Sarlo's Guru Rating Service
DEVOTION

As a general tag this refers to the other end of the spectrum from the non-dualist or advaita approach. I have included in this general category those who emphasize service, worship and obedience, as well as the straightforward love of the master and others.

    The ratings are:

= the greats, helping many 

= limited, some handicaps, or maybe not yet full stature

= very limited, narrow approach or ideology, or still developing

= suspect but on balance positive

= suspect

= bogus, may have some value, who knows

= worse than bogus, no redeeming value

Unrated 

= too new, old or retiring, not enough info, or a "teacher" type

If your favourite figure is not here, send in the info and i'll be happy to include, although i will keep it short. (Feedback) And if your favourite figure is here, but underrated or wrongly categorized, let me know and i'll have another look. No flamers please.

Name, M/F, b/d, aka, rating, links, 
* = suggested or located by visitor          shtick, principles, rap (+ / –)

Ruchira Avatar Adi Da Samraj*
  M    1939-2008
aka Franklin Jones, Da Free John, etc 
Adi Da
    Adi Dirt   MORE    Lightgate  
Praise 

"I Am Not 'Within' you, but you Are In Me, and I Am Not a Mere 'Man' in the 'Middle' of Mankind, but All of Mankind Is Surrounded, and Pervaded, and Blessed By Me." American disciple of Muktananda. Earlier books widely praised, though tainted by Scientology history, then isolated by megalomania. Other akas include Bubba Free John, Dau Loloma, Da Love-Ananda, Da Avadhoota, Da Kalki, Da Avabhasa, Da Avatar. Dirt page has thorough analysis by Ken Wilber. Lightgate a big wide-ranging forum project, has archive of old Lightmind Forum. SingingMountain.org had a hilarious pic + caption romp, unfortunately no longer preserved at Archive.org. Wild man devotion + mumbo jumbo. Benefit of doubt. Death failed to deliver hoped-for bounce in career.

Ammachi   F    b1953
aka Sudhamani, Mata Amritanandamayi Devi
   Ammachi 
FEEDBACK    TALES  Anti*   "Amma inc"*   on commercialism

"Take even the most insignificant word of the guru as an order and obey it." Service, worship, surrender, mantras, devotion, chanting, obedience, celibacy, piety, marriage, Hindu jargon, etc. "Union with the Effulgent Light at 22. Represents Hinduism at the Parliament of World Religions." Addresses disciples as "Children." Big-time. Dispenses hugs to all comers in mega-sessions, highly thought of by many different types, though condescending, traditional, moralistic manner on site gives me pause. Anti site a bloggy reconstitution of previous anti-site, links to lots of others, + forums

Shrii Shrii Anandamurti 
  M   1921-1990 
aka Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar 
 
Ananda Marga
  Acrimony, Anon Pro/Con

Indian, founded Ananda Marga. "Propounded a unique social philosophy [PROUT = Progressive Utilization Theory] far more comprehensive than current social, economic and political paradigms, addressing world problems and providing practical solutions." Big on service, orgs all over the world. Five years in Indian jail in persecution for social activism. Aggressive promotion. Solid social awareness, benefit of doubt.

Sri Sri Sri Appaji
  M   1972-1994
Appaji

Indian, reincarnation of Sri Raghavendra Swamy. Gave darshans from age five, + earlier with 10-year-old cousin as medium. Foretold leaving his body at 22 to "go on to his next project." Now visits people in dreams. Mission to alleviate misery, elevate morality, and reinterpret scripture. Next time you come for a longer time.

Pujyapad / Param Pujya Sant Shri Asaramji
  M    b1942  aka Pujya Bapuji, Asumal Thaumal, Bapu Bapu
Anti* (may still have lots of adware) Anti2* 

Indian. Austerities, penance, yogic powers, then awakening at 23 by grace of guru Swami Lila Shahji Maharaj. Main ashram in India (Ahmedabad), many centers around the world. "Various activities targeted to the spiritual, moral, educational & health related upliftment of the society." Separate ashram for women for "sadhana and seva." Pretty traditional, may work for some. First anti site alleges corruption (pattern of land grabs and fraud) + exploitation, links to news stories and others, second harder-hitting allegations of rape and murder, some links to court document photocopies.

