Explosive Challenges of “YOGIC BABA – DERA ASHRAM” Cultures

Dangerous clouding of Politics on Modern Commercialized Spiritualism?

The public crowding in DERAS -ASHRAMS –COURTS-HOSPITALS speaks on the challenges being encountered by the Indian community. Politics of the last four decades functioned for the “ADVANTAGE TODAY” policies, than to formulating sustainable futuristic foundation for collective betterment of the community.

In the meantime, Politics & Media actively played for “IMAGE BUILDING & DISMANTLING” of  Baba-Saint, Yogic-Sadhu-Sadhvi dramas of life. Indian leadership in spirituality invariably projects them to be…..special children of ALMIGHTY. ‘GOD’ is portrayed living in their Deras & Ashrams. Many Yogis dramatize emotional lectures referring living art brand complexities. Regular sermons organized on “Myths in Spirituality” along with promise on salvation of past -present sins & relinquishment on rebirth life cycles. A few Dera managements also provide lessons to their disciples, for techniques handling current economic & other family challenges. Many Ashram heads equipped with psychological philosophies, combined with mythical astrology, imitative facial look, continue exploiting emotions of the innocent co citizens for personal fame & growth. They succeed in to position themselves gaining controls on the Governance mechanism of INDIA.

A few among “pictured ” for this article, represent different Indian states, who preferred identical facial make ups, including unshaven beard -head hair STYLE & many use turban, connecting ancient era or Punjab. Rarely DERA HEADS teach their disciples for adoptions of their personal life cultures. The few Dera Heads of Punjab, although donning turban like normal Sikhs, but do not publicly ask disciples to adopt their visible natural look. The fundamental teachings of Shri Guru Nanak Sahib, sought “GLOBAL WELFARE OF HUMANITY”. The zealousness of certain natives states, blocked spread of such a messages. But all those are now being brought out in their own brand repacking; initially it was as “Arya Samaj” & now through other awakened Hindu Ashram brands. Guru Nanak Sahib preached what he practiced in his personal life. The Guru worked in grocery shop, conducted married life & then worked as a farmer. Most of modern Dera-Ashram Heads have own brand of “facial look” & maintain different (luxurious) living life styles, than those available to their disciples. For example; the concept of Langar was introduced by Shri Guru Nanak Dev ji. Emperor Akbar and the Raja of Haripur visited Guru Amar Das in 1569 at Goindwal Sahib and took Langar. They sat among the common people in a row as the Sikhs served them food. The concept had big message in it for equality in treatment; SANGAT-PANGAT…..but now getting distorted by introduction of VIP lane-parking- “special Langar ” etc. Any way now, the public is quite enlightened and in the near future, they may gather courage to QUESTION the religious leaders. 

The Indian Society during pre Mughal to the post British times went through innumerable, internal-external, political, economical-ethical reconstruction Challenges. Indian states had differences in language, cultural, Food habits & so were differences in the religious beliefs and ethical compromising -none compromising bench marks. (Swamy) Dayanand originally named Shri Mool Shankar Tiwari, born in 1824 in Rajkot district of Gujarat worked for the welfare of Hindu society. Sanatan Dharam thought process facilitated “Jan Sangh” platform. (Swamy) Dayanand introduced religious reformist platform namely, “Arya Samaj” in 1875 from Bombay. Historical evidence otherwise suggest that in reality, only Rajput-Jat- Kashatrias, who were largely getting in the fold of Sikh way of life, motivated to join Arya Samaj. The B.C./S.C.& many other categories were reportedly not reached out by them. The platform otherwise could not succeed in stopping the practice of idolatry provided in the principals of Araya Samaj! 

Punjab civilization was first among other states to have welcomed “Social reformist movements” for collective betterment. (Swamy) Vivekananda formerly named Mr Narendra Nath Datta was born in Bengali Kayastha family of Calcutta, in 1863 also took up corrections in Hindu ways of life. He was one of the brilliant, educated sons of Bengal civilization who displayed concern on desirability of social reforms. He was initially under the influence of Brahmo Samaj concepts, which included belief in a “formless God and the deprecation of idolatry” but not implemented. He kept away from natural conventional path of married life and became YOGI-SANYASI.

