Sorry to hear about your bad experience. Sadly, this is all too common among high profile teachers who present themselves as a ‘guru’. Unsuspecting followers are often unaware that real sannyasin swamis are essentially monastic renunciates who have no interest in name fame, wealth, personal power, or controlling influence in the lives of other people. These things are directly contrary to the obvious purpose of embracing a lifestyle devoted to spiritual Self-Realization and Liberation.
Thus, [U]anyone[/U] who claims to be a guru, but then knowingly and deliberately uses the assumed status of that role to further their own personal fame and wealth is clearly an impostor, even if they are able to display some yogic powers or psychic skills.
My own late Guru, having attained nirvikalpa samadhi through his yoga sadhana, never accepted gifts of any kind from initiate followers or from visitors to the ashram, never asked for financial donations to support his ashrams, never required fees for instruction, and never demanded blind obeisance from his followers. Never!
He wrote more than a dozen excellent books on various aspects of yoga practice and the Advaita Vedanta spiritual path, but resolutely refused to allow these works to be published and sold for profit during his lifetime, even though the sale of his books most likely would have generated sufficient income to financially support all of his ashrams, both in Himalayas India and abroad. All of his ashrams continue to be self-supporting through the combined efforts of their residents, even though located in remote areas where this would seem difficult or impossible to do.
He correctly believed that the attention garnered through personal fame and fortune, and the attachments they produce, would surely be a distraction from his spiritual practice priorities and in direct opposition to the core principles of his teaching.
Swamiji’s sole request of initiate disciples was simply that those who didn’t reside at his home ashram write to him once per month to update him on their personal practice and progress, and to ask for specific clarification or advice regarding their sadhana as needed. Oftentimes, I would ponder a specific question or meditation experience and decide to write to him about it, only to receive a letter from India in which he specifically addressed my questions or concerns in detail before I even wrote or mailed [U]my[/U] letter! :eek:
That’s how an authentic guru conducts his or her personal life and teaching, in a completely selfless and egoless manner!
Accept no substitutes, my friends. There’s nothing like the real deal!
[U]Asato Ma Sadgamaya Mantra[/U]
Lead me from Untruth to Truth
Lead me from Darkness to Light
Lead me from Death to Immortality