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DISGRUNTLED SWAMIJI speaks up for his Master, again!

August 25, 2010

SriSri’s right hand man says his Master is OK. Why should we believe him? Because swamiji used to be a communist and an engineer, and he is of royal blood!

So dear Swamiji could you please, before we go any further, for the sake of declaring any conflict of interests, declare how much salary you receive from AOL? On top of that, do you get a percentage of each adv/part2 and blessing course you teach? How much money have you received in your 18 yrs with SriSri? Or perhaps you also have worked voluntarily for SriSri, like the rest of us ex-teachers?

 SriSri just recently in his BBC interview said AOL has 7500 teachers worldwide, now you say 10,000. So 2500 new teachers this month or your MASTER doesn’t even know the number of his teachers. So how can he claim he looks after them all if he doesn’t even know they exist? Not to mention taking care of all the millions alleged devotees he has.

If you are really sincere, then you should have no fear of revealing your identity.

Wow, he says this first and in the same letter he goes on to identify and then defame and attack those whom he believes are the bloggers!! Anyone reading the defamation of the alleged bloggers by Swamiji, would now totally understand why no ex-teachers in their right mind would identify themselves once they have left the AOL cult. He promises a Darshan with Guruji if we come forward! How enticing! I can see all ex-teachers running for the offer!

Swamiji accuses us of cowardice for not revealing our identity, but then he goes on to identify who he believes are the bloggers and engages in public defamation of them.

“When these negative blogs against Guruji and Art of Living were brought to Guruji’s notice, he just smiled and said, “it is good to have bad press. This will filter the weak and we can identify our strong pillars.” Millions of strong pillars of AOL worldwide just laugh at these negative blogs and ignore them.”

So Swamiji why your Master is so worried about our blog that he is threatening us and wants to shut down our blog? If your Guru says that what we are doing is good and “filters the weak” then why are you defaming and attacking the alleged bloggers? If Millions of strong pillars are “laughing at our negative blogs and ignoring them”, why are you so worried about a handful of “weak” ex-teachers? Can’t you just be happy with your Millions of strong pillars and let a few ex-teachers have a blog to share their experiences?

Anyway, we will publish your entire email which is circulating worldwide. In your email you have named the people whom you believe are the alleged bloggers and their countries. I hope you realize that any of these people can sue you for defamation. As per our policy we have omitted the name (and the country) of the people you allege are the bad bloggers. However their names have been widely circulated by you both through emails and through AOL websites. It is up to them if they wish to sue you. If any of these individuals wish to reply to your email through our blog, we will publish them.

By the way, regarding the bloggers’ names Swamiji, did your Master through his spiritual powers come up with these names? Or after 18 years of being with your Master you also have attained such powers? Hope the judge in any defamation case brought against you is sympathetic to your spiritual powers!

Also Swamiji, thank you so much for revealing how much spiritual growth one can expect from anyone who has been with SriSri for 18 years and has reached the rank of  Swami and blessing course teacher in AOL. Did he specially mentor you to be so nasty or is it the result of years of Sadhna or perhaps the result of teaching blessing courses? I am sure everyone can now see how generous you are with your blessings.

Couldn’t you  have just replied to “Charges against The Art Of Living activities”? Was it really necessary for you to defame these people? And even if you succeed in defaming them, do you think that will put an end to others asking questions re unethical and illegal AOL practices and all the abuses which goes on in this organization?

By your desperate letter, you confirmed that AOL is truly a cult and behaves exactly like a cult towards those who leave it or speak up against it. Seems you don’t have tolerance even for only 5-6 ex-teachers that you claim are behind this blog.

You also provided the greatest warning to anyone still with AOL, that they should not reveal anything personal to SriSri or any AOL teacher, as it may be used against them in future. Those attending blessing courses (esp. with this Swamiji) be aware of this when you are asked to share your sexual fantasies over and over! You just don’t know where in the internet they may end up!

We will leave it to people whom you have defamed in your email to reply to you, but we would not be surprised that many of your allegations are false and defamatory. As ex-teachers we are well-familiar with SriSri’s and his lackeys’ tactics of defaming those who leave him.

And are you claiming that your ALL-KNOWING Master allowed people whom you allege are mentally sick to become AOL teachers? How many more of these are still out there working as AOL teachers? Or just the ones who leave are suddenly labelled as sick? Or perhaps they got sick due to their involvement with AOL? Didn’t SriSri tell us, as per Kriya notes, that those with Bipolar shouldn’t do Kriya. So how come he then made a person with Bipolar a teacher? or did she develop Bipolar after becoming a teacher?

There is a lot more that I would like to say about your shameful letter, but I will leave that to another post or perhaps our readers can take up that task.

For now, I just have to say that the prize for the most ridiculous claim goes to this one:

Another group which has joined in the fray is an extremist Jihadi group. When it was brought to Guruji’s notice, he said, “welcome them, let them come and see everything, we have nothing to hide, perhaps they will get transformed.” It has happened many a time that agnostics/atheists who come to disprove Guruji have landed up becoming devotees.

 So here we are having a Jihadi group blogging with us, right Swamiji? Which country are they from? I don’t need to ask who came up with this one. SriSri himself, right? And it must have been the same Jihadi group whom SriSri accused of trying to assassinate him recently in Bangalore Ashram (and turned up to be the case of a farmer scaring away the stray dogs!). 

Good old Jihadis, you can always blame them for anything!! Hope SriSri and you are happy to take all their Karmas; after all SriSri told us that if someone accuses/blames someone else wrongly, they will take on all their bad karmas. And anyway what is the Jihadi’s grouch with SriSri? Don’t tell me one of them is an ex-AoL teacher too?! I taught SriSri said he had a very good relationship with Jihadis!

From: Swami Sadyojathah <swamiji@artofliving.org>

Date: August 24, 2010

Subject: Response to Charges against The Art Of Living activities

First of all let me introduce myself. My name is Swami Sadyojathah and I have been with Guruji and the Art of Living for more than 18 years. Even though I was born into a royal family in Kerala, I became a strong communist during my school/college days. In our communist study classes we were taught that spirituality is a hoax and we should go to a spiritual master ONLY to expose them! It was such a coincidence then that I first heard about Guruji from a friend whom I adored because he was also inclined towards communist ideology. When i actually went to meet Guruji it was only to check him out more for being a fraud than anything else! Because of my communist background and my education in Mechanical Engineering, I was not inclined to believe anything so easily. Everything had to appeal my intellect and I would react strongly if i saw even an iota of injustice or irregularity. The very fact that I have been with Guruji and the Art of Living for more than 18 years is testimony to the fact that our organization is transparent and clean for i have not lost that sense of justice and standing up for the truth.

Today, the Art of Living has 10,000 teachers worldwide. The motivation and intention of the 5-6 people who are behind these unsavoury blogs is questionable to say the least. If they wished to save the world, why don’t they work against drug trafficking or poverty or do any other service project instead of trying to stab the hope and solace that millions of people have found in their lives through Guruji? None of these bloggers can touch their hearts and say that what they have written is true.

If you are really sincere, then you should have no fear of revealing your identity. Why don’t you come out in open and confront Guruji? Guruji gives Darshan to everyone and meets anyone who comes to him. Just ”blowing the whistle” without revealing your identity is an act of cowardice. And this is nothing short of terrorism by pen. When these negative blogs against Guruji and Art of Living were brought to Guruji’s notice, he just smiled and said, “it is good to have bad press. This will filter the weak and we can identify our strong pillars.” Millions of strong pillars of AOL worldwide just laugh at these negative blogs and ignore them. But, we feel that it is our responsibility to present the facts and expose this bunch of negative bloggers.

Who are these negative bloggers?

The first one is a lady called **** from ****. She is bipolar and comes from a troubled background. To get sympathy from people she used to tell everyone that her father used to throw shoes at her and her mother used to throw hot tea cups at her. Later on we found that this was just a figment of her imagination and that her parents are from very respectable families. Because of her unstable nature but coming across as perfectly rational she used to take advantage of people. When her whole family rejected her, she was given shelter. She was prone to sudden bouts of violence and make a spectacle of herself screaming and running around even in places such as the airport! This became less frequent when she was regular in her spiritual practices. When she stopped doing the practices the erratic behaviour would erupt once again. Out of compassion, her Part 1 teacher Janael Mcqueen pleaded to Guruji to allow her to do TTC because she felt that if this lady was empowered and made a teacher she would be fine. No doubt that she was a good teacher, but, very soon people discovered her strange behaviour. She demanded that the people of **** respect her. Guruji said, “I won’t tell anyone to respect you, you have to earn your own respect.” Her own students pleaded to Guruji not to send her to **** anymore which was a big blow for her. Her 3 ex-boy friends like Mr Ignacious , Mr Johnathan Time etc. can speak volumes about the trouble that they have undergone in their lives because of her. Janael Mcqueen and reputed journalist Beatriz can testify about her state of mind. As also the Art of Living **** Board, about her misconduct.

Ignacio Escribano (ignesc@yahoo.com.ar)

Beatriz Goyoaga (bgoyoago@fibertel.com.ar) +54114530407

Souza, Alexandre” , (AOL ****) – +551191422502

Oscar Lopez , – +56998858832

Janael Mcqueen -<janael@me.com>  

 When senior devotees complained about **** tantrums and abnormal behaviour to Guruji and asked him why they should associate with pathological liars like her, he used to tell them “we stick to our first course point of Art of Living which is: accept people as they are! Nobody wants her, her parents don’t want her, so if we also send her away, where will she go?” Around Guruji there is always lightness and humour. Never is there malicious bad-mouthing. This lady used to get irritated by joy and humour. Only someone who is mentally sick can construe all that as being malicious. Once when someone started praising her about her command of languages (she was conversant in Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese and English), Guruji had hinted, “a ladder which takes you up can bring one down also.” This is what she twisted and mentioned in the blog. She demanded 3000 USD per month failing which she would write a negative blog and she fulfilled her threat. Even after she started these negative blogs against Guruji and the organization, she still goes to Art of Living people and takes their help!

Another person who has joined this negative blog group is a young girl from ****. Many people want proximity to Guruji and upon not getting what they want lash out at Guruji or the organization.. He tells them to take a project and sincerely work towards it instead of hanging around him. This girl from **** even rose to work in the secretariat. AOL is such an open organization that anyone who is in the organization for one year and have done the necessary courses can become even a teacher.

Another blogger, a person from **** who left AOL because his parents’ suffered from Parkinson disease and was hoping that Guruji would cure them. When they did not cure fully after coming to the AoL Silver Jubilee celebrations he left.

Another gentleman from **** was troubled because he could not come to terms with the adulations that Guruji was getting. He started saying that Art of Living should not worship Hindu Gods/Goddesses. He himself was quite depressed and though he became a teacher and was well aware of customs in the Ashram which adhere to ancient Indian spiritual traditions such as Vedic chanting, the singing of bhajans and the Indian custom of bowing down and touching the feet of the Master he used to vehemently object to them. He repeatedly asked Guruji to stop all these practices. Guruji however made it clear that these customs were part of Indian culture. Guruji himslef does not desire for devotees to touch his feet, but that is what devotees wish to do. Althought Guruji explained all this to him very politely He did not take kindly to it.

Two Indian sisters are also part of this negative blog group. They did not have any genuine interest towards knowledge or service. They used to over exhibit their devotion to the Master, constantly vying for his attention. Their own brother, sister in law and other family members are all still actively involved in AOL. One of these sisters wanted to become an Advanced course teacher but was not made one. That factor combined with the not getting the kind of attention they wanted made both sisters leave AOL and take to writing these negative blogs.

Another group which has joined in the fray is an extremist Jihadi group. When it was brought to Guruji’s notice, he said, “welcome them, let them come and see everything, we have nothing to hide, perhaps they will get transformed.” It has happened many a time that agnostics/atheists who come to disprove Guruji have landed up becoming devotees.

Guruji deals with mentally challenged people as compassionately as possible.

There are only two occasions when Guruji avoids answering questions. First is when someone insists Guruji to support abortion and second is when people are diagnosed with serious illnesses but want to go against medical advice. There are a few such people who refuse to take medical help and we call them Blue Stars. Not meant derogatorily. Only Guruji can handle them with patience. We have seen Guruji doing all out to help people irrespective of their attitude or behaviour.

 We don’t need to refute that the allegations made by these people are not true. But, since someone has taken the pains to compile the so called allegations, I am decided to take the trouble of making the facts to a sincere seeker who may wander on this site, loud and clear.

1. Anyone who has been associated with the Art of Living knows that nobody is ever compelled by anyone to do seva nor is put on ‘a guilt trip’by Guruji as has been suggested.

2. Only those who are totally ignorant about Ayurveda can say that Sri Sri Ayurveda formulas are copied from Maharishi Ayurveda . None of our people have visited Maharishi Ayurveda in the first place. Most of our products are based on the ancient Ayurvedic texts of Charaka (Ashtanaga Hridaya etc) and we don’t need to copy the formula from anyone else. Anyone who has visited our Ayurveda factory can vouch for the high standards of cleanliness and hygiene that are maintained in the manufacturing process. The allegation that our products are substandard is utter nonsense. Mr Narasimhan is not at all involved in the purchase of any materials in the ayurveda factory. Let anyone be able to produce one bill to prove that there is someone taking commission in the purchase of raw materials. First they accuse AoL of financial irregularities. When all accounts are in ‘’webstar’’, now they are talking about kickback from suppliers!. Those making these allegations have absolutely no proof of financial irregularities and therefore it is therefore even more surprising that they do it with such ease.

3. The preposterous suggestion that we smuggle medicines to countries and sell them is again wholly untrue. Proper clearances and licenses from each country are procured and all those who have bought our products know that they are sold at market prices.

4. Anyone who has even a little knowledge about AoL know that the AoL European headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland. We don’t need to transfer money to any country to evade tax because our organization is exempted from tax in all these countries.

 5. It is a joke that the contents of AoL are copied from other institutions.

 6. And the same goes for Sahaj Samadhi meditation.

 7. Oury Engolz was our guest and we invited him a few times. We invite them, but we don’t need to steal their ideas from them

 8. I personally have been involved in the trauma relief and rehabilitation projects in the tsunami hit areas of Tamilnadu and Sri Lanka. Anyone who has been involved in any of the service projects of AoL will know that these allegations are false. The very fact that these negative bloggers have made factual errors about our projects in itself shows that they are all false. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Vidya Mandir (SSRVM) schools are not charitable schools and no where we have claimed that. It is Sri Sri Vidya Mandirs and Bal Mandirs across the country which are free schools. The charity we do is supported by the fees we charge for the courses. Is it fair to say that just because someone is Guruji’s nephew, he should not get proper education?

9. Those who have visited our rural school where more than 2000 first generation children from neighbouring villages are studying, would have seen for themselves how the money is spent. Children get uniforms, mid-day meals, transportation etc. free of cost.

10. Vyakti Vikas Kendra India (VVKI) accounts are audited and anyone can verify them. We save only 25% from the course fees that is collected.

11. In fact our experience is that not all full-time teachers perform very well.

12. Guruji directly corrects people when they are wrong . He never humiliates anyone. The skill and knack with which he makes people realize their mistake without making them feel guilty is really amazing. All senior teachers would stand testimony to this.

 13. There are 10,000 teachers worldwide in AOL. Except a handful of teachers who have left AOL, all the teachers will vouch for the organization and how it has benefitted them.

14. You can malign any organization on two accounts. One is sex, the other is money. AOL has stood the test of these accusattions. It is easy to label anyone as immoral and create doubts. If there is anyone who is the victim of a sex scandal, let them give evidence or face trial in the court for defamation.

15. Same as above.

16. AGNI is a yellow journalism magazine which writes ONLY false stories about anyone and everyone. It is run by a person who is an underworld don. He has four cases of contempt of court and a dozen criminal charges pending against him. If anyone is quoting this magazine to accuse AoL or its teachers, then it is a very clear indication that they are also of the same calibre. The man in question, Sridhar (AGNI) demanded 42 crores rupees and 2 crores every year from AOL failing which he threatened to malign the organization. When the organization refused to entertain him he accused AoL of grabbing land from a Dalit which the world now knows to be an absolute hoax. The land was bought from a Brahmin at market price. Sridhar then came up with another land issue but failed in that also. However that has not deterred him for he is still desperately trying to malign the organization. The firing of the bullet in the ashram was extremely dubious and no satisfactory explanation was offered by the cops. In every field there are a few disgruntled individuals whose motivations may not be above board. Guruji doesn’t not worry if anyone tries to malign him or his organization. Accolades and brickbats are the same for him, they do not affect him.

17. We started this 21 days TTC format to lessen the burden on people coming from far off places like Bihar, UP and North East.

