Sunday, November 28, 2004

Gurus as Gods - The bane of Hinduism

Whenever we read about Swamis and Gurus, both real and self-styled, getting caught doing 'inappropriate' things, we wonder why on earth should do they do such stupid things.
Lets leave out the fake or self-styled gurus. They, even without doing anything, are a slur on Hinduism and deserve no discussion.
Without beating around the bush, let us discuss with an example we have now. It is none other than the Sankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, Sri Jayendra Saraswati.
Did he really murder Sankararaman? If so why? Sri Jayendra Saraswati was (is?) a guru revered by millions. The reverence is not to the person, but to the peetam (seat) he occupies. Even then, there were people ready to do his bidding, including the person who put him behind bars, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Ms J. Jayalalithaa.
What was the need for him to even think of murdering someone?
The reason, I feel, is in the proverb: Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
He also started believings he was so powerful that nothing could be done against him.
Did he really have the power?
Yes. Any swamiji in India is regarded almost as God. This is the problem. Swamijis and gurus are our guides to realising God. They are the means, not the end.
All the scams, sex and otherwise, have roots in this concept. How do you say no when 'God' asks you to do something?
People find it difficult to refuse their gurus' demands, which includes even sex.
That's why most of the 'fake guru' scams in India involve sex.
And one such fake swami who has been evading action has been the Satya Sai Baba. If Jayendra Saraswati is a sinner, then Satya Sai Baba (SSB) is a super-sinner. He is more powerful than the Kanchi Acharya. SSB's influence is wider than the Kanchi Acharya's and includes top politicians, judges and police officers. That's why he is 'untouchable'.
More of him later.