Could Anyone, With The Right Application, Become A Satsang Giver? (Or: How To Spot A Phoney Spiritual Teacher?)

Frank recently found this critique online. Is the writer correct to declare that many teachers are phoneys, essentially actors just playing a part?

Frank writes:

Someone said this:

“Giving satsangs and enlightenment-speak is something that can be learned, a social skill that can be mastered if someone has sufficient interest in doing so.

The truth is that ‘giving satsang’ in the way many people do it today is the easiest thing in the world! Once one has learned some of the Absolute-truth rap (easily available after reading just a few books or articles), a certain basic peacefulness and ease in social settings, and, last but not least, the dialectical questioning ‘manoeuvres’ (e.g. “Who is asking the question?” “Who wants enlightenment?” “Have you traced that thought/feeling back to its source?” “What would you be if you gave up that belief?” etc. etc.) one could “give satsang” easily, endlessly, while half-asleep. It all flows out quite ‘effortlessly’ from the conditioning one sets up in the mind.

And much of it is nothing more than a fancy-looking oneupmanship game by those who’ve mastered a certain kind of ‘social virtuosity’. Those with lots of bravado and chutzpah, little humility and no capacity for self-criticism or self-doubt will do really well at this….”

Do people think that this is true?



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83 Responses to Could Anyone, With The Right Application, Become A Satsang Giver? (Or: How To Spot A Phoney Spiritual Teacher?)

  1. Kavita says:

    How To Spot A Phoney Spiritual Teacher? In my experience now, ‘Phoney’ for me is a relative term, it’s not about real or phoney, it’s more about a personal click with the teacher/teaching.

    Satsang-givers mostly cannot be put in the same league as teachers, I think.

  2. shantam prem says:

    Is there some lab test to prove Senior Rajneesh was not phoney, Punja was not phoney, but Junior Rajneesh is, Mooji is?!

    A few people are so much hooked with superstars, they think small fishes are cockroaches.

  3. madhu dagmar frantzen says:

    Sun is shining today seeing the new topic and need to share my joy about that truly remarkable (and important) con-temporary invitation for inner-outer research.

    Just now, I´d love to share my gratitude about it – before having another of my walkabout(s) outside for (maybe) more words to come.

    No doubt about it, that the very Issue as such is not an easy one for a sharing of unknown and sure – at the least – also unknowables – in virtual (algorhythm -based) surroundings.

    However, as I see writing-reading-writing here as a meditation in itself, I´m especially in joy about the ´contemporary-ness´of the Issue (topic).

    ´See´you later, Friends,


    • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

      And I´d like to repeat, what I´ve said in the last thread:
      ´No Master, worth His or Her salt (and thank you for that, Lokesh) could claim* to ” give” what is called “Satsang” (or we could also call it “Meeting in Truth” as some like to).

      Anyway,we´re meeting in Truth any moment, if we like it or acknowledge it – or not. (Even corresponding on a website like ‘ours’).

      Frank, ‘our’ fabulous de-construction agent here from the very regulars, brought that Issue up, right in time, even though, his de-construction means can be/could be sometimes too much for me…

      To make it quite clear from ( my) beginning, Osho – and meeting the Essence by His Invitation many decades ago – was and IS more than “Worth its Salt” for me, and I just say that because this very website (up to now) is called ‘Sannyas News’ and the very first years of its running saw many friends of Him as well (undervover or not!), also enemies. Even some of some obnoxious kind of so-called ‘Secret Services’…

      Humour-loaded friends of so-called ´enlightentertainment´ (also Frank – and thank you and others for that) showed up with abundant de-construction creativity. And jokes too, not to forget; and also some of those I´ve not been able to laugh at, I confess.

      I´d second, Frank, experientially-wise, what you found on the Net as you said and what Satyadeva put out as a new string.
      Maybe asking too much to know its source (address?) but sure enough that this mad and often maddening Net is full of it!
      People who feel cheated, so to say. Or even misused!

      The phase of being I am in is a ´Sammasati´ one; a remembering, one can say, which includes forgivenness in my particular story: Forgiving myself and forgiving others.

      And in this phase I try my best to keep up to the moment AND am looking for friends who have an intention likewise.
      And re the latter, I mean other humans who do not go for another trance (imagination).

      Easy and NOT easy. Both.

      With Love,


      *Osho didn´t do that in my eyes of seeing.

      As far as I am concerned, btw, I also love it when Arpana has found some juicy quotes – nowadays on the ´Net too… sometimes quite misused unfortunately when some context of quotes is deliberately left out.

      What our beloved first three editors (of SN) were up to in my eyes is to add the earth to the wings and I am very grateful for that.

      • madhu dagmar frantzen says:


        Due to current reasons (phone calls while I´m writing and re-reading here), I´d like to add to the little list (topic in the topic) of moving to Digital Age as gracefully as even possible, that the “HOT CHILLIE” quotes Oshonews presents here and there are my (kind of) favourites too; even then, when my mouth and throat – (Obacht! Attention: Metaphor) – are burning – like just NOW!).

        • samarpan says:

          Thank you, Madhu, for your beautiful nature-inspired messages! Sun is not shining here but drizzly overcast days have their own intimate beauty.

          Many take nature (or Nature) as their satsang-giver. I have never heard anyone ask if Nature is phoney. In any event, it is what it is.

          • frank says:

            It`s not just Nature that can`t be sanely called `phoney`.
            It seems that people here probably agree that Satsanging is a type of art form. There`s a stage, a performer and a crowd. That`s a dead giveaway!

            In music or performance, generally we don`t say that a band or singer or whatever is a phony or a fraud. There are bands you like and bands you don`t like. Some may indeed sound more authentic, but there is no ultimate arbiter of this.

            Plus it seems that it is genuinely democratic. They always say that “anyone can become the president of the USA.” That`s probably more true about becoming a satsang guru. There may be some dodgy acts like Death Metal bands that may need some kind of health warning. Other than that, it’s another relationship, isn`t?

