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The Lawsuit is Over… and We Won!

June 19, 2012

The Art of Living Foundation US and the Does of the lawsuit filed by the Art of Living have reached a settlement agreement. Although Klim and I believe we would have prevailed in this case, the settlement agreement is so overwhelmingly favorable to us that there was no purpose in continuing to litigate.

What did I agree to give Art of Living under this settlement agreement? Two things:

  1. I agreed to freeze this blog, something that I have been wanting to do for a while anyway. That means that every single word will remain as it stands now, but it will be closed for new posts or comments. Nothing prevents me or any other person from starting up a new blog critical of AOL, as my old Master Obi-Wan has already done here. I may leave a comment or two on his new blog, but I choose not to be a part of it. I want to move on, but it makes me happy to see the important work started by Klim carried on there.
  2. I agreed to publish a “joint statement” on my blog that informs readers of the settlement agreement. (See below).

So what did I give them? Basically nothing. What did they give us?


AOLFUS agrees to drop its lawsuit with prejudice. That means they can NEVER again prosecute me or any other person associated with either KLIM’s blog or this blog for anything that was published on those blogs. Nobody’s identity was disclosed as part of this litigation (or settlement), despite all of Art of Living’s efforts. AOLFUS also dismissed with prejudice a related case they recently filed against another ex-aol teacher.

They pay their own attorney’s fees. And they pay my attorney’s fees.

What has AOL gained?


No doubt they will try to spin this as a victory, in that I agreed to freeze this blog. It will be painfully obvious to anyone except the most die-hard devotees that they have in fact lost this litigation. There is nothing in the agreement that prevents me or any defendant from making any comments, or publishing anything we wish to publish, on other blogs, or to create new blogs. I am done blogging -of my own free will, mind you- but I promise to drop by Obi-Wan’s blog and comment once in a while. And should you wish to contact me for any reason, I will check my e-mail regularly.

Why did AOL decide to sue us? Was it because we published the Kriya Notes? I think that was just an excuse for them to go after us. I think their primary goal all along was to silence the criticism of Ravi and AOL. They sued us for defamation and for “trade libel,” i.e. disparaging AOL’s “product,” the teachings of Ravi Shankar. They not only sought damages, but they sought a court injunction that would shut down the blogs entirely. The Court threw out the defamation and trade libel claims early in the case, and quite clearly indicated that it would not be appropriate to issue an injunction shutting the blogs down entirely.

A self-proclaimed enlightened master claiming to be the embodiment of human perfection cannot tolerate anyone criticising him, and neither can his devotees. Now it seems they will have to anyway. What will he tell his teachers on the next Teacher’s refresher Meeting? I am sure we will know soon, from a comment on Obi-Wan’s blog. Someone always sees through the BS and lets us know.

Below are the most important documents of this litigation, documenting how seven of the original eight causes of action in the Complaint were ultimately dismissed by the court, until only the trade secret case against Skywalker remained. It also shows how the Court refused to allow AOL’s attempts to use subpoenas and legal discovery to learn our identities.

Having won the right to bring the trade secret case to trial, why has AOL decided to settle now? For one thing, the Court declined to allow the disclosure of my identity. Thus I would have gone to trial anonymously. This was an important precedent for the freedom to speak anonymously. It also made it very difficult for Art of Living to intimidate me into closing down the blog.

Second, maybe they finally realized that they would likely lose a jury trial on the alleged trade secrets. Should that happen, the Kriya Notes – a mix of cult mythology and self-explanatory banalities – will be released to the public domain. Then the whole world will see the Emperor with no clothes on.

AOL has made up a myth that these Kriya notes contain “sacred knowledge” and thus should be read only by the chosen few. That is just a way to lure people to Teacher’s Training, promising them secrets untold to the public, and afterwards a way of controlling them. Through this blog I believe I made my point that ‘the Emperor has no clothes’, and that I have been vindicated in that position by the outcome of this lawsuit.

By settling, the question remains open whether the Kriya Notes and other documents that were briefly published on this blog in the summer of 2010 are entitled to any legal protection as “trade secrets.”

Well, enough of that. Let it be known, that in the battle of Guru’s Grace versus Common Sense and Law, the latter wins.

To all of you who expected the Guru’s Magical Powers to overcome this Evil Attempt to Obfuscate the Light of Truth: He failed. His Powers are limited. Maybe even imaginary? Maybe he is just a dude, charismatic and with some wisdom -and with a huge need for power and adoration?

Read the case files, and judge for yourself. Having gone through those, and this blog… if you are still having faith in the Guru, I suggest you watch this movie and read this book.

One question still haunts me: how come it took me so long to see Art of Living for the cult it is, Ravi as cult leader? I take pride in my intellect. I should not have been so easily fooled. One answer to that question is obvious: blogs like this one didn’t exist back then. I actually remember googling ”Art of Living Sri Sri Ravi Shankar critique scam” back then. Nothing came up.

Today, people can make informed choices.

These are the highlights of the lawsuit:

It started with this notice from the Indian AOL.
Later, AOL in USA filed an official complaint, and subpoenaed Google and WordPress to reveal our identities, in order for them to prosecute us for defamation, copyright breaches, trade libel and for revealing ”trade secrets”.

Following are the highlights of the case:

Here is the Court’s decision (Doc. 83) in June 2011 in which the Court threw out the Defamation and Trade Libel claims, but kept the Trade Secret claims. As well there are the Motions to Dismiss and Strike and the Oppositions and Replies to each, that preceded that Court decision.
Doc 26 Renoticed MTD
Doc 27 Renoticed MTS
Doc 37 Opp to MTD
Doc 38 Opp to MTS
Doc 66 Reply MTD
Doc 67 Reply MTS
Doc 83 Order re MTD MTS

Here are the pleadings leading up to the Court’s November 2011 decision (Doc. 129) protecting Skywalker’s anonymity.
Doc 62 2d Renoticed MTQ
Doc 64 Opp to MTQ
Doc 73 Reply MTQ
Doc 90 Order Magistrate MTQ
Doc 92 Motion for Relief  NDPTO
Doc 96-1 Amici Brief
Doc 109 Opp MFR
Doc 119 Reply MFR
Doc 129 Order Granting MFR

Here are the Motion for Summary Judgment and 2nd Motion to Strike, culminating in the Court’s order of May 1 2012 (Doc. 162) knocking out the Copyright Claim and all claims against Klim. Note that doc 138 was actually filed much earlier, but because of issues about how to publicly file sealed documents it shows up later in the docket.
Doc 111 MSJ
Doc 116 Opp 2nd MTS
Doc 121 Opp to MSJ
Doc 125 Reply MSJ
Doc 138 redacted 2nd MTS
Doc 162 Order on MSJ and MTS

The latest efforts to learn my identity are in these ”letter brief” motions to compel, and our oppositions. These motions were denied by the Court in the “Minute Order” at the end (Doc 165).
Doc 148 MTC Rog RFP
Doc 150 P MTC SW ID
Doc 154-1 Exh A Redacted Letter Brief sw id
Doc 154-2 Exh B Redacted Letter Brief responses
Doc 165 Minute Order CMC Striking 4th ATSD

Comments on this post can be made here, at Obi-Wan’s blog. My lawyer, Joshua Koltun, may also post further information concerning this litigation on his website at Thank you Joshua, for your tireless efforts in this case. You are the true hero of this saga, together with Klim, the original Guruholic. Read his final post here.

And thank you Doc, Peaceful Warrior, Whistleblower, The Prosecutor and all other contributors to and readers of this blog. Thank you too to Beacon of Reason, Anne, Harshal, Doreen, Dr. Pete and all other pro-AOL commenters. Some, if not all, of your input has been intellectually stimulating, and has brought depth to the discussions on this blog. As well, you have had the courage to disobey your Guru and follow your heart, by reading the blog -Shankar actively discourages this. That speaks well for you.

I invite you all to continue your discussions at Obi-Wan’s new blog.

May the Force (of Reason) be with you!


Joint Statement of plaintiff Art of Living Foundation and defendants Doe/Skywalker and Doe Klim:

The parties have resolved the case ofArt of Living Foundation v. Does 1-10, (N.D. Cal. 10-5022 LHK) by a settlement agreement. Pursuant to this settlement agreement, the blog entitled “Leaving the Art of Living,” located at <> and the blog entitled “Beyond the Art of Living” and located at <> shall be frozen as of June 19, 2012. However, nothing in the settlement agreement restricts the rights of Defendants to create new blogs, or to comment on other blogs. Nobody’s identity has been or will be disclosed in this litigation, or pursuant to this settlement agreement.

Joint Statement of AOL vs. Does

June 19, 2012

Joint Statement of plaintiff Art of Living Foundation and defendants Doe/Skywalker and Doe Klim:

The parties have resolved the case of Art of Living Foundation v. Does 1-10, (N.D. Cal. 10-5022 LHK) by a settlement agreement. Pursuant to this settlement agreement, the blog entitled “Leaving the Art of Living,” located at <> and the blog entitled “Beyond the Art of Living” and located at <> shall be frozen as of June 19, 2012. However, nothing in the settlement agreement restricts the rights of Defendants to create new blogs, or to comment on other blogs. Nobody’s identity has been or will be disclosed in this litigation, or pursuant to this settlement agreement.

SriSri’s Petty Deception and Lies…Why every devotee should always question what he says !!!

June 15, 2012

by IO

Pay special attention from minute 20:56 to 21:20

SriSri openly claims on BBC that he graduated in Science (Physics, Maths, Chemistry) when he was 17. This means that it was the year 1973, since he was born in 1956.

Now follow this closely….

The Karnataka Education System —-

In the 1970s Schooling upto 11th standard, 1 year PUC, and then graduate (3 years).

School joining – Need to be 6 years to be admitted to the 1st Standard in School (As required by law)….And, a normally progressing child graduates 10th Standard when they are 16.

Hence for SriSri his 1st standard admission would have happened in 1962.

In India school admissions happen in April-May. With him being a May born child there is no way he could have joined 1st standard in 1961, as he would have been barely 5 years at that time.

