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Gurus – should we love them or leave them?

March 10, 2008

India has never been short on Gurus, and the names like Swami Chinmayananda and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi come to mind almost immediately.
There are many more…but what is important is that in the last decade or so Gurus have proliferated and quite a few of these Gurus do not induce the kind of reverence that the older ones did. Perhaps because some of them are being seen more as astute businessmen rather than ‘Gurus’.

We are now living in the age of the Gurus…every few years a new Guru pops up…’Gurudom’ has taken a modern avatar! This may sound as if I’m being critical, but I’m writing as an observer, and am trying to be as objective as a person like me (a non-believer) can be. I guess cynicism is bound to creep in.the-week.jpg

Why Gurus are a rage. An article in a recent issue of The Week says that this proliferation of Gurus is a resurgence of Hinduism/Spirituality) and is a backlash against the capitalism that is sweeping the world. People find it difficult to find personal happiness in an increasingly materialist world. Well, this makes sense as relationships seem to be the first sacrifice at the altar of materialism.

The modern Gurus are offering a solution, they are showing a way to survive in this confusing world, paving a path to personal satisfaction and fulfillment/realisation. You can perhaps say that that the Gurus are offering lessons in Spirituality/Religion, Self Realisation, Yoga or if you want to be harsh you can say that they are providing mass healing/counseling or psychiatric sessions. Whichever way you look at it, people are flocking to Gurus because they need them and are getting something out of them. Either some sort of ‘cure’ from a disease or a ‘high’ or perhaps genuine peace of mind…they are perhaps finding some meaning to their life. Whatever they are getting, they clearly aren’t getting from their environment or relationships.

Guru fads always did exist ofcourse, I mean there was Rajneesh in the seventies too. But the difference now is the number of Gurus around and their increasing popularity.

So who are these modern gurus?
Well they are anyone and everyone and someone…some have been around for decades, some are more recent. Names that come instantly to mind are:

The murky side. Almost all gurus have been under attack for something or the other.

  • Shri Sathya Sai Baba has been called a charlatan and there have been allegations of sexual molestation and rape.
  • Amritanandamayi, life has been criticized for staying in a luxury hotel during a labour dispute.
  • Sri Sri Shri Ravi Shankar has been accused of ‘marketing’ and his ‘miracles’ questioned. People feel that he is not as ‘divine’ as he claims to be.
  • Nirmala Devi’s claim of providing ‘self realisation’ has come under criticism and so have her claims of possessing divine energy as well as her being the reincarnation of ‘Shakti’. She has also been accused of interfering in the personal life of her devotees by forcing people to marry/divorce.
  • Baba Ramdev has been accused of adding animal and human body parts in his ayurvedic medicines (he was cleared of his allegation) and also been criticised for claiming that he could cure AIDS and some types of Cancer. Later, he denied that he had made any claim to cure AIDS. The Indian Medical Association is highly critical of the Baba’s negative views on allopathic medicine and medical practitioners.
  • Dr. Deepak Chopra has been accused of being a quack.

mataji_1_1.jpgMore positive than negative opinions. Well, allegations against anyone, Guru or not, should be investigated…but what we cannot escape is this truth: There are far more positive opinions than negative ones about any Guru. Each one of them has an impressive following and these Gurus are not just respected, they are worshipped.

It isn’t easy to explain such large followings. One can always say that these people have magnetic personalities, great charisma, and fantastic marketing skills…or that they are highly intelligent people. They probably are all of that, but I believe that most Gurus have empathy for human beings and when this quality is combined with the other qualities, it enables them to help people. If they couldn’t help why should so many go to them?

If things do go wrong with some of the Gurus, I think perhaps one of the reasons is the extreme level of sycophancy which they become victims of…this can make them start to believe that they are either God and or can do anything or say anything and people will believe. Religious people wield far greater power than politicians. People allow them to control their minds.

I would like to conclude by a quote by a guru himself. Jaggi Vasudev.

sadhguru.jpg Unfortunately, there are pseudos in spirituality. The crooked ones are one thing. It doesn’t take much time for you to see somebody is crooked; but I am more concerned about the ignorant ones, who are dangerous. Ignorance always causes more damage than evil. Don’t bother about whether somebody is a good or bad guru. Because this is not about the guru, this is about you. By going to him, if your life gets transformed, you continue to go. Even if he’s crooked, how does it matter so long your life is getting transformed? If he starts leading you on to something wrong, improper, then you leave. Till then, you make use of him.

