Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Really Rare Real. Or, Is Really Real Rare?

File under: Real True Gurus

A search of the blogs produced this article by John Cain, who has a new book out (just elevated to our reading list) called A Rare and Precious Thing: The Possibilities and Pitfalls of Studying with a Spiritual Teacher. As real writers are wont to do, John actually spoke to different spiritual teachers about what they were doing and why. Thankfully, he found a few who actually know what they are doing, too:
I asked Reverend Mother Sudha Puri (teacher in the renowned Hindu lineage of Ramikrishna, of the Bhakti Yoga sect, which is very devotional) how she handled her student’s intense emotions. “I find I have to reduce a student’s devotional attitude so they are not dependent on me in that way,” she told me. “The teachings state that God-Guru-Vedas (the scriptures) are all one, but for a student to have me as their ishta (ideal) is, I think, awful for them and for me too. So I try to be very honest and clear with them, to accept their love and their gifts and their appreciation. But the fact of the matter is that if they get caught up in personality, it’s very damaging for them. I really don’t encourage that kind of devotion.”

Adyashanti, the dynamic Advaita Vedanta teacher, explained a similar method. "I tell people I’m not in a babysitting program. I’m not here to crush your ego. I don’t do that. Life’s going to do it for you. I’m not here to correct you. I can understand the value of it for some people at some time and why teachers play that role and all that, but I’m just not interested,” he told me. Sister Joan Chittister writes, “The role of the spiritual leader… is not to make martinets out of people; it is to lead them to spiritual adulthood where they themselves make the kind of choices that give life depth and quality.” Amen!
And Hallelujah!

Here are three examples of the real deal, at least in terms of how these folks handle the overwhelming transference and descent into infantilism that occurs in a guru's satsang. Like Adya (sorta) said, "I ain't no babysitter."

Compare and contrast this approach with that of the Kracki, the Babaster, Sri Sri, Ammachi, Gurumayi, etc. Practically all of the big-time gurus seek to engender a state of spiritual dependence in their devotees. It's what keeps the tills heated and the heads full of nonsense about the Truth... rather than anything that could ever really be called the Truth. Because, like it or not, ignorance has always been very good for business in this business.



At 9/28/2007 1:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What westerners don't understand is that Vedanta,Bhakti etc is a mass culture in India just like Christianity in the West with all the accompanying pros & cons.For us Indians it is no New Age.It is a tradition.Most of the times we of the new generation do not understand at all what all this Bhakti,Vedanta etc stuff is all about but nevertheless,unlike our western counterparts,we do not question it unless we find something really undesirable & prefer to play along for the sake of tradition,family & our parents & all those whom we love because they feel happy doing it & for us Indians the happiness & well being of those near & dear to us is more important.We are a part of a thousands of years old unbroken chain of living culture.In short,we are the establishment & mainstream culture in our society.And generally we do prefer an easy path of devotion to the Guru.We have families & our businesses & most of us have simply no time to discuss nuances of scriptures or to evaluate our Gurus.Besides,this system has been living & evolving here since eternity so why bother?Of course,you people by virtue of being born in an alien culture in this birth are naturally more insecure as it still means going against your mainstream culture when you go to a Guru.It is not so here.

People of your kind,are sort of rebels of your society,trying to find answers to life's questions by going away from your mainstream culture.Hence the terms "New Age" & "Alternative" etc.Whereas for us all this is tradition.

I must also point out that definition of genuine or fake Guru depends on one's own expectations from a teacher.We in India generally follow a loose criteria i.e. if one benefits in any way whether materially or spiritually after going to a Spiritual Teacher,that teacher is genuine for him/her & that is a matter of his/her own belief.We never insult others' Gurus or basically,others' sacred beliefs,though we may criticize respectfully but never as negatively & insulting or passing personal comments as you do.Your behaviour as shown on this blog would surely result in even your own fellow devotees breaking social contact with you.This is our "System" or "Establishment".This runs the machinery of our society of 1 billion people & it has been for the most part of our history except during the Islamic rule.You are people from a different culture who have found our way of thinking interesting but since you are devoid of any social responsibility or should I say,the mainstream personalities like politicians,judges etc are not into this philosophy so you can pass any comment you like however irresponsible or insulting to teachers.It is due to this profile of most of Western spiritual seekers that the average Indian family person is generally uncomfortable around western spiritual seekers.Most Indians so not like to mix with people like you for this reason.There is a general feeling that people like you are anti-socials,anti family values & morally corrupt & so not deserve to study Spirituality 7 people would not have let you if it were not for the Gurus.

Your worldview is only one of the many worldviews in this world.Every worldview has its place in the sun & so has yours.Just don't try to be preachy or moralistic like the missionaries or church priests in proving that what you say is the absolute truth.It would be better if people like you learn to live in the Indian way before trying to study Indian spirituality.Your western eyes are of little use here.

At 9/28/2007 3:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations Jody,you have been vindicated. There is one minor correction, however. Gurumayi didn't openly infantalize her sheep like Ammachi, Karunamayi Amma and Me! Me! are doing. That is because Gurumayi actually thinks she is forever young, is the most beautiful woman that walked this planet, is the most beautiful singer and can give the most brilliant talks that people tune into at a set time in different time zones. Too bad for Gurumayi her world came crashing down. What did she expect?

