Let it be known! Let it be televised, billboarded, broadcasted, tweeted and other wise proclaimed: There are saints and heroes among us. Throughout our history, every generation has seen saints and they are with us even today. They speak simple truths and express those truths simply. Their expressions are love; unconditional, undiluted, unadulterated love. Their expressions are freedom and liberation from anything that might bind or limit the human being. They embody the best of humanity and provide us with a tangible ideal. These saints and heroes have total clarity, are totally purpose and mission bound and need nothing from anyone. What they give is given abundantly and freely, without expectations and they do not conduct transactions. They work tirelessly and relentlessly and ask for nothing in return except that we should pay it forward.
We will not know how big a difference they are making to this world until they are gone. This is because we enjoy flash and fireworks, and the day to day lives of these people are as tedious, thankless and unglamorous as the lives of the least pretentious among us. They go about their work quietly and effectively with no advertisement and no marketing. They live as we do, with the same exigencies and needs.They wear clothes, sleep and eat food. Their bodies are as perishable and time bound as any other. To communicate they need to talk, to communicate over long distances to many people they need to use phones and the internet. To go from one place to another they need to walk on feet, drive in cars and fly in aeroplanes. They could be a friend, a husband or a wife or divorced, they could also be a renunciate in monk’s robes. These are actually just titles and carry little or no significance. What is significant is impact on the world; how much value is added, how many lives saved, how much quality of life is improved, how much solace given, how much relief and aid provided. This they deliver objectively and unstintingly. What interests us far more are the lives of the rich and the famous.
We would rather read articles and gossip about movie gods and rock stars than books written by saints who have seen other realities. We focus on the minute details of the lives of crooked politicians and spend hours debating and speaking about them, but we still re-elect them into seats of power, we also put money in their pockets and ensure that they live like kings. This is what we are being fed by media houses and newsmakers of the world, who are very much aware of the lack of balanced output and are intentionally keeping our attention fixed on the entertainers, killers, criminals and celebrities of our world. As soon as an enlightened master’s stature and purpose bring them any money, which they immediately distribute or spend for the welfare of others, we criticize them and tell stories of their greed and the way they are manipulating their disciples. Could it be because some rich individuals and groups might miss a slice of the pie?
What saints represent is freedom, light and love. They also represent a danger and a threat. They practice and preach liberation, independence and fearlessness, the implications of which are far reaching. If the things that they are teaching and exemplifying are true, then we need to re-evaluate. We may have to start asking questions, may have to introspect. Every aspect of our lives and the way we choose to live would come under the microscope. We may have to change. Anyone who may have some hold on us would begin to lose that hold; anyone who may have monopolised our time, our energy or our talent may begin to lose that monopoly since the closer we are to the truth, the less fear we have.
We also have a lot to lose, since we have become very comfortable with our lives as they are and we may have to accept less comfortable realities. We may lose status and we may have to face the scorn and ridicule of our own families, our friends, neighbours and colleagues. So the saints of our times and times past represent this double threat. The established power bases and status quo, which are built on fear, greed, manipulation, ignorance and propaganda will lose credibility and become transparent. At the same time our lives, which are built essentially on selfishness, suppression, competition and gratification will become equally transparent and incredible.
It is a lot easier to just ignore the truth and anesthetise ourselves with television, fast food, parties, pursue achievements and accolades and a whole host of other pastimes thinly veiled as the things which give our lives meaning but which are in fact merely glorified distractions. There comes a time however when we can no longer turn a blind eye. Our saints and heroes are men and women of conviction and persistence. Their powerful presence and undeniable contributions to the world translate subtle truths into shining, glaring, blindingly obvious truths which cannot be ignored. Then comes dilemma, we can either heed or silence the voice of truth. In the past we simply killed them. In the case of Jesus, when his powerful presence and iconoclastic teachings became too much of a threat to the religious and governmental establishments of his time, he was tortured and crucified. WE crucified Jesus. In the case of Socrates, when his bold philosophy began to awaken in his contemporaries the spirit of inquiry, we imprisoned and poisoned him. WE killed Socrates. We did the same to Osho in 1990. Later, after they were no longer around to correct our misunderstandings or challenge us with their alien truths, we made religions out of them, realising all too late that they were great saints. Of course, their consciousness is always available, but still there was reason to regret what we did, we not only missed our chance but we ill used and executed a beautiful soul.
When we cannot kill them we resort to underhanded and filthy methodologies, we attack their credibility and their good name with sleaze and scandal. Suppression has bred taboo, and we have weaponised taboo against our heroes. Take the case of Sai Baba of Shirdi, whom we took to court on the accusation that he had impregnated a woman named Radhakrishna Mayi. Take the very recent case of Mata Amritanandamayi (Amma), a book has recently been published which talks about rape scandals in her Ashram among other equally distasteful allegations. She has made a massive contribution to our world, she has saved many lives and helped build homes in post tsunami Indonesia and India, she has been more effective in this crisis than the UN or any other singular organisation. Who stands to gain something from such character assassination? Who is envious of the attention and respect that true masters earn? Rank egotism can be found in every walk of life, most disturbingly it can be found even in so called spiritual circles and among so called spiritual masters. True masters as stated earlier need nothing from anyone and would never stoop to such depths, usually they handle such attacks with dignity, poise and elegance, keeping cool and calm under fire. This is a demonstration of their stature and their wisdom.
We have chosen to ignore the sizable and noble contributions of saints time and again, focusing instead on slanders and gossip form the rumour mill. We undervalue positivity and discard positive deeds and feed on negativity. A saintly soul lives an entire life selflessly, gives up the days and nights of his or her brief years on Earth and asks for nothing. If he makes one mistake, or God forbid, does something every other human does like get married or have sex, we chew him up and spit him out. Does it matter who sleeps with whom, who wears what and who drives what car? Such blatant immaturity is obviously spurious and baseless, since the whole ethical system that we are standing on as justification for our outrage is always changing to suit the times or to suit the law makers or whoever happens to be pulling the strings at the time. Morality, as enforced by society is a tool for control and for power, it never lasts and it stays the same.
The world teeters on the brink of cataclysm and humanity stands to lose the very things which make us human, our compassion and our kindness. If we cannot take action on behalf of ourselves and our brothers and sisters, then the least we can do is to not interfere in or hamper the efforts of those who are working ceaselessly for our sakes. What could we possibly gain from destroying saints? I urge you, I beg you, let them be and don’t give credence to the childish words of slanderers and naysayers.
We should embrace our heroes, listen to them, love them and respect them. We can! We can even take a page out of their book and become heroes ourselves. Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with those saints and enlightened ones that are with us now, grab the chance. Look to your own experience before you look to your neighbours’ opinion, then decide for yourself.
Author: Hein Adams
Inspired by the articles “Who’s Afraid of the Truth” parts 1 and 2 by Mohanji