Bits Of Dead Gurus Attract Millions
File under: Hagiographic Circus
A collection of relics such as the teeth and blood of long dead Buddhist masters is currently making its way around Malaysia. It's the Heart Shrine Relic Tour, complete with retreat and the ideological stylings of Lama Zopa.
We live by the rule: if you aren't hurting yourself or others, do whatever you want. That includes going to see bits of teeth, bone and dried blood, and believe that one may soak up the 'holiness' that supposedly emanates from them.
Any 'spirituality' that seems to happen there has its root in the devotee's belief in the holiness. The objects are not holy on their own. Their holiness depends on a devotee's attention and intention. In fact, a devotee's intention is the holiness itself.
It's the same mechanism that drives a bigtime guru's satsang. When people think they are in the presence of God, they go kind of bonkers over it. It's that going bonkers which results in the experiences people give themselves in front of an Ammachi or Sai Baba. It's just like Benny Hinn sans the Jesus-mongering.
It's not our aim to trash the spiritual experiences of millions. Ok, maybe it is. But just to point out that holiness is an idea that is projected from within. The holiness is in the fact of the projection, not in the facts of an object's circumstances. Whether it be a tooth of Kasyapa Buddha's, or a hug from a seemingly sweet and tireless Indian woman (who just happens to be corroding the minds of millions with her astral boobie juice.)