India is a land where stories of miracles seem almost ordinary. One has grown up hearing about the saints who have been living for centuries meditating bare bodied in the himalayan caves and appearing in form only to the chosen ones. There are tales of divine intervention, of healers who can cure any disease by sending energy or just a touch, sufi shrines that ward off bad spirits, gurus who levitate when in meditation, holy men who live for months without food or water.
Indians are religious and superstitious in their upbringing, hence a lot of them are willing to do and believe anything said to them to make them feel better in the name of God by authoritative figures. With an influx of spiritual masters, these days Gurus, Mystics, Teachers, Baba’s and God-men are in every corner of the globe. People want an easy way out of the vacuum they feel in their lives and as a result these gurus and babas with motives of self-aggrandisement, are making ridiculous amounts of money even though they preach frugality, and have become so popular with their faces splashed in every newspaper, online and TV channels.
The advantages of being a “con” and a “fake guru” are many. People start to worship you and with that comes the wealth, power, fame and VOILA….! You are the latest addition to the Pantheon of Gurus. You don’t need any qualifications to become a guru and you can have the satisfaction of becoming an actor and performing without the people actually realising, that this is all a fake performance and to add to that if you have the gift of the gab, you are set.
According to psychology we are not particularly think-for-yourself culture. From an early age, most of us are taught what we should do – to simply accept convention and follow it. This is why people are so desperately searching for that someone who they can look up-to and want to make him God-like, who in a mellifluous tone will assure them……”Don’t worry, I am here to make all your troubles and worries vanish, that it is all going to be okay” – even though it never does. That’s why someone in a God-man or Gurus garb can do phenomenally well. Soon the word spreads and there is a queue lined up for him to say just anything to them which they are ready to blindly believe. Gurus to them are like GPS who help traverse the path of life.
In this new domain of contemporary spiritual guidance, there are quite a few that are taking advantage of people and creating circumstances that vary, very little from the old paradigm, they simply polish and give the illusion that it’s something else and people are willing to buy it.
People have all sorts of doubts about……
Where is my life going ?
Will I get married to so and so…?
How to be successful in my profession …?
Will my child be healed of the disease….?
Will I inherit property and wealth …?
Will I have a son who will take over my business …?
Will I go to heaven …?
People need answers and so the fake Gurus and Babas take advantage and fully exploit them.
One has heard stories of them saying leave some money and I will connect to the spirit who will answer all your questions. Some gurus create a dependency by controlling and creating fear by telling people to step out of their homes or travel only at a certain time suggested by them and if they don’t follow, there will be loss in their business. Some are asked to sit facing a certain direction in their office for power, to buy only white colour vehicles as any other would bring bad luck, to wear certain colour clothes when doing a business deal. Others take money saying they have to perform certain rituals and prayers in order to fulfil their clients desires. Another story of a family having pieces of paper with spells written on it and these were placed under the son’s mattress to get rid of his girlfriend because they do not want him to marry her or else she will take control of his wealth, while some are asked to put these paper pieces in water and make the concerned person drink it so that he/she is controlled, some even give photographs of people that they would like to cause harm to.
In Spite of an endless list of the infamous gurus and babas being exposed for molestation, rape, murder, money embezzlement, videos of sex scandal and caught on camera whilst performing magic tricks…..the faith continues. Young girls are being hypnotised and lured into offering sexual favours to them saying it will purify and cleanse them of all past and present sins and they will go to heaven and in this process they end up getting physically scarred and destroy their lives and left with nowhere to go A lot of young boys too have been through these similar experiences by being exploited physically, emotionally and psychologically. While some women even leave their children and family and end up giving all their money to the guru in the hope of being liberated from Saṃsāra.
All these have been proven to be dangerous and fatal and you can end up losing your life, your time, money, friends, self-respect and much more when you blindly follow such tricksters and conmen in the garb of Guru and Baba whose titles get longer with each passing year as do their beards. Mind manipulation, life controlling methods, conning and robbing people with large sums of money, and mis-leading and giving people false hopes and when things don’t workout as predicted, they blame it on your past life karma and position of the stars. People succumb and fall prey to these self-appointed god-men so willingly and sometimes helplessly.
It is very important to know if the teacher proclaims to be an enlightened master, self-realised yogi, being a baba or a saint…..and enlightened master finds no need for ego masturbation. Those who experience the Absolute Reality are too humble and don’t expect anything from their students. Surely there are genuine teachers worth learning and emulating from. Unless a teacher/guru/mystic/baba shows you a realistic way to reach enlightenment, such as, through a particular meditation technique or an awareness expanding technique, you are better of without their help.
According to the scriptures a guru appears only when the student is ready, which means to recognise all the gurus’ 32 characteristics including not asking for money, wealth, sex ……
If a guru requests or demands even one of these……..RUN …!!!!!