At 9/28/2007 10:23 AM, Anonymous Pug said...

Anonymous said...
What westerners don't understand...


What this long winded fellow said is that he thinks it's better to just remain asleep. For myself, mixing with Indians for the most part-- with a few wonderful exceptions-- has been like going back to the 1950's and sitting with the most materialistic folks on the face of the earth. Back then people didn't think for themselves, materialism was the religion. It still is of course but lots of us "westerners" or "Europeans" as I have been called, want more than just to have "things" and brain wash our kids into taking it up the ass like we had to. Indians are always blowing their own horns for having an ancient culture and 1 billion people. What I have seen is rampant materialsm, almost total lack of concern for their fellow man, unless they are of the same family or caste, and a near complete ignorance of their own ancient culture.

At 9/28/2007 10:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Anon live the Indian culture before you learn Indian spirituality. But don't you think your gurus are at fault to teach this stuff to westeners breaking all the rules the scriptures stipulate?

When something as simple as hatha yoga cannot be taken from its spiritual roots and taught the way it is being taught in the west, yet why are people like B.K.S. Iyengar, Desikachar and Pattabhi Jois teaching it to westerners.

Ofcourse 'gurus' like Karunamayi amma, Ammachi and Sri Sri are corrupt too. I saw some recent pictures of Karunamayi and Ammachi where they have knocked down Goddess Durga or was it Goddess Lakshmi's head and put their own. Wow! what conceit.

Fake Gurus are selling, westerners are buying and turning them into Gods. Who is to blame? Don't know.

At 9/28/2007 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While Anonymous took many pages to diss the anti-guru moaners, Pug managed to diss the entire Indian sub-continent and 1 billion people in about a dozen lines!

Anonymous I do agree with you on this - continuity of culture and tradition provides for a subtle depth of contentment and security that many in the West, myself included, can only catch a glimpse of.

There was a program about India on TV the other night - South India. A family was interviewed and they were so beautiful. You sensed such deep respect in each of them. Respect for tradition, for elders etc. It really struck me.
The women feed the men first - and then eat together afterwards. There was a tangible feeling of harmony and deep companionship.

BTW - I remember a good article in WIE (What Is Enlightenment) where the book "Do you need a Guru?" was reviewed.

A lot of very relevant arguments about how Western anti-authoritarian thinking was incongruent with the Guru model.

At 9/28/2007 3:43 PM, Anonymous Pug said...

Anonymous said...
While Anonymous took many pages to diss the anti-guru moaners, Pug managed to diss the entire Indian sub-continent and 1 billion people in about a dozen lines!

Thanks, anonymush! If you were to really look deeply into the Indian family, I think you'll find quite a bit that does not jive with your pipe dreams of "harmony". Amazing to me how rich and midle class Indians can lead their lives of "harmony and deep companionship" while a few feet away millions of other families are living on the street in plastic tents.

These guys are still aborting female babies by the millions and burning their wives over dowry fights. But then they have their "ancient culture" to keep them happy and asleep.

At 9/28/2007 4:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The type of blind obedience given by the masses to western christian "gurus" or evangelicals, and by the masses to gurus from an older tradition, and by the masses to Islamic fundies, is all the same to me. It doesn't matter if one is Indian or European or Middle Eastern. Dogma is dogma is dogma. Simply calling established "norms" civilized to the exclusion to any other ways of thinking is typical of fundamentalist thinking the world over.

For windy anonymous: you must be part of a particularly closed minded, not particularly rich group in our India, or you are middle aged, perhaps. Most of my friends enjoy mixing with western spiritual seekers and enjoy the dialogue with them, as opposed to sitting around with rusting, gossiping family groups too afraid to question someone because he (or she) wears something orange or white and happens to summon up a large following.

Try visiting Ramesh Balsekar in Bombay sometime in his living room. You may find the company of such an interesting saint eye-opening. There is always a mix of people there, and the main theme is "out with the Hindu dogma" in favor of actual knowledge.

Just because you are from a group of sheep, doesn't make it interesting, wonderful, or desireable. It just means that you are afraid to question authority or think deeply. You say that you don't question because you are more interested in the happiness of others -- I say you are afraid of being ousted by those who are stuck in old fashioned rituals. You imply that anyone who doesn't do as you do (stay within the confines of societies 'norms') doesn't love their family. I guess the great Ramana Maharishi really really really hated his family in that case, as he disobeyed everything in the society and ran away, rejecting even his mother! Your definition of love is very narrow and small. Grow up.

At 9/28/2007 5:21 PM, Anonymous bonsette said...

"the really rare real" - how do we know what is or isnt the rare real? :-) and why designate it as rare in the first place? theres a chap up north thats the real deal but few even know him. if organized lectures are a regular thing around a guru you need to move on. the great pretenders just love to talk. it justifies their existence. they think they are saving people. but theyre lost in space. the real is something especially ordinary in a mind blowing way. ;-)

At 9/28/2007 6:14 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

Anony said...
A lot of very relevant arguments about how Western anti-authoritarian thinking was incongruent with the Guru model.

I don't have any measuring stick by which I could conclude that independent thinking is better or worse than obedience to a Guru or dogma. But it does seem that the direction of growth tends to be from blind obedience and herding behavior towards more individual diversity and self-direction.

