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Date Posted: 14:30
Author: ket5ch - 28 Jul 2001
Subject: Re: high living on others' heartfelt donations
In reply to: Anonymous - 27 Jul 2001 's message, "Re: high living on others' heartfelt donations" on 14:25

In answer to the points you raise.

a) I do not suggest that it is wrong to ask questions about Sri Daya Mata's behaviour, or anyone else's. In fact one of the purposes of this board is so that these things can be discussed openly. What I do regard as mean spirited is the way that some people seem to expect this elderly and possibly sickly lady to be living in poverty. For example when this story first came out there was a lot of criticism of Sri Daya Mata for (supposedly) not doing the housework at this dwelling, even though that could clearly be done more easily by a younger and fitter monastic.

b) "You are factually wrong in saying that she’s known "hardship and plain living" such as any single mother or poor person in daily misery in the society all around us knows every day."

And you are factually wrong if you are trying to suggest that I compared her with a single mother or "poor person in daily misery". What I actually wrote was " She has been a kriyaban and follower of Paramahansa Yogananda for nearly 70 years, during which time she endured her fair share of hardship and plain living." What I was trying to say was that she lived as an ordinary nun for many years. From the writings of Durga Mata among others we can see that the monastics did live a fairly plain life in those days. SRF was not rich in the early days, and they did not always eat regularly, also she had to give up her room for others and sleep on the floor on occasion. She also suffered from serious illness in her early life, prior to meeting Yogananda.

c) I should indeed have checked the article first. I had not read it for some time and did not realise that she had supposedly lived there for such a long time. I think the important point is summed up in your parenthetical comment "if reports are true" as the reliability of this newspaper seems to be questionable.

d) I will answer this last.

e) "Sorry, but your “papal infallibility” attitude belongs to a bygone yuga, and simply won’t fly now. It doesn’t make it “right” simply because Daya does it." I don't recall ever saying that she was infallible. I believe that there are many things that the current SRF leadership has done which are questionable (altering photographs, signatures etc.) however that does not mean that everything they do is wrong, or that every criticism of them is justified.

"Contrary to the politically correct attitude that she’s a perfect being, actually she’s no more a god than any of us." I'm not entirely sure what you mean by this. If there is anything whatsoever in kriya yoga (and many people here can testify from personal experience that there is) then someone who has been practising for nearly seventy years, probably quite intensely, may well be much more spiritually advanced that most of us. Whether or not this makes her "more a god" than the rest of us is a matter of opinion and semantics.

"The plain fact in front of your face is, she lives on our charity, she’s basks in luxurious comfort in Sierra Madre, just over the border from exclusive Arcadia. It’s a FACT." Hardly a fact. Just an allegation in a gutter newspaper. SRF claim she does not live there, but uses the accomodation occasionally. I do not see anything wrong with this.

d) I'm afraid that for me you have chosen a bad comparison in Mother Theresa as I hold views about her which are probably at variance with most people reading this. That she was a saintly and well intentioned woman I do not doubt, but I have some concerns over her methods and actions.

I remember watching her on television once, and after she had been explaining something of her work she made a remark such as "This is how we fight against abortion and contraception in India". Whilst I can understand her position in this I am not sure that fighting against the use of contraception will do any good in the long term battle against poverty. From my own experiences I have come to the conclusion that some charity work, however well meaning, may well do more harm than good. I am not sure if this can be said of Mother Theresa's work.

I did not see the video you refer to where the nuns tell someone to rip out their water heater. They are following a particular Christian path, and for them perhaps that was the correct thing to do. Christianity seems to glorify suffering, with it being considered a sign of spirituality to suffer. In some branches of Christianity the use of hair shirts and self flagellation is encouraged. In the Philippines some people will allow themselves to be crucified at Easter to suffer with their Lord. That is their path, but is not ours. It may well have been correct for these nuns to rip out their water heater, but I doubt if Yogananda would have wanted his nuns to do likewise. In fact I suspect that he would have considered it a very foolish thing to do.

"Will you please tell us what you think Mother Theresa would’ve done with a million dollar house donated to her cause?"

Don't know. Don't care.
She had her path and her mission, we have a different way. I do not want Sri Daya Mata to be a Mother Theresa clone, and I don't see any reason why she should be. Perhaps Mother Theresa would have sold the house and used the money to feed the hungry. Her mission was largly concerned with charitable work. However the purpose of SRF is not primarily charitable (although SRF does do a lot of charitable work). For an organisation like SRF it is important to invest part of the money it receives for the future. SRF still owns this house. Perhaps it has been a good investment and it's value has increased. If you have a property why not use it?

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