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Why I left Art of Living

April 12, 2011

by meditator

OK. I was the anonymous who wrote about the Titan offer text msg. Now I have a name – meditator.

To all who are pro AOL I have nothing against them. We all should have our view point. My points

1) I got associated with AOL about 3 years back. Have done only the basic and one advanced course. I have done seva, attended satsangs and volunteered to help out in the organising of the basic course. Was also instrumental in organising one “Nav Chetna Shivir” which in India is a free camp conducted for the poor. I would say that this was what made me rethink and move out of AOL. This camp for the poor has nothing in it. No SK nothing. Just taking the neme of Ram, some pep talks and it’s over. Upon my questioning the teacher the answer was that Guruji says that these poor people are so simple that just taking Ram’s name is enough for them and that they do not require SK which is meant for people who lead stressed lives (read who have money).

2) Is AOL the only organization that offers spirituality. I have since moved on to YSS and though the masters are no longer in human form I have had much better experiences. The course fee for three years is less than half of the basic course of AOL. I do not get everyday SMS’s begging for money or asking me to enrol friends and relatives. The course is structured and does not change with the type of people (ie poor, rich, criminals, politicians etc). Like a true spiritual organisation they believe that all human beings are equal. I think Guruji also “SAYS” the same.

3) I had purchased the full set of Ashtavakra Gita at astronomical price and have watched it once. Harshal, being a ardent devotee of AOL I’m sure you must have watched it multiple times. If not please do so. In one of the DVD (I forget which one) SSRS himself says that SK is crap. If no one believes, I am willing to watch it again and post those excerpts on you tube. It may however take some time.

4) One of the Yes+ teachers who has been associated with SSRS for quite some time was travelling with SSRS in a London tube. There was a Britisher seated opposite to them reading a management book. Your SSRS told this YES+ teacher that can there be a better management teacher than him who can take money from people just teaching them how to breathe.

5) Guruji had once asked the Basic course teachers to vote for BJP. Now why would a spiritual guru be interesetd in politics?

6) Dinesh and Bawa as per me are arrogance personified. I had many a times written on their (now defunct) blog but they did not have the guts to publish it. What is a spiritual leader afraid of?

7) The blessings given by the AOL fraternity – has it ever worked on anyone. It never did on me, my wife or many others who have attended the course. For the blessings course teachers of AOL – please for heavens sake get out of it. Guruji will not come out through you to bless your subjects. If you are really interested in healing people – read some books or join a course on Reiki. Indian scriptures are full of such so called non-conventional healing techniques.
The PLR (past life regression) session conducted by AOL is another farce. I tried it out twice and it never worked. It maybe that I was not receptive enough, but I really did not like the method in which it was carried out (and I shelled out Rs 1500 for each session). What crap. BTW just for the ardent AOL supporters – I have read all books by Dr Brian Weiss and loads of other books on PLR and have successfully conducted three PLR’s on my wife. For the first two PLR’s both of us thought that she was perhaps imagining things, but the third one in which she went to a life in Spain in a city called Gaba had so many historical facts that we are 200% confident that it had worked. My wife or me do not know anything (or rather did not at that time) about Spanish history. Incidentally, my current daughter was my wife’s daugher in that life and I was her daughter’s husband. All I want to say is that AOL is not the only place offering spirituality. Please let the people decide for their own what is best for them. What’s the point in getting agitated. After all the whole purpose of meditation is to take one to the center and to love everone unconditionally. The more I interact with AOLites the more I feel that they do not practice what they preach.

9) Anyone of you heard about the Light of Life Institute? If not just google on it. It’s doctor has been on national geographic channel as well and I have had the privilege of meeting him. Incidentally his guru was the same as SSRS – yes sir I’m talking about Maharishi. Now do not ask me any further details on this.

10) To all the ardent AOL fans – It might me worthwhile reading the following
* Autobiograpgy of a yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda
* My experiments with truth by MK Gandhi.
* Living with the Himalayan masters by Swami Rama
* Books by Jeddu Krishnamurthy
* The Spirit World by Khorshed Bhavnagri (copyright Shiamak Davar)
* http://www.mastersofthespiritworld.com

May better sense prevail on all.

God bless.

One more point

AOL is the only organization which has patented it’s breathing techniques. However google and you will find the long SK all over the net. In YSS, all I was supposed to do was sign a pledge that I will not share the course material with anyone and even my wife has not seen the course material. There is something called honesty on the spiritual path. If there is no honesty there can be no spirituality. Show me one place on the net which gives out the techniques of Kriya Yoga on the net. Spirituality means trust, faith, honesty. By patenting a technique one shows that there is no trust and faith and that it’s purely for commercial purpose.

