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New-Age Spiritual Gurus and Social Media

By Shriram Venkatraman, on 13 February 2013

It is not rare to see the social media presence of new-age spiritual Gurus in India. They have a steady following on several social networking sites. From Facebook fan pages and groups to Twitter to Youtube channels, you name it and they have it!

Transcendent and immanent omnipresence, a spiritual nature of the soul in Indian philosophy, now finds itself rightly expressed through social media. With such high intense publicity, it seems like several such Gurus are driven by an incessant need to achieve the dream of several beauty pageant participants – namely ‘world peace’.

Though there is nothing wrong in the branding that they wish to achieve in order to either bring in more followers or maintain their supportes – in other words an e-spiritual capital (or call it the i-spiritual capital, or prefix any other vowel that denotes the digital medium) that they build through their social media presence – it doesn’t take long to figure out the conversion of this e/i-Spiritual capital to an economic capital on the digital arena.  Most of their presence on social media are followed by links to their websites which more or less advertises the Guru and does an awesome spiritual marketing, pitching in their e-shops and souvenir items that was until recently only traded in US dollars.

Rituals on the Facebook pages range from chanting (typing) the Guru’s name every morning, noon and night to expressing how an ideal life should be led on this earth. The pages cater to mostly the devotees and followers who are not residents in India. The digital medium is thus used to build memories of the Guru across space and time. Some of the best personal branding social media presence run by volunteers is that of these new-age spiritual Gurus. No wonder that they now advise CEOs and corporate entities on how to run businesses!

2 Responses to “New-Age Spiritual Gurus and Social Media”

  • 1
    Wiyadnya wrote on 24 November 2013:

    Hi,

    The research project is interested.

    Would it be possible to get the copy of research result. I’d like to use as reference for my paper report.

    thanks
    Wiyadnya

  • 2
    Shriram Venkatraman wrote on 25 November 2013:

    Hi Wiyadnya,

    Many thanks for the comment. We are in the process of data collection through an intense 15 months field work and should be ready for formal dissemination of our results sometime late next year. Until then please do keep checking out this blog for updates and interesting notes from our field sites. Thanks again!

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