I confess that I have not added the last line in which he said this is not what one should douse a guru, whether he is good or bad or crooked, and then discard him…this is not the way, says Sadhguru. But I didn’t add the last line because I wanted the words above to have the maximum impact without that last line. I wasn’t sure I believe that last line.

If a person is getting spiritual help from a Guru, why not take it? Or perhaps I didn’t understand what Sadhguru said. Maybe there is some deep meaning in his words…maybe he means that ‘using’ people is wrong. If that is what he means, yes I agree. But in most cases one pays for spirituality so where is the question of ‘using’?

I am not the kind of person who will ever go to a Guru but if someone did go to a Guru and asked my advice, well, I would advice the person not to get too attached, and never think of the Guru as a Diety…and sure, I would advice them to leave when the time is right. After all the main idea is to be the master of one’s own mind.

(The photo of Amma is from The Week, the one of Mataji is by me and that of Sadhguru is from Times of India)

Related Reading: A book to counter the Hinduphobia of the mainstream West
Emphasis on Rituals in Hinduism…at the cost of Spirituality
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38 Comments leave one →
  1. Guqin permalink
    March 10, 2008 9:28 am

    Forgive me for my ignorance:

    What are the differences among Sages, Gurus and Yogis as in India’s tradition?

  2. March 10, 2008 10:36 am

    Gugin, these terms are used fairly loosely and one is often substituted for the other, but actually they mean slightly different things. A Guru for example is a ‘a spiritual leader or intellectual guide” and generally has a very large following, often a cult following. A sage on the other hand is simply a wise man and a Guru can be a sage but a sage is not always a Guru. A Yogi is usually a Yoga master or perhaps even a Yoga student. A Guru can be a Yogi but a Yogi is not always a Guru.
    There are also gurus who finally achieve almost a saint status like the Shirdi Sai Baba has achieved.
    On another note, the word Guru is used very loosely in our colloquial Indian languages. Anyone who is respected highly is called ‘Guru’ which is a word from Indian languages, and at times the term is used mockingly when someone keeps lecturing another. Guru is often a nickname too…

  3. March 10, 2008 10:52 am

    Better to love the Gurus as long as they serve the humanity. There is nothing wrong in seeing them as god, as god is in everyone. I keep almost a life size photo graph of Satya Sai Baba at home. Iam sure, the people who follow these gurus, have come across some real life incidents to help them. That is why they have become their followers.

    Satya Sai Baba does fall in a different category I think! He is now revered as a saint. I am not sure whether the other gurus will ever come up to his status. – Nita.

  4. March 10, 2008 11:40 am

    I don’t follow “Gurus”, leave alone believe in their superiority or great powers. However, many a time l am awe-struck and wonder as to how they amass such a huge fan following. Some people I guess, are natural leaders.

    I think if there is something we should learn from these Gurus, it should be the human-element. The art of convincing people. Call it “marketing”, call it “neuro-linguistic-programming” or any other fancy term. I think these Gurus empathize with their followers and make them feel important, thereby causing reciprocation.

    As far as criticisms and speculations are concerned, few of us really know as to what really happens behind the curtains. I wouldn’t pass my judgment on something that I am not completely sure of.

    I am visiting your blog for the first time and the articles that I have read, seem to be well researched and drafted.

  5. Guqin permalink
    March 10, 2008 11:47 am

    Nita,
    Thank you for explaining. I thought it was better to ask a real person than looking it up in books or on line since formal definitions often offer no clue for what the subjects are like in the living world. I was right. Thanks again.

    You are welcome. – Nita.

  6. Ravi permalink
    March 10, 2008 11:55 am

    Its always good to listen to some person who read our ancient manuscripts and shows us an easy way to gain that knowledge by just paying some attention to his words. Thats it! We should not cross our limits by losing our common sense and start worshiping a human being who is like any of us. I admire satya sai baba for contributing Rs.2000 millions for solving drinking water problem in this district of Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh and contributed heavily to construct one of the finest Super Specialty Hospital in India. He is awesome as a person and a great man. But I don’t think he is god or someone to represent god. He is like any of us with this extra ordinary quality of helping poor and destitute. I m cool with anybody getting impressed by his kind gesture and become disciples. Good thing is the Super Specialty hospital has so many internationally renowned doctors.

