Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Baba Business

Last Sunday, I happen to visit a temple which belongs to a chain of temples across the country which has a terrific brand name. It was like many other temples, the atmosphere was a mix of spirituality, divinity and peace with few of the priests preaching people and a television showing the same thing.
Most of the priests or Babas were young, energetic and, good-looking to an extent that the female friend accompanying almost lost her heart to some of them.
Preaching spirituality has suddenly become a huge business in India. Go open your television set and you will find loads of channel dedicated only for this purpose. You will find Babas with loads of hair at least six inches below where they ought to be, lecturing about the arts of living. You won't be able to miss the quintals of garlands around their necks, the shine at their faces and their obscene obesity. Believe me; you can't have such a shining skin if you do not stay in the comforts of air conditioners, have the best of luxuries devised by science and completely avoid the cruelties of real life faced by a common man.
Like most of the senior generation, my grand mother is a very religious woman to the extent of, I dare say, blind faith. So was my late grand father. They were always too eager to host the spiritual gurus so often visiting the temple next to their houses. They all lived a much disciplined life. Get up early in the morning, get fresh, take bath which is a distant dream for most of my friends slogging in the corporate world, do their business, have food of such quality I can't afford in my salary and as the sun sets in, ask their assistants to count their daily and the process could take hours.
I had always heard, ditching the "Moh-Maya" and taking "Sanyas" in order to get "Moksha" is the most difficult way to opt for life. It needs courage. And then I used to see the bundles of green papers and wonder about my future career.
I see the entire concept of Baba preaching business is a fraud cashing in on the lack of belief people have in themselves and God. Belief in God means belief in self as God is nothing but your inner soul. Your inner conscience should guide you how to live your life. In case you have a chaos in your life, talk to people you care for and who care for you. Why to go to a stranger and ask to solve your problems by drawing parallel between your situation and any incarnation of God.
Most of them claim to believe in Hindu mythology and preach you taking instances from it. But do they follow the same? Go check, they all travel in luxury cars which you may not even get a chance to touch in your lifetime, stay in shelter even an industrialists might find difficult to afford.
One of such famous Baba's has even got a family. Does it not sound like an entirely disobeying the Hindu mythology. We have 4 "Ashrams" in our mythology representing different stages in life. And as per this, how can one exist in "Grihasth" and "Sanyas" ashram at one instance. Just look at the dramaticism he brings into his lectures especially during the festival which is most closely related to ideally most distant feeling to "Sadhuisim", lust. And he has been given the status of "Saint".
If I have read my history correctly, "Saints" are the creatures staying miles away from the luxuries of this mortal world.
But with the time inducing advancement in every aspect of life, the definition of "Saint" also seems to be changing. "Saintism" and preaching spirituality is nothing but yet another money making industry in the process of attaining maturity.
I hope God is watching the business run on his name and starts claiming the royalty one day.


prem said...

I guess this follows the simple business logic .. there is a market and so some of them are catering to it :)
Nice to see you back with 'relevant' issues.
keep blogging!

Vibhash Prakash Awasthi said...

:)..thnx maddi

Spiff said...

Y single out ramdeo...i mean u think he has done something for welfare..others may hav....he mebbe a path breaker in terms of using the media...but other swami hv taught yogas and like ramdev they also want to earn money for a noble cause.....

sad to say it but you are becoming too middle class in your mentality..

at this rate pretty soon u ll b watchin kekta kapoor serials and blogging reviews

Vibhash Prakash Awasthi said...

i was nt referring sadhus preaching sadhus only preaching...tht too sth they themselves dnt practice

Anonymous said...

obvious in need of evoking your the "sixth sense" from ur review..
for your internal part if interested read

jayant said...

Too Good , Vibhash !
You have touched upon one of the less talked about social malpractice that is going around in the name of God. Surprisingly it is not just the illiterate and poor that fall prey to these Babas , but the most highly educated and rich junta feels pride in taking a solace under the patronage of these Babas. This may be firstly because education in India doesn't aid in developing Scientific Temper, one may be Ph D in Science and may still keep believeing all unscientific blindfaith. Also the second reason is the more rich one becomes from doing all illegal business practices or corruption , one is more likely to end up taking patronage of Babas !
Crudos to u !

Jayant Ramteke