Just my view point.

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99 Comments
  1. Anoop permalink
    April 12, 2011 4:51 pm

    “past life regression” – do people believe in these kind of things ?

    Why not focus out thoughts , beliefs and relationships on what we see and feel now ? People need to become more rational.

    • Anonymous permalink
      April 12, 2011 6:22 pm

      agreed!

    • The Doctor permalink
      April 12, 2011 8:37 pm

      “past life regression” – do people believe in these kind of things ?
      Why not focus out thoughts , beliefs and relationships on what we see and feel now ? People need to become more rational.

      Yep. And people also believe ludicrous ideas such as that the universe came to exist out of nothing, that before the universe existed time didn’t exist, that space isn’t really space but rather more accurately space-time which can be “curved” by gravitation, that a sub-atomic particle can simultaneously exhibit particulate and wave-like properties, and that ours is one of an infinite number of parallel universes.

      There are also those who believe that God created the universe and is separate from us and the rest of the universe, others who believe that we are all a dream in the mind of God, and still others who believe that there is no such thing as God.

      Some will quietly believe what they want to believe and will respect others for having different beliefs, whilst the majority will either try to convince those who don’t share their beliefs to adopt the same beliefs, or more likely they will oppose them by creating some sort of conflict situation. Both the latter always lead to trouble. 😉

      • Anoop permalink
        April 13, 2011 5:46 pm

        ya.. I prefer to follow Richard Feynman books rather 🙂

      • Prakash permalink
        April 14, 2011 1:54 am

        “….whilst the majority will either try to convince those who don’t share their beliefs to adopt the same beliefs,…”

        As Russell said:

        All debates about religious beliefs can be summarized in one sentence – “my brand of non sense is better than yours”.

  2. Observer Jr. permalink
    April 13, 2011 7:07 pm

    It appears the new guest Jacob found out about this “negative” blog from the NY times link. People are seeing this folks… good work.

    Jacob on the times article….

    “As the Art of Living is growing and expanding at a rapid rate globally.

    Attached with that are the cynics…

    To say the Art of Living is a ‘Cult’ is utterly laughable. A ‘Cult’ has the same thinking mentality and are given orders from the Cult Leader.

    I got news for you all..Members of Art of Living are: Christian, Hindu. Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist..etc..etc From North America to South America to Europe to Asia to Africa..etc…

    Now tell me how you can rob identies of such a motley crew? ha ha ha ha ha

    Give the Art of Living a shot..If it’s not for you move on…If it is for you, Welcome aboard – You will never meet a stranger again :-)”

  3. Prakash permalink
    April 14, 2011 2:33 am

    @Meditator:

    “To all the ardent AOL fans – It might me worthwhile reading the following
    * Autobiograpgy of a yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda
    * My experiments with truth by MK Gandhi.
    * Living with the Himalayan masters by Swami Rama
    * Books by Jeddu Krishnamurthy
    * The Spirit World by Khorshed Bhavnagri (copyright Shiamak Davar)
    * http://www.mastersofthespiritworld.com

    I respect your experience and opinion. However except for J Krishnamurthy, I would not consider any other in the above list as true spirituality- Yogananda included, who IMHO is more into yogic siddhis than spirituality.

    Also, if you have had healing from Reiki, good for you. However, if you dig deeper into researches on Reiki you will discover that the healing rate from Reiki is same as that from placebo.

    • April 16, 2011 12:25 pm

      @ meditator & Prakash

      I don’t know where you guys are from, but Yogananda and Swami Rama are suspected cult leaders here in the US. The Self Realization Fellowship has websites very much like this one laying out how SRF is a cult. Also, apparently, Swami Rama’s Himalayan Institute has its serious critics. I find organizations always look so good from the outside. It is when you get involved with them that a cult mindset becomes evident. That being said, I do think both Swami Rama and Yogananda have something to offer serious spiritual seekers. It is just their organizations can be cultish, while their teachings can be very helpful. I find that the same with AOL –cultish organization and useful teachings.

      • Peaceful Warrior permalink
        April 17, 2011 12:52 am

        No experience with any of the above organizations – but If I were to give someone advice on this it would be to not make compromises on integrity. The way people in AOL hand wave over many of these issues and say just trust in the guru – is a big red flag, and I should have seen it coming. No matter how cool the techniques, how good the knowledge, or how amazing other people you meet there – integrity is non-negotiable. If the organization does not place emphasis on integrity and practices high standards of ethical behavior – be very very cautious, even if you are at a place in your life where you desperately need spiritual wisdom and illumination.

