Anyone who has carved his or her identity around religion for personal economics – I AM NOT A BIG FAN. Because they easily get to that place where they leverage their messianic identity to manipulate the followers.
(Courtesy: The Hindu)
Both Sadhguru and Zakir Naik earn an awful lot from their seminars and shows where, drawing from their religious beliefs, they preach, answer people’s questions, and help others.
(Courtesy: The Week)
Now, of course, they and their followers might credit their advice as something of “lifestyle tips” or general advice. But more often than not, whatever they say, it has the undertone of religious essentialism.
If I want guidance in life, I would rather hear Sandeep Maheshwari and Robin Sharma than Sadhguru and Zakir Naik .
But, let’s look at these two – often treated as a cult figure by their followers – individually.
He’s an absconder, sitting in Malaysia right now. He is booked for hate speech. A lot of his speeches is pure Islam vs. *insert any religion*. He bashes others’ religions with the garb of religious scripts and scientific whataboutery.
Not surprisingly, he has amassed a big following of radical and near-radical Muslims who blindly follows everything he says.
Sadhguru, on the other hand, speaks a lot on spiritual enlightening. Thankfully, unlike Naik, he doesn’t bring religion in his every other sentence.
In fact, he talks about the religious singularity, which provides him the moral high ground.
However, even when served with universal wisdom, his ideas and narratives fall in sync with religious beliefs. Now, that isn’t wrong per se. But I am opposed to the idea of influencing people and making money from religion.
Sadhguru is also a smart businessman. With the motivation industry becoming worth billions of dollars, he’s doing fairly well on YouTube and social media platforms.
And, oh, he’s also accused of murdering his wife.
Both Sadhguru and Zakir Naik have a cult following who, when they see their preachers questioned and criticized, do not care about getting extreme and abusive in their responses.
I am pretty sure this answer might trigger many on either side. Their response and opinions would expose their blindfold faith in both public figures.
But to sum up the answer to your question, I don’t have a much higher opinion on Sadhguru and Zakir Naik. I don’t think about them… And neither should anyone. If you want to learn about religion lifestyle and motivation, find someone who’s credible enough and NOT someone who wears their religion and spirituality on their sleeves.