Well I appreciate him a lot, but haven't spent much time on him. Should this be in the religion section or the philosophy section? He personally knew of abuse from the "guru" game. I am cross-cultural, so smart people from any place or time are interesting, particularly how they transcended their place or time. I would be happy for you to share your memories how how his ideas impacted you. And yes, the Hindi was just me being cheeky.
In my case, in our senior college year, we got Alan Watts' book, The Book. This was his take on Vedanta Hinduism. I had already read about Zen before that. Non-Western cultures have greatly contributed to who I am ... less of an echo chamber. As a Jewish Kabbalist, I am basically a kosher guru. These people and the ideas that they popularized, had a huge impact on me.
For others who don't know him, and won't just dismiss him as not being Sam Harris ...
Well, it's not a particular religion, but K discusses religion generally as being "bad for ya". He was not a philosopher in the sense of representing a particular "school" of thought.
He was born into the whole Theosophical/Blavatsky thing and was, like a Dalai Lama, alleged by them to be the "Chosen Messiah","Avatar", to bring "Enlightenment to Mankind", blah blah blah. He rejected it all as being a giant scam, Madam Blavatsky as the charlatan she was, and thus set forth to "bring down" religions and the various clergy as a whole, in the world. As per his culture, he had a particular distain for "gurus" and "fakirs" who he viewed as being mostly charlatans.
He did, however, attain, or was born with, this "self realized", "Nirvanna" type thing, which he speaks about rather cryptically. So, in that sense he had some recognition of some sort of "Divinity" out there, in there, somewhere. One of his central themes was the breaking down of mental imagery in conjunction with the inner dialogue that forms the filtered perception of people's minds while approaching, viewing the material world and interpersonal relationships.
I never looked into Watt's much as I was into other Hindu/Buddhist teachers at the time. This guy, Eknath Easwaran was my fav. The Yogananda thing didn't really resonate with me and his protege, "Kriyananda", is kind of a strange dude. Gurumayi had alot of appeal to me, I knew a few of her followers. I met her once at their ashram in Woodstock, NY, and she is HOT!
I always liked Zen, as long as they aren't wacking you on the back with a bamboo swatch. Zen was Nazified, "weaponized", during WWII as Hirohito deemed himself the 'Zen God King". Just goes to show ya....
Kabbalism, what little I know of it, is probably the most batshit crazy stuff I've encountered. That Baphomet guy/gal/goat is a FREAK!