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Gurus Hamper India's Chance to Excel
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 28, 2013 12:07AM

This essay was written concerning another guru. But the authors conclusions can be extrapolated to ISHA Foundation and Jaggi as well.

[barrypittard.wordpress.com]

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Indian Gurus Stifle India’s Chance To Excel

Posted by Barry Pittard on October 1, 2007

"Intense and blind faith in gurus, such as one finds endemic in India, shames a great many of her otherwise educated individuals, including scientists. It jeopardizes her opportunities to gain unstinting international respect.

Guru Worship

"Still flinging themselves passionately at the feet of gurus, and worshipping them as God incarnate, they ignore the gurus’ absurd pronouncements on matters scientific.

"This would matter badly enough if the gurus were small local gods and demigods, because no communities should need to suffer from such gross ignorance and superstition, which always tend to spread, anyway. However there are many gurus in India who have vast followings and they are extremely powerful and influential.

"They also attract many young, impressionable people from many countries.

"Because I lived lengthily in India, living with some wonderful Indian families, and worked beside Indians from a wide array of backgrounds and religious and non-religious affiliations, I was able to gain a sense of how deeply ashamed many thoughtful and sensible Indian people are of these gurus and the harm that they do.

"Some Indian Gurus Attract Millions of Followers

"Sai Baba, to take one of a number of instances, is worshipped as God incarnate by millions, and his devotees have numbered a series of prime ministers, presidents, as well as countless other power brokers in the highest echelons, often irrespective of party affiliation.

Guru Worship Poses Grave Harm to India’s International Reputation

"These mental gymnastics that allow so many educated Indians to listen to the utterest balderdash from gurus like Sai Baba, will increasingly shame India before the world as she vies for superpower status, and as the international spotlight falls increasingly on her. She may not be stage-struck, but she is, all-too-often guru struck. If she were to manage to secure genuine moral highground, enough countries might feel greater pleasure doing business with her, in preference to China, with her continued and huge-scale human rights abuses.

"(Not that India does not have to address many very serious human rights abuses). But how can she, when she is in such a parlous mess in so many areas?

Another India, Another Time

"One of the greatest privileges I ever had was, in my years spent in India, meeting a number of wonderful individuals who not only faced with dignity, integrity and courage the evils of British imperialism but also the oppressions meeted out during Mrs Indira Gandhi’s 21-month 1975-1977 Emergency.

"Some Judges I met had made the grand refusal to see good laws perverted, and made great sacrifices, including jail, to show their non-cooperation. They reminded me of Sir Thomas More the Lord Chancellor of Tudor times who stood up to his monarch, Henry VIII, one of the most absolute of history’s rulers, and was prepared to be tortured and to die for doing so.

"Those I met who were in the Indian army were of an era when there was a great pride taken by the Indian people in their armed forces and whose behaviour was in such marked to distinction to her perpetually cruel and hated police forces.

"Perhaps only younger and more questioning generations of Indians will be able to make the difference, and that can only be when gerontocratic ruling hands are prized from their deadly grip at the merciful time of death of these incredibly corrupt individuals (most of them men!).

(Corboy: Ammachi is a rare example of a woman in this role)

Below, which I excerpt from an article by Robert Priddy – Global Warming and Prophecies - is but one example of the crass scientific ignorance I refer to:

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"Sai Baba has evidently picked up some stray thoughts from visitors and his educated servitors about the ozone layer and CO2 pollution and has mentioned the problem in a few sentences.

"We see that Sai Baba was unaware that CFC gases were the primary cause of ozone depletion, for he believes that tree-planting (afforestation) could correct ozone depletion. He is ignorant of the science and obviously confuses ozone depletion with CO2 increase.

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Re: Isha Foundation, Sadhguru
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 07, 2014 11:22PM

5

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Re: Isha Foundation, Sadhguru
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 26, 2017 10:30AM

My Life at Isha Yoga Center

[priyankawriting.com]

There is a discussion forum on Guruphiliac where Jaggi and Isha Yoga are discussed.

That forum runs to 300 pages.

[www.tapatalk.com]

Quote

31 Mar 2013, 02:15 #2969
Isha in trouble.local tamil weekly(junior vikadan) has reported that isha applied for approval for its buildings in velliangri foot hill but authorities have refused to give as it is located in protected forest area so isha has stopped all construction activities.some local people have filed case against isha in madras high court .court has issued notice to isha foundation and government of tamil nadu in this regard.it is a great surprise to isha meditators how sadhguru carried out such a mammoth construction without prior government permission.
Reply
ketkid11
Posts 9
rookie
01 Apr 2013, 22:32 #2970
Wow, that's some news. Interesting. I just heard from a friend who visited the ashram a month back about the enormous amount of construction happening there.
But money has huge powers. With money, anything can change. Maybe all of this will be solved once Isha foundation gives money to the TN govt.

