The following is a complaint on harmful dishonest conduct of Shu also known as Saci Dulal and Supratik Sen, and Thomas from Bhakti Lounge (Gaura-Yoga) in 2007 (now renamed “Bhakti Lounge”). The complaint has not been responded to since it was submitted to Devamrita Swami in 2007, and then again it was re-submitted last April 1st to firstname.lastname@example.org . The complaint has so far been completely ignored, and therefore I have posted it as a warning to other people that may go to Bhakti Lounge (Gaura-Yoga). The complaint just tells a story about events that happened.
>>>> Start of Complaint Submitted
Background of my Association with Gaura-Yoga/Bhakti-Lounge
I have been attending weekly Sunday functions at the Hare Krishna Centres overseen by his Devine Grace Devamrita Swami for over 7 years. The first center attended was [called] The Loft, the current one being called Bhakti Lounge (Gaura-Yoga).
Over the course of 7 years I have made many friends who are devotees and even attended a weekend retreat to the Hare Krishna lifestyle unit in Auckland with friend devotees.
Other key points of close association include living next door to then mens Hare Krishna ashram in Mount Victoria (Wellington), having many friends that attended the Hare Krishna centers, and going on a pilgrimage to India with Wade Aukett and Tim Marwick who have had close association with Devamrita Swami.
Although I have attended the Hare Krishna Centre off and on, over the years I have openly expressed my appreciation of being able to share Krishna consciousness through Kiirtan and the association of devotees.
Earlier this year (2007) in March I approached Devamrita Swami for his council. I told him that I appreciate the Kiirtan and association of good people and for these reasons, very much appreciate attending the weekly functions. I explained that although I practice Ananda Marga yoga I do not propagate or speak of it while attending, as this is not my reason for attending.
Devamrita Swami explained that I was welcome to attend, and he also asked about my previous flatmates that often used to attend the Sunday Functions, – David Thomas, Wade Aukett, Jessica Godfrey, AJ and Aimee, Tim Marwick. I related stories of each of them, including that Wade Aukett had been working for the Anglican Church for the last few years and was becoming an Anglican Minister. Devamrita Swami said that they were all welcome to attend the Bhakti Lounge (Gaura Yoga). I expressed my gratitude to Devamrita Swami. I have kept my word that I have not propagated Ananda Marga in any way, as my reason for attending is for Kiirtan and good association. I am still very thankful to Devamrita Swami for formally welcoming others and myself to attend Bhakti Lounge (Gaura Yoga). I have also passed on his message to all these people (except Aimee) and many of my other friends as well that they should be welcome to attend Bhakti Lounge (Gaura Yoga).
Incident with Shru
Location:Bhakti Lounge (Gaura Yoga)
Time: Just after Sunday Kiirtan, taking prasad 5/8/07
Shru invited me to sit with him. Shru said that some people have written about kuruksetra using it as a metaphor for the body and that this is blasphemy. I argued that it is logical and tried to explain the metaphor but Shru keeps interjecting.
Shru suggested I do chanting on 3 occasions. When I realized he was pushing it, I did not want to waste Shru’s efforts, so I advised Shru that I practice Ananda Marga – suggesting not interested. I had previously made it clear to him that I like kiirtan a lot and the reasons it is important.
Shru says that I am confused in reference to nothing and no logical reason. I told Shru that it was not right to tell someone they are confused and not give any reason, & and how would he like it if I did it to him. No apology so I ask Shru if he want to fight me. Shru openly says he does want to fight me intellectually (NB Shru has not told me what he wants to fight about, nor is it in any logical context). Advise Shru I do not want to waste my time and don’t want to speak with him anymore.
I go to speak with Devamrita Swami. While waiting, Shru approaches and says I can come to Bhakti Lounge (Gaura Yoga) if I start chanting. I tell Shru that he has no authority to tell me I cannot come anymore. Shru then says that this is the last time I can come to Bhakti Lounge (Gaura Yoga). Shru goes to the kitchen.
Spoke with Devamrita Swami and advised him that Shru called my Mayavardii, and said that I cannot come to Bhakti Lounge (Gaura Yoga) anymore. Asked Devamrita Swami if he can mediate. Devamrita Swami agrees. I go and get Shru from the kitchen.
We return and Devamrita Swami is speaking with another devotee. So we wait 2-3 minutes. Shru says that I should tell Devamrita Swami that I am Ananda Marga practitioner, and then see if Devamrita Swami still wants to talk. This is another example of trying to inject inferiority complex. I tell Shru that Devamrita Swami has called him and he will have to wait.
