Home > Commercial Religion, General, Hall of Shame > The 600 crore Shakti Amma

The 600 crore Shakti Amma

December 30, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

I have absolutely zero tolerance for the new age gurus who claim themselves and/or everybody to be God. Thirty-one year old Mr. Shakti Amma seems to be the latest addition to the list.

Claiming himself to be an ‘avatar’ (divine incarnation) of the ‘Narayani’ aspect, he has built a Rs.600 crore ($153 million) temple for Mahalakshmi (the consort of Lord Vishnu) and gilded the outside and insides of the temple with gold. The website of this new kid on the ‘I am a God’ block describes him as being capable of exhibiting mystical powers (siddhis) and that has done so many miracles.

*Sigh* As long as gullible people are around, these ‘avatars’ will never cease to manifest every now and then.

  1. Ron Gold
    May 28, 2008 at 12:31 AM

    My wife and I recently attended a meditation in NYC using the chants of Shakti Amma. Though not divine…it was nevertheless a very positive, peaceful and subconscious-pleasing experience.

    “Avatar” or not, he definitely has something “good” to offer. Just sayin’.


  2. May 28, 2008 at 9:22 AM

    Mr. Gold,

    What you have stated is the root cause of the problem. The meditation and yoga and what not is no something exclusively taught by people like S.A (and many, many more new age ‘gurus’).

    Many people think that because they experience a good feeling when following certain meditation or chanting, they should ignore the outrageous claims made by the person ‘marketing’ such stuff.

    Yoga in itself is just the means. And I have a problem when some people put themselves or their assumed aspects as the “End” to be reached.

  3. Raghu
    December 9, 2008 at 2:48 PM


    I have recently visited this GOLDEN TEMPLE of this self proclaimed God.
    Initially it was really a good feeling being there. It looked well organised(not sure if it could handle as many people as many other piligrim centres do). The temple was also very beautifully build. I thought it was a great feeling.
    But, as I spent more time there, I slowly started getting irritated by the presence of MR. S.A, on everything, the banners, songs, the souvenirs, and what not.. literally everything. His presence there was so very overwhelming, that I was left wondering if I’d actually been to Goddess’ Lakshmi’s temple or this fellow’s.
    To summarize, the visit felt anything but like a visit to temple. The only concession is perhaps that I could see nice building with good architectural value.. not sure if the spiritual value is also that good.

  4. December 9, 2008 at 10:10 PM

    Mr. Raghu,

    Even though I haven’t been to the place, I can understand your feelings.

    This is exactly how the modern ‘swamis’ (male and female) live… a life of self-cheating, believing themselves to be God, or his incarnation. And those who believe in these new age swamis commit what is the equivalent of spiritual suicide.

    I am sorry if this comes across as being harsh to ‘some’ people… this is the truth folks, whether you like it or not.

  5. Neelakandan
    November 2, 2009 at 1:09 PM


    I have recently visited this temple.
    At the very begining they started their collection to protect our shoes, cellphones.
    Then, they collect Rs.100 for non waiting visit.. If you refuse to use this option.. you have to wait in a ‘cell’ for half an hour.
    In that ‘cell’ they sell coffee, pop corn, ice cream, biscuts etc.. I confused is it temple or cinema theater.
    After they finish their sales, they open the door and put us in a loooong path.
    The path have a lot of shops. They not allow you to refuse any one of the shop. They divert the path towards the shops near by.. ie, you must visit all the shops in the campus and view all the things they show which you never wanted in your life.
    The path is really so long. I suggests them to keep our childern also in a bag and collect Rs. 100 to protect them.
    After a long walk we enter the inner circle. The golden temple surrounded by water with lot of coins in the basement.
    We can see the statue of the main goddess in main temple only.. But you can see the person called “amma’s” statue, images, holy words, videos, speech, song about him – in the entire temple.

    Who is he.. what his message.. we never know.
    You can see Money, welth and the human power in the temple.
    Not god or divine power.

    They spent lots of space, energy and manpower.
    Lots of money in the form of coin, sunk in the water.

    They have only three thing.. Money , Money and More Money.. Thats all.

  6. November 2, 2009 at 1:23 PM

    I am sorry that you had to go this experience. You should have done what I did.

    When my parents sort of planned a visit there, I flatly refused to even go near that place.

    The ‘amma’ is no different from so many popular personalities who claim themselves to be incarnations of Gods or Goddesses… they all finally end up becoming rich and flaunt it everywhere.

  7. SivaReddy
    February 5, 2010 at 7:42 PM

    I have been to this temple yesterday.I felt very happy to see the infrastructure,park maintenance ,the pavements ,beautiful Golden temple and the Godess Lakhmi narayani.Once i crossed main temple, i am slowly getting the doubt by seeing all the banners,photos on each and every product they sell,whether it is temple of godess lakhmi or S.A.. Finally concluded myself it is one beautifully built godess lakhmi temple and another selfish S.A. slowly wanted to become one more new GURU.Anyway we welcome his efforts to do service for children with money earned in good or bad ways.

