At some point People become frustrated with their life with too many emotional setbacks. They begin the search for the meaning and purpose of life and become vulnerable. The pitfall is, they end up going behind fake Godmen, due to their ignorance. There are real saints but unfortunately people get trapped into the intellectual posers who call themselves Godmen. Here are a few tips that I got to know, if you want to differentiate the posers from real saints:
1. Saints don’t advertise themselves. They don’t promise you abundant money, fruitful career, successful life and all that. They help people silently, unaware of them. They don’t want praise, nor any attention. How many know of Saints in Rags around the Tiruvannamalai Hill? I never knew and I have never even been to that place yet!
2. They definitely don’t sell you spirituality as a package deal. If they teach you meditation, it is something that they got from their masters and most certainly they will not teach you anything but what you need. Usually the fees you pay for these, go to administration and some charity work, not for glorifying themselves more. There were days when a saint used to teach meditation for 5 rupees to sincere seekers.
3. Their definition of spirituality is realizing your real self. That’s it. Not gaining some supernatural powers.
4. They definitely don’t cure you of diseases. They will ask you to go to a doctor instead. They might help you, but they won’t say that they will cure you, using some kind of special powers that they have. Nope.
One lady approached a particular saint and said, “God came in my dream and said that you can cure my disease”. The saint said, “Mother, God didn’t come in my dream and tell this, so I suggest you to please see a good doctor”.
Sometimes there may be exceptions, but it is not realistic and practical to generalize these exceptions to all cases.
5. They do not force you into changing your habits. They would say you will change gradually by yourself. They don’t ask you to wear a marking on your forehead, or wear a particular bead mala or change your dressing style or grow long hair/beard or even change your diet or pray to a particular God. They don’t care if you are an atheist or even if you eat “Beef”, they will teach you meditation just as it should be taught.
A thief came to a Zen master asking him to help him to get out of this awful thing he was doing – stealing. The master just said, continue stealing, but whenever you do, be aware of what you are doing. The thief brought in awareness, and he just couldn’t steal anymore.
It is not wrong for someone to teach meditation to people in large numbers. But the General public should understand that, meditation is like a medicine. The medicine should be had only as per prescription. The Doctor may prescribe the same medicine to all for common ailments, but people have to understand that the effects will vary depending on the level of ailment that they have. Beyond that, only case by case basis will work.
You will need patience. After all Spirituality is about speeding up evolution to realize your true self and evolution is a slow process. Just beware of fake Godmen and move on with your life.