  4. harshal permalink
    April 14, 2011 4:06 am

    “true spirituality”—two words from this joker are good enough to reveal his extensive depths of mediocrity..

    • Prakash permalink
      April 14, 2011 12:01 pm

      Ah! Seems like you had another bout of that “nectar” directly from your master’s “tap”!

  5. anon permalink
    April 14, 2011 6:36 am

    A simple and mediocre life is a virtue worthy to be attained.

    However, a life full of following is NOT a virtuous life.

    * living in a palace (ashram)
    * flying in first class
    * staying in six star hotels
    * accompanying rich, bold and beautiful ladies and boys
    * meddling in politics
    * hankering for noble prize without any noble deeds
    * making simple people emotionally slave
    * using charity money as personal asset
    * wearing white to hide black deeds and
    * finally but not the last; dying hair black to hide white

  6. Harshal permalink
    April 14, 2011 12:27 pm

    ya joker,why don’t you go ahead and define ‘true spirituality’ so that your fellas can find it… …idiots galore on this blog..

    • meditator permalink
      April 14, 2011 2:55 pm

      Ever heard of Google?

  7. Original Anonymous permalink
    April 14, 2011 12:48 pm

    http://www.kriyayoga.com

  8. herenorthereathomenowhere permalink
    April 16, 2011 1:31 pm

    harsh-al, first of all your name suggests what you represent. second of all, i am amazed at your interest in this blog and your constant need to surface and say something. if you find the posts that unacceptable, no one is forcing you to stay. just leave? your rejoinders most often come across as a child’s response to a snub. immature and pathetic.

  9. Harshal permalink
    April 16, 2011 1:54 pm

    @herenorthereathomenowhere : I have already clarified once and will do it again for you.

    1)The reason for which I visit this blog is same as to why I visit comedy central on my TV. Pure and simple entertainment.

    2)I am not here to engage in any sort of debate with you people, I do not think debates, however constructive and well-thought-of they are can lead to a change in belief. So if my response comes across as childish it is not a big surprise to me.

    3) ‘just leave? ‘ – I ask the same to you. Why don’t you just leave AOL if you don’t like it, why bother writing here?

    You ask me to leave the blog if I don’t like it. however, you cant just leave AOL when you are clearly not liking it.

    This is comedy.Entertainment.

    • anonymous permalink
      April 17, 2011 12:49 pm

      Uh, duh, Harshal — we have left AOL. Guess you didn’t read that part in the hundreds of posts by folks posting here. It’s you who are stuck with Art of Living. I still can’t figure out what you find so amusing about people who have been injured by a thoughtless, cruel, self-centered ‘master’ who cares only about his own comforts, hiding his many secrets from the public, and building his fortune and reputation. I don’t find it at all funny. It’s sick. When you say that you find it a comedy, I find you sick. People like you, in addition to Ravi Shankar’s nasty attitude, was why I left in the first place. You seem frankly obsessed with this blog, when it obviously has nothing to do with you: you do not intend to leave Art of Living, and don’t believe anything anyone here says. So why bother? How can constantly trying to bait people who are here to expose something you expose possibly be fulfulling for you? Is your guru not supplying you with the fulfillment and ‘comedy’ you crave? Your presence here is so undignified, it is really puzzling. Over and over again you make your ‘master’ look terrible with these types of comments. Over and over again, people like you and this ‘Jacob’ whatever his name really is, show sincere people exactly why not to join Art of Living or visit your beloved master. You prove the point of this blog: That Art of Living is filled with sad, sick people who enjoy hurting others, that many of them have some kind of sadistic streak, and are not satisfied with the teachings, but feel compelled to lash out at others in anger, sarcasm, cruelty. I saw it so many times in AOL, especially from Ravi Shankar and the top teachers. So many nasty ‘gossip’ sessions, with the sole purpose of having a small group of people sit around with him and discuss others behind their backs and make fun of them for various things, including being fat, or old or mentally disturbed. Sad, sad, sad. Haven’t you ever been in one of those disgusting sessions? If so, did it satisfy your need to hurt others? It seemed to satisfy many in the little groups I saw, and I questioned it (to the surprise of guruji who thought I should feel flattered to be included in such a thing). So I left. Many others who post here seem to have reported the same things, and reported them quite accurately. If none of this gives you pause, I pity you and Jacob and all the others who come here for “fun”. Like children pulling the wings off flies, or torturing animals for “fun”. That’s what it looks like.

