Sahaja Yoga was created by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, also known as the reincarnated “Holy Ghost” in 1970. She considered herself many godly entities in one. Those that became her followers first started at a “meditation” class or workshop. They would receive bits and pieces of information with each visit. These “visits” were free, however she encouraged donations. Ex-members say that Devi used those donations for personal gain. While actually doing the mediation your hands are placed on your body in a particular sequence. Then, at the end of the sequence you “ask” for your self realization, and it is tat that moment it is spontaneously given to you. As you can imagine there has been much speculation if this actually does work. One of the bigger concerns is the controversy, disputing whether Sahaja Yoga is indeed a cult. Read on, and make that determination for yourself.
Sahaja Yoga Claims
Some of the claims that Sahaja Yoga followers declare is that while practicing the meditation is that you will “experience” or “feel” the divine spirit within you in the form of a cool breeze. Apparently, if you can achieve this state of self realization you can be your own guru. The official website denies that Sahaja Yoga is an organized religion. Instead they say Sahaja Yoga “unites the essence of all religions through direct perception of the subtle, divine reality.” Practicing Sahaja Yoga helps to clean your chakras. With the chakras being cleansed they will be able to provide more efficient energy to your body’s organs. Which, they claim that clean chakras promotes better health.
So, How is Sahaja Yoga Different From Other Types of Yoga?
Those belonging to Sahaja Yoga say that this yoga starts with self realization, while other yoga practices begin with the person having self realization as an eventual goal. Members say that after practicing for awhile a light goes off within those once self awareness has been achieved. They also state that when you do reach self realization that it is at that time when you experience the “cool breeze” we talked about earlier. The cool breeze should be felt above the head, and the palms of the hands as well. One of the main thing that distinguishes Sahaja Yoga from other practices, despite what members may say is that this is in fact an organized cult.
What Does All This Mean?
First, a little more about the founder Shri Mataji. Many have said that she was delusional and mentally ill. Not only were there the claims of instant self realization, she also claimed that Sahaja Yoga was a cure for hypertension, bronchitis, cancer, and a multitude of other ailments. All the studies that she said were done to prove these claims were not done in a clinical and professional manner. Ironically it has been said that near the end of her life Shri Mataji was take risperidone, which is antipsychotic drug. This fact only adding to the argument that she was indeed mentally ill.
How can we forget Jim Jones or Charles Manson? Both of these men were cult leaders, and both of these men were mentally ill. Despite their mental illness they were still able to gain followers by manipulating and extorting others. In the case of Shri Mataji the evidence points to her being mentally ill and brainwashing her followers as well. Accusations against her include false claims, forced arranged marriages, forcing children to be sent away to other countries, well you get the idea. So, a word of caution to those considering picking up Sahaja Yoga: do you your research before you begin.