            Who here hasn`t fallen out with or found themselves in a battle with previously loved ones somewhere along the way? It`s bound to happen in groups.too, and as Lokesh says, it’s better than dropping bombs on people.

            You pays yer money and you takes yer choice, as the cockney mystic would have it.

  4. shantam prem says:

    During my commune years, I was also very sarcastic about those blessed by Osho energy darshan going to that man in Lucknow. 15-20 years ago, i was looking at various spiritual service providers with skeptical eyes.
    Not any more.

    When people calling themselves masters can have multitude of followers without even aware about their names, followers too have the right not to waste their emotions on that product which has not satisfied them fully.

    Now I have no judgements about anyone in the business, whether it is their inner calling or need to be socially relevant.
    And yes, one feeling remain constant, I never, ever used the term ‘Master of the masters’ for Osho, even during his most glorious period.

    For me, the most phoney people are the ones who think ‘leaving the body’ is not another synonym for being dead.

    By saying this, I will still insist Osho´s place in Pune must celebrate Osho-related festivals. To remember the great contribution of any master must not be forgotten.

    Phoney for one can be real for others. Needs are different in different people at different phases of their life.

  5. bob says:

    Frank asks, “Do people think this is true?” in regard to his quoted excerpt.

    I would say yes, it’s true…probably not 100% of the time in all circumstances, but for the most part, yes, it’s true.

  6. Lokesh says:

    Deciding whether or not a guru or spiritual teacher is a phoney is an old question. Having met both Osho and Poonjaji the question as to whether they were phoneys or not never actually arose for me when I was hanging out with them. I was too busy enjoying the fact that I spinning at the centre of the love cyclone. Those men moved, helped and inspired me. That is enough to ask.

    In retrospect, I have no idea if either Osho or Poonjaji were enlightened. ‘Enlightened’, the word no longer means much to me. Around Osho there was a vibe of enlightenment happening one day soon, but, for the most part, Osho never really declared any of his disciples to be enlightened. Could have been a case of ‘this town is too small for two of us’.

    Around Poonjaji it was different. Quite a lot of people thought they had lucked out in Lucknow and actually believed they had won the bright star prize. I doubt any of them actually did, including Mooji, but then who am I to judge? The reason this happened was the Advaita vibe that almost everyone was affected by who hung out round Poonjaji for some time. There was definitely something to be ‘got’ around Poonjaji and many got it, including myself.

    What did I get? In a nutshell, the existential message that you do not need to sweat the big things in life: death: being chased through the bardos by wrathful deities, enlightenment, salvation, God with a capital G etc. It will all go just fine without you trying to work it all out and getting your fingers dirty in the process. Just enjoy the fact that you have been blessed with a human incarnation. Sing a song, enjoy your friends, eat an ice cream, just groove because it is all part of the grand illusion and it will pass. Everything does, except the consciousness that watches the show. You know, something along those cosmic lines. So, I found peace. It passed and life carried on just fine, and it never once occurred to me that what happened to me needed to be transmitted to anyone. There are enough confused people on the planet already.

    Some folks have a need to play the role of teachers and Poonjaji simplified the task for those inclined that way, including the likes of Mooji. It is not that difficult. Say the right lines, act real calm etc. Some play their roles better than others. It is one of life’s greatest games. I do not see any real harm being done by the satsang-givers. Certainly a lot more fun and creative than dropping bombs on people. Good luck to them.

    What it boils down to is this: The real master is not the one who gathers the most disciples, but rather the one who creates the most masters in their own right. If that is not happening there is something fishy going on. Even a phoney teacher can help you, because sooner or later you will grow up, understand your teacher is a phoney, realize you needed to learn that and move on to the next episode. Just make sure it’s an interesting story.

  7. frank says:

    I think the alternative title of ‘How to spot a phoney spiritual teacher?’ is missing the point a little.

    The question arising from the quote is more: ‘Could anyone, with the right application, become a satsang giver?’*
    This brings in ideas about the nuts and bolts of what the particpants actually do and how they act.

    Considering it, satsang artists, whether “phoneys” or “genuinely awakened ones”, usually sit on chairs facing their people or on a stage in a higher position in a clear theatre of rank. They all present themselves as superior to their followers even if that means they are simply more normal. They keep a clear one-upmanship going with their audience.
    Can anyone give an example of when their guru was one-upped by an audience member?

    The artists in the chair don`t show self-doubt. They invariably answer questions where the format is roughly the same: They attempt to relieve the enquirers or seekers of their problems which are in essence all caused by the fact that they have not yet achieved the same exalted spiritual state as the artist .

    This is something of a formula that is, in most cases, literally staged. It follows a format. The satsang artist plays a part. Wise, compassionate, much presence, only emotional in order to elucidate a spiritual point to the audience. Like the theatre that it very much resembles, the aim is to affect the audience and it does. All this leads to people in the gathering, affected by the show, experiencing `altered states`, from relaxation to blasting realisations and a lot in between.

    For example, if you have seen the movie ‘Holy Hell’ you will have seen a guru who was a gay ex-porn star with loads of plastic surgery walking around only in speedos acting a lot like Sacha Baron Cohen`s character `Bruno`. To anyone with half a brain still functioning you would think he was an obvious scammer and user, as he indeed turned out to be. Yet he followed the formula. Thus, there were plenty of followers lining up to tell that they had had their third-eye opened, experienced oneness, seen auras and realised the playful nature of existence etc. etc.

    It seems that the men and women that you might personally think are “authentic”, “fully enlightened”, “the genuine article” etc. and the less authentic or “phoney” ones, both use similar types of human interaction or theatre, and act very similar parts, in the eyes of the faithful certainly, thus evoking similar reactions.

    Enlightened ones and satsang artists never operate without this theatre aspect.

    So, nit is reasonable to surmise that the format in itself is important in yielding the results, as is the case with any `show`.

    This would support the idea/assertion that anyone, with application, can learn to do it.

