Read Holy Hell by Gail Tredwell for free with a 30 day free trial. Read unlimited* books and audiobooks on the web, iPad, iPhone and Android. Visudha Narakam is the Malayalam translation of the 'Holy Hell: A Memoir of Faith, Devotion and Pure Madness' penned by Gail Tredwell, aka Gayatrai. To ask other readers questions about Holy Hell, please sign up. . book was when I watched an interview of Gail Tredwell on one of the Malayalam channels.
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Read "Holy Hell A Memoir of Faith, Devotion, and Pure Madness" by Gail Tredwell Because she became fluent in the Malayalam language and had continual. 2. nov holy hell book in malayalam holy hell book read online balu amritanandamayi holy hell malayalam pdf free download holy hell: a memoir of. holy hell in malayalam pdf. Sorry, nothing found. Featured Posts. On My Way Home · God Is Within Us All · When Hugs Become a Religious Experience.
In the late seventies second-class meant no air conditioning, no seat padding, and no door to your individual compartment. I did not come onto this blog initially to defend the Amma organization…. I am so glad she got out of the cult. Its such a crock! This also happens to be the time when I first fell in love—with God. The interview by Britas with Gail recently appeared in Kirali T. Little Sisters.
That's why I asked you to return immediately to the program last night and make yourself seen. I was hoping it would protect your involvement and keep me safe from them. I hear it's a terrible scene back at the ashram, says Maya as she plops down on the couch next to me. The swamis are a mess, and Amma is apparently crying hysterically outside her room. I am thinking to myself—Well yes, I'm sure she is devastated. But I bet it's a different picture when she's not in public.
I have witnessed her wrath and heard what she has to say about people who leave the ashram. I have seen her shift with the snap of a finger and turn her anger into tears of sorrow whenever a newcomer enters her room.
Maya opens the microwave, puts the food on a plate, and hands it to me. I'll pop in again briefly after work, okay? Now don't you worry. Everything will be all right. Nobody suspects a thing.
Got to go. I start imagining how Robyn, my sister, is feeling about getting a phone call out of the blue asking if I am there with her. She, of course, knows nothing of my whereabouts or even that I have left. But I'm sure she will be delighted and will probably thank them for the good news. Robyn visited me in India in during the very early days of the ashram. At that time, another Australian woman named Saumya, who had recently joined the ashram, was planning a short trip back to Sydney to settle some affairs.
Robyn just so happened to be living in Sydney at the time, so I gave her address to Saumya thinking they could meet up. As it turned out, they flew to India together. During the flight, Saumya was describing to Robyn about life in the ashram. She proceeded to share stories of how Amma would hit and kick me, then throw me out of her room for several days at a time. I was shocked when Robyn told me this, and I couldn't understand why Saumya would be sharing such information.
At the time I was protective of Amma, and I accepted such treatment as part of my training as her nearest and dearest disciple. Was Saumya hoping Robyn would try to convince me to leave? Or was she so wrapped up in her envy of my close relationship with Amma that she didn't realize the impact of what she was saying? My sister swore that if she ever saw Amma lay even one finger on me, she would kick her in the butt and say what she actually thought of her. In those days, early in my long years of experience with Amma, I considered myself to be very happy.
I felt that the ashram was my new and true family. Robyn stayed only a few days and couldn't get away fast enough. Since that visit, I assumed she has always worried for my sanity and safety, certain that I had joined a cult.
The most recent visit with my sister happened just one month ago, toward the end of Amma's European tour. Robyn had taken the overnight train from where she lived in northern Germany and come to Munich to spend a day with me.
Our host drove me to the station to greet her, and we waited on the platform a few minutes for the train to arrive. I remember experiencing a mixture of excitement and nervousness. Even though Robyn was my sister, she was also somewhat of a stranger.
I had seen her only twice in the twenty-plus years that had passed since I left Australia for India. Suddenly there she was, my little sister, strutting down the platform in her blue jeans and jacket. I noted her self-confidence, how comfortable she seemed with herself.
