Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Amma Poops On Gandhi

File under: Amma All-Over-The-Planet and The Siddhi of PR

Keeping up the momentum on her continuing downward spiral, Ammachi has allowed the publication of this trashing of Mahatma Gandhi in her magazine Immortal Bliss:
Ghandi, on the other hand, took the momentous decision to give up truth for the sake of saving the innocent lives of a few, heeding the small voice of his consciousness. But, when he consented to divide the country, contrary to his wishes of gaining independence for India through non-violent means, what happened surpassed any massacre in the known history of the nation. The tragic story did not end there. Even today, the killing spree that started then goes on unchecked in the form of wars and skirmishes between India and Pakistan, as extermination of Hindus in Kashmir by militant groups, and as threats of an atomic war loom ominously over the horizon.
Er... we suppose the swami who wrote this garbage has a better idea. Oh look! He does! When in doubt, just resort to superstitious nonsense to save the day:
Just imagine what would have been the course of history had Ghandi consulted one of the contemporary Mahatmas who could have foreseen the outcome of the historic decision. There were many, like Anandamayi Ma, Maharshi, Nityananda, Narayana Guru, Chattambi Swami, Yogananda and Mahayogi Aurobindo. He had met most of them and had great respect for all of them.
Just imagine what any of those "Mahatmas" would have said. In fact, imagine seven different answers, because that's what you would have gotten, seven entirely different speculations by seven different people, the swami's ridiculous notion that they had access to some kind of objective divine wisdom notwithstanding.

Regardless of the swami's superstition-bound ludicrousness, the object of the article was realized, which was to present Gandhi as a bit of a dumbass for not going to a guru to find out what he should have done.

And thus, Amma and her swami shit all over Indian history in their effort to make her out to be the avatard of this age.

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35 Comments:

At 7/03/2007 1:43 PM, Anonymous freefall said...

With the rise of right wing hindu militarism among India's elites, Gandhi is fast becoming the perfect hate figure. This ammabot swami surely understands the pulse of his target customers!

 
At 7/03/2007 2:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is right in line with some of the preaching AGAINST non-violence that I noticed in the ashram diary recently. Why are the swamis of the hugging saint getting so pro military all of a sudden. Something is definitely suspect when a lady whose shtick is all about peace has swamis preaching about how wrong nonviolence is.

http://ashramdiary.blogspot.com/2007/06/inevitability-of-destruction.html

 
At 7/03/2007 2:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, you must be desperate in your dirt digging. This is so lame. Who cares what this swami wrote? It's not something Amma wrote.

 
At 7/03/2007 2:37 PM, Anonymous Semblance S said...

boy oh boy !

I think the funny swami mentioned was about Anandamayee Ma, who is quite different from the present Amrita mAmma. They are different by some 50 years in glory and divinity.

It is somewhat always funny to think of some definite end product called enlightenment. Living amidst swamis, he should have known that no two swamis are alike.
But he must be hoping that enlightenment brings the motley swamis as One. Then all commies from the eastern bloc of past millenium musta been the enlightened beings.

But from time to time the Indian political leaders have been engaged in lengthy dialogs with such 'beings' and only end up doing what their party pressurised them to.

Nehru and Indra always was in touch with JKrishnamurti.
But Rajiv secretly admired rajneesh. He welcomed rajneesh(OSHO) back to india when he was haggled around the world with no place to park his private jet.

The swami has voiced what is felt presently by the people in India about 60 years after Gandhi is shot. Infact Gandhi has been always disliked in the spiritual circles mainly for his 'mahatma' title.

My login and password failed, just that i forgot it.

Semblance S

 
At 7/03/2007 3:11 PM, Blogger jody said...

It's not something Amma wrote.

No, but it was written in her magazine, dipwad. She is the owner of the publication, and as the author the piece is an employee of hers, it follows that whatever is published is representative of her position.

 
At 7/03/2007 3:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course! It's in HER magazine written by HER swami who has been under HER guidance for who knows how many years!! She IS responsible as a "realized Master" to guide these people.

So fine "anonymous", if it's not something "Amma wrote" then it just means she is doing a GODAWFUL LOUSY job as an enlightened being...and that is newsworthy

 
At 7/03/2007 9:01 PM, Blogger Broken Yogi said...

