Dr Vinay Lakshmi - RIP

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ex-l

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Dr Vinay Lakshmi - RIP

Post09 Mar 2013

Sadly, it has been reported that Dr Vinay Lakshmi has died of a heart attack. More details as they arise.

Forget the BKs, it is a great loss for the ordinary people of Mount Abu, especially the women and children, for whom she did so much and honestly served from her heart.

Although Indian, Vinay became a BK when working in a hospital in Edinburgh, Scotland. She had been educated at a Catholic Convent, which had left a strong impression on her, and she considered herself as a "ready made BK".
ex-l wrote:We have always spoken well about the Village Outreach Program and voiced support for Dr Lakshmi's good work breaking away form the orthodox BKWSU view of not doing practical charity work. Equally, I think it is fair to say we suspect the Brahma Kumaris have only adopted it given the nigh universal criticisms of them in Mount Abu from locals and it has been good for their PR.
Mr Green wrote:Dr Vinay Lakshmi was shunned at first by the Dadis for helping the shudras in the villages, then as the Dadis realised that that the double foriegners liked the idea they then embraced it.

This is true. Vinay is on record as saying, "when the village outreach program was first put forward, there was a lot of opposition from Madbuban (BK HQ). Baba had originally said that social work of this kind was against Shrimat", although Nirwair supported her from the beginning. At first she worked alone on the project, hiring a jeep and "heading for the hills" to the villages where 80% of Abu's population lives. By 2000, Vinay had already been awarded a Certificate of Honour by the Government of Sirohi District for her service to the community.

Sadly, I am afraid her death will be milked by the very same people who opposed her in the beginning, but she is one of a small number of BKs who genuinely deserve it.
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bkti-pit

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Re: Dr Vinay Lakshmi - RIP?

Post10 Mar 2013

She was one of the good ones, doing her good work despite all the opposition and those opposing her taking the praise for her work. I do not know if there is anyone else out there to keep it going.
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Re: Dr Vinay Lakshmi - RIP?

Post10 Mar 2013

She might be "one of the good ones", but stories and studies we are reading now about Mother Teresa and the true nature of her her work with the poor after decades of glorifying her achievements and ranking her with the saints, makes one suspicious about the true motives and intentions, especially if they come from someone with a BK background ..!!
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Re: Dr Vinay Lakshmi - RIP?

Post10 Mar 2013

Dear Jewels of the Rosary in Bharat and foreign lands,

Please accept hearty Godly love and remembrances from Madhuban Home.

We would like to share the sudden news of the passing on of our divine Sister Dr Vinay Lakshmi on Saturday, 9 March 2013.

Dr Vinay Laxmibehn is one of the founding team of Global Hospital & Research Centre and gave her services as a Gynaecologist, and more significantly as part of the Village Outreach Programme. She took Gyan over 30 years back in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she was practising medicine, and then moved to Mount Abu in 1991 to offer her valuable services at Global Hospital. Dedicated since 1993, she was a tireless, enthusiastic server who won the hearts of the villagers, tribal community (especially the children) and enhanced their lifestyle considerably over the decades.

She was a diligent yogi and good student, who loved Baba and service equally. Well-known to the double foreigners, she was also part of the Translation Team of Abu. She regularly translated the Murli and classes at Pandav Bhawan, and even the general evening class before BapDada's meetings in Shantivan.

She had been feeling unwell for some days, and got admitted into the Hospital on 8 March evening. After a massive heart attack at 2.00am on 9th morning, the soul left Chariot at 9.30am. Lokik age was 58.

The funeral took place on 10 March morning, with the Chariot brought to Pandav Bhawan around 10.30am. The Global Hospital family, Madhuban Niwasis, Sevadharis and many Double Foreigners were present to offer their loving respects in silence. Her lokik Brother and sister-in-law (who now live in Shivmani Home, near Shantivan) were present too. The Brother shared that he felt solace at seeing the soul's fortune of leaving close to Shivratri, and having the funeral on Shivratri day itself.

About 150 villagers, the head of the village, local doctors and local reporter were also present at the funeral ground. Some villagers were emotional, and the Village Head spoke of Dr Vinay Laxmibehn with great reverence.