Okay, he claims he got ONE “Double promotion” in school (this bit, as I was listening to it.. I felt he was lying…and it was made up…it was based on the body language…Anyways I suggest that we lets give him the benefit of doubt…….following on in almost the same breath he also says that he was never a rank student…then how come the double promotion ??… BTW Double Promotions are given only to academically brilliant kids who perform exceptionally).

Following this logic, assuming that he did get a double promo, then he would have graduated class 11 @ Age 16 (1 year lesser than other normal kids).

There were 2 prevalent systems and models of schooling and PU in the 1970s:

  • 11 year schooling and 1 year PU. (Previous to 1977)
  • 10 year schooling and 2 year PU (as is common these days)

Just know that either way he finishes PU @ 17 years. So, that’s 1973. However he claims he had already completed his Graduation by that time. Hmmmmmmmmmmm !! ?

Graduation, ie BSc has always been 3 years…or sometimes 3+ years program. Hence, he must have actually been at least 20 when he graduated and not 17.

So the million dollar question: Which year did he really graduate ???

  • 1973 (When he was 17, as he claims), or
  • 1976 (based on his explanation on BBC including Double Promo etc), or
  • 1977 as per WIKIPIDIA:

    Ravi Shankar was born to Smt. Vishalakshi Ratnam and R. S. Venkat Ratnam, who was then active in the automobile business. He was named “Ravi” (a common Indian name meaning “sun”) because his birth was on a Sunday and “Shankar” after the 8th century Hindu saint Adi Shankara, with whom he shares the birthday.[2] He received a Bachelor of Science degree at the age of 21 from St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore University.

  • or any other year?


So, why then does he claim that he graduated at 17 ????? This is very important for each reader to ponder over. What was he trying to achieve ?

Just look at this glaring 4 years gap between the self CLAIMED fact on BBC and the published data in Wiki.

Now, look at the St Joseph’s Alumni website….it confirms that SriSri graduated from there (Look under Religious leaders section in the distinguished Alumni listing) . But, it does not say which year !!!

Bottom line:

Is SriSri is really a Master. A Master @ what ?… well… is it in the art of living or lying ?. You decide.

He publishes deceptive content in his books. OPENLY. He continues with his business as usual, even after he has been called on his lies Publicly. Judge for yourself.

If you are an existing devotee and you are on this blog now, then please know that you are lending your support, energy and strength to a leader that has got a very questionable character and is habituated to making things up on the fly.

Small kids make up things for fun….for play….however, as human being matures, one of the things we recognize as a necessity is that we share the truth in the best possible form and that there is no need to make things up unnecessarily. Is this what the Master meant when he said “I am child that never grew up !!!”….your guess is as good as mine.

If your child was a habitual liar what would you do ? Would you continue to be in denial of this fact or would you look into the matter and see that the child gets adequate counseling and help.

Dear AOL devotee and blog visitor, your child / master / buddy needs your help !!!! If you can’t help him, then leave him. Because, it is a dangerous game you are playing here. When the world realises what kind of a liar he was /is you will be tarred with the same brush. Doubt this ? Check with Nityanand’s devotees and teachers.

If you don’t have the courage and the guts to leave him…please know that he will most definitely drag you down with him….directly or indirectly…

I believe that you have been alerted enough. Now it is your call and yours alone. These above are clear hard facts. Not pieces of knowledge that can be twisted to mean anything at anytime. Surely, your Buddy/Master can be open and transparent with you on this one and for once would share the whole truth with you ??.

One could say …Let him produce his graduation certificate…..but then he is a world renowned Spiritual Master….I would expect his word to be more binding than some piece of paper.

This is yet another indication of how petty his thinking is…..If you have been around with him at those times…..the game was instantly up. I have personally experienced many such instances.

Dear AOL devotee : If you have dedicated your life to the Master, you have every RIGHT to ask questions and demand answers of anyone…especially your Master……otherwise why choose SriSri ???

Voicing your doubt/question is a matter of truth and dharma. To express sincere doubt is actually High Prana….. But, not doing so and burying it altogether is ADHARMA.

I have a question for all of you die hard AOL devotees ….if the man, without any qualm can in the face of millions viewers (BBC) lie without any remorse…what makes you think the rest of the time he is actually acting with any great integrity? He did the same thing with the assassination attempt in 2010. Dig deeper and you will find 1000s of such petty instances. If you choose to stay, you have surrendered your life and soul to a petty gangster.

Ignore the warning and message in this post @ your own peril.

Would You Put Your Life in the Hands of People Like This?

June 11, 2012

Doctor: The following was left as a comment in response to Sudarshan Kriya and Bipolar Disorder. I have updated that post to reflect the information which “ex teacher” has provided in the comment below, however I feel that the comment provides so many invaluable insights into what is wrong with Art of Living teachers and the TTC that it ought to be published as a separate post.

by ex teacher

Doctor, correction to your article: please note that it has always been the case that people with bipolarity should NOT take SK. It’s been in the SK notes since the first day and it is still there.

However, as a former teacher, I can say that the problem has to do with control, and lack of critical thinking and professional training. Teachers rely too much on “guru’s grace” and magical thinking, and TTCs are about “guru stories” rather than real training. Thus, at the time of interviewing students, details are overlooked, plus, with the ambition of recruiting more people, less or no time is given to reviewing the contents of the registration forms, and giving personal attention to those who need it.

Also, teachers are air-heads themselves with a hype that is almost suspicious and unsettling. Then there is no way one can tell if a student is writing the truth in the form or not. And, nowhere in the form, or in an intro talk, or in the course, does a teacher tell the students there could be a problem if (there are many ifs) …. for example, people with high blood pressure, cardiac problems, epilesia, pregnancy, glaucoma, schizophrenia, also cannot take SK, to name a few. Including (in the early days), people who consumed recreational drugs and/or alcohol (of course, this had to change since otherwise he’d lose numbers!). Not only that, people with certain thyroid problems cannot do bandas and bhastrika, and so on.

However, none of this is informed privately or publicly in a course. Most teachers probably don’t even remember, because they are too caught up in magical thinking, air-heads, and because their only training relies on more magical thinking! To make it worse, in the last years, anyone is made a teacher. Thus, there are many people who themselves are unstable and suffer of untreated psychological disorders acting as teachers.

On the other hand, as a former teacher who discussed these issues many times with him, you must know he himself does not understand why people with bipolarity cannot take SK! He has MANY times “authorized” me and others to teach it to people with severe bipolarity disorders. People I know who have been hospitalized for it, heavily medicated, who have had severe psychotic breakdowns. At some point, for him, numbers/income is more important than well-being. Sadly, I also have seen people dragged straight from course to psychiatric hospital because they had a psychotic outbreakdown but were not bipolar or psychotic prior to SK.

The scientific research he and teachers grab on to are not even complete. If you show them to any serious professional, they will tell you it’s kindergarten stuff: incomplete and immature. The professionals who contributed to the papers are brain-washed devotees seeking for attention and blessings, and not doctors I would visit myself!!!!! (would you?!). I have seen his arguments used negatively in some scientific researches as well. Bottom line: before one engages with practices and groups like SK and AOL, one must inform oneself A LOT. Fortunately, there is internet today. What looks nice could be hell. Isn’t that how the devil paints it when it tries to cajole a “client”? Noone would tell you, “come it’s great, it’s hell”, on the contrary.

More importantly, it’s not just whether there are papers that support the SK or not, or whether there are diplomas/prizes for RS. We should only look at the actions of those who have been with him for a long time. Even to his own behaviours when he is not in a public satsang “on stage”. Do devotees look and behave themselves better with the practice of the SK? Or do they act with aggression, anxiety, hyperactivity? Do they have a tendency to lie more, saying one thing in public, another in private? to be fanatic? to assault anyone because they don’t agree with them that AoL is the best? to disregard values in order to achieve their goals? Do they seem to have lost their own decision-making power? Do they seem to be brain-washed? Are Harshal and company, for example, people who transmit peace, love, joy, compassion, spirituality, stability? Does Ravi transmit that himself or the contrary? Are the people who claim to have been “rescued” and “transformed” really seem equanimous or restless? Sick or healthy? despite their discourses?

As to the swami defaming a teacher for being bipolar, the nasty point is not that the person is bipolar and they ruined her by letting her do SK. The nasty thing is they (alleged spiritual people) accuse someone of being bipolar as if it was something criminal, only because they suspect this person started a blog and had the courage to speak up, and that this person is NOT bipolar at all. It also shows they have no understanding of bipolarity or in fact, any disorder, and that they are after money and not well-being.

Many people today suffer of bipolarity and many great people have it. One should ask oneself how sincerely spiritual are these people if they persecute someone using an illness in a cruel way? Would you put your life in the hands of people like this? Would you put your mind, your health to people who act this way when they feel threatened? Further, it is an offense to all people who really suffer of a psychiatric illness! Why would then one seek refuge in the AoL? They have absolutely no compassion nor care for anyone!

If the teacher would have been bipolar, this is how they treat her? If the person was and they let her do SK knowing it is not good, then, who is criminal? The “bipolar” or the bipolar guru who not only let her do it but exploited her for many years? Cuz, after all, for many years RS bragged about her and used her as a model in TRMs. Is that the best argument and accusation he could come up with just to lure people away from the blogs? From criticisms? The letter in itself should make everyone wonder what he is made of and what moves him for real. The law suit should make one wonder too. Not only does he owe an apology to this teacher and her family for the defamations, but also to EVERYONE who suffers of a psychiatric disorder. And of course, to everyone who sincerely had a quest for spirituality that he exploited for his own ambition.

Ravi is the Kadafi of “spiritual business”.

(Read Sudarshan Kriya: Freeing or Frying the Mind posted on KLIM’s blog. That helped me understand many things).

Sudarshan Kriya and Bipolar Disorder

June 9, 2012

For those who continue to challenge a key concern raised many times on this blog that practicing Sudarshan Kriya can produce harmful effects in the practitioner, and for those who in the same breath claim that sufficient research has been done to deem it to be safe, let us consider the practice of SK with regards to those who suffer from bipolar disorder.

