The last thing I read before going to sleep was the Twitter timeline of Dr. David Frawley, Vamadev Shastri, or whatever he calls himself. At the top, there's a picture of his meeting with Modi. Every second tweet is attacking Muslims. There are tweets praising the new First Minister of U.P.
And wow, this is a guy who I once thought to be inspiring. A Vedic scholar, student of Aurobindo and Ramana, who wrote about the creative vision of the early Upanishads, guidebooks on meditation, a keynote speaker at yoga conferences around the world. I even forgave him that he couldn't spell, and later seemed to become enamored of occult practices and astrology.
Why is it, how is it, that sadhaks, yogis and spiritual teachers become religious and political zealots, bent on division, manifesting hatred and intolerance towards people of other religious or national groups?
Everything I know about spirituality is that a change in consciousness takes us out of our worldly cognizance that reality is based on differences between one group and another, one religious community and another, one nation and another. Even if a heightened consciousness does not subsume the objectified reality of "things", trees and mountains, or continues to admit the existence of the world of our perception, this "relative reality" is held to be dependent upon a higher reality in which all is resolved into Oneness. The Bhagavad Gita, that most discomfiting book in which Krishna orders Arjuna to get up and slay his cousins and uncles in battle, is not a book of malice, does not countenance hatred.
These men, these ugly divisive politicians and their apologists, are full of vindictive zeal, unforgiving remembrance of ancient crimes against their religious group, full of forgiveness towards present hate crimes by their own group. On the scale of humaneness and compassion, they are much lower than atheist or secular writers and intellectuals who have no pretension to any higher knowledge and who profess a complete lack of belief in anything transcendent at all.
How discouraging it is to try to find inspiration in spiritual tradition, when its greatest advocates are narrow-minded bigots. It is only through the door of spirituality that we are offered any way out from the current level of consciousness that is clearly destroying ourselves and our planet. Yet the door is obstructed by the goondas of fake mala-wearing, ash-smeared godmen and there are scoundrels peering down from all the upper windows.