Guruphiliac: Dera Baba Ducks Death

Monday, February 04, 2008

Dera Baba Ducks Death

File under: Gurus Doin' Time and The Siddhi of PR

Dera Sacha Sauda guru Gurmeet Ram Rahim, the Sikh apostate who posed for photographs dressed as Sikhism's most holy patriarch – launching riots all across the Punjab in May of 2007 – narrowly escaped a truck-bombing attempt on his life last Saturday:
Ram Rahim Singh, who hurt sentiments by replicating the manners and attire of Sikh spiritual head Guru Gobind Singh, escaped an attempt on his life on Saturday evening when a Punjab militant group triggered an explosion in his cavalcade while he was travelling from Ambala to Delhi...

The explosive was planted in a truck which was supposed to hit Ram Rahim Singh’s car. The truck, however, hit the wrong car.
Isn't it all a little over the top? We think so. Apparently, some Sikhs don't, so the sartorial blunder guru best be blasting himself out of the Punjab if he's to ever make it to the Bryant Park tents in this lifetime.

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At 2/04/2008 8:31 PM, Blogger stuartresnick said...

I just read an article about how some visitors to an Indian temple were detained and harrassed by the priests, because the temple had a "Hindus Only" policy. The priests didn't like the skin color of these visitors... they looked like they might not be pure, native-born Hindus. And now I read this awful nonsense about the Sikhs.

In the early 80s, I spent 2+ years in India. Hard to remember, but I guess I went there because I figured it was The Holy Place. Go figure.

I guess that's the deal with "holy." Look at Israel, "The Holy Land." Evidence suggest that the places most filled with ideas of holy/unholy are the most violent, f*ed-up places on earth. Certainly moreso than ordinary countries, where people just eat and sleep and earn a living.

Buddhism seems a little less apt to spawn violent fundamentalists than some of the other religions. Even there though... about 6 years back I made pilgrimage to a bunch of Buddhist Temples in Korea. Plenty of power struggles there, including occasional violence between rival monk factions. Plenty of superstition, plenty of arrogant monks acting superior to the ordinary temple visitors (who pay their "salary"!).

I still love the teaching and practice of Korean-style Zen. It's proved its jaw-dropping beauty and medicinal value in my own experience. But I'll be damned if I understand how it took birth and grew in the culture of those temples.

I guess it all comes down to if I as an individual make sincere effort to understand myself and help others. I can't rely on any religious ideas, any concepts of holy and unholy and spiritual and unspiritual, any beliefs in higher or lower this or that. It all comes down to trying to personally do the right thing moment to moment, ain't nothin' else.


At 2/05/2008 12:09 AM, Blogger gregory said...

i keep saying, never underestimate the ego-based fundamentalism of devotees, in my experience always far worse than religious leaders or gurus or religions founders

fundamentalism, for or against, is one of the great diseases of the times, and is found in the political as well as the religious arena

the last paragraph of stuart's comment is nice

At 2/05/2008 8:23 AM, Blogger 123 said...

Every guru spawns the possibility of funnymentalism on his deathbed ,isnt it simply the way of things?

At 2/05/2008 12:13 PM, Blogger stuartresnick said...

eka said...
Every guru spawns the possibility of funnymentalism on his deathbed ,isnt it simply the way of things?

On his deathbed, the story is that Buddha's last words were, "Be a light unto yourself." A teaching like that is less likely to spawn fundamentalism that lots of the teachings of these gurus.

Sure, ultimately it's the followers who decide whether to think independently or to be zealots. But some teachings point more clearly to personal responsibility than others do.


At 2/05/2008 12:43 PM, Blogger Peggy Burgess said...

It's hard to imagine people not carving out territory, making rules good or bad, using dharma or dogma to defend their particular idea of spirituality. but a least you rarely hear of marauding bands of Buddhists. All the teachings and training's encourage openness and trust so it's discouraging when this is not practiced by those who should know better. Really makes a good case for separation of church and state, and modern democracy.
I remember one time i was looking at a Mandala publishing catalog, they are some kind of hare krishna offshoot, there was a picture of some goswami walking under a banner that said something like "Western civilization must be destroyed!" but meanwhile keep the checks and dollars comin in!! i think they have since lowered this profile, because they are doing bang up biz , here in the evil west, especially in such capitalist laden pits like Marin County.

At 2/06/2008 5:34 AM, Blogger 123 said...


Good point. B-)

But I wonder if it makes any difference how accurate the pointing is? Look at the mess Ramana Maharshi's followers are in. With the exemption of a few no more than worship at a stone plaque goes on in his name these days. And that tends to be no more than begging prayers of intervention in material affairs.

Buddha is the same. There are many sects of Buddhism with a wide variance. Even those who worship him as God.

Every dead guru leaves seeds of funnymentalism. Not his/her fault. Just lazy or crazy-ego followers looking around the teaching instead of engaging with it.

Just my escudo's worth.

At 2/07/2008 4:16 PM, Blogger stuartresnick said...

eka said...
Look at the mess Ramana Maharshi's followers are in. [snip] Buddha is the same.

Yeah, at the moment, it seems to be the nature of humanity that most of us much of the time are blind followers, rather than independently perceiving things for ourselves. For what it's worth, my original Zen teacher said of his own native Korean tradition that 10% of the monks do serious sitting practice (the rest doing chanting or ceremonies or administrative stuff or laziness), and of those who do sit, 10% do so with correct understanding (the rest sit with attachment to some result).

Still... there's a minority of humanity (yet an important minority) who take key teachings of Buddha and Ramana etc to heart. It can be deceptive. Out of 100 Ramana devotees, maybe 90 of them are worshipping him like a God, and that's easy to see, since they make outward shows of devotion. And the other 10 of them "follow" Ramana merely by continually giving rise to the great "What am I?" Since those 10 are following an inner process, others may not even notice it. Yet they exist.



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