Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Organization of Shri Ram Chandra Mission (SRCM-Chennai)

Update: Feb. 18, 2008

New update for 2008

Chari's mission orders for 2008 redefines European Zones:

-- Scandinavia, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, Great Britain & Ireland: Poul Juul
-- France, Spain & Portugal, Belgium & Luxembourg: Patrick Fleury
-- Italy, Albania, Greece & Turkey: Fausto Russo
-- Holland, Switzerland, Germany & Austria, Pays de l'Est & Balkans: Christian Macketanz

P.R. Krishna, son of Chari and Region-in-charge for Europe calls on France to reduce its number of zones from 6 to 4. As a result, the zones north and west are unified, as well as south-central and south-east zones. Diane de Sainte Lorette Roy and Sarah become respectively the leaders of these zones. The other zones are not changed.

Finally, François Déroulède, head of the Paris SRCM centre since June 2004, gives his position to Bouderlique Ekta.

Sad spiritual accounting

The number of developer (s) of centres in France remain at six. They are Marie-Christine Lemitre, Florence Degouttes, Bénédicte Hervy, Josiane Lecaillon, Gerard Abraham and Renée-Paule Paraire.

The British Isles (Great Britain and Ireland) are launching in turn developers of centres because their population is approximately 64 million while there is still only 300 abhyasis despite a settlement that dates back 60 years , the SRCM claim.

Clearly, those responsible for spreading SRCM are working from a strictly accounting and not spiritual backdrop. The penetration of Sahaj Marg (in UK) is insignificant, less than 5 disciples per million inhabitants. I suspected that the SRCM was accounting for its penetration numbers rather than bringing spirituality to their current followers. Here is the proof that they are as "without scruples" as they accuse us, the unbelievers, of being.

NOW the complete text of the original file:
(From the Last update: December 18, 2007)

Originally, it was the master and his disciples. When the number of disciples multiplied, the teacher needed relays, the preceptor. It was the spiritual organization, but with growth there comes a time when it has to be structured. The administrative and financial management become involved. That is what happened to the SRCM, where these different organizational levels coexist more or less segregated.

In essence, it could be said that the pyramid of power revolves around the spiritual organization, Sahaj Marg while the administrative management of this gigantic structure is the SRCM, financial management is with the foundation SMSF. Obviously, Chari dominates everything.

Spiritual Organization
(Last update: December 9, 2007)

At the summit, there is the living master of Sahaj Marg, the spiritual representative of Babuji (Chari). At the bottom, there are 100 to 300,000 abhyasis, according to the sources that are considered. And between the two, 2 to 3,000 preceptors. This is the classic traditional schematic. But it becomes complicated with time and growth. Gradually a complementary hierarchy was established between the preceptors and Chari.

1. Preceptors and Centers

In theory, the preceptor (prefect) is an abhyasi chosen and prepared by Chari to give individual sittings to abhyasis (meditation, cleaning), where he serves as a channel to the master. In these conditions, a tutor can hardly deal with more than 15 followers, ranging from 8 to 20. It is difficult to understand how a Indian preceptor can handle 100, 200 or 300 abhyasis… unless there is a culture shock explanation or a very different role for Indian preceptors. I think rather it is due to the deliberately inflated numbers of Indian abhyasis!

In practice, a spiritual hierarchy was established very early, with the "full preceptor" supposed to have reached the central region, and the "senior preceptor", who are close to Chari. But the initial role of spiritual preceptor has also greatly changed because of the growth targets set by Chari. For a long time, it was the preceptor who played the role of recruiter and registrar of the Mission. It is difficult in these circumstances to be both a good channel of the spiritual master and an exacerbated proselytizer. Guess which profile was preferred by Chari? There would always be time later to deal with the spiritual development of new recruits.

The center is the venue for weekly group meditation (satsangh). It accomodates one or more preceptors around a group of active members of the same region. This is usually the living room of an abhyasi, sometimes a leased or rented room, and more rarely an Ashram. If there are several preceptor, one of them is the "preceptor in charge" of the spiritual development of the center.

