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Hypocrisy, Brainwashing and Blind Following

July 11, 2010

-by Riddhi

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.

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42 Comments
  1. Jagadish permalink
    July 12, 2010 8:12 am

    Hypocricy? Spell check anyone?

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hypocrisy

    • July 12, 2010 7:33 pm

      Thank you, Wizard of Words. I stand corrected.

  2. Abhilash Shastry permalink
    July 12, 2010 10:56 am

    “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.”

    Exactly, what I felt at that time!

    After a few years into AoL, even though I was able to see the fraud and chicanery of AoL, I was still not ready to leave SSRS. Years of brainwashing and chanting of JGD does not disappear in a day. I kept hoping against hope that may be – just may be – ‘guruji’ is not aware of these bunglings.

    The fact was that I had been deceived thoroughly, which I was not ready to admit. I needed a fig leaf of ‘guruji is not into this” to keep my ego getting further battering. My ego reasoned that if everyone in AoL was such a cheat, how could I – a well educated, intelligent and smart person- fall prey to their con tactics? Therefore, AoL was good. It had to be! A few people at the top were misusing ‘guruji’s name and deceiving everyone. That was it! Once it was brought to ‘guruji’s knowledge, things will get fixed!

    Today, I can see how naive I was. I was putting the blame on Ashram functionaries and senior teachers and absolving SSRS. Though, actually it was SSRS who was the kingpin of the fraud. Ashram functionaries and senior teachers were only obeying their master. Some of them might actually have been totally innocent of all the bunglings going on. It is true even today. Many of the teachers and volunteers are really dedicated. It is only SSRS and his clique that is reaping the moolah.

  3. profhughakston permalink
    July 12, 2010 11:43 am

    MY POSITION: Iam new in AOL(only 1 year). I agree with most things being said here and have also experienced some-like teacher’s having huge ego, too much marketing, no audit records etc. But what’s also true is I have a very cool friend circle in YES!+ and have met some great , scholarly people in AOL. So I am in a dilemma.

    As for AOL Bangalore, I have been there once. There were many IIT-ians, and also people from IIMs- who are among the best and brightest in India. Lincoln said you cannot fool all the people all the time. So how come SSRS is able to continue the fraud for such a long time – that too on such a smart bunch of guys? Or is this because of the “crowd mind” as Svetlana has said?

    Also a dangerous trend I have noticed is that AOL is slowly becoming more and more communal . I noticed this during the last elections in 2009 when AOL was supporting the BJP. Anti-Congress and Anti-Islam discussions were going on during group sadhana, Long Kriya follow up and satsang. Sadly, the young minds of YES!+ are also not immune to this virus.

    • anonymous permalink
      July 12, 2010 9:44 pm

      Profhug:

      The positive things you’ve felt/seen being on the peripherery of AOL are the very reasons people like to go there! Everyone wants a Utopia. But an ashram is just more of the world. It has it’s own pecking orders, politics, egos, etc.

      You asked how so many of India’s brightest and best, as you put it, could be fooled for so long by SSRS? Read a little history and you’ll see that Hitler too had the best and brightest around him. Didn’t mean he was good or righteous. Just charismatic. It goes to prove that people having good qualifications doesn’t necessarily give them very good judgement about right and wrong. That lesson in history (Hitler’s Germany, and his supporters, including many British royals, elites, not to mention Mr. Bose!) shows us that having an impressive following means absolutely nothing about the goodness of the person leading.

      Think about it. Why can’t your little group of Yes+ folks have their own independent meetings, with the same practices and comaraderie? Go ahead and ask in AOL and find out how far you get — they don’t want you to be happy. They want you to belong to the crowd, the group, under their control. You will NOT get AOL blessings to start a sub group of your own, with intellectuals in a nearby part of Bangalore. You’ll be shot down, told that without SSRS you cannot be happy, blah blah blah. It’s all cult-mind and such. But you CAN start your own group, and just be happy! Why not try it? Why commit your lives to a cult like AOL?

  4. Just No One permalink
    July 12, 2010 12:26 pm

    This below email has been doing the rounds lately amongst the gullible AOL flock ….its a total mind control game….read my observations after reading the message

    Jul 9 A Time to go Inwards

    Guruji has indicated that the next few months, upto around the middle of October are not so good and He has advised that we keep three things in mind
    1. No adventure trips at all. No trekking, rafting, mountain climbing, etc
    2. Cut down on partying and night outs
    3. Drive slowly, carefully and don’t leave your house till you have finished your Sadhana
    For these few weeks, please be more sattwic, eat at home more, not outside as much as possible…

    What i see in this, is it’s an opportunity for all of us to go more inwards. Clean up our life and start up some really good habits.Do all your Sadhana, Surya Namaskars, Padma Sadhana, Sudarshan Kriya, Sahaj. Also do chanting, Om Namah Shivaya and the Guru Pooja if you know it.
    Start to read the Bhagavad Geeta and the Yoga Vasishtha … You know you have been wanting to do it, instead of that trek, sit home and read these books. Doesn’t matter if you don’t understand or it is too deep for you, just reading will open something up in you… Read these books just after meditation.
    Go Inwards.
    Be safe…
    Jai Gurudeva!
    love
    bawa

    courtesy : Instructions for the next 3 months from Guruji on the blog, please read and follow … http://bawandinesh.name

    The most beautiful thing is to see a person smiling,
    And even more beautiful, knowing that you are the reason behind it!!!”