    *As early readers will have noticed, the main title of the article has been changed, in accordance with the writer’s views. (The original title is retained (in brackets) as we feel that the article also implies this question, although it’s not Frank’s main point).

    • Kavita says:

      Frank, thank you for clarifying your actual point.

      “Enlightened ones and satsang artists never operate without this theatre aspect.” I guess that they have taken that “life is a stage….” very seriously!

    • shantam prem says:

      In his prose, Frank has described Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh aka Osho, and naturally, the copycats.

    • frank says:

      Thanks for filling that in, MOD.
      Next time I will take more time to complete an article.

  8. Prem Dharma says:

    This is a fundamental question, of paramount importance: How to tell whether someone is enlightened.

    I will write a small guide for beginners, a simple sure method to tell whether someone is enlightened.

    The mind is a permanent fog, and it can trick us in millions of kinds of ways.

    First step: Discard any criteria based on behaviour, what that person eats, says or does, or whether that person behaves like your favourite enlightened people of the past.

    With this step, 90% of the bullshit is already out of the way.

    Step 2. If you cannot meet the “enlightened one” in person.

    The difference between the unenlightened person and the enlightened person is like the difference between water and vapor. When water reaches 100 degrees, it becomes vapour and does not obey the physical laws of water.

    A fake guru can imitate the way an enlightened person speaks, behaves, acts… but there are a few things that an enlightened person cannot imitate.

    They are subtle but with a little perseverence and receptiveness, you can be aware of this.

    I remind you to come back to the first step, again and again: do not judge an enlightened person by what that person’s actions, speech or looks.

    If you cannot be in the physical presence of the person – this can work in your favour.

    One thing an enlightened person can do, and an unenlightened person cannot imitate — when you look at the enlightened person’s photo — you will feel the enlightened person’s energy envelop you.

    Even if the enlightened person does not know you exist: when you look at his/her photo – you will receive an energy darshan.

    This is something that a fake guru cannot imitate.

    Even if an enlightened person is dead – looking at a photo, you will receive an energy darshan.
    A dead unenlightened person definitely cannot do this. This is one of the reasons fake gurus are usually forgotten after they die, whereas people like Krishna are still going strong 5 millenia after they leave this Earth, mainly because their energy darshan nourishes millions of people.

    Whenever you look at pictures of Osho, Papaji, Neem Karoli Baba, Yogananda, Ma Anandamayi, Meher Baba etc. you will feel this.

    If you are not so perceptive, try taking the photo with you everywhere you go for three days, and look at the photo whenever you can.

    If you are perceptive you will feel it in 5 minutes, but if you are not that perceptive, try to take the photo with you wherever you go and meditate on it every moment for a few days. You will feel an energetic presence, uplifting you.

    This will not happen with a fake guru, and it cannot be imitated.

    Now try it with a picture of Mooji, or Adyashanti, or any of the fake gurus.

    Do the test: Meditate for a few days with a photo of the enlightened people I mention above (Osho, Papaji etc.) – and then do this with a picture of your favourite fake guru.

    You will feel the difference.

    This “going beyond time and space limitations and giving energy darshan through a photo” cannot be done by an unenlightened person. It is a sure criteria.

    Return to step one – there is no way to decide whether a person is enlightened or not by judging speech, behaviour or appearance.

    This is where 99% of people are deceived.

    Now, this is a difficult idea to accept with your mind, and for your mind to wrap around this idea, but NONE of the present people who declared themselves enlightened and are famous on the internet: none of them are enlightened.

    This is difficult for the mind to accept.

    Here is the proof:

    The only person that I know of – who is enlightened and still in the body — is Lakshmana Swamy – a disciple of Ramana Maharshi.

    Make the experiment with the photo. Take the photo wherever you go and meditate with it for a few days.

    You will feel the same energy that Osho has, or Papaji, or Ramakrishna etc. etc.

    The reason you don’t feel this when you use a photo of Mooji or (insert your favourite guru) is because they are not enlightened.

    It is a tough pill to swallow, but it is the truth.

    The number of enlightened people is very, very small. Enlightened people are rare.

    Step 3. If you can meet the enlightened one in person.

    If you can actually meet the “enlightened” person face-to-face, there is also a very simple criterion to decide whether it’s the real deal.

    The worst time you can make this test is when the guru is giving discourse or is surrounded by hundreds/thousands of disciples.

    This is because those thousand disciples are giving their attention and energy to the guru.

    This creates a certain aura around that person — but the aura is received from the attention/energy that the disciples give to that person.

    Even an ordinary person becomes an extraordinary energetic/magnetic presence when thousands of disciples give that person constant attention/energy.

    This is exactly how the phenomenon of fake guru works. I have visited many fake gurus. The energy of the people who give attention to that guru creates a magnetic aura that convinces other people that guru has an energy presence.

    The more people come, the more the fake guru’s aura grows — and people take that energy to be the guru’s own energy.

    This is how people are deceived.

    So going to satsang and deciding whether that person is enlightened or not, can be misleading if you are not very perceptive.

    I’m not saying it cannot be done, but this is the worst situation when you can try to assess a guru — when he is surrounded by thousands of disciples.
    You will take the energy that guru receives from attention to be a spiritual aura.

    Of course, as someone mentioned earlier, when you went to Osho or Papaji, their energy was so powerful, you could cut it with a knife.
    But even in this case, it was a combination between Osho (or Papaji)’s energy with the energy of thousands of disciples.
    This is why it can be confusing, if you are not very perceptive.

    Let’s say you are able to meet that “enlightened” person in their daily life, when they are not giving discourse. Maybe you are lucky to have a one-on-one, or maybe there are a couple of people also present.

    This is the criterion:

    When you are around an enlightened person, you will feel your mind become effortlessly silent.
    He is like a vortex of silence. It is a very real, palpable silence.

    Again, this cannot be imitated by an unenlightened person.

    An unenlightened person still has an active mind, and cannot imitate this vortex of silence.

    You might even have the sensation that “I cannot think. My mind stops.”

