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Kuta Tapasvi – Fake Yogi

A tapasvi is a holy person who attains spiritual powers by leading a life of austerity and tapas (penance). Kuta Tapasvi is a person who pretends to be a tapasvi but in reality is very far from it. In the field of Yoga we sometimes come across rogues who cheat others, with false promises or tall claims. Such deceptive gurus are described as Kuta Tapasvi.

Daksha Smriti (VII 37-38) describes fake yogis in this way:
“They go on discussing how they extract money from men in power like government officers and administrators, how they earn favors from the rulers under various pretexts. Among those who come into their contact, they spread envy and conflict. They encourage disciples to flock round them for their own selfish motives.”

A Kuta Tapasvi is however the exception rather than the rule. It is because of this, that genuine yogis and spiritual discipline has been cherished for centuries. About such true yogi Daksha Smriti states:

The place where a true yogi resides becomes sacred just by his presence. No need to say how immensely beneficial it would be for those who come into contact with him (VIII.47)

Adi Shankaracharya has aptly described such pseudo yogis in Aparokshanubhuti (verse 133) by saying –

“They are experts in discussing Brahman, but inwardly they are devoid of the necessary disposition, and they are quite avaricious. Truly, they are the most ignorant, they come to the world of sorrow again and again.”

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