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Beware of fake Gurus

Posted in kashmir by Sandeep on June 4, 2017

the fake trika guru

The word ‘Narcissism’, has a very interesting etymological history. Narcissus was a handsome Greek youth who fell in love with his reflection in a pool of water. It is also a synonym for a self-ntered person.
Well, Does that have any connection with what I am about to write.
Yes, It does have. Read Patiently.
KP’s are a very Humble community. They have been struggling to save their identity since King ‘Shahmir’ established his dynasty in Kashmir. They were brutally tortured by the progeny of Shamir. Sikander Butshikan, it is believed burnt down 7 mounds of ‘janau’ (sacred thread) of those KP’s who refused to convert, he burnt another 6 mounds of ‘Janau’ of those KP’s whom he had forcibly converted.
KP’s had been ousted 7 times from Kashmir. The seven exoduses took place because KP’s followed their ancient Religion and Tradition. In spite of all the hardships, Kashmiri Pandits have protected the esoteric philosophy of The Trika, also known as Kashmir Shaivism .
Brief History of Trika
This ancient philosophy is primarily non-dualistic . The philosophy was taught by Lord Shiva to Maharishi Durvasa-who taught this philosophy to his disciples :Trambkaditya, Aamardak, and Srinath.The knowledge imparted to Trambkaditya is essentially what in modern times is known as ‘Kashmir Shaivism’.
Not much is known about this knowledge until 8th-9th A.d. It is during this time that Lord Shiva guided the sage Vasugupta to go to ‘Shankar Pal’ and see once again the ‘Shivsutras’-The aphorisms of Shiva-inscribed on a Boulder. The boulder is known as Shankar Pal.In a way, It was Sage Vasugupta who revived Kashmir Shaivism.
This philosophy produced great saints like Kallata, Bhattpradymun, PragyaArjun, Mahadev Bhatt, Srikanth Bhatt, Bhaskar, Divakar, Lakshmangupt, Somananda, Utpaldev,Kshemraja. But it was Acharaya Abhinavgupta-The multitalented Genius who probably worked most to present this Philosophy as we see it today.
This philosophy engulfed whole of Kashmir not as a sect but way of life , and was practiced and passed over to next generation of Guru-Shishyas secretly by the KP’s . Never in the History of Trika, any attempt to dilute this philosophy was made.The last modifications were done by Acharya Abhinavgupta who merged the philosophy of Krama, Kaula, Pratibijya and Spanda into what is now known as ‘Trika’. And it still has maintained its sanctity and the order of Guru-Shishya Parampara. This parampara is known as Trika Parampara.
In recent times, Trika Parampara has produced Gurus like Swami Ram, Swami Vidyadhar, Mahtabkak .But arguably the greatest of them in the last century was HH Ishwar Swaroop Swami Lakshmanjoo. Swamiji laboriously worked on this philosophy and under his tutelage; many translations of the crucial texts took place.
It will be pertinent to mention here Swami Muktananda. He is accredited with taking the philosophy of Trika to the west. But he too had to learn this philosophy in company of HH Swami Lakshmanjoo. Many westerners showed interest in this Philosophy and headed to the Ashram of Swamiji at Ishbar, Srinagar. All these Western Scholars give credit to their understanding of Trika to Swamiji and these Scholars meticulously have so far worked to save the originality of ‘Trika’.
I would like to mention one person in particular here-Mr. John Hughes. He had recorded many teachings of Swamiji; and he presented the teachings as it is. He didn’t even change a Comma(,). Now that is what can be termed as a true practioner of Trika. And that is why he commands so much of respect from all the students of Trika.
But lately, some people are trying to sell the philosophy of ‘Trika’ and trying to modify it by coming out with new texts that they have copy pasted from Trika and Advaith Vedant. This is plagiarism as they have not given credit to the original texts from which they have made their so-called-sutras.
Brief Explanation of our sacred Texts
Be it Mahabharta, or Bhagwat Geeta, or Vijnan Bhairava Tantra or Yog Vashist, or for that matter any other religious text of Hindus. In most of the cases, it starts with a dialogue. Like in Vijnan Bhaiva Tantara, there is a dialogue between Shiva and Parvati, and Shiva explains the techniques of meditation. Yog Vashist starts with a dialogue between Sage Sutiksna , sage Agastya and sage Agnivesya and then Agnivesya narrates the dialogue that took place between Sage Vashist and Bhagwan Ram.
Hindu religious texts have almost always quoted from the conversations that took place between two sages or Dieties. It is believed that whatever a devotees asks from his Guru in modern times has already been asked in the past by a Devotee to his Guru.