    If you are very receptive, you will maybe completely forget everything you were going to ask, and have difficulty thinking. I say this from personal experience.

    Again: fake gurus cannot imitate this. This vortex of silence, which also makes your mind silent.

    Most people are confused – either making the first error of judging according to behaviour/speech/appearance — or making the second error of mistaking the enormous bundles of energy a fake guru receives as attention/energy from his disciples – to be the guru’s own spiritual power.


    Last but not least, if you think you are enlightened, here is a very simple criteria to tell whether you are enlightened or not:

    It is a very clear and certain criteria.

    You might have had many profound spiritual experiences of bliss. You are like a druggie who is high on the meditation drug – so it is very easy to be misled.
    Are you enlightened tho’ ?

    It is simple.

    There are four states: wakefulness, sleep with dreams, deep sleep without dreams, and turyia.

    Turyia is the fourth state – it is beyond wakefulness, dreams or deep sleep.

    An enlightened person is in a state of turyia.

    That means even when the body is asleep — the enlightened person is always awake.

    A part of the enlightened person never sleeps.
    It is an experience of watching your body go to sleep.


    If, when you go to sleep at night, you lose consciousness, and you only regain consciousness the next morning when you wake up: You are NOT in the state of turyia.

    If you are enlightened, a part of you never sleeps. Your consciousness never sleeps.

    You will watch your body go to sleep, and sleep, but a part of you never sleeps.

    This is a very simple criterion.

    You cannot fake it and you cannot deceive yourself.


    “Could Anyone, With The Right Application, Become A Satsang Giver?”

    If he manages to convince – through speech, appearance and behaviour – at least a hundred people that he is enlightened, a snowball effect follows.

    The more people give him attention/energy, the more his aura grows – and people mistake this “aura of received attention” to be his personal power.

    So the answer is yes: anyone can do it.
    If he convinces a certain number of people, his aura grows, and it becomes a vicious circle. The more people become his disciples, the more his “aura of received attention” grows, and this attracts more and more people to him, like a moth to a flame.

    Beware of gurus who have an aura that was received from the energy/attention from disciples.

    One famous case comes to mind: Amma, the hugging saint. She receives energy from millions of people, so whenever someone hugs Amma, they feel a powerful energy.

    Is it Amma’s personal energy, or is it attention/energy received from her disciples? It is very difficult to tell the difference, unless you meet Amma in her daily life, when she is not surrounded by many disciples.

    • shantam prem says:

      Prem Dharma, are you sannyasin?
      I mean orphan from the school of Osho!

      • anand yogi says:

        Welcome to Sannyasnews, Prem Dharma!

        Please proceed to welcome centre for interrogation by beloved Swami Inspector Shantam. Be sure to give him name, rank, number, religion, native place, date of birth, name of father and caste!
        And also send him photograph so that he can meditate on it!

        Dharma, you are perfectly correct when you say:
        “First step: Discard any criteria based on behaviour, what that person eats, says or does, or whether that person behaves like your favourite enlightened people of the past.“

        This is utterly true as I know from own experience!

        Only yesterday in compound at Bungbungalore ashram I happened on Swami Bhorat in the back of his Rolls Royce, cavorting with a couple of Tamil actresses, although one of them did have quite a deep voice. The floor was littered with empty bottles of Armagnac and gin, nitrous oxide canisters, empty bidi packets, chewed paan leaves, porn mags, piles of used notes, watches, firearms and empty packets of red and blue pills!

        He looked at me, and away from watching cricket and reading holy literature about latest surge of true spirituality surging across Kashmir like wildfire and latest spreadsheets about recent noodles sales in mighty Bhorat, and with bloodshot eyes glazed with compassion, and, pretending to be drunk and angry,shouted: “What are you looking at, sisterfucker?”

        Pleased at the energy I was being showered, knowing well that Bhorat is a true guru pretending to be a fake guru in order to teach important lesson number one of not being attached to, or deceived by behaviour of guru, I scuttled off down to chemist to fulfil duties and buy 2 more tubs of Vaseline for master and pick up his weekly box of medication!

        Swami Bhorat is intrigued by your psychic siddhi of being able to tell true enlightenment from false by looking at old photographs and even pictures of Krishna on calendars on walls of chai shops!
        Certainly, you have attained a very high level of consciousness!

        The Nine Men of Mighty Bhorat are keen to meet you! They are on the look-out for a disciple of your calibre who can be charged with the responsibility to bring ultimate truth to unconscious masses!
        Are you available to come to Bungabungalore ashram for darshan and job interview?

        Swami Bhorat has already prepared private penthouse suite for you with own widescreen TV, mini-bar, gas spigot, paan table, cricket ‘Wisdens’, and 24 hour apsara room service!

        Hari Om!

    • swamishanti says:

      Try this one. It’s known as the `animal test’. Watch your satsang-giver or master around animals closely. Take them out for a trip to the zoo if you have to, to see if your master has `the St Francis Touch’.

      Ramana Maharshi used to have a cow around in his ashram, which used to come and have a darshan with him. One day the cow came when the Maharshi was reading a newspaper, he told the cow that he was too busy, but the cow came anyway and put his head close to him.

      Ramana placed his hands on the cow’s head for some time, and tears were seen to be flowing from the eyes of that cow.

      At the Ranch, there was a little deer that always came into Osho`s garden and would sit directly underneath his bedroom window for darshan.

      There was also a group of peacocks living around the house. There was a particular white male peacock, who made it a point to plant himself in the driveway behind Osho`s house, where Osho would drive in to park his Rolls Royce at the end of his daily drive.

      The peacock would block the road with his car, open his tail featherand do a dance around the car until Vivek would get out of the car to try to shoo it out of the way.

      In the winter, all the peacocks would sleep in their special home, a heated A-frame. But that particular white one spent his time roosting in a little tree out in the open, which was the closest point off the ground to Osho, his back and tail covered in snow, facing Osho`s room.

