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SSY- Never Too Late to Earn Money

September 29, 2010

-by Ronin

It is never too late to get into the game and earn money.

Lets take a look at another product offered by the AOL corporation.

The AOL corporation was rather late getting in to the yoga business. A business that has an immense potential;

2008 Yoga In America Study, Yoga Journal, March 2008, Pages: 93

The 2008 “Yoga in America” study shows that Americans spend $5.7 billion a year on yoga classes and products, including equipment, clothing, vacations and media (DVDs, videos, books and magazines). This figure represents an increase of 87 percent compared to the previous study in 2004 — almost double of what was previously spent

Sure some light yoga was always done on courses (routines mostly copied from TM) but there was no yoga course available. This always surprised me since yoga has such well documented beneficial aspects.

The AOL corporation realized very soon that they had an incomplete product pallet, there was a gap devotees were spending their money for yoga classes else where. They had to keep these revenue’s from flowing outside to competitors.

Thus enters Krishan Verma who has put yoga on the map for AOL.

Senior Art of Living Teacher – Yoga Alliance Registered Experienced Yoga Teacher;
‘Yogacharya’; ‘Yoga Shiromani’ .
Director, Yoga Research and Training, VVM India
Director, International Sri Sri Yoga Teacher Training
President, VVM International, Canada.

Not sure where he got all the titles from, but he is knowledgeable on the subject.
But he got caught up in the web as well, in the end when your livelihood depends on it the purity seems to fade some where down the line. I wonder how much Yoga research and training there is and has been done in the AOL company. I have not seen any publications recently.

And so Sri Sri Yoga was created. Not sure if he had a say in naming the course. But CEO Ravi uses an interesting branding strategy in all his products,……..his first made up initials. I wonder where he got that branding idea from, “Sri Sri Yoga”. I know of another organization that does the same they offer Maharishi Ayurveda, Maharishi Joythish ect. What a striking resemblance, the son has learned well.

So as a good devotee I signed up as soon as the course came into town. As with any course the quality of the teacher is very important but to me it seemed like in yoga it is crucial. In my first course the traditional pranayama’s were taught in such a superficial way, the teacher made mistakes and people started to feel sick. Oooh it is just the body purifying it self we were told, and of course we believed it. Why would you think otherwise the master has designed the course and his grace is watching over us and guiding the teacher. It could not have been the incompetence of the teacher instructing us.

Pranayama’s are very powerful there are many Yoga master’s (like B.K.S. Iyengar) who warn against teaching them to those who have not extensively prepared their body and mind. But in AOL it is no problem the Guru knows better.

The postures were badly demonstrated, come to find out afterwards this person only had a month of yoga experience yet was a TEACHER of Sri Sri Yoga. As a good devotee I signed up for another SSY course cause that is what you are taught to do take as many course as possible this time with a different teacher. Slightly better experience.

So then I took a beginners class at a yoga center with an Iyengar teacher. Needless to say I was surprised at the attention to detail and correct alignment in postures which were very clearly explained. So I asked how long it took her to become a teacher she said 2 years. Interesting……….. it really showed in her teaching.

So I wondered about the Sri Sri Yoga Teacher training and was shocked to learn that it was only 10 days. In just ten days one could become a Yoga teacher, sorry a Sri Sri yoga teacher……

So I took a look at the SSY requirements,:

Criteria for applying Sri Sri Yoga TTC (latest ones)

a. Minimum 6 months after doing PART 1 Course.
b. Courses done: Sri Sri Yoga, 1 AMC, 1 DSN,
c. Candidate should organize and assist at least 2 Sri Sri Yoga Courses
d. Candidate should listen to Gurudev’s talks on Patanjali Yogsutra, Yogasara Upanishad

These were required but seems like they are not anymore…..wonder why.

1. Get a book on Human Anatomy, study it to get a good understanding of: (memorize as much as you can)
– the skeletal system, joints, major bones, major muscles.
– major parts and function of Circulatory system, Respiratory system and Endocrine system.

2. Memorize Sanskrit names of 15 asanas.

Looking at requirements it is obvious as with any teacher training the AOL company offers, that it will take advantage to sell their own products and courses. I guess it is called easy money.

What a nice way to sell an expensive set of talks and to deepen one’s dependency on the guru through courses, but at the time it made perfect sense. But something else was missing as well, the history of yoga. The influence which Krishnamacharya (the father of modern yoga) had and how yoga flourished through two of his students Iyengar and Pattabihi Jois around the world.

