File under: Gurubusting
Today the googles gave us Ruby Lilaowala, a columnist published in India's Cybernoon.com. Ruby's latest screed attempts to instruct us as to exactly what a "real guru" is... from about 600 years ago:
A real guru shuns our type of hectic, rush-rush, noisy world and mostly lives in seclusion either in a forest or a mountain-top.Over here in the States, they'd have to be quite financially well-off to live in places like that. It would be a problem for any guru in the West to live up to Ruby's ridiculous conventions.
It's your standard Hindu puritanism, the heaviest fetter laying siege to the wisdom of the Vedas. But it's a not surprising reaction to the Westernization of Hinduism in India. It's as if Hinduism mutated in America and has bounced back to its motherland, supplanting the native species in what amounts to an ecological disaster.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Kalki Bhagavan, Swami Ramdev and a few more are all symptomatic of this problem. It's Bollywood in the ashram, and a tremendously long way from the ashrams of old.
But reciting worn-out superstitions about the nature of self-realization isn't going to bring back the good old days. Let's face it, the guru-as-pop-star is here to stay.
And sadly enough, anyone with a twinkle in their eye and some skill massaging egos – as well as a productive PR department – can reach the ranks of those men and women making millions with the ruse that they are more God than you and I, essentially stuffing their faces with a lusty, gluttonous glee right in front of us.