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Date Posted: 11:25
Author: ketch - 27 Jul 2001
Subject: What Vow of Poverty?
In reply to: Eponymous - 27 Jul 2001 's message, "A Vow of Poverty: what it t'is, what it t'ain't." on 11:24

"The issue is whether living in relative material luxury is consistent with a vow of poverty."

No, this is not the issue. The point is whether or not Sri Daya Mata acts in accordance with the principles laid down by her guru, and with the vows she accepted when she became a monastic. As has been pointed out this does not necessarily include a vow of poverty. I do not know for sure what vows are made by SRF monastics, and if anyone knows them and could post them here it would be interesting.

Yogananda did not teach that it is wrong to possess wealth (or to acquire it), but that desires will keep one wedded to the material plain. The second president of SRF was a multi-millionaire. Yogananda was fond of recounting stories of King Janaka who lived in a luxurious palace but was not attached to it.

I was not confusing poverty with nonaquisitiveness, just trying to point out that it is desire and attachment rather than material possessions which the renunciant is trying to avoid in accordance with Yogananda's teachings. Other orders may regard renunciation in a different way.

I mentioned the conditions at Mount Washington to show that Yogananda (and SRF) did not believe it is wrong that "Daya Mata’s lifestyle is more luxurious than is necessary to enable her mission", as you put it. The monastics there also live in quite good conditions with "unnecessary" luxuries such as a tennis court. I believe that the monastics also receive a small ammount of money every month which they can use for themselves.

I am not sure that you are correct in saying that the "mansion" is used exclusively by Sri Daya Mata and her sister, the SRF article which I provided the link to earlier seems to suggest that it is used as a retreat for those why require some privacy.

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