The following accounts are taken from Art of Living websites, and represent the current views regarding bipolar disorder:


Q: Can people diagnosed with bipolar condition do Sudarshan Kriya or the Silence Course?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I don’t advice them to attend the Silence Course, but they can attend the Basic Course and do everything except Sudarshan Kriya. Simple meditation, pranayam and some yoga is very good for them. They should do Sri Sri Yoga.


Comorbid psychiatric illness. Yoga breathing—particularly Bhastrika and rapid cycle breathing—may trigger manic episodes in patients with bipolar disorder. Those with type II bipolar disorder whose mood swings are well-controlled may do yoga breathing under supervision if they avoid Bhastrika and rapid cycle breath forms.

Now, consider that in his defamatory letter (which is reproduced here on this blog) Swami Sadyojatha named a former AoL teacher who he claimed was a bipolar sufferer, it is evident from reading this letter that Art of Living encouraged this former teacher to practice SK in spite of her allegedly suffering from SK. Indeed, the Swami makes it sound as if SK was the one thing which helped her to control and compose herself, and that when she wasn’t practising, that’s when her troubles were at their peak.

What this tells us is that at least up to the time the letter was written, August 2010, Art of Living were unaware that SK can be harmful to those who have been diagnosed as suffering from bipolar. In other words, this clearly shows that insufficient research had been done between 1982 and 2010 to determine at least one of the harmful effects of SK, and that this only came to light subsequently. Because since 1982, Art of Living have been publicly teaching this technique to anyone who attends their Basic Course – without taking into consideration if they suffer from bipolar.

I can further add to this that during the entire time I was with Art of Living, I had (and still have) a friend who suffers from bipolar and who I was trying to convince to do the Basic Course. I told many teachers about his condition, and they all urged me to bring my friend to the course because they strongly believed that SK would help to treat bipolar.

Yet now all of a sudden we are being told that SK is not suitable to those who suffer from bipolar. If this is the case, then one cannot help but wonder, with all this purported research Art of Living claim to have done on this technique how on earth did it take them nearly 30 years to discover this? And if it took 30 years for them to discover this one thing, what other harmful effects still remain to be discovered? Can they honestly still claim that “side effects, if any, are only positive”?

ADDENDUM 1 (June 11, 2012)

Q: Specifically, why should those who suffer from bipolar not practice SK?
Q: Can someone show the scientific research which has been carried out which concludes that SK is not suitable to those who suffer from bipolar?

ADDENDUM 2 (June 11, 2012)

After reading “ex teacher’s” comment (which became the following post, Would You Put Your Life in the Hands of People Like This?), I wish to acknowledge that “ex teacher” is in actual fact CORRECT about what the Sudarshan Kriya notes say with regards to bipolar disorder. Specifically, the notes mention that those who suffer from manic depression (which later came to be known as bipolar disorder) should NOT practice Sudarshan Kriya.

Based on this information, Art of Living have actually presented us with TWO conflicting views regarding the practice of Sudarshan Kriya. On the one hand we are told that “officially” those who suffer from bipolar disorder should NOT practice Sudarshan Kriya (see quotes above and now the SK notes), whilst on the other hand one of the seniormost teachers in Art of Living, Swami Sadyojatha, has told us something radically different in his letter (link above) where he defames the former teacher which he accuses of suffering from bipolar. A letter which must have been sanctioned by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar himself otherwise it would not have been allowed to be published. So was this really means is that RS is contradicting himself on something which is an extremely serious issue. In other words, he is lying.

All of which still doesn’t help us, because we still don’t know the truth about SK with regards to bipolar, and most likely we will never know.

Just to be clear on this, all other questions raised here still stand.

Questions Sudarshan Kriya Practitioners Should Ask Themselves

June 6, 2012

by anonymous

In the year 1999 – 2000, the Master had declared that by the time he turns 80, every house will have a picture of His. The whole world would have done the AOL course but only a small segment of the world population would not practice SK (despite having done the course), for religious reasons.

We were made to believe that those who did SK would be liberated and those who didn’t would be doomed. “We have waited for many, many lifetimes to be with Guruji and receive SK”, we were told by teachers.

I am not sure about many, many lifetimes but I’m sure that after many, many years of SK practice, I know which section of the population is doomed.

It is really unfortunate that some of us were manipulated by AOL.

If there are any new / old AOLites practicing SK, reading this blog, then here are some questions that you need to ask yourselves & the appropriate authorities.

  1. Is this technique working for me?
    How do I feel at the different levels of my existence i.e Body, mind, memory etc..after doing sadhana?
    You may remind yourself that : It may have worked for someone but that is their experience, not mine. I have to respect my experience.
  2. Am I experiencing any benefits from this technique NOW?
    When you are on the path of truth you don’t need to wait for a decade or more to experience the benefits.
  3. Do the teachers who teach the technique practice it themselves? If not, why not?
  4. Is this technique Harming anyone? If it is, then its definitely not universal as its touted to be.
  5. Do you understand the technique so that you practice it correctly?
  6. Do the Master and the organisation allow you to discuss the technique / Problems related to the technique in an open forum and answer the questions directly, taking ownership for what they?
  7. If the technique IS Working for You and Not for Others, why is it not working for them, especially if its done under a teachers supervision?
  8. How long might it take before the good feeling fades away and You start feeling the negative effects? If you have been practicing SK for some years, then are you alert and aware of how the technique is working on you NOW or are the initial good experiences propelling you to continue the practice?
  9. Look at the list of benefits that AOL propagates will come with SK practice. And, check –
    How many benefits you are experiencing and how many you are not. For those benefits that your not experiencing, lets say, Good memory, ASK the GURU / SR teachers in an open forum as to why SK is not helping you with your memory. Open forum, so that the answer benefits all.

    And, Lets understand, IF the medical reports say that you are fine, then you don’t need any medication to improve your memory be it allopathic OR AYURVEDIC. Why is SK not helping then? After all, AOL says that SK will help improve your memory, right? not to mention that with SK there won’t be any need for hospitals!

  10. Always check how you felt before SK and how you feel now, after practicing SK and being in AOL. After 1yr, after 2yrs, 3yrs and so on. Do the realty check for as long as you continue there.
  11. If SK works differently on different people, depending on their karmas,
    Then How can the long kriya / RS’ rhythm be the same for all the different people? Breath is a common tool for all , nature of the mind and feelings are the same, agreed. However, each person’s body-mind complex is so different based on their karmas?.

We think and feel differently about different things. We look different and have unique finger prints. So, My rhythm is unique to me based on my body-mind complex. Its for me to observe and find out.

OR Does this mean that AOL insinuates that RS is Enlightened and hence can give the Whole World One Liberating Rhythm?

Even if RS was enlightened, how can our rhythms be the same when there are varieties even in enlightenment? (as I vaguely remember Him saying.)

And if long kriya was to take us back to the source, why should it be so tiring to breathe in that rhythm? (at least it was until the SK tape was revised). Was the tape revised because / after he acquired all the 16 gunas ? (something that RS shared with the chosen few about 4yrs ago when he, as claimed by himself, had JUST acquired complete enlightenment with 16 gunas.)

If its all about 99% grace and 1% technique, then there should be no negative side effects.
The Sr.teachers, of all the people, should have been practicing the technique with the benefits reflecting in their behavior and health. The Guru should acknowledge his devotees’ questions about the technique and explain how 99% grace cannot let any harm happen to them.

If you are a sadhak doing sadhana or a sevak who enjoys seva, please understand that Spirituality, charity, service etc starts with you and then extends gradually to your family, friends, city, country and the world. So, please dont ignore yourself thinking about the world. You, who are a very tiny part of the world are still very important to yourself, your loved ones and also to the world!

So, what’s important is – How peaceful you feel within yourself and How compassionate you are towards others. And, that’s where the WORLD PEACE begins – From You.

Good Luck to All.

Control Strategies Employed By The Master

June 4, 2012

by Freedom Found

As you go closer into AOL and RS you see a lot of unpleasant things which leaves us with a bad taste and also wondering whether RS is really spiritual, leave alone enlightened.!!!

I have noticed several patterns that RS uses constantly to Keep his business going.

  1. He constantly criticizes people for the work/seva that they have done, and creates a sense of worthlessness in people, so that they can forever keep working harder to please him, which is never going to happen.
  2. He constantly leaves people in a state of confusion/flux with his decisions. At the end of his decisions, people have understood things differently and each one feels the other will work hence creating conflict and chaos.
  3. He also gives different decisions to different people regarding the same issue and causes conflict, later while the fight between people has gone out of hands, then RS intervenes and creates an act as though he’s is resolving issues, (which actually he isn’t) and gets away with this image that he is so good and holy and people around him are villains.
  4. He loves soo much attention, that in one of the satsang organised form him, the organizers had gone out of their way to organize a special entry and exit way for RS so that he could leave without the crowds bothering him, but guess what RS did in that satsang? He left the stage after the program through the exit and when he saw that no people were there to see him, he turned around and ran towards that crowd to show his care and love for people (which actually his need for attention and money and power camouflaged)
  5. He conveniently surrounds him with brainwashed devotees who don’t stand in the way of his decisions, irregular accounts and other malpractices.
  6. if anybody around him is found questioning his actions/decisions or the happenings in Trusts or AoL, they are then removed from their posts without any reason and the person is left in a state of shock wondering whether it is good to be truthful or not, because RS is surely not being truthful.
  7. He makes sure that no policies or procedures are created, so that he can do anything at his convenience and keep his family business going while people around take the blame for all the irregularities, while he gets away scot free.
  8. He systematically tracks down rich and influential people and gives them personal attention, so that he can use their money and influence in the time of conflict resolution between countries, rescue work during calamities, to promote his products, lobby for the Nobel Peace Prize, run his non-existent seva projects and then finally get away with telling people that RS has saved the world. What a load of BS !!
  9. He hires cheap labor in the from of, asking a lot of well-placed top professionals and qualified youth to give up their careers and work full-time for him. These brainwashed people think RS is God and he will take care of them for the rest of their lives and make themselves sacrificial goats. After a few years when they are quite frustrated with the Organisation and realize the above truth about their beloved RS, they can neither leave the organisation as they are no longer socially fit for a career, nor can they remain as they are frustrated. They continue to forcibly be part of the Organisation, while RS’s money is ticking.

