DISGUSTING! This Is How Godman Imparts ‘Diksha’

Self-proclaimed Godman – Aasaram Bapu has been accused of rape by a minor (15-year-old) girl. The victim reported that she was being raped by Aasaram Bapu while her parents were sitting in the other room. Disgusting!

Aasaram Bapu, the self-styled Godman sermonised the nation on how the gangrape victim – Nirbhaya would had avoided it all if she would had taken diksha, recited mantras and begged in front of those six beasts who were raping. Aasaram’s sermons made our blood boil in disgust.

But now after seeing this photograph of Aasaram Bapu imparting ‘Diksha’ to a disciple in his unique style, I understand where he is coming from and what kind of sermons he is capable of uttering. 

77 thoughts on “DISGUSTING! This Is How Godman Imparts ‘Diksha’

  1. pbriseis

    this is sooo sick….does the woman know shes been taken advantage of….in the name of spiritual healing or whatever u may call it..he makes me sickkkk

  2. The supreme God

    When you can enjoy having a man and woman of your choice by spending money why we need people like this. We need them as icon, we make them icon to save black money under religious non profit institution. We don’t use or release this money to harmonise the society. Self indulgence is a fire never ends, there are only few Bapus who really helps or helped in the past. Rest of is created for money and power lust…and hide our weakness by exercising our weakness. Shame!

  3. Mahesh Das

    This may be the sample which might incidentaly captured in a camera, And what not would be going on behind the camera……………….

  4. Anchal

    Dumb people….. people really need to put a stop on religion practice… we don’t need it anymore…

  5. Peace

    Although this man is a fraud.But whats so bad in having some fun !! The girl too seems like having fun.

  6. Amit

    Gosh!!! is this a real pic??? If so, very bad. His statement on the Delhi rape girl was insensitive, and this pic shows some real bad side of it, and worst is people are still following it blindly. that’s a tipping point taking a wrong turn.

  7. Purusha

    Don’t mistake this act with religion or any real spiritual practise coming from India.

    This man is a cheater and girl wants to be cheated, that is all.

  8. Chintamani Goswami Maharaj

    ”According to Sastra, It warns vehemently that a man should not stay in a closed door with his daughter, mother or sister. The reason is that, although he maybe a person of high intellectuality, yet due to unbridled nature of the mind, anything can go wrong if he happens to stay in a closed door with even his own daughter, therefore in other to avoid any unwanted happenings, the Scripture gave an earlier notice. Even five thousand years before, Lord Krishna told Sri Arjuna to engage in meditation. Arjuna is so powerful, he is a friend of Lord Krishna, in other words, he can execute any action without fail, yet he honestly told Lord Krishna, that, ”For the mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate and very strong, O Krishna, and to subdue it is, it seems to me, more difficult than controlling the wind.” It is says that women are fire and men are butter, no sooner the butter is very close to the fire, it melts automatically, so how can Ashram Bapu resist melt, simply keeping fire on his laps? Is he more powerful than Arjuna??? This is rascal endeavor.”

  9. teg chand

    this is really dangerous for hindu dharma because the case sadhus sham full for our society and culture but why we accept of those persons Indian govt why dont take any action against -him

  10. Balakrishnan Swamy MN

    General public do not know a thing about Spirituality and TRUTH. Only those transcended to higher realms will be bestowed with truth that is not conditioned by civilization!
    How come the photo could be seized? Was it stealth or was the deeksha carried ot in public? Ordinary ignorent people should not sit in judgement and hasten to publicize such informations with out learning about the subject to the core.
    Some of the experiences can not be shared publicly as every one will start painting there on showing their own art with out least of artistic talent.
    I’m not justifying any one.

  11. Subodh maheshwari

    Men, Women and Girls all over the world are easily duped in the name of truth, spirituality and religion. They are innocent victims of so called God-man who present themselves as champion in these fields. But, the strangest part is people still follow them in hordes even after their deeds are found out and publicly made known. Noe the real question is, who are to be blamed – so called fraud God-man or Public?

    If public keep on following these frauds like the flock of Goats and sheep, even after knowing all facts, these cheats will continue taking advantage of their position and lure girls for immoral acts.

  12. Balakrishnan Swamy MN

    Sstr. Subodh maheshwari, have you verified the truth ?
    There are lots of Government Officials indulging in bribe, but can we generalize? Spirituality is a lucrative area where people easily fall prey and , therefore, psudo spiritualists blossom, as it were, to eke out maximum with minimum efforts. Why generalize and splash dirt on Spiritual persons as a gamut? As in any other, every care should be taken to protect interest of every individual by oneself and the administration also can consider assistence to them in all possible ways.

  13. PRABHAT

    enjoyment of sex is like daal fry and zeera fried rice.. mazaa aataa hai khane me ………………….lekin ye kya ho rahaa hai…..ye perversion hai –shayadye daal -chaawal me sabji aur achaar (pickle) ka role wahi hota hai

  14. Rashmi

    Listen people:
    I am one such woman who likes sadhus and babas. We enjoy one another, and please don’t try to preach us what morality to embrace. True, this baba should not have made that comment about Nirbhaya; however, to see a baba and a woman in embrace can only shock a prude or the jealous. I don’t feel duped. I have enjoyed sadhus in my life, and won’t have it any other way.

  15. Ravi

    Amazed at what this lady above asserts….great some men go to Kothas….she goes to Sadhus….is there any diference !….Apna apna taste hai bhai.

  16. nc naodu

    Rashmi it is your personal choice, and long live babas and sadhus for they can entertain themselves and others, similarly i may enjoye the company of devis that should be fine smbhog samadhi ya marne tak kisis ke saath bhi kaise bhi. Long lvie sex. Thanks rashmi.

  17. shavii

    Inhumanity in the name of religion!
    Do you think she would have been spared by those beasts who can’t afford to control their hornyness if she begged and recited those fucking mantras?

  18. A Bijay

    If such type of diksha is preached to Nirbhya by Bapu ji …. Bapu must rewarded by a good slap by Nirbhya….

  19. Abhai

    Well,This can be easily taken in the wrong way. I dont see this photo as offensive. Hindu Spiritualism is far beyond the reach of todays convent educated brainwashed individuals who speak the tongue of those who r hell bount on destroying Indian spirituality. Its the only country they failed from time to time. This is nothing new. We r from the place where we have tantra and the kamasutra and even have the sun temple of Konarak.Hinduism encourage love unlike other foreign religions who denounced it .But let me ask them if their parents would have refused to indulge in love them what would have been their fate? Most People who have commented regarding this post would be numb on issues relating to the pseudophile within the catholic church in Vatican and relationships between fathers and nuns within Kerela Churches. For these idiots they would even make something disgusting out of even a father and daughter relationship.

  20. sam

    @ Rasmi its the people like you who encourages sadhus and babas…its your thing follow them and enjoy but don’t encourage it in the name of spiritual or religion.. coz we are people of fear and we believe.. @rasmi’s daddy who you calling sheep…u must also be sadhu…

  21. Sumitra

    @Rashmi and rashimis “Daddy”, wow, I am appalled , I must say……………you people don’t have any shame at all?!?

  22. abid

    No matter what we all say or do , this will go on for ever , did the delhi rape case solve? it will never …… hate the indian system for the rape issues . All the politicians who encourages these kind of people ( fake god mans ) should be stoned along with the rapist

  23. kaushal

    why the people publishing fake news over the internet ………………
    it’s totally edited photo any body can make this who have little knowledge of photo shop……….

  24. Chinoy

    Whats the big ho ha about. After all did not Babu also sleep besides naked women ?
    As long as both parties are concenting adults. Who has the right to pass any judgement.

    As to his comments on the Rape victim. Well the media are to blame. They should not even have given him coverage. He will say something outrages and scandalous that is how he draws people to his cause.

  25. ram

    Even after seeing this picture, our people will not react , it seems our conscience have become dormant thats why no reaction.But guys pollution in the name of GOD and RELIGION is shameful. But I fail to understand one thing, why and how does NATURE not punish such sinners? They live kingly lives,and the GOD FEARING person has to look out for alms on the street.One is forced to think, IS THIS THE RIGHT WAY OF LIVING LIFE ?

  26. Raakesh

    Sadhus are synonymous with spirituality and purity. this wife beater enjoying women in the name of religion is so sickening. people bow in front of them and believe that they will help them resolve their problems…. this is how they plan to do that. don’t trust these A……S

  27. shailesh

    this Pic is fake why you spreading such kind of Msgs this is not Aasaram Bapu this is fake …

  28. Grimov

    I guess if someone is naive enough to let herself- or himself, why not- be subjected to these practices, as adults is alright. The rape episode is a whole different ballpark. Being attacked without a chance of self defense is cowardice of the worst kind and justifying it is just unacceptable.

  29. Prabhu

    Can’t comment on this person in particular. But I have been fortunate enough to see and meet few guenine ones. Just the way the tree bears some good fruits and some rotten ones, the tree of life always provides with both the kinds of beings. We all need to have a keen eye and an open mind to pick the right ones.Only then we can enjoy and benifit from the real taste of that divine fruit.!

  30. Harshita

    Aasaram is a big fake man n so does his preachings..such kind of ppl r polluting India wid their dirty behavior n thoughts..

  31. Human

    This is ridiculous. If you really want to join such acts, get your partner and live life which is accepted by society. No need to show to the world. These kind of Sadhus are making us fool on the name of religion.Our culture being spoiled by such sadhus & people who supprorts them. PLZ BE HUMAN AND RESPECT OUR HUMAN RELATION

  32. Daya Shankar

    I don’t have fear of “Hang till Death”… given the opportunity, I would like to do my job in favor of Humanity. I request all his followers not to doubt on the genuineness of the snap… please don’t think that its an edited on or blame the media for publishing… wake up & start protesting against these poisonous insects of our society.

  33. spyadav

    Asharam Ji is now old and he is trying to satisfy himself in this manner. At least he should have thought of decency of an old man. He should keep fast to get purified. What his followers are going to learn now

  34. paras

    pata nahi sach hai ya jhoot..
    but suna to maine bhi hai..
    kafi kuch inke aur inke aashram ke baare me.