We both had the recognizable Tredwell family face, but we were such different people. She came running up to give me a huge hug. As she came closer, I had to stare. Bouncing up and down with each stride was something I'd never seen on her before—a big pair of boobs. Without batting an eye she replied, Oh, I woke up one fine morning, and there they were.
It was as if they grew overnight. Staring at the same region on my body she continued, Didn't you know it's part of being a Tredwell, and something that happens when you turn thirty? To be honest, I rarely thought about family, for my only world was Amma and the ashram. Family seemed so far away and from a different lifetime. I hooked my arm around hers, and we headed back to the house. As always, I kept most of my emotion under wraps.
It was against ashram policy to be attached to family. In the afternoon, we went out for a stroll, to have some alone time and the freedom to talk privately.
We headed out, my sister in her blue jeans and me in my bright orange sari. I always managed to turn heads whenever I went out in public. In India, it was because of my white skin. In the West, it was because I wore a sari. So I was more or less used to attracting negative attention. I wasn't quite sure how Robyn felt, but she didn't show any discomfort, if there was any. So, how's life? Are you still happy living in the ashram?
Robyn looked at me with one eyebrow raised and said, Well, you look like shit if you want my opinion. Breaking down, I confessed. Well, actually I'm not all right. I'm not at all happy. I don't know how much longer I can go on like this.
At the same time, I don't know how I can leave. People do leave unhappy marriages, you know. They have to start life over and find themselves again. So what? It's nothing you aren't capable of doing. You would be just fine. Of course, you aren't married, but you get my drift. Oh, Robyn, it's not that simple. I have poured my entire heart and soul into this organization for twenty years. It's much stronger and more complex than any marriage. I just don't know—how can I leave?
It would create so much devastation. With a stern look on her face, Robyn cut me off. Just ask yourself this, are you happy? Can you not think of yourself for once? They'll survive. Life will go on without you. But will you survive? Remember the saying—nobody is indispensable.
But I don't know what I would do. Where would I go? How would I survive? I don't have any money, or a career. I feel ill at the thought of staying, but even more so about leaving. I had to sit down. The mere discussion of this topic was exhausting. Robyn took a deep breath, let out a sigh, and placed her hand on mine. You know, I have never liked Amma and this whole guru thing.
What do you get out of this life? Searching for a suitable answer, for myself as much as for Robyn, I said, But there is such a spiritual atmosphere. How can I isolate myself from that? That's pure projection, she scoffed. People feel what they hope and desire to feel. Spirituality is everywhere.
You don't have to suffer and sacrifice your entire life away like this. Look at you, you're miserable and lost. What's so spiritual about your state? Robyn, I hear what you're saying, and I know you are coming from a place of love and concern.
I just don't think I'm ready. Can we change the subject? I don't have the strength to talk or even think about this anymore.
We never discussed the topic again. The rest of our visit was spent enjoying our time together and talking about her life. The next morning we parted ways. She returned to Bremen, and I continued with the tour, but now with even more confusion and doubt about my life in the ashram. Her words of advice and encouragement, although hard to accept, became like drops of water on the seeds of change that were already sprouting inside me after talking to Tara.
My first day as a free woman outside the ashram is almost over. I get up from the couch and go to my bedroom where I curl up once more in my ball-like position, but this time with the added solace of a warm and cozy bed.
I feel relieved to know that Amma and her entourage will be heading back to India in the morning. I can't wait to hear that they are on their way. I feel certain that those few thousand miles between us will alleviate some of the pressure I am feeling.
I strongly object to the fact that Balu, Amma's head swami, is staying back with the intention of finding me. No way in hell is this going to happen. I am escaping from him, too.
I feel I should get a message to Amma and the ashram and tell them they should quit searching for me. But there is nothing I can do at this hour. I have to sit tight and trust that I will find out more in the morning from Tara, my Paris correspondent.