  7. March 10, 2008 12:44 pm

    Nita- when I was in hospital for treatment of AML in the late 80s, I was the beneficiary of information relating to a “cure” or purported cures. A friend who was completely taken with alternative medicine modes brought a series of Deepak Chopra books into my hospital room in order to enlighten me with information, which, if followed, would result in a remission of my desease. One desparate to find solutions to the mysteries of a disease (or life) process will most naturally suppress the internal skeptic and throw best efforts to following such advices. That is how “gurus” collect their followers – followers are self-interested and throw their lot in with a system of belief that offers hopeful answers.
    There was a cancer-fighting ameliorative that was touted by alternative-medicine believers. It is expensive, called Essiac, invented by a woman in Quebec. A good friend of mine, pushes this “drug”, which is questionable, and when I pointed out that the name of the drug in reverse was “Caisse” (the French word for bank) she acted as if I had blasphemed. Such strength of belief defies logic. Essiac is not proven to be successful, people still die of their disease. I wonder how that is explained away by believers.
    The link you provided to information about Deepak Chopra was most informative. Thanks – i learned some more today. G

  8. March 10, 2008 1:09 pm

    Nita,

    I think you missed this one:
    http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result&cd=1&q=amma+bhagavan&spell=1

    I know there are too many to list. But, they are quite famous in Andhra and Chennai.

    I came to know about them from a 3 page advertisement from a popular magazine.

    From what I heard, they work in some sort of pyramid scheme to grow their network. I have heard of stories where people spend in lakhs to meet them.

    But, I always wonder what is the need to advertise themselves if they are really blessed (to cure people’s problems)? :)

  9. Guqin permalink
    March 10, 2008 1:32 pm

    True artists are few, most artists are either mediocre or fake, but that doesn’t mean art doesn’t exists. It is unfortunate that often enough mediocre or fake artists sell well and amass disciples, but that doesn’t imply true genius doesn’t exist.

    Not sure if a Daoist Qi Gong master (no claim of divinity) is similar to a Guru or Yogi, but I did see ones breaking rocks with their foreheads, twisting steels with their necks and the rocks and steels were provided by us villegers. And there are formally registered Qi Gong hospitals. The masters can heal patients (stronger masters can do that without touching, but in general they do touch). It is important to point out that they don’t claim any connection to God. The ability is considered natural and could be acquired by repeatitive pratice.

    However it is interesting to point out that in Buddhism, one is not supposed to perform miracles when one could (since it confuses people and disturbs the harmony of the world as I understand it ), and if one announces oneself as the incarnated past Buddha, one should leave this world immediately. If one still sticks around after the anouncement, one is judged as fake.

  10. March 10, 2008 1:48 pm

    I agree that you can learn from everyone in your life, and that you need to be in charge of your own spiritual journey regardless of whose guidance you follow.

    But I’m very wary about bad gurus – the reason they tend to attract a huge following is that they create dependency in their followers. Consciously or unconsciously they use techniques that make it really difficult for a follower to use their own judgement about whether they are learning useful things.

    So unfortunately you’re more likely to get stuck with a bad guru than a good one…

  11. March 10, 2008 3:57 pm

    Ravi, that is what these gurus are actually supposed to do, interpret our ancient texts, but unfortunately they take on far more than this. I have never heard any Guru speak, but I have heard that Swami Chinmayananda actually does just this.

    Suburban, Thanks for sharing. I am not at all suprised by your experience. It is when one is ill that well meaning friends try to show us new ways to heal ourselves. And as you said, that is the time when one is at one’s most vulnerable. To some extent I too believe that the mental and the physical is connected, because i have seen that some people come out of terminal illnesses and some don’t. But I don’t think there is any scientific proof of this phenomena. However ayurveda does have scientific backing, but as for it’s claim to cure terminal diseases, I don’t believe that.

    Priya, so you came to know of that guru couple form an ad! That just shows how commerical gurus are becoming nowadays! I had never heard of that couple and as you said, they must be more well known in South.

    Gugin, I agree, the presence of fake gurus should not tarnish the realm of Spirituality. But unfortunately for those who are not familiar with various disciplines like Yoga or Ayurveda, the fake ones do the damage. And thanks for that insight into Buddhism. I did not know that Buddha was against miracles. I think without knowing it, I am a Buddhist.

