From April 25th 2009, until March 10, 2010., I reported on the Prakashanand Saraswati trial for the blog: Guruphiliac.com. I am reposting the series of five articles here as an archive. The following was my fourth article for that blog.
[Ed.note: Once again, our valiant Austin correspondent has the scoop on the continuing legal saga of Swami Prakashanand Saraswati of the Barsana Dham ashram and temple in Texas, who is accused of molesting underage females in his room.]
November 19th, 2009 — At the junction of Darden Hills Road and Rural Route 1826, you can see the 90-foot high tower of the 35,000-square-foot temple built by Swami Prakashanand Saraswati (not with his own hands — or money — of course: it’s just an expression) rising above the hills and trees two miles away to the east.
Less than a mile to the west of this intersection, Mr. Saraswati resides in a home that looks to be about 2,000 or 3,000 square-feet on maybe one acre of land. To get to Austin and all points east, he has to be driven right past his 220-or-so-acre Barsana Dham ashram, which abuts RR 1826. By Texas law he has not been allowed to enter his ashram since May of 2008.
Despite multiple requests made by his lawyers on his behalf to return him to his kingdom, Saraswati has been told “no,” not just once, but a total of four times — twice by a Hays County judge, once by the Texas Third Court of Appeals, and Wednesday by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. You KNOW that has got to bite the big one for him.
If you’ve ever followed a “guru,” you understand that “No” is not a word he or she hears very often. Certainly not from his or her groveling minions.
Having lived in his ashram for one and half decades, I'm pretty sure I can guess the party-line Prakashanand and his inner circle are feeding the others to explain his inability to bend Texas criminal courts to his will. Terms like “kaliyug,” “evil,” and “demons” have likely been thrown around like cheap pieces of candy at a celebration.
And lest you think that the State of Texas is just being mean spirited or simply doesn’t like his face, please note that the reason Prakashanand is not allowed back into this ashram is that he AGREED to this condition at his first hearing after his arrest on April 24, 2008, on 20 counts of indecency with a child. All he wanted then was his passport back so he could return to India. He got what he wanted. He said he agreed. He signed on the dotted line. And he happily flew back to India to make love to or whatever he does with his master, Kripalu Maharaj (aka, Ram Tripathi).
That was fine and dandy until he flew back to the U.S. a few months later and realized (ooops!) he might have been a bit hasty in giving up his freedom to enter Barsana Dham. Unfortunately for him he signed a contract with the State of Texas, and in this state they expect you to uphold your agreements.
But, as the experienced historical recreationist that he is, he set out to make up a big bogus legal case about “religious freedom,” which his lawyers claimed he was “being denied.” Luckily, Texas State legal officials were not born yesterday, nor are they stupid enough to be conned by a fake guru. So he has been SOL on convincing them to adopt his warped worldview.
I know it’s hard, Prakash; but it’s time to face the facts: The answer to your request to return to Barsana Dham (the scene of your accused criminal acts of children molestation) have been and are always going to be, not just “No,” but “Hell, NO!”
It’s time for you to take it like a man! (Get used to it — you’ll be in jail soon enough!)
[Ed.note: two updates soon followed this dispatch:] Late breaking development -- JUST learned that Prak's trial date has been changed from January 11th to April 4th. Also, just learned today that he bolted back to India yesterday.
See the original post here: http://guruphiliac.blogspot.com/2009/11/prakashaka-booms-latest-legal-bust.html