Another famed, Mr Dhirendra “Choudhary” labeled “Brahmachari” born in Bihar brought dramatic change in the chemistry of definition of”Yogi & Brahmaachari ” values. He being yogic teacher to the then P.M. of India, Mrs Gandhi…. enjoyed special powers! Then Mr (Acharya) Rajneesh, originally Mr Chandra Mohan Jain, born in Madhya Pradesh achieved national-international fame. He got education in Philosophy & became a professor in 1960. He got fame as an “Indian mystic, Guru and spiritual teacher”. The concept of Acharya Jain, “OSHO” allowed fullest liberty on the subject of sex, though his parental Jainism faith being in opposite direction to his new philosophies. 

Presently an important Baba (Swamy) Ramdev born in 1965 in a village of Haryana is quite shining. He claimed to have learnt Indian scripture, Yoga and Sanskrit from traditional Gurukuls of Haridwar in Uttarakhand. He actively associated with recent “hyper plays” of modern Politics. He incidentally maintains head hair -uncut, beard, but never calls upon his disciples to follow him in such valued appearance. Another famous YOGI these days, Shri Shri Ravi Shankar, a native of Tamil Nadu, who does not wish to mention his family sub gotra but smartly handling both; Politics & spirituality. Having graduated in B.Sc. & he learnt the basics of Vedic science from (Maharishi) Mahesh Yogi. He utilized philosophical knowledge with mix of religious faith for distinctive “social position”. He suggests daily meditation in order to re-energize. He also maintains head hair & unshaved beard. But like others in spirituality field, he has never disclosed benefits; neither encouraged his disciples to follow him for similar facial look as of a Sikh without turban. 

Punjab has not been for behind bringing in similar leaderships; Srd Harbhajan Singh “Yogi” born in 1929 at Pakistan may falls in this category. He was a spiritual leader and an entrepreneur who introduced Yoga in U.S.A. He founded 3HO; Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization Foundation, with over 300 centers in 35 countries.Next noticeable, Baba Virsa Singh considered a holy person, grew in a village of Bhatinda in Punjab. His Dera- Gobind Sadan, claims that Baba Virsa Singh transformed through love, meditation, faith, devotions, and service. The programs modeled are on the practical philosophy of Guru Nanak, the first Sikh Guru: working hard, sharing with others, and always remembering God. Both these Dera leaders were close to….. Governance mechanisms of Delhi.

Asa Ram, born in 1941 at S.B.A. District, Pakistan also became a “Godman.” He built first Ashram in 1970 on 10 acres of land in Gujarat and began using new name “Asaram Bapu”. He developed a number of ashrams in India and abroad with large number of followers. But he got involved in several controversies including his uncharitable remarks on the victim of 2012 Delhi gang rape. He is imprisoned & facing trial in criminal cases filed against him of sexual assault on minor children. Recent light…. Baba Rampal was reportedly an ardent devotee of the Hindu deities but failed to achieve salvation or peace as a result of this devotion. He became disciple of Swami Ramdev Anand, a spiritual leader of the Kabir panth. He married and they have four children. He egoistically, while interpreting a 1875-82 research papers of Sh Mool Shankar Tiwari, renamed (Swamy) Dayanand ji, titled “Satyarth Prakash”, invited controversies. The book also has critical contents on Sikh faith & Gurus. Rampal having crossed border lines of Hinduism, became victim of circumstances. He while explaining the select portions of the writer, out of 14 chapters to his disciples, listed out few unpractical ways of philosophies, relating to conduct of life recommended therein. Sh Mool Shankar being Sanyasi-Yogi & unmarried has not been found competent or legitimate authority to formulate certain society norms, especially marriage gradations and many other believed to be impractical non spiritualistic guidelines.