  8. February 6, 2010 at 12:26 AM

    Though, these kind of charlatans are not the only reason I speak against blind faith, but yes, somewhere at the back of my mind, it does serve as the impetus to write and argue.

    I had done my internship in Shirdi, and it was so easy to make out what kind of business it was; largely controlled by the local politicians, and how untrue miracles were propagated deliberately to increase the inflow.

    One of the worst things I had witnessed was a guy in mid-forties who was about to undergo a coronary bypass in a week had collapsed in the long queue and died despite the strict warning by his treating doctors to not take stress. He had been brought to the firs aid center of which I was in charge. I had attempted to resuscitate him, but he was already dead. He was survived by his wife and two kids who had barely entered their adolescence. That was one of the most painful sights in my life. I did not get angry at Sai Baba, because for me since I had turned 16, whether God could perform “miracles” or not had stopped being the criterion for his/her existence. But I felt really angry at that guy’s stupidity. I mean, he would have been alive, and his family happy, had he shown some common sense.

  9. February 6, 2010 at 12:30 PM

    Spirituality has indeed become a business these days. I have no respect for people who claim themselves to be God (and no, Sai Baba (either Shirdi or Puttaparthi) is NOT God… not even close, but all hell will break loose now lol!), or claiming to possess some cure all medicines like this one Munir Khan, who even advertised himself so much with a cure for cancer and such.

    The guy who died… he could have stayed back home and prayed from there, if that was all he meant to do. He *might* have been alive otherwise. (You should know better… that in medical profession, no guarantees can be given.)

    Well, “miracles are for fools”… that’s what my teacher said to me.

  10. February 6, 2010 at 8:36 PM

    Yes, I agree he “could” have been alive! I don’t talk in strictly probabilistic language all the time. 😉

    But yes, the most suspicion-inviting trigger, i.e., the physical stress he chose to take was there. And hence, the conclusion. 🙂

  11. Help the Poor
    October 12, 2010 at 8:03 AM

    “Claiming himself to be an ‘avatar’ (divine incarnation) of the ‘Narayani’ aspect, he has built a Rs.600 crore ($153 million) temple for Mahalakshmi (the consort of Lord Vishnu) and gilded the outside and insides of the temple with gold.”
    They should make a God’s theme park, they can sell idols, vibuthi, holy water, miracles. You know all this money that people waste spending on these fools would be better spent helping the poor, it uplifts the poor and is spiritually rewarding.
    Form self help co-ops and help the poor, microloans and financing are another good way to help. This is the problem we have politicians think they are God and Sadhus think they are God, they all die and end up on the funeral pyre anyway. And the people who put their faith in these frauds they are asli fools.

    • February 2, 2013 at 9:27 AM

      >>Form self help co-ops and help the poor
      And how often does that happen. There are many so-called (pseudo)-“rational and intellectual” individuals like you. Yet I don’t see any good movements to help the poor.

      You know why? Because everybody is selfish to a certain degree. There are different priorities in everybody’s lives. Nobody can concentrate entirely on “helping the poor” as a full time employment. If Babas and Gurus like these spring up (for whatever intentions they have). and help the needy and poor (which they will have to do to save their “image”), I am all up for it.

      Esp. because they don;t blow themselves up amongst innocent people.

  12. October 13, 2010 at 6:21 PM

    Interesting sentiments.

    But I am more curious on how you group microloans, self help groups, financing and other such “things that help the poor” to be spiritually rewarding.

  13. mh prasadu (sarma)
    May 29, 2011 at 4:15 PM

    Dear All,

    in our country, presently what it going is :- India Vs. Bharat. 40 Crore Indians are still not having electricity and 10 Crore Households with 8+crore children are living with DARKNESS. “TAMASOMA JYOTIRGAMAYA” & DEEPAM JYOTI PARABRAHMA SWAROOPAM – now these quotes has needed a god-man like SHAKTI AMMA to bring the LIGHT to these LIGHTING EXCLUDED PEOPLE n children across the country. Swamy Vivekananda told the same that Bharat Lives in its Kuteer of Common Man.

    it will be good that the Hindus who are having capacity and ability they must do service to the society and needy than just donating money and gold to the temples because Manavseva is Madhava Seva.

    MH Prasadu

    • May 29, 2011 at 5:50 PM

      Sorry if I hurt your sentiments… but this “Manavseva is Madhava Seva” stuff is such BS.

      I am not saying that helping others, esp. the less fortunate ones is bad.

      But this whole idea of just helping other people get electricity, education, healthcare and stuff being a full fledged spiritual path is just a placebo.

      • February 2, 2013 at 9:19 AM

        And the placebo effect always works.

        • February 2, 2013 at 8:24 PM

          Yeah, sure… I mean, who would want to follow a disciplined regimen, be austere, study ancient treatises etc. when there always seems to be an easier way? Only, with the placebo path, it ends in what I have come to understand as spiritual suicide. Unfortunately, the way that works, one probably wouldn’t know about the end result until after death in this life. And so, it really doesn’t matter for the majority then. Yep. Placebo works fine for people who would WANT that path.