For example, in France, for 1,100 followers, there are 43 centers and 97 preceptor, or a center for 25 abhyasis and a preceptor for 11. But all centers are not of equal importance, far from it. Thus, the SRCM distinguishes 8 major centers, including 3 that have their own ashram, and 35 smaller centers.

2. Zones and Regions

With enrollment growth, but also to encourage this growth, there emerged administrators to oversee the preceptor. Everyone, preceptor and director, is to send a monthly report directly to Chari. It is necessary to mention on the report, the number of sittings made during the month and especially the number of sittings for the introduction of new abhyasis.

In 2003, Santosh Khanjee has completely reorganized the hierarchical system that was choking with the numerical and geographic development of the Shri Ram Chandra Mission. To this end, he has produced a new geographical division of the spiritual organization. The minimal entity is the center, with a preceptor and a group of active members. The superior level is the region, namely a continent or sub-continent. Between the two, there is the area and possibly the sub-area.

For example, for the SRCM, France is part of the region (zone) "Europe" with the "francophone area, Spain and the British Isles." Secondly, France is itself divided into 6 sub-areas. Recently, came attaching "developers", in charge of small centers of the zone to which they are attached. It is generally the ZIC (Zonal in Charge) of old ...

Thus, the Divisions of the planet by the SRCM shows 8 regions:

*Pacific Oceania
*North America
*Latin America
*Africa and Indian Ocean
*Middle East

Europe is then divided into 4 main areas: francophone area, Spain and the British Isles; Germanic countries, Scandinavia, Italy, and Eastern Europe. If the cut saw their borders evolve a bit over time, the general pattern hierarchical remains invariant: center, district, region.

At each level, Chari designates a preceptor who must promote spiritual growth and submit a monthly report to the next higher rank:

* Region-in-charge (RIC)
* Zone-in-charge (ZIC)
* Centre-in-charge (CIC), not to be confused with the national vice presidents of SRCM often called by the same name

Each manager can seek an advisory committee. Thus Chari has his own executive committee composed of his son, his successor and Santosh Khanjee. The RIC have their Advisory Committee. Below begins the imbroglio of the organization that mixes spiritual and national administrative structures. The first organization is also the pyramid of power, the high levels constituting the bulk of close associates (inner circle) of Chari.

In the spirit of Chari and Santosh Khanjee, this organization is designed to proselytize in the same fashion as one wages war, with the plan, strategy and tactics for the military occupation of territory (ZIC is similar to a general, and a CIC is a "field commander"):

"Strategy formulation. The zone-in-charge is like a General, in charge of a territory. He has to evolve a strategy for effective penetration of his territory. He has to communicate this strategy to all the centers-in-charge, and convince them of its efficacy. He has to evolve a tactical plan to make this work (…) Tactical plan. The zone-in-charge has to plan where and how to grow the Mission. He has to devise the means to achieve this growth . He has to train the functionaries in his area to undertake this task. He has to monitor this activity and make corrections where necessary. He has to conduct annual reviews of this plan, and send a progress report to Chennai. " - From: Training of Zone-in-Charge and Centre-in-Charge (April 4, 2004, Hyderabad).

The Mission Management
(Last updated: December 18, 2007)

At the top of the structure there is the guru chairman, Chari. He is assisted by an Executive Committee, which brings together a triumvirate made up of his designated successor, Ajay Kumar Bhatter in charge of finance, Santosh Khanjee at the head of the administration, and his son PR Krishna in charge of the assets of the Mission.

1. Financial and Administrative Structure

The numerical growth of the mission required an administration and financial flow charts, and as it was Babuji's son who took over the official presidency of the Mission, it left Chari without a structure. He (Chari) therefore encouraged abhyasis to create national associations everywhere in the world (France in 1986, Belgium in 1994, etc.).

Everywhere, Chari was named president, and it was just the vice president who was a native. The Board of Directors is composed of followers of Chari, often foreigners in the association's targeted countries. The statutes give all the power to Chari, and when the law does not allow this, they refer to an internal statute that complements them.

