E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: Ajji sprang to her feet and switched off the TV set.
She was faster than any of Ric Charlesworth’s Australian forwards.
“Rama, Rama! Kala yellig bantho? In this land of Ramakrishna Pramahamsa, Swami Vivekananada, Kabir and Mother Teresa, thugs under the garb of kaavi leading immoral lives have taken over and are duping people?”
Ajji was hurt beyond words as she saw the TV clippings depicting the self-proclaimed Paramahamsa having an “inner awakening”.
“Ajji! These are modern-day gurus fooling the gullible public, sometimes with or without the support of powerful politicians,” I said.
“I know some of them are doing good work. But the majority of these swamijis acquire vast tracks of lands, build ashramas all over the country and travel at will all over the world with their shisyavrunda, all in the name of God. They showed one more swamiji on TV near Delhi who was running a business, money and sex racket. Aren’t they subject to the same laws of land that is applied to citizens and businessmen who have to endure all kinds of scrutiny and pay all kinds of tax for travel, land, factory etc?”
“Good question Ajji, but nobody knows the answer.”‘
“Some years back, Indira Gandhi had a guru, Dhirendra Brahmachari, who was so powerful he even had a gun factory in Kashmir. Swami and a gun factory!”
Ajji’s laughter was loaded.
“Ajji! Where did you get this information?”
“I had seen it on my black and white EC TV many years ago. Then another Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao was close to one Chandraswami, a tantrik. Chandraswami was arrested and put to jail for cheating an old businessman. I think he is dead. His name was some Pathak who made pickles, Lakhubhai Pathak. Only Vajpayee did not have a swami.”
Ajji knew everything. Why is she not in the CBI, I thought?
“He too had one, Ajji! His name was Dr. Subramanian Swamy who was in the Janata Party cabinet and gave more trouble to Vajpayee as minister!’
“My question is. Why do all these distinguished leaders have such dubious people around them? What punya and moksha do they get by moving with these thugs in the garb of sanyasi? Don’t these so-called swamijis start interfering in the affairs of the State and become centres of power themselves harassing lesser mortals? And just to think what kind of saints and godmen we had? Mother Teresa did not build an empire, yet she was known all over the world for her compassion and selfless service to the dying poor in Calcutta and gave them dignity in death.”
“Howdu, Ajji. Mother Teresa was god personified.”
“So was Kabir who was both Muslim and Hindu who sang thousands of couplets on Rama. He was more like our Purandaradasa singing the glory of Krishna; Basavanna sang his vachana. They were all very poor. In fact Purandaradasa threw away all his wealth and embraced god and poverty.”
“My point is: there are a few here and there doing good service by building educational institutions and hospitals. But quite a few in the name of God could be simply cheating the Government and the people. I don’t know whether The Law of the Land is equally applied to them too.”
Ajji’s summing up was the best.
“We sometimes assume all poojaris and swamis are closer to god. But given a situation when an increasing number of crooks are cheating the public in the name of God and lead lives of moral depravity, a uniform code should be evolved so that no section of community escape the law of the land, due to an absurd assumption they are closer to God.”
“Nee heliddu 100% nija ajji.”
Photograph: Gujarat chief minister Narendra Damodardas Modi releasing a book on “Paramahamsa” Nithyananda in Baroda in September 2009. The godman apparently gave Rs 2.5 lakh to the Gujarat government for its Kanya Kelavni programme for the “education of girls” and, according to a Congress leader making the charge on the floor of the legislature, met him twice in Baroda, once for a discourse and then for releasing his book (picture courtesy NDTV)
Also read: Another good swami in the service of mankind