Friday, October 07, 2005

Ben Lee Goes Bonkers For Man Amma

File under: Gurus to the Stars and Satscams

Acclaimed Australian pop musician Ben Lee appears to have lost it over someone claiming to be yet another incarnation of the Divine Mother. We're reeling at the discovery of Amma Nariyani, the newest divine being to hit the Internets.

Please excuse our retching.

Amma Narayani, or Man Amma as we've just dubbed him, [Ed.note: Thanks, Fug girls.] appears to be a little bit Sai Baba, a little bit Ramakrishna, a bit more Ammachi and whole lot of superstitious Hindu nonsense. There's miracle mongering galore on his website:
At the appointed time when Narayani Amma asked the justices, police, and others to place their hands into the Yajña (ritual fire) pit, out came the Swayambu statue from the raw earth into the combined hands of the dignitaries and to the surprise of all the assembled people, who made a tumultuous uproar.
If we were an ambitious proto-guru in India, we'd imagine just such a stunt for our debut. Talk it up, get some important folks to attend, and rig a little show for everyone. Pay off those who see the truth—and away you go. Then all you've got to do is a bit of maintenance scamming, á la Sai Baba:
Today, one of Amma's siddhis (powers) is to manifest vibhuti (sacred ash) and small murtis (statues) of dieties from the palm of Her hand. Many people have witnessed these acts.
Of course. Just wait until they see what comes out of our dog's ass.

Sounding quite like a preacher in at an old time revival tent on a sultry Florida night, Man Amma plays up the same prudish morality whine all the Hindu godfolk subject us to:
Unwanted desires, anger, lust, demonic behaviour, selfishness and similar such negative qualities, deprive man of knowing his real nature and get him entangled further in the waves of delusion and resulting sufferings. In the big battle of life, man is confused and chases money for creature comforts, by doing several sinful acts; and in the process goes through several difficult situations and untold sufferings.
He adds that he (the Divine Mother) is here to help us with our "untold sufferings," and the more the merrier, to be sure. Incarnations of the Divine Mother are like that, you know. Note the inclusion of that old time religion bugaboo: demonic behavior. It's also convenient as an excuse when people stop believing he is God, and they will. The devotees who leave will get trashed as being demonic, so all stays right in the twisted little crack bliss addiction business Man Amma's got going.

But what the joy junkies don't know is that there's a shrewd plan being worked here. After all, Amma is named Amma. Rather than having to make an effort to promote himself as say, Rama; Man Amma just coasts on the coattails of Ammachi. All the best Indian avatars are doing it. And he's doing most of them one better by collecting rock star devotees. Those other Ammas better get on the stick before he pulls a Kaballatology on all of them.

We're afraid it's going to come down to a battle of lightning bolts out of their eyeballs. Until then, we'll be watching Man Amma and his mind-numbing, soul-destroying bliss-junkie factory. If we're right about him, his name will start turning up in the press soon enough.


At 8/24/2006 9:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think perhaps you should take a look at some of the charitable activities that Narayani Amma endorses:

There are also free medical camps that are on-going every month, including the feeding of over 1,000 people a day.


It's also no small deal that the President of India himself has come to visit Narayani Amma, and was very impressed with all the charitable activities that continue to go on there.

I would invite you to research more carefully before "debunking" the good deeds that are going on because of Narayani Amma's leadership.

At 8/24/2006 10:01 AM, Blogger jody said...

I would invite you to research more carefully before "debunking" the good deeds that are going on because of Narayani Amma's leadership

There's no need for research. The fact that he claims to be God more than you and I indicts him as a flimflamming narcissist. The charitable activities are expected of him, not an indication that he is any kind of good guru.

At 8/29/2007 8:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recently I had been to Narayanee Amma's Golden Temple off Vellore TN and was awestruck at the magnificence not that of the 300 kg of Gold foiled Covering of the temple, but the 300 writings taken from the ancient scriptures worth more than the gold before reaching the sanctum sanctorum. One has to look at the positive side of the things and has to go beyond even that. Regards.
TK Chandra Sekaran.
In Lunar Realm.