18. Anyone who has travelled with Guruji even once in their life know how much he takes care of them. He makes sure that they have have had food (many a time he himself serves food to everyone) and a place to stay. We receive emails or people ask Guruji directly whether they can travel with him abroad. It does not mean that AOL has to pay for their flights. We only pay the fares of full-time teachers who travel to conduct the courses. It seems that the lady who has written this has a deep psychological imbalance.

19. Guruji goes through nearly 600 emails/letters everyday. Any email /letter which is marked ‘confidential’, he looks into it himself. But, those mails which are not in English/Kannada/Hindi, he asks translators to read, confidentially. This lady could read 2-3 languages like Portuguese. Since they were not many who can read Portuguese , she was asked to read those mails. The way she has twisted this shows the disturbed way in which her mind works.

 20. We don’t compel anyone to give donations. Those who donate do so out of gratitude, or their commitment to be part of service projects or whatever reason but totally of their own volition.

21. This Swamis and Rishis sit and discuss the amount of money collected for Poojas is baseless and ludicrous. I myself have conducted many Navaratri poojas and we leave it totally to the local organizers to conduct the entire event.

 22. Guruji discourages anyone to become full time teachers. This lady did not wanted to take up a job. She only wanted to become full time teacher. She claimed that she was sick and was given three months free treatment in the German ashram even though doctors found that she was perfectly okay to work. As per Guruji’s instruction, we were giving her 900 USD per month. Without doing anything she was being paid every month. Her best friend tried to put sense into her head. But she was constantly bickering and negative. Even after she left AOL and started writing these negative blogs, it is an AOL devotee who is still helping her to date!

23. Guruji has never predicted anything about Bush nor on Obama. Have these predictions appeared in the media? Where has this lady got these ideas if she is not in AOL anylonger? Once again fabrications of her own mind.

24. This soap story itself is enough to expose how much one can stoop in making allegations. It is rubbish to say that Guruji demanded to stay in a 5 star hotel! While he was in **** for the third time, he mentioned to the organizers that the hotel where he had stayed twice before had bigger meeting room to accommodate more people. 200-300 devotees could sit in that bigger meeting room whilst in the current meeting room not even 50 people were able to sit. The rest of the people were hovering in the lobby and Guruji was concerned as he did not want to inconvenience other guests staying in the hotel. Once again the lady has potrayed an a malicious version of what actually took place. Guruji was visiting **** for just a day and this lady had ordered 150 USD worth of cosmetics(soaps, shampoos etc). The moment Guruji saw that, he asked her ‘’why did you buy so much and that too when I don’t need to use them at all?’’. Guruji carries his own toiletries wherever he goes. Immediately she replied that she got it sponsored by devotees. There were half a dozen shampoo bottles and soaps. Guruji asked her ‘’why do you have to spend so much money whether it is devotee’s money or that of the organization’s?’’. Everyone present there knew that this lady got all those soaps and shampoos and other cosmetics in Guruji’s name so that she can have all that! Any sensible person will just laugh at the allegation that Guruji yelled for a soap!!! This lady has a habit of imagining that people are yelling at her. People who have interacted with her know that she yells herself! This lady had shouted at a whole group even at **** airport as they waited to receive Guruji. All teachers and devotees who were present were witness as to how Guruji handled the situation with utmost patience. Even when someone was talking to her in a normal tone, she would say, ‘”don’t yell at me.” And every now and then she would say, “I am quitting.” Guruji has stayed in tents, he has stayed in villages. He always adjusts to his surroundings with utmost ease and is always considerate about not inconveniencing his hosts wherever he might be. Anyone in a right frame of mind cannot accuseGuruji of yelling for soap! I still remember an occasion when Guruji himself started cleaning the place where he had to stay! This was in Japan and his room had lot of dust, windows unclean etc. He took a cloth and started cleaning without any complaining.

25. AoL are not a herd of sheep! We are a heterogeneous group, of various backgrounds and from every walk of life right from prisoners to people who hold high posts in different fields. Only Guruji can bring such diverse group together. Guruji never shies away from taking responsibility for the misdeeds of people –not just the organization, but just about everybody. In our Teachers Refresher Meet( TRM) every teacher gets a chance to express their view point or difference of opinion if any, but, at the end everyone goes back charged with enthusiasm, to teach more courses and take up big service projects. This has been happening every single time.

26. The hearts that are grateful and mature people always give credit to those whom they love. It is only the disgruntled that find fault in the noblest of people. Whether someone performs or not Guruji gives such care to every person.

27. This teacher from **** wanted to stop teaching because of his wife and his career. He had no complaint against Guruji or AOL. Since he is a cook, he wanted to take up the job of a chef and Guruji had told him ‘’if you want to leave, you are welcome’’.

28. Once again this person is contradicting herself. On the one hand she says that Guruji said that she was free to leave. And on the other hand she says that Guruji cursed her. Anyone who knows Guruji knows that this is absolute nonsense and if anything shows the hatred in her. If anyone meets her for even a single day , they will know the truth. Those who were with Guruji are utterly shocked by the way she has deliberately misinterpreted everything.

It should be noted that none of these negative blogs/articles are written by close associates of Guruji or by any ashramite. There are hundreds of people who are engineers/doctors/lawyers/MBA s who are at the helm of affairs in AoL and they are not fools who can be deceived. These negative bloggers only prove the old saying that, ‘’no saint or prophet escaped criticism/condemnation’’. On the one hand they talk about the so called inner circle of Guruji and on the other hand claim to have had access to the inner circle! These are the people who blame Guruji for their own failures and shortcomings. And they do so shamelessly and without hesitation. Only a saint can tolerate such a barrage of ill will. It is tough to be a Guru! But Guruji does it with a smile!!!!

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119 Comments
  1. Kavitha permalink
    August 25, 2010 11:26 am

    What a silly article by this disgruntled swami, completely based on baseless assumptions about people. Is this what AOL is about. Then I am sorry I do not want to be part of these people. I am really I think the people mentioned by this disgruntled swami should send a defamation suit against him.

    • goneagain permalink
      August 25, 2010 11:37 am

      if AOL swami published the charges and then answers that could have helped many gullible AOL folks to understand what he is referring too. Well, this way it is even better – AOL folks have to understand why this is coming and will force them to go out and look for themselves – he inadvertently made more people to see the light. Free advertisement for blogs which encourages critical thinking.

    • anonymous permalink
      August 25, 2010 1:14 pm

      It looks from another post, that the Swami only named one person that AOL suspects is publishing, and only refers to others by country and situation and gender. Still, this gives the blog owner the right, in my opinion, to respond strongly with names of present AOL teachers they have witnessed doing similar things — getting angry, yelling at people, making things up, behaving in mentally unstable ways. Even if those things are true of the person posting, they did so under the influence of Art of Living, deprived of sleep, under the strain to perform as the perfect disciple, perhaps. I don’t doubt at all that many around Ravi Shankar, and other cults, who have been systematically brainwashed, might behave in these ways. But since this Swami has named at least one name, and some others’ circumstances, it might be time for an insider posting here to do the same. Which present day AOL teachers (name names please) exhibit (ed) these behaviors themselves while under AOL influence? Aren’t there some who shout and swear and demand money (and get it)? Aren’t there some who threatened and have even been sent away for periods of time to “cool off?” Shouldn’t their names be circulated also to the e-mail list that the Swami’s missive has been circulated to? Why not? This seems fair. Defamation suit? Then let those people show up in a courtroom and lie and say that those events never took place. It sounds from an earlier post that some of these behaviors are even published in a book by a Mr. Michael Fishman (some strangling/beating incident). So he would have to have lied in the book, and would then lie in court? Surely there are others where he came from! And I don’t blame anyone who has acted strangely around Ravi Shankar. Poor diet, lack of sleep, overwork, brainwashing, all these things spell weird behavior for most people. So why not the blog owner at the time? Nothing on this site suggests that the person posting is now mentally imbalanced. Of course, anything is possible, they could be screaming while they type.

      I personally know of at least 4 cases where very normal people who were good people left SSRS and were defamed and lied about because of what had actually happened to them. Most didn’t even tell what had happened to them out of their shame. The word circulated quickly around the city. He was ruthless in his accusations. And, knowing the families and people in question quite well, I also knew he was lying to cover something up. I only found out later what that ‘something’ was. The Swami posting also knows what this something is. And that Swami is surely ashamed himself, and must, to save his sanity, post defenses of his Guruji. Most who could come forward with actual truth about this Ravi Shankar’s character would be far too humiliated and ashamed to even speak about what happened to them at that place. So the “Swami” knows he is safe in demanding that. There are some things that, unfortunately, victims blame themselves for, and feel ashamed, although they are not responsible for what happened to them. No, they will never come forward. They will either keep lying to themselves that what happened was a “spiritual” things, or they will just keep quiet, knowing they were duped, used and then ran away to save themselves. I’m not talking about people screaming or anything of the like in this case.

      Ravi Shankar is a sick man. The ashram is a beautiful looking sick place. People going there are simply fooled. The “Swami” writing knows this and just doesn’t care anymore. And he knows fully well what I’m referring to in this post. He knows I’m not talking about rumors but incidents that in some cases ruined lives forever because of the trauma and doubt and fear and confusion they created in these young peoples’ minds.

      Pray for all, even Ravi Shankar, that they will all become well and enlightened and the world should be at peace.

  2. grateful_reader permalink
    August 25, 2010 1:25 pm

    Most of his responses seemed quite vague like the ones about where the money goes in the org. I wonder if he knows.

    Also, he committed the two classic AOL logical fallacies of appealing to authority (“There are hundreds of people who are engineers/doctors/lawyers/MBA s who are at the helm of affairs”) and personal attacks (arguing that we have mental problems and our assertions about AOL problems come from our insanity or supposed affiliation w/ terrorists).

    The names were removed so I’m not sure but I wonder if he talked about Ann

  3. Peaceful Warrior permalink
    August 25, 2010 2:46 pm

    All accounts are not on webstar. only AOL US. VVM is not audited – if it is then could he please send us the name of the auditing firm, just like he posted names of people.

    And really token “service projects” are enough to impress this ex-communist. When has AOL ever been a program for everybody. It is a program for rich people – the “service projects” are just a ruse to gain credibility.

  4. Poorna permalink
    August 25, 2010 2:49 pm

    Sadyojatha accusses people who have critical thinking and who have seen through the aol deception as mentally challenged. I guess his blog which does not even allow any alternative views or comments we now have to start thinking about his mental challenges.
    I had encountered this guy Raghu Raja as he was called some 16 years ago. He is not a direct descendent from the royal family but a far relative. Even if he is what is the big deal that you have to go on advertising all the time.
    I think it is due to the inherent feudal nature of cults like AOL which give such importance to these things. Now even Ajay the guru’s nephew has cooked up some royal connections of being some great grandson of some unknown prime minister of mysore. In Karnataka for example there is a caste group with the surname ‘Urs’, they are all related to the royal family of mysore one way or the other. There are many such people and although the ‘Urs’ community is generally well off, I do know one friend from this community who works as a car mechanic earning a small salary. So that’s about all the royal family stuff.

  5. August 25, 2010 4:43 pm

    Though this is posted as a comment, may I request the administrator to make this into a
    separate post?

    First off, since some of you raised this as a point yesterday, I would like to clarify. No, I
    am not a PR lackey. No, I have not been asked by Sri Sri to write on this blog. I am an ardent
    follower who has benefited immensely, a teacher who has seen several benefit immensely, and a human being who continues to draw inspiration from Sri Sri. I am just a guy who decided that I cannot sit by and watch a one-sided conversation bashing Sri Sri and the Art Of Living left, right and center. What I write here is not censored by anyone. It is just my own free opinion based on my experiences.

    I have, here, compiled the charges made by Skywalker, and then I have compiled the charge-wise response provided by Swamiji – both have been suitably edited for purposes of size.

    I have added comments based on my personal experience. I am presenting here rational counter-opinion. I am using Swamiji’s mail as the base document to respond to your charges just the way you asked me to. Will I get rational discussion in exchange?

    Skywalker’s Charge: Several people involved in AOL activities have to co-operate out of obligations and at times completely against their will
    Swamiji’s Response: Anyone who has been associated with the Art of Living knows that nobody is ever compelled by anyone to do seva nor is put on ‘a guilt trip’by Guruji as has been suggested.
    My comment: In my 10 years as a teacher, and about 18 years with Sri Sri, I have never heard a single person complain to me that they are being forced to do seva against their will.

    Skywalker’s Charge: Sri Sri Ayurveda formulas copied from Maharishi Ayurveda. the ingredients used are substandard and lot of commission is paid to bhanu’s husband (rs brother in law) by the suppliers of the raw material.
    Swamiji’s Response: None of our people have visited Maharishi Ayurveda in the first place. Most of our products are based on the ancient Ayurvedic texts of Charaka (Ashtanaga Hridaya etc) and we don’t need to copy the formula from anyone else. Mr Narasimhan is not at all involved in the purchase of any materials in the ayurveda factory. Let anyone be able to produce one bill to prove that there is someone taking commission in the purchase of raw materials.

    Skywalker’s Charge: Unfair means to the Good Manufacturing Practices of Sri Sri Ayurveda products to Europe. Goods Smuggled.
    Swamiji’s Response: The preposterous suggestion that we smuggle medicines to countries and sell them is again wholly untrue. Proper clearances and licenses from each country are procured

    Skywalker’s Charge: Unholy secrets of the Holy Guru Puja. Escaping the Tax in foreign land.
    Swamiji’s Response: Anyone who has even a little knowledge about AoL know that the AoL European headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland. We don’t need to transfer money to any country to evade tax because our organization is exempted from tax in all these countries.

    Skywalker’s Charge: The Course contents are copied from other Institutions.
    Swamiji’s Response: It is a joke that the contents of AoL are copied from other institutions.
    My Comments: If the contents are copied from copyrighted material, then the owners of the copyright will not sit idle. Furthermore, I have heard Sri Sri mention on all few occasions in reply to similar questions on source of course contents. His responses have been consistent – that there are several techniques in the courses that are ancient, and several others that are his own.

    Skywalker’s Charge: Sahaj Samadhi Meditation is borrowed from Deepak Chopra’s bliss technique or Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s TM.
    Swamiji’s Response: And the same goes for Sahaj Samadhi meditation.
    My comments: Who borrows from who? The concept of mantra meditation is age-old and ancient. The origin of the concept of mantra meditation goes back to Vedic tradition that was before Buddha. If at all, the subject of borrowing the concept comes up, the source would have to be the Vedas and not Deepak Chopra or Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

    Skywalker’s Charge: Communication Seminars copied from Oury Engolz
    Swamiji’s Response: Oury Engolz was our guest and we invited him a few times. We invite them, but we don’t need to steal their ideas from them.

    Skywalker’s Charge: Who actually does the charity from course contribution in AOL? And is it really spent each time for which it is collected?
    Neither the course teacher nor a volunteer ever does the charity from course contribution.
    Neither an Apex body member nor the organizer does the charity from course contribution.
    Sri Sri Vidhya Mandir all across India charge a good fees and is definitely not a charity from
    the AOL headquarterters
    Swamiji’s Response: I personally have been involved in the trauma relief and rehabilitation projects in the tsunami hit areas of Tamilnadu and Sri Lanka. Anyone who has been involved in any of the service projects of AoL will know that these allegations are false.
    Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Vidya Mandir (SSRVM) schools are not charitable schools and no where we have claimed that. It is Sri Sri Vidya Mandirs and Bal Mandirs across the country which are free schools.
    My comments: There are 12,639 students who are part of the FREE Sri Sri Vidhya Mandir schools across the country (http://artofliving.org/social-transformation/education.html).

    Skywalker’s Charge: The accountability of the Dollar a Day program seems doubtful
    Swamiji’s Response: Those who have visited our rural school where more than 2000 first generation children from neighbouring villages are studying, would have seen for themselves how the money is spent. Children get uniforms, mid-day meals, transportation etc. free of cost.

    Skywalker’s Charge: The Statement of Sri Sri Ravishankar about the overhead expenses of Art of Living being less than 10% and thus all your course fee money goes to the charity seems doubtful.
    Swamiji’s Response: Vyakti Vikas Kendra India (VVKI) accounts are audited and anyone can verify them. We save only 25% from the course fees that is collected.

    Skywalker’s Charge: A full time teacher having provided extra ordinary services in past and dedicated several years when becomes a liability or needs major help is either discouraged, rewarded much less then he really might need, paid less or eventually left stranded. They don’t have any legal work contract neither are they properly insured for health nor against accidents. Although recently some of the teachers are somehow insured. Some teachers of higher rank do have received some form of financial aid at times.
    Swamiji’s Response: In fact our experience is that not all full-time teachers perform very well. There are 10,000 teachers worldwide in AOL. Except a handful of teachers who have left AOL, all the teachers will vouch for the organization and how it has benefitted them.