Sensitive to Punjab, Dera Sacha Sauda, though many in Punjab refer being “Untruthful Trade”, was established by Shah Mastana from Baluchistan, in 1948. The present head, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, born in Rajasthan is third leader of DSS. Dera otherwise claims practicing principles of welfare, such as; belief in secularism, equality, no acceptance of materialistic wealth, truth, strict individual- social discipline, hard work, meditation to escape from re-births (moksha) etc. The head of the sect invited serious conflict with Sikh Diasporas when imitated visual appearance, identical to the Sikh Guru.

Now sample “Vedic fear” has been made to revisit Punjab. Despite knowledge of Medical Science of “death” on 29th Jan 2014 of Dera Head, the certification of humanly exit remained in (deep freezer) limbo with Governance apparatus for 10 months. System of vote Bank allowed property settlement opportunities, valued above Rs. 1000/- crs….in actual belongs to contribution of devotees. Baba Ashutosh, a native of Bihar, established the Dera in Nurmahal, in Punjab on an identical model of DSS. The disciples claim sect to be a spiritual organization, registered as a socio-spiritual society/non-governmental organization in 1991 with its H.O. in N. Delhi. They got substantial number of followers & many branches in India & abroad; claiming belief in truth, fraternity, and justice through ‘Brahm Gyan’. But Baba was seen as highly controversial figure among the Sikh community. He was alleged to have hurt Sikh religious sentiments by distortion of Sikh teachings and made negative comments about Sikhism & the Sikh Gurus. Unfortunately, mythical Vedic belief, blended with Politics has sheltered to position discarded ancient rituals. 

Thus, majority leadership in spirituality of India, especially in Punjab who function from “DERAS & ASHRAMS”, connects ANCIENT-VEDIC civilization for legitimacy to misuse the trust of the innocent co citizens. Disciples are doctored to the illusions with dose of spirituality on salvation for the past sins & next rebirth cycle of life. But rare among them succeed in disclosing rational knowledge on illusion for cycle of rebirth disconnection. The Politics of RED FORT, who in reality maintained silence in 1947 over loss of 7-8 lack innocent burial & cremations but never cried for INQUIRY OF JUSTICE” further continues inadvertently practicing, inherited criminality” value cultures, remain insensitive. The Indian Parliamentary DEMOCRACY is yet to hold formal condolence but added many new dangerous chapters of cruelties against co citizens. Most of Deras – Ashrams, “DISGUISED AS AGENTS OF GOD” keep promising best next re-birth life and assuring pardon for sins of unseen previous life. Republic fails to muster guts, seeking evidence from Dera -Ashram on salvation promises and remain in sleep mode till truth comes out.

Somehow, religiously spiritual promissory notes are now being believed to be in an identical model of Political promises. The “DERA-ASHRAM” sermons Spirituality but politically, whereas “GOVERNING POLITICS” lectures on Economics political fueling “HOPE, MOSTLY NOT TO BE MET” with. PUNJAB has already covered long journey in practice & understanding of spirituality in last five centuries from enlightenment by Guru Nanak Sahib. Whereas, civilizations of most of other INDIAN STATES continue dangling in search of basics, hence facing larger criticalities. Punjab has scope of introspective corrective actions but without allowing religious systems to be further corrupted by local foreign ideologies. While there is no formal statistical figure on how many deras mushroomed in Punjab, the estimate of Sikh scholars roughly put the count at about 9,000 against total 12,581 villages in the state. Therefore, EMOTIONAL EXPLOITATION for FAITH OF DEVOTEES by GODLY DERA-ASHRAM OPERATORS has been brought closest to “EXPLOSIVE CONDITIONS.” Governance may find difficulties selecting corrective options, unless “JUDICIAL MECHANISM & SENSITIVITY OF MEDIA” do not honestly – selflessly come forward, saving “PRIDE of ORIGINAL INDIA”.

Article Posted on : 2014-12-02

By Nirmal Singh Keerka

Email : gnanaktimes2aajtak@gmail.com

Updated: January 5, 2015 — 4:59 pm