Hyderabad, Jun 18 (PTI) Former union minister Arun Shourie has alleged that many of today’s godmen are “traders” who run real estate and financial empires and are in contrast with those of yesteryears who provide personal solace to many of us.

“Ramakrishna Paramahansa and Ramana Maharshi, the real miracle of their lives was the solace they provided…their contribution and their enormous influence in the course of our country.

“Today reading about them…lifts us up and provides personal solace to many of us,” Shourie said at the release of his latest book ‘Two Saints’ here last evening.

Terming Ramakrishna Paramahansa and Ramana Maharshi are the two great saints of India, he said that his book examines their experiences from whatever is today known about brain and also about their peripheral experiences.

This book has relevance in many other respects also for instance in one contrast between their utter simplicity and humility and the pride of the godmen today, said Shourie.

“Godmen today run real estate empires, financial institutions empire, cosmetic and pharmaceutical empires in the name of yoga and all sorts of things,” he alleged.

“Such is their influence…that the authorities have repeatedly found their products to be contaminated and their advertisements to be false and they have given the rulings, but you will find only small mention and no follow up action by any government,” he claimed.

So, he said, there is great contrast and we must hold such fellows (today’s godmen) to the high standards of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Ramana Maharshi in their simplicity, in humility and in their attainments.

Shourie further said Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Ramana Maharshi, embodied the “essence of our tradition and the essence of our tradition is the inner directed search.” According to Shourie, today all the emphasis is on the externals. “Are you a vegetarian or not?. Externals do not matter…It was the inner directed search and their attainments in depths which we should focus on,” he said and alleged that “these fellows will destroy our tradition of looking inwards.”

“Politicians who use religious symbol and these godmen of today are traders in our religion…such organisations also have nothing to do with our religion and tradition and essence of our tradition which Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Ramana Maharshi embodied.

“The great insights which they gained in that inner directed search is the pearl of great price which India can still offer to the world,” he said.

One of the reasons for remembering Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Ramana Maharshi is that they lived and embodied inner directed search and reached unimaginable depths, he said.

Earlier, former Reserve Bank of India Governor Y V Reddy released the book.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.