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How to deal with rising menace of self-styled god-mens and gurus
Posted By Sarin on Nov 23, 2014     RSS Feeds     Latest Hinduism news

Becoming a guru is a growing trend these days as it is the easiest way to make quick money. Self-styled god-men have amassed billions of wealth by building dozens of ashrams across the world. Such god-men are successful entrepreneurs and  run flourishing business across various domains like books, yoga DVD’s, herbal medicines, consumer products etc. Travelling in fleet of luxury cars, well-protected by bodyguards and bouncers, is their favorite way of displaying their luxurious life. Seducing and raping woman, who comes to them for the solution of materialistic problems in their lavishly built homes and ashrams, is their way of honoring the generosity of devotees who have donate their hard earned money for their luxurious living. Now days, most of the god-mens are no less than hypocrites who don’t have an iota of spirituality in them.
How self-styled god-mens traps followers?
Even when we are hearing frequently that God-men have been using religion to conduct ant-social activities, there are still many seekers who are not deterred to approach such fraudsters. The problem is that such followers are fortune seekers and go to fraud swami not to practice spirituality but to find a solution for their financial and household problems. God-men take advantages of such person by deluding them in believing that all good happening in their life is because of his blessing. As a result, such people become devoted to them all their life even when they haven’t gained anything significant in their life.
How to deal with rising menace of self-styled god-mens and gurus
Such god-men prey on troubled and innocent seekers and turn them into life-long followers through their temporary solutions and fake godliness. IF the god-men says the follower to deposit the money into his account then they would do so. Devotees are robbed of their mental capabilities due to which they stop looking at ultimate reality.
Instead of solving their problems, fake god-men gives false assurances which eases their tensions and gives temporary relief. When thousands of such followers sing the praise of his guru in his workshops, a new seeker is bound to get attracted and this is how the followers of such gurus increase exponentially. Channels are paid to broadcast their assemblies live on TV which further increases their influence on followers.
Below are some of the quotes from religious scriptures on such fake gurus
"By a false display of religious sentiments, they present a show of devotional service while indulging in all sorts of immoral activities. In this way they pass as spiritual masters and devotees of God. Such violators of religious principles have no respect for the authoritative acaryas, the holy teachers in the strict disciplic succession”- Srimad-Bhagavatam 8:20:1, purport

“Instead, to mislead the people in general, they themselves become so-called acaryas, but do not even follow the principles of the acaryas."
(Sri Isopanisad, mantra 12, purport)

“To get some material benefit, the conditioned soul approaches these pseudo sannyasis and yogis for cheap blessings, but he does not receive any benefit from them, either spiritual or material."
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.14.13)
How to deal with rising menace of self-styled god-mens and gurus
List of fake god-mens
Amassing massive funds by trapping poor people, who looks for shortcuts in their fast paced life, is a very successful technique employed by such fake gurus.  
India, the hub of spirituality, is encircled with fraud gurus. Some of the self-styled fake godmens, who were caught red-handed in wrongdoings, are:

  1)    Sathya Sai Baba: Having followers like former prime minister, sachin tendulkar and Supreme Court judges, he was one of the most influential gurus, convicted of murder and sexual abuse.
2)    ISKCON: Many gurus of ISKCON have been convicted of racial and sexual abuse in USA and worldwide.
3)    Rajneesh-Osho: Most influential gurus of the 1980’s, he was accused of many felonies and has 100+ cases registered against him. 
  4)    Swami Premananda (deceased)-He was convicted of murder and 13 rapes. Based on DNA evidence, supreme court of India gave him double life imprisonment  
5)    Swami Rama (Deceased) Convicted of sexual abuse before death 
6)    Gowrishankara Swami: Guilty of sodomy, he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by the Karnataka High court.
7)    Swami Shyam: Quite popular among westerners, he is accused of seducing the wives of followers.
8)   Swami Amritachaitanya: Cases registered against him for rape and fraudulent practices on charity activities. 
9)    Swami Nithyananda: Claiming to be a celibate, his sex scandal video went viral in 2010. He is accused of sexual abuse by his followers.
        How to deal with rising menace of self-styled god-mens and gurus
  10)    Swami Rameshwaranand Giriji Maharaj - He is accused of killing the husband of a female follower with whom he was having an affair.
11)    Kripalu Maharaj - Accused of sexual assault and rapes by followers, 170 bodies went missing from his ashram and are still untraceable.
12)    Baba Gurmeet Singh: Accused of murdering TV journalist Ram Chandra Chatapati for the sting operation on sexual exploitation of women
13)    Shiv Murat Dwivedi alias Ichchadhari Sant Swami Bhimanandji Arrested for involvement in theft and prostitution racket inside a Sai Baba temple.
14)    Ramdev baba: Accused of running large scale business and evading taxes.  
15)    Harpalani: Born in Pakistan and raised as a bootlegger cum tea vendor, he founded his first ashram in 1971. Very quickly, his empire grew fourfold to millions of followers that included high profile politicians and businessman. Though he wrote a bestselling book on celibacy "The Secret of Eternal Youth.", he was charged of sexual dalliances by hundreds of followers. Many woman followers regard themselves of being extremely lucky for being touched by him as they regard him to be an incarnation of lord Krishna.
16)    Asaram Bapu:  Regarded to be the worst male chauvinist, he along with his son, is charged with history of sexual assault, murder and criminal conspiracy. Currently in jail, His comment on delhi rape case invited much needed criticism.
        How to deal with rising menace of self-styled god-mens and gurus
All the above gurus are either proven guilty or have been accused of fraudulent crimes but do note that some of the above gurus may be trapped by his fellow competitors or western religious fanatics to disgrace Hinduism.