Brilliant strategy!!!

Update from Skywalker on the Lawsuit

June 1, 2012

It has been a while since I wrote a post on the blog. I do check in once in a while to read the posts and some comments, and I am amazed at the activity going on here. Soon the blog will have 700.000 hits, and 10.000 comments. I never expected that much interest, when I started it two years ago. Amazingly, the posts are still covering new angles and thoughts on AOL. Thanks Doc, for doing a tremendous job editing the blog.

The lawsuit that AOL has filed against me and the other Does is still ongoing. With the help of our amazing lawyer Joshua Koltun, to date we have defeated most of the claims against us, save one. You can read the highlights of the case here. Note that we have managed to protect our anonymity. Apparently that is an important precedence in US internet law, potentially benefitting many future bloggers.

If not for the lawsuit, I would have left this blog long ago, finally taking my last step Beyond. I am confident that I will be able to do so soon, and I think I will do so without ever looking back. Life is rich and sweet post-AOL.

I got past my bad experiences in AOL by reading Klim’s blog, the books recommended on this blog and by writing posts. And every time someone writes a comment that this blog has helped them think for themselves, and trust their own judgement regarding AOL, I get the feeling that it was worth it: the sleepless nights, the anxiety and the countless days spent working on my defence. If I have managed to help someone, then it was all worth it.

A Deeply Disturbing Story

May 28, 2012

The following letter was sent to us by a very concerned husband. To protect the identities of those mentioned in the letter, all names, dates and places have been redacted.

To give some background to those who are unaware, the DSN is one of Art of Living’s supposedly more “advanced” courses. However the reality, as many of us here have already experienced and can attest to, is that it is a course in which Art of Living employs a number of brainwashing techniques to turn course participants into more willing servants of the organization. Sleep deprivation is heavily used during this course, which is known to induce a state of psychosis and thus makes subjects a lot more susceptible to for example the many “Guru stories” – stories about SSRS and his alleged magical powers, “grace” and so on – which are related by teachers during the course.

It is also during the DSN that participants have to undergo one of the most infamous Art of Living brainwashing processes, the so-called “hot seat” exercise, which involves each person in a group taking it in turns to sit in the “hot seat” and be criticized by all other members of the group. Many times this just turns into a deeply personal insulting contest, and has result in people breaking down into tears and developing complexes. It is an unnecessarily cruel exercise, and in fact is based on a brainwashing technique which was developed by the in Chinese during the Korean War in the early 1950s to break down the identity of an individual and bring about a change in their core beliefs. Which seems to be why it is used in Art of Living.

Dear Sir,

I would like to share the my wife’s experience with you. She did her basic course around ***** years back from a center in *****.

Since the last 2 years she devoted a lot of time in AOL classes and follow ups.

The incidence that I am writing below happened on *****.

Her teacher at the ***** centre *****, suggested to her to attend the DSN course. She attended the course at their center in *****. The course teacher was someone by the name *****.

She got so involved in the proceeding that she lost all sense of time and surroundings. She became a total mental wreck. On the final day of the course, donations are collected by repeatedly instructing to the participants that if they give X amount they will get back 10X from the Nature.

My wife committed *****, which she didn’t have. She picked up the money lying with us as a safekeeping from someone and gave it away. She was not in her senses then and on the next day she picked up all the money lying in the house and picked up a big suitcase , filled it with her clothes (even new unused ones), our child’s saving box and many other things and gave it all to a maid working in our house.

In the evening I was in my office and I got a call from her friend that she is with her and there is some problem. I rushed there and found her to be in a very bad shape, Crying and shaking and not in her senses. I took her to my brother’s home along with the children and stayed there for the night, as she refused to come home. According to her there was some negativity in the house as her instructor at AOL visited our house and said so.

In the morning of ***** I decided to consult a Psychiatrist and took an appointment for the afternoon. I suggested to her to come home with me and the children and get ready. When we reached home she became totally hysterical and behaved like she was possessed , for 15-20 minutes it was very hard to control her and we somehow picked her up when she was a little exhausted and carried her to ***** Hospital, which is near our house. At the hospital she was given a sedative and was reffered to ***** ( a speciality hospital for psychiatric problems) . She was in the hospital for 4 days. She is well now but is on short term medication.

The way there [Art of Living] people played with her emotions and influenced/hypnotised her is totally wrong and unethical on their part. How can you ask for donations in a course in which you are participating after paying a good amount as Fee. And there people did not give any receipt for the money that she gave away.

I emailed at the AOL HQ , and there centers around one week back , but there has been no response. Even her teacher/ instructor said that we cannot do anything.

I request you to follow this up and share my experience with everyone, and try to expose them.

Yours Truly

When I heard stories like this, it really causes me a great deal of pain and misery. To learn that someone has been so badly abused and exploited in this manner by an organization which claims to want to rid the world of stress and put a smile on everyone’s faces.

If you are in Art of Living and you are a sincere, well-meaning person, please share this with everyone in Art of Living that you know. This sort of thing has to be stopped. If you don’t help to stop it, then you are a part of the problem. If you turn a blind eye while this sort of thing is going on, then you are only encouraging it to happen and it will continue to happen in the future.

Those who follow and support this blog stand against these things. If you are in any way sincere, then you too will do whatever you can to help put an end to these abuses.

Debunking “Guruji’s Grace” – Part 3

May 27, 2012

by Venkatesh, The Doctor

by Venkatesh
So many senior teachers in the AOL are seriously physically ill. But SSRS is happy making his money through his remaining teachers. What does he care as long as the cash register is ringing?

So many senior teachers are suffering from diabetes and hypertension. One teacher named Ravindra Prasad is suffering from diabetes and now has been diagnosed with tuberculosis and is staying in the hospital. A senior teacher Vinod Menon suffers from uncontrolled hypertension. He also has had several attacks of chest pain and has several blocks in the heart.

Another advanced course teacher Mrs Shenoy has severe problems with her legs which started after a particular advanced course and was unable to move around for one and half to two years.

A teacher named Sanjay Bihari who has done so much for the organization and has worked in the naxal affected areas is down with severe back problems. Swami Pragyapad (aka Prashanth Rajore) had a severe heart attack.

Dinesh (of Bawa Dinesh) pair was hospitalized with some major illness.

I know of another senior teacher who is no more who died of a severe illness.This is just the tip of the iceberg.( I am just giving out names because I am sure many on this blog and others in AOL can recognize them)

If SKY is cure for all illness, one wonders how all these people ended up with these ailments. Aren’t those practising yoga supposed to be healthier and happier when compared to the rest of the population?

Has the guru not promised to take care of you at every step of your life? He says openly” you do my job; anyway I am doing your job”. Is this the care he offers?

When you ask SSRS he completely ignores such questions.

When you ask the other AOLites they claim as usual that it is their KARMA.

One explanation given was that these teachers having taught so many courses have been affected by the negative karma of their paticipants. If a teacher is getting affected by such negative elements then he/she then is teaching these courses a seva as SSRS claims?

Interestingly neither he nor his sister Bhanu or brother -in-law teach SKY or the advanced course (his way of protecting them?)

Most of these disillusioned senior teachers feel that these illnesses mean that their guru is taking away their bad karma .

What a mess this maniac SSRS has created? Does he even realize this?

by The Doctor
Isn’t it more obvious now than ever that this whole idea of SSRS possessing any special powers aka “grace” is the biggest load of BS at the heart of the AoL brainwashing machinery?

We have previously heard accounts (see links below) of SSRS being able to bring people back from the dead, as well as Dr Peter telling us that he (SSRS) was able to cure a terminal illness which Dr Peter had. If that was really the case, why has he been unable to cure any of the above senior teachers, Swamis, people who are supposedly so close to him? Why was he unable to cure his own sister who had to have a particular operation not too long ago? Doesn’t this show that even SK doesn’t have anywhere near the seemingly miraculous properties attributed to it by Art of Living?

I’m not asking these questions rhetorically, however it is fairly certain that no one in Art of Living will come forward and provide answers, because they have previously and will continue to ignore these revealing questions.

If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to read Parts 1 and 2 of this series, and then to make your own mind up.

See also:

Debunking “Guruji’s Grace” – Part 1
Debunking “Guruji’s Grace” – Part 2

Why Teachers are Unqualified to Teach Sudarshan Kriya

May 26, 2012

by IO

Adyut, May 25, 2012 9:39 pm

Doesn’t AOL make course participants sign an agreement when they sign up that absolves AOL of any consequences? If this is the case, then no one could sure them for SK related damages.

Well that is true and that may be so. All participants sign something similar to the below.

“I am participating in the AOL part-1 course of my own free will. I will not make any claims on AOL and I absolve the teacher / helpers…and organizers of any blame as far as the program outcome is concerned. I will also not teach what is taught in the class without being certified and trained by AOL.”.

However, this is potentially invalid as a legal agreement due to the following

  1. Who and what is AOL ? Is it the volunteers ? Who do these volunteer’s report to ? The owners ?
  2. If so, who are the real owners of AOL ? Yes it is a volunteer run organisation and its they who put the course together. So, is it the local manager ? But then, none of them would be on the payroll of any organisation called AOL ? So who then is AOL ?
  3. Who is then legally accountable for these sessions and teachings ? Now we know they dont even have a copyright.
  4. I would think, the final entity that collects the money… right ? Now that money trail varies from state to state and country to country. Individual entities in each city/state/country are franchises with the Master AOL…but none of them will have a legal and binding agreement that says this, which they can produce in court.
  5. The transfer of monies to AOL in India are treated as donations. There is no strict accounting trails that can lead to clear audits (PLUS there is no legal relationship between the Chapter and the Principal).

