After I opened my eyes this morning, I looked out my large bedroom window at the blue sky and watched the wind gently blow the leaves on the trees.
Then I breathed a sigh of relief. After all, I’ve come a long way!
Four years ago today, I opened my eyes for the first time in my first home outside of the confines of the Barsana Dham ashram (aka Radha Madhav Dham). April 20, 2009, was my first day of freedom after 15 years of captivity. Back then I was crippled emotionally by my horrible cult experience.
Today is so different. Now, I feel healthy, lighthearted, and, most of all, free. Today I have complete freedom to plan my day the way I chose.
If I were still living in the ashram, I’d have to be working my fingers to the bone and breaking my back to help put on today’s event: the mela (fair). What the visitors don’t realize is how much work is expected of the JKP devotees – every single time there is a public event. This is all free labor donated by the blind faith followers – year after year. It’s actually a form of slave labor.
But on this day I am not a slave any longer to delusional men and women dressed in orange, pretending to be holy, like Kripalu Maharaj and Prakashanand Saraswati. Today I am free.
I have planned to visit farmers’ markets for fresh fruits and vegetables, walk the tree-lined path around the shimmering Town Lake, stop by a friend’s house for a late afternoon get-together, and attend an aerial arts performance this evening.
Yes, I’ve come a long, long way!