Friday, October 25, 2013

Gandhi Used His Position To Sexually Exploit Young Women. The Way WE React To This Matters Even Today


Pretty shocking, my dear friends. 
But we have to read this article

It is a fact. Gandhi had young women in his ashram, some of them still teenagers, one of them his own grand-niece [Manu Gandhi], sleep naked with him in his bed at night. This was an aspect of Gandhi that I had not read about before, and it surprised me at first. I was researching for my book ‘Sex and Power’ which looks at the history of sex and sexuality in India, and it was important for me to investigate this further.
My initial tendency was to regard this as “gossip,” but then some of the biographies confirmed it as fact, but also hurriedly dismissed it as something that we all apparently should accept as the eccentricities of “great” men! That’s not a logical argument for me and so I began to dig into archives for more information till a complete picture emerged. And that picture upset me. I saw Gandhi as a classic example of a sexual predator – a man who uses his position of power to manipulate and sexually exploit the people he directly controls.
Most angering for me was reading about the psychological and emotional trauma of the girls and women who he used for his “experiments,” which is what he called these incidents. The word‘psychotic’ repeatedly came up in various documents with regards to these women’s mental state. The women, most of who were in their late teens or early twenties [not surprisingly, given he could have ‘experimented’ with the older women or even his own wife!] were repeatedly described as depressed and weeping, and seemed to be completely in his control. Besides this, some of the archival references lead me to believe that Gandhi may well have been practicing the traditional, historic form of Indian celibacy which hinges on one thing only – and that is control of ejaculation. Everything else is permitted.
What I could not understand is why school texts and biographies have selectively edited out this information because it was a big and explosive aspect of the inner dynamics of the Gandhi ashram and its inmates for the last 10 years of Gandhi’s life. It eventually led to the partial break-up of his inner-core circle.
But Gandhi is long dead. So why should the naked girls in Gandhi’s bed matter today?
Well, because the issue goes way beyond Gandhi. What really matters now, and it matters deeply, is how we respond to what Gandhi did!
Today we like to believe that we are far more progressive in terms of recognizing and condemning the abuse of power by men for sexual exploitation and abuse. And yet, I repeatedly find every time I bring this up [for eg. in this article Gandhi to Asharam: Who Empowers the Sex-Crimes of Gurus?] most people’s responses are defensive and regressive!
But this is what surprised me most! Compared to our reactions and responses today, the people in Gandhi’s time seemed to be far more progressive! They not only recognized that he was abusing his position and power in a way that was unethical and depraved, but they outright condemned it, confronted it, and eventually forced him to stop!
On 16th March, 1947, Nirmal Kumar Bose, one of Gandhi’s closest associates wrote a letter toKishorlal G. Mashruwala, another of Gandhi’s close colleagues, saying, “When I first learnt about Gandhi’s experiment in which a girl took off her clothes and lay under the same cover with him and he tried to find out if any sexual feeling was evoked in him or his companion, I felt genuinely surprised. Personally, I would not tempt myself like that and more than that, my respect for [women] would prevent me from treating her as an instrument in my experiment…”
N.K. Bose’s letter was only one of the many exchanges among Gandhi’s closest associates and friends in the first half of 1947, about this practice of his that angered and upset many. These included prominent leaders of India’s freedom movement such as Vallabhai PatelJ. B. Kriplani andVinobha Bhave. Many of them confronted Gandhi directly, and others stopped associating with him.
This 1947 storm in the Gandhi camp was set off by R. P. Parasuram, a young man from Kerala who for two years had served as Gandhi’s personal secretary and typist and watched his personal affairs from close by. Like many students in India at that time, Parasuram too had idolized Gandhi and after his studies, had travelled to Gandhi’s ashram to live and work with him, and help with India’s freedom movement.
But two years after working with Gandhi, Parasuram quit the ashram and his job. Before he left he wrote a 16-pg long letter explaining his distress at what he had witnessed in Gandhi’s behaviour with girls and women in the ashram – which included other things besides his ‘experiments’ in bed. He said that as much as he had worshipped Gandhi, his conscience did not allow him to stay silent any longer. And that in order for him to continue, Gandhi had to concede to 5 of his demands [all of which dealt with Gandhi’s physical interactions with girls at the ashram] which he listed in the letter. [See the letter below.]
On 2 January 1947 Gandhi responded to Parasuram’s letter with, “I cannot concede your demands…Since such is my opinion and there is a conflict of ideals…you are at liberty to leave me today.”
Parasuram did leave as did some of Gandhi’s other close associates. But others, especially those who were in more senior positions as friends and associates, continued their pressure on Gandhi to stop.
One of the things that were a big issue was Gandhi’s hypocrisy and manipulation, to what seemed to many to serve his own ends. Gandhi had made an unwritten rule of celibacy for all the inhabitants of his ashram. Oddly, he would even make married couples take this vow because he believed this was central to his philosophy of non-violence. Sexual stimulation of any sort, he preached, evoked violence in one’s thoughts and behaviour. He would tell them that even touching each other was unacceptable. He made the life of one of his own son’s whose wife got pregnant, absolutely hell, angry that they had had sex when he had forbidden them to! Yet he was free to do as he pleased! He was so confident that he wouldn’t be challenged!
Swami Anand and Kedarnath in a question and answer grilling from 15-16 March 1947 shot off questions like “Why did you not take your coworkers into confidence and carry them with you [into] this novel practice?” and “Why do we find so much disquiet and unhappiness around you? Why are your companions emotionally unhinged?”
The Congress President J. B. Kriplani told him that he was simply, “exploiting human beings as means rather than as ends in themselves.”
N.K. Bose suggested this course of action for Gandhi: “… he should not allow Manu [Gandhi’s great-niece] to sleep in the same bed with him until he had tried enough to educate the public into his new way of thinking, or the public had got all the fact about him and clearly expressed its disapproval. Then he [can go]…back to his practice with the full brunt of his suffering for the opinion which he held right.”
Vallabhai Patel told Gandhi off to his face. He said what he was doing was adharma (immoral). In a classic, egotistical way Gandhi retorted to Patel by telling Balkrishna Bhave “for me Manu sleeping with me is a matter of dharma (moral duty).”
But under this onslaught Gandhi eventually conceded defeat, even if not willingly. He said he felt like a “broken reed.” His ego and narcissism had been broken by people around him who fortunately understood and did better than we do today!
This is the question that I’d like to ask everyone reading this. Why is it that hard to say, yes Gandhi, the hero of India’s freedom movement had also used his power and position to sexually exploit/abuse girls and women who came under the mantle of his leadership?
Below is an extract from R. P. Parasuram’s 16-page letter to Gandhi just before he quit. He called it his letter of “indictment.”
go to link above and find letter in full article

