Sri Chinmoy, celibate spiritual master or the master of sex slaves?

"I will never again be a slave to the will of a false master"

To see what Sri Chinmoy says about sex, celibacy and being a good guru click here

November 2001
By a former devotee and sexual partner of Sri Chinmoy

The game has changed for me. I don't obey Sri Chinmoy anymore, period. I speak my mind and I speak the truth because that's what I am about. Hiding the truth, deceiving people and using influence attained to control and manipulate other people's lives, can and does hurt and interfere with the natural course of God's plans.

Sri Chinmoy arrived in the United States in 1964. His sponsors helped him to get a job and he started working for the Permanent Mission of India to the UN in New York. However, his salary was very low and he found life difficult. Chinmoy recalled that the Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, where he once lived had many rich disciples. Because of his past work as a clerk in the Ashram, he knew that money was constantly coming in from wealthy devotees outside the ashram. So Chinmoy decided to start his own meditation center in New York.

This was the beginning of an endless string of stories, myths, lies and threats, which were told and are still being told to his students, disciples and devotees. But they follow Chinmoy's teachings, believe that he is the source of their inner light, often stay in his centers and pay him money. He often controls virtually every detail of a disciple's life and expects submission in every way, which may include sex from those he finds attractive.

Chinmoy sees himself as a loving and benevolent person, who is spiritually more advanced than his students. He makes his people believe that their fruitful inner experiences, attained through meditations, are somehow generated. Thus he essentially places himself at the center of their world. Chinmoy portrays himself as an "Avatar," or direct incarnation of God who was commanded by God to come to the U.S. in order to bring illumination from the East. He connects himself to Krishna as the reincarnation of Arjuna, Krishna's dearest devotee. He infers that he is also a reincarnation of other famous people throughout history, popping up and shaping our world at important junctures. He says he knows the will of God, who he calls Supreme, and equates his will with God's will. He claims to be God's direct representative.

Sri Chinmoy tells his students that if they don't please him and follow his precepts, or leave him, he will withdraw from them spiritually and that then their souls will punish them by making calamities. They will fall ill. He has said that the souls of those who turn against him will leave such people altogether. For many of his disciples, who came to Chinmoy's Center at an early age, such claims are frightening. Many did not have the time and experience to know that their personal spiritual experiences were really originating from within themselves through meditation. Nevertheless, Chinmoy's disciples are made to feel that life outside the Center would be a very barren and dark existence.

Pleasing Sri Chinmoy is a constant challenge for his devotees. They are told to abstain from sex, marriage and having children after joining the center. These things are not considered to be necessary and will supposedly slow the aspirant's spiritual progress. Disciples become vegetarians and smoking, alcohol or any kind of controlled substance is not allowed.

The "good disciple" life begins at 6:00 AM with numerous meditations, daily prayers, invocations and songs to be performed, as well as proscribed exercise. Many disciples also do selfless service at the various businesses owned by the Center, as well as work in the print shop where Chinmoy's books are made. This means that they are either working without wages on evenings or weekends, along with a regular job, or they working for very low wages (as low as $65 per week for 40 to 90 hours per week). Many of the full-time workers are new disciples from poor eastern European countries and are working illegally. Then, in addition to the full working schedule, disciples are also expected to attend the regular meditation meetings of the Center. Some disciples also give classes in an effort to bring in new people.

The "manifestation team" is particularly challenged. It is this team's job to get publicity for Chinmoy, and his appetite for publicity is insatiable. The team works around the clock, putting out announcements and releases about Chinmoy to newspapers, radio and TV programs, while still others leave their jobs to organize peace concerts. Arranging for a site, college, state or country to be a designated a "Sri Chinmoy Peace Blossom" is a never-ending project. And hardworking disciples, find that no matter how much they do, Chinmoy will add something new. Many disciples leave Chinmoy, simply because they have burned out, become disillusioned or bitter, usually because even though they worked so hard, it was never enough.

Sri Chinmoy also finds other ways for his disciples to please him.

I lived a celibate life for ten years and barely even looked into a man's eyes, other than Chinmoy. But then in the fall of 1991, when I was getting in shape and exercising a lot, out of the blue, Chinmoy invited me to join a group trip out of New York for a peace concert near San Francisco. He even offered to pay for me when I said I didn't have the money. I was very honored by this gesture. After the concert a woman I knew as the leader of the San Francisco Center approached me and said that Chinmoy wanted me to go to his room. She gave me a piece of paper with the room number on it.

