Intellectual Followers – Giving their Guru a good Reputation – 1 Jun 11


Intellectual Followers

If you read about blind followers yesterday, you may have thought how stupid people are that they don’t even ask who exactly their guru is and what his philosophy is. You think, if they cared enough to know more about him, they would not follow him. There are however also followers who do ask – but still follow. I call these people intellectual followers.

They are doctors, professors, studied and intellectual people. Their guru was smart enough to feed their intellectual hunger with his talk. They are often interested in philosophy and questions about the sense of our being here on earth. These followers were usually lacking something which they could not find in their intellectual world.

In the intellectual world everything has a reason, everything has a consequence and everything can be explained. Sometimes they have the wish to believe in something supernatural. They want to be sure that there is something that they cannot explain with their intellect.

Many doctors turn to masters and gurus because they are frustrated about their helplessness. They have so many bad experiences and feel sad that they cannot save many patients’ lives. Why does God let these things happen to His children on earth? Is there a God at all? They are searching for an explanation and a reason which helps them do their work with full strength again.

More than for an explanation, many people are simply longing for more feeling. They want to come out of their minds and more to the heart. This is in itself a good thing but unfortunately they often end up with gurus who heartily welcome them at first but finally cheat them.

Obviously every guru would like to have such followers. Intellectual followers are very convincing to the general public. If a guru has followers who are judges, doctors, high politicians, professors, top bureaucrats and more people who are equally respected for their intellectual achievements, people trust them. If even those people believe in gurus, it has to be right.

In this way Sathya Sai Baba has gained a lot of followers – with the public approval by several well-known intellectual people. The former chief judge of India, P.N. Bhagwati was a follower of this guru for example. After the guru’s recent death, Bhagwati stated in Indian media ‘every of my decisions has been dictated by Sathya Sai Baba’. This does not fill me with trust in the Indian judicial system but it made many people believe even more in this magician. It is a shame for our country that a former chief judge of India gives such a statement. I have heard a similar statement from a politician who was professor at university and there are many more.

When these intellectual people hear someone speak against their master or guru, they don’t just ignore this criticism. They are open to hear it and consider it but they quickly find logical arguments against any criticism and somehow manage to explain the unexplainable. You know, if nothing else, supernatural powers are always beyond the laws of physics and nature. They are intellectual followers and find a reason and logic even for the fact that they place another person high above themselves.

Tomorrow’s description will be about another type of followers: proud followers.

3 Replies to “Intellectual Followers – Giving their Guru a good Reputation – 1 Jun 11”

  1. Belief does not have much to do with intelligence if you ask me. Otherwise every educated person would be rationalist, non-believer and atheist. It may seem stupid to a non-believer that these people believe in the magic of their guru but for them, this is not a matter of their intelligence, it is a matter of the heart.

  2. I so resonate with what you write about the need for feeling. It is the reality for so many puppet-like people who run each day to their office and back, running behind money. They all, some day in life, understand that there must be more to life than only that. and that is when they go and get a guru.

  3. Dear Balendu,Thank you for differentiating these follower types. All in common for them is, that they are not able to develop the idea of the guru in their selves. You allready wrote so accurate about romantic relationships and about finding the mother or father in oneself, not in the partner. The devotees who have chosen the “spiritual” path and the sannyasi-life tend to seek the mother _and_ the father in their guru.
    I common to all of these people is that they don’t develop the idea of the mother, father or guru in themselves.
    They don’t take responsibility for their own thoughts, actions and lifes. They don’t have true faith, I would say.

    I met all of these types of devotees you mentioned in Vrindavan and now beeing back in Europe I can only shake my head in this adorable Indian way.
    They sit in different temples and try to convert me with these most different arguments and talk bad things about other movements.
    They seem to be happy with themselves only, if they have attended the mangal arti, chanted their maha mantra and done their flower mala seva. And they look down to everybody who doesn’t. They stick to each other and talk with each other the same things about what gurudev says, what the Geeta says etc. all over again. They are interested in their hindu-based religious movement, and “developing” their spirituality, but they are not interested to meet nor get friends with the local indian people, because they are not “pure” enough. They are encouraged to stay among “good society”. Most of them don’t speak hindi at all and are prohibited to sit in the local restaurants or tea stalls. They are not aware or interested in the problems of the local people, the poverty, the women’s struggle with domestic violence, the falling apart of the old temples of Vrindavan, the pollution of the Yamuna. They don’t ask a simple question of the life of the locals they meet, but act with fear and even aggression e.g. with the local riksha drivers.
    Maybe you have discussed this topic in some older blog entry, but I want to point this out once more: What is the significance of the spiritual practice, that is happening only among the devotees, among “good association” and inside the temples and ashrams? And how much should the spiritual practice be among “normal” people. To listen to their worries and trying to help them in a constructive way? In other words: How strong is your faith if you can not encounter people who think and act exactly like you do?