Analysis

The truth of “the hugging saint”

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The Indian Express (Feb. 20) has reported that a former aide of the dubious spiritual leader Mata Amritanandmayi, known as “Amma” or “the hugging saint”, has come out with a book which alleges sexual exploitation at her ashram.

In the recently published “Holy Hell, A Memoir of Faith, Devotion and Pure Madness”, Gail Tredwell alias Gayatri describes how she was sexually abused at the ashram, where, according to her, senior inmates had physical relations. Tredwell, an Australian national, witnessed how the young, rank uneducated woman from a fishing village in Kerala, grew into a towering spiritual leader.

She alleges that in order to keep up her façade of innocence and purity, Amritanandmayi had a small team of trusted individuals doing her dirty work, and she (Tredwell) was one of them. I don’t understand, how this ‘hugging saint’ hasn’t yet been put behind the bars despite “Savvy” (Magna Publications, Bombay-25) unmasking her charade and revealing her dirty deeds nearly a decade ago? Who had those explosive copies confiscated immediately after hitting the stands?
In recent years, there’s been a deluge of Hindu spiritual frauds like Nirmala Devi, who preached Sahaj Yog and still has a sizeable number of asinine devotees in Delhi and northern India, Sex-guru Asaram, who’s cooling his heels in the slammer, extremely sissy Ravi Shankar, this Amritanandmayi and many others. The question is: Why people don’t understand that these ‘spiritually evolved’ people are actually goons and criminals and they are even worse than those who believe in them? Is it because of the collective superstitious mentality of the people of India?

One modern Sai Baba of Puttipuram built a empire. Many male followers openly declared that he sodomised them. A doctor, who was once his follower, later admitted that Puttipuram Sai was oversexed. Yet he was never arrested because all politicians (P V Narsimha Rao, Mrs Gandhi), celebrities, cricketers like Gavaskar, VVS Laxman were his staunch followers. These people fly business class and live in air-conditioned mansions and villas. They talk about abstinence but indulge in all sorts of sensual ‘luxuries’ and ‘pleasures’. All of them are unmitigated sex perverts, nay fiends.

The government of India is the most spineless and it allows these swindlers to run their spiritual businesses without ever questioning them.

The superstitious masses deify these charlatans as gods and goddesses. If you write or say anything against them, you must be prepared to face the music because Hindus have become too volatile and they’ve begun to react very quickly the moment you cast aspersions on their ‘spiritual gurus and guides.’ This is indeed a dismal scenario.

India has been hijacked by people like Amritanandmayi, Ravi Shankar, Asaram, Nirmala, Murari Bapu, Aniruddh, Narendra Swami, Bhayyuji Maharaj of Indore, to name only a few.

There’s a whole bunch of ‘spiritual clowns and characters’ in this country who’re grovelingly worshiped by the most credulous Hindu majority, who’ve permanently mortgaged their brains.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 March 2014 on page no. 11

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