Swami Kaleshwar Supporter Replies:
(see "Comeuppance" for original Hindu Article)

The following letter was sent by a supporter of Sri Swami Kaleshwar. The article to which she refers was not found and was written by people close to him . . . 

The following article was published in India's 'The Hindu' Newspaper, National edition, on Wednesday, July 24, 2002.

Sri Swami Kaleshwar ≠ Modern Day Saint 
(By Nancy Fengler, Monika Lipetz, Dr. Philip 
Lipetz, R.K. Jenkins, and Dr. Clint Thompson)

    In Penukonda, Andrah Pradesh, 140 km north of Bangalore, a new flower in the garden of Indiaís spiritual heritage is quietly blooming.  Though little known in  many  places outside of Southern India, the Shiva Sai Mandir - a Shirdi Baba temple, ashram, and home of Sri Kaleshwar Swami, is providing new leadership and service to the local and global communities.

   To understand what is happening in Penukonda you must first understand its architect and guru, Sri Kaleshwar Swami.  His appearance upon first glance can be deceiving. Young, today, just 29 years old, and often appearing younger then his chronological age, with slight physical stature - standing 5 foot 7 inches tall, thin weighing less than 60 kg, and dark handsome complexion; he appears more as a movie star than a saint and miracle man.  He avoids the more traditional long flowing ocher robes of the saint in favor of simple white kurtas and punjabe dresses. 

    He speaks eloquently in his native Telugu to his many crore of Indian devotees. When speaking with his western students he talks in a unique English of unusual syntax and completely original and captivating vocabulary. One is struck by his intentional use of body movements, the fine - almost feminine - graceful flow of his hands and his graceful long fingers, whether he is gesturing to make his point or performing the miraculous manifestation of vibudhi.  Even in English, which he learned at the age of 23, his wit is displayed often in sublte ways, his speaking in double, triple meanings at the same time the rule.

    Sri Kaleshwar Swami is in one way an ambassador for Hinduism and the Eastern spiritual knowledge in the West.  Sri Kaleshwar Swami travels regularly abroad, to Japan, Europe, and America, teaching thousands of students about Indian spiritual tradition, Shirdi Baba, meditation, and healing techniques.  His popularity in the West is growing rapidly.  His American admirers have included many of Hollywoodís leading figures, such as the late rock star George Harrison, and movies stars Barbara Streisand, Harrison Ford and Steven Segal.

CONTROVERSY

    Recently public controversy has been raised regarding Swami Kaleshwar and the Shiva Sai Mandir.  These slanderous allegations, which insinuated a broad criminal spectrum from blue movies to narcotic trafficking to land grabbing, were quickly shown to be petty and baseless.  No evidences have been offered to support them, and no charges are presently pending.  Still, the controversy has brought more attention to Sri Kaleshwar Swami and his Shiva Sai Mandir, which is perhaps served only to spread Sri Kaleshwar.

SWAMI TO A WIDER AUDIENCE

    Those who live, worship and study with Sri Kaleshwar Swami at the Shiva Sai Mandir can only laugh at the ridiculous nature of the controversy.  As at any ashram, the living quarters are tight, and Sri Kaleshwar Swamiís daily schedule and activities are easily apparent and observed by all.

   Perhaps the hardest working saint on this planet, Sri Kaleshwar Swami can be found literally 20 hours a day inthe Baba Mandir, near his dhuni, or walking the grounds and its many gardens, talking with students and devotees in person or speaking into the telephone always found in his hand.

   His staff includes both Indians and Westerners, who, except for Sri Kaleshwar Swami small private bedroom, have total access to the ashram grounds and buildings.  Sri Kaleshwar Swami is rarely alone, but instead is generally surrounded by dozens of people.  That no one person has come forward to support the criminal allegations, now some months after they first nefariously appeared, is undeniably telling. 

    Certainly the worldly and spiritual accomplishments of Sri Swami Kaleshwar, coupled with the rapid growth of the Shiva Sai Mandir as a spiritual center in southern India, has generated jealousy in some quarters.  Though it is not surprising, such unfounded allegation is both petty and unnecessary.  Sri  Kaleshwar Swami and the Shiva Sai Mandir gives those who visit whatever blessing is asked for, and asks for only oneís heart to be open God in return.

    Perhaps the source of the controversy surround Swami Kaleshwar is his opinion that it is time for some saints to stop proclaiming themselves to  be gods and instead make students into saints.  Swami Kaleshwar says, ď Iím so angry at many saints, crazy saints.  Why didnít they create the strongest people, the strongest souls?  Instead, they kept it all for only themselves.  ĎI am the guru, I am Swamiji, and you have to surrender to my feet, period.  You have to worship my feet, forever and everí I 100% disagree with that.  It is crazy.  It is a huge deception and egoism to make all human creation bow to their feet while saying, ĎOnly I am great, just you be there on the floor.  I will sit in the chair, just you be there, sit on the nails, sit on the thorns.í  That is what the saints did.  I want to break that.Ē

    Swami Kaleshwar says that everyone can achieve the highest spiritual state and that the saints should teach others how to follow them.  "How did they become a saint?  They did not come directly from heaven.  They also were born as humans.  I know many masters in the world, especially 90% of the masters from India.  Theyíre the geniuses in the world.  Supreme name and fame publicity people, powerful saints.  They are the biggest boon.  But how long will it take for other souls to follow them?  How much time does it take for other souls to reach their level?  Some of these guys tell me, 'A peacock is a peacock; a crow is a crow.  The crow cannot become a peacock.  Who tries that is completely stupid.í  Some saints say, ĎIím a God, you canít become like me. Iíll bless you.  Thatís it.  Thatís your life goal.'   Thatís fine, so sweet; but what about experiencing what the saintís experiencing?  Iím eating a mango.  It is so crazy if I just say to you, 'This is so sweet, itís enough for you to know that it is sweet.'  Some people meditate for three years, ten years, or 30 years, and nothing happens.  This is horrible.  Itís so horrible. They have no experience ≠ nothing.  Nothing is there.  Itís a big crime to make you a prisoner in a spiritual prison.  If you are wasting your time struggling, struggling, struggling then big unhappiness is there.  Maybe the master is wrong.  You are a spiritual prisoner.  Forever and ever you are a prisoner.  Itís not normal, itís not good."

My correspondent also informed me that the website was back Ė great! Ė but as neither it nor the article above address the original charges, and there is no program in place at the ashram, we will leave the rating low for now.
[Update: I have been informed by another correspondent of certain inaccuracies in my words above. Certainly there is a program now, and my assertion that the above letter does not address the charges is not entirely valid. As well, she has written the following words of support on behalf of Sri Kaleshwar:]

I've been a student of Kaleshwar's since 1999, and have never seen him do or say anything that is inappropriate (and I spent five straight years living at his ashram). he conducts himself in an impeccable fashion and his sole purpose is to create healing masters in the world. he wants nothing for himself, period. he only wants the success of his students and will pretty much go the distance for any of them -- whatever it takes for them to burn their karma, to find the light of god burning inside themselves, to reach the 'goal' of a serviceful enlightenment, he will do it. he's on duty 24/7 toward this end and when asked what his gift to the world is, will only reply: "my students."

his comments about seeing the Mother Divine in person are far from 'drivel' as your site accuses. he's delivering the results to his students, many of whom have experienced, directly, divine darshans.

Kaleshwar's energy is, I would say, in a word, immaculate. I've met many spiritual teachers and heard about tons of them, have met a few saints as well -- and have really never experienced such a high divine character as Kaleshwar's.

Alx Utterman

www.karmatalk.com

Navigation: Site Map   Home