    Observation –

    If you look at the psychology of it….simply amazing.

    They are actually building fear into folks rather than building confidence. Amongst the many, some will definitely break the dictat….and may have a mishap or an accident….however mild….or their flight may be cancelled/delayed (all this because they traveled…my God what a crime….and all against the Master’s advise) and the rest will all say….”See the Master told us so and they did not listen. As they had disobeyed, the divine punished them (ie Grace stopped working !!! GOD is indeed Vindictive). Look at what happened to them…poor fellows….” From now on listen closely and follow instructions to the letter”…this is the voice of self protection and intuition and that of the Master…..and also the death of the Voice of Reason and the true self.

    For some, it will be a close shave with “Almost an Accident happening”…….and guess what…it was the Grace again that saved them……more Guru stories galore….”Phew what a relief…after all I am not so bad one after all……thank God, Now I too have a Guru story to talk about and pass around”

    Now after the early season where the causalities have been observed and talked about and more such stories spread….Come September comes the voice of the Master again…through the organisation…..”Everyone should do 2 advance courses and 2 blessing courses in the next 6 months to compensate for the BAD period”…..(Especially applicable for those in Europe and America….) as they have not traveled or holidayed in this summer so there is a surplus summer budget available for courses….YOUR Silence in the Advance Course is the TRUE Holiday ….regular holidays make you tired…..—-have you heard this before ????…does it not sound familiar???…

    This holiday is being adopted by the lazy who have simply stopped pursuing their truth …and have this false belief that they ARE being taken care off by him…….wake up and see…he only scares you with messages such as the above.

    Divinity exists in every atom in you…..you don’t need anybody or anything else or any type of knowledge to connect to yourself……you just need to want it..be deliberate about your choices to be human and be yourself…..your authentic self…..every moment.

    Have a good life you all…..Art of Living is just a small P-art of Living…..see beyond and move on

    • Peaceful Warrior permalink
      July 13, 2010 12:41 am

      Actually this is pretty standard hindu practice – the time of chaturmasa is supposed to be a observed as period of fasting and spirituality. Of course AOL people will not tell you that. As long as you don’t commit “Original Sin in AOL” – i.e attribute good to RS and bad to not following RS, you will be okay.

      RS does not have special “godlike” insight. He just prefers not to reveal his sources and perpetuates the myth of his all knowingness.

  5. coward permalink
    July 12, 2010 8:39 pm

    P-art means?

    • Just No One permalink
      July 13, 2010 3:44 am

      For many AOL-ites at Art of Living its become an “ALL of living” affair

      1. They are kindoff like the Amway sales folks….everybody they meet is bakra for Sudarshan Kriya (I have lived that version myself for many years)
      2. You strongly believe that GOD (SriSri) is on your side (a derived but subverted conclusion being — GOD is not in the non-AOL fellow’s life)….and therefore it becomes your dharma to bring God into other’s life….. a key that only you have and its your privilege/prerogative and GOOD karma (you see thats the only thing you will carry from this lifetime to another…another AOL brainwashing) to deliver Sudarshan Kriya to other non-suspecting souls out there who currently have not GOD in their lives.
      3. There are also famous sayings in AOL….it goes like this…..”There are only 2 categories of people in the world….People who know they are AOL and people that dont yet know they are AOL”….Classic Nazi like mentoring….and it creates that short term adrenalin and rush….and unsuspecting normal day to day people fall for it…..and so do IIT grads, IIM grads, Harvard grads…and the rest
      4. They exploit the inherent goodness and the aspiration for goodness and the child/romantic in every heart to the extreme.
      5. One so badly wants to believe all this, that unconsciously folks do anything to fit all the events that happen within the organisation and their lives to fall within these adopted and accepted false beliefs (SriSri is GOD (soft implication——others are not as GODLY as him, Teachers are chosen by him therefore they are special, HE operates through the physical body of the teachers when they are in class (BTW thats GRACE and Knowledge flowing), HE knows everything about anything that is on this planet and beyond (Just like he did about the stray bullet from a farmer’s gun which recently which wandered into the Ashram and tried to assassinate him and just like how he predicted that the BJP would win the last elections and how Obama would lose his), His current Avataar is a combination of Krishna, Jesus, Siva, Buddha…and so on, Its not Sudarshan Kriya but the Grace of the master that heals, All his teachers are his step down transformers).

      In summary……you get so brainwashed with all these stories subtly delivered to you, and YOU PAY big sums to be brainwashed …..and you walk around wearing a name tag that everyone can read (Mr XXXXX, AOL Volunteer…I work for love) …whereas in short for most parts you are a mislead person that has for sometime not really sat aside to look at things the way they are without all the stories and beliefs.

