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Sec.4&5/Part 2Miracles
Date: Sun Jun 21 1998 - 17:35:06 PDT

Dear Bhagavatas,
Presented below are Sections 4 and 5 of Part 2 Miracles from my book "Myths,
Miracles and Mysticism"
Anbil Ramaswamy
Section  4  :  Miracles in Modern times

Even today, we have in our midst evolved souls in our  Acharyas. The quite and
unostentatious benedictions of these Acharyas bestows unimaginable benefits on
those who come to pay obeisance to them with utmost sincerity.Since such
experiences are at purely personal levels, one has to mingle with such blessed
souls, discuss and get to know more intimately  to believe the efficacy of the
miracles experienced by them. You will be stunned and stupefied as you hear
passionate narrations of their experiences. That is why in Hinduism, great
emphasis is laid on the need to approach a Guru for spiritual enlightenment.
The reliefs  experienced, however, ensue to the disciples as a by-product, as
a bonus besides the main gain of spiritual illumination they secure. Hinduism
advises that the devotion to the Guru should not be less than the devotion to
God himself. Their very blessings have the effect of miracles (e.g).

i. The illustrious lineage of the Jeeyars of Ahobila Mutt,  and of
Paundarikapuram Aashramam as also those of Srimad Andavan of Srirangam and
Parakaala Mutt etc, have blessed several business houses which have
acknowledged their success to the blessings of these pontiffs.

ii. A fast food joint, by name 'Grand Sweets and Snacks' in Adyar, Madras was
started with blessings of Paramacharya, the pontiff of Kanchi Kaamakoti
Sankara Mutt and within a very short time the business picked up so much as to
make the proprietor a multi-millionaire.

iii. Once, the senior pontiff mentioned above, was giving Darshan. As he eyed
the crowd, he suddenly spotted a particular gentleman. He beckoned him and
suggested that he return home. By the time the gentleman  reached home, his
son had suffered serious injuries in an accident and was admitted to the ER.
He rushed to the hospital and uttered the mantra which the Acharya had earlier
initiated. The boy recovered miraculously and was soon discharged. Earlier,
the doctors had given up hopes and the recovery was beyond the belief of even
the doctors.

Section 5 :Role of Conmen- Godmen in  modern society

Unfortunately, however, because of the halo attaching to such pious Acharyas
and Gurus, Conmen armed with Siddhi powers have been quick to cash on the
charisma of the real Gurus, and  parade themselves as Godmen. It becomes very
difficult for the lay folk to distinguish between the fakes and the genuine

But, how come at least some of these are becoming popular and multitudes of
laymen flock to them?

( 1 )  Maybe, this is because, we are living in Kaliyuga. The important
characteristic of this age is  erosion of values.  As frequently happens, here
also  ' fiction' has taken the place of ' fact ' and ' metaphors ' have taken
the place of ' proof '. As  quoted in " Three Ways of Asian Wisdom by NANCY
WILSON ROSS of the description of Kaliyuga in the Vishnu Purana and various
other  Puranas "the whole world will be wholly depraved...falsehood will be
the only means of subsistence; presumption will be substituted for real
learning and the decay will constantly proceed until the human race approaches
its annihilation'. 

As predicted by Matsya Purana, " when substance of the world organism has
deteriorated beyond salvage, the universe is ripe for dissolution." 

And,  therefore, nothing can  be done and perhaps nothing is required to be
done  by us to stall this change and debasement of value systems. And,
perhaps, such is the will of God that it shall be so until this shift in
emphasis reaches an intolerable stage.   He would then descend down to earth
as the apocalypsic Kalki to restore order and reestablish Dharma. It is futile
to fight against the inevitable march towards decline. It would , however, be
well for us to remind ourselves that despite such alarming decadence
overtaking humanity, it is still possible to salvage ourselves by not falling
for the false propaganda of these vested interests, and redeem ourseves by
adhering to the truths expounded in the Vedic scriptures. 
(2) The common laity have absolutely no yearning for 'saving their souls' and
no thought of the stuff called ' salvation' or liberation from the cycle of
births and deaths and the concept of salvation is put on the back burner with
smug satisfaction, so long as the ' going is good'

( 3 ) A belabored  'quantum leap' invests  a ' sense of security ' and  '
comfort in numbers'  for both the demi-urges, the fake Gurus  and their
adherents .