      • Observer Jr. permalink
        April 18, 2011 3:05 am

        He’s had some serious physical and psychological damage from the Art of Living, and we should just wish him well and ignore him and his friends (Corrector, Jacob, Fred, etc.)

        It’s not worth getting upset with him – it’s what he wants. If we all ignore him, he’ll go away.

    • Krish permalink
      April 17, 2011 5:16 pm

      Harshal – do you know why RS says kriya is crap in Ashtavakra Gita? Did that just slip out by mistake?

      • Dayalu permalink
        April 18, 2011 3:11 pm

        Do we really want him to go away? I don’t think so. His comments truly represent what is wrong with AOL and is there for all to see, reinforcing the essense of this blog. Let him keep coming back, he’s infact doing a great service for us, albeit making an ass aout of himself.

      • Peaceful Warrior permalink
        April 18, 2011 3:44 pm

        @Dayalu

        I really hope Harshal and his ilk to stop posting stupid comments here. This is a place for ex-aol people to come for healing and to listen and talk about their experience – and nobody likes to be exposed to such vicious vitriol and snarky remarks, especially since coming out of aol is such a traumatic experience in the beginning. We should seriously consider banning him – he has had plenty of airtime, and not used his free-speech rights to offer an alternate POV – all he does is make snide remarks.

  10. SoFlo Sky Dive permalink
    April 17, 2011 2:14 pm

    I did the past life regression, “The Eternity Process” and it was fun. Lots of “past life” images and impressions. Also interesting relationships revealed from a past life in Norway in the mid 1800’s. My present wife was my daughter and my current father was my son. Now, with all that being said, is it “real?” I don’t know. It doesn’t really matter. I did it once and that was sufficient.

    Three years in AOL? That’s not really much of a long time for spiritual unfolding to occur. I’ve been doing it regularly for 19 years with my wife and we have had incredible deep spiritual experiences and awakenings. Our lives have been transformed. I really like AOL people and SK. Maybe it’s just the teachers where I live, but everybody is friendly and open. No jackasses or blowhards.

    Goodluck with your spiritual path. I think we all have to go through a bit of crap on any spiritual path. No organization is “perfect” whatever that would mean. I believe our pure intent for Realization organizes what we need…and perhaps at time what we don’t need!

    • Harshal permalink
      April 18, 2011 10:43 am

      @SoFloSkyDive: Nicely said. Being a part of a spiritual movement is like taking a train to a beautiful destination. If you pay too much attention to other people in the train, start worrying about how the train can run better , how you fellow passengers can behave better, you are losing your focus…some people get so caught up in doing this that they end up leaving the train and find themselves abandoned on some random platform not knowing where to go and what to do. Then they start blaming the train and people in it. This is what the people on this blog represent.

      • anonymous permalink
        April 18, 2011 2:33 pm

        And if the conductor is not competent?

      • Anoop permalink
        April 18, 2011 3:07 pm

        Fair comment. If you are enjoying the experience you should continue regardless of what others think. And also its your right to stand up against those who say ill against the movement you love.

        People who post in this blog had bad experiences with AOL, and they want to share to this to the outside world. That is also fair.

      • Dayalu permalink
        April 18, 2011 3:31 pm

        On the otherhand, when everything indicates that the train is off course or moving in circles and you continue to believe the train is taking you to “the beautiful destination”, just because everyone else says so, that is called a cult mentality.

      • Peaceful Warrior permalink
        April 18, 2011 4:14 pm

        Talk about being taken for a ride ;).

      • Observer Jr. permalink
        April 24, 2011 3:24 am

        But where is this train going? That’s the question I think everyone in AOL asks in the back of their mind a lot.

        “Sometimes, better not to go on trip, if one doesn’t know where trip ends.” – Mr. Miyagi

      • Peaceful Warrior permalink
        April 24, 2011 3:25 pm

        ….Sometimes it is good to let someone else show you around, but only for a while – you can’t live your whole life like that. I prefer to go on my own adventures – but that’s just me 😉

  11. Aol Mole permalink
    April 18, 2011 6:45 am

    I am coming back here after a long time and happy to see the blog is alive and kicking. I am still in Sumeru and not yet ready to leave. Still dependent on subsistence from AOL qand jai guruji.

    Good to see harshals and jacobs ranting and raving here and trying to distract people from the exposee of their toxic guru business. Harshals and Jacobs are the manifestation of extreme frustration. Their words now only reek of frustration. Harshal / Jacob says he comes here for entertainment which is a big lie. All they has is extreme frustration.

