indians are so much attracted to saints!!!
The process of following saints isn’t new in India. It spread during the 15th and 16th century. Social reformers like Kabir Das, Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Rajaram Mohan Roy, Swami Vivekanand, etc. abolished some reforms that were not good for the society and gained some popularity. Many people started following them and some of them were given the place of ‘Saints’ or ‘Godmen’.
We must not say it is only in India but also in many countries including USA. As we know that life is not predictable at all. People have lots of things to fear or worry about, that can be marks, money, family, future of Kids, good health etc. And when they feel that they had find some higher power who will look after them, they start attracting to it. They cling to that belief. Because that belief makes them it seem predictable.
Being random, life can bring about any chaos, like loss of job r business, serious illness, low salary, improper education of kids in school etc. People find it hard to accept that any fortunate or unfortunate things that happens to anyone are just because that’s ‘how life is’. But as our brain is wired to function-- To command control, people want to know reasons, as mind will try to solve the problem.
So, when a person who shows some extraordinary tasks or claims himself as an ‘expert’ tells them the reasons why things are happening like, because of the unique position of the stars, or because god is testing you, or you are suffering it because of past life sins, referring lines from religious books, most of the people believe him. For them, they got their answers that is the REASONS.
Another reason could be insecurity why people follow Babas or Saints or Godmen. That’s almost the same reason why people follow religion or pray to god. People today are so much insecure that they are not able to handle randomness and uncertainty in their life and that too when things are not going in their favor.
People want to believe in something or someone, so they follow babas blindly. Believing in something gives them happiness. People need purpose for their lives. They can’t rely on the written religious books, they need someone authoritative to personally tell them that it’s going to be okay.
Also, it is seen a kind of bandwagon effect. For example: Your maid’s friend followed this saint and then coincidentally she started earning more. So your maid also follows the easier route. Instead of working more she also started following that saint.
A few facts that contribute to the rising of these so called 'god-men':
• More than 36 crore people are poor in India.
• 27% of the population is still illeterate.
• Every third graduate in our country is unemployed.
• India accounts for 36% of the depression cases recorded around the world.
• India ranks number one when it comes to number of suicides.
More and more people are desperately looking for some kind of hope or optimism that can rescue them out of their worries. And fake babas take advantage of this fact.
The reasons for popularity of these saints could be:
1. Claiming super powers and rumours in rural hinterland to get illiterates on board.
Eg. Claiming some super powers like curing cancer, giving eye sight
2. Adding some spice from time to time by breaking some tradition.For example in melmaruvathur they allow women inside karuvarai and even during menstruation.
3. Run an educational institutions after establishing yourself in the 'market' to hide all your money and run a business. You get a status as 'missionary'.
4. Do some free social services in new areas to establish or expand yourselves. Its more like a semi ponzi scheme. Eg. Like conducting health camps, providing free prasatham (food). First you invest with service then harvest money and man.
5. Try to seize some opportunities where risk benefits ratio is very good. Let me tell an example. A god man after tsunami came to marina beach. Performed a 'yagam'. Then started claiming his yagam will prevent further tsunamis. We know how the impact works when population is so scared of a unknown disaster and how his assurance works after the yagam.
6. Do something popular to get media attention for gaining publicity like pulling out siva lingam, speaking to god. And predicting some most predictable notorious things.
Thanks for reading!!!