Saturday, November 14, 2009

Another Guru Gone

I just read in a book review that the Indian guru, Sri Chinmoy, died in 2007. I knew of him first as a teenager when I saw his blissful face and incoherent verses in albums by Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin, two of my guitar favorites at the time. (I still listen with interest to McLaughlin, a jazz virtuoso, but not much to Santana, who chops to get old after a few decades.) At that time, I was intrigued by Eastern thought, not having any real roots in Christianity or logical thinking. I had no idea what Chinmoy actually taught, but he seemed otherworldly and inspired such good music. He and his followers believed he was an avatar, a manifestation of the Hindu God. His teachings were pantheistic and included reincarnation and karma.

I saw Chinmoy in Anchorage, Alaska, some time in early 1975. He spoke to a small crowd, including some adoring followers dressed in Indian garb. He spoke in esoteric epigrams for about twenty minutes. One man became impatient and said, "We want to know what you teach. What is your philosophy?" How Western! He wanted proposition about reality that might be rationally assessed. To this, Chinmoy replied, "I have written many books. I have traveled the world." He then went into a trance, his eyes disappearing into his forehead, and began chanting: Ohm.There it is. You must simply bask in the ambiance of the God-enlightened guru, not ask questions. I was not a Christian at the time, but could not look at him in the eye. It was too strange. The young woman I went when said the opposite, "I couldn't look away."

Now Chinmoy, along with Maharishi and Da Free John (whose deaths I have written about on this blog), is dead. He faces the reality he counterfeited for so long. I thank God that a little over a year I saw Chinmoy, I became a follower of the only Incarnation of God, Jesus Christ, and that thirty three-years after that God's grace is still sufficient for me.

1 comment:

Jim Pemberton said...

"...incoherent verses..."

Having spent some time in India recently I understand. I don't know if Hinduism got it's sense of logic from Indian culture or the other way round, but I can testify that they have a rationale all their own.