Here are the last three pages - they go up to 2015.

[www.tapatalk.com]

[www.tapatalk.com]

[www.tapatalk.com]

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Giving Money 2 Sadhguru Supports Filthy Indian Politics
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 19, 2017 05:40AM

Meet the Tribal Woman in Coimbatore Who Is Standing Up to Isha Foundation

With friends in powerful places, the Jaggi Vasudev-led Isha Foundation has been able to get away with allegations of land grab and illegal construction.

Quote

A frail woman stood up on the dais. Muthamma, an Irula tribal from Coimbatore district, is less than 50 years old, but the hard labour she has been doing since her childhood has etched deep lines on her face. When she spoke, her voice, her demeanour and every inch of her slight body reflected nothing by the strength of her will and her indomnitable spirit.

Muthamma was being felicitated by the 15th Conference of the Tamil Nadu All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA), held in Dharmapuri on September 24. She was being honoured for the struggle she had waged for the last several years. She told the delegates the story of that struggle, the happy ending of which is still a distant dream.

Muthamma lived with her husband in the forested and hilly tribal areas surrounding Coimbatore. About 20 years ago, she and her husband started working for a yoga ashram in the area as a daily labourer. Subsequently, she had three children – two sons, now 24 and 19 years old, and a daughter who is 20. They have also been working in the ashram since their childhood and continue to do so today, as does her husband. Muthamma says that those that get work sporadically earn between Rs 250 and Rs 300 daily, while those doing regular work earn about Rs 130-150 a day. Muthamma herself stopped working at the ashram when she joined one of 18 self-help groups (SHGs) set up by a local NGO about ten years ago. She remembers that when she left, she was earning Rs 15 a day.

As a member of the SHG, she along with her partners would go into the forests to collect medicinal and edible herbs and fruits like amla, shikakai, vadamanga (small mangoes used in pickle) and also different kinds of grass used to feed animals, thatch roofs and for medicine-production. The SHG collapsed after a few years when its members were told that they would have to ask for tenders to have access to the forest produce and this was beyond their means.

During this period, the ashram started fencing off the area and blocked their path into the forest. They went to the ashram authorities and begged them to leave a three-foot gap in the fence, but their request was curtly turned down, Muthamma said. As a result, they had to take a much longer route into the forest. This route continued to be used after the collapse of the SHGs, but even this came to an end when the authorities started preventing them from doing this ‘illegal’ work. The ashram stepped in and started using Muthamma and others like her to accompany its members into the forest to share their inherited knowledge of medicinal plants. Once this knowledge was transferred, they were abandoned and, since they were ‘illegal trespassers, it was the ashram members, armed with the traditional tribal knowledge that they had accessed in an underhand way, who were given access to the forest and its bounty.

Muthamma then had to resort to daily work on land and orchards in the area. She had a vague memory that during the Bhoodan movement, a big landlord of the area, Muthuswamy Gownder, had donated 44 acres of his land to 13 tribal families who worked for him. They had received ‘pattas’ for this land in 1988 but had never actually been given physical possession. Muthamma’s husband’s grandfather was one of the 13 to receive the patta. Illiteracy and grinding poverty not only prevented the tribals from physically taking possession of the land, it even erased the knowledge of having been given these pattas. The pieces of frayed paper in their possession became feeble reminders of old promises that had failed to translate into tangible realities.

In 2012, a fellow tribal took her to attend the Tamil Nadu State Conference of the Adivasi Rights Organisation in Tiruvanamalai. For Muthamma, the conference was a new and stirring experience. The slogans that were shouted enthusiastically and the stories of struggles that were shared made her feel that perhaps the frayed pieces of paper could be of some use. She asked a sympathetic delegate to write a letter to the presidium in her name in which she mentioned some of her problems and asked for help. The presidium members, in turn, introduced her to AIDWA members in Coimbatore and the district unit of the CPI(M).

Then started her struggle for the land that rightfully belonged to about 200 tribal families like her own. This struggle, however, exacted a heavy toll. Muthamma’s husband and children were still working for the ashram that was claiming this land as its own, that had already taken over hundreds of acres of land in the area. Fear of losing their jobs and fear of a very powerful enemy made them throw her out of her own home. She was forced to take shelter with the headman of her tribe and his family.