My dry and burning eyes are pleading with me to go to sleep. My body is starting to surrender to the pleasing comfort of the soft mattress and the sweet-smelling blanket snuggled against my skin. I can't fight any longer, nor do I feel a need to. I decide to say goodnight to the first day of my new life. After twenty years of sleep deprivation, I go out like a light.
The following morning greets me with a slight sense of relief and calm. I can't say what the weather outside is doing. My only world is the one I am living inside the house. I can hear the occasional car drive by, and I wonder who is inside the car and what kind of life that person leads. Is he married and off to work? Is it a mother driving her children to school?
Are these people happy, depressed, or somewhere in between? What is life like on the outside? I am free now to create my own world and find out for myself.
That thought is equally exciting and nerve-wracking. Thankfully, the phone starts to ring. I pray that this is Tara, pray she is bringing me the good news that everyone has headed to the airport. I wait with the impatience of a child eager for a candy bar, and it feels like an eternity before the phone completes its set of rings.
First set of rings… silence. Second set of rings… silence.
When the phone starts ringing again, I quickly pick up. Gayatri, I have some good news and some bad news. They're all leaving for the airport in a couple of hours, but Balu is still planning on staying back. My mum said she wasn't sure but thinks he will probably leave on Thursday, so it would be just two more days. Hearing this news is good. But it also stirs thoughts of the devastation that is going to occur in India once Amma returns without me.
I know the Indian girls will take it really hard, for I am like a big sister to them, and this breaks my heart. There are nearly two hundred girls there now, and I love and care for them so much. Tara, I need to get a message to the ashram before they leave for the airport.
I'm hoping it will put their minds at ease so they'll stop trying to track me down. I am also hoping it will encourage them all to head home. In a perplexed voice, she replies, But nobody knows I'm in communication with you. It's probably best that I stay undercover for now. Yeah, you're right. I'll have my sister do it. Tara, can you call Robyn so I can dictate a message to her? Then she can call the San Ramon ashram and pass it on.
I want everybody to know that I am safe and that my head is on my shoulders, but my decision is firm. It took me several years to reach this decision, but it is one hundred percent sure. It is the most painful and scary thing I have done. I am not leaving for worldly life, but to pursue my spiritual life in a more peaceful and loving environment.
I am sorry to have caused so much pain to people, but I had to come to terms with reality and truth. I want to pause here and turn the clock back twenty-one years. I wish to take you back to an era of innocence, hopes, and dreams, to a time when I was an impressionable, fun-loving, free-spirited young woman at the tender age of nineteen. This also happens to be the time when I first fell in love—with God.
Hurry up, yelled Franco as Sylvie and I scrambled along the train platform. By no means was this an easy task, for there were hundreds of people bumping into one another and running every which way. Travelers say chaos is one of the charming characteristics of India.
But I suspect that this is something they tell themselves in order to survive. Early on I learned not to resist, just to go with the flow, otherwise your life will become pure hell.
India is not a country with which you can ever have a mediocre relationship.
You must love it or run for your life. Eventually we found our carriage and allowed the pressure of the crowd to line us up in front of a door. Pushing and shoving is an accepted way of life in India. A queue is a rare phenomenon. The population has developed this manner of conduct into quite a fine art. Nobody pushes with their hands. They use their whole bodies, and this makes the contact somehow less personal, and honestly nobody thinks about it twice. I watched my friends disappear into the train, and for a split second I panicked.
Then miraculously I found myself standing before a door. Without delay I grabbed onto the clammy railing, and with one gigantic heave, propelled myself forward, yanking my bag free from the bodies it was wedged between down below.
As I made my way through the carriage, I chose to ignore the unabashed stares and eventually found the right compartment. It was a second-class sleeper and would be our home for the next three days. In the late seventies second-class meant no air conditioning, no seat padding, and no door to your individual compartment.
The right side of the carriage was lined vertically with additional benches. This arrangement guaranteed a complete lack of privacy for the occupants and a constant stream of people shuffling up and down the narrow corridor to the bathrooms. I flung my bag onto the corner of the top bunk where it would be safe from roaming hands.
