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AtmaJyotiAshram:SannyasisorSnakeOilSalesmen?

Fr. George Burke (large man), abbot of Atma Jyoti Ashram aka Light of the Spirit Monastery, with his fellow priests and brothers in religion.

Nowitisnotgood/FortheChristianshealth/TohustletheAryanbrown,/ FortheChristianriles/AndtheAryansmiles/AndhewearththeChristian down;/Andtheendofthefight/Istombstonewhite/Withthenameofthelate deceased,/Andtheepitaphdrear,/Afoollieshere/Whotriedtohustlethe East."fromTheNaulahkabyRudyardKipling

AtmaJyotiAshram:SannyasisorSnake OilSalesmen?
Including a critique of Sri Ramanasramam's journal Mountain Path and its editors
by

Swami Devananda Saraswati


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AtmaJyotiAshram:SannyasisorSnakeOilSalesmen?

Swami Ramanananda with Atma Jyoti Ashram Christian priests at the Arunachaleshwar Temple, Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India.

The Missionary Agenda In Catholic Ashrams: Sannyasins of Swindlers, Sita Ram Goel describes the Christianmissionarystrategists'plantoinfiltrateHindusocietyandgainthe confidenceofthepeople: "ChristianityhastodropitsalienattireandgetclothedinHinducultural forms.Christianityhastobepresentedasanindigenousfaith.Christian theologyhastobeconveyedthroughcategoriesofHinduphilosophy; Christian worship has to be conducted in the manner and with the materialsofHindupuja.ChristiansacramentshavetosoundlikeHindu samskaras;ChristianchurcheshavetocopythearchitectureofHindu temples; Christian hymns have to be set to Hindu music; Christian themes and personalities have to be presented in styles of Hindu painting; Christian missionaries have to dress and live like Hindu sannyasins;ChristianmissionstationshavetolooklikeHinduashramas. And so on, the literature of Indigenization goes into all aspects of Christianthought,organizationandactivityandtriestodiscoverhowfar andinwhatwaytheycanbedisguisedinHinduforms." SitaRamGoelwrotethisin1988,andhewouldnotbesurprisedtolearnthat Christian priests and monks in America have adopted the same tactics to attractawholegenerationofAmericanyouthinterestedinHindureligionand spirituality, back to Christianity. The leader in this movement today is Fr. GeorgeBurke,theabbotofAtmaJyotiAshraminCedarCrest,NewMexico. HeisbetterknownontheInternetasSwamiNirmalanandaGiri.

AtmaJyotiAshram:SannyasisorSnakeOilSalesmen?

Fr. George Burke, abbot of Atma Jyoti Ashram. He is better known on the Internet as Swami Nirmalananda Giri.

Isha Jyoti to Atma Jyoti to Light of the Spirit AtmaJyotiAshramwasoriginallycalledSriIsha(Jesus)JyotiSannyasAshram andwaslocatedatBorregoSprings,California. Sincethepublicationofthis article,theashramhaschangeditsnametoLightoftheSpiritMonasteryand movedtoCedarCrest,NewMexico.Fr.GeorgeBurkeisaGreekOrthodox Christianpriest,andifreportsarecorrect,mostorallofthecommunityof brothersattachedtohimareChristianpriests. OnavisittoIndia,Fr.GeorgemettheBengalisaintAnandamayiMa.Sheis saidtohaveinstructedhimtoremainintheChristianreligionandcontinue hisChristianpractices.Thisistheusualadvicegiventoforeignseekersby Hindugurus.Inspiteoftheirspiritualenlightenment,mostgurusaregrossly ignorantofChristianity'sideologyandmilitantprayersfortriumphoverthe Indianheathen.Theyadvisetheirforeigndisciplestoremaininthereligionof their forefathers without realizing the consequences of their thoughtless, irresponsiblewords. Christianity is a personality cult based on a false doctrine ofvicarious salvation.Itisimperialisticandseeksworlddominationbyanymeans.There isnothinginHinduscriptureortheancientRishitraditionremotelysimilarto thisasuriccreed.Andthereisnothingintheancientgurushishyatraditionto supporttheillconceivedadvicehandedouttoforeignseekersbyHindugurus whodonotwanttotakespiritualresponsibilityfortheirWesterncharges. Anandamayi'sallegedinstructiontoFr.Georgeandhisfollowerssuitedthem toperfection.Theywouldquoteherlaterastheirauthoritytodontheochre robesofHindusannyasisandadopttheSanskritnamesandtitlesof Smarta Dashanami monks. The fact that Anandamayi Ma was not a Dashanami sannyasiherselfandhadnoauthoritytogivethemochrerobesorDashanami titlesdidnotdeterthemintheirimpersonationdrama.
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AtmaJyotiAshram:SannyasisorSnakeOilSalesmen?

