For God's Sake! Men in Holy Robes Robbing the Innocent?
Daijiworld Media Network
Jun 17: Are we all gullible people who can be easily deceived and tricked by ordinary uneducated fraudsters in the name of religion? Though scandals of all sorts are common to all religions all over the world the recent ones involving an assortment of our self-styled swamis or godmen with questionable credentials have come to astound us Indians for the simple reason that we hardly learn from our past mistakes.
Are our people so naïve and ignoromous that they fall to the feet of these canny godmen and give up all their reasoning ability to differentiate between the tawdry motives of these swamis and true spiritualism? What is it that draws people, both men and women educated and illiterate, rich and not the so rich, in hordes to these spiritual leaders? What might be the motivation for these peace seekers in the feet of these swamis to disown their own family, give up jobs and donate huge amount of money to the ashrams just to be in the ‘service’ of these self-appointed godmen?
We have numerous examples of vacuous celebrities both from India and abroad falling prey to the machinations of these spiritual leaders. We had and still have many politicians who patronize these swamis trying to find solace in their arms for all their wrongdoings. Don’t we have enough examples of such godmen who rake money in millions only to stash them in their ashrams spread throughout the country or in some unknown destinations? It is therefore, not easy to find a ready answer to such questions because people continue to seek relief and spiritual contentment in mendacious Swamis who thrive with impunity. Some people realize their blunder and try to expose the sleaze once they know but others fail to see the light and continue to be under their benign magnanimity.
Mystic turned Misery
From time immemorial India was viewed as the land of ‘mystic east’ and its very name evoked spirituality among Westerners who used to flock here seeking peace and contentment. We used to find saints and sadhus who used to preach the message of love and spiritual bliss. The situation is not the same anymore. Today there is no dearth of these self-appointed godmen with saffron robes, and sage-like beard and long hair known by different names like ‘baba’, ‘guru’ ‘swami’ ‘sant’ ‘yogi’ ‘fakir’ ‘godmen’ or known simply as spiritual leaders. (There are swamis in other religions also only the colour of their robes differ) They run various ashrams and centres where they indulge in money laundering activities and sexual exploitation. Yet our people fall into their feet and do everything to secure divine bliss without realizing the façade of deception going on behind the scenes.
Not long ago tantrik Chandraswami was a major spiritual force in this country in his capacity as the spiritual advisor of former Prime Minister late P V Narasimha Rao.
However, he was charged with various financial irregularities and was even arrested for fraud. News channel CNN-IBN had exposed the criminal and money laundering racket of former Wing Commander Kapil Advait who has become Pilot Baba. The exposure has betrayed the trust his devotees had on him though many swear by him. Who can forget the sex racket run by another self-styled godman of Allahabad Shiv Murat Dwivedi alias Swami Bhimanandji Maharaj alias swami Ichchadhari Sant? He was later arrested and it was revealed that the criminal-turned-godman used to run a prostitute racket and had many politicians and parliamentarians as his disciples.
There is a Nirmal Baba who advises people to eat samosas with green chutney, rasagolla, golgoppa and what not as a panacea for all their troubles. His devotees claim they feel cheated and betrayed as he seeks money in the name of SAMAGAM entry to solve all sorts of problems as he claims he has the divine power of a ‘third eye’. Baba Jai Gurudev who passed away last month, though was not mired in controversy has a trust having assets of 12,000 crores. His fleet of cars boasted Mercedeses, BMWs and Benzs. He had more than 100 crores deposited in various banks. It is not difficult to say from where he accumulated such huge assets.
Most of these self-proclaimed godmen have a criminal background, are known hypocrites and fakes. Ironically many of them boast of a huge fan following, build huge ashrams and own acres of expensive lands and properties. They own fleet of luxury cars and also have lavishly built multiple homes, courtesy the generosity of their devotees who blindly support them and donate their hard earned money for their luxurious living.
The latest scandal involving self-styled godman Paramahamsa Nithyananda has revealed shocking tales of sexual exploitation of both men and women. Many of his former ‘devotees’ have come out in the open exposing his felonious acts which resulted in chaos and violence at the ashram forcing the government to issue a warrant to arrest him. It is another matter that he was arrested and has been released on bail subsequently.
In fact controversy surrounding Nithyananda Ashram located in Karnataka’s Bidadi has been going on since 2010 when some tapes of Nithyananda in compromising position with actress Ranjitha had made headlines. It has now reached its nadir following explicit details given to some TV channels by his former devotee Aarati Rao and others like her who accused Nithyananda of exploiting them over a period of time. Slowly but surely people are coming out exposing the true colours of Nithyananda despite some of his hardcore ‘devotees’ trying hard to protect their spiritual leader. Information given by these former devotees reveal that Nithyananda used to lure young women to his ashram under the pretext of spiritualism and his ashram was in fact was a den of many illegal and immoral activities.
Despite such revealing and incriminating information revealing his nefarious activities, sexual escapades and other heinous crimes like rape, murder, fraud and violence millions still believe Nithyananda as a godman and go to him for spiritual enlightenment. What more, with the support of some of his die hard devotees he returned shamelessly even after the Ranjitha scandal defying all opposition. It smacks of our ignorance to the fraudulence of these sadhus or just our vulnerability or weakness to anything that comes in the guise of god. It cannot be denied that most of the followers of godmen are fortune seekers and politicians who are frauds trying to hide behind the robes of swamis. The nexus between fake swamis- swaminis, politicians, drug peddlers, criminals, goondas and money launderers has been proved time and again.
It took an Aarti Rao and others like her once again to expose this Nithyananda Swami’s overactive libido and the fracas that is now going on. Even after the latest developments some of his devotees swear by his name and his powers. What a shame and tragedy that people hardly learn from their own mistakes or learn from the happenings around them. No doubt it is fear of god and their faith in god that must be driving people to the feet of such frauds who milk them copiously to fill their own coffers.
Even the controversy of the ungodly acts of godman Nithyananda rages on in Nehrunagar in Puttur another self-styled godman has been arrested three days back for cheating people in the name of god. It has now come to know that he was a painter by profession who became a ‘swami’ over a period of time providing solutions to the never-ending problems of people.
People fail to come to terms with the fact that problems are part of our lives and try to find succor in these fake swamis who exploit their weakness and vulnerability to the tilt.
Anything that goes wrong often or over a period of time is attributed to incurring the wrath of god or to some lacunae in his worship. Fear of god, belief in superstitions and black magic and other supernatural tantric powers drive people in search of spiritual bliss only to land in the arms of criminals who operate in the garb of spiritual leaders.
It is a pity that many women find themselves at crossroads having become objects of exploitation in the hands of these frauds. Most of the women devotees seek shelter in these ashrams run by the swamis to escape from other problems like harassment from husband, dowry, poverty etc., only to end up in the laps of these self-styled godmen.
Another surprising aspect is that it is the educated people, politicians and celebrities and not the poor and illiterate people who seek the help of such spiritual leaders. It clearly demonstrates that mere education is not enough to enlighten people on these aspects. The only way out is to learn from our own experience or from that of the others.
The Nithyananda Story
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