Debunking “Guruji’s Grace” – Part 2
Two very interesting items came up in in the post Debunking Guruji’s Grace which deserve to be highlighted here.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar – just another Snake Oil Salesman
Ok, not quite snake oil, but pretty damned close: Shakti Drops, the latest scam from Sri Sri Ayurveda. Art of Living even produced a video demonstrating its purported effects, however for reasons which will soon become obvious, the video which was previously publicly available on Youtube was set to private, meaning we can no longer view it.
In the video, Mr Shankar asks for a volunteer from the audience, and when one steps up he is asked to hold out his arm. Mr Shankar asks the volunteer to tense his arm and try to resist, then proceeds to pull down the volunteer’s arm with very little effort. Next, he tells him to hold out his arm again, and this time he applies a few drops of the aforementioned Shakti Drops. Now when he tries to pull the volunteer’s arm again, he is unable to. Everyone in the audience applauds since they have been led to believe that the Shakti Drops are responsible for this amazing feat.
(By the way, if anyone managed to save this video, please do email me at firstname.lastname@example.org since the above description really doesn’t do it any justice whatsoever and I really want to show the video first hand. )
UPDATE: Thanks to Monkey for this:
See Shakti drops miracle starting at about 42 minutes into the video “Shri Shri Ravishankar at IIT Kanpur” posted by sivachandrasekharj
UPDATE: And thanks to Rina for the following video showing yet another demonstration this time in Islamabad, Pakistan. Demonstration starts at around 3:30 minutes:
So why was the original video taken down? Well, maybe the following may shed some light on this matter:
And here’s another such demonstration from 0 – 1.58
Note the lack of any Shakti Drops in the above video ;-)
Obviously, Mr Shankar was blissfully unaware that the technique he was demonstrating was well known to hypnotists, NLP practitioners and self-help gurus amongst many others. It is most likely that someone in Art of Living who follows this blog saw the above video posted here which alerted them to this fact and made them realize what a horrific mistake they had made. Otherwise if they truly believed that what the way they were trying to market this product was completely ethical, why on earth did they bother to take the video down?
Thanks to Monkey and Stupidseeker respectively for bringing this to our attention and for helping to debunk it.
The second item relates to comments made by Quaff the Koolaid Lads!, the main gist of which I have summarized here:
The Grace of the Divine is quite real. What others say is fine. I can’t judge it. But what happened/happens to me and my wife is quite extraordinary and very, very real. I’m not into mood-making or pretending. Grace is real and true and transcends all karmas. Never doubt it.
You have a documented medical condition. It causes you great pain. You communicate through a letter to Guruji about this condition and ask if it can be healed. You awaken in the middle of the night with a powerful experience of being with Guruji. The condition is instantly gone. Your doctor tells you the condition is no longer present. It is absolutely amazing.
The following responses were left to the latter comment:
If true then certainly a compelling reason to be a devout follower of Guruji. But someone very close to me did not have this good fortune and had to suffer a great deal and take a great deal of medication before stabilising. This despite being an unquestioning devotee of HHSSRS.
I really think these “spontaneous” cures are either exaggerated, or imagined, or simply because they believed they would be healed. I would never attribute it to SSRS or any other person. If the person having this miracle is you, I’d take a long look at the whole incident.
I believe, just as Anonymous above has alluded to, that you experienced this healing simply because of your faith in SSRS and not because he actually has any mystical healing powers.
If SSRS really had any healing powers, surely he would use them to go around the world and treat the sick and otherwise infirm? But you see, this isn’t happening at all. So either he is being extremely selfish with his wondrous gift, in which case he really isn’t the beneficent saint that he and his followers are portraying himself to be, or he simply does not have any powers.
And wouldn’t he and Art of Living use his miraculous powers to reinforce the view that SSRS is the reincarnation of Jesus Christ, a man who himself is reported to have the power to heal people miraculously? Ever wondered why they aren’t doing this?
Since these comments were left, we still haven’t heard back from @Quaff. I sincerely would like a response from him/her, especially what he has to say about SSRS only sharing his wonderful gift with devout followers and not the public at large. But as has become common on this blog, whenever we debunk anything which someone from Art of Living puts forward to support anything surrounding SSRS, we never hear from them again. @Quaff – if you’re reading this, I would love to hear back from you.
I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble, so if you want to believe in Shakti Drops and that SSRS has healing powers, you are quite welcome to do so, but I strongly recommend you never try to use critical thinking as it might suddenly shake the very foundations of what you believe in and cause you to rethink these things through. Stick with blind faith and best of luck to you.
If on the other hand you are reading this blog because you are having doubts, I strongly encourage you to consider everything written above, think them through for yourself and come to your own conclusions.