TheycontinuedtoperformthebloodstainedsacrificeoftheChristianMassin secret, even as they presented themselves in public as simple, unaffiliated Hindumonks.ItwastheoldfraudofRobertdeNobiliandHenriLe Saux beingrepeatedonanunsuspectingpublic,onlythistimeitwasanAmerican andnotanIndianpublicbeingdupedbythesesweettalking,persuasivesnake oilsalesmenfromCalifornia.

Christian cross with the sacred Hindu word-symbol engraved on its lower arm.

Om on Cross At one point in their career, while still the Sri Isha (Jesus) Jyoti Sannyas communityinBorregoSprings,theywerecaughtoutintheircharadebythe ShaivaSiddhantaChurchinHawaii.TheseAmericanHinduconvertsalready hadexperienceofChristianpriestsposingasHindusannyasis.TheJesusJyoti priestsandbrotherswerenotanewphenomenon.Theydidcarpentryfora living,beingfollowersoftheGalileanCarpenter,andoneoftheitemsthey producedforsalewasaRomancrosswiththesacredHinduwordsymbol nailedtoitscrossbars.TheysentasampletoHinduismTodaywiththehope ofattractingsales.Theygotinsteadanegativeresponseandareturnofthe obsceneobject. Hindus,evenmodernAmericanconvertsfromJudaismandChristianity,are deeplyoffendedbythiskindofsyncretismanddonotunderstandtheappealit hasforNewAgersandgayChristianpriestswhoflauntitontheircassock
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AtmaJyotiAshram:SannyasisorSnakeOilSalesmen? frontsasasignoftheirliberalreligionanduniversalism. TheCatholicreligiousleaderVictorJ.F.Kulanday(SwamiKulandaiswami) has said visavis Fr. Bede Griffiths, the Benedictine missionary who popularisedthebastardisedOmonCrossiconography,asfollows: "Rituals,rites,[and]ceremoniesinHinduismhavenotbeenchangedto suit the whims of modern innovators. [Fr. Bede Griffiths of Shanti Vanam],bysuperimposingthesacredwordOmonaCross,imagineshe hascreatedanewspiritualphenomenon.Onthecontrary,heconfuses andinsultsbothHinduismandChristianity.Hefailstorealizethatby suchactsheisneitherenrichingChristianitynorhonouringHinduism. Onehastorespecttheuniqueritesandritualsofeachreligion,which placedinanothercontext,willbemeaninglessandconfusing." In a later debate published in the letter's column of the Indian Express, Chennai,in1989,theHinducorrespondentS.Venkatachalamwrote: "Itishighlyoutrageousandobjectionabletocompare...Hinduleaders andreligiousheadswiththeChristianmissionaryexperimentalistslike BedeGriffiths,HansStaffner[andthe]ChristianmissionaryFr.HenriLe Saux socalled Abhishiktananda.... Swami Vivekananda, Gandhiji, RamanaMaharshiandParamacharyaofKanchineverresortedtosuch experimentationofacocktailreligionor masala and kichdi religionby mixingreligioussymbols,donningthedressof[aChristian]fatheror [Muslim] mullah, building churchlike or mosquelike temples, fabricatingBibleorQuranlikeHinduslokas,orassertingthatRamaor KrishnaorShivaistheonlyGodandbyacceptingHimaloneonecanget salvation." The Sri Isha (Jesus) Jyoti Sannyas Ashram brothers did not succeed in pedallingtheiroriginalhandcraftedOmonCrossartefactstotheHindusof Hawaii then, but in their new incarnation assadhusof Atma Jyoti Ashram theyhavesucceededingettingadvertisingspaceinHinduismToday(thishas beenqueriedtothemagazine'seditorwithoutresult)andthesponsorshipof SriRamanasramaminTiruvannamalai.Yettheyremain,sofarasweknow, Christian priests in orange robeswithfalse Sanskrit namesandtitles, the usualNewAgebellsandbeadsadded.TheyarequiteasuccessinChristian duplicity,ifnotinHinduspirituality.

AtmaJyotiAshram:SannyasisorSnakeOilSalesmen?

Fr. Bede Griffith aka Swami Dayananda of Shanti Vanam Ashram at Kulithalai, Tamil Nadu. Fr. Bede was the leading inculturation missionary of his time. See the dialogue between this writer and Fr. Bede in Catholic Ashrams: Sannyasins or Swindlers by Sita Ram Goel.

Fr. Bede Griffiths' Om-on-Cross mantra logo for his Shanti Vanam Ashram at Kulithalai. The top line reads Om Namah Cristaya and the bottom line reads Crista Sharanam.