    Lirone, yes unfortunately mind control becomes a part and parcel of these movements. However one does come across some good Gurus… and there are several in India. Unfortunately those that have made a name for themselves internationally are often more commercial, hire PR agencies and consultants to ‘do’ their image. We have a friend who once did a complete image building exercise for a “Guru!’

  12. sedgehammer permalink
    March 10, 2008 9:05 pm

    Nita – lots of interesting stuff here, I’m always eager to learn more about different cultures and belief systems.

    A word on the quote you left at the end from Jaggi Vasudev. obviously, I don’t have the context, but it seemed to me the ending was a further warning against ignorance. I think the philosophy of ‘using, then losing’ a crooked guru is a type of deliberate ignorance, a closing off of your awareness. If you can see that someone is obviously a phony, why would you continue to try to get something from him? Why not seek truth and meaning from someone more reliable, more trustworthy?

  13. March 10, 2008 9:07 pm

    hmmm…i am fortunate enough to be studying in chinmaya vidyalaya…
    as for guru i don’t believe in working under them…for me everyone is equal…

  14. March 10, 2008 9:59 pm

    Thanks for writing and including so many links to back up your case and make an objective presentation. Objectivity is so helpful when presenting a case!

    As I write about my vision of every neighborhood a thriving, self-reliant community on my wordpress blog, I often seen headlines which draw me in. I was drawn to read your post, having had extensive experience with having gurus, and finding the relationship to be lacking every time.

    But I might follow a guru who supported the idea that by helping bring together our neighbors in cooperation and support, we just might find self-realization in the doing of that.

    There is so much suffering in the world. There are so many ways we can serve each other and alleviate suffering in our own neighborhood. I have a deep longing for leaders who have influence to support this idea.

  15. March 10, 2008 10:34 pm

    Thanks Sledgehammer! I too am the same as you, eager to learn about different cultures! And thank you so much on your interpretation of Jaggi Vasudev’s comment. I think yours is a perfect explanation! The context is exactly that because the piece is taken from an interview which took place in a question and answer format (unfortunately link not available) and the guru was asked what he thought of the pseudo gurus doing the rounds. Thanks again.

    Vishesh, thanks.

    Patricia, thanks for your visit. And I agree that doing things for people can bring the greatest spiritual satisfaction. Will surely visit your blog.

  16. March 11, 2008 1:26 am

    Nita,
    Hi ! I admire your efforts in selecting topics and urging positive discussion to explore solutions for the daily Indian (mostly) predicament. You do have I guess a laid back (?) Marathi charm of trying not to be too opinionated unlike a Ms Varsha whose columns I also love to read for the intensity she provokes and her vent on being pushed to the extreme with political correctness. Perhaps Deepak C might venture to say he knows exactly why so for a small fee. The Rishidom is nothing but our version of Madarsa and Talibanism except that we were fortunate that the political establishments of Maharajas mostly kept the Gurus and the Rishis from entertaining any thoughts of venturing into politics (except occasionally when it suited them I guess; Ashoka-Buddhism). Gurus/Rishis were needed in old India to educate the young in the absence of organized schools. However Indian princes needed to own the vulnerability of the peasant psyche to fill their coffers and hence the sword prevailed over the dreaded hairlocks and beard. Our princes were not as smart as the northern kind who descended with both a sword and a beard (….Sivaji ?) to exploit and be rewarded with worship for their savagery. The public placed in a position between these two have been able to make their own assessment over time. Illiteracy and poverty have always been the cause for exploitation both by the politician and in my opinion the not so holy men. In a way it is the AIDS of ancient India since the cloying obsequities to holy men are handed down through generations of insecurity and gut wrenching superstition from an ignorant parent to a desperate child. What Deepak C touts as the content and happy face of an eastern or Indian is in reality a noble face hiding despair and hopelessness. Look how India has suddenly changed its “content face” in the last 10 years and look how mobile a calm, sedate Rishi becomes as he views the prospects of hard currency. Needless to say a force like Communism, Maoism will be close on the heels of holy men as man fights this virus. The south is a good example. Brahmin’s imploring sage reverence brought upon themselves communists in Kerala (forbidding lower caste women from covering their top, even making some wear bells like animals to announce their passing) and the DMK in Tamilnad (Blessing in disguise on reflection). The Naxalites are in their fight to make the largely poor hopeless return to their land in Andhra instead of running up to a small holy dirt mountain where they are being dispossessed of brains and money. Even regular school teachers are pedantic and full of inflated oratory intended to subjugate and instill fear when discussing simple ethics in school situations. What is needed is education with empathy for the child to take control of its own life devoid of fear and superstition.

