The recent scandals over two spiritual gurus have shaken the collective faith of their followers in India.

A sadhu holds a trident in New Delhi August 2, 2006. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/FilesThe sanctity of religions or the people's faith is not being questioned but these controversies put the spotlight on the uniquely Indian phenomenon of mortals given the status of gods.

Cities across the country teem with astrologers, tarot card readers or some self-proclaimed guru. Saffron silk robes, turban cloth and rosaries are available off the shelves in plenty.

It's an irony that some of these gurus are courting controversies such as sex rackets, money laundering and child trafficking.

Spiritual gurus in India draw millions of men, women and foreigners to help bring them on a divine path. And there's no denying that they have done a lot of good work and helped alleviate the sufferings of their followers.