  14. mh prasadu (sarma)
    May 29, 2011 at 4:19 PM


    my request to Hindu Brothers,

    pl dont just donate to temples which are now occupied by the Political Goons (Pseudo-Secularists) and Matts are by selfish Swamijis.

    a request to the self-styled god mans like Balasai, Asaram Bapu, Kalki Bhagavan and so on – please stop preaching but start practicing the Dharma of Service to the depressed.

    else one day we all have to give confession infront of GOD.

    • February 2, 2013 at 9:20 AM

      So, do you want us to donate it to masks where mullahs teach how to be a terrorist?

      • February 2, 2013 at 8:26 PM

        Ahem… I believe you meant ‘mosques’?

  15. mh prasadu (sarma)
    May 29, 2011 at 4:34 PM


    it is hard to initiate a social cause but some how easy to float a mandir trust or ashram in our country, because the people who is having money will donate more to mandirs than the causes.

    Swamy Vivekananda – his path is the only way for us to enlighten our selves to serve the needy and depressed not the Idols.

    • February 2, 2013 at 9:23 AM

      Going by the way you write English, it is quite clear that your intellect and logic is substandard.
      Going by the way you refer to our Gods as “idols, you are possibly an Islamic terrorist hiding under a Hindu name.
      Which terrorist camp are you from? All your worthless intellect understands is to offer yourself to murder kafirs, yeah?
      you unintelligent fuck

      • February 2, 2013 at 9:05 PM

        Ok… opinions are fine… but this is taking things a bit too far. Seriously, just by studying how this person writes his English, you are completely in the know about his intellect and logic?

        How superficial!

  16. February 2, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    What is with you guys bashing the gurus who propagate the positive aspects of Hinduism.
    Even if you think the new age gurus are actually businessmen in disguise, they are not harming or hurting anybody and blowing innocent people in markets and steering planes into buildings. They are not putting their foot down anybody’s throat and asking them to take up their cause. They don’t call anybody kafirs and forcefully convert others.
    Whatever their intentions, they provide the freedom of choice for people to chose.
    In the process they do several good things.
    1. Spread peace and create an awareness for meditation and its positive effects on human body.
    2. They help save Hinduism against the onslaught of other religions.
    3. Increase spiritual awareness.
    4. Help poor (even if they are selfish, they HAVE to help the poor)

    • February 2, 2013 at 8:55 PM

      Dr. Itellitasis:

      (Read my last paragraph before you start typing your response… if you plan to, that is)

      Wow. Looks like you are more in to Islam bashing than propagating posi… oh well, you know.

      How sure are you that these gurus are not harming or hurting anybody? Does harm and hurt need to be just physical to cause severe damage? A true spiritualist from the vedic tradition would disagree with your view of all new age gurus being harmless do-gooders.

      I am not sure I can agree with any of the points you mentioned above.

      1) There are so many meditation, breathing techniques being introduced… one can ‘learn’ these for a ‘price’, of course… I even hear the people who attend are required to sign NDAs. You are saying that would actually validate that these people are genuine spiritualists?
      2) Yes, we can all see the state of Hinduism now. It is because of these several fake gurus being popular that we are in this sorry state. And I might even add that it is in part because of people, intellectuals even, like you who think placebo is good enough.
      3) Seriously? Spiritual awareness? I am sure Nithyananda increases sexual awareness in his disciples… particularly the female ones. Not sure about the spiritual aspect there.
      4) Really? As far as I know, there is absolutely no requirement in Hinduism where spiritual masters are REQUIRED to help the poor by giving them money, build schools or hospitals. Their job is to uplift the people by imparting spiritual knowledge! Of course, the new age gurus HAVE to (make a show that they) help the poor to ensure that the people are distracted enough to not notice the BS that they talk as ‘spirituality’.

      All that being said… my targets are pretty obvious… it is anyone who claims themselves to be God or even divine, so people need to worship him/her as such… to gain moksha… to make the people understand they themselves are God… to remove all difficulties in life so one can get rich or one’s son/daughter will pass their board exams, blah blah blah… that kind of BS. These are the glass bead merchants claiming to sell diamonds. Capiche?

  17. February 2, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    I love God.

    • February 2, 2013 at 9:09 PM

      I am sure you do, Mr. Bibhuti… I do too. 🙂

  18. radhika
    March 2, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    I went to golden temple yesterday and i totttaly agree with this blog. the temple is less of laxmiji and more of amma.. it was a total marketing act!!

  19. bscbed
    July 20, 2015 at 4:33 PM

    i too visited golden temple recently.. but on the way to main temple there was no amman statues or photos, instead all photos of SA only was there.. if they are not really bother about publicity of guru, that place would have be in a exact devotion of goddess Narayani amman..
    even each and every photo of goddess that guru photo will be there.. because of that i dont like to keep that photo in my pooja mandir..

    please stop the publicity..

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