Accuses sadhus of sodomy, but he doesn’t want to leave mutt

Ahmedabad Newsline/May 2, 2005
By Soumik Dey

Sokhda (Vadodara): He stood there trembling. Tears rolled down his cheeks when he pronounced his decision which left his relatives baffled and angry. Swami Harinayan, 24, who had earlier accused sadhus of the Sokhda Harinarayan Muth of sodomy, on Monday said he did not want to return home despite his allegations.

His brother and uncle, who had been camping in Vadodara for the last four days to take his custody, alleged blackmail by muth sadhus and were considering legal action against authorities.

Hari Upadhyay who became Swami Harinayan on joining the muth, had earlier told his friend that he was being tortured and sodomised. He had also alleged that the sadhus led immoral lifestyles, talked about sex and viewed pornographic CDs.

Later, in a one-and-a-half-hour call to his brother, Swami Harinayan reportedly said he was on the brink of suicide due to the sadhus’ alleged actions. He had pleaded to be rescued, said his brother Dharmesh Upadhyay.

“My brother has never talked of suicide. What kind of sadhna is this? During his years in the muth, he never established contact with us. Why is he so weak and why don’t they allow us to treat him?” he asked.

But according to the muth, everthing was okay. “This is not unusual. Swami Harinayan is simply confused looking at the obstructions which one faces in the path of sadhna. That’s why he later called up his brother to say things are alright and no one should visit him,” said Tyag Vallabh Swami who initiated Hari into the sect three years ago as a college student.

“The boy wants to attain spiritual heights and has made a tyag of his family. We did not influence his decision. In fact, his family is pressurising him,” said Tyag Vallabh.

The muth skirted Dharmesh’s allegations that he was not allowed to meet Hari when he came down on receiving the distress call.

“They had promised to hand us over his custody. But they lied to us and brainwashed Hari,” alleged Dharmesh.

Hari met his relatives on Monday, escorted by seven to eight senior sadhus.

After the meeting, Hari told Expess Newsline, “They (relatives) are pressuring me and I am baffled. They are trying to distract me from my sadhna.”

On the validity of his charges, a trembling Harinayan said, “Even Gautam Buddha faced hurdles in his path to enlightenment. I am treated alright here.” Unable to even walk a few steps, he was then driven away in a car.

Sadhus had different answers on Hari’s condition. While one said he was suffering from a “psychiatric problem” the other said, “He was just dehydrated because of the heat,” adding that Hari was being provided proper treatment by the muth’s medics.

Harinayan’s uncle Pravin Oza who came from Mumbai, said, “Our mission has failed. It is obvious that our boys is in trouble. He just refuses to talk to us.”

On the family’s decision to take legal recourse, Oza said, “We tried to resolve the matter amicably without disturbing the muth’s peace and goodwill.” Dharmesh said, “We agreed to their conditions that Hari will not give up his saffron attire. We also offered to take home two sadhus as escorts for Hari.”

Tyag Vallabh said, “Hari is now a part of our family. It’s our responsibility. Relatives can see him in a week’s time when he is better.

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