Thursday, September 04, 2008

Startling Charges about TM Pandits and Yagyas

Some weeks ago, I corresponded with a TM Org employee from India. He made some startling allegations about the late Maharishi's pandit and yagya programs that I quote below.

For those unfamiliar with pandits and yagyas, a pandit is a high-caste Brahmin who chants Hindu Vedas and mantras and may perform various religious rituals. Yagyas are religious rituals performed for a specific effect, such as to promote business success. Although Transcendental Meditation claims not to be a religion, for the past 20 years they have charged TMers high fees to have these Hindu rituals performed in their names. (More detail below.)

A word of caution: I have tried to confirm the employee's charges through other parties. But as is so often the case with whistleblowers, it appears that it is very difficult to find others willing to talk about his charges. So his story remains unconfirmed — yet quite disturbing. (He has requested anonymity.)
I shall be happy to honestly tell you the truth about movement without any motivation whatsoever. I am no more with the movement so there is no moral dilemma to keep quiet about the wrong doings. I am a free person so I can speak my mind.....

I joined Movement in 1995 to become a translator for jyotishies. I studied jyotish and some tricks to do my work efficiently. We were encouraged to be regular practitioner of TM and sidhi. We learned it for almost free. Our pay in India was linked to the meditation hall sittings. If we were unable to attend one sitting we had lo lose the pay for that sitting. There were exceptions to the rule too.

Br[amhachari] Nandakishore was controlling all happenings of Jyotish and yagya programme then. Their sole aim was to get as much yagya business as possible as it is high margin business for them. They never gave importance to good professionals. They also got yagya Pandits in a very unhealthy living environment so they never bothered to do their work sincerely. It is still the case. You would be shocked to know that at times there were uprising and I know a few Pandits got killed. They have local police in their side as regular payments are made to them. Almost all political parties get donation from movement so they never got into any big trouble. There were a lot of politics to decide who goes to what country as far as we professionals are concerned. I can say for sure there is still nobody in the Indian Movement who really cares about the sincere execution of the various programs. All are looking for opportunities to make money. This is the case today too with international. I know many of the movement people, who are working against the interest of Movement from inside. Some are using their official position and official email address to extract business for their confidants outside the Movement.

I wrote back asking for more detail.
The Pandit killing happened at Karondi ashram in Madhya Pradesh. It happened in 2001 or 2002. I was at Vlodrop then. It was an uprising and probably stress of some Pandits. Some Pandits killed a Pandit for some heated exchange. I think it was not intentional. It did not make any well known paper. Movement is good at suppressing such events. Most of the Pandits are from very poor family so movement never faced any challenge from any of the Pandit family.

Re tricks, they are normal instructions like recommend yagyas as per the financial situation of a client and his desperation. Always try to keep the client happy by telling him/her what he/she likes to listen. Promote other movement programs through consultations and lectures. Never contradict a fellow jyotish.

Re yagya I am not surprised. I worked for the department for 8 years. I know clients pay high. Some pay millions of $. Yagya performance is a Vedic procedure. Sometimes it is chanting of a specific mantra and sometimes it is repetition of a mantra in the mind by the Pandits. For some performances there is a fire ceremony in the end. It is a genuine good technique if done sincerely with devotion. For different purposes different deities are invoked. Ganesh is invoked to keep obstacles away and knowledge. Mahalaxmi for wealth, success in business. Vishnu for enlightenment, evolution etc. Shiva for health, enlightenment etc. For love Mother divine (Durga). Actually it is a big list and it depends upon the jyotish chart of the person. For planets there is specific mantra. Usually 11 Pandits form a group to do a yagya. For bigger yagyas more Pandits are used. All Pandits get money in the end, which is called daxina.

No I have no contact with any movement leaders including Br Nandakishore. I am too small a person to have contact with a leader figure.

I know some Movement Governors from Australia, Uzbekistan, Russia, Italy, Germany, France, USA some of them are running TM centers, Ayurveda clinic, Vastu related business, some are leaders of their country are having yagya performances done by ex TM joyotish people and also encourage their students to have yagya performance because they are beneficiary (financially like earning a commission or free yagya for themselves).

I am no more with Movement so I do not know exactly under what program the Pandits are going. Usually they sign a contract to stay for 2 years or something like that. They promise to live a tailor made life style. They are paid in India. In USA too they sign some agreements without properly understanding what they are signing. Defection is always a problem. I know a few jyotish and translators defected but movement did not take any action. Probably they were not in a position to do so.

My conversation with this former TM employee are ongoing. I will continue to share his allegations as I learn them.

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