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Educated westerners fooled by Gurus promising fake powers - 10 Oct 11

10 Oct 2011  Vrindavan, India

Category: Fake

Children at Lunch

Last week I told about people who believe in the Siddhis of their former Gurus although they know exactly that these gurus are cheaters. I have actually met a lot of western people who believe in this idea of supernatural powers. They come to India, especially looking for gurus who do this, who claim they have abilities that nobody else has.

I have spoken to many such people and I call them spiritually confused people. In programs, here at the Ashram and also online I get many inquiries about Siddhis, how to get them and which Siddhis I have. Most people are disappointed when they hear my reply.

In the series of blog entries about my life which I write every Sunday, I shared already that after my time in the cave many Indian people believed that I must have achieved special Siddhis now. In the west, too, a lot of people had this idea and asked me why I did not believe in materialization, why I did not believe in levitation and why I did not think anybody could predict the future or read someone else’s mind.

I don’t believe in Siddhis and I want to announce very clearly that I don’t have any Siddhis. There are no supernatural powers and I want to challenge anybody who would like to try to show me those powers and their effect, good or bad. Can you tell me the lottery numbers or can you kill me only by the force of your mind, without touching me and without the help of another person? Try it.

There were many nice people who believed in Siddhis and powers and who supported our projects. When they realized however that I do not have any Siddhis and don’t even believe in them, they left us and even stopped their support. What can you do about that? Some of these people are still my friends but not really close anymore.

I actually always wonder that western people believe in such superstition. If someone in India believes in special powers, I easily believe it. In India these are people who are not educated, who have not been to school, who often don’t even know how to read and write. They believe in all kinds of superstitions, simply because they don’t know the scientific explanation for what is going on in very natural ways. And if the whole world works in this miraculous ways, why wouldn’t a person be able to read minds or materialize gold. It is understandable that an uneducated person believes this. But these westerners come out of university, they have learned a lot about the laws of physics, about science, about how the world works. How would you educate them even further to make them understand that Siddhis are unreal?

These westerners are educated, they would maybe not go as far as to do sacrifices with pieces of their flesh. Most probably their gurus are clever enough not to even suggest that. Instead they think of the materialism of the west and use this to attract them. Westerners are more interested in materializing gold and fascinated by this power. So this is how their gurus show such tricks.

What they don’t realize is that this has the same root as brutal rituals in which parents sacrifice their children! These are those Siddhis they are striving for and the rituals that are performed by cheating gurus and priests to obtain them. If you believe in any such thing, realize that it is only made of tricks, that it is all just a big show. Don’t support those tricks and most of all, don’t be afraid that anything could happen to you. These Siddhis are not real and nobody can do anything to you!

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Tags:: Guru, Fake, Magic, Education, Fake guru, Siddhis

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Posted By Swami Balendu

Swami Balendu

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Comments

To this critique of false religious magic tricks I would add the magic tricks that believers are taught to practice themselves, which are the many rituals which believers are taught to practice in order to gain spiritual "empowerments" of various kinds. For instance, the money tributes paid to art objects and statues, the money tributes paid to alleged gurus in exchange for alleged empowerments, the bathing in dirty water for alleged empowerments, the heavy emphasis upon "empowerment" ceremonies in Mahayana Buddhism as it is practiced in the West, and the Christian communion ceremonies where people believe they are taking the savior in their bodies through wafers and sips of wine. I can understand where people may like to integrate some ritual into their practice to symbolically sanctify their practice and give their practice structure. But when you think about it, many of these rituals are false magic tricks that practicers are taught to believe that they can practice themselves. And many of these might be harmful, such as bathing in dirty water, taking in wafers that are touched and shared by many dirty hands, and giving of moneys to art objects and gurus that people really can't afford to give, hoping they will get heavenly rewards in return. Out of sociological curiosity, I have investigated many religious events, and witnessing one Christian communion ceremony, first the presiding priest shook hands with everyone in the congregation, then gave everyone the communion wafer with the same hands. This seems orchestrated more toward the most efficient way of transmitting disease than anything else. People should in my view only perform rituals that pass examination under the light of reason to not be dangerous or oppressive in any ways. Many rituals are just magic tricks, and like the many magic tricks performed by gurus, I think many people would be better off without them.

Reply By Deniz on October 11, 2011 11:35


It is very interesting that so many Westerners travel to India just to see these magic tricks... don't they also want to actually pursue a spiritual life, or yoga, or even sight-see the Taj Mahal?? There is also a big trend of Westerners going to South America to study with shamans who use special herbs and do healings. I don't know how real it is, but it has certainly become a fad in the West.

Reply By Emily on October 10, 2011 06:37


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