Is religious preaching a performing Art or a divine Act? – 25 Sep 11

My Life

It was not only young people in the search for partners who came to my lectures and programs in London in 2002. There were also older people who were interested in the scriptures and these were mostly those who came to me in my private time to talk a bit more about what I had said on stage. They either came to me or they invited me to their homes.

In my lectures I always gave the possibility to ask questions but some were more extensive and deeper so it was good that we had some time to talk about them in private. Questions and answers was thus a normal part of my work, too. I enjoyed that time with these older Indian Londoners, too. They spoke good Hindi, often better than their children, and they had spent 50 or more years reading scriptures, understanding religious texts and doing the ceremonies. I was young in age but I had learned from my father and from other teachers and with that knowledge and my experience of this work in India, I was able to satisfy their curiosity. I still consider myself as a student but I was good enough in my profession to satisfy their need. It happened several times that I could explain them an interpretation of a scripture which they had not understood in their long time of studying. This obviously brought me their respect.

It also increased their impression of me being a special and holy person. I was the guru and in their opinion I was divine and holy. I gave great answers to questions of life and they, the 70-year-old men could ask me, who was only 30 years old. It increased the impression that they had got when they had seen me on stage.

I actually see the stage performance as an art. Everybody who come on stage has to be an artist. Even people with much knowledge, who have made university degrees and long studies of a subject, become artists when they come on stage to present their knowledge. On stage you have to perform. You have to have a stage program, no matter in which field you perform. When I went on stage, I wore beautiful, colourful clothes, a really good outfit that made me shine. Of course I also put on the traditional religious makeup with sandalwood and tilak in the face. I am also an artist and good performer. Additionally however I had the knowledge to satisfy people’s interest and thirst for information.

The problem with religious performances is that people immediately believe that a good performer and even more a knowledgeable person is holy. If someone has learned a lot and has a deeper understanding than you which he can then present in a better way, he is not divine! He has done effort for it and he is a good artist. It may be his talent but he is not God. This happens in no other field, not in music, not in other performing arts, only in religion. And I was the guru. I had knowledge, I was a good performer and I impressed people. For them, I was holy.

(5)

  1. Luke

    I believe it was you who wrote some time that gurus like to make themselves a few years older in their biography. If you have real knowledge and wisdom, there is no need to do that. If you know what you are talking about, you don’t need to pretend to be someone else.Unfortunately many people just repeat what others say. They listen to some old lectures of different masters and repeat the same thing. They don’t give the chance to ask questions or only pre-approved questions so that they surely know the answer. This is another way of detecting cheaters in this profession.

  2. Juniper

    Spiritual seekers believe what they want to believe. THat happens in every religion. They come to the program and want to see a holy person. So if there is a guru, he is a holy person to them. Obviously, if that guru can give some good answers, too, as you were obviously able to, it just makes it even more believable to them. This is how it is so difficult to decide according to the amount of followers whether a guru really has knowledge or not – they follow him just because they want to follow him, not because of his knowledge

  3. Deniz

    I think Swami would agree that we are all divine in essence and that we are in touch with this to varying degrees and outwardly manifest this to varying degrees, according to the love and peace that we naturally manifest. Some people are not in touch with this at all and may not manifest it at all, a few persons are in touch with this very much and manifest it very much, and there is a large middle range of those who manifestly this incompletely. People who either do or do not manifest the best of their divine natures are in all walks and occupations of life, just in their family roles, their occupational roles, and any other roles they may play. As people develop skills in any role, they often become better performers as well, at being able to make a show of their skills. Many gurus have just developed the performance skills of their roles, but don’t have the inner nature of spiritual development to match. Much of guru worship seems to be based on failures of followers to be able to distinguish the inner nature of their teachers from their teachers’ outer performances. But I believe that even if a spiritual teacher has a very well developed spiritual nature and is also a very good performer, he or she would not be interested in being worshipped or idolized. There are people who manifest their divine nature well in all walks of life, and we do not show our appreciation by worshipping or idolizing them. We show our appreciation by our recognition of what they have accomplished, by learning from them, and by modelling ourselves after them as best we can.

  4. Swami Balendu

    Dear Deniz,Very nice words for expressing this. Yes, I absolutely agree and it is true, a person with knowledge and wisdom would not like to be worshipped because he would know that this is not a matter of his personal achievement that he did so that others could admire him. He would not enjoy the admiration but would rather want them to fully understand and do the same in their lives, too. But unfortunately most of the Gurus and Swamis enjoy and want to be worshipped and encourage their disciples directly or indirectly.
    Much love

  5. Bridget Shaktiyogini Walker

    How refreshing it is to hear this. That you are so clear and honest. This will help so many people to become stronger and clearer about their own divinity. Om Shanti

Leave a Comment