    Frustration because they could not silence the blog through threats and abuses(the three pronged stategy of Ravi Ravi did not work). Sad Swami sadyojatha and aol came out as such rowdy maniacs exposing them of their true colours.

    Frustration because this blog has hit them at the very core and bottomline.

    Frustration because the legal threat did not work. Harshal was seen trumpeting victory when the legal notice was sent but unfortunately nothing happened to this blog except that it has become even more popular and exposed AOL even more. They sent legal notices and tried to strifle freedom of speech and sharing of experience of traumatized victims of this toxic cult. They could not shut down the blog and neither could the megalomaiac narcisstic guru shut down people from talking about their experience.

    What can Harshal and Jacobs do now. They do what psychollagically immature do when they are frustrated. Abuse, scream and shout. I was shocked to read these maniacs slandering one hapless girl who had heart problems due to sudarshan kriya. You should atleast give a fair hearing.

    From an insider perspective all I can say is AOL is much more sinster and corrupt than this blog has exposed them.

    • anonymous permalink
      April 18, 2011 2:31 pm

      Thanks, Mole,

      As a former insider, I know you are right: This blog exposes only the tip of this very sinister iceberg. Good you posted again, and watch your back there.

    • Harshal permalink
      April 18, 2011 3:50 pm

      “On the otherhand, when everything indicates that the train is off course or moving in circles”

      You are more then welcome to leave the train,which you have, but you are not welcome to crib about the train because you now have no way of knowing where the train could have taken you.

      observerJr- I will be very happy if you ignore me.Lets see if you guys can do that.

      mole: why do you think that the people who started this blog are no longer posting on it?

      • Dayalu permalink
        April 19, 2011 12:55 am

        “but you are not welcome to crib about the train because you now have no way of knowing where the train could have taken you.”

        But when it is evident where the train was NOT taking us or any of our former co-passengers, it is not only our right, but also our responsibility to warn others that the claims of the train company are totally fake and also to help those who are finding it difficult to de-board the train. The train company and its die-hard fans have no right to prevent us from doing that. If they attempt to do that it is not only unethical, but also immoral and illegal

      • April 19, 2011 2:42 am

        hee hee. See my metaphor? It stretches like taffy.

    • Observer Jr. permalink
      April 18, 2011 4:50 pm

      “Good to see harshals and jacobs ranting and raving here and trying to distract people from the exposee of their toxic guru business. Harshals and Jacobs are the manifestation of extreme frustration. Their words now only reek of frustration. Harshal / Jacob says he comes here for entertainment which is a big lie. All they has is extreme frustration. ”

      So true. They are obviously very unhappy with their lives.

    • anonymous permalink
      April 18, 2011 6:25 pm

      Dear AOL Mole,

      Even if the lawsuits against the people who made this blog (I don’t know who they are actually, but I’m grateful for their courage to speak up) result in Ravi Shankar and Art of Living getting to know those blogmasters’ identities, it still leaves Guruji in a terrible position: when lawyers demand things from one party, that party gets to also demand. This is what could happen — Guruji could end up having to produce all kinds of records and even end up having to show up in court! Then all sorts of lies would have to be told, unless the awful truth(s) were allowed to be known. Knowing what you obviously know about how corrupt the whole mess is, can you imagine this? So although it’s pitiful that the people who made this blog should be sued in court, it still will hurt Art of Living and Ravi Shankar far worse. They have more to hide. Only people who have been close know just how bad it is. It’s a pity that work is so difficult to come by that you have to continue in their employ, but I think there are many like you. I’ve even heard senior teachers say they’d have no place else to go, and that they don’t even believe in Guruji anymore, but they gave up their careers, and can’t go back. Another question comes to mind: if Guruji is so omniscient as people like to claim, as he likes to claim, how come he doesn’t already know what the blogmasters’ names are? Where are the powerful siddhis he claims to have? Where are the miracles?

      Hope you keep posting when it’s safe to do so, and wishing you a new job with a normal company with kind and decent people.

      • April 18, 2011 6:47 pm

        hey guys, as someone who was never a teacher (basically my bullshit detector went off RIGHT when I was finally about to sign up for TTC…) whenever so many of you say, “only we know how bad it was” etc etc, it makes me:
        1) very curious!
        2) sort of skeptical, because it starts to sound like a secret handshake
        3) wish that all of this didn’t have to be anonymous so I didn’t have to take so much on faith AGAIN which I’m a little burned out on.

        any suggestions?