At 8/30/2007 8:18 PM, Blogger Urmilla said...

Narayani Amma is an Avatar, and it is up to anyone to agree or disagree.Narayani Amma is not fake, but to reminded all who don't believe, is for them to look deep in thier heart to see or feel what Amma is doing, by feeding, clothing, hospital, children who don't have parents, couples who can't affort their wedding ect. and many many more that Amma is doing. What is all the government around the world is doing for their country? I suggest those who has nothing to say good for those like Narayani Amma, should not judge by what their hear from others, gossip is a very sinful thing, so be smart all, and let the one who is here for a very good purpose let them do what their are here for. It is people like you are causing war for others. Love is what this world need for people to come together and help one another. Narayani Amma is for Love. So people, open your eyes and heart to see who is here for us. Jesus was here on earth, are we going to make the same mistake, believe not from your ears, but from your HEART, have Faith and Love, that alone, you will see clearly whats ahead.

Ps. No hard feelings, just my believe, in (Narayani Amma) God.


At 8/30/2007 8:41 PM, Blogger jody said...

Narayani Amma is for Love.

Because that's what sells. Wake up and smell the coffee, rube.

At 9/26/2007 4:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't you go and meet Amma and THEN tell us what you think? I am a newspaper journalist with very deep cynicism - I went to investigate Amma Narayani and after 5 weeks there, I found nothing but AMMAzing LOVE. Truly.

At 9/26/2007 4:49 PM, Blogger jody said...

I went to investigate Amma Narayani and after 5 weeks there...

You turned into a dopey cult dupe just like the rest of them.

Regardless of how nice the guy is, he's got nothing on anyone else in terms of divinity.

At 1/08/2008 6:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps you've joined to cult of skeptcism :)

Regardles I just wanted to put in another good for our dearest Divine Mother.

No cult here... unless it's the CULTivation of service to humanity.

At 1/08/2008 7:21 PM, Blogger jody said...

Perhaps you've joined to cult of skeptcism :)

I refer to it as the cult of critical thought.

Regardles[s,] I just wanted to put in another good for our dearest Divine Mother.

Everyone does just exactly that, with every compassionate act, in any place at any time. A flimflamming guru, or perhaps one who is a wee bit touched in the head, is completely unnecessary in one's quest to serve Mother.

Additionally, while it would seem an unassailable goal to want to serve the Divine Mother, it is exceedingly arrogant – in my opinion – to believe Mother needs any help from you, or anyone else – at all.

What Mother wants is only one thing: pure, unalloyed and unadulterated devotion and surrender to Her, with no idea whatsoever as to what that surrender entails, including believing in miracle-mongering fauxrus who allege they are teaching you to serve Her.

No cult here... unless it's the CULTivation of service to humanity.

I think it's more about the cultivation of your lack of common sense, and also, your need for acceptance and tendency to reach into your pocketbook to get the "good stuff."

At 1/27/2008 5:57 AM, Anonymous Ashwin said...

Oh sheesh!! Here I am, 2hrs away from the fountainhead of divine love... must run and get some!

Sorry... couldn't help it.

My stand is similar to one of Jody's in this issue. He claims to be a God/ avatar... that makes him a cheat in my eyes.

So you think his charity is all good. Fine. There are so many people who give to charity in much larger ways without needing the publicity that this man seeks/ is given. Is their love any different? Or is it that they need to claim to be a God to get their 'love' recognized?

I for one do not believe his bus story a bit.

@Anon "but the 300 writings taken from the ancient scriptures worth more than the gold before reaching the sanctum sanctorum"

Dear Sir, dumb amazement does not equal proof of authenticity!

At 5/25/2008 5:06 AM, Blogger brat said...

I think jonathan is correct. You need to do research. People like you who claim to be great journalist are in fact people who does not have guts.

Try writing about Muslims or Christians I am sure you will be castrated and put to death the next minute.

In future before writing about anybody do some research to make some justice to your pen which is tainted .

At 6/16/2008 7:37 AM, Anonymous Bob said...

