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The Orange Robe: My Eighteen Years as a Yogic Nun [Paperback]

Marsha Goluboff Low

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Book Description

June 1 2011
After graduating from college, Marsha Low left home to spend eighteen years as an Ananda Marga yogic nun, living in countries throughout the Middle and Far East, Australasia, and Eastern Europe. After undergoing training with the organization, she taught meditation and yoga, opened schools, and performed social work and relief projects.

Often skirting the law to further her organization's mission and raise money for it, she came face to face with-among other things-gun-toting border guards in Cyprus, the Russian KGB, and misunderstanding and rejection as a female spiritual teacher in the Middle East. In India, she faced harassment from government officials intent upon hunting down foreign members of her blacklisted organization.

In The Orange Robe: My Eighteen Years as a Yogic Nun, the author also relates incidents from her family life growing up, her dreams, and the issues that she had to deal with upon returning to ordinary life. From her first encounter with the group to her eventual disillusionment with it and the reconciliation with her family, The Orange Robe chronicles the dangers, triumphs, misadventures, and heartaches she experienced on her journey. It also provides a unique window into the behavior and psychology of Ananda Marga and its founder, Shrii Shrii Anandamurti.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse.com (June 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145023013X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1450230131
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 13.8 x 21.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #784,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A courageous Journey...from the spiritual to the personal July 17 2011
By Carol L. Day - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I read with fascination the story of Marcia, as she moved into an organization of deep convictions and spirituality, and gradually allowed the other shoe to drop. For me, I can see all the markings of what happens in many spiritual organizations...it is never as perfect as we want to believe. And what we do to deceive ourselves and others is amazing...
The book is well written, and so gripping that I read most of it in two days, wanting to see what happens next. This woman shows so much courage and so much devotion all at the same time...that she is truly remarkable to do what she did, and then to be able to feel her feelings and know that it was time to leave the organization? What a difficult journey that must have been.
The saying...there by the grace of God go I...is quite applicable here. I too have been on the spiritual path for 20 years, and I too could have made the journey Marcia made...This book is a must for all spiritual seekers...it is a must to see both sides of the coin, the beautiful devotion and community that is possible, as well as the dangers of the community and the losing of self. And the question still on my mind...is this a cult, or a legitimate organization? This is a deep and personal story that will haunt me for awhile, so well written and expressed, page by page, emotional and spiritual and personal, all at the same time. My deepest compliments to the author for a job well done...Carol Day
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Read June 21 2011
By K. Geist - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
When I took my first yoga class, there were more than one starry-eyed student who intended to become enlightened, and maybe even a yogic monk or nun. (Me, I just wanted to limber up tight joints). Marsha Low gives the lowdown on exactly what is involved in becoming a yogic nun - why someone would leave their family, their country, life as they know it, and join a strict order devoted to teaching yoga, meditation, and the teachings of their guru.
This is no fluffy "Eat,Pray,Love" but rather the real nitty-gritty. Read it, and feel along with Marsha the embracing of the guru's teachings, then the years of intense dedication, desires, delusions, disappointments, regrets, and finally the lessons learned.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raw adventure Oct. 21 2011
By Sandra - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Marcia Low's true life history is mesmerizing. I couldn't stop reading, finding each challenge she faced as thought provoking. I admired her raw account of her successes along with her failures, unafraid to leave herself vulnerable.
I recommend to any reader since we have all had failed dreams and, in the process, gained wisdom.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How I got "Catholic" to rhyme with "Orange." April 22 2013
By leerread - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Like some of the other reviewers, I read this book compulsively and I read it on the heels of completing AN UNQUENCHABLE THIRST by Mary Johnson, who was a nun with the Mother Teresa-led Missionaries of Charity for 20 years before leaving and writing a book.

I think I waited all of my life to read these books. As a child, I was fascinated by nuns. Even as an adult when I saw one in a habit I'd get a little breathless. (My kids would say, "Mom just had a Nun Sighting!") Like Ms. Low I grew up in the 1970s and recall seeing what were known as the "Hari Krishnas" in their robes, but I don't believe I ever saw a Margii, or a yogic follower of S.S. Anandamurti.

Reading these two books was spellbinding. They are tales of courage, of heartbreak, of raw honesty, world travel in the non-vacation/exploration sense, unique viewpoints on humanity's varying levels of personal comfort and spiritual understanding.

What I appreciate most from the vantage point of my boring, but comfortable life is that these women came full circle in their understanding of what the word LOVE really means--across the heart, across the board, across the world. They gave of their minds, bodies and spirits and then they found time to share their experiences via the power of words. Then, they got married. Like I said--a full circle of love that most of us never get to come close to understanding.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, Real, She searches her soul...a page turner Oct. 15 2011
By William B. Betz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Leaving a home filled with her parents' post-victorian views on life...suffering from low self-esteem and learning that sex, drugs and R&R is a dead end road..Marsha found a nurturing safety net in becoming a yogic nun.

Engaging, easy-to-read, amazing account of her life and world travels.

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