  17. March 11, 2008 6:17 am

    Nita,
    A note on Chinmayananda. He did not not exactly start out as the SWAMI. I used to hear him out in the good old days when we ran out of movies to watch in town. They were simply called the Chinmayananda lectures and used to take place in small local temples. It was his pretty fluent English interlaced with John Stewart style daily news and the melodious hymns sung classical style by young girls that had audiences overwhelmed and maybe a little bit empty and contemplative toward the end on their own shortcomings. It is over the years that his publicicts must have decided that he had enough experience to be anointed a SWAMI. He is a good man but I feel that at the end of each lecture he certainly feels better than we do.

  18. wildsynergy permalink
    March 11, 2008 8:59 am

    Hello there! I am finding through my study, that the best Satgurus are the ones that don’t call themselves Gurus at all. I have never experienced darsan (is this the right spelling?) but i hear it is easy to get swept up by it all.
    My teachers-who I am grateful for!- have taught me that a Satguru is one who asks the questions- for you to seek the answers, through your own svadyaya-self study.
    and it is most important to not be swept away by ‘blind faith’.
    I really appreciated this post! Thanks, I will look more into your insights here! May all be well, Linda

  19. March 11, 2008 11:32 am

    Nehru, thanks :)
    You have brought out the complexities very well in this guru business. Yes I think you are right about these gurus being some version of the madarasas of Islam. However they are doing their marketing in a clever way and attracting people from all religions, that is their specialty. About Chinmayananda I have never listened to his lectures but I have heard that he interprets our ancient texts pretty well. But I agree, he has been hyped too much.

    Wildsynergy, thanks for your appreciation. The spelling is ‘darshan’ but I didn’t know that it was an English word, and perhaps it isn’t. We use it very differently in our Indian languages, getting a darshan is usually in reference to God and means like getting to pray to Him. You can get a darshan from a Guru too I guess, which means like seeing and taking his blessings. Therefore just getting a darshan (which means just one meeting) is not harmful, but I think you used it in another context.

  20. March 11, 2008 3:44 pm

    In the early days, we had psychiatrists to talk to and now we have these ‘Gurus’. But they are as materialistic as the materialism that they are fighting against. Some of them are politically motivated, lives a luxurious life, and I remember reading an article by Cynthia Lennon (ex-wife of John Lennon) where she recalls John Lennon saying “for a spiritual Guru, he is too fond of money and other worldly things” referring to Maharishi.

    Those who are seeking love and help of Gurus should first try to find love within self. And from family. I have seen people attending church and Christian retreats regularly while one of them threw out his own mother. That is just one example. People do mean things and they seek happiness outside. Once we start loving each other, treating our children and parents with love, once the family is united in love, these fake Gurus and other bad influences of religion would stay away.

  21. March 11, 2008 4:11 pm

    Oh speaking of such Soul-Doctors, let me mention the name of Guru Nithya Chaithanya Yathi, a wise man and a true Gandhian. While he was a taking classes in a foreign university, some students came out to him asking for his discipleship, but he did not encourage them. He said I am as human as yours and I can only share the knowledge that I have. If he was willing, he could have easily become a corporate guru like Sri Sri Ravishankar and make millions of followers world over, instead he chose to refrain to his ashram at Fernhill in Ooty. I remember his picture of his morning walk, during which he would clean the road sides where villagers would have passed in the morning. A true Gandhian he was and such a respectable personality. He is truly entitled to be called Guru, because Gurus are supposed to help/assist those who needs their help/assistance.