After going to my room to tidy up, I nervously went to his room. I thought I had been invited to a special private party or function and never dreamed that it was for sex. After a short interview about my previous sexual experiences Chinmoy said, "You should surrender your vital (sexual) energy to me." I folded my hands, looked him in the eyes and offered him my energy, but he indicated that this wasn't enough. So then I said, "Supreme I bow to thee," a few times. He had me embrace him, I hugged him, feeling very warm and loving, but not aroused. Then Chinmoy told me to take my clothes off. I was shocked! However, prior to being in the Center, I had been very open minded, so I was happy and not angry. I took off my clothes, he then removed his and we proceeded to have sex. Afterward, he told me that I must never tell anyone. He said that I was specially chosen and that this was not rally sex, but his life breath, which he was giving me. He also mentioned that if anything happened, such as a.pregnancy, I should not even tell him, but instead go immediately to a clinic for an abortion.

Having spent the last 10 years worshiping Chinmoy as a God, I didn't question this. I accepted what was happening, even though after this experience, I had nagging doubts about him. I started looking around and noticing through the behavior of other women, that they were probably sexually involved with him too. I came to realize that I was probably not the only woman with whom Chinmoy was involved, but I don't think I ever imagined the scope of his sexual activities.

Over the next few months, there were several late-night trysts, but then the calls suddenly stopped. After several months elapsed without a call from Chinmoy I became very depressed. I felt that if I got involved with another man I would come out of my depression. So with the help of a friend and confidant, I made contact with one of the men in the Center. This worked out very well and we saw each other secretly for several months. We ended up deeply involved, but then were discovered. Chinmoy didn't make us leave the Center at that time, but circumstances eventually led to our leaving on our own about a year later.

After being out of the Center for a few years I still hadn't moved on in my beliefs. I blamed myself and thought that my departure from the group was because I had become weak and succumbed to my emotions. My partner also hadn't moved on and wanted to return. During this period I told my partner about my secret activities with Chinmoy. He didn't act surprised and later hinted that he too was involved, not only with Chinmoy, but that Chinmoy had directed him to be involved with other people. My partner eventually begged to come back to the Center. He was accepted, but only conditionally. We must separate and I would also return. Initially I had misgivings, but I went back.

Over the next several years I became more and more aware about the many women sexually involved with Chinmoy. There were also signs that he was having sexual relations with men. The first time that I was called for sex again after my return, I was asked by Chinmoy to first write him a letter. I wrote something spiritually devotional, but that wasn't what he wanted. He told me put details in my letter about my desire for him and specifically to tell all about the sexual things done together with my partner, while were outside the Center. After complying with that request, Chinmoy called me for sex once or twice a year.

A few years ago I got a special call from Chinmoy, he said that he wanted to introduce me to a new way of having sex--with women. The first time, he had me come over to his house with another woman. We were together downstairs, while he waited in another room upstairs. Then the other woman went upstairs. Later, Chinmoy came down and had relations with me. He told me that I must never talk to anyone about these trysts and must instead act as if I had never been intimate with him.

Another time, a woman and I had relations, while he sat on a chair and watched. After that I saw the same woman on a regular schedule, once a month, at her home. This is not something I am proud of, because I really wasn't too comfortable with her. I felt some loving sisterly feelings, but the sex seemed mechanical and unnatural to me. I had to force myself to be into it. In addition, I had acquired cold sores from her. This was very embarrassing, but it also made me realize that these activities were not limited to a small select group. I started to notice that many of the women, as well as the men in the Center, had the same cold sores.

The first woman I was with started calling me less frequently and Chinmoy set me up with another woman. This one I saw once a week. Even though we were intimate, I was told by Chinmoy that I must act as if it was my first time with a woman. And that we should never discuss our other sexual experiences.

During this period, Chinmoy gave me the opportunity to select a woman partner. However, I refused because I didn't want to change my identity and I was starting to feel that I would lose it. I asked him if I could select a male partner, but he refused, saying that we would fall in love.