Call me crazy, but I always thought Gandhi's approach was wrong-ass, as did a lot of of his contemporaries and fellow revolutionaries. Many of them thought then, and still think now, that Gandhi delayed Indian independence by at least 20 years, and created the conditions for the huge massacres of 15-20 million people that accompanied Indian independence.

Whatever you may think of Ammachi (I'm not a devotee of hers) and her followers, the swami here isn't on crazy ground at all.

As for violence and spirituality, I think it's nuts to think that they cannot possibly go together. I'm reminded of Poonja Swami, who was a young rebel in the pre-revolutionary times who knew Nehru and so forth, and organized violent resistance to the British. He even participated in an assassination attempt on the British governer. He trained hundreds of people as resistance fighters, and even joined the British-Indian army as an high rankiing officer-trainee with the intention of fomenting a military coup from within the army. Later, after his enlightenment, he was asked if he regretted this, and he said absolutely not. He pointed out that the British were occupying his country, and that he and his countrymen had a duty to use force if necessary to drive them out. He saw nothing spiritually wrong with fighting when under attack or occupation.

Now, Gandhi's method has some appeal to it, but the idea that non-violence is the only possible spiritual route to achieve a just end is simply nonsense, and ignores the reality of life for most. As pointed out, Gandhi's non-violent approach ended up creating a terrifically violent upheaval, whereas a more balanced approach using just force would probably have created a more stable India.

As for asking the advice of Gurus as mentioned, well, it wouldn't have hurt. The problem with Gandhi was that he thought he was a Guru, and that his way was God's way, and so he didn't need any advice from others. I see nothing wrong with criticizing him as if he actually were a God of some kind. He was a fallible human being who led India down a destructive path with the best of intentions, which is all too often the real problem with so many people.

 
At 7/03/2007 9:37 PM, Blogger jody said...

Call me crazy, but I always thought Gandhi's approach was wrong-ass, as did a lot of of his contemporaries and fellow revolutionaries.

What solution would have worked any better? The Hindus and Muslims had to be separated. Neither would allow for rule by the other, nor would either agree to share power.

the swami here isn't on crazy ground at all.

Meaning, there are others who feel the same way. So what?

The swami is on crazy ground for contending that "mahatmas" know more about these things than politicians. They are at best, equally ignorant.

He saw nothing spiritually wrong with fighting when under attack or occupation.

Nor do I. We are animals with language skills. It's natural to protect you and yours.

However, you can do so and mind your own business, which neither India, Pakistan or the U.S. appears capable of doing.

the idea that non-violence is the only possible spiritual route to achieve a just end is simply nonsense, and ignores the reality of life for most.

Nobody is saying Gandhi is perfect, but the man tried and was at least partially successful in a very, very difficult political situation.

Gandhi's non-violent approach ended up creating a terrifically violent upheaval, whereas a more balanced approach using just force would probably have created a more stable India.

What, Hindus bossing around Muslims? You would have had an ongoing insurrection as a result. There was no lording either Hindu or Muslim over one another. It was a devil's bargain, but probably the least difficult of many difficult options.

This is all said without having much understanding of the subject other that was depicted in the movie, Gandhi.

As for asking the advice of Gurus as mentioned, well, it wouldn't have hurt.

Depending on what the guru said. The fact is that they are all just assholes with opinions like the rest of us.

The problem with Gandhi was that he thought he was a Guru, and that his way was God's way, and so he didn't need any advice from others.

That's probably what the gurus thought that he didn't ask. What's the difference?

He was a fallible human being who led India down a destructive path with the best of intentions, which is all too often the real problem with so many people.

You've just described every big-time guru we skewer here.

 
At 7/04/2007 12:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are a dumb white who has no right commenting on Indian history.

Why don't you write about your own history, you know, cowboys handing out smallpox blankets to the savages, burning crosses-- things you know.

 
At 7/04/2007 12:45 AM, Blogger jody said...

You are a dumb white who has no right commenting on Indian history.

Nice racist touch!

Why don't you write about your own history, you know, cowboys handing out smallpox blankets to the savages, burning crosses-- things you know.

Because we're talking about Gandhi, not Custer or the KKK.

 
At 7/04/2007 12:53 AM, Blogger jody said...

who has no right commenting on Indian history.

I certainly have no credential to. But I still don't see what other outcome could have been possible without the subjugation of either the Hindus or Muslims.

 
At 7/04/2007 1:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way Jody picked up this little gem on an internet EzBoard post by someone named "SkittleFreak'.