( 4 ) A well orchestred and aggressive salesmanship on the part of the so
called 'God- men' spearheading one or the other of these mutitudinous deities,
divinities and demiurges is also responsible for the large scale polarization
towards them. It is seen that in the recent past, a plethora of self- styled
Godmen, with half- baked ideas have mushroomed strutting about the world
purporting to propogate the esoteric aspects of Hinduism. They establish
'Aashrams", start ' movements', publish glossy journals,  gather around them
and carefully cultivate a coterie of chelas. 

The chelas include successful businessmen, judicial officers, politicians of
hues, professors of repute, professionals in various specialities besides a
multitude of commoners. If you look at what binds these basically
incompatibles, you will find that they have one thing in common :each one is
having some public embarrassments to ward off  or some private afflictions to
alleviate. Through the gift of the gag and the sleight of the hand acquired
through the various  Siddhis, these demogogues project a facade of easy
solutions to their problems. Natuarally,  the gullible  folk fall for the

These fake Gurus plant excitable people in a crowd  and the crowd being a
crowd gets into a frenzy  of excitement, and acts in unison in a state of
induced mass hysteria.They are brainwashed, indoctrinated, intoxicated and
mesmerized so much that they develop a strange clannish comraderie among
themselves. In such a state of mind, they are ready to 'sacrifice themselves'
to accommodate any one
sympathetic to their cultish and fetish ideas. And, they will not hesitate to
'sacrifice others' who are not enthused about their idiosyncracies, ' just for
settling scores'.

No wonder, the westerners who are surfeit on materialism and starving in
spiritualism fall  an easy prey to these con-men- who either proclaim
themselves or contrive their Sishyas to confer on them such honorifics as
ranging from the modest Acharya, Guru, Swami etc to the more ambitious
Mahatma, Maharishi, Mahaswami, Jagatguru, Jagadacharya, Paramaguru,
Paramacharya  etc
sometimes even arrogating themselves as the very Bhagavan himself as a sort of
a modern Avatar, thus basking in the borrowed glory of the real ones.

This concept of modern incarnation is not a new phenomenon . Even in the days
of Krishna, a King of Kasi known as Pundareeka assumed the title of Vasudeva
Krishna and challenged Lord Krishna to give up all his insignia and surrender
to him. The story goes that Lord Krishna destroyed him employing his discus
and had to burn Kasi in his fight against him.  

It should be remembered that quite a few of these  pseudo godmen have been
exposed, discredited as fakes and hounded out. These cult leaders started
their trade as a  money making  device demanding personal allegiance to them ,
making it appear as the only course open to the hapless chelas.

These gimmicks are, however, not without an incidental and perhaps unintended
service to the cause of Hinduism. While contributing nothing towards the
spiritual advancement of its adherents to the goal of Moksha, they, however,
evoke in them such an ardent attachment bordering on frenzy that they are
effectively shielded from falling a prey to the waves of conversion and
proselytization indulged in by
certain other faiths.

This does not mean that there are no real  good souls at all. This also does
not mean that all of those who have spread out are not fully informed. Quite a
few have, in fact, invested a certain dignity to their roles by exemplary
conduct as spiritual leaders.

The acid test of real spiritual leaders is that they never project themselves
as 'somebody', never show off their powers of Siddhis, never indulge in magic,
never seek after disciples and never presume to indoctrinate others. They
withdraw into seclusion, practice their dharmic duties unostentatiously in
humble dedication to God, shun publicity and are content to be inconspicuous,
selective in choosing only deserving students who would follow their own code
of conduct before imparting to them the eternal truths. They have to be '
searched for and sought after ' than their  'searching, scanning and scheming
'. They do not hanker after name or fame, are prepared to pass into oblivion '
unsung. unhonoured, unwept ' by the mere mortals
because  their  minds and vision are truly  fixated on the transcendental