False Devotion

An Indian entertainer, a member of the Baul caste from Bengal, was in San Francisco. He attended our temple and sang songs to Krishna and Lord Chaitanya. He was a friendly man, so one time we invited him to perform first on a double-bill kirtan with us at the Straight Theater on Haight Street. He started chanting, then at one point he swooned and fell on the floor in a fit of so-called spiritual ecstacy. However, he revived just in time to give a small talk into the microphone. It all seemed so phony to me.

When later I recounted the incident to Swamiji, I told him that he had risen just in time to speak. Then I asked Swamiji what to do in similar situations when we suspect someone of faking it, and he said, "Kick him." He made a kicking motion with is foot and continued, "If he is faking, then he will get up; and if he is genuine, he won't feel the kick."

(Gurudas, By His Example, p. 40)
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