In the early 2000, Santosh Khanjee tried to professionalize this administrative structure that has become become very cumbersome. Since 1998, the British Isles were to serve as a test laboratory. First, he grouped countries together (UK and Ireland), then he tried to impose a division of labor: on the one hand the administration to the abhyasis, on the other spirituality to the preceptor. Finally, he streamlined the activities with his scheme called "flower system" where the heart of the flower is made up of the Bureau and the Board of Trustees, the petals by the various sectors.

This system is rapidly generalized. Establishment of a "management committee" with a vice president, secretary, a treasurer and an auditor, with activity areas within each association, and with the organizational structure for the ashrams and the major centers. The sharing of spiritual and administrative tasks remained partially, part but the merger of the associations at a supranational level progressed, such as the model of the boundaries of the various regions and the spiritual areas (Oceania, Benelux, German-speaking area, and so on.). Even France, which had resisted, acquired a vice president, a foreigner, who resides in Switzerland ...

At the same time, he greatly liberated the associations of their funds giving them solely the administration of the day to day financial management of the national associations, and created a Texan foundation (SMSF) for the management of the assets of the Mission.

In France, the Management Committee is confused with the Board of Directors of the Association Act 1901. It is composed of Chari president, a vice president, secretary, treasurer, an internal auditor and a person in charge of external relations as well as a few members, a large portion of which are foreigners. There are also various business sectors: finance, internal information, seminars, legal aspects, magazines-publications and centers. These are divided into two categories: 8 large centers with a room dedicated to meditation (rented or owned) and 35 other small centers. Only large centers have a Management Committee for their administration. There are again different sectors: secretariat and internal communication, finances, but also home, library, workshops, maintenance and repairs.

The entire administration is driven by Santosh Khanjee, member of Chari's Executive Committee, in charge of the administration and holder of the Office of the Secretariat for International Affairs (OSIA). This office also has several departments: finance, ashrams, information technology development, operations and publications. This higher structure (court) imposes a unique model of organization at all levels of administration.

2. External & Internal Communication

A Danish journalist infiltrating the Vrads Sande castle center reports: "You must write your mental state and your mental progress," says George to the group in the evening. Tonight, we will learn how to write our diary. All obedient student abhyasi, must at least once a month send their diary, which contains their mental development, to the Master. Often, the student receives a personal reply written by the Master. Nobody was surprised at the fantastic faculty of the Master who can read all this, translated, and write a response on the computer, although the sect still has some 200,000 members in the world. This means that the Guru should read some 6,700 letters per day (…). " Ekstra Bladet, 13/09/04, translated by Cyril Malka

Behind this mass of correspondence between the abhyasis and Chari lurks an impressive pool of secretaries based at the Babuji Memorial Ashram. Therefore, there is a centralization of all monthly reports of the preceptor, responsible for the areas and the regions. Besides, there are identity international cards for the SRCM abhyasis leading to the management of a very large roster of members. 200,000?

Transcription of the Chari's smallest words also constitutes an enormous task. They pass through a proof-reading committee (censorship?), are then translated into many languages and compiled to be published in the form of books, CDs, DVDs etc.. They are sold at "prices of gold" to the abhyasis and constitute between a third and a half of the financial turnover of SRCM national organizations. The quantity and the earnings they produce led the mission to develop very extensive means of editing and publishing.

Besides, there are also the international publication of newsletters (Constant Remembrance, Sahaj Sandesh) or regional publications (such letter European, Oceania newsletter, Echo of Africa, etc.). The number of these publications has been severely reduced over time so as to be better controlled: the proposed contents are always passed through publishing and broadcasting committees now. Thus the duties of communication or press relations have gradually been imposed from above. Locally, this leads today, to the appointment of a single person to answer questions from the outside when "open doors" are organized by the centers.

For a long time, Chari also prohibited exchanges between abhyasis outside the strict framework of the Mission. In May 2004, the preceptor, Clark Powell, had successfully implemented an Internet site ( with a blog, and two forums (including one reserved for abhyasis) "spiritual seekers," although he specified that it was not officially associated with the mission. But on the following July 2, Chari ordered the closure of the site: "I have been seeing the mails between you and others proliferating, and this causes me disquiet. By this mail I finally request you to stop your website permanently and oblige. I thank you for your obedience." Powell complied immediately…

A task that had therefore become difficult with the development of web and blogs criticism, led Chari to authorize "exchanges" in March 2007, while six months previously, we could read in Sahaj Sandesh (No. 2006-68, 20/09 / 2006): "On the advice of the Master, the Mission had adopted a policy to discourage the use of online groups, chat rooms, blogs, private lists of emails or unauthorized use by others of mailing lists to disseminate information on the Mission. "

In the same way, SRCM was protected by registering Trade Marks in the USA for Shri Ram Chandra Mission ®, Sahaj Marg ®, Constant Remembrance ®, and so on.

