Young and beautiful – when aesthetics overpower healthy reasoning, destructive teachings can switch-off our inner alarm bells and sneak inside our souls.
We had been warned by many Christian and Hindu mystics, religious books and Yogis, that external, visible beauty is often misleading, but somehow when we get into the situation and the setting, we are deluded! I don’s say we should necessarily think bad of any young person who meditates…But is it spirituality when pragmatic people fall prey to The Great Illusion?
Disclaimer: the following images are used merely as illustrations and not as concrete examples of the claims in this article! I apologize if the article hurts the feelings of devotees.
IN SEARCH FOR THE KEY OF MINDLESS DEVOTION
The question of how and when get formerly reasonable, educated, pragmatic and secular people infatuated with fanatic gurus, is always something that anyone from the “normal outside world” is not able to grasp. Family and friends of cult-victims are often shocked to find out that even university educated, secular loved ones get entangled in crazy, mind-blowingly twisted religious cults. No one who had not got the “vibe” of the strange bitter-sweet guru-dependency, can fully understand the mechanism of this destructive “transformation”.
Where is that moment, where is the key, which opens the formerly scrupulously protected gates of individual dignity, privacy and self-respect? What are the tricks which fool young scientists as well as retired university professors, mothers of small children as well as bread-winning middle-aged men? Can we dig deep to the moment of switching on the green light in a human soul, which gradually allows another human being and his or her cult members to humiliate, harm, lecture, subordinate in any way that person?
Image above: One of the most striking physical beauties among gurus, swamis and yogis is undoubtedly Swami Nityananda of South India. This is probably the reason why he is so extremely popular in India and the West still, even after a few independent allegations of rapes…Source: “Beloved Nityananda” Pinterest.com
As someone who had been infatuated by a “guru” only once, yet with tragic, visible and dramatic consequences for all my life, I tried myself to find that point when I broke my natural barriers and allowed another person to rule my life. Having been a cult-fighter for 15 years, I always thought that this thing could never occur to me… I was ridiculing and pitying cult-victims who were hopelessly trusting their gurus even when they had been publicly damaged, misused and abused, attacked and harmed by them. “He/she is simply crazy!” we think about these unfortunate foot-lickers and worshipers… Yet even we, the “non-cult-members” are far from being fully immune to the hideous tactics that guru-cults use.
Those who believe in “Satan” or “demons”, could just call this the tricks of “Satan/demons”, and get over it easily when they leave such a destructive group. For Western secular people the task is more difficult. “But he/she looked so innocent, so vulnerable…!” We conclude about meditating spiritual leaders. “It was so beautiful, how he/she looked like Buddha, in the sunlight running down his curly hair, with closed eyes, surrounded by a lush jungle..” – we are usually swept away by the artistic, poetic, romantic aspects of meeting a “guru”, not by his real spiritual identity.
In the age of modernity, when education is available to most people in the world, it is getting harder and harder for gurus to sweep people down their feet, to make them throw away everything and start to worship them as gods or buddhas. Hundreds of years ago it was easy to fool anyone, and maybe this was the reason for the emergence of so many religions and their branches. Yet now a guru needs to offer something very unusual, find a weak point in human psyche where to enter like a computer virus through a vulnerable port, and overtake the whole person. Because, let’s be honest, most publicly acting gurus have only power or money in their minds.
