Had been to a very “Spiritual Hindu Monastery” not far from Udupi (Karnataka, INDIA) which is know for its picturesque “Aashram” – yesterday. I just wanted to have a glimpse of the Ashram and then leave quietly without bothering a soul.
But as soon as we began leaving a “Brahmachari” caught hold of us and tried to impress us with their “service” (mostly senseless real-estate constructions) projects and tried boasting about his “Swami’s” international connections. He then spoke of the virtue of “forgiving criminals”, “having nothing material items for themselves” and “service for the humanity”.
After I told him that people who would gave grants to “Maths” (monastery) were mostly some kind of criminals who wanted to be free of their guilt by getting some “blessings” from a saffron clad man in exchange for donations – since he was shut up – he insisted that I meet his “Swami“.
The “swami” spoke of great “virtues” apparently mentioned in the Shastras. Then I found him busy trying to smashing the mosquitoes with his bare hands while lecturing me about “Ahimsa“.
When I asked the “learned” Swami as to why weren’t there even one “Mathadhipathi” (head of a monastery) mentioned in Vedas, that which he was so speaking “highly” about, his was a face to see. Then, as it would be, there was a “devotee” (read crony) of his who spoke in a nasty as well as somewhat threatening way. Alas it didn’t take him long to see that, since I spoke in context of the Vedas with citations, that which this saffron clad impostor couldn’t contradict or even comprehend, the people around didn’t side much with him.
This swami has a grand real-estate plan to erect some 100 feet statue of a revered figure estimated to be around 100 crores. The project is already being marketed by “devotees” (read volunteers) who are having tough time running their own house holds and control their own kids.
These Mathas which claim to be “protectors of Dharma” are essentially the greatest threat to it. These “Mutts” and its “Mathadhipathis” are swindling crores of Rupees – even dollars – in the name of Shastras, Vedas and Upanishads whose very essence they are unaware of. How in the name of Dharma do they call themselves as Dharmic? I find it hard to comprehend.