Obviously it's not very credible hence the mispelling of the name Gandhi as "Ghandi".

"SkittleFreak"? Need I say more?

 
At 7/04/2007 1:11 AM, Blogger jody said...

Jody picked up this little gem on an internet EzBoard post

I beg your pardon. It came from two different people directly to tips@guruphiliac.org.

 
At 7/04/2007 1:34 AM, Blogger Broken Yogi said...

What solution would have worked any better? The Hindus and Muslims had to be separated. Neither would allow for rule by the other, nor would either agree to share power.

Well, almost any other solution would have worked better. If India had risen up in rebellion against the British 10-20 years earlier, it would have been a much stronger military force that could have held the country together. Yes, there would have been violence, but nothing like that which occurred at Indian Independence, which occurred in a vacuum of power produced not by Indian force, but by the collapse of the British Empire? That vacuum produced chaos and death, not peace and order. Gandhi was responsible for that mayhem, but you don't hear many discrediting him for it. Which of the Gurus you criticize here has that much blood on his hands?

Meaning, there are others who feel the same way. So what?

Meaning gthe guy isn't crazy. He's arguing on pretty solid ground. Which means you're the crazy one for leaping all over him.

The swami is on crazy ground for contending that "mahatmas" know more about these things than politicians. They are at best, equally ignorant.

The guys he mentioned weren't the fools you make them out to be. Some pretty smart dudes, actually. Their advice would probably have been much better than the average Indian's, I'm sure.

We are animals with language skills. It's natural to protect you and yours.

Then why condemn them for advocating violence? You're being inconsistent.

However, you can do so and mind your own business, which neither India, Pakistan or the U.S. appears capable of doing.

When a foreign power occupies your country for centuries and bleeds the life out of it, it is your business. Minding your own business in that circumstance is being a coward and a fool.

Nobody is saying Gandhi is perfect, but the man tried and was at least partially successful in a very, very difficult political situation.

The guy was a miserable failure. Independence was achieved not by his efforts, but as a consequence of the fall of the British after WWII. His goal of a unified, peaceful India was not achieved, and mass death ensued. This is not even a partial success. If he had listened to just about anyone other than himself, India would have been better off. This is the sad truth. You are just taken in by the myth of Gandhi's greatness, the same way others are taken in by false Gurus. So I guess you are still not immune from this failing.

What, Hindus bossing around Muslims? You would have had an ongoing insurrection as a result. There was no lording either Hindu or Muslim over one another. It was a devil's bargain, but probably the least difficult of many difficult options.

This is sheer crap. Over a hundred million muslims remained in India after partition, and they were not "lorded over" in some horrific way. There are now some 200,000,000 muslims in India, and they do just fine. How exactly was the partition worth so many lives, so much bloodshed again? Try not sounding like a brainwashed Gandhi cultist when you answer.

This is all said without having much understanding of the subject other that was depicted in the movie, Gandhi.

Now there's the first honest words you've spoken so far. Why didn't you think of that before you went on a rampage of outrage against this guy voicing his informed opinion of Gandhi, when yours is clearly uninformed?

Depending on what the guru said. The fact is that they are all just assholes with opinions like the rest of us.

Well of course it would depend on the advice given. The point is, seeking the advice of spiritual figures such as these guys cited is not only traditional in India, it's generally a good idea. These are not your average spiritual phonies, you know? Or do you even know the difference? Your problem seems to be that you can't actually imagine that spiritual intelligence has any meaning in life, or gives anyone any greater intelligence in practical matters. Focusing on fraudulent types seems to have blinded you to the reality that spirituality does indeed have value in the world at large, and shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.

That's probably what the gurus thought that he didn't ask. What's the difference?

How would you know? You really think all Gurus are alike? What a ridiculous assumption.

You've just described every big-time guru we skewer here.

Then why this defense of Gandhi? Why aren't you skewering him? And why don't you skewer the Gurus this guy cited? Might it be that they were the genuine article?

You do a decent service here skewering big-time wannabe Gurus, but you don't seem to have much discrimination overall. In this case, your desire to skewer Ammachi's devotees has blinded you to the fact that they might be right, and you the brainwashed cultist.

 
At 7/04/2007 6:00 AM, Anonymous freefall said...

Anon said:

You are a dumb white who has no right commenting on Indian history.

