Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Solving the Mystery of Sanjaya 

Explained in Seven Easy Steps, From the Simple to the Metaphysical

The whole country is buzzing about this new mystery of the ages: How is it possible that Sanjaya Malakar has not yet been voted off of American Idol? Personally, I don’t find it to be much of a mystery at all, nor do I think it is because of the few people who vote in as part of various prank websites and radio shows. Clearly the boy is getting actual votes, and here I’ll share with you some of my thoughts and theories about this “all-important” situation, from the simple to the metaphysical.

1. Okay, starting with the simple: Sanjaya is a cute, good-looking boy. Some of the other contestants are very talented but not so cute. He is thin, has golden brown skin, white teeth (usually held in a big happy smile), and beautiful lush hair. Back when I was a pre-teen, the teenie fan magazines were all the rage, and Sanjaya looks just like the long-haired boys that some young girls (not me of course! ahem. . . ) drooled over in those magazine pages.

2. Sanjaya is actually not a bad singer. We saw his very good audition ( that left the judges applauding. On Youtube, you can also see a very good and heartfelt performance of Swing Low Sweet Chariot by a younger Sanjaya in his church choir ( It has probably been difficult for Sanjaya to sing his best with all the attention and controversy, given his interesting combination of shyness and flamboyance.

3. Sanjaya is amazingly comfortable with who he is, strutting his stuff in full flaming, hula dance mode. In general, our society respects someone who, especially at such a young age, knows who he is and is not afraid to be and show it with a happy smile.

One of the most popular new shows on television is Ugly Betty, and one of the most popular characters on that show is Betty’s flamboyant nephew Justin, who also has golden brown skin, a killer smile, and an amazingly free expression of flamboyance. To some degree, I would guess that viewers’ love for young flamboyant Justin has been transferred to young flamboyant Sanjaya.

4. Okay, now we’ll start to go a little more out there. You know who answers the phone when you call for tech support or phone into your credit card services? Most likely it is someone from India. These guys have access to a LOT of phones, and Indians tend to be loyal to their own.

5. Now, for a more metaphysical angle. In India, there are higher castes of people, considered to have a certain evolved purity of genetics. Although this concept has degenerated into an excuse for prejudice in recent years, the original idea does carry a certain wisdom. In fact, Sanjaya’s father is a classical Indian musician, and in India, classical musicians are considered to be the upper echelon of Indian society in terms of human, personal, and often spiritual achievement, and apparently Sanjaya's father is also an actual Brahmin priest in the Hare Krishna sect.

In spite of whatever teenage flaws Sanjaya shows, especially as he gets a bit cocky from all the attention and pressures of being suddenly famous, loved, and hated all at once, he does carry a certain dignity and self-respect. One might venture to guess that Sanjaya’s well proportioned features and gentleness of character might also be signs of having high level DNA or honorable family history, perhaps even with some royal blood, since India had many Maharajas or ruling kings during its heyday. Even if voters don’t know about all this, all human beings dip into the worldwide history of human knowledge deep within our souls, and I believe that many might recognize the admirable qualities of what the Indian scriptures call a “high-born soul.” For example, the way Sanjaya comforted his sister so generously when she didn’t make the Idol cut could be considered another sign of high caste integrity.

6. The name Sanjaya is an ancient Sanskrit mantra that means one who is victorious. This means that everytime anyone even speaks his name as Sanjaya, they are declaring him to be victorious in the powerful language of Sanskrit mantras. Sanjaya is also the narrator of the most popular holy scripture from India, called the Bhagavad Gita. On the Night Lotus Sanskrit Scriptures page (, you can listen to the entire Bhagavad Gita sung in English, with many lines beginning with the phrase, “Sanjaya said. . .”

7. Maybe Sanjaya has been using techniques from the Oprah sanctioned road to riches metaphysical fad called, “The Secret” to visualize and mold the universe to conform to his desires. Just imagine, if “The Secret” really works, and people start using it all over the place to get positions and benefits that they haven’t really earned and don’t really deserve, then we’ll get to have a whole world filled with Sanjayas! Hmmmm, did President Bush get an early preview of that book?

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