      A very simple thing right……there are so many stories about his enlightenment…..now if you carefully observe, anyone propagating such a story needs to a 100% sure they know what they are saying (including what does it mean to be enlightened)….but the truth of the matter is that, depending on the number of people you meet and ask, you will get that many definitions and understandings of enlightenment. Hence, unless you yourself are enlightened, will you really be able to recognize the other ???? I conclude therefore that everyone that propagates this story propagates it because it is convenient and its a piece of information that has been repeated so often that no one doubts its veracity. Also, your ego goes on a trip when it feels that you are attached to the ENLIGHTENED….you too feel like a CHOSEN one.

      I used the words P-art of living to send a message to all the Hardcore AOL-ites out there…..there is much more that existence on this planet can authentically offer you in terms of a rich, loving, compassionate existence. AOL is not the ONLY way like you are lead to believe.

      Enjoy the rest of your journey

  6. Peaceful Warrior permalink
    July 13, 2010 12:32 am

    “Having said all this, the organisation sucks but somehow I still have some respect for Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. ”

    I used to feel like that initially, but overall my experience has been the opposite. Whatever AOL is today, and whatever good it does is because of few earnest and sincere people who have been unfortunate enough to be caught in his web. I have very little respect left for RS – the way he exploits people and claims rewards for himself and his family is shameful, and unbecoming for a teacher of spirituality.

  7. Manju permalink
    July 13, 2010 2:18 am

    This is indeed the Art of Communication, the art of influence, the art of Mind mastery.
    While I do agree that Sadhana is a great thing, it should be done out of love for Self and God, and NOT out of fear. That’s a basic that any Divine Guru teaches. I have never read any fear written in Paramahansa Yogananda’s books. Ramana was sick in his last days and yet went about his daily chores quite normally, it seems.

    I think when the Guru is afraid, he cascades it to the whole team…

    I have recently received these agonizingly irritating chain-mails on Krishna from an AOL teacher- fear-driven- pass them around or else. Plus, ‘send the mail back to me’ or else. I broke the chain. Sad…so much fear. Inspite of Sadhana!

    One knowledgable guru said that by just breathing in a certain way, u do not necessarily connect with God. It is through love, compassion and dedication to Service (in whatever manner) that you see God. If you see God in your enemy, then why do you call the phase ‘bad’? Things are as they are meant to be…

    I am sooooo happy that I am re-connected with the Universe. And not under the AOL spell. (don’t think I ever was!)

  8. KriyaExposed permalink
    July 13, 2010 8:50 am

    After much searching of the Internet trying to find inside info about Kriya and AOL.. I came across a Russian website with these links:

    http://hotfile.com/dl/54532576/7f663f2/ArtofLying_TheSudarshanKriyaExposed.zip.html
    http://rapidshare.com/files/406676731/ArtofLying_TheSudarshanKriyaExposed.zip

    It appears to be the full Kriya tape and teachers notes and an amusing picture – Could someone please confirm the authenticity of such material.. I think that if it is legit then everyone should spread and download these links, possibly uploading to other places… information wants to be free… cults are harder to operate in the face of exposure…

    Thanks K.E.

    • Sundar permalink
      July 13, 2010 4:21 pm

      Yes i can confirm this is the original Maha kriya tape.

    • buttons permalink
      August 17, 2010 4:15 pm

      could you please reupload the kriya and send a download link?

      thank you

  9. max permalink
    July 13, 2010 8:52 am

    Riddhi,
    Interesting to read your post. I am in the thick of things AoL wise at the moment, but I have had my moments of doubts about continuing this. Lately I feel buzzed all the time, in particular because I have been doing kriya regularly, and I feel bad when I quit doing Kriya.
    But there has been a reduction in my stress levels – I don’t get angry as often as I used to..
    I have also had doubts about the family side of SSRS and where all the money goes, esp after meeting his brother in law, who commanded people here and there. Something fishy there.
    Confused at this point.

    • FindYourOwnPeace permalink
      July 13, 2010 4:29 pm

      But there has been a reduction in my stress levels – I don’t get angry as often as I used to..

      Lots of different kinds of meditations can bring down stress levels – why hyperventilate with sudarshan kriya? Feeling “buzzed all the time” etc., sounds downright unhealthy. Please get yourself checked by a good doctor, outside AoL.
      Even just being in natural surroundings for some time can be a wonderful relaxant, stress buster… there was a recent study regarding that.

  10. coward permalink
    July 13, 2010 3:49 pm

    I don’t know why we need aol when according to these idiot gurus every dharma leads to divine, it is another cult tend to divide mankind further. People have already their own Gods , why he is trying to become anthor one,amazing.

  11. Riddhi permalink
    July 14, 2010 9:52 am

    Hi Max,

    I can associate with the kind of confusion you are facing. Initially when I distanced myself from AOL’s activities, I was too scared of giving up doing the kriya daily too, thinking that my day will be spoiled, I won’t be able to think clearly, I will attract bad people etc….

    I cannot advise you on anything. You need to use your best judgment from your experiences and make a decision.