Excited, I sat down by the window to watch the flurry of activity transpiring outside. Women carried baskets of food in one hand, dragged a child along with the other, and somehow rested an infant securely on one of their maternal hips. Men loaded with suitcases and rolls of bedding hurried by.
The more affluent folk carried nothing. Trailing closely at their heels with the most graceful gait, porters dressed in bright red jackets balanced stacks of luggage ever so elegantly on their heads. Most women were gaily clad in vibrant colors, and every facet of the rainbow was whizzing before my eyes. Children selling peanuts, roasted chickpeas, and other oddities hurried through the train making frantic, final pleas, trying to convince everyone to buy from them.
The whistle blew, and I could see the uniformed station agent wave his green flag, so I knew our departure was imminent. The commotion on the platform began to ease. People became stationary with their gaze glued to the train windows.
The hubbub inside amplified. Family members who had extended their goodbyes a little too long struggled through the obstacle course of bodies and luggage to reach the exit before it was too late.
With a long, final blow of the whistle, the train began its forward motion. Like fleas jumping off a large beast, the little entrepreneurs loaded with their baskets of wares leaped off at the last second. I watched in awe how each one of them managed to land upright despite the building momentum of the train. We were leaving the north of India and Kashmir with its beautiful lakes and the breathtaking Himalayas for southern India, with Madras as our final destination.
Without saying a word, the three of us grinned at each other and started to chuckle—our way of saying, Thank God, that's all over. From our first meeting we became good friends and travel companions.
Sylvie was German, with a pleasingly plumpish baby face, peaches-and-cream complexion, and hair that looked as though she'd been shocked with a thousand volts of electricity.
She had recently been experimenting, trying to create Rastafarian dreadlocks, but had failed miserably. Franco was Italian from Genoa, a strikingly good-looking young man, the personification of tall, dark, and handsome.
When I met them, I was living on one of the many houseboats on Dal Lake, in the center of town. Because I was recovering from a bout of hepatitis, I had been alone in bed for a couple of weeks with nobody to look after me. Many nights I sadly gazed out the window across the water to other boats from which I could hear laughter, music, and people enjoying each other's company.
Thousands of miles from home and clueless as to where the boyfriend I had ditched a month earlier had gone, I was feeling lost, vulnerable, and terribly alone in the world. Physically ill and mentally depressed, I had cried out many a time, I want my mommy.
These outbursts shocked me because when I'd left home two years previous—at age seventeen—my relationship with her was somewhat strained. Despite the lack of privacy, the inability to bathe, and the stench of the bathrooms, I loved riding the trains in India. Dusk, my favorite time of day, was approaching, so I got up and stumbled down the corridor to the open doorway of the carriage. With a steadfast grip on the railing, I embraced the wind in my face as the scenery rushed before my eyes.
India is such a vast and spacious country once you are out of the cities. Apart from the occasional village, it is just miles and miles of uninhabited land. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again.
Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other: Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Holy Hell by Gail Tredwell. Holy Hell: Amma, universally known as "The Hugging Saint," went through a two-decade transformation from a simple fisherman's daughter to an international wonder worshiped by millions.
Gail "Gayatri" Tredwell was there every step of the way—from early devotee to head female disciple, ever-present personal attendant, handmaiden, whipping post, and unwilling keeper of some devastating Amma, universally known as "The Hugging Saint," went through a two-decade transformation from a simple fisherman's daughter to an international wonder worshiped by millions. Gail "Gayatri" Tredwell was there every step of the way—from early devotee to head female disciple, ever-present personal attendant, handmaiden, whipping post, and unwilling keeper of some devastating secrets.
At age nineteen, when she was a happy-go-lucky, adventurous lass from Australia. Because she became fluent in the Malayalam language and had continual intimate proximity to Amma for twenty years, Tredwell is uniquely capable of portraying this famous woman. The book evokes the joys of early devotional life and vibrant images of rural India. Through Tredwell's eyes, we watch a modest and traditional ashram metastasize into a business-oriented, bustling, mega-international organization.