The AOL marketing department is very good at manipulation people into letting them think that Ravi is the one who created everything. That the AOL company is bringing out new knowledge which is cognized by the Guru to save humanity that he has the GIFT.
And then one starts to put the Guru (CEO) on a pedestal. But the truth is, it is all rehashed, reverse engineered repackaged and sold to the masses.

The Art of Living Corporation realized that to be taken seriously they had to fake it till they make it. Since the business aspect of yoga is so lucrative the marketing department of the Art of Living corporation made it clear that the company could easily charge standard yoga teacher training fee’s since most of the people applying would be people within the AOL family. Thus easy targets easy money.

And yes I took the plunge and signed up for a SSY TTC. I did my home work studied my anatomy, read and watched the patanjali sutras had to buy them they are not cheap…. Traveled to a far of country. And when I got there the group was very large 100 plus people who came from all over the globe. And I was told this is a small SSY TTC.

I did a very quick calculation and concluded that the AOL company would take in very substantial amount of money. But that was ok, I was here for the knowledge ready to become a yoga teacher. Oooh by the way a lot of people paid cash….. no bank transfer necessary very convenient.

This TTC was indeed different less damaging psychological games, yet there was brainwashing none the less. It is always brought in light of how great the Master is and the Guru stories. How HE revived the pure essence of yoga and how he brought life to the Patanjali sutras though his in depth commentaries. This was mostly done during evening and late satsangs when one was totally exhausted. Yes sleep deprivation seems to be a recurring theme in most of AOL programs, and I wonder why……

The thing that was most amazing was that lots of participants did not prepare themselves. There were those who did excel. But they had a yoga back ground.

Anatomy is an important aspect in ones role as a yoga teacher, one needs to be familiar with the body. They way anatomy was covered over a period of ten days was abysmal. Way to superficial just not enough time spend on the whole subject. This would become very apparent in the practical teaching sessions.

The same counts for the pranayama’s which are part of the program. They were shown and explained, some detail was given and the effect they will have on our body. Because of the size of the group we could not get proper instructions or be checked if we were doing it correctly. There were just not enough assistants, those with more experience were helping out. I wondered if this was also the case with the SSY teacher I took the course with.

When it came to the Asanas (postures) and teaching them it was very chaotic at times. They were shown to us and we had to sit with they manual and prepare our selves to teach. We had to teach in groups but it felt like the blind leading the blind, if you were in a group where nobody had any experience. So detail to alignment which is important in yoga was not stressed. Nor did anyone worry to much about it divine grace is always at your side when teaching……….or so they say. I have since talked to various ex SSY teachers who took other Yoga teacher training courses, the consensus was that there are SSY teachers who have no clue what they are doing, and are actually hurting people in the long run because of their lack of understanding the anatomical fundamentals of yoga and adjusting people accordingly.

Yet one thing which was stressed was to talk about the part 1 course. Give them a short intro talk and sign people up and also talk about the advance course (part 2). Again this makes a lot of business sense, you already have their attention. So why not slip in a quick sell……….

Attention was given to marketing as well of course. The course has the same characteristic as all the others. Easy to market, have Ravi and the AOL corporation be a focus and keep it superficial the grace will be their to guide you. It was so funny we were discouraged to go into discussing with teachers from other organizations like Iyengar. Now I know why………lack of yoga knowledge.

Along the way (and there were only 10 days mind you) I started to wonder how can the majority of us say we are yoga teachers when this course is done.

They say SSY is now registered with Yoga Alliance as a 200 hrs yoga course. I wonder how, in ten days your are not able to full fill the 200 hours that would mean 20 hrs a day. That would not be possible since there is daily seva and satsangs to attend too. It would be interesting to see what the required break down per subject would be. And match those up with what is covered in the TTC. But then again has the AOL corporation ever been transparent…….

So after ten days and a weak written exam, yes there was one. We were declared SSY teachers. There was one thing before you got your certificate you had to teach two courses and report back how many participants we had in each course. Someone at the corporate head office was already counting the money earned, why did this not surprise me.

SSY TTC is just another way of hooking people into the Art of Living corporation, at best one gets an introduction into yoga. There are EX-SSY and SSY teachers who are excellent but they realized that they had a passion for yoga and sought training else where. Hopefully you will be able to take a course with a good SSY teacher but do you want to leave it to luck or be guaranteed that a teacher because of his or her training will give you correct and safe instructions during the course.