Our beloved Dadis, and family from Madhuban and Global Hospital are sending this gifted, caring, yogi, Gyani soul vibrations of peace in Baba's sweet remembrance.

With Baba's love,

B.K. Nirwair, B.K. Dr Partap
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Re: Dr Vinay Lakshmi - RIP?

Post11 Mar 2013

dany wrote:She might be "one of the good ones", but stories and studies we are reading now about Mother Teresa and the true nature of her her work with the poor after decades of glorifying her achievements and ranking her with the saints, makes one suspicious about the true motives and intentions, especially if they come from someone with a BK background ..!!

As far as I know, and I know next to nothing about Dr Lakshmi and the hospital, they did not do very much proselytising. But its work was used for PR purposes.

Dany, if I have measles and I have a choice of going to a doctor who'll be trying to convert me, or no doctor ... there's no choice really.

Criticism of Mother Teresa etc is free speech and has a little basis - but unless someone else will do that work ... does the hungry man with a sick child care about Western media controversy?
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Re: Dr Vinay Lakshmi - RIP?

Post11 Mar 2013

I believe that one of the major problems the Brahma Kumaris have is, hypocrisy in approach and non-sincerity in intentions and attitude ..!

To them, it is a game of "masks changing", to suit the particular culture, people and time ..!!
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ex-l

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Re: Dr Vinay Lakshmi - RIP?

Post11 Mar 2013

I completely agree with you in that Dany, and I agree that, once proven to benefit financially, Dr Vinay's work was co-opted by the Madhuban elite ... but I will give Vinay, herself, the benefit of the doubt.

The question which stick in my mind was when they say "Madhuban" initially resisted her desires to help the poor villagers and particularly women and children, *who* was it that objected. Madhuban is a place, a place cannot resist. It is only people who can object, obstruct and resist.

I would lay my bets on that including Janki Kirpalani, and her obedient puppet heir Jayanti Kripalani, because I myself have seen and heard the very same objections to genuinely charitable actions from them ... but who else?

If anyone knows or can find out, please do.

Nirwair is on record for being enlightened enough to support her. Good for him ... even if it was only from a political/PR point of view. Who was against it? I would really like to know.

In those days, "Baba's Shrimat" (the work of God) was always, "BKs do not do 'lokik' (worldly) charity, they only do 'alokik' service (meaning BK PR and evangelism)". At that time, the BKs used to teach that real charity was, essentially, a sin that karmically bound the soul to this world, and was a waste of efforts and resources. Dr Ray Bhatt of the Janki Foundation even told me directly that the purpose of the Global Hospital was, initially, purely to serve the increasingly elderly BK inner circle of BKs in Mount Abu and, in the early days, it was mostly an underused facility.

Vinay was a woman ... a nurse ... a gynaecologists ... and, although Indian, had had a Christian upbringing. I think she managed to create for herself a role helping other woman which brought together all those things and expressed a true love for humanity and the downtrodden. Even for children. Obviously the examples of the Christian nuns had made an impression upon her ... and, yes, although I agree with you about Mother Teresa, there are good ones of those too.

I do not even think Vinay had a single political thought in her head about it ... by which I mean I don't think she was doing it to managing the conflict that exists between the Brahma Kumaris and the original townspeople of Mount Abu either.

I might be wrong but I think she was genuine and did great work to subvert even a little bit of money and resources out of the greedy clutches of the BKWSU elite who would rather spend it chasing after corrupt politicians and VIPs.

Unfortunately, like Pink Panther, I never had the chance to speak to her in person but I wish I had.
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Mother Teresa

Post11 Mar 2013

Mother Teresa 'saint of the media', controversial study says

Kounteya Sinha, TNN Mar 2, 2013

LONDON: A study conducted by Canadian researchers has called Mother Teresa "anything but a saint", a creation of an orchestrated and effective media campaign who was generous with her prayers but miserly with her foundation's millions when it came to humanity's suffering.

The controversial study, to be published this month in the journal of studies in religion/sciences called Religieuses, says that Teresa known across the world as the apostle of the dying and the downtrodden actually felt it was beautiful to see the poor suffer.
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Re: Mother Teresa

Post11 Mar 2013

I have not read the original paper but there is a longer review of it, here, "A new exposé of Mother Teresa shows that she - and the Vatican - were even worse than we thought". I suspect the same is true of the BKWSU. The article is in French and the author of the blog will supply it by request.