      In Poona Two there was a bird of paradise with a long tail, that would come every day to perch on a nearby tree at the same time when Osho used to eat on his balcony.

      When Osho finished his lunch and left, the bird would also fly away and leave the tree.

      On days when Osho was too ill to take his lunch, the bird would flutter and jump around in a crazy and agitated way. When Osho returned to the tree, the bird would settle down again and relax for its daily darshan.

      • Lokesh says:

        Yes, SS, animal contact can show much about people. I once visited a crocodile farm with Poonjaji and a few other people in Lucknow. I am not sure but I think I saw some of the crocs wagging their tails when the master passed.

        One of my friends went for a walk with Poonjaji and every once in a while the old fellow would feed some sugar to ants.

        My friend asked Poonjai why he did not feed one particular group of ants and Poonjaji replied, “Oh, those ones weren’t hungry.”

        • swamishanti says:

          Once I was staying in a large hotel, in the hill station of Matheran. The building was originally built by the British as a retreat from the heat of the summer plains.

          A rat kept entering my room at night from a hole under the door. I used to bang on the floor to chase it out.
          I patched up the hole, even put books behind the hole, but the rat was persistent and kept pulling out the material I had patched up the hole with and managed to get in and run around the floor.

          I was sleeping on the floor. One night the rat ran right onto my blanket, which I was under.

          I threw the blanket up and the rat was flung up into the air, I heard his body smack against the wall, and then drop down to the floor. Then he ran out.

          Prior to that, I had had a huge room on the other side of the same place, with lots of large windows. The room faced the jungle and there were lots of monkeys. I used to watch their gymnastics and games. Every day they would come and try to raid the kitchen and the hotel.

          When I used to meditate, monkeys would sometimes come and sit on the window sills for quite a while and watch me. Sometimes a whole family would come and sit silently watching, the mothers suckling babies at their breasts.

          I would feel the monkeys watching me as I watched my mind.

    • satchit says:

      Good comment, Prem Dharma,

      Here are a few photos: In memoriam.

  9. satchit says:

    “So, it is reasonable to surmise that the format in itself is important in yielding the results, as is the case with any `show`.
    This would support the idea/assertion that anyone, with application, can learn to do it.”

    Yes, the format is important but if there is no knowing in the giver then the format becomes destructive. Learning the outer rituals is like teaching a child to make love. It may look like making love of grown-ups, but the essence is missed.

  10. shantam prem says:

    Satsang is not a rocket science.
    It is like nurses who wanted to become doctors still can raise their status by learning in a week to be Reiki Master!

    As I see in Germany, this trend has lost its stream. Future is in Russia!

  11. shantam prem says:

    Basic thing is to feel collective warmth, a kind of oneness, when life is lonely and boring.

  12. Lokesh says:

    Apart from Dharma’s comment coming across like a very patronising piece of work that contained elements that are commendable, one can’t help noticing the complete lack of anything even remotely humorous in his writing. From what I have seen, good teachers usually have a good sense of humour. Perhaps Dharma is taking the whole thing too seriously. The antithesis of our beloved court jester, Yogi.

    That said, Dharma did make me smile when he stated, “Enlightened people are rare.” Really?

  13. shantam prem says:

    With Osho starting Stardom Satsang Synchronized System among gurus, with Jaggi Vasudev it will end. Humanity is evolving fast enough not to give too much space and too much hard-earned money anymore to truth cartels.
    Guru business is looked at with suspicious eyes everywhere in the developed countries. New entrants are having very low profile and handt-to-mouth existence.

    In India also, this is going to happen, though at present, Hindu Guru Bazar is doing brisk business, politically as well as selling past in articulate English.

    • Lokesh says:

      Shantam declares, “New entrants are having very low profile and handt-to-mouth existence.”
      This is untrue. Mooji is a relative newcomer and is building up a large and profitable following. ‘The Times’ recently ran an article on him, which dispels the low profile idea.

      • Shantam prem says:

        Lokesh there are hundreds of others who could not afford advertisement budget for more than a year.

        What Mooji is doing or Rajneesh junior is doing, many of us can also do, maybe even better. Question is, why we are not jumping into?

        In my case, I know my genetical limitations, there is wish for success but no inner discipline and hunger to do the marketing and promotion. And also I follow ethics and have scientific temperament, I cannot sell bullshit of getting enlightenment on certain date.

        • satchit says:

          “What Mooji is doing or Rajneesh junior is doing, many of us can also do, maybe even better. Question is, why we are not jumping into?”

          But who then will do your job at Europa Park, Shantam, if you become a satsang-giver?

          Ok, if you ask Swami Bhorat for a job exchange, maybe you can make it!

      • frank says:

        The `low-profile` idea is completely way off the mark.

        The satsang/guru thing has never been bigger and hotter. In the last few weeks alone there have been lengthy BBC and UK major newspaper articles on Teal Swan, Bentinho Massaro as well as Mooji.

        The online factor has been a large part of all this. These guys are reaching massive target audiences that Bhagwan and Krishnamurti, for example, could only have dreamed about back in the day. This ups the stakes, big time.

        The whole thing is so huge that Be Schofield a transsexual `journalist` who has only ever written exposes on cults including the ones mentioned above, has become an anti-cult guru in here own right. Her articles appear in major publications everywhere. She is quoted as an expert, which she managed just by hanging around with a few teachers and writing about it. It`s pretty cut-throat stuff.

        With the ubiquitousness of the net, it’s hard to see this abating. Massaro is now exclusively online and still has a massive devoted following.

        Scofield has gone from nobody to respected journalist in the twinkling of an eye, exposing alleged abuse right left and centre, with her own site `The Guru` receiving millions of hits and fighting quarter million dollar lawsuits and whatnot.
        Detractors claim that she herself has a secret life of drugs and BDSM debauchery in which she is also some kind of abusive guru.

        News or fake news? It`s all hard to tell.
        The anti-cultists do sound as bonkers as the cultists and locked in a bizarre symbiotic relationship with fame,power, sex and money at the heart of it.