Jesus as a yogi in the Himalayas: Atma Jyoti Ashram priests promote the tale of Jesus in India on their website. Nicholas Notovitch wrote the original Jesus-in-India novel in Paris in 1894. When Max Muller asked him for evidence, he could not produce any. Nevertheless the story tickles the imagination of a lot of people including many Hindus who believe it is a true history of Jesus. For the full story see Jesus in India: The myth of the lost years by D.M. Mudock.

AtmaJyotiAshram:SannyasisorSnakeOilSalesmen?

Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, India. Christian priests and missionaries are welcome here and given accommodation. Hindu sadhus are not. They are ignored or rudely interrogated or treated with outright contempt. In South India sannyasis are equated with vagrants and beggars by lay persons and state government officials.

Ashram renounces Hindu identity ThesponsorshipofanAtmaJyotiChristianfatherbySriRamanasramamand the publication of the Atma Jyoti Ashram brothers' articles under assumed Hindunames in theSri RamanasramamjournalMountainPathisnot really surprising. Sri Ramanasramam is a family business administered by a hereditarytrusteewhohashadalongassociationwithforeigndevotees.The current president is the retired engineer and Vedanta paralogist V. S. Ramanan. Under his father and then ashram president T. N. Venkataraman[1],theashramwasdeclaredaprotectednonHinduinstitution byacourtorderin1961,onthespeciousgroundthatSriRamanaMaharshi
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AtmaJyotiAshram:SannyasisorSnakeOilSalesmen? wasVenkataraman'spaternaluncleandthereforetheashramwasaprivate familyburialground. ThissetaprecedentforleadingHinduinstitutionsinindependentIndia,and SriAurobindoAshramwouldfollowsuitandarguebeforetheSupremeCourt thatitwasaseparatereligiousdenominationdifferentfromHinduismbecause Sri Aurobindo's philosophy was a synthesis of various and different Hindu philosophiesanother example ofspeciousreasoning ifevertherewasone! Later,theRamakrishnaMissionalsowouldrenounceitsHinduidentityunder pressure from its Christian members, declare itself a cosmopolitan and distinctreligiousdenominationcalledRamakrishnaism,andclaimthatitwas entitled to protection under Article 26 of the Indian Constitution. But the SupremeCourtwoulddenytheRamakrishnaMissionleaderstheirwishfora unique identity and declared that the Ramakrishna Mission was and had alwaysbeenaHinduinstitution.[2][3]

Ramakrishna Mission Swamis Ranganathananda (back left) and Sarvagatananda with Atma Jyoti Ashram priests (front).

Atma Jyoti priests with Hindu sadhus at Haridwar. These American priests ingratiated themselves with everybody they met. They were easy to talk to and generous with their money.

AtmaJyotiAshram:SannyasisorSnakeOilSalesmen? Theosophists and Benedictines ThoughV.S.Ramananistheofficialeditorof MountainPathasrequiredby law,thereal editorofthejournalistheAustraliantheosophistChristopher Quilkey,adiscipleoftheantimodernistFrenchSufiReneGuenon.Quilkeyis assisted in his editorial work by the American Catholic Benedictine monk BrotherMichael Highburger. Brother Michael is a disciple of the notorious inculturation missionary Fr. Bede Griffiths and divides his time between Griffiths'CamaldoleseBenedictinehermitageSachidanandaAshram,orShanti Vanam as it is better known, at Kulithalai near Tiruchirappalli and Sri RamanasramaminTiruvannamalai.HeisaCatholicpriestandwillsayMass wheneverandwhereverthemilitantCatholicspiritmoveshim,includingSri Ramanasramamandotherplacesofpilgrimage sacredto Hindus.Hisother dutyistovetarticlessenttoMountainPathandforwardthemtoChristopher QuilkeyinKodaikanalforacceptanceandpublication.Ramananappearsto takelittleornointerestinthearticlesselectedforpublication,andthoughthe ashram follows Vedic Brahminical traditions and can afford to employ a professional,itisnotinterestedinfindingaresponsibleanddedicatedHindu editorforitsjournal.[4][5]

V. S. Ramanan

President Ramanan in Cloud Cuckoo Land FromourprivatecorrespondencewithRamanan,wecansaycategoricallythat heisinastateofdenialregardingtheChristianresidentsinhisashramand Christianmissionariesingeneral.Hewrites: "There is no doubt that Christianity has, over centuries been a proselytizing religion and some of the preachers had indulged in scurrilous propaganda against Hindu beliefs and mores. But there is nothingtoworry.TheworstisoverandtheVedanticTruthiseternal and imperishable. I know a number of Christian priests who revere HinduismandVedanta.ItiswellknownthatWesternersareincreasingly beingdrawtoYogaandVedantawhichSwamiVivekanandacalledthe 'ReligionoftheFuture'.
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AtmaJyotiAshram:SannyasisorSnakeOilSalesmen? Whatarewetosaytothismindless,uncomprehendingattitudeinafamous ashram'sadministrator?EitherRamananisafoolwholivesinCloudCuckoo LandorheisinleaguewiththeChristianpriestswhoeditandpublishinthe ashramjournal!

