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Date Posted: 10:28
Author: ketch - 28 Aug 2001
Subject: Excerpts from SRF's 1995 response to Ananda's accusations - part 2
In reply to:
ketch - 28 Aug 2001
's message, "Excerpts from SRF's 1995 response to Ananda's accusations - part 1" on 10:21
ANANDAíS ALLEGATIONS ABOUT THE LAWSUIT FILED BY SRF
Since the beginning of the SRF/Ananda lawsuit, Ananda has maintained that the issues raised in it "have a purely religious significance" and has accused SRF of using the litigation as an "excuse" to bankrupt Ananda as a "rival religious organization." This accusation led to Mr. Waltersí being questioned about it under oath during his deposition in January 1994:
Lawyer: "Apart from its attempt to enforce its copyrights, is there anything else that you think that SRF has done to attempt to destroy Ananda?"
Mr. Walters: "I wouldnít say so. "
Lawyer: "Apart from your opinion formulated on your own that the lawsuit was an attempt to bankrupt you (Ananda), do you have any information at all to support that view?"
Mr. Walters: "I have my opinion. No information."
Anandaís characterization of the matters at issue in the litigation needs clarification. Regarding Anandaís use of the term "Self-realization," we want to explain that our concern extends only to its use in the Ananda name and any other manner that would likely confuse members of the public about the source of goods or services. It has nothing to do with the use of the term in a purely religious context. Nor do we wish to deny anyone the use of Paramahansajiís name or photograph in religious services. Our legal action has rather to do with trademark and copyright protection not the religious practices of others.
Anandaís allegation that SRF "has long had a history of trying to fight its battles...through lawsuits" is groundless in the face of the fact that in the more than 40 years since Paramahansajiís passing, SRF has filed only one lawsuit the current one with Ananda. (A lawsuit was filed in India by YSS, having to do with the ownership of an ashram property.)
Uma Mata, SRF YSS Board member; disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda since 1947
The main thing about Guruji was that you were aware of the divine presence of God. He reflected that presence of God, and you felt Godís presence there. It was living. It wasnít just something that people talked about; you actually felt it.
In one of his talks- at the temple he said: "It is my duty and privilege to be here with you in this garden of souls and to speak to you of God. When you enter these grounds, speak no evil, hear no evil, see nothing negative, and you will feel the sacred vibrations that are always present. I have never talked of anything negative here. That is why the vibrations are so pure. I want you to observe this also to be only positive and pure-minded, for in such temples of the mind God loves to come and to stay."
And even today, when people go to the various SRF temples, or visit Gurujiís ashrams, that same presence is there, and we see that when they go there to meditate or to pray or to ask for guidance, they do receive it. His ever living presence is so much a part of the temples; itís very tangible. Itís as though you can reach out and touch it; itís there for anyone to take.
And from that standpoint, I feel that Guruji will always be alive.
Letter from Paramahansa Yogananda to Sri Daya Mata on her birthday,
January 31, 1946
"Many years God has traveled us together working for Him. Your birth has been important in the family of SRF and the family and parents who brought you up. Your sincere joyous intelligent service to SRF and to God has been extremely pleasing to me. May you be born in the Cosmic Mother and inspire all with your spiritual motherliness ..only to bring others to God by the example of your life. Happy Birthday to you. Blessings eternal."
THE SPIRITUAL LEGACY
OF A MASTER
The words of every great master who, like Paramahansaji, has brought a liberating message to the world, are not intended to reach only those who were with him during his lifetime, but also the countless spiritual seekers who will be drawn to his teachings for generations to come. To preserve his legacy for the ages in all its original power and purity to insure that it will not be diluted, fragmented, or distorted with the passage of time is the great responsibility of those disciples who are entrusted by him with this sacred mission.
For the sake of all who would be drawn to Paramahansajiís teachings in the future, our Guru took steps to safeguard the integrity of his works and to prevent the original meaning of what he spoke or wrote from being altered or even lost. He wanted to make certain that his works would reach the public only after they had been properly edited and prepared for publication according to his guidance. It was for this purpose that he trained two of his close disciples (Tara Mata and Mrinalini Mata) to serve as his editors and made what provisions he could to insure that the right to publish his works would remain with his own society, Self-Realization Fellowship.
In the course of the current litigation, Anandaís lawyers have resorted to every legal technicality available, in an effort to disprove and distort Paramahansajiís express intent regarding the ownership of his works by SRF. Regardless of whether or not Ananda succeeds in persuading the court, the truth remains that every close disciple of Paramahansaji who was privy to his wishes about the development of his work knew that it was the Guruís express intention that the rights to all his works belong to the society he founded. Paramahansaji made this clear in countless ways throughout his life, including his numerous oral as well as written statements to this effect.
In its open letter, Ananda claims that one of the goals of SRFís lawsuit is "to debar Ananda from quoting any of the writings or sayings of Paramahansa Yogananda....without the express permission of SRF." Our aim, however, has never been to prevent Ananda from merely quoting from SRF literature in their lectures or public presentations or even, on a more limited basis, in their publications (within the reasonable parameters permitted by law) .
We resorted to the legal system only to prevent the reediting and republishing of substantial portions of SRFís publications as any author and publisher would do in a similar situation.
As we have discussed in our earlier letter on this subject, the heart of this legal matter is solely to safeguard Paramahansajiís legacy for the ages.
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