The relationship with the second woman started to slow down and a new woman was again introduced. I didn't like this woman though, she was an egotistical show-off and always tried to compete for Chinmoy's attention at meetings, which included drawing attention to our friendship in public. This was embarrassing for me because I felt exposed and I disliked the influence that this woman had on my life. At the same time, I felt compelled to please Chinmoy and continued to be with her. I couldn't see why Chinmoy gave this woman so much attention and had her so near to him, when she didn't seem to have much spiritual depth. But she did have money and she gave a lot of it to Chinmoy. She was very sexual.

At the beginning of my relationship with this third woman I had a mammogram and it that turned out positive. There was a lump in my breast that looked suspicious, so I needed to have a biopsy. My female partner made a big deal out of bringing this to the attention of Chinmoy. He sent one of his disciples, who was a nurse, to attend the biopsy with me. This was unsettling, because Chinmoy told this nurse that the HMO should tell him first (through her) what the outcome of my biopsy was.

Chinmoy's nurse then told me to inform my doctor that she was to receive my test results and not me. I agreed, though reluctantly, and the wait began. The HMO didn't get back to us for more than a week. I felt calm though, because I really thought it would turn out to be nothing. My mother had a similar growth at my age, which was benign. The doctor said it didn't look bad. I was under 40, a non-smoker and had no history of breast cancer in my family.

The test results were negative. However, when the disciple nurse gave me the news, she acted as if it was a miracle. Other se disciples of Chinmoy also indicated to me that it was a miracle. Apparently Chinmoy was claiming to have saved my life.

An earlier similar "miracle" occurred in 1999 and 2000.

There was a disciple, a personal acquaintance of mine, who fell down a large flight of concrete stairs in the basement of Chinmoy's home. She experienced a great deal of pain in her hip and could barely move. However, Chinmoy told her that it was nothing and that the pain would go away. This woman always gave as much money as possible to Chinmoy. So despite the fact that she had a good job with the option of subsidized health insurance, she didn't insure herself. This allowed her more money to contribute to the Center.

Due to Chinmoy's influence she didn't go to a doctor or even get an X-ray and instead just waited. But she really couldn't walk and instead dragged herself around on crutches with one virtually useless leg for several months. Finally a yearly insurance enrollment campaign took place at her work. She signed up and saw a doctor. She then found out that her hip had been broken at the socket and the ball of the socket, which had been broken off, was completely re-absorbed into her tissue. There was no ball at all. This woman had been trying to walk with only her thigh bone for months. The pain must have been absolutely excruciating!

During those months of pain, I provided her rides, because she couldn't even drive her car. And I was there to bring her home from the hospital after hip replacement surgery. She told me everything, and of course we both thought that it must have somehow been "God's will," for her to suffer so much. This woman's suffering was kept quiet in the Center. She wouldn't let people know about her pain and she didn't tell people what was wrong with her, or what happened.

After the mammogram incident, I became increasingly disillusioned. I came to the realization that I wanted to have children and a real male partner. So it finally dawned on me that I would have to leave the Center again and this time for good. Of course I believed that the risks were very great. I thought that I would be leaving behind all the inner light that I had worked toward for 20 years. My very relationship with God might be compromised and perhaps bad things would happen to me--as Chinmoy had drummed into my head for so many years. Nevertheless, I made my choice. First there was one botched attempt to leave, Chinmoy was able to coerce me into staying. But finally after that failed attempt I made another effort and left the Center for good.

Now I have not only left the Center permanently, but I am also truly moving on regarding my beliefs about Chinmoy. I feel a tremendous sense of freedom and realize that life outside the Center can be bright and fulfilling. My inner light is blossoming. Looking back, I see that because I did not believe in myself, I gave Chinmoy credit for what I found through my own inner search for God. Also, I have come to the realize that I let him lie and manipulate me because of my own desire to be good, unconditionally loving and an enlightened person. However, through my entire time with Chinmoy it was actually my desire for light itself, which was both drawing the light in and bringing me into the light. I now have the faith that my life will continue not only in light, but also in truth. I will never again be a slave to the will of a false master. Moreover, I am happy and know that my heart's pure desires actually prompted me to leave the Center. I now believe that my life will be fulfilled according to God's plan and continue to be safe, healthy, happy and fulfilling.

To see what Sri Chinmoy says about sex, celibacy and being a good guru click here

Copyright © 2001 Rick Ross.

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