Guru In The Ghetto
File under: The Siddhi of PR
Today's LA Times brings news of Sri Natha Devi Premananda, whose ashram sits right underneath the final approach for LAX airport in an area known more as the birthplace of gangsta' rap than as a place of peace and enlightenment.
Premananda got her start as New Orleans transplant Claretta Cayette. After reading that fantasy fable known as Autobiography of a Yogi, she set sail on her spiritual quest, which took her all over the world to sit "at the feet of enlightened masters".
And wouldn't you know it, a "voice" told her to go home and make a place for visiting masters in America. This was after many "visitations" by that standard pretense for all things miraculous in Yoga, the mythological figure Mahavatar Babaji. She even claims visitations by that flimflamming, kid-diddling avatard, Sai Baba:
Not only was I receiving blessings and instructions from my Beloved Babaji, but also from Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who would occasionally make his presence known to me in a very conscious way. I was first introduced to him in November 1981. During my nightly prayers I heard a sweet voice that said: “Get up and turn on the TV. I did as I was told, and the moment the picture came up I saw a man walking very gracefully across the screen. He was dressed in a long white robe and he materialized a beautiful white lotus flower in his right hand. Each of the petals was moving as he proceeded to walk in that graceful manner. Then, suddenly, the announcer’s voice explained that this was Sri Sathya Sai Baba of India, the modern Christ.While we think it's grand to have a meditation center where it's certainly really needed – in a place rife with gang warfare – we can't help but be completely dismayed by the myth-making aspects of Premananda's story. Perfect for an up and coming guru seeking a bit more funding for her seemingly worthy satsang, but also a source of the standard occluding mind-fucking that occurs around these type of situations.
That said, we wish Sri Premananda much luck with her endeavors to bring peace to the war-strewn streets of Los Angeles, but also pray that she learns to keep it real above all else. Until that happens, Premananda's little island of peace in the ghetto will remain a stinking cesspool of occluding nonsense about self-realization. It may be one little step forward for a bit of calm in a storm, but five giant leaps backward for any true spiritual understanding.
Labels: The Siddhi of PR