Friday, August 24, 2007

Sri Sri's Latest PR Assault & Amma's Anti-Feminism

File under: Amma All-Over-The-Planet and The Siddhi of PR

The Art of Living's crack PR squad somehow got Reuters news agency to release another toilet bowl's worth of propaganda to the world press. This particular piece, trumpeting Sri Sri's efforts to create customers from the citizens of the Arab world, including – it was breathlessly noted – 50 people hand-picked from Iraq. The story was picked up by no less than 12 different news organizations today.

It's the usual AoL PR pabulum pimping Sri Sri to the high heavens as the neatest thing since holes in donuts. It just goes to show that a shrewd business sense, long black hair, a beard and flowing white robes worn by a monster of self-aggrandization is just about all you really need to be regarded as a saint by the media these days.

In other news, Amma has come out against admittance restrictions in Hindu temples... except the one temple that won't allow women between the ages of 10 and 50:
'With regard to entry of women of all age groups to Sabarimala, I would like to reserve my comments because if I make any statement then I would be branded a feminist,' Amma, as she is popularly known, told reporters here at her ashram.
Way to stand up for your gender, lady.

The real reason Amma won't comment on this issue is because it would enrage her supporters in the Hindu version of the Ku Klux Klan, known in India as the RSS. Allegedly, many RSS members are also members of her ashrams. It's a smart political move for the professional hugger, but once again exposes the utter hypocrisy of her movement in India, where she is much closer to a Hindu version of Pat Robertson than a white-robed Oprah.

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14 Comments:

At 8/24/2007 9:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since when is Kali worried about being branded a feminist? (That's what her devotees believe...that she is Kali).

This is kind of like the hotel thing when she didn't want to "get involved with the local affairs." Or, when she gets questioned about issues like abortion and other issues and plays the diplomat.

Some guru. What a joke!

 
At 8/24/2007 10:26 PM, Anonymous satya said...

Hmmm, RSS maybe, but they are just one group. Sabrimala is very popular amongst Dravidians - those folks now mostly in Southern India. Dravidian nationalists actually have some opposition to North Indian chauvinists like RSS. Its a bit complicated, look up Dravida Munnetra Khazagam (DMK).

But as a Dravidian herself, Amma really believes in these southern superstitions. Ancient traditions must be maintained, she would be scared of change, turning the universe upside down. The most conservative Hindus are the ignorant masses, and of those especially women!

Which is why change in India is impossible - hey Indian feminists are just Brahmins usually, adopting a pose of opposition while looking after their class interests. Nothing in India is as it seems.

The 'creamy layer' is pure concrete!

 
At 8/25/2007 7:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guru bhakti path is innately conservative...whether the guru is female or male...it's an authoritarian structure.

anon.

 
At 8/25/2007 8:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Swamiye Saranam Ayappa website....regarding why "ladies" aren't allowed in Sabrimala.
" What is so `unclean' about menstruation? After all isn't it a biological process decreed by God himself, one may ask? The presence of blood in any prayer ritual is a definite `No'. Animal worship and blood sacrifices as seen in some temples are certainly against established norms of worship. The mere presence of blood desecrates the place of worship and invites the evil force, hovering in nether worlds beyond our perception and senses. The menstrual blood is not just blood itself but blood combined with a dead egg. This egg, in it's fertile state had contained intrinsic life-force or sakthi of being able to create another `being' under opportune conditions? Unfertilised and ejected during the menstruation process, the egg is dead. Devoid of its potency, it becomes another dead being or Pretham. It is thus, tantamount , at least figuratively speaking, to bringing a miniaturised graveyard to the venue of the ceremony. That is why young ladies are forbidden from visiting temples during such periods. Besides, in many communities, during their `unclean' times they are also forbidden from venturing out at odd hours like at noon and dusk, and to places like the graveyard."<<<

then there are the usual: women are too hysterical from PMS to properly appreciate pilgrimage; women are a "distraction" to the poor men trying to concentrate on devotion and only thinking of ladies'underwear...etc. etc.
Too bad Amma really is NOT Kali! Kali wouldn't put up with this bullshit. But, since Amma is of menstruating age, would she also be banned from this Temple? She does ritual puja too...I guess female gurus are a different sex altogether...lol!
It's always so interesting to see this kind of attitude and, at the same time, the amazing diversity of Devi worship and Devi manifestation in india....very complex. As a woman, though, it can get really offensive. I know many people from Kerala and Tamil Nadu; I imagine the time spent over here for some of the very devout women (who pick up the Rudram for the first time, for instance) might have a huge impact on
them and maybe help to change things? hard to say...tradition can be pretty heavy.
anon.

 
At 8/25/2007 9:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Guru encourages Guru Bhakti but the surrender is done mentally and the Guru presented as an outer symbol of our own Divinity. He says, "It's OK to get mad at me but don't get mad at my photograph." The photograph is an image of our own hearts and has nothing to do with the personality of the Guru.

I respect Amma but feel she has become trapped in her own machinery. This is what usually happens.

 
At 8/25/2007 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

She is worried about being labeled a feminist, but being labeled God doesn't seem to be a problem? How does anyone take her seriously as a guru?

 
At 8/25/2007 6:40 PM, Anonymous kalliope said...

"Devi" doesn't want to be labeled a feminist.

Now I've heard everything.

After all of these years, Amma still can't decide if she is the Supreme Shakti or someone who cares about things like being called a feminist.