    Skywalker’s Charge: Sri Sri does badmouthing
    Swamiji’s Response: Guruji directly corrects people when they are wrong . He never humiliates anyone. The skill and knack with which he makes people realize their mistake without making them feel guilty is really amazing. All senior teachers would stand testimony to this.
    My comment: My association with Sri Sri is not short. I have spent lot of time with him with many many different kinds of people and also in private. Not once have I seen Sri Sri refer to people with derogatory intent when they were not around. He has pulled me up for my mistakes on a few occasions too, but that was done directly, to my face.

    Skywalker’s Charge: People are of the notion that Ms Y follows celibacy but may be not.
    Swamiji’s Response: You can malign any organization on two accounts. One is sex, the other is money. AOL has stood the test of these accusattions. It is easy to label anyone as immoral and create doubts. If there is anyone who is the victim of a sex scandal, let them give evidence or face trial in the court for defamation.

    Skywalker’s Charge: Despite of some sincere teacher’s feedback regarding some senior teacher’s sex scandal, Sri Sri Ravishankar doesn’t seem to have taken any serious actions. At least from the view points of victims and those who complained.
    Swamiji’s Response: Same as above.

    Skywalker’s Charge: Few claim Sri Sri Ravishankar of being immoral.
    The local language kannada newspaper ‘Agni’ had a three part series on the sexual exploits of this Professor (Chayanna/Swami Suryapad) AOL Saint.
    Swamiji’s Response: AGNI is run by a person who is an underworld don. He has four cases of contempt of court and a dozen criminal charges pending against him.

    Skywalker’s Charge: Teachers or any devotees invited by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to join his tour are often left on their own for food and shelter. Although at time they are attended briefly, this leaves them highly grateful. May be it happens only during the first visit. As with experience people knows what to expect and do it yourself.
    Swamiji’s Response: Anyone who has travelled with Guruji even once in their life know how much he takes care of them. He makes sure that they have have had food (many a time he himself serves food to everyone) and a place to stay. We receive emails or people ask Guruji directly whether they can travel with him abroad. It does not mean that AOL has to pay for their flights. We only pay the fares of full-time teachers who travel to conduct the courses.
    My comments: I have travelled with Sri Sri several times – both nationally and internationally. The care and concern he showed for my comfort each and every time is touching. To state the charge the way it has been worded, as a generality, is highly inaccurate.

    Skywalker’s Charge: At times instead of respecting people’s need for privacy, Sri Sri ravishankar simply ignores it. Not only that but he goes on to make fun of it. That is how your sincerely written personal emails end up. After all hasn’t he said: God loves fun!!
    Swamiji’s Response: Guruji goes through nearly 600 emails/letters everyday. Any email/letter which is marked ‘confidential’, he looks into it himself. But, those mails which are not in English/Kannada/Hindi, he asks translators to read, confidentially.
    My comments: I have personally had situations where I have had to share highly confidential information about my personal life with Sri Sri. Not once have I got the feeling that the confidential communication is public information. This is also true of several people in my circle of acquaintances who are with the Art Of Living.

    Skywalker’s Charge: The commitments taken in high energy or activities done in grateful state in holy environment later seems unjust. The donation commitment taken during DSN is overwhelming. But during actual money collection after DSN the donors feel reluctant to pay that much.
    Swamiji’s Response: We don’t compel anyone to give donations. Those who donate do so out of gratitude, or their commitment to be part of service projects or whatever reason but totally of their own volition.
    My Comments: Why generalize what a few individuals may feel? How many people do DSN every year, how many make donations, and how many feel reluctant after committing? And how many feel it is forced? Taking individual examples and generalizing them leaves no room for objective discussion.

    Skywalker’s Charge: The Navaratri Yagyas at various local centers are getting more contribution target oriented rather than for the welfare of the world peace. Rishis and swamis openly ask each other how were the contribution.
    Swamiji’s Response: This Swamis and Rishis sit and discuss the amount of money collected for Poojas is baseless and ludicrous. I myself have conducted many Navaratri poojas and we leave it totally to the local organizers to conduct the entire event.

    Skywalker’s Charge: Even your best pals ignore you if you choose to leave. As a full-timer/teacher leaves, the sense of vacuum is too vast many don’t know how to cope with it. “My basic course teacher was eager I became a full-timer but when I was big time screwed by the AoL and when the damages of being a full-timer became evident, especially financially, she was not there for me either.”
    Swamiji’s Response: Guruji discourages anyone to become full time teachers. This lady did not wanted to take up a job. She only wanted to become full time teacher. She claimed that she was sick and was given three months free treatment in the German ashram even though doctors found that she was perfectly okay to work. As per Guruji’s instruction, we were giving her 900 USD per month. Without doing anything she was being paid every month. Her best friend tried to put sense into her head. But she was constantly bickering and negative. Even after she left AOL and started writing these negative blogs, it is an AOL devotee who is still helping her to date!

    Skywalker’s Charge: Sri Sri Ravishankar’s statement doesn’t always turn true. Actually, SSRS swore Barack Obama would not win the elections.
    Swamiji’s Response: Guruji has never predicted anything about Bush nor on Obama. Have these predictions appeared in the media? Where has this lady got these ideas if she is not in AOL anylonger?

    Skywalker’s Charge: Sri Sri Ravishankar does demand for not getting a stay in 5 star hotel of his choice or a soap of his choice.
    Swamiji’s Response: Any sensible person will just laugh at the allegation that Guruji yelled for a soap!!! Guruji has stayed in tents, he has stayed in villages. He always adjusts to his surroundings with utmost ease and is always considerate about not inconveniencing his hosts wherever he might be.
    My Comments: When groups of people are to be accommodated, space is needed. I have personally seen that where possible and where the houses can accommodate the people who come to meet with him, Sri Sri prefers to stay in the houses of devotees as compared to 5-star hotels. The charge on soap is definitely hilarious!

    Skywalker’s Charge: Spoken und unspoken fights up to loud verbal abuses are quite common among local teachers for trivial affairs of the AOL centres. Often always a major topic of discussion in TRM remains to solve such affairs. Of course this actually doesn’t amount to any charge against AOL, but it definitely shows the life of a peacemaker.
    Swamiji’s Response: AoL are not a herd of sheep! We are a heterogeneous group, of various backgrounds and from every walk of life right from prisoners to people who hold high posts in different fields. Only Guruji can bring such diverse group together. Guruji never shies away from taking responsibility for the misdeeds of people –not just the organization, but just about everybody. In our Teachers Refresher Meet( TRM) every teacher gets a chance to express their view point or difference of opinion if any, but, at the end everyone goes back charged with enthusiasm, to teach more courses and take up big service projects. This has been happening every single time.
    My Comments: Oh yeah, teachers fight, teachers argue. Isnt that part of free speech? 🙂

    Skywalker’s Charge: People following ethics in AOL aren’t as respectable as those following politics and charm. One of his most senior teachers of Germany, a very nice guy I happened to teach with and spent a lot of quality time with, decided to leave the movement after realizing that following ethical and, especially legal guidelines for organizational leadership was NOT vital to SSRS. SSRS´ comment was pretty much like this, ”He is free to leave the organization. He anyway never did anything to promote my work!”
    Swamiji’s Response: Whether someone performs or not Guruji gives such care to every person. This teacher from **** wanted to stop teaching because of his wife and his career. He had no complaint against Guruji or AOL. Since he is a cook, he wanted to take up the job of a chef and Guruji had told him ‘’if you want to leave, you are welcome’’.

    • Peaceful Warrior permalink
      August 25, 2010 6:54 pm

      Beacon of Reason:

      Anyway here is a point by point rebuttal:
      1. Anyone who has been associated with the Art of Living knows that nobody is ever compelled by anyone to do seva nor is put on ‘a guilt trip’by Guruji as has been suggested.

      >> The manipulation is more subtle – the coercion is of course never direct. RS and aol encourage dependence on RS through lies and made up stories of RS performing miracles to help devotees in distress. You are correct that people are not forced, just lied to – I don’t blame AOL – I was the one who was a stupid gullible fool.

      2. Sri Sri Badmouthing and discussing private stuff in public
      >>”Not once have I seen Sri Sri refer to people with derogatory intent when they were not around.”
      So just because you have not seen it, it does not happen ??

      3. Money and accountability

      Can give the name the accounting firm that audits AOL accounts. Any public enterprise, for that matter non-profit the size of AOL ought to release financial statements audited by an independent auditor every year. This is standard practice.

      We don’t believe money from courses goes to service projects as Sri Sri claims. For that matter i’m not even sure how much of the money from donations goes to service projects. AOL either does not keep proper financial records, or just plain hide expenses.

      For service projects/schools, all you have to refer to is AOL propaganda. That is not reference. How about giving a list of name and address of free SSRVM’s and the number of students enrolled. This should not be too difficult right ?

      Do you seriously believe that your or swami’s testimony is enough ? With your known your personal bias, testimony does not have much credibility.
      Give some numbers/sources that can be “independently verified” – not this fuddy duddy defense.

      3. Sri Sri demanding to stay in 5* hotel

      yes he does – to give you one example, when he was in New York sometime back, he stayed in the presidential suite of the Waldorf Astoria, which is a 7 star hotel, despite there being many rich and influential devotees who live in new york. If you wanted space, there are many more places to stay which are more accessible and can accomodate more people. This came from devotees pockets of course. Whenever Sri Sri visits a city the volunteers are asked to “donate” $25k to art of living for his visit. The money for ticket sales, course sales is extra and goes to AOL. Of course people are not coerced with force, but they are sure manipulated.

      If you ask me – the loving caring thing is an act. He does not care about anything except for fame and money.

    • goneagain permalink
      August 26, 2010 12:18 am

      @beaconofreason

      At best your/swami’s responses are lame, most of the people in this blog have first hand/personal experience with AOL, unlikely your lame explanation is going to change them. Look at this way – let’s say you want to get a new recruit and he/she stumbled upon this blog – you want to convert this new recruit your way – put yourself in that position and think and write based on how you can convert that new gullible recruit to your path so that your cult business can safely go on. Good luck.

    • Genuine seeker permalink
      August 26, 2010 10:27 am

      Hi Beaconoreacon: I would like to share my views on the below comment

      “Swamiji’s Response: We don’t compel anyone to give donations. Those who donate do so out of gratitude, or their commitment to be part of service projects or whatever reason but totally of their own volition.
      My Comments: Why generalize what a few individuals may feel? How many people do DSN every year, how many make donations, and how many feel reluctant after committing? And how many feel it is forced? Taking individual examples and generalizing them leaves no room for objective discussion.”

      Response
      AOL puts very subtle / disguised pressure on the members for donations. They make you first emotionally very weak and then request for willful donations. I have seen this in DSN course recently. They build the tempo for donations. Play heart touching and emotional music /songs / prayers, make you cry ( in guilt) . Next they would make you repeat slogans regarding contribution to mother earth and good karma…Finally donation time.. Once members line up for donations they would announce their Names and Amount loudly holding their hands in air ( triumphant) so that other members would fall for this emotional trap and give donations. ( herd mentality).

      Once you are out of the course one would realise what has happened. Thank god I was with people who were not emotionally vulnerable and I could save my money. ( Though I have donated 30% of my declared amount on the stage ( I was still carrying the emotions when I have donated that 30% money ) If everything that is discussed here is true then I would definitely feel I am cheated .

    • freethinker permalink
      August 26, 2010 2:29 pm

      @beaconofreason
      “Though this is posted as a comment, may I request the administrator to make this into a
      separate post? ”

      You guys act like smart as*es (forgive my language), why don’t you/your swami provide in your blog with charges and links to those charges then provide your response. So that the devotes can makeup their minds instead telling Skywalker/WhistleBlower to post your advertisement freely?

  6. Sivakumar permalink
    August 25, 2010 5:29 pm

    How nasty and mean can a swami be?
    Swami sadyojath – former communist, engineer and royal blood is a mean sucker.
    Please signup for his next “Blessings Course” and you can bless others like him.

    The amazing thing about this blog is free speech with thousands of contributions from too many people around the globe while Art of living Life stories website is a staged website
    http://artoflivinglifestories.blogspot.com/
    with people with vested interest directly or indirectly, beneficiaries in it.

    This blog is about helping the ordinary guy to use his rational mind to avoid getting screwed in the AOL scam for a longtime or lifetime.

  7. zhoro permalink
    August 25, 2010 5:32 pm

    Swamiji’s Response: Guruji has never predicted anything about Bush nor on Obama. Have these predictions appeared in the media? Where has this lady got these ideas if she is not in AOL anylonger?

    Fall of 2004, Amherst, MA, USA. Michael Fischman, President of AOL, US shared, in my presence, around a dinner table, that Ravi Shankar had said that the newly reelected President George W. Bush would not finish his mandate. Those present were asked not to talk about this prediction to others.

  8. freethinker permalink
    August 25, 2010 5:48 pm

    As grateful_reader said the responses are quite vague. As @beaconofreason said earlier – “In God We Trust, All Others Bring Data”, since @beaconofreason is representing god-incarnate – he doesn’t have to bring any data- I suppose.

    Another funny one -> “Though this is posted as a comment, may I request the administrator to make this into a
    separate post?”

    I don’t see any value in posting this comment as separate post except to satisfy the megalomania who thinks that everyone is under his command.

  9. mojo permalink
    August 25, 2010 6:25 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Skywalker, Whistle blower!!!! The inner circle is reading this blog regularly!! So obviously, Ravi is being kept posted!! Good!! This guy, Raghu , I remember is quite a dumb guy, incapable of a conversation. Going by his post, you know what I mean? Psychological imbalances are being experienced by him, he is paranoid, like Ravi! To reach conclusions on the identities of people posting here, is paranoia.

  10. wasssup permalink
    August 25, 2010 10:22 pm

    amazing, when you read that blog post you realize how sick puppies they really are. Lets see apparently some poor woman who has medical problems, said some bad things about there guru. And then instead of showing compassion this bizarre so called swami tries to destroy her person, by the most vicious personal attacks, that would be worthy of a 13 year old girl, who has just been dumped for the first time by her boyfriend. And then the swamis bizarre crowd of followers join in and cheers and labels this low and honor less deed bold and a true picture of there Gurus love. These guys are so sick that they are only few steps from heavens gate. Even Scientology seems quite together compared to this. It is only a matter of time before they start looking for space ships in plastic bags.

  11. young girl from **** permalink
    August 26, 2010 12:29 am

    I am a young girl from ****. When SSRS came to Australia last year, he stayed at ‘Presidential Suite’ at Langham hotel in Melborune (not only presidential suite, but a complete floor was taken). Why this specific suite was insisted by Ashram? Oh…because Bill Clinton stayed there once! An helicopter was also at his disposal for all the days he stayed in Melbourne at a cost of 5,000 dollars per trip. In Sydney he stayed at Shangrila hotel. A cruise was booked for an evening with food and music (sorry…Satsang).

    During year 2009 only, more than 300,000 dollars were spent on travel, accommodation, lecture fees and other expenses of SSRS, his senior teachers including Sangeeta, Dinesh and entourage. I don’t know about living conditions in India and cannot calculate how many kids would have obtained education with this sort of money. Someone can help.

    I think that it is not people but SSRS who wants proximity to people, however, he brainwashes people in a cultish manner and it seems that many people want proximity to him. If SSRS does not see a big crowd it is he who lashes out at teachers and volunteers. During his second lecture at ‘World Religion Conference’ in Melbourne there were only 40 people in a hall which had a capacity of 5000. You can imagine who these 40 people could have been. He tells them to go and spread the knowledge i.e. bring more people to basic course . Ultimately courses suck in people and poor souls serve with good intentions without knowing that all donations and course collections are pocketed by SSRS, his family and inner circle.

    I will talk of my knowledge about Australia. I am not aware of a single service project in Australia where Art of Living has spent money. If any service project is undertaken it is local teachers and volunteers who give their time and money. However, if it is completed, SSRS is first to claim publicity. It is time that Australian Taxation Authority take a good look into the accounts of ‘AOL Australia’ and revoke its tax free status.

    • goneagain permalink
      August 26, 2010 12:53 am

      God needs some luxury too. He is working day and night, night and day common on people show some mercy 🙂

    • freethinker permalink
      August 26, 2010 2:14 pm

      Seems like RS/Lackeys living life of King/Cabinet members and all the money donated for various causes/service project end up for their exorbitant life style.