Along with the nearly 200 tribal families, Muthamma and their newly-found allies put in an RTI application and gained copies of the documents connected with the 44 acres of land. They then approached the district administration to allot the land to them for house sites, which they needed desperately.

Earlier this year, Muthamma along with other tribals and activists of AIDWA, Dalit organisations, CPI(M) and also environmentalists, staged a protest on the 44 acres of land. They carried flags of different colours in their hands and planted them on the land in a symbolic assertion of their rights. Meanwhile, the ashram administration had also started fencing this plot of land. The district administration then put a board in front of the land proclaiming that it was government land and that trespassers should keep away. The ashram in turn went to court and obtained a stay which prevents anyone from occupying the land.

The tribals are not alone in the struggle against the activities of the ashram. The Vellingiri Hill Tribal Protection Society filed a PIL in the Madras high court in March against the unauthorised structures that have been constructed on the wetlands at Ikkarai Poluvampatti by the ashram.

But the ashram has powerful friends. It is owned by the Isha Foundation headed by Jaggi Vasudev, who is now as much in the news as any of his fellow celebrity ‘holy men’. Just a few days before the March PIL was filed, the prime minister himself unveiled a 112-foot-high bust of the ‘Adi Yogi’ Shiva at the ashram – despite being requested by environmental activists not to be present at an occasion when a new violation of building norms was added to a long list of earlier violations. These include a violation of norms governing man-animal conflict areas. The Isha Foundation has been accused in an application pending before the southern bench of the National Green Tribunal of having disturbed the elephant corridor in the area. This has not only affected the elephants but has threatened the lives and property of poor villagers whose villages are now used as pathways by the elephants. The foundation has also received notices in the past from the administration about various structures that it has built without requisite permissions.

retired judge of the high court D. Hariparanthaman added his voice to that of the activists

[thewire.in]

and wrote an open letter to the prime minister requesting him to refrain from attending the programme. He said, “In spite of the Tamil Nadu government’s own submission that there were illegal constructions, not a single building was demolished by the concerned authorities till this date. There are four writ petitions pending in the high court and it’s sad that the cases could not move an inch forward even after three years of their filing. The visit of the prime minister will send a wrong signal and award legitimacy to these illegally constructed buildings. Hence we request [him] not to visit Isha Foundation…the construction of huge illegal buildings will affect the flora and fauna of that area and also pollute the Noyyal river. The pollution of this river will have a cascading effect in the entire western region of Tamil Nadu”. But nothing deterred the prime minister from visiting the ashram and being present at the unveiling of the massive statue – for the installation of which, of course, no permission had been taken.

The evening before the prime minister’s visit, Muthumma’s hut received unusual visitors. An inspector of police accompanied by a sub inspector and four constables arrived to inform her that she would not be allowed to leave her hut until the prime minister left. Muthamma was planning to go to Coimbatore city the following day to participate in the black flag demonstration that AIDWA was organising against the prime minister’s visit, but she had no choice but to accept this completely unwarranted and illegal house arrest to which she was subjected.

The next day, in order to avoid the black flag protest, the prime minister travelled to the ashram by helicopter. He could not, however, avoid seeing the black balloons of protest that the AIDWA activists sent up into the sky. Of course there was no mention of the problems of the Adivasis at the grand function over which he presided.

The Isha Foundation has denied that it has grabbed any land, forest or otherwise. Its spokesman did accept, however, that some “temporary structures were constructed for the Mahashivaratri celebrations” which would be dismantled after the celebrations were over. This has not been done. Now the Foundation spokespeople say that this was delayed by heavy rains and that dismantling will take place once they subside.

The PIL was filed in the high court after the prime minister’s visit. In the counter-affidavit filed by the deputy director of town and country planning, Coimbatore region, it was alleged that the Foundation had built structures spread across alarming plinth area without permission. The counter-affidavit also mentioned that it had asked the Foundation to submit details of the purpose for which the Shiva statue (unveiled by the prime minister) had been established along with other buildings and asked for the plans submitted to obtain permission from Hill Area Conservation Authority. The foundation has not responded.

In fact, it was revealed at the time of the PIL that the foundation had been served with a “locking, and sealing and demolition notice as far back as December 21, 2012 … directing them to demolish within 30 days from the date of receipt of this notice all the religious buildings and other buildings within the campus in survey numbers 48/1, 48/2, 49, 50 etc at Ikkarai Pooluvampatthy village and restore the land to its original condition”.

Hearings are proceeding at a snail’s pace, and cases and complaints are piling up. A whiff of scandal about mysterious happenings and accidents in and around the ashram is also in the air.

