Monday, October 08, 2007

Baba Breaks Into Bigtime, Leaves Critic Wanting

File under: Gurubusting

Today we learned of another spiritual leader from India who is playing themselves as a consultant to a Western governmental organization. But instead of the usual United Nations, this time a guru is working the European Parliament. Satguru Baba Hardev Ji seems like a nice enough chap*, one seemingly promoting the idea of the common brotherhood of all (wo)mankind with his Sant Nirankari Mission. But hearing the same old drivel spoken by another Indian guru to a group of important folks who are probably impressed by it is just too depressing to ignore today:
Many say that there is a crisis of spirituality in Europe, associated with a decline in attendance at traditional churches. In your view, does this make it harder or easier to achieve a peaceful multicultural society?

It makes things a bit more difficult. People give more importance to materialistic achievements. They visit traditional places of worship less. But religion in its true sense is the religion of humanity, love and compassion. A poet in India once wrote: "One does not need religious places as such, because one can worship God by loving mankind."

We have to ask ourselves: do we love and have compassion for others, are we humble, are we able to help others not out of greed or selfishness but out of love and selflessness?
We've heard it eleventy billion times. Not that it doesn't need constant declaration, just that there is not one single insight spoken here. It's just the same old "rap" of gurudom from India to the West.

For instance, the question provided an excellent opportunity for Baba to point out the fact that the various cultural forms of religion have been among the first to globalize (along with the tools of war), well before the advent of the Hollywoods and Bollywoods. People don't go to church anymore because religion is moving from a vertical to horizontal orientation. The need for intermediaries between devotee and the Lord has evaporated, despite the fact few gurus are picking up on (or are afraid – for business reasons – to express) this.

But instead of any kind of analysis or insight into the problems of the world; the same old, banal boilerplate gets foisted on the West once again. Any good person knows to love your neighbor, and while it does bear repeating, we should expect more from our spiritual leaders than a constant stream of rote pabulum that seeks to salve a fear of change rather than point the way to an embracing of it.

If the Baba is to hit the public recognition heights of a Sri Sri or Ammachi, he's going to need more than the same ol' - same ol'. He's going to need an A-class shtick. Amma's got her hugging you into a state of infantile submission, and Sri Sri's got his gleaming white teeth and look of serene stupidity, so the Baba needs to come up with a gimmick of his own. Perhaps he could give pats on the head, mimicking Amma, but with a paternal flare. He gets the power that comes with the infantiliazation of his devotees, yet coming at it from the gender-opposite position gets him out of being seen as a knock-off artist.

That one's on the house, Baba. Good luck!

*If you like assault rifles with your babas.

Labels:

16 Comments:

At 10/09/2007 2:46 AM, Blogger yomamma said...

no lack of pablum suckers here in Nocal, I'm sure he could get on the Guru circuit out here. Isn't there an agent who handles this kind of stuff? Bombay Danny Rosepetaleater?

 
At 10/09/2007 2:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear old Jody:

I dare you to publish this.

I have been reading your website for a while now and am beginning to feel about you exactly the way you feel about Indian gurus. Same old, same old.

What you need to understand is that the truth about the Higher Self or God or call it what you may has to repeated in many ways before ALL of the people get it. There are many being born every minute. So the truth about God has to be repeated over and over again. Just because you have got it doesn't mean there is no need for others to read the scriptures or listen to a teacher.

What I do take objection to is elevating these gurus to Godhead and being made to surrender all your money for various reasons be it at the book store or brain washing or plain old black magic. I also take objection to gurus starting charities and raising funds for them because then their focus shifts from helping devotees become enlightened to turning them into effective fund raisers.

Some of the more classy gurus don't have charities they raise funds for building new temples as though there aren't enough temples in ruins in India that they can renovate and use.

So dear Jody, I think that should be your focus.

 
At 10/09/2007 6:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed, he's a nice enough baba, as babas go, I suppose. But Jody, I thought you were about exposing people who think they are Divine? What do you call it when a man sits with his wife on a big stage with up to 1/2 a million people (yeah, that's true) sitting there, claiming the right to sit there and lecture because of his divine birthright! The Nirankari lineage is determined by birth. They believe that they are literally holier than thou, by virtue of their genetics! Now, I have to say that Nirankari Colony in Delhi is one of the best run enclaves of people in all of India. All the rules and regs really work to benefit the citizens housed there. It's a huge layout of people of all types of backgrounds, following the rules of Nirankari mission for the most part. But Baba has hugely armed guards (we're talking rifles) at the entrance to his enormous, white palace, that sits in the middle of the colony. They basically see him as a Jesus-type (to give westerners a reference that works in this context) messiah, come to save people. If they are Nirankari, they do not go to Gurudwara (like other Sikhs) or temples (like Hindus), etc. They only believe in Baba.

