New York, Apr 13 (ANI): An ex-follower of Sri Chinmoy has revealed in a new book that the Queens guru was actually a Svengali-like control freak who told his disciples sex was bad, forbade them to have friendships, and kept a zoo of exotic animals in his basement.
In the book titled 'Cartwheels in a Sari', out from Harmony, Jayanti Tamm has called his following a "cult".
Chinmoy lived with his disciples in an ashram in Jamaica. He declared himself a living god, had thousands of followers, and hobnobbed with countless celebrities.
According to the New York Post, the author has revealed in the book that when she experienced her first kiss as a teenager, Chinmoy got angry and said: "Such disappointment. Such news . . . Boys are poison, poison to your inner life, your spiritual life . . . This behaviour will not be allowed. The Supreme is your eternity's boyfriend."
And later, writes the author, Chinmoy lectured a group of young people: "Mixing together is dangerous, dangerous, dangerous . . . You must always be on your guard."
In fact, he even barred his followers from wearing jewellery and makeup.
Tamm further wrote in the book that Chinmoy bizarrely "banned any friendships with people outside the centre . . . [and] enforced a no-pet rule for his disciples."
However, he had created a private zoo for himself in the basement and stocked it with wild cats, monkeys and exotic birds illegally smuggled into the country-along with mice and roaches.
However, the guru loved celebrities, and one of his favourite stunts was lifting over his head stars like Richard Gere, Sting, Eddie Murphy, Susan Sarandon, Roberta Flack, Yoko Ono, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Muhammad Ali and Jesse Jackson.
Chinmoy, who died in 2007 at age 76, was accused by a number of former followers of sexual misconduct, although he denied the charges. (ANI)