Below is a letter received from Mr.Anil Kumar, the manager of one of India’s largest and most acclaimed Non Governmental Organisations. Though the letter was written intended for an Indan audience, (with references to people who are currently in news in the country), the content of the letter resonates with people all over the world. Personal details of author are kept private on request.
‘People only throw stones at those trees fully laden with fruits’ – says Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, affectionately known the world over as ‘Amma’. Her life is a testimonial to this very adage.
For anyone who has visited Amma’s Ashram or has participated in any of her public events in India or abroad, it is a known fact that the Ashram is like an open book and that Amma, for the last 40 years, has spent most of her days and nights with the public wiping their tears.
Amma’s institutions, which have grown out of the hard work and sacrifice of a group of committed and selfless volunteers, can in no way be compared to the charitable organisations set up by the Government, where end user benefits form only a fraction of funds collected from the common man by levying exorbitant taxes.
It is a well known fact that, accurate records of the monetary support given to the ashram by devotees of their own accord, inspired by Amma’s hard work and tireless efforts and expenditures incurred for service activities carried out under Her guidance, are periodically been submitted not only to the Government of India but to the Governments of other countries where centers of Math functions, as per their laws. Amma’s institutions, which have grown out of the hard work and sacrifice of a group of committed and selfless volunteers, can in no way be compared to the charitable organisations set up by the Government, where end user benefits form only a fraction of funds collected from the common man by levying exorbitant taxes.
Amma knows very well that the majority of the people who come to Her seeking solace are not spiritual aspirants and that they comprise people in need of relief from problems, or monetary support or people with depression and even mentally challenged. In spite of knowing this, Amma enfolds them into Her embrace out of Her infinite compassion and accommodates those who seeks shelter in the ashram. Gail, who came to be known as ‘Gayatri’, was one such western lady, who came to the ashram absolutely penniless seeking shelter. Gail was accommodated by Amma, in her own home, and she received unreserved love and affection from one and all with the hope that it will cure her depression and heal the scars of psychic wounds from a troubled childhood and adolescence. She was even accorded Sannyasa as a part of this holistic treatment. But instead of trying to cultivate the values of a renunciate, she basked in the attention that she received as a result of the ochre robes, lived like a queen with an entourage, at the expense of the ashram. Her book, “Holy Hell’, which was formulated over 14 years after she left ashram with the help of a ‘friend’, is nothing more than a by-product of her suppressed lust which was channelled into anger and vengeance—(as can be seen in the case of the character Shoorpanakha in the “Ramayana”).
Gail, who travelled in business class to many countries on Amma’s world tours, including her own motherland, always had every opportunity to relate her alleged experiences of being abused (if any such incident ever occurred), to bring the culprits in front of the law with evidence. Even after she decided to abandon Sannyasa, she could have easily collected all the necessary evidence of the so-called unlawful activities that she claims the ashram has been carrying out and bring it to the eyes of the law. Is it not as clear as daylight why she avoided filing a case seeking huge sums as compensation for the alleged abuse against her from an international organization like the ashram?
All these incidents were thoroughly investigated by the Police and the Math had come out clean in every single one of them.
Rather than respond to certain people who act as puppets in the hands of certain vested interests, and their baseless allegations, thus wasting her precious time on lengthy legal proceedings, we can easily see why Amma prefers to utilize that time too to console and provide solace to thousands of people. Those people with the clear intention to defame Amma never miss any opportunity to repeatedly cite incidents, that occurred over a span of 40 years from Subhagan to Satnam Singh, but do not dare to file a case nor demand a repeat enquiry. All these incidents were thoroughly investigated by the Police and the Math had come out clean in every single one of them.
For those who are attempting to defame and belittle Amma just as they did Kanchi Peetaadhipathi, by imprisoning him on the basis of allegation which later proved to be baseless, they are just building castles in the air and are living in a fool’s paradise.
It is now important and imperative that the government take a firm stand and not turn a blind eye to the media outlets who are trying in a co-ordinated manner to instigate communal unrest in our peaceful society. Devoid of any means of evidence with which they can tarnish Amma’s image, they are continually spreading negative propaganda against a woman who, from a Dalit background, rose to the ranks of a spiritual leader respected by leaders all over the world. It is very evident that the undue publicity that the media is giving to this book, raises a pointing finger at the chastity of hundreds of students and families staying in the ashram and ashram hostels, which is denigrating and absolutely against media ethics. On one side, when resolutions can be passed in the assembly for acquitting a person who is branded by the court as a terrorist and has several terror charges against him, is given special medical care, on the other side neither the media nor the Government has anything to comment on another person who has been imprisoned without a trial and suffering for years, who is denied a fair hearing or proper medical treatment. Is it just because she is a woman sanyasini? For those who are attempting to defame and belittle Amma just as they did Kanchi Peetaadhipathi, by imprisoning him on the basis of allegation which later proved to be baseless, they are just building castles in the air and are living in a fool’s paradise.
In these days, when the propaganda of lies, false allegations and live interviews and panel discussions to support them form part of business tactics and means to raise ad revenue, those who are deprived of justice are left with no other option than to boycott such propagandist media completely.