Shri Haidakhan Babaji  M, "Appeared in 1970, as a youth of 18 or 20 years, d1984" 
asa Herakhan

Babaji *

"We cannot be lazy. We cannot be without purpose. Our purpose is to serve, to elevate humanity, to enable humanity to be purified without destruction as the great fire approaches. The goal is to walk through the fire . . . Mahavatar, can materialize a body at will." Riding "other" Babaji coattails, benefit of doubt. Promoted by Leonard Orr, discussion here*. And for something completely different . . . another site (another Haidakhan Babaji?) who is still around, sending email and running a forum. Good luck! Doesn't fit with "official" site in that they still have him "not around," though that is not so explicitly overt as before.

David Brant Berg
  M 1919-1994
aka Moses David
and Karen Elva Zerby 
  F b1950ish?
aka Mama Maria,  Katherine Rianna Smith, etc
The Family
    Dirt

American, org = The Family, before that Children of God. Berg's parents were unconventional evangelists, Berg himself into the End-Times game. Org image now blandified almost into mainstream, but ex-COGs remember a wilder and more dysfunctional time. Zerby, Berg's widow, presides reclusively over disintegrating empire, eg murder-suicide by once heir-apparent son Ricky Rodriguez, aka Davidito Smith, etc. Unconventional child abusers circling the drain. Even dirt sites dwindling as survivors get a life.

AC Bhaktivedanta 
 M   1894-1979     
aka Srila Prabhupada, Abhay Charan De 
 
Prabhupada     Anti    Neutral   MORE

"Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare; Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare." Says it all, except that George Harrison (RIP) was really into them. Succession politix, pedophilia, murder, have led to splintering and irrelevance, if there ever was relevance. 1000s of web pages split Sanskrit hairs, argue, celebrate minutest inanities. Guru Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. May have some value for speed freaks. 

Jesus Christ 
 M   4 BCE-30 CE 
aka Prince of Peace
 

Jesus.com.au
   
Gnostics

"Only Begotten Son of God." Peace, commandments, heaven, hell, family values, etc. Adherents have been  divisive and even bloodthirsty in pursuit of doctrinal purity. Patriarchal ideology has honoured neither women nor the environment. On the other hand there are the gnostics, St Thomas, etc. Some believe this trad has kept him alive and accessible. And there's "A Course In Miracles," said by enthusiasts to have been written by him. Long dead, killed by hierarchy, but benefit of doubt. 

Dadaji*    
 
M 1920-2003
aka Rev. Pandurang Vaijnath Athavale Shastri, Rev. Dada
Swadhyay Parivar

Indian, org = Swadhyay Parivar, prestigious awards, millions of enthusiasts from around the world. Five-fold approach: spiritual, social,  psychological, economic, political = community upliftment for betterment of all. Geeta/Vedic based. "Addresses the complexity of man functioning in a technological society and how to cope successfully and joyously, through divine inspiration and devotion to God (Bhakti)." Promotes low-caste members to Brahmin via Vedic education, has offended mainstream Brahmins. Benefit of doubt. 

Avatar Louix Dor Dempriey
   M   b1961
aka Louie Bonanno, Bhagavan Sri Pranananda
Louix DD
   MORE    Anti  
New Anti
    Comic Relief*
IMDb*

American (CA) "No house, home, church, or temple shall escape the dauntless ferocity of My love, the soul-wrenching permeation of My gaze, nor the salvation from all suffering granted by the eternal devotion of My existence among you." Bio is grandiose blather. Cap H's abound. Never mind that he claimed earlier, in published autobio, to be reincarnation of Lobsang Rampa. No benefit of doubt, circling the drain. Old site once archived by Archive.org now blocked, current one active with lots of info, Louix lives! Anti site a forum, discussing stepson Jasha's suicide after alleged sexual abuse. New Anti is forum update (p.144, scroll down to stepdaughter Ela's statement, she and her mother, Louix' wife Cosibella have left, Jasha's "suicide" now deemed murder). "Comic Relief" and "IMDb" link to his career as an actor.