Ah, contempt prior to investigation...the mark of a great journalistic intellect...! I have been there nine times and while I have no idea if Amma is god, I can tell you without hesitation that an incredible number godly things go on there as even the most cursory look at the programs and activities would bear witness to.


At 6/16/2008 10:28 AM, Blogger jody said...

contempt prior to investigation

Wherever claims of special divinity and miracle-mongering occur, there is contempt for the truth of Vedanta.

I have no idea if Amma is god

You weren't listening too well.

an incredible number godly things go on there

All eclipsed by the decidedly ungodly claims to being God.

At 11/27/2008 12:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al all finally, This Narayani Amma man, Satya Sai and others are just a small social worker only. They are full of ego and they call themselves God. Don't trust them as God but you can go to them and have nice time in their ashrams. You will get everything there except true spirituality. Those who are seeking spiritual path, be careful from these Ammas and Babas of India

At 1/12/2009 3:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Folks,

I visited Sripuram last week since my parents wanted to see the golden temple. I visited that place with all the good religious mood and expectations. But what is happening there is nothing much than 'Worshiping a man'. I have no second opinion in giving respect for the MAN who is doing good for the mankind. But what is bugging me is, 'advertising self'. You will find the pictures of this man everywhere and the goddess's picture no where... I was told that this temple was constructed by Narayani amma (I donno his original name. No father will name his son as Narayani since it is a femine name). Does it mean that he has constructed this temple for himself??? The Hindusm says that god is everywhere and each and everyone is god for their good qualities. I think Narayani amma has misunderstood this and has decided that he is the only god in the world. Some of the trustees should explain the below to the world....

1. It is claimed that the gold for this temple is bought through RBI. What is the source of income??? If it is by the donations received from the devotees, you could have used that for some other good reason rather than buying gold and decorating the temple. In simple, "DO ANY NONSENCE WITH YOUR MONEY. DONT PLAY WITH THE OTHER'S MONEY WHO IS BELIEVING YOU EVEN IF THEY HAVE NO PROBLEMS"

2. From whom the land for the temple is bought. From the government or from the individuals? It is a talk outside that most of the land for this temple doesn't have proper papers... GOD DOESN'T LIKE SOMEBODY WHO IS STEALING. I STUDIED THIS IN ELEMANTARY SCHOOL.

3. I am a simple person and not Narayani Amma. I feel and believe that The God is common for everybody and the access to god should be only the LOVE and nothing else. But in this temple the special entrance fees starts from Rs.250 to Rs.1000 (I dont know is there anything more than 1000) per person. It means that we can access god very closely and easily if we have more money.... So, god loves only the people who is wealthy.....

Overall, it was not a nice feeling when we came out of the so called temple.....

Let Narayani Amma think whatever he wants... But only one advise I can give him is "YOU CANNOT BECOME GOD UNTIL YOU STOP THE SELF ADVERTISEMENT BECAUSE GOD HAS NEVER SCLUPTURED ANY IDOL OF HIMSELF BUT YOU ARE DOING IT." I will pray god to give you the REAL widom.

At 2/14/2009 8:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, may I just say that while Amma maybe doing amazing charity work this does not make him a god. I don't think one person can be born automatically better than a hundred million other people. I don't personally like what's going on in India and while most of my family have become "believers" I am trying to distance myself from everything to do with Amma because in my opinion it's becoming quite cult like.
Really good article, so far all I've heard from people is how fantastic the ashram and amma and the golden temple is, it's good to know there are people out there with some perspective.

At 11/22/2009 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Divine is within all of us and all of creation.

To be born as a human and to have the opportunity to use this birth to bring joy to others is the greatest blessing and should not be wasted.

Sri Sakthi Amma's message is simply to remind humanity of this fact.

There is no more divinity in Sakthi Amma than there is in anyone else, the only difference is that we still experience separation.
Each form of the Divine has a purpose, but eventually we all will see beyond the form and focus on the essence which is the real reality.

We should all just focus on utilising each opportunity to serve others as best we can, sharing the happiness we have.

