There is always an ideological clash between the West and the East. It may be mere coincidence that the West is materially rich and The East is spiritually rich. All the world religions originated in the East and spread to the West. Undoubtedly India tops the Eastern Countries in producing religions and God men ( Avatars). It may be true that a rich person can never be spiritual as he worships the wealth than God or his soul. He has thus more material pursuits than spiritual ones. On the other hand a poor person takes solace in spiritual pursuits because he has less concerns of the world.
Few years back I was reading about these God men in India. Osho whose original name was Rajaneesh, Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Sai Baba of Shirdi, Mata Amrudanada Mayi, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Baba Ramdev, Jaggi Vasudev and this list of spiritual masters are on the increase.When I probed into their followers, I knew that most of them were from the Western Countries. They all flourished with western benefactors. Fortuanately, there are now many Indian followers to them. It happened because India also has become westernized and materialized.
After 50 years, It is predicted that the East would become extremely rich and the world economy would be dominated by two countries- India and China. The West would become comparatively poor and would start producing Godmen. Four years back, I was talking to one of my friends who had attended an ‘Art of Living” workshop held at Bangalore, by Sri. Sri. Ravi Shankar. He said enthusiastically, ” It was a unique one. There were thousands of people from all walks of life gathered over there. They had brought in a transformation to ourselves in just eight hours. It’s a fast paced world and such workshops are getting more and more relevance and followers.”
Recently, As I moved to Pondicherry I found followers of many God men whom I have never heard of before. I think where the faith is not deep rooted, people tend to follow this God men. I do agree with the fact that these godmen are doing many philanthropic and charitable works. For Example Mata Amruthanandamayi has many hospitals, schools and colleges where they offer free treatment to patients and free education to poor students.
I do watch one TV channel (Astha) where Babg Ramdev gives his usual yoga sessions and meditations. How many people folk around these god men? And why? The answer is simple- most of the people do not know how to live. They seek advice from these men who claim to have spiritual knowledge and wisdom. Modern urbanized life has made most of the working people tensed, frustrated and anxious. They don’t find any meaning in a mechanistic living. That is when these gurus instruct their followers to look into their inner selves for meaning and fulfillment. It is a true turn indeed.
We need a ‘hugging saint’ to hug us when members of a family never hug each other. A Facebook user who chats with those who are thousands miles away pleasantly would ignore those who are staying with him/her. He would ignore them. Wisdom, knowledge and power cannot be eaten. We still need people with blood and flesh to hug us. We need people without lust and greed to hug us. We need people who can hug others without selfishness and with a purity of hearth.
Thus the modern culture creates beggars- beggars of love, warmth, and relationship. People beg for love in the midst of richness, comforts and pleasures. Keep in mind, such a pure love was abundant once upon a time in our homes. Now they are all houses-they ceased to be homes. Even human love is marketed and commercialized. In fact, this is real poverty. Poverty is not absence of richness. It is the absence of contentment in the midst of comforts and material prosperity. As long as man finds real meaning of life within himself, he would remain a beggar- begging for love, warmth, concern, recognition, and openness.