There is also the book, 'The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice' by Christopher Hitchens.

I think there are lots of correlations between the BKWSU and the Vatican and how easily the public are fool into a myth, and how a myth can be milked for millions without question. In a way, Janki Kirpalani plays a similar sort of holy cow character half-way between a Mother Teresa and the Maharishi, and has the same sort of cult built up around her. Few people asking "what does she actually do?" and "how much money has she taken and how has it actually been spent?". She satisfy a sort of religious ideal in their minds.
Christopher Hitchens wrote:The rich world has a poor conscience. It wants, in fact it needs, to think someone somewhere is doing something ... she may not 'comfort the afflicted' but she has never been known to 'afflict the comfortable'".

No wonder the BKs do so well targeting the rich world then which was almost entire fool the BKs actually did something. Teresa had a cult of individual death, the Kirpalani Klan have a cult of mega death ...

But the Village Programme, which Vinay was central to and without whom it would not have started, and the work of the Global Hospital, has develop into something that does do practical work. Apparently it treats 1,000s of cases a year now. How much it is used as a PR exercise, I don't know. How much the sick and vulnerable are evangelised when they come seek assistance, I don't know. But it doesn't change the core of the BKWSU.


Part 2 and Part 3.
Like the journalist and author Christopher Hitchens, who is amply quoted in their analysis, the researchers conclude that her hallowed image—which does not stand up to analysis of the facts—was constructed, and that her beatification was orchestrated by an effective media relations campaign.

“While looking for documentation on the phenomenon of altruism for a seminar on ethics, one of us stumbled upon the life and work of one of Catholic Church’s most celebrated woman and now part of our collective imagination—Mother Teresa—whose real name was Agnes Gonxha,” says Professor Larivée, who led the research. “The description was so ecstatic that it piqued our curiosity and pushed us to research further.

As a result, the three researchers collected 502 documents on the life and work of Mother Teresa. After eliminating 195 duplicates, they consulted 287 documents to conduct their analysis, representing 96% of the literature on the founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity (OMC). Facts debunk the myth of Mother Teresa

In their article, Serge Larivée and his colleagues also cite a number of problems not take into account by the Vatican in Mother Teresa’s beatification process, such as “her rather dubious way of caring for the sick, her questionable political contacts, her suspicious management of the enormous sums of money she received, and her overly dogmatic views regarding, in particular, abortion, contraception, and divorce."

1. The woman was in love with suffering and simply didn’t take care of her charges, many of whom fruitlessly sought medical care.
    “At the time of her death, Mother Teresa had opened 517 missions welcoming the poor and sick in more than 100 countries. The missions have been described as “homes for the dying” by doctors visiting several of these establishments in Calcutta. Two-thirds of the people coming to these missions hoped to a find a doctor to treat them, while the other third lay dying without receiving appropriate care. The doctors observed a significant lack of hygiene, even unfit conditions, as well as a shortage of actual care, inadequate food, and no painkillers. The problem is not a lack of money—the Foundation created by Mother Teresa has raised hundreds of millions of dollars—but rather a particular conception of suffering and death: “There is something beautiful in seeing the poor accept their lot, to suffer it like Christ’s Passion. The world gains much from their suffering,” was her reply to criticism, cites the journalist Christopher Hitchens. Nevertheless, when Mother Teresa required palliative care, she received it in a modern American hospital.”
2. She was tightfisted about helping others, seequestered money donated for her work, and took money from dictators.
    “Mother Teresa was generous with her prayers but rather miserly with her foundation’s millions when it came to humanity’s suffering. During numerous floods in India or following the explosion of a pesticide plant in Bhopal, she offered numerous prayers and medallions of the Virgin Mary but no direct or monetary aid. On the other hand, she had no qualms about accepting the Legion of Honour and a grant from the Duvalier dictatorship in Haiti. Millions of dollars were transferred to the MCO’s various bank accounts, but most of the accounts were kept secret, Larivée says. ‘Given the parsimonious management of Mother Theresa’s works, one may ask where the millions of dollars for the poorest of the poor have gone?’"
3. She was deliberately promoted by BBC journalist Malcolm Muggeridge (a fellow anti-abortionist), and her beatification was based on phony miracles.
    "In 1969, [Muggeridge] made a eulogistic film of the missionary, promoting her by attributing to her the “first photographic miracle,” when it should have been attributed to the new film stock being marketed by Kodak. Afterwards, Mother Teresa travelled throughout the world and received numerous awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize. In her acceptance speech, on the subject of Bosnian women who were raped by Serbs and now sought abortion, she said: ‘I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a direct war, a direct killing—direct murder by the mother herself.’