  35. pearl

    is that girl an idiot to sit on a guy like that. This Baba is out of his mind, that’s what happens when God is missing in their lives.

  36. paresh

    I feel sorry to say that there are many such frauds happening in India on the name of such sadhus.like hariprasad (sokhda haridham) and all party politician support him like congress,bjp,

  37. Viraat

    rashmi is actually an eyeopener for us.. she actually revealed us wht most of the baba’s, sadhu’s policies are.. ppl like rashmi r encouraging such baba’s… and such sadhu’s r taking advantage of more and more women and satisfying their sick pleasures n cruel intentions.. media shud concentrate & work more on such things and reveal about the sexists in the sadhu masks

  38. Yog

    I have a Tibetan painting of Bodhisattva in this posture. Accept the divine energy called SEX!!

  39. Mazhar

    This type of trend in our country become common, These are due to andwiswas in which women become a short target of ..such Babas.So we should get aware to the women to beware of such………..

  40. Chaudhary

    Its so common and happeneing for thousands of years in India,,,,why so much of fuss. Its part of the sanskriti.

  41. Akshay Malhotra

    @ Chaudhary :

    Without understanding the reality or even searching for truth you directly accused this as part of Hindu Sanskriti !!

    What made you qualified to Judge Hindu Sanskriti ?

    Do you even know anything or just Hindu Hater ?

  42. shashi

    i cant understand whats wrong in having sex if two adult people are mutually agree. a sadhu can also enjoy sex. there are many rishi muny who have family ,children thats mean they enjoying sex reguraly. even our all gods are in pair such as shiv-parwati, visnu-laxmi, brahma-saraswati what does it mean that mean man and women are made for each other .nothing wrong in sex . a sadhu have also right to do it

  43. Ullas

    Dear Friends, keep in mind if thousand rupees fake note is there in the market it means original note also is there. likly if fake sadhu or baba is there means true sadhu or baba also there. You all just find out the truth instead of blaming & giving comment. Fake sadhu’s always engage this kind of activitites to fulfill thier needs and misguide the common people but one fine day they will be get cought. And same time true Sadhu or Guru or Sant’s always guide us in right way & always they hold our hand they will not allow to go wrong path until we reach the goal or get success in life. KEEP IN MIND AGAIN: LORD SHREE KRISHNA TOLD IN THE GEETA… YADA YADA HI DHARMASYA….. SAMBHAVAMI YUGE YUGE… HE CAME AGAIN… As I got such true GURU you can also find out anywhere in the world but if you didint get than contact me.

  44. vishwanath shivaji ahire

    asa ram is only asa not Ram Ram is holy name asa is gulty suffering form mental diseas if cort give him seven years punishment he will be finish in jail on15/9/2015

  45. swami

    Religare, Gurinder, and Beas Satsang, Part Two.

    Religare’s money connections with the Radha Soami guru.

    http://hinessight.blogs.com/church_of_the_churchless/2010/04/rssbs-ties-to-religare-mix-money-and-spirituality.html
    Religare’s money connections with the Radha Soami guru

    Religious institutions often have an intimate relationship with money. The hugely rich Catholic Church comes to mind, naturally. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this.

    People simply should be aware when spirituality gets tangled up with financial dealings, and make up their own minds about what, if anything, it means to them.

    In that spirit, someone forwarded me an email message regarding Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB) that reportedly has been circulating among members of this India-based organization.

    RSSB, as a branch of the Sant Mat (“Path of Saints”) religious philosophy, is led by a guru who is considered by the faithful to be God in human form. Or at least, as divinely realized as any human being can be.

    The current RSSB guru is Gurinder Singh Dhillon. The email says that he has two sons, Gurpreet Singh Dhillon (age 26) and Gurkirat Singh Dhillon (age 20). I wasn’t able to confirm this by any online information, but I checked with the sender of the email and it seems like the information is correct.

    (Note: in this blog post I’m sticking to Internet-accessible facts as much as possible. In another post on this subject, I’ll be more subjective and share how I feel about those facts, perhaps along with some thoughts from others about the financial dealings related below.)

    Gurpreet and Gurkirat are substantial shareholders in a company called Religare. Religare and Fortis, another large Indian company, are part of a family conglomerate headed by Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh.

    [Update: a commenter on this post wrote, “Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh of Ranbaxy are the grandsons of Charan Singh, which makes the current Guru their uncle.” This casts a somewhat different light on the facts below, but doesn’t affect a central point: spiritual and financial affairs have become intimately intertwined in RSSB.]

    As this story says:

    Malvinder Singh, who will earn some Rs.100 billion ($2.4 billion) from selling his family’s stake in the pharmaceutical firm to Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo, is now planning to make huge investments in Religare and Fortis, the family’s financial service and healthcare companies. “Healthcare and financial services are two areas where we have existing businesses, where we will make investments,” Ranbaxy CEO and managing director Malvinder Singh said Sunday.

    For some perspective, the average per capita income in India is about $1,000 (U.S.), while in the United States it is about $39,000. So millions and billions that seem like a lot of money here are considerably farther out of the ordinary for most Indians.

    Malvinder Singh, an initiate of RSSB, is deeply involved in the Radha Soami Satsang Beas organization, as is the rest of his family.

    This helps explain why the RSSB guru’s sons, Gurpreet and Gurkirat, each ended up with about 10% of the shares in Religare according to a 2007 prospectus. On page 25 it says that Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh were allotted 49,575,000 equity shares in Religare at 10 rupees (about 23 cents) a share.

    Malvinder then transferred 6,250,000 shares to Gurpreet Singh, and Shivinder transferred 6,250,000 shares to Gurkirat Singh under guardianship of Ms. Shabnam Dhillon — almost certainly because Gurkirat is only twenty years old.

    The cost also was 10 rupees a share. So the guru’s sons each got 6,250,000 shares of Religare for $1,437,500 or thereabouts through an insider deal. The share price on April 6, 2010 was 395.80. Thus, converting into dollars, 6,250,000 shares of Religare currently are worth $55,716,271 (today’s exchange rate shows 1 rupee = .022523 US$).

    This explains how Gurpreet and Gurkirat appear on a 2009 “Billionaire Club” list of wealthy Indians. They’re ranked near the bottom at 364 and 365.

    (A billion rupees is only $22,523,000, so it’s a lot easier to be a billionaire in India. Interestingly, though, the rupee is worth about 1/44 of a dollar, and the per capita income in India is about 1/39 of the United States per capita income. So seemingly Gurpreet and Gurkirat’s net worth makes them the Indian equivalent of an American billionaire.)

    The guru’s sons seemingly acquired even more Religare shares recently, according to this insider trading report. It appears that each son got 6,183,000 additional shares (for a total of about 12,400,000 shares).

    And the RSSB guru himself — Gurinder Singh Dhillon — got 26,333, leaving him with a total of 65,833 (or about $587,000 worth).

    Religare insider trading
    So the question is… so what?

    Well, as I said above, that’s a subject for a follow-up post. What I’ve shared here simply are publicly available facts, accessible to anyone with a web browser via some Google’ing.

    As this Indian blogger notes, “Gods and Godmen have always had their role to play in the world of business.”

    For instance, the patriarch of the Radha Soami sect headquartered at Beas (he is also called the Beas Sant or the saint of Beas) is reported to have played his role in the succession drama at Ranbaxy after the death of then CEO and promoter Parvinder Singh in 1999.

    The use of gurus isn’t an oddity in the global business environment. After all they fall in the same category as mentors, executive coaches, and consultants.

    Hmmmm. I can’t agree with that last statement.

    But maybe I have an old-fashioned view of what the role of a spiritual guru is supposed to be. I’ll have more to say on this subject in my next post.
    You might also like:
    Radha Soami Satsang Beas guru makes $254 million
    RSSB’s ties to Religare mix money and spirituality
    Gurinder Singh’s son become CEO of Religare subsidiary
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    Guru’s and Religious Leaders can’t win for losing; If they live off of donations they’re lazy beggars accepting handouts, if they get paid a salary they become professional priests sponging off their congregation, if they earn money through business investments they’re greedy materialists obsessed with money.

    Posted by: dj | April 09, 2010 at 01:26 PM

    dj, none of the scenarios you mentioned are in play here. This is a case of a guru’s sons, and the guru himself, being “gifted” (through insider trading) tens of millions of dollars worth of stock by wealthy initiates. In a few days I’ll explain why this is ethically problematical.

    Posted by: Blogger Brian | April 09, 2010 at 01:35 PM

    I agree with this question – “So the question is… so what?”

    Also – “a guru’s sons, and the guru himself, being “gifted” (through insider trading) tens of millions of dollars worth of stock by wealthy initiates” – what initiates do with their money is their business, isn’t it?

    Posted by: Jen | April 09, 2010 at 03:49 PM

    I wonder if the stocks pay a decent dividend?

    That would allow the son’s to receive income without having to sell shares – and probably enough money for a pretty comfy existence.

    Posted by: Bob | April 09, 2010 at 04:57 PM

    well i’m sorry if these ppl truly have dicsovered a nobler truth to it all, they sure as shit should not be concerned with money, in fact, that should go directly to those who need it, even i know that and i aint no satguru.

    Posted by: George | April 09, 2010 at 05:15 PM

    PURE ECONOMICS

    Posted by: Many Splits – Tara | April 09, 2010 at 07:02 PM

    Although it happens every day, “insider trading” is illegal in the United States. Remember the Martha Stewart incarceration?

    I don’t know Indian law regarding this, but without further information it would appear that Gurinder and family are benefiting unethically at the least and possibly illegally.

    That would be an interesting headline…”Beas Satguru Under Arrest, Family Finances Being Audited”. Shades of the Rajneesh cult here in the U.S.

    Could this be the unveiling-unraveling of RSSB? Probably not. You can say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

    Posted by: tucson | April 09, 2010 at 07:11 PM

    Well, to start with, I don’t know of many people know about this !

