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The Choice was between gross and grosser – SSYTTC

September 28, 2010

Sri Sri loves to say that “the true choice is not between good and bad”, rather “between bad and worse or between good and better”. Well, in AOL, quite often one had a choice between gross and grosser. One such choice was at the end of Sri Sri Yoga TTC.

By the end of the two weeks, we had built considerable respect for our teacher Krishan Verma, who portrayed himself as a YOGI (later on I found out that he is anything but a yogi, but that is a different story!). So it was quite a surprise, to see this esteemed Yogi, kneeling at Guru’s feet, at the end of the course, washing Guru’s feet!

I could not believe my eyes seeing this scene, obviously pre-planned and part of the course. Guru arriving and our esteemed teacher washing Guru’s feet in front of all the SSY TTC students.

Was this to teach us humility and submission to the “GURU”? Or to humiliate our yoga teacher in order to exalt the guru? I don’t know. What I do know is that it showed me how egotistic Sri Sri was, humiliating an old yoga teacher, letting him wash his feet in front of all of us (the yoga teacher’s students).

 I had not quite recovered from the shock of seeing the above scene nor did I have enough time to digest it before noticing another shocking scene unfolding in front of me! The dirty water from washing Guru’s feet was now brought to where we,TTC graduates, were sitting. Each individual was offered a spoonful in their hand, one by one! I quickly asked my Indian TTC friend what was going on. He joyfully explained that we were blessed to drink “water from Guruji’s feet”. Seeing the shock on my face, he then added, you can either drink it or splash it on your head. By now the water was in my row, I watched with disgust as people would put the water in their mouth. All I could think of was the germs they were ingesting. Now that dirty water was right in front of my face. I had to do some quick thinking, as I didn’t want to risk my yoga certificate, for which I had spent few thousand dollars on registration alone, not to mention the cost of the trip! The choice was between the gross and the grosser, so I accepted the spoonful of water in my hand, splashing it over my head, making sure I missed as much as I could. After getting our SSY teaching certificates, I rushed to my room and washed the dirty water from my head and felt clean again.

 After coming home and having time to digest it all, I decided I didn’t wish to teach SSY course and promote a very sick, egotistic guru. Let’s be realistic, most yoga teachers go through years of training in respectable yoga schools under supervision of experienced Yoga teachers. SSY TTC by comparison is a farce. Nearly everyone in my class became SSY teacher. Those who were already an AOL teacher became teachers after only one week of SSY training. The SSY certificate is not worth the paper it is written on. SSY TTC is just another source of revenue for Sri Sri (and Mr. Verma!), factory producing yoga teachers to promote AOL and its sick megalomaniac guru. Just attending couple of weeks of Yoga training doesn’t make one a proper yoga teacher. Furthermore, SSY graduates are told that the purpose for SSY courses/classes is to introduce people to Art of Living. And like AOL teachers, SSY teachers are entitled to keep 10- 20% of their course fees and need to pass the rest to Sri Sri’s coffers.

 In most countries, SSY courses have failed to take off because yoga students fairly quickly realize:

— SSY is just a front to capture innocent people to AOL cult.

–SSY teachers are extremely inexperienced yoga teachers. Just practicing couple of weeks of yoga doesn’t make one a yoga teacher!

–SSY courses are extremely overpriced and not a good value for the money.

 Those who attend SSY TTCs are wasting their money. If they genuinely want to become yoga teachers it is best if they pursue their yoga training through respectable yoga schools. It may take longer, but it is worth it.

Spending few thousand dollars to get a SSY certificate, is like buying a fake university degree certificate. A certificate which would then only entitles you to generate further revenue for SriSri and recruit more people to his AOL cult.

  1. News from Australia permalink
    September 28, 2010 3:32 am

    Last week they cancelled the SriSri Yoga TTC course planned for Australia and New Zealand in Sydney for Dec 2010 due to lack of interest. Now they are encouraging everyone to go to SSY TTC in Malaysia 10th – 21st Dec. Cost US$900 and you become a Yoga teacher after 10 days!! What a bargain!

  2. September 28, 2010 3:43 am

    Sri Sri loves to say that “the true choice is not between good and bad”, rather “between bad and worse or between good and better”

    I have heard this in Osho discourses.
    Oh Sri Sri Sri Sri……….108, you are really a Copy Cat.
    Nothing Original.

  3. September 28, 2010 3:54 am

    yuck, yuck and more yuck!

  4. vijay khambati permalink
    September 28, 2010 4:26 am


  5. taking the road less travelled permalink
    September 28, 2010 5:45 am

    ewwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!! how gross is that! Please stop the madness!

  6. Abhilash Shastry permalink
    September 28, 2010 5:59 am

    I do not understand what you guys are cribbing about.

    Even to this date, many people in India believe in the sacredness of cow’s urine. It gives me an idea that if cow’s urine has so much healing power, how much healing power a guru’s urine would have! Simply priceless!! So far SSRS has not agreed to share this nectar with his devotees. But may be if all AOL devotees beseech him for it, he may have to agree to it one day just out of compassion and next SSY TTC initiation ceremony could have the real stuff instead of washings from HIS lotus- feet. @Harshal, are you listening?