    • Anonymous permalink
      April 29, 2011 1:32 am

      Dear AOL Mole,
      You’re with Sumeru Solutions?! 🙂 Do you know that I heard first hand Bhanu didi saying, “you see I told Guruji my sons need to make a living and so Ajay will run Sumeru”. And her husband, Narsimhan, is on the board, has check writing authority, has tight control over it and runs it like his own company. Dare you use a Rupee of his money for AoL projects! But of course Sumeru was setup so that profits would go to service projects. Wakeup Sumeru-ites, you are working at meager salaries for Mr. Narsimhan. Sumeru is a slave factory. It should be called Narsimhan and Family. I will not tell you who I am, but I know Sumeru to the core.
      Same thing with Aravind exports. Same model as AOL, have people work for free, maximize revenue, it’s the best business. Should call it Ravi Shankar Pvt Ltd.
      We should all put the interview Shobha De did of Bhanu and Ravi Shankar, exposing them, on Facebook.

  12. April 18, 2011 7:27 am

    I think one of the most important things to do when leaving in organization like this is to quell the urge to find another perfect society to take its place. that will forestall the needed lesson but not eradicate the need.

    I’m as desperate as anyone for something to believe in. Perhaps more than most really. But i’m starting to think the search for truth shouldn’t rest with any group, form, representative, book, set of commandments, or leader. Not even Yogananda or Jesus or all the dead gurus it’s harder to find fault with now.

    so much of life leads me back to what I call a Dorothy moment:

    “If you go out looking for your heart’s desire and you go any further than your own backyard, well maybe you never lost it to begin with.”

    • Observer Jr. permalink
      April 18, 2011 7:17 pm

      theartofleaving –

      It’s not all bad. Most people on this blog would agree they have good things to say about AOL. Yes, there are a few that say it’s “all bad.” Just keep in mind that some have been in on the inner circle a lot more than others. I wasn’t one of these people, although I have some friends that have been in it for a long time.

      We have to be anonymous because of the dangers. There’s already been many stories of harassment and other destructive actions done to ex AOL persons. Eventually, people might be able to not be anonymous, but it’s just too dangerous right now. Wait until the day when AOL is gone after the lawsuits that await it, and then it might be safe.

      • April 18, 2011 7:47 pm

        Ok, but as long as I’m only speaking from my personal experience I’m not vulnerable to libel suits or anything right?

        Should I try to disguise myself too? Is that a basic that everyone feels is really necessary?

        BTW I’m the first to say there were a lot of great things in AoL. To be honest, it had a central place in my heart and inner life but I was only peripherally involved except when I lived at the ashram. That’s why I stayed so long and defended it to so many of my friends. I really had no idea about so much of this… I guess I just sensed it though.

        What I mean to say is that it’s really important to not just get alienated by one guru and then decide to look for some other spiritual organization that won’t disappoint you. Jesus can’t disappoint because he’s dead– but the church does a damn good job of disappointing instead. Equally silly would be to decide that “they’re all crooks”. The problem isn’t that AoL has flaws. The problem is that AoL’s flaws are ethical ones.

    • Anonymous permalink
      April 18, 2011 8:40 pm

      Dear Art Of,

      No secret handshake intended. But there is the fear that 1) being too explicit may make these people even more angry and vindictive than they are, and their capacity for revenge and punishiment is real. 2) Some of the things I might say, might actually identify me as they are that specific, and only a few people may have been present, etc. Sorry. You don’t have to take anything on faith at all. I was just sympathizing with AOL Mole, who must really be in pain, since he/she is clearly dependent upon the organization for money at this point. Still, you can surely read between the lines in much that is written on Klim’s blog and sometimes on this one. Again, proving some of these things would be impossible, as many of the people would never come forward because of legal ramifications (some things are illegal in India which are not illegal in the USA and Europe), and because they would be disgraced in their social circles and families. Suffice it to say that lots of people would be in really terrible trouble, and so SSRS et al has to stop any and all tell-alls that even begin. Hence the bogus attempt to say that it’s the copyrights the main problem. They are not. They know fully well that many people in India are doing the same thing (So Ham, said aloud, with large groups, and people doing all the breathing, etc. — it’s even posted on You Tube!) Yet those people are not being sued. So it’s about other things.

      • April 18, 2011 9:48 pm

        Thank you very much for the thoughtful answer. And also for understanding why the obscurity can seem rather obtuse to those of us not ‘in the know’!

