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Before talking of the human limitations of these preachers, let me talk of some types of astrologers, some of them appearing in television channels.

In religious channels                                                                                                     In some the religious channels, these astrologers have to pay three lakh rupees per month themselves for a twenty minutes slot while those who get only ten minutes have to pay half of that amount. Then a market gets created and these astrologers charge their clients, old and new, heavily for shantis and the fraudulent Kaal Sarpa Yoga, saadhe saati,Rahu dasha etc.They must earn not less than five lakh rupees per month to be able to pay these channels, though they earn many times more!! Let me assure you that I know all this very intimately and first hand. I too was offered all this !!

Astrologer in non-religious channels                                                 Astrologers appearing in non religious channels, as I also did for sometime, are paid for their appearances. Here too a market gets created as I learnt though no one gave my address or phone number. I had to drive out people wanting to contact me and also demanding to know how much was my consultation charges!! When I said charged nothing but that I was not available for consultation, it annoyed many people. 

Market for Gurus                                                                                   Some people have been approaching me for may years wanting to become my disciples. I told them that I was not fit to be a guru but they could learn Vishnu Sahastranaam etc. with me the way I recite it. To become a guru is to take a passport to hell is what I tell them.

The desire to become the disciple of a guru was strongest in Bengal where I have heard men and women say that their life was wasted because they had no guru. The market existed for gurus in Bengal always and there are gurus and gurus.

In the last thirty years, the guru mania or the economic law of supply and demand for gurus got created all over India. Some of these astrologers appearing in non-religious channels have become equally dangerous and exploitative. One of them takes annual contract to “keep you malefic planets under control”. One of them invariably tells business men, who like women, run after astrologers, that soon they would run into disaster and would be ruined. It is enough to create a trap and they proceed to tell that would do shanti to prevent it !!

The fraudulent astrologer guru                                                             But astrologers have become gurus these days. You can rest assured that they are dangerous self certified crooks and frauds.

The preacher guru                                                                        Preachers have become gurus which is a mistake committed by them because they never had any qualification to become gurus. Why has it become easy to become a guru ? These are some well known reasons:

 Parallel economies                                                                                   a) There is parallel economy in India existing for nearly forty years and said to be two thousand fold of the annual Indian budget! We call it black money. Those who have tons and tons of black money find it easy to divert it to “religious” channels and also create and even own television channels. They need “gurus” who can become conduits for their hidden wealth. That is the temptation which converts mere preachers into gurus with big ashrams created for them at the cost of crores of rupees. Go to Vrindavan or Haridwar and see how the five star culture has become part of the ashrams and scores of lodging houses in place of dharmashalas as they have existed for ages and where I used to stay in my childhood.

b) Ignorance of laws of Karma                                               Added to it is the total ignorance of scriptural knowledge of modern generations. How easily they accept that they can commit any sin and they have only to spend some money to get a guru or astrologer or both to destroy the bad consequence of their karma. In the history of revolt of Roman Catholics, it was one of the big arguments. The epicure of modern age wants not to give up his sensualsexual life but wants someone to assure that his “prick of conscience” will be taken care of. But that merely is not the case.

c). The religious label                                                                                  I used to meet nearly two decades ago a fantastically rich man living in a five storey building where in each storey there was a beautiful temple with a priest always reciting some scripture. One day, he was arrested by Customs department. How was he suspected ? The reason, I know , is that he was becoming too “religious”. The Indian Customs department knows that those who are pretending to be more religious ostentatiously are always those who have lot of to hide. This man was a big smuggler and owned some ships. It is well known that people with lot of black money are too”religious” associated with a guru (whom they may have created) and ashrams are the place where they can invest, hide their black money or get it converted into white money. In the bargain they can earn the reputation of being very charitable. It also helps them to take fullest advantage of the clauses for exemption under the Indian Income Tax Laws and Rules.

d). The broken hearted woman                                                  There is the invariable story of a woman who had had frustrated love life with no marriage or broken marriage with no children. But she has a career and has lot of money. She is invariably in need of a hi-tech guru which the Indian media creates in no time. In the guru’s ashram or camps, she meets someone with whom she can have a living-in relationship and also learn meditation by paying Rs.50,000/- in a three day camp.

Who have been exposed by the television channels ?                          A television channel claiming to expose some of the wheeler dealer gurus is actually making a wrong claim. Some of them are wheeler dealers all right but some of them are honest preachers living a middle class existence and having no personal wealth, even house or ashram. Why were they victimized ? It will take some months to know the whole story. I know in one case why an innocent preacher was victimized. But remember, the temptations of Kamini and Kanchan are, as Ramkrishna Paramhamsa warned, too great. The preacher guru is not without his faults though.

(25 May 2007)

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