Making quality yoga teachers is NOT an objective of the AOL corporation making revenue is. Creating a watered down yoga teacher training and charging full standard fees and market this to the AOL devotees is a golden opportunity for the corporation to make sure that their financial goals are met.

And tell me again why AOL is not a corporation.

The little giant has awakened.

  1. Mandarin guy permalink
    September 29, 2010 1:58 am

    Applications for SSYTTC are approved even if one has just done the Basic Course, I know of many who went for the SSYTTC in Taiwan immediately after the Basic Course. Who cares if they know nuts about asanas or anatomy, it’s all about the money

  2. Yoga permalink
    September 29, 2010 3:51 am

    The SSY course that I did was really good. The teacher was good who had done Yoga from age 7 or 8. We cannot generalize your experience across the board (I cant either). For sure AOL is not a cult but a few of you [enthu teachers and some over enthu devotees) made it like that thru your own behavior. Such cultish people are all over the place (movies, sports etc). When in doubt you guys freely use the word cult. Now I do not have to hear what cult means.

    Guruji himself tells often not to bow down on his feet and he also tells people that it is okay to be skeptical. You were getting too much involved with the organization. When something went wrong for you, you are now in other extreme. You have chosen two extremes.

    To a skeptical reader, I have to tell you that I (and a lot of people) have immensely benefited from AOL’s courses. Yes, the techniques are age old techniques. Who cares? Who cares if the technique is borrowed from here or there? Anyway yoga techniques are 1000s of years old. Everyone refers back to the great Patanjali’s work or borrows from someone else. I would recommend to a reader that you learn the breathing/yoga techniques from AOL or from whoever (Iyengar, Ramdev, ISHA etc).

    Focus on the techniques and practices. Your life will be wonderful/peaceful.

    • Bharghav permalink
      September 29, 2010 6:25 am

      Yes, there are some good people in the org, yes there are some good techniques and practices. They are few and far apart.

      Here is a summary of the benefits I found from the courses:

      Basic course – ujjayi, bhastrika (remaining 99% time wasted),
      Advanced course – can’t find anything that worked for me,
      DSN – padmasadhana (remaining 98% time wasted),
      Blessing course – nothing,
      Part-III course with guruji – nothing,
      Sahaj samadhi – nothing that worked for me, Bhanu’s mantra just gave me bad vibes and I felt uncomfortable,
      Sri Sri Yoga – 5-10% useful to me,

      What AOL teaches is watered down pop yoga and pop spirituality.

      There are a number of authentic yoga schools that are far more rigorous, the teachers are properly trained and the yoga is customised for your nature and body constitution, for example, Sivananda yoga. AOL assumes one size fits all, this is totally wrong. Any real teacher of yoga will tell you that. Many people are adversely affected by some of the AOL practices like bhastrika, and kriya that don’t suit their constitution.

      Your life will not be peaceful and wonderful if you blindly follow an assembly-line yoga or kriya or enlightenment factory, as I discovered for myself with the adverse effects.

      I can say the same thing about the meditation techniques and other practices they teach. There are several authentic schools of learning.

      Stop pretending to be an all-loving all-caring non-profit organisation. AOL is a money making business selling pseudo-spirituality.

      • Yoga permalink
        September 29, 2010 10:08 pm

        Bhargav – Sorry to hear that your experience was bad. Looks like in spite of having a bad experience with each course, you continued on and on with various courses. Looks like you were not thinking too much and you deserve most of the blame. Whatever course I did I mostly enjoyed it and I had some dislikes too. I have recommended Basic course to a few and they fully enjoyed it including SK. It is a fun course to do. To any skeptical reader, I would recommend that you go to the course with an open mind…, and you will have fun. Sorry, cant reply every post. But good luck to everyone and God Bless.

    • September 29, 2010 2:26 pm

      Is AOL a cult? That is a question that haunted me for a long while as I was slowing pulling myself out of the organization. My conclusion was that for me it was a cult and apparently for many others. To say that Guruji discourages people from bowing down to him as a proof that he isn’t into making a cult is short sighted. He may make a few token attempts to get people not to honor him so, but the overall thrust in AOL is that of worshipful obedience to him. This obedience and worshipful attitude gets taught in a thousand and one ways in AOL. When Guruji discourages displays of it, it just plays into the image of a guru even more — “Oh, look how humble our guru is!” If Punditji was really interested in getting rid of guru worship he would do it. All it would take is is zero tolerance for it. But he is not. He actively and passively encourages it. And when someone encourages guru worship it tends to lead to a cultish organization. This is very different than the idolizing of movie stars and pop stars. Movie stars and pop stars don’t show you how to attain enlightenment and do not imply that they speak for God. To compare gurus to pop stars is a very shallow and I might add dishonest understanding of either one.