        It`s all a bit sordid, but I have to say that the old cosmic playwright, the leela scriptwriter who`s coming up with this stuff certainly isn`t losing his/her touch when it comes to no-holds-barred enlightentertainment!

        • sw. veet (francesco) says:

          Bad news from Italy for you, Frank, Osho becomes mainstream here.
          The largest and most important Italian newspaper will publish a weekly Osho book, 20 titles.

          • frank says:

            That`s not bad news.
            That`s another example of the phenomenon that I was writing about.

            • sw. veet (francesco) says:

              Negative phenomenon, you meant, Frank, I guess.

              Imagine a world where orange robes and malas are back in fashion, with all those mantras and young people who fuck wildly around…such envy.

              Here is another aspect that could help you to distinguish an authentic Master from a fake: a sense of abundance that spreads around him, the only antidote to the antagonistic/envious approach. In the blessing of his spiritual presence, in that fulfilment, there are no appetites other than those that can be satisfied without fighting, in that fulfilment everyone is aware of their own light and beauty, no compromise for the pussy or cock would be acceptable.

              If you asked the question, perhaps, it is because the difference between an authentic Master and a fake one for you matters, as for me.

              In fact, if I do an honest fact checking of my best days (plenty of light, smiles, hugs…) I conclude (foolishly, you would say) that they are due to the choice of a small Indian man who has decided to share the fragrance of the garden he had discovered blooming within his heart.

              To some, this may seem like a too obvious and unrewarding script, due to a certain need for intellectual refinement typical of a well-educated mind, trained in counter-intuitive revelations, not within everyone’s reach.

              If the Joy that the Masters talk about is not the substance of existence, why should it be of interest to ask how many ways can satsangs be given?

              • satyadeva says:

                “no compromise for the pussy or cock would be acceptable.”

                What exactly is that supposed to mean, Veet?

                • sw. veet (francesco) says:

                  SD, just a little drawing, the frame is: competition for sexual satisfaction, of men, women and transsexuals.

              • Lokesh says:

                Veet, does it ever occur to you that you might be brainwashing yourself?

                • sw. veet (francesco) says:

                  Possible, Lokesh, but I understand your scandal, for a Scotsman it would be a big expense, a big waste of soap, and without any certainty that the streaks of cynicism superimposed on the oblivion of age can be washed away.

              • frank says:

                You say:
                “Imagine a world where orange robes and malas are back in fashion, with all those young people who fuck wildly around”
                I don`t need to. I was there.

                By your account, that was when you were still kissing the Pope`s ring and square-bashing.
                It`s understandable.

                • Kavita says:

                  Just by chance watched ‘The Two Popes’ today, it was a very well made, true story.

                  Brilliant performance by both Popes.

                  Anthony Hopkins reminded me of an older version of Lokesh, if I may say so!

                • satyadeva says:

                  But could these two Popes have been credible satsang-givers, Kavita?

                • Kavita says:

                  SD, Not Pope Benedict but Pope Francis could qualify!

                • frank says:

                  Didn`t Pope Francis thump someone in public the other day?
                  That could have been a bit of crazy wisdom a la Andrew Cohen.

                • Lokesh says:

                  Yes, Kavita, you are not the first to note the resemblence. 15 years ago I was sitting in a cafe in Santa Monica and a guy came up to me and asked for an autograph. I scribbled something on a napkin and handed him it. He was over the moon. Some people will believe anything.

                • frank says:

                  I hope you invited him for a glass of Chianti.

                • sw. veet (francesco) says:

                  Bravo, Frank, if you believed your hypothesis about the weight of my conditioning before meeting Osho, then you would also understand my gratitude, something deeper than genital rubbing.

                  In the absence of a spiritual connection with the Satsang-giver the quality of social relations between the ‘Satsang receivers’ will not be that of satisfied people, therefore exposed also to envy.

                  Better to deny those days if sex was a way to escape from yourself.

                  In the future I intend to show more solidarity with the renegades, for all the implications this means in their lives.

                  Who do you mean by “the renegades”, please, Veet Francesco?

            • Lokesh says:

              When some otherwise civilised person breaks loose from their norm and does not give two fucks about convention.

              • sw. veet (francesco) says:

                I know two meanings for this word.
                The first one is close to ‘traitor’, the second one refers to those who contemptuously refuse a previous political or religious adhesion.

                But in my case I use that word for people who continue to be attracted to the phenomenon of a Sangha gathering around the light of a Master but pretending to have found much more in other places.

          • swamishanti says:

            Moving around India on different journeys over the last twenty years I have seen Osho Rajneesh books in every bookstall and every railway station. I was surprised to even come across a book of Osho inside one of the main Hindu temples of India, Meenakshi temple in Madurai, which is a major tourist centre and attracts millions of pilgrims every year.

            I have heard that the number of Osho centres in India is also growing and expanding every year.

            This giveaway of Osho books by the main Italian newspaper, perhaps shows that the Italian public and indeed the public of several other countries around the world where Osho’s books are widely read, seem to be a bit more ‘ready’, at least intellectually, for Osho, than say, the Americans, who still have a very long way to go up the mountain, with a strong Roman Catholic conditioning and high density factors.

            Every other culture around the world is older and more mature than the U.S., and one has been sometimes quite blown away by the seeming simplicity of some of its citizens. One wonders if the development of the cerebral cortex is really impeded in some way by that popular diet of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.

            There has been a popular idea that we are entering a ‘new era’ of consciousness, a new phase. I am somewhat skeptical and wonder if any such thing is actually happening, or whether people are simply projecting their own experiences onto the world.

            Here’s Samdarshi, one of the gurus I consider to be authentic, talking on how he perceives the world becoming seemingly more conscious and open to satsangs:


            • Klaus says:

              It could be because we are in the transition to the ending of the KaliYug, which is expected to be on 21st of December 2035….


              • swamishanti says:

                It’s interesting as although many believe that the Kali Yuga is leading into the next Sat Yuga, and this transition has already taken place or is happening in the next 100 to 200 years, there are others, including Paramahansa Yogananda and Rudolf Steiner, who believed that the Kali Yuga had already ended and we have already entered the Dvarpara Yuga, in an ascending cycle, back to the Satya Yuga

                So the cycle would be:
                Satya Yuga
                Treta Yuga
                Dvarpara Yuga
                Kali Yuga
                Dvarpara Yuga
                Treta Yuga
                Satya Yuga

                Rather than:

                Whilst many Christians believed that the Earth was created only around 6,000 years ago, and in the desert God gave Moses some tablets with no mention of any Yugas. And that Noah was given a message to build a big boat.

                Maitreya Ishwara, who was highly rated out of many satsang givers by Parmartha, myself and others, was given a message from God that it is actually only two yugas, Satya Yuga and
                Kali Yuga, and we are just in the transition period in the cycle.

                • Klaus says:

                  If got the clue from this life presentation by Armin Risi:


                  Prophezeiungen der Transformation…Armin Risi

                  In German….

                • frank says:

                  It seems a lot more likely that we are in in fact in Booga Booga Yuga.

                • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

                  Hmmm Swamishanti (at 11:47 am )

                  I guess, one needs to practise/embody ( oneself) a Whirling Dervish to get all these ´Yuga´s rows in line and circeling into Balance & right into the beautuful ´Nothing´ ?

                  May be also the Boogie will do, Frank´s premise ?

                  Who knows ?

                  Got home just now and have a cake and after that a nap ( needed !)
                  In the courtyard here the kids have been building quite a big ´snow-man´and just now they are refining their ´piece of ART.
                  ( The snow-man´s head is still missing… the kids don´t need it – apparentely…)


        • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

          @ Frank (18 January 2020 at 1:29 pm)

          “The online factor has been a large part of it” (the Satsang ´movement) you said and therewith precisely made a point!

          However, it didn´t start like that in the very beginning but happening was what I call another of the numerous deterioration Issue(s) and it didn´t take much time to creep in energetically, and along with that, changing audiences/participants.

          Re the latter ones, often people just coming and going in the midst of the meetings – equipped with their smartphones, sitting there for a little while and not rarely working on their phones to stay connected with some other filter bubble virtual-wise, while half-ears open (and less of it) “listening” to someone ´on stage´.

          Those again, trying his/her best to get in contact with him/ herself and as well as with the current teacher/facilitator.

          Not to speak (often) of a sheer possibility of ‘Presencing’, of ´Teaching and Quests´ and/or a Response-Ability in such an awareness-deficiency, atmosphere-scattered mode.

          It was there and then I more or less dropped going to these meetings, falling into – one can say – a kind of depressive- nostalgic mood, feeling not to be able any more to find and meet fellow-travellers.


          However, as we are travelling anyway together, the way we like it or not, so – that has not been and is not the ´End´. Not only my writing and reading here on this SN-chat web truly reveals the latter.

          And also otherwise it also has not been/is not the end up to now for further moves and inner as outer researches to find people to meet face-to-face and heart-to-heart.

          We are social animals, aren´t we?

          What I´d like to share with you in particular, Frank, is that responding to sexist, racist contributions (like some of those happening from Shantam´s place) with even more sexist, racist contributions might be very counter-productive.

          That´s at least my experience throughout the last years reading SN/UK.

          The topic string you offered though was a very important one in my eyes; the Issue to grow a human way into so-called Digital Age and stay Human is touching and moving me deeply.

          Thank you for reading, Frank.


  14. Kavita says:

    ‘Guru Business’ will survive & thrive till the death of planet Earth/as long as the concept of evolution of human consciousness exists!

    “Humanity is evolving fast enough not to give too much space and too much hard-earned money anymore to truth cartels.”‘

    Sometimes I think Shantam makes such statements for creating some flutter!

    • shantam prem says:

      “‘Guru Business’ will survive & thrive till the death of planet Earth/as long as the concept of evolution of human consciousness exists!”

      Kavita, please let me know, is the above sentence written by me? If it is so, I can’t remember where.

      Yes, Shantam creates flutter, it is like finding the wood for the camp fire. Words serve their purpose if they provoke thinking, shake established notions without being violent.

      • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

        “Yes, Shantam creates ´flutter´, it is like finding the wood for the camp fire” – is to be read yesterday at 10:09 pm.
        Misleading though, Shantam Prem, might be, could be that the algorhythm-wise term of “flutter” used as a scoring/rating/programming device as a verbal-virtual communication ´tool´ is quite something else as the term
        “flutter” is a body-inclined physiological (medical) term for a good breathing-in, breathing-out.

        The latter – for ordinary people (like me) – a quite very existential condition for living in consciousness IN the body. Good, substantial, sustainable living, I mean.

        Yes, most of us may have heard of these Yogis who can do without breathing for quite a very long time; but pretty much, better say, all of us ( contributers here at SN/UK) don´t belong to that rare species. You neither, I guess.

        And yes, otherwise, finding “wood” for a camp fire of story telling is yet a wonderful thing to ´do´. No doubt about it. Pity is, when we´re burning the wrong stuff in that truly “Imaginary Museum”.

        Snow covers the lawn in the coutyard today outside.
        Sky shines in a light grey.
        Few snow flakes

        The gift for another day of breathing-in, breathing-out….


        • Kavita says:

          ”Misleading though, Shantam Prem, might be”
          At first I thought so too, used the word ‘ruffle’ & then thought to give him the benefit of the doubt so requested MOD to change that to ‘flutter’!

          • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

            Okay, Kavita, didn´t know that it was you – behind some change of words under Shantam Prem´s address…and in your communication as or/and with MODs.

            Anyway, it led me to a little research and thank you for that.

            Re Shantam Prem’s further reaction, claiming aggressively that I might not use my (legal) name, I can assure you all that I did and do. And as I already said, long, long ago: Such happend by chance and in my utter ignorance of any possible IT-tech variations to use the Chat here.


