God Moves in Mysterious Ways
By Abilash Shastry
It is very strange that despite all the hype about the Master, they are not able/willing to give any concrete information about his pre-AOL life. Let us revisit his ‘NEW and UPDATED!’ bio:
>>Born in 1956 in Southern India, …
Probably, the only verifiable part of his biography.
>>…Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was a gifted child…
Who identified him a ‘gifted’ child and how? Did his school or his teachers identified him so? Or should we accept the ‘gifted’ bit because some people on his payroll claim so?
>>By the age of four, he was able to recite parts of the Bhagavad Gita, an ancient Sanskrit scripture …
So now it is “reciting” and that too “parts of”.
I was taught to recite “karmanye vaadhikaaraste…” from BG for as far back as I can remember. And I am not alone. Most of the Hindu kids (esp. from Brahmin community) learn a few shlokas in their childhood- just as kids from other religions might do from their holy books.
So, should we start calling ourselves as ‘gifted’?
>>…and was often found in meditation.
Another, unverifiable statement.
Now for the arguments sake let us assume that many people saw him meditating at the age of four. Can anyone educate me on how did they find out if the child was indeed meditating?
>>His first teacher was Sudhakar Chaturvedi, who had had a long cooperation with Mahatma Gandhi.
I hate to drag the name of Mr. Chaturvedi in this discussion as he has nothing to do with AOL. However, since his name is there in the official biography, some clarification would not be out of place.
Sudhakar Chaturvedi is an old nice gentleman living in the bylanes of Bangalore. With due regards to him, I must point out that his “long cooperation with Mahatma Gandhi” is stretching the truth a bit far. In his youth Mr. Chaturvedi was impressed with Mahatma Gandhi and his ideals. He clearly remembers meeting Gandhi once. He might have met him couple of times more, but he does not remember clearly.
I am not saying it as any disrespect to Mr. Chaturvedi esp. since he has himself never claimed “long cooperation with Mahatma Gandhi” and is a very sincere and humble man who still practices Gandhian ideals. It is the spin doctors of AOL who have pulled out “long cooperation with Mahatma Gandhi” to glorify the lineage of their own master.
>> By the age of seventeen, in 1973, he had graduated with degrees in, both, Vedic literature and physics.
There are several interesting bits here.
There is no university in India that offers undergraduate or graduate degrees in Vedic literature. In undergrad/ grad level, Vedic literature is part of general curriculum of Sanskrit literature. It is only for a Ph.D. course where one can get a degree in Vedic literature. So if one is claiming a degree in Vedic literature, it can only be an “advanced degree”. However, AOL biographers have themselves now dropped the “advanced” term. So what can we say? At the same time, I am sure SSRS does not have a Ph.D. degree in any subject. If he had, his PR masters would have blown it over the skies.
Now let us come to the “degree in physics”. For undergrad course, unlike subjects like law or medicine or engineering, physics is not a stand alone subject for degree. In India, one has to take two more subjects (one of them usually mathematics) to get a degree. What were the other two subjects? If someone is publicizing his undergrad degree as high academic achievement, there is no reason for him to be silent about other subjects.
More usually, “degree in physics” means masters education since it is only in M.Sc. that one takes physics as a stand alone subject. But here again we are faced with the same issue. Masters is an “advanced degree” but since AOL spin doctors have dropped the term “advanced”, there must be a good reason for it.
Now coming to the age factor. In India, one has to be 14 years of age to take 10th grade exam. There have been a few exceptions but they are rare and a special permission needs to be obtained to take the 10th exam before 14. So, it makes minimum 18/19 years to get an undergrad. Therore if SSRS completed even his undergrad by 17, he must have obtained a special permission for underage examination. But as we have seen that there is no undergrad degree in vedic literature or even in just physics, so it must have been an advanced degree. But due to some unknown reasons, official biography has now dropped the term “advanced”. And what do we make of his degrees from St. Johns at the age of 21? Was it another degree after his initial ones at 17?
God, indeed moves in mysterious ways!