Om Namo Narayani

At 4/05/2010 12:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi all,

Going to this temple is mere waste of time and money. Nothing is there so spiritual. This guy should be heading some marketing for some FMCG company. Money is the only motive. All the things written in that star path is like what we talk daily " wake up early in the morning" or " Do only good things". This is childish and soon this guy will be on TV - If he is lucky may be with some girls........If you need some peace of mind then go to rathna giri which is another 16 kms from vellore towards chennai. The temple and the location will be good to spend time. Dont search god in these fake and fraud swamijis. This is same for all religion be it hinduism, Islam or Christianity. It is better to spend time in seeing old hindu temples with good architecture rather than wasting time with these good for nothing nuts.

At 4/11/2010 2:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I visited this temple late last year. I had earlier sprained my ankle and was unable to walk. I however tried limping in the hot sun, but couldn't hop anymore. I requested the staff at the temple for a wheelchair. Initially the claimed they did not speak english, hindi or telugu. We got into an argument with the guys there. A bunch of locals joined int the argument against us. Bottomline is-where is compassion in this "house of GOD". I completely agree with someone who posted that all along the circuitous walk into the sanctum sanctorum you either find routine statements or Narayani Amma's pictures. I understand this gentleman is a front for some rich businessmen laundering ill gotten wealth. What I found most interesting is that in the loooooong walk we took [even after we paind Rs. 250 per head mind you] to reach the sanctum sanctorum, we still had to go through a store which sold regular religious paraphernalia. This is one of the many commercially disgusting things you get to witness in this temple. Finally all the money being spent on charitable work is not from the hard earned money by Narayani Amma, neither has it been bestowed upon him by his forefathers. This is economic redistribution. If you go to the chawls in Mumbai you will find a lot of mafia dons who also do the same. Thank you.

At 5/25/2011 12:23 AM, Blogger yadsan said...

JUST Reminiscing,i visited "The Golden Vellore Temple -aka. Sri Sakthi Amma" creation. What struck me most is the beautiful serenity of the surroundings that silences your doubting mind. along with that there is abounding abode of Stillness,300 sayings and goodwords messages on either side of the star-formed Parikrama or pathway that ultimately leads you into the golden temple encased within a watery moat.
Charities like,Annadanam[Food for those who came to get it],Sewing Machines for Punar-Janma or Rehab of the poor & distraught families [irrespective of caste and creed], spread of Education through Books and scholarships distribution; then there is Bicycles distributed each year to students,etc. Which godman or charlatan does all this and more for the peace and prosperity of humanity and yet trying passionately to bring world under a single brotherhood of Humanity[thats lost] ?
How can you pass-off such a person with your word,"debunking", can we assume the same for Saint Mother Teresa or Pope Benedict XVI,or even others in various other religions of the world who are desperately trying for the good future of humanity. Rather than rudely Tom-tomming, why don't you just once checkout the place by visiting with your whole family !!
Molesting by rash words,such a great holy personage,who is so deeply involved with the Hindu scriptures,pujas[Hindu rites-de-passage] and more kindly service to the world; is quite irritating and unbecoming of you. See,firsthand,before you pronounce a judgement.That would be wise.

At 1/12/2013 4:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He proclaimed he was Amman when he had an experience at age 16. I do not think that growing up in rural India, at age 16, he was so calculating, and conniving to take advantage of people.

Whether it is true or not, that was his experience. Yes, I do not like it that at this age, he still allows people to worship him, but I do not think that is your business, to be criticizing, without any investigation, of what he is all about. Jesus also claimed he was the Son of God; and Mohammed said that he was the special messenger; try criticizing that, and you will live the rest of your life in hiding. If some rock star is enamored of him, he ( Amma did not go out to seek him.Neither did he push him away. All adults have their full senses, and they can do what they want with their lives.
If it makes you very nauseated, please get a pregnancy test( Yes, even if you are outwardly male, because we do not know what you are inside, do we?) and then go and buy some nausea medicine; but we do not need to have you poison the internet.... and NO, I am not his devotee, do not believe that he is God, and do not like the fact that you pay, for better services, in his temple; but I know all I need to do is, stay away.

At 1/12/2013 6:10 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

he still allows people to worship him, but I do not think that is your business, to be criticizing, without any investigation, of what he is all about.

Actually, it is. It's really not that big a deal for one to come into jnana, that is, experiential knowledge of the Atman. This Amma is making mountains out of what everyone has, whether or not they have realized it. Jnana adds nothing besides the ability to rest attention on attention itself apart from its objects. For this guy to make a federal case of that is pure grandiosity, and the fact he lets people worship him proves it.

At 3/03/2013 1:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a well known fact in Chennai that the money for constructing this temple came from the infamous 2G Scam.

At 8/20/2013 3:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment shows your ignorance of Narayani Amma. You wrote that "The fact that he claims to be God more than you and I indicts him as a flimflamming narcissist." Narayani Amma claims nothing of the sort. Get your facts straight. Oh and PS slightly pathetic that you moderate comments. What are scared of? Comments which expose you as a cynical peddler of fiction?

At 8/20/2013 3:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI Annonymous, in fact it's actually well known that the money for the temple came not from any scams but from a very rich North American man, a devotee of Narayani Amma.

At 8/20/2013 3:45 PM, Blogger Jody Radzik said...

Anybody who allows themselves to be worshipped as if they were divine has made a de facto declaration of their special divinity.This declaration is packed with assumptions which are at the very best, superstitious, and in this day and age, utterly unreasonable.

Comments are moderated so as to filter out the noise. I have no problem being criticized for this, as I am also engaged in the same.

In retrospect, using the term "flimflamming narcissist" was perhaps a bit strong. NA may himself be convinced that he is God, and thus, not a flimflammer as much as a deluded person. However, to declare for oneself (or allow others to declare for you) your divinity is a very good sign that narcissism is present. This is not necessarily a problem in a guru if it's mindfully controlled, but as we have seen time and time again with many gurus, it is exactly this narcissism that drives them into the runaway grandiosity that characterizes your average big time guru.

At 1/31/2015 10:33 PM, Anonymous adam said...

"By the time Amma was sixteen years of age, it was clear that miracles and manifestations were an integral part of Amma's nature, wherein people, even children recount showers of flowers when Amma entered the classroom; gallons of milk continuously oozing out of Amma's mouth and so on."


At 2/10/2016 8:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey many one don't know that this temple is bank for black money n get it back into white money I have seen it with my eyes soon they gono be caught with some news channel

At 4/05/2016 2:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are being very harsh about this man and his followers. While I may be aware of the risks in worshipping a man or woman as a god/goddess, and I may not relate easily to the rituals and symbolism of what to me is a foreign culture, I can see the good that this man and his followers are doing. Just look at the hospitals and healthcare, the education and the material assistance that is being channelled to the poorest of the poor in this part of India. He seems to be living according to what he preaches, which is refreshing in today's world. You have not been able to point to any misdeeds or fraud. Why attack someone who seems to be having a very positive impact on the lives of those with least opportunity and hope in this world?

At 4/05/2016 2:52 PM, Blogger Jody Radzik said...

"I can see the good that this man and his followers are doing."

All the commercial gurus apply a thin veneer of "helping others" to their public image. Unless you've got the balance sheet of this group to show me, I'm going to assume it's the usual marketing and promotion that a guru needs to do in India as the cost of doing business.

At 4/18/2016 12:14 AM, Blogger ini said...

..if someone's really want to help people he should have spent the 5000 Kg of gold for the needy people rather that building a structure to show up his very own picture everywhere. A clear vision of self proclamation & making money than anything.

Divinity - is there something written that it can be explained or preached only by sitting under a golden roof?? why cant it be done from an existing temple a stone roofed structure.

At 5/17/2016 9:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such god was sitting in Vellore , why not this male-female god , not protected Chennai from the flood ? No one in India can earn this much money within a short span of time,, if there is no help from some other agents. This is the best method to hide smuggled Gold from departments concerned. India has lots of god man and god women but there is no Amma goddess, selected the body of 16 yrs boy to enter.
If a proper inquiry is conducted for the source of income, of all this man woman God , then you will see, the real faces of all men and woman goddess of India. This is pity side of Hinduism many still have blind faith in 21st century..


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