        • shantam prem says:

          Madhu, I am not surprised to see your superior nature regarding my post. There is not a single post of yours and Frank which are not from higher realms, albeit faceless with fake identities. I don´t think Frantzen is your family name either.

          “Flutter” was a new word for me. I have to check internet dictionary. Moreover, Shantam and kavita know each other for more than 25 years thanks to the commune of late Shri Osho Jain of Jabalpur/Pune fame. Words can be used in many formats, even dirty words can be used in psychological and hilarious formats.

          This day of 19th January Master left the body for unknowable realms.

    • Kavita says:

      Shantam, “Guru Business’ will survive & thrive till the death of planet Earth/as long as the concept of evolution of human consciousness exists!” is my response to your “Humanity is evolving fast enough not to give too much space and too much hard-earned money anymore to truth cartels.”

    • Lokesh says:

      I do not see Shantam as some kind of agent provocateur. I see him as a reactionary. Anything to get a reaction, no matter what kind of bullshit he comes away with, as long as he gets a reaction is what counts.

      There is nothing commendable about that. Any fool can create a reaction.

      • shantam prem says:

        Mirror, mirror on the wall
        Who is the wisest of them all?
        Surely the ones who were talking with Bhagwan Rajneesh!
        One more reaction.

        • Lokesh says:

          Time you got some new programmes, Shantam. To say any kind of creative feedback constitutes a reflection of the one who delivers the feedback harks back to encounter group Pooona One.

          The problem with adopting such a stuck attitude is that you will never learn anything new about yourself and thus remain the same old, same old, which is fine if you enjoy being stuck.

      • anand yogi says:

        Certainly, the Scottish skinhead baboon cannot understand the devices for the awakening of contributors on SN that Shantambhai, with help from the Nine Unknown Men of Mighty Bhorat, has devised!

        Also, Shantambhai is speaking in third person!
        This is the sign of a mahatma!
        Of course, western baboons will see this as sign of having delusions of grandeur induced as compensation for failure and life wasted as a result of taking wrong turns and ending up in dead-end with brain damage, and prescribe a check-up from the neck up!
        See the madness of the western mind!

        Did Krishna need therapy?
        Did Ramana need therapy?
        In the East we do not need this nonsense!
        In glorious East it is enough to drop chuddies without engaging mind which is nothing but mind and let astrological wisdom pour mindlessly forth from Uranus, and then when questioned, say that it is a device to provoke wisdom!

        Hari Om!

  15. Lokesh says:

    Shantam says, “Question is, why we are not jumping into?”
    I do not know about anyone else. As far as I am concerned I simply cannot be bothered with any of this guru, spiritual masters trip. I put in more than enough time with that. Now, I prefer to potter about in my garden and do as little thinking as possible. I am not searching for anything apart from a little extra cash.

  16. Kavita says:

    ”Yes, most of us may have heard of these Yogis who can do without breathing for quite a very long time; but pretty much, better say, all of us (contributers here at SN/UK) don´t belong to that rare species. You neither, I guess.”

    Your guess is right.

    To me, even the Yogis who claim they “can do without breathing for quite a very long time” may think they can/ have stopped breathing through their nose but I guess the rest of the body is probably doing the breathing for them!

    • frank says:

      I went to a Kali festival out in the wilds of Karnataka back in the day. It was like a small town set up in a field in the middle of nowhere. Stuff went on 24/7 for three days.

      It was a meet-up for Kali worshippers and sadhus. There were yogis whipping themselves with leather bullwhips, sticking things in their bodies, flaming spears banged through their faces and so on.

      There was a freak show with a kid with two heads. As well as yogis on beds of nails and sadhus standing for hours on shoes of nails, there were yogis who were buried. In fact, there was a whole row of them, like a kind of street of them who mostly had just their heads buried in the earth.

      Like the satsang thing there`s lots of modern people everywhere these days doing it, this self-mortification stuff. There`s loads of youtube videos on this sort of thing, modern tribalism etc.

      All the kids having tattoos are doing a bit of it, too.
      People say it`s spiritual. Basically, it seems like another way to get blasted. Apparently, it releases a megadose of endorphins and suchlike and I guess it impresses your friends and peers.

      Don`t fancy it myself. Tbh, I`d rather have my tongue stapled to the floor of an Indian public toilet in rainy season, although that`s probably one of their tricks, too.

      • Kavita says:

        In most Indian/other old cultures, anyone with rare physical attributes & performing unusual/unnatural acts is considered to be an incarnation!

        Tbh, even your “I`d rather have my tongue stapled to the floor of an Indian public toilet in rainy season, although that`s probably one of their tricks,too” is all the more disgusting.

        • frank says:

          Yes, it`s gross. I must try and give that one up for the new year.

          You`re right, K, it`s easy to be an incarnation in India. I had a guy mistaking me for Jesus Christ once. My denials seemed to convince him even more. He even took the fact that I spoke English as a miracle. Took me a day to shake him off. Should have played along, really.

          Which reminds me, on the subject of film, has anyone seen the Netflix series ‘Messiah’? People are raving about it. Anyone know if it`s worth signing on for a free month of Netflix to watch it?

  17. Klaus says:

    This story could be running under the title: ‘Crazy wisdom. Very crazy wisdom. Totally crazy wisdom. Absolutely crazy wisdom’.

    The Sakyong Mipham is the son of famous Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. He is a recognized ‘tulku’ – meaning reincarnated Tibetan Lama.

    It’s a long story. Many people endured hard times – for quite some time. Why so long?

    Sitting in ‘Satsang’ has many andvantages compared to the quite rigorous Tibetan styles:
    - You do not have to talk, if you do not feel a need to.
    - You can enjoy the silent sitting.
    - You do not have to follow a special internal method of practice.
    - You can go home afterwards. Easily.
    - You choose, if you would like to come back for more sessions
    - No damage done, at least looking from the outside

    Enjoy Freedom.

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