Few things to note here in this description of an Indian religious leader's life and work.
First is that when governments are failing or are unable to function, these religious - social movements frequently fill the void. It's a fascinating phenomena. For example people worry about Islamist or Hindu or such like movements. But this is because governments give them space because of their incompetence.
Second is to note how single prophets and guru based religious movements can turn into long term movements. India Middle East etc etc all give rise to movements like this. Think of the Ramakrishna mission which is a broad mission now. Same with like Narayan guru. Or shirdi sai baba. Scientology. Etc etc. Islam and Christianity also started with individual prophets like this.
Third is that religion is frequently associated with money. It's like flies t honey. Very common to see cultish behaviour.
So this kind of behaviour isn't strange or unknown. People have this bizarre tendency to need to have gurus and prophets. I personally find it bizarre, just like I find people needing drugs or drink to be merry. But logic or arguments don't work on these people. Seriously. I used to argue and debate once but nowadays I just give a jaundiced look and back away slowly and stay away from them. People who can act irrationally like this can't be trusted to be around when you leave your guard down.
Still one good thing, give hugs son. That's great and wonderful behaviour. Hugs make so many things better :)
Amma’s Multifaceted Empire, Built on Hugs - NYTimes.com
THERE are entourages — and then there is the retinue of Mata Amritanandamayi, a 59-year-old Indian guru known simply as Amma, or “mother.” On Friday, she began a two-month North American tour during which she will be accompanied by 275 volunteers. They plan to ride in four buses across the continent from Bellevue, Wash., to Marlborough, Mass., visiting 11 cities, including New York. And at each stop along the way, Amma will sit on stage for 15 hours at a stretch, greeting her thousands of devotees.