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An ex- AOL teacher shares

October 19, 2010

Sincere Seeker permalink October 5, 2010

After 12 years in AoL and believing Guruji was God, I feel so cheated and relieved at the same time. Spirituality is our core and when someone messes up your inner core there is a lot of deep damage, confusion, questioning and for me realization. A lot of things I had questioned now explained and my brain much clearer. I think most of us in AoL had become brain dead and brain washed like robots programmed and remote controlled by SSRS.

If you are smart enough you will see through it. I think Maharishi’s statement of SSRS wraps it up perfectly – he is Sugar coated Poison. If you read SSRS blog even you see how he uses knowledge to entice (the carrot) and then finally comes end with something like Guru is God. I have heard it over and over again. Unfortunately it is very hard if not impossible to find a ‘Sat’ Guru in the ‘Kali’ Yuga.

The Technique – Sudarshan Kriya – like several people have mentioned. It is very vague what are the origins and notice one thing – each time he does a live Kriya it is different – seen it over the last 12 yrs and used to wonder how come it’s not the same as the tape. Ah! that’s why the tape was made and only 1 version because if it’s recorded it would be different. Then there was a new version a few yrs ago at GP Chicago – and lo and behold it was different, of course deliberately – SSRS said they don’t need a long version any more. I think personally he does his own, long, medium, short version each time he leads it live, no science to it, just estimates the time. People who consider him God think it’s all divine.
Now there is the Kriya Yoga (of the Paramahansa Yogananada for e.g.) that Kriya Yoga is authentic, ancient and same version each time. Not something invented or patented by anyone like Sudarshan Kriya (SK).
If SK were to become really popular in US – I would love to have doctors look into it’s side effects. In KLIMs blog I remember reading several doctors saying the negative effects of the hyperventilation that occurs. AoL would be sued. But it’s not so popular yet and no real 3rd party research has happened. The AoL folks who are doing the research will, I hope, not put the negative effects under the rug like SSRS does. I know of many students with negative side effects and when I brought it up it was completed hushed. Also, my other feedback was that we must ask satsangees in the long kriya to let us know if their medical situation has changed since the time they took the course. I know of people who developed high BP, heart issues, and other problems and SK was causing shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness, vomiting, and many other things and then I realized it was their medical condition and the short cycle.
For all those of you out there reading I would highly recommend that you do NOT do the short cycle – most people are hyperventilating. That’s what gives you the high – that’s why SK is so popular – it’s like a drug shot high. Many teachers reported that the students were not getting the same exp. when the shorter tape came out few yrs back, in fact is had been recalled in US. Don’t know the latest status of that…

Also, SSRS has also scared me many times. It seems he is like a Tantric (black magic is the closet word). He has said many times in front of me that he controls all his full time teachers, and when people become a teacher his spirit enters them. I have seen people behave very possessed sometimes in his presence like something has taken over them and I too have felt an overpowering energy take over several times. It is not a good feeling, not a pleasant feeling. If he was a Satguru then it should have felt positive and the people I have seen won’t act like they are possessed. You won’t believe what I have seen – so I will leave it out. For that matter he and other senior people also use scare tactics and also keep referring to the Guru’s Grace – well I don’t know about that – i think our faith and devotion is a way more powerful tool to enlightenment. Meera only had a stone statue.

As for money matter – I know first hand how it’s controlled. I wish someone still inside would bring these folks to justice. If I had saved the evidence I would have got it published in the newspapers.

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11 Comments
  1. Again permalink
    October 19, 2010 7:37 am

    Albert
    October 14, 2010 3:01 pm

    Dear all,

    Ravi Shankar has cognized sudarshan kriya in following way (this is out of his mouth): “As a child I spent a lot of time with my grandma. During the night I was watching my old grandma, I was observing her breathing during her sleep. There were some patterns …“

    Now, if he used the patterns of old lady’s breathing during the sleep as rhythms for SK, that is deathly dangerous. Why? Because, from medical literature it is known that during early morning hours, morning heavy breathing effect (read: hyperventilation, overbreathing) is cause of death in the sickest.

    What SK is, can be easily proven by making brain scan before and after SK. After hyperventilation there is reduced oxygenation of the brain, reduced blood flow.