Image above: Swami Nityananda’s feminine beauty is intoxicating uneducated Indians as well as university-educated westerners, obviously mainly women…The effect is amplified by his obligatory long hair and robe. Source: “Teachings of Swami Nityananda” Blogger.com
Yet how to explain ourselves that a guru is simply harmful, even destroying human lives, when we meet him/her in such a beautiful, aesthetic environment and setting…? Romantic must-read legends about Padmasambhava, Milarepa, Ramakrishna, Sai baba, even Gautama Buddha and Jesus, feed our imagination and unnoticed we create expectations and schemes how an ideal guru should (physically) look like, how he/she should speak, how sit etc... So when someone arrives who is in reality easily entirely evil, yet knows about our deep spiritual dreams, it is easy for him or her to just organize for us the drama with all visual decorations, audio settings and role players…
Outer signs prescribed by the unwritten Guru-Codex, are for example: long black hair (if not black enough, they color it), a long, Jesus-style robe usually of white, yellow or blue color (usually they make sure it is absolutely clean, intact an ironed – a must while you meditate in a remote jungle!), a throne to sit on during preaching among devotees…
Image above: Another legendary beauty-king of spirituality was Swami Yogananda, who went to the USA and spread his way of Yoga there. He had written the famous Autobiography of a Yogi book, which caused many Westerners to follow illusions and created a search for a mysterious being, Mahaavatar Babaji which lasts till today. Long hair and robe had been the fashion prescription for Yogis with plans to impress Western devotees for long…
FULFILLING THE GURU PROTOTYPE
Let us see a brief description of the standard guru-figure of our collective subconsciousness, and you will certainly recognize nearly all elements in your favorite spiritual idol (replace the “he” with “she” if you wish):
- he will be surely enlightened in childhood
- before enlightenment he possibly does some miracles and everyone remembers him as very moral and kind kid
- he meditates long/alone/as an ascetic/in silence – in any way his meditation is unusual and brings onlookers
- onlookers change to be admirers, attendants, later followers,
- he always has at least a few followers from businessmen/politicians/transformed gangsters
- he always gets surrounded by many women, middle-aged bored housewives, and especially young beautiful virgins (often teenagers)
- he always starts as a thin ascetic, but after his “meditation” and followers’ devotion he gets fatter and fatter
- he always exclaims UNITY of all religions (with himself as the most united of all), he uses special keywords like WORLD PEACE, TOLERANCE, MORAL RULES so on – which ensure that he fits into the prescribed scheme of a modern global guru preaching (yet not necessary acting out) about human rights
- later on, when he gets tempted by the endless flow of money of donations, by power and love of beautiful young girls, he gets into a stage when he starts to misuse his position to enjoying all kinds of material joy
- when consequent affairs shed light, the already firm cult has brutal ways to silence and punish critics but even devoted followers
- he becomes paranoid and surrounds himself with high-level security guards
- if society still tolerates him even after all this, he ultimately decides he is god and he has the mission to unify (=overtake) the whole world with his “teaching” he is the last one to follow…
What happens after these points got fulfilled, it depends on the government and society where the cult-leader resides, and on the abilities of his followers to push him through. We had seen countless fake gurus who had been de-masked and many of them are still popular and sneaked out among the paragraphs… Osho (Rajneesh), a past one, was a perfect example of how a persecution for criminal offenses can become a way to show one as a victim of “intrigues”, “envy” and “anti-god enemies”. The same tactic was used by the late Sai baba, the still active Swami Nityananda, etc.
If the government and public is convinced about the guru’s innocence and “martyrdom”, instead of punishing him for criminal and unethical deeds against those whom he harmed, he actually gets even more venerated and gets government army protection…How is this possible at all? Are we all in fact totally gullible, foolish people living in the illusion that we are intelligent, modern and secular thinkers?
The answer is this:
Gurus and their follower groups put a great emphasis on their childhood meditation achievements. Pictures and stories of their childhood innocence have to provide a GUARANTEE that they are for real, they have to melt our hearts by awakening motherly-fatherly feelings. No matter how sinful and harmful they become in later future, the marketing tactic had worked: “He just could not do all those dark things they accuse him of, look at him on that photo, he is such an innocent child… Which other child could sit so divinely? He generates holiness and beauty!”