      ARDENT AOL devotees: You don’t have to believe anything said in this post or comments, just go and look bawandinesh blog and see their life style, the places they stay and visit, and yes, it is all paid by the donations (include course fee/donations) to AOL which are supposed to be service project. If someone really want to donate for respectable cause please look at the charities that has overhead to minimum and donate to those. Some charities spend more than 90-95% on the charitable cause on a buck collected.

      • Peaceful Warrior permalink
        August 26, 2010 8:42 pm

        I actually don’t find anything wrong with teachers enjoying a good lifestyle. Just like everyone else, teachers of spirituality are entitled to a reasonable income and lifestyle. Just be honest in your claims and don’t live an overly extravagant lifestyle – like RS does – especially on foreign tours. Bawa and dinesh, and most full timers are ok in comparison, and I’ve found most of them live a life of comfort, but not luxury. (RS & family are different matter altogether)

        The other thing is that don’t make false claims about proceeds from courses going to charity and 1% administrative costs when you clearly cannot back your claims up with hard data. These lies smell of desperation, and are in bad taste, especially in a place of spirituality.

    • freethinker permalink
      August 26, 2010 3:41 pm

      @Young girl and Not so young from Aus?

      Here is the tip line for aus… Take a look.

      http://www.ato.gov.au/corporate/pathway.asp?pc=001/001/008

  12. mojo permalink
    August 26, 2010 12:52 am

    if expenses for a GURU TRIP are so high, how much do you think the organizers pocket? does ravi turn a blind eye to these practices as it’s a win- win situation for all of them? just wondering…..

    • Peaceful Warrior permalink
      August 26, 2010 8:43 pm

      I’ve found the organizers to be relatively honest and straightforward, especially in US. Only RS skims from the top.

  13. Just No One permalink
    August 26, 2010 12:58 am

    Dear Raghu (Swamiji !),

    Life teaches us that most often there are only shades of grey. Nothing is black and white as the truth itself is spherical. It has to be understood and applied in context. At one time in your journey you strongly came to a conclusion that Ravi was enlightened and in turn you propagated it to thousands of others including your closest family. All you can be sure off is that this is a popular story that he was…which you chose to propagate.

    With your hands on your heart can you even be sure that there is something like enlightenment….(for its just a concept)….unless you are already enlightened (Only you can answer that to yourself, its not necessary to reply…I am not asking you for an answer….its not relevant to my journey…just popping the question…..so I guess as far as I am concerned it’s a WONDER !!!).

    It is important to recognize and accept the grey. That it exists is natural. It is what you do with the grey that shows you back to yourself in terms of how truthful, therefore how much more responsible, and therefore how much more loving (remember belongingness / love brings responsibility) you can be to YOURSELF. Dear Raghu (Swami), if in your 18 years with Ravi you never saw or experienced the grey, that’s great, I am happy for you. truly. However, I doubt it.

    I am of Indian Origin. When I visited India recently, I made it a point to meet with some villagers around the Ashram in Bangalore. What amazed me was the fear that many of them had for the Ashram. No matter what the real intent was, to put many of these poor helpless people in that situation,……to me, NOTHING justifies such a situation or action. I found out that between the AOL Ashram and another builder called Mantri… they own a HUGE section of the land in South Bangalore around the Kanakpura road area. Both are feared by the poor people in the area.

    Why does a Spiritual organisation instigate fear by its ACTIONS or INACTIONS on its immediate neighbourhood ? When I probed further, these villagers told me that this has been going on for a long time. One can have any amount of justification for this….

    1. We did not know
    2. We are acquiring all this land so we can improve the life of the villagers. (Interestingly, its Guruji who said that God laughs heartily during 2 moments…… a) When a doctor tells a patient, I will cure you !!! b) When people fight over a piece of land…saying mine and yours….after all the land existed ay before them and will exist way after them.

    My question here is ….lets not doubt the statements that AOL wants to do so much good….BUT then does AOL really need to acquire all that land to do good ?
    Perceptions are important…..what you set into motion is important….AOL has put many of these poor people in fear and pain for many many years now. What goes around comes around. Now its time the people who initiated this fear feel the fear….of your own house coming crashing down. The karma will play out….sooner rather than later.

    For those of you current AOL-ites reading the BLOG and that continue to with your status quo…..ie….many of you know that there is a certain amount of grey…..but you continue to recruit for courses, you continue to donate your money, you continue with other AOL activities….then please know, that it’s the strength that you give this organisation that makes them strong, brash and arrogant to go out and exploit all those poor villagers. Please now know, that you are accountable too. Not to anyone else but yourself. The silliest due diligence you could do is ask your teacher…..trust me they would not know as they too have not followed the trail. They believe blindly. Please you take the trouble to follow the money trail by YOURSELF…..don’t ask a friend…see it yourself.

    Even on this blog, Individual accounts and stories, how much ever truthfully expressed are subject to interpretation and misunderstanding by readers. Ask the questions, follow the money (past and present accounts—- till the very end….including Swami Sadyojatha’s Tsunami accounts and follow the other numbers too…..10,000 teachers, 2.5 Million people for Silver Jubilee and so on, no of AOL companies registered today, how many are not for profit, how many directors in each company, between all these companies how much land does AOL have, how many times does family Ravi travel in a year, how often is it Business Class, Why do they travel, who buys their tickets and pays for their hotels, ?, what is their source of income ?, , .., )…..they show you a clear trail. Follow the doubts……to doubt is not a SIN as many will have you believe…..to express and follow doubts till you get a resolution by taking full responsibility is High Prana….and your true 100% effort.

    Finally, I want to bring this to your attention, in defence of your Guru, dear Raghu, you passed very harsh judgements on some ex-teachers. It is clear you spent 18 long years with your Guru and I bet you still haven’t understood him. You probably spend less than 18 minutes with any of the others that you blamed. All I am saying here is that you probably never understood them or their pain…..or their true intent……you simply passed judgement on some ex colleagues. Did you do your personal best and 100% to reach your hand out first (Ravi said this remember —–“behind every terrorist is a victim in hiding, so too a blogger terrorist at that …NO ?) or did you simply followed the dictates of a direct superior ? How is this any different from the world of communism of which you were once a part ?

    The reason I don’t reveal myself, is because I don’t trust AOL to do the right thing. I am afraid of their irrational and absurd and cultish reactions that I have been witnessing for many years now. I do not want to spend time and energy defending my stand with people that cannot think for themselves.

    • Watcher @ Bangalore permalink
      August 26, 2010 2:27 am

      Interesting that you bring this up Just No One

      Please watch the below

      A clear and distinct Possibility – Maybe there comes a time when the pain and the life (living) circumstances force the innocents to take a stand !!!!

      Please note The AOL spokes person says that “we do everything as per whatever is legal” .
      Bus isn’t AOL is a spiritual organisation. Now, as a spiritual organisation, we do expect it to be law abiding. However, to be law abiding but to inflict so much pain on the poor living around you. Well, thats something else

      If it was a large ambitious, growth lead greedy business only interested in pleasing its owners/stakeholders with profiteering and asset acquisition the above stand was probably OK; BUT for a spiritual organisation to take such a stand ?

      Unless the Spiritual organisation is a large hungry/greedy business in disguise

  14. Not so young girl from **** permalink
    August 26, 2010 1:35 am

    At the end of Advanced Course in Melbourne in December 2009, an appeal was made by the SWISS TEACHER for donations toward construction of a new university, somewhere in India. Many participants made donations in CASH. (really – handful of currency notes)

    @ Just No One…if you follow the money trail in account books only you can never estimate the amount of money pocketed by SSRS. Many people like to make anonymous donations in CASH as it is said by SSRS that when you make donations with your right hand your left hand should not be aware of that. Ha..ha. How convenient? I challenge if a single CASH dollar/Euro is accounted for by AOL Australia as donations on this occurrence.

    Yes, Australian Taxation Authority should check this out.

    • Just No One permalink
      August 26, 2010 2:32 am

      That is exactly my point. There is no trail. Even if there is a semblance of a trail, any accountant will tell you that the practices are down right dismal / non-ethical.

      This is the case the world over, not just Australia

  15. Svetana permalink
    August 26, 2010 2:38 am

    Skywalker,
    Congratulations! Around 3000 people have visited “Beyond the Art of Living” today. Isn’t it nice of AOL Swami Sadyojathah to bring all these people to this web site, increase awareness and spread the word about AOL wrong doings? We can only thank him for this generosity, or complete lack of knowledge about how marketing works. But after having a chance to see AOL newspaper “A turning Point of Humanity” with a funny unprofessionally made picture in the center, which may be called “Cult Leader Dream” , this doesn’t surprise me at all. https://aolfree.wordpress.com/secret-aol-knowledge/a-turning-point-for-humanity/

  16. Aol Mole permalink
    August 26, 2010 2:45 am

    I am a teacher in AOL and work in sumeru. Just on the fringes not able to leave as I am financially dependent on AOL.
    Just to let the blog owners know here. Sri Sri has directed a three pronged attack on this blog last week. He has said that this will silence the critics forever. This attack has been planned for last two weeks by Sri Sri inner circle with many teleconferences and personal meetings.

    The three pronged attack on critics:

    Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva

    Brahma – Ajay is incharge of this. Create testimonials blog. highlight only positives. no outlandish miracles to be showcased but just stress redution of successful and happy people. put photos to shame annonymous bloggers. good proof reading. form team of editors for Ajay’s blog.

    Vishnu – Batliwala is incharge of this role. This role shoud enable to bring order through the fear of law. batliwala to send notices to blog owners for copyright infringement and defamation. create fear in the people who write and comment on this blog. Kriya and teachings secret to be protected at all costs. As it is lifeline of AOL.

    Shiva – Swami Sadyojatha to start ripping apart the critics and finishing them. label the critics mentally unstable. start naming some ex teachers from Europe and two women in India. Do not focus on too many ex-teachers from India. as India is a base and that needs to be protected. Target women teachers as they are more hysterical. Create web seva warriors to attack all blogs and protect wikipedia entries etc. The mantra is ‘har har mahadev’.

    This three pronged attack was commined to start on the auspicious day monday Aug 23rd.

    I will send more details later.

    • Peaceful Warrior permalink
      August 26, 2010 5:03 am

      good good….bring it on.

      I would suggest a fourth course of action to RS – that of a rishi. Stop pretending that you are infallible and everything is kosher in the organization. Introspect genuinely, make whatever amends necessary – and move on. These shenanigans and games won’t work – being candid with oneself and making the necessary changes will.

      But of course, it’s not gonna happen in AOL. They will bend like a pretzel trying to rationalize and justify the bullshit that’s going on.

      • mojo permalink
        August 26, 2010 3:21 pm

        Peaceful Warrior, do you think AoL would be able to fool all the people all the time? After reading their strategy had I still been in AoL, i’d be disgusted with my “guru”. These traits are of the lowest level of being. This type of anger, rage, revenge, insecurity are not of anyone with a slight conscience. Whether a blind follower or not, this should wake up a lot of AoL-ites to the “qualities” of their “guru”, and female followers should , after this insider post, start feeling totally threatened. I’d be surprised if they didn’t. The women,( who are a large part of this organization) I’m sure would question their safety level here. A slight difference of opinion, and they will be labeled ” psychotic” , pretty much like being in a violent marriage with an abusive husband. If these women folk don’t leave AoL, then these are the kind who will happily be abused in bad marriages, even if they have another option. As insiders we have posted stories here on how rude, cunning and ruthless Ravi is, this revelation should rest our case.

    • goneagain permalink
      August 26, 2010 11:14 am

      Wow; When RS says criticism doesn’t affect me means “he intents to destroy it” then there is will be nothing left there to affect him. Their strategy looks more than dictatorship, I have no doubt if he had known exact identies of these people, he would order these people eliminated from face of earth.

    • Sama, dana, bheda and danda permalink
      August 26, 2010 11:38 am

      They are using time tested hindu philosophy: Sama, dana, bheda and danda.
      Sama: is the first method of explaining (however illogical) to people. By word. (Putting out their arguments)
      Dana: the quintessential carrot. This second option is to explaining along with giving an incentive. (Hey, Guru gives ‘dharsan’)
      Bheda: the third option is used if sama and dana doesn’t work. This is the art of selective discrimination and differentiation (by defaming people – here note calling these people mentally unstable).
      Danda: if none of the above methods work, then the last resort is to use force (destroy them physically, this part RS didn’t spell out in his strategy – that would have been discussed in much more inner/close circle).

      • Anonymous permalink
        August 26, 2010 8:33 pm

        It’s no strategy – he’s not as clever as he/you think. it’s not strategy if your opponent knows what you are up to. Thus formulas won’t work. Either you are amazingly smart and come up with a masterstroke your opponent does not expect….or you are honest and speak the truth and have the high moral ground. This was gandhi’s method – and I think that’s the only effective “strategy” which will work.

      • freethinker permalink
        August 26, 2010 9:31 pm

        @Anonymous – August 26, 2010 8:33 pm

        RS is very cunning and he is smart to protect his investments so far. Well he didn’t think there will be a ‘AOL mole’ to tell what was going on internally, you are right RS was not smart on that (how come GOD didn’t know ? – that is a question for ardent devotees to think).

      • Anonymous permalink
        August 27, 2010 2:53 am

        no no it’s Brahma vishnu mahesh – different strategy.

        I (we) also have our brahma vishnu mahesh strategy. Hope RS is reading this 😉

        1. Brahma: Be positive, work hard and create value in your world and the world around you

        2. Vishnu: Be balanced, have an even temperament and manage your life well.

        3. Shiva: Expose crooks, liars and cheats who take advantage of people’s goodness and fool people in the name of spirituality.

        Being positive and goody goody does not work – gotta go negative to expose the corrupt, and gotta keep things in balance.

        Our brahma vishnu mahesh strategy works better than RS coz truth is on our side ;).
        Seriously why does have RS a problem with acknowledging mistakes and doing the right thing ? It’s not too late. I guess it must be in the stars 😉

    • anonymous permalink
      August 26, 2010 12:16 pm

      This is truly amazing (and horrible). It’s unbelieveable that someone who claims such greatness as SSRS would order such a thing as this (3 pronged seva attack) on people who are speaking out the truth. These people should be extra cautious. If they start naming names (concentrating on ‘hysterical women’ and not on “ex-teachers from India”), they may end up getting this right back in their faces with men coming forward, naming their own names, what happened to them, and exactly why they left SSRS. This is a very slipperly slope that these people are treading. It’s hard for me to believe that it’s true (the 3 pronged attack business), since it is really very possible that doing this would cause men who are no longer afraid of AOL and SSRS to actually expose him for what he really is and what he is hiding from the Indian public. Let’s see how this one plays out. I think SSRS is counting on most being too embarrassed or humiliated by what happened to them to speak out. But I know of a few right now who are contemplating whether they should just speak out. Yes, they fear what could be done to their families, but some are feeling confidence because of this blog. And they don’t fear their own reputations anymore, because they themselves are not hiding them. Let’s see if the “mole” is real.

      • Vishal permalink
        August 26, 2010 2:01 pm

        “Swami Sadyojatha to start ripping apart the critics and finishing them”
        Looks like Sadyojatha has completely failed in his shiva role. He has only proved his critics right.

  17. Prairie Princess permalink
    August 26, 2010 4:07 am

    And this 3 pronged attack is seva??It seems the swami may be the truly crazy one. Are the people remaining in AoL afraid of criticism and light being shown on their activities? Isn’t that how cockroaches usually react?

  18. Manju permalink
    August 26, 2010 4:20 am

    This is what I had posted in the Swami’s blog (just to check out whether this organization allows free thinking or whether my gut feel was correct). Guess what? It has not been posted and is still ‘under moderation’. Positive posts which came later were posted.

    So I am posting this anyway here in this blog, as a comment:
    //begins

    Having gone through the portals of the AOL (and left for personal reasons) I can only say one thing.

    If people criticize it is time for an organization to introspect. In corporate orgs, we regularly have employee surveys conducted which are taken by senior management in an objective and fair manner.
    The way in which the AOl collects funds is a business like, almost corporate manner. Naturally this brings questions to givers. When questioned, AOL quickly brings out the spirituality spin and almost says ‘do not question the workings of a guru/teacher.

    This is unreasonable and difficult for most mortals (like me) to comprehend.

    Also, agreed, your courses are great. But let people go their way after finishing a course. Why do u not give space, which is so important to spiritual growth? Your teachers do not even allow ‘followers’ to read other spiritual books! Or attend lectures! A guru only can lead you to God. If you get stuck to an organization, then you cannot really progress and you are tethered to the ground. True spirituality means freedom from bondage and fearlessness. Your teachers instill fear in followers with an ‘if u do not do this, then Guruji will break your back’.