        This whole thing is way creepier than I ever imagined. It’s hard to know what to believe but in absence of face-to-face testimonials, I guess the best thing is to start relying on one’s own instincts (even if they didn’t smell a rat right away). and mine definitely tell me there’s a lot of shady stuff underneath it all. maybe i’m better not knowing too many details and just being glad to be out.

  13. herenorthereathomenowhere permalink
    April 18, 2011 10:04 am

    @harsh-al: thanks for the comic relief.

    • Harshal permalink
      April 18, 2011 10:48 am

      @herenorthereathomenowhere: you are welcome .. pleasure is all mine…literally

  14. harshal permalink
    April 18, 2011 5:00 pm

    @Peaceful Warrior: If you all can agree that I should not post here, I will stop posting here.

    • Peaceful Warrior permalink
      April 18, 2011 6:24 pm

      @Harshal – It’s your decision – believe me, you will not be missed 😉

    • April 18, 2011 6:35 pm

      i’d love an end to the senseless back and forth and i practically just got here. Harshal, you sound like boys i used to fight with on the playground when I was 7. “I know you are but what am I”, “My guru can beat up your guru” and “you’re stupid stupid nyah nyah nyaaahh” is about the level at which you have been “not debating”.

      Harshal aren’t *you* bored by it by now?

      the point is if you believe that art of living is the only/best/most direct path to enlightenment, you are exactly the sort of fundamentalist that drove me away from the organization– and many, many others have left and will leave because of true believer crazies like yourself. And if you *don’t* believe that, then what on earth are you doing here harassing people ? Do you really, really *really* have absolutely nothing better to do?

      I find your infantile attitude shocking. But then again I’m new to my Ex status. Maybe AoL is more like you than I ever imagined.

      I speak only for myself, but I say yes please go. Your comments are, in general, completely lacking in any sort of investigation, self-reflection, analysis, or spirit of inquiry. What kind of spiritual path missed out on “Know Thyself”?

      • Peaceful Warrior permalink
        April 18, 2011 6:49 pm

        @Art of Leaving – Good job on your new blog. We’d love to have you guest post on this blog too.

  15. April 18, 2011 8:09 pm

    @PeacefulW
    Thanks again. As soon as I settle in a bit more and recover more of my critical thinking faculties, I would be honored. x

  16. Naresh permalink
    April 20, 2011 7:32 pm

    Good work Mr Mole 🙂 It is high time for some one to stand up and speak out. Eager to hear more from you 😉

  17. Chamiyaar permalink
    April 21, 2011 1:52 am

    guys, please contributye comments to this article
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/uma-viswanathan/stillness-in-the-city-tha_b_850682.html

    • Observer Jr. permalink
      April 21, 2011 4:20 am

      I tried posting, but someone from AOL or connected to AOL is not posting any of my comments…

      • Chamiyaar permalink
        April 21, 2011 3:04 pm

        I tried posting, but someone from AOL or connected to AOL is not posting any of my comments…

        that’s bcoz Ravi Shankar is GOD. are u convinced now ? 🙂

      • Adyut permalink
        April 22, 2011 2:32 am

        These days AOL is careful to post their propaganda only on sites where they can control comments.

      • April 23, 2011 6:45 am

        If the author of a post can control comments, I know Uma very well– she’s been a teacher for quite some time, a whole-hearted devotee. She might have been editing comments, who knows.

      • Peaceful Warrior permalink
        April 23, 2011 3:50 pm

        They just posted them…skeptics outnumber the believers (at least on the forum). Meditation is a good thing, and nobody will ever say it’s bad. The article is very politically correct – the skulduggery is more subversive.

  18. freeagaiin permalink
    April 23, 2011 11:12 am

    I left the Art of Living late last year. It was an incredibly heartwrenching decision, however i could not stand up for an organisation that i could see was stripping people of their true selves, in order to make them clones. Am i happier..YES!!!!

    i have even managed to get back to “my own” sadhana that i did prior to AOL…it consisted of 2 meditations (morning and night ) by two vastly different people. One of them, has a cd, which teaches pranayams and kriya breathing on it, and one is just a beautiful meditation of going from head to heart (really!!!) and again i feel the magic in my life, of just being in the flow.