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Maciel Honored by Pope JP II with Church Appointments

An Australian blog,,  just pulled together the list of Fr. Maciel's Church Honors and it is amazing and also distressing, shocking:

I'm inclined to wonder ...about this 'saintly' man! (Main Forum)

by desi @, Australia, Wednesday, October 16, 2013, 17:58 (21 hours, 16 minutes ago) @ TonySee
... what they're telling their members about their glorious leader and his 'authentic manhood'?
History with Vatican
Called to accompany Pope John Paul II on his visits to Mexico in 1979, 1990, and 1993, Maciel was also 
  • appointed by the Pope to the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Formation of Priests in Circumstances of the Present Day (1990). 
  • He was a member of the Interdicasterial Commission for a Just Distribution of Clergy (1991), 
  • the IV General Conference of Latin American Bishops (CELAM) (1992), the  
  • Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Consecrated Life and Its Role in the Church and in the World (1994), the  
  • Synod of Bishops' Special Assembly for America (1997) and (since 1994) a permanent consultant to the Congregation for the Clergy
  • The golden anniversary of his priestly ordination was celebrated on 26 November 1994, with 57 Legionary priests ordained on the anniversary's eve. 
  • Maciel served as Chancellor of the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, which is based in Rome.  
  • Maciel collaborated extensively with the pope, either in person or through members of his organization, the Legion of Christ. 
  • Pope John Paul II admired Maciel for strictly adhering to the magisterium and the vocations to the Legion of Christ. 
  •  He received many donations from Mexico's richest.[25] Maciel and the Legion gave the Vatican money, and some claim[who?] that for years, this kept the Church from acting over allegations of sex abuse by Maciel

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fr. Maciel, the Guru that was -and still is to some

Picked up on this old article from Dialogue Ireland which describes the Guru in the yoga tradition. Some striking resemblances can be found:

1] the disciple is deeply bound to the Guru
2] the Guru is a god like figure
3] the Guru can do no harm [even if he does?]

Guru and God

by dialogueireland
By Johannes Aagaard
It is impossible to translate the word "guru". It corresponds to neither "priest", nor teacher", nor similar expressions. We must for this reason refrain from translating it, and instead interpret it, so that its meaning becomes clear. In what follows we take our starting point from the sense the word has in the movement called "Yoga Trust" - i.e. Swami Narayanananda's movement at Gylling, (in Jutland, Denmark). It would be equally valid to have used evidence from other guru-movements. On the whole their understanding of "guru" is the same, in that they regard their own leader as the real guru, while the other "gurus" are false and deceitful "pseudo-gurus".
Swami Narayanananda, the leader of Yoga Trust, the so-called Gylling-Guru, has written twelve full-length books as well as a number of shorter works. He has also organised a number of darshans or satsanghs, at which he has guided his disciples by means of conversation. (1)
This is the vow which all the monks and nuns at Gylling have to take: "I will observe life-long celibacy (Brahmacharya) and lead a pure and simple life. I will remain ever faithful unto God and Guru and try to spread his Message unto the whole world". (Oath of Sannyasa).
"God and Guru" describes the content of their faith, but what is the mutual relationship between God and Guru? Here there is no doubt. Among six points published by Swami Narayanananda on 16th March 1972 we read as follows:
1. There is only One God and That is the Ultimate Truth.
2. God, Guru, and the Ultimate Truth are one and the same.
This "dictum" (the guru's own word) must be recalled every morning on waking, and every evening on going to bed.
God and the guru and the ultimate truth are one and the same reality. There is no difference, no distinction. They are one.
At the Sannyasi-ordination in 1965 relationship to the guru was formulated in the words of the following vow:
"I dedicate my life to God, the Guru and his Message.
I will remain ever faithful to God and Guru.
I shall keep celibacy (Brahmacharya) all my life and continue my Sadhana (discipleship)".
But the disciples' understanding of "God and guru" is only one side of the question: how has the master himself under-stood this relationship? This is clear from his books and other writings. He takes up the subject first in "the Primal Power in Man or The Kundalini Shakti" from 1950 (this extract is from the 1960 edition, p. 116):"A Guru is a perfect man. One who is a master of his mind and the senses: and one who has realised the Truth or attained Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Such persons always live in God".
In 1951 he described the significance of the guru thus: The place of the Guru is a very exalted one. Everyone cannot become a Guru. A real Guru is considered to be Brahma (the Creator), Vishnu (the Sustainer), and Maheswara (the Destroyer). (2) A real Guru is one who has realised God: become God. Hence there is no difference between the grace of God and the grace of the Guru". (3)
The same year he wrote in "the Ideal Life and Moksha" that the guru is "mediator between God and the aspirant". As such, the guru is necessary for nearly everyone. Only "some great souls, who are born perfect..." can do without the guru's help. For all others, the guru is responsible for mental and spiritual growth. The guru chooses which Ishta Devata the disciple must concentrate on (the chosen deity), and the guru provides the mantra which is the subject of the disciple's meditation. For this reason the disciple is to regard the guru as "the very embodiment of God". (4)
Worship of Ishta Devata is performed according to a ritual called Upachara. This often consists of 16 stages, and there are different forms of upachara in the different guru-schools, though basically they are the same. (5)