More in Depth

An organizational example: France

(Last update: December 16, 2007)


* Followers: 1,100 abhyasis (4,000 in Western Europe) (approx. 600 in 1986, 1,483 in 1994, approx. 1,100 since 2001)
* Preceptors: 97 in 2007, 110 in 1995
* Growth: 0% (3% in Western Europe on 2002-7)
* Reach: 18 abhyasis per million population (15 to 20)
* Association Act 1901 created in 1986
* Ashrams in Montpellier, Nice and Paris + 40 centers

For a long time France was first in importance after India, with their own community of abhyasis. The membership has flirted with 2,000 at the end of 90, only to collapse to around one thousand. Not because of French policy on cults, but because of significant internal divisions.

The SRCM France Association was established in 1986. In 1988, the Augerans Castle (39) was purchased to become the European headquarters of the Shri Ram Chandra Mission, and the first Western Ashram. It was resold in 2003 under firm pressure from Chari. The current vice president of SRCM France lives in Switzerland and is of Dutch origin.

The geographical distribution of abhyasis is very uneven. They are concentrated mainly in the Paris region and in the south, around Montpellier and Marseille-Nice-Toulon. Already in 1995, the Ile de France and the south together were home to three quarters of the abhyasis, two thirds of the preceptor and half of the centers.

The Management Committee is somewhat confused with the Board of Directors of the Association Act 1901. It is composed of Chari as president, a vice president, secretary, treasurer, an internal auditor and a person in charge of external relations as well as a few members, a large portion of which are foreigners. There are also various business sectors: finance, internal information, seminars, legal aspects, éditions-publications and centers.

On the spiritual organization, France is part of the region "Europe" and the "francophone area", Spain and the British Isles." Secondly, France is itself divided into 6 sub-areas. Recently, was attached "developers", in charge of small centers of the zone to which they are attached. It is generally the ZIC (zonal in charge) of old ...

For 1,100 followers, there are 43 centers and 97 preceptors or a center for 25 abhyasis and a preceptor for 11. But all the centers are not of equal importance, far from it. Thus, the SRCM distinguishes 8 major centers, including 3 that have their own ashram, and 35 smaller centers ...

Internal Statutes
(Last update: December 16, 2007)

Excerpts of the Regulations of the SRCM France at its inception in 1986 and its Rules of Procedure (July 13, 1986):

Article 17: "The president who is the true master of the Association will exercise his powers through the rules, that he can change at will, particularly in all that relates to the spiritual and philosophical orientation of the Association. "

Excerpts from the rules dated July 13, 1986:

Article 2-Organization: "The association will be directed and controlled solely by the founder or his Spiritual Representative who will succeed him in direct line, and will be President of the Association".

Article 3-Constitution and Operation: "The president will select a working committee from among the members of the Association to assist in all areas relating to the control and the organization of the Association. The President shall designate from among the members the Working Committee, persons who occupy the following positions: Vice President (…). At his discretion, or as required in the situation, the president may also appoint any other person (s) to the posts above, wether they be member (s) or not of the Working Committee (…). At his discretion, the President may at any time make the necessary changes to the structure of the Board and the duties of appointees and Members of the Committee (…). "

Article 9-Power of VETO-How it works: "(…) The President has the power of VETO. If a certain point has been decided upon and was accepted at a meeting of the Working Committee and the President does not agree with the decision, arguing that such a decision could endanger or in a certain way can be detrimental to the goals set forth by the Association, he will oppose his VETO in such a way as by stating his disagreement, with or without reason for this disagreement. He will write "VETO" in his own handwriting in the book of deliberations. This case may be submitted and will be reported to the next General Assembly. "