Atma Jyoti Ashram Christian priest who resided in Tiruvannamalai and called himself Swami Sadasivananda Giri. His real name has never been discovered. He angrily referred to this writer as the Jesuit and shunned him in public.

ThefirstarticlestoappearinMountainPathbyanAtmaJyotiAshrammember were by an American Catholic priest who resided in Tiruvannamalai and called himself Swami Sadasivananda Giri. The articles were inoffensive enough,butbecauseitwasknowntoanumberof sadhus andSriRamana Maharshi's devotees that the author was in fact a Christian priest masquerading as a Hindu sannyasi, the matter was brought to the Sri Ramanasramampresident'sattentionwiththerequestthatSadasivanandabe identifiedbyhisrealChristiannameandtitlestoMountainPathreaders.[6]

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AtmaJyotiAshram:SannyasisorSnakeOilSalesmen? Therequestwasignored,andwhentheAprilJune2009issueof Mountain Pathappeared, it was discovered that not only did Swami Sadasivananda's article appear without proper identification, but an article by Fr. George Burke,GreekOrthodoxabbotofAtmaJyotiAshram,NewMexico,wasalso includedunderthenameSwamiNirmalanandaGiri. The request to identify Christian contributors to the journal was not only deniedbytheSriRamanasramampresidentRamanan,butastrongmessageof contempt and scorn for Hindu sannyas traditions was given out by the MountainPatheditorandhisdubious,uncommittedforeignassistants.[7]

Fr. Henri Le Saux OSB, better known as Swami Abhishiktananda, in a cave on Arunachala Hill. Note the equal-armed-in-a-circle Benedictine cross hanging on his neck.

Infiltration by impersonation The problem of Christian priests and missionaries masquerading as Hindu sannyasisisanoldoneinIndia.Theimpersonationcharadewasfirstcarried outbyRobertdeNobiliinMaduraiinthe17thcentury.Itwascontinuedand made notorious byFr. Bede Griffiths(aka Swami Dayananda) in the 20th century,thoughhiscollaborator,theFrenchBenedictinemonkFr.HenriLe Saux,waswithoutdoubtthemostsuccessfulHindusadhuimpersonatorofall time. He is known to this day by his assumed Sanskrit name Swami Abhishiktananda, and had none other than the late Swami Chidananda SaraswatiofSivanandaAshraminRishikeshasapatron.Aculthasgrownup aroundhimand his obsessive love,MarcChaduc,who allegedly commited
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AtmaJyotiAshram:SannyasisorSnakeOilSalesmen? suicideintheGangaatRishikesh.

Abhishiktananda's disciple Marc Chaduc: He was given sannyas diksha by the Neo-Vedantin Swami Chidananda of the Sivananda Divine Life Society, Rishikesh, and called Swami Ajatananda Saraswati even though he was a practising Roman Catholic.

ThenewtwistinthistaleofcriminalimpersonationofHindusadhusisthat ChristianpriestsintheUSareadoptingHindunamesanddressinorderto deceive and entrap America seekers who have already rejected the superstitionsandfalsedoctrinesofChristianity,inthehopeofbringingthem backtoJesusandtheChurch. Missionary activityin India has peaked under the benevolent gaze of the ChristianCongress UPA2 regime ofSonia Gandhi. Andhra Pradesh is now said to be 30% Christian and growing, with Dravidianruled Tamil Nadu followingcloselybehind.BothstateswillsoonrivalKeralawiththeirChristian populations. But the real problem is not missionaries flashingdollars or dressing upas sadhus in order to harvest the souls of unsuspecting villagers for Christ. Christians in India are only doing what Christians have always done throughout history: they are subverting and subsuming the nonChristian cultureandsocietythattheyliveinandarenotabletoconquerbyforce. The real problem is with Hindu leaders political, social, cultural, and religiousleaders.Theyarefirstofallinastateofdenial,unwillingorunable to admit the Christian threat and the grave implications it has for Hindu civilization and society. Then, they are engaged in fruitless interreligious dialogueswith Christian representatives who flatter their egos, pay their expenses, and get them to sign declarations that are patently against the Hindu community's interest. Or, like the editor of the Sri Ramanasramam
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AtmaJyotiAshram:SannyasisorSnakeOilSalesmen? journalMountainPath,theytaketheoutdated,irresponsible,andnonVedic theosophicalviewthatallreligionsarethesame,sowhatdoesitmatterifa fewmillionignorantvillagersbecomedollarChristiansandarealienatedfrom theirnativesocietyandancientculture.

