Otherwise it would be like trying to construct a building without a strong foundation.

    One day Guru became compassionate and thought let me teach Vedanta to my disciple.
    Guru told the disciple - Brahma Satyam Jagan mithya - Brahman is the only reality, world is unreal.
    Disciple thought - If world is unreal, then my Guru is also unreal and ran away.

    Lets try the so called Maya concept in daily life.
    Do not eat break fast, lunch, dinner.
    When you get hungry, tell the mind that hunger is Maaya.
    See what happens ... :))

    Point here is - for those struggling with sex - body is the reality - not maaya.
    When you get established in samadhi like Ramana, then the body is Maaya.
    Not right now.

  54. Are we talking beginners like Swami Suddhananda and his Japanese/Indian ménage à trois or maybe Nithyananda and his home movies?

    Vedanta has become a moral pyramid of exploitaion, where the fat cats on the top of the pile get to fuck and fleece the rest of the flock. Metaphorically and literally!

  55. If the disciple thinks the world is unreal this is Neo Advaita. If the Guru think the world and the disciple is real, this is Hindu eternalism, which spawned the mad dog of Advaita. The Guru misleads the disciple. The blind follow the lame ...

  56. Not all of us are strugglng with sex. Some of us don't mind if we do, don't mind if we don't. Disciple can't control if they choose to have sex or not. This is the point the disciple doesn't grasp ... and the fake guru never includes in their teaching. You know why? Because then there would be no need for gurus and no need for all this spiritual bullshit either. Both the guru and the disciple would be out of a job!

  57. Vedanta was probably always a moral pyramid of exploitation - just like everything organized ends up being. A Japanese/Indian menage a trois - oh, I won't be getting any sleep tonight! Man, wish I had the guts to be a guru.
    A great book to read is "The Shape of Ancient Thought" by Thomas McEillivey - I think that is how you spell it. But, the book compares ancient Greek and Indian thought and even mentions RM. It's all just a groping in the dark - at least, for poor mortals like us. In the meantime, eat, drink and be happy!

  58. Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev talks about it.

    If the link is not posted for web security reasons, search on that title in youtube.

    Is Marriage the right path? - Sadhguru

    Is Marriage Necessary? Sadhguru

  59. A guru that is sad is a sad guru. But, all this talk of guru and disciple assumes that the Hindu or Vedanta worldview is alone the correct one. In the West, we don't have gurus in the traditional Indian sense and they don't end up being a good fit for us (and probably not for Indians, either, unless they wear their spiritual traditions lightly).
    Forget what some old man says about marriage and the search for "God" - why not listen to the Pope while you are at it. What does he know really, anyway? How do his generalizations apply to your unique life?
    The closest most of us will ever get to God in this life is the love shared between people and sometimes that includes sex or marriage. Love, love, love - let that be the foundation for a life well-lived and be pleasing to God, er, Self (how endearing! God as Self is the most impersonal and uninspiring concept of God I've ever fallen for).
    Forget Ojas and chakras etc. and go make someone smile - how quaint. What if we measured our "progress" by how much we love others instead of how close we are to getting away from them completely!

  60. If you go to Africa and ask what is the greatest thing in life, they will say "Food".
    If you go to Middle East and ask what is the greatest thing in life, they will say "Peace".
    If you go to west and ask what is the greatest thing in life, they will say "Love".

    What ever we miss in life appears as the greatest thing in life.

    But these things (Food, Peace, Love, ...) may just have social relevance or psychological relevence ... may not have existantial relevance.

  61. Finally the dog, who SM claims to be Ramana’s grandmother, spoke at last ... and said ...
    " Whatever takes place in this wretched ashram, whether it is adultery, sodomy, celibacy or any other perverted sexual behavior has absolutely nothing to do with me. As long as they give me my daily portion of nicey nice Doggy Dogs food for healthier dogs, I will pretend to be their Grandmother, Uncle Ernie, senile Daughter in law or anything else if that is what they want want. Eating, sleeping and a good fuck now and then, that is the life for me. Can you inform the deluded Chi-Ting readers about my humble opinion."

    Well folks, since this dog is the only trustworthy source of information at the ashram, I think we can conclude this story about the GATE and what 'lies' behind it.