Murderer, thief, fraud....now those are labels to get worried about. But the supreme motherhood worrying about being labeled a feminist seems completely off the wall.

(all devotees who read this, will immediately think: No, you fool! Amma knows exactly what she is doing. How can your child mind comprehend the ways of a great master such as Amma? Amma cannot be comprehended, and her ways are unfathomable to our gigantic egos.)

I wonder if Kali will ever forgive me for having attributed her solely to Amma.

 
At 8/27/2007 12:47 PM, Anonymous repo said...

In traditional India, and even now, most social events are centered around religious festivals. For example, you don't call people over for dinner on any day -- you pick a festival date and it is part of a religious rite.
Adult married men don't get to do much male bonding, as they don't have clubs, and no sports bars. Many don't drink alcohol anyway. A Sabarimala pilgrimage, which involves 40 days of vegetarianism, chastity, and simple living before the actual trip, was probably a way for men to get away from all feminine influences, while being a spiritual experience. Many ancient cultures had this, and even modern ones have versions of it -- the father/son camping or fishing trip, for example. Women past menopause are easily regarded as mothers and asexual in India (whether they are really motherly or asexual is unimportant). Hence it gives a chance for men to become like kids again (a spiritual experience), with girls being yucky etc. Perhaps Amma feels that the spiritual experience will be diluted for men if "young" women are admitted.

 
At 9/03/2007 9:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In traditional India, and even now, most social events are centered around religious festivals. For example, you don't call people over for dinner on any day -- you pick a festival date and it is part of a religious rite.
Adult married men don't get to do much male bonding, as they don't have clubs, and no sports bars. Many don't drink alcohol anyway. A Sabarimala pilgrimage, which involves 40 days of vegetarianism, chastity, and simple living before the actual trip, was probably a way for men to get away from all feminine influences, while being a spiritual experience. Many ancient cultures had this, and even modern ones have versions of it -- the father/son camping or fishing trip, for example. Women past menopause are easily regarded as mothers and asexual in India (whether they are really motherly or asexual is unimportant). Hence it gives a chance for men to become like kids again (a spiritual experience), with girls being yucky etc. Perhaps Amma feels that the spiritual experience will be diluted for men if "young" women are admitted.



Yeah, I can only imagine the "bonding" that took place between the males of the radical group which beat the "innocent" citizens in India with weapons. Wow, what a social experience. Do they carry out these types of attacks on a religious or festival day?

Certainly would not want to "dilute" this by not admitting "young women" to be missed in such bashing of human bodies.

 
At 9/05/2007 7:14 AM, Anonymous Anon. said...

Yeah, I can only imagine the "bonding" that took place between the males of the radical group which beat the "innocent" citizens in India with weapons. Wow, what a social experience. Do they carry out these types of attacks on a religious or festival day?

Certainly would not want to "dilute" this by not admitting "young women" to be missed in such bashing of human bodies.


Hey, what radical group are u talking about and what has it got to do with sabarimala?
if its just random hate spewing, dont bother to answer.

 
At 9/05/2007 9:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, what radical group are u talking about and what has it got to do with sabarimala?
if its just random hate spewing, dont bother to answer.


You may want to do a review of Guruphiliac's archives for the past couple of months. Photos and text are there for viewing and reading.

 
At 9/05/2007 10:58 PM, Anonymous Anon. said...

You may want to do a review of Guruphiliac's archives for the past couple of months. Photos and text are there for viewing and reading.

Proving what? that sabarimala pilgrimage cannot be a male bonding experience? or that people who undergo this will end up becoming a radical group since they exclude women?? thanks for reinforcing your pointlessness.

 
At 9/07/2007 12:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Proving what? that sabarimala pilgrimage cannot be a male bonding experience? or that people who undergo this will end up becoming a radical group since they exclude women?? thanks for reinforcing your pointlessness.


Who is to say who may go on this event? Why not someone who ends up in such radical groups? Others may as well, no doubt.

Beyond this, thinking what Amma does or does not do, trying to "imagine" why or what she does or does not do, without her speaking for herself, is an exercise of projection.

She certainly doesn't seem to publicly speak out regarding the "male bonding" social event which took place over the human body bashing. I wonder if she will publicly speak about her feminism stance?

 
At 9/07/2007 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Amma quote on women in the temple is taken vastly out of context - here's thevrest of what she said:

Saturday August 25 2007 14:56 IST
KOLLAM:




Mata Amritanandamayi said that she favored the entry of all true believers to the temples.

Addressing a news conference at Amritapuri Ashram convened to announce the projects to help end farmer suicides on Friday, she said while restricting the temple entry only for believers from the Hindu religion, the authorities might have been stressing the need for preserving sanctity at the temple.

How ever, she said her personal view was that all devotees irrespective of religious faiths should be allowed entry in all temples. But she said while doing this, every care should be taken to protect the values attached to the temples. She said a true believer could never defile the atmosphere of the temple.

Mata said the Hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala was already open for all devotees from various religions.

When queried whether she would support the view that women of all age groups should be allowed in Sabarimala, she said she did not believe that any harm would happen to the Lord if women of all age group were allowed.

“My God has no discrimination towards man or woman” she said. “It is Woman who deliver the man, then how can she be banned from the abode of God,” she asked.

The hostile conditions like the presence of large number of wild animals and the hard terrain might have been the reason behind the ban on women’s entry into Sabarimala, she said. The argument that women of a certain age group lacked personal hygiene and purity was not valid as the devotee’s mind was of utmost importance, she added.

 

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