Global Foundation for Civilizational Harmony: Hindu religious and cultural leaders are not sufficiently informed and prepared to enter into dialogue with Christian missionaries and Muslim mullahs. They do not know the Bible or Koran or understand the imperialistic ideologies formulated out of these texts. The concessions they are obliged to make to their Christian or Muslim interlocutors go against Hindu Dharma and are not in the interests of the Hindu community at large.

Or,andthisisespeciallytrueofHindureligiousleaders,theyrecognizethe Christianthreat,butarenotsufficientlyequippedorknowledgeabletocounter it. UnlikeChristian priests who study Hindu scriptures and philosophy in depthforyearsinordertocritiquethem,Hindureligiousleadershavenever readtheBibleorstudiedtheimperialistChristianideologiesformulatedoutof theGospelstory.Theyarehelpless,andtheyaremadeevenmorehelplessby their own superficially understood, and often secularized, doctrines of an impersonal,universal,andabstractBrahmangodhead. EverypopularreligiousteacherinIndiatodayespousessomeformofVedantic philosophy.Eventhe popular proChristian newspaper DeccanChronicle has carriedaweeklyspiritualcolumnofsecularisedNeoVedanticcommentary calledVedanta Rocks! This demythologised Vedanta with its abstract terminologyandconceptofabsoluteOneness,isthegreatloveofthemodern IndiansecularsophistandJesuittrainedChristiancasuist.Theycanturnthese Hindu concepts and ideals anywhichwaytheylike andusethemforany unethicalpurposewhentheyaretakenoutoftheiroriginalHindureligious
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AtmaJyotiAshram:SannyasisorSnakeOilSalesmen? context. Deconstructing Advaita Vedanta Most modern Indian religious teachers do take Advaita Vedanta out of its originalVedicreligiouscontext,andinsodoinggiveapotentweapontothe enemywithwhichtoattackHindureligionandundermineHindusocietyand culture.SitaRamGoel,inCatholicAshramswrites: "[T]he literature ofindigenisationprovides ample proof that several Hindu philosophies are being actively considered by the mission strategistsasconveyorsofChristianity.TheAdvaitaofShankaracharia hasbeenthehottestfavouritesofar.The VishistadvaitaofRamanuja, theBhaktioftheAlvarsaintsandVaishnavaAcharyas,theIntegralYoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Vichara of Ramana Maharshiare not far behind. ThemedievalAcharyasandmorerecentteachersofVedicspiritualitylikeSri RamanaMaharshiwereabletoknowwithoutdifficultythereligiousidentity andaffiliationsoftheirdisciples.Theydidnothavetosearchoutandverify their students' political and religious backgrounds. This is not true today. Hindusocietyhasbecomesecularisedinthecitiesandteachersarefacedwith multiculturalaudiencesfromdifferentcountriesandtraditions.Theydonot knowwhoissittinginfrontofthem.ItisthereforeincumbentonallHindu gurusinIndiaandabroadtoputtheirphilosophicalteachingintoitsoriginal religious context, so that it cannot be abused and distorted by Hinduism's scholarlyMarxistandChristianenemies. Apostle Paul and the Early Church Fathers conquered ancient Greece by forciblysecularisingGreeksociety.TheydividedtheunityofGreekreligion and mythology from Greek philosophy and philosophic terminology. They thensecularisedandappropriatedGreekphilosophicterminologyandtookthe Greek religious concept of anUnknown Godfor themselves. The religious vacuumthatfollowedthissecularizationofGreeksocietywasfilledinwiththe JesuscultandotherChristiansuperstitions.Indianbishopsareperpetrating thesameapostolicfraudonHindusocietytodaywhentheyclaimthatthe preChristian Tamil weaver saintTiruvalluvarwas a disciple of the legendarySt.Thomas!Theyaddtotheirculturalcrimebyappropriatinghis secularethicaltreatiseTirukkuralastheirownanddeclaringitasectarian Christianbook.

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AtmaJyotiAshram:SannyasisorSnakeOilSalesmen?

St. Paul preaching to the ancient Greeks. He and his Christian companions destroyed Greek civilization even as his successors in India, with the help of politicians seeking minority vote-banks, are destroying Hindu civilization today.

This is how ancient Greece became a Christian country, and this is how modernIndiaisfastbecomingachristianisedHinducountry.Thedifferenceis that in modern India, illinformed Hindu spiritual teachers and ashram administrators are assisting the Christian predators in the downfall and obliterationoftheirownuniqueanduniversallyvaluedHindureligionand culture. Is it all a mistake? PerhapsthiswriterismistakenaboutAtmaJyotiAshramnowcalledLightof theSpiritMonasteryinNewMexicoanditsqueerinmates;perhapswehave beenmisinformedaboutFr.GeorgeBurkeandhisChristianagenda.Perhaps he and his disciples have converted to Hinduism and gone through Vedic samskaras ofpurificationandnamechangeundertheguidanceofaHindu priest. Ifthisisthecase,thenletthemproducetheircertificatesofdebaptismand apostasyfromtheChristianreligion(whichcanbeobtainedfromthelocal bishop).AndastheyclaimtobeSmartaDashanamisannyasisandhavethe Girititleaddedtotheirnames,letthemproducetheircertificatesofsannyasa from a recognised Dashanami mahamandaleshwarandmath.They can post theseimportantdocumentsofreligionontheirpopularwebsite.Wewillthen givethemthebenefitofthedoubtandourblessingfortheirhavingchosen truereligionoverpersonalitycult,andwewillholdourpeace.

