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Creation of  LETA

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Life Eternal Trust Australia (‘LETA’) was established in 1986 by HH Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi to administer and promote Sahaja Yoga and its meditation, which has been practiced and taught by volunteers as a community service throughout Australia since 1981.  Sahaja Yoga is a worldwide community service, operating independently in each country.  Sahaja Yoga Australia also runs autonomously and is completely self-funded.

HH Shri Mataji's appointment of Trustee-Directors

Selecting Yogis as Trustees HH Shri Mataji enquired about a Yogis professional background, capabilities and the skills needed for financial oversight and administration.     

 

HH Shri Mataji asked about their time in Sahaja Yoga and their standing and respect within the Collective and their willingness to do what they could to support Sahaja Yoga and help do all they could to promote Her work. 

 

To preserve and expand the properties so they could be handed on to future generations to  provide a permanent platform for Sahaja Yoga into the future and to help maintain Sahaja Yoga as HH Shri Mataji had created it.

HH Shri Mataji's asked that Collective properties be purchased

In 1987 LETA purchased No 10 Clarence Clarence Street in Burwood NSW.   Trusts could not own properties in Australia and at the time the Title for No 10  was issued in the name of the then individual Trustees of LETA of 1987 by the Land Titles Department.

 

Upon legal advice of Life Eternal Properties (LEPA) was setup as a property holding company for the Trust LEPA appointed as a corporate Trustee of the Trust in time for the next property purchase of Balmoral.  

 

Since 1997 the Titles of all Sahaja properties purchased on behalf of the collective are held by a company, Life Eternal Properties (LEPA) as corporate Trustee on behalf of the Collective by Life Eternal Trust Australia.

Enhancements to the Trust Deed

The Trustees arranged for a not for profit expert legal firm to provide enhancements to Trust so the OSR could approve of  transfer the titles of No 10 and Scullin from individual names to LEPA. OSR charged no Stamp Duty for the transfer saving the Collective $170,000 in stamp duty. This also secured the Title for No 10 Clarence St from any possible future legal claims.

 

The enhancements to the Trust was key to meeting the Government requirements for the manner with which not for profit entities own and manage properties. 

 

LEPA is the sole Corporate Trustee of Life Eternal Trust.  A windup clause was added to LETA  to ensure that if its assets were ever disposed they would be transferred to a like body being  LET Western Australia and not under the direction of the Trustee-Directors.

LEPA

 

As The Trust is not allowed to own property LEPA (Life Eternal Properties Australia) was created as a stand alone company within LETA to provide maximum protection to our properties for the Australian Collective and to distance them from any individuals. LEPA exists within the Trust and is a registered company with ASIC and operates in full compliance with Australian government legislation.

 

Mission Statement

 

LETA's aim is to provide individuals and communities in Australia and around the world with free access to the unique non-commercial Sahaja Yoga Meditation method. This meditation method has an integrated yet simple approach for the practitioner to attain physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being and which crosses cultural, racial, age, socio economic status and location barriers by providing face-to-face classes or online services.

Trustee-Directors

 

LETA has been set up for the purpose of operating as an administrative organisation to manage the affairs of Sahaja Yoga meditation on a national basis. Its operations are managed and overseen by the Trustee-Directors.

The Trustee-Directors take responsibility for the operations of LETA, the management of its finances and the management of the affairs of Sahaja Yoga meditation on a national basis.

Sahaja Yoga Meditation

 

Sahaja Yoga meditation was developed by Nobel Peace Prize nominee Her Holiness Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi in 1970. It is a proven and unique approach to attaining mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

HH Shri Mataji dedicated Her life to helping humanity realise its innate spiritual nature through an experience known as Self-Realisation. In recognition of Her lifetime’s tremendous work of transforming humanity through collective en-masse Self-Realisation, HH Shri Mataji has been publicly acclaimed and awarded honours by the Governments and leaders of many nations.

 

Her core teaching is that within us all, lies a transformative potential which can be awakened using Her Self-Realisation method. By doing so, we can bring peace and well-being to ourselves, our families, our social institutions, our nations and our world.

Funding

 

Funded only by voluntary donations from regular practitioners, and functioning as a non-profit community service, Sahaja Yoga has no paid positions and is conducted entirely by volunteers in their free time. This is in keeping with HH Shri Mataji’s principles who never charged for Her work and insisted that Her teachings and techniques should be available to all, at no cost.

Charitable Status

 

LETA is registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) in the ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC and WA.  As a registered charity we must comply with the ACNC’s  financial recording keeping, reporting obligations and governance requirements which include having and adhering to our policies.

Who we are

Shri Mataji created the Trust in 1987 and wrote the roles and responsibilities of Trustees. The Trust Deed, its aims, objectives and purpose are clear and remain unaltered from those that Shri Mataji drafted. The limits of the authority of LETA are also articulated in the Trust Deed drafted by Shri Mataji as a foundational document for Sahaja Yoga in the UK, India and Australia. The primary purposes of the Deed are the promotion of the spiritual teachings of the Sahaja Yoga religion by hosting lecture courses, public meetings, study groups and by any other means. The Establishment of centres, meeting places, places of worship, research centres, schools.

 

The Trust is  committed to upholding and acting according to the Trust Deed, to further its aims and objectives. This is our commitment to the President of the LETA Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi. These are also part our fiduciary duties according to Australian law and in our opinion, Divine law drafted by Shri Mataji as part of the Trust Deed. We act as a corporate authority. These are also part our  duties according to Australian law. 

 

The Trust Deed is registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission (ACNC). It is online and available to scrutiny by the public. Also available online are eleven years of audited financial statements of all the contributions by Sahaja Yogis to the dollar, submitted annually as required by the law. In addition to the ACNC, LETA is also oversighted by other government agencies, such as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the Office of State Revenue, the Australian Tax Office. There have been no reportable matters in the thirty-six years since the Trust was established by Shri Mataji and the ten years since it was registered with the ACNC.

 

In the past Leaders have abused their position which resulted in significant failures in the management of finances.  The underlying reason for these failures was due to a lack of necessary checks and balances between the leadership role of Sahaja Yoga and responsibility as a Trustee.  Sahaja Yoga was put at risk of losing its not-for-profit / charitable status and for major punitive fines.  The oversight role as a check and balance to the execution of Sahaja Yoga leadership is vital for our future. 

 

We advise and educate each Council and when required, the wider Collective about their legal responsibilities as volunteers.  LETA is obliged to set up systems to support legal requirements and to comply with the evolving legal landscape of the not-for-profit sector, within which Sahaja Yoga operates in Australia.  These legalities are often about values and may challenge us to adapt so that we can grow and protect the public standing of Sahaja Yoga in Australia.  We do not sway according to changes in the political wind that could result in compromising the aims of the Trust Deed.

 

Trustees share a disproportionate accountability of outcomes relative to most Sahaja Yogis, including the Coordinator and the Collective Council leadership.  The Trustees take their roles of accountability seriously, not only to the laws of the country but also to Sahaja Yoga, as entrusted by Shri Mataji.

 

In 2010 HH Shri Mataji set terms of renewal for Councils and Committees for a period of 3-5 years. The rotation of councils in countries followed on from the model established and as agreed at that time, in discussions with HH Shri Mataji and country representatives.

The Council is a representative committee concerned with the operation of the spiritual aspects of Sahaja Yoga in Australia.  The Trustees or Trustee-Directors are working under the instructions of Shri Mataji, as reflected in the Trust Deed and under Her personal instructions.

Shri Mataji created the founding documents for Sahaha Yoga and She did not grant permission to any leader or councillor/s to make determinations about the Trust, or to create new administrative structures. This is who we are as Sahaja Yoga.