So you tell me? Is he really that nice a guy?

 
At 10/09/2007 9:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's this great movie called "Perfume Story of a Murderer". It is apparently a fantasy/horror flick, dedicated to the sense of smell and a lunatic. But when I saw the perfumer at the end, having achieved his "magic" essence, which gave him power over all the people, waving his handkerchief doused with the elixir over the crowd to their delight and awe, I couldn't help think of these big-time Gurus. So they don't (always) murder people to capture the essence of what makes people happy. But capture they do, in many cases, using that as a tool to control people, making them do things they would never otherwise do! (Just like in the movie.) Ya gotta see this one if you are indeed a guruphiliac. It reeks (haha) of gurus, even though it wasn't intended that way (I don't believe).

 
At 10/09/2007 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Weird though this might sound, I'm going to suggest that we (Americans and Europeans in particular) reconsider the meaning we give to gurus and teachers having armed guards.

I say this because I have friends in India who have armed guards.

Why do the have them? Simple. Threats by the Indian mafia.

Once the Indian mafia finds someone with power, influence and/or money (my friends are successful film makers and politicians), they'll tend to make extortive demands. If you deny those demands, having armed guards is one of the few options you have if you want to reduce the odds of being killed (I say "reduce" since, sometimes, the guards are mafia as well).

In the West, we hear stories or watch movies where this kind of behavior exists, but it's not part of our daily life. In India, on the other hand, mafia killings are not just the stuff of fiction.

In short, beware of evaluating behavior based on cultural biases.

 
At 10/09/2007 10:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous said...In short, beware of evaluating behavior based on cultural biases.


Maybe this particular culture should clean up its own act before continuing to export it. It seems to me that the relationship of the "Indian mafia" to the wealthy of India is not much different than that of the wealthy Indians to the poor majority.

There is plenty about our so called western culture that sucks. The regular folks living in the west have little to no desire to export it. The ones who do such as missionaries and politicians should be shunned by all. Same with those who want to export Indian culture. Truth has nothing to do with culture. Truth is pre-cognitive and can only be hinted at with words---much less expressed in a "culture". Having been to India and been part of the cults of Eastern spirituality for all of my adult life (late 50's now), I can say with total conviction that Jim Morrison was correct when he sang, "The West is the best."

Any culture is best when cherry picked. Take meditation and the bare outlines of philosophy--such as the Crest Jewel--- and leave the rest. The closer one gets to Indian culture, the worse it begins to smell.

 
At 10/09/2007 12:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>"I say this because I have friends in India who have armed guards.

Why do the have them? Simple. Threats by the Indian mafia. ',,

Dear anony.
I seriously doubt that the reason ashrams ("abodes of peace") employ armed guards at the door has a damn thing to do with the Indian Mafia. In my experience, the guards are used to keep out: people without nametags, local villagers who aren't permitted to enter (except at VERY specific and VERY limited times of day and into VERY limited ...read: outer, areas in the "ashram"), pilgrims who are also not permitted to enter (except within the guidelines listed above), devotees who have questioned the guru, black-listed former swamis, competing gurus or, basically, anyone on the "hit list". At least, this is the way it is at the siddha yoga ashram in Ganeshpuri, India (and, from what I've heard, the Kalki does the same thing...well, at least he doesn't put folks through the "sniff" test the way Osho used to do). Mafia? to my mind, THESE are the folks who are the "Indian Mafia". As for the rich , successful folks who step over the bodies on the street tsk tsking..."it's their karma and how awful that WE have to hire a guard to protect ourselves from bandits"....maybe it's just the price you pay to live in such an incredibly "imbalanced" society. Luckily, your friends are successful "filmakers and politicians". Both of these professions carry alot of power to effect change.
Interestingly enough, I also have alot of friends in India...and none of them deems it necessary to hire armed guards. I guess they aren't "successful" enough..lol!
also anony.

 
At 10/09/2007 8:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"we should expect more from our spiritual leaders than a constant stream of rote pabulum that seeks to salve a fear of change rather than point the way to an embracing of it."