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AtmaJyotiAshram:SannyasisorSnakeOilSalesmen?

Om crossed out! Wall painting opposite Sri Ramanasramam.

Postscript The Sri Ramanasramam administration continues its eclectic approach to religionasthispolicyattractslargeforeigndonationsandgiftsofland.The president and his family members are regarded as holy family by ashram servantsanddevotees,andthoughitistruethattheashramiswellmanaged, this does not constitute holiness in the administrators per se.Christopher QuilkeyremainsinhisjobasdefactoMountainPatheditor,ajournalthathad beenstartedbyhisfatherinlawArthurOsbornein1964.Astheashramisa familyadministered property, so the ashram journal is a familyedited property. Nepotism literally nephewism is the guiding principle in ashramappointments.AndtheashramfamilyalsowillbeawarethatQuilkey administersvaluableOsbornepropertiesthatmaycometheirwayoneday. The fake swami Sadasivananda hasrun away, reportedly reprimanded by Ramananfortellingliesandpresentingafalseidentitytotheashram.Hehas a small presence on theInternet. Brother Michael HighburgerOSB has not been seen for months. Perhaps he has found a new diversion among the villageboysofShantiVanamatKulithalai.[8] WeremaineverreverentofSriRamanaMaharshi.Hisdevotionandsurrender toSri Arunachaleshwarare an inspiration and example to follow, though someofhisnonactionsarenoteasilyunderstoodbythiswriter.Hissilence, withitsimpliedconsent,allowedhisbrotherandlaterhisbrother'sfamily totakeovertheashramadministrationintheirowninterest.Butwemust leave this subject for another time: we have been sternly warned not to question the behaviour of a jnani who is recognised the world over as a personification of the nondual state of aparokshaanubhuti. Om Namah Shivaya!

