September 27, 2015

India: Far Right Sanatan Sanstha founder's Jayant Balaji Athavale - Atheist turned guru (Govind Maad, in The Times of India)

The Times of India

Sanatan Sanstha founder's path: Atheist to guru

Sanatan Sanstha founder's path: Atheist to guru
Sanatan Sanstha founder Jayant Balaji Athavale.
MARGAO: Before launching Sanatan Sanstha, its founder Jayant Balaji Athavale, 73, was a consultant clinical hypnotherapist in Mumbai. He's said to have extensively researched clinical hypnosis in India and in the UK, where he was between 1971 and 1978.

He returned to Mumbai in 1978 and began practising as a hypnotherapist and in 1982 founded the Indian Society for Clinical Hypnosis and Research.

During these years he noticed that 30% of his patients failed to recover completely. Later, he learned that some patients with whom he had little success, recovered after visiting holy places, remaining in the company of spiritually-evolved people or performing religious rituals. Athavale, in those days, was an atheist (a Sanstha claim) and this realisation prompted him to explore the reasons behind these cures, a Sanstha spokespersons told TOI. Athavale realised that the science of spirituality was superior to physical and psychological sciences.

As he began to propagate this knowledge, he realised there were spiritual causes not just behind illnesses, but all major events and most problems. In 1987, he wrote a book on the science of spirituality .

In 1988, he started free-ofcharge workshops on spirituality in Mumbai and in 1999 founded the sanstha under the guidance of Bhaktaraj Maharaj of Indore.

Since then, the sanstha has been conducting spiritual activities in Goa, Maharahstra and Karnataka. Since 2004, Athavale stopped making public appearances at his Ramnathi ashram. Athavale is married to a Goan, his wife is from Borim, South Goa.

Typically, his days start at 6am with a puja. He then goes for a massage before eating breakfast. He reads a lot, has written more than 200 books and guides writers on spiritual works.