In India, Cosmic Meets Commercial

Leveraging their spiritual appeal across a growing global base of devotees, Indian gurus and "godmen," a particular type of charismatic ascetic, are belying their poverty-stricken image to climb onto the commercial bandwagon to get rich. Some Indian spiritual leaders have long been accustomed to luxury. The Maharhishi Mahesh Yogi, guru to the Beatles and a long list of other celebrities, built a vast organization whose US assets alone were estimated at US$300 million and loved to be seen traveling in his Rolls-Royce sedan.

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