There’s a lot of religious nonsense that takes place in India. A lot of times, it’s just a petty scam and people lose only money as a result. Sometimes, it’s much more tragic and lives are lost.
Between December 13 and March 4, five boys aged between two and four years were poisoned.
Even though I’m sure there were scientific reasons they couldn’t conceive, they ignored or were unaware of them. Why? Maybe because of a lack of education or a misguided trust in religious superstition. In any case, they instead looked to a deranged hack who told them murder was the solution to their dilemma.
Some Indians are fighting back against this pervasive woo taking over the country.
Sanal Edamaruku has been a leader in this field as head of the Indian Rationalists’ Association, which now has over 100,000 members.
In 2008, a “famous tantric guru” said he could kill someone using only his mind. So Edamaruku took him up on the offer. On live television, Pandit Surender Sharma was given the opportunity to kill him.
First, the master chanted mantras, then he sprinkled water on his intended victim. He brandished a knife, ruffled the sceptic’s hair and pressed his temples. But after several hours of similar antics, Mr Edamaruku was still very much alive — smiling for the cameras and taunting the furious holy man.
When the guru’s initial efforts failed, he accused Mr Edamaruku of praying to gods to protect him. “No, I’m an atheist,” came the response. The holy man then said he needed to conduct a ritual that could only be done at night, outdoors, and after he had slept with a woman, drunk alcohol and rubbed himself in ash.
The men agreed to go to an outdoor studio that night — all to no avail. At midnight, the anchor declared the contest over. Reason had prevailed.
“The immediate goal I have is to stop these fraudulent babas and gurus,” says Mr Edamaruku, 55, a part-time journalist and publisher from the southern state of Kerala. “I want people to make their own decisions. They should not be guided by ignorance, but by knowledge.
Just watch this video of the event. Watch the smile on Edamaruku’s face as he proves the “master” is indeed a fraud:
The master’s “mental death waves” somehow included the need for an open knife, water, and physically touching Edamaruku. And he still failed.
We need more men and women like Edamaruku leading the way to expose these frauds. Don’t just stop at the obviously crazy people, either. Expose the monks and sadhus and sadhvis. The sooner people realize these “people of god” have no real power, the more quickly the whole country will be enlightened.
(via Skeptic Money)