I thought the following comment by “Observer” under “Sri Sri Shot at” deserved a separate post, as it brings up few interesting points:
“Thanks, WhistleBlower, for drawing our attention to this “revealing” article. (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/6032081.cms) I am struck by the sheer negativity displayed by the author, against the society in general and the media in particular. Aren’t we told, at the beginning of the basic course, that the mind clings to negative side of the things, and ignores the positive things, and that the AoL helps us to overcome this tendency ? The author, despite being a senior swami of AoL, doesn’t seem to have imbibed much of even these early teachings; proving that all this “knowledge” is empty rhetoric.
The author completely ignores the fact that RS was never a victim, and that he was never under any threat – is this not a positive aspect (from his perspective, not ours) and isn’t he supposed to be relieved to know this ?
Another thing I noticed in this article is that all the readers’ comments (which are moderated) are highly appreciative of the piece. I sent a comment pointing out the negativity as above, but it was never published. Looks like the moderator himself/herself is an AoL insider.”
“Observer” is quite right in his/her assessment. Sri Sri and his Swamis and Rishis always preach the knowledge to others, but don’t practise it much themselves and have amazing ability to twist facts. We also have to remember that Art of Living Swamis and Rishis are not like your typical Swamis and Rishis who have spent years in deep meditation and pursuing spiritual knowledge. Most of SriSri’s so called Swamis and Rishis were given these titles one fine morning, plus a new name to go with it, by SriSri himself for their loyalty to SriSri and for adding prestige/credibility to AOL/Sri Sri , and not because of their virtues. Indeed many of these AOL Swamis and Rishis have very bad reputation, like the Rishi who was caught in the bed with the wife of his host and is famous for his extra-marital affairs!
The enclosed piece below is still on their own official website, as to what SriSri told Satsangees that night, few hours after the incident. For most of them this was the first time they heard about the “terrorist attack”, from Sri Sri himself!
(Actual video can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9PdMgb-J-U&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fartoflivingtv&feature=player_profilepage)
“http://wisdomfromsrisriravishankar.blogspot.com/ “30 May 2010, Bangalore Ashram, India Sri Sri Ravi Shankar told devotees not to worry as he is safe. In the company of those who practice meditation and yoga, any kind of animosity is dissolved. Meditation and Sadhna is the only way to finish the animosity in the world today. This evening, a terrorist entered the Ashram. He fired a shot but it didn’t cause much harm to anyone. His heart also got transformed after coming in this field of spiritual energy. The effect of divine energy is such that it transforms all the negative tendencies in the mind. He also dropped his wish to cause much harm. Whatever has been said in Yogasutras,Tat sanidho vair tyaga, is very true – One gets free from the feeling of animosity in the company of truth, in the company of those who practice meditation. So, this message of yoga and meditation is to be taken in every house across the country. Such an incident also happened when we were to celebrate silver jubilee. Some people tried to threaten us, and asked us not to do any function. But our conviction was so strong, and I knew that the function would surely take place.”
The said Swami doesn’t explain how his “Divine incarnated” Guru could make such definite claims about an alleged terrorist! It is hardly surprising that police found such claims by SriSri and his Swamis ridiculous; terrorist attack with just one bullet and such lousy shot too?! And even after Police ruled out a terrorist attack, SriSri kept insisting that the bullet was meant for him and accused police of incompetence and claimed that the energy of satsang must have stopped the terrorist from firing any further shots!! Even an average person, in similar circumstances, wouldn’t claim a terrorist attack or assume anyone wanted to murder him specifically. Maybe a criminal or mafia boss would, but a spiritual teacher?!
And “Observer” is also quite right re:
“The author completely ignores the fact that RS was never a victim, and that he was never under any threat – is this not a positive aspect (from his perspective, not ours) and isn’t he supposed to be relieved to know this ?”
Neither SriSri nor any of his Swamis expressed any joy or gratitude, not even relief, that the bullet was just a stray bullet and was not meant to harm anyone. Indeed they did sound rather disappointed that there was no attack, let alone a terrorist attack. The only attack in this whole saga was from Sri Sri and his Swamis and devotees, first on police and next on Media or anyone who dared to point out the foolishness of SriSri’s bizarre utterances and strange claims!
Some even blamed Klim for the attack and so many of Sri Sri’s men went on an abusing rampage on Shobhaa De and others who didn’t buy SriSri’s story, hence securing AOL a new name by Shobhaa De, i.e. “Art of abusing”!
As for media coverage, only a few like Deccan Chronicle published some balanced articles and allowed some critical comments. The rest, esp. “Times of India” acted as if they were SriSri’s personal media outlet rather than independent media. Their articles were devoid of any journalistic value, just repeating Sri Sri ‘s sensationalised version, complete with SriSri’s account of his driver’s premonition, which SriSri repeated few times, as ultimate proof of his claim that it was an assassination attempt on his life! His men started comparing him to Gandhi and Jesus!
And yes, “Observer” is right again, Times of India rarely publishes comments criticizing SriSri or allows any reference to this blog or Klim’s blog. What are they protecting their readers from? truth about SriSri and AOL?
It is indeed amazing that the said Swami still complains about media, in spite of AOL/SriSri securing so much free media coverage and publicity on account of a stray bullet !
In absence of any media questioning SriSri’s made-up story around the incident, it fell on Shobhaa De and Klim and SkyWalker and Guruphiliac & CHURUMURI to question the absurdity of Sri Sri’s claims in their blogs. All the while SriSri and his Swamis were busy calling for press conferences and giving interviews, promoting their sensationalized version(s) of the incident.
And when Police dismissed Sri Sri’s claim and ruled out an attack, let alone an attack on Sri Sri or a terrorist attack, then they themselves came under fire from Sri Sri. SriSri’s friends in high places, like BJP President Nitin Gadkari even expressed concern for SriSri’s life and asked for his security to be beefed up!
Still not satisfied with all that free publicity, Sri Sri and his Swami again used their influence and high contacts in “Times of India” to get a prominent place to publish another piece of propaganda, full of distortion and twisted facts and complaints! And TOI moderators ensure no one can challenge the mistruths in that article or indeed any other AOL related article. And there it goes to the heart of the problem that such fake Gurus and Swamis and Rishis can continue their fraudulent practices, without media questioning and challenging them. They have free hand and total free use of media outlets such as TOI and still they manage to complain!