How to test whether god-men is fake or genuine?
Before accepting the advice or suggestion of any guru, you should first test his integrity and competence. Now, there are some websites that have started rating gurus worldwide. But deriving a conclusion out of such ratings is dangerous as you are putting your faith on biased strangers who arrive on these sites and rates gurus according to their own ideology and perception. So the question remains, how do we test the integrity of gurus?
How to deal with rising menace of self-styled god-mens and gurus
Correct way of identifying true gurus
Well, there are many ways of judging the integrity and competence of gurus, or rather to acknowledge if he is really enlightened. But the question you need to ask yourself is “Are you really that courageous to test the integrity of the guru by asking him the toughest questions?”  
You need to use your conscience in identifying a true guru. Some of my recommended ways to identify fake gurus are as follows
  1.)    Charges Large Amounts of Money
    Genuine gurus would never ask for money. Any guru who asks for loads of money in return of their problem solving suggestions, is definitely fake. Any guru, who boasts of doing wonderful things and solving all your problems within few days, in return of large amount of money, is surely fooling you. Ideally, genuine gurus would offer only workable rational solutions and would not charge you a single penny as he is a giver in this materialistic world, not a taker. However, it is the responsibility of the disciple to do the best for his guru and make sure that he has enough to promote his daily spiritual activities and services.  

     2.) Gets frustrated to your questions
One of the easiest ways of identifying fake gurus, is to test their patience and knowledge by asking many questions especially related to religion. Self-styled fake god-mens would avoid answering to questions that can expose their fake appearance because doing so would affects his business, position, respect and influence among his generous yet insane followers. But, genuine gurus would like the idea of being quizzed and tested by his followers. Genuine gurus are not afraid of losing his status and respect among the followers as his ultimate aim is to achieve self-realization and not the attainment of worldly pleasures.
How to deal with rising menace of self-styled god-mens and gurus  
  2.)    Can’t accept Criticism of others
    Self-styled god-mens are filled with ego and arrogance. If you ask them tough questions and later criticize them for not answering the question or not answering the questions correctly, they would be offended and instead of considering the criticism, they would abuse you for your misbehavior. How dare a mortal human being criticize to an enlightened guru? This is not the case with genuine gurus who would be very humble and would accept criticism even when it is not applicable to them
  3.)    Gives attractive names and compares himself to be better than others
    IF the guru refers himself as enlightened or self-realized and frequently compares himself better than others or asks his follower to spread his false propaganda, then he is probably a fake guru. True enlightened guru hates the idea of comparing himself to any other enlightened entity as he understand that all enlightened entities are on the same level of godhead. He knows that there is no spiritual benefit of asking followers to spread false propagandas

  4.)    Check if they do what they say
    This is the most perfect way of finding out an imposter. Look if the guru really practices what he preaches. If they preach you on daily meditation and various yoga asanas for spiritual growth, then check if they are really doing the same themselves? You have the right to know if your guru is leading by example. Nobody likes a preacher who preach others but himself don‘t know the value of what he is preaching?
  5.)    Spending wealth on materialistic Desires
    The most important aspect to look into a guru is how he is managing the wealth gifted by followers. Are they investing on fulfillment of materialistic pleasures like cars, mansions, business etc. or investing on social causes like constructing new hospitals, educational centers, temples, toilets etc. Do they dwell in activities involving misuse of sex, money and position?  
How to deal with rising menace of self-styled god-mens and gurus
Genuine enlightened gurus would never dwell into such activities and would always focus his mind and body into the meditation process and chanting of lord’s name.
  6.)    Showing selfishness and attitude
    Spiritually evolved soul is devoid of any selfishness, self-esteem and attitude. There is no place for glamour, attraction and fascination in Spirituality. In spiritually, followers should not focus on the glamour and attractiveness of the guru, rather they should focus on their spiritual teachings, messages and intentions. Any guru who shows even a bit of selfishness and arrogance is definitely a fake guru.
  7.)    Promises a shortcut to Self-Realization
    Self-styled god-mens conduct nationwide workshops and seminars to lure more and more followers into his camp. In their seminars, they make extravagant claims like activating your DNA in 2 weeks, getting self-realized in 3 weeks, solving all your problems etc etc. They trap innocent followers and charge heavily for their daily seminars and courses but in reality after the completion of such courses, their net learning and progress towards the path of realization is big zero. Path of spiritual growth, self-realization and attainment of god is very tedious and requires years of hardwork and meditative practice. So, don’t be fooled by gurus who offer you the shortcut of spiritual growth and self-realization. Just like there is no shortcut for success, there is no shortcut for self-realization
How to deal with rising menace of self-styled god-mens and gurus
Why only fake gurus are so successful?
Some gurus who are spiritually evolved up to a certain extent, later develops a desire of becoming well known across the world As a result, they lose their spiritual consciousness by focusing their mind into marketing strategies like seminar and workshops. They do not impart their earned knowledge and experiences to disciples as they fear the losing the importance among materialistic seekers.  
Such fake gurus are not limited to Hinduism and can be found in all religions including Christianity and Islam. They prosper because religious gurus are among the highest gross money earners of India, quite ahead of most successful businessman’s and corrupt politicians. So, it’s very easy for them to have a nexus with top politicians and high profile VIP’s. Genuine gurus would never associate themselves with any unethical persons or wrongdoings. Genuine gurus don’t look for success and fame.