    • freethinker permalink
      September 28, 2010 3:11 pm

      You guys give out too many ideas, Now AOL is going to deploy the nectar idea in TRM, TTC etc., participant has to prove the devotion/royalty to Guru by drinking the nectar, if not you will be termed as low prana/weaker person, has to repeat the course of course. It is always win-win to AOL, either they get a devoted servant or will make more money on follow up courses.

    • anon permalink
      September 28, 2010 3:58 pm

      wow!! this guy harshal really has NO idea how to talk on a public forum. AoL should start some classes on etiquette and Ravi and followers really need to learn tolerance.

  7. Harshal permalink
    September 28, 2010 1:06 pm

    @Abhilash Shastry: Yes!I am listening and I am wondering what bad alignment of planets it must have been or perhaps the bad karmas of your parents , so that a child like you was born to them.

    Again and again, you prove that you do not understand what a Guru is.

    • Guru-ouch permalink
      September 28, 2010 9:51 pm

      Dear Harshal,
      What have you been eating and smoking?

      What is your sincere take on that?

      If you are not disgusted with that, you must be a person who would not feel bad to walk around naked if SSRS asks you to.

    • Abhilash Shastry permalink
      September 29, 2010 2:57 am

      Come on Harshal! Admit it that even with your infinite faith in your Master you are finding it difficult to justify this disgusting ceremony.

      When you are unable to justify your in-group activities to those outside the group, something fishy is going on.

  8. Ronin permalink
    September 28, 2010 3:15 pm


    Wow this is your most creative post so far.

    Part of the Events Team Bangalore Ashram and a teacher that is some serious responsibility, but still not part of that inner circle.

    Close but no cigar as they say.

    Your desire is strong this is very evident, it will not happen Harshal, your CEO (little Ravi) is way to smart, and it would mean that he would have to share his riches with another. He keeps it in the family, and I do not mean the AOL family.

    But all the best keep trying, and keep up the good work.

    Happy you keep showing people all over the world what AOL stands for.

    A little giant has awakened.

  9. Prairie Princess permalink
    September 28, 2010 3:46 pm

    Taking the whole Jesus reincarnation a bit too seriously isn’t he? Sick beyond belief.

  10. anon permalink
    September 28, 2010 4:01 pm

    I came across this link on the US YES+ website…

    Now why the heck would a so-called spiritual org promote such materialistic sweepstakes for things like vacation to Jamaica, a year’s supply of underwear.. and what not.. go check for yourself the long list of sweepstakes there..

    I don’t know what these followers of Sri Sri running this website are smoking..

    There is a saying in India.. One can determine if a pot of rice is cooked or not just by testing a single grain of rice.. What more need I say for AOL..

    • Independent Observer permalink
      September 28, 2010 4:34 pm

      On facebook, AOL’s founding year is 1982 —–

      The Art of Living is a multi-faceted, not-for-profit educational and humanitarian NGO with a presence in over 142 countries. Founded in 1982 by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the Art of Living, today, is one of the largest voluntary organisations in the world.

      On the Yes+ website in the US it is 1981 !!!!

      So….lets see….for the average US Citizen…

      Founded when exactly ? 1981 or 1982 ?
      And in which state ?
      Which country ?
      What does the original MOA and AOA say ?
      What are the organisations declared activities ?
      Is VVM legally = AOL ?

      If AOL is a brand and not the official name of the organisation, who owns the brand ?
      Who are the founding directors ?
      What are the relationships between all the so called sister organisations. AOL and IAHV for instance ? Who are the external auditors for all the AOL organisations ?

      This must be an easy one for Harshal

      • freethinker permalink
        September 28, 2010 6:06 pm

        If he comes to answer any of it, facts don’t matter to Harshal or any other lackeys. His sole purpose here is to deflate/deflect the criticisms.

    • Guru-ouch permalink
      September 28, 2010 9:40 pm

      That is just sick… am sure “brainwashed Harshal” will have a reply for this too… if this is not business, Walmart Inc. is spirituality too

      • Guru-ouch permalink
        September 28, 2010 9:46 pm

        I feel the business strategy that AOL employs tops what could be learned from the IVY league business schools… It is very disgusting to see the sweepstakes section in Jamaica… I think AOL would not even hesitate to run a whore house in some parts of the world

  11. coward permalink
    September 28, 2010 4:15 pm

    Thank God my freind Harshal is not sure :-), fruits of worshipping a false Guru .

  12. Svetana permalink
    September 28, 2010 5:16 pm


    “Yes!I am listening and I am wondering what bad alignment of planets it must have been or perhaps the bad karmas of your parents , so that a child like you was born to them.

    Again and again, you prove that you do not understand what a Guru is.”

    Sounds like you’re talking to yourself. I hope you’ll get it some day if you are sincerely deluded.