Actually, Jody, I think this is precisely the problem. We shouldn't "expect more", we should expect less, and by that, I mean expect these gurus to shut up about everything except their technical skill set. I prefer to have my teachers stick to the curriculum--which is very narrowly defined. Yoga has eight "limbs" or trainings. Full stop. Samahdi has little to do with world peace, interpersonal relationships, or how to beat the S&P. That's part of where these gurus and "spiritual" types go wrong, when they start spinning out wild claims about politics, etc. Which is a better question to ask a sadhu: "What should I do with my attention after my mantra is uninterrupted and I feel ease throughout the body" or "How can I stop fighting with my spouse"?

 
At 10/09/2007 10:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jody,
This is the usual talk and behaviour by these holymen. Its high time you see their crappy talk stinks, its all a bunch of nicy nice words to "Western people in Power", known as "SUCKING UP,or BUTTERINGn Techniques. That is precicely the way they weave their FANGS into power and control of people and they put on their best "SHOWMANSHIP" for the western BIGGIES. Meanwhile, this same "Sweet talking soft spoken honey man, would turn into a beast in public with his own "FEMALES". So yea I agree with you Jodie its same OLD SAME OLD.
To anonymous who said "dare you to publish". Its only time that Mr. old sweet taking baba or his Killer Henchmen may trample on you, so don't be naive unless you feel his presence upon you. Judging this baba based from a distant and no actual facts on his real private life does not buy it for me.
Its about high time these sick ass men stop using words that they think "westerners want to hear", employ the usual body language etc etc which means only one thing"MANIPULATION AND CONTROL."
Furtermore these shameless crap don't have a higher self otherwise they would be in a secluded place in India practicing and meditating on "how to attain the higher self", instead of showing of their asses like soft soppy women with sweet words which "They" think westerners may fall prey to.

 
At 10/09/2007 10:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jodi,
I agree with the person who wrote that those babas should answer the people's daily problems in life. That is so true, its obviously if they are so great and holy then they would be able to do that otherwise they are just like anybody else, so wake up people. Haven't you all had enough rip offs, rape and the lot by so many holy babas. You cannot believe what these babas say but what they do. To give you a piece of advice. "Actions speak louder than words." Check his behaviour thoroughly and you will see if he is not a fraud like others.

 
At 10/10/2007 5:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To most of you. Initially many of these Gurus have no sense of organisation in the west but their henchmen or followers supervise it all. Some of the big time gurus close drop-outs claim they have organised these Gurus entire show. Their technique is that of a puppet and puppetier. The first step is accessing the situation, enticing the rich puppets first because then the poor suckers will automatically follow. Next create the environment for the vulnerable, then isolating, then fullblast brainwashing. Whenever a sense of boredom surfaces then quickly get the latest philosophy and trend to add. While his recruits did the research and gave him the results. He then announced it to his rich followers claiming it was his latest vision and message from his Guru. Of course his followers then believed him because he never left his abode. Then he ensured that his rich followers are most hooked by making them do intensive frog leaping yoga sessions till they are Zunked out. At that vulnerable stage, his routine would be to take them to an incenced filled room and brainwashed them so much, especially to gave up all their worldly friendship and "Surrender to him totally". At that stage their brains were overworked and the incense zoombified them so they did what they are told. However, these gurus carefully keep His gruesome secrets to Himself - which gave his followers strength because they could not see any faults. Last step is total and full isolation, hence Maharishi ville in Iowa, USA. That is how the poor maharishi who is now a billionaire made it.

 
At 10/10/2007 7:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What BS about the armed guards for all the rich and famous in India! At a visit to a friend's home recently there was a famous actor, a former Chief Minister (like the most recent one) of a state, the Chief Minister of another state. They were doing a ribbon cutting for the opening of a business. Lots of other "rich and famous" people were there, and not a single one had an armed guard with an assault rifle waiting. Even the CM can travel, when wanted, with light security, to personal meetings. Which India are you residing in friend? The one where people like Sanjay go to jail for being armed to the teeth for "protection" during the riots? Bizarre. Obviously, you have some paranoid friends.

 
At 10/10/2007 8:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jody,

I would say one thing here, no matter who is my teacher and which scripture I read, I'm taught to respect others and others' belief. There is a lot crap out there in the world, if I were to go to a holy place or meet a spiritual person or even a good human being, I must take something positive, soomething good and improve myself.

