Karma Cola a Commentary on Commodification of Indian Spirituality: A Contemporary Evaluation

  • Bhatnagar, Mamta, Bhatnagar, Nitin


Indian culture is rich and diverse and is, therefore, unique in its own way. Its ethos is highly complex due to its diversity in which spiritualism is one of its richest features. Humans, by the virtue of their God fearing nature, have been observed taking spiritualism as a panacea for all human sufferings. Answers to this abstract complexity may be difficult to acquire in totality, nevertheless, one may look for them in the ideologies of karma and self-realization as depicted profoundly in the Bhagwad Gita. However, misguidance and misinterpretations of this complex belief on the part of fraudulent spiritual teachers are plenty, and they have not only damaged the individuals but have also brought a bad name to Indian culture. Gita Mehta, in her book Karma Cola: Marketing the Mystic East., condemns the western karma seekers of the 1960s for rushing to India as a short cut to achieve the spiritual bliss, as well as impartially exposes the maneuvers of Indian pseudo-spiritualists. This paper, through Mehta’s book Karma Cola, studies the import of the ancient Indian beliefs of karma and nirvana. It explores the reasons of the aforesaid miscomprehension and misuse. As in the postcolonial era, growth has become synonymous to co-existence of countries; there is also an attempt to investigate this issue from cross-cultural point of view.  The present study has a contemporary relevance as the cases of fake gurus are still not uncommon in Indian society.