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Sunday, September 24, 2023
HomeEditorialScheming spirituality and scandals are on rise   

Scheming spirituality and scandals are on rise   

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asaram baupu

The sacred land of Bharatvarsha has been sanctified by many spiritually attained people, since time immemorial. It is on the people whether they could recognize them or not. If anyone looks for Guru and spiritual solace outside them than looking for it within, has opted for a fake choice. These so-called Gurus, Babas, religious heads, and these typical cults are a market of hypocrites to serve those who opted for false choices. Everyone in this trade has his own business module and selling point.

Aasaram Babu and his son like spiritual leaders used to call themselves “Sakha” a friend, they always emphasized to their believers that they are not Guru or Babas. They are friends and father figures, that’s why people used to call him Bapu (in Gujarati Bapu means father). He always advocated staying in marriage and married life producing children; one can still be a spiritual practice. Controlling one’s sexual cravings needs big scarifies, see how they have landed in jail. The family keens, wife and children are enjoying what they have earned from their spiritual business but not the needy disciples.

Bhayuu Maharaj was one horrific example, married spiritual leader, as a human he was one of the best human I have ever witnessed but his married life was big challenge to his spiritual survival, look how he had to commit suicide. Today his daughter, wife and family members are enjoying the wealth that he accumulated but not his followers.

Similar example is married Jaggi Vasudev, his wife took Samadhi (wishfully ended her life), there are many arguments on her death. Well my point is that he has his daughter as legal hare to what he accumulated so far. Maybe some part of it leaves it for so called trust or organization they run and people who work for him. Maharashtra has examples like Gora Kumbhar, Tukaram Dyaneswar, Gadde Maharaj but none of them ever indulged in brand making, people remember and worship them even today. But modern day’s babas are like products, once Shri Shri was a big brand, now Sadguru took the market and many are in the line to spring in this industry.

These days’ self-styled spiritual folks are well written plots. They all have one known-unknown guru, then they have some storyboard to tell you about what made them adopt such practices, then they want celebrities, politicians and  people who can pump in money as their tool to the business. A disciple who pays from his pocket to reach such entities to seek something is indirectly spending their hard earned money in the forms of donation and good will, in turn what they are receiving is an enthralled hoax.

Nevertheless, there are few who are applying gains from business ventures to other social beneficial causes. Actually spiritual and religious organizations in India have not become businesses/ shops, people have just become customers and consumers, so when they look for spirituality, they look for a shop and find one. These are NOT spiritual or religious organizations, they are, as you guessed, shops answering the popular demand. One finds what one is looking for!

However, and thankfully, not everyone is a shopper, there are seekers too. They are looking for light and wisdom; they first make themselves worthy, bring about necessary changes in their being and then set out on their quest. And believe me, they are blessed; they continue to find true religion and spirituality in India abundantly even today. Religious organizations are one of most profitable businesses on Earth, this religious business is not only in India, it’s all over the world. Many innocent people are simply influenced by those religious people, so call a Priest, friend, a Guru, Babas or any other religious leaders, and people simply have faith in them.

I have witnessed many innocent people being lured by those spiritual business tycoons. So people wake up, God is not only with these gurus and they are not the custodians of spirituality, it is all within you. Do you think these people will move mountains for you? Remember you have to slog for yourself and if time comes you have to give your precious time to make your guru a brand and collect riches for him at the cost of your sweat. You are the giver, you are the creator and you are the one who has brand value and that is the reason held by these so called spiritual leeches.

Most of the people are brainwashed by so-called practices of spirituality. They will never be friends to you because they don’t sit with you on the floor, hug you in need, wipe your tears in pain or touch your feet considering you a good human who has visited him. It’s you who makes choices and prefers to surrender. The one who needs brand value and money is nothing but a product and business.

Since they are all tax-free, they are already at least 30% better than the rest of us. On top of that, India is a country of diverse beliefs. Most people are scared, restless and can pay you to listen to comforting words and advice. Some of the time this helps (come to think of it, some of the things these spiritual gurus say make sense too, but what they say is not unique, is said by many like them), but it’s the hypocrisy that makes you yield to them.

Please understand, they are in a lucrative business with almost unlimited market share of customers that can be influenced pretty easily. The income arises from various aspects – donations, selling books, printed material/paintings, Ayurveda products etc. In the question, you say that it is impossible to create such a huge empire solely based on donations, but I disagree. They receive huge sums as donations, and often these figures are unbelievable. Obviously, we don’t know whether they are in any other business (they might be), but even their apparent sources of income will accumulate more wealth than what you see in public.

Manan” is a Sanskrit expression which denotes ‘churning.’ Out of Manan evolved “Manas” or “That which churns.” Mind is the English word for Manas and it came from the root Manan as indicated in its etymology. The ancient Indians accorded great importance to “churning” of thoughts. They also indulged in what is known as “Samvada” or ‘inquiry’ (largely misunderstood as ‘discussion’) often with the help of a “Guru” [“Gu”= darkness + “Ru” = that which dispels] to dispel the ‘darkness of ignorance.’ They believed that the “Self” which resides inside every living being has “self-awareness” Which included “Dhyana” or meditation to invoke the self-awareness to know the “True nature of Things.” This produced “immense wealth of knowledge and wisdom” for humanity and this is the primary reason as to why India among other things spiritually is so very rich. Please be responsible and don’t fall for money-making spirituality.

Secondly, the edifice of Indian Philosophy of Hinduism was built on the well churned load-bearing pillar of “Dharma” or “behaviour and actions that are considered to be in accordance with “Rta” or the “Order that makes life and universe possible.” The stress therefore was to make “life” and Universe” possible and this cannot happen in the absence of knowing that “the true nature” of the “Self” that pervades inside and “propels” the body is “goodness”.  

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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with three Honourary Doctorate in Journalism. Vaidehi has been an active journalist for the past 21 years, and is also the founding editor of an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, and The Democracy digital video news portal is her brain child. Vaidehi has three books in her name, "Sikhism vs Sickism", "Life Beyond Complications" and "Vedanti". She is an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, OSCP offensive securities, Certified Security Analyst and Licensed Penetration Tester that caters to her freelance jobs.
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