Let’s make a test with viewing just a few examples of famous gurus who had been admired (and their photos cleverly spread in the West and later in the global Internet) from their early childhood or teenager-hood. When you will view these photos, test your feelings, if you get rather positive attraction, inspiration, amazement and a wish to learn more of the person or even meet him… If yes, scroll further down, and see the same person in older age, after he got fat from indulging in worldly pleasures and “used up” by them. You will hardly get the same feelings of “spirituality” and “enlightenment” from the elder, used-up “versions” of the guru…
Let’s start with the aesthetically most rewarding reincarnation of Shiva called Haidakhan Babaji:
A young boy who had been allegedly found by a villager in a cave, after he saw Shiva in his dream giving him instructions to find his embodiment. Only very few people would be able to feel negatively seeing these heart-throbbing photos… Yet just a few years later, after Western devotees arrived, with money, worship and offering even their bodies, Babaji started to look like a fat restaurant-owner or a burnt-out actor, and you would have difficulties to consider him a reincarnation of ascetic God Shiva:
Our next test is with a nearly unknown relatively positive Nepali guru, who seems to be entirely harmless, apart from the self-elevating ideology that surrounds him and is repeated by his followers of a very few comments. It is not about that he would have done anything wrong, I just take the liberty to use his young-age “spontaneous meditation” photos and compare them with the current, very artificial and theatrical appearance. Please decide, which form would you consider more innocent and inspiring. The Eastern-Nepalese born guru’s name is another thing that makes one feel somewhat uneasy, but it is just following the tradition of gurus to name themselves with the most bizarre names possible… This guru’s name is Godangel.
So first a look at the young and beautiful:
Heart-wrenching and inspiring purity, isn’t it? No wonder that he did get quite a nice following in Nepal and abroad. But parallel with the growing following the former spontaneity ceased and he started to wear an attire which is rather comical. Sometimes it is difficult to believe that the gurus think it seriously about themselves. Yet we have to admit, his angelic robe is spectacular.
And here we are: throne, bodyguards and decorations, and working towards religious unity (invited Buddhist monk), or religious monopoly…? How could this happen? From that Sadhu boy on the above pictures, a king on a throne…
The following example is of Shiva Bala Yogi (sometimes Shivabalayogi) who is a real Yogi with a proper teaching free of self-deification. That is quite rare. His example is shown here for the mere impression, how his childhood meditation photos can freeze one’s mind and fill with a desire to be near this holy person or be like him…
Isn’t he cute? Yet when he got older, his charm got naturally weaker. His main popularity is due to the fact that he was a miraculous meditating child and this is also expressed in his name “Bala”, which means a “child”. In his elder form he would maybe not attract so many followers (especially women and Westerners, who are ready to judge according to motherly feelings and cute innocence)…
And how could we leave out the spectacular afro-hair-style Sai Baba? Many people cannot understand how could this “magician” who was allegedly creating Rolex watches and spitting out gold chains, make such a huge crowd of followers believe in him and consider him an avatar of Krishna and Shiva in the same time. Yet many of his followers knew him from the very beginning of his career, and the new ones are always strategically fed with the CV of the guru with proper “childhood photos” … Seeing the young boy meditating, many people got convinced he was a holy person and later even that he was a divine avatar…
Cute, isn’t it? Then have a look at the photos which show him a few days before his departure. Sai Baba had been accused during his later life of numerous pedophile sexual abuses of the children of his devotees, as well as of having hands in four mysterious deaths that occurred in his room…
Finally, we cannot leave out Ram Bomjon, Nepal’s “miraculous buddhaboy”, whose “spontaneous” meditation photos and videos from his childhood are spamming the Internet like an unstoppable virus. His current photos and videos but show a fat, unnatural, throne-sitting self-elevated god, surrounded by black-dressed body-guards and hundreds of army-men… His “pujas” (rituals of blessing crowds) are a precisely choreographed performance with colorful decorations, musical effects…
The above photo was taken when Bomjon was still not too famous in the West, though already admired by Nepalis. Nowadays he had announced himself higher than Gautama Buddha, and the direct avatar of Paramatman, apart from being also Maitreya (spelled by him Maitriya), the predicted last avatar of Buddha. To convince the public that he thinks it seriously, his mega-events called “world peace maitri pujas” are always spectacular, his throne, robe, hair always stylish and decorations elaborated, and he has hundreds of followers throwing flowers under his feet, offering him helicopters and cars, hundreds of lamas and nuns in uniformed blue robes, hundreds of policemen “protecting him” against alleged many enemies and wrong-wishers (like the “evil media”)… Everything is maximal and overflowing, pompous and generous, especially the donations… Yet his look, that got fat, spoiled and the shadow in his face speaks about the numerous extreme cruelties which he implies sadistically on surprised sudden victims… (In respect to his victims I am covering his eyes):
VICTIM AND HERO?
