The group run's as "Shree Ram Chandra Mission" which teaches a technique called "Sahaj Marg" the group is not very popular currently has approximately 200,000 worshipper across the globe, but the disturbing aspect here is, the group has presence in most of the countries. However the groups activities has led to its inclusion in list of "harmful sect" in 1995 list of cults in a french government report, ( [www.cftf.com
] ) and again in 2003 report of "miviludes" (http://www.miviludes.org/IMG/pdf/Report_MIVILUDES_2003.pdf refer footnote on page 81) The cult of sahaj marg was started in 1945 by a person named Ramchandra (aka Babuji 1899-1983) who worked as a typist in divisional court of a small town of Shahjahanpur Uttar Pradesh India, The cult claims that its founder is Ramchandra (same name as that of founder1873-1931) aka "Lalaji". These two people are differentiated on the basis of the town they belonged, Founder of the cult was from Shahjahanpur (hence called Ramchandra of Shahjahnpur) and claimed founder was from Fatehpur Uttar Pradesh India, (hence called Ranchandra of Fatehpur).
The group claims its founder as "Lalaji" on basis of a dream which the founder had in 1945, in which he sow "Lalaji" instructing him to start Sahaj Marg, this dream appeared 13 years after death of "Lalaji".
The group was initially restricted within India, with small following in few states, during the life span of the founder it was stated that group follows philosophy of Islam in general and Sufi concepts in specific, following Sufi practices of Transmission,( [naqshmumraif.googlepages.com
] ) un-conditional love and devotion towards Master, and absolute dedication towards the Mission, Later however, the teachings which principally remained same were advertised as Hindu concept in general and Raja Yoga in specific, it is understood that this U-turn from Islam to Hindu was mainly due to failure of the group to reach people in name of Islam. The group went to Europe and other countries first time in 1973.
After death of founder in 1983, dispute to control the mission arose and many sub-factions came into existence, all claiming to preach teachings of founder, of all the groups which were operating independently one is run by family members of founder(Umesh Chandra Saxena/Navneet Kumar Saxena), other is run by one of founder's close disciple and his son (K.C Narayana), and the most harmful one is run by an ex-businessmen and one of the follower of founder named Parthasarthi Rajagopalachari also known as "Chariji".
The one run by Chariji has re-registered the society and the group in USA in 1997, and arranges marriages of its members inside the group, mainly the marriages are focused on getting Indian women of the group married to people of western origin, under disguise of spiritual marriages, this particular group is also involved in absolute brainwashing of its victims and forcing them to do free labor and also sells costly books (costing more then $250).
This group maintains absolute control over its victims by asking them make note of every thoughts which happen to them in a diary and submit that diary to his/her preceptor, in essence these preceptors which are appointed the leader of this cult manage life the victim, there has been many cases of sexual abuse reported in Indian media, by preceptors and the leader himself. This group as all other cults encourages its members not to get married out side the group and those who do get married outside are asked to make sure that spouse and his/her family is also taken into the cult, incase the family and/or spouse opposes to emotional manipulation by the members of the group, the group has clear policy, get divorced / discontinue relation with those who do not believe the unbelievable things proposed by this group.
Some of the absurd hypothesis proposed by this group is summarized below for reference:-
1. The group claims that there is a place they call "Brighter World" where elevated souls of this cult go after they die.
2. The group claims that there is a French lady, who receives messages from BRIGHTER WORLD from departed souls of this cult, (these messages are sold at a price of $250 per 600 messages).
3. The group claims that leader of the cult transmits divine energy into the heart of its members via appointed preceptors.
4. The group claims that it is divine organization and its leader is divine.
5. The group claims that anyone who does not adhere to the principles laid by the cult are "enemies of spirituality"
6. The group claims it arranges divine marriages, and such marriages are blessed by divine power. (However numerous cases of divorce has been reported, in 3 such cases marriages have ended up the same day they took place) list of such divorces and other forced divorces can be found at [www.geocities.com
7. The group claims that it is ONLY through practice of Sahaj Marg can one reach salvation
8. The group claims that people from any religion can become member of Sahaj Marg, however the leader claims that â€œAll religions are divisive, and Sahaj Marg can unite humanity.
9. The group asks its members not to be attached with anything material, however the leader of the group is fighting various court battles for control property, land and bank accounts of the founder. (http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/chejudis.asp case type Appeal (Civil) case number 6619 year 2000)
10. The group claims that it preaches love and peace, however the leader himself has been convicted in 1987 for spreading violence, family member's of the founder have appealed to the president of India for their safety as the group and its brainwashed members have attacked them violently (proof's about the police report and newspaper clipping are available at [www.geocities.com
When we read this, we get astonished as how is it possible that a sane person believes such unbelievable things? Answer to this can be understood in the fact that group is highly manipulative in nature, on surface it claims that its practices are useful for normal householders, what it hides is, one of the main conditions of this group is absolute obedience and absolute devotion to the leader of the group, how can a person be 100% devoted to family and at the same time 100% dedicated for the mission? it is like asking a person to be present at two different place at the same time, but still there are people who follow such absurdity, because they have accepted one fallacy (that the group is ONLY group which is divine) and since they have became believers they can accept any absurdity afterward, the logic is flawless. Once they give up their rational faculty and believe in an absurdity, they might as well believe in anything. Once they let themselves to be fooled, then they are fooled again and again because there is no end to foolishness.
What the group does not disclose is that the leader of this cult has a criminal background and has recently been charge-sheeted in several criminal cases, detailed information about this groups activities can be found at blogs and websites of ex-members and family members of those who were affected directly or indirectly by teachings of this cult, below is the list of such websites and blogs.
1. List of criminal cases and fraudulent activities by the leader of the cult is listed at [www.geocities.com
2. Exposing lies and manipulative tactics of this cult is listed on ex-members blog [4d-don.blogspot.com
3. Ex-preceptor and one time head of cults affair in United states blog is here [innercircleofsrcm.blogspot.com
4. Ex-member and discussion blog in French [pourquevivelesahajmarg.blogspot.com
5. Blog of zonal-in-charge of Netherlands (member for 12 years) [pitfallsofspirituality.blogspot.com
I run a discussion community about sahaj marg on orkut [www.orkut.com