  62. The role of the Guru is certainly not an easy one. People today carry gross egos the size of football stadiums--it is VERY difficult to chip away. The ego never wants any correction at all-- it wants only indulgence. Mathru Sri Sarada has this very difficult assignment of being the Guru in the body. Ramana Himself used to walk on Arunachala and beg for His students to be taken away!! Realization is not an easy path, it takes YEARS for most and then there is the integration. If you don't want the Self then you don't want what the Guru has to say--period! "Many are called but few CHOOSE!"

  63. The ego is not even truly there so if these gurus were even slightly enlightened, they would never recognise it or be remotely concerned about it. The guru also does not have a body. You don't even seem to realise that there is no such thing as realisation. It's also not about what you "want" - or choosing. Nobody chooses - there is no one to choose. Choosing simply happens without an ego ever being involved. You're simply talking about yourself: your deluded, confused patchwork vision of your own fixation on sainthood.

  64. I DO agree that Shontosha Tantra is NOT enlightened!! I do not understand why Sri Lakshmana and Sri Saradamma are so chummy with her--go figure--they must have some hope that one day she will Enlighten but she would have to stop the astral trips and stop living in her third eye first. There is hope for everyone.

  65. Sri Lakshmana and Sri Saradamma are so chummy with Santosha because they are just as deluded as she is.

  66. Santosha is just a third rate meditation teacher who derives her authority from the deceased sex monster Adi Da: she doesn't give a shit about Saradamma. Their meeting was just a piece of spiritual tourism in the 80s during which Sardamma and Swamy were amazed to meet someone spiritual who'd also had sex! It was a revelation to them to contemplate a different type of spiritual model!

  67. Santosha writes in her pathetic, dross-filled Me Me Me book: "In my friendship with Sarada, I was saddened to see that her life of teaching was filled with physical suffering, great emotional frustration and sadness. She often expressed to me her reluctance to stay in the body because those she served lacked any ongoing spiritual maturing and were unable to perceive how their lack of maturity affected her. This was also true of me. Yet I was determined that I must be allowed to live fully, brightly, uninhibited by the immaturity of those around me."

    Not only does Santosha do everything she can in her book to establish a spiritual link with Saradamma which quite obviously doesn't exist beyond a banal "personal friendship" - but she even tries to make out she is more advanced than Saradamma. Yet wasn't it rather significant that Swamy showed zero interest in Santosha's request to be accepted as his daughter and gave her almost none of his time. Then there is Saradamma herself. This quote really shows the depth of Saradamma's spiritual psychosis: total attachment to the state of her devotees and deep investment in her own spiritual, emotional and physical wellbeing.

  68. Sis klaus (or loose or nuts or whatever) your knowledge about what is happening arnd saradamma's house is very very limited. you seem to be a fool completely lost in your world. and So is the Chi Ting Master.

    to answer to some of your statements made,

    Sister (S): The Gate is a place one should avoid under all circumstances. Once you enter that street and approach that wretched place of despair, you are under the influence of Saradamma’s black magic. She will scan you on your vulnerability and your wallet and then decides whether to pull you in or feed you to her dogs.

    Response (R): I for one have never paid a single penny to her and had a long association with her. so your wallet story comes from your limited knowledge and may be jealous of Guru or for self attention.

    S: If you are accepted you are allowed to sit at the Gate for an hour a day to test how stupid you are. If you are stupid enough you may sit longer until you spend your whole useless life dwelling at that wretched place. All in the vain hope of catching a glimpse of her Holiness.

    R: How long did you sit at the gate? may be you sat very long and didnt improve a bit on spirituality. may be you were a charcoal and will need some time to mature. I have become more devotional with bhakti, joy after constant association. i have sat for 1 or 2 hrs and even more hrs, some days and have benefitted a lot. And when my mind became more fit, i was given constant darshans. Its the old school style of making mind a bit pure and ready and then allow more grace to flow to devotee, else the devotee may waste the energy given thru impure means. Its pure Godly love you can feel thru your entire body. If your love is so strong, she immediately responds to it. she knows about it and loads us with further more love (grace or spiritual energy).

