Many of today’s godmen are traders, says former minister Arun Shourie

"Godmen today run real estate empires, financial institutions empire, cosmetic and pharmaceutical empires in the name of yoga and all sorts of things," Arun Shourie alleged at the release of his latest book 'Two Saints' Saturday evening.

By: PTI | Hyderabad | Published:June 18, 2017 7:33 pm
Arun Shourie, Arun Shourie book launch, godmen, indian godmen Former union minister Arun Shourie (Express Archive)

Former union minister Arun Shourie has alleged that many of today’s godmen are “traders” who run real estate and financial empires and are in contrast with those of yesteryears who provide personal solace to many of us. “Ramakrishna Paramahansa and Ramana Maharshi, the real miracle of their lives was the solace they provided…their contribution and their enormous influence in the course of our country.

“Today reading about them…lifts us up and provides personal solace to many of us,” Shourie said at the release of his latest book ‘Two Saints’ here last evening. Terming Ramakrishna Paramahansa and Ramana Maharshi are the two great saints of India, he said that his book examines their experiences from whatever is today known about brain and also about their peripheral experiences.

This book has relevance in many other respects also for instance in one contrast between their utter simplicity and humility and the pride of the godmen today, said Shourie. “Godmen today run real estate empires, financial institutions empire, cosmetic and pharmaceutical empires in the name of yoga and all sorts of things,” he alleged.

“Such is their influence…that the authorities have repeatedly found their products to be contaminated and their advertisements to be false and they have given the rulings, but you will find only small mention and no follow up action by any government,” he claimed.

So, he said, there is great contrast and we must hold such fellows (today’s godmen) to the high standards of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Ramana Maharshi in their simplicity, in humility and in their attainments. Shourie further said Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Ramana Maharshi, embodied the “essence of our tradition and the essence of our tradition is the inner directed search.”

According to Shourie, today all the emphasis is on the externals. “Are you a vegetarian or not?. Externals do not matter…It was the inner directed search and their attainments in depths which we should focus on,” he said and alleged that “these fellows will destroy our tradition of looking inwards.”

“Politicians who use religious symbol and these godmen of today are traders in our religion…such organisations also have nothing to do with our religion and tradition and essence of our tradition which Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Ramana Maharshi embodied.

“The great insights which they gained in that inner directed search is the pearl of great price which India can still offer to the world,” he said. One of the reasons for remembering Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Ramana Maharshi is that they lived and embodied inner directed search and reached unimaginable depths, he said. Earlier, former Reserve Bank of India Governor Y V Reddy released the book.

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  1. S
    Sidharth Sankar
    Jun 26, 2017 at 10:34 am
    Define "Godman". Besides, is it wrong for a "Godman" to run a business that serves the community and provides jobs?
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      manian
      Jun 20, 2017 at 7:55 pm
      Any body interestes seriously in spirituality would certainly agree with Arun.Ramana maharishi never left Tiruvannamalai in his life but the whole world came down to see him.The present day spiritualists are selling what cannot be sold to the guillible public.Oh LORD forgive them.they do not know what they are doing.
      Reply
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        Murali
        Jun 20, 2017 at 7:04 pm
        Mr. Shourie....you were a good journalist in the 70s and 80s. Your career has seen better days. Get real now. Nobody cares to read what you write on Hinduism or BJP. BTW, Baba Ramdev is not a Godman, nor does he claim to be one. He is a Yoga Guru who singlehandedly revolutionized the Yoga movement in India and abroad. Mr. Shourie, I am sure you know that Baba Ramdev does not take even a Rupee from Crores being generated from Patanjali products, not to mention these products are natural, 'Made in India', they generate tremendous economy for the country and provide employment to many poor people.
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          Abha Indian
          Jun 20, 2017 at 5:36 pm
          Ramdev is mukhauta of RSS. Patanjali is going in leaps and bound during tenure of Modi. Ramdev is a pucca bahroopia. He ran away from Ram Lila Ground by wearing woman clothes. Like one of Pakistani cleric ran away from his fiefdom, on operation by Military, wearing burkha. All modern days most babas are corrupt and involved in minting money by making fool to Aam Aadmi. Some of them are facing rape charges. Arun Shorie is rightly pointing it out to the nation. They (RSS) are not doing any good to Hindu Samaj. They are dividing Hindu Samaj based on cast and creed. Shudras are not allowed to do their rituals in Thakur infested villages. Why a Shudra can not become a priest? Why only Brahamin can be priest? Our God is Buddha and he is the only savior of India. All other Gods are myth created by manu. Jai Bheem
          Reply
          1. S
            SC
            Jun 20, 2017 at 5:15 pm
            And Mr. Arun Shourie you are meant only for "TV debates". Arun Shourie is an unproductive asset of India.
            Reply
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              Abhijit Bhattacharya
              Jun 20, 2017 at 4:42 pm
              This is the era of corporate babas like Ramdev, Sri Sri Sri Sri (Art of Lying) and so on
              Reply
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                K.Suresh
                Jun 20, 2017 at 1:44 pm
                Is Ramdev marketing himself as a 'Godman' ? or claiming himself to be one ? He is a Yoga teacher (Guru) and is teaching/promoting Yoga besides making/selling Ayurvedic products. If there is anything illegal in what Ramdev is doing, anybody is welcome to haul him to court.
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                  Kris
                  Jun 20, 2017 at 12:11 pm
                  This sour grape guy takes every opportunity to malign Hindus and this government just because he was not included as a Minister in the Modi's cabinet nor was he given any importance. Just because he was the minister in the last NDA government does not automatically qualify him to be given any position of eminence. Even as a Minister in the previous NDA government this guy was a big disaster. He divested some of the best run PSUs at a throw away prices resulting huge loss of public money. His intelligence should have been used at that time for the benefit of the government rather than helping some crony capitalists. Coming to the Gurus becoming business persons or vice versa in the context of Indian philosophy people can change their minds at any time. We have the examples of Valmiki, Kalidasa, and so many others. This guy was implicitly referring Baba Ram Dev, Sri Sri Ravishakar, Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev, who seem close to this government. They are doing great service without any reward.
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