    Till a couple of years ago, the RSSB website gave just the address of the Dera. Now they feel the need to inform people about how the Guru earns his living. I guess they forgot to add ‘ Religare ‘ to the acres of wheat and mustard produce –

    http://www.rssb.org/philosophy.php
    ( Click – Baba Gurinder Singh )

    Posted by: Many Splits – Tara | April 09, 2010 at 07:45 PM

    tucson, when I refer to “insider trading,” I was thinking of trading shares between company insiders. This is what happened in this case. A founder/owner of Religare acquired a bunch of shares and transferred some of them to the guru’s sons.

    I think it’s reasonable to call this insider trading, and it would get reported as such. But this is a different sort of thing from the Martha Stuart affair, where shares were sold on a public stock exchange on the basis of insider information.

    Like you said, that is illegal. But granting shares to certain people favored by a company at a low cost is legal. This is often used to reward executives, or compensate them in lieu of a higher salary.

    Jen, my next post will discuss the ethics of these financial dealings. It’s a bit simplistic to say that people can do whatever they want with their money. Actually, both legal and moral standards argue against that statement.

    Consider this: instead of a Indian guru and his family, substitute the Pope (imagine that he was a family man, being head of a different Catholic church), or a psychiatrist .

    You’ve learned that the Pope’s family, or the psychiatrist’s family, has just been given many millions of dollars by a devoted Catholic believer, or by a patient in long-term psychotherapeutic treatment.

    Wouldn’t this raise some red flags for you? Wouldn’t you wonder about the propriety of a religious leader, or secular counselor, personally getting large financial benefit from someone under their tutelage, or care?

    It’s something to think about, anyway. I’ll offer up more food for thought in my next post.

    Posted by: Blogger Brian | April 09, 2010 at 08:25 PM

    Brian, regarding legal and moral arguments, you say that “granting shares to certain people favored by a company at a low cost is legal”. Okay, so that leaves moral standards and this I don’t understand either, because this is about Gurinder Singh’s family finances, which has nothing to do with the RSSB organization’s funds.

    George, the RSSB Dera regularly provides free meals to the hundreds of thousands of local visitors and also free hospital care. Westerners can visit the Dera and stay for free and there is no obligation to donate in money seva.

    I’m not convinced that there is anything wrong about these financial transactions and I don’t know why I care about fairness but I do! 🙂
    Posted by: Jen | April 09, 2010 at 09:42 PM

    Jen, in that case wouldn’t it be fair for a RS-representative to stop a visibly poor man from putting his few cents into the money-box ?

    RSSB takes from the bottom line, that is their main devotee-bank.

    I don’t know if you have seen the langar ( free-meal ) facility at the Dera. It may be worth comparing it to some other free-meal facilities of other institutions who have less than half the donation amounts coming in.

    Posted by: Many Splits – Tara | April 09, 2010 at 10:04 PM

    Many Splits, a story in one of the Sant Mat books that moves me very much is about a very old man who had walked for miles to visit the Dera and then stood in line to give his donation of one rupee into money seva and the Master or the sevadar did not want to take it and the old man was heartbroken and broke down in tears until his seva was then accepted. The devotional aspect of this story affects me because who are we to deny someone else’s faith and devotion and that which means so much to them.

    I have visited the Dera and was there at the monthly satsang when there were hundreds of thousands of people and I was moved to see them lining up in queues for their free meal and seeing them sitting on the ground eating and then cleaning their plate for the next person and I don’t see anything wrong with this. This is their custom and it is their normal practice to sit on the ground and eat in this manner. I’m surprised that you expect anything different and I’m quite sure they don’t. There is a huge divide in India between the very rich and the extremely poor as you well know. It’s a pity that some of the millionaires in India don’t do more for the poor.

    Posted by: Jen | April 09, 2010 at 10:38 PM

    Jen, you seem to have missed my point. Or else you have a considerably looser view of what is ethical than I do.

    As I’ll discuss in my next post, it is generally considered wrong for a person in a position of power to engage in business dealing with “underlings.” This is called a “dual relationship” in psychotherapeutic circles.

    The guru is considered to be God in human form by devotees. The guru is believed to control the initiate’s karma/life/afterlife. Many, if not most, RSSB initiates would do anything the guru commands, or wants. Service to the guru is viewed as service to God.

    So do you really think that it is acceptable for this “seva” (service) to consist of giving many millions of dollars to the guru and his family? Does this strike you as something Jesus or Buddha would tolerate or expect? (The RSSB guru is viewed as akin to Jesus by initiates, since he is a son of God sent to redeem/save selected souls.)

    Religare is an organization controlled by RSSB initiates who reportedly are directed by the guru in their business dealings. Which include the transfer of millions of shares of Religare to the guru’s sons (and a lesser amount of shares to the guru himself).

    I find this strange. It seems that you don’t. I guess we can simply agree to disagree about what sorts of behavior are expected of a guru.

    Posted by: Blogger Brian | April 09, 2010 at 10:40 PM

    Well, of course I took the ball and ran with it to a conclusion that probably will not manifest, just for the fun of it. There may not be any legal impropriety.

    But, it certainly appears incongruous, unseemly and suspicious that the supposed embodiment of transcendent perfection as taught by RSSB, who has access to planes of conscious so sublime that this physical universe appears as a small speck of filth by comparison, would be taking advantage of connections from within the RSSB organization to accumulate the wealth of a world decried and disparaged in the RSSB literature and satsangs.

    Posted by: tucson | April 09, 2010 at 10:50 PM

    Brian, I’m looking forward to your next post and also to other comments, hopefully not just about looking for fault to justify their position in moving away from Sant Mat.

    Posted by: Jen | April 09, 2010 at 10:53 PM

    Jen, that was a sweet story from a sweet Sant Mat book, and that was probably in the age of Maharaj Sawan Singh Ji or Maharaj Charan Singh Ji. Though India is pretty much on an economic upswing, the old man who stands in the line to put his pennies in the money-box is still as poor as the guy in the story. On the other hand, RSSB has grown into a power-house with a billionaire Guru at the helm who is on a ( personal and professional ) economic roll.

    Quoting you –
    ” There is a huge divide in India between the very rich and the extremely poor as you well know. It’s a pity that some of the millionaires in India don’t do more for the poor… ”

    Yes, there is a huge divide between the rich and the poor here in India, but let me tell you that the CSR initiatives by India’s leading companies are shaping up to do their bit. What does RSSB do for the same impoverished lot that form the single largest majority of their following ? Very, very little – almost nothing. And, just about an hour ago, I confirmed with someone who works at Religare that Religare has no CSR initiative ! I would like to think that God would want to do some charity if he was a co-owner of a two billion dollar business house.

    Langar or free-meal facilities are a common practice within many religious, spiritual and charitable organizations here in India. My point was, that with the kind of money that RSSB gets, they are in a position to give much more than bread and lentil in their free-meal facility. Did they really need to buy that property for ‘ seva ‘ in Amsterdam ? What you are witnessing now is the expansion of a cult, where the priorities now are quite different from the days of the Great Masters.

    Tara.

    Posted by: Many Splits – Tara | April 09, 2010 at 11:32 PM

    Tucson, that was very well said !
    Jen, I have now come to believe that RSSB and Sant Mat are quite different.

    Posted by: Many Splits – Tara | April 09, 2010 at 11:40 PM

    After reading the comment by Many Splits I had to look up what CSR meant: it’s Corporate Social Responsibility. Sounds like a good thing, whether in India or elsewhere.
    http://www.prleap.com/pr/78626/

    Posted by: Blogger Brian | April 10, 2010 at 12:23 AM

    I am basically in complete agreement with Brian on this matter. It is outrageous that the guru of RSSB and his immediate family have been given gifts of stock worth 50+ million dollars each. This is unethical and improper in the extreme, and for many reasons. Jen apparently has no sense of right and wrong. The RS guru is not some solitary private person, he is a pubic religious figure, and it is incredibly inappropriate for him and his sons to be personally accepting tens of millions of dollars from some billionaire satsangi who made his money in big pharma (Ranbaxy). It is absolutely unethical. What is the matter with you Jen?

    The RSSB and especially its leader and his family, are deeply corrupted. It is wrong for a person in such a position of power to engage in business dealing with underlings. Its disgusting and deplorable.

    It is laugable that anyone thinks that giving some meagre hand-out of daal and chapatis to the poor somehow absolves or vindicates the RS leader and his family from the burden of responsibility. Only a fool would think this way.

    I am amazed (but not surpised) that RS believers have so little integrity so as to turn a blind eye to such financial shenanigans and impropriety on the part of the guru and his family.

    I find that very strange indeed.

    And Jen, this is not at all about folks “looking for fault to justify their position in moving away from Sant Mat”. It is about the RS guru’s corruption and lack of ethics and lack of responsibility to his followers.

    Posted by: tAo | April 10, 2010 at 01:25 AM

    Hi tAo !

    The strange thing is that not many RS believers know about this !

    Every single person I spoke to earlier in the day seemed shocked. It is indeed big news to them. Well, on a regular day, who would go to the SEBI – Securities & Exchange Board of India website and search for shareholding patterns in a company called Religare ? This has deliberately been kept undercover, for very obvious reasons of course !

    Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh of Ranbaxy are the grandsons of Charan Singh, which makes the current Guru their uncle.

    Tara.

    Posted by: Many Splits – Tara | April 10, 2010 at 02:17 AM

    I sent the link of this post to the few ‘ open-minded ‘ RS believers I know.
    I received a reply on my cellphone from one of them –

    HOLY GRAIL / MONEY TRAIL

    Posted by: Many Splits – Tara | April 10, 2010 at 02:35 AM

    tAo, I can almost see you rubbing your hands together with glee, licking your lips and going heh heh, got them now!

    Oh well, I just see family business… separate to sangat business… whatever

    Posted by: Jen | April 10, 2010 at 02:41 AM

    Jen,

    Yes I have heard that about the Dera and hospital and it is very good, but if this is all just a front for their real business of making real money then its bullshit.