Sri Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji 
  M   b1942 
aka Satyanarayana
Ganapati

 

Indian, born covered with holy ash, "Living Avatara . . . Pontiff of Avadhoota Datta Peetham . . . born fully realised in command of the eight Mahasiddhis, Dattatreya Avadhoota lineage." Devotional hymns, reciting the names of God and "inculcating the masses by instilling into them love of God through music." Unburned by fire, materializes Shiva Lingams, Sri Chakras, etc. Female principle believed supreme over Brahma Vishnu Shiva trinity. Heavy duty devotional Hinduism, benefit of doubt. 

Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi
  M   1941-2001
aka HDG RaRiaz Gohar Shahi
Gohar Shahi

Pakistani, name Gohar Shahi derives from his native village. Aims to appeal across all religious boundaries but main appeal is Muslim. Site mainly in text-as-image format, lots of "miracles" and pics turning up in monoliths on Mars prove "His Holiness Gohar Shahi is the Promised Messiah, Imam Mehdi and Kalki Avatar." Wikipedia supplies alternatives to purported disappearance in 2001 (exile in London, life sentence in Pak, d in 2001/3/4, etc). Tinfoil hat country but ya never know.

Joel S. Goldsmith 
   M    1892-1964

The Infinite Way

Official Site

Nondual Christian, healer. "There will never be more of God than there is now, never more of good, wholeness, abundance, perfection, infinity than at this moment. As we live in this moment of is-ness, the next moment unfolds as a continuity of Grace." Terminology and references mostly straight-arrow Christian. Hard to find good quote but benefit of doubt. 

Lord Gourasana
   M  ?
aka The Golden One, David Swanson
Miracle of Love  MORE 

"He is accompanied by the Heavenly Host of Light Beings, the True Selves." Said to have been manifested in physical form within the body of David Swanson (1950-1995, rumoured to have died of AIDS) during the years  1987-1995. Now channeled by Kalindi, his wife. See also The Lady, and compare story with Lobsang Rampa. Introduced The GMP® (=Gourasana Meditation Practice®), the Meditation for This Age®. I'm not making this up. NB site has reverted to vapid no-info mode.

Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaj*
   M   1929-2010

Govinda
 

Indian successor of Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar(a) Maharaj ("brother disciple" of Hare Krishnas founder Prabhupada), org = Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, West Bengal, many centers worldwide. Main practice seems to be chanting but not so explicitly to Krsna as in the HKs. SCSM has avoided some of the excesses of the HKs by having a clear succession and not the same internecine politix, but still afflicted by severe morality dicta. Intrigues between SCSM and HKs may have arisen mostly from HK side. Format does not resolve psychological issues but could be worse. See also MORE on P'pada

Gurudeva*
   M 1927-2001
aka Satguru Sivaya
Subramuniyaswami, Bob Hansen

Gurudeva

American went to India and Sri Lanka at age 20, initiated by Jnanaguru Yogaswami, in his life became one of the biggies in Saivite Hinduism, a mainstream if somewhat conservative branch, publisher of Hinduism Today magazine, multiple author, but, "Loving Ganesha"? "There is no book about this beloved elephant-faced God that is more complete." Whatever! Said to be sincere, but rumours of abuse too.

Anand Murti Guru Maa Ji*
 
F  b1966
Guru Maa

Indian, "Born on 8 April 1966, like a true Arian, is a crusader, thinker, an innovative person . . . illuminates our intellect and is the bestowal of effulgence" Has daily TV show in India. Said to be dynamic but website is Platitude City. Benefit of doubt.

Gurumayi Chidvilasananda 
 F  b1955 aka Malti ShettyGurumayi 
Leaving Siddha Yoga
 
New Yorker Article

Indian, Muktananda successor by virtue of ousting little brother Nityananda. Hinduish devotional structure, shaktipat, siddha yoga. Major dirt around coercion and coverups, though anti sites point mainly to Muktananda. Benefit of doubt.