    But I do hope that you make a right decision soon 🙂

    Some people have commented on this statement in my post – “Having said all this, the organisation sucks but somehow I still have some respect for Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. ”

    It’s good to know that many people experienced something similar when they left too. It’s a pity to know that we were victims of extreme brainwashing. Like Peaceful Warrior, I will look forward to the day when I am free of any nagging AOL thoughts.

  12. ben wallace permalink
    July 14, 2010 7:53 pm

    I am suprised at some of the messages on here, if your heart says its not right for you fair enough listen to your intuition .
    But here it feels like you are angry and trying to get other people on your side.
    Why not honour your emotions rather than trying to get others to agree ? seems like a bit of projection
    Anyway this is not meant to rub anyone up the wrong way, may you continue to listen to your heart and feel the wisdom of the oneness all aroung and within , ben

  13. Anonymous permalink
    July 15, 2010 11:25 pm

    New propaganda AOL Alert:.

    We r planning to have a general gathering to access our strength on this saturday. Venue is Bangalore Ashram. Time is 6 to 7 p.m. In the meanwhile get in touch with your local teacher and reach out all the AOL FAMILY and ENCOURAGE them to fill the form and be ready for Saturday. We will just have a Meditation for world peace and a Silent Protest. ( Just to be together in sattwa with a readiness to stand against any injustice. ).Kindly go through the attached form and fill up for your participation in the protest against injustice caused by outsiders to Art of Living make sure your fellow art of living members are told. Fill it online. Please try to bring together atleast 15,000 members of the Art of Living family.

    http://formtruevoic eofindia. blogspot. com/.

    See you all on Saturday

    Jaigurudev!

  14. Krish permalink
    July 20, 2010 10:46 pm

    Thanks. I understand this guy’s frustration. But it is the egoic mind’s game from both sides. I guess one has to rise above this rut. What one egoic mind thinks as positive, is negative for the other. Even Buddha’s disciples and ashram had same problems. I know some American guys got cooked in AOL Ashram environment. Still they continued without getting caught up in the jatra. Even everywhere out it is same thing. Christian missionaries, Madrasas, other ashrams.. everywhere. We have to understand this and rise above all this. Now the question is how do we that. Shut up our egoic mind and see everything as happening and asking who is caught up in this never ending argument. That is the reason I liked Mooji’s teachings. I know even some frustrated busy guy / gal writing negative things about Mooji also.

    As far as seva is concerned, people need not have to donate to AOL. They can donate to UNICEF or any other charity. But who knows what happens there. I know many UNICEF top officials make $200-$300k per year. Where that money comes from? Our donations! Fortunately in AOL all teachers are unpaid volunteers. Also all donations to Christian missionaries go to convert Hindus in India and other countries by printing derogating books about Hinduism and recruiting jobless youths as god’s agents to convert people. I am ok about AOL, that they are at least working for real causes. At least they are upholding the ancient Indian wisdom. About distribution of money, one should ask SSRS directly. In The DSN course I also felt same thing. But if you don’t want to do it, keep quiet. Don’t do it. Who is controlling you? If you are feeling guilty for not doing seva, then something is wrong with your egoic mind.

    About SSRS sister’s children studying abroad. It is her and her children’s decision to study where ever they wanted to. Assume that this guy (or gal) Riddhi’s uncle is an enlightened master, is he compelled to make a decision to live simple life? I bet he will say a big no! I am 100% sure not even a single dime might have gone from AOL foundation, otherwise it would have come under big media scan. Again people have to ask this questions to SSRS. With my experience I know, he never denises answer to any question publicly unless it is too private to the questioner.

    About Sudarshna kriya, people say it is hyperventilation. That is ok. For thousands of years our scriptures taught same things. Pranayam, Bhastrika, Anuloma Viloma. It is not that, AOL that is teaching these things. Even baba Ramdev does teach same things. Since it is free on TV no one bothers to criticize him. But at the same time how many people follow those pranayams regularly? (I am sure whatever comes free is worthless for egoic mind. )They are everywhere. It is just that SSRS put it together in a scientific systematic way. Also one should not care how much they charge. If you can afford do it. Otherwise there free videos on Youtube or Baba Ramdev’s TV programs. That is ok, it helps. AOL is spending that money on prison programs and running trauma camps. If not convinced, please search AOL Maoists, AOL prison programs, South Africa AOL, YES + programs, AOL camps after Tsunami, Care For Childern, on Youtube. AOL might have patented it because some organizations from west applied for SK in other names. In that case SK would have been twisted and AOL would have to pay for teaching their own finding! If you do some important invention do you watch others patent it? (remember what happened to Basmati rice patent).

    If you are getting frustrated with AOL org culture come out of it. Take whatever is good for you, and do not get caught up in the drama that happens. Just relax. Everyone have their own interests when they come to spiritual path. Please stick to your goal and relax. Whatever happens around you, just look and smile! (Or ignore if it is convenient). Spreading hatred with egoic mind’s conclusions does not help anyone including you. Because when you are taking your last breath, you will realize how you wasted your time on this planet, spreading hatred. Good luck.