In this twisted age of falsehood, spiritual criminals become viewed as HEROS who are believed to sacrifice their “safety” and “teaching for the sake of humankind” in spite of such a “crowd of wrong-wishing and harassing enemies”… In this age when media and internet are deciding about lives and deaths, when the influence of hearsay is stronger than what police and courts proved, even the most evil gurus can get celebrated as divine beings to bow to! You will not recognize and learn it, because of Google’s and Bing’s faithfulness to cult-member SEO experts…
The fact that Sai baba, Swami Maheshwarananda, Ram Bomjon, Swami Nityananda, Guru Ram Rahim Singh, Asaram Baba, Guru Rampal, Rajneesh and even the innocently looking Brahmakumari movements actually all have dozens of victims, some of them even brought to death, we can hardly find during a superfluous search. Critical websites had been often shut down by threats, and the solo victims often are not the best IT specialists…
But how it is that even when we hear about all these cults, at one weak point of our life we decide to try one of them out ourselves? “What if I am wrong and all those happy followers are right?” It is their beauty, the fake “natural setting”, the artificial spontaneity and the “celebrating crowd” which convinces many people about “this one must be the real thing”…And the legends and photos from the PAST, showing that very fat, rich guru sitting now on his gilded throne, as a modest and humble CHILD ASCETIC!
It would be but better for us if we could distinguish NATURAL INSTINCTS (feelings to a child, puppy, anything or anyone young, cute and beautiful) from spirituality proper!
ENCHANTED BY THE YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL
We had been warned by many mystics, religions and yogis that external, visible beauty is often misleading, but somehow when we get into the situation and the setting, we are overpowered! I don’s say we should necessarily think bad of any young person who meditates … Of course this was not what I tried to write here. But just not to take for granted that a guru who is young and beautiful, is certainly a real, divine and positive person.
Just let’s think logically: every single criminal of the world was at one point of his life CHILD! If we saw Hitler when he was a baby, would we recognize he would once bring a catastrophe to the a big part of the world…? We are seeing nowadays many cute and beautiful children, but there is no guarantee that they will not turn into sadists, brutal attackers, thieves or rapists when they grow up…
Yet my opinion is that the child meditators had been either somewhat mentally ill from the very beginning (in Nepal they would say “obsessed with demons”) or they really started with more or less good intentions, but simply fell for temptations. And temptations had been in the case of young yogis more than many: the admiration of rich Westerners with offering of donations and fulfilling any material wish, the temptation of sexuality due to young girl followers, the temptation of power when army chiefs, ministers, (thulo manche” (“great men” in Nepal is a synonym to powerful rich men, not always just the law-abiding ones), the temptation of worship when celebrities bow to him...
So in fact the deformation of child yogis into brutally cruel manipulator gurus who use humans as stepping-stones, is partially the responsibility of those admirers, who arrived too early, too. There had been information about two Korean people arriving to Ratanpuri where they found Bomjon when he was a child, who are believed to be behind the whole sensation about the “reincarnation of Buddha”, with vested interests, and promoted Bomjon as the future Maitreya by supporting his seclusion from social life and meditation alone.
So a warning to all who are in the danger of getting intoxicated by the physical beauty, colors, faces, photos and videos, the Great Illusion displayed by the gurus of today: do not judge by what you see. Judge by the deeds. Dig deep to Google, dig deeper to the local Nepali community to get full answers and not just the superfluous pinkish propaganda from the positively biased followers!
Image above: striking beauty of Swami Nityananda on his most popular photo. Source: vignespandithurai blogspot com
Image above: Swami Yogananda on one of his most famous photos. Typical shiny eyes, long hair, robe…In his final years but his beauty had been covered by his overweight.