Who is a spiritual guru (baba)?
I think a spiritual guru is an entrepreneur in maroon, red, saffron or white uniform who has mastered the art of leveraging fears and other weaknesses of ordinary people.
These seasoned marketers ensure happiness and salvation from aftermaths of overwhelming emotions and materialism. They raise huge donations to build the empire. For example, last year a popular guru with global appeal died and his wealth, which amounts to billions of Indian rupees, was revealed. So they themselves crave for materialism, name and fame. Is it not? Many babas live in magnificent abodes. They travel in big plush vehicles, private jets…
These gurus even protest against black money and corruption. Do they try to find out the source of huge generous donations given to them by their devotees while receiving? The donations fatten their trusts. Every year for instance I hear announcement of gupt dan (donations made without revealing particulars of the donor) during Ramlila performances. The donations from secret sources in fact make the trusts obese. Do they have right to protest about black money and corruption?
I met one of the non-Indian gurus who runs an ashram in a well-known Indian rock climbing area. He promotes simple living. However, he himself travels by a mid-end vehicle. When I asked him about it, he proudly replied that one of his female devotees had presented the vehicle. That is why I call them entrepreneurs in uniform with excellent leadership and marketing skills.
I remember several success stories of their supporters. Two of my female acquaintances told me that they visited to a well-known guru. And they got their promotions, which they were not getting earlier. Is it mere blind faith in the gurus? Or is there any truth in their hidden unusual powers? Or is there connection between the guru and the promotion committee? I do not know.
Many times I read that some businessmen create a need with clever marketing campaigns for the new products. Other businessmen improvise on existing products. Some of them read people’s wishes and dreams and invent products accordingly. The gurus, similarly, have learned to cash in on the fears, faith in almighty and weaknesses. These masters of psyche offer “spiritual” products and / or intangible services. They claim that they can convey their supporters’ wishes to almighty better and help them live better.
The most interesting part of the whole thing is that their slogan is sacrifice, well-fare and no profit. However, when their assets are revealed, mounts of money and assets gaze at the investigators!
They have charisma, discipline, entrepreneur skills and some knowledge about religious literature that work as magnet, enabling them to draw masses.