    • anonymous permalink
      July 21, 2010 12:31 pm

      To Krish,

      If no one was in any danger of getting hurt, then this blog would be unnecessary, you are right. It would just be a matter of everyone doing what appeals to them, going on the path they feel is right for them. But when there are serious breaks with legal, moral, lawful (spiritually and otherwise) standards, then it is proper for it to be addressed as people on this blogspot and others are doing. There is space for all the facts and the resulting opinions about those facts, in addition to AOL propoganda, which is not going away. If SSRS can have his face plastered all over the buses, then why should not people have somewhere to air known facts and their opinions about him and those facts (like here)?

      Now, what you have said is just wrong, regarding his nephews and finance. You clearly are either on the periphery of the organization, or do not know the family or background, or you work very closely with SSRS and are trying to guard him and his. What is stated by indignant posters here about his family’s access to money and job status, is absolutely true. Their prior financial state and their present one has nothing to do with honest livings and businesses built up with honest funds. It’s all been funneled, neatly, over time, and “laundered” to produce companies that now give good incomes to the entire family. This happened over a period of 20 years, with foreign and Indian donations. This is common practice with many “gurus”, and the mafia as well. You just don’t know. What makes you think that it would have come under media scan? You obviously don’t know the power of what money will buy in India (or you are defending your Guru). The only hope of exposure of this indecent robbing of innocent people is a public outcry which frightens the very people being paid off and cozied up to (politicians and police, etc.) Then they will think twice before being silent.

      Money is only the tip of the iceberg of immoral, sick goings on at that place. You may not be aware of these things. This blog spot is to make people aware of those things, by people who have been through them. Many of the people who know the facts and dirty secrets of SSRS and AOL have been so traumatized by him and his (paid, btw) lackeys, that they are still very afraid to even use their names, or specific incidents and years for fear of retaliation. This is not paranoia. If you don’t know this, then, again, you just don’t know your Guru as you think or pretend you do. Ravi Shankar is a shameless, fame-seeking, money grabbing, and, on ocassion, vicious man — a fallen yogi. Sorry, but that is what it is. Some knew him before he fell. It’s tragic what has happened to him. But it has. And the public should no longer be fooled by all the slick connections he has garnered over the years.

      Truth will come out, somehow. It just takes time.

      If you like to associate with and participate in something like AOL, that is certainly your choice. But you have spoken either without know the truth of the organization and it’s leader(s), or you are another AOL PR person, or worst of all, you are totally brainwashed and just cannot believe that people could act one way and then actually be another way in private, behind closed doors.

      Many many many terrible things have been actually left unsaid or only alluded to in this blogosphere about AOL because of the PTSD type damage Ravi Shankar has left many scarred with. You have no idea, obviously (or don’t care, if you do, or don’t believe, if you are brainwashed). There is no excuse for the types and scope of ugly activities that have gone on at his ashram, with his full knowledge and participation. Again, money is really the least of these sordid things. However, terrible people have been brought down by the money trail, and so it’s good to push to have it followed carefully and closely by the authorities. If that ever gets done, many sincere, innocent, good-hearted seekers whose lives were destroyed by this selfish man will finally see a fragment of justice, not that it will restore their lives.

      Talk about what you really know before you point fingers, telling people what is what.

      All that being said, everything ever written is simply the ego. Everything said is ego. Trying to help people is ego. Whatever we can see is just ego, basically. Only the Pure Absolute Self/Brahman is not ego. And so we keep talking, blogging, saving, destroying. That is the world. Some pick the side of “righteousness” and “Truth” and “Justice”. Others pick the opposite side. Some doing it knowingly, others unknowingly.

      Comparing Ravi Shankar to Buddha is ridiculous, in my opinion. He compares himself to Christ, Buddha, Krishna, Siva, etc., ad nauseum. He has such a high opinion of himself, it’s truly astonishing.

      Hope you find your way in this life. (Really)

    • goneagain permalink
      July 21, 2010 6:23 pm

      “Even Buddha’s disciples and ashram had same problems”

      -Seems you have real big insight into past that is about 2500 years back. Man you beat even your guru on this.

      “I am 100% sure not even a single dime might have gone from AOL foundation, otherwise it would have come under big media scan.”

      -Really 100%? either you don’t know anything about AOL or just another PR person pretend to be honest/fair still do the propaganda without providing any proof for your assertions.

  15. anonymous permalink
    July 21, 2010 12:37 pm

    To Krish,

    Also see http://www.artoflivingfree.blogspot.com

    for much more information. That blog seems to have ended in June, but has very detailed reporting of many things, many of which I know to be completely honest and true, not speculation or just anger.

