Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Who is a Fake Baba?

In recent news, an organization in India has listed about a dozen godmen in India as "fake", indirectly asserting that all others are genuine.

To selflessly help advance the cause, here is my set of ten guidelines if you wish to consider becoming the follower of a saint or his teachings.  If any one of these is answered in the affirmative, you can move on to the next saintly candidate.

Do note that I am not going to question the basis of spirituality or a belief in God, because if we go there, all godmen are, at the very least, delusional.
  1. Has the saint changed his original name or added an honorific (Maharaj, Satguru, Swami, Sri) to his name?
  2. Does the saint live a life, based on donations, which is much more comfortable than that of his average follower?
  3. Does the saint try to hide or be vague about the details of his early life, his romantic or marital relationships, and how he came to consider himself a saint?
  4. Has the saint accepted an award, or a grant of land or money, from any government?
  5. Does the saint offer opinions about something other than spirituality, say about politics, the economy, or science?
  6. Does the saint dress in a distinctive manner, does the saint have a long-flowing beard, or does the saint dye his grey hair or beard?
  7. Does the saint advertise to gain new followers?
  8. Do any of the books authored by the saint, or attributed to him, have his photo on the front cover?
  9. Has the saint ever written or spoken against "western science" or "western medicine"?
  10. (Unlike the above nine questions, this question must resolve to a "Yes" for you to follow the saint).  When asked a question, has the saint ever said something to the effect of: "I don't know enough about this subject."
If a saint clears all these ten queries successfully, then he is certainly remarkable and is not fake.  At least, not on the face of it.


abhishek bhardwaj said...

It's really a remarkable guideline for any bhakt.
It's a kind of litmus test.

Anonymous said...

One Q is enough to determine fake. Is the Baba a complete recluse in silent, solitary confinement? If not then he/she is most certainly fake.

Harmanjit Singh said...

@anonymous, what use would be such a baba and how would someone know of him? :-)

Anonymous said...

Bees find even unseen but the right flowers to be of "use".

Anonymous said...

I wonder if AF Richard fails any of the questions?

Harmanjit Singh said...

@anonymous, AF_Richard is a fringe phenomenon, attracting maybe a dozen people worldwide. Not worth the hassle focusing on him.