Recently in India there was a major controversy around ‘Radhe Guru Maa’ who seems to be in the news for wearing a little red dress among other reasons including charges of promoting dowry demands in a family. Earlier there were controversies around rape on gurus such as Asaram Bapu and so called ‘tantriks or aghoris’ who sometimes resorted to bizarre advise including harmful acts to make their clients get what they want (although it is common sense that negative acts will only give negative results). In all parts of the world there have been reports of clerics of churches and mosques accused of negative acts including child abuse and molestation.
Controversies surrounding Godwomen and Godmen of various religions are here to teach us some important lessons. As majority of our people flock in large herds to seek blessings from temples, idols, churches, priests, matas and babas, the real ‘God’ is quite misunderstood. It is time we stopped imagining God as an entity to be worshiped through places, things and people around us, and start understanding God as our inner truth to which we can anytime connect through our own spiritual effort.
In India being a spiritual guru has been all about dressing in a Hindu garb and having a mass of devotees around. Men dominated the spiritual scene for the majority and women have been held holy only if they could be seen as a ‘Maa’ or a mother figure.There is also a belief that spiritual people are to renounce all material wealth, dress in white or saffron robes and not generally be successful. Let us be honest with ourselves and not expect any person, no matter how spiritual to be somewhat ‘holier than thou’ and give up living itself. There is absolutely nothing wrong if they use wealth in the right ways to spread positive energy or if they get remunerated fairly or dress well. And there is nothing wrong if spiritual gurus are ordinary people living regular lives as women or men having normal families and relationships.
Spiritual gurus are guides are just here to give their own teachings but it is up-to the public to evaluate their knowledge, their wisdom and their advice as per the needs of society. Check whether they are propagating the right values. Holy robes and vestments do not make a person spiritual. People should understand that spiritual gurus are supposed to guide us to the right and truthful path – of better thoughts, positive actions and good karma rather than following negative spiritual role models.
We need spiritual gurus who are down to earth and who guide people towards their inner truth. Today what we need as a society are ordinary people who are more aware, more enlightened, connected with the inner self and those who know how to not merely follow the crowd but follow their own intuition. The onus lies on people.
If we really want a society free of fraudulent spiritualists then it is time we recognize those who are truly spiritual. To separate the truth from falsehood requires discernment. Instead of looking outside for guidance, we need to learn how to awaken our own inner power to choose our destiny. That’s the real meaning of witchcraft – the way to create our own life through right thoughts and actions.
Let us not blame others but look within. God or Goddess, or whatever name you give to the universe, is not and can never be something found outside. It is our own inner consciousness that requires awakening – let this be the time for our own awakening.
Let us discover our own inner power. We create our life through our own beliefs, we need to be released from our inner ignorance, we need to overcome our baseless fears, we need to learn to love and be happier people. We need to connect with nature and see each stone, herb and animal as divine. We need to respect men and women as equally divine. We need to love our-self as divine. Do not look for an outer God but look within and find your inner power to heal yourself. That is the real meaning of spirituality.
By Swati Prakash