Earlier species of life tend to blindly follow the leader or herd moreso than those that evolved later. Earlier human societies had power concentrated in god-like leaders, while those in more modern times show more freedom and democracy. Baby's blindly cling to their mommies, while adults usually trust themselves a bit more.

Right, some people are born as dependent followers, and never change much. So be it. But when there is transformation, it tends to be away from blind faith and towards independent perception, understanding, and action.

The first steps into independence are shaky, and people hesitating on the border may appreciate some help and encouragement. Of course I say this because I feel in my own life, there have been people I appreciate for this kind of support.

All of this is to say... I find it a reasonable intention to try to offer support to those people who are wobbling a bit as they grow towards independent thinking, letting go of being a parrot for some holy personage, scripture, or dogma. If some people or many people choose to not take those steps, God bless them every one. But for the one's who do, it feels good to offer to them the kind of encouragement I've gotten from others along the way.


At 9/28/2007 8:32 PM, Blogger jody said...

why designate it as rare in the first place?

Good question. When I began to see what it was about, I found all sorts of folks who knew exactly what the score was, all without being famous and papering the world with press releases about it.

theres a chap up north thats the real deal but few even know him.

Are you talking about John de Ruiter? That guy is a showman surrounded by dupes.

the real is something especially ordinary in a mind blowing way. ;-)

Agreed, and much more prevalent–although hidden by the lack of desire to advertise it–than any of these circle-running seekers could ever imagine.

At 9/28/2007 10:55 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

bonsette said...
the real is something especially ordinary in a mind blowing way.

What color is the grass? What sound does a dog make? etc.


At 9/29/2007 3:04 AM, Anonymous bonsette said...

Are you talking about John de Ruiter?

:-) God forbid!

At 9/29/2007 4:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The presence of tradition all around you as a Hindu is a very safe emotional cushion.I admit we are corrupt & selfish socially but where else would you find the slum dweller & the billionare praying together in the neighbourhood temple?
One of the most brilliant young men of my locality,an IIT engineering graduate running his own business of software training recently became a teacher of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's Art of Living.About 40 of us went to his first Part-1 course last week not due to Sri Sri but because of "our boy".This boy has met Sri Sri only once in his whole life & that too for 2 minutes.Now what were the contents of the course?Apart from the Sudarshan Kriya (which is really something different as I have done Kriya Yoga etc earlier),what other things that I found special? (1)The session in which we were told about the Indian tradition of Gurus & to bow down to all the Gurus of all streams & religions,whether from the past,present or the future.I as a Hindu have been taught to revere & respect all Gurus & this was a confirmation of this.(2)The other were the Basic Yogasanas & Pranayamas & information on the types of food according to Ayurveda (Sattvic,Rajasic & Tamasic) & how an optimum intake of a mixture of all 3 types help a person be effective in his/her daily routine.(4)Most important though were the group processes where we used to play games etc.(5)Finally we as a group had a lunch on the final day prepared by all of us & shared by all.

Our teacher,this boy tells us that this course's content is standardised worldwide & that is how all teachers are trained to take it which for me is a new & interesting thing.

The young man is understandably devoted to his Guru as people are & though we do not share his devotion but we did not find anything anti-social in the course.It actually made all of us feel relieved to be in India & being Indians (there were 4 Muslims in the course so I can't say Hindus).

Contrary to what you people feel here,I think it brought us closer to each other as a community.And I have recommended & enrolled 4 relatives of mine for the next.

I have no desire to have a "full-time" Guru nor I am looking for one.Most people in India are like that.God bless you people on your quest for Enlightenment.

At 9/29/2007 4:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Mr "Pug"

Maybe it the result of the good training of independence of mind of you Americans that your kids don't work hard at their studies & when they are worthless & lose their software & BPO jobs to people like my son working at the GE BPO in Gurgaon,they call up & hurl racist abuses at him & his colleagues.

I think we are better off asleep.

At 9/29/2007 10:34 AM, Blogger gregory said...

oh i like this thread of comments very much.... the first one is beautiful, with broad understanding... and all the ones that follow and seem contradictory, they are not at all; this story has truths on all sides... from personal experience i will say that amma and kurunamayi are both strong proponents of getting on your own feet as fast as possible, and do not encourage dependency - but they both have a lot of followers so eager to be dependent, they put up with it for years until the people become strong... it is also can be the work of a lifetime to realize self, and the world around a saint is unbelievably charming... the incentive to leave is not so great sometimes...

it is good to have someone kick your butt every now and then, and gurus are masters in that way too...

pity the guys son in the call center though; but that job will be outsourced to the philipines soon enough...

jody, you are mellowing, two semi-positive posts this week, nice..

At 9/29/2007 12:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the anon who wrote about Sri Sri:

"(4)Most important though were the group processes where we used to play games etc."

Anon, Sri Sri' play games are more than the eye can seem. The game where you break into groups and tell your life story is for the AOL organization to get as much information about you, your weaknesses, the issues you are dealing and then control you.

The game where you clap in unison is to see how well you will fit in a group. Unknown to you if you keep clapping, sooner or later you will give in to group thinking, then brainwashing is easier.

