If you travel from Punjab to Tamil Nadu, the culture and language changes, but one common thread continues. This concerns the so called miracle men or God men and pseudo Saints that are common to the entire length and breadth of India.
Recently an American friend of mine visited me and over a glass of beer he mentioned that India has the largest number of saints and god men anywhere in the world, yet almost 45 % of the population is steeped in poverty and lives on less than a dollar a day. This observation made me think and I realized that what this man had pointed out was true. One has only to scan the hoardings and bill boards that advertise the advent of various God-men for sat sang and prayer meetings to realize that these god-men have a tremendous hold over the minds of the Indian people.
If one were to start a count, the number of these men would be a legion. Right from Assa Ram Bapu, Mahesh Yogi, Bal Yogi, Sai Baba, Ravi Ravi Shankar and many more have a grip on the Indian psyche that can’t be explained. Even educated men in India are influenced by these saints and baba’s. Religion is a personal faith, but when these Godmen claim they have divine powers, then this needs investigation.
Some of the God men have been involved in activities like murder and rape. This is sad. Some of them travel by their personal jet planes and some amass gold and silver by the tonnes. The followers of these God men have not been able to explain the opulent life style of these God-men. In fact some rationists like Dr. Kavoor even questioned the materialization of Vibhuti by these God men as a sleight of the hand.
The God men thrive in India because the Indian people are deeply religious. They prey on their fears and promise a utopia. Its indeed sad that these god men have done nothing for the nation except to amass personal wealth. Its about time a crusade was started against these God-men. That is a crying need in a nation where poverty is a by wordThe God men conduct ‘miracles’, that can be easily explained as a sleight of hand. In addition these men live in opulent splendour and travel in air-conditioned cars. Surely not an attribute of a god-man. Hindu thought talks of asceticism and penance to achieve God, but these men do exactly the opposite. Yet they have millions of followers.