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?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.
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?
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.