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AtmaJyotiAshram:SannyasisorSnakeOilSalesmen? Notes 1.T.N.Venkataramanwasexposedasathiefwhenheretired as ashram president. He and the then bookshop manager, a sadhuwithtwowivesthathekeptindifferenttowns,allegedly had been embezzling money from the ashram book shop for T. N. years and dividing the proceeds between themselves. Venkataraman Nevertheless, Venkataranam was buried beside his father in frontofSriRamana'ssamadhishrineandgetstheusualprescribed puja duetopastashrampresidents. 2.TheSupremeCourtdeniedtheRamakrishnaMissionitsclaimtoa uniquereligiousidentitybyquotingSriRamakrishnaasrecordedinThe GospelofSriRamakrishna:"...variouscreedsyouhearaboutnowadays have come intoexistence through the will of God and will disappear againthroughhiswill." AndRamSwarupobservesinanarticleintheWeekendObservercalled Ramakrishna Mission is Hindu again: "Similarly, Vivekananda who preachedVedanta,useditnottoentertainallreligionsequallybutused ittoopposereligiousideologieswhichmadeexclusiveclaimstotruth, whichlackedyoga,interiorityanduniversalityofthespirit,whichwere basednotonprinciplesbutonpersonalities,whichwentbyvoicesand visionsofsomeonewhoclaimedtobeamediatorbetweenGodandhis followers."However,RamSwarupaddsthiscautioninadifferentarticle calledAre Hindu Reformists Hindus? by Koenraad Elst: "But the SupremeCourtverdictwasonlyabattlewon,andthewarcontinues.... Thoughittookshapeunderparticularcircumstances,theRamakrishna Mission now has an articulated philosophy of being nonHindu, a veritablemanifestoofseparation.Nowthatitisforcefullyarticulated, thecaseforseparationcouldexertacontinuinginfluenceontheminds ofRamakrishnaMissionauthorities.Pseudosecularismisabroad,and underitsauspicesHinduismisadirtyword,anddisowningHinduismis deemed both prestigious and profitable. Those ideological conditions stillobtain,andnocourtcanchangethem.Intryingtoprovethatit was nonHindu, [the Mission] spoke quite negatively of Hinduism. CantheRamakrishnaMissionoutlivethismanifestoofseparation? 3.SincethisarticlewasfirstpublishedinJune2009,wehavelearned thatmanyHinduashramsandreligiousinstitutionshavebeenregistered asnonreligious,seculareducationalinstitutions.Thisisdonebecauseof
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AtmaJyotiAshram:SannyasisorSnakeOilSalesmen? theextremehostilitytoHinduinstitutionsbyantibrahminsecularstate governments and district officials. However, it also points todisunity andcowardiceamongHinduswhoarenotwillingtoputupalegalfight for their religious rights and cultural institutions. The protection and independence of all religious institutions is guaranteed for Indian citizensbytheIndianConstitutionregardlessofreligiousaffiliation. 4.ArthurOsbornestartedtheMountainPath journalin1964. He was a professor and liberal Christian who held the then fashionabletheosophicalopinionthatallspiritualpathsledto thetopofthesamemountainandareunitedthere.Atthattime thejournalreflectedhisownviewsonreligionandspirituality. Christopher Quilkey Today, similar views are stated on the title page thus: TheMountain Pathis a quarterlyjournalfoundedin1964byArthur OsborneandpublishedbySriRamanasramam.Theaimofthisjournalis tosetforththewisdomofallreligionsandallages,especiallyastestified to by their saints and mystics, and to clarify the paths available to seekersintheconditionsofourmodernworld.The MountainPathis dedicatedtoBhagavanSriRamanaMaharshi. After Osborne's death the journal was edited by his wife and after her death by various ashram residents or functionaries including David Godman. Today it is edited by Christopher QuilkeyandBro.MichaelHighburgerOSB.Asitispublishedby Bro. Michael theashrampresidentwhoisalsoitsofficialeditor,itisassumed Highburger OSB that the Mountain Path represents the ashram's ideals and religiouspointofview.Thisiswhythejournal,forthemostpartan innocuousentitythatisrathertootwee,mustbetakenseriouslyand why this critique of its editorial policy is a valid indictment of the magazine'smanagers. 5.Thejournalhashadachequeredhistorydependingonwho was editor. Under the guidance of V. Ganesan, the holiest brother in the holyfamily ofashramadministrators,it was christianisedandforyearspublishedthemostcuriousarticles onCatholicsaints.Inoneissueaphotoofthegreatchainthat V. Ganesan allegedly bound an imprisoned St. Peter was published by GanesanafterhispilgrimagetoRome.Thischainisquitenotorious.Itis themostfamousofthefakedrelicstheCatholicChurchproducedinthe Middle Ages, and popes used to sell the filings of it to the kings of Europeforlargesumsofmoney.HowGanesanrationalisedtheinclusion
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AtmaJyotiAshram:SannyasisorSnakeOilSalesmen? ofitinajournaldedicatedtoSriRamanaMaharshiisaquestionyetto be answered though discrimination and rationality are not strong characteristics of NeoVedantins and radical universalists. In another issue he allowed his mistress to publish a diatribe against Yogi Ramsuratkumar who had allegedly insulted her, though Yogiji loved Ganesandearlyandalwaysgavehimspecialtreatment. 6.Sadasivananda'sidentityandactivitieswere broughttothe attentionoftheashramsecretary,V.Mani,theyoungestbrother in the ashram family, by this writer long before his articles began to appear in the Mountain Path. The information was V. Mani ignored. So it is not as if the ashram did not know about Sadasivananda's real identityor mischiefmaking on the Internet.But the ashram administration's attitude towards those who would warn themoftroubleaheadisshootthemessangerandignorethemessage! 7.Theashramhasalwaysshowncontemptforandrefusedassistanceto sadhus and sannyasis. This writer has witnessed this uncharitable conductanumberoftimes.Itisalsotruethatsannyasisareopposedto nepotism in principle,and especiallyinashramsthatareassociated with jnanis and saints. It is not a practice to follow in religious institutionsaccordingtoHinduDharma.Theinappropriateapplication oftheprocessofheredityhasbeenshowntobeoneofthecausesofthe ethicaldownfallanddegenerationofHindusocietytoday. A fund to assist sadhus in need, set up by an ashram devotee and administered by the ashram president, has existed for years but has never been utilized as far as this writer knows. No sadhu seems to qualifyforitsbenefits.Thericebhikshagivenatnoonbytheashramto allsadhuswhowantitwassetupbySriRamanaMaharshihimself.The ashrammanagementattemptedtodiscontinuethisservicesomeyears ago but were obliged to continue it when devotees reminded the managementthatitwasSriRamana'swishthatsadhuslivingaroundthe hillbefedbeforetheashraminmatesandvisitorstooktheirownmeal. SriRamanaMaharshiwasabhikharisadhuwholivedonalmshiswhole lifeandtheashramfromitsinceptiontilltodayhasdependedonpublic donationsforitsexistence.Itwasonceverypoorbutinthepastfew decadeshasbecomeimmenselywealthyduetogifts,landacquisitions (some of them contested in court), book publishing and sales, good investmentsandtheexcellentmanagementofitsfunds.Thesefunds,it mustberemembered,originatewithdevoteesandothervisitorstothe
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AtmaJyotiAshram:SannyasisorSnakeOilSalesmen? ashram,notfromtheashramadministrators.Theyareandhavealways beenpublicfundsandforthisreasonboththeashrammanagementand theashrammoniesarealegitimatesubjectforpublicscrutiny. NodoubtitisextremelydifficultforaBrahminfamilytomanagean ashramintoday'sracist,DravidianruledTamilNadustate.Butinthis instance the family makes things harder for themselves by their own provincialsmallmindednessandquicknesstojudgeotherswhodonot immediately recognise their special position asdescendantsof a great Rishi'selderbrothertheRishihimselfdidnothaveanydescendantsor known successors. The plain truthisthat the ashram management is judgemental anddefensive,andtheadministratorsarenotwelcoming tovisitorswhodonotbringwiththemwealthorsocialstanding. 8.SriRamanasramam,likemanyglobalisedashrams,isanideal placetocontactandformrelationshipswithsinglewomenand girls.Forthisreasonitattractsvariousdubiouscharactersofone kindoranother.Theproblemdevoteesorashraminmatesare oftenderacinated,randyIndianmenwhodonotknowhowto J. Jayaraman behaveinaholyplace.Theashramlibrarian,J.Jayaraman,is onesuchman.Heallegedlyuseshisroomintheashramtoentertainhis foreign girl friends at night. He is remembered here for famously declaring:Ramana Maharshi was the biggest fraud of the 20th century! Jayaraman's late assistant in the library, R. Ramaswamy, used to spend his time writing letters to newspaper editors using the pseudonym R. R. Sami. He defended the right of painter M. F. Husain to make obscene pictures of Hindu deities, and, of course, got the letters published in the anti-Hindu mainstream media. References
1.HinduismToday:"CatholicAshrams:AdoptingandAdaptingHinduDharma"at http://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=396 2.CatholicAshramsinWikipediaathttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Ashrams 3.CatholicAshrams:SannyasinsorSwindlersbySitaRamGoel,VoiceofIndia,New Delhi,1994athttp://voi.org/books/ca/index.htm 4.Inculturation:FoolingtheHinduMassesbyNithinSridharat http://bharatabharati.wordpress.com/2009/10/24/inculturationfoolingthehindu massesnithinsridhar/ 5.ChristianAggression:"CatholicAshrams:SachidanandaAshramgetsawoman Acharya"athttp://christianaggression.org/item_display.php? type=NEWS&id=1155837015
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AtmaJyotiAshram:SannyasisorSnakeOilSalesmen?
6.HistoryofHinduChristianEncounters:304ADto1996bySitaRamGoel,Voiceof India,NewDelhi,1996athttp://voiceofdharma.org/books/hhce/ 7.RadicalUniversalism:DoesHinduismteachthatallreligionsarethesame? byFrank Moralesat http://scribd.com/doc/42617424/RadicalUniversalismDoesHinduismteachthata llreligionsarethesameFrankMorales 8.HinduismToday:"SupremeCourttoRKMission:'You'reHindus'"at http://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=3536 9.ThisarticlecanbefoundontheBharata Bharatiwebsiteat http://bharatabharati.wordpress.com/2011/01/30/atmajyotiashramsannyasisors nakeoilsalesmenswamidevanandasaraswati/

