YOU CANNOT POST. OUR WEB HOSTING COMPANY DECIDED TO MOVE THE SERVER TO ANOTHER LOCATION. IN THE MEANTIME, YOU CAN VIEW THIS VERSION WHICH DOES NOT ALLOW POSTING AND WILL NOT SAVE ANYTHING YOU DO ONCE THE OTHER SERVER GOES ONLINE.

False Gurus: Can a huge mass of people be Conned? - Dhamma Wheel

False Gurus: Can a huge mass of people be Conned?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Nori
Posts: 126
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:42 pm

False Gurus: Can a huge mass of people be Conned?

Postby Nori » Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:52 am

I went to my local shop to eat some Dosa (south Indian dish) and on the wall was a picture of Sai Baba - a Guru ('Spiritual' leader) in India that is beloved by many thousands (or even millions) around the world. His picture is posted everywhere (in homes, shops, taxi cabs, busses, etc.) like he is some God.

I was wondering what he was all about, so later I went to YouTube to see if there were any lectures or speeches of his.

I find this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yblhsr1O4IQ

It is clear, especially in the BBC video clip at 6:43 that his mouth does not open large enough to extract this golden Lingam.

---

This person was clearly a con man. I was shocked and appalled.

Here is this guy talking about God and 'Love', and meanwhile taking everyone's money. Some people really have no conscience it seems.

I was really amazed that he could pull this off to such a large mass of people, and that anyone would even venture to try it. I mean why?


So from this I conclude:

1) Can a person be a con man if he is followed by hundreds of thousands, or even millions of people all over the world, and speak true, wise and compassionate teachings?

Answer: YES!!!

2) Can a person still be a con man if he gave relief (from suffering) to hundreds of thousands, or even millions of people all over the world?

Answer: YES!!!

I am sure about this.

---

In regards to the Buddha: Some spoke of the Buddha, during his times, as a person who was homeless, yet still lived like a king.

After he was renown, he was treated with very special treatment: served well prepared dishes, given parks, land and dwellings, etc.

Whenever I read a Sutta that emphasized giving Dana, explicitly emphasizing the fact that by giving Dana to the righteous, that a person earns much merit in the afterlife (or even a higher rebirth), I could not help but to have this very familiar feeling. The same feeling I might get if a catholic priest told me that I would earn much merit with God if I donated to his church.

In the past, I've asked myself, is it possible? Could there be some secret agenda? Would the Buddha, (or can the Buddha,) create some elaborate cosmology (along with rebirth/reincarnation, supernatural phenomena and powers), combined with reasonable teachings that contained some real insight, however, had some hidden agenda, such as setting himself up for a renowned and praised, comfortable life of a Guru? Indeed many guru's during his time was doing just that.

(Actually he was against precisely this..)

Could his enlightenment actually have been this great and elaborate con scheme? In fact maybe the greatest con scheme in all of history?!

Is it possible?

I feel almost ashamed to have even considered these thoughts given the things I have learned from him, but I cannot say I have never considered such possibilities..

---

I really don't thinks so, but I cannot say that I can answer this question for sure. But if there were some sort of a con, he would still have to be some great genius. Imagine that!, if it were.

As agreeable, the teachings seem, I still cannot rule out the possibility.

Sometimes I wonder if it were possible for him to believe he was enlightened, but then not really be, in which case he conned himself.

I am sure I am pissing many people off at this point.

I don't really think these were the cases, but I cannot help myself from exploring the possibilities. I am just expressing some thoughts I may have had in the past, though I do not really have them anymore. If I thought he were a phoney, I would not have given so much time and effort into his teachings.


He has much on his side:

1) He was already a wealthy prince (supposedly), so does not have the more common ulterior motive of gaining wealth.

2) His teachings speak for themselves. I have learned many things that have helped me in many ways, (but simultaneously took away much of the temporal enjoyment from my life, which may be the reason for some of my doubts). However, much of the teaching can be confirmed, in the here and now, to be true (in most perspectives). The core aspect of his practice does not require you to believe in anything. It is a 'come try and see for yourself, and do it only if you like', practice; which for me, proves itself more true as time goes on, though I am not free from all doubt.

---

I only question a few fundamental concepts: like, whether we should venture to eliminate suffering once and for all (with all it's seemingly harsh consequences due to the attempt), or on the other hand, accept it as an inevitable part of life. (amongst other issues..)

My apologies for expressing my doubts, but sometimes I have mixed feelings due to my ignorance.

Thoughts are welcome.
Last edited by Nori on Sat Oct 15, 2011 4:30 am, edited 12 times in total.

Nicro
Posts: 194
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:48 pm
Location: Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Re: False Guru's: Can a huge mass of people be Conned?

Postby Nicro » Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:00 am

I always wondered who that guy was. He is on the wall of some Indian places around here too.

santa100
Posts: 2673
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: False Guru's: Can a huge mass of people be Conned?

Postby santa100 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:15 pm

The odds of the Buddha being a con man is zero. Afterall, a con man does what he does to gain something, wealth, fame, status, etc. These were all the attributes the Buddha had when He was a prince, BEFORE He renounced all of those things to seek the path to liberation. As a matter of fact, His enlightenment marked the total and complete freedom from those hindrances.