What will further stand-out on closer scrutiny is the following

  1. The Group that calls themselves AOL did not fully disclose/educate potential participants about the potential pit-falls of SK.
  2. On investigation, most of the group will fall under the category of an unqualified doctor (read quack) ….as they will not have a medical background, and YET will openly will claim many cures and miracles….as told to them by others in AOL.
  3. On further investigation any published medical research on SK will easily seen to be AOL sponsored or would have a conflict of interest as the lead Researcher would have also been an AOL teacher (Dr Vinoda Kuchipillai, ex Head of Oncology, AIMS-New Delhi).

Side note : When I was an active volunteer I would recruit many of my colleagues in the office. I remember one colleague that developed some major crazy symptoms while doing SK. My colleague had not declared on their form that they were once taking medication for bi-polar activity. The sickness post SK caused them to take leave of absence for many weeks. My colleague’s boss, a foreign national then called me to directly check how qualified I was to even talk about such a subject and recruit people for a unproven program. He wanted to know, how could I talk about stress, mental health, physical health and so on. He even called me a quack and warned me to stop my recruiting activity within the office. He was right. However, my life was filled with the Grace. I continued to recruit. Then I became a teacher. Then I started to teach it.

What is interesting is the following. My own body started to reject SK within a year of me becoming a teacher. I was in a interesting quandary. I was teaching the stuff, but could not do it myself. That was hypocritical. I continued to teach though. The other good things far outweighed the few uncomfortable things I felt. I realise now, that maybe I was very very lucky and I still had some sanity intact at that time, that I managed to actually respect what my body was telling me and to not be guilty about not STAYING with the popular hype (There is nothing beyond SK, which I was also selling heavily at that time).

I remember, I sometimes had some pretty spiritually advanced people (those that had been working on themselves for very long periods… their own ways and were proficient in other paths). What I found strange at those times was that these people for most parts, did not have positive experiences with SK and would struggle to even finish the class.

Later on I figured out that every system leaves its miasms on participants. Some are planted deliberately…for control purposes. For AOL it is hingent on the 20-40-40 and the belief systems they propagate. These miasms are effective protectors and the liability is that the same protecting mechanism also inhibits you. Nevertheless its an energy signature. You will notice that its easy to identify an regular AOL practitioner. Its kinda evident and you know it instinctively. It is again because of the AOL miasms.


if you want to learn more about miasms.
From what I have been able to witness from the behaviour of many many participants over many years who I know did SK regularly……they invariably seemed to end up being very weak on the “remembering things side”. (aka memory loss).

The following is my take only

This above is a very interesting thing. If your body/mind system is collectively weak on memory so are the individual cellular memories. And the body cells reproduce frequently to keep the system going. Hence when it reproduces it is not able to carry forward corrections and learnings from before….due to the memory loss. This is how our physical health actually gets impacted over the long term.

As we navigate through life, memory is important. We typically need are not very well served by the emotions that some memories bring, but we do need the memories for the learning that it brings us. We need to make comparisons and take decisions based on past experience. Imagine having your computer hard disk being wiped out little by little everyday. The document you saved yesterday, you can’t find it today. Soon, you cannot even remember that you made it. This will make your overall system slow and sloth like.

I do not have instant recall (due to the memory loss). The same knowledge now has to be repeated to me many times a day for it to take impact. Hence the need for repeated courses, year on year !!!! The dosage has just increased. And when you attend the courses it is not just the universal truths that get repeated (Such as expectations reduce joy, Accept people and situations as they are, opposite values are complementary)….bit also cleverly planted untruths and misleading data

  1. Guruji is enlightened
  2. He is Krishna
  3. Our overheads are 80%
  4. We are going to win the Nobel peace Prize
  5. We are doing seva projects all over the world…
  6. One bi-polar girl started the blog….don’t go there, its bad karma

The same thing repeated again and again mindlessly becomes you reality and the truth. Afterall, many different people from different groups and regions are saying the same thing.

Before long the following happens……

How AoL Brainwashes Its Teachers and Volunteers

May 22, 2012

by IO

Saleem Rizvi, May 9, 2012 9:48 am

One of the Comments that the guru is spreading these days in Maharashtra is that the new year is going to change the face of this country. Revolution is comming soon and it will start in Maharashtra. Also I heard a teacher from Bangalore say that Guruji was saying that “there are going to be so many people asscociated with AOL in the near future that the I wont have time to even meet people and all I can do at that time is just wave to them from the top and greet them”.

Rayster, May 9, 2012 12:39 pm

*sigh*. Still using the same classic cult techniques, Ravi. No originality, eh? Always dangling the carrot of imminent worldwide takeover in front of the brainwashed members. Nothing new to see here, folks. Move on.

I started to reflect on what Rayster and Saleem Rizvi said above and the following long post happened. Today for the first time, I followed the entire thinking behind home some of their parasitic mechanism and have in turn attempted to share this with the readers of this blog. The system is now so well honed… happens to you very very smoothly…its difficult to catch it while it is happening. Its a long post, so do read through the below fully, and you see a continuing similarity in their way of working in your AOL region…do share.

As far I can remember he has doing this every year since 2001 and typically in every Teachers Refresher Meet (2001 is when my timeline kinda started). He would Proclaim and make grand statements….. “From next year onwards……you will be inundated / flooded with courses. People will flock to you. No need to do such hard work. You will not be able to stop them coming. You will see. (All this with a distant far away look in his eyes….he is looking into the future you see !!!)

AND, this is how we the sheeple used to interpret and READ other meanings into it…over the immediate and medium term.

  1. Aha !!!! Major blessings from my Master. God !, how much he loves us (me). Finally, I don’t have to struggle, struggle, struggle to do courses anymore. I just have to enjoy teaching.
  2. With chest swelling up….I imagine, my class is full….I am a great teacher. I like it when participants come to class and get so benefitted by everything I have benefitted.
  3. Then I think, nothing is this very straight forward. And nothing comes without effort. In an indirect way, perhaps he is hinting at us that he (WE) need to win the Nobel Peace Prize this year. AHA ….Ok !!! I need to generate support and nomination for this among my community. Then I remember, that some of the most socially visible powerhouses in my community are not yet AOL Volunteers. I gotta make them do the course. All these years they have not come for our part-1 course.
  4. I think further, who is the most attractive salesperson who we have got to make this happen (ie fiill up the classes). Aha ! SriSri himself. So, what can we do to bring him here to my city/country and make him do these talks. When he comes, its God coming to my land. All living beings here will rejoice. My community will see me with him and they will all flock to us. So, immediately, what can I do to make his track record visible to the local population. Especially to the local administrators and the government ? I have to do more seva projects for the visibility and increase the intensity of recruiting more people for my courses. I think to myself—- Why don’t I do a few free courses for the government. In any case the BEST SEVA is to do courses. I have to bring more and more people into knowledge. Yes that is the best Seva one can do. The other seva is too hard. Here, at least I get to teach and make some of my own followers. However, the APEX body will get in the way of all this. It won’t happen. I need to make it a special event to attract these powerful people. What can I do ?
  5. Fast forward 6 months to 1 year and all of his has not happened. SriSri is not coming to our land. This means indirectly, the work we have done is not enough. The Master is testing us.
  6. God, I still need these influential locals to join in and join in fast. SriSri is not coming to us….maybe we can all go to him (good idea). So lets try a mass enrollment for “Women’s Conference” (an euphemism work for an expensive AOL ladies Kitty party camouflaged by meditation / yoga and discussions …..yes discussions ONLY on potential WW service programs. So we hype the event, appeal to the participants showcasing that the WHO IS WHO is going to be there. We don’t ever share what specific issues will be discussed or resolved (for we don’t know ourselves…but it is going to be good). Its for world peace we say. Also, you are going to have a good time….Ayurvedic massages (We never tell you its not free), fun and games, networking, wisdom, singing, dancing…..great food, back to nature………the lure of travel and a fun event…..will get some of these potential participants to finally come in.
  7. What is interesting here is that visitors to such an event pay for their own airfare, accommodation,SK and Sahaj courses while in the Ashram, food….and so on. Also, now that they have done the SK, they have officially become an AOL volunteer (finally initiated into the fold).
  8. Typically, such visitors will ASSUME that AOL is an organisation with a huge amount of good Hearted Volunteers who care for Society (it will feel like that in all that euphoria you feel driven by all the extra oxygen into your previously less hyperventilated body).
  9. Couple this with the fact that, many of these visitors will usually have a very special community service initiative which they have visualised and implemented (small or big) with their own resources, energy and creativity. Poor fellows, they will share this with the audience…amongst whom are AOL’s publicity hungry parasites. Many such programs presented or discussed in such a forum will soon have AOL branding written all over them. Afterall this was presented to AOL by their new AOL volunteer. Project Hijacked….pure and simple

    Many would have noticed this with the Anna Hazare movement as long as it suited AOL. These projects will soon be known as an AOL SEVA program….after all it was discussed in their forum. It will now appear on the AOL website and CV). Soon, it will be touted in the esatsang newsletter as an AOL Germany / Argentina initiative…and so on.