    Majority of people believe that a deep or heavy breathing pattern provides more oxygen for body. It is totaly wrong because overbreathing reduces oxygenation of the human body (and all vital organs – read: brain). There is no scientific evidence, a medical study, medical doctor or physiologist who has proven or shown that a overbreathing (like sudarshan kriya) improves body oxygenation or is good for people.

    Role of CO2 is most important in maintaining human health and it is not waste gas. Capability to hold breath longer in effortless manner is sign of good health.
    Yogic breathing technics (pranayamas) are meant to achive this. But for every person there should be totaly individual approach because every person has different starting capacity.

    Ravi S. has no real yogic knowledge, and it is obvious for people who know a little bit more about yoga and physiology.

    “Pranayama is the cessation of inspiratory and expiratory movements.” – The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali

    “Breath-control exercise may be classified into two main groups: long-slow type and short-quick type. Breath suspension forms the most important part of long-slow type.”- S. S. Goswami in “Hatha Yoga”

    What Ravi S. is doing is totaly opposite to real yogic tradition and knowledge. His invention, sudarshan kriya, is in real yoga nonexistent long-quick type of breathing and it is dangerous for human health.

    Dr. Yogiji
    October 14, 2010 4:29 pm

    Hyperventilation is used in specific pranyamas in yoga, but only for a limited time and wih enough caution. Hyperventilation can also be used to create alkalinity in blood, which is many a times required to get balance.
    That said sudarshan kriya is a highly amateurish technique without much insight into how the prana and human body works. This kind of long term hyperventilation is very bad and you can find many many aol senior practitioners who are all quite sick and unhealthy. The folks who are healthy like kishanji are people who do not practice kriya. The pure diet and disciple is what has kept many of the sk practioners out of harm. SK in short is a harmful technique of hyperventilation.

    And those who believe all that tingling and numb sensations are some prana flowing in the body or is due to Guru’s grace. This is the medically observed effects of hyperventilation:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperventilation

    “Hyperventilation can, but does not necessarily always cause symptoms such as numbness or tingling in the hands, feet and lips, lightheadedness, dizziness, headache, chest pain, slurred speech, nervous laughter, and sometimes fainting, particularly when accompanied by the Valsalva maneuver.”

    How many of you experienced or witnessed these symptoms during SK, raise your hands.
    Reply

    ex-cultie
    October 15, 2010 6:47 am

    As someone else commented earlier on the process of kriya, I shared some concerns with an old friend of mine who has been a yoga practitioner, researcher, advocate and part time teacher for nearly 50 years. He tells me he’s only come across the fast cycle type of SK breathing a few times, and that was to address some very specific temporary condition in the body. He’s never seen this fast breathing practiced daily, as its long term effects when practiced daily have never been studied in detail, and that the impact on the body is quite immediate and rapid.

    He advised me to do the 20-40-40 very gently and with very shallow breaths, not to try breathing too deeply or force it, and if possible, avoid the fast cycle completely.

    This goes against the teaching in the basic course and the follow up sessions where most people do the 20-40-40 with great vigor and intensity, literally kicking up a storm.

    I remember asking one of the basic course teachers about this many years ago. She pointed to kapalbhati and agnisara pranayam, saying that the medium and fast cycles were very similar. This struck me as very shallow, since the process for kapalbhati and agnisara are completely different from the 20-40-40 in SK. There is no breathing at all during the repetitions in agnisara. Kapalbhati focuses more on the stomach movements, the breath itself is secondary.

    I wonder how AOL considers these teachers qualified to teach yoga and pranayama when their basic knowledge of this field does not go beyond what they are taught in AOL TTC courses, which is precious little about yoga itself and more about the different processes, marketing, hot seat and all that other stuff.

    • October 19, 2010 1:40 pm

      ‘Again’ – Excellent comments.
      All the so called research on Sudarshan Kriya is done by supporters of RS.
      No independent study or research is done. If AOL has does such independent research and find the results not comfortable for them, they will never publish them.
      AOL people do not consider SK as any Pranayam but a ‘spiritual practice’.
      Its like ‘Do anything but don’t miss daily Kriya’. Kriya is solution to anything and everything in the world.

    • Peaceful Warrior permalink
      October 19, 2010 2:34 pm

      I would say kriya is good as medicine – it does work initially for people who are tired and weary from life. But it is not food. If you do it daily, it may cause more harm than good. Plus it is not a sadhana as it does not lead to spiritual illumination. Spiritual practice is one by which one develops insight into the nature of reality – it’s not just a ritual one does mechanically.

