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Of Godmen and Bad Men!
|by Ananya S Guha|
The modern day god man in India is exposing the cult of venality and showmanship. One of them very popular for his yoga demonstrations, has startled us with a revelation. His abode owes the government a whopping amount of Rs 14 crore as service tax. Even as I write this there is trepidation. How dare you? some intrepid person will burst out.
He is not a god man, there is nothing religious or spiritual about his teachings, all he is doing is to popularize the art of yoga, so that with breathing and supple exrecises of the much abused human body, you can live a life free of sickness and pollution. In fact all those medicines that you have are nothing less than noxious pollutants and poison.
Anyway that apart this yoga maestro also has joined front line politics by attacking the government and a political party, as part of the euphoria or hysteria against corruption.
Another god man who passed away more than a year back had gold stashed away in corners of his abode. He had a fantastic following so his clout (and the gold) is above board. He too grubbily took donations! Also crores of money were found in the crevices of his holy precincts.
I am not saying that such people are gibberish, but we their followers are because we swallow the belief that we must deify people with flesh and blood like us. But the true saints such as Mother Teresa, Ramakrishna or Vivekananda we forget. The second person I alluded to, was also challenged by a Vice Chancellor of an University who called him a magician. What sacrilige. Needless to say, he did not take the challenge, or turn up for it!
Swami Chinmayanda a Hindu scholar was one of such god men, but he underlined his claim with astounding knowledge of Hindu Philosophy. Swami Prabhanananda of Ramakrishna Mission translated the Bhagwad Gita with litterateur and monk, also of RKM; Christpoher Isherwood.
We live in a hocus pocus world. We mix religion with politics, and elevate ordinary mortals to epiphanic heights, only to realize that sometimes we are in the throes of charlatans...
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