Spiritual leaders of India: God-men or Businessmen of spiritualism?

India, the land of spiritualism has evolved since centuries and considered a great religious hub in Asia.  Countless spiritual leaders of India are worshipped and acknowledged by religiously inclined hoi polloi from all parts of the world. Their devotees hail from all seven continents of the world. Most of these spiritual leaders have taken Indian religious beliefs and culture to a golden summit which barely other could ever reach.

Now there is another side of the coin as well. Many of the religious leaders of India are blamed for turning spirituality into a profitable business. The sacredness of spirituality has been boiled down to money making ventures which are further encouraged by industrialists, politicians and ministers. Evidently the Gurus not only earn huge profits from this business, they acquire enormous power to alter the economical, social and political situations of the country. Once upon a time India was inseparable from spirituality and nowadays it is spirituality and business means the same!

What is the core cause of spiritualism turning into business in India?

Almost every Indian citizen, irrespective of their cast, creed, religion or social status, is somehow associated with spiritualism, especially the spiritual leaders. They bear blind faith about their religious masters and they can do anything and everything in order to obey the words of their gurus. As a matter of fact Guruism has not only infected the rural parts of the country but also the urban cults who are blessed with best education. In spite of being educated countless people give up their rationality and become submissive in front of their spiritual gurus.  It is the cravings for spiritual enlightenment that drive them towards the guru culture.

What is the spiritual business all about?

In order to incorporate spirituality in business, Gurus often exploit the religious beliefs and superstitions of the masses. The age-old Indian ethos encourages the populace to abide by their guru’s words blindfolded. According to ancient Hindu chronicles, it is believed that young kids were sent to stay with their gurus wherein they served the master and obeyed every single word he spoke. This phase of life was known as ‘Brahmacharya’ which used to be an integral part of the Indian social life. It is almost impossible to break through the shackles of age-old beliefs and taboos and this is what the spiritual master banks upon.

In the name of spiritualism, wide varieties of spiritual products are sold to the commoners. These products are quite pricey and act as a great source of income for the gurus. Spiritual magazines, books, incense sticks, oils, food supplements and medicines are the most popular merchandise available at almost all spiritual hubs. Stores are located at almost all major cities and the products sell really well owing to the impressive fan following of this spiritual leader. Even in some cases some Gurus were involved in illegal activities such as human trafficking. Every now and then we can hear such news.

Most of the gurus run their business through trusts so that their names are not directly associated with the matter. Apart from selling various spiritual products, they earn hefty revenues in form of donation. Charities come from the multi-millionaires across the globe; not to mention the donations from common people of India. As a matter of astonishment, Indians who are already poverty-stricken and dispossessed do not fall back when it comes to contributing for a religious cause.  Indeed the small donations sum up to a large amount in consequence of surplus population in the country.

Indian spiritual leaders like Nityanand, Asa Ram Bapu are very much in limelight these days. In fact both media and masses have given them adequate coverage and worldwide publicity. Their cult of devotees includes politicians, scientists and business men. But lately they have been involved in fatal scandals although their aura remained unharmed owing to the spiritual prejudice of Indians. Asa Ram Bapu had been accused on murder charges and Swami Nityanand had been involved in sex scandals.

It is high time that Indians become conscious about the dark sides of their spiritual leaders and stop them from exploiting their religious beliefs and values. It will mark an end for spiritualism as business.Other source on this.