Why don't you write about your own history, you know, cowboys handing out smallpox blankets to the savages, burning crosses-- things you know.


Let me count commentators on Indian history - A. L. Basham, Mark Tuxon, Philip Mason, W. Darlyle, A. Eraly... seems the list is full of dumb white asses.

All of you out there in the world, if you want to write about India, write something positive, write about our glorified ancient history, rich heritage and culture, celebrate our achievements in the software industry, or compliment us on our hospitality. But don’t write anything negative. We don’t believe you.

And before you criticize us, look at yourself. We see gaping holes in you. ‘Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones at others’. You have flaws too, therefore you can’t criticize us.

 
At 7/04/2007 6:59 AM, Anonymous satya said...

Look I know that you Americans worship an idealised image of Gandhi just as you worship your image of Jesus, but the fact is that Gandhi was not what you think.

Partition was indeed the greatest single massacre in India's history, 2 million dead, and Gandhi was indeed uniquely to blame for it, by totally alienating Jinnah. You need to study some history other than your own, from a perpective outside that of American Academia and politics.

Not to endorse the sectarian use of this issue by the 'Amma' camp at all, nor the so-called fundamentalist Hindus.

 
At 7/04/2007 7:03 AM, Anonymous satya said...

'Hindus and Muslims had to be separated'.

Rubbish.

There are over 100 million Muslims in democratic Hindu majority India today, more than the 90 million in Pakistan.

Get your facts straight.

 
At 7/04/2007 8:12 AM, Blogger jody said...

Obviously, I don't know enough about the India/Pakistan partition to be able to comment intelligently on the matter. I admitted as much when I revealed that most of what I know about it came from the movie Gandhi.

But that's not to say there would have been a better outcome, despite what folks may think. We'll never know in any case.

But the essence of my critique of the swami's statements is intact. There is nothing to lead one to believe a "Mahatma" would have known any better than Gandhi, other than superstitious ideas about what Mahatmas know and how they can know it.

I am not attacking India, despite what some hypersensitive readers may believe, nor am I comparing it to the U.S., whose history, especially recently, is much more dubious in my opinion.

The fact is that Amma allowed this article in her magazine as a means to ally herself with similarly thinking Indians. She's courting the fundies, folks, with both politics and superstitious nonsense. It's the superstition that I'm rejecting. I truly had no idea that Gandhi-bashing was such a popular sport in India.

 
At 7/04/2007 8:13 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Broken Yogi said...
Call me crazy, but I always thought Gandhi's approach was wrong-ass...

Too bad Gandhi couldn't have consulted with Da Free Jack, Sly Baba, Swami Ruma, Guru Maharajerk, Mahasleezy Mahesh Yogi, Yogi Bhajam, Nirmali Debby, that 85 year old rapist or that blind Guru from Japan... Then everything would have been alright!

Then Hindus and Moslems wouldn't have to set fire to each others' trains in the name of the good Lard!

 
At 7/04/2007 8:39 AM, Blogger jody said...

Gandhi was responsible for that mayhem, but you don't hear many discrediting him for it.

That's because in the States we've been led to believe that he's only been a hero, despite the fact he may have been a bit abusive and slap-happy toward the ladies.

He's arguing on pretty solid ground. Which means you're the crazy one for leaping all over him.

Actually, it's more about my being misinformed about the politics involved, not with regards to ideas about what "Mahatmas" are alleged to know and how they allegedly know it.

The guys he mentioned weren't the fools you make them out to be.

I'm not making them out to be fools anymore than anyone else. I'm saying they had access to the same information anyone has, that they don't have any special access to any, allegedly more reliable supernatural knowledge, as the swami clearly contends.

Some pretty smart dudes, actually. Their advice would probably have been much better than the average Indian's, I'm sure.

But not based in any magical access to supernatural wisdom, as the swami contends.

Then why condemn them for advocating violence? You're being inconsistent.

I'm not condemning them for advocating violence. I condemn them for promoting superstitious nonsense as more reliable than the usual nonsense we call perception.

When a foreign power occupies your country for centuries and bleeds the life out of it, it is your business. Minding your own business in that circumstance is being a coward and a fool.

I wasn't suggesting folks put up with subjugation. I was saying that now that India and Pakistan are two countries, that they accept the arrangement and get on with life.