We also see how such a dizzying rise created vast opportunity for abuse, deceit, and hypocrisy.
And, at the end, Gail's flight to a new life. Get A Copy. More Details Other Editions 3. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Holy Hell , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. Mar 12, Nandakishore Varma rated it really liked it.
Mata Amritanandamayi is a household name in Kerala. Her devotees adore her: Devotees cross the seven seas regularly to sit at her feet; she crosses the seven seas to meet them at their homes across the world. And she hugs all and one who come to h Mata Amritanandamayi is a household name in Kerala.
There have been determined efforts to dethrone her from her lofty perch, allegations of financial and other misdeeds at her ashrams, but so far none have been proven. It is hardly surprising, because in a multicultural democracy where religion is always a touchy subject, no government will foolishly go against such an institution without solid evidence.
So one can imagine all the hell which would have broken loose by the publishing of the potentially incendiary memoir, Holy Hell: She also makes serious allegations against the saint like financial misappropriations and sex with many male followers.
Kerala has gone into verbal overdrive with shrill accusations from both sides flying across the media and the internet. As with all such cases, there is very little rational analysis of the book since the emotional barometer is near the breaking point. This is why I decided to read the book, to find out for myself what the hell! Read the full review on my BLOG. View all 9 comments. Feb 23, Hari rated it it was amazing.
Five stars, not for the quality of the writing, but for the courage required to put such an experience to paper. That is not to say that the writing is poor - it is well above average and I spotted no glaring errors. Her observations of the differences in lifestyle are, at times, humorous to read, and at others, disheartening, especially towards the end of the book, where events take a decidedly darker turn.
I must also confess that, being a strong atheist, I felt it quite difficult to empathize Five stars, not for the quality of the writing, but for the courage required to put such an experience to paper. I must also confess that, being a strong atheist, I felt it quite difficult to empathize whenever the author describes her feelings of spirituality, or closeness with God, which forms the basis for her life in India. I'd also like to note that while my mother, who read this book before I did, expressed mild shock at the revelations about the moral character of 'Amma', I felt nothing of the sort - only some sort of inevitability - of what happens when adulation is showered on a person for no justifiable reason.
Feb 22, Archana rated it really liked it. I was hardworking workaholic , dedicated obsessed , determined stubborn , and physically strong. Just imagine all those qualities teamed with a nice dose of low self-esteem- voila, the perfect "disciple" is born! I started reading the book out of mere curiosity but it turned out to be much more insightful.
Jan 03, Kellye rated it really liked it. This was a fairly quick, engaging read. I gravitate towards spiritual memoirs of this type due to my own experiences with India, dodging the guru bullet and the doubt that lead me to leave my own path after close to 8 years.
I appreciate the courage of the author to tell the truth so that others might be spared. It was because of others putting the truth out about another big time female guru that I was able to make an informed choice and just say no. Ammachi is a human being complete with the c This was a fairly quick, engaging read.
Ammachi is a human being complete with the character flaws, and being subject to the laws of nature and biology that comes with the condition. I could relate to the mind-screw that comes with the teacher student relationship born partly out of one's own neuroses and projections, and partly out of trying to suppress critical thinking when faced with paradoxes and hypocrisy.
I applaud the author for being willing to expose the "man behind the curtain" while not downplaying her own behaviors and choices. Well written memoir. Mar 15, Mohan rated it really liked it. This book has had mixed reviews in India. The Amrita cult is so powerful that the book is not even available in India no its not banned by the Govt; but its simply not available in India I get to read the kindle version of it; and I must say that I for one truly believes in what is written there.
No where on earth can a person of theatrics can achieve so much than in a country like India. Hoards thronging to get a glimpse of such god men and women have always repulsed me to the core.
Why are pe This book has had mixed reviews in India. Why are people following such charlatans like rata following the pied piper? I used to ask myself! But after reading Holy Hell I get an answer from a person who has undergone the most - looks like all these 'devotees' have a very sensitive mind and heart, which can be easily 'dictated'.