    Can you not do seva in other organizations? Are not other orgs involved in many social activities? ISKCON does seva for schoolchildren in the form of the Akshayapatra scheme and I have got receipts for each and every cheque I gave their organization. They treat you with respect at the temple. They do not push and shove you around when you want to get a glimpse of the guru. Nor do they treat you with disdain. Krishna is there for all to see- everloving, ever present.

    I am still being harrassed by people in your organization, in spite of requesting them to leave me alone. Why cant they understand the tenet they themselves teach/preach: Accept people as they are”…

    I am sure you will delete this mail, but to delete, you would have read it. No hard feelings.

    //ends

    Well, my gut feel was correct. I rest my case.

  19. Vishal permalink
    August 26, 2010 4:47 am

    “SriSri just recently in his BBC interview said AOL has 7500 teachers worldwide, now you say 10,000. So 2500 new teachers this month or your MASTER doesn’t even know the number of his teachers”

    Good catch. This clearly proves that AOL folks have no respect for facts. They make up numbers on the fly.

  20. abhilash shastry permalink
    August 26, 2010 6:09 am

    @Blogowner: Please correct the spelling in the title -“DISGRUNTLED”.

    About financial propriety, let AOL apologists look at the form that is to be filled at the start of course. I distinctly remember, in my Sahaj course form, they had named the course charges column as DONATION as if it were voluntary, even though it was actually a FEES.

    Last point about jihadi group is interesting. Earlier the accusation was toward missionaries. In AOL circles, it was discussed how missionaries who wanted to defame Hinduism were using Klim’s blog for Hinduism bashing. To be fair, some posts and comments in Kilm’s blog actually do have an anti-Hinduism bias, as if Hinduism was all about AOL!

    I would not be surprised if this time also, they try to create an impression that any criticism of AOL is an attempt to defame Hinduism and India. Third part of Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva strategy to not focus much on ex-AOL teachers from India, gels well with this.

  21. Observer permalink
    August 26, 2010 8:09 am

    @”Aol mole” : Thanks you for the info, but please do not give out any info about yourself when providing such inside stuff. In fact, I feel that, just to be safe, you should not even have revealed what you have said about yourself, in your post. Since you are forced to work in Aol in your current situation, just keep any personal info off this blog. Thanks, once again.

  22. Kavitha permalink
    August 26, 2010 8:24 am

    I think people should be made aware of the dangers of people like this fake swami sadyojatha. Please be careful about this blessing course he conducts. In case you have already revealed your inner fantasises and secrets to this pervert, keep your fingers crossed. he may use it against you.
    For other people please beware of this blessing course conducted by this swami where you are made to confess your secrets like your sexual fantasisies. then they teach you guru brahma mantra and om namah shivaya for blessing. dont go to this pervert’s course. Make people aware of this.

  23. Rain permalink
    August 26, 2010 12:28 pm

    The ending line sums it up: “Guruji does it with a smile”!! (2 explanation points). There’s the signature indoctrination. All the devotees repeat like slaves: “Guru is great, Guru does no wrong.” He never gets angry? Always does everything with a smile? Helps everyone? You know what, I don’t believe you! I’ve been in a cult, and from what I’ve seen of AoL, they all work the same.

  24. Rain permalink
    August 26, 2010 12:31 pm

    P.S. Guess what? In the cult I was in, they said the people who accused the Guru of sexual abuse and for stealing money were mentally ill too. Classic! Only much later did we find out the people were telling the truth.

  25. FreedomFighter permalink
    August 26, 2010 2:21 pm

    1. It is obvious that he goes to extremes in anything he does. Rebelling to be a communist and anti-Guru and then moves on to the other end of the spectrum, becoming an extremist Swami and rebelling against anti-Gurus. Such extreme changes in opinion indicate that he can easily be manipulated, just the kind a Guru would want around.

    2. He calls others as jihadis/extremists, but cannot see the same pattern in himself.
    He calls bloggers as terrorists with a pen and at the same time, he cannot see this very behavior in himself. This clearly indicates that he has lost his ability for introspection. Releasing confidential information about medical conditions of ex-teachers of the foundation, exposes him and AOL to million-dollar lawsuits. It seems like a HIPPA violation.

    3. He goes on to not only tarnish the teacher’s name, he drags in the name of others (her ex-boyfriends). I am sure that the two guys included in the article did approve the use of their names, but in doing so, the article comes across as so childish and plain old finger-pointing. I do not see any knowledge or higher wisdom coming out, something that would befit a swami.

    4. The article clearly indicates that in AOL, there are people who have lost their ability to see things rationally. Their happiness seems to arise from some dulling of the mind. Its going back to an animal state and animals are happy too since they don’t have the ability to analyse or any form of critical thinking.

    I believe Raghu should renounce his Swami title. His words that are pure venom cannot come out from one who is a blesses or teaches others how to bless.

  26. Ronin permalink
    August 26, 2010 2:34 pm

    From the responses on the blog and on the net (AOL reactions) it is obvious that the master and his inner circle are reading our posts. And they are not amused, this is saying it lightly.

    Even though they say, that we are a bunch loonies who have a PERSONAL gripe towards the master and what he wants to accomplish. And not to pay us any attention, THEY surely are paying a lot of attention to us.

    The stakes for them have now increased exponentially, since a blog like this will have a direct impact on future courses (revenues) and their other source of revenue DONATIONS.

    Lets keep putting it out there, yet be smart about things as well. Some one mentioned not to leave any personal info in one’s posts I would fully agree. We are questioning their livelihood, their reputation and practices and exposing them to the public. And since the momentum is picking up and the tide is moving against them, they will go to extraordinary lengths to protect it all.

    It will not be the guru’s insight in consciousness or the fact that he his enlightened (so they say) that the universe will make us align our values to those of his (wishful thinking on his part) and thus stop exposing the guru’s scam which we have seen and experienced first hand.

    No not at all, it will be dirty tactics and rumors interlaced with lies which will be used (by the guru and his henchmen) to try and stop it all. So be careful which hook you bite on. They are going to make it personal, stay centered don’t fall for their games and know that free speech is your right.

    And on this blog your voice will always be heard.

    The little giant has awakened.

  27. Kaushik permalink
    August 26, 2010 2:42 pm

    So at last it happens. True colours of AOL senior swamis and teachers coming out. This is best thing to happen. Let AOL people reveal their true colours, we are just helping them 🙂 As they say, give them enough rope and just wait they will hang them self.

    I met swami sadyojata in Mumbai some few years back when I still practise kriya. I feel something is not right. He behaves nicely and talks nicely but I see his eyes he is a very cunning and clever man, he can be merciless. I don’t have comfortable feeling with him around.

  28. wasssup permalink
    August 26, 2010 3:06 pm

    where does this swami dude get his numbers from. I am trying to understand what he is answering on, but I am least not able to find any direct correlation to the charge post. Is anybody else able to or is it just dellusional ramblings from his side…..

  29. August 26, 2010 3:32 pm

    It just occurred to me this blog may suffer the consequences of AoL attacks/fears. If it stops operating, it will only be because of that and not because the bloggers succumbed to their phony attacks. Anyone with 2 grams above the shoulders will realize how childish and stupid this is! If this stops, we should all start new blogs for our freedom of expression! What cultish behaviors they are showing! And to think that most people accused are not even involved. A witch hunt based on nothing but twisted lies and serious defamation. CULT and LAW SUIT written ALL OVER.

  30. Chinnamasti permalink
    August 26, 2010 5:11 pm

    AOl has probably taken the strategy of witch hunting from the medeival roman church. The way Sadyojatha has terme the women as ‘mentally challenged’ ‘parnoid’ ‘blue star’. This is witch hunting dear. No pun intended.
    My advice to women in AOL. Just beware. Unless you behave as Sati Savitri and pati vratha model, you know what you will get into.
    As a woman I can only term this so called swami as another MCP on the block.

  31. The Agnostic permalink
    August 27, 2010 7:41 am

    Though I find some merit in this post but at the same time the author is focusing too much on the money part as if he/she is very jealous of the money that the swami and ssrs make. I don’t think that money should be the only concern of the blogger. Expose the corruption, malpractices and breach of faith and then make a case out of the whole and if possible, file a suit in a court of law. Religious and Spiritual organizations cannot function without money and their heads and important office bearers are the custodians of the public donations that come to them. They are also entitled to their expenses to meet their basic needs and operational costs apart from using that money for service activities. To what extent they are entitled to use the donated money for their personal use will differ from case to case and on how the affected persons convey this to the judge.

    Your post would not stand much ground in a court of law if you write like this though it may find popular support. If you want to take your issue to the logical conclusion then write a bit more logically.

    This is the advise which an agnostic lawyer i.e. me, can give you.

    Hope to see some more logical and incisive posts from you.

  32. ewald poeran permalink
    August 27, 2010 8:24 am

    My name is Ewald Poeran, chairman of the Art of Living Netherlands

    After reading the blog, I would like to give my general comments.

    What you are doing is nothing short of terrorism of pen.
    You are cowards who don’t want to reveal your identity. If the truth is on your side what are you afraid of? You are accusing people of doing things they have never done.
    Now you get the support of only the weak. If you come out with strong evidence all the strong people will join, but in your heart you know that there is nothing like that. Total cowards.

    If you have made a donation for a charitable project, a reasonable sum, you have the right to ask about it. Otherwise you have no right to ask about the financial situation.
    If you only use the service, it is none of your business to ask for the finances.

    Do you know how many people Guruji feeds every day? Do you have any idea?
    Ashrams are run only through Advance Course revenue. Thousands of mouths are fed everyday. What do you bloggers contribute? Some of you rascals have taken full advantage, ate in the ashram, became fat. Taken all the time of Guruji, pestered him and bothered him with your silly questions. A counselor would have earned millions by that, Guruji did not ask anything.

    One of your bloggers, a woman with four kids who hardly taught anything, created more problems than anybody, wanted to make money on books, and ended up in New Zealand. Guruji was so compassionate, if it was left to me I would have dropped you a long time ago. This was the reason why I mentioned many times to Guruji: “Guruji, you have such a big heart”.
    Perhaps He should change the first course point: Accept people as they are!

    You are nothing more than stumbling blocks. You create more harm and disharmony around you wherever you are.

    Since Eng Ann left, Brazil has flourished.
    People have a feeling of relief. The satsangs are nicer.
    Same is the case in many other centres, including Denmark. Denmark is more harmonious and peaceful. Same story with New Zealand.

    You people are so ill-motivated, with your own hidden agenda.

    If you don’t like it, you should just mind your own business. You can’t because you tasted the joy. You cannot get Guruji out of your system. If it would be a criminal you would just ignore the person. More than devotees you seem to be updated about Guruji and the organisation. That shows how miserable and desperate you are. Who has time for this?

    You are not persons who will save the world, save other people.

    We know exactly who these persons are, how they are disgruntled. How you can misconstrue simple jokes here. Simple things are being twisted by the distorted minds, portraying the most compassionate saint as a demon.

    And about the food supplements, all the companies use the same kind of medicine. It is coming from an old tradition, to say that it is being copied from Maharishi Ayurveda is total nonsense. What is there to copy anyway? For example everybody can produce triphala, amla, and so on. Himalaya produces it, Maharisha produces triphala, Dabur produces triphala. What is the big deal? Do you know anything about Ayurveda? Maybe it is time for you to see a doctor.

    I guess there is a Judas everywhere, but you will face your music, that’s the good thing.

    The way Guruji has taken all this is even more impressive, totally unfazed.

    These are just a few points I wanted to highlight. There are so much more beautiful things in life, to enjoy life, and how to spend time in a much better way.
    But one thing I am jealous about. As much as I love Guruji, you are thinking even more of Guruji than I do. He is more in your mind than in mine.

    Jai Guru Dev

    • Chinnamasti permalink
      August 27, 2010 11:39 am

      Mr president of AOL Netherlands,
      This site is a wake up call against the farud organization you work for. It is a matter of time when the critical mass wakes up to this fraud. People remain annonymous here because they know the kind of harrassment that AOL mafia is capable of. They have first hand experience of this when they were part of the cult. It is an intelligent decision.

    • Peaceful Warrior permalink
      August 27, 2010 12:25 pm

      @Ewald

      ok….how about you stop ripping on people and start responding to facts. Do you really think it’s just one or two people who are disgruntled at the way they run AOL ? Come on.

      You bring about some interesting points. You say that the guru is compassionate in not dealing with person who was creating problems. I would call it stupid – to put so innocent people at risk by making incompetent and unethical people as teachers. This sort of thing goes on a lot in AOL, these days anyone can become a part 1 teacher. It just goes to show the “top management” is out of touch and incompetent. We are all supposed to think guru is holier than thou – but if you look at how things are run in AOL it is clear that the people at the top are 1. Incompetent 2. Irresponsible.

      2. About money – over years I’ve donated thousands of dollars to AOL. There is no transparency and accountability. Most other charities have solid numbers regarding the work done and how the money is spent. Not in AOL. Again, you are supposed to blindly trust the master – who btw. loves to travel with an entourage and staying in presidential suites of the poshest hotels.

      Again they flat out lie when the say they have 2% administrative costs and money from courses goes to service projects. As head of AOL netherlands you would know this. Why is it wrong for people to ask for data to back up these claims that AOL makes. If they don’t like people asking they should not make these claims.

      If you are telling people that course fee goes to charity (standard response to course fee question), you are misleading them into thinking that they are also donating money to charity. So they do have a right to ask how the money was spent. One or two videos highlighting the work is good, but frankly a lot of the material is dated, and it’s not a substitute for data.

      It’s shocking to see that despite being filled with well educated modern people, AOL acts like a medieval institution. People are indoctrinated not to question the master, and by implication senior teachers. They continue to do as they please.

      As far as feeding people goes, I don’t think the ashram food is subsidized. I’ve never seen destitute people at the ashram being given food. It’s mostly middle class or rich people who have come for a course or a workshop – so in a way they pay for their food. Most of the work is done by volunteers, so it’s not as if they are generating a lot of employment.

    • Anonymous permalink
      August 27, 2010 12:32 pm

      “If you don’t like it, you should just mind your own business.”

      Same goes for you – if you don’t like this blog you should mind your own business. No we are not pathetic losers like you think. Most of us (at least I do) lead happy lives – but we are not pushovers.
      We’ve been duped by this fraud organization, and unlike your regular AOL folk, who silently suffer, we do react when abuse happens.

    • anonymous permalink
      August 27, 2010 12:48 pm

      Actually, Mr. Chairman,

      I had not given SSRS any thought at all for years since leaving the Cult of AOL, until a friend (who also left) called me with the news that an “assassination attempt” had been made on his life and it was on TV. My immediate response was “how awful”. My friend, who was so badly treated in AOL responded “why is it awful? He’s getting his own karma back at him”. Of course, there was no attempt on SSRS’s life, but as we found out, he milked the incident for all it was worth to get TV time. (Or maybe his omniscience was not working and he really didn’t know it was a next-door farmer shooting at dogs?)

      I, and others who have left AOL, keep our anonomous status for real reasons: We have been threatened by phone when leaving. Cursed by your “master” (some of us told that he would ‘destroy’ us if we left). Some received home visits from people like you who had the misguided feeling that their master was all goodness and light, and who made thinly veiled threats (sometimes not thinly veiled).
      Because you are in Netherlands, and were possibly raised a Christian, you may not know the power of Rudram, Chandi, of Tantra, and exactly who and how SSRS worships. These are things that are above your pay grade, so to speak, sir. But Indians know fully well the power (albeit it temporary) of Tantrics like SSRS, and their ill intentions to those crossing them. And so, some remain anonymous because of verbal and physical threats made, and others because of psychic threats made, yes, even by the precious master himself!

      This is certainly hard for you to believe in your present state of delusion. But it is so. He is not as you think him to be, I’m very sorry to say. The doubts that you have certainly had were God trying to save you. But you have chosen to “doubt the doubt”. I pity you.

      Since the shooting incident, my attention was brought to the person “Klim’s” blog, and then this blog. Since June I have followed their progress, commenting a little, as I am now. I truly fear AOL and SSRS. This may be difficult for you to understand, wrapped as you are in your little safe cocoon in Netherlands. When I saw this blog and the other one, I realized that in spite of some years of distance from the organization, that people were still getting damaged. I’ve been very busy and I was not in a circle who discussed AOL at all. But this blog fills an important need: if people are still getting hurt, damaged, lives ruined by this man, and he has not changed for the better, then he should be exposed.

      In America, a famous gangster was brought down by a trail of improperly spent money, with no taxes paid, and he was put in prison for a long time. He was not tried for all the other horrible things he did. So people on this blogspot are concentrating on exposing what they know about misuse of funds, which you clearly know very little about. Please accept that there may be others who were closer to SSRS than you are, and know very damning things about his habits and money trails (or lack thereof).

      I have no personal wish, actually, that anyone should be humiliated or go to jail, or anything of the like. I do hope, however, that the entirety of this crooked house of cards be dismantled, and the parties involved, making money off the innocence of others, should simply go to the Himalayas and meditate on their deeds. Consider what they have done. Revenue Department should raid all involved. The newspapers should be notified, and reporters should get very nosy about this (finally). Laundered monies should be donated back to the poor. The ashram should be donated back to the government to be run as an actual school totally, for the poor. Land robbed from villagers should be returned without any further delay. All businesses built for the family with laundered donation money should be disbanded. Taxes should be paid in full. SSRS, his family, his teachers, should all revert back to a very simple, humble life-style which most of them had before this enterprise. This would heal their souls and give peace to India and perhaps the world. It would be a bold step on SSRS’s part to do so. Seeing that he needs to see his face on the sides of city buses somehow makes me suspect that this humility will never take place.

      God Bless You, Mr. Chairman, and may you find lasting Peace, not that induced by trance, tantra, and affiliation with AOL

    • goneagain permalink
      August 27, 2010 12:59 pm

      Mr president of AOL Netherlands,

      Looks like you are posting the email summary just received from AOL HQ. Is it part of the ‘Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva’ strategy? Which one is it?
      You just parroted whatever swami response, do you even know if the blog is male/female? Oh, Well your guru is ‘God-incarnate’ so it must be true.

    • Anonymous permalink
      August 27, 2010 2:19 pm

      Hello Ewald,

      Seems like you have stopped reading the ashram course registration forms. It clearly mentions that fees include food and stay!! Every one pays for it!! Only the visitors dont pay but somehow they atleast buy somethings from divine sevices or shop or donate some littel money. Or in worst case they enroll for the course or atleast increase the publicity of the ashram!! Idiot!!

    • Victor permalink
      August 28, 2010 3:43 am

      Ewald, you are obviously too brainwashed to see what happened to people who reveal their names, location, address and phone numbers to AOL. Swami Sadyojatha ripped them a new one, and he didn’t even spare AOL teachers, how do you think a lowly volunteer or course participant will be treated? They would probably send the local mafia to our house. Are you so brainwashed by the AOL cult you can’t even see this?

      No, we are not cowards. We are just sensible, and are using our intelligence. I see it’s hitting you people hard, so you have to resort to calling us cowards.

  33. hisunholiness permalink
    August 27, 2010 8:44 am

    @ewald poeran
    soooooooooooooo sorry for you . I can feel the pain that you must be facing because some time back I was also a brain washed cult member like you. BTW are you also writing any book regarding your master.

  34. his unholiness permalink
    August 27, 2010 8:52 am

    @Ewald Poeran as a chairman of the Art of Living Netherlands, you confirm why shobha de has renamed aol as AOA -art of abusing

  35. Svetana permalink
    August 27, 2010 4:05 pm

    @ Anonymous, August 27, 2010 12:48 pm

    Thank you for your comments. They are written with deep understanding of AOL criminal nature peculiarities and, at the same time, with compassion.
    I totally agree with you and pity Mr.Ewald Poeran and many blind followers, because being in deep stupor, imposed by the leader, they cannot see what abyss they are heading to and how deep their fall will be. God help their souls..

  36. the ghost of Kant permalink
    August 28, 2010 3:02 am

    Ok I just had the weirdest reaction. I actually felt sorry for Mr. Ewald. Behind his veiled threats and his arrogant attitude, there seemed to be a small boy almost begging us to stop.
    So I could not help thinking what would be needed if we where actually was to stop. Now this is off course my personal thoughts about this, but still here it goes:

    1)Stop exaggerated and fraudulent claims about techniques results and work.
    2)Clear ethic guidelines for the treatment of individuals in Art of Livings care, including course participants, volunteers, teachers and full-time teachers.
    2a) that would include proper salary to those who work full-time at least at the level of a normal working month with minimum wage, including pension for when they become old.
    2b) a clear ethics of what teachers of the art of living course is allowed to do and not allowed to do. Including respecting individuals wishes and borders. Refraining from using position to get money, sex etc.
    2c) a strong commitment to realistic assessment of what Art of Living and its Ayurvedic section can and can not do. Including a pledge to send all people who are outside these limits to the proper professionals and stop using weak people to get money with grossly false claims.
    2d) Clear policies against discrimination and abuse and a committee especially committed to deal with these cases. In all relevant cases where injury have occurred there should be a 100% handing over to proper authorities like police, social authorities etc.
    2e) Transparency and clear ethics of treatment of individuals at intense courses like TTC and DSN. That include the complete end of all well described psychological impairing techniques like hot chair, reducing people to infantiles, insuring that people always have the right to go to bathroom, sleep and something to drink. Stop forcing people into activities they don’t wont to join. Stop breaking people psychologically down. And a transparent and open management of these courses including an openness and will to correct any mistakes done during these courses. These could include a evaluation form in the end of courses with space to any complaints and insuring that these forms got delivered to a 3rd part in the organization in order to get fair treatment.
    2f) A general allowance of transparency in the organization including the right of free speech and critic in order to ensure that power abuse is avoided and corrected.
    3)Stop all enticing to racial and religious tension. Especially don’t use other religious groups and nationalities as scapegoats.
    4)Stop the tax evasion and start paying your taxes. Also get all previous tax evasion in order and pay the money you owe to civil society.
    5)I have no personal knowledge of these things, but if its true that mr.ravi has a personal sex life (which he off course is completely entitled to) this should happen in a transparent way in order to avoid misuse of power and position.
    6)Stop fear mongering and postulating that the end of the world is coming to and end. Don’t use fear in order to get compliance and work from individuals in contact with the group.
    7)Stop selling the cat in the sack. If you sell products the products should have some kind of resemblance to what you have described.
    8)Allow people to disagree and express this disagreement publicly.
    9)Settle with individuals that Art of Living have hurt in the past. Make honest and open discussions of how to settle use and abuse of individuals by the organization.
    10)Start admitting mistakes so you can start correcting them, and preventing them from happening again.
    11)If Art of Living wants to portray itself as a humanitarian organization the Art of Living needs to start being open and transparent about use of funds. Else stop these claims.

    If Art of Living committed to these standard, I would personally argue the Art of Livings right to exist. I might personally disagree with many of the beliefs held by the Art of Living but that would just be my personal preferences completely irrelevant to civic society.
    Also I am sure that there would spread a strong sense of relief and peace in the Art of Living organization because one would know that at last one is doing the right thing.

    How do the rest of you feel about this, did I forget anything?

  37. ANON permalink
    August 31, 2010 3:36 am

    Following is an excerpt from a response to Disgruntled Swami’s blogpost.
    =================
    doreen says:
    August 30, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    we have the moral right to state the facts, which i think is the only relevant response to unsubstantiated claims.

    The facts are:

    – the art of living is a 501c3 organization in the US., and so is required to file detailed financial statements and account for every penny. these records are public.

    ===============================

    I also love facts; more the merrier. As per AOL website they are active in 151 countries. Can you list following facts about 150 countries other than US:

    1. Organisation status – company, trust, society etc., charitable or not.
    2. Whether the audited accounts are submitted to government/Tax authorities?
    3. If yes, where the public records are available?

    The provision of any such list will be the first step towards transparency.

    Peace and Love.

  38. WhistleBlower permalink
    August 31, 2010 6:41 am

    Thanks Anon. I checked the rest of the comments in Kashi’s blog to see if anyone said anything apart from bravo to Sad. Swami and only found the following two quotes:

    http://www.kashikar.net/2010/08/the-truth-about-the-negative-blogs-%e2%80%93-by-swami-sadhyojathah/#comments

    doreen says:

    “for the record i do not agree with anyone making unsubstantiated claims against **** either. i understand people’s hurt and anger when they feel someone has falsely attacked a person they love, but our response should also have integrity.
    though i strongly disagree with what eng-an has done since deciding to leave aol, i feel compelled to set a few facts straight about her:
    – as far as i know she has never been diagnosed as bipolar
    – it’s not true that she was made a full-time teacher just out of compassion. she had a lot of fire in the belly to work for the organization. however people feel about her now, the truth is she opened art of living up in argentina, brazil, chile and many other countries in south america. there was a time when she was greatly admired for her work in aol, and was asked to speak at the TRMs about her work in south america.”

    M. S. Karrara says:

    “It gives me great pleasure to read the words of my teacher, Swamiji, whom I am honored to be his student in several courses. However with all the love and respect, I have a small comment about this write up. It is important to clarify situations and show the transparency of the organization, yet I don’t think that showing the accuser as mentally disturbed or a psychopath is going to be beneficial, since this would only show us weaker and that we accuse back since the best way of defense if offence. “

    Kudos to Doreen for speaking up. Reading what Doreen has written shows even more the level of contribution of the named teacher to AOL. And yet she has been so viciously attacked by Sad. Swami.

  39. Uncle Scooby permalink
    August 31, 2010 7:07 am

    Bizarelly enough, we were recently told at Guruji’s birthday this year that it was actually Beatriz Goyoaga, also mentioned in Swamiji’s article, who “opened art of living up in argentina, brazil, chile and many other countries in south america,” in almost exactly these words.

    Makes you wonder.

    • freethinker permalink
      August 31, 2010 2:35 pm

      DISGRUNTLED SWAMIJI has part 2 now –
      “Truth behind the negative bloggers – Part 2”
      http://www.kashikar.net/

      • freethinker permalink
        August 31, 2010 7:57 pm

        From Swamji’s comments:
        “Although we have known of these 5-6 people who are behind these blogs for a long time, we had chosen to ignore them because any sensible person reading these blogs will immediately realize that they are just lies by those who are desperately trying to malign an organization and its founder.”

        “When we responded to the first and partial compilation of charges against the Art of Living the bloggers reacted swiftly to say that they didn’t even know the people we were talking about!

        But, shortly thereafter, they contradicted their statement by saying the following: “This person has been singled out and the same will happen to the rest of the bloggers!!” They have also appealed to everyone to write good about “this person’’! First they said that they don’t know ‘this person’, then they said ‘this person has been singled out’ and now they say that ‘this person is good’. This is more than enough for any sane person to understand the mindset of these negative bloggers. Who is ‘disgruntled’?

        – Can you one understand this guy? Either he is a nutcase or he probably thinks every one of AOL devotees are nutcases that he/AOL can take them for granded?

  40. Ronin permalink
    August 31, 2010 2:41 pm

    It is interesting to read your post Mr. President of AOL Netherlands.

    I wonder what your career path in life would have been had you not joined forces with the CEO of a multinational called AOL.

    The president of AOL Netherlands that is a pretty responsible position indeed, for full transparency and honesty do you hold any other positions with in this Multinational. A quick scan provides the following data:

    Shankara. Europe BV in the Netherlands.

    Shankara Europe Holding BV The Netherlands Ewald Poeran, Director.

    Shankara Europe BV (wholesale) The Netherlands Lillian Nouwen, Director;

    Now we all know that the AOL on paper is a foundation and that it has another conglomerate of businesses and they are as profit orientated was any fortune 500 company.

    So you have one foot in the AOL – Foundation and one foot in the AOL – Corporation
    Both philosophies and mission statements of the entities are so different read they both have very different profit and loss statements. Do you find life hard to balance maybe not since, opposite value are complimentary. So the client base it the foundation, I can imagine if this drops it would not be a good thing. But then again it is always easy to come out with new products. The latest gimmick to help those who seek enlightenment and actually hooking them even deeper into codependency.

    I wonder what the annual salary of Director of Shankara Europe Holding makes, I can imagine it is more then a full time teacher, with all the health and secondary benefits included. Hopefully you extend the same to those who work in lower positions and don’t ask them to work as part of their seva so they can grow spiritually.

    “I guess there is a Judas everywhere, but you will face your music, that’s the good thing.”

    Mr. President of AOL Netherlands it is funny you mention Judas. Did you know that a few years back they found one of the gospels which was called the book of Judas. And after careful examination they were able to deceiver (conclude) that Jesus himself had asked Judas to betray him.

    I guess if you look back at your statement now it would seem rather silly.

    “But one thing I am jealous about. As much as I love Guruji, you are thinking even more of Guruji than I do. He is more in your mind than in mine.”

    No rest for sure he is not on my mind, what is on my mind are the young people who are about to take a step into the world and are searching for meaning and get led astray by this organization with false promises and hopes.

    Hopefully they will read these posted message or their families and loved ones will, and realize that there are other healthier ways to serve humanity and grow.

    The little giant has awakened.

  41. anon permalink
    August 31, 2010 4:23 pm

    To sum it up- AoL attacks women, people with illnesses, violates all privacy agreements so confidential info you give to them can and is used against you, worships a man who is full of burning ambition to be known in international circuits and indulges in land grabbing, misuses money , hypes up it’s sewa projects and exaggerates the number of projects it is involved in for which money has been collected, patents old vedic information and pranayams…. why would anyone want to be a part of such an organization?

  42. WhistleBlower permalink
    September 1, 2010 12:26 am

    Thanks FreeThinker for alerting us to Part 2 of Sad. Swami’s letter.

    It seems our Swamiji has reading disability as well. He has made up some sentences (attributed to bloggers) and then replied to those imaginary sentences! A common AOL tactic BTW!

    I was most impressed with Swamiji’s knowledge of the Bible which came handy to him to explain away his financial interests in AOL.

    But if his master can explain away land grabbing issues with a sick snake found in a pipe near ashram, why not his Swamiji quote bible to explain away his financial interests in AOL?
    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSucMjxGQWM&feature=channel This one is hilarious and a must watch as it illustrates some of the common AOL tactics in dodging the issues.)

    Our Swamiji, however, did clarify the discrepancy about the number of AOL teachers.
    “4 TTC courses happened in India, Canada and Panama after the BBC recording of the interview till date” and “each Indian TTC comprised 1000 plus participants”

    As only three countries are mentioned, I assume from his next statement that India had two TTC in August?! Rather strange, but never mind, let’s take his word for it. So 2000 new Teachers in India and 500 from Canada and Panama TTCs. (Maybe some of readers can confirm the numbers in each TTC in each country).
    So just in Aug 2010, AOL had a 33% increase in number of its teachers. Very impressive indeed.

    However, rather bizarre that AOL had 7500 teachers in 29 years (based on SriSri’s BBC interview) and suddenly 2500 new ones just in a single month!

    How long Bangalore Ashram has had these 1000-strong TTCs? Usually there are 3 to 4 TTCs in India per year and Ashram boasts of huge numbers in these TTCs (based on its own announcements). So how come for all those 29 years only 7500 teachers were produced? Rather small compared to 2500 in one month!

    Were there more teachers previously and then majority left, leaving behind only 7500 ? But then SriSri claims only a handful of teachers ever left!

    Mysteries abound in AOL indeed, esp. when it comes to numbers!! Wouldn’t it be nice if AOL/Swamiji publish a list of teachers in each country?

    It is very clear that AOL strategy is to shut down our blog by any means possible. It is also very clear that they have no intention of responding to any issues raised in this blog and elsewhere, rather their strategy is personal attacks on bloggers (or whom they believe to be the bloggers). This is of course another AOL unwritten policy, i.e. never reply to any criticism, rather attack/defame/shame/humiliate/blackmail/threaten the ones who criticize (In rare cases also bribing may be used to silence the critic).

    Anyway, here is part2 of our Disgruntled Swamiji’s letter in its entirety.

    http://www.kashikar.net

    Truth behind the negative bloggers – Part 2
    General No Responses »
    Aug 312010
    Here is part 2 of the truth I by Swami Sadhyojathah

    Although we have known of these 5-6 people who are behind these blogs for a long time, we had chosen to ignore them because any sensible person reading these blogs will immediately realize that they are just lies by those who are desperately trying to malign an organization and its founder.

    However, we also don’t want simple innocent seekers on the spiritual path to waste their time by reading this non-stop rubbish. That is why I thought that it is high time that this bunch of negative bloggers be exposed.

    When we responded to the first and partial compilation of charges against the Art of Living the bloggers reacted swiftly to say that they didn’t even know the people we were talking about!

    But, shortly thereafter, they contradicted their statement by saying the following: “This person has been singled out and the same will happen to the rest of the bloggers!!” They have also appealed to everyone to write good about “this person’’! First they said that they don’t know ‘this person’, then they said ‘this person has been singled out’ and now they say that ‘this person is good’. This is more than enough for any sane person to understand the mindset of these negative bloggers. Who is ‘disgruntled’?

    It seems to be these bloggers who dwell on lies.

    When my response came, they asked me to declare how much money I have received till now from Guruji/The Art of Living. We are not those kind of people who sell their souls for mere currency notes. (Read Matthew 26:14-16 which says ‘’Then the one called Judas Iscariot went and asked ‘what are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?’ So they counted out for him thirty silver coins…).

