Rich and Influential Spiritual Gurus of India
India has always known for its spiritual leaders who have guided the nation to be united despite its diversity and these Gurus have always preached peace and service to mankind.
In the recent few decades India has seen emergence of spiritual Gurus who are super rich and super influential with a long list of who's who as seekers of their advice. Have a look at few spiritual leaders who have become a celebrity or notoriety and a brand on their own.
Sri Sri Ravishankar is famously referred to as Sri Sri or Guruji or Gurudev. He has received numerous awards from several countries. India conferred Padma Vibhushan on him in January 2016.
Sri Sri has started two social initiatives called 'Volunteer For A Better India' and 'NONVIO' Movement. The first one holds free health camps, works for voter awareness and registrations in India. Second one strives to eliminate violence.
Sri Sri's biggest controversy surrounds the three day World Cultural Festival on the 11th to 13th March this year to mark the 35th anniversary of his Art of Living.
Alike Baba Ramdev, Sri Sri is also these days it is said is trying to sell Sri Sri ayurvedic products on a big scale.
Baba Ramdev is a Yoga guru whose trust Patanjali Yogpeeth sells Ayurvedic medicines under the name of Divya Pharmacy which works under Divya Yog Mandir Trust.
He has often been accused of financial irregularities and tax evasion. In 2005, CPI (M) leader Brinda Karat had accused that Baba Ramdev's trust uses animal products in the medicines.
Irony is that Baba Ramdev who has been against the dominance of foreign companies in India has himself become businessman with his Patanjali now selling shampoo, cleaners, juice and honey. As per one estimate his trust is worth more than $600 million.
Patanjali is planning to increase the number of its manufacturing plants by four times before the end of this year as they are the fastest growing brand of consumer products in India these days.
He started by selling tea in front of a magistrate office as a young boy today he has around 400 ashrams in India and abroad.
Controversies have been followed him since over a decade now. From near one of his Gujarat ashrams mutilated bodies of two young boys who were studying in his ashram's school were found in the year 2008.
Allegations raised were of black magic. His ashrams are involved in encroachment cases as well. However, biggest blow came to him when in 2013, a 16 year girl's parents filed complaint against him for raping the girl. Medical tests have confirmed that the girl was raped and since then Aasaram Bapu has been in jail.
Since then some key witnesses have faced threats and deaths too giving a bad name to the once respected Guru.
Osho was an Indian mystic Guru, spiritual teacher and philosopher. He is also called Acharya Rajneesh and Bhagwaan Shree Rajneesh. His followers abroad far outnumbered his followers in India. Thanks to his controversial views about religion, socialism and the books he wrote he was always in controversy. His followers included many famous movie actors who left their careers to stay in his ashram.
Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi:
Sathya Sai Baba had a huge following in India including famous politicians, movie actors and sports stars. His biggest controversy was his claim that was reincarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdi.
Some of the magic tricks of making things appear from think air have been even recorded on the camera. However, his ashram operates many free hospitals and clinics in as many as 100 plus countries around the globe.