  22. Smitha permalink
    March 11, 2008 9:42 pm

    Dear Nita,
    As I understand things: A spiritual leader or a Guru is one who teaches, transforms, and manifests the universal values of love and humility. An intellectual leader is one who as the name suggests encourages an intellectual discussion of things. A religious leader will propound spiritual values with a few man-made “values” that help distinguish a particular religion. This is to cater to the religious minded. A spiritual leader is one who guides you beyond the realms of the intellect, religion, and logic. You also have to keep in mind how things are interpreted. If a man in ochre robes were to rescue a beautiful destitute woman from the roadside, let alone the world, ask yourself how you would report it, assuming you were ignorant of the facts. I think most of us start as cynics, curious, and intellectuals. The few who have courage to adopt the universal values and live by them are blessed by the guidance of a Guru who guides them to realize the light in them. Whether the Guru’s live in a five star hotel or a “kutir”, is famous or not, dresses in specific way – is irrelevant. If the need of the hour is shelter and the only shelter available is a five star hotel, so be it. This does not go against the qualities of love and humility.

  23. March 11, 2008 10:45 pm

    Ahh Joe you are talking of true spirituality and goodness. Many of the modern gurus lack it. And today in this modern world I wonder if Buddha himself had been born he might have gone unnoticed!

    Smitha, thanks for giving your views. I agree that one should not be quick to condemn a guru because of where he lives or what he wears. But the problem is that gurus tend to come under scrutiny and harsh scrutiny and I guess they are expected to behave in a certain way, rightly or wrongly.

  24. wildsynergy permalink
    March 11, 2008 11:32 pm

    Thank you, Nita for the clarification on Darshan- it is what i meant, and i used it in the wrong context. My ‘western mind’…;) Sri Anandamayi Ma and Krishnamacharya- these are the two Satgurus I have been introduced to, through my teachers here in the US. It is my understanding that both walked the path as True Teachers with Divine integrity, and passed on to many, the teachings that were handing down to them. It seems so important how the teachings are carried from there- and it seems one of the true tests of a Satguru would be how they carry the teachings- for the betterment of all beings, or for their own advancement. A challenge of the ego-self! We are all human, and each step is a chance for powerful learning!
    I am, too appreciating Joe’s reply, thanks! Linda

  25. March 14, 2008 10:04 pm

    Namasthe Nita: Thanks for a very thought provoking blog about Gurus. Should we love Gurus or should we leave them? That is a million dollar question.

    Since our scriptures describe Guru as God by mantras such as “Guru Brahma Guru Vishnu Guru Devo Maheshwara Guru Sakshath Parambrahma Tasmai Shri Gurave Namaha—meaning The guru is the creator, the guru is the preserver, and the guru is the destroyer. The guru is the Absolute. I bow before you” ,

    it is my opinion “to respect every one without getting attached to any one , and never treat anyone as God.”

    People should never attach their spirituality with any Guru or any institution, how ever great they may be, since if a guru falls, it will seriously effect a person’s spiritual pursuit.

    Search after truth is very personal and as such getting entangled with a guru or institution may sometimes turned out to be very counterproductive.

    Viswanathan

  26. March 15, 2008 10:17 am

    “master of one’s own mind”.
    Nothing further to add!

  27. March 17, 2008 8:05 am

    For dissenting, very carefully intestigated research regarding Sathya Sai Baba, there are two highly frequented blogsites: http://robertpriddy.wordpress.com and my own: http://barrypittard.wordpress.com.

    An article per week of mine comes in either the Nation or World section of http://indiainteracts.com

    Robert Priddy was, for over fifteen years, the respected head of the Sathya Sai Baba Organization, Norway, and he is a retired academic from the University of Oslo. His main website is at: http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/

    I taught (1978-9) at Sai Baba’s college at Whitefield, via Bangalore, South India, and have been centrally involved in coordinating research, documentation, survivor support and interfaces with major world media such as the BBC, Times of London, Guardian, and others in Europe, Canada, Australia, etc., and various institutions.

    The BBC has called Sathya Sai Baba ‘the secret swami’, and his international cult is highly authoritarian, and profoundly lacking in processes of accountability and transparency – a fact well known to qualified investigators who try to investigate it.