    Any money they get should be plowed right back into their community if they are truly these enlightened beings that they are supposed to be.

    I mean wtf does god in human form need billions of dollar for?

    This is exactly why i am so weary of these mystical charlatans.

    Posted by: George | April 10, 2010 at 03:44 AM

    The money making is fine provided it is redirected straight back into the community, but if these ppl and their families are leading lavish lifestyles and accumulating wealth as a result of the movement; that is absolute nonsense, absolute rubbish – and it says more about their spirituality or lack thereof, then anyone ever could, and actually if there is a higher power, these chisellers should be the first to get some karmic mumbo jumbo payback.

    Posted by: George | April 10, 2010 at 03:50 AM

    Hi George.

    There is a large-scale expansion plan for the Dera which is underway, and in my opinion the Dera has lost the quiet charm it had in the days of Charan Singh. Since I was going there since a very young age, I can see the change for myself. I often heard the elders in my family talking about Charan Singh’s dislike of turning the RSSB into a mass, quasi-religious movement. But that is exactly what his successor is doing.

    Is the money being redirected straight back into the community ? I do not know, he may have given a substantial amount to the RSSB trust. But then, like one of the many ‘ miracles ‘ we hear about, someone would have praised the generosity of the Guru, like – ” Did you hear that Babaji gave one million dollars to the trust ! ” Well, nobody’s heard that !

    Tara.
    Posted by: Many Splits – Tara | April 10, 2010 at 05:37 AM

    It is an eye opener. I also remember Baba Faqir Chand, a Radhasoami guru prohibited his blood relations from becoming members of the trust he created for his Temple of Humanity. His mission is still in poor condition. Telling truth does not help build big Deras. However I am committed to the thought that all innocent believers, whether Indian or American, have to be on their guards.

    Posted by: Bharat | April 10, 2010 at 07:51 AM

    Hi Bharat,
    Yes, this is an eye opener for many, as not many people are aware of this.
    This is information that RSSB did not want to make public, at least not to the devotee-bank ! But the good thing about this day and age is the internet and Brian’s blog ! I wish more people would read this post.
    Tara.

    Posted by: Tara | April 10, 2010 at 02:36 PM

    Jen wrote: “tAo, I can almost see you rubbing your hands together with glee, licking your lips and going heh heh, got them now!”

    — Jen… on the contrary, I find this all rather sad and unfortunate. I don’t enjoy seeing RS leadership involved in unethical behavior of this kind or degree. You have a wrong impression about me. I am not like the way you seem to presume that I am.

    You say that the master and his family business is personal, private, and separate from the RS org. I do not agree. This was not minor wealth that was accrued through honest hard work on the part of G.S. or his sons, it was a vast sum of money that was a gift that most likely had some strings attached. So its time to wake up and smell the doo-doo.

    Posted by: tAo | April 10, 2010 at 11:47 PM

    A snippet from a newspaper article that RSSB has published on its website –

    ” Sant Mat does not require asceticism but asks for complete detachment from every activity that retards the progress of the soul. To eat the simplest and purest nourishment definitely helps in controlling the five passions – lust, anger, greed, attachment and egotism. High ethical and moral life is necessary for spiritual progress and God realization. This path also enjoins the followers to earn their livelihood by honest means. The Master himself rigidly follows this principle and accepts nothing from his disciples. ”

    http://www.rssb.org/articles.php
    Read No. 6 – The Radha Soami Way of God Realization

    Posted by: Tara | April 11, 2010 at 02:31 AM

    tAo, I agree, there probably is some kind of trade-off in place. Malvinder Singh comes across like a shrewd businessman, and in my opinion it is highly unlikely that he has given away millions for nothing in return.

    Posted by: Tara – Many Splits | April 11, 2010 at 02:50 AM

    tAo,

    Sorry if my comment about you was a bit over the top. I am quite fond of you, just as I am of the others on this blog and it is wrong of me to make presumptions. It was a kind of joke that was a bit off which I realized after I had posted it. No bad feelings I hope 🙂

    As far as the RS org goes I’ve decided to become more detached from it all now, which is probably best for my own good (it takes some time to detach completely).

    Cheers
    Posted by: Jen | April 11, 2010 at 02:54 AM

    It really only shows how typically worldy and totally mundane as an economic not for profit RSSB is.All that is brought up by Brian over and over again points to this very fact.

    Posted by: Dogribb | April 11, 2010 at 09:30 AM

    ਮਾਇਆ ਮਮਤਾ ਮੋਹਣੀ ਜਿਨਿ ਵਿਣੁ ਦੰਤਾ ਜਗੁ ਖਾਇਆ ॥(੬੪੩-੧੮, ਵਾਰ-ਸੋਰਠਿ, ਮ ੩) The love of Maya is enticing; without teeth, it has eaten up the world. Bewitching is the love of wealth, which without teeth, has eaten up the world.
    FEATURES OF SO CALLED GURUS:–
    1.They wear loin-cloths three and a half yards long, and there fold sacred threads.
    2.They have rosaries around their necks and glittering jugs in their hands.
    3.They are not called the saints of God, but the cheats of Kanshi.
    4.Such saints are not pleasing to me, They devour trees including their stems.
    5.They scrub their vessels and put them on fire and born the wood after washing.
    6.Digging up the earth, they, make two fire-places and eat up the whole man.
    7.Those sinners ever wander in evil deeds and call themselves touch me not supreme saints.
    8.Ever and over they roam about in self-conceit and drown all their families.

    9.Because of the love of sons, relations and house-wife man is engrossed in the desire for fascinating mammon.(sggs ang 63)
    10.Practising great deceit, the man acquires other’s wealth.Coming home, he squanders it on his sons and wife.
    11.Outwardly wearing religious garbs, inwardly has the filth of worldliness.
    12.O Sire, many men wear various religious garbs for begging and for filling their bellies.

    Posted by: SHABADGURU786 | April 12, 2010 at 10:30 PM

    Shabadguru, this one’s for you –
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdK_rkpI9mk&feature=related

    Posted by: Tara | April 14, 2010 at 01:41 AM

    Gurus should forgo personal wealth when taking on the job. A small sum of money should be paid out for personal use and Guru’s relatives should earn their livings through the profession or trade that they have studied. All gifted money should go to the organisation only and be carefully monitored by external audits. Religious organisations that are not distributing a percentage of their money to charity, should be taxed. The guru should have a monitored say in how money is spent on the organisation.

    With the current focus on Darwinism, it does seem that the impulse for the survival (thrival) of the genes is in fact inherent and overrides all others.

    Posted by: Catherine | April 15, 2010 at 07:30 PM

    Tao said,This was not minor wealth that was accrued through honest hard work on the part of G.S. or his sons, it was a vast sum of money that was a gift that most likely had some strings attached.

    It is very likely that the shares of Religare transferred to Gurinder and his sons may be in compensation of some services provided by the Guru, because big businesses/ big deals in India can never be run, finalized and executed without the help of mediators of good approach and political connections and it seems that Gurinder would be a key person in providing these services, as is quite normal with most of the Gurus. I have always a feeling that the first line SEVADARS and the family members of the Guru would not give a dime to each other for free.

    Even most of the lands acquired/purchased by RSSB are registered with the Registration Authorities for not more than 1 to 10 percent of the price paid for.
    Posted by: Juan | April 16, 2010 at 06:25 AM

    Shut up! If your information is right, and if this all calculations are correct why don’t anyone of you pitch your voice in media. I know you won’t because the piece of information on which you are jumping is just as fake as your intentions are. There are things that media has highlighted in recent past and they were not even a part of such a big scandal that you have mentioned. Why don’t you file a case against Guru or Organisation. You don’t have any choice shameless bloggers! you have got plentiful of time and thats what you profession is -” Doing nothing and defaming those who are doing good”.
    Come on now, don’t reply me back. If you have guts I wan’t to see you and hear your voice on NEWS channels next time I switch on TV and will love to see your petition in court getting proved right.”

    Take care.

    Radhasoami Jee!
    Please accept this challenge! And enlighten everyone.

    Posted by: Deepak Kumar Kushwaha | April 18, 2010 at 01:24 PM

    Deepak, the accuracy of the information in the posts about Religare and RSSB hasn’t been challenged. So that non-challenge has been won.

    No one to my knowledge is saying that anything illegal is involved here. So your comment about a court doesn’t make any sense. I’m not sure what you’re bothered about.

    If you have different facts to share, please do. Otherwise, everyone — including you, naturally — is free to interpret the facts as they wish.

    Posted by: Blogger Brian | April 18, 2010 at 04:09 PM

    –The RSSB cult-is like all the other cults.a strong armed approach to controlling the ignorant masses–who will donate their blood,sweat, and tears to “Perfect Living Masters”. Look how the Roman Catholic church has duped BILLIONS for Millenia-no big deal.All I truly believe are the 4 Yugas–and thank whatever that the Kali Yuga will close with a BANG(and soon I hope)-v152

    Posted by: Jennifer Morrison | April 18, 2010 at 05:45 PM

    Mr. Deepak Kumar Kushwaha – Radha Soami Jee ! Radha Soami Jee !
    It was great to read your comment, please do not leave this site, we need people like you here. I mean it !

    So, you are saying that the SEBI website is a fake ?
    Either you are illiterate or a fool, maybe both.

    Posted by: Arjun | April 18, 2010 at 09:15 PM

    anybody care to elaborate what these Religare share transfer ‘facts’ might be?

    That one share holder transferred certain legitimately acquired shares to another within familial circles, or what exactly is the underlying crime you are alluding to here?

    Posted by: halcatraz | April 19, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    halcatraz, I have never said that anything illegal went on here. So where do you get this idea of a “crime”?

    Everyone has to decide what the facts mean to them. For me, I found the notion of a guru’s sons becoming hugely rich through the actions of a disciple (who also is a relative) rather disturbing, in light of the RSSB philosophy and how the organization operated in the “old days” prior to Gurinder Singh.

