You are currently viewing Celebrity Followers – Free Advertisement and Popularity for their Guru – 15 Jun 11

Celebrity Followers – Free Advertisement and Popularity for their Guru – 15 Jun 11

Celebrity Followers

In the series of different followers, I will today describe the last type of followers, celebrity followers. They are popular people, known for their skills in one area and they follow a certain guru. Through them, their gurus become popular, too, and they turn out to be celebrity gurus.

There are different levels of celebrity gurus and there are many different levels of celebrity followers. There are many gurus who are celebrities in their religion, culture, country or state and a few of them are known internationally. The followers can be local politicians and higher politicians, film stars known in one country and film stars known internationally, sportsmen and women, musicians and more. With all of these celebrities you need to realize that they, too, are only human.

A famous example of western followers are the Beatles. Especially George Harrison is known to have been a follower of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and TM, his meditation technique, the Transcendental Meditation. They are celebrities but I can tell you for sure that many people in India, who have nothing to do with western music, don’t even know their names.

In the same way there is Sachin Tendulkar, currently known as the best cricketer of the world. He is famous in India and in countries that play cricket and he was a follower of the recently passed-away guru Sathya Sai Baba. There are however many people who have never heard of this man.

I know of Sachin Tendulkar since he is playing cricket, 20 years ago but I heard of the Beatles for the first time when I came to the west.

I like Sachin Tendulkar, he is a great cricket player, has extraordinary talent in his sport and he could be a wonderful personality, too. If he however follows Sathya Sai Baba, he probably has the same reason to follow him as any other person who follows a guru. He is a great cricketer but in his heart he is just a normal person. He is not God and he is not perfect. He may be perfect in this one area, in this one sport, but he has weaknesses just like everybody else. He has a need for something that he thinks can be satisfied by following a guru. He, just as thousands of other people, obviously wants to believe that Sathya Sai Baba can materialize gold and ashes.

In the same way, George Harrison could have been a great musician but he had the same weakness that thousands of other people have and think that flying through meditation is a great thing that we should achieve. They may be celebrities but they can be superstitious at the same time!

Maybe Sachin Tendulkar could think that he played great cricket because of the blessings of his guru. Maybe the Beatles believed that they played great music because of the meditation techniques of their guru. They can all believe this, it is fine but it becomes a problem when people start following these celebrities as Gods, too. People then forget that they are only human and that they are like us, normal humans. If you follow their music, follow their career and follow their films, you don’t need to follow their gurus. You admire a celebrity because of his or her talent and that is fully fine. Don’t think however, if they follow someone or believe in something, it is the ultimate truth. It is not like this, they could be mistaken, too.

Celebrity followers are always liked by gurus because they make celebrity gurus out of them. They get popular through the fame of their followers. Celebrity followers advertise them very well, just by visiting their programs. Who would not like to get this benefit?

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Ashvini

    Dear Swami Ji, I can’t imagine the number of ways in which we think alike. To me a Guru is the one who does things for welfare of the shishya. Unfortunately if Guru is more concerned about his own welfare then guru term is probably not applicable on him.
    I have seen so many people worshiping this or that Guru like crazy and I get dismayed( yes that is the right word) at their unquestionable obsequiousness ( again the right term 🙂 ).
    I don’t know how to take these people out from the stupor of theirs . I have almost given up.

    Sorry for large words but their definitions are exactly what I was looking for .

    Would you please also add to the discussion on my recent post? It is quite close a topic to things you talk about.
    Thanks and great writeup once again.

  2. Deniz

    For the Beatles, like with most hippies of the 1960s, interest in Eastern teachings and teachers was mostly just a passing fad. The only one of the Beatles who continued with it was George Harrison, but not very actively, just as an interest among many. It didn’t take long for the Beatles to find out about the hypocricy and other problems with gurus, and that’s how many felt, as they gave up their hippy ideals and returned to mainstream society. A small percentage of the hippy meditation and guru faddists went on to discover and appreciate the deeper values in Eastern spiritual traditions, and we saw some remnants of the hippy spirituality fad develop into what we call now the New Age subculture. The New Age subculture has also become too commercialized, as the business people involved in continuing it have to make livings and pay their bills like everyone else, so the commercialization developed. There’s also lots of hoke and profiteering in the New Age world, and there have also been many people with dubious backgrounds and credentials being considered as spiritual teachers. And lots of followers to believe their claims and pay money for whatever they’re offering. It can take lots of discernment and discrimination to find where the truth and authenticity is among all this. One of the big problems in finding coherence among all this is the vast array of traditions that seekers of truth are confronted with in “spiritual supermarkets.” How different from traditional times when people only had one or two local traditions to choose from. As a result, the New Age subculture developed to be one of the cultures of “post-modernism,” a culture of bewildering diversity where coherence has broken down and where there’s such confusing arrays of choices that finding meaningful coherence has become all the harder and more challenging. In desperate efforts to find coherence among all this confusion, some people settle the issue by becoming rigid devotees of one guru or religious doctrine. This actually explains some of the religious fundamentalism in my country, made up largely of people who settled with rigid interpretations of Christianity as a way of escaping all the confusion. All these problems are compounded by all the corrupt and bogus spiritual teachers and leaders out there. So many seekers as a result of all this just wind up mostly in snares of deception and self-deception.

  3. Swami Balendu

    Dear Ashvini,Thank you for your comment. Yes, I think our thoughts are similar. You will find it difficult to change the mind of a follower! Whenever they will get fed up with their guru, they will understand what you were talking about. Until then you cannot do much.

    Sending you much love

  4. Swami Balendu

    Dear Deniz,Thank you for your information about the Beatles. I read a bit about George Harrison online and found that he was involved with several different gurus. I wrote about TM because I recently watched a movie about TM and the Beatles were mentioned. I have the idea to write more about it in the next days.
    Much love

  5. Emily

    Fame is something that disturbs me. It takes normal humans out of their normal lives and places them on a pedestal where they don’t necessarily belong. You are right, Swami Ji. They should be revered and respected for their specialty, career, or artwork… but not for everything else about them! In America especially, there is massive obsession over the lives of celebrities. Tons of magazines are produced selling stories of celebrity lives…some true and some very very false. Why do people obsess over people they don’t even know? They forget that even celebrities are normal humans with flaws and issues. They shouldn’t be worshipped or followed like a guru either.
    And on the other hand, fame makes the celebrities unable to lead normal lives because they cannot escape the paparazzi and their fans.

    All people are just as special as celebrities in their own way. I hope that people will remember this and focus on their own lives first!

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