Whenever any genuine Disciple asks the question to the Genuine Knowledgeable Guru; the Guru always refers to some dialogue that took place in the past and explain by quoting from our ancient texts. This is the parampara of the Hindus since time immemorial.
But fake gurus are exceptions.
This is the story of One such Pseudo-Guru , who is trying to enter Trika and use KP’s for his own personal and Business gains.
The Story
I and my friends had a first hand experience of one such Fellow. He calls himself ‘Guru Gabriel Pradipika’. He has a facebook page as well as a website.
Since Trika is known to a small circle; Hence whenever A follower of this philosophy sees someone following the same philosophy; an instant bondage is created. Gabriel was contacted by a KP known to us. Then some more KP’s started following him on his FB Page. He had told his KP acquaintance that he is from Argentina and now living in Russia. He claims to come from the lineage of Muktananda.
His website is full of Kashmiri Shaivism details which are all copied from different books & texts and it seems he has sheepishly copied all works of many scholars and hence does not give any source to his research. Seeing his work we few people who are studying kashmiri Shaivism decided to Host a programme for him on Trika at New Delhi, Jammu and Srinagar. Having a Satsanga and propagating Kashmir Shaivism seemed to be a good idea.
Here comes the twist.
In Delhi
This friend of mine who was incharge of organizing the programme, incidentally met him at Delhi Airport ( Both were coming back from Mumbai). My friend was delighted to see him along with his wife Natalie Ambika along with one south Indian boy. He accosts Gabriel, extends his hand, and warmly greets him and introduces himself as one of the organiser of his Delhi programme. Gabriel reacts coldly and does not show any regard for him. My friend briefs him about the programme , that was to be held the next day. Without listening to what my Friend is conveying them, The wife of Gabriel announces that they will be bringing their donation box with them. She tells that she wants to collect the donation. My friend is taken aback, but he composes himself and agrees his head in approval. My friend had arranged an interview of Gabriel with Editor of India’s leading newspaper. The same was conveyed to Gabriel who looked puzzled and showed his disapproval. He conveyed to his south Indian disciple sai that he is interested in Press conference but not in an interview. Having said this he did not communicated with my friend however my friend also told him that other scholars like Dr Rajnish Mishra HOD kashmiri Shaivism from JNU, Dr Ravi Dhar from Sri Aurbindo will speak along with Dr Anusheel Munshi from Swami lakshmanjoo Ashram. By hearing this Gabriel looked non interested however he reacted when my friend told him that a small video footage from Sri Sri Ravi Shanker shall be played to this he said, “Who is Ravi shanker”? His face turned red. However my friend again conveyed to him that you shall be given 2 hours to speak to this he turned towards Sai (his so called disciple) whether he has some notes ready so that he can read them and speak it next day. Later my friend left.
This first interaction makes him uncomfortable and he starts to doubt their credibility. He calls me in the late evening and apprises me about the whole incident. I console him by saying that Gabriel may have been tired. We hang up.
He again calls me next day, early morning, and announces that Gabriel has refused to come without giving any logical explanation. Gabriel had told him that he will not share the Dias with anyone. He was pondering whether inviting Sri Sri Ravi Shankar pissed him off, or whether the presence of the two other Trika scholars agitated him. Or the combination of all these pissed him off.
Or was it that He might have got exposed in the company of the Kashmir Shaivism Scholars like Sh. M.L.Pandita and Dr. Rajneesh Misra.
My friend had guessed right as on enquiry from our KP friends in US who called Gabriel it came out that he had certain demands like he did not want any Swami lakshmanjoo devotees or other scholars in the program. He laid out that it should be only him and his selected few devotees. This last minute demand made the organizers drop him from the panel and they proceeded ahead without this fakester.
The programme was a success. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar too sent his blessings to this programme in the form of his Video Message. This is what is called Humility. The 3 hour satsanga was intense and the Audience enjoyed the satsanga profoundly.
Later on, we were provided sufficient evidence , that proved it beyond Doubt that Gabriel had come to India in order to project himself as a Guru in the order of ‘Trika Parampara’. His self-centered nature, and his lack of knowledge of Trika parampara deterred him to attend the programme. Attending a Programme where Spritual Guru like Sri Sri Ravi Shankar too had a presence would have dwarfed him as a so-called-Guru.And since he is being watched by some of his friends from Argentina and Russia ; The respect that Sri Sri would have attracted would have deflected those friends of his to the Indian Guru.He wants to use good name of real trika guru and the sublime tradition without having any respect or even acceptance for the existing scholars and practitioners of the lineage. Hypocrisy, falsehood and treachery at its best.