    • freethinker permalink
      September 29, 2010 5:10 pm

      “Such cultish people are all over the place (movies, sports etc).”

      No one indoctrinates you in sports or movies. you seem to be confused with fanatics with cult. For Sports/Movies some people may be fanatic about certain teams/sportsmen, but they are not controlling or brainwashing you. It is just you (as fanatic) attached to them.

      If you close your eyes for all AOL misdeeds and pretend it is wonderful then it is not cult.

    • anonymous permalink
      September 29, 2010 5:32 pm

      Looks like you want to deflect the criticisms on your Guru by blaming the devotees (very convenient), Devotees are generally nice people (just gullible), problems in the AOL is at very top – it’s your Guru and his lackeys/family. Read the Prosecutor page to see all the misdeeds (which keeps growing).

  3. Harshal permalink
    September 29, 2010 10:12 am

    @bhargav: please go this website and defend Sivananda yoga

    As long as there are losers like you (and others on this forum), their will be websites/forums calling genuine spiritual movements .. cults.

  4. Harshal permalink
    September 29, 2010 10:17 am

    “However, the depth of his exposition of nonduality and the practical methods to reach its realization is many orders of magnitude greater ”

    @ Zhoro: stop flaunting your spiritual shopping and stop giving us your spiritual tourism reviews. I can see that you haven’t learnt anything from anywhere…

    • Practitioner permalink
      September 29, 2010 5:08 pm

      You appear to be more in love with this blog than your master. At least here, some contrary questions and criticisms are welcome, like your comments. That shows rational and open thought. On any AOL meeting, mail list, blog or site, anything critical of the great leader is automatically deleted or the person banned. It is the classic symptom of a cult or dictator style organisation like North Korea or Burma. All your posts just reinforce this fact.

    • zhoro permalink
      September 30, 2010 1:30 am

      Harshal, sorry, buddy, but you are not the one to tell me what to do or not to do. You are the one who has offered nothing of substance here. Your snippets of nothing hold no weight at all.

      • mojo permalink
        September 30, 2010 3:01 am


        you are too kind and polite. someone like harshal is a foolish kid with bad attitude. i’m sure his parents raised him well, guess these bad manners were picked up watching his effeminate guru. ravi is soooo obnoxious to the point of being embarrassing.

  5. Observer permalink
    September 29, 2010 10:54 am

    For sure AOL is not a cult but a few of you [enthu teachers and some over enthu devotees) made it like that thru your own behavior. Such cultish people are all over the place (movies, sports etc). When in doubt you guys freely use the word cult. Now I do not have to hear what cult means.

    Without the implicit (sometimes explicit, as some people’s experiences here have shown) consent of higher ups including Ravi, it would not be possible to make it like a cult just because a few are “over enthu”. Sorry, just doesn’t add up.

  6. 2bit permalink
    September 29, 2010 4:30 pm

    Are you guys venting out your petty disillusions, or are you on an altruistic mission? Some stories of introspection would enhance this blog. Where and how things went (wrong or right) for ya’all?

    • goneagain permalink
      September 30, 2010 1:00 am


      “Are you guys venting out your petty disillusions, or are you on an altruistic mission?”

      I guess you have to go through this and KLIM’s blog and decide for yourself. When you do, you will get answers to your remaining questions.

      • 2bit permalink
        September 30, 2010 5:33 pm

        Most posts are about SSRS and AOL, but less about what the poster really went thru to arrive at those comments and conclusions. If it is not about what you specifically went thru, this blog reduces to being a fan (or anti-fan) site. Lackey or smakey(?)…they are two sides of the same coin…an obsession with a personality…

    • Peaceful Warrior permalink
      September 30, 2010 3:33 am

      No, it’s not venting of frustration – but a critique/expose of AOL.

      I’m don’t think the world altruism applies here – we don’t claim to save the world – just sharing some facts and experiences that may help some people.

