We received the following account from a brahmacharini in Amma’s ashram:
My name is Lakshmi. I am originally from Holland, but for the past 29 years I have been a resident in Amma’s Amritapuri Ashram. In addition, for the last 19 years, I have been serving Amma full-time in her room in the ashram. My ardent prayer is that this boon of serving Amma should remain with me until my death. I am writing this because someone has brought to my attention that there are rumours on the Internet that Swamini Atmaprana (Dr. Leela) and I have left Amma. For the record, we are both still with Amma, contentedly engaged in seva. At this time, I believe it is my dharma (duty) to share some facts about Gail and my own personal experiences with her.
First and foremost, Gail’s claim that she lived in Amma’s room for 20 years, serving her, is not true. For five to six years prior to leaving Amma in 1999, Gail was no longer living in Amma’s room; she had moved to the upstairs level of the house. Thereafter, she would only occasionally come down to help me. Even before I came to stay with Amma, there were other ladies staying with Gail and Amma. Soon after she left, Swamini Krishnamrita Prana (Saumya, Australia) also started staying in Amma’s house.
In 1981, when Gail first came to see Amma, she didn’t even have an extra set of clothes. At that time, there was no ashram, only Amma’s family home. Regardless — without even inquiring into her name, place or background — Amma accepted Gail completely, entrusting her with all responsibilities. From that day onwards, till the day she left the ashram, Gail lived as a queen. She ruled over Amma’s parents, sisters, brothers, relatives, devotees, ashram residents, even Amma’s disciples. Gail always favoured a small clique of people — the people who obeyed her. Like a dictator, she trampled upon everyone else around her without the least concern for their feelings.
Gail, how many times I had to endure your uncontrollable anger and violent attacks? Hitting, kicking or pinching me, spitting in my face, pulling my hair, and bullying me… These were practically everyday affairs. Remember when you threw a hot iron at me? Not only ashram residents, but also devotees in Europe and U.S. bore witness to these incidents.
“Gail, how many times I had to endure your uncontrollable anger and violent attacks? Hitting, kicking or pinching me, spitting in my face, pulling my hair, and bullying me… These were practically everyday affairs. Remember when you threw a hot iron at me?”
Isn’t it an utter lie that no one loved you or supported you, etc, in the ashram? In reality, the residents — both the Western ones and the Indian ones — the devotees and disciples — treated you with so much love and respect. Didn’t devotees welcome you in a traditional manner even performing your padapuja (foot washing ceremony)? Weren’t there Indian residents to bring you Indian food? Western residents to bring you Western food? People to wash your clothes? People to massage you? Without deceiving your conscience, can you say all of that is untrue?
Gail, in reality, the reason you left the ashram and monastic life is well known to you, me and a few others: You were in love with one of Amma’s American devotees. After you left, he himself told this to Amma. Distraught, he even showed Amma the emails you sent to him. I was present when Brahmachari Shubhamrita and another ashram resident translated these emails into Malayalam for him. You tried to lure this innocent man away from Amma, but your desires were never fulfilled. Unmet expectations and unfulfilled desires have filled you with revenge and jealousy, Gail. You have transformed into a vicious snake spewing poison into the hearts of innocent people in the vain hopes of infecting them with your lies and negativity.
“Gail, in reality, the reason you left the ashram and monastic life is well known to you, me and a few others: You were in love with one of Amma’s American devotees.”
You also desired to travel all around the world, conducting programmes by yourself. You expressed this desire to me and several others. It was with such desires that you left the ashram. However your selfish motives and dreams never materialized. Great spiritual masters have said that when our desires are not fulfilled, they manifest in different forms, like anger or revenge. Ultimately, it is we ourselves who are destroyed. This is what is happening to you now.
Due to Amma’s infinite compassion, she blessed you with so many opportunities, thinking that, eventually, some change might take place in you. Finally Amma even gave you the blessing of sannyasa (monkhood). Do you realize how sacred that lifelong vow is? Great spiritual masters know the past, present and future. Regardless, they will still give everyone — without distinction — the opportunity to grow and develop. They wait patiently, like Mother Earth. However, you — who gave importance only to your personal likes and dislikes — squandered all those precious opportunities. Submerged as you were in the negativities of your own mind, you were never able to imbibe Amma’s love, compassion and guidance. You projected your own faults and defects and weaknesses upon Amma. In the process, your mind has become filled with vengeance towards Amma.
“Now that we know what you are capable of — so much hatred and spite and vengeance – it makes me wonder if these events really were accidents.”
Often, your attitude and behaviour really frightened us all. Many of us clearly remember how, in Sweden, you persuaded Amma into a boat and then rowed it out into the deep waters and tipped it over. Several members of the tour group, including myself, heard Amma pleading with you to not take the boat out so deep. We all heard Amma loudly telling you not to rock the boat and to be careful. Suddenly, everyone started screaming as we watched the boat tip over and saw Amma disappear under the overturned boat into the freezing water. It was a terrifying sight. We all remember how, on another occasion, you made curry for Amma with potentially poisonous wild mushrooms, ignoring the pleas of brahmacharinis Pavithramrita (Leelavathy) and Vineethamrita (Sreelatha) to not do so. After eating it, Amma vomited for the next two days. A blood-test revealed there were dangerous toxins in her blood that could have been deadly. On another occasion, you gave Amma a much higher dose of medicine than had been prescribed. When Amma fell sick to her stomach, tired and giddy, you tried to blame me. There is no way you could have forgotten these things.
Swamini Krishnamrita Prana and Swamini Atmaprana also received sannyasa like you; they are shocked at your wicked nature. Now that we know what you are capable of — so much hatred and spite and vengeance – it makes me wonder if these events really were accidents. Regardless, Amma never said anything about these incidents to anyone. She simply accepted them, forgave you and continued to provide you with love and compassion.
“Despite your attempts to sell your vicious words as truth and thereby blind innocent people, Amma still says she has nothing but love for you in her heart. Hearing this, I can only bow down to Amma’s infinite compassion and motherhood.”
Despite all of these things, Amma has only asked us to pray for you. Still, to this day, even before she calls out my name, the word “Gayatri” often comes to her lips. Despite your attempts to sell your vicious words as truth and thereby blind innocent people, Amma still says she has nothing but love for you in her heart. Hearing this, I can only bow down to Amma’s infinite compassion and motherhood.
Amma doesn’t need to be explained or defended in regards to the accusations of a disturbed mind. But for the sake of righteousness, these matters need to be made public.
I truly am sad for you, Gail.
Praying that you come out of this darkness,