Hypocrisy, Brainwashing and Blind Following
I have worked (or rather done Seva) the way AOLf puts in the Art of Living International HQ in India for some months. Although I went there on my own will, I realized after some months that the place was not for me… It was full of hypocrites who did not believe in doing anything substantially good for the society but just took the Guru’s name day and night. There is a lot of brainwashing and blind following that goes on there. They make you feel that you are incomplete and your life is full of conflicts without doing their courses. They make you do seva of all sorts… sweeping the ashram etc in their advanced courses in the guise of earning good karma etc. I also encountered an incident while doing the DSN course…. a course participant ended up coming late on the first day and shockingly the volunteer of the course asked her to shell out Rs.2000 as penalty or gave her the option of going back home. The participant was foolish enough to give the money too. As a part of the course, we were assigned to go out to some stretches of Bangalore and sell their Journalism course to people. We had to go back and report to the teacher how many people showed interest and how many potential students’ mobile numbers did we get! Well… it left me wondering if I had enrolled for a spiritual course or a marketing course?
Also, how come Sri Sri’s sister’s children have studied in the best schools abroad with our hard-earned money? Whatever happened to the vedic system of education and the vedic schools that are run in the Ashram?
There was some amount of good work too, like adoption of many tribal children and providing for their education, food and stay etc. but maybe that was just an excuse to show the world that the money was going somewhere and at the same time brainwashing the kids minds.
Also, I remember forcing the Content Manager of their website to display where the donations are being used, just as any credible NGO would do. She kept dodging that topic. They have not put up any such thing till date.
I have lived with the inmates. There were so many robberies that took place in the Ashram in my presence. Also, check this – The ones who work in Sumeru Software Solutions ( the software company operating from the Ashram) get better rooms to stay in as they pay for them. The other Ashramites (real devotees) have to share dingy rooms. I see no compassion ( that is preached by AOLf) here.
Most of the higher designation teachers and volunteers flaunt their Blackberrys and Macs.
Having said all this, the organisation sucks but somehow I still have some respect for Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. I hope I can get rid of it soon.