High Court Ends Controversy: Rules in Favor of Isha Yoga Center
Court Ruling Ends Controversy
The Division Bench of Justices S. Nagamuthu and V. Bharathidasan dismissed the plea after examining the report of the Principal District Judge (PDJ), who had visited the Isha Yoga Center on August 10, to interview Maa Mathi and Maa Maayu. The Bench noted in the order H.C.P.No.1656 of 2016 that the PDJ, “has categorically mentioned in his report that there is no truth in the allegation, and that the detenues are staying at the Foundation on their own will.” Striking down the baseless allegations made against the foundation, the bench said, “…we are of the view that as of now, there is no material on record even to remotely infer that Ms.Geetha Kamaraj & Ms.Latha Kamaraj are illegally detained by the Isha Foundation. Prima facie we are satisfied that the detenues are staying in the Isha Foundation on their own volition following a path of Sanyasin which they like. Therefore, no relief as prayed for in this petition can be granted… In the result, this Habeas Corpus Petition is dismissed…”
Isha Foundation would like to thank the Madras High Court for upholding the truth, and for having brought the issue to a close, as some miscreants were misleading society and the public with a campaign of lies against Isha Foundation.
Further we would like to clearly state on record that all the allegations – of holding captives, brainwashing, and forcing individuals into sanyas or brahmacharya – are absolutely false.
Isha Foundation was established with the purpose of addressing all aspects of human wellbeing. More than 3 million volunteers are involved in this endeavor worldwide, of their own free will, not by any coercion from the foundation. There are about 1500 fulltime volunteers (including about 200 brahmacharis and 640 married people) residing at the Isha Yoga Center. Every one of them is here by their own choice and is free to leave any time they may wish to do so.
Similarly, in this particular case of Maa Mathi (34) and Maa Maayu (31), they are here by their own choice and are by no means held here against their will. They have been residing at the ashram for the last seven years. Five years ago, they took up brahmacharya as a spiritual path, again through their own full willingness.
The path of brahmacharya (monkhood) has been an integral part of India for thousands of years and is prevalent in every spiritual tradition of the world, from Buddhism, Christianity, Jainism, etc. In Isha, brahmacharya is held in utmost sacredness and is not offered freely to one and all. The application for brahmacharya involves an extensive period of introspection and self-assessment so that the applicant fully understands what the path entails and whether it is suitable for him/her or not. Further, while many apply, only a few are accepted based on their commitment, integrity and longing. The very notion of imposing brahmacharya on any individual is unthinkable.
Both of the above-mentioned brahmacharinis have released a statement about these baseless allegations: