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bheema ma
Registered User
(11/4/02 7:57 am)
Re: Kiss and make up

Registered User
(11/4/02 10:57 pm)
Re: Kiss and make up

Registered User
(11/5/02 12:48 am)
Re: results of lawsuit; ("just the facts....")
Dear friends,

I promised to pass on information re: the SRF-Ananda lawsuit as soon as it was appropriate. Here are the facts:

A 12-year legal battle between Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) and Ananda Church of Self-Realization (Ananda) may have ended on October 28, 2002 when a jury rendered its verdict on copyrights in 50-year-old writings and sound recordings by Paramhansa Yogananda.

The case began in 1990 after Ananda added the term “Self-realization” to its name. SRF responded by filing a massive lawsuit for trademark, publicity rights, and copyright infringement. After the start of the lawsuit, SRF registered trademarks in the terms “Self-realization” and “Paramahansa Yogananda,” both parties’ common guru.

By the start of the October trial in United States District Court in
Sacramento, 85% of the case had been resolved in Ananda’s favor
according to Judge Edward J. Garcia who has presided over the case since the beginning.

In a split decision, the jury found that although SRF owned the
copyrights in writings by Yogananda published in its magazines, Ananda’s religious, non-commercial use of the works was a “fair use.” The jury refused to give SRF any of the $6 million in damages it sought on the writings, but awarded $29,000 on the sound recordings.

Ananda’s other legal victories over the past 12 years are not affected by the verdict. These include:

(1) Cancellation of SRF’s trademarks in the term “Self-realization.”
Ananda presented voluminous evidence of the term’s generic nature. Thirty-five American Hindu-Yoga organizations submitted statements supporting Ananda’s position.

(2) Cancellation of SRF’s trademarks in the name of “Paramahansa

(3) Dismissal of the claim that Ananda was trying to “pass itself off” as SRF.

(4) Dismissal of the claim that SRF’s reputation would be “tarnished” if it was confused with Ananda.

(5) Court ruling SRF did not own Yogananda’s publicity rights. SRF’s
claim was based on a California law that gave the heirs of celebrity’s control over their name, image and voice.

(6) Court ruling that SRF did not own the copyrights in certain books by Yogananda published before his passing. Based on this decision, Ananda later published the first edition of Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi.

(7) Court ruling that SRF did not own the copyrights in various photos of Yogananda.

Twice during the course of the lawsuit, SRF filed appeals to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 1994 SRF unsuccessfully appealed the cancellation of its trademarks in “Self-realization” and “Paramahansa Yogananda.” In 1998 SRF appealed copyright rulings in Ananda’s favor on books, photos, writings published in its magazines and sound recordings.

SRF lost the appeal on books and some of the photos, but won the right to a jury trial on the writings in 50-year-old magazines and sound recordings.

SRF unsuccessfully petitioned the United States Supreme Court to review the copyright rulings. At trial, SRF’s claims in the remaining photos were dismissed.

SRF has said that its goal in proceeding to trial was to win a ruling
that it owned the copyrights at issue, not the 6 million in damages the juryrefused to award. If true, the jury’s split decision may finally end this 12-year battle.

Please pray for peace among Master's brothers & sisters!
And let us all get on with his mission and our own realization....

In veritas & Master's joy,

Edited by: premdas at: 11/5/02 12:50:30 am
Registered User
(11/15/02 2:33 am)
RE: Pray for Peace
Premdas said:
Please pray for peace among Master's brothers & sisters!
And let us all get on with his mission and our own realization....

I say HEAR HERE!!!

Now that this whole silly thing is over, it's time for us to begin to forget who's an "Anandan" and who's an "SRF'er"... We are all chelas of the same Guru, and it's high time that we work together. Don't we all love God? Don't we all feel Master's love in our hearts?

I call out to ever sincere truth seeker on this board here:

The time has come to set aside our differences. The time has come to embrace one another in Divine Love. We may all be chanting at different tones, but doesn't it take many notes to create beautiful harmonies? Let's sing together and share Master's teachings and God's love EVERYWHERE!

To all of my fellow devotees, be they from Ananda, SRF, Solar Logos, Song of the Morning, students of Roy E. Davis, or any others; I embrace you as family, I hold you in my arms and smother you with Master's Joy. I love all of you, and I cast aside the walls which have separated us.

Joy, Love, and Realization to each of you,


Registered User
(11/15/02 7:36 am)
anybody from solar logos
so what goes on there in Santa Barbara County?

Registered User
(11/15/02 8:05 am)
Re: RE: Pray for Peace
To MastersChela,

Although you have the right spirit--a beautiful spirit--and there are probably many in SRF who feel the same, sadly this is not the way the SRF Board views things. They will continue to ignore Yogananda's teachings on love, compassion, and oneness the same way most Christians ignore those of Jesus, and will go on viewing all who left their organization as traitors and Judases. In their minds, SRF has many enemies, instruments of Satan, and the battle will continue to be waged. Someone who has spent her career avoiding even those who are her loyal supporters (unless they are wealthy!) is not someone who feels much oneness, much love in her heart towards her fellow man or her fellow devotee in another organization.

Edited by: wholetruth at: 11/15/02 6:26:22 pm
Registered User
(11/15/02 9:41 pm)
RE: Daya Mata
wholetruth said:
Someone who has spent her career avoiding even those who are her loyal supporters (unless they are wealthy!) is not someone who feels much oneness, much love in her heart towards her fellow man or her fellow devotee in another organization.

Sometimes I really do wonder how she views it all... I find it so difficult sometimes to think that when one was so close to their Guru, so close to the end, that it all slipped away from them and they fell back into delusion. I know it's possible, Krishna tells us in the Gita that even the highest souls are suseptable to delusion until they're firmly established in wisdom (nirbikalpa samadhi).

But I find it so hard to see them as "the bad ladies" like everyone calls them... Granted, I have very little personal experience with any of them, and only know Daya through a few of her writings (which some seem to think she might not even be penning)... And I've seen on this board so many people suffer under their desire for control of Master's work... But I HAVE to believe that they're doing this all for the right reasons (at least what they precieve to be the right reasons). They feel that Master must be preserved (I'm still not entirely sure what they mean by that as they extensively edit the work)...

Where am I going with this? I'm at a loss over the idea that now that a jury has settled this issue, that we still have to be "against" each other. Ultimately, I guess, we just have to say TO HELL with the board of directors, and TO HELL with Daya Mata, if that is the way she feels about her brother and sister Gurubais. We at Ananda and SRF don't need her permission to get along. How much "central control" is really evident at the local meditation group level of SRF anyway? I think that SRF groups and Ananda Groups in cities across the country should seek each other out and work together to promote Master's message. We each have different aspects of Master to give to the world, and WE CAN work in harmony to give him to everyone. Why not try?

Edited by: MastersChela at: 11/15/02 9:43:22 pm
Registered User
(11/16/02 4:00 am)
Re: RE: Daya Mata
Quote: "But I HAVE to believe that they're doing this all for the right reasons (at least what they perceive to be the right reasons"

Why not judge people by their actions, not their words?

Why not look also at why they had to continue as best they could after Yogananda and Lynn died? There was no longer a Master, no longer a Financial Angel and designated Saint, no attraction for new gifts. The women who were left were by then middle aged and had no means of earning a living in the secular world. They had little education and limited skills. How else could they support themselves? What else were they to do?

Edited by: srflongago at: 11/17/02 4:08:50 am
Registered User
(11/17/02 9:24 am)
Re: RE: Daya Mata
With that perspective, if Daya Mata was able to increase membership and revenues, which it appears to me happened, then I guess we can say that she was a success.

Registered User
(11/17/02 5:54 pm)
Re: RE: Daya Mata
But at what price, username? Living a lie and fostering countless lies. "What profit a man if he gains the whole world but suffers the loss of his soul?"

Edited by: wholetruth at: 11/17/02 5:57:51 pm
Registered User
(11/17/02 9:06 pm)
Re: RE: Daya Mata
As renunciates their "upkeep" isn't an issue, as the property SRF owned was surely adequate to obtain loans if that was needed, which wasn't. Also why not do it the right way? Just print the Master's writings and sell them to the emerging, seekers of the 60's, who hungered for spiritual direction, among others who came to his teachings before and after that seminal decade.

I remember Dharmananda telling us when Fullerton Temple was new in the late 60's that before SRF purchased the building DM had come to view it. He said that he and she sat in the balconey overlooking the chapel and she asked him, "Can we even pay the electric bill for this place?" Well they apparently decided they could, and now there are about 1000 members.

At the 1970 Convocation Mokshananda gave a talk to Center Leaders (which a friend attended) wherein he said that Rajasi' "oil wells" dried up long ago. And I remember Yogacharya (through Daya) Binay Narayan standing in the hall of the Biltmore Hotel and blessing devotee's when a monk came up to him with an older woman, finely dressed, and took Binay Narayan by the arm and said, "this is Mrs. so and so of Palm Springs," and Binay immediately took a very solicitious attitude in greeting and speaking with what was obviously someone with MONEY.

The fact that Daya and SRF chose to grow the work into the "worldwide organization" of today isn't the issue, really. It was the forgetting of the little people, the backbone of the organization, and the householders who gave so much in time, effort, and money. Somewhere along the line they became seduced, sadly, by power, prestige, position, wealth.

chela be4
Registered User
(12/20/02 5:49 am)
Re: results of lawsuit; ("just the facts....")
Seems like each side feels that they won. SRF has posted a message about their version of the lawsuit outcome. They call their message "PROTECTING A SPIRITUAL LEGACY"

"Trademark/Copyright Lawsuit Between SRF/Ananda Reaches Conclusion
Final Documentation Signed by Courts on December 16, 2002

We are happy to let you know that a conclusion has been reached in the lawsuit between Self-Realization Fellowship and the Ananda Church of Self-Realization, thus bringing to an end the legal proceedings between the two organizations regarding certain trademarks and copyrights.