    Barry Pittard, Australia

  28. CHINTAN permalink
    March 17, 2008 12:08 pm

    I also think that Gurus of recent times lacks frnakness and transperency. Even today I am an Admirer of OSHO, I find todays gurus lacks the courage of osho They want to look good then Be good They never discussed sensitive issues like sex/drugs
    and never have courage to give their feerless opinion

  29. June 1, 2008 4:11 pm

    Hey Nita ,
    just came across your blog. Well you have commented very well on the business of the word -GURU, for me even the word is a symbol of reverence. I feel privilaged to be a member of DHYAN FOUNDATION.Here we have learnt the menaing of this word and what it signifies.YOGI ASHWINI is our guiding light , and He has given us the Gyan to understand what a GURU means. it is unfortunate people with clear commercial interests,selfish motives get to use this revered elevated word. That too in a spiritual country like ours. We must speak up loud and clear as commercial people pose as gurus, make tall claims of curing the gullible masses of disease and rob them of thier lifes earnings.

  30. June 18, 2008 8:30 pm

    Dear Nita,

    Thank you for providing a forum to discuss the pros and cons regarding various gurus. After reading Barry Pittard‘s comment here (with his reference to Robert Priddy), I would definitely encourage people to carefully review the facts pertaining to Sathya Sai Baba and the malicious smear campaigns waged against him by Ex-Devotees.

    In recent years, shocking information has been made public regarding the BBC documentary, ‘Secret Swami’. Purposely suppressed from the general public is that Alaya Rahm (through his self-dismissed and failed lawsuit) admitted he was a 6-10 year-long daily-user of illegal street drugs and alcohol. Critics even boasted how they worked in close association with the BBC and how they were responsible for all of the negative media against Sai Baba. A detailed article on wordpress has been published regarding this matter entitled The Truth About The Alleged Sathya Sai Baba ‘Sex Scandal’.

  31. MASSIMO FORLANI permalink
    January 22, 2009 3:32 am

    AH AH AH THIS FOTO HAVE VERY VERY BIG VIRATION SHRII MATAJI IS ADISHAKTI and UNIQUE GURU AND GHIVE THE REALIZATION….
    THE CRITICISM IS BECAUSE MATAJI SPEAK
    TRUE and YOU LOOK THE VIBRATION IN THE HAND
    THIS IS UNIQUE YOGA IN THE WORD FOR THE
    CONCRETE PEACE

  32. Rakesh permalink
    January 22, 2009 6:40 pm

    Hi,

    A true Guru or sat guru
    1) Would be a living example of his teaching.
    2) His methods would be effective for leading you to self realization .
    3) Need not to be a divine being/incarnation. Will not proclaim himself even if he is.
    4) Would not ask for unquestionable devotion to himself/some book/rituals.
    5) Would make your thinking truly independent. Will make you free in true respect.
    6) Would not force things by marketing. Although some of his followers may try to aggressively market/ commercialize/ politicize his teaching for their own advantage. He will discourage them when thing come into his knowledge.
    7) Would have truly secular methods even though he may follow some religion. He will not force you to convert in to his faith/sect. Instead he will reinterpret/ good points of your faith/religion( As every religions has good and bad points) and will try to make you truly spiritual.
    8] Would not be afraid to directly/indirectly confront you for your wrong doings/intentions irrespective of your status.
    9)Would not indulge in miracles even if he can perform them genuinely.

    Dear friends …

    Indian sages like ‘KABEER’ came very close to the above description. I feel it is impossible in today world to find such a guru.

    I wonder if you see those qualities in any one of the so called GURUS clouding the spiritual market place of today. If you find that kind of GURU you should definetly love him/her otherwise take good things he has to offer and move on.

  33. March 29, 2009 3:38 am

    I have a much experience in every gurus in India and i pratique a much of meditation and i for 30 year i study a much of religion i afferm i speak true because Sahaja Yoga is only the true yoga and other is not true and vibration what Mataji Nirmala speak in the Sahaja Yoga is not traing ipnose and other but is true is true please in every world and country Sahaja Yoga is very very true and Nirmala is very nice guru very very very nice JAI SHRII MATAJI

  34. kris permalink
    April 17, 2009 7:26 pm

    Hi Nita,
    Your blog is great and the topics are thought provoking.

    And irrespective of the religion whether the so-called solace-doctors or God’s envoys belongs to hinduism or christianity or any religion , these thieves, who boast themselves as an envoy of God ,or has got reincarnated or declare themselves to be the GOD are devils who are capitalizing on the poor people’s foolishness and on the Rich- Wicked -moron’s belief that God is a Government Officer who can be bribed and these gulls realize the truth only when the So-called Gurus seduces their spouse.

