How to avoid Fake Gurus ?

Uddar Nimitam Bahu Kritah Shokah,

Kasha-yaambara Bahu Krita Vesha Caution

The above is a quotation from the great Adi Shankaracharya’s poem, Bhaja Govindam. It means that for the sake of one’s stomach (to make out some livelihood, or food), one may don saffron clothes and pose as a sanyasi.

In all ages, including ours, there have been and are many fake sanyasis or yogis. It is not everyone that dons saffron clothes that becomes a sanyasi.

In the Gita, Sanyas has been described as giving up the fruits of actions or material desires (Gita Ch. 18, sh.2).

Few Important tips to differentiate between True and Fake Gurus

  1. A True Guru will try to avoid a private conversation with a female devotee.
  2. One could become a Guru only after realizing God. Which if happen, that Guru will prefer to become a Sanyasi.
  3. A True Guru will never talk about past life or births.
  4. A True Guru will never make many disciples.
  5. A True saint will never enter a household.

While, there are very few great and True Gurus. There are many more, who are a Fake.

Given the luck, you will meet some. That depends on God’s grace. Opening ashrams and Gurudom has become a business in many places in world. An American friend asked an Indian Guru if he wanted to be promoted as a yogi in the USA. His arguments were that being brown-skinned I would succeed as a big hit because I could converse in English, recite Sanskrit shlokas and predict also as an astrologer which no Guru visiting USA has ever done or does. That great Guru told him that one could become a Guru after realizing God, which has not happened to him.

The story given in the Valmiki Ramayana about the curse attaching when one becomes the head of an ashram is worth remembering.

The Curse of becoming the Head of a Muth, Ashram or a Religious Institution

After Lord Rama had become the King of Ayodhya, he ruled with great justice and there was law, order and harmony. One day, his younger brother saw a dog barking outside the palace. When asked, the dog said that it could explain its conduct only before King Rama.

Briefly, what happened after that was: the dog who was injured said that he had been hit by a baton by a Brahmin. On being summoned, the Brahmin admitted his guilt but said that he being hungry, was going to beg for alms. The dog, standing in his way, was not allowing him to pass So in anger he had hit him. What punishment should be given to the Brahmin, asked King Rama? The dog said that the Brahmin should be made the head of a religious institution at Kalanjar. Rama did accordingly.

The courtiers thought that instead of punishment, a boon, a reward had been granted to the Brahmin. Lord Rama then told the court that they did not know what karma yielded what fruits. This secret was better known to the dog, who was asked to explain why he had suggested such a strange punishment which appeared to be more like a boon or great gift. The dog said that he was the head of the Kalanjar Muth (ashram) in his previous life and had followed scrupulously and religiously all conduct of good life, yet, he had to become a dog in his present incarnation. The Brahmin will now, since he was so full of anger and vindictiveness, a serious flaw in spiritual life, which would not merely ruin himself but will pave the way to hell for seven of his succeeding generations. Therefore:

  1. No one should ever accept the position of the head of a Muth.
  1. If you want to ruin a person along with his family, make him take charge of children, women, cows and holy persons. He will commit some mistake out of the arrogance of his power and hurt the meek and humble people and incur the wrath of God.
  1. He who steals the money of holy persons and women or who takes back the money donated, gets ruined along with his loved ones.

The dog was a discriminating thinker on divine subjects in his previous birth. He then went to the holy city of Varanasi where by fasts (remaining without water and food), he thus remained in a divine state in his last days.

The Moral: If you are to serve the helpless and the holy, your responsibilities are so difficult that even slight infraction of the rules of spiritual conduct can bring about untold sufferings

In Delhi, some Gurus have it circulated about themselves that they have such divine tantric gifts, which are at their best, when a bottle or two of whisky goes down their throats! Surprisingly,  a number of black money owners or quick-fortune seekers are prepared to do it. If you know astrology or little bit yoga or Sanskrit, a bottle or two can still be procured free, in Delhi.

Although it was a social hidden practice since centuries. But the Deras mushroomed in last century in most of the Punjab. In name of spiritual growth and peace at home, rich women fed the yogis on dry fruits and were very lavish in their hospitality. Some of the women of those times, wanting to have great children wanted to have sex with yogis, clandestinely. Most of Baba used to get trapped into some amorous act or other. In beginning , everyone is sincere and naïve. After all, Maya is so powerful. These Sadhus end up establishing Deras and ashram. The spurt in drug usage and child sexual abuse started off from theses deras.

Why Fake Gurus involved into sexual activities?

You name any spiritual Guru or Baba, all of them starts of well. It is not easy for any person to become famous. These Gurus whether True or fake , all of them had their sadhana on right track in beginning. When their kundalini awakes, its very tough to control without guidance of their Guru. The main side effect of uncontrolled awaken kundalini is increase in pride, ego and sexual desires. All there are road blocks in path of spiritual growth.

Indians are familiar with the stories of their great rishis, Vishwamitra, Durvasa and Narada falling into temptations, suffering their agonies but doing their sadhana with greater intensity and zeal. There can be no one , who does not fall into such temptations.