  7. ex_jaigurudev permalink
    September 30, 2010 4:34 am

    Esatsang digest for Sept 28 2010
    1. Request for Testimonials about Guruji

    From: xxxxxxx
    Date: Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 7:58 AM
    Subject: Request for Testimonials about Guruji

    Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Kanchana Krishnan, and I live in Coral Springs Florida.When Guruji was here in Florida I asked him for permission to write about the experiences of his devotees, and he gave me his blessing to get started. I want to do just that and am requesting your help.
    The book will have two separate streams ; the first will give Guruji’s vision for the world and in this section I want the opinions/feelings/quotations of AOL teachers about Guruji.
    In the next section will be anecdotes/ stories/experiences/miracles: How aol touched peoples souls ,their experiences before and after Sudarshana Kriya As I receive testimonials the book could take on a different tenor, and I am open to anything.
    I am hoping to touch on the following areas. PTSD(Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), Depression, problems with adolescent children, loss of a job or a loved one. If you know anyone who has worked in the prisons or in relief camps for Katrina, the Tsunami or Iraq please forward this email to them.If you have any story you wish to share please contact me via email or phone. You can write your experience in your own words (1000) words or less, or I can interview you.
    As all of you have taught and participated in several Part I and II courses, I am requesting you to tell me your own story or put me in touch with friends/students with unique and motivating stories.
    With Gurujis blessings I hope to have the manuscript/book ready by Guru Poornima next year. Could I also ask for you assistance in forwarding this email to other AOL teachers whom you know personally asking for their assistance on my behalf?
    I once again invite you to participate in a project that will bring art of living to the forefront spreading the message of our divine Guru Thank You, JAI Gurudev, XXXXXXX

    • goneagain permalink
      September 30, 2010 1:05 pm

      Seems like some of the lackeys (following this one – ) want to get piece of the a pie (potential wealth). With large gullible devotees one can cross sell /up sell products (have to share profits with the master of course).

    • Yoga permalink
      October 1, 2010 2:35 am

      Guys who copy/paste an internal email- it is okay to post that…but, may i recommend that you post without person’s full name and phone numbers? I hope the moderator will be kind enough to post messages without such details

      • October 1, 2010 1:04 pm

        Duly noted, personal details removed. I do not always read comments before they are posted. If you leave an email adress, the go straight up. So I do not screen everything…

      • Yoga permalink
        October 1, 2010 9:37 pm

        Thanks SW. I think you should read it once before posting.

  8. harshal permalink
    September 30, 2010 10:53 am

    ‘You are the one who has offered nothing of substance here’

    really zhoro? Look at your friends here. They are rediculing the age old indian tradiation of pada-pooja.Do you know what it is? Just because they are ignorant, doesnt mean that it has no significance. And your other friend compares AOL to dictatorship in Burma and north Korea. Does that makes sense to you? You want me to talk sense to them?

    kutarka can only be cut by kutarka.

    • Guru-ouch permalink
      September 30, 2010 6:58 pm

      Harshal dude, would you every care to reply on the sweepstakes that run in AOL?

      I think the only thing left to add in the sweepstakes is
      1. Win a one-one on SK weekend with SSRS
      2. Win a week long silence course with SSRS

      Well, I cd go on, but, you get the point.

    • Abhilash Shastry permalink
      October 1, 2010 4:32 am

      > Look at your friends here. They are rediculing the age old indian tradiation of pada-pooja.Do > you know what it is? Just because they are ignorant, doesnt mean that it has no significance.


      If you want to drink your Master’s washings or any other bodily fluids as part of your spiritual sadhana, it is your right. Please go ahead and drink it to your heart’s content.

      However, before you bring disgrace to the entire Indian tradition by claiming that drinking one’s guru’s bodily fluids is a part of Indian tradition, please do a reality check. Please go out of your AOL circle and do a quick survey to find out how many Indians you know drink their guru’s bodily fluids as part of their express ticket to enlightenment.

    • October 1, 2010 1:05 pm

      Good thing they didn’t invent nostril puja. Or worse….

    • freethinker permalink
      October 1, 2010 2:18 pm

      I have not heard of any Indian tradition that you drink the dirty water after “pada-pooja” of guru. It is pathetic to say your indoctrinations as Indian tradition or hiding under Hinduism for every strange things you guys do, blame the questioners of attacking “Indian tradition or Hinduism”.

    • zhoro permalink
      October 1, 2010 10:33 pm

      @harshal: “kutarka can only be cut by kutarka.”

