Who is the best sadhguru


Wealthy followers often see to it that their spiritual masters have the best of everything, including Swiss watches. We'll tell you which watches five famous Indian gurus wore on their wrists.

This content was published on April 8, 2019 - 3:30 p.m.

Swissinfo.ch's India specialist covers a wide range of topics, from bilateral relations to Bollywood. He is also familiar with Swiss watchmaking and has a preference for French-speaking Switzerland.

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Indian mystics were once famous for their meager material possessions. Their orange robes, deer fur mats, and begging bowls were often all they owned. They traveled to various pilgrimage sites on foot, stopped to rest and gave lectures on spiritual topics along the way.

Today the following of most gurus is global, thanks to the growing Indian diaspora, but also because some pioneers went to the West since the end of the 19th century. The gurus' calendar is often as full as that of a head of state or a CEO. A good watch can help keep track of the time and find your way around time zones.

Osho (1931-1990)

Osho, or Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, referred to himself as the "rich man's guru". The Indian spiritualist gained a fan base in Mumbai from 1970 before moving to nearby Pune, where his followers built a retreat for him.

He became known for preaching against religious orthodoxy when it came to wealth and sex. His move to the USAExterner Link increased his possessions to the point of extravagance. He once said that his followers had given him over 90 Rolls Royce cars.

Watches were one of those things too. In India, Osho wore relatively modest Swiss watches like an Omega Seamaster Memomatic and a Rado DiaStar.

When he moved the Rajneeshpuram community to Oregon, he was seen wearing more extravagant watches. In 2015, a Rolex Oyster Perpetual worn by Osho was auctioned for 40,000 francs.

The dial and case were set with diamonds and rubies. The bracelet alone had diamonds worth around 31 carats.

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev (1957)

The founder of the Isha FoundationExterner Link runs over 200 centers around the world. Sadhguru travels the world to give lectures and is a regular speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davosexternal link. As a fan of motorcycles and colorful Indian textiles, he is known for his extravagant style.

When it comes to watches, Sadhguru likes it sporty. He wore a vintage Victorinox Swiss Army Cavalry watch at the World Economic Forum. It's not an expensive watch, because used quartz models only cost 40 francs on eBay.

Occasionally, Sadhguru wears a more expensive watch: a Swiss-made Cartier Pasha Seatimer. The model was launched in 2006 and then sold for around 4500 francs.

Paramhansa Yogananda (1893-1952)

Yogananda left India for the USA in 1920 and founded the Self-Realization FellowshipExterner Link there to spread meditation and yoga teachings.

His book "Autobiography of a Yogi" has sold in the millions and was even distributed at the memorial service of Apple founder Steve JobsExternal Link - at his request.

Yogananda owned a Hamilton watch. Hamilton was an American company at the time and is now part of the Swiss Swatch Group.

Satya Sai Baba (1926-2011)

As a 14-year-old Sai Baba declared himself to be the reincarnation of a famous mystic. He skillfully flaunted his striking Afro-style hairstyle and received large donations from supporters, which were put into charitable projects such as schools and hospitals in India.

One of his wealthy donors was Isaac Tigrett Burton, the co-founder of the Hard Rock Café.

In 1991, Burton donated INR 3 billion (43 million Swiss Francs) from the sale of its stake in the Hard Rock Café chain to Sai Baba to build a hospital through its Zurich-based Rama Foundation.

Sai Baba did not wear watches. But his followers claimed he conjured Rolex watches out of the air, along with other items such as ashes, necklaces, and other jewelry.

Skeptics denounced his materializations as a common sleight of hand.

The 14th Dalai Lama (1935)

Tenzin Gyatso, the spiritual leader of the Tibetans, has lived in exile in India for 60 years.

Among the items he brought back from Tibet is a rare Patek Philippe pocket watchExternal Link that was given to him by US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1943.

It is one of the most complex watches that were produced at that time, with a chronograph and a calendar with moon phase and minute repeater. A similar pocket watch was sold at a Christies auction in Geneva in 2011 for CHF 243,000 external link.

The Dalai Lama also wears Rolex watchesexternal link. However, they are difficult to identify as he carries them to his body with the dial. He also prefers Spiedel Twist-O-FlexExterner Link instead of the original watch straps, which makes it even more difficult to identify the watches.

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