Baba Hari Dass 
M  b1923

Hari Dass

Indian based in States. Silent since 1952, writes on a small chalkboard. Master yogi, Ayurveda, service and publishing. Weekly Satsang includes spiritual singing, meditation, and questions. "In his presence it is evident that he has found a way to be at peace despite the pain and confusion of the world." Simple, hardworking, solid rep, etc. Benefit of doubt.  

Daisaku Ikeda 
M  b1928

SGI 
Anti
(Rick Ross)
Exes 

Japanese heir of Josei Toda, "president" of Soka Gakkai Int'l, hugely influential multi-tentacled org. Though nominally about peace and dedicated to the teachings of obscure 13th c Buddhist monk Nichiren, SGI is only thinly a spiritual org, with deep connections to the Komeito (Clean Government) Party, the third largest political party in Japan. Right-wing politix + newspaper, celeb wooing for photo ops, big money. Exes site has enough scary political dirt to put him in (Moon) category.  

INRI Cristo*
M   b1948


INRI

Brazilian heard voice in head and left home at age 13. In 1979 God made it clear, now "I that speak to you am the First Begotten of GOD, Adam, and reincarnated as Noah, Abraham, Moses, David etc. afterwards as Jesus and now as INRI." Has hit hard on Catholic hypocrisies, been persecuted, crown of thorns shtick, into women's rights but "Truly, I am and I was authoritarian cause my FATHER is authoritarian." There ya have it. Very big in BR, said to be harmless, eats humiliation on TV for PR breakfast. Site in Portuguese and English. Benefit of doubt for now.

Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati   F  1941-2012
aka Joyce Green, Joyce Cho, Joya Santana, Joyce DiFiore

Jaya    Anti Site
 Anti Testimonial
and another

American (FL). God is ultimately beyond words, "Kali Yoga." In 1972 Christ told her to "teach all ways, for all ways are mine." Claims in 1973 to have met her guru, Neem Karoli Baba, (disputed). Also influenced by Ramana Maharishi and Shirdi Sai Baba. Service shtick. No doctrines or beliefs. Repudiated by Ram Dass. Anti site has new URL – once pressured by JSB org, now returned to old URL – mainly press clippings, including classic Ram Dass article. Benefit of doubt.

Jetsunma Ahkön Norbu Lhamo    F  b1949
aka Alice (Alyce) Zeoli, Catharine Burroughs

Anti Book   
Kunzang Palyul Chöling
American-Buddha Anti 
Anti recanted 

American, first Western woman recognized as a Tulku, in 1988, by HH Pema Norbu (Penor) Rinpoche and HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche as the incarnation of a 17th c Tibetan saint, Genyenma Ahkön Lhamo. "In Vajrayana, the teacher is considered to be the door to liberation." More devotional approach than most Tibetan types, having started her spiritual career as a new-agey channeler of Jeremiah et al. Rumours, site blandness knock rating down a tad, now back up, now down and now up again. A-B site now for members only, see Bugmenot.com if you don't wanna join. "Recanted" site about the principal accuser's change of heart, confession of immaturity etc. 

Swami Kaleshwar M b1973 aka Kali, Sri Sai Kaleshwara
Kaleshwar.org
MORE   FEEDBACK

Indian based in S. India. Instructed and initiated as a teenager by Shirdi Sai Baba. Stories of miracles, signs, etc + "interventions" by SSB to help his life along. Techniques abound but no rigid rules, big acceptance of the path of the heart. Still, all seems not right around Penukonda. "Seeing Mother Divine Means You’ve Reached the Top Rank." Talk of miracles, some "Golden Statements" drivel, benefit of doubt.

