Sometimes I wonder, looking at the sudden spate of religious channels, outlining only spiritual stuff!
And coming to think of it, these are 24 hour channels with discourses running throughout the day. The list of these channels is endless. While the national language ones are going great guns, there are others catering solely to regional languages with newbie’s lining up, strutting their stuff.
Wonder who has the appetite but no one seems to be complaining.
Everything seems hunky-dory here with the channels maintaining good sustained TRPs with happy advertisers but are these really getting the eyeballs that they claim? The answer looks to be yes if TRPs are any indication albeit TRP can be manipulated. However, the fact remains that these are here to stay.
So, what has brought about the transformation? Have we become so religious of late? Are we becoming more inclined towards spirituality? Or is it just a passing fad.
Frankly, I don’t have the answers.
Of late, I have been trying to catch up on some of these and found all of them to be following a set pattern. Like for example, the programs are either covering some discourse or sat-sang with a huge crowd of devotees in the background dancing or chanting along, sometimes as if under a spell. Believe me, it all looks so divine and mesmerizing so much so that you are practically drawn towards it but not many know that most of it is superficial, a farce, a make believe. You would but contest and say “why and what makes you think so” but it is all possible in today’s world and times. One can easily create the ambience, show huge gathering when none exists through clever editing and you would not even notice the difference.
Difficult to believe, but is actually true though not for all them maybe. It is now a business that has become highly commercialized simply because of the high stakes. The discourses are all the same reciting either from the teachings of Gita or Ramayana or from personal experiences. High on rhetoric, low on substance is how I perceive it to be.
Many of these, so called “swamis” (the Guru or the Master) have recently been exposed, some caught on tape having a romp while others have been embroiled in other controversies such as illegal occupation of land, fraudulent activates, un-accounted wealth, money laundering, running a sex racket among several other accusations and most of these came to the fore through various undercover sting operations by none other than the media.
Now, where does that leave all of us seekers!
I am a seeker myself and have been taught that one needs a Guru (the enlightened Master) to show the path towards actual realization but now I am having second thoughts. I have been taught that a real saint is someone who has denounced all material comforts but I see them living in absolute luxury stepping out of the swankiest of the cars with their ashrams resembling a mansion with all the state of the art facilities, some of these so grand in scale which only a billionaire can afford. Now, where does all that money comes from? Nobody knows the truth except the Swamiji. Maybe that’s why he is called Swamiji as for a Saint nothing but is impossible.
Despite this, I say ok… still try to justify and take comfort from the teachings of Holy Gita which says that to realize the omnipotent, one need not denounce the worldly goods and relationships but be a part of the world and at the same time, be detached from the material world. But again I don’t see it happening with the new age Gurus, who are making a pretence of it which is exposed with every new scandal breaking loose now and then making everything look so superficial. It makes me really wonder if there really are any living siddh purush (realized saints) today.
I,as a seeker, find myself at the cross roads, yet once again but am suddenly reminded to look within, for the prana (soul) which is the penultimate truth and which we should look for in everyone…prana the brahma,…prana the shiva…prana the omnipotent…prana which never dies and prana that is salvation.
Isn’t that what the Gita says too?