Wednesday, 6 July 2011
Dragon Baba’s Den
“What’s so funny?”, my partner asked, as I was overcome by a fit of the giggles. It was last Sunday morning. I was looking through the Sunday Telegraph, opening at the International News section, not usually noted for its humour. But there is was – an illustration of some Indian guru, sporting the most ridiculous Afro hairdo that I think I have ever seen. I had to put my tea down!
The story ‘God’ and the secret stash by Gethin Chamberlain concerns one Sai Baba, yet another tiresome Indian ‘holy man’, yet another fraud. He’s dead now but apparently he had a following of fifty million people worldwide when he was alive, people who paid - paid being the operative word, it would seem - for his message of ‘love and service.’ If I tell you that his followers included the risible and money-grubbing Sarah Fergusson, duchess of York, then I think you will have a fair idea of the true value of ‘love and service.’
It seems to be the old, old story: stupid and spiritually impoverished Westerners like the Daft Duchess and Goldie Hawn, a fading actress and another acolyte of Hair Man, reaching East for supposed spiritual richness. And what do they discover? Why, a laughable phoney, busy soaking the rich, and busy, it now appears, sexually molesting his younger followers, deluding everybody by passing off cheap trickery as miracles.
No sooner had the bogus Baba entered another state of incarnation – a snake, probably – than the rumours started to spread. He has an ashram in the town of Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh, within which there is a personal lair, a dragon’s cave, locked away since his death in March. Well, giving way to popular demand, it’s now been opened. And what was found therein, a new wave of enlightenment, perhaps, a revelation from beyond the grave? No, just loot, lots of loot.
Like Fafner, the old Baba was sitting on a horde, in a room stacked with gold, diamonds and cash. Apparently the haul amounts to some £1.6million in rupees, 98kg of gold and 307kg of silver. I don’t expect the Nibelung haul was half so valuable! Apparently there are good grounds for believing that there is even more, secreted away elsewhere, treasure sent by his many followers in the belief that it would help in spreading the message of ‘love and service.’ The police intercepted members of the Baba’s Sathya Sai Central Trust driving away with the equivalent of £50,000 in cash. It was to pay for a memorial, they said.
It’s not just the fraud that amuses me it’s the awful vulgarity of the whole thing, the vulgarity of the living Baba. When he and his hair occupied this mortal plain as many as 10,000 people would crowd into the ashram’s central hall, a gaudy palace in white and blue décor, replete with golden lions and chandeliers. One look at this and I would have been off! But, no; in they came, cricketers, Bollywood stars, politicians and the duchess of York, herself something of an expert in downmarket vulgarity.
I don’t suppose there will ever be an end to this kind of nonsense in a world where people are rich in goods but poor in sense. One Baba goes and another Baba comes. For every wise person there are ten thousand fools, waiting to be gobbled up by the dragon. We only have one existence, one life. Celebrate it as it is in all of its carnate imperfections, and tell the Babas to bugger off, peace, service, ashram, golden lions and all
Posted by Anastasia F-B at 15:50
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Religion seems like a great gig, at first glance. But, oh my dear - the people, the smell, the noise! All those self-important losers demanding constant attention for their dreary spiritual malaise. Much better to be a hermit, if one absolutely must contemplate one's navel.ReplyDelete
For shits and giggles, someone should set his hair on fire.ReplyDelete
I know a few business people who give their eye teeth for similar marketing skills...ReplyDelete
Calvin, yes, possibly to sit for years on end at the top of a column. :-)ReplyDelete
Anthony, that would certainly have caused a sensation. :-))ReplyDelete
CI, instant guru!ReplyDelete
In journalism, that is considered success!ReplyDelete
Amusing post, Ana! It does make one wonder where this desire to humiliate oneself before the gods comes from. A disconcerting tendency of humankind.ReplyDelete
I wanna be a Guru. Then I wouldn't have to pay for beer :-P Look up Ali Drew for another 'character'.ReplyDelete
I think the Beatles started this trend, but they told their guru they weren't buying it and moved on. Lennon became his own cult, so he didn't need a guru. Have a look at R&A and you'll find a post I copied from Nattitude which I really liked, even if I am an agnostic. You may find something in it to agree with tooReplyDelete
Calvin, very good. :-))ReplyDelete
Marty, thanks. It is indeed.ReplyDelete
Coll, my friend, I shall. :-)ReplyDelete
Retarius, thanks, I shall.ReplyDelete
Religion has become a selfish exercise in money making, a way to enslave those weak ones who pretend to be powerfuls and to fool the masses.ReplyDelete
Arp, yes, quite right.ReplyDelete
You'll laugh so hard at this. Saw him a while ago on television in an audience with hoards of people at his feet. Don't know why I hung on as I usually switch over such channels but suddenly he looked slightly pale and every few second looked at if he was about to rise from his huge throne. I hadn't finished the sentence "He looks as if he's about to throw up" he did! I was absolutely baffled by what I had seen as all those people clapped and cheered! When I was told as to what had happened I found it so hard to believe I googled it all up later on and was convinced that the man was a right nutter to put it bluntly light. What is even harder to believe is that so many could have been fooled into believing him. He had predicted that he would live to be 92/93. A prophecy he did not fulfil but as always happens in such cases his followers have argued that he left the world post-haste in earnest dismay at the abundance of peoples' sins. Even more bizarre is the belief that he will return at some point in the next 2 decades in human form when he incarnates into another person.ReplyDelete
The Great Sufi Shaykh Muhiyudeen ibn al-'Arabi was martyred when he visited a renowned Sufi sage who had a huge following but ibn 'Arabi had sussed him out. Upon arrival ibn 'Arabi told him that 'The God who you worship is under my feet.' The so-called sage was so angered that he commanded one of his followers to kill ibn 'Arabi. Afterwards a massive stash of money was found to be buried in that room!
Oh, my, Rehan, what an absolute scream! There is a song entitled We won't get fooled again (I think!) by an old British rock band called The Who. Do you know it? That's the thing; people do get fooled and fooled again. They look for wisdom where there is none. Their spiritual hunger is genuine enough but they satisfy if with the worst kind of junk food. It's seems to me that the Baba was an especially fatty hamburger. :-)ReplyDelete
Found the song on Youtube.ReplyDelete