      Whoever taught you this lied to you big time. Perhaps its time to look for another teacher.

  9. 1000 Courses in Every City. HOORAY! permalink
    September 30, 2010 3:32 pm

    Esatsang digest for Sept 29 2010

    From: ABC Europe
    Date: Tue, Sep 28, 2010 at 3:38 PM
    Subject: Unique wave of AOL courses from 15 – 17 October 2010 across Europe
    30 000 people – 42 countries – 1 weekend
    „Breathe For Health and Happiness“

    A weekend dedicated to relaxation and rejuvenation techniques based on thepower of our own breath. „Breathe For Health and Happiness“ will be held simultaneously all overEurope. Some 30 000 people are expected at the International Art of LivingFoundation’s special course happening which will take place over the weekendof 15th – 17th October in 42 European countries. More than 1000 courses will beheld in every city where the Foundation is active.

    The event will offer:
    * Unique stress relieving breathing techniques
    * Skills to handle negative emotions and difficult situations * Yoga & relaxing meditation
    * Interactive processes

  10. Doreen permalink
    September 30, 2010 4:46 pm


    Since you are an active reader of this blog and clearly have a different point of view than a lot of commentators, perhaps you can articulate your case?

    Perhaps you can address some concerns that have been brought up here and give your take on them, without insulting those who have a different view than you of course. (And I don’t think you deserve insults either by the way)

    I’d personally like to hear your take on:
    Do you think it’s fair to say that Sri Sri is deified within the AOL organization?
    (deify = people think of him as God)
    Do you think most AOL teachers want their students to deify him?
    Do you think Sri Sri encourages others to deify him?
    Do you think Sri Sri deserves to be deified?

    Do you think AOL has become a religion?
    If not, what differentiates it from a religion?
    Does one have to accept the special divinity of Sri Sri in order to become an AOL teacher? Or is it enough that they are committed to sharing a useful breathing practice with others?

    Do you think people in AOL are ever given the impression that donations will bring them more blessings?
    Do you think it’s true that donations will bring them more blessings?
    AOL states on their European website that course fees are used for humanitarian projects. Do you think AOL has an ethical obligation to show that the money was used for those purposes? Or do you think it’s only their business?

    There are other topics I’m curious about but I’ll stop there for now.

    Thanks and Peace

    • October 1, 2010 5:05 am

      Great one Doreen!

      Harshal, I expect a point to point reply from you rather than general comments.

  11. ex_jaigurudev permalink
    September 30, 2010 9:39 pm

    AOL strategy is to move a new comer to testdrive SK and then promote them into a “DEVOTEE” status .

    But note there is no “DEVOTEE” without a “DIVINE”

    The whole AOL framework tries to make HHSSRRSSBS as your “DIVINE” in every possible overt and subtle way.
    The question here is not the existence of the DIVINE etc. But rather HHSSRRSSBS playing the DIVINE role and generating $$/Euros for a higher unknown cause 🙂

    Once done , then every facet of your life is controlled directly or indirectly through AOL with your wallet and prana drained.

    At the end of the day , HHSSRRSSBS is playing the role of GOD both directly and indirectly.
    Cheat, cheat until there is a believer.

    If every idiot in AOL, sees the GOD in himself, the moment will stall and the wallet/prana can be spent inwards. Seva is not about filling AOL coffers.

  12. harshal permalink
    October 1, 2010 12:50 pm

    @Doreen: I am here to raise questions and expose the hidden agenda of the frustrated ex-aolites, however , I might answer your questions if you do the following

    1) write a detailed statement on how a ideal guru should be
    2) write a detailed statement(include all the do’s and donot’s) on how and ideal spiritual movement should be
    3) once you have done this give me an example of each one of these ( make sure that there are no anti-blogs against any of these)
    4) convince me that all your friends on this blog agree with your statements

    Once you have done this I will think about answering your questions.

    • Shallow waters permalink
      October 1, 2010 4:48 pm

      @ Harshal,

      You really justify your name dude!!

      Are you expecting any hidden agenda?? dude neither are we any organised commitee nor do we organise any meeting to discuss how to expose AOL and his founder. We are all individual with simillar experiences and just want to speak out.

      “1) write a detailed statement on how a ideal guru should be.”

