Aurobindo Ashram Suicides

#1 Jan 3rd, 2015, 05:30
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#1
Another case of a well-known ashram and corruption of power. Not the first story I've read.

Pondicherry Ashram Suicides and The Spiritual Surrender


I've been to Pondicherry four times and the vibe of this place always gave me the heebie-jeebies. I've been inside the ashram where their Samadhi is and all I can say it's some heavy mojo, and not in a good way.
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#2 Jan 3rd, 2015, 08:25
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They would have rather died than leave and be on the streets resource-less. Brewing dissent in the ashram could be stifled by giving leaving inmates a severance package of some sort. But instead management just wants to cut people off and hope they go away on their own accord. The whole thing seems more dysfunctional than corrupt to me..
I spent a day at the ashram back in '91 I didn't find it intriguing at all and never went back.
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#3 Jan 3rd, 2015, 10:09
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#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sama View Post I've been to Pondicherry four times and the vibe of this place always gave me the heebie-jeebies. I've been inside the ashram where their Samadhi is and all I can say it's some heavy mojo, and not in a good way.
I couldn't agree with you more. Sadly people still flock there, even well heeled young 'rationalists' desperately looking for a place to belong .
#4 Jan 4th, 2015, 00:13
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#4
Completely reserving judgement on this without informed comment from someone I know and trust.

Hello Atala?
#5 Jan 4th, 2015, 00:16
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This is not the first I read about it. Read about it here first.

Corruption in these well-known ashrams is no surprise and can go on for years. This dirt about this well-known Indian guru based ashram in Australia is just now coming out and is being investigated.

None of this stuff ever surprises me.
#6 Jan 4th, 2015, 20:26
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#6
How different or separate is Auroville from the Aurobindo Ashram?
#7 Jan 4th, 2015, 22:46
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Auroville is completely separate. More influenced by the federal government, actually.
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#8 Feb 5th, 2015, 17:07
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#8

It is a complex affair, mainly driven by revenge against the trustees of the Ashram

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Completely reserving judgement on this without informed comment from someone I know and trust.

Hello Atala?
I think you were well advised to reserve judgement. I have read through some of the court documents in this case. As always in complicated matters it is hard to come to a clear and unbiased conclusion. But after reading some of the court documents, my description of events is not totally wrong if I follow the official outline.

What happened in brief was that H. (one of the sisters who staged a suicide attempt along with their father and mother, which was partially successful) had sex with another member of the Ashram in end 90ies which resulted in a pregancy which she then aborted very late, in the 26th week, which required an operation. She was then expelled from the Ashram which was the Ashram's right to do, because officially sex is not allowed for inmates of the Ashram.

Subsequently the court in Chennai established that her expulsion was right. To reach a conclusion the Madras court then ordered an inquiry in order to establish whether or not H had had sex or not. She got enmeshed in contradictions, essentially denying in the course of the questioning which happened over several days, that she had sex at all. However, it could be established beyond a reasonable doubt, that she had undergone an abortion, by the statement of several doctors who had examined her originally while pregnant, one of them a University professor. (This court procedure was in 2002)

The High Court in Chennai then ruled that the Ashram had the right to expel her, since this was one of the rules of the Ashram which was clearly published to and known by every inmate. In spite of the ruling, H. was still permitted to live in the Ashram for over 12 years.

Then followed a struggle with the courts, to reverse the previous ruling, until finally the Supreme Court ruled last December.

In the mean time, H and her endeavour was instrumentalised by opposing forces within the Ashram, in a trial to oust the present board of trustees of the Ashram. There is a power struggle going on in the Ashram, between two factions, the Bengalis versus the Oriyans, Orissa people. The Oriyans have the say now, it seems, but since I am not interested in politics, I don't really know for sure who is who/what, especially since they (board of trustees) all seem to have Bengali names. Most likely the board of trustees are Bengalis (because only sitting trustees can name a new trustee, a strange rule implemented by the founder of the Ashram, The Mother, the French Mirra Alfassa), while the opposing force is most likely the Oriyans which seem to hold power in several practical departments of the Ashram.

In the end game, after H had agreed that she will accept the ruling of the Supreme Court, but then did not stand for her commitment, she threatened openly that she will commit suicide along with her family in order to cause as much damage to the ashram as possible, if the Ashram did not reverse its eviction. But the fact was that this time around it was not the Ashram which evicted her, but the Supreme Court ordered the Police to get her out, which the Police did.

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