There was a time when honorific prefixes and suffixes were appended to names only after a lifetime of consideration. Paramahamsa was one such lofty title. Only the enlightened metasouls who could sift the truth from the illusion were conferred this spiritual knighthood. Recently while watching Vinnaithandi Varuvaya, the cinematographer’s work caught my eye. I discovered it was by one, Manoj Paramahamsa! With all due respect to the man, I wonder how his parents bestowed him this coveted surname without going through the contortions of acquiring the black belt of Yogahood. I am almost certain the genuine gurus who slaved away all their empty lives in pursuit of such mystic honorifics, will be collectively scowling in their saintly samadhis.
But they must be used to it now. After all, they have seen so many godmen take so many liberties and bring so much disrepute to so many guru names that they would’ve stopped counting. Like our newest sensation, Paramahamsa Nithyananda (born as Rajasekaran).
Son of a farmer, the young lad did his studies in Tiruvannamalai (Ramana Maharishi’s abode) and one fine day discovered the stairway to heaven and the short cut to nirvana. That’s when he decided to switch over to the saffron garb and appropriated the aura of a sanyasi by attempting a naming technique, we call fusonyms. He just sliced the ‘ananda’ from Vivekananda, diced ‘Nithya’ from Nithya Chaitanya Yati and added a sprinkling of the reverential P-word and thus was born Paramhamsa Nithyananda. That one masterstroke changed his destiny and the rest is television history.
The ingeniousness of Rajasekaran has inspired me to create a whole new cult of Fake Godmen names. It’s royalty free. So feel free to partake of my holy prasad. Up for grabs first is Swami Twistananda, for the dancing guru. With such a name, one can give Shiamak Davar, a gambol for his money. Laptop Baba can be a brilliant way to make nubile chicks, plonk on your lap. Football Maharaj is for disciples in search of a guru who can help them kick their bad karma. I have a lot more monikers. I shall preserve them for my salvation!