    Now they talk about “freedom of speech’’ closeted and writing utter rubbish and lies against anyone. Can that be considered freedom of speech? Brave people who speak the truth reveal their identity. Only cowards hide themselves and blabber about ‘freedom of speech’! Freedom of speech does not mean that you hurt people’s sentiments with lies.

    Guruji is a revered spiritual Master worldwide and he is considered as an icon of millions of Hindus. Although nothing affects HIM, no one has any right to hurt the sentiments of millions of devotees and Hindus with their non-parliamentarian language.

    How come that even though they claim to get all the inside stories of the Art of Living they didn’t get the news that 4 TTC courses happened in India, Canada and Panama after the BBC recording of the interview till date? Did they not get news from the so called ‘insider’ that each Indian TTC comprised 1000 plus participants? In fact when I wrote that there are more than 10000 teachers worldwide I counted only Part 1, Yes, Yes plus and Art Excel teachers. I have not even counted Sri Sri Yoga teachers and BWS teachers. Since their sole intention is to write lies, we can’t expect them to look at facts.

    It was hilarious to read their advice that they wished to teach a DSN course for Guruji! They wish to teach DSN course??!!! There must be love and compassion to teach DSN. Those with hatred and jealousy cannot teach DSN. Only brave people can teach DSN. Cowards who remain anonymous cannot teach DSN. Are they so unintelligent that it took them “so many years’’ to find flaws in Guruji and the Art of Living? They find fault with one and all and claim that it is ONLY they who have the correct information.

    It has become very clear that these negative bloggers have no better job to do other than trying to malign the Art of Living and the tremendous work being done by the organization with the inspiration from Guruji. At present in Manipur 150 Maoists are undergoing training based on peace and further 150 are on the way to get trained.

    Such good work is not acceptable to terrorist organizations and they use these negative bloggers to gather some information and spread misinformation.

    • goneagain permalink
      September 1, 2010 1:46 am

      Swami: “Although we have known of these 5-6 people who are behind these blogs for a long time”

      AOL putting up this much resources/effort to take care of 5-6 ex-aol teachers, wonder why GOD is so frightened by 5-6 people? Could it be because of TRUTH?

    • Peaceful Warrior permalink
      September 1, 2010 3:28 am

      “Although we have known of these 5-6 people who are behind these blogs for a long time, we had chosen to ignore them because any sensible person reading these blogs will immediately realize that they are just lies by those who are desperately trying to malign an organization and its founder.”

      Looks like many sensible people are not realizing the “lies”. Rather the sensible folks are reading this and staying away.

      “However, we also don’t want simple innocent seekers on the spiritual path to waste their time by reading this non-stop rubbish.”

      So you mean simple innocent people are not the sensible kind….as the sensible would have already left…..interesting. Btw. whatever happened to “it will filter out the weak so we can identify our strong pillars”….oh well!

      “That is why I thought that it is high time that this bunch of negative bloggers be exposed.”

      Hmm…so instead of setting the record straight you decide to attack your critics.

      “Brave people who speak the truth reveal their identity.”
      Whistleblowers are some of the bravest people around. And no, they don’t reveal their identity. It is idiotic to insist that they do. Just respond to the criticism.

      “Although nothing affects HIM, no one has any right to hurt the sentiments of millions of devotees and Hindus with their non-parliamentarian language.”

      Just because someone is famous they should not be criticized ? By this argument were the police wrong to arrest Nityananda ? Hundreds and millions of hindus are not standing up for Ravi Shankar. If they were offended the hindus would raise a hue and cry. There have been many cases where the hindus were genuinely offended (like the burger king ad) and they made lots of noise.
      No, in this case only RS and his inner circle is offended.

      and btw. that is exactly what freedom of speech is about. I may hate what you say, but I’ll die to defend your right to do it.

      “There must be love and compassion to teach DSN”

      We can all see how much love and compassion swamiji has. I’m sure he’s a great DSN teacher 😉

      “Such good work is not acceptable to terrorist organizations and they use these negative bloggers to gather some information and spread misinformation.”

      Oh so this blog is being run by a terrorist organization ???? WTF ? Now who is making wild allegations. Do you care so little about the truth that you don’t even bother to gather evidence to support your hypothesis ?

      The little good you do does not justify the wrong you have done. The taliban runs an efficient clean adminsitration – they even help people in floods – but that still does not justify their draconian ways.
      Same is true in this case – media will give you credit for the good you do – but it does not mean you can lie, cheat and manipulate.

  43. abhilash shastry permalink
    September 1, 2010 2:00 am

    >>Now they talk about “freedom of speech’’ closeted and writing utter rubbish and lies against anyone. Can that be considered freedom of speech?… Freedom of speech does not mean that you hurt people’s sentiments with lies.

    I entirely agree.

    “Freedom of speech” means freedom to speak freely in praise of AOL as evident on Swamiji’s blog or Bawa’s blog or any number of AOL boards. What more freedom do you want?

    >>Guruji is a revered spiritual Master worldwide and he is considered as an icon of millions of Hindus. Although nothing affects HIM, no one has any right to hurt the sentiments of millions of devotees and Hindus with their non-parliamentarian language.

    Weren’t we told that AOL is a non-sectarian organization? Then how did it suddenly become an organization of Hindus? What about sentiments of millions of those Hindus who think that SSRS is cheapening and commercializing Hinduism and must be stopped before he does any further damage to the name of Hinduism?

    And when you say unparliamentary language, are you referring to your devotees’ language on Shobha De’s blog?

    >> At present in Manipur 150 Maoists are undergoing training based on peace and further 150 are on the way to get trained.

    Maoists in Manipur?
    Indian press needs to wake up. They are always the last to know about any latest development.

    >>Such good work is not acceptable to terrorist organizations and they use these negative bloggers to gather some information and spread misinformation.

    True. True.
    Last week one shadowy person was actively recruiting in my neighborhood for “negative bloggers”. Now I know why.

    +++++

    >>Are they so unintelligent that it took them “so many years’’ to find flaws in Guruji and the Art of Living?

    The very nature of cults is like this. Some may realize early, some may realize late and some never realize. My sincere advice to you is to browse though any standard literature on cult psychology by any author you respect and you will find that there is nothing unique here. If you are not yet aware of the true nature of AOL, you will become aware. If you are already aware of the nature of AOL and still want to continue the party, I will blame you. After all, it is very difficult to make anyone understand something when his livelihood depends upon not understanding it.

    >>They find fault with one and all and claim that it is ONLY they who have the correct information.

    I do not find fault with “one and all”. I find fault with ONE only.

    It is SSRS who is the real crook. Most of his teachers and volunteers are only victims. The high priests who know of the AOL fraud are financially dependent on him and have no real choice.

    To be honest, I don’t even find fault with his sister, brother-in-law, nephews, nieces, relatives and extended relatives even though they are also accomplice in his scam. Probably, his relatives are also good people and given a chance would have earned their livelihood in a legitimate manner. It is the access to easy money that corrupted their mind and life for which only SSRS is responsible.

    • WhistleBlower permalink
      September 1, 2010 2:15 am

      Simply superb Abhilash. Well said. I really enjoy your quick, sharp wit. And doesn’t our Swamiji give us so much material to have fun with. We should encourage him to become a regular blogger on our site!

  44. ANON permalink
    September 1, 2010 2:40 am

    SAD Swami wrote “Guruji is a revered spiritual Master worldwide and he is considered as an icon of millions of Hindus. Although nothing affects HIM, no one has any right to hurt the sentiments of millions of devotees and Hindus with their non-parliamentarian language”.

    True colours of the CULT SECT are coming into open under pressure of 5-6 bloggers!!!

    It is a good business practice to save your most lucrative market when there is a ‘GLOBAL (AOL) Financial Crisis’. The blogs are definitely hitting the bottom line badly. Accordingly, AOL is making efforts to commence another ‘Divide and Rule’ strategy and hoping that bloggers may start hurting each other if they can be divided into HINDU and NON HINDU block. In such scenario; attack on AOL may be diverted largely to religious sentiment of devotees, non devotees and EX AOLers.

    I am already looking at two different explanations of Judas.

    Don’t let the blog fall into their trap even if you need to moderate certain comments.

    • goneagain permalink
      September 1, 2010 3:10 am

      Good suggestion, I don’t think people in this blog fall into these deceptions but there could be AOL/RS ‘plants’ who are supposed to do this kind of stuff can come in and try to post comments like that. @Skywalker/WhistleBlower – Please take a note of it.

    • abhilash shastry permalink
      September 1, 2010 4:12 am

      >>Accordingly, AOL is making efforts to commence another ‘Divide and Rule’ strategy and hoping that bloggers may start hurting each other if they can be divided into HINDU and NON HINDU block. In such scenario; attack on AOL may be diverted largely to religious sentiment of devotees, non devotees and EX AOLers.

      Very typical of AOL.
      When they need $$$ from foreigners, they become NON – SECTARIAN.
      When they are criticized for their misdeeds, they cry “HINDUISM IN DANGER” – as if they had been mandated to speak on behalf of all Hindus!

  45. Former_sad_swamis_student permalink
    September 1, 2010 4:09 am

    How mean and nasty can a swami continue to be ?
    May be he needs to have his title changed.

    Swami have to be celibate and SSSSSRRRHHHH BS is using this young former communist to direct aggression and attack to move further the business. And sure enough Swami has more left everynight and I bet he jacks off every night. 🙂 Everybody needs an outlet.

    So much aggresion for a Swami. May be SSHHRRSSBS should have had Rishi Nitin do this thing. He is another clown if you know him. Gets angry every 2 minutes and loves the microphone.

    JGD /AOL people , please signup for the next Blessings course in your area and Sad Swami will be there. You will equally radiate his energy.

    • anonymous permalink
      September 1, 2010 12:15 pm

      @former Sad Swami’s student:

      Your post shows how little you actually know about HHSSRS and his “Swamis”. Suffice it to say that you are correct in thinking that they are not celibate. Some men reading this blog, who know the truth, are thinking about the possibility of coming forward and telling their stories if anyone else here is threatened or lied about or if the blog closes down. These men know and have experienced things that would stop dead halt, all the flow of monies to the Ashram and to Ravi Shankar et-al. Their testimony, if it comes to light would also trigger raids on all the premises in question in India. It needs to be weighted exactly how these truths would affect their personal lives, although they were victims. But it is being considered.

      Swami Sad, et al, HHSSRS, and all of you who know who you are, be on notice. Leave free speech as it is. No one here is telling the worst of all of you yet. You dare to threaten these people who are only telling about finances and money wrong-doing? Are you this deluded? Really. You all disgust me.

  46. Pranesh permalink
    September 1, 2010 5:32 am

    Actually swami is working in line with the strategy which AOL mole highlighted sometime back. Make this into a hindu versus others or Indian versus others thing. This swami should have been a politician rather than a swami. or Maybe he is.

    But reality is Hindus have very clearly rubbished ravishankar as a publicity and money hungry whore. Check out blogs like:
    http://churumuri.wordpress.com/

    or Atanu’s blog:
    http://www.deeshaa.org/
    Atanu for your kind info is a right wing hindutva person.

    so is this person:
    http://drvasu.wordpress.com/2007/10/25/concept-of-god-osho-islam-zakir-naik-and-the-acid-test/

    There are many people in RSS and hindu hardliners who have seen through the fraud of ravishankar and they feel he is more intrested in personal money and cheap fame. Hindus would be better served when they support lasting well organized and service oriented institutions like Ramakrishna Math and chinamaya mission.
    Ravishankar’s movement has already died down as a result of hedging all the charity money into his family funds. It is a matter of time it will be history.

  47. Peaceful Warrior permalink
    September 1, 2010 5:34 am

    Since the swami brought up hinduism – here is an excerpt from what the shankracharya Swaroopanand Saraswati regarding mahesh yogi – it is s equally valid in RS’s case. (Incidentally maharishi mahesh yogi fled india when the tax-authorities raided their offices and found them guilty of financial fraud. Similar thing is happening with RS)


    This is a principle. A quotation from Goswami Tulsidas:
    “The guru who charges or takes money from his disciples in return
    for initiation, steals disciples property and goes to damnable hell.”

    For that reason Guru Deva used to give `upadesha’ (initiation) without
    any fees. He used to say “If I accept any gift from the disciple
    (or fees), then his sins are transmitted to me.” In India, dharma,
    yoga, knowledge, specialized knowledge can never be sold for money.
    That is priceless. Anyone who puts a price on it insults it. So, a
    mantra is also never given for money. Knowledge cannot be sold for
    money. Therefore, the process that is being employed is
    merely for the sake of making money, and this is entirely against
    the canons of Indian culture and civilization

    It is clear that guru not asking for money in exchange of knowledge is one of the tenets of sanatana dharma. Since he does not live it’s values RS is clearly not a hindu leader – despite his self-professed claim. Neo-vedanta is a much more accurate description – those guys are known for using their own interpretation.

  48. September 1, 2010 5:57 am

    It’s true that many Indian Spiritual Leaders are taking the shelter of Hinduism when they are in trouble because of their misdeeds. Like Shankaracharya, Nityananda, Asaram Bapu.
    If they support Hindusm, they should come forward and support fully. But, they can’t. They fear of loosing dollars and petro money.

  49. JAN permalink
    September 1, 2010 2:42 pm

    A big laugh -“Guruji is a revered spiritual Master worldwide and he is considered as an icon of millions of Hindus. Although nothing affects HIM, no one has any right to hurt the sentiments of millions of devotees and Hindus with their non-parliamentarian language.”
    Well, I am a Hindu, and it really doesn’t hurt me to hear the accusations abt SSRS, or any spiritual swamis in my religion., I don’t think hinduism is dependent on SSRS or any other swami to any extends 🙂 So when in trouble are them playing the religion card?
    A divide and rule strategy here? 🙂
    Also Swami’s royal lineage claim, Kerala is a very small state, but had 1000’s of kings to rule before the independence, there are remnants of king dynasties still scattered around, but with the land reform act by communist govt in ’50s most of them lost the perks they were enjoying as the rulers, also as the owners of vast areas of land. Now even a small patch of cochin has some 100’s of members belonging to the former cochin-dynasty( mainly varmas in case of cochin I think-no offence intended to any of them) Well, I don’t understand Royal nephew’s and Swamiji’s attempts to relate them to imperial roots ,in now democratic India 🙂

  50. ARUN PRAKASH permalink
    September 3, 2010 3:19 am

    Well

    ” Jesus came they crucified him. ”

    ” Mohammed came they cut his throat.”

    ” Buddha came they poisoned him.”

    ” Krishna came they struck him with an arrow.”

    Saints come and go for there is nothing they have to take from us. Experience comes with silence. The blogger has the right to defend what he says. however a reader like me has the right to be aware in knowledge and accept my beloved guru as he is for experience alone makes a man change.

    • anonymous permalink
      September 3, 2010 1:05 pm

      @Arun

      And Ravana came and used all his acquired Siddhis from Siva Puja to do whatever he liked, to give a beautiful lifestyle to so many, then was taken down by Lord Rama.

      Where can we find a Lord Rama today to take care of this Ravana come to injure so many and take so many into his kingdom?

    • freethinker permalink
      September 3, 2010 1:53 pm

      @ARUN PRAKASH

      You have every right to believe sri sri is reincarnation of Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha and Krishna, etc. Please do read other posts like this one

      https://aolfree.wordpress.com/2010/09/02/can-we-help-to-save-the-art-of-living/

      and make up you OWN mind.

    • anonymous permalink
      September 3, 2010 2:20 pm

      @arun

      I must clarify my last post answering you — just in case you thought I was calling the blogmaster or bloggers here “Ravana”, not so! I was referring to your master “HHSSRS”, the angry little red-faced man who cannot stand to be told anything contrary to his opinion. Many posting here have evidently had the same experience of his fury as I have. It’s very very ugly. Not the beautiful little man you think you know. I was surprised when I saw this blog to find that this had happened over and over again to so many people through the years! Horrible. It was not just one lapse of his calm. It is a continuing sickness that makes him furious whenever questioned.

      So many teachers around him are a perfect example of what he teaches: “Be beautiful to the large groups. If questioned, lose your control and start screaming. If necessary, use violence.” This is what is going on around your “master”.

      (If this seems like a hateful post, sorry, but it’s the truth as many here seem to have experienced it. I know I did, and ran as fast as I could away from him. He behaved and spoke like a deranged maniac. This is not an exaggeration, Arun. You just have not seen it (yet). I hope for your sake you never have to.

      You have every right in the world to keep following whomever you like. And all of us who have experienced your “beloved master” in a very different way from that which you have, have every right to keep posting, in hopes that Lord Rama will come to save us, Bangalore, and very city in the world where this man might travel. Even those who were with Ravana thought he was so great, and they were sure he would win.