    Thanks Kris. I agree with you, about the gurus capitalizing on people’s vulnerabilities. – Nita.

  35. August 25, 2009 2:14 am

    Having read the unwarranted attack on my by Joe Moreno here I am inclined to point out that his activities cannot reasonably be compared with and honest level of spirituality or truth – he is a major internet defamer of all Sai Baba dissidents and on a huge scale and very aggressively. He even defended Sai Baba profusely for some years while still believing him indeed to be a sexual abuser! This gives the briefest taste of Joe Moreno’s mentality.

    I was a founder member and leader of the Sathya Sai Baba group and later centre in Norway for most of 2 decades before I resigned. During 18 years I practised spiritual sadhana and met Sai Baba on numerous occasions through that period, also getting over 10 hours of interview time – with 5 private sessions. I met hundreds of people in the Sai movement. Gradually I found that the extremely attractive talk and the visible works of Sathya Sai Baba were less and less what they originally seemed. I had studied his every published word carefully and the contradictions and errors becasme far too numerous to handle.

    When one of his most trusted servitors (in capacity of editor of his journal) confided in me more and more, I began to realise that all is far for what it appears to be, even less what it is said to be. The fatal blow came in 1996 when Narasimhan, who had become a very close friend despite our age difference, told me what really happened when four young men were shot down in Sai Baba’s bedroom. His own brother organised it through blackmail, and after conferring with Sathya Sai Baba during a long stand-off.

    When the many sex allegations testimonies appeared from 1999 onwards I was sceptical of them for nearly a year, but began to investigate seriously and most thoroughly. I already knew two of the males who told of oral sex with Sathya Sai Baba and they confirmed to me what they had not dared to speak out about before. Since then I have contacted dozens of others alleging similar things and – after taking a public stand – I have been contacted by many more who dare not go public because of the consequences (especially as regards Sai Baba’s students and former students still resident in India). Thereafter I found more and more instances where my good will hand trust of Sai Baba has been abused by deception, manipulation and outright fraud, also personally experienced. I have documented all of this and much more of what I learned from insiders on my main Sai Baba website at http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk.

    A guru who says one thing and does another is not worth following.. he should be investigated, but he has too much money and thereby political power over the government and judiciary for this to happen, as all petitions to courts in India (where any court action must take place) have been rejected so far. The documentation of all these matters has been posted on the Internet widely. See for example: http://barrypittard.wordpress.com and http://robertpriddy.wordpress.com

  36. January 22, 2010 12:15 pm

    GURUS-OF TODAY SPECIALLY-ARE MOSTLY THUGS-SEEKING YOUR MONEY UNDER GUISE OF HOLINESS GUISE-TRUE GURU WILL NOT TAKE PENNY FROM YOU-WILL KNOW PAST-PRESENT FUTURE-AND-WILL HAVE POWER OVER LIFE AND DEATH BOTH-ALL OTHERS ARE FAKE BE THEY SRI SRIS OR IMAMDINS-MONERY IS THEIR GOD-NOT ALMIGHTY GOD

  37. Zaysen permalink
    March 18, 2011 1:36 am

    In my opinion and experience All These Guru’s are only after one thing. Free Labour in terms of Slaves recruited in the name of volunteering and the next Cash In your pocket to run their opulent Lifestyles and so called Charity Schemes. In my view anyone who brands himself too much is bound to be false. All the Guru’s listed above are simply running cults in the name of offering liberation and the Ladder to the Divine. Just take the teachings of these guru’s in the form of books, dvd’s etc without giving up your rational thinking and free will. In no case hand over your services to any guru in terms of time, energy, money, labor no matter how genuine the guru seems.

    In my experience the best Guru is God which is Lord Krishna himself and his Bhagavad Gita Teachings. Just Read the Original 1972 McMillan Edition of Bhagavad Gita “As It Is” written by ISKCON Founder His Divine Grace Swami Prabhupada. This is the Best. All the life’s questions would be answered by it.

    Check this link before venturing out http://www.strippingthegurus.com
    Zaysen.

  38. April 29, 2011 2:30 am

    One of the Above Guru’s Listed as Jaggi Vasudev has been proven False due to his Lies and Contradictions.

    Check out http://zaysen.blogspot.com & http://guruphiliac.lefora.com

    Zaysen,

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