  69. S: Then there is her land buying business, she lets rich devotees buy up the land around the ashram, in the ashram’s name off course. So she has become the spider queen, lurking in the center of her web, feeding on her victims till they die and than she gets rid of their wretched ghosts.

    R: This is again incorrect. To ensure good spiritual seekers buy land near her house(ofcourse ones who are affordable types) so that her spiritual vibrations are being received by earnest ones and to avoid the land being used by non spiritual ones, she has advised so. also this acts as an investment for the devotee buying the land and its registered in devotees name and not in Amma's name. Also note, i have seen one or two cases of Amma giving room free of cost to devotees who are cant afford. Amma herself comes from a family which is wealthy enough to survive Amma and some of her devotees. she doesnt need devotees money for this.

    Moreover the ashram you meant is not ashram but a house belonging to her constructed in the land purchased by her father.

    S: Saradama is just a poor wretched, psychotic woman with a huge father complex, labelling sex as dirty and an obstacle to realization.

    R: So instead of wasting time in writing wrong things and passing wrong info, get some good attitude by going around Arunachala daily. You seem to be a drug addict to me and writing whatever comes to your mind. pl grow and my prayers to arunachala for your growth.

    Some may think i am being more personal towards sis here, but left with no other option. this is my nature and this is how i respond and nothing to do with me being a devotee of Amma. some other devotee might have handled this situation in a different and more decent way, but i handle things in this way. this is my way.

    Another thing, Amma generally says desire is the root of all evil, so she asks us to avoid any kind of desire for tasty food, sex, vehicles, clothes, power, money etc., I dont know why this topic is only about sex and not about her teachings on completely putting a fullstop to all kinds of desires by surrendering or self enquiry. may be since your minds are full of sex, you are unable to accept the teaching and give importanct to this one aspect of her teaching and less focus on her other aspects like complete avoidance of desires thru surrender and enquiry, karma yoga. Only by practise and control (not by supression or indulging in desire) can mind become more steady and fit for spiritual practise and enlightment. If any guru says otherwise, ask him if he hasnt done any practise in this or previous lives and the response will be "YES I HAVE PRACTISED in MANY LIVES" to reach this stage. Ignorance can be lost only thru practise and once lost, its complete identification with SELF and no body, no mind, YOU are the SELF. (I AM that I AM).


  70. Oh dear what a load of sanctimonious rubbish. If your Amma knew you were writing on this blog you would be in really big trouble. You are supposed to be giving her your singlepointed devotion every second of the day. The reason why you know so little despite your "long association" is because you have never given her a single penny and she has never let you close to her. Perhaps if you were a Dutch multi millionaire you would be more privy to the inner workings of her empire! You asked how long I sat by the Gate: I would never be so stupid to go and sit there myself - I know that the Guru is within. And about Saradamma's "land buying business," an enlightened being would never be concerned about building houses or who her next door neighbour is. Please also note: Amma herself refers to the compound and the land around it as "her ashram."

    Lastly if your precious Amma says desire is the root of all evil, perhaps you should ask her why she went to see Annamalai Swami for "special advice" in the 90s. Maybe you should ask some of the older Indian devotees about Saradamma's dark secret?!

  71. Chi ting master, what a pitiable state you are in. you dont have a good guru and unable to improve on spiritual path and hence assumed Guru within will do the needful. If you know Guru is within then why all this mastership on Chi ting? LoL :-)

    you already have a fixed opinion on Saradamma and hence whatever i say will be interpreted in different ways by you. No point in conveying the importance of a living guru and how amma's presence helps her devotees to you.


  72. Dear deluded Saradamma devotee:
    Unfortunately for you I actually know Saradamma. She has many desires - especially for tasty food, vehicles, clothes, power, money, and sex (?!) - which is easily seen by anyyone except of course her silly devotees (who apart from being blind and dumb are genetically related to sheep). Another thing I forgot to mention is that her devotees wrongly think that sadhana means imitating Amma in every way. Did you know she also has a predilection for telling “stories”? She is a notorious and blatant liar and I read exactly the same thing in your preposterous attempts to justify her obvious wrongdoings. Persist in your stupidity if you want, but for God's sake don’t bother others with it!