Mail from Kausthub to his sanga in 2007
From: Kausthub Desikachar <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Mail to Sanga : Respect and Dignity
Date: 26. July, 2007 07:24
Copy to : Saraswathi Vasudevan, Ante Pavlovic
The last few weeks has been quite intense and I think it has come to its apex point. I am sure that Ante’s email confirming his departure from the sanga to you that includes Saraswathi’s departure as well has disturbed you all, as it has me and my teacher. I want to thank you all for being patient, and would like you to look at this as an opportunity to test the strength of the sanga.
I have been reflecting a lot about its content my own reflections that evolve from it are becoming more and more clear. I am sure with each passing day more clarity will appear.
First things first.
Firstly, I agree (like I did on the long Saturday meeting we had) that I have not been the most discrete with some of the things that were shared to me. Secondly, I agree that I have been quite reactive, rather than responsive in the past. I fully understand that this may have caused obstacles for free communication between us. Thirdly, I do acknowledge that sometimes I have made jokes that may not be appropriate in a larger context, but would be fine between friends. The strength of my personality as well as cultural differences of every one in the sanga, makes the dynamics of understanding me and my actions even more complex.
I want to apologize for all of this, as I see now what kind of confusion it can cause in people’s minds. Dear friends like Piluca, Chase, Barbara and Lynn have talked to me about this in the past, but I chose to ignore it sighting that I wanted students to see who I was, and not have a false picture of me. Unfortunately, I see now that this has actually not helped people to see who I am, but actually portrayed a skewed reality of who I am, which is so different from those who know me very closely. I realize this lesson and I want to assure you that I have already begun the process of correcting these three issues. I have talked to my teacher about this and he too acknowledges that these are the only issues that have credibility and that I can change it for the better.
However, there are other things that have been raised in Ante’s/Saraswathi’s email that I don’t even want to respond to as I feel that my conscience is clear and I have nothing to prove/justify. Also neither of their letters (which to me reads almost as if its one letter) have actually addressed their own issues with me directly, but rather have been accusatory of me, from what they have “heard” of my behavior with other people. I would have really appreciated if either of them actually talked about their “own” problems with me, rather than those of others. I would also have appreciated if they had not sent this “list of perceived improprieties” to students of this tradition all over the world without even the slightest discretion or verification.
My focus is on each of you and how we can grow as a healthy sanga. One suggestion I have is that, in future, if you have any confusion surrounding me or my actions, I would request you to talk to me directly as soon as possible, and not allow confusion to grow. I feel that this is the only way we can move forward with Respect and Dignity. If there is anything that any of you have to share with me, that can help me understand your feelings better, I would be happy to hear from you. One request is that you stick to the issues that you have with me, rather than what you heard, what you saw etc., as these can be easily misunderstood, especially if things are taken out of context. You can call me or email me.