Dear brothers and sisters,
Jai Shri Mataji!
After Guru Puja 2008, Shri Mataji instructed that a Central Committee be set up with one of its designated roles being to ‘attend to problems’ within the global sangha.
We are all aware that occasionally there are unfortunate situations in which conflicts and divisions arise within national collectives. Over the years, the members of the CC have made efforts to be a positive force in restoring dialogue, understanding and unity wherever possible. We have attempted to encourage forgiveness, open communication and mutual respect among the parties involved. In this regard, we would like to share some of our experiences with you.
It is noticeable that making online proclamations about who is right or wrong generally does not work. Restoring mutual respect and unity in a collective requires a delicate and quiet process of engaging with the various parties involved to determine any potential room for common ground and hence dialogue. We offer to facilitate dialogue as an objective third party. Please refer to the previous communication on that matter published on cc website “On Conflict Resolution in Sahaja Yoga“.
Having faced a number of these kinds of conflicts we have observed a few key points, including:
- Ultimately we find that these conflicts and divisions have to be resolved within the country where they occur. It is rare that all the parties share the desire for an outside mediator or facilitator.
- The desire for peace, harmony and unity of the Sahaj family has to be an essential priority for all parties to achieve conflict resolution. Of course, certain maryadas and the foundations of dharma need to be respected and compromising on these will not lead to any auspicious outcomes. However, any party which is more concerned about being right whilst demonizing others or which refuses to engage with people from the “other side” can derail the whole process. We know that the Collective cannot work harmoniously as an instrument of the divine when it is fractured. We have to be willing to put aside our egos, our resentments, our hurt feelings and be humble enough to respectfully talk with each other, forgive and ask forgiveness for our mistakes, and work out our problems together.
- At times, a national leadership has misunderstood its role by exercising excessive control and authority or by imposing too much structure on its Collective. This can often be accompanied by inflexibility and the inability to listen to the concerns of the Collective with a sympathetic ear. Escalation may reach a point where yogis feel they have no voice and can become resentful or dismissive of the leadership. This is a recipe for probable division and at times fundamentalism and fanaticism. However, this needs to be balanced by the fact that some level of coordination and leadership is required in Sahaja Yoga. This role is taken up by regional and national councils and coordinators. Shri Mataji has described very beautifully the dharma of a leader towards the Collective and conversely how yogis should respect their leaders.
- Where divisions exist, every yogi involved has responsibility for helping to resolve the problems. However, the onus is more on the leadership as it is in a position to initiate change, to bring people together and to create understanding and peace in the Sahaj family. If the leadership is not on board and is unwilling to cooperate, divisions can become entrenched.
The role of the Central Committee in these scenarios is an evolving one. It is apparent to us that generally only one side of a conflict is interested in having help resolving the issues, which makes a mediating role nearly impossible. Experience has shown that our efforts are best spent talking with councils and with people on both sides of the problem, learning and understanding where the issues lie, trying to encourage positive steps on both sides towards open communication. If we can get the parties to sit down together with open hearts and minds and meditate together, yogis should be able to resolve things among themselves. There has been some success in achieving this but unfortunately a number of situations of conflict remain difficult to resolve. We have to do much better as a collective to commit to forgiveness and a determination not to allow the Sahaj family to dissolve into factions. It has to be the responsibility of everyone involved for it to work. There is too much at stake for us to collectively allow divisions to continue to weaken the instrument of our Mother.
If there are any suggestions or questions please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact any of us directly.
With our love and respect,
Your brothers and sisters of the Central Committee