Sri Kalki Bhagavan 
  M   b1949
aka Avatar Sri Mukteshwar Bhagavan, Kalki Avatar, V Vijaykumar

Oneness University 
Anti 
FEEDBACK 

Indian, with wife Sri Amma Padmavati (b1954) created school to prepare children as "Dasas" for awakening others, int'l co-ord Sri Raniji, recently enlisted Ron Roth for US operation. Said to have enlightened many capable of passing that on (goal = 64,000, critical mass for world awakening). Earlier presentation lacked usual trappings of devotional approach, now WHOA!!: site & org legerdemain, shifting URLs and ENORMOUS MONEY. Freddy Nielsen (Living in Joy) WAS a big mover and shaker, now alienated, though negative references to Kalki and Amma now removed. World transformation in high gear, or ??? Anti site a GR page compiling links to other sites as none are definitive but this appears more and more to be a massive MLM scheme.

Sri Karunamayi
   F  b1958
aka Amma, Bhagavati Sri Sri Sri Vijayeswari Devi

Karunamayi
 

"Incarnation of Sarasvati, born on the most auspicious day in the Hindu calendar . . . spiritual austerities on behalf of humanity. . . control of the mind, admonishes negative tendencies such as anger, jealousy, greed, counsels us to always abide in the Supreme State." Service and meditation, did serious ten-year forest retreat. Site makeover: platitudes, auspicious day, avatar claim being scaled back? Benefit of doubt 

Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj    M    b1922
aka Shri Maharaj Ji, Ram Kripalu Tripathi
 
Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat
 
Stampede Deaths

"Proficient in all scriptures, not because he has ever studied them, but because he is the Embodiment of Knowledge. Each and every pore of his being chants the holy name, because he is the Incarnation of Devotion." Mantra for everyone = Radhey Radhey. No relation to Maharaji below, despite coincidence of  former org acronym DLM (Divine Love Mission). Claims to be the youngest Jagadguru ever (title granted at age 35). Grandiose by definition (Jagadguru = "world teacher") but benefit of doubt. Some sexual assault rumours, arrested (2007) in Trinidad on somewhat flimsy rape charges, those charges dropped due to insubstantial evidence (fabrication?) "Stampede Deaths" refers to the negligent deaths of 63+ people in a poorly managed freebie offering at Kripalu's main ashram in India in Mar 2010. As of two weeks later, K was still on the lam.

The Lady   
F   b1955ish
aka Lady Gayle
Miracle of Love
  MORE (on MOL)    MORE (on The Lady)

"The Lady is a spiritual Master and disciple of Kalindi La Gourasana and speaks the pure truth of Lord Gourasana . . . She maintains the sanctity of the Intensive experience with the utmost seriousness." Third leg of MOL®. NB site has reverted to vapid no-info mode. 2nd MORE page regards my retraction of something i had said earlier about her previous identity. And now (2010), with Kalindi's death, the only survivor, may not be able to keep MOL going. Stay tuned.

Maharaji*   M   b1957
aka Guru Maharaj Ji,
Prem Pal Singh Rawat
Prem Rawat
Maharaj Ji
(unavailable Jul '10, check again) 
PR Bio (thorough, anti, lots of 3rd party refs)

Started guru career at age 8 as Maharaj Ji, head of Divine Light Mission upon death of founder father. Lawsuit against mother to settle who was true Lord of Universe (he lost but got to keep his green card). Megabuck lifestyle. New org called Elan Vital – Ooops, that's gone. Now repackaged as Prem Rawat, bland corporate image, Rolls-Royce-like logo. Many anti sites hassled by lawyers and hacked, Ex-Premie.org survives, full of authoritative stories from ex-members. (See also Dirt for other Ex-Premie sites if EP down.) Seems to have no substance, but benefit of doubt.  See also Sat Pal (his politician brother)

Maitreya 
 
M   ?ish

 Share International
 Sai Baba connection
 MORE

"Descended in 1977 from His ancient retreat in the Himalayas. Emerged [veeeeeery] gradually into full public view so as not to infringe humanity's free will. Has been the stimulus for the fall of communism in the Soviet Union, the collapse of apartheid in South Africa, etc." Actually it was my cat, Numper, who did that. Share a project of Benjamin Creme, said to have concocted the whole thing. We are still waiting for Maitreya, like Godot.

