Some reported troubles though...
THe Lightgate forum was started by persons who had been entangled with another troubled guru and was open to discussion on other subjects. Ramesh Balsekar came up.
However, Stoic has made an important point.
India is often romanticised. India is an amazing place, but has great struggles, too.
So, learn a bit about India day to day. Go online and read Indian newspapers, such as India Times
and The Hindu
get to know about the day to day issues Indians consider important.
One way to recover from the New Age is do something frowned on--read books written by intellectuals and academics. Too often New Age gurus tell you to avoid that kind of reading. So to recovery, read a book like that by Wendy Doninger.
Next, get and read Suketu Mehta's book on Mumbai entitled Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found
--fantastic and horrifying.In Spite of the Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India
by Edward Luce
Sonia Hausner's book, Wandering With Sadhus
Your public library can get this for you on interlibrary loan.
After you have read these, you are ready for a very challenging and good book that gives a survey of Indian history and how Hinduism developed and changed over time. Hinduism is not timeless and eternal. It is human
and reflects changes in society, encounters with other belief systems and other cultures. Hindus kings looted Hindu temples in other Hindu kingdoms when waging war on each other.
Buddhist kings looted Buddhist centers in other Buddhist territories. So, go to the library and get Wendy Doninger's The Hindus:An Alternative History.
Doninger has footnotes and sources.
Next, in evaluating teachers:
One way to evaluate a teacher is 1) identify that persons tradition.
Next identify the ethical guidelines that are part that tradition. For Hinduism is is Brahmacharya. Shankara wrote a text called Crest Jewel of Discernment by which to determine if a student is ready for the path.
To learn about the actual lives of Sadhus and Sadhivis, get and read Sonia Hausner's book, Wandering With Sadhus. She learned that it there is no such thing as a sadhu being able to go rogue and still retain respect. A sadhu or sadhvi will be able and is EXPECTED to name his or her diksa guru, lineage, and the akhera (administrative body) of his or her sublineage. And a sadhu will be able to state how many and which Kumbhmela festivals he or she has attended and will only live in the encampment corresponding to his or her lineage.
Two, if a teacher claims to be in the lineage of a guru who left no formal lineage (such as Ramana Maharshi) thats wrong. Lineage is a matter of great formality, both among Hinduis and also Buddhists.
Two, if that person teaches a mush of traditions, each tradition needed a full lifetime to master, be alert. Yes, belief systems borrow from each other, but the core of the system is retained if the borrowing is done with discernment. However at core, Hinduism and Buddhism have contradictory doctrine.
Some Hindu traditions consider it possible to realize unity with the absolute (advaita vedanta)
Other Hindu traditions worship the absolute but do not consider it possible to merge with the Absolute (the bhakti traditions, such as the one preached and prosyletized by Srila Prabhupada and the Hare Krishnas)
Doninger will show you that the Bhakti traditions are relatively recent in Hinduism, and originated Southern India and were at first outside of the Brahmanical system, and considered a threat to the establishment. Over time, the Brahmanas found ways to incorporate elements of Bhakti into their sytem and got some control over it.
There are very many bhakti traditions, not just one and Doninger even quotes an old story of an eager Bhakti who is preaching and pressuring and prosyltizing. This person is a worshipper of Shiva.
Shiva is in disguise and the Bhakta hits on Shiva to convert to the Shiva Bakta sect and finally forces the god to do so.
The story ends, 'Shiva became a Shivite'--
A similar story would be a preacher demanding that Jesus become born again.
So Doninger shows us where Hindus made jokes about religious fanaticism within their own ranks. And she will show you that Hinduism is not eternal. It has a history and she discusses the sources from which one must work as an historian.
So...thats how to recover--do this kind of reading. It can take getting used to but it is worth it.