Why Every Guru wants to have an Ashram at America ?

In the USA the problem is very complex. It starts with the story of a broken home, premarital sex, unhappy relationships and finally the damage done by psychiatrists whose roaring business thrives in ‘discovering’ complexes in their patients and keeping them rooted in childhood abuses. In a country, where they have broken families and no social life, they are misled into thinking that in one birth and in one leap they would get ‘illumination’. Which is impossible.

The greed of an ashram-building-Guru, can be jarring specially, if it is one of the Americanised Gurus who thinks in terms of multi-million projects. After the death of the Guru, disciples fight for supremacy and some of them establish themselves as Gurus. Then there is a quarrel among these ‘Gurus’. The disciples form their own groups around these ‘Gurus’. Iskcon is a great example of this.

How Fake Gurus fools American Souls?

In the USA this craze for publicity reaches maniacal proportions. Americans do sadhana for some months and dash off a book on all spiritual subjects including Yoga , kundalini, Indian gods and goddesses, and Buddhism and all its varieties, with all the bookish knowledge they pick up. These books are full of ignorance, prejudices, distortions and ludicrous generalizations. But they are sold in large quantities.

Some of them, who never did sadhana, but have written six to ten written books on spiritual subjects of Asia begin to speak arrogantly using the spiritual terms of India like ‘karma’, ‘samskara’, ‘kundalini’, ‘ahamkara’, etc. Americans do not know, how to identify a fake one. Some evolved businessman,  have developed what they call past life regression techniques, through which they show to their clients their past lives. Like many fads in the USA, it will die a natural death and will be replaced by some other fad.

How to avoid such Gurus, but looking for genuine one?

You should never look out for a Guru. Always search a teacher. Be a student. When you will qualify, Guru will reach you. Till then, keep on progressing. But keep only one thing in mind, if someone tells you, he can enlighten you or awake your kundalini in few weeks or sessions, please avoid them. If a Guru asks a female for a private session, completely dump him. Any sexual advance in the name of Yoga should be avoided.

Falling in trap of doubt

Switching Gurus is the most common obstacle of educated Indians and most of the Americans. In the USA they switch Gurus as soon as they do not find an instant pill for illumination. These days when there is so much character assassination of some of these Gurus in the USA, whether Indian or American, through mischievous publicity, a disciple’s doubt in his own Guru can assail him constantly. It is not necessary to treat it as an obstacle. Even if the Guru is a very ordinary person, that a sincere disciple has to be rewarded by God is well known to us in India. Losing faith in one’s own Guru, expecting quick supernormal powers (siddhis), or even illumination, the disciple cannot progress.

Do yourself a favour :- Do Not Invite a Yogi to Your House Frequently, instead go out and feed poor and needy people. A yogi leads a life which is a total reversal of the life you lead. If you begin to invite him to your house, you give him a chance to go astray and get attracted to sex and money. Then you yourself begin to lose faith in him. If he comes once in a while, its ok. Ideally, a True saint must never enter a household.

Large no of disciples and Ashrams

Maya is so irresistible that many Gurus believe in having a very large number of disciples, thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands through some chosen disciples who are given the permission to initiate disciples. It is not a spiritual mission but pure and simple business.

Do you really need a Guru?

No one is the cause of any other person’s happiness or unhappiness. It is the karmas of a man’s past life that are its causes. There is no one else that gives happiness or unhappiness. To say so is ignorance. The very thought “I do it” is ignorance. Everyone is in the bondage of his own karmas. It is man himself who through his different types of behaviour creates friends, enemies, indifferent and envious persons. Therefore man should remain blissful in all conditions whether he is in a happy condition or an unhappy one, accepting it all as his prarabdha.

How to be a better human being, keeping on live without a Guru and wait for his arrival ?

  1. Company of Happy Persons

A person who has least attachments, desires and frustrations in life is a happy man. He has transcended dualities of life, if not totally, sufficiently well, to be happy mostly. In his company the astral vibrations of his personality create a diffuse sense of happiness. We have many such persons in India among good Sadhakas. Remember not to become a nuisance for them.

  1. Showing Kindness to Unhappy Persons

If you show kindness to unhappy person, you will like a god to him. Its like rain drops in desert. It need not be elaborated. The unconscious blessings of an unhappy person whom you have helped will always help you overcome your miserable spiritual condition.

  1. Keeping Alive Your Sense of Humanity for the Virtuous

Never become judgmental and criticize other unnecessarily.. A virtuous man may stray from the path of virtue in a bad moment. But he will come back to his sacred state very easily. If you lose your own faith in the sacredness of his life, it does damage to you spiritually.

  1. Indifference to the Non-Virtuous

In the world we live in, a majority are non-virtuous. Remain indifferent to them. Do not hate them. Hatred is a bad and very damaging emotion, spiritually. Many people make fun of Law of karma, Astrologers , Gurus (Easy Targets) and the end, Law of karma makes fun of them.

The laws of karmas are inexorable. No one escapes them. Astrology and human race is evolving on basis of Laws of Karma. What you sow, you will reap.

Going to a Guru will not make your life easy.