Note in 2012
I stayed in Shanti Ashram from August 1994 till February 2001.
My parents had been financially supporting me from the time I came to India, in 1984 at age 18, until the end of 2000. Every year they sent a few hundred dollars, which would last me a whole year (for the first 10 years or so, it would be $200 - $400 for the year; in later years, it went up to $500 - $700 a year).
Sometime in the year 2000, they became ex-devotees of Sathya Sai Baba, after being devotees for nearly 30 years, because of discovering undeniable proof of unscrupulous activities done by Sathya Sai Baba and supported by the Prasanthi NIlayam ashram authorities. They therefore decided India was not a good place for me to continue living, and they ceased to give me any financial support. I had absolutely no other means of support at that time, so considered returning to America to earn my own living.
As a service to friends who lived in Prasanthi Nilayam and who were devotees of Sathya Sai Baba, I had been translating Sathya Sai Baba's Telugu discourses into English for them (they published the discourses on a website) since 1999. When I wrote to them about my parents cutting out my financial aid, they invited me back to Puttaparthi, saying everyone in the translator's group would help me with money to live. Distressed with my parent's giving up faith in Sai Baba and wishing to show my ardent support (as well as having no other means of financially supporting myself), I moved back to Puttaparthi in February 2001. I continued translating the discourses and was very grateful for the translators to support me with about Rs 3,500 per month (about $75) which was sufficient to live in Parthi.
It was only several years later that I, also, lost faith in Sathya Sai Baba (due, in large part, to the muddled teachings and wrong facts he spoke about in his discourses, which were highly edited before being published) and returned to America in August 2005.
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Letters from Shanti Ashram, IndiaSpiritual
I lived in India from 1984-2005, and wrote to my parents regularly about my adventures in Indian ashrams. From 1984-1993 and again 2001-2005, I was living in Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, and I am adding all of those my "Letters from India" book, whi...