      Eastern traditions have a wealth of proven and diverse spiritual practices and meditations for people with different natures and temperaments. Sudarshan Kriya is not one of them.

  2. BrightFaith permalink
    October 19, 2010 12:18 pm

    I’ve often wondered if SK was the main thing that gets people hooked in AoL aside from basic brainwashing. People feel so great from the breath that they think AoL is great. They get hooked on that good feeling and then overlook anything bad about AoL. They think, how can AoL be bad, when I feel so good? It really is like a drug. I’ve seen people literally get sick from it but insist upon continuing to practice. I’m sure it was to get the high. Never mind the negative side effects! I never liked it b/c it seems like too much of a quick fix. Sure, we feel good from it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a deep spiritual practice. People get high and think it’s some magical thing–that’s really wrong thinking.

  3. anon1 permalink
    October 19, 2010 12:47 pm

    “Now there is the Kriya Yoga (of the Paramahansa Yogananada for e.g.) that Kriya Yoga is authentic, ancient and same version each time.”

    well partly true, unfortunately even this becomes false in the hands of false gurus i.e prem rawat.

    • guru ho ja suru permalink
      October 20, 2010 4:02 am

      @anon1
      kriya yoga was introduced by Shyama Charan Lahiri akka Lahiri mahashay who got it from Mahaavtaar baba. Lahiri mahashay never wanted to start any organisation for propagation of Kriya yoga . he used to say that i quote “truth get lost in in principle and principle get lost in organisations” unquote. still kriya yoga initiation is given by his great grand son Sri subhendu lahiri in a family tradition. i have met him once and he told me and i quote ” don’t even follow subhendu lahiri follow your inner wisdom” unquote . More information about him can be found at http://www.skylahiri.in

  4. Sincere Seeker permalink
    October 19, 2010 7:01 pm

    SSRS introduced SK later in his meditation courses. I don’t think he meant for people to do it weekly or daily after the course.
    See these posts by KLIM.
    20-40-40 short kriya was invented by a teacher so people have a daily practise.
    http://artoflivingfree.blogspot.com/2010/02/20-40-40.html

    The weekly long kriya was also suggested and invented by a teacher so people would keep coming back and not dissappear.
    (KLIM: I tried the search couldn’t find the post)

    And this post by KLIM among several on the negative side effects and how board member and Swami both told KLIM to stop doing Kriya.

    Due to SSRS ego he will not let any negative side effects be talked about, the topic is killed before it starts.
    SK is NOT one of the original 3 Kriyas as mentioned in Patanjali – who knows what it is.

    Please let people know NOT to do the short cycle – it is hyperventilation therefore unhealthy.

    • The Doctor permalink
      October 19, 2010 7:34 pm

      @ Sincere Seeker,

      Negative side effects? Really?

      Is Sudarshan Kriya Safe?

      Sudarshan Kriya is completely safe and side-effects (if any) are only positive.

      It’s written on a website, so it can’t be wrong, can it?

      😉

  5. anon1 permalink
    October 20, 2010 11:37 am

    “kriya yoga was introduced by Shyama Charan Lahiri akka Lahiri mahashay who got it from Mahaavtaar baba.”

    someone should tell prem rawat.

  6. Senior Observer permalink
    October 21, 2010 9:02 pm

    Sincere Seeker:
    “…– each time he does a live Kriya it is different – seen it over the last 12 yrs and used to wonder how come it’s not the same as the tape. ”

    I too noticed this on several occasions. If you carefully examine the different versions of the tape, you will find that, despite better and noise-free sound quality, the recently made tapes are much less inspiring and are rather distracting. In the very early tapes, the voice was more passionate, and better connected to the whole process. In my own way I have concluded that RS possibly used to have lot of faith in his technique and lost the sincerity as money started flowing in and he becoming famous. It is now a mere mechanical lip service without any conviction.

  7. November 12, 2010 10:17 am

    http://parthchoksi.com/knowledge/my-experience-of-doing-sudarshan-kriya-of-sri-sri-ravishankarart-of-living-organisation/
    it causes hyperventilation and causes brain damage due to cerebral hypoxia as a result of hypocapnia and respiratory alkalosis.

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