    Also interesting is the fact that high-ranking members of RSSB are also intimately involved with Religare, which reportedly is essentially being managed by the guru.

    I don’t know what you mean by “elaborate.” The facts are there in the Religare prospectus, and the other sources cited in the posts. Facts are facts. The meaning we give to them is up to us.

    Posted by: Blogger Brian | April 19, 2010 at 12:43 PM

    Halcatraz and Deepak,
    Nobody is talking about legality here. Use your grey matter a little bit which you have put on a side while surrendering to the cult.

    RSSB gurus or their clan are not supposed to take any money from any disciple for their personal use. It’s obvious that Gurinder Singh is using his Godly status to get this huge amount of money. If Ranbaxy owner wants to donate money, it should go to RSSB foundation.

    If I want to work on Religare, will they give me the same share:) What is the basis of giving so much money to guru’s sons? Just because they are sons of the so called GOD? What does Gurinder singh and his sons have done to get this much share? How come they are partners in this business?

    Cultic mind of satsangis will never question this.

    Posted by: sapient | April 19, 2010 at 03:21 PM

    I would like to disclose a very important thing to all disciples of Radhaswami sect that when they can not recite any Baani of their own on death of somebody, to pray for the peace upon the dead soul. Their Gurus or administrators also need to bow before Guru Granth Sahab ji to perform last rites. How could they provide you anything during your life time.Their marriage ceremony is also completed as ANAND KARZ infront of Sri GURU GRANTH SAHEB JI. I mean, Are they in position to fulfil your wishes of money, son, a home or any other materialistic need which some one prays to almighty Waheguru?
    These fake gurus only have tact make fool of poor people by using their money , physical power as so called sewa .money is only their MOTO.
    All the five words (jot niranjan,oonkar ,rarnkar, sohang, satnam)guru give to people are taken from Guru Granth Sahib ji. What the originallity they have? nothing….. nothing….

    The Indian Express, Chandigarh, Jun. 2, 2006
    (Former S.G.P.C. member Amrinder Singh today alleged that the Radha Soami Satsang Beas had usurped land in Beas which was originally donated to Sri Guru Granth Sahib by name.

    Releasing documents to attest his claim, Amrinder Singh stated that land worth nine kanals [1.125 acres; 1 kanal = 0.125 acres] was gifted by a devout Sikh to Guru Granth Sahib in 1932. ‘Under the revenue records, it continued to be in the name of Guru Granth Sahib till 1985, when the name of Guru Granth Sahib was removed from the column of ownership in the Punjab government revenue records,’ he alleged.

    The process began in 1983, when the Punjab government suddenly issued a notification for consolidation of land. By 1985, the Radha Soami dera had effectively usurped the land.

    Producing copies of the gift of land, Amrinder stated that the gift was made by Santa Singh of village Wraich, district Amritsar. It was during the tenure of A.C. Sen as commissioner of Jalandhar Division, Patwari Teja Singh and Qanungo Hans Raj that the notification for consolidation was made.

    Amrinder Singh demanded an inquiry by the Punjab government into the transfer of land and sought the immediate intervention of the Punjab D.G.P. into the affair. ‘Government should appoint an inquiry into the embezzlement of the property of Guru Granth Sahib, which enjoys the status of Guru,’ he said. He further sought a rectification of record and restoration of land to Guru Granth Sahib. The place, Jaimal Singh has historical importance for the Sikh community, since the last rites of Mata Ganga, the mother of the fifth Sikh Guru were performed at this place. Guru Hargobind, the sixth Sikh guru also participated in the ceremony, Amrinder added.
    )

    Posted by: hunar007 | April 20, 2010 at 12:10 AM

    Sapient, you are so right !

    This entire issue is not about what is ” legal ” but all about what is ” moral ” in accordance with the dictates of Sant Mat.

    Benefiting disproportionately on one hand and preaching the karma theory on the other – just doesn’t fly !

    Posted by: Tara | April 20, 2010 at 01:17 AM

    hunar007, you are right about the Beas land issue. I have read articles about that in the past. RSSB’s representatives ‘ network ‘ with the political authorities to get all their work done. A few years ago they made entire Sangats wait for long hours ( after Satsang ) at the local Satsang centers – just to sign a mass petition because the Delhi Metro Corporation was going to buy one one of their properties as a part of the new transport plan. Eventually, RSSB managed to retain that property with the alleged ‘ grace ‘ of the Master ! ( Whatever… )
    Posted by: Tara | April 20, 2010 at 01:59 AM

    hunar, interesting story. Only in India, probably, could a holy book be a landowner. How does that work? Do Sikhs really believe that the Guru Granth Sahib is a person?

    Posted by: Blogger Brian | April 20, 2010 at 10:01 AM

    ( LOL ) Brian !
    Apparently, the land is supposed to be in the custody of one of the descendants of the sikh who donated the land. Information on this is sketchy, as the legal paperwork extends itself back to antiquity…
    However, it is highly unlikely that this land belongs to RSSB.

    Please note that RSSB discourages followers to buy land around RSSB properties. They like to keep the prospect of ‘ future expansions ‘ open and in the advent of a dispute, or forcing someone to sell their land, they’d rather deal with the regular Joe unscrupulously, than deal with a Satsangi ( which would go down as gossip & bad PR ). It is a known fact that announcements are made in Satsangs not to buy property in certain areas, a case in point is the farm-house area on the outskirts of Delhi ( which is adjacent to the Chattarpur Satsang grounds ) where RSSB has just built a sprawling new house for Gurinder.
    Posted by: Tara | April 20, 2010 at 11:55 PM

    [I’ve shortened this comment because it was excessively long and not focused on the subject of the post. — Blogger Brian]

    dear brian
    for doctors your body is only blood ,bones flesh, tendons, arteries, veins .if more deep study you are collection of

    various metabolic functions ,enzymes , hormones but for your relatives like son/daughter/wife /mother you are father

    brian/husband brian/son brian.
    For others GURU GRANTH SAHIB JI is a holy book . but for sikhs it is “SHABAD GURU ” as gurbani says.:—
    Gurbani is the embodiment of the Guru and the Guru is the embodiment of Gurbani. In the whole of Gurbani is
    contained the Nectar.If the attendant acts up to what Gurbani enjoys, the Guru in person(verily) saves him.

    PLZ READ THIS JUDGEMENT:—-

    In a judgment entitled Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee Amritsar v. Som Nath Dass and others delivered on March 29, 2000, the Supreme Court of India has held that Sri Guru Granth Sahib is a juristic person. Its impact was not properly understood and correctly appreciated in the beginning. It gave rise to some misconceptions, apprehensions and queries. The Sikhs felt alarmed and disturbed. Misinformation might have led to some sort of agitation. Various questions that cropped up about the judgment were as under-
    Does it hold Guru Granth Sahib simply a person? Is it appropriate to call Guru Granth Sahib a person or a juristic person instead of Guru?
    Whether the judgment denigrates Sikhism and Guru Granth Sahib?
    Does it uphold the independent and separate identity of Sikhism?
    Has Guru Granth Sahib been equated with Hindu idol or deity?
    Has it made the Holy Sikh scripture subject to the jurisdiction of worldly courts and facilitated to drag its name irreverently before the courts just like ordinary property holders?
    Can the suits and claims be filed against every copy of Guru Granth Sahib?
    Will it now become necessary to take Sri Guru Granth Sahib to courts?
    Can the individuals destroying the copies of Guru Granth Sahib be convicted for murder?
    Whether the non-Sikh judges properly comprehended the Sikh principles and traditions?
    Such queries have prompted to go through the judgment minutely and to dilate upon it. The judgment answers most of the queries but before discussing the judgment in detail, some of the questions may be answered.

    First we should know whether the ten Sikh Gurus were persons? If they were so, it will not be inappropriate to call Guru Granth Sahib a person or juristic person. The Sikh Gurus lived on this earth in flesh and blood like other human beings. They were human beings but they were ideal, prefect, holy and sinless human beings.

    Posted by: hunar007 | April 21, 2010 at 01:40 AM

    Ok, hunar007 – I accept your rather technical interpretation of the Granth Sahib as an entity for legal matters, but having said that, you are still looking at the issue from an absolute ‘ SIKHI ‘ perspective. Nothing wrong with that, I can understand your point of view, but I do not think many people on this blog will be able to see your point of view in that light. When I said that ” the land is supposed to be in the custody of one of the descendants of the sikh who donated the land ” I implied the obvious, which I thought would resonate with you.

    And, this is got to be one of the longest comments on COTC and if you notice, we are moving away from the topic of this post… 🙂

    Posted by: Tara | April 21, 2010 at 09:03 AM

    hunar007, quoting you – ” The last of the living Gurus was Guru Gobind Singh Ji who recorded the sanctity of the ‘ Guru Granth Sahib ‘ and gave it the recognition of a living Guru. Thereafter it remained not only a sacred book but is reckoned as a living Guru. ”

    – In my opinion, it is the teachings contained within ( the Granth Sahib ) that are meant to serve as a guide to the followers ( Sikhs ). But as is in the case with most religions, people get caught up with the ritualistic side and ( in this case, the Sikhs ) are worshipping the book itself !

    What was intended to be the ‘ means ‘ becomes an ‘ end ‘ in itself – and that is when one stops developing individualistically and stagnates into dogmatic and ritualistic expressions. This is precisely why I moved away from RS, I just stopped growing and evolving as a person. Enlightenment and awakening are personal journeys, it may feel good to belong to a certain religious or spiritual group, but ( even religiously speaking ) how many people out there sincerely make the effort to become better human beings ?
    Posted by: Tara | April 21, 2010 at 09:40 AM

    Tara’s post previous reads:

    “This entire issue is not about what is ” legal ” but all about what is ” moral ” in accordance with the dictates of Sant Mat. ”
    —————-
    What is moral when it comes to a Sant/Guru? Is not the Sant given carte blanche by faithful devotees?

    to quote Karl Potter in his book Presuppositions of Indian Philosophy:

    “There can really be no doubt about the supremacy of control and freedom over morality among Indian ideals in the mind of anyone who has read the tales of ancient India or who has studied yoga or who has read the attributes of a good teacher (guru) in INDIAN sources.*….. the yogi is one who seeks to pass beyond good and evil, that the injunctions of the Vedas which prescribe morally correct actions do not apply to the true yogi, and that it is accepted in many circles that the path of the saint may well involve him in external behaviors which in others would be highly inappropriate.”

