Interview with Swamini Atmaprana

Swamini Atmaprana

Swamini Atmaprana

The article below is taken from an interview given by Swamini Atmaprana, one of Mata Amritanandamyi Devi’s earliest disciples, to the Mangalam Daily, published on Feb 26, 2014.

Gayathri mentioned in her book “Holy Hell” that Dr. Leela (Swamini Atmaprana’s original name before she was ordained as a nun) had left the Ashram just as she had, as they were fed up with the Ashram. Speaking against these allegations, Swamini Atmaprana yesterday responded to the Mangalam newspaper that she felt compelled to speak out about the falsehoods Gail concocted in her book. She said that all of the allegations are incorrect, and she continues her life as a disciple of her Guru. For the last 10 years Atmaprana has been residing at the Harippad Ashram close to Amritapuri and has been engaged in the translation of the books of Mata Amritanandamayi Devi to English. Health issues have prevented her from travelling to Amritapuri recently and her travel is limited to attending the main events there.

Dr. Leela lived alongside Gail in the Ashram for 14 years. “Gail came across as very power hungry and constantly acted out of her hatred and jealousy”, Atmaprana said. She said she views the falsehoods written by Gail in her book with pity.

“Despite her Guru’s repeated warnings, Gail continued her wrongdoings, and Amma herself on occasions asked Gail to leave Amma’s room. That happened as a result of Gayathri’s megalomaniac actions”, she said.

Swamini Atmaprana practised medicine in Calicut and Kottayam Medical Colleges before arriving at Amma’s Ashram in 1985 from Sri Ramakrishna Math. Swamini Atmaprana was the first resident doctor to join the Ashram and was initially responsible for the medical care of Ashram residents. She served as the head of Thrissur Ashram in Kerala for three years. “In the book Gail mentioned that the Dutch lady Lakshmi had left the Ashram, but Lakshmi still resides at Amritapuri. Lakshmi herself has come forward to dispel the falsehood, and has revealed her experiences of physical torture from Gail in an email to Gail which was posted online”, Atmaprana said.

Atmaprana said she recollects an incident at the Harippad ashram when Gail visited there several years ago. Gail was unwilling to exit the car after she noticed there was no one waiting outside the door to open it for her. She was angry and decided to return to Amritapuri, but eventually came out of the car after everyone apologised.