Poignant personal account and apology

A moving personal account from 2008. 
Found here


Another one bites the dust

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  • Rick Archer
    Message 1 of 24 , Feb 27, 2008
Beloved brothers and sisters,

Some of you know me better; some of you know me less. About 8 years of my life had been fully devoted to Sai Maa, 3 years of them as a monk. I've got to travel with Sai Maa in many places around the world, to serve her as one of her personal assistants, and to share a very profound relationship with her. During this time I've been supporting Sai Maa to create the Ashram in Betlar, the Asram in Crestone and many other projects in Israel, India and America.

I'm sure that many of you heard me more then one time sharing my great experiences with Sai Maa, praising her, and expressing my deep devotion to her. This time I would like to share with you a different experience, maybe less pleasant, but not less encouraging. It is up to you to decide what to do with these words. I feel that it is my moral duty to share the truth, after all these years that I've been ignoring it and hiding it, trying to hold the 'picture' perfect for myself and for everyone else.

About one and a half years ago I left the Ashram and retired from the Brahmachari life. It is not any more a secret that as a monk I was in love with the woman that I'm currently very happily married to. However, that was not the only reason why I left Sai Maa. In fact, when I had to make the choice between follow my feelings or follow Sai Maa and her teachings, I chose the second option. As you can imagine, it wasn't easy, but I was convinced that Sai Maa knows the best- what serves me for the highest, and I was sure that her intentions are pure.

What made me reconsider my choice, and eventually follow my heart, was the understanding that as long as I am around Sai Maa I couldn't be free! When Sai Maa did not allow me to go to Israel to visit my family and earn some money, I've started asking myself the question: "Am I really free?" I was taught to think that the inner freedom is what important and not the external one. I was also taught that if I will obey, and will surrender myself fully to Sai Maa, as the embodiment of the Divine, I will eventually become free from my ego. Is it so?

What is it then a Self-Mastery? Mastering your senses and your desires so well that you would become a perfect puppet for Sai Maa, or is it about finding the Divine guidance within? I tried to think about all the beings that I knew along the years as Sai Maa's students, and I couldn't find even a single person, who is free to do as he/she guided to do without the need for Sai Maa's approval, and in the same time is still in good connection with Sai Maa.

Why all these beings that Sai Maa herself declared as enlightened, still has to obey her? Why does she get so upset when they do things that are without her permission or against her will? What about their Self-Mastery? And how come Sai Maa one day may give a person the title: "enlightened", and in another day may take it back? Is it really about Self-Mastery and inner freedom, or is it all about control?

These were some of the questions that aroused in me. In the same time I was questioning my path as Brahmachari. For me, maybe the hardest part was to follow this path without my Guru being a role model. In fact, traveling all these years with Sai Maa, I've got to witness a being that is enjoying life ecstatically with all her senses. Sai Maa never tried to renounce life. More then that, you might be surprised to know that Sai Maa was having sexual relationships with some of her closest students! And it didn't really matter to her that some of them were married and had families.

It is a very deep moral issue, if it is OK for a Guru to sleep with his/her students. I am not here to judge what is right and what is wrong. I feel that some of those beings were deeply damaged by it, but they might also gain from it. God will judge. Nevertheless, it is very strange when a Guru asks her students to be brahmacharies, saying that it is the highest path, and being revered by the highest priests in India, while she sleeps with her students. Maybe a being in her state of consciousness is beyond such minor things that we simple humans call values…

Personally, I never believed in renouncement. I always felt that God gifted me with senses, so I may explore them, rejoice them, and use them for worshiping him. And Sai Maa demonstrated it better then any one else that I ever met. In some cultures and for certain beings it might be the highest path. Even in our culture, practicing celibacy for some time might be very beneficial. However, I do not think that there can be a highest path that we can all fit into. I know that I didn't realty fit into it, and thanks God, I was able to realize it soon enough.

On the bottom line, all those questions made me wonder if Sai Maa is really seeking to serve us for the highest, or maybe it is easier for her to control us, when we don't have partners (and even worth- children) that might distract us from serving her, and might remove her from the top of our priority list.

It always made me wonder why does she get so upset when someone leaves her, and create such a huge drama around it? Are all those beautiful beings that are leaving Sai Maa one after the other, fell from the top of the pyramid, because of the last and strongest remain of their ego, or maybe they simply felt that Sai Maa's teaching is not in alignment with them any more? And why does Sai Maa need all those titles that she "doesn't really care about"?

After all, we are all humans, we all have desires and different motives, and after traveling all these years with Sai Maa, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but she is not less human then each one of us. As beautiful and novel her goals might seem to be, it is up to us to find for ourselves if all the means are eligible to serve these goals, and what is truly our call. My last and strongest lesson from my experience with Sai Maa was to find God within, and to trust the inner voice of God more then anything else, including the Guru.

I love Sai Maa, and I bless her. She is no doubt an incredible woman, with lots of love, great power and huge charisma. I had many amazing experiences with her, I learned a lot from her, and I do not regret the time I've spent with her. When my time had come to spread my wings and leave the nest, I did it, and I thank God for giving me the courage and the determination to do it, because it wasn't so easy. Nevertheless, it was definitely worth it! 

I apologize if my words hurt your feelings in any way. I ask for your forgiveness for anything that I have done along the years that might had helped to deceive you, or to distract you in any way from the truth and from God. I cherish you as brothers and sisters on the path, and I wish you the best.