    *(i.e., not Julian Johnson)

    Posted by: Jon Weiss | April 21, 2010 at 01:17 PM

    hunar007 writes:

    “GURU GRANTH SAHIB JI is a holy book.”

    — who says? that is only your belief.

    “it is SHABAD GURU”

    — again, this is merely your own personal belief.

    “as gurbani says.:”

    — who gives a damn what the gurbani says. as if that is some sort of supreme authority? you are so full of dogma that you are out of touch with reality.

    “Gurbani is the embodiment of the Guru and the Guru is the embodiment of Gurbani.”

    — thats just another stupid religious belief.

    “In the whole of Gurbani is
    contained the Nectar.”

    — more rubbish.

    “the Guru in person(verily) saves him.”

    — childish nonsense imo.

    “it will not be inappropriate to call Guru Granth Sahib a person or juristic person.”

    — this is delusional nonsense.

    “The Sikh Gurus lived on this earth in flesh and blood like other human beings. They were human beings but they were ideal, prefect, holy and sinless human beings.”

    — if you believe that, then you lack rationality and reason, and you are deluded.

    hunar007, why are you coming here to a site that is said to be “CHURCHLESS” (ie: non-religious), yet you are posting lots of Sikh religious dogma and other foolishness? Why?

    You should go to a sikh website if you wish to preach your sikh religious dogma. I think Brian is only tolerating and permitting a portion of it to serve as an example of how religious nuts like you think.

    I don’t give a damn about your sikh religious beliefs, and why should I?

    You think that everyone should bow to all of your Sikh religious dogma and your worship of the Guru Granth nonsense?

    What the hell is the matter with you?

    Wake up to reality hunar007.

    Posted by: tAo | April 21, 2010 at 02:00 PM

    Jon Weiss – The underlying expression of your comments are racist.

    Posted by: Arjun | April 21, 2010 at 06:55 PM

    No Arjun, YOU are wrong. YOU are the one who is racist apprently… because YOU are the one who sees some issue of race here.

    Mr Weiss never actually mentioned or implied anything about race. He merely quoted out of Karl Potter’s book regarding morality and the tales of ancient India.

    Jon Weiss merely stated & asked: “What is moral when it comes to a Sant/Guru? Is not the Sant given carte blanche by faithful devotees?” [yes, that seems to be true]

    So YOU are the one who is concerned with race here, not Jon Weiss. There was nothing racist at all in his comment.

    [and btw… I happen to agree with what Mr Weiss has pointed out.]

    Posted by: tAo | April 21, 2010 at 10:44 PM

    hi all
    i have been reading your comments since a few days….well let me make a few things clear,which i have studied from my side
    1) the shares of religare enterprise which were bought by gurpreet and gurkirit at face value were brought much before the initial ipo, so no question of insider trading comes into picture, and also the shares were not alloted just coz they were guru’s son but coz of blood relation between malvinder,shivinder and gurpreet and gurkirit…..it is very common in world and especially in india to give shares at face value to close relations or to the promoters…..and it was no where hidden from the world as the red herring prospectus clearly states it…and as you are aware that gurpreet is presently working also for religare in U.K……does being guru’s son deny him the right to do investments and earn like all of do…..and till now none of radha soami initiates have given any stake to any guru or guru’s relatives……this religare affair is a family affair and not a guru and initiate affair…….,

    Posted by: tk | April 22, 2010 at 01:27 AM

    tao – I’m quoting Jon Weiss from a previous comment : ” Having said this, the invalidation may be more offensive to a western disciple than an Asian disciple. Western outlook is rooted in different ideals. India does not seem to have the same loyalty to artless honesty, but rather 3 thousand years of slippery ethics that leaves Machiavelli lookin’ boorish and unperceptive. In fact India has to be one of the most $$$ corrupt ( by Western standards ) countries on the planet… they even managed to pull a fast one on the World Bank ! ”

    Well, he does tend to put all Indians in one box !

    Posted by: Arjun | April 22, 2010 at 02:04 AM

    Jon Weiss, you’re taking this to a different ( and probably a much higher ) level.

    I’m just looking at things from a very basic perspective – Is it ‘ okay ‘ if the RS guru and his sons accept millions of dollars from a relative ? Well, I don’t think so and that is why I write ” this entire issue is not about what is ” legal ” but all about what is ” moral ” in accordance with the dictates of Sant Mat. ”

    I just read the comment above by ‘ tk ‘ and I personally know many people who will justify every action of the RS guru, and my comment was directed at that mindset. I can’t help agreeing with you, it is the devotees who give the ‘ guru ‘ the unconditional authority to do as and what he likes. Then incidents like these shouldn’t be such a surprise.

    Posted by: Tara | April 22, 2010 at 02:44 AM

    Cannot blame cults for trapping people if the people are willing to be trapped.

    Posted by: Arjun | April 22, 2010 at 02:46 AM

    tk, “insider trading” refers both to legal and illegal insider transactions. This definitely was an instance of insider trading, because it was a share transaction by a company insider.

    You don’t know why the shares were transferred to the guru’s sons. You’re speculating that it was a family gift. I’ve suggested that the issue of “dual relationships” also comes into play, since the guru is both a relative of the Singh brothers and also their spiritual master. Thus business/financial dealings get mixed up with religious/mystical dealings.

    Further, you (like other commenters) ignore the other close connections between RSSB and Religare — such as how many RSSB higher-ups are working for the company and serve on the board of directors.

    So your statement that the RSSB-Religare connection is a family affair and not a guru and initiate affair isn’t true.

    Posted by: Blogger Brian | April 22, 2010 at 11:18 AM

    An interesting article from Forbes on business problems in India, the following was abstracted from that Forbes article:

    “The really serious problem here,” Singh stated, “is that the prevalence of corruption in the Indian economy may well have distorted cultural norms within the society. Yet I am also aware of countervailing forces, so I do not want to overstate the case.

    “But to the extent that change in cultural norms will be needed to root out corruption, it will take a persistent, long, drawn-out effort. While economic change is easier to achieve, cultural change is much slower and more difficult. This is compounded by the rearguard actions of those who are beneficiaries of the status quo.”

    Full article:

    http://www.forbes.com/2007/08/15/wipro-tata-corruption-ent-law-cx_kw_0814whartonindia.html

    Jon

    Posted by: Jon Weiss | April 22, 2010 at 02:23 PM

    Arjun, yes Mr. Weiss did say: “India has to be one of the most $$$ corrupt ( by Western standards ) countries on the planet”… but that is simply his own considered opinion about corruption in India. It is not a “racist” statement, as you wrongly claim. Your use of the term “racist” is an incorrect choice of words.

    Arjun also later said: “Cannot blame cults for trapping people if the people are willing to be trapped.” — I disagree. Cults do trap people who are naive and unsuspecting. Cults like RS promote all sorts of bogus beliefs and dogma and illusions which are desiged to be appealing to spiritual seekers. The seekers are not at all aware of this, so cults like RS are tricking and deceiving (and consequently trapping) the seekers without them knowing. So the fault and the blame lays squarely upon the RS cult and their appealing but deceptive mystical dogma, and not with the trusting seekers. The blame is with the cult, not those who are fooled by the cult and its leader or spiritual master.

    Posted by: tAo | April 22, 2010 at 03:02 PM

    tao – how can Jon assume that ” the invalidation may be more offensive to a western disciple than an Asian disciple ” or ” Western outlook is rooted in different ideals. India does not seem to have the same loyalty to artless honesty, but rather 3 thousand years of slippery ethics ” ( ?? ) It may be his opinion, but is severely generalized.

    The RS cult traps people who surrender to their brainwashing. I did, my cousins did and in hindsight we feel like we were tricked into something that we were not weary of in the beginning. I’m in agreement with your views, I’ve been in that situation and disconnecting from RS was very difficult in the end.

    Posted by: Arjun | April 22, 2010 at 09:21 PM

    ( Uh ! Oh ! ) What do you call a Satsangi who has just learnt of the shareholding pattern and has decided to invest in Religare ?

    Posted by: Tara | April 22, 2010 at 09:38 PM

    you call him a Satsangare…

    Posted by: kodjo | April 23, 2010 at 06:37 AM

    I would like to propose a different viewpoint. Here are the facts:

    a) Malvinder Singh of Ranbaxy invested a huge amount in Religare, thereby acquiring a large number of shares.

    b) He then transferred a significant fraction of these shares to Gurpreet Singh Dhillon and Gurkirat Singh Dhillon, and some to Gurinder Singh Dhillon.

    Now, considering that Gurpreet and Gurkirat are Malvinder’s cousins, and Gurinder is his uncle, what’s wrong with this? Maybe he wanted to give a gift to his relatives. This isn’t some stranger giving a gift to the Guru’s family. The key point is that Malvinder is not just a Radha Soami follower, he is a family member.

    To me, this transaction sounds independent of the Radha Soami organization. It’s a family matter.
    Posted by: Tom | April 23, 2010 at 06:51 AM

    @ Tom – – – Religare was founded by the Ranbaxy brothers ( Malvinder Singh & Shivinder Singh ) so it is not like they went shopping and invested a huge sum in some random company, then came home and distributed a part of their acquisition to the RS guru’s sons. Religare’s stake holders we pre-decided and the shares we allotted at a paltry Rupees 10. Overnight, the guru’s two sons got part ownership of a big financial services company. Very lucky right ?

