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Karma Cola, Uncorked

Sprituality sells. It is one brand which India never needed to market.

Karma Cola, Uncorked
Gireesh G.V.
Karma Cola, Uncorked
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553
In Matrix Revolutions, Neo is woken up in a station between "the two worlds", by an Indian girl called Sati.

When the titles roll down and the theatre is filled with the upanishadic tamaso ma jyotirgamayah, one wonders why she was called Sati. An ingenious explanation is, "It's a perfect name for a program that will be deleted for no fault of its own". Or, since it's an anagram of Sita, perhaps it means something very deep the Wachowski brothers are not telling. But it was inevitable for Matrix to flaunt its Indian connection. Laurence Fishburne even bridged the gulf between fate and sex, when he appeared to recommend kama every time he meant karma. There is a reason why Fishburne didn't use the phonetically friendly word 'fate' instead of karma. India is the biggest spiritual brand. The sole proprietor of a certain formless complex design that is said to reside even in the worst of us. Connections were made even between ancient Indian analyses of vibrations and Stephen Hawking's String Theory. Where Newton ends, it seems, India begins.

This brand was never branded. It just happened. "It was no kama," as Fishburne would have said. It's not clear why we always had the highest ratio of godmen per thousand humans. Either we are so good that a good portion of us occasionally mutate under the sprawling tree, or we are so bad, we need so many messengers to rescue us. Whatever the design, now the chosen ones have risen to consciously salvage the rest of the world, travelling on invitation. The brand equity is at its peak.

Mata Amritanandamayi has been included in Finnish text books as "a charismatic spiritual leader whose mere presence and personality makes a deep impact". Amma, as she is lovingly called, has been invited by Iran, Palestine and even Pakistan. A confederation of Japanese orders have called her "Buddha". Wherever she goes, the lady commands unimaginable devotion. Also called the hugging saint, she doesn't leave till she has embraced the last lost sheep.

Shri Shri Ravi Shankar's Art of Living Foundation is a case study in franchising. It has grown across the world by decentralising spirituality. There is no real hub. Fragmented classes sprout after a person qualifies to teach. Israel recently approached the Foundation to temper down its jail inmates and bring about peace in Jerusalem so that potential suicide bombers will reconsider life. As ambassadors of a very deep India, India's god men and women have been invaluable. Now that it's hip to introspect, the Indian mind is not in conflict with the success of the Indian brain in the material world.

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