Jaggi Vasudev's Isha Foundation has denied allegations made by a couple that its Isha Yoga Centre in Coimbatore is holding their two daughters captive. The foundation released a statement on Wednesday saying that the two girls Maa Mathi and Maa Maayu, born Geetha (34) and Latha (31), had chosen to live at the centre.
"We would like to clarify that the duo, like other full-time volunteers, have been staying here on their own," the statement said. "We understand that their decision may have caused pain to their parents, which is not our intention at all. We have respectfully requested the parents to reconcile with the decisions they have made as well-educated adults and refrain from making baseless allegations against the Foundation and its founder."
The Foundation also shared with the media a copy of a letter signed by the two women and addressed to the deputy superintendent of police, Perur Sub-division, Coimbatore. In the letter, the women claim that they are living at the centre voluntarily and when they tried to explain this to their father at the DSP's office, he began shouting at them and using abusive language instead of listening to them. They also sought help from the police to protect them against their father.
Meanwhile, Ananth Anto, a full-time volunteer at the in Isha Yoga Centre between 2009-2012 reached out to Firstpost with his own story:
"I used to volunteer full-time at the Isha Yoga Centre between 2009 and 2012. My father unable to bear the sight of his US-returned son working for a charity without any salary did exactly the same thing as was mentioned in the article. He filed police complaints saying that I was 'mentally vulnerable' and requested the help of the then district collector. All of this is of course total nonsense. This is just a case of parents not able to see their children leaving their socially-accepted path to pursue their own interests. The case that this particular article talks about is about two volunteers whom I know very well. They are 30+ years old and they used to have formidable professional careers before coming to the ashram. They were definitely not held against their own will. It is an easy way out for their parents who disagree with their decision to label them as 'brainwashed'."
On Monday, the women's father Kamaraj had written to the district collector of Coimbatore alleging that his two daughters, had been "brain washed" when they had gone to the yoga centre to learn yoga. He also alleged that the centre's head was not allowing Kamaraj and his wife to meet their daughters, who were M Tech and B Tech degree holders and holding good posts.
With inputs from PTI