Coimbatore, (PTI) Isha Foundation today refuted allegations by a retired professor and his wife that their two daughters were being held captive at its Isha Yoga centre here and had been made sanyasins.

“We have come across media reports of false allegations against Isha Foundation by Mr and Mrs Kamaraj of Coimbatore, that their two daughters ? Maa Mathi and Maa Maayu (previously Geetha and Lata)? are being held captive at Isha Yoga Centre.” “We would like to clearly state on record that all the above allegations­-of holding captives, brainwashing, and forcing individuals into sanyas or brahmacharya-?are absolutely false,” the Foundation, running the Centre, said in a release here.

Kamaraj had petitioned the Coimbatore Collector recently, alleging that his daughters had been brainwashed into taking sanyas after tonsuring their head, it said.

The release said there are about 1500 full-time volunteers, including about 200 brahmacharis and 640 married people, residing at the Yoga Centre. “Every one of them is here by their own choice and is free to leave any time they may wish to do so,” it said.

“Similarly, in this particular case of Maa Mathi (34) and Maa Maayu (31), they are here by their own choice and are by no means held here against their will. They have been residing at the ashram for the last seven years. Five years ago, they took up brahmacharya as a spiritual path, again through their own full willingness,” it said.

Both women attached a statement, saying they were both “bewildered” as to why their parents “are creating a commotion, five years after they decided and took brahmacharya.”

They said it was their parents who introduced them to Isha and said their parents had visited them several times during the last five years and spent time with them.

They had met their father at the Deputy Superintendents Office in Coimbatore on July 30 and tried to resolve the problem through discussion but he shouted at them. They alleged that he threatened to bring people to protest against Isha.

“We realise that perhaps our parents are disappointed that we did not follow their advice in our life choices ? a conventional path of marriage and financial achievement….We hope that they will take pride in the fact that both their daughters have taken their well-being into their hands, and are also working for the well-being of all,” they said.

The Foundation requested the media to check for authenticity before spreading “such news.”. PTI NVM BN SMJ

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