Ritambhara tells us about the self-styled criminal Godmen and how they dupe people, in her weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths.
In India, self-acclaimed Godmen are a type of charismatic gurus with dynamic profile presence and huge supporters from all areas from leading businessmen to politicians across the world, which increases their popularity and wealth. These self-styled Godmen brainwash people and lure them with their acclaimed paranormal powers, such as the ability to read minds, heal and see or influence future events.
Godmen is a mala fide outcome tarnishing the sanctity of the age-old guru-shishya tradition. Their followers consider them to be divine. Their patronage among the high-ranking officials and politicians seems to have earned them the right to (mis)behave the way they want and take law in their hands.
Some of these self-styled Godmen, who have earned the dubious distinction of committing the most heinous crimes are Swami Nityananda, Sant Rampal, Swami Bheemanand, Narayan Sai, Jayendra Saraswati, Nirmal Baba, Radhe Maa, Gurmeet Ram Raheem, Satya Sai Baba, Asaram Bapu, etc., just to name a few.
Swami Nityananda has his Ashram based in Bengaluru. In 2010, his promiscuous video with Tamil actress Ranjeeta went viral for which he was arrested and later released on bail. Sant Rampal had Ashrams in Karauntha and Barwala in Hissar. He is in judicial custody on the charges of murder and for betraying the nation.
Swami Bheemanand, famous for roaming around with snakes and “Naagin Dance” was arrested in 2010 on charges of enticing young females during his discourses and getting them involved in sex trade. He ran a sex racket.
Asaram Bapu has ashrams spread over MP, Gujarat and other states. He was accused of the mysterious death of two students in his Gurukul. He is in jail for raping minors in his ashram. Narayan Sai, like his father “Asaram Bapu” – self-styled Godman, is serving his term on rape charges of two sisters.
Jayendra Saraswati was the 69th Shankaracharya of the Kanchi Kama Koti Peeth and in 2004 he was accused of conspiring to murder his manager Shankarraman.
Nirmal Baba was charged with forgery in 2012 and a case has been registered in Uttar Pradesh. He is known for his idiotic suggestions like eating “Samosas with chutney” can ward off all the grievances.
Radhey Maa aka Sukhwinder Kaur is facing charges of misleading people and spoiling their relationships by advising them to involve in social evils like dowry.
Satya Sai Baba was accused of sexual molestation of a 27-year-old Aalya Ram in 2005 in America although the case was withdrawn a year later.
The most skeptical and recent of all, Baba Gurmeet Ram Raheem. He has “Deras” all over the world with the main ashram in Sirsa, Haryana. He claims to have more than five crore followers. He is being sentenced 20 years of rigorous imprisonment for raping his “Sadhvis”. He is also accused of sexual harassment, murder and castrating 400 men.
To sum, the three most heinous crimes commonly committed by all these self-styled Godmen can be enumerated as murder, sexual harassment, and betrayal. Their behaviour is highly in contrast with what they speak. The reason people resort to these Babas aka Godmen is the lack of emotional intelligence among the masses, especially Indians. It is for this reason that successful businessmen, politicians, and common man are an easy prey to them.
Secondly, females are even more vulnerable as they can’t simply walk out of their dilapidated condition and silently bear all the atrocities inflicted on them.
Moreover, the religious following is not at all looked down upon. In fact, it is highly appreciated and no heed is being paid to the basic craving for being loved, appreciated and understood in a relationship, which applies universally to all humans across the globe.
These “Babas” are very good at taking advantage of these vulnerable people who become blind followers and are even ready to lose their lives for their sake (do not accept their wrong deeds).
In my opinion, it is far better to read good scriptures, be in the company of good friends and family members in one’s rainy days or when one is undergoing depression of any sort, instead of trying to find peace, solace, and shelter under such “Gurus”. Remember, enlightenment is not a change into something better or more, but a simple recognition of who we truly already are. Recognise your inner potential and beware of these “Gurus”.
©Ritambhara Kumari Upadhyay
Photos from the Internet
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A Panjab University, IIT- Roorkee, and IIRS-ISRO alumnus, academician, and researcher, Ritambhara is a writer by choice. Her passion for reading and writing has impelled her to foray into the world of writing. As a freelance writer and editor, she loves to pen-down whatever comes to her mind. She staunchly believes, “Truth doesn’t admit any impediments.”