I wish we as a country did the same, so if you render me a rep for the U.S., I come out a hypocrite as well as a coward. The fact is that I didn't vote for Bush in either election, and along with the majority in this country, don't support his policies now.

You are just taken in by the myth of Gandhi's greatness, the same way others are taken in by false Gurus. So I guess you are still not immune from this failing.

The whole of the States is taken in by this myth. It's what is presented to us in school and in the media. Obviously, it's not quite as sophisticated as what y'all believe.

Try not sounding like a brainwashed Gandhi cultist when you answer.

It's more like an ignorant American, which many of us are with regards to Gandhi, I'm gathering.

Now there's the first honest words you've spoken so far. Why didn't you think of that before you went on a rampage of outrage against this guy voicing his informed opinion of Gandhi, when yours is clearly uninformed?

Because he's still promoting superstitious ideas as the answer.

The point is, seeking the advice of spiritual figures such as these guys cited is not only traditional in India, it's generally a good idea.

Opinion noted. While gurus, famous or otherwise, may be more of less intelligent than others, they don't have access to special divine fonts of wisdom. They know what they know as a result of their perception of the world. Anything magical is simply a product of their subjective belief system.

Your problem seems to be that you can't actually imagine that spiritual intelligence has any meaning in life, or gives anyone any greater intelligence in practical matters.

I can imagine smart, spiritual folks. But folks who know the future because they are more spiritual? Nope.

Focusing on fraudulent types seems to have blinded you to the reality that spirituality does indeed have value in the world at large, and shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.

The value of spirituality to the world is one thing, and I do appreciate it. Otherwise, this blog would not exist.

However, the value of spirituality and superstitious ideas in spirituality are two different things.

And why don't you skewer the Gurus this guy cited? Might it be that they were the genuine article?

I comment on what comes up from online news sources. There is no need to comment on these gurus, although Aurobindo was certainly a nut case in at least some ways.

In this case, your desire to skewer Ammachi's devotees has blinded you to the fact that they might be right, and you the brainwashed cultist.

If I can create a group who believe that anything you believe about self-realization outside of experiential understanding is wrong, and that self-realization does not make you magic or any more God than you were before, then I will feel I have been wildly successful.

 
At 7/04/2007 10:30 AM, Anonymous Screaming Bagel said...

Obviously, I don't know enough about the India/Pakistan partition to be able to comment intelligently on the matter. I admitted as much when I revealed that most of what I know about it came from the movie Gandhi.

Then you probably shouldn't have, Jody. This isn't the first time you've pulled the trigger too fast in a knee-jerk reaction to something that may support your anti-guru worldview. Don't get me wrong, you're often right, but it's not uncommon for you to check your brain at the door and/or selectively present facts when you start swinging.

It would be nice to see you be a bit more "fair and balanced" (not the Fox type of fair and balanced!)...it would increase your credibility in the eyes of this reader, and I suspect others, as well.

 
At 7/04/2007 1:08 PM, Blogger Broken Yogi said...

Glad you are backtracking on your nonsense.

Getting back to your main point, I don't see any inference that the author of this article is suggesting Gandhi should have spoken to these people because they had some perfect knowledge of exactly what to do based on spiritual superstitious powers. That inference seems to be your own. You simply assumed that if he said Gandhi should have spoken with some of these folks, it's because they would grab the answer out of God's brain, and know exactly what to do and how. In other words, you are creating a straw man and then demolishing it at your leisure in a phony spasm of outrage. Why can't you imagine that these folks would indeed have had something wise to say about this political situation? I don't know what they would have said, but I can certainly imagine it being worth listening to. No one suggested that Gandhi just do whatever they said, only that he consult them. Maybe they wouldn't have said anything at all. Hard to know until you actually try.

But your larger, general point is worth examining more closely. Is it really true that spiritual wisdom has no value in enhancing one's general intelligence in the world? I think this is a false idea? Is it even true that there is no such thing as intelligence and perception outside the five senses? In other words, could it be that there is indeed some aspects of intelligence that are "supernatural", if one defines that as something other than purely materialistic objectivity? I think so. You may disagree, but my own observation of life, and of myself, tells me otherwise. I see varying degrees of such intelligence operative in everyone, and so it stands to reason that there are some people who are at the high end of that bell curve, just as there are some people of very high IQ. You seem to be resorting to the egalitarian fallacy that everyone is equal in all areas of life. Just not so.