Mother Meera 
  F   b1960

Mother Meera
  Anti

Indian, moved to a quiet village in Germany in 1982. "Offers Her children a direct transmission of Light that dissolves all barriers and changes the entire being. This Light can be received by all who are open, whether or not they have met Mother in the body." Interesting. Benefit of doubt. Domain (mothermeera.com) expired 08/03, grabbed by Nuage portal, current is a devotee site, incl page explaining split with Andrew Harvey

Meher Baba 
 
M   1894-1969 
aka Merwan Sheriar Irani 

Meher Baba

"Was embraced at age 19 by Hazrat Babajan, an ancient Mohammedan woman, who gave him God-Realization. From age 25 he maintained silence until the end of his life." "Don't worry, be happy." Claims of Avatarhood failed to impress Paul Brunton, the original guru-rater. The right stuff more or less, but where is he now? 

Rev. Sun Myung Moon 
  M   b1920

Unification Church
Anti   MoonWatch Blog

"In 1935, Jesus asked him to continue the work he had begun on earth nearly 2,000 years before." Tireless promoter of extreme right-wing views through Washington Times and other orgs. Has attracted more anti-cult material than anyone else in the biz. Big money, mind control, scary.  Blog keeps eye on political wheelings and dealings.

Sri Narayani Amma*
  M   b1976

Sri Narayani Peedam* 
and FEEDBACK

Indian (TN), actually male body as incarnation of Divine Mother, hence "Amma." Spiritual pursuits since childhood, transforming vision 1992 marked change from "him" to "Her." Practice based on a variety of pujas, service, centers in Canada. "Pujas are the path-finding stick and hand-held torch for Man's peace, as he gropes in the dark wilderness of a blind, material civilization." Benefit of doubt. Feedback page a visitor account of new Golden Temple.

Neem Karoli Baba   M   1900?-1973
aka Laxshmi Narayan Sharma, Maharaj-ji
NKB  TALES

Indian guru of Ram Dass, said to be the inspiration behind Be Here Now. "Feed everybody." This command to feed pertains not only to physical food, but to the food of the heart, direct and unconditional love. Living stream, impressive humility. 

Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi     F   1923-2011
aka Nirmala Srivastava, Nirmala Salve
Mataji    MORE
Dirt   FEEDBACK
SATeenz Forum 

"World's greatest living saint. Shri Mataji discussed Sahaja Yoga with Mahatma Gandhi [when] only twelve years old! . . Letter of Welcome granted by Mayor Philip W. Owen on behalf of the people of Vancouver, Canada." Impressive endorsement lifts her up to bogus status. SATeenz quotes classic cult manipulation tactic, re leaving or criticism: "The divine will withdraw complete attention from you." MORE an appalling letter to Dubya supporting his W-ar on Terrorism.

Nirmal Baba*
  M   b1957ish
aka Nirmal Darbar
  Nirmal
Anti

No bio-info, no teachings, site is in English only for booking info and links: Rs 2000 gets you a seat at massive public "samagams," where, if you're lucky, you may receive blessing sufficient to get well, get job, get home, etc. Besides this, only other function of site is to present videos of past samagams, all in Hindi and list TV schedule – on 20 channels daily. Anti site concerned mainly with generalities, no detailed dirt. Big, big, big, but appeal only in India and among expats. Yuck! Exploitive businessman with no presence.

Paramahamsa Sri Nithyananda Swamigal*  
M  b 1978
aka Rajasekaran
Dhyanapeetam    
Anti   FEEDBACK   
Anti2  "Sex Scandal" 
Money 

Indian. Lots of meditation, pilgrimages, 9-month death experience a la Ramana, healer, millennium man enlightened Jan 1, 2000, soon touring west, headed for big time. First "Divine Shop" was up, then other links. Benefit of doubt. See also SwamisWorld, US-based schedule, promo and info site, and if it's still there, his PET and other scan results. Anti page is one of many such at mainly guru-bashing Guruphiliac, search site for all. Second Anti page a blog with anonymous input, asking "penetrating" questions about gold, Osho-derivative material, with some insider info. "Sex Scandal" page regards video released in Mar 2010, news, comments, PR, etc. "Money" link concerns major bank stash, found by police investigating his operation.