  10. The parasitic attack is so amazingly constructed that It just kinda grows (CREEPS) onto you…and you do not even realise it even after it has happened.
  11. The beauty is, thus far, AOL has not donated anything (idea, money, effort) and will not donate a single rupee for any of these new found projects. They simply designed a cheap event…and spent some money on the event which was more than easily recovered from the participants.
  12. The good work (Read Goodwill, Brand Equity) of all the participants was now theirs….FOR FREE. For AOL and SriSri only the visibility is important. You will see continuity is not of any consequence to them. In general, most service projects they take up will never finish or conclude. They will not be reported on post completion. There have been exceptions to these…but very few…and at a low level. At sometime, they will all be stalled/dropped. And nobody is wiser.
  13. However, to the casual observer, you would say, SO WHAT….at least they DID THIS MUCH…which nobody else does. But dear casual observer, that “this much” was mostly borrowed …it was not OWNED ever…because with ownership comes responsibility and AOL has very little of that.
  14. In all SriSri’s travels his devotees will talk to him on everything. Many times he will not GET IT. However, the man has a phenomenal memory for things he can exploit. He will use the same volunteers to develop a program around these current issues. The volunteers will falsely assume that if done under the umbrella of AOL, they automatically have the Blessings of the master and they simply cannot fail. Most of these volunteers are driven essentially by the “issue” and by their own hearts. Hence they do not care for the credits at all…as long as the work gets done. This in many ways is the undoing of their project. Their original intent was pure. With AOL in it becomes totally diluted (since for them only the publicity is important…refer Anna Hazare again….once it starts becoming tough like any community service project is….it will get dropped like a HOT BRICK).
  15. It is only the people inside AOL who keep contributing again and again for such projects. A customer in had is worth 10 in the market. Soon, the market in general is able to see through the shallowness of AOL’s involvement and new members/potential partners will hesitate to come in with resources into the same project because AOL has already hijacked it. What a colossal waste. I have witnessed this happen time and again.
  16. While I do believe that its highly probable that the original intent behind founding VVMVP i 1982 (now AOL:) to be a true service organisation……BUT today, that has changed dramatically and diametrically. These days, I can see is “SOMEHOW PROTECT THE CASH GENERATING AOL ENGINE…AT ANY COST”.
  17. Recruiting and KEEPING (this is the key) new cult members is getting very difficult. It is a losing trend. Especially with the internet and this blog. Many old warriors are waking up. So, now more than ever before, is the BIG FEAR…”I can’t lose my existing devotees…then I am really screwed…my cash generating engine will dry up”. Hence the need for dramatic untruths such as “A lady asked for 2000 US$ and I did not pay”. So she started the blog. It is bad karma. If you read it you will be doomed. Be careful.

I often wonder whatever really happened to …”Love moves the world”…Yet another initiative that fell by the wayside ?

The Truth Hurts – Part 2

May 20, 2012

drpetersutphen 2012/05/19 at 2:34 pm

Dr., I realize we actually can have a conversation about the assertion regarding the SK tape and grace being present only with a AOL teacher. I still assert that such a claim was never made on my basic course,but… It seems like such a claim has been reported by some. So, let’s say such an assertion has been made. If I remember your original question it was if the SK tape only works with a teacher present, then why did it work for you or others when an AOL teacher was not present? Is that right? By “working” I assume you mean you had the same experience from SK regardless of the absence or presence of a teacher. I’ll stop here and wait for your response….if you want to respond!!


I honestly don’t think there’s anything more we can discuss on this matter on this blog as I have said everything I can possibly say to you and if we were to continue in this manner, we would just be going round in circles.

However, I am also willing to give you the benefit of the doubt so I would like to propose something which I believe will be of tremendous benefit to everyone here, including you. I am not so much interested in showing that you are lying about your knowledge of these issues as I am in the issues themselves. After all it is these very issues we are discussing that underlie many of the criticisms raised on this blog against Art of Living. And as such, I want to make every effort to get to the bottom of these issues.

So what I’d like to propose it the following. You tell us you were completely unaware of the myth propagated by many in Art of Living, especially teachers, that the kriya tape doesn’t work unless a teacher is present. A teacher being someone who has undertaken the Art of Living TTC course. Ok, let’s assume that you are telling the truth. Through this blog, you have now been made aware of this. You have further been made aware of the fact that those who undergo TTC are conditioned to believe this myth about the kriya tape because this is what happens as a result of a number of processes carried out during TTC. Just to be clear, I am stating this as a fact: Art of Living teachers believe this myth about the kriya tape. They believe that they become channels through which “Guru’s Grace” will flow, and it is this “grace” which is responsibile for what kriya participants experience.

Now, since you claim you were unaware of this, hearing this must be quite surprising to you. Especially as you have already told us “I’ve always viewed SK as a pure technique just like a mantra meditation.” (drpetersutphen 2012/05/18 at 11:00 pm). If you really are surprised about this, wouldn’t it be a good idea to start a discussion with people in Art of Living on this very subject and see what they have to say about it?

I am guessing someone who has been in AoL for 20 years must know quite a lot of teachers by now, and at least a few senior teachers as well. In fact, from what you’ve said you probably know RS himeslf right? So, why don’t you send out an email to all these teachers, senior teachers and even RS. Tell them about this very issue you’ve discovered about the kriya tape, that you were very surprised to hear this as you had no idea. Tell them further that this myth is actually a lie – again, I am stating this as a fact because I and many others have proven it and it can be repeated by anyone – and as such, you are deeply concerned that this lie is being propagated at all. You are especially concerned that those who take the AoL TTC course are conditioned to believe this lie, and that you question why this is taught at all.

Additionally, you can also broach the other subject which you are currently discussing at the moment, which concerns the safety of SK itself. Tell these same teachers that you have heard that SK has produced harmful effects in a number of practitioners. Again tell them this is something you are quite surprised to hear as you were under the impression (the impression which Art of Living gives the world) that SK is completely harmless and has no negative side effets. It would also be good if you asked them if during TTC they are taught what to do in the event that something does go wrong with a particular participant who practices SK. Are they medically trained in any way to deal with such eventualities?

It would be great if you can put all these things down in an email and start a discussion in as many AoL circles as you know. In fact it would be far more beneficial to everyone including yourself if you did this than if you spent your time on this blog discussing these matters with anyone here. You already have a very good picture of what the views of those posting here are as we’ve more than adequately shared all our experiences and opinions here and I don’t think your discussing them further on this blog is going to achieve anything. But discussing these issues in AoL is a huge step indeed. And I think you would benefit greatly from anything you discover.

You are of course in no way obliged to do any of this. However I really don’t think this is asking a great deal of you, and if you are really sincere and genuinely want to find answers as we do, then maybe this is something you would consider doing. And if you decide to go ahead with it, please let us know and please come back and share with us everything you’ve learnt. We can all really benefit from this exercise.

The Truth Hurts – Part 1

May 17, 2012

Many times on this blog I have raised the question as to why the Sudarhan Kriya tape works just as well whether a teacher is present or not. This is one of the first things we were taught in Art of Living, that a teacher needs to be present in order for the “Guru’s Grace” to flow through them and into the participants. Most recently, I posed the question again to drpetersutphen (Peter), however for the most part he evaded the question completely and when he finally responded “in passing”, his reply was wholly unsatisfactory. The following is a summary of much of this interchange and my own response to Peter.

drpetersutphen, May 17, 2012 2:42 am

Look, I’m not trying to insult you, but I find this question to be really strange. Why wouldn’t it work? Who said it wouldn’t work? Did SSRS say this? Did you hear him say it? Did a reliable source hear him say it? What exactly did he say? Until I know for sure SSRS said this, I won’t even think about it.

@Peter, I raised this with you around a week ago now in this comment and you still haven’t responded to it directly.

A few days later when you posted under a different pseudonym, I then left you this comment, to which you replied “I will get back to you regarding the tape issue. Much of my responding or not has to do with time issues.”

Ok, but since I posted it, you have left 9 separate comments, but have yet to reply to me directly. You have vaguely replied in your above reponse to VSS, but frankly this is the most unconvincing and feeble response I have seen yet on this blog, and in actual fact it shows that you are clearly LYING. Let me tell you exactly why.

There is nothing in what I’ve quoted above which you couldn’t have written in response to my original comment there and then. You could have told me the exact same thing, it needen’t have taken you a whole week to come up with this. Are you trying to tell me you had to go away and think about this as if it was something you didn’t know at the time? And when you have been so forthcoming with comments in the past and have left so many comments since? No Peter, you were simply evading the question and please don’t try to deny it.

You know fine well just as everyone else here and everyone who is associated with Art of Living knows because it is the first thing we were all told at the end of the Part 1 course, THE KRIYA TAPE DOES NOT WORK WITHOUT A TEACHER PRESENT. This is a FACT, and don’t try to bury your head in the sand and pretend you have never heard this before. If you’ve really been in Art of Living as long as you claim you have, you know this to be true so please don’t insult my intelligence or anyone else’s here.

You have tried to evade this question just as you evaded the question posed to you on Debunking Guruji’s Grace – Part 2. You know full well that all these things PROVE BEYOND THE SHADOW OF A DOUBT much of what we have been saying throughout these blogs about AoL and RS, but your mind has been so conditioned by the brainwashing that goes on in AoL that you would choose to live in denial of the facts than to face them.

But rest assured Peter, you are not alone. It is painful to face the truth in this way, and most who have come before you have reacted in a very similar manner. They just can’t accept the facts on this blog, and would rather live in complete denial by lying to themselves and lying to everyone else around them in order to preserve their existing beliefs. Which is exactly what you are doing here.

You would rather believe that RS is an “enlightened master”, as you recently told us – otherwise you wouldn’t follow him, right? – than the person we have shown him to be on this blog, someone who is a far cry from being enlightened. You would rather believe he cured you of a terminal illness than that it was just your own faith in him that cured you. There is so much evidence on these blogs against these things, and I have this to you directly yet you have deliberately ignored it all. Why? Becuase you know that this evidence will completely destroy your reality for ever, and this isn’t something you are prepared to give up.

So you accept the lies instead, because they are far more comforting and they protect your reality bubble from bursting. But worse than that, you outright deny the evidence which shows that you are wrong, evidence which you yourself asked for and which we happily gave to you. Why even ask for it if you were just going to deny it? I think I’ve already answered that adequately above.

But there is one more thing I have to say, and I will be brutally honest and blunt here. There is a massive incongruency between what you’ve told us about yourself and your behaviour on this blog. You’ve told us that you’ve been meditating for around 40 years (correct me if I’m wrong) and that you’re on some sort of spritiual journey towards “enlightenment”. That’s all very well, but from everything you’ve written, you don’t seem to be any more “spiritually evolved” than the majority of people I know, most of whom aren’t on any spiritual path. In fact in so many ways I would say you’ve behaved in a very immature manner indeed. For instance posting under different pseudonyms and outright taunting people who don’t agree with you (e.g. VSS), whilst at the same time trying to make out that you’re a really nice guy – which just seems quite fake indeed.

