DRUGS, GUNS & SATSANGH

flightfoxcomIn the course of a fiery discussion on how so-called gurus milk unwary disciples of their money as well as precious intangibles, a friend mentioned that Papaji (a devotee of Ramana Maharshi who later became a guru in his own right) had bluntly prophesied that in the not-so-distant future, a lot of money would be made out of drugs, guns and satsangh.

Now drugs and guns have always been money-spinners for unscrupulous individuals who worship Mammon—but making money out of satsangh? And what does the word mean in the first place? Etymologically satsangh derives from two Sanskrit words: sat (ultimate truth) and sangha (the company of spiritual friends). It means a gathering of seekers whose primary interest is to awaken the divine within themselves—and who seek strength and support as they tread the tortuous yet amazing journey into inner space. Often gurus hold satsanghs for their followers, and today’s so-called gurus are known to charge big bucks for the privilege of meeting them in such a forum. Continue reading

The Blazing Skyscraper: An Archetypal Moksha Dream

FLYING WOMAN GRAPHICI loved my new apartment in Dharamsala: hardwood floors, a modern bathroom and kitchen, glass windows and a wraparound terrace from which I could contemplate the icy splendor of the ring of surrounding mountains. I’d just moved to this Himalayan town from the urban frenzy of Manhattan—minus a parachute as I often joked; this was my fourth home in just over a year and finally I felt comfortable, at least in physical terms.

It helped that my Himachali landlords were fond of me—possibly because I’d loaned them enough to finish the construction of their building. (Later I discovered via a German friend who sublet my place that they were cheating me blind on electricity etcetera—but at least they cared enough to provide me with the little comforts required to live in such an austere environment. “This is Kali Yuga, remember?” I’d remind myself when I felt cruelly buffeted by life. “It could always be worse!”) Continue reading