Mahamandaleshwar Swami Nityananda
  M  b1964
aka Venkateshwar Rao, Subhash Shetty
Shanti Mandir
New Yorker article

Indian. Anointed co-successor of Muktananda at age 18, deposed / retired 3 years later. "When we meditate or chant, we are not trying to bring truth to our level; rather, we are elevating ourselves to the experience of what truth is." Benefit of doubt. See also Gurumayi (sister)

Prahlad Chandra Brahmachari 
 
M  1902-1982
 Sri P C B
a grittier bio

"Love is the main thing. You can do japa, chant mantras, or do worship, but if you do not have love then all these things are worthless. I ask Satchidananda Guru to give you peace." Said to have been a scandal-free celibate, widely revered in Bengal, not so known in West. Benefit of doubt.

Swami Prakashanand Saraswati 
  M   b1929

Barsana Dham  
Anti

Indian based in TX, turned down Shankaracharya gig, guru was Jagadguru Kripalu. "Thousands of souls Graced by Shree Swamiji and their minds established in pure devotion to Radha Krishn [sic] . . . 'Divine-love-consciousness' is a registered trademark of the International Society of Divine Love . . . creator Brahma 155.521793 trillion years ago, etc." Cosmology, trademark and pure devotion a tuff package. Anti page a search results page in Guruphiliac, tracing legal maneuvers after accusations of child molestation. Mar '11 Convicted in US court 

Swami Sri Premananda 
M b1951 
aka Prem Kumar
 
Premananda
Dirt
   
Justice for P

Tamil driven out of Sri Lanka by ethnic violence, Hindu-like practices. "Trust and faith in God, determination, self-confidence and patience are virtues that must be strengthened by tests from the Divine." Centers in many countries. No mention on his chaotic site that he is in jail for life since 1997 (rape, murder). Oh well, no one's perfect. Justice site has testimonials and evidence of miscarriage of justice.

Shri Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari
  M    b1927
aka Chariji
SRCM 
Sahaj Marg*
Anti
*

Indian, teaches "Sahaj Marg" – devotion-oriented "Meditation means to think continuously about one thing . . . object of meditation is Divine light in the heart and nothing else," also "pranahuti" (transmission – "speeds evolution and erases samskaras"). Centres all over, lineage from Shri Ram Chandraji Maharaj I & II (resp aka Lalaji, a Sufi Faqir, and Babuji). Said to be approachable and unpretentious in demeanor. 2nd site has tour and centre info. Benefit of doubt but . . . Anti site alleges lots of shenanigans, including takeover of RC org(s), history manipulation, links to many others with criminal and other allegations, French connections, lots of info. 

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa  
  M   1836-1886 

Ramakrishna Org
Totapuri story 
Kali's Child  
KC debunked
, and
Debunking refuted, and
KC documentation questioned

"Unalloyed love of God is the essential thing. All else is  unreal." Quirky devotion – "mystical homoeroticism" picture painted by controversial book, Kali's Child – tamed by naked sadhu nondualist Totapuri, who stayed to learn from him. Also Sri Sarada Devi, "The Holy Mother," 1853-1920. "Lived with Sri Ramakrishna as his spiritual companion, devoted wife, disciple, and always the nun. She was the embodiment of purity. Her mind was never sullied by the faintest breath of worldliness." And Swami Vivekananda, the articulate, energetic and peripatetic chief disciple who brought and explained him to the world (or butchered his pure heart and created a head-oriented system, depending on your pov). One of the greats but long time gone, living stream made murky with orthodoxy. 
Complete works of RK & V
 

Sri Srimad Swami Ramakrishnananda
  M   b1958 
aka (Rabeinu) David Har-Tzion, others see other column Ramakrishnananda

Chilean Jewish, dropped "Rabeinu" (our Rabbi) shtick*, repositioned in more varied guru role: Kabala, karate, yoga, chiropractic, Narahari Das Babaji. Hold everything! Now repositioned again in Hare Krishna devotional lineage, now Sivananda yogi, enlightened F devotees gone. Stay tuned! Holds satsangs in NY. Next site similar design, no mention of Har-Tzion. Then another new name, piling on the honorifics, same HK trip, broadened out lineage antecedents. Latest repositioning more mainstream Hindu with brand new history and lineage. Some old akas: HH Srila Ramakrishnananda Swami Vishnupada, HDG Yogacharya Sat Guru Bhaktivedanta Ramakrishnananda Swami Maharaja Still a flavour-of-the-week basketcase.