Meanwhile, Jaggi Vasudev himself has become more visible than ever in the national media. He is traversing the country meeting with chief ministers, purportedly to save rivers. The proposals he is putting forward have been examined and found wanting by reputed scientists and environmentalists.

[thewire.in]

But, with the support of none other than the prime minister and many others among the rich and the powerful, he is certainly the flavour of the month as far as those longing for an ‘untainted’ spiritual guru are concerned.

For them, Muthamma and villagers living in the vicinity of the ashram are of little interest.

In an interview

Why should politicians not have spiritual guides? Kings used to have raj gurus for advice: Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

[indianexpress.com]

Jaggi Vasudev described himself as someone who could do anything that came naturally to him, including ‘dancing with a beggar’. In the same interview, he said that just like kings of yore, present-day rulers also needed to have spiritual gurus who would keep them on the right path. He made no secret of the fact that he saw himself as well-suited to play this role. Not everyone who knows about the activities of the Isha Foundation would agree. In fact, while they reject his having ever having interacted with poor tribals let alone dancing with beggars, they view his projection of himself as a rajguru with much suspicion and dread.

Meanwhile, Muthamma, unheard and unseen, continues to tread the thorny path of struggle that she has chosen.

She was determined to attend the AIDWA conference in Dharmapuri. She had been told that she would have to pay for her fare and also the delegate fees. She thought she would be able to save enough from her meagre wages for these expenses, but for nearly a month before the conference, the rain just did not stop. It poured down in front of the hut that she shares with another family, a hut that does not even have a door. In order to get some respite from the rain and wind, Muthamma ties old sarees to the bamboos on either side of the opening of the hut.

When asked her what she ate during days of enforced idleness, she said that AIDWA activists in Coimbatore regularly collected rice and distributed it in her area. When there is no work, she boils the rice with greens that grow around her hut, seasons the porridge-like mixture with salt and eats it twice a day.

Just five days before the conference, the downpour diminished and she got work for Rs 50 a day. With the precious Rs 250 tied in a knot of her saree, she went to Coimbatore. There, she was told that she was to be a guest of the conference and would be publicly honoured. Her fare and delegate fees would be taken care of by the organisation.

After her speech at the conference, she was sitting quietly. I asked her if she missed her family and felt sad about the enforced separation. She thought for a moment and replied, “If I think about my family, I will not be able to think about my people.”

Words of courage and wisdom.

Subhashini Ali is a former member of parliament from Kanpur and politburo member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).


Isha Foundation Video Misrepresents ‘Waterman’ Position Against River Interlinking

Comments critical of “dangerous” project are not shown amidst ambiguity over Jaggi Vasudev’s stand, and real reason for rivers rally. December 9, 2017




"Won't support Rally for Rivers': India's Waterman Rajendra Singh on Isha's campaign

This 'Rally for Rivers', is not for rivers. It is for the land, for money, for power, for fame and for name, says India's 'Waterman'. "

Monday, December 18, 2017 - 18:53

In Coimbatore for the Bharathappuzha river rejuvenation convention, Rajendra told media persons categorically that he would never support Rally for Rivers.

Quote

"I have rejuvenated nine rivers in my lifetime. I haven't seen any of them rejuvenate with a missed call," said well-known water activist Rajendra Singh, criticising Isha Foundation's 'Rally for Rivers' campaign.

Rajendra, who is also known as the 'Waterman of India', was referring to the campaign's call to people to support the cause by leaving a missed call on 80009 80009. Led by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, Rally for Rivers is an ambitious project which aims to revive the country's rivers.

Rajendra’s scathing comments come a few months after he appeared in a video for the Foundation, seemingly lending his support to the campaign. Now however, Rajendra reveals what he told Sadhguru and his team when he met them, and how it apparently fell on deaf ears.

Quote

What Rajendra told Sadhguru and his team

Rajendra alleged that when he met Jaggi and his team, though he doesn’t specify when, he tried to explain to them the role of a godman in rejuvenating rivers. In his opinion, a godman should hold a moral compass for the government as well as the people when they start exploiting and destroying rivers.

“I also told them that if we have a river policy, it needs to be about making India drought and flood free. I told them that this cannot be done by linking rivers. We should link minds and hearts of Indian people with rivers instead,” he said, “If the baba can link people with rivers, they can be rejuvenated. Not by anything else.”

Rajendra also expressed his views about the futility of a missed call campaign, tree plantation and interlinking in reviving and rejuvenating Indian rivers.