The guru's perfection, then, is a result of his being God. "When he uses the word "I" he always means Athman or Brahman". (6)
But this statement does not only apply to the guru: becoming God is a possibility open to all people. Anyone can end up by answering the question "Who am I" with the words "I am Brahma and his Shakti, Vishnu and his Shakti, Shiva and his Shakti". "I am the God of gods, the Lord of lords, the Light of lights, the Power of powers, and the Life of lives. I am that Sat-Chit-Ananda Brahman, the One without a second." (7)
For this reason the guru binds his disciples to himself totally. He becomes their world. He is their father and their mother. At the initiation ceremony he gives his disciples a new body 8), and therefore the initiation is a new birth, at which the guru is both parents. The guru "takes care of the Latter (disciple) like a father and the same time he loves the disciple like a mother "also". (9)
Relationship to the guru, then, involves absolute obedience. When he has chosen himself a guru, the disciple must have "infinite and implicit faith in him and his power and wisdom and carry out his instructions to letter." (10)
The disciple must treat the guru as God. The guru's word must be law for him. His command must be obeyed "even at the risk of life. He must never say no to him even if he asks him (the disciple) to jump from a housetop." (11)
Everything must be sacrificed to the guru - mind, body, values, everything. Nothing may be kept secret, for the guru is "the very Athman of the disciple", in the same way as God and guru "are the same". (12)
Doubt is a deadly sin. This statement comes again and again in Narayanananda's books: "It is better to have a bullet through the heart than to allow doubt to arise in the mind", and by doubt he means doubt in the guru.
The disciple can pray to the guru to rid him of all his sins (13), for the guru "must take upon himself the sins of the disciple" (14). The guru can do this, if he is "a man of Enlightenment". Thus he can "wash away these sins by his supernatural powers". But if he is not a genuine guru, then his disciple's sins will cause him to sink, and to suffer from incurable diseases. (15)
But a genuine guru is without sin. "One can never do any sinful acts after attaining Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Whatever such a man does is for the benefit of others (16). Indeed the guru is even "master" of "decay and death" (17) - all the while he - like God - is "omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent" (18).
There are no limits to this power: in his mind he can see everything in the past, the present, and the future. Everything is revealed to him, and he does not need to seek knowledge as other men do. Experience has shown Narayanananda, however, that "even the true Gurus sometimes suffer physically when initiating disciples because of the sins of the latter", but even if they suffer because of this they can "destroy the sins of their disciples". (19)
Anyone who regards his guru as "a mere mortal" can never make spiritual progress, for he lacks faith in the guru's words. (20)
The guru is then perfect, divine, in fact God himself. But the picture is not without itscontradictions. How can such a sinless divine character pray in this way: "Lead me, 0 Lord, in Thy righteousness, Make Thy way straight for me. Cleanse Thou my heart from all hidden faults and frailties. Keep Thy servant away from presumptuous sins. Remove from my mind all delusions, doubts, and ignorance and let them not have sway over me any more. Lord! Wash out iniquity from me and cleanse. me in and out". (21)
This is the "ideological" understanding of the guru. But how is relationships to the guru worked out in practice? By making use of techniques which have all the appearance of possession! The disciple consciously seeks to let the guru possess his mind, for in this way it is presumed that God himself takes over the mind.
