The Mysterious 'Mrs A': Chapter 1: The Arrest
The Mysterious 'Mrs A': Chapter 1: The Arrest4 mins 42 4 mins 42
I know Swamiji through my association with his spiritual cult and ashram. I met him several times and have had one-to-discussions on life and afterlife with Swamiji and he had impressed me so much that I attend his spiritual satsangs frequently, if not regularly.
It was therefore shocking when I read in the papers that the police have arrested Swamiji. The reason they arrested him shocked me even more. The police had acted based on a FIR filed by a girl, Seema, alleging rape and sexual exploitation by Swamiji for over a year. The charge against Swamiji was not under the rape section of the IPC but for coercive sexual exploitation by a person of influence. It is a bailable offence.
I digested the news item with more than a pinch of salt; these days it has become routine for such allegations particularly against spiritual heads and swamis. They incarcerated Bapu Asa Ram for allegedly violating youthful girls; another spiritual head Ram Rahim is also in jail on sexual exploitation charges. Then there is this swami who held orgies with women and escaped from the country before his arrest. He seems to have bought his own island somewhere in the West Indies and is planning to declare it as a sovereign nation!
I wonder if the Indian Gods have gone wrong somewhere. Or has India’s famed spiritualism degenerated?, Osho seems to have set this trend of being a spiritual man going rogue, a spiritual rogue, one can say. The tribe of such spiritual rogues seems to grow fast in India and elsewhere too. What can one say about the Indian born Americanized yoga guru turned spiritual head turned spiritual rogue, Bikram Chandra?
Though all these precedents seemed to go against my faith in my Swamiji, I cannot imagine him as a spiritual rogue. Well, that is what, maybe, happens when you blindly follow someone. When your heart breaks, you always refuse to believe that your beloved could have committed such a dastardly act.
Being a journalist, I could sense a story. It could be about Gurus turned into spiritual rogues, and this would go beyond Swamiji and cover a broader spectrum of such colorful personalities and I could delve into their lives to trace their ignominious descent from God to Devil. Maybe I could find out ways of getting into their minds to find out how such evolved personalities could allow banal thoughts to drive them to sexual perversion? I could even investigate the devotees and disciples to understand their psyche and unravel their emotions when their gods fail them. Do they lose faith in gods and religion? Do they give up their belief in the goodness of mankind?
I could well have done all these things and they would have made an impressive book, but for the moment, I put such ideas on the back burner and focused on Swamiji.
The reason I decided to investigate the Swami Scandal is not clear even to me. How does it matter whether Swami is guilty or innocent? There had been Swami’s before and there will be Swami’s after, they keep coming and going and devotees move on from one scandal to another easily. Why not me? There was no need for me to justify my decision, but I needed to be clear about my objectives. Was I so deeply involved with Swamiji that the news of his arrest broke my heart and has emotionally upset me? Or was it because I was close to Swamiji and therefore keen to understand the scandal? Or was it my journalist’s instinct to go after something that could make a good and juicy story? I don’t know, it could be one of the above or all of the above or none. Law will take its own long-winding course and I could have left it to the courts to decide Swamiji’s fate. But no, I will not go back on my decision to investigate the Swamiji scandal myself. Am I trying to prove something to myself? That Swamiji could not have done this deed? We’ll see.
To unravel the truth about Swami, I must go to the very beginning.