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India's Godmen seem to be falling a little short of godliness. Asaram Bapu has had his bail plea in rape cases dismissed by Supreme Court. In the meanwhile, the FOURTH witness against him to be attacked, his ex-doctor (Ayurveda) Amrit Prajapati has died. Three others were attacked a month ago in separate incidents. With Amrit dead, the cases against Asaram weaken considerably. You can look forward to worshiping Asaram Bapu again if you wish. (This is the same Asaram, whose arrest demoralized Vanzara of the fake encounters to resign after losing faith in the government for whom he was doing his duty in the form of fake encounters.)

Dwaraka Peeth Shankaracharya Swaroopananda Saraswati has taken an issue with worship of Sai Baba by Hindus because he is "Muslim". Ironically, on the other side is Hindutva-max, BJP's Cabinet Minister for Water Resources,River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Uma Bharti (also accused in Babri Masjid demolition).

Not to be left behind, the Naga sadhus have rallied behind Shankaracharya Swaroopananda's call and are determined to prevent Sai Baba devotees from bathing in holy places.

Puri Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati has stayed away from Odisha’s largest and most important religious gathering (where he has an important formal role normally) after his ruling that devotees would not be allowed on the chariots (for safety) axed the massive loot the daitapatis engage in by charging devotees money to come aboard. The daitapatis retaliated by playing on the words of his ruling and limiting the Shankaracharya's own disciples allowed on the chariot to two as well (he had seven last year). Justifiably outraged by the insult, the Shankaracharya stayed away from the rath yatra.

Also in Odisha, self-proclaimed godman Rama Chandra Sahu of Simulia Maidipur village was arrested for outraging the modesty (whatever that means) of a minor girl.

In other news, Basava Prabhu Swamiji (59) of the Vishwa Lingayat Dharma Parishat Trust, Belgaum was arrested for allegedly raping a 47 year old cook in his mutt.

Kishore Mandalik alias Dada Maharaj (45), head of the Shiv Goraksha Ashram of Ambegaon tried to get away from paying monthly support to his divorced second wife (who had filed a case for cheating against him after he abandoned her after one week of their wedding and 4 lakh rupees). Court squashed it.

In still other news, BJP MP Babul Supriyo claimed that he got a ticket on recommendation of Baba Ramdev when on February 28 that he found himself travelling in the same flight as Ramdev and overheard the yoga guru discuss ticket distribution with someone else. He joked that he wanted a ticket or would reveal to media that Ramdev was distributing tickets to people. Three days later he got a call from an RSS pracharak, and the rest is history. But then Ramdev had made headlines earlier as well when BJP Alwar candidate Mahent Chandnath told him just before a press conference started (and the cameras and mics were on) "paise le aane mein badi dikat ho rahi hai (there is great difficulty in bringing the money)" and Baba Ramdev admonished him, "yahan baat karna bandh karo, bhole ho kya? (Stop talking here. Are you a fool?)"

And the story continues...

6

Sai Baba died. My condolences to all who mourn him. Must be quite sad. He was well loved, well followed by many, though inexplicable to many others.

Sathya Sai Baba Samadhi

On the other hand, I am thrilled. He had predicted he would die in 2022. He had predicted two dates at different times. One was at the age of 92/93 another time, 95/96. Death caught him by surprise like anyone else. NONE of these predictions came true. Good. Yet another andhashraddha bites dust.

I don't mean to be rude to the dead (though I don't see how it matters once dead), but these are his own words. If he can make them about his own death, then its fair to repeat them when its time to check on the prediction.

There is this thing with predictions. Listen me out.

Someone says something will happen. Time passes, you forget about it. There are many, many such things. Suddenly something happens, that reminds you of a prediction. Say, your distant cousin dies in a car accident while on a pilgrimage. Suddenly you remember the astrologer who had told you that your sister's life was in danger in travel. Wow. You had been told, and you ignored it and it happened. Never mind that this was a cousin and not sister. Often, it can be a male cousin.

If there is no recognition to trigger it, thousands such "predictions" lie undisturbed on the floor of the sea that is your consciousness. Unaware. If there is recognition, its a match, by virtue of the mechanism of recall itself! So miracle!!! Predictions come true!!!

Predictions of doom serve to enslave people through fear. Oh, the world is going to end, oh this, oh that.... So people turn to this one person who seems to know much about it. To somehow avert the catastrophe headed at them. Well, if you wrote a fiction novel, obviously, you would be the one to know most about it, no?

We "forgive" many, many disturbing things about such "God men". Its not just Sai Baba. Many religious leaders of many religions have some very scary common factors.

  1. Rally people against calamity to save themselves by doing good things.
  2. Good things invariably involve doing as the God man tells them.
  3. Good things invariably involve money - after all such a source of divine wisdom must not waste time on earning a living and must provide maximum knowledge, right?
  4. Allegations of crimes ranging from rapes to sodomy and pedophilia.
  5. Allegations of criminal intimidation.
  6. Shrouds and shrouds of secrecy and mystery.

I think this is a good time to plug in the one divine message the world needs to hear:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeSSwKffj9o

Let the man die in peace, and let the "God man" not be forcibly resurrected. The Dalai Lama had the wisdom to remove emphasis on an age old belief of reincarnation in his own office by making the government in exile democratic. It is the sign of a true leader to shine wisdom and empowerment on people. It is the true sign of a spiritual leader to help people find the best in themselves.