Blog: Spiritual Masters, you said?
This week’s end added a sensational item to the list of personalities who win your admiration for some time and on being unmasked reveal hideous aspects of character that make us think there are many who parade ostentatiously as spiritual masters but suffer from egomania that they castigate in every circle.
A so-called religious leader has been alleged of having maintained illicit sexual relationships with his disciples under the pretext that the Radhas took him for the reincarnation of Krishna.
We are living in a ruthless world that gives you the false impression of often you all you want, but very far from being able to offer you what you need. Spiritual masters are mushrooming because knowledge, even spiritual knowledge, has become a commodity sold in the supermarket frequented by souls thirsty for meaning.
The said religious leader would have found in our shallow, intellectually mediocre, artificial society with huge sprawling shopping malls and with the state-of-the-art technology a ready clientele made up of men and women who are dazed by breaking marriages, unbridled consumption, cut-throat competition and seek a hope. The religious leader becomes a surrogate for the blind seekers uphold to justify themselves. Spiritual masters have a delicate responsibility cause they are the deus-ex-machina - god out of a machine in Greek plays - who will unravel the knots.
The faith of a disciple may be difficult to bear. Some are known to have donated a Mercedes. Every disciple contributes Rs300 to make up the salary of the religious leader up to the tune of Rs 50,000 with Rs 10,000 of compensation. Was this greed not enough to warn disciples of the cheap fabric of such people? It is not knowledge that makes a leader.
Anybody can recite chapter and verse from Puranas if one has a retentive memory, especially if one is a teacher of the Hindu way of life. It is wisdom – and a transcending wisdom that rises above the mechanistic construction of meaning in life that makes the man. Disciples would have taken the religious leader to be a person of noble character simply because he utters noble words. In certain schools teachers of Hinduism are followers of ‘Assemblée de Dieu’. Do their words make them become fit spiritual leaders for the Hindu?
It takes just a little self-awareness to be happy but we carry a heavy luggage of guilt, wants and dreams which asphyxiate our capacity to find happiness in everything God gives us. We approach a spiritual master with the same desires with which we approach a jilted lover or a failed husband. Higher wisdom must elevate us to be strongly alone, fortifyingly understanding and accommodating. We go on living in cells of our egoism and yet we use a different language for ourselves. We want to live egoless when we are more and more egoistic. The need to feed the spiritual master cannot be a monthly act of check off. This is what leads to the degeneracy of relations because the shopping list of the master multiplies with more and more donations.
This is a conversion of a special nature. The incumbent is made to become a product of the master and he can use the self-surrender of the disciple to fulfill his needs. Unless one knows the inner being of the master, one cannot deduce that the weight of the wisdom in his words corresponds to the seriousness of his character. Some masters may have started with genuine intentions of relieving mankind or selected disciples of the burden of ordinary life. The power they acquire order others through the surrender of their faith turns them into Gods and they think they can play God to others. The weak disciple falls in love with the master as though he were God. In fact the cycle of a hollow materialistic life is repeated and charlatans sit in the throne of Gods.