 
At 7/04/2007 1:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for being adaptable and willing to learn, Jody. It is that form of rational thinking and listening that is so absent from devotees of various gurus. Many good points have been made, here are a few more...

1. Yes, Jody, you are like most Americans who were sucked in by the movie Gandhi, including myself until recent years. Gandhi was extremely overrated and was considered by cynical brits as their best friend for trying to prevent violence.

2. Gandhi also slept with young girls, some as young as 11, despite his chaste image.

3. Ammachi is tight with various RSS folks. RSS are THE people who killed Gandhi, so it shouldn't be a surprise that this point of view would be presented in her magazine. Hindu nationalism is somewhat understandable due to the incredible Koran-sanctioned violence and intolerance of Muslims in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. However, that nationalism goes beyond mere defense against jihad and can include discrimination against rationalists, Christians, Jains, Buddhists, and others who are NOT blowing up Hindus.

4. There is a hypocrisy in "hippies" and such in America (much of her followers) who talk about "peace and love and Amma", but don't get that she is not a pacifist or they assume that "nonviolence" is part of her agenda. Whether that assumption is created by her swamis or is just projected by her followers, I cannot say...

 
At 7/04/2007 9:20 PM, Blogger jody said...

it's not uncommon for you to check your brain at the door and/or selectively present facts when you start swinging.

My brain wasn't "checked" in this case, just less informed. And my selective presentation of the facts is called skew. I link to material that allows the reader to make up their own mind.

it would increase your credibility in the eyes of this reader, and I suspect others, as well.

Any credibility I have has everything to do with the reader, anyway. I'm just spouting off per my critique of spiritual culture. What folks get out of that is all on them.

 
At 7/04/2007 9:32 PM, Blogger jody said...

Glad you are backtracking on your nonsense.

I'm not backtracking, I'm admitting I'm less than informed on the matter. I still don't necessarily agree that there was a better solution, despite the opinions of those who may know better than I.

I don't see any inference that the author of this article is suggesting Gandhi should have spoken to these people because they had some perfect knowledge of exactly what to do based on spiritual superstitious powers.

Just imagine what would have been the course of history had Ghandi consulted one of the contemporary Mahatmas who could have foreseen the outcome of the historic decision.

"Who could have foreseen the outcome..." How are they going to do that, speculate based on their understanding of human nature, or "fore-see," in other words, predict by way of knowledge of the future.

That inference seems to be your own.

Perhaps, but it's not farfetched to infer this based on how much her swamis pimp Amma's alleged divine powers.

Why can't you imagine that these folks would indeed have had something wise to say about this political situation?

I can. But all seven, equally? No. Some are going to be much less informed, and thus less equipped, to help determine the best course of action.

Is it really true that spiritual wisdom has no value in enhancing one's general intelligence in the world?

Of course not. However, its capacities are much, much more limited than the siddhi-based myths commonly suggest.

In other words, could it be that there is indeed some aspects of intelligence that are "supernatural", if one defines that as something other than purely materialistic objectivity?

Weird shit happens. But on the command of a space-mommie/daddy, no. It's just weird shit. It has nothing to do with the Self or self-realization.

You seem to be resorting to the egalitarian fallacy that everyone is equal in all areas of life. Just not so.

Except where divinity is concerned. Everyone is equally divine. Either that or the Upanishads are full of shit. Take your choice.

 
At 7/05/2007 12:03 AM, Blogger Broken Yogi said...

The biggest problem with your approach seems to be evident in your last comment:

Me: You seem to be resorting to the egalitarian fallacy that everyone is equal in all areas of life. Just not so.

Jody: Except where divinity is concerned. Everyone is equally divine. Either that or the Upanishads are full of shit. Take your choice.


We are not talking about these Mahatmas being of greater divinity than anyone else. We are talking about whether they have greater wisdom regarding such world events and politics than others. Greater foresight and vision, and a greater awareness of the consequences of various courses of action. Certainly followers of various religious movements attribute powers to their leaders which they may not have. This does not mean that no spiritual figures have greater wisdom and foresight than other people. It certainly wouldn't hurt to ask for their advice. Whether the swami who wrote the article is right that the partition mess could have been avoided is hard to say. You only get one chance at history. But it's not insane of him to suggest this. I don't get the idea that he would expect all seven to agree. But each could add something of their own viewpoint on these matters.