    Following her death, the Vatican decided to waive the usual five-year waiting period to open the beatification process. [JAC: As I recall, it took only a year.] The miracle attributed to Mother Theresa was the healing of a woman, Monica Besra, who had been suffering from intense abdominal pain. The woman testified that she was cured after a medallion blessed by Mother Theresa was placed on her abdomen. Her doctors thought otherwise: the ovarian cyst and the tuberculosis from which she suffered were healed by the drugs they had given her. The Vatican, nevertheless, concluded that it was a miracle. Mother Teresa’s popularity was such that she had become untouchable for the population, which had already declared her a saint. “What could be better than beatification followed by canonization of this model to revitalize the Church and inspire the faithful especially at a time when churches are empty and the Roman authority is in decline?” Larivée and his colleagues ask."
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Re: Dr Vinay Lakshmi - RIP

Post11 Mar 2013

According to Mother Teresa, salvation should be associated with ...suffering ..!

According to Brahma Kumaris, salvation comes after ...destruction ..!

Why should "salvation" be connected with ...pain and tragedy..?!
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Re: Dr Vinay Lakshmi - RIP

Post11 Mar 2013

That's a very fair comment ... religions have exploited suffering for millennia without understanding either its causes nor offering any solutions .. but I vote to split that discussion off from a topic on Dr Vinay Lakshmi's life and death.

I cannot blame her.

You could argue that she was a victim of her conditioning ... both Christian and BK or you could argue that she was a rare BK who took advantage of the position she found herself within the BKWSU and managed to 'steal' or transform a little bit of its power and wealth into something genuinely positive for the disadvantaged women of Mount Abu the BKs could not give two ******* about and had not given two ******* about for 40 years of occupation of their town, and all the noise and pollution they bring.

Vinay saved a few lives and made a few more much more comfortable. That's more than most of us do.

Did she do that to 'trademark' it for the BKWSU and to convert them? Personally, I do not think that was her motivation, nor do I think for *her* it was a PR stunt ... I think she did it out of her heart and was very brave to stand up and against the BK Elite who were against it.

But we still need more information on the subject ...
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Re: Dr Vinay Lakshmi - RIP

Post11 Mar 2013

I was not close to Vinay Lakshmi nor did I know her well but I met her occasionally and went on a village tour with her. As far as I could see and sense she was genuine and genuinely caring and had no other agenda, not even reforming the BKWSU.
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Re: Dr Vinay Lakshmi - RIP

Post11 Mar 2013

Discussion about suffering, genuine or false charitable works, attitudes and actions, is to me a fitting legacy for the work of someone like Dr Lakshmi. I am sure she'd prefer people think deeply about it rather then merely eulogise her.

If someone says, "there is beauty in suffering", it does not mean they want to cause more suffering. Remember that at its core "suffering" means "tolerating" . To see people suffering/tolerating the trials and traumas of life with dignity and courage is beautiful. It reveals the human spirit at its noblest.

Helping them is more difficult than merely sitting back and admiring their dignity and courage (whilst complaining about the air-con or the economy not working properly). It is to participate in their struggle, and the failures. Not easy.

Hitchens's critique is carefully made; of the media 'product', not the work itself. Mary Loudon criticises the inadequacy of the care - shaved heads like Belsen concentration camps - as if appearance is more important than keeping head lice out, ordinary stretchers - as if that's not better than the hard pavements such people usually sleep on. She criticises that one boy is not given special treatment. Why did not she put her hands in her pockets and pay for it? Her criticism is really an expression of her own helplessness in the face of the scale of need.

Any nurse or doctor or palliative care worker, whether they are a Christian or not, is enacting Christ's teachings, more than any bureaucratic cardinal or proselytising pop-hymn-singing Pentecostalist or idealistic westerner.