Baba Bhagwan Ramji  M   1937-1992 
aka Aghoreshwar Mahaprabhu Bhagwan Ram
Ramji

Self-realization while in early teens. "Aghor" literally means "that which is not difficult." "An Aghoreshwar is an Avadhut who has gone through all the various stages of Aghor and then has returned to society for the benefit of others." Hindu-flavoured service. Benefit of doubt.

Sathya Sai Baba  
  M    1926-2011  
aka Sathya Narayana Raju
Ocean of Love
Official Site
Sai Dirt
   Sai Sathyam 
"Miracles" exposed

"Second of three incarnations of the Sai avatar. First was Shirdi Sai Baba. Will remain in the present form until his mid 90's, then will appear as the third and final incarnation, Prema Sai Baba and will complete the Sai mission to usher in the golden age." Manifests Seikos and ashes. Lots of rumours of sexual abuse (prepubescent boys). Legerdemain and vanity could be clever cover for something interesting.  "'Miracles' exposed" vid shows alleged stage magic fakery in slow motion. Sai Sathyam "exposes" the alleged lies of SB's critics. Dying at age 84 = ten years earlier than his prediction.

Shirdi Sai Baba  
 
M    ?-1918 
 
Shirdi Sai Baba
 

Ministered to both Hindu and Muslim communities by spending alternate days living in a Hindu temple and in a Muslim mosque. "Though not alive in flesh and blood, he still lives and blesses his devotees wherever they may be." Much loved but long gone. Though the connection is refreshed and brought up to date by such efforts as this video blog.

Hazrat Khwaja Salahud-Din Shah  
  M    b1948ish 

 
Lamp of Unity

Sufi of eclectic learning, though Zikr (recitation) and invocation seem to be the big ones. "The zakir (one who invokes the Lord) must strive to control the mind during meditation. Disturbances and interruptions, both internal and external, must be disregarded and abandoned . . . Real meditation commences when concentration on the Name is unceasing." May not have wide appeal. Benefit of doubt.

Avdhoot Baba Shivanand Ji*
  M   b1962ish


Shivanand

No bio-info, "embodiment of unconditional love and divine wisdom. Known as the father of Indian healing, he revived the sacred wisdom of ancient India and opened the gates of esoteric knowledge for the common man. Babaji is a self realized master and a social reformer. He is selflessly engaged in various social and spiritual activities to realize his mission of healing the humanity." And with his faithful sidekick Guru Maa: "Shiv is incomplete without Shakti and Shakti is incomplete without Shiv." Fat, benefit of doubt.

Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa
  M b1948
aka Chris Butler

Science of Identity 

American (HI) founded Science of Identity in 1977. Some Hare Krishna forms, though they (ISKCON) disavow him. Shifting orgs and sites – many many bloggy sites with just a page of quotes and comments, often just on one Upanishad, as if that's the only scripture he has read, though other masters also figure in citations – suggest one step ahead of the law, no firm home base. And "Jagadguru." Deeply suspect. Formerly well-developed anti-site, CultofButler.com, has disappeared, lots of discussion at anti-cult sites and fora. Rick Ross' Forum full of interpersonal squabbling, try SkepticForum.com, with contribution from CofB founder.

Prem Tyohar  
  M   b1970ish 
aka Moshe Kastiel
Tyohar    MORE

Israeli rave DJ, Osho disciple in biz for himself. "Have no destination, and you will not get lost." Uninformative website. Rumours of visitors held hostage for retroactive fee increases in new tropical paradise commune in Costa Rica. Lightweight.  

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