Council and Trust is the structure advised by Shri Mataji in discussion with Her appointed Trustees in 2004-2005.  This dual arrangement is needed to provide appropriate checks and balances and to avoid the problems of impropriety and deception that occurred in the past with leaders holding dual roles.  The Trust is not in control of Sahaja Yoga or the Council. Our duty is to be present within the Collective and available to Sahaja Yogis
 

The Trust has an  adherence to the principles of vibrational selection, which also apply to the selection of Trustees.  We have always supported an independent vibrational selection process and will collaborate at each available opportunity with the Council and the wider Collective to ensure the independence and integrity of such a Sahaja Yoga process to solely reflect Shri Mataji’s Will in the appointment of Sahaja Yogis to leadership positions.  We uphold this broadly accepted process and speak up when these principles are under threat.

Shri Mataji’s public talks are on the public record. Shri Mataji also had discussion in private where  Shri Mataji provides the times, circumstances when Shri Mataji directs this private information can be used and divulged.  

 

Shri Mataji instructed the Trustee “to be there in the future when Yogis try to divide the collective or change the arrangements She has put in place” and “I want Sahaja Yoga maintained as I have created it”.  Shri Mataji related this has been attempted in the past and it would occur again. 

The misinformed claims, that the position of Trustees is permanent, is not correct, since there have been more than eleven Trustees on the National Trust since 1986.   This demonstrates that the yogis fulfilling these roles change as circumstances dictate. HH Shri Mataji drafted the Trust Deed without including tenure for the Trustees, long before the current Trustees or Trustee-Directors were appointed. The omission of tenure does not mean a role for life.  Upholding the principles under which HH  Shri Mataji drafted the Deed is a clear and unequivocal duty of the Trustees. 

Shri Mataji has said that the continuity of service of Trustees around the world in these roles was fundamentally important for financial management of the Collective funds and assets of Sahaja Yoga to ensure continuity of good governance and sound administration in support of the Trust’s legal responsibilities for the prudent care of Sahaja funds, maintenance of Sahaja properties and other assets.

Amongst its many roles Life Eternal Trust Australia manages the following:

 

 -       All Collective Sahaja Yoga properties. 

 

 -       Manages Sahaja Yoga IP in Australia.

 

 -       Holds all Public Liability Insurance protections. 

 

 -       Manages Sahaja Yoga Collective finances via independent auditors.

 

 -       Provides substantial funding for our extensive National and International  

        communications arrangement.

 

 This is all administered under the Deed of Trust and has been the case since the Trust was established in 1987.

Legal advice

High Level legal advice includes:

"It is noted in the First Schedule amongst the powers of the Trustees, "the Trustees can make such rules and regulations for the management and administration of the charity and for matters connected therewith as the Trustees shall in their discretion think fit …".  As a consequence, the Trustees have the overall authority in the organisation and we would consider that the National Coordinator and the Council would operate within this context.

 

It is noted the Trustees have this overall responsibility in Australia.

 

Given the terms of the Trust Deed the Councils in Australia would be expected to work with appropriate delegations from the Trustees and would be seen by the Trustees as fulfilling part of its obligations to advance Sahaja Yoga in Australia."

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Additional Notes

HH Shri Mataji’s Deed had no tenure for Trustees and since that time there have been 12 changes to the Trustees positions. Fulfilling the Trustees role is not permanent. Sahaja Yoga Australia has taken the spirit of the LETA Trust Deed which Shri Mataji provided as the founding principles for the organisation of Sahaja Yoga to take us into the future.

Shri Mataji created one of the first Sahaja Yoga Council's in 2005 replacing the previous role of  National Leader with Collective leadership for Sahaja Yoga culture in Australia. Shri Mataji’s letter of 3rd of January 2010 announcing that the principle of a fixed terms of 3 to 5 years for Sahaja Committees and Councils is a good one and should be implemented throughout the Sahaja world.

Along with the various policies as shared on this site the Trustees-Directors are also responsible for the professional management of the seven National collective Sahaja Yoga properties which have been secured for the use of the practitioners of Sahaja Yoga now into the future so no individuals can ever make a claim on them.

Our official website can be found at: leta.org.au

 
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