The music is so enchanting. Baba Muktananda and Gurumayi used it for black magic purposes. Ammachi is doing a variation of it. As for Sri Sri, I can only imagine.

Anon go out into the real world and make friends. Don't do it in a cult like AOL.

At 9/29/2007 12:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anony said:
'One of the most brilliant young men of my locality,an IIT engineering graduate running his own business of software training recently became a teacher of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's Art of Living.About 40 of us went to his first Part-1 course last week not due to Sri Sri but because of "our boy".This boy has met Sri Sri only once in his ....'

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is one of the most bigoted guys around, fyi. He pretends to open the door to westerners (it's open for their bucks, my friend) but bars them at times from pujas of certain types. He has often observed the old-fashioned and outdated Brahminical model of Indian society, even telling some westerners not to eat with certain people at his ashram (because they were Brahmin -- not at the B's request, either -- that man became quite angry about the order in fact).

Yeah, so they play games to 'process' stuff, they teach you to breath in circles, then after some time, you are encouraged to think Sri Sri is God himself. He appeals to the middle class Indian who is dissatisfied with life in general.

By the way -- Tell your "brilliant" friend that SSRS doesn't in fact have the degree he touts about -- my friend's uncle went to school with SSRS and said he was "a rogue", declined to say way, and everyone from that class knows that SSRS dropped out of college when he was 17-18 to run around after Mahesh Yogi. He never finished his education.

If he is so great, why lie?

I dread to think what happened to your friend if he met him alone, btw.

Good luck.

Art of Living is a blood-sucking sham of an organization that pays off the authorities. Check out how they acquired their ashram land -- it was for a school only. Now it's for "courses". The usual corrupt garbage.

You should really feel pity for the poor western suckers who have been fooled by this crook and given up all their money! As an Indian, you should not defend such people, but rather speak out against them so the real saints can shine through.

You can hardly blame folks on this site for being more than a little skeptical about such 'gurus'. Many of them probably had friends and family who were robbed by the same.

It makes one ashamed to be an Indian sometimes, when reading things that you've written. But then, maybe you've never been outside of India and think it's the only country in the world, with the only good people in the world. SSRS and other 'gurus' preach this way, why shouldn't you swallow the whole disgusting thing?

At 9/30/2007 12:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I request all those who follow various gurus not to leave their families & join a guru. It is a pity that most of the NRI's are falling prey for this guru.
I'm a victim of Nithyananda. He's spoiling families.My husband is a Nithyananda disciple. He is not going for any work. He is staying always in the ashram. Now he dont want to be in the family life. This is what the guru preaches. Nithyananda preaches to leave their family and join him so that they wont get rebirth. I'm not sure what is happening in that ashram. It is fischy. Please be aware. If you know somebody following Nithyananda, try to get them out of him.

At 9/30/2007 7:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, its just a matter of time before your brilliant young AOL teacher becomes disillusioned with the true nature of AOL - I feel sorry for him.

Just to share: I graduated from IIT and whilst looking for a job got involved in AOL and subsequently became a strong.volunteer. This was against the wishes of my family who saw through the facade of AOL. I was pulled in deeper and deeper and it came to a point when I was not even interested in working, I wanted to become an ashramite and dedicate my life to AOL.

There were other young volunteers who served unconditionally, amongst them was Anand Rajendran. I knew him as a very humble, and obliging person who while looking for a job worked tirelessly for AOL. I chanced upon his website and could not believe my eyes. He has become an egoistic person with no qualms lying about working as a senior engineer in San Franscisco. Reliable sources reveal that he has only been to USA as an AOL teacher, why lie. I heard him speak - a hot air balloon with absolutely no substance - cheap motivational speaker always talking about the big number of participants he always has for his course. Just wondering, how many of these big numbers has he managed to retain in AOL.

I left AOL after the Silver Jubilee celebration - it was such an eyewash - a money laundering big time.Teachers all over the world would cut corners and send the proceeds of the courses to the Ashram to be channeled towards the many seva projects but sadly all this money was lavishly spend on full page adverts in the local media,posters, lighted hoardings and billboards all over the city.

There were special pujas for good health etc wherein people were charged USD600 to attend and all they were given at the end of it was a amulet. I saw people borrowing, stinging and scrimping to come up with this money. And these people are simple, middle class people who have very limited finances.

The senior teachers are such ego maniacs, they walk around with their noses in the air, substitute Gurujis.

The ashramites are such jerks, so full of themselves, curt, rude, what happened to the knowledge imparted to them about smiling? You hardly see smiles in the Ashram, all of them are highly tensed and stressed- someone needs to tell them about AOL and Sudarshan Kriya.

Will write more later.

God Bless all the pseudo Gurus - what goes around comes around - I just hope that all these Gurus have the strength to take the fall when it happens.

At 9/30/2007 8:07 AM, Anonymous Pug said...

Anonymous said...
@ Mr "Pug"
I think we are better off asleep.

Dear Mr. Anonymush,

I agree with you that we are all better off when you are asleep. But like Gregory said, the jobs that are shipped to India to save corporations money will soon go elsewhere. The good thing for people reading this blog is to see first hand the underbelly and bullshit of the "ancient culture" that we "westerners" have been worshipping for so long. You are a fine example of the part of your culture we should avoid.

At 9/30/2007 7:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adding to what Anon at 9/30/2007 6:49 AM said:

The AOL teachers are allowed to spend only a maximum of 25% of what they bring in a revenue for a course on booking a hall, transportation, photocopying, etc. The teacher's time is ofcourse free, even though they paid big bucks to learn what they teach. A lot of them end up spending their own money meet Sri Sri's greedy standards. I feel so sorry for the volunteers because they are so brainwashed. They will be in so much pain when reality hits them. I wish the government would crack down on this whole guru industry.

At 9/30/2007 7:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pug your comments to anon are so offensive, you deserve to be abused by guru's like Sri Sri.

Watch you mouth man. There are sane people ready Jody's blog and we are genuinely concerned about these fake gurus.

At 10/01/2007 12:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adding further to anon 9/30/2007 6:21 PM

People aspiring to become Art of Living teachers have to fork out USD1000 for the teachers training and this is for Part 1 only, another 1000 for Part 2 and when they become teachers they have to dig into their own pockets to pay for any expenditure beyond the 25 or 30% allocated.Teacher trainees are forced to buy promotional material during the trainings

Many teachers have left well paying and stable jobs to teach full time, they receive very insignificant remuneration and are not able to sustain their families - school going kids. Where is the sense of responsibility?

Reliable sources quote that the hard earned money that is sent to the Ashram is used to buy prime properties all over India, currently there are agents sent out to source out these properties in Chennai. These properties have been purchased and put under a trust comprising Gurujis sister, brother in law and nephews. They live very extravagantly, only travelling business class, wearing only branded stuff.

Where will all this end? I personally dont see an end to this as more and more people are getting suckered in and losing their perspective and minds to AOL while the coffers of AOL gets bigger and bigger.

God save them

At 10/01/2007 5:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jodi,
I think you are doing a good job, so congratulations. I don't agree with Mr. Annoymous who wants people to accept Gurus blindly in this present time. Most of them are just exercising their "EGOS" to the maximum, both subtle and gross. They do whatever it takes to generate massive wealth, fame, and power in which they manipulate others lives and silence anyone who dare speak out. Hence they silent people, through fear tactics,"hencmen" who are employed to beat or kill their followers if they dare to speak out. If you examine many of these Gurus, you will see they have one thing in common. Its called "product differentation". It means they try to sell religion with a "Unique angle". Just like in India, so many of the same shops which sell the same products but only has one unique item or sales line. Indian culture is heavily family based that means keeping all the wealth in the family, which is no exception to these Gurus. Its not a culture that has any compassion for poor since they believe that the "poor, sick, weak and women suffer for their rotten Karma". Unlike western culture, which teaches people compassion, "duty of care" to other human beings regardless of skin colour or status. Hence is the reason for so many charities in the west. If indians are so great as Mr Annoymous thinks due to his "cultural cluelessness", then why is it that so many Indians are dying to migrate to the west?. Hence if you examine all these Gurus who came to the west from 1950's excell in "product differenetation'" by amassing massive wealth, exploitation, power and total control of their followers mostly enabling them to reach the "Sheep mentality". When the Guru bleets the sheeps say "ba ba" or "Ma ma" and shut up. Hence their philosophy is "Surrender to Me" which means with everything, hence the word "Surrender" just means exploitation of body mind and wealth.
So its about high time most of you people find out who and what is a Guru. To me a Guru is one who has seen the truth and is self-realised. He/she can guide one on the religious path with knowledge on a one on one basis. He/She must posses qualities of detachment from the material world, simplicity, compassion,humbility, love, mercy, truthfulness, honesty, kindness, equal to both man and women, trust and the list goes on. Furthermore, the Guru has to follow the process of "Die to live" which means "Death to the Ego" in the form of selfishness, loneliness, fear, illusion, pride, fame,control, status, power, anger etc. If the Guru don't have such qualities, then such Gurus should be avoided. One should do their research thoroughly and check the Guru's actions and behaviours. The most important thing is that a Guru cannot give you love of God, you, the individual have to do it yourselves with eagerness.

At 10/01/2007 8:54 AM, Anonymous Pug said...

Anonymous said...
Pug your comments to anon are so offensive, you deserve to be abused...

Sounds like you're saying I'm damned to hell for pointing out some very obvious things about anonymush and his "ancient culture". A point I am making is that it is not just fake gurus that we "westerners"--ie ignorant scum-- should be aware of. Emotionally young people regularly write things on this blog indicating they believe our culture is "less evolved" than the Indian culture. While our faults are legion and need addressing, we should not flip flop over to yours. There is nothing very spiritual about the greed and neglect of the poor I have seen in India. Your ancient culture is pretty much a sham from top to bottom. These fake gurus are just a more obvious example of the infection. Having said this I will also say that I have met a few wonderful Indian holy people who live the values that anonymush just brags about. Strangely they seem to feel about the state of Indian spiritual culture very much the way I do. The stories and the food are great. The temples and the priests and the walking by millions of people living and dying on the side of the road sucks.

At 10/01/2007 9:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The mass dissing of India shows a profound lack of understanding of where that subcontinent has been and where it is going:
i) The world's largest democracy
ii) 170 years younger as a democracy than the US.
iii) Will overtake US in Gross Domestic Product by 2030
iv) India didn't even exist as a concept until the 19th century.

Over 1.1 billion people voting in a single democracy that is only 60 years old.
Talk about nation building...

Might want to think that, given all their problems, what holds that together.

At 10/01/2007 9:38 AM, Blogger jody said...

The mass dissing of India shows a profound lack of understanding

Nobody is saying that India isn't a great country, just that it's just as full of shit as all the rest of them.

At 10/01/2007 11:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ody said...

Nobody is saying that India isn't a great country, just that it's just as full of shit as all the rest of them.

Who ever said India is perfect. It is still recovering from years of mughal and colonial rule. These fake gurus that are coming to the West are really doing nothing more than what the colonial rulers did to India - plunder. Even today you have Pepsi cola wanting to increase its market share in a country where there is water shortage. The water table is going down because of Pepsi's activities, yet what do they care -the company hired an Indian to promote it in India and suddenly she becomes the most powerful woman on the Forbes list.

So really it is half a dozen of one and six of another.

At 10/01/2007 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's true that India is still overcoming Colonial influences. That fact makes it all the more tragic that so few have so much in India, and so many have so little. The middle class here is growing, true, but still, extravagance in India takes on a whole new meaning in India. Rich Indians make rich Americans (excepting a very few) look poor.

As to anonymous' comments about SSRS's Art of Living buying up properties, putting them in a trust run by his sister, brother in law and nephews, what else is new? Old news dude. Sri Sri is a crooked little creep, sucking in people who are disatisfied with their lives. The Art of Lying is more like it. They lied to get the ashram land in Bangalore, for example. The Great Leader lies about his education (he has none, and claims to be an engineer, in some cases holding a doctorate!). I feel sorry for the idiot NRIs who have given up their lives to be full time teachers. They grow old and shriveled up in the service of a charlatan, gaining no enlightenment, or any other aim of life. Artha Dharma Kama Moksha -- none fulfilled there at AOL folks. Look elsewhere if you are smart.

At 10/01/2007 3:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

This is an actual quote from his writings -- I'm not kidding! I saw it on the Art of Living Bookstore site -- it's put there proudly!

"We attach meaning to words and we distort them, too. For example, the word 'brainwashing.' Like your body, your brain needs washing sometimes. You don't want to walk around with a dirty brain, a dirty mind. What is wrong with the word 'brainwashing'? It indicates a clean brain, a clean mind, but it is used in a derogatory manner. "

What a trip.

At 10/03/2007 6:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes Anon,
Fake Gurus are selling and westerners are buying. Who is to be blamed? That is so true. I can't stand these Gurus but why are westerners so mad to buy their crap. These westerners are not just uneducated or poor, many of them are rich and intellectual. Just like Guru Marahaji who preaches "The words of peace", demands his followers credit cards as an approval to visit their countries. Meanwhile he laps it up bigtime with his motorcade, his family and his mistress all living in the presidential suites of hotels.The costs of his visits to other countries are more expensive than the president of the US. His home is none other than Bev.Hills with his private mansion and his private jet. His lectures consists mostly of techniques involving hypnotism, by repetitively using the same words, phrases and elaborating on it as if the audience are dumb, idiots or otherwise. How sad you dumb westerners? Don't you have a brain to see the wickedness of satan's children in action. Once these Indians comming from poverty they will use any excuse in the book of hell to make money and hord it for themselves, families and tribes ONLY. Hence is why so many starve in India due to their extreme selfishness and lack of compassion.

At 10/03/2007 7:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Pug,
You are so right Indians are always blowing big trumpets of how great they are with the oldest civilization in the world.Did they know that the Mayan civilization is over ten thousand years old? There is not a piece of evidence to verify their oldest civilization. They have been ruled fiercely by the Moghuls (Turk-Persians) up to 1000 yrs who imposed many of their present customs and traditions on them, which they think is Hindu, and can't distinguish. They loved the Moghuls because they tend to love people who are brutal not love and freedom like westerners.
The British ruled them for 250yrs whom the Hindues did not want to leave India.Many older Indians still speak well of the British rule especially concerning "justice, law and order.The British was employed in India initially to solve the disputes of Indian Maharajas. The Indians are so proud of their culture, then how is it they hate each other so much that they have to employ the Brits to solve their disputes? They should be proud of the things the British had given them, like creating their transport system, their legal system, communication system, medical and education system.In fact education to all castes, which the Brahman did not allow and kept the rest of the castes dumb and enslaved. The British also made laws to discourage Suttie or widows funeral pyre deaths. They also rid N.India of the Thugs who were responsible for millions of murders. Yet still they could never thank them only hate. I realise that Indians in general hate people who do good to them and love Muslims or wicked people who enslave or kill them. Real strange isn't? Have they ever sat down and realise also that because of the British they are ahead of other Asian countries because of the English language which has given them access for having a good education and becoming world class professionals.
Hindi is not giving that to them, neither Arabic. Its high time you Indians wake up and give "Credit" where its due. Just like America is giving you a lot of professional job opportunities.
So all you Indians from India should be at least grateful.

At 10/05/2007 8:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To last anon "to Pug":

What a slew of ignorant trash you've written about the British and India.

Do you actually believe that India was better off because of the British??? You must be joking. Get a grip, dude. Colonial rule only destroyed so many countries, India included.

I think you watch too many movies (got rid of the "Thugs"??? You are really over the top).

Wherever you are from, just imagine some country came from outside, told you that you are second class and should learn to live like they do, learn their language, wear their cloth, etc. Would you be grateful for 100s of years of tyranny by such people who kept you then poor, robbing your country of it's riches to advance it's empire? You should think before you write.

Your ignorance is showing, btw -- Indian Muslims usually speak Urdu, not Arabic, as you wrote. And there are 200 languages in India. Although Hindi is required in schools, most Southern Indians don't even use it, but speak English and their mother tongue.

To the anonymous before that comment: Your comments about westerners are just as ignorant as Pugs are about Indians, and the response to Pug. Blaming westerners for the sins of our Indian Gurus is like blaming Jews for being killed by the Nazis! "why did they trust them? Didn't they hear what would happen? Why didn't they just leave their homes?" Blaming the victim of a crime for the criminal is ignorant. Grow up dude.

Learn about a country before you blow off about it, dude. India is truly a great and beautiful place, filled with tradition.

At 10/05/2007 8:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am responding to the person who wrote"the last Anon Pugh". You sound like a sick demented person, because like most Indians, you are Blind. All you know is one thing and hide like Skitzoids behind that fact of lies. So you speak Urdu. Ha ha "URDU IS THE GREATEST FACTS HERE OF HISTORY? For your information the entire world was dominated by conquering tribes, there is no place which has not been conquered and brutalised on this earth. So get a brain. What about the abilities you got from the British. They gave you your "penal laws", education, legal, medical, transportation, communication systems and tried to allievate the caste system. Some of your major burdens and deprogression back then. Where would you be without that?. At least your older generations realised the truth and had little animosity towards the Brits, and dislike the Moghuls. What did the sick men of India do, sit around and shit all over the place like moneys and control women? Did you not have a brain to unite and do work together to achieve progress? For your information the British were not perfect but they gave you a foundation to begin with wheras the Mugals gave you none, only corruption, purdah,harems, status, incest,rules such as men's purpose in life to "control women",gender biases, hence female killings, which is practiced till today in India, from your Moghul period, which you are so proud of. You don't even know the full history of the Jews, they suffered more than you and are still haunted till today. You people on the other hand were too lazy, disunited, egotistical, caste conscious, superstitious, and gender biased,uncreative to progress. Just like present, the west did the job creation and have educated you for the IT fields which you can only imitate not create. You did not have a history before, because you did not record things only memorise.
You are typical of Indians who just jump on a band wagon of LIES without any research, facts or knowledge and reflect your own selfishness. As usual Indians very rarely speak the truth, love to jump on any band wagon that seems to be yiedling fruits such as fame, power, status and most of all economic yields, without any reseach, which is why they are exploited by their so called "gurus". If you are so wonderful, then why is it you treat your own people like crap,whereas the Chinese in the west have more unity for their countrymen.

At 10/06/2007 7:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"To last anon to Pug, dated 10/5.
For your information, no one invaded your country. Your Maharajas fought with each other and invited the British to solve their disputes. That's how the true history of India was, but your high caste brainwashed everyone so that all Indians would take revenge on the Brits then and now. Of course they never told the real truth to anyone and kept it a secret. I do not say that the Brits were great people either. It was different with your priestly caste who sucked up to the Moghuls, othewise they were beheaded instantly. Your priests forget to tell you that. Whimps. So as usual they are fearful of bullies not of those who express some fairness. So if your people were so great, then why you allowed the Brits to rule you for 250yrs? Isn't that a long time? Or maybe too you cannot count? Don't your country still live by tribal values, and you hate each other more than people elsewhere, hence constant communal violence. So you don't know your "True history", because you are too young and ignorant. Don't try and shoot your mouth, because the remnants of the Moghuls are in Pakistan and are eagerly awaiting their return to India to rule you once again.

At 10/06/2007 9:51 AM, Anonymous Pug said...

Dear Anonymous,

India may be a great country in many ways. I only reported about what I have seen, namely ill treatment of the poor in India, and very high level of materialistic grasping here in the US. You may blame the British or the "west" in general but take a long look at the wealthy Indians as well. I met a number of so called "royal family members" in India. Without their help could the British have remained so long in India? For all its great traditions, wealthy and middle class Indians remain the poorest examples of ordinary compassion and spirituality that I have come across personally. They make the US Southern rednecks look like Mother Teresas by comparison.

At 10/07/2007 9:09 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

pug said...They make the US Southern rednecks look like Mother Teresas by comparison.

My dear Pug, cross cultural comparrisons do not stand up to close scrutiny! If these rich Indians show devotion to their God by throwing food on the ground and makin a poor man or child eat it up, who are we to judge?

At 10/07/2007 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Angry-Anti-Indian-Anon said:
'You are typical of Indians who just jump on a band wagon of LIES without any research, facts or knowledge and reflect your own selfishness. "

And you have done some research? Hmmmm. About yourself? If you are American, your economy is based upon over a century of slavery of blacks. If you are German, do I really need to say what you've done? The world knows. If French, you stood and let it happen to the Jews and said "but we were conquered"....If English, then we know -- Empire, empire, empire. If you are Russian, geez, where would I begin dude? The atrocities are endless.

But lets get back to the subject:


You are obviously not very well educated about the world. Travel around India and take a look see for a few years before you judge. Every society has it's weak and strong points (as noted above). But that is not a reason to call an entire group of people schizoids, or blind.

You are very immature and very poorly informed.

There are gurus all over Europe and America who are ripping off westerners, saying they are better than Indian Gurus (in so many words). They are sleeping with everything that moves, hurting their disciples, taking money. It's all the same. Why blame India for it? Why dump on Hindus? You don't even know anything about Hinduism.

To the next Anon comment:
you said:
"For your information, no one invaded your country. Your Maharajas fought with each other and invited the British to solve their disputes."

You sound like Mahmoud Ahmedinajad screaming that there was no holocaust! Are you reading from one of his history books or what dude? Where did you go to school?

Is anyone commenting on this site above the 8th grade level?

I'm done here. Seems that most people here are intolerant, rascist, and hopelessly misinformed, rendering them unable to have any intelligent dialogue about anything.

If your ideas about intelligent dialogue about Gurus (whether Indian or otherwise) is to enter into endless diatribes about wholes cultures, or talk about your relationship with a mule, then I'm not at the right site.

Party on, dudes!

Maybe too much E for all of you?

At 10/08/2007 4:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To last Anon comment on "party on Dudes".
No one is as racist as you are becasue you cannot hear the factual truth about the great unspeakable, greatest Indian culture and religion on the planet. ITS YOU WHO LACK KNOWLEDGE ABOUT YOUR OWN PEOPLE'S BEHAVIOUR AND IS HYPROCRITICAL, because the truth has got to your fricing EGO. This is appropriate to the site because it demonstrates your ignorance, your inability to comprehend the unspeakable wickedness which has for centuries haunted your culture and has been silenced by the power of "holymen" and India's legal system. Here are some facts, so read on Twitt brain. Your entire country is ruled by corruption and each village has its bullies, by which good and innocent victims must comply. Each of your holimen only exists due to their strong henchmen bullies like Amma, SYDA, Kalki Bhagavan, Nityananda, Sri Kripalu(sex-monster), Satya Sai and the list is too numerous to mention. The reason I know of this is both from your countrymen's accurate documentaries and those people who have fallen prey to such "HOLY MONSTERS". Your OWN INDIAN COUNTRYMEN EXPOSEd SUCH WICKEDNESS TO THE PUBLIC BUT YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THEM OBVIOUSLY, SO BLAME YOURSELF. It goes to show that you are typical of some of your ignorant country people who possess a narrow closed mind and reflect their egos based on "Skin colour, prestige and Holiness.
For your information there is a book being written by an Indian woman from India, on " The greatest female genocide in the world in India". Just do a google search on "female genocide" and YOU WILL SEE THE AUTHOR'S EXCERPT'S WHICH REVEALS APPALLING CASES OF WOMEN"S EXPERIENCES. SHE IS INDIAN INDIAN. Did it sink in your head? Then you want to blame me -, BLAME THE WEST, you are a BRAINLESS TWIT YOU ONLY POSSES BIG PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION TO HOLD DOWN A JOB AND SUCK THE US DRY, but as usual you have no common sense to think, critique and analyse right from wrong and stay focused. Just like your entire comment is typical argument in which you are used to "ARGUMENT DEFLECTION" by using other countries as scape goats eg England, France, Germany etc without any facts or knowledge. That is because my comments have "KNOCKED OVER YOUR EGO that you have to quit. IS ENGLAND, FRANCE etc bragging aboutTHEIR HOLY VAMPIRES AND RAPISTS who are out of control?. If they did then certainly the christian churches and government would take drastic action to imprison them for life unlike India where they are allowed to continue and be PROUD. Finally GOOD LUCK AND HOPE YOU FALL VICTIM TO YOU BLINDNESS TOWARDS YOU HOLY COUNTRYMEN.

At 10/15/2007 3:14 AM, Anonymous Jeff said...

The gurus from India come to america for one prominent reason, that it gives them credibility back home as someone who convinced even the americans. Indians consider us americans as more quality conscious than them own selves. This is what i gather from my fewer visits there.

If their guru came to USA and set up establishments and have native followings, its a certificate in itself about the 'high quality'
wisdom the guru possess.

The money and sex and the rest comes much later because post independence India has it all, just for asking. Forbes announced the richest man in the world is an indian, in its last edition.

But for a change, from a reliable source, i got to know that this swami in discussion here has no plans to travel anywhere, despite the numerous invitations from america and europe.

My personal advice(or a word of encouragement) to this swami is that, he'd be doing fine in america! We need him here.

I think someone, really mighty and plain, adaptible to american culture and conditions, from india has to come and undo all the damages inflicted by the earlier outfits.

At 11/07/2007 11:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ The IITian who claims to be looking for a job & got involved in Art of Living

I never heard about any IITian ever looking for a job.Jobs seek IITians not the other way round.I am one & I know it by my experience & those of my seniors & batchmates.Don't lie dude.

At 12/22/2007 10:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is unquestioning obedience to the guru considered a supreme virtue in the Hindu tradition? Is seems that without such "devotion", it is very difficult,if not impossible, for a disciple to attain the ultimate goal.


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