“You need to make the flow of the river slower, and not use dams to stop it altogether. Once it’s slowed, it prevents erosion in the upper riparian areas, and silting in lower ones. Stopping erosion and silting is what rejuvenates rivers and gets it flowing again, not tree plantation,” Rajendra said. He alleges that he told all these things clearly to Sadhguru and his team.

“Nothing will happen with missed calls and slogans to revive rivers, I told him (Sadhguru) strictly. But Baba is Baba. Baba will revive river with missed call,” he added with sarcasm, “I can tell you today, I am never a supporter of rally of rivers (sic).”

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Words of Wisdom from Guru Jaggi of Isha Yoga
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 31, 2017 11:21AM

Beyond good and evil

Morality runs counter to human nature. Creating consciousness has been the Indian path

Written by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev | Updated: August 26, 2017 9:36 am

[indianexpress.com]

Quote

As a culture, India has no sense of morality. We have never focused on morals and ethics in this country. There is a strong sense of morality in Western countries — they do not always adhere to it, but that’s another matter. In India, by contrast, we always saw morality as constricting human consciousness. We did not want to structure our lives — as well as behaviour — around morality; we also did not want morality to govern our relations with the world.

A sense of morality makes a person repetitive in thought and action. Such a person will obviously not get anywhere. So, in India, we took the risk of raising human consciousness. A large segment of the population has invested itself to raise human consciousness — not to teach morality. It is a far riskier path, but it is ultimately the only way to work with humanity. If you impose morality on people, they will find ways to circumvent their guilt. They will make offerings to temples — or other places of worship — but also continue doing things that make them feel guilty. Religion today has largely become like this.

An American Airlines aircraft was once flying over Alabama. The aircraft developed engine trouble. The pilot said, “I will try my best to make sure the plane lands. But actually there is nothing much we can do. All of you just sit tight in your seats, tighten your seat belts and do something religious.” So one passenger immediately got up, took his hat and passed it around the aircraft. Because in most people’s mind, religion means asking for money.

Such behaviour is the outgrowth of a rigid set of morals and ethics. People will invariably break such rigid norms and then feel guilty about that. The feeling of guilt will make their lives miserable and they will look for a way out. What is the way out? Make a contribution to religious place and you will be pardoned. That is what happens in many religious places. At some of these places you may also see notices which specify the amount of contribution for each sin.

Once you set morals and place restrictions, there will be violations. When you stop people from doing certain things, there is a good chance that they will do exactly what they have been told to abjure. That is how human nature is.

There is no “thou shall not” in this country. Nobody ever told you what you should do and what you should not. We only told you how you should be, which is a more difficult lesson to impart. Ten commandments can be written down, but creating consciousness among people does not come easy. It takes a lot of work, and works best only when it is widely imparted — so that it is there in the immediate environment.

If parents, neighbours and the immediate milieu is steeped in a certain kind of consciousness, there is a good likelihood that children will grow up with the same consciousness. Not much effort will be required to raise consciousness in such a society. But we are at a crossroads in this country where not much has been done to raise consciousness. At the same time, we don’t have a shred of morality. We are trying to pick up a few western ethics. These are alien to us, and do not work. They have not worked even for people in the West.

At times, it appears easy to sermonise on morality and ethics. But morality and ethics appear good only when applied to others, never on oneself. But a person is imbued with consciousness, does not have to be told, “Do this or do not do that”. Such a person will act appropriately and according to a given situation.

Everywhere else in the world they try to tell you what is right and what is wrong. In this country, by contrast, you are not told what is right and wrong. You are only told what is appropriate in a given situation. What is appropriate today may not be so tomorrow. All the embodiments of the divine you worship — Rama, Krishna, Shiva — cannot call be called morally correct figures. They are not. Because it never occurred to them to be that way. But they are the peak of human consciousness.

If you want something indigenous — not indigenous to this nation, but germane to to your being — do not impose rules; do not dictate, “thou shall not”. That is because people will bypass morality at the first opportunity they get. Let us make the necessary effort to see that human consciousness operates in a certain way because that is the only insurance — and the ultimate one — that we have.

The writer is a yogi, mystic, visionary and bestselling author

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev is a commercial guru who has made himself vastly rich via his Inner Engineering programs. His visits to the West are often publicized as
"Evenings With a Mystic".

Jaggi does not consider that perhaps the West's emphasis on morality may have helped create hard currencies such as US Dollars, the Pound Sterling and Euro -- all of which have much greater purchasing power than the paltry Indian rupee.

Which is why Jaggi and gurus like him frequently visit the West so as to scoop up as much of this currency as possible.

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