We sit down. I tell Devamrita Swami that Shru keeps putting labels on me, called me Mayavardii and confused in derogatory way and tried to tell me that I could not come to Bhakti Lounge (Gaura Yoga) after tonight (no reason given). I explained that I practice Ananda Marga but never bring up the topic or philosophy. (NB I do tell devotees if they ask because I don’t want them to waste their time preaching to me).
Shru tries to argue further by saying that I believe in merging with Brahma (or some out there theory). Again I illustrate that Shru is imposing his false assumptions on me (again about a topic we never spoke about).
Devamrita Swami mitigates by agreeing that I do not preach my philosophical views in Bhakti Lounge (Gaura Yoga) and makes a joke that I don’t believe in merging with Brahma, “do you”?
Everything is made ok by Devamrita Swami grace and I feel somewhat more easy regarding Shrus random eviction notice. Devamrita Swami. Shru invites me to wash up in the kitchen. At first I agree, but shortly after decline when I realize he is not at all sorry for his behavior. I advise Shru that our personalities are different.
- Shru has told me that I am confused, randomly and within no context except that I had revealed that I practice Ananda Marga a few moments ago.
- Shru has openly said that he wants to fight me intellectually, again totally random and in no context.
- Shru tried to evict me from Bhakti Lounge (Gaura Yoga), again totally randomly, and pretending he has the authority to do so.
- Shru has expressed and continues to express an intention to harm. This is against the 1st principle of Ahimsa.
- Shru is exercising a superiority complex by role-playing a position of high authority and not explaining his slander. He should know that inferiority and superiority complexes always go hand in hand. Shru is trying to act in a position of superiority in order to cover up his inferiority complex.
- Shru is not sorry for his actions. If someone is not sorry it means that there is no change in their character. The only thing that prevents repetition is pressure of circumstances. Shru will continue his slandering again in a moments notice when the opportunity presents itself.
- Unlike Shru, I have not made any attack on Shru in any way. I am not asking anything from you except to listen to my story. By communicating Shru’s misconduct, this will put pressure on Shru, and will prevent attempts from him of attacking or slandering me in the future.
Incident With Thomas of bhakti lounge
8.30pm Sunday 26 August 2007
I went to the Bhakti Lounge (Gaura Yoga) and sat next to Martin and Paulo to take prasadam. After everyone had eaten, Shu sat next to me and told me I was brave to have come in a condescending manner. I told him I could not sit next to him stood up to leave. As I had just been in discussion with the other people at the table I explained that I could not sit next to Shu because he is harmful towards me. I explained that Shu had previously told me to leave without gibing any reason. He had told me I was confused for no reason and he had said he wanted to fight me intellectually, again with out and reason given and out of context. I further explained that I had complained to Devamrita Swami about Shu’s conduct and been told I was ok to stay by Devamrita Swami. I then left and sat with Jasper and his friend Nick.
I had met Jasper before and he introduced me to Nick. Shortly after Thomas (devotee) came and sat next to us, also just beginning his meal. I had the harmful problem of Shu on my mind so expressed it to them, explaining that Shu was always trying to harm me. I also gave some examples such as when he told me I was confused with no reason, and told me I could no longer come to Bhakti Lounge (Gaura Yoga) for no reason. I told them that I had spoken with Devamrita Swami who had again given me authority to come to Bhakti Lounge (Gaura Yoga) if I did not speak about Ananda Marga (which I have honored). Thomas cut in a couple of times because he assumed I was bad mouthing Shu, but this is not the case. I explained to Thomas that I had not said anything bad about Shu and was only defending my self as Shu was trying to harm me. I told Thomas that Shu really did have it in for me. Thomas said he would look into it for me and we could talk about it later. Thomas finished his meal very quickly then retired somewhere else.
I talked some more with Jasper and Nick for about 5 min then Thomas comes back to me and says we can talk. I accept his offer because I want to tell somebody who cares about Shus behavior towards me. Thomas takes me to the kiirtan room and asks if James (the DJ) if he can leave. James says he is busy doing sadhana so I tell Thomas that I do not need to talk and would prefer to speak directly with Devamrita Swami or Mahavan or . Thomas says that he needs to talk with me and insists James and his daughter leave, then we sit down. Mahavan then walks past and I explain what is happening. I tell Mahavan that I tried to contact him last Sunday to make a complaint about Shu and that I have written a 2 page complaint to pass on to Devamrita Swami. Mahavan says he is busy but I explain that I want to go through the right channels and that I am only speaking with Thomas now because he says he needs to etc (I am indirectly seeking Mahavans approval). Mahavan expresses he is too busy now but does not object to Thomas speaking with me. I apologize for holding him up. Mahavan leaves.
