Babadom on the Boil by Mohammed Ataur Rahman (MARCH 31, 2010)

One of India’s leading spiritual gurus, Bhagwan Rajneesh, was a highly articulate person (a quality that many other gurus share with him). He said in an interview that the business of spiritual guidance was the most lucrative. “Tell me in which other business one can become a millionaire so quickly?”, he said for good effect.

The guru business has a huge domestic market and an even better export market. Indian gurus (nearly a 100 of them) have following of some kind in several countries, and it is still growing. Karma Cola has a better export market than Coca Cola ever had.

However, this trade seems to have run into serious trouble. Over the last couple of months nearly half a dozen gurus have been exposed for running prostitution racket, womanising and, in one case, kidnapping. Such publicity is certainly not good for business as it erodes common people’s faith in their claimed spiritual powers.

One of our most high-profile gurus, Swami Nityanand, was repeatedly shown on TV frolicking with a South Indian actress, forgetting his public vows of celibacy. This swami is also a self-proclaimed “pramhansa”, literally the “ultimate swan” that rejects garbage and picks pearls of wisdom. Only the most enlightened in the past have been thus honoured by the Hindu society.

Swami Nityanand’s order has a 1,000 branches in 33 countries. A former devotee of the swami shot the video clip of his romp with the actress. This whistler blower, curiously named Lenin, said that the swami used to lure young women to his Bangalore ashram claiming to be a reincarnation of Shri Krishnaji. Lenin also suspects foul play in the death of a woman inmate of the ashram last year.

An even more bizarre case of abduction of a young woman was filed against another godman, Anup Kumar Sahay, in Ghaziabad around the same period. The police booked him under the charges of kidnapping and forcing the woman to undergo an abortion.

Last month Sant Swami Bhimanadji Maharaj Chitrakootwale was arrested by Delhi Police for running a high-class sex racket with former air hostesses and educated young women.

These are just a few of the large number of swamis involved in sex racket, kidnapping and murder of dissidents. Think twice before venturing out in the pursuit of instant nirvana.  

(Mohammed Ataur Rahman)

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