In spite of spending many days in Delhi and Jammu; he did not visit the Ashram of HH Swami Lakshmanjoo even once. See his duplicity, he blatantly uses the picture of Swamiji in the background, wherever he does a programme with his coterie .He is so particular to be called a Guru, but refers to HH Swamiji as just Lakshmanjoo. He just wants to use good name of HH Swami Lakshmanjoo and the sublime tradition for his selfish designs . He also does not have any respect or even acceptance for the existing scholars and practitioners of the lineage. Hypocrisy, falsehood and treachery at its best.
It was a divine plan not to get Trika polluted by a Pseudo-Guru. Gabriel later moved to Jammu to project himself as a Guru.He spent some days in Haridwar and Rishikesh too before coming to Jammu.
At Jammu
He had got a programme booked for himself at Jammu from one of his devotees. This KP devotee had accompanied him to Haridwar.After observing him closely, he realizes that he is no Guru and quietly distanced himself from him. In order not to dilute the Trika Parampara, he cancels his programme that was to be held at Sharda Mandir, Jammu.
Gabriel becomes desperate now. He wants so desperately to use any of the Ashrams of the KP’s in order to to get legitimately accepted by his so-called-followers. A few naïve KP’s are still helping him in a good faith. They manage to get another KP Ashram booked for him at Sed Bab Ashram, Paloura. By now, he has got himself exposed as a pseudo-Guru, some of his earlier –admirers-turned –detractors warn the management of Sed Bab not to give him space as it would be an insult to the Saint Sed Lal-who was an epitome of simplicity and Bhakti. Unlike the Narriscist-Pseudo-Guru.
He manages to manipulate his gullible KP devotees again and pressurize them to find a new venue for him. This time they manage to convince the Management committee of Anand Ashram, Purkho. Again they are warned by some KP’s not to let him use the facilities of this Ashram. They too cancel his programme after finding him as a controversial person.
The inflated- ego of Gabriel is hurt beyond his expectations. He somehow manages to organize his programme with his coterie of 5-6 people at a secret location, most probably at the house of his KP host. He has posted pictures on his FB wall, where in he is getting his ‘Aarti’ done by a young unmarried Girl. This is another example of his Egomaniac mind and shows his blatant disrespect for Trika and Hindu parampara.
Pravachans of Gabriel
A Guru is an epitome of Humility. He does not beg to be called a ‘Guru’.The Gurus of Trika had always used a language that reflected their gentleness and compassion.
Some Students of Trika, after realizing that he has come to do ‘Business’ on the name of Trika, tried to confront him. Gabriel opened the gates of Billingsgate, and hurled invective on them. His language reflected the state of mind he is in.
He might have realized his folly, and managed to remove most of the profane language and abusive adjectives , he used for those who questioned him.
But, some people, who were keeping a watch on him, managed to save some of the screen shots and will be shared with you all. They are all self explanatory.
Gabriel wants Kashmir!
In order to get himself accepted as a ‘Guru’, He is so desperate to go to Kashmir, pose some photos at those places that are associated with Hindu-Religion, and fool his western followers, by making them think that he is a Guru from ‘Trika Parampa’.
I think he should be stopped. KP’s have protected the philosophy of ‘Trika’ since time immemorial . We have the highest regard for all including those western practioners who are genuinely interested in this philosophy and who respect the tradition of Trika.
But there is no room for Egoists .There are two schools of Trika existing in Kashmir.The major one is Ishwar Ashram Trust founded by HH Swami Lakshmanjoo and another is Ram Trika Ashram, Paloura. Gabriel is not associated with any of these schools .
My conclusion
Trika Parampara that has produced some of the most knowledable saints and Gurus from Utpaldeva, to Somananda, from Acharaya Abhinavgupta to Kshemraja to Swami Lakshmanjoo can not be diluted for the satisfaction of someone’s inflated ego..
This Schools of thought is not meant for those people who does not respect the Parampara. This pseudo-Guru should be exposed completely.
There should not be any room for Narcissists in Trika.
I would ask so called “ Guru Gabriel” to show one evidence of his paramparic connection with Swami Lakshmanjoo or other school of Trika . When was he initiated and by whom in Trika tradition ?
When and Who from the tradition appointed him to be Guru ?
Why is he creating delusion in masses by propogating new parabhairava yoga by falsely claiming his Trika connection ?
I am ready to debate and reason . Does he have an answer .

(By Vinod K)