So this really begs the question, is any of this really working for you at all? Is it achieving any of the desired results? From what I’ve seen, I would say almost definitely not. This leads us to the further question, is this what happens to everyone who spends as long as you have with Art of Living? I think I already know the answer to that.

Manipulation Through “Knowledge”

May 14, 2012

by Original Anonymous

Btw Doc .. I picked up the Daily Knowledge sutras book today to look for any visible signs for manipulations and I think I did come up with something..

When I read the 1st Knowledge sheet(June 21, 1995. Big Sur, California)

“This begins a new practice” … the 2nd last line of which says “Maya – delusion – is when you are stuck in events, personalities, or objects. Brahman – divine conciousness is seeing beyond all these ” ..

I was like wow this such a beautiful line. . surely this line clears a lot of things ..

.. but then when I opened the second knowledge sheet thats when I felt a little agitation ..

“Close to the master” 1st line of which says “If you are not feeling close to the master, its because of you – because of your mind, your ego concepts.” ..

immediately I realized where did the Guru chasing arise from. Yes Guru chasing was there back in the 80s too. But then there were not that many devotees and darshan used to be much more personal. I feel this is the sheet in which all the being close to the master thing arose…

The stage for competition to being close to the Guru was set.. so now the devotees to prove their spiritual growth had to seem close to the Guru.. and the Guru speaks more to the teachers than the volunteers.. he meets the teachers individually and the volunteers in a group.. he meets the devotees in even larger groups.. amongst teachers he gives more adoration to the teachers who teach the biggest courses.. etc etc

Hence the stage for getting more and more people was in the hands of the Guru .. the Guru had a chance to set up competition for probably giving better darshan to the person who helped the most people, who did some great random acts of kindness… but unfortunately the stage seemed setup for who gets the maximum people to the organization

In the second knowledge sheet (June 21, 1995. Big Sur, California) goes on to say further…

Q. When you play games with us and push us away, how can we feel close to you?

Sri Sri: You should feel more close if you are scolded or ignored, because to ignore somebody takes a lot of effort. When a master does not even ignore a wrapping paper or a flower in a vase, how can he ignore a walking, talking, breathing human being who is connected to him? Once you understand this you immediately feel close.

Torre: Can we call you every week?

Kenny: Call Guruji** every week, and if he doesn’t answer the phone, then you know you are loved!


** People around the world commonly address Sri Sri as Guruji(honored teacher)

Two things .. 1st is that convieniently the stage has been set up for multiple followers… even if you are ignored then the master loves you more.. hence no need to give personal darshans anymore … just ignore and the devotees will think the master loves them,. crave for more intimate interaction.. do more seva i.e. get more people n all … etc etc

2nd thing is that this knowledge sheet establishes him as “Guruji” the honored teacher…

The 3rd Knowledge sheet was on Sanchita, Prarabhdha karma.. didn’t see any manipulation and was about to move on when I saw a small “*” near the last line

And Satsang* burns the seed of all negative karmas before they are even given a chance to sprout.


*Company of the master, also refers to a group of people who come together to celebrate the knowledge

Now in this 3rd knowledge sheet the stage has been set up for the Satsang and deitification of the Guru, since now a group will form together to celebrate Satsang, the photo is going to be of the Guru, and obviously bhajans will be sung and hence people will feel high, they will associate the power of the mantras(including the Guru mantras) with the photo present in the satsang, hence the stage was set up for Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to become a divine avataar who has come up to relieve many of their negative karmas (I would like to add that I still love the bhajans and the satsangs , I am sure many of us do, but don’t visit them anymore). I kind of like Sri Sri becoz he makes people chant the name of the divine but then I also hate him coz he takes all the credit of being the divine himself. The positive I see is people chanting together and the negative is that somebody gets deified.

I would like to mention that I love the songs and the bhajans played at Art of Living, but then the question again arises can spirituality be judged by the mere sounds. If that was the criteria then Michael Jackson would have been the most spiritually enlightened person on the planet.

I could study three sheets today the first was really good and clean but No 2 seemed highly manipulative and No 3. was an extension of that manipulation. And its amazing how such a small little manipulation can catapult an organization and a human to such a huge scale .. 1995 weekly knowledge sheet started and 1996 onwards AoL really started picking up momentum ..

If there is somebody who was there during the 80s and during these times when the weekly knowledge thing started can probably shed more light on this subject, would request them to share their experiences and we can know whether the manipulation is introduced in the book or was there right from the start?

Original Anonymous

Blogger Flicks Copyright Claim From Art of Living

May 10, 2012

The following article was originally posted at:

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – An Indian humanitarian organization failed to show that it copyrighted the basic breathing and relaxation exercises posted by a critical anonymous blogger, a federal judge ruled.

Identified only as “Skywalker,” the blogger is allegedly a former teacher for the Art of Living Foundation who now runs the blog “Beyond the Art of Living.”

Spiritual leader Ravi Shankar, who bears no relation to the renowned sitarist of the same name, founded the international nonprofit in 1981.

Skywalker’s blog allegedly claims that the Shankar’s methods cause physical harm to participants and that the foundation inflicts spiritual abuse on its members. Another critical blog is penned by “Klim.”

The foundation accused both of copyright infringement and exposing its trade secrets, but only Skywalker posted the text of the Breathe Water Sound Manual, a guide used to train teachers in the breathing exercises touted by Shankar.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ruled Tuesday that the Art of Living Foundation in India produced no evidence that it ever received transfer of the copyright, as it claimed. Koh said the foundation’s “complete failure of proof” as to its ownership of the manual “renders all other facts immaterial.”

“The court is not persuaded by plaintiff’s attempt to rationalize its failure to produce evidence of either a written assignment or a written confirmatory memorandum, as is statutorily required to establish copyright ownership by way of transfer,” Koh wrote. “Plaintiff’s failure to come forward with evidence of a written assignment or of an oral assignment later confirmed in writing raises the inference that such evidence simply does not exist.”

“In sum, plaintiff has failed to put forth admissible evidence from which a reasonable jury could find that plaintiff either authored the Breathe Water Sound Manual or was assigned the rights to it,” Koh added. “Plaintiff has not made a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to its copyright infringement claim, and summary judgment must be granted in defendants’ favor.”

The foundation can pursue its trade secrets claim, however, since Koh rejected the bloggers’ motion under California’s anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) statute.

“Plaintiff has shown that its trade secret misappropriation claim has at least ‘minimal merit’ sufficient to overcome this anti-SLAPP motion, even if plaintiff may ultimately lose at trial after defendants have the benefit of further discovery,” she wrote.

While the bloggers argued that the foundation’s materials contained basic, well-known concepts of Hindu mysticism, Koh sided with the foundation in its argument that its teaching methods and processes are trade secrets.

“Although this evidence is scant at best, defendants have not presented evidence that clearly defeats Plaintiff’s assertion that its combination of teaching methods and processes are unique and novel,” Koh said.

It’s About Time

May 8, 2012

by IO

Its about time !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


NEW DELHI: The Planning Commission has suggested that the voluntary sector be brought under the umbrella of Right to Information Act, along with developing a code of conduct to ensure “greater transparency and accountability”. At present, only those voluntary organizations which receive public funds come under the ambit of the RTI Act.

The plan panel’s steering committee also suggested bringing voluntary organizations with a corpus beyond a stipulated amount under the purview of state Lokayuktas. The panel also supported the move for promotion of an apex body, empowered to govern the entire voluntary sector, by laying down certain norms and standards for self-regulation which could be termed as ministry of voluntary affairs along the lines of ministry of corporate affairs.

The argument for regulation of the sector stems from the fact that voluntary organizations use public funds and are exempted from tax and work in the public domain and their actions have a direct impact on people and society.

“The code of conduct should deal with issues of responsible governance practices, adhering to existing laws and also address issues like harassment of human rights activists, whistle blowers and those who express their dissent against the state,” the committee said.

It was argued that a system needed to be developed to examine the adherence to the code by voluntary organizations and a mechanism for dealing with complaints and grievances of various stakeholders could be framed within the terms of a code of conduct.

Further, it could help resolve disputes and grievances amicably and quickly, the panel noted, adding that there should be performance measures that would allow for fair application of incentives and disincentives to mould behavior in alignment with the desired code of conduct.

The panel also emphasized the need to encourage a ‘self-regulatory mechanism’ within individual organizations. It said every voluntary organization shall put its audited statement and annual report in the public domain, follow the policy of proactive disclosure of information under RTI Act and follow all mandatory rules such as registration, taxation, FCRA etc.

The panel supported single window system for registration of voluntary organizations (based on the recommendations of the task force report on proposed law for registering such bodies).

“The multiple forms of registration needs a composite review and it needs to be assessed whether a single window system for registration can be created,” it said, adding that the move will enable all stakeholders to find out if registered voluntary organizations were following rules or not.

“While giving due recognition to the autonomous nature of voluntary organizations, processes ensuring respectful engagement between the government and voluntary organizations must be institutionalized,” the committee said.

The following will be nice (Will make some noise as well I am sure ) to know when this happens……

  1. Is there a company officially called the Art of Living which is an NGO ?
  2. What is the relationship between VVMVP and the SSRVM Trust ?
  3. Then what is the relationship between Sumeru Travels, Sumeru Ayurveda, ….and so on.
  4. Has money ever been transferred between these companies.
  5. Can we have a detailed expenditure statement of VVMVP and the official donor contributions every year since inception. How much has this come as contributions from outside the country ?
  6. How much money has gone into public service projects from VVMVP and the rest ?
  7. Pl name the people on the Trustee Board on each of the above companies.
  8. What are the salaries and benefits paid to the trustees in each of the above Trustee boards.
  9. What are the salaries paid to the employees ? Volunteers ?
  10. Who are their auditors ?
  11. Please furnish their audited statement for the last 20 years ?
  12. How much assets in land do each of these entities have ?
  13. Do any of these entities have branches anywhere outside India ? If so who are the trustees there ? If they are not wholly owned subsidiaries, what is the relationship between the entities? Pl furnish respective agreements.
  14. Pl list the names of all the accountants and their telephone numbers that have kept your books of accounts since inception. (In some entities that may run in the 100s…may many volunteers each season). If they dont have this record thats even worse.

