How to become a Guru 3

When I was a child, I was obsessed with Amar Chitra Katha books, especially the ones about saints and sadhus. I grew up imagining that I was also going to turn into one. I would stare into the mirror and consider deep philosophical questions such as “Who is this I? What does it mean to be human? Why do I have to study Maths?”. I also pretended I was meditating, and kept waiting for a giant flash of lightning or flowers showering down on me from the heavens. I was prepared to give away all my worldly possessions and retire into the forest.

Looking back, I can’t believe how wrong I was. To become a guru or a godman these days involves nothing like that. Quite the opposite, in fact. I thought it was important to document the steps involved, especially since becoming a guru is one of the most lucrative and stable career options in India. So, without much ado, here is your guide to becoming a guru.

 Step 1. Take a pompous name

It is important to choose your own name before others give you one that doesn’t sound as grand. Be as arrogant as possible; your devotees will respect you for it! For example, if you were born with the name Goundamani, something like Maha Maha Periya Pista Goundamani would work. You could also take names of older gurus or simply call yourself (The Great) Brether.

Get thee also to a stylist so you can decide what colours and hairstyles are in for god-men and god-women. (Saffron is so last-season.) And don’t skimp on hair products.

Step 2. Choose your bag of tricks

You’re going to be at a disadvantage here because many of the niches are already taken. Kitschy Magic–done. Yoga for Yuppies–taken. Levitation for Dummies–done and dusted. And, in the coup of the decade, even the market on hugging has been cornered (the analysts didn’t see that one coming). Generally though, the trend is take a few yoga poses, put it in a mixie with some science, garnish with some spirituality, and leave it to ferment overnight. Serve it warm and gooey.

Trademark your tricks with a good name. Something vague like The Bublimass of Being works well, but you can also consider a science-y term like Paramagnetic Yoga, Quantum Meditation or Jingalala Jogi.

Step 3. Find eager devotees

The good thing about devotees is that they will go out and do the marketing for you, for free! You just need to give them an amazing but unverifiable backstory involving good omens at the time of birth and aloof genius later on. You also need to have a handful of stories of miracles performed for fictitious devotees.

If you’ve designed your tricks well enough, the real devotees will start feeling left out because they haven’t experienced a miracle. They will start hallucinating and imagining new miracles. Soon, this will become a self-perpetuating cycle, with every second devotee experiencing a miracle. At this point, suggest that devotees invite their celebrity or politician friend to come and experience the same. Once you have at least two famous devotees, sit back, relax and watch your empire take off.

Step 4. Don’t practice what you preach

Remember, the rules are for the devotees, and not for you. Tell your devotees to lead a simple life, free of material possessions. Tell them to be charitable–let them donate everything to you. (This will come in handy for the down-payment on that Mercedes.) Use about 2% of the donations to start a charity in your name. Ask devotees to provide professional services there for free.

Ask devotees to be humble, but proclaim your own greatness loudly and frequently. Get them to chant your name, sitting on the ground, with their heads covered, while you seat your ample backside on a golden throne. Rose petals are optional.

Step 5. Get involved in a scandal

This last step is critical to your spiritual success. Remember, your peer group will not take you seriously until you’ve been embroiled in a sex or money scandal. Scandals also increase the fanatic, blind devotion of your flock. “All Gods were persecuted. Therefore all who are persecuted are Gods. Periya Pista-ji is god!”, they will say, while grazing on the grass, like good sheep.

Your business empire is now complete.

[This is the unedited version of my column that appeared in Deccan Chronicle and Asian Age on Sept 15, 2013]

3 thoughts on “How to become a Guru

  1. Reply Jithendranath Sep 16,2013 4:25 am

    dear suchi
    Greetings from Sulthan bathery in Kerala.
    i read your article on how to become a guru
    a very very nice article
    myself and my cousin mohanraj are already in depth in this issue but the focus is religion itself.
    Highly controversial and explosive in todays society.This is something you can read about and promote on a personal level. mohanraj has a blog at jarnahom. you can read many good articles posted there.

    Early human beings were exposed to the fury of nature and thus considered anything of nautre as his gods.
    Gradually as humans undersood nature the shift occured to the female of the species as she was the centre of the social organisation.
    about 2000 years back came the newer religions with a shift towards male dominance and female subjudication and it has continued like that since then. Probably our present eruptions of rape etc are pointers to that. Are things being done to put down the Female raise and equality in society??!!!!!
    A pattern of beggar raping a working woman, loafers raping a medical student, jobless feloows raping a journalist etc male chuvanism is showing up its head in its ugly form???


    Level One : Find and Formulate (form present existent) or Invent
    An relevant to the time, mass appealing Philosophy.
    Time it according to the issues like famine, hunger, starvation, social evils etc.
    Should be a mix of Love, Truth, Friendship, Brotherhood, Non Violence, Mothers love etc.

    Once set go to Level Two: Creation of Super Human Being.
    Create a Super Human Being to support and promote the Philosophy. A nearby humble person who is no more can be good enough. The super human being should be related to god (but not God) and should have roles like dramatic birth, frolic childhood days, diplomatic and vibrant mature adult life and a equally tragic death. Roles of father, mother, brother or sister etc should be there. Human like relationships of love, sacrifice, anger, sorrow, compassion etc shoudl be present or otherwise the followers of the philosophy will not be able to comprehend.

    Level Three: Parables
    Get as many parables as possible to support the philosophy. They should be short brief and related to the social issues of the times. They are in fact the same all round the world and is same even with extension of time.

    Good : so far you have set up the philosophy (which is probably the same for each and every religion and so people will have nothing to differenciate from each other).

    Now enter the Religion Conversion of the Philosophy (Expert Management Level). Many philosophies go through this period and they call it the dark ages. It was a period in which they exsperimented with many issues and ultimately formulated a methodology by which they will be able to regualte and manuplate the mass believers.


    Level One: Rules and Rulers
    Set a hierarchy to oversee the organisation. Develop a strong Pyramidal Heirarchy and then only see that it goes lateral in expansion. Only the Chair will be responsible. They will set the Rules of the Religion.
    Did the Super human being of my Philosophy set these rules.

    Level Two : Regulation
    Regulation for Control Discipline and also Indiscipline. Democratic principles will be promoted but the fact is that only autocratic methodology will be done. Any voice against the Heirarchy , Rules or Regulation will be severely put down. Probably that will explain the Philosophy of love compassion and brotherhood. The fact remains is that more people have been killed in the name of religion rather than natural calamities.

    Level Three: Rituals
    Formulate a series of Rituals so that people have to identify him or herself with the religion right from start to finish. Rituals should be from Birth (Entry), Life changes, Sickness, Marriage, Children, adult life, old age, Death etc. The same principles are followed when you join the Rotary, YMCA or Lions Club. Have a membership procedure for the religion

    Level Four: Promote
    Peace for the SOUL and a Rosy life after death. Confusion may occur if the philosphies were meant for making life better in this world (Marxist View of social reform) or for the Soul. Many of them who beleive in Soul and Heaven do not want to go there now itself. They are quite busy in creating the comforts of heaven in earth now itself!!!!

    Level Five: Expansion
    Expansion of activites. (It is like opening a new branch.) Language is the cultural link. Try to break it in the foreign land so that people cannot remember or recollect their culture and will be forced to accept the new one. The only problem is that they will not think “ Is the Black man’s God White?”

    What can be done: Understand the difference between Philosophy (which is for the self ) and Religion (which is for the Masses).
    Make the children to always understand Philosphies which is always good. Religions made later on by man will only compartmentalise people against people and serve nothing other than the ones who sit on top of it or otherwise go along with them!!

    You can compare it with the present formation of the local club, Lions, Rotary, Gymkhana, Cosmopolitan or Giants Club etc which have the Founders, Mottos, Heirarchy, Rules, Regulation, Fees, Badges, Annual Subscriptions, Installation cermonies, activities, registers, annual events, membership campaigns, Promotions, Formation of new branches, memoirs for the expired members etc.

    The godmen and wonem are only following this methodology.

    These opinions are those of my cousin brother Mohanraj.V. (who has more radical views than me on religion) and me.


  2. Reply Eswaran Sep 16,2013 12:25 pm

    Dont Forget to Get a Tam Brahm Secretary cum manager cum Appointment giver

  3. Reply Sri Iyengar Sep 21,2013 1:52 pm

    Hi Suchi

    That was hilarious and spot on….Enjoyed reading that. A good 101 guide for becoming a Guru…it’s recession proof as well !!!

    Keep it coming..


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