I explain to Thomas that Shu is trying to harm me and that his first words to me were condesendnigly “you are brave to come here tonight”. I told Thomas that Shu had said that I was confused without any context, told me he wanted to fight me with no reason given, and also told me I could no longer go to Bhakti Lounge (Gaura Yoga) with no reason given. I told Thomas that I immediately complained to Devamrita Swami and he told me that I did not need to worry about what Shu had said and that I could continue coming to Bhakti Lounge (Gaura Yoga).
Thomas mentioned something about mayavadiis so I start off by explaining that when I first came to Bhakti Lounge (Gaura Yoga), I noticed that Shu would always talk about mayavadiis in front of me with other people (3 occasions) as if he were trying to tell me something indirectly. I always ignored Shus indirect communication until he invited me to eat with him. I started explaining to Shu the importance of a personal relationship with Krsna, as I didn’t want him accusing me of mayavadisim or impersonalisim. I told Thomas that I had explained to Devamrita Swami that I was Ananda Marga yoga practitioner and that I wanted to come to Bhakti Lounge (Gaura Yoga) because of Kiirtan and Satsaunga and that De Devamrita Swami had said that it was ok for me to come. Devamrita Swami also told me that all my old flat mates that he was familiar with were also welcome to come to Gaurga Yoga. Explained to Thomas also.
Thomas said something regarding the importance of satsaunga with devotees and I communicated that Prapapad says in the Krishna book that the relationship with devotees is better than reading the Srimad Bagavitam.
Thomas then mentioned that devotees are very important people and it is not good to blasphem them. I advised Thomas that I had said nothing bad about Shu at all and was only communicating his conduct which was clearly made with the intention to harm me. After all it is the right of all people to defend themselves and I was only advising people about Shus misconduct which was continuing.
Thomas then mentioned that someone who blasphemes against a devotee should have their tongue cut off. I repeated that I had not said anything bad about Shu and because he was implying that my tongue should be cut off, I said I had to go. Thomas then said that had to leave Bhakti Lounge (Gaura Yoga). When asked why Thomas told me that I had blasphemed against Shu at the table. I explained again that I had not said anything bad about Shu and asked him to give me an example.
Because I have not said anything, or thought anything bad about Shu, Thomas could not give me any example. All he could repeat was that I had blasphemed against Shu, which is a totally wrong assumption, based on Thomas’s misunderstanding.
On being shown to the door I tried to speak with some of the devotees, to explain that Thomas’s reason for my removal was incorrect, as he could give no examples of me blaspheming Shu. I also asked Thomas to give me an example of me blaspheming Shu but this just seemed to make Thomas irate as he had no example. Unfortunately I could not find any of the long timer devotees that I new well or anyone with authority such as Kederavan, Mahavan, Krishnaloka, Sue, who I could explain the situation to.
As 8pm kiirtan had been initiated I joined in for 3 choruses before Thomas’s anger got the better of his embarrassment and he forced me out the door by pushing. Once out the door I explained that I needed to get my shoes, and would go once I had retrieved them. I asked another devotee that was supervising Thomas’s work of removing me that Thomas should let me go then I will get my shoes and leave. I went inside, got my shoes, and explain to James (the DJ) who is nearby that I have been falsely accused as a blasphemer although this is totally false as no examples can be given by Thomas. James says he is sorry because he has no authority to do anything. I leave and ask Thomas once more to please give me an example my blasphemy.
Question: Is one a blasphemer simply by communicating the bad conduct of someone, simply in order to avoid receiving harmful conduct from this person in the future?
According to my understanding of the principle of Ahimsa, one has the responsibility to defend oneself if attacked by an aggressor. An aggressor is someone who intends to harm or limit the progress of another person. In defense there is no intention to harm, there is only intention to protect oneself from future attacks.
The following are clear examples of attacks with the intention to cause harm or limit my progress:
Being incorrectly labeled as a mayavadi
Being told I was “confused” with no explanation given bhakti lounge
Being told by Shu that he wants to fight me intellectually with out any context
Being told to leave with no reason given
Being told I am a believer that everything is one, which I have never said
Being told I was brave for returning to Bhakti Lounge (Gaura Yoga) as a condescending opening line
Shu has shown no signs of regret or remorse for any of his harmful actions against me.
My response has only been to protect myself and others, by warning of Shu’s harmful behavior. I have been very direct about this and have not done this behind his back. I have openly criticized him for his behavior and warned others so they will not fall victim to similar attacks.
Follow up with Mahavan
3pm Called ashram and Kederavan answers. She advises Mahavan is sleeping and to callback tomorrow before 12pm.
Called ashram and my guess is that Shayden answers. He has a message from Mahavan that I should call back after 3.30pm.
3.30pm bhakti lounge
Called ashram and Brendon answers advising that Mahavan is busy and to callback after 4pm.
Called Ashram and spoke with Mahavan. Mahavan explains that Bhakti Lounge (Gaura Yoga) is only for new people or people that want to apply “bhakti yoga”. I offer my respect for differences and for making his point clear. I advise him that if Shu or Thomas had made this point clear then this would have been much more helpful in avoiding the confrontation that occurred. bhakti lounge
Called Ashram and spoke with Mahavan. I advise him again that if Shu or Thomas had made this point clear then this would have been much more helpful in avoiding the confrontation that occurred. I offer to send the notes I had made re the previous incidents for his reflection. Mahavan advises the devotees are not perfect. Mahavan advises his email address – email@example.com. I advised I did not require or want a response.
>>>> End of Complaint Submitted to bhakti lounge
The above complaint was submitted to Devamrita Swami in early September 2007, and then again it was re-submitted April 1st 2011 to firstname.lastname@example.org . bhakti lounge
Mahavan’s statement that Bhakti Lounge (Gaura Yoga) is only for new people or people that want to apply bhakti yoga seems to conflict with Devamrita Swami’s graceful words that everyone is welcome to come to Bhakti Lounge (Gaura Yoga) and that I specifically am welcome to attend. Devamrita Swami also specifically welcomed Wade Aukett after I explained that he was studying to be become a minister of the Anglican Church. After being told by Shru that I could no longer attend Bhakti Lounge/Gaura Yoga (with no reason given), Devamrita Swami also gave me shelter said that I should not worry. bhakti lounge
In reflection I am more inclined to think that Devamrita Swami’s word should hold more value since he is the current presiding Guru of the Have Krishna organization and lineage.
Another Drama with Thomas
At approx 1pm on 15/Nov 2008 Saturday I was handing out pamphlets on the street promoting the decline of Communism in China with Falun Gong friends. As the procession was going down Lambton Quay, I saw Thomas was engaged in book distribution.
I approached him and told him told him “don’t blaspheme the devotees”. I asked him to give me the example of how I had blasphemed previously. I cycled through similar arguments and questions for about 1 min before disengaging due to my current duty as part of the procession..
After the procession was near the ended I returned back to see Thomas. I found he had moved further down the street and was behind a sign, speaking with a male member of the public. I interrupted the conversation warning the man that Thomas could not be trusted, and then proceeded to explain why. Understandably the man was not interested.
I continued to confront Thomas, and became aware of someone witnessing me to the side of both of us although I did not bother to see who it was. Here are some of the questions and assertions I asked Thomas:
“- what did you say Krishna does to blasphemers?
- Don’t blaspheme the devotees
- Krishna does not like blasphemers
- What was the example of me blaspheming
- I am going to stay with you today while you attempt to do book distribution
When i asked “What was the example of me blaspheming, for which you forcefully kicked me out of the Krishna Restaurant”, Thomas admitted to me “you didn’t blaspheme, you didn’t blaspheme anyone”. Thomas’s admission was also witnessed by Michael, another devotee who was also present with Thomas and myself.
However, I don’t think mere words correct such a crime. Only actions correct wrong doings. As I had a portable video recorder with me, I requested his admission on video, but Thomas declined to give this and looked a bit panicked when I started turning on the camera.
I then told Thomas I was going to stay with him for the day, to which he said he would call the police. He then ran away across the road with his books but then stopped when after I chased him across the road, andconfronted misconduct again. Again Thomas was threatening to call the police although he had no example of any crime or misconduct on my part, and then he ran away.
At this point I went back to Michael – the Hari Krishna practicianer who had been witnessing this drama. I call him a Hari Krishna practicianer because he dress was dressed ISCON style and books was carrying ISCON books. It looked like he was worried and was calling someone so I decided to talk with him. We introduced ourselves and I told him the original drama again and he said he was familiar with the story. I took Michael’s details bat the time but misplaced them.