Religion: Junior Guru

He is called Balyogeshwar Param Hans Satgurudev Shri Sant Ji Maharaj—hardly a name likely to become a household word. A little over a year ago only a handful of people outside India knew who he was. But last fortnight, when Guru Maharaj Ji (as he is short-titled) flew from the U.S. to New Delhi to celebrate a three-day festival in honor of his late guru father, he was accompanied by seven jumbo jets filled with new followers from the West. They were only a fraction of the number he had left behind.

No venerable ascetic in flowing white beard and robes,...

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