    Just to get familial relationships clear, Gurinder is Charan’s nephew, so Malvinder’s mother ( Nimmie, Charan’s daughter ) is Gurinder’s cousin. Nimmie’s kids ( Malvinder & Shivinder ) and Gurinder’s kids ( Gurpreet & Gurkirat ) by relation, are distant cousins then. So, Malvinder and Shivinder decided to give a big chunk of their pie to their cousin-uncle and his sons, while their maternal uncles ( Nimmie’s two blood brothers ) have no shareholding ?

    Has there been a distribution of wealth across the family ? Not according to the SEBI prospectus. So only the guru and his sons have benefitted ? Why ? What is the bargain ? Is there a barter ? Is it sheer generosity on the part of Malvinder ?

    The point to note is that Ranbaxy was in big debts at the time when Religare was founded. These articles will give you the numbers :

    http://www.business-standard.com/india/storypage.php?autono=325897
    http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Ranbaxy_Laboratories

    The story is that Religare ‘ grew ‘ from a one room office into a two billion dollar company. They bought multiple businesses, though the company’s turnover has been less than three million dollars this quarter. How did they sustain the capital inflow to buy businesses at a time when the parent company ( Ranbaxy ) was struggling to cope with debts ? Isn’t that strange ?

    Where did all that money come from ?
    The auditors of Religare have the answers.
    Posted by: Arjun | April 23, 2010 at 10:43 AM

    Hi Arjun:

    That is why I chose the word “may”.

    Yes, of course there will be East Indian disciple’s who will find the whole thing offensive. There will be Western disciple’s who will shrug and rationalize it all away.

    But here has been my experience in India with Indians…they are not quick to take offense. In USA somebody cuts you off in traffic and you might consider ducking. The other driver might take out his gun and shoot you. Can you imagine if this attitude prevailed on India’s roads!!!!! All drivers would be dead within a week. This same patience, I feel, is worth acknowledging in respect to how Indian disciple’s will respond to Religare, etc.

    Also the highest ideal of India, in a word, is (was?) probably LIBERATION (of the soul). Where as the Platonic ideal of Western man is not the liberation of man, but a call to the objective, good and just life. Of course this is mitigated by Judeo/Christian myths. The Christ Myth: Christ died for the Good of All, not for his personal liberation. So these ideals whether we are aware of them or not, certainly are going to effect the way people evaluate the guru and everything else.

    India in the past 20 years has become much more Westernized. Yet, India’s religious traditions, myths, and philosophical tradition(s) are, I think, more subtle, colorful, sprawling, and baroque than anywhere else on the planet. Culture holds us all, and insofar as that is so, the reaction of people who were born to India, (in particular those deeply tied to the guru tradition) familiar with the tales of the Ramayana and Mahabharata are likely to have a broader and more subtle view on what is appropriate for a guru, than a Lutheran raised in Oklahoma whose only access to India’s vast philosophy, myths, and traditions may have been “Path of the Masters” by Julian Johnson

    It is reasonable to assume the people of India have a deeper feel for their own traditions. Like the unique Indian head shake that seems to mean “yes, no, maybe”. How the Beas’ guru is viewed is in that head-shake somewhere. This seems to me largely how India views the comings and goings of her yogis, gurus, Saints, etc. Personally, I think India, her spirit, is very beautiful. What a pity if India gives way to McDonalds and Walmart.

    Posted by: Jon Weiss | April 23, 2010 at 02:23 PM

    Arjun:

    In response to “Where did all the money come from”:

    If you look at the history of Ranbaxy

    http://www.icmrindia.org/casestudies/catalogue/Human%20Resource%20and%20Organization%20Behavior/HROB057.htm

    you will see that it started as a small company founded by Malvinder’s grand-father, and carried forward by his father. It grew to become a big multi-national company when Brar (non family member) was CEO. The family members owned a significant fraction of Ranbaxy, which amounted to a lot of money.

    Malvinder (and his brother perhaps) exited Ranbaxy, and sold their huge stake in Ranbaxy. That’s where the money came from.

    They invested this money in a family business, Religare, and appointed family members and close friends as executives in this business. After all, Ranbaxy was also started as a small family business by their grand father. They probably wanted to do this all over, this time on a larger scale, as they had much more capital.

    Regarding “why only these relatives benefited from it, and not their other cousins”. The fact that Gurpreet works for Religare might explain it, while other relatives might not be qualified/capable to hold such positions at the company. Maybe Gurkirat is also being groomed for a key position at the company once he is done with his education.

    If I were starting a company, and some of my relatives were well qualified and trustworthy, I would happily hire them. There’s a significant and unquantifiable advantage of “good will”, in comparison with hiring an external candidate.

    You ask “Is there a barter?”
    Do you have a theory? Please share.

    Also, Ranbaxy is not the parent company. I think the two are disconnected (my opinion, don’t know for sure). Malvinder sold his stake in Ranbaxy, and used the money to invest in, and grow, Religare. That’s where the money to buy new businesses came from.

    Posted by: Tom | April 23, 2010 at 06:34 PM

    Kodjo, that was funny !
    Jon, the above is very well stated.

    Posted by: Tara | April 23, 2010 at 06:38 PM

    @ Tom – – – Thank you for sharing the Ranbaxy history, I work in the financial sector in India. I’ve been studying the rise of Religare and other financial companies for a little longer than it took you to conclude that Religare was being financed by Malvinder Singh after he sold his stake in Ranbaxy.

    I wrote – ” The point to note is that Ranbaxy was in big debts at the time when Religare was founded. ” Spend some time on the Internet, get your facts in line. On the 10th of June 2008, Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo Co. bought Ranbaxy. Religare was founded in 2006. Study the growth trajectory of Religare during that period, at the time when Ranbaxy was in debt.

    Do you want to know where I think that money was coming from ?
    IMO, part of Religare was being funded by the RSSB Trust.

    Like it or not, it is boardroom gossip that there are cross-holdings between Religare and the RSSB Trust. Do you think that this would bother an ordinary person ? Not the least ! Because it is a legal deal for any trust to invest in a public company. This happens to be a ‘ family ‘ company and Gurinder has full access to the RSSB Trust. But Gurinder also happens to be the leader of the RS spiritual sect, a GIHF for his millions of followers.

    For the satsang-going, seva-doing, darshan-seeking initiates who understand the RS tenets in the right spirit, this integration may be a bit hard to digest.
    For the weak-minded cultists, it may be easy to justify.

    And, do tell me, how does a two billion dollar company manage a turnover of three million dollars in a quarter ? Ranbaxy is funding Religare today, but who funded it when Ranbaxy itself was in debt ? The answer to that may have a link to Religare’s shareholding pattern.

    Posted by: Arjun | April 23, 2010 at 09:01 PM

    Jon, thanks for expounding.
    Apologies.

    Posted by: Arjun | April 23, 2010 at 09:16 PM

    Jon, I owe you an apology from another post ! Sorry !

    Posted by: Tara | April 23, 2010 at 10:14 PM

    @ Tom — Clarification : At the bottom of my comment I wrote ‘ Ranbaxy is funding Religare today… ‘ What I meant was ‘ The money from the Ranbaxy sale / Malvinder Singh is funding Religare today ‘ so read it that way.

    Posted by: Arjun | April 23, 2010 at 11:05 PM

    only for poor tAo
    The infidels are thrashed and are ruined in wranglings.
    There is darkness within the mind and body of an apostate. He has neither shelter nor palce of rest.
    The filth of the apostate is not washed off, until he enshrines not affection for Guru’s Word.

    Posted by: HUNAR007 | April 24, 2010 at 01:38 AM

    HUNAR007 –
    Nobody is interested in your dogmatic beliefs or in your religion. You are as much a Sikh fundamentalist as some of the RS fundamentalists out there – it is terrible that I thought otherwise ! Your comment above is obnoxious. Besides, the Guru Granth says nothing to that effect so this has been made up entirely by YOU, cause it seems like you cannot handle criticism. This is the COTC blog, where your extreme Sikhi beliefs will be questioned and challenged. Either be up for that and respond with something valid, or move on to some other blog where you can be the Sikh James Bond for the others.

    Posted by: Tara | April 24, 2010 at 03:20 AM

    Tom, like Brian said in his post, what this means to you is up to you to decide. Facts will remain facts and there is enough rationale in the RSSB books that validates the incorrectness of these financial dealings.

    If someone were to write a letter to the RSSB Trust asking for information about RSSB’s balance sheets or investments made, they will never get a reply.

    Indians are becoming increasingly conscious about where their taxes are going – towards infrastructure & reform or into the deep pockets of the bureaucrats & politicians. People want answers. It is time to start questioning cults like RSSB, who take from the poorest in society and offer no accountability for what they do with the donations they receive.
    Posted by: Tara | April 24, 2010 at 09:59 AM

    some interesting thoughts from jon, espectially on popper, its an amusing generalisation which may be be right or maybe not – but material wealth and its effects on the scruples of man – would seem to be a curse that is largely independent of culture – tho perhaps there are more moralistic conditioning in those brought up in the judaeo-christian or western world.

    \interesting comments nevertheless.

    Posted by: George | April 24, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    who knows, the one thing is for certain, greed is greed, and you can paint it any which way you want, but its still the same ugly thing, whether committed by the sheyster or the guru.

    Posted by: George | April 24, 2010 at 12:02 PM

    HUNAR007 says:

    “The infidels are thrashed and are ruined”

    — you appear much the same as a moslem extremist. take your stinking mentality and your rhetoric of religious fundamentalism and terrorism somehwere else far away from here. your kind is not welcome here, imo.

    “There is darkness within the mind and body of an apostate. The filth of the apostate”

    — you’re a religious nut and a moron, obviously.

    “he enshrines not affection for Guru’s Word.”

    — you’re no different than all the other stupid threatening fear mongering religious fundamentalists and extremists. how does it feel to be such a miserable jerk?

    Posted by: tAo | April 24, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    By uttering harsh words man come to grief. Hearken, O’ my foolish ignorant soul !

    Posted by: HUNAR007 | April 25, 2010 at 01:01 AM

    HUNAR007 – Are you talking to yourself ?