George Burke of the Gnostic Orthodox Church

Fr. George Burke was allegedly the abbot of the Greek Orthodox Holy Protection Monastery of the Theodokos in Pennsylvania, USA. Read about him at the Gnostic Orthodox Church website.

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AtmaJyotiAshram:SannyasisorSnakeOilSalesmen?
Arthur Osborne & Sri Ramana Maharshi

Author Osborne started the Mountain Path in 1964 long after the Maharishi's samadhi in 1950. He was a man of his time and the journal represented his own theosophical Christian point of view. Since then various editors have used the journal's close association with Sri Ramanasramam, its publisher, and Sri Ramana Maharshi's teaching to validate their own peculiar Neo-Vedantic or universalist opinions. Given this unfortunate circumstance, it would be a service to Sri Ramana's devotees if the journal was discontinued and closed down. NB: The identity of Arthur Osborne in this photo has not been verified.

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AtmaJyotiAshram:SannyasisorSnakeOilSalesmen?
Letter from Ramakrishna Mission to Prof. G. C. Asnani

This letter concerns the claim the Ramakrishna Mission had made in the Supreme Court that it was not Hindu but a separate religion called Ramakrishnaism (see Note 2 above). It is very revealing of the attitude of the Ramakrishna Mission leaders towards Hindu Dharma.

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