Criticism is only valid if the actions themselves were harmful, it's not so valid if it's about how they could have been better or about the commentary surrounding those actions. To me, it sounds like the debate here is about what was said about 'what was said'. Words about words. Sure Mother Teresa was later made a hero in the media, but I doubt she would have done anything very differently if she went unacknowledged. Sure her Missionaries of Charity were not one person, but she initiated it and was its driving force and figurehead. Just as Dr Lakshmi initiated the global hospital.

To agree with what someone does is not the same as agreeing with their motives for doing it.

If the Church took PR points because of it, or the BKSWU because of the Global Hospital, that's better than people being left to their illnesses and poverty unaided. And the secondary things are secondary issues not to be confused with the real benefit. The Hare Krisna used to, and in some places still, run soup kitchens for the poor. For the hungry homeless person, the warming nourishment is real, distinct from whether their beliefs are real or not.

Realistic appreciation of someone's work is valuable. Beatification or hagiography is distasteful and unnecessary hyperbole, even counter-productive. Usually it is done by others, but it can utilised as a resource for fundraising for further work. (Although the senior BKs seem quite happy to describe themselves in these terms and raise funds for ... describing themselves in these terms some more!)

It is like charities where a nominal child is sponsored, but the child is a face for a campaign that helps a whole community. It is proven that people are overwhelmed by large problems, so do nothing, whereas they will feel able and willing to help when it is given a "face". And the face of one child needing help has been proven as the most effective way to garner support. More effective than photos of a village, or a family or even photos of two children needing help!

So Mother Teresa as the "face of 'Christian charity" was able to raise more funds for work in Calcutta. She had thieves and fraudsters donate large sums of their ill-gotten gains to her work - one of the criticisms against her. Is that worse than if they used that money to feed a cocaine habit?

People who are not suffering but whinge and complain about "first world" problems" or, from the comfort of their armchairs, criticise others for imperfectly trying to make a practical difference is, to me, ugly - especially if they are not doing anything themselves other than feel clever about themselves.
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ex-l

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Re: Dr Vinay Lakshmi - RIP

Post12 Mar 2013

I am as uncomfortable as I am sure Vinay would be at discussing her and Anjezë Gonxhe in the same topic. I also appreciate how, being faced with a tide of such hopeless as the latter did, one would have to change by it and become spiritually calloused.

Funnily enough, I once donated to one of those charities that uses images of single children as fund raising devices but when I was given and looked at the photo of the child, it had the opposite effect on me ... making me feel hopeless at the futility of my act and I stopped giving the next year.

Now my role is as the Devil's Ombudsman and so say, yet again, that what is required from all these people ... whether they do good or whether, like both Janki Kripalani and 'Mother T', they fly business class ... is first and foremost financial transparency and exemplary accounting. Critics have a part to play too. It is another kind of service even if it is not a kindly service.

Apparently Teresa made millions for the Catholic Church, like Janki has for the BKWSU, which was sucked up and disappeared rather than was spent at the frontline. That is not good.

I was inspired by what Hitchens wrote about the needs of the wealthy and how easily such needs sucker us. Habitually taking advantage of that, knowing that it is a culturally programmed human tendency, is a serious responsibility and one easy to abuse.

An easy criticism to make of the BKs is having hit the religious financial jackpot, they spend their ill gotten millions on some incredibly crappy, indulgent, needless things like; laser shows, chasing VIPs, lacy doilies, some bad architecture and the "World's Largest Trophy"; and so I am grateful when one of them does something practically good.

However, it is a theological problem for them as it basically goes against Shrimat, does it not? I know I was definitely taught so. All money and free labor went one way, on doing the "highest" service which was BK PR and evangelism.

I tend to think "all life is suffering", humanity sucks, and the world would be a better place without most religion, and should be protected by a firewall against it. But if we are stuck with religion in the meanwhile ... hat's off to anyone that can subvert its wealth into giving any living being a little comfort.
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Re: Dr Vinay Lakshmi - RIP

Post12 Mar 2013

ex-l wrote:I am as uncomfortable as I am sure Vinay would be at discussing her and Anjezë Gonxhe in the same topic.

I can draw a parallel between Janki and Mother Teresa but in my eyes Vinay Lakshmi's endeavour was of an entirely different nature.
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