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 Blooming Stars

God-Men and God-Women

            In the context of devastating allegations against Mata Amitananandamayi Ashram in a book named Holy Hell - A Memoir of Faith, Devotion, and Pure Madness - by Gail Treadwell from Australia who served Amritanandamayi in the capacity of a very close personal attendant for 20 years, I take the opportunity to express some thoughts on God men and women. I read the book. I also watched an interview given to Kairali TV by Gail, who was known as Swamini Amritaprana, and before that Gayatri, in the ashram. It is reassuring to hear that the City Police Commissioner of the area stated that he would make an inquiry into the shocking allegations if Ms Treadwell made a complaint to the police even through an e-mail.

            This is as it should be in a democratic country where legitimate and responsible freedom of expression as well as guarantee of everyone’s reputation is protected. Meanwhile it is discreet and wise for all, including politicians and celebrities, not to take any side in public. Let the truth come out unimpeded by any bias. A rigorous and unbiased inquiry after a complaint is registered can throw the needed light on the veracity of allegations. The Catholic Church, the most powerful organization in the world, for instance, did not like civil and criminal inquiries by public authorities in cases of pedophilia perpetrated by a handful of wayward and criminal priests, but subjected it to these inquiries. No human or organization is above law if violation of human rights has taken place. Tredwell’s book and the interview generated a great deal of passion, interest, and curiosity. But at this stage no one knows the truth, for sure.

            I am interested in the topic as I am also a director of an ashram in India, and also as no person working for God and serving people should misuse trust, placed in them by public. I am also interested as a friend of mine visiting me from the United States wanted to visit a close personal attendant of Mata Amritananadamayi at the Ashram. I drove my friend to the ashram but did not have darsana (also darshan meaning vision of a very holy person with divine power) of Mata Amritanandamayi. This friend of a friend, who was a psychotherapist in St. Louis, USA, had contacted me in St. Louis to meet with her before she left St. Louis for India.

            The simple truth is: I do not believe any human being has any exclusive divine power that another human being does not have. It is our poverty of thinking, hence lack of insight and wisdom, added to a good dose of poor self-esteem and lack of purpose and direction in life that makes us believe in the tall claims of so-called God-men and God-women. We are sometimes like the poor children possessing precious stones think they are worthless stones, and do not care for them. We are all God-men and God-women. We all have our charisms (charism or charisma here means a divinely inspired power or gift) to help connect others with God. Some of us are aware of our unique charism or special openness to God that inspire others for altruism in the service of God. Thus service of God becomes service of humanity. Unfortunately, these special charisms in persons can be exploited by politicians and commercial interests.

            Years ago as a young man travelling India visiting various ashrams for ashram experience, I passed through Puttaparthi, but did not stop there to see Sri Sathya Sai Baba. I lived close to Rajnish’s (Osho’s) Ashram in Pune for about 9 years. I did not think of visiting his ashram. I was amused to find a chair that Osho sat in specially exhibited in a least expected place in Munich, Germany, that I was passing through during my itinerary. I must say, though, Osho was very intellectually challenging especially in our culture numbed by a heavy dose of hypocrisy. Pope John Paul II, Mata Amritanandamayi, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and Mother Theresa visited St. Louis, USA, at different times.

            I had some curiosity to see all of them. But the only person I took trouble in seeing was Mother Theresa. She had no claim to any special power. She was a humble human being serving God through her full dedication to destitutes wherever they were. Unfortunately humanity in spiritual evolutionary consciousness got stuck in venerating and worshipping saints and holy persons. They are mere human beings. They can serve as good models if they are genuine and humble. We need to recognize God’s face in ourselves and others and connect directly with God, letting go of all human mediation. That is the only and sure hope for humanity to arrive at its destiny which is human and divine at the same time.


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