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  Modern Gurus and Pseudo-spiritualism  


By: Damodar Kulkarni
April 17, 2006
iews expressed here are authorís own and not of this website. Full disclaimer is at the bottom.


(The author is a software engineer in India and a strong opponent of the pacifism and the pseudo-spiritualism)

Many of you who are not from computer background may be thinking who the hell these two men are. And how on earth am I making such assertion? Linus Torvalds is the creator of Linux operating system software which he has made free. Richard Stallman is the founder of Free Software Foundation, a movement which has revolutionized the software world, and which has inspired many including Linus to come up and offer selfless service to the society. But still many of you may be shocked by such an assertion, but I think you will be convinced when you have finished reading this article.

The modern gurus, preach less and exploit much, the spiritualism for their selfish monetary and/or publicity gains. The modern day gurus are busy making money by copyrighting, patenting various Yoga Kriyas under their names.

Letís see what the devotees of such gurus have to say about them.

- That the gurus have reached the height of spirituality
- That the gurus donít care about any material things
- That the gurus have gone beyond this earthly life
- That the gurus have achieved the inner peace

Now if the gurus have gone beyond this earthly life and have done this and have done that then why do they bother for copyrighting, patenting and royalties etc? Most of the gurus (or their devotees) will say that they are earning money through donations, royalties etc for making charity. If that is the case then Bill Gates would be the biggest spiritual guru. How?

Modern Gurus and Pseudo-spiritualism

Welcome to the Ashram of Sri Sri Bill Gates, the guru of gurus. If they say the gurus are collecting money for betterment of the society by copyrighting or patenting their books, techniques then this guru of gurus our Sri Sri Bill Gates has collected far more money than all other His Holinesses could and can manage to. And Modern Gurus and Pseudo-spiritualism has already donated much more money for the betterment of society than that is donated by all other His Holinesses. Yes, he has donated billions of dollars for the betterment of the world, the society that is. He has donated handsome sums to various AIDS fighting programmes, food programmes etc. The main branch i.e. the main ashram of our guru, His Holiness Sri Sri Bill gates, is situated somewhere in Redmond.

So, if you think that mere donating a fraction of oneís unethically collected money in the name of social service cannot make him/her any more spiritual; then my question to you is, how do you think these modern gurus are any way spiritual at all, when they try to defend their own shameless, unethical ways of collecting money? And in fact, these gurus are meaner than Bill Gates as Bill Gates never claimed he is any spiritual, he accepts that he is mere a businessman AND in this sense he is more honest than these gurus. But what do these gurus claim? They claim that they are for the betterment of the society, that they have overcome all earthly attachments and that they have gone beyond the materialistic wishes blah, blah, blah. And what do their actions speak? Their actions speak anything but their claims.

Modern gurus are making spiritualism to be their money making business AND this is what I admonish the most. They are making business of spiritualism, that spiritualism which has been the great heritage of India, that spiritualism which has been nourished and preached by selfless sages. These gurus donít feel any shame about this. Basically spiritualism tells and demands one to think of others also AND this is why it becomes very hard to follow it and preach it. People find being spiritual as against their desires, AND yes, although spiritualism donít tell us to give up all our needs and desires it does tell us to give up our greed, in spite of this many times people find it difficult to follow spiritualism. In other words there is no short-cut or workaround in spiritualism. Modern gurus have corrupted the concept of spiritualism to suit their needs so that people donít find it too much difficult to follow whatever they preach AND thus more and more people could be attracted and their agenda of making money and publicity could be easily accomplished. This all has given rise to what I call as pseudo-spiritualism.

Contrast the behavior of Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman in the light of behavior of these gurus. You can easily see that Torvalds and Stallman are far more spiritual than todayís Gurus. They could have made billions of dollars out of their technology but they didnít opt for that. They willingly donated all their hard-earned technology and knowledge to the world at large with the aim of providing the students with the much needed and equally rare technological knowledge. We can see the same spirituality (or whatever you call it) in the act of this duo as we see it in the act of the ancient Indian Sages. The ancient Indian Sages donated all their hard earned knowledge to the world without expecting anything in return.

Where do the modern day gurus stand in comparison with these people? The modern gurus offer some paltry service, if any at all, to the society AND make much show of it.

Modern gurus are plagiarists too: modern gurus write some books, which they copyright without fail, and make money by selling these books to the people, mainly, to their devotees. Many gurus, create cassettes, CDs, DVDs containing the so called preaching speeches and songs. These gurus donít forget to copyright these CDs and DVDs etc before releasing them for their devotees. Some gurus, are even patenting and trade-marking some of the Yoga Kriyas (techniques) saying that they have invented these Kriyas. Whatever these gurus are writing, preaching is from the ancient Vedas, Upnishadas, BUT the gurus claim they have invented this knowledge. Isnít this plagiarism? Isnít this piracy?

My first objection to this claim is that they havenít invented anything new AND my second objection is that even if they had invented something, patenting and copyrighting it for making money cannot be spiritual as they try to claim it to be.

Such acts of these gurus can be perceived as anything but spiritual, STILL these gurus claim that they are spiritual AND STILL very few people sense anything wrong with it.

So my question to the readers is Ė arenít these gurus running behind money?

They have established their own guru corporations and are running them as money making mechanism. No wonder, we see these gurus in five-star or even seven-star Ashrams.

Damodar Kulkarni

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