Monday, July 31, 2006

Common Gruru

File under: The Siddhi of PR

Common Ground magazine is exactly the kind of rag we love to hate. It's basically just a collection of ads for every spun out New Age™ nutbag in the Bay Area, California, with a shingle out and the delusion they know something special about you. So when we came upon this article written by its publisher, the CEO of "Conscious Enlightenment, LLC", we thought we'd hit the jackpot:
In India, where it seems as if everyone has a guru, the word “saint” is used so often it makes you wonder why there are so few in the western religions.
Maybe that's because all you need to be a saint in India is a white or orange robe, twinkly eyes, long frizzy hair and the beatific smile you'd have just after you'd gotten the blowjob of your life.

H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati sounds like your standard Indian god-man to us. Taken into the monastic life at the early age, showing all kinds of spiritual aptitude, ends up hearing voices of reassurance that are assumed to be God's. These are the things that are supposed to convince you he's special, but with all the other god-men making the same exact claims over the last couple thousand of years in India, he may as well be walking around with a sign on his back that says "Cookie-Cutter Guru."

But who knows? Perhaps he's just a humble guy who's playing the role that his culture forces upon him. Swami is coming to the States in November, and just in case some of you want to go see what he's about, we've come up with a handy guide to help you determine whether he's a good god-man or just another self-aggrandizing ego-man:

  • Who is it all about: God, him or you?
  • If it's all about you, is it about what he can do for you or about what you can do for yourself?
  • Does he say you need "a guru" to help you do it for yourself, or is he giving a teaching you can take away without ever seeing him again?
  • Does he or any of his people engage in any kind of miracle mongering?
  • Finally, do you get the feeling you could take this guy to a Starbucks for a cup of coffee, or is he surrounded by a cloud of fawning sycophants wherever he goes?
If anyone goes to see the Swami in November, please let us know if he passes our little test.

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