  16. Krish permalink
    July 21, 2010 8:41 pm

    Dear ones
    Thanks for the great insights you have provided. As you mentioned, I am neither hard core AOLite or PR or anything. I am just a truth seeker. (spriritually not politically). I am open to many other teachings including Mooji, Ramana Maharshi, Buddha, Papaji, Eckhart Tolle, Maharshi, JK, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Gangaji and many more. It is quite obvious from Anonymous’s comments that this is blog of bunch of SSRS haters’ not the truth seeker’s blog. That is also ok. I do not want to get trapped in this never ending debate. If you are so intensely keen on exposing some one go ahead. It is your choice. But before that do this. Sit for 10 minutes closing your eyes and asking this question. “What is that I want to achieve with this?osing SSRS, ok then what, he will be humiliated, then what, legal actions, then what, people stop going to AOL, then what, you will be happy, then what?”… I am just assuming your answers based on your way of argument. Understand that your egoic effort to expose some one is worthless. You could be doing same thing with any other spiritual org.
    About Buddha anyone who read all Buddhist scriptures would agree with me. Buddha’s own cousin Devadatta and Buddha’s childhood friend Channa had issues. Deva datta tried to kill Buddha. If you do not have insight go and reas original Buddhist scriptures. Also please comments here should be unbiased.

    My question is why all of you are hiding with anonymous names and writing whatever you want. Please go to Ashram and and ask SSRS. In Santa Clara in 2008, many people asked questions ilike “Where AOL money goes?”, How do i know you are my Guru?”, Why there are so many Grumpy people in AOL, why do teachers behave as if they know everything, why teachers do not live the way they are supposed to live etc.. ” He himself read these questions from basket and answered. Why can’t you go and ask him directly or put your questions in the basket. If you do not get answers then continue your blame game.

    Anyway. I want to leave now. If you continue to blame some one it is your choice. Remember there is cause and effect rule. What you give will come back to you 100 times more. So be un biased and discuss on facts and not rumours. Just start a new AOL free life. You and others will be peaceful.
    Again I am not hard core AOLite. I just did 3 courses and practicing my meditations and kriya at home.

    God bless you (the real you)

    • mojo permalink
      July 21, 2010 10:20 pm

      FOR KRISH

      hahahahahahaha!!!! You are definitely NOT AoL PR guy….that’s for sure. I’ll bet you are SSSSRSSSS himself. Do you seriously always talk like that?

      Sit for 10 minutes closing your eyes and asking this question. “What is that I want to achieve with this?osing SSRS, ok then what, he will be humiliated, then what, legal actions, then what, people stop going to AOL, then what, you will be happy, then what?”

      GOBBLEDYGOOK…..And this is precisely the reason you should get out of AoL. My suggestion, for sometime forget Nisargadutta Maharaj, Ramana etc. Get your head cleaned from this sort of thought process and language. Because you will be in serious trouble in life, let’s say, maybe 5-10 years from now. TRUTH will be experienced when you get yourself a decent job, compete to win, which whether you do or not, should always get you to raise your own bar, achieve tangible results.

      And stay away from any kind of Ashram. Make your home and office space your ashram. Your mom/ dad/ husband/ wife/ kid your object of devotion, let your seva be your work, and prasad be results of your action. And don’t use words like ” object of devotion” or “seva” or “prasad” until some normalcy doesn’t set in. GOOD LUCK!!

  17. Dr Quentin Jones permalink
    July 22, 2010 1:15 am

    What kind of a evasive answer is this?

    Please speak about what will happen in the year 2012.

    Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The year 2012 is a fascination. It has become such a sensation. No news is good news till it has become a sensation. We will have more work to do. People will become more spiritual. It will become a necessity and not merely a fashion. The Golden Age is already here.

    I think now I have said everything. Many things can be said without words. Some things can’t be said with words and some cannot be said even without words. Even if you say, you may not grasp it.

    You are so fortunate. Remember these words when you go home. You are very fortunate. You are so amazing and beautiful. Remember this knowledge. Spread joy and smiles. Lessen worry and bring more joy in everyone’s lives. You do this job and let the Divine take care of you. Smile at everyone.

    • mojo permalink
      July 22, 2010 6:18 am

      Dr.Quentin Jones, Krish et al…. this is a joke, right? I mean, you CANNOT be serious!! Do you REALLY talk like this in real life? Perhaps you do. I am ashamed to admit this, but years ago, I did too. I can’t stop laughing at your posts. Choice of words, train of thought! Now I realize how foolish I must have looked to my colleagues, non- AoL friends. I am embarrassed thinking about this. Thanks, Dr.Jones, Krish, you have really shown me how blessed I am.
      This is for those who dropped out ( like me) – Aren’t you happy that you got disillusioned? It made you disengage from a cult and crazy jargon? Finding the meaning of life is your own quest, definition of spirituality is your own? You are not seeking safety in numbers? No herd mentality? No more embarrassing yourself and looking thoroughly idiotic.

      • Uncle Scooby permalink
        July 23, 2010 1:10 pm

        @mojo – I hate to state the obvious but Dr Quentin Jones was actually quoting something which SSRS said in response to a question asked of him not too long ago. Everything after “What kind of a evasive answer is this?” is a quote. Dr Jones talks normally like the rest of us. 😉

  18. Svetana permalink
    July 22, 2010 3:29 am

    Anaxagorus comment on “Long Kriya – Home Version”:
    “Uncle Scooby,
    Guruji in his infinite compassion has decided to grace the non copyrighted Long Sudarshan Kriya. Henceforth Guruji’s grace will be present while the tape is played. It was reported that Guruji went to the rapidshare website link where the kriya is posted, looked long and deep at the website, went into deep samadhi and energized the link. All downloads from the site have now the stamp of guruji.”