One of the Mahatmas mentioned, Narayana Maharaj, actually was consulted by the British during WWII. A British general stationed in India was deeply impressed by him, and actually ended up setting up a "war room" at Narayana's ashram. He put maps of all the theaters of operation on the walls, and gave him daily updates on the progress of the war. Narayana "meditated" the war, and while doing so battle wounds would spontaneously appear on his body and leave just as mysteriously. Right after the Japanese surrender he announced that his work was done, and he died. Now, what exactly was going on there is hard to say. Narayana didn't talk about it much. Whatever he said and communicated to the British was kept secret. But it appears that he played some kind of important spiritual role in the war, and was not interested in "cashing in" on this for any other purpose.

So should we write that guy off as a deluded con man, and the British general as another dupe looking for a space-daddy who can supply all the answers? Well, I think the answer is a little less simplistic than that.

Another simple story about Mahatmas seeming to know the future concerns Ramana Maharshi. The story is told by his devotee, Annamalai Swami, who came to Ramana when he was in his twenties. Fairly early on in his time at the ashram, Ramana took him aside and told him that he had a building project that he wanted him to do. But he insisted that Annamalai not tell anyone that it was Ramana who wanted him to do it. He showed Annamalai a stream that ran next to the ashram, that Ramana said might someday flood during the rainy season, and it would be a good idea to build an earthen wall running the length of the ashram to keep it from washing the ashram away. He showed him exactly where he wanted the wall to be, how high and wide, etc. Annamalai began constructing the wall, and was told by the head of the ashram to stop, which he would not do. The sarvadhikari berated him daily and demanded he cease building this wall, but he kept at it anyway, and Ramana meanwhile said nothing. Finally the Sarvadhikari realized that if Ramana didn't object, maybe it was a good idea. So eventually a whole bunch of people at the ashram joined in to help, and the wall was completed before the rainy season began. Sure enough, the river flooded that year, and the wall was build just high enough to stop it from destroying the ashram. Ramana never said anything about this, but it certainly seemed to indicate some kind of foresight on his part.

So clearly some people have abilities in these areas that are not easily understood. Not everyone is going to have the right kind of attitude towards these people, but I don't think one can argue that you have the right attitude. So getting righteously offended at Ammachi's swami seems a little out of line, when if anything he seems closer to appreciating these kinds of things than you do. Trying to fit everyone into this role of space-daddy-seeker is kind of lame, don't you think?

 
At 7/05/2007 6:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Everyone just piled on to Jody! And he accepts he isn't the best person to comment on Gandhi.

Arguably, if Gandhi did not have some great qualities, he would not have become a leader of people. So Jody is perfectly justified in 'Mother Teresifying' him! Fact is that Gandhi's biggest weakness was Nehru, so he forgot a far more capable person called Sardar Patel, the person who unified India. To get Nehru to become PM, Gandhi even allowed partition and the horrendous consequences that followed. While Jody is in to bashing Gurus and suggesting the worst about them, it may be appropriate to speculate whether there was a sexual attraction for Nehru on Gandhi's part, if only to bash the old man. After all eminent historians of the Marxist kind have this theory about the bond between Vivekananda and Ramakrishna! If Ammachi's magazine has commented on Gandhi's stupidity of foisting non violence on an Indian public dying to strangle and otherwise maim the Brits in India, who probably deserved that for what they did to India, it is perfectly in order. Gandhi also fasted and inflicted his weird views of non violence on Hindus, who are respectful of authority, and therefore listened to him. His theories and Nehru's insistence that Hindus not be allotted properties belonging to Muslims who had left the country and refusal to allow Punjabis to settle in Kashmir has inflicted a huge cost on India. The subsidies paid to Kashmir, in effect Kashmiri Muslims as they have driven out Hindus from Kashmir, has resulted in this money financing terrorism throughout India. Gandhi and Nehru were the worst things to happen to India, according to many Hindus. Incidentally the creation of Hindu fundies, as you call them, is a direct result of mollycoddling the Muslim minority by successive governments led by the Kaangress.

Jody, please see things in perspective. The views aired in Ammachi's magazine are echoed by a large number of Hindus who think that Gandhi made wusses out of the Hindus. The old man had his uses but, in hindsight, he is pretty much overrated. Sorry for the History lesson but one needs to set the record straight!