      So you mean to say that all those things written in scriptures about ideal guru is indeed a poetry!! The 5 signs of a sat guru mentioned in Upanishads??

      five signs of satguru (true guru) are:

      In the presence of the satguru; Knowledge flourishes (Gyana raksha); Sorrow diminishes (Dukha kshaya); Joy wells up without any reason (Sukha aavirbhava); Abundance dawns (Samriddhi); All talents manifest (Sarva samvardhan).

      Abundance dawns?? i have seen teachers begging for money all the time!!
      all talents manifest?? better not said anything about this one.

      “2) write a detailed statement(include all the do’s and donot’s) on how and ideal spiritual movement should be”

      So u confiremd it that there is no ideal conduct as instead mentioned in religious scriptures!!

      “3) once you have done this give me an example of each one of these ( make sure that there are no anti-blogs against any of these)”

      So that means you are pretty sure there was none before who was ideal as mentioned in scriptures!! And AOL still expects us to be 100%!!

      “4) convince me that all your friends on this blog agree with your statements”

      Thats a joke!! you cant be convinced in reality. that could happen only in illusion, which you are arleady in to.

  13. Doreen permalink
    October 1, 2010 1:55 pm

    Hi Harshal,

    You misunderstood me – my questions were 99% sincere (i’ll admit there was a bit of attitude in the ones about money). I’m a free-agent, so to speak, when it comes to writing on this blog.

    Some people find value in AOL and can deal with the imperfections.
    Some people find value but can’t deal with the imperfections.
    Some people find value and don’t see any imperfections.
    Some people don’t find value in AOL.

    I happen to be the first kind of person.

    I think it’s helpful to outline the imperfections so that people can stay balanced. In AOL, when you associate AOL with the bliss you’ve experienced it’s easy to accept everything as perfect and trust everything.
    I don’t think it’s disloyal to identify and discuss imperfections, although I have doubts about whether this blog is the forum to do so.
    I’m happy to outline the perfections of AOL also.

  14. October 1, 2010 2:22 pm

    Simply, you don’t have answers.

    Accept it.

    Your questions are nothing but ‘KUTARKA’

  15. Doreen permalink
    October 1, 2010 3:24 pm

    Wikipedia’s description of BHAKTI YOGA:

    The best known form of the guru-shishya relationship is that of BHAKTI. Bhakti (Sanskrit = Devotion) means surrender to God or guru. Bhakti extends from the simplest expression of devotion to the ego-destroying principle of prapatti, which is total surrender. The bhakti form of the guru-shishya relationship generally incorporates three primary beliefs or practices:
    – Devotion to the guru as a divine figure or avatar.
    – The belief that such a guru has transmitted, or will impart moksha, diksha or shaktipat to the (successful) shishya.
    – The belief that if the shishya’s act of focusing his or her devotion (bhakti) upon the guru is sufficiently strong and worthy, then some form of spiritual merit will be gained by the shishya.

    Maybe bhakti yoga isn’t right for everyone. But that doesn’t mean it’s wrong for everyone.

  16. The Doctor permalink
    October 1, 2010 4:36 pm

    @ Doreen,

    Excellent questions, and I really like your attitude too. And I completely agree with you, there are too many insults on this blog from both sides and they just detract from the main substance of what the blog is about.

    BTW – I’m just curious, are you the same Doreen who wrote the commen on Kashi’s blog in response to Swami Sadyojatha’s post about these blogs?

    @ Harshal,

    I would have loved to hear your answers to Doreen’s questions, but I suspected you would try to evade them and you proved me right.

    What would really help Art of Living now is if there was a civilized dialogue going on between represantatives of AoL and members of this blog. Other than the occassional pro-AoLer making a comment or two here telling us to stop writing these “false things”, “complete rubbish”, “complete nonsense” and so on, you are pretty much the only person who visits continuously, especially now that BeaconOfReason seems to have left us.

    So as you are here representing AoL, you are really doing a very poor job of upholding it’s core values, especially now that it’s come to light that you are in fact an AoL teacher. You seem to be holding so much anger and hatred, which is quite surprising for someone who is supposed to live by at least the basic course points as well as practice kriya regularly, which as a teacher I know for a fact you have to.

    I would go as far as to say you that not only are you representing AoL poorly here, but in actual fact are indirectly supporting this blog and a lot of what has been said across the many posts just by your very attitude. All you really do is insult people and evade questions, even when those people are polite and courteous to you.