All of the above when filed…the official cost will be just 10 Rs for filing the claim….

The lawyers who have already filed against AOL(especially on the land grabbing issues.) are going to have a field day……..

Does Sri Sri have enough clout at the centre to stop this…..lets wait and see……Cleaning up is going to be virtually impossible……it will only lead to more of a mess. Even if he stops it at the centre the price will be very heavy.

I heard that many full time paid volunteers in Germany have been told that their services cannot be paid for anymore. Much infighting has happened after the disastrous losses with the Berlin festival. (This information has to be verified). I got this from an European volunteer that worked for the Berlin fest since its inception. Also, according to him, he said that many of the regular volunteers at times were treated like trash when the difficulties started to surface. And when organising folks realised that it takes more than GRACE to fill up a stadium.

Me thinks : Perhaps…maybe it was at that time many came to realise…. Grace in India works differently than Grace in Germany. Many of them had volunteered from all over the world. So they did not realise that they needed to say Heil gurudev when in Berlin. Big mistake. They kept on saying Jaigurudev. No wonder the grace did not work.

An Interesting Perspective on SSRS and Enlightenment

May 2, 2012

by The Seer

The universe is full of beauty if only you know how to look at things, and universe is full of knowledge if only know how to look for it. Every moment is embedded with the highest wisdom, you can access it from within your own heart, you need not look for it anywhere else. Wisdom certainly need not be connected with a particular person or a book or a scripture. Yes, no human being is right about everything, and no human is wrong about everything.

Even the concept of ‘enlightenment’, I think, is over-hyped. Shunryu Suzuki said, “There are, strictly speaking, no enlightened people, there is only enlightened activity.” Enlightenment can be a state, there can be enlightened activity, and you can say there are people who can remain in that state frequently and longer than others. But you can’t label a person as ‘enlightened person’ and differentiate him/her from others. A person who thinks s/he is somehow more enlightened than others is no more enlightened.

When I think of how the AoL has come to what it has become, my impression is that it all started with good intentions. SSRS genuinely wanted to develop a process that can reduce stress in people. And maybe he mystified the process initially with the intention of making it popular. Things were good when he was still Pundit Ravi Shankar. And then it got popular, it got bigger, more courses came up, and when AoL found that there are people who ‘depend’ on their processes and courses, they got carried away by all the success. Course fees got expensive, dirty sales tricks were employed, ‘SS’ was added in front of ‘RS’, and then came ‘HH’ too…..

Some people posting comments in this blog trash SSRS and say he’s evil and all that. But I really pity him. When you are surrounded by people who always praise you and worship you and say that you never make a mistake, after sometime you inwardly start believing in them. J Krishnamurti said, “People use the guru as a crutch” and, “Leaders destroy the followers and followers destroy the leaders”, and here is your practical example. You can have genuine gratitude towards the person who has shown you the path, you can have genuine respect for that person in your heart. But if you put him in a high pedestal, worship him and make him different from others, you are only destroying him and allowing him to destroy you.

Of course, whatever I said about AoL and SSRS in the above two paragraphs is my own hypothesis, it could be entirely wrong. The real story could be worse or better, it could be something entirely different. I’m even open to the possibility that all that I think about AoL and SSRS is mistaken. The reality could be worse, or better, or it could be something entirely different.

Questioning “Enlightenment”

April 30, 2012

The subject of enlightenment, and in particular the enlightened status of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, is something which has been brought up and questioned on countless occasions on this and other blogs. To date, most claiming that RS is an enlightened Guru have not been able to provide any reason why they believe this, and more importantly how we can test this in any objective manner.

In response to questions recently asked on the subject of enlightenment, drpetersutphen offered the following:

Submitted on 2012/04/29 at 7:46 pm

Of course I consider SSRS to be enlightened. Why would I follow the teachings and the techniques of a spiritual teacher that wasn’t enlightened? Now, how do I know SSRS is enlightened? That is the million dollar question that all seekers struggle with. To look for an ego ideal is a huge mistake because who knows what vasanas are unwinding in your guru (see the Tripurya Rahasa for a fascinating discussion on this that helps explain the personality differences between enlightened gurus.) I know SSRS is enlightened, a knower of Brahman, from my own experiences around him and through the practice of his techniques. I think every seeker needs to resolve this question on their own. There is no objective criteria. But there are very clear subjective experiences that have made my understanding of SSRS’s enlightenment very obvious to me.

Firstly Peter, thanks for being honest in telling us this. There are many in AoL who secretly believe this but publicly deny it.

Peter then adds the following:

Submitted on 2012/04/29 at 8:21 pm

Doctor said,”I’d actually like to hear YOUR definition of “enlightenment” as well since you have already told us in your above post that you believe RS to be enlightened? And I’d especially like you to describe “enlightenment” from a clinical psychology perspective.”

Actually, clinical psychology can not describe enlightenment because it is outside the conceptual domain of this science. At best clinical psychology would define enlightenment as some sort of disssociative state! My model of enlightenment is greatly informed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and later by many traditional yogic texts. It is also informed by my own direct experience. You practice a serious sadhana for 40 years, you have serious experiences! I started TM in 1972 and became a TM teacher in 1973 and was deeply involved in the TM movement all through the late 80′s. In fact, I practiced TM up until last week when I finally decided to take the Sahaj Samadhi course at the upanishad course in LA. My friends thought it was hilarious that I would take Sahaj after 40 years of doing TM. I just felt like it! My definition of enlightenment focuses on the mechanics of it.

The first stage of enlightenment is the recognition that there is no localized, psychological “I” or private self or ego. The mind experiences this lack of localization as emptiness or “shunyata” because the mind can only experience in time and space. What has created this emptiness is the withdrawal of the projection of consciousness into body/mind boundaries. Patanjali uses a great metaphor to explain this identification. He says that pure consciousness is like a transparent jewel placed upon a colored cloth. The jewel takes on the color of the cloth and appears to be that color. But this is an illusion. The jewel is inherently transparent and no color at all. The first stage of enlightenment is the recognition of consciousness of its own “isolation” or “separateness”, or “aloneness” (i.e. Kaivalya as Patanjali would call it) from boundaries. A perfect duality is created in this state: Atman on one side, as it were, and all subjective and objective phenomena on the other.

In my experience, the pranic manipulation through SK profoundly calms the mind and allows Atman to “recognize” itself. This is nirvikalpa samadhi. I experience this a lot when I practice meditation, but it cracks me up that that it is also produced during the vigorous activity of SK. In nirvikalpa samadhi the mind is “absorbed” by the Self and this absorbsion is not known until it comes to an end.

I’m going to stop here for now! Obviously a lot left to talk about

Now, to date this is actually the best reasoning anyone has come up with so far on this blog or even elsewhere when it comes to the subject of enlightenment and more importantly being able to determine is someone truly is enlightened. In fact, it was discussed at length in the post How to Recognize a True Guru, but even then no one was able to come up with any means of determining whether someone is enlightened or not.

The most important things to note from Peter’s comments are:

I think every seeker needs to resolve this question on their own. There is no objective criteria. But there are very clear subjective experiences that have made my understanding of SSRS’s enlightenment very obvious to me.


My model of enlightenment is greatly informed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and later by many traditional yogic texts. It is also informed by my own direct experience.
[Added emphasis mine – Doc]

This is absolutely fair enough, and I’m not about to challenge Peter’s model. He has been very honest in stating that there is no objective way to determine if someone is truly enlightened and that he has come to his own conclusions about what it is.

What all of this does make me think though is simply this. Why do AoL even need to describe or define RS as being enlightened at all? If there is no way to test for enlightenment other than by essentially having faith in scriptures which are after all simply words which describe what enlightenment is? Yet at the same time and usually in the very same scriptures we are told that enlightenment is something beyond anything which can be described using mere words?!

Also, can people follow a teacher of “spiritual wisdom” without that teacher being enlightened? Or at the very least without caring if the teacher is enlightened or not? Wouldn’t it be enough to follow the wisdom that the teacher imparts, see if it has any positive impact on their lives, and then conclude that this teacher’s teachings are worth following?

These are from discussions I have had with various friends over the years, particularly Hindus in recent times. One friend did tell me that the situation in India is such that Guru’s had to have people believe they were enlightened otherwise they wouldn’t have any followers because they wouldn’t have any credibility. Has anyone else here had this experience?

I too could write a lot more on this subject, but let’s take things from here for now and see where they go.

True History of Sudharsan Kriya

April 29, 2012

by Nithin

One of the well known Siddha Yogi called Shiva Prabhakara Sidhha yogi also known as Pambati Vaidyar in Tamilnadu, who was well known in 20th century, he do not like people attraction, wealth, name, fame..etc so he lives isolated, very few people who are very much into spirituality know him.

In 1980 at bangalore, he came to visit some house, which become a news with in the small Yogi world in Bangalore, at that time Mr Ravi was really looking for his career. Fortunately Ravi met Siddha Yogi and asked for blessing, Yogi said you can get the world together with a common factor which makes things alive which is Air and also mentioned to him that using powerful manthras help connecting people with one conciusness, so ravi is now very curious and asked Siddha Yogi about the Manthra, he mentioned So Hum is powerful manthra to connect people.Now Ravi knows that so hum is used for breathing, few days later he do not know what to do with info, he went to Shimoga and started practicing this regularly with the support of a yoga teacher, and he then came out with this rigorous breathing called SKY.
So Hum is not rigurous breathing it is mild and smooth, this manthar is to express through breath so that breath and mind will be aligned so the body will align later and becomes meditation. All uncomfortable effect on Kriya is the reflection of Ravi’s aggressive energy.

So after 10 days of practicing he slowly started marketing as grace …etc so that people will be in his control.

If you look at the AOL members most of them losses their confidence and self faith over a period and are more dependency on Guru, which is against the spirituality.

Recently people started noticing that and the frustrated and strong ones started jumping out of it.

This is the true story of Mr Ravis Sudharsan Kriya.