    @ Krish
    What’s wrong with “egoic mind”? You repeat this word combination, at least, 5 times in your post. Is it because according to AOL dogma you are supposed to lose your mind, so that RS will think and decide for you? Many people in AOL really succeeded in doing so. Please, read a quote above again, and if you still have some of your own “egoic mind” left, you might understand how sad it is to lose it.

    You write: “Everyone have their own interests when they come to spiritual path.” Probably, you really came to AOL with Your Own Interests and found what you were looking for. But there are people, who came to the organization with open hearts and in search for the Truth, and they were dragged into the vicious circle of AOL by its cunning guru, brainwashed, robbed on many levels. Lucky are those who managed to wake up, understand what’s going on with their “egoistic mind” and leave this place for good.
    Your recommendation to these people is: “Please stick to your goal and relax. Whatever happens around you, just look and smile! (Or ignore if it is convenient)… Just start a new AOL free life”. That’s a good piece of advice in AOL style, and that’s what most of the people who left AOL do. Yes, it is very convenient and “egoistic mind” is at rest. But there are some, who chose to fight Evil. And it is not about “spreading hatred”, as you may think. It is about courage and integrity. It’s hard to be Skywalker, Whistleblower or Klim. Thanks God we still have brave warriors who can fight for the things that are cherished by humanity most: Freedom, Truth and Faith.

  19. goneagain permalink
    July 22, 2010 4:29 am

    @Krish

    You seems to have repeated same thing in both of your posts (just parroting whatever told to you); You guys have couple of excuses from I can read (include aka Kilm student) one is for sure christens/christian organizations are behind these; And you are saying you are not close to the org or PR person but you seem to be 100% sure the money does not go to their family welfare (is this your ignore part – how convenient?). aka Klim Student threatened people and you seem to want to wane people from this bad addiction on speaking out. You guys would be really happy – if someone isn’t happy you would love them just shut up and go away, never bother your business. All you can do is simply say it is business/for profit organization, you bet all these people will just go and do their business without saying a word. Don’t pretend that it is non-profit. Are you ready for it?

  20. To_Krish permalink
    July 22, 2010 8:00 am

    @Krish
    Eventhough you said “I want to leave now”, your monkey mind is too curious to see what others reply or original author’s reply and you keep coming back here until someone really appreciates your reply and give credits for spreading “truth” as you see it. Read back again what you wrote and see that your thoughts are all over the place. Before writing, did you really sit for 10 minutes and questioned yourself “what is that I want to achieve by vomiting my monkey mind?”, doesn’t look like it. If you didn’t have so much attachment to SSRS or AOL itself, you wouldn’t have even blogged. Rest is all coverup of the ego to hide that attachment. “I am not a hardcore AOLite” – is just a sample of such coverup.

    Your monkey mind seems to do lot of research on Buddhism, Mooji, Papaji, Eckhart Tolle, etc. trying to compare with SSRS in effect, trying to justify yourself about your position in AOL. You seem frustrated that people are commenting about your ‘beloved Guru” and you want to teach them a lesson. Hope you get good advices from people here (I know you will keep coming back 🙂 ) to solve your confusions, frustrations, attachment to concepts/Guru and your extreme urge to “help people”.

    Do you ever really relax in life?

  21. NeverNotHere permalink
    July 22, 2010 5:38 pm

    Guys,
    I know few people who have written early on in this chain of messages, expressed their genuine concerns about what is going on with AOL, I mostly agree with them. But rest of the people are just having fun by scolding the others who have posted their response with a neutral stand.
    Looking at the latest responses(especially to @Krish), I believe that you guys just thrash the people who posts their comments with a neutral stand(trying to tell you different aspects of life), that would help all others (who is reading this site) to realize what is good and bad.

    If you guys(thrashing everybody left&right) are really have to encourage the healthy debate else you will confuse everybody.
    I would like to say one thing, talking against (some organizations) continuously(like a habit) is worst than getting trapped with any organisations, so post your replies in such a way that people can come with some facts.

    Hope you guys don’t thrash me 🙂

    • goneagain permalink
      July 22, 2010 8:26 pm

      RS supporters(@NeverNotHere)never wanted to be here – but they keep coming back; Let’s see what brings them here – “the same things that made like skywalker start this blog – they could not reconcile all the things going on in AOL – about what is told outside and what is happening inside” – they have to come back to “confirm” what they feel and why they feel ? May be?

    • anonymous permalink
      July 23, 2010 11:58 am

      And you are here trashing the trashers 😉

    • AlwaysHere permalink
      July 24, 2010 10:55 pm

      @NeverNotHere ,
      You definitely sound like Krish’s close friend, supporting him. Its so transparent with you guys to observe how people are attached to organizations, Gurus and relationships trying to support and defend that “my thing”, pretending to be neutral, posting fictitious “facts”.

