The self-styled gurus



Many believe I am a Christian, then many think I am an atheist. I am neither of the two. I firmly believe in the unknown and unseen power that controls us and our lives. Call him Christ, Allah or God.

But somehow the self-styled gurus like Asaram put me off. I have seen him throwing tantrums at Lucknow airport and demanding the impossible from the district administration for his so called religious gatherings. And now controversies are chasing him as heinous as rape.

Sadly, his followers don’t want to see or believe that.

However, the subject here is not Asaram but my recent meeting with uncontroversial saint Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, the president of the Rama Janma Bhumi Nyas at Ayodhya. I have been meeting him since the 1990’s, when the temple movement had reached its zenith — found him always different and dignified. He avoided rhetoric which his predecessor late Mahant Ram Chandra Paramhans of Digamber Akhara mastered in.

This time when we went to his ashram, he agreed to meet us at his simple and small room on the first floor where he sat on a cushioned mattress on the floor. Obviously, the visitors were also expected to sit on the floor in front of him.

After we had discussed their 84-kosi parikrama programme, I casually asked him if Narendra Modi had ever met him. He replied, ‘ Yes, he had come. Jaise aap bethe hain waise hi saamne bethe the.’

I asked him if Amit Shah had also met him during his recent visit to Ayodhya. He had the same reply and the same tone. The mahant made it clear that both Modi and Amit Shah came for blessings and not for any deliberations and showed them their place.

He offered us prasada , which we readily accepted. Whatever you may say, Mahants like him have an air about themselves and they behave like demigods. Why? Perhaps answer to this pertinent question is hard to find.

Then why do these religious gurus indulge in politics ? They wear the saffron and behave like the men in the white ( the politicians).

It’s fine when Ashok Singhal rakes up the temple issue, but why should Mahant Nritya Gopal Das issue divisive statements? It’s not a religious issue, whatever the Sangh Parivar’s explanation may be.

Or else they would have taken better care of three religious towns in UP – Varanasi, Mathura and Ayodhya- whose infrastructure require immediate attention. The cities stink but the demigods, flushed with money, care two hoots for them.

I have not read scriptures but I am sure none of them would have propounded pitting one religion against the other. Spiritualism as I understand is peace, mental and physical, then how can someone whose profession is religion spread tension? It stands true for all religions, including Islam.#

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