 
At 7/05/2007 7:25 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

The fact remains that Ammachi is much like other religious fundemaentalists (including myself), uneducated and prone to thinking in black and white terms about "others". She is courting and kissing the asses of Hindu fundementalists who are no better than the Christian or Islamic versions. They just haven't started killing people on as wide a scale. Give em time.

Jody still has my vote and all you true believers can kiss my jackass!

 
At 7/05/2007 7:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you know that all of these bs comments are propaganda from the hindu rationalists. They are not seeing the point of why you posted the article.

 
At 7/05/2007 10:34 AM, Anonymous getreal said...

"She is courting and kissing the asses of Hindu fundamentalists."

Yes she is, and articles like this are important because they illustrate this fact. She wants to have her cake and eat it too. Mystically pick the pockets of the stupid Americans and haul all of that dough back to India to support her political agenda.

 
At 7/05/2007 4:09 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Anonymous said...
I hope you know that all of these bs comments are propaganda from the hindu rationalists.
.................


Having been raised under the thumb of religious fundementalism, I often find Rationalists a breath of fresh air, although I'd rather be riding my mule!

 
At 7/06/2007 9:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, Jody, you and I are in agreement on this. How amazing! To think that Ghandi wasted his life and destroyed the lives of others because he did not consult a guru regarding what he should do is the height of koolaidism!

 
At 7/06/2007 11:23 AM, Blogger Broken Yogi said...

To think that Ghandi wasted his life and destroyed the lives of others because he did not consult a guru regarding what he should do is the height of koolaidism!

That might be the case if Gandhi had been a secular, scientific rationalist in the western mode. But this was a guy who thoroughly beleived in the entire Vedic Hindu system, with a few cavaets for modernizing such anachronisms as the caste system and such barbaric practices as Suttee. He spent all day every day reciting the "Ram" mantra, however, and followed his course of non-violent resistance based solely on the ancient vedic practice of ahimsa. So the idea that someone who follows such practices should consult vedic Gurus for advice is hardly outlandish, and certainly not "koolaidish", unless you consider the whole Vedic system to be a form of koolaid, in which case Gandhi had already swallowed it hook, line and sinker.

 
At 11/29/2007 1:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right-wing Hindus including Aurobindo blame Gandhi for the partition of India and don't forget that Gandhi was assassinated by a right-wing Hindu. What these people need to do is to better understand the history of that time. Gandhi was not God, he could not control the Muslim leadership under Jinnah who had decided that they wanted a nation for Muslims even though Gandhi kept pleading with them that they would be able to live with full rights in a secular India that respected all religions.

Jinnah founded Pakistan by playing ball with the British whenever Gandhi's Congress would boycott talks with the Brits or whenever the majority of the Congress leadership was in prison. Jinnah even back then made comments about how the Brits and the Americans would need Pakistan in their fight against the Reds (communists). The nation of Pakistan was founded upon an idea that if you placate Western powers, you will get what you want, and even today, 60 years later, the same pattern is being repeated over and over.

Gandhi did not do any of this. He was completely broken by the riots engineered by Jinnah's Muslim League and the equally violent response from the Hindu fanatics. My family by the way hates Gandhi and Nehru because they were refugees from Pakistan in 1947; they were ethnically cleansed. However, I differ with my family because unlike them I have researched this story from many angles. I am saddened to note that Ammachi's swamis are pushing the Hindutva (right wing Hindu) agenda in India, but I am not surprised.

Jody, by the way, I respect your mission, but I wonder if some respect for the guru principle, the idea that higher consciousness can help lower consciousness, should be allowed more consideration?

Surely there is something good in all of these gurus and organizations? Perhaps we can take some of the good and try to build on that. Why complain about the shortcomings of others? Why not take the best they have to offer and use it?

Best wishes to you and God Bless You in your life and work!

Ash
Colorado

 
At 4/13/2008 3:28 AM, Anonymous ned said...

I just want to add that Sri Aurobindo was by no means right-wing ... Sri Aurobindo is often misused by Hindutva ideologues or right-wingers, but he himself was not at all ideological. You might think I'm biased because I'm a devotee, but I believe what Sri Aurobindo actually said about Gandhi, partition and so on, was substantially more nuanced than what a lot of people think. There is a great book out called "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" by Peter Heehs for those who are interested in really understanding Sri Aurobindo's life and thought. Also, the Science, Culture and Integral Yoga is a good source of information on the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

 

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