      Mind is not mysterious thing any more. It is simply plain, predictable, and consequential thinking system. I bet you keep thinking about this blog when you practice SK daily!
      One question comes from deep inside, where is the observer? Obviously the very choice of your name, “NeverNotHere” simply indicates that observer is absent and you never want to be “Here” 🙂 . You rather be somewhere else more “important” and “better” place than Here.

  22. Svetana permalink
    July 23, 2010 4:38 pm

    There is a difference between words “trash” and “expose”

    Things about AOL and its guru are not trashed on this blog. They are exposed.

    expose v.

    a. To make known (something discreditable).
    b. To reveal the guilt or wrongdoing of: expose a criminal.

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/expose

  23. just ab honest opinion permalink
    November 11, 2010 9:04 pm

    hi….

    Few years back even I decided to have a look at this course and decided to give it a shot.
    Got to know that for a yes plus program i need to pay 2500 rs plus sign a non disclosure report which prevents me from telling anyone what happened during the course and sudarshan kriya…..

    now there r few things which i dont understand abt is that….

    if one is so inclined in doing good for people why charge such hefty amounts for that…
    of course they will give you some very stupid reasons like an ngo needs some money for functioning but then 25oors mandatory charity is something i could not digest.
    will service starts from the people who need the most that is from the lowest level to the highest level…..i could not see a chance for real needy people to afford a yes plus…DSN or Advanced course…….

    secondly they will harp about the fact that dont be a football to other people opinions but i guess that is what they do all the time……BRAINWASH,BRAINWASH AND BRAINWASH……

    ABSURD arguments like dont eat egg coz its a period of chicken to anti congress sentiments were quite prominent….

    by the time course ends sri sri is the whole n soul GOD….who knows everything and answers your every problem….

    for every little fault penalty was always in the form of money and nothing less than that….

    and last but not the least there was no room for flexibility of thoughts………wvwrything started with JGD and ended with JGD……

    sudershan kriya is nothing but a modified version of pranayam…..if one can give a little thought to it…..

    and last not the least….
    the faculty member told me a little story which made me hate aol even more…..

    he started telling how one day his mother had asked him to take her to a doctor and had to catch a plane to delhi where he was suppose to meet SSRS for the first time…..
    He said he told his mother that he will do so but was in delimma for the love of his guru…he narrated his frustration and very proudly declared how he chose SSRS over his mother…and when he got to meet him he told him abt his sacrifice to which SSRS replied ‘vo theek hai’……..H e then ended that when he called her mother he got to know someone else took her while she waited for her son…….while I was hearing this i quietly cursed SSRS for brainwashing this fellows mind to the extent that he could not feel for his mother for whom i really wonder that what she might have felt when his son chose to meet SSRS over
    her……That was pretty insensitive for me……

    overall i could not just find honesty in the entire setup and just feel that its nothing but a well marketed product which knows the pulse of their audience just too well…..

    • Abhilash Shastry permalink
      November 12, 2010 5:02 am

      Stories of such insensitivity are abound in AOL.

      I remember an incident that I had shared on Guruphiliac blog. I had organized a basic course at my place in Mumbai. Harish Ramchandran (of Sumeru fame) was the teacher. At the end of the course someone asked him why the fees charged was so high. The teacher came with all the standard rationalizations. As usual ‘charity’ was on top of the list. Then he told the participants that if they forgo buying a new “saree” for a month, it would be enough to pay for a basic course. Someone in the group protested that they buy “saree” probably once in two years – not every month. Others agreed. Not to be deterred by such diversionary tactics the teacher came with his trump card. He told the story of a poor boy from Pune who had saved money for his basic course by walking 5 miles everyday to his school instead of taking the city bus. Then the teacher thundered, “Compare yourself to the this little boy who was so poor. Despite his grinding poverty, this boy managed to raise money for his basic course by saving on his bus ticket fare. Surely, people assembled for the course were better off than that poor boy!”

      After hearing the poor boy’s story many people felt guilty and further loosened the strings of their purse by making additional donations. Meanwhile, I was left thinking of the devotion of the poor boy who preferred to walk 5 miles everyday to take the course and the meanness of the organization which had the heart to extract money from even such a poor boy.

  24. belle permalink
    November 12, 2010 3:45 pm

    @ just ab honest opinion

    “‘vo theek hai’……..”

    can you explain what this means pls?

  25. enlightened soul permalink
    February 14, 2011 11:27 am

    GURU: IS JUST AN ANOTHER STRUGGLING HUMAN BEING.

    DO NOT BORROW ANYBODY’S STRUGGLE.

    IF EVERYBODY BECOMES AN ASCETIC,WHO WILL DO THE FARMING? HOW WILL THE ECONOMIES RUN.

    ALL THIS GURU “MANIA” IS BULLSHIT.

    IF U KNOW HOW TO PLAY WITH WORDS.U CAN BE A GURU.
    REST…..FOODING, CLOTHING, BOARDING, LODGING, ETC…ETC… IS PROVIDED AND ASSURED FOR A LIFE TIME.

    WHAT SAY!

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