If you've ever been to India you will have spotted them. The beady eyed star children of the eastern wind. Those splayed out in ashrams wearing awkward shoes and gazing off into a 2/3rds distance with glassy eyes. Upon attempting conversation with these sheep standard answers will be "I´m from nowhere", "my name is Shanti Jeeva", " I have no belongings for no things belong to me".
They congregate in Rishikesh, Pondicherry, Kerala, some parts of the Himalayas, like a clan of Burning Man rejects who threw away their entire wardrobe as soon as they landed in Delhi and spent 40 dollars on buying lungis, salwar kameez´s and henna paint. Days spent walking on 40 degree filthy roads smeared with cow shit to try make their feet appear weathered and worn, hair dirty, eyes grey from hash excesses, reduced to a vocabulary of 19 words all including Shanti, Baba, wonderful, beautiful, peaceful, resonating, vibrations, wisdom, love and another bullshit adjectives.
Intent that their life back home was just a charade, content with sleeping on a thin mattress in a crowded room (for the time being) and relinquishing all western comforts (for the time being) and nailed to a staple of dhal and rice for every meal (for the time being) and remedied into the new enveloping lifestyle of meditation, prayer, worship, renewal, sadhu-fucking and mystic bullshit until either: A. Their money runs out and they return to their software engineering job in Baltimore, or B. They wake up one day and realize the whole thing is bullshit and fly back to Bremen to continue their life minus the past 3 years wasted in flies and the stench of shit.
I feel sorry for them. It´s not only the naive. It´s endemic for most people to try and find something greater, more spiritual, to purge the sins of past by clinging onto a hope of something new, exciting, cosmic. The notion that a far off land carries greater promise of delivering on these dreams is rather ridiculous, but nevertheless they arrive in throngs every day at the airports of India, keen as criminals to start their new lives and basically wash their brains of all sense and reason.
India is a market. A market for idiots who think some fucker with a beard is spiritual or knowledgable just because he babbles off lines like : "Surely the search for oneself is not of oneself" or "Universal truth can only be attained by understanding at once that we are but a puddle of rain water trapped in the beginnings of a dream".
And BTW.. I made those sentences up in 2 seconds but if some bearded twat with a saffron robe and an ashram behind him said it, it would suddenly be the answer to a million travelers questions. They seem so open to being fed one-liners by someone who they cannot understand, and yet publicly berate any western mind for his studied conclusions on spirituality or religion. By default the tanned man with the excessive beard has free reign to pollute our minds with whatever he wishes, and we will pay him, simply because his name is unpronounceable and his eyes sparkle in that way people back home just don´t understand.
They seem to think India being a spiritual country (by reputation) means that any old Raju, Deepak and Haroun standing by a painted tree or auspicious rock (with a dodgy accent) has something valuable to tell them about their current existence or plight.
In 99% of these cases the person gets seduced for the time they are in India, sexually "blessed", and then return home to the western world and fall into whatever routines they had beforehand. Nothing has changed... except the "guru" is a lot wealthier and has another asset to write about in his dairy of having shagged a Firangi.
Bah fucking humbug.
And I say this having seen the pathetic mawk dribble of societies penultimate scrapings off the bottom of a urinary bowl that find themselves living at the Osho compound in Pune (yes, I have witnessed the abject wankery of that place firsthand) with the purple clad, cloned eyes, lost souls wandering around between the trees as their leader died owning over 30 Rolls Royces and they send home begging letters to their parents to help fund another month of gang bangs and heavy breathing exercises. Upon closer inspection they all reveal themselves to being the people at school who had no life, no future, no path, and have defaulted into the false community of those fucking, or being fucked.
Of course not omitting the mammoth rape institute of anything Sai Baba (Rest In Penises) has his cum laden Paedo fingers attached to with his ambiguous sexual leanings and the gospel of "come into my chambers, shed your clothes and be enlightened for real by my engorged rod of justice" while he buggers young hopeful disciples senseless in dark closets and cloaks the yearnings of an unquestioned yolk to the outside peering assembly. Devoid of any semblance of morals, bereft of conscience, manipulative to the very core of his filthy being, wrapped in lurid tales that fail to be concealed by his robes, a permanent boner pointed at the nearest whitey, he floated along on divine clouds fooling multitudes into thinking him a sad god on which to bestow their heartfelt wasted faith and died a martyr in the cause of human furthering, when all along he was a frothy haired conman only interested in relieving tourists of their "Western Wealth" by pocketing it, depositing it in Swiss bank-accounts, sticking his finger up the odd poofters asshole, bumming a few german ladies under the guise of imparting the touch of a God. Face it. He was a bloody genius. Who else made millions of tax free dollars while shagging anyone or anything he fancied and sat around letting people worship him all day.
His only downfall was his unquenched desire for male companionship (young male companionship.... as in 14 year olds, dude) something that was unpardonable by Hindu law, and therefore reserved for close encounters of the third-eye kind. One such victim, I met firsthand, after he had finally escaped the compound after days of trying, washed up at our guest house years ago and told us of the time he was invited into the Holy of Holies because he had "pleased" Sai Baba greatly and was about to be shown the greatest blessing. This being the old codger pulling down his pants, asking the man to lean over the desk and receive his erect lingam as the proof that God existed. Upon refusing he was set upon and had to escape under the cover of night, fled to our Guest House, told us the story and flew back to England the day after for fear of being silenced. Such was the power of this curly twat. His reputation was to be saved at all costs. Despite the stories that surfaced later that year about his numerous advances on western disciples, including public gropings of a 14 year old boys penis and the hushed rumors that he was in fact a Hermaphrodite, something substantiated by many people but proved by none since his body was never released for an autopsy.
He and Osho conned the world into making them some of the richest people on earth without really doing anything but repeating a question back to the disciple:
Disciple:"What, your holiness, is the meaning of life?"
Conman:" What is the meaning of meaning? This is life"
In western countries these people would be in jail, the electric chair or on a compound surrounded by FBI agents.... In India they are treated as unquestioned Gods. Thankfully half of the most famous ones are being fed upon by maggots right now, but there are still thousands clinging to the branches of Banyan trees, shedding their saffron cloaks for a taste of german skin, jet-setting around the world relieving nations of their financial assets all while their eyes twinkle and their beards grow longer with the healthy knowledge that for every discerning punter, there are a hundred gullible sheep who will continue walking straight into their stalls.
I am not completely ignorant to the fact that there is a plethora of men who have eschewed the traditional way of living and set out to find peace through meditation and studying the Rig Veda´s or Bhagavad Gita under a peaceful rock strewn across the valleys of Hampi. These men, however, do not try and sell their discoveries for a profit. They are on a journey of self-realization and deserve whatever credit befits them.