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The Guru As A Counterintuitive Being

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines more closely the structure of charismatic representations that soon started to spread in the movement. It looks more closely into how cognitive scientists have analysed religious representations in general. The principle of unknowability can be considered a borderline representation between the more commonplace notions of guru's extraordinariness and the more properly counterintuitive, and religious representations. The representations of Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda often involve representations of counterintuitiveness. Prabhupāda was represented as a being with counterintuitive capacities to read other people's minds. The disciples felt it was impossible to lie to him. He was also represented as being capable of perceiving and orchestrating events from the other side of the world. He was thought to be capable of visiting the disciple in an invisible and immaterial form at crucial moments of their lives. Prabhupāda was thus clearly seen as a very special kind of agent with many counterintuitive properties.

Keywords:Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda; charismatic representations; counterintuitive agent; guru; religious ideas



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