This happens especially through the meditation which Swami Narayanananda has developed, and which he describes in this way: "Worship the Guru (Spiritual Teacher) in the Sahasrara (Crown of Head). Imagine that the Guru is sitting on a thousand-petalled Lotus with a radiant face and body, and blessing you. Worship the Guru mentally with flowers, garlands, sandal-paste, etc." (22)
Then merge the form of the Guru in the form of Ishta Devata in the heart (Ishta Devata is the deity one is most attached to) ... Then worship the Mother Kundalini Shakti in the Muladhara Chakra (the lowest central point between the sexual organs and the anus) mentally. After worshipping Her, wake up the Mother Shakti with the words: Wake up Mother!" And reach the Goal this very moment .." (23)
The Guru has taken over the position normally held by Shiva in the tantric form of meditation, that is at the highest point in Sahasrara. The Mother-deity, who must be awakened and lifted up to Sahasrara, is thus united with the guru!
This same idea is repeated - in a little more detail - in "The Secrets of Mind Control" (24). Here it is stated clearly: "One should then merge the Guru-form in the form of the Ishta-Devata thinking all the time that the Guru has become one with the Ishta-Devata and begin worshipping Him mentally with flowers, garlands, sandal-paste etc. One should pray to him sincerely to remove all one's past sins, to save one from all harm, pit-falls, and dangers, to lead one on the right path and to grant peace and strength of mind, character, wisdom, and Enlightenment".
The guru is thus God and saviour. No guruno salvation. This exclusiveness is quite clear. If the gurus are apparently extremely tolerant towards other religions and can contain them all, the reason is simple - there is no salvation in any of them. Ordinary human beings cannot be saved without a guru, no matter what their religious affiliation may be. On the other hand it is emphasised often that true gurus are few, so that salvation is in practice confined to very few people.
1. His works - consisting of both written and oral material - are in the archives of the Institute for the Theology of Mission and Ecumenical Theology in Ã…rhus, Denmark, and are at present undergoing analysis and interpretation.
2. Maheshwara is another name for Shiva.
3. "Revelation" 1951, 1968 edition p. 15f. The same statement is found in "A Practical Guide to Samadhi" 1957, 1966 ed. pp 86 and 205.
4. "The Ideal Life and Moksha (Freedom)" 1951, 1965 edn. pp. 105 ff., also p. 107. See also "The Secrets of Mind-Control 1954, 1959 edn. p. 99: Only a man of God-realisation, i.e. one who has attained Samadhi, can know what the Ishta-Mantra of a disciple should be and it is only he who can give him initiation. The same book points out (p.160) that for this reason one must not choose one's guru lightly, and one must not change either mantra or Ishta Devata. "Stick to one Guru, one Mantra, and one Ishta Devata" (p. 205)
5. "The Ideal Life and Moksha" 1965, p. 111. Transcendental Meditation's ordination ritual is a form of Upachara.
6. "The Secrets of Mind-Control" 1954, 1959 edn p. 239.
7. "The Ideal Life and Moksha" 1965 p.153f.
8. "A practical Guide to Samadhi" 1957, 1966 edn. p. 92.
9. "Revelation" 1951, 1968 edn. P. 193.
10. "The Secrets of Mind Control" 1954, 1959 edn. p. 205
11. "A practical Guide to Samadhi" 1957, 1966 edn. p.95.
12. Ibid. p.95f.
13. "The Secrets of Mind-Control" 1954, 1959 edn. p. 83
14. Ibid. p. 211. See also "A Practical Guide to Samadhi" 1957. 1966 edn. p. 92f. and "The Ideal Life of (sic ADB) Moksha" 1951, 1965 edn. p.109.
15. Ibid. p. 211.
16. Ibid. p. 240.
17. "A practical Guide to Samadhi" 1957, 1966 edn. p. 149 Here is to be found the most comprehensive account of "Guru and his necessity".
18. "A practical Guide to Samadhi" 1957, 1966 edn. p. 149.
19. Ibid. p. 93.
20. Ibid. p. 205f.
21. "Revelation" 1951, 1968 edn p. 237f. The prayer comes from a kind of diary written 16th August 1944.
22. It is this worship which in Transcendental Meditation is given to Guru Dev at the initiation ceremony.
23. "The primal power" 1950, 1960 edn p. 132.
24. 1954, 1959 edn. p. 82f.
dialogueireland | July 7, 1977 at 6:39 pm | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: