To Mr. Prabir Ghosh,
How are you? I actually stumbled on your website when I tried searching for the contact details of the kerala rationalists association, which I couldn’t find. My name is (Suraj) and I live in a place called Sreekrishnapuram, Kerala. I was born and brought up in Chennai and moved here 2 years ago. My parents were already settled a year prior to my arrival here.My parents, more so my mother are die hard godmen fans. The reason my folks moved here was they met one god man called Muralikrishna Swamy( his cult even owns a website). He is around 28 years of age, very charming and intelligent, a very potent comboination for a god man. He comes from a very poor family but now he owns a fleet of cars, properties all in the name of a trust the cult runs. We actually met him in a resort in a hill station in kerala that we visited 4 years back. Since then my parents have been slaves to this man and actually moved here to be near him. My parents think he resembles my younger brother who died in an accident in 2001.
In fact all his followers think he is divine and people have started coming in from bombay and the gulf. All that remains now is for some gora goris to turn up to validate his divinity. My father died in december but my mom is still under the clutches of this guy.He calls my parents his parents as my folks were among the first ones to come from the educated city dwelling middle class. He has grown tremendously since then and he has restricted his darshan here in his home town and gives more darshans in more lucrative areas like bangalore, chennai and calicut. He travels frequently to the gulf these days. He calls me his elder brother and told me that I need not consider him as others do and should merely treat him as my younger brother. He had actually requested my mom that I never enter the darshan he gives daily, as he has read me completely and is worried that I might cause mischief. His followers are in the lakhs now and he has branches in calicut, bangalore and tamilnadu.Every now and then when we meet I ask him embarassing questions to the irritation of his followers including my mom. One of his divine miracles in the recent past has been the manifestation of holy ash on his photos in his bhakts house. My mom is sad that the ash has not manifested in his photos in our house. How can they appear when I am here?
My mother has always been under some swami or swamini all her life. This is because my dads financial success was always up and down. Added to the fact that my brother died has made her all the more weaker. I have tried my best to get her out of this but I am losing everytime. I shout at her and I regret later thinking that she is 62 and shes got only a few more years to live. I am clueless as to what to do. Should I let her be? or is it my duty to bring her to the truth? How can I expose this guy? Looking for some practical guidance and do you have any idea how to make ash appear suddenly on the photos? I have an idea of clearing her superstition through superstition. Any suggestions very welcome and yes keep up the good work. JAI HIND!
Suraj (Name Changed)
Your mail was interesting and sad at the same time.
After she lost one son and husband, it is more likely that your mother will fall prey to these men.
Our suggestions :–
– Do not irritate the man in public. Keep a low profile. Look for victims who have been fooled in some way. Then contact us again.
– Do not shout at mother. She needs to understand things herself. Tell her the story of Swami Amritananda Chaitanya ( KOCHI), who was recently given rigorous imprisonment for 16 years for swindling huge sums of money from foreign residents and other rich men, and for sexually abusing young girls in kerala.
He was also a popoular ‘guru’ who quickly rose to fame and power. But finally exposed ( Shown in channel ‘Headlines Today’, on 17 May, 2008. Rationalist views were given by Sumitra Padmanabhan on TV ). His real name — Madhavan. Lots of dirty CDs were found in his house. He was arrested last year. Punishment was declared on 2nd May 2009 in Kochi.
– You be calm and try to smile at her weakness– by commenting mildly on how these religious gurus appear at regular intervals. Even the famous ones do not last more than ten years. Madhavan and his likes, get caught even faster. Others slowly lose popularity and are forgotten.
– Regarding Bibhuti ask her not to be sad. You can make bibhuti at home. Smear her guru’s photo with a chemical ( Lactic acid ; you’ll get them in liquid form in medical/drug stores). Don’t tell har what you are doing. Starting with that slowly do it on other photos too. When her excitement is at the top, do it on your own photo.
Laugh loudly– and tell her the secret in the end.
– Make fun of the whole issue, making all the disciples look like fools. Do not overdo or hurt by making personal comments.
You can introduce mother to the pleasures of music and good books. She can join some social work groups too. If she can do something positive and pleasurable — this craze will subside.
Keep in touch
(for Prabir Ghosh)