Why do devotees follow gurus blindly?
Followers are also warned of not doubting their guru in ashrams and if they dared, they have to suffer the wrath of god-men supernatural powers. This forces the devotees to accept each word of god-men as ultimate truth.
The main problem with Hindus is that in this era of kaliyuga, they are still following the age old tradition of guru-disciple relationship, according to which guru is equivalent to god and is therefore unquestionable. But such moralistic attitude is of no importance today as you should not dismiss the wrongdoing of your guru easily.  
If critical thinking and reasoning is empowered by society at large, no such fake guru’s would be able to carry out their nefarious activities to such an extent.

Why you should avoid such fake god-mens?
According to Scriptures, all fake gurus are afflicted with leprosy in next birth and all his blind followers are reborn as germs who feast on them. Ideally, true disciples should warn his guru against unethical approaches and should request him to follow the path of righteousness. If you find any fake guru, don’t hesitate to inform the local administration and fellow followers. There is no need to follow any guru if the seeker has gathered the knowledge of Brahman and spirituality from spiritual scriptures. All the religious scriptures have been translated perfectly into multiple regional and foreign languages. So, irrespective of your place of origin, you can gather all the needed knowledge experiences easily by reading out some books.
All the solution to our problem is already there in our spiritual scriptures. Fake gurus manipulate the facts of spiritual scriptures for their own personal motives. They just borrow the theory from our religious scriptures. So, Instead of following such gurus, pick up a book on yoga, gita, Ramayana and Mahabharata especially when all of them is available on internet for free. Hinduism believes in self realization and not borrowed realization. In this era of information technology, if we are falling on the feet’s of such fake god-men then it is obviously our fault.
Who is a true guru?
Before ending the article, it is ever important to know the definition of a true guru.
"According to scriptures, a person is not fit to become a guru is he cannot take the disciple back to Godhead. An ideal example of guru-disciple relationship is lord Krishna and arjuna.  
How to deal with rising menace of self-styled god-mens and gurus
A true guru spends his time only in glorification of god. A true guru is like a flower that attracts the bees (followers) by his enchanting fragrance. A true sanyasi lives in the present and do not care about the future. True guru would never entertain fortune seekers and opens his bucket of knowledge to only genuine seekers. A real guru has the qualities of peacefulness, sense control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, and faith in God. True gurus never eat meat, smoke or indulge in materialistic pleasures.  

Six Vedic qualities of a true guru
According to the Vedas, below are the six needed qualities to become a guru
  1)    His teachings must be completely spiritual and should never make false promises on materialistic benefits. He should aim to liberate his disciples from the miseries of repeated birth and death.
2)    Guru should be enlightened and must have attained the highest level of self-realization. Only then he will be able to realize the supreme consciousness and can preach disciples on devotional service and self-realization
3)    Guru must have received his knowledge from a bona fide spiritual master through the process of disciplic succession  
4)    His character must be clean and must follow all tenets of religion sincerely
5)    He must engage himself and all his disciples in the glorification and service of lord. His work should be for the welfare of society and not for selfish materialistic work.
6)    He must engage in spreading the message of devotion and God consciousness throughout the world.
    How to deal with rising menace of self-styled god-mens and gurus
Tasmad gurum prapadyeta jijnasuh sreya uttamam:  
Tranlsation: One should approach a bona fide guru to inquire about the highest benefit of life.
Despite of such crisis, Hinduism has survived for many millennia and sooner or later, would find a way to deal with such hypocrites. 0
From time immemorial India has been viewed as the hub of spirituality and has attracted devotees from across the world in search of peace and contentment. So, it is the responsibility of all Indians to expose such fake god-men and bring them behind bars. Devotees need to find genuine saints who preach the message of true devotion and spiritual bliss or be your own guru.1

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