    Posted by: Tara | April 25, 2010 at 08:43 AM

    GURBANI IS UNIVERSAL TRUTH .IT IS FOR ME YOU AND EVERY ONE ON THIS EARTH.
    WE ARE WASTING SO MUCH ENERGY ON THESE fake controversies.As GURBANI SAYS:–
    After reading and perusing the scholars and astrologers resort t

  46. Kamal

    Less than 35 kilometres from the centre of Ahmedabad lies the dusty town of Motera, now made famous by one of India’s best known spiritual gurus, self-styled philosopher and friend to the rich and the powerful. Nearly 42 years ago, a developing friendship with the powers that be in Gujarat earned Asaram Harpalani, the son a coal and wood seller, 10 acres of fertile agricultural land. The land did not come to him all at once, it accumulated over the years as friendships strengthened. Harpalani, who was born in 1941 in Berami village of Pakistan’s Sindh province, set up a small ashram on the land, the first of over 400 ashrams that exist today across the world. Soon enough, this self-styled religious preacher dropped his tongue twister of a surname and began calling himself Asaram Bapu.

    His controversial intervention in the Delhi rape case—when he said “galati ek taraf se nahin hoti hai,” suggesting the victim of the sexual assault was equally responsible for the crime—has recently brought unwanted national attention to the man, but in Gujarat, Asaram and his Motera ashram have been in the eye of a storm since July 2008. The controversy involves the deaths of two ten-year-old cousins, Abhishek and Dipesh Vaghela, at the ashram’s Bal Kendra, on 3 July, a month after they were admitted there as students. On 23 January this year, seven disciples of Asaram accused in the Vaghela case were summoned by an Ahmedabad court.

    In the aftermath of the disappearance of the Vaghela brothers from the heavily guarded Bal Kendra, the ashram administration, including Asaram and Darshan Sai, had initially played down the seriousness of the incident. The parents of the children were told that they had run away home, a fact vociferously contested by them. “My brother Shantibhai and I enrolled our children at the Motera ashram for education,” said Praful Vaghela, father of Dipesh.

    “We paid Rs 15,000 each but were not given pucca receipts. It was just a handwritten receipt. The children were given yellow T-shirts and white pajamas as uniform in the ashram. In that month, we visited them at least six to eight times. On 28 June, when we visited the ashram, their hair was tonsured and both had sandalwood tikas on their foreheads. I was uncomfortable with this,” said Vaghela. According to him, the children told him that the tonsuring was done in the presence of Asaram. On the afternoon of 3 July, Shantibhai met the children at the ashram. At 9 pm the same day, Praful Vaghela received a call from the ashram administration inquiring if the children had come home. The Vaghelas went to the ashram and looked for the children. At the end of their futile search, Pankaj Saksena, the administrator of the gurukul told them to go around a peepal tree 11 times and ask for the children.

    They did so but “nothing happened”. The family, Vaghela claimed, wanted to file a police complaint, but the Ashram administration did not allow them to do so. The family waited out the night and proceeded to the Chandkeda police station the next morning. Two office bearers of the ashram—Vikas Khemcha and Ajay Shah—were already there at the police station. “They went in and spoke to the police. Then they came out and told us to go inside. The police got angry with us when we demanded that a complaint be filed. They did not let us file one,” says the distressed father.

    During this period Asaram sent a message to the parents that they should go to a char rasta (crossroad), pick up seven stones, put the stones in hot water along with the children’s clothes and then take out the wet clothes inside out and hang them to dry in the children’s room. The children would return within four hours. “The ashram people told us to wait for the mandatory four hours as directed by Asaram. Nothing happened,” said Vaghela. On the third day of the search, the ashram administration told the Vaghelas another bizarre story—the thumbnail of a 10-year-old gurukul resident had indicated that the missing children were at Kallol. Not surprisingly, that was not where the children were found. Their bodies were finally recovered from a dried-up riverbed close to the ashram.

    Vaghela can still vividly recall the harrowing sight—his son Dipesh’s arms were missing from the shoulder down. All the internal organs were missing, only the hollowed out ribcage remained. His left leg appeared to be cut off at the ankle, the right leg seemed burnt. His nephew Abhishek’s body was half burnt as well. Instead of helping the family, the policemen harassed them and refused to register complaints against Asaram and the ashram. “When I said the guilty should be arrested, we were told the consequences could be dire. Then we saw a tempo full of ashram inmates coming to the place where the bodies were recovered, armed with weapons and sticks. We ran away,” said Vaghela. Till this point, Asaram had always enjoyed a cosy relationship with the media. But when the media started reporting on the Vaghela case, many other skeletons started tumbling out of the ashram closets. The media, including several women reporters, were targeted and mercilessly beaten up. Kuldeep Singh Kalair, a reporter with Divya Bhaskar, was locked up in a room in the ashram and beaten by sadhaks. He had to be rescued by the police.

    The incident served to lend credence to the allegations of tantric practices by Asaram and his followers. The rumours had been around for a while, but before the deaths of these boys these were mere whispers. Meanwhile, in the Chhind- wara town of Madhya Pradesh, two other children were found dead in the residential institution run by Asaram. The students—Ramakrishna Yadav (a nursery student) and Vedant Moraya (Class 1 student)—were found in the hostel toilet on 31 July 2008. Here too, angry residents protested and demanded the closure of the ashram.

    Vaghela continues to maintain that Asaram and his son are involved in black magic and tantric practices, a claim he has made in his deposition before the Justice (retired) DK Trivedi Commission of Inquiry. The Commission, appointed by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to probe the deaths following the public outcry, has already been censured by the Gujarat High Court for going soft on Asaram and his son. The high court order on a petition filed by Asaram (15637/2012), challenging the Commis- sion summons to appear before it, stated: “a picture emerges where the Commis- sion has, on its knees, with folded hands craved the convenience of the petitioner and his son to record their evidence before it and this has continued for a period of more than one and a half years”. When Asaram appeared before the Commis- sion, after being summoned on six different occasions, he was accompanied by an entourage of slogan-shouting followers. Eyewitnesses say that even as the deposition before the Commission was on, Asaram would leave the room without permission, either to drink milk or address his followers.

    This brazenness in the face of the law is in keeping with this guru’s attitude to life. Initially, after the Motera ashram was set up, the numbers who came to listen to him were not large, but as local politicians started paying obeisance, they swelled. At the core of his attraction was an aggressive discourse that preached an ethic of ‘tit for tat’. The attitude is still visible at the sprawling Motera ashram.

    Beyond a huge peach-coloured arch, plastered with flex banners of the white-bearded preacher in elaborate head gear, two listless guards in khaki uniform watch people enter and exit the ashram. Many prostrate themselves at the ashram entrance before entering or leaving. Asaram speaks to the people via recorded discourses heard through the ashram compound, but few who come into the ashram seem interested in listening to the recorded version. It is the white kurta-pajama-clad male disciples, spread across various age groups, who catch their attention. They are everywhere—behind the various counters, walking around, talking in groups and working. They speak rough even with each other and some even use colourful expletives to make a point.

    At the far corner of the ashram stands the heavily guarded Bal Kendra. The presence of the guards is in keeping with the fear the name of Asaram invokes among present-day and former disciples when they discuss the godman. Two who have shared a close rapport with Asaram—Raju Chandak, a secretary, and Amrut Prajapati, personal physician—are running scared ever since they called it quits. Both claim to be privy to numerous illegal activities at the ashram. While Chandak has been shot at and wounded by three bullets following his deposition before the Trivedi Commission, Prajapati says he has been attacked at least six times by the ashram goons. Both are scared of sting operations done by the ashram, which have been furnished as proof before investigating agencies. Speaking to Open on telephone, a scared Chandak kept demanding proof that this reporter was not a part of a sting operation. “Asaram and his goondas have ruined my family life. We are running all the time because he has threatened to eliminate me. An attempt was also made. There is sexual exploitation going on at the ashram. I am being attacked because he does not want the illegal activities made public,” said Chandak.

    Prajapati spoke to Open at the Ayurveda Yog Centre in Ahmedabad’s Odav Circle. Responding to an advertisement for an ayurvedic doctor at one of Asaram’s ashrams, the BAMS-educated Prajapati met the godman for the first time in 1988. He was offered Rs 15,000 a month for a job that included food and accommodation. “I was entrusted with the job of setting up their ayurvedic formulation laboratory and allied services at the Surat ashram,” said Prajapati. As the number of disciples grew, Prajapati says Asaram insisted that they compromise on the quality of raw material used to prepare medicines. “Cow’s ghee was replaced by mixed ghee. I am also a witness to corruption and womanising. I saw these things closely when I became his personal physician. I could go to Asaram’s room at any time. One afternoon I went to his Jatikara farmhouse in Delhi. This was the day after his mother died. There was a woman in the room and it was a sight I should not have seen,” said Prajapti.

    “On 20 August 2005 I left the ashram after being threatened by them. I was scared. In September 2005, I was attacked by 10-15 people when I was visiting a friend in Ghaziabad. They threatened to kill me if I spoke against Asaram or the ashram. After the attacks I do not inform my patients about my schedule. I don’t even tell my family about my travel plans. This is the price I’m paying for the inability of the Gujarat police to protect me. There will never be justice. Even the Trivedi Commission will not be able to do anything to Asaram,” said Prajapati.

    The death of the boys is not the only allegation of wrongdoing against Asaram and his ashram. The cases against him range from the sinister to the bizarre, from land grab (in February 2009, the Gujarat government admitted in the legislative assembly that the Asaram ashram had encroached on 67,099 sq. m of land in Ahmedabad) to this allegation by a man blinded in one eye during a discourse, who has alleged that toffees were showered from a high-speed rotating machine at those in attendance. One such toffee hit him in the eye.

    Ashram spokesman Uday Sangani, an accused in the Vaghela case, dismisses the cases against Asaram and his associates as politically motivated. “It is perceived that Bapuji is close to the BJP due to his Hindutva teachings, hence the Congress has started this harassment.” He has been associated with the ashram for the past 17 years.

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