Spiritual guru Ravi Shankar speaks about Bollywood:


It is so tempting to write a snarky gotcha post just by quoting him verbatim: Saying that one cannot generalize that all ashrams are corrupt to saying all Bollywood stars are despicable within the span of two sentences; the questionable claim of Bollywood wanting to turn the youth towards Naxalism (?!); the claim that lack of religion will cause India to become like Afghanistan where the Buddhas of Bamiyan were destroyed (it was a fanatic adherence to religion that caused it); the claim that religion keeps one away from drugs (this guy disagrees); his conspiracy theory that there is a drug lobby is working with Bollywood to get Indian youth addicted to drugs; his equating of religion to all creativity. I could go on.

One thing on which I do agree with him is that it has become common to criticize religion. And thank god for that, for we now atleast have a debate.

It is said—and I have experienced it in minute ways—that meditation and yoga help clear one’s mind and give a fresh perspective towards life. That in my book sums to being a tad wiser. I also equate wisdom with having fewer opinions, not more.

Which raises the obvious question: With all his spiritual practices, why is Ravi Shankar not wiser?


The larger question is: Why is he even being asked questions about something a movie depicted? Can’t we learn just spiritual practices from him and figure out the rest of the universe for ourselves? I don’t expect him to be wise about economics, computer science, or mountaineering—and he proved as much with his answer.

Then again, if I were as wise as people say he is, I would use silence to better effect.


Allow me one snarky comment: For someone who blames Bollywood for showing people practicing ancient wisdom in bad light, you know who else is practicing ancient wisdom and yet showing it in bad light?