 
At 10/10/2007 9:30 AM, Blogger jody said...

I'm taught to respect others and others' belief

Here's the rub: much of what others believe about self-realization occludes its truth. Take the Baba, for instance. He believes in something called a supersoul. Vedanta says there is no supersoul, that such is just another figment of Maya, that there is only Brahman, and that we are that. So, while the Baba's followers are all seeking to merge themselves with this idea of a supersoul, they are missing the immediate, plain and ordinary truth of their being as the Atman, which is the same as Brahman. They are looking for something that causes them to miss what they already are.

I've written about it here. The ideas of spiritual truth usurp the very spiritual truths they attempt to lead us to. The idea that self-realization makes you more God than others is one of these ideas, which I attack with all my resources as I'm convinced that it's not true. We are all divine, equally, regardless of the status of our spiritual realization.

That all said, I'm also just as convinced that bad gurus can work great for sincere devotees. It's not the guru, it's the faith of the student that does ALL the heavy lifting. A good guru will simply point the student to the student's spiritual reality. A bad guru will keep pointing the student to the guru's supposed divinity. This is a big problem in the world, as far as I'm concerned. But even a bad guru can be great for the good student if the student's faith and sincerity are strong.

So, while I acknowledge that everyone has their own way to God, some are much clearer and more direct, and some just orbit big-egoed showmen. I aim to provide a bit of discrimination between the two. Unfortunately, I'm going to step on a few toes in the process.

 
At 10/12/2007 9:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, while I acknowledge that everyone has their own way to God, some are much clearer and more direct, and some just orbit big-egoed showmen. I aim to provide a bit of discrimination between the two. Unfortunately, I'm going to step on a few toes in the process.



Dear Jody,

Please, step on, step on, step on... if these charlatans are self-realized, they won't even know you are there stepping, right, above it all... LOL!

Rock on, Jody, rock on!

 
At 10/15/2007 12:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear anony.
I seriously doubt that the reason ashrams ("abodes of peace") employ armed guards at the door has a damn thing to do with the Indian Mafia. In my experience, the guards are used to keep out: people without nametags, local villagers who aren't permitted to enter (except at VERY specific and VERY limited times of day and into VERY limited ...read: outer, areas in the "ashram"), pilgrims who are also not permitted to enter (except within the guidelines listed above), devotees who have questioned the guru, black-listed former swamis, competing gurus or, basically, anyone on the "hit list". At least, this is the way it is at the siddha yoga ashram in Ganeshpuri, India (and, from what I've heard, the Kalki does the same thing...well, at least he doesn't put folks through the "sniff" test the way Osho used to do). Mafia? to my mind, THESE are the folks who are the "Indian Mafia". As for the rich , successful folks who step over the bodies on the street tsk tsking..."it's their karma and how awful that WE have to hire a guard to protect ourselves from bandits"....maybe it's just the price you pay to live in such an incredibly "imbalanced" society. Luckily, your friends are successful "filmakers and politicians". Both of these professions carry alot of power to effect change.
Interestingly enough, I also have alot of friends in India...and none of them deems it necessary to hire armed guards. I guess they aren't "successful" enough..lol!
also anony.



Yes, how true! Siddha Yoga at its ashram in Ganeshpuri, India, has armed guards who have been known to traumatize innocent visitors and local villagers.

Muktananda, the founder of Siddha Yoga, was himself not shy from employing methods of violence and intimidation. The current head of SY has been no less shy in employing such tactics.

It is an interesting comparison, to see Nityananda Sr's Samadhi Shrine in Ganeshpuri, India proper, with no gun carrying guards at its doors, and yet GSP (Siddha Yoga's ashram down the road) has no qualms about such guards for hire at their palace of an ashram.

Muktananda tried to convince the world that he created the palace ashram of GSP, out of the three rooms he once sat in, due to his guru, Nityananda Sr's instructions. There is absolutely NO proof of this, other than the man Muktananda, who died with a sick life style, trying to sell the storyline to the public.

Nityananda Sr. left NO successors, he had NO need for armed guards, and he certainly was NOT the founder of Siddha Yoga, as some in the Muktananda spin off world are trying to sell. WHAT a con!

Armed guards, violence perpetrated by these leaders and their organization, creation of empires, scamming innocent people, these people could be characters taken from the pages of a criminal based novel. Their need for armed guards is of their own making or paranoia, and quite likely both.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home