It's no easy task to eliminate suffering once and for all. That's why the Buddha gave different teachings to different people, according to their capacity. To some, He would teach them to practice generosity and charity to enjoy the good merits of being reborn again as good decent human beings. To others, with some more effort of meditation, could enjoy the fruits of being reborn as devas. To those with utterly strong determination, they can apply the appropriate practice to attain the Four Fruits of Stream Enterer, Once-Return, None-Return, and Arhant. It's a fact that if there's life, there's suffering. There are many stages of the path. THe higher the stage, the more effort one has to put in, but the less the suffering. Life is a big school for one to constantly learn and practice until s/he graduates with the highest degree, which is completely free of suffering.

User avatar
Alexei
Posts: 144
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 1:51 pm
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: False Guru's: Can a huge mass of people be Conned?

Postby Alexei » Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:58 pm


User avatar
Vepacitta
Posts: 299
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 3:58 pm
Location: Somewhere on the slopes of Mt. Meru

Re: False Guru's: Can a huge mass of people be Conned?

Postby Vepacitta » Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:27 pm

People can have doubts about the Buddha without being accused of having a secret agenda.

And I've wondered about this myself.

It's ok to think thoughts - it's ok to ask questions - It's ok to doubt. At least in my book. He was certainly being respectful.

Organised religion has duped many people over the years - I think it's right to question.

V.
I'm your friendly, neighbourhood Asura

User avatar
gavesako
Posts: 1720
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:16 pm

Re: False Guru's: Can a huge mass of people be Conned?

Postby gavesako » Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:48 pm

Guest Post: The Buddha didn't just believe in rebirth, he argued for it

Thai forest monk Thanissaro Bhikkhu, a frequent contributor to Tricycle, sends the following:

It never ceases to amaze me that scholars—who should know better—keep repeating the idea that the Buddha lived in a time when everyone took for granted two principles: (1) that rebirth happened, and (2) that karma had an effect on how rebirth happened.

You wonder why this idea gets repeated so often, because the Pali Canon provides clear evidence to the contrary, evidence that has been available in Western languages for more than a century. (...)

http://www.tricycle.com/blog/guest-post ... -argued-it
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

- Theravada texts
- Translations and history of Pali texts
- Sutta translations

User avatar
Bhikkhu Pesala
Posts: 3670
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: False Guru's: Can a huge mass of people be Conned?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:05 pm

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: False Guru's: Can a huge mass of people be Conned?

Postby PeterB » Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:05 pm

Thanissaro Bhikkhus over eggs the pudding at various points in his piece.
I have heard no one say that Kamma and Rebirth in some form was universally accepted at that time. Just that they were widely held. Their verity and exact nature were the cause of much hot debate..simply BECAUSE they were well known concepts prior to the birth of Gautama.
He by contrast under eggs the pudding when discussing Jain belief, which has a different view of the mechanics of kamma and rebirth but takes both those concepts as axiomatic.
Such ideas were common, but not universal, currency in Ancient Bharat...The Buddha was operating within a cultural norm.

User avatar
Alexei
Posts: 144
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 1:51 pm
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: False Guru's: Can a huge mass of people be Conned?

Postby Alexei » Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:28 pm


User avatar
Mr Man
Posts: 2873
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: False Guru's: Can a huge mass of people be Conned?

Postby Mr Man » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:03 pm


User avatar
rowboat
Posts: 700
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:31 am
Location: Brentwood Bay

Re: False Guru's: Can a huge mass of people be Conned?

Postby rowboat » Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:21 am

Rain soddens what is covered up,
It does not sodden what is open.
Therefore uncover what is covered
That the rain will not sodden it.
Ud 5.5

User avatar
Mr Man
Posts: 2873
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: False Guru's: Can a huge mass of people be Conned?

Postby Mr Man » Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:00 am

Hi Rowboat

I would hope that participants in this forum would be respectful whoever they were addressing.

I would add that I actually wasn't directly addressing Bhikkhu Pesala but was commenting on the Ven's comment.

Apologies if you found my comment disrespectful.

:anjali:

User avatar
Fede
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: The Heart of this "Green & Pleasant Land"...
Contact:

Re: False Guru's: Can a huge mass of people be Conned?

Postby Fede » Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:22 am

Going off topic and into the realm of good-humoured observation - "Guru's" shouldn't have an apostrophe.

I doubt much of what I read (in fact, Tibetan Monks enter into clap-punctuated debates using that very premise as a basis and foundation of their own curiousity-filled evolution towards awakening) but when the grammar's flawed, it's like nails on a blackboard to me...........

pedantic stickler that I am. :anjali:
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/

User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: False Guru's: Can a huge mass of people be Conned?

Postby Ben » Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:28 am

Great to see you again, Alex!
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

User avatar
Fede
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: The Heart of this "Green & Pleasant Land"...
Contact:

Re: False Guru's: Can a huge mass of people be Conned?

Postby Fede » Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:29 am

Really lovely to be back, Ben! :smile:
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: False Guru's: Can a huge mass of people be Conned?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:52 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

User avatar
Bhikkhu Pesala
Posts: 3670
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: False Gurus: Can a huge mass of people be Conned?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:07 am

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

PaulD
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:40 am

Re: False Gurus: Can a huge mass of people be Conned?

Postby PaulD » Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:56 am

Saw a documentary based on him and it's pretty clear that he's a fraud. The old sai baba was something special though.

User avatar
cooran
Posts: 8502
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: False Gurus: Can a huge mass of people be Conned?

Postby cooran » Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:37 pm

Hello PaulD, all,

Yes, - it is important not to confuse the man who seems to be the subject of this thread, with Shirdi Sai Baba who died on 15th of October 1918.
http://www.cosmicharmony.com/Av/ShrdSai/ShSai.htm
http://www.saibaba.org/saibaba.html

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---


Return to “Connections to Other Paths”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Kim OHara and 17 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine