Gail Tredwell’s Lie of Omission: An Email From Brahmachari Shubamrita

shubamritaWe have received the following email from Brahmachari Shubamrita, one of the senior brahmacharis in Amma’s ashram, and one of Amma’s main translators.

My name is Shubamrita. I have been a resident in Amma’s ashram since 1989. Witnessing the lies and fabricated stories about Amma and her organization spread by Gail Tredwell and her supporters, I feel compelled to speak out.

The monastic path has always been a road less travelled. It is not easy for every one to follow. With that in mind, it seems to me that Gail – rather than accepting and acknowledging her own worldly ambitions as being the reason for leaving the path – is trying to justify her decision to renounce her monastic vows by portraying Amma and her organization as the problem.

“It seems to me that Gail – rather than accepting and acknowledging her own worldly ambitions as being the reason for leaving the path – is trying to justify her decision to renounce her monastic vows by portraying Amma and her organization as the problem.”

I feel very blessed to be one of Amma’s translators, and this has allowed me to witness Amma’s life from close quarters. Let me begin by saying that never in the 24 years that I have been living with Amma have I ever witnessed, or seen any evidence of, any of the accusations of wrongdoing that Gail levels in her book.

I feel it is important that I share with you an incident involving Gail that took place shortly after Gail left the organization. An American devotee, another brahmachari and I were meeting with Amma, when the devotee disclosed the following information to Amma. I was the translator. Before I begin, let me say that maintaining secrecy is very important to me as a translator, and I have always and will always abide by it. However, seeing the fraudulent campaign that Gail is trying to raise against Amma and her organization, I feel compelled to share this incident, without mentioning the devotee’s name.

This person told Amma that Gail’s interest in him began in 1994. She clearly exhibited a desire to be in his presence and would often come to chat with him on the tours or call him from Amritapuri. Initially he did not consider Gail’s friendliness as anything inappropriate, but gradually he sensed a change in her attitude towards him. He worried that she was becoming more and more emotionally dependent upon him, and before long she openly admitted that she had romantic feelings for him and wanted to start an affair. She even suggested that they could get married and settle down. He was shocked and deeply disturbed by her confession. He told her, in no uncertain terms, that a relationship between them was impossible – he could never betray Amma in this way. Even after he did his best to remind Gail of her dharma as a sannyasi, she did not relent. She continued to call him and send emails to him. It even reached a point where she started pressuring him to buy an apartment where she could live with him after leaving the organization.

“If Gail’s book is about honestly sharing her life and experiences, why was this major incident left out? This is a clear and significant ‘lie of omission.’”

Even after Gail left the organization and started spreading false stories about Amma and the organization, Amma did not disclose to the world the real reason why Gail left because Amma did not want people to look down upon Gail in any way. Unfortunately, Gail never saw this compassionate face of Amma.

If Gail’s book is about honestly sharing her life and experiences, why was this major incident left out? This is a clear and significant “lie of omission.” In the same light, Gail has failed to mention anything about her marriage to, and divorce from, another man, which I recently learned took place a few years after her leaving the ashram.

–Shubamrita



Categories: Amma Controversy, Amma Lies, Amma Scandal, Amma Truth, Amritanandamayi Lies, Amritanandamayi Scandal, Gail Tredwell, Recent

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7 replies

  1. I know Shubamrita-ji since 1990 and he is one of the brahmacharis I have great respect for. I stayed in the Ashram’s Chennai centre for 9 years (1993 – 2002), managing Amma’s institute there. Due to my family commitments I later moved on. I am presently an academician at one of the public universities in Malaysia. I have always had deep love and faith in Amma and even after I moved on, I kept going for Her darshans.

    I have closely read Gayatri akka’s book but cannot accept some of the events narrated in the book. Some would say that I do not want to get my beliefs challenged. But this is not the case..I have known Amma through my personal experiences and no one can take those away from me. Amma has millions of devotees who would die (and live) for her even if she whispers a word. This is the personal bond we all have with her.

    -Dr. Sameer Kumar

  2. As far as Amma’s devotees are concerned, the present scandal by Gail is an opportunity to test the intensity of their faith and dedication towards Amma. Even this have been rightly remarked by Gail in her letter to ashramites after leaving the ashram through Amma’s words as ” Everything you believe a
    spiritual aspirant’s path should be, will be challenged. Everything you
    believe an ashram to be, will be challenged. Finally, everything you
    believe the Guru to be, will be challenged.” This is exactly what happened.

    Thus let us make this opportunity to introspect ourselves and steadfast in the spiritual aspiration path without sticking on such cheap nastiness and words of a person who cannot justify all this to her own self.

  3. Completely agree with you Mr. S. Thenamangalam. It is an opportunity for all of us to introspect ourselves. There is no loss or gain for our AMMA in this. It is only for us.

  4. I myself had been in the ashram for over 7 years and did leave the ashram when I felt that my focus was moving away from core spirituality. I did request AMMA for Her time to speak out the change in my thoughts which She kindly provided in spite of her busy schedule. After hearing me and my concerns, She lovingly told me “If you really feel you would be happy pursuing another way of life – do proceed”. AMMA has neither insisted somebody to join the ashram nor forced anyone to stay back. Every one has their own freedom to do so. I find it slightly improper when I find people who say something negative about an institution or a person only when they are out of it due to their own in-capabilities or failures. One needs to accept the fact and proceed in a life, they find, would be the best for them. If one is virtuous, one needs to speak or act – as and when they face it rather than when they lose it. Someone of the stature of Gayathri Akka should be able to guide others who are in the spiritual path of what could be done to overcome reasons for her change in focus. Someone who has been in the path of spirituality – whose values would be nobler in all ways – needs to find ways to motivate others than to provide an unrealistic picture and find justification for their own failure. Above all – commercializing it – is highly unethical too.

    • Thank you Vishnu, for your truthful, straight-from-the-heart words that certainly stand testimony to your courage and integrity! I salute you and bow down with much admiration and love. With these words, you have shown all those who have left the ashram life for a life outside, the right way to take on all those baseless, hate stories. Aum Amriteswaryai Namah!

  5. amma never forced any one to join and never stopped anybody who leaves. Whoever visit frequently know this. Every inmate used to update her even a small issue. A petson like gail will never face such problems. Gail cud have opted for some other means to earn a living. May be western cultire allows to sell cookedup storys about our own parents, but not indians.

  6. Many of us are not ready to take up a certain type of path. Regardless, Amma showers her grace as long as we try to be a better person. If I leave Amma’s physical presence due to my own health problems then Amma cannot be blamed. I will cherish the time I had with Amma. Further, I cannot fathom the grace of Amma that accepts any person without a bar (even me).
    When we fall short of certain path then we can try again or try an alternate path. However, attacking ones source of bliss is just self-defeating. Further, such actions will lead to further agony. May we progress in the right direction.
    Peace and love to all.

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