On October 28, 2002, a unanimous jury verdict was rendered in the remaining and most important aspect of the proceedings — the copyright portion of the litigation.

One of the main issues to be decided by the jury was whether or not Paramahansa Yogananda intended that SRF be the owner of the copyrights in his writings, lectures, and recordings of his voice. Although in the course of the lawsuit Ananda had challenged SRF’s assertion that this was indeed the case, the jury unequivocally found that Yogananda did in fact assign to Self-Realization Fellowship the copyrights in all the works at issue in this trial.

The jury’s decision was based on thousands of pages of manuscripts, letters, and legal documents produced as evidence by SRF — and on the personal testimony of a number of close disciples of Paramahansa Yogananda.

The works at issue in the trial comprised a large body of articles authored by Paramahansaji, including more than 200 of his Bhagavad Gita commentaries and Bible interpretations printed in SRF’s magazine over a period of many years, as well as portions of some of his lectures also published in SRF’s magazine, and tape recordings of his voice.

The jury determined that Ananda had infringed SRF’s copyrights on all these items, and awarded SRF an amount of nearly $29,000 in damages for Ananda’s sales of the infringing sound recordings. No damages were awarded in connection with Ananda’s past reproduction and distribution of SRF’s printed materials because of the specific circumstances under which they were used at that time.

Because monetary gain had never been a goal for SRF in the lawsuit, immediately following the jury verdict Self-Realization Fellowship had its lawyers prepare an agreement that would dismiss all remaining issues pending in the litigation to avoid any further dispute or expense to either party — including attorney fees. Ananda agreed to the settlement terms, which affirm the jury's decision and make it final, without imposing any further burdens on Ananda. On December 16, 2002, the court entered the final judgment on the case.

A Brief Overview of the Lawsuit

Self-Realization Fellowship initiated this legal action in 1990, after learning that Ananda had changed its name to Church of Self-Realization and was also reprinting and selling SRF-copyrighted publications and recordings by Sri Yogananda. In filing the lawsuit, SRF's one concern was that the two organizations — the society founded by Paramahansa Yogananda and the one founded by J. Donald Walters — be clearly distinguishable from one another.

The Self-Realization Fellowship name is known by hundreds of thousands of members and friends throughout the world, who associate it with the organization Paramahansaji established more than 80 years ago for the purpose of disseminating his teachings and preserving their purity and integrity for all future generations. Ananda’s name change — combined with its unauthorized publishing of the Guru’s writings — made it increasingly difficult for people to distinguish between products and services originating with Paramahansa Yogananda’s organization and those from other sources.

The legal proceedings regarding trademarks were concluded towards the end of 1997, and SRF’s trademarks in its own names, Self-Realization Fellowship and Self-Realization Fellowship Church, were deemed valid. The judge further held that while the terms "Paramahansa Yogananda" and "Self-realization" by themselves could not be trademarked, Ananda should use the name Ananda Church of Self-Realization rather than Church of Self-Realization, in order "to minimize confusion." (SRF had never objected to the use of the term "Self-realization" in a religious context but only as the name of another church.) In the five years since the trademark issues were resolved, SRF has found that confusion has been lessened to some extent.

There was no jury trial regarding the trademarks, as this aspect was addressed by district and appellate court judges. As for the copyright matters pertaining to the large volume of works described above, these were addressed by the jury in a four-week trial, culminating in the unanimous confirmation by the jury of Paramahansaji’s intent that the copyrights in his writings and recordings belong to SRF. (Contrary to what has been inferred by Ananda, the copyright status of the Guru’s best-known book, Autobiography of a Yogi, was not at issue at any time during the legal proceedings.)

What of the Future?

This period of litigation has been difficult for all parties involved. We are grateful it has concluded and that we are now able to look forward to what we hope will be a future of harmony, understanding, and goodwill.

As we have done for more than 80 years, we will continue to publish the most comprehensive and authoritative editions of Paramahansa Yogananda’s books, and to disseminate his teachings worldwide, preserving their purity and integrity for generations to come. We deeply appreciate the support we have received from so many of you for our ongoing efforts to uphold the aims and ideals of our founder, Paramahansa Yogananda, and to carry on his spiritual and humanitarian work."

Does anyone know of the actually court documents are posted anywhere?

Registered User
(12/20/02 6:09 am)
Re: results of lawsuit; ("just the facts....")
Well, since SRF feels it won the lawsuit, I hope it now will follow Master's advice:

"A soldier who must necessarily inflict suffering on his enemies in battle should be charitable toward them after he has attained victory, treating their wounds and looking after their other needs. This generosity of heart is what is meant by 'munificence' in this stanza [Gita XVIII:43]." -- Paramahansa Yogananda in "God Talks With Arjuna", page 1060

Let us see....

Registered User
(12/20/02 7:35 am)
Re: RE: Pray for Peace
(This message was left blank)

Edited by: chela2020 at: 1/7/03 6:20:38 am
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