      Truth always wins, Arun. Your “master” cannot hide the Truth forever. It is all coming out, very slowly, but surely. He should run while he can, and go find peace somewhere. Not some artificial smile, artificial words. When even his own master, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi called him “sugar coated poison”, what can we expect?

    • Guruch permalink
      September 3, 2010 2:57 pm

      Guess we need a little bit of fact finding

      Jesus was crucified – yeah… but what about the resurrection and ascension?

      Buddha’s death is still a subject of intense investigation and debate as there are several schools of thought

      Krishna was Vishnu’s reincarnation and here is a little story from a website on the time of Lord Krishna’s death – “Lord Krishna saw his brother depart from the real world and he started to wander in the forest. Finally he sat on the ground, started to think of Gandhari`s curse, and realised that the time for his departure has already arrived. He self-possessed his senses and concentrated on his Yoga. A hunter approached that spot of the forest and from a distant saw him and thought to be a deer. He loosed his shaft, took out the arrow, and mistakenly pierced Lord Krishna`s foot. He came hurried near to the Lord and saw him to be a man wrapped in yellow robes practicing yoga. The hunter immediately touched the feet of Lord Krishna and asked for apology. ” There is no conspiracy theory behind Krishna’s death.

      Mohammed died of old age.

      About Gandhi – well, we could really discuss it somewhere else and not here.

      But the point is, I do agree that Saints do not take anything from us. But, SSRS is not a Saint.

      Experience comes to a sales person also, based on what you classify as experience.

      Accepting your beloved guru as “your guru” by being totally ignorant to some hard facts might keep you blissful. But, please do open your eyes sometimes. We have always grown by intellect and by being inquisitive, not by blindly accepting to whatever is said. Even Einstein’s theories would have to acceptable only after rigorous questioning and experimentation.

  51. WhistleBlower permalink
    September 3, 2010 10:42 am

    Who would have ever thought that Kashi’s blog would publish posts from SkyWalker’s blog (they call it negative blog), but that is exactly what has happened!
    As everyone knows Swami, in his first email, replied to a post from SkyWalker’s blog, without enclosing it to his email or giving a reference to it.

    According to a US teacher who wrote to Kashi, AOL people were going to SkyWalker’s blog to see the original post (so they can make sense of Sad. Swami’s answers) hence increasing hits on our blog. So this teacher convinced Kashi to put few posts from SkyWalker’s blog on his to reduce the hits on the negative bloggers site!

    So now we are witnessing this delightful situation that Kashi (a senior Ashramites and AOL teacher) actually propagating negative bloggers posts through his website (all in the name of reducing hits to negative bloggers site). Isn’t that amusing? Facts stranger than fiction?

    Divine works in mysterious ways indeed! If a week ago, someone would have told me that Ronin’s post “Art of Living – Call it a Corporation not a Foundation” or SkyWalker’s post “Blog Under Three Pronged Attack” would be posted on Kashi’s blog, I would have thought they are daydreaming.

    And here we are, a force much bigger than SriSri is using SriSri’s teachers to spread the truth re AOL.

    • Vishal permalink
      September 3, 2010 11:35 am

      This is really funny. The sadie swami and gang have seriously got into a mess. This is what happens if you are so closeted and not open.

    • goneagain permalink
      September 3, 2010 11:55 am

      But “DISGRUNTLED SWAMIJI” did not have courage to post the original post “Partial Compilation of Charges Against The Art of Living Activities” only header is there, even though he supposedly responded to this post.

      That is even more funny,He says in the post: “Only cowards hide themselves and blabber about ‘freedom of speech’! Freedom of speech does not mean that you hurt people’s sentiments with lies”.

  52. anonymous permalink
    September 3, 2010 3:03 pm

    Never having gone to one of the “Pro-AOL” links posted here, I did so and saw this posted under Swami Sad’s tirade (they have 44 comments on his blog since August 27, so I couldn’t read them all):

    “Gandhiji was shot by a cross dressing schizophernia who was aided by people who distort spirituality for their own profit…so was Shirdi Saibaba..even today its happening…”
    This is what the blogger responding favorably to Swami Sad’s remarks.

    LOL!!!!!! The description of the man and his helpers who shot Gandhiji sounds and like a description of his own ‘Guruji’, SSRS and his followers!! I wonder how that poster has never noticed this!! LMAO!!

    • WhistleBlower permalink
      September 4, 2010 12:42 am

      And his second post in that blog has zero comments so far. I guess even AOL people were at a loss to say anything about that one!! Who can blame them?!

      • Metaphor permalink
        September 13, 2010 6:47 am

        hanine , nandini and team we really know who you are and ur intention !! i challenge to publish this coment on mine !! nandini every1 knws u , hanine , priya etc are doin this !!!so stop this rubbishness , dont forget ur mails praising Gurudev are still in many mailboxes !!! U knw who Gurudev is and even who Swamiji is!!jai gurudev
        Godwin

  53. Ridz permalink
    September 6, 2010 1:27 pm

    Well, I commented on his blog, giving him the name and details of a DSN volunteer who took 2000 rupees from a participant for coming late and all the times I was asked to do seva against my will.

    As expected, he has not put up my comment yet.

    I’m sure many such comments are awaiting moderation.

    Is this your definition of Free Speech, so-called Swami?

  54. vijay khambati permalink
    September 8, 2010 3:04 pm

    i came across this blogsite by accident and was shocked to find so many voices speaking against “the art of living” movement and it’s head….rarely have i come across any cult organisation that engenders so many rebels from within it’s own ranks….

    sri ravi shankar in his book,the “unique commentary” on Ashtavakra Gita,explains monkey-consciousness BUT in his own “Gandhi-consciousness” presents a case against Mahatma Gandhi’s practice of non-violence….
    ravi shankar first gives a left-handed compliment to the Mahatma by saying that “Gandhi (not Gandhiji as all Indians call him respectfully!!..and this from someone who adds so many titles to his own name!!!) was a wonderful person….”……
    having slyly led you to believe that he is pro-Gandhiji, he then becomes dramatically judgemental (something that he tells the world to never do but discounts for himself!!) by saying: “BUT the man who spoke all his life about non-violence had a violent end” because,ravi shankar opines,”if you are totally non-violent,violence ceases to exist,EVEN IN YOUR PRESENCE” (page 20)….
    well i wonder what ravi shankar has to say about himself and his own teachings,philosophies and practices in the light of so much dissent as seen on this blogsite….shouldn’t all this violence have ceased IN THE PRESENCE OF RAVI SHANKAR if,as he and his followers claim,he is truly a non-violent man?….or is he???……..

    in all probability there will be no reply from him since i have heard (a)from his followers that he keeps silent whenever he does not want to answer (he rises above the smallness of the question!!) and (b)from the rebels that it is his usual (copyrighted?) modus operandi against all inconvenient and uncomfortable questions…..
    i wonder ,then, what gives him the right to be so judgemental against the Mahatma?…
    or against anyone for that matter….example : “You know the artists’ community suffers from jealousy.There is jealousy in other business communities too,BUT artists suffer the WORST.They CAN’T tolerate others.Even though they may appreciate,it is just SUPERFICIAL appreciation” (Ashtavakra Gita pg 37)…..
    now isn’t that being judgemental?…
    and using such negative terms and harsh words that “pierce like arrows”?…
    something that he constantly preaches the non-usage of but absolves himself from it’s practise…..
    i am an artist and have been deeply hurt by his harsh judgemental observations….

    does ravi shankar consider it his democratic right and the right of speech in a free world?…
    well then,by the same logic, he or his support staff should not be protesting against the postings on this blog…….

    and what guttural venom in the attitude and language used by swami sadyajot,someone from netherlands and the entire pro-lobby!!!!!…..
    i recommend that his defenders actually “read” the book i allude to….Ashtavakra Gita by HHSSRV (OHO!! what pomposity!!! kaise kaise log hain!!!!!)…….
    ravi shankar says “drop the small mind”…..sounds so ethereal and spiritual doesn’t it?….
    now for all you “followers” to actually “follow” your guru’s directive and practice it!!…
    don’t know how?….
    again your guru’s goody-goody advice : “..when you do Kriya,this will happen,you’ll be very relaxed and happy.Your health (physical as well as mental,i guess) will be better,this will be better,that will be better,your relationship will be better…”….
    from all your reactions and the use of language i wonder if you “devotees” have been sincere in your practise of Kriya…..and if you have been, then is the result of ravi shankar’s teaching suspect?…..

    all you pro-lobyists will have to stand up and answer this issue convincingly…(please don’t play the usual trick and ask me to pay big bucks and do the basic course and then the advanced course and then the doctorate course and then……)….
    i cannot ask this of your guru because he will conveniently never answer inconvenient questions…be they on abortion or serious illness treatments or otherwise (swami sadyajot to note)….

    i have personal experience of this behaviour of his….
    when i asked him to explain a factual error (can discuss this issue on a different forum) that he has unabashedly committed in his book on “Ashtavakra Gita”, he chose the venerated path of silence…..
    when i, in my unenlightened existence,persisted with the enquiry….he finally answered that i should study “the knowledge” over and over…again and again…..
    ha ha ha….what a scream!!!….how is my knowledge of the knowledge going to correct his glaring mistake in a published work on a sacred sripture that is national heritege and property???…

    your guru definitely knows how to take advantage of the freedom and concessions and exemptions provided by our lovely country (something that your communists would not have allowed,swami sad!!) but does not believe in respecting the Father of the Nation….

    he very definitely knows how to use the sacred scriptures (the highest knowledge,truly) for his own benefit and charge monetary compensation for what the texts recommend as free knowledge –and which he himself ,in all probability, got free of cost–but does not think it necessary to explain or correct a misrepresentation he has made of a sacred scripture….

    what more can one say of this cult????…….

    Om shanti…..shanti….shanti….

    • Anonymous permalink
      September 8, 2010 9:51 pm

      What factual error did you find in SSRS discourse on Ashtavakra Gita? We had always thought of his discourse as most lucid, bringing such abstract advaita philosophy to mundane daily use. Please let us know what has been wrongly misinterpreted in those teachings.

      • vijay khambati permalink
        September 9, 2010 5:03 am

        it would be nice to let this issue hang suspended for a while…..
        and ask a pro-aol’ite if they have noticed anything amiss….
        personally i spoke about it to a sworn one and he was,as expected,extremely benevolent towards ravi shankar….. he was very disrespectful and dismissive in considering my observation and was supremely confident that it most definitely must be a typographical error….when i humbly clarified that ravi shankar had even gone on to explain this from a mistaken point of view,he wanted to kill any discussion that he thought would adversely affect his image of ravi shankar….he was literally mesmerised in his own aol existence…..he then advised me to “think big” and forget about it and think of the good things that ravi shankar is doing…..
        just the advice i expect from him or any hypnotised aol’ite…..
        now i was looking at it from a very neutral perspective whereas his emotions and sentiments were obviously in an excited state….
        the book ,again as expected,does lots&lots of sales talk for aol and it’s practices (basic course,sudarshan kriya etc.)….in fact, ravi shankar could have titled the book “The Art of Living” and i would have no issues with it….i would probably have not read it too….
        but if he wants to take advantage of marketing it as “Ashtavakra Gita” and rake in big moolah then i feel he must be true to it’s facts and be answerable for any misrepresentation…..
        like me there might be a lot of people who would be reading the book to know and understand the Gita rather than for the aol publicity material contained in it…..
        of course there will be a lot of aol people who would be buying the expensive book not necessarily to know the Gita….it would be interesting to find out if they notice the error…..
        it would be very interesting to discover if they find joy in ignorance or in awareness….
        …..AHO !!!!!………..

      • vijay khambati permalink
        May 17, 2011 8:41 am

        In ch4 of Ashtavakra Gita, ravishankar confusingly and confusedly attributes quotes to the wrong persons….he says “Ashtavakra says” when actually it is Janaka who has said it…and vice versa…..not only does he misquote but also goes on to explain from the wrong person’s point-of-view..ha ha ha….that’s very hilarious!!!..I suppose it doesn’t matter much to many of the people who have the book since most of them seem to have bought it out of compulsion to spend the big money and please the cult organisation…..the content is not for scholarly studies anyway…it is more of a promotional book for aol courses under the garb of serious scriptures….something that aol has always used as it’s marketing ploy…..

      • Kumar permalink
        May 18, 2011 7:00 am

        I attended some of these discourses live in Jaynagar Bangalore in 1990. It was quite clear that Ravi Ravi was plagiarising osho in style and content of these discourses. Some of the anecdotes he talks he directly pulls out of osho discourses – mistakes and all. And being a avid osho fan at that time, I could in fact predict beforehand every word he would speak in the discourse.
        Of course the promotional thing was very heavy, about kriya and aol basic course. I was reminded of Mahesh yogi’s silly commentary on Bhagavad Gita, which more than the teachings of the Gita was promoting his trancendental meditation as if Krishna was directly talking about his technique. Ravi Ravi learnt this sales technique very well from Mahesh Yogi.

      • vijay khambati permalink
        March 31, 2012 7:25 am

        hi anonymous….wonder if you have read the book at all….and noticed the hilarious mistakes that the joker has made….

    • Peaceful Warrior permalink
      September 8, 2010 10:54 pm

      I think it is ok if someone wants to critique gandhi – though gandhi remains father of the nation – his ideas should be discussed, critiqued and not followed blindly. Same is true for whatever RS or any guru for that matter, says.

      And yes, RS loves to make sweeping generalizations and bitch about people. Lets face it, we all love that kind of schadenfreude, which is why he does it. The purpose is to make art of living followers feel that they are the best. You will see that after a while Art of Living people become very closed minded towards the world and socialize only with AOL people. They are not judgmental towards people in AOL but very judgmental towards people outside. Very soon it becomes cult-like, where everyone follows unspoken rules to avoid being bitched about. Reality of AOL is very different from what you see in front of you.

      • vijay khambati permalink
        September 9, 2010 4:05 am

        i rest my case….

  55. vijay khambati permalink
    September 8, 2010 3:43 pm

    swami sadyojathah….i apologise for the wrong spelling of your name in my comments…..i was not brought up ,nor did i indulge, in communism hence my intention is definitely not to prove that spirituality is a hoax…..in fact i am a humble pilgrim on this path…..nor is my intention to expose anyone….i am just witness to all that is taking place …with a smile…..not judging…..my action is happening from the source of joy without expecting joy or enjoyment or as a result of it……just Kritha-Krithyah……Aho !!!……

  56. Swami Mithyananda permalink
    September 8, 2010 8:07 pm

    Vijay Khambati wrote ” he is pro-Gandhiji, he then becomes dramatically judgemental (something that he tells the world to never do but discounts for himself!!) by saying: “BUT the man who spoke all his life about non-violence had a violent end” because,ravi shankar opines,”if you are totally non-violent,violence ceases to exist,EVEN IN YOUR PRESENCE” (page 20)….”

    Can someone post the complete passage from Ashtavakra Gita where SSRS refers to Gandhi?

  57. September 11, 2010 12:44 pm

    Very Nice Article

  58. vijay khambati permalink
    September 13, 2010 5:34 am

    information for people who are neutral and/or interested in associating with the cult:

    i posted my comments on http://www.kashikar.com , a site that’s called kashi kshetra, which is running a campaign against the “negative blogs”…….
    the moderator did not print my comments….

  59. vijay khambati permalink
    September 13, 2010 5:35 am

    sorry….that’s http://www.kashikar.net …..

  60. goneagain permalink
    September 23, 2010 1:56 am

    Sad swami quietly removed what he called posts from ‘negative blogs’. Looks like it backfired them loosing more business than usual.

    • vijay khambati permalink
      September 23, 2010 5:49 pm

      it is said in the bhagvata gita,as indeed in all sacred scriptures,that following the spiritual path of righteousness makes the follower fearless…..seeing so much fear on the pro-aol sites makes one wonder if they are following the right path….AHO!….AISE BHI LOG HOTEN HAIN!!! (realisation without doing DSN)….

  61. impressed permalink
    September 24, 2010 2:38 am

    What a superb way to alert people to this site.

    Dear Ones,

    JGD. Please see Swami Sadyojathah’s superb reply in

    http://www.kashikar.net/

    to allegations against HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, in

    https://aolfree.wordpress.com/

    and

    http://artoflivingfree.blogspot.com/

    Please pass Swami’s reply to all AOL members.

    Love,
    Rashmi

  62. vijay khambati permalink
    January 19, 2011 5:41 pm

    why is swami sadyojathah so quiet nowadays???

    • anon permalink
      January 19, 2011 5:53 pm

      Where is Abhilash Shastry, his comments are witty. why no posts lately

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