  13. Shallow waters permalink
    September 28, 2010 5:40 pm

    Ha Ha that was quite funny aolwhistleblower. were u so skeptical even doing SSY TTC?? You mentioned that u splashed it over your head, making sure u missed as much as u could, Probably thats why you landed up here on this blog! ha ha

  14. Svetana permalink
    September 28, 2010 5:41 pm


    I am very sorry you had to go through this disgusting process;
    but, at least, it helped you to wake up.

  15. WhistleBlower permalink
    September 28, 2010 8:12 pm

    Krishan Verma was with Ravi in early days , teaching basic and adv courses, then he left to set up his own Guru Business. It didn’t take off, so he crawled back to Ravi. Ravi was very worried about the success of RamDev yoga classes and made a business deal with Krishan and SSY was born! His wife was also made adv course teacher and they have been appointed to various positions on Canadian AOL board.

    During SSYTTC, Krishan went on to considerable length telling us we should never want to become a guru,that no one can aspire to become a guru, that gurus are born that way…
    We all thought it was weird he was telling us this, as we were all devotees and none of us even had thought about making our own gurudom. No one had made a comment or asked a question in that regard.
    Of course, he was only sharing his own experience without having the courage or integrity to say so.

  16. Guru-ouch permalink
    September 28, 2010 9:49 pm

    I sincerely request the moderators and the owners of this site to run a separate essay on the morality behind running such sweepstakes – in AOL

    • Bling Bling permalink
      September 28, 2010 10:34 pm

      Guys dont be judgemental.. drop your morality ….There ain’t nothing wrong with sweepstakes or running naked… AOL will do whatever it takes to get people into the Basic Course…

      • Guru-ouch permalink
        September 29, 2010 2:08 am

        Dear o dear Bling Bling (wonder if its a SSRS influence that you spelled ur name twice)… if that does not fall under the category of any wrong doing, I think you are the sort of person who would say a murderer might be right if he/she had a justifiable reason.
        You need serious help dear… you need to get involved with a team of psychiatrists who work in universities and medical schools and monitor you 24 x 7…
        “AOL will do whatever it takes to get people into the Basic Course…”… God that is shocking!

    • WhistleBlower permalink
      September 28, 2010 11:10 pm

      One thing I know, there is no morality, values or ethics in AOL. There are some knowledge points instead to justify any such immorality, lack of values and ethics running in the organization and esp. among AOL Teachers and esp. SriSri and his family and lackeys.

      Re sweepstake, if you feel moved to write something about it, please feel free to do so and we would happily publish it.

      • Independent Observer permalink
        September 29, 2010 3:25 am

        Also, the part-1 course has a clear session on food where its the “YOU become what you eat bit”. A lot of the numbers in there are unverified and unqualified…and often without the context.

        Anyways, the ashram goes on to support the sales of all types of popular Junk food at site (Fried Stuff, Ice Creams, they even have a canteen where one can buy the stuff, which most TTC students consumed during break time). When I first encountered that my deluded mind said, its just a little, its the self discipline that matters……and then Sr teachers were often seen at the canteen/fast food place….setting an example for their followers…..You can say something in class and so something else altogether.

        Hence AOL the theory and AOL the practice are 2 different things all together.

        Comes down straight from the top…..Just simple dumb questions……

        1. Was there an assassination attempt or was there not ?
        2. 80-85% Overheads or 15-20% Overheads ?
        3. What price did you get the land around the Bangalore Ashram ? From who ? How are you selling apartments to devotees at 3100 Rs a Sq foot ? Where do the profits go ?
        4. You have adopted 10,o00 s of villages, great….which means that you would have sponsored development projects in these villages. So, at a minimum of 1 payment/transaction per village, thats a 10,000 Plus legitimate accounting entries (Say over the last 10 years). Can we see them ?. (cheque leaf counterfoils…anything). The number is actually 30,000 when I last heard (2006, Silver Jubilee time, so that should be 30,000 entries)….however, I am letting AOL have the benefit of doubt…perhaps they want to retract to 10,000 villages now.
        5. Adopted a village means AOL took responsibility for the village. Hence 1 teacher per village (Avg Indian village has a 1000 people) should have been the minimum. The 10,000 teachers nos must have been happened way back. Forget Harshal, there are so many others reading the blog (any of the other teachers reading this blog have information on these ?)

        Just as they are churning out inexperienced SSY teachers, so it is with Ayurvedic Practitioners. Some of their Nadi assessment skills are amazing. I have personally witnessed an AOL Ayurvedic practitioner take the Nadi of one of my pregnant friends and could not diagnose that she was pregnant. He then started to prescribe for her a whole series of treatments and internal medicines. When my friend interrupted him and told him about her pregnancy, he gawked awkwardly and prescribed a totally new set of medicines.

        Welcome to the AOL world……(Like they say Everything changes….How very convenient)…In my case the place I went to rest was in myself– in the true sense….but only after I sent my AOL expectations to the Shelf…where it belongs

  17. Guru-ouch permalink
    September 29, 2010 2:10 am

    @ Bling… sorry. I read your comment another time and got the meaning that you intended to convey!

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