    You say you are “here to raise questions and expose the hidden agenda of the frustrated ex-aolites”, however you haven’t actually raised any questions, nor have you provided a single comment hinting at any “hidden agenda”. I think the agenda of this blog is very clear to everyone who has been following it for some time now, and I really don’t feel there’s anything to hide. If you believe otherwise, I’d appreciate it if you could share these things with us and we can have a civilized discussion about it.

    But the way you are acting now is really off-putting for a lot of genuine, sincere people who are currently in AoL, especially as they start reading these blogs and learn that you are representing the organization here. Additionally, as we have come to learn that Sri Sri himself and his inner circle are reading these blogs, and since you are still actively posting here, it seems to me that they must be supporting the things you have to say. In other words, Sri Sri himself fully approves of your comments, otherwise if he disagreed he would ask you to stop posting here, or to change your attitude. This is something which deeply disturbs me if it’s true, and sadly I suspect it is.

    And believe it or not, I actually agree with Doreen that you don’t deserve these insults, no one does. But really you are inviting them from a great many people here by choosing to act as you are. I know a great many teachers who are sincere, beautiful individuals who would be appalled if they saw your comments here.

    So, continue with this same attitude and you just make Sri Sri and Art of Living look even worse and end up supporting the blogs. If that’s your mission here, you are doing a great job.

    • October 1, 2010 5:19 pm

      Doc, welcome back. I really missed you, and as always your words stand out full of dignity and grace.
      As blog owner it frustrates me to see people’s mudslinging. But if I begin to censor comments, I am afraid it will hinder true debate.
      I miss Beacon of Reason too. He had a great sense of humor, something that cannot be said about Harshal. By the way Harshal, I too would love to hear what my hidden agenda is. I was not aware that I had one.

  17. Neal permalink
    October 1, 2010 8:04 pm

    Doreen, awesome point.
    I tend to move between the first two:
    1) Some people find value in AOL and can deal with the imperfections.
    2) People find value but can’t deal with the imperfections.

    I see a lot of value in AOL and if one add’s to it transperency and more focus on REAL SEVA, it can do wonders.
    I still cannot understand WHY in past 25 years no one in AOL thought of this before. Why cannot they create a platform to question / critique the organization is a constructive way?
    And thank you again blog owners for bringing this all out in open. I sincerely pray that the foundation could come up with something before its too late!

  18. Othman permalink
    October 1, 2010 9:22 pm

    With a blog like this one or that of KLIM SSRS might soon not be welcome anymore by any European leader. European politicians fear nothing more than to be associated to a cult. These blogs will most likely contribute to get AOL listed as a cult in European countries, which will then have serious implications on AOL activities.

    During the last four years AOL was conducting workshops in the European Parliament. I would bet that it will no longer happen.

    I very much hope that AOL will undertake steps to become a respectable organization as I think that their courses are very good and useful and it would be a pity to loose them. I am also wondering how come that none of the Ex-AOL teachers continue to practice outside the AOL framework. If I would be a teacher I think I would do this, conduct courses without reporting to AOL.

  19. Yoga permalink
    October 1, 2010 9:54 pm

    Regarding Mr. Shastry’s article – I am unable to post a comment. So I am posting it here.

    The latest article is a poorly written one by Mr. Shastry. If finding fault is the sole purpose of this blog then it is a waste of time to visit this blog. If good intention is not there then the whole purpose will be defeated. Who said it is not possible to get a degree in Physics? Can you please take a minute and research? The only purpose this article seems to be finding fault but your article has too many holes

    Who said you can get your Physics degree only when you do your masters? There are colleges that offer degrees in Sanskrit. Reciting Gita at age four in Tamil Nadu even among Brahmin families is not a common thing. SSRS grew up in a small village. Given those circumstances, if he did indeed do it…it is an accomplishment. I recommend that this article be removed. Come up with something better.

    • Rajesh permalink
      October 1, 2010 11:15 pm

      I agree with Abhilash. I don’t think you could get bachelors degree only in physics in those days. If you know of a bachelor’s physics degree offered by St Josephs college in 1970s, please provide details like what it was called and how long was the course.

  20. Dayalu permalink
    October 1, 2010 11:46 pm


    Your reading comprehension requires a lot of improvement. You totally missed the point in Shastry’s post. Well, can’t blame you. When I was in AOL, with all the brain washing and pseudo gyan, I too was like you.

    “SSRS grew up in a small village”.
    That is contradictory to what SSRS himself has stated.
    Can you name the village?

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