If you want to know the truth behind the mutt, you need to read this book. No I am not a Christian, nor am I married to one - lest people judge me on the veracity of my Hindu ideals. I am a practicing Hindu and a proud one at that; and I believe making a mockery of such cultural heritage is nothing but cultural treason.
I just hope and pray that people get to read this book far and wide and understand what happens. Nov 01, Yudron rated it it was amazing.
It's hard to say I loved this book, but it was very good. An inside look at the cult of Amachi, from someone who was with her almost from the beginning. Perhaps more than that, it is the portrait of someone who was a sitting duck for a cult. She walked in to the situation willingly with complete naivete and trust, with her critical thinking skills on hold. I am a Western follower of an Asian religion, and Asian gurus, so I am not at all hostile to the concept of following a teacher, and yes, eve It's hard to say I loved this book, but it was very good.
I am a Western follower of an Asian religion, and Asian gurus, so I am not at all hostile to the concept of following a teacher, and yes, even surrendering. But, this is a great cautionary tale for people who are doing the same. Choose well! Investigate the teacher carefully. The glaring question that she never asked was, why is this young Indian woman viewed as a saint? Who determined this? What criteria did they use? What training has she had in her spiritual path?
What is her lineage? Who was her teacher? On and on. I know some of my friends are fond of Amachi, so I feel a bit guilty writing this review of book that details the bullshit that her family and followers propagate about her in order to entrance potential followers. I'm sorry to have to say this, But, I think people considering getting involved with this creepy group should read this book.
View 1 comment. Jul 27, Jaishree rated it really liked it Shelves: The first I heard about this book was when I watched an interview of Gail Tredwell on one of the Malayalam channels. There were the expected shrill and high decibel claims and counter claims from both sides. My desire to read the book had other personal connections as well.
My daughter did her UG course from a fairly prestigious college attached to the Ashram and I have heard similar murmurs about the Ashram and inmates from my husband's cousins who grew up in Vallikavu. The book is simple in it' The first I heard about this book was when I watched an interview of Gail Tredwell on one of the Malayalam channels.
The book is simple in it's narrative and comes across as a honest portrayal of the years spent in Amma's service. I was left with a lingering sense of loss for the years spent by the author in trying to find spiritual peace in serving Amma.
Given the reach of the Ashram and it's devotees, it is not surprising to find that it is not being carried by any of the book stores in the country. Apr 22, Karthika rated it liked it. I cannot write a review of this book without praising her courage. Some parts of this book were extremely shocking; no wonder why this book is not easily available in India. I grew up watching people worshiping Matha Amrithananda Mayi as an avatar.
I was never a believer of human gods and always maintain a neutral view. This book creates a shock wave in India and attracted the attention of news world so easily. But somehow they suppress the discussions with their power. I pity those people who n I cannot write a review of this book without praising her courage.
I pity those people who not even caring to read the book and driven by their blind faith. An essential reading for every Amma devotee. It teaches you what would happen if a normal human being sacrifices everything to serve an actor. The actor is more than able to perform the role with panache in front of an audience but the real malignant spirit of the actor can be seen behind the scenes. Welcome to the backstage. This is not a great literary work but an extremely personal memoir.
Exploring how the lines of your identity and personal freedom can be catastrophically blurred in a quest to seek a connection with god. May 30, Asha Alex rated it it was amazing. Five stars for the courage it took to write the book. Feb 19, Ron John John rated it it was amazing. First of all thanks for sharing your dreadful experience with us.
I always feel very bad when see people worship these type of living God. You don't need to be brilliant to identify these living God's. You have shared your experience with us , why can't you file a case against this lady and the man who raped you?
Now people is saying it's all false story , If you make a complaint, at least police will enquire about this and if its true they will shut down this place Please send a compliant to First of all thanks for sharing your dreadful experience with us. Now people is saying it's all false story , If you make a complaint, at least police will enquire about this and if its true they will shut down this place Please send a compliant to the address below , they will do the rest.
Feb 18, Arun rated it it was amazing.