    I really no longer care of the Harshals on this site, or the anonymous posters who defile the purpose of this site. For i know a true seeker will never stop searching for truth and for god. No amount of ridicule will stop them. A journey is individualistic, there is no one prescription for anyone. We will all while on the same path have different means of getting there. Those of us who are here, have seen and experienced something that we know in our heart of hearts is damaging, and we have a responsibility to speak up and speak out. that is the true purpose of this site. We have a responsibility to share our experiences so that those are are feeling and experiencing the same, know they are not alone. By the same token, those who find benefit in AOL will sing its praises, and we do not go on their websites and denigrate them. (nor do we have that opportunity i might add)

    I offer my hand out to anyone who is unsure, who has felt the insincerity of AOL, i offer you whatever i can give to help you heal, to grow and to move on. But i cannot offer you an alternative, that path you will have to find alone. I hear many of you, asking about different gurus, diffferent organisations. I can only offer you one word of advice, do not rely on anyone. Your path will become clear to you – it may take days, weeks, months or year, but you will find your path.

    For the Harshal’s of this world and those who defile this site, you do no justice for your organisation, you do no justice for a man you call your guru. You do no justice to humanity.

    Let us have our voice on our site, you have your voice on your site. It is not a competition, it is not a game. Let us heal, let those who need to heal find a space where they can, without your “hot seating” on our site.

    Respect this much. There is enough war and strife in this world. We are not here to create war, we are here to heal and to grow.

    For most us, we outgrew AOL. We saw the very things that create war and strife, within the organisation, we spoke up, no one heard, and now we are here. Leave us be in our space. We are not creating war in your space.

    Peace, Compassion and understanding, please. We are all seekers. No matter what guru we have, no matter which organisation we are in. So please respect the seekers path. Respect the journey of those who frequent this site.

    Love, Light and Blessings to EVERYONE

    • anonymous permalink
      April 23, 2011 1:49 pm

      @freeagain,

      What a lovely post. I also agree that a person has to find their own way after investigating, and that the way becomes clear after some time. And the way may change again and again. Thank you for your thoughtful and sincerely writing. It made me feel happy about this blog again.

    • Jacob permalink
      June 29, 2011 3:06 pm

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

      What a LOSER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      If someone has a bad experience at a restaurant they don’t come back to the restaurant.

      You low IQ potted plants will drone on and on about how bad it is.

      Whether you like something or hate something that something still owns you..

      ART OF LIVING OWNS ALL OF YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Jr. permalink
        June 29, 2011 3:28 pm

        wow Jacob, you’ve flooded this whole blog with spam. Thank you for providing more proof that this organization makes people mentally unstable. Your comments continue to damage AOL and keep people away. Thank you for your service.

      • Anonymous permalink
        June 29, 2011 7:32 pm

        LOL :). See the way he screams

        “ART OF LIVING OWNS ALL OF YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”..

        Typical cult member 🙂

  19. April 25, 2011 6:25 am

    Great News for AOL.
    Satya Sai Baba is no more.
    Ravi Baba should be really happy. New business opportunity. Try to capture as many as Sai Baba followers.

    • Dayalu permalink
      April 25, 2011 4:55 pm

      That is going to be a tough tough sell. Sai baba, although controversial godman, has a very effective trust that does some real seva. Unlike AOL , they do spend some money on charity, beyond what is needed for media attention. The hospital and many of the educational institutions they run par excellence, are things that are impossible for AOL to emulate.

      • Peaceful Warrior permalink
        April 26, 2011 1:15 am

        I think Sai Baba’s case shows that at least in India, if you are a popular godman, with political connections, no one can touch you. At least in Sai Baba’s case the controversy was about miracles being passed off as siddhis, but it was never about corruption (at least in public knowledge) – and was never labelled as a cult. Either you had faith in him, or not – there was no hardsell, and if you did, you were not manipulated into making your life and career secondary to guru service.

        I don’t think AOL can attract the large number of people Sai Baba did. It will always be spirituality for the people with too much money and who need direction in life.

  20. anonymous permalink
    April 26, 2011 12:10 am

    Ravi Charlatan can’t even retain his own followers. They are leaving on mass. Ravi is begging everyone to join him in Berlin, to glorify him & feed his insatiable ego!

  21. Chamiyaar permalink
    April 26, 2011 1:39 pm

    Hallelujah ! Ravi Shankar is predicting the incarnation of the charlatan Sathya Sai ! You will have to wait twenty four years to see if this comes true

    In a message from Germany, Ravi Shankar said, “Baba will be born in Mandya after six years and he will come into public life when he turns 18 years old”.

    http://www.deccanherald.com/content/156771/art-living-pays-homage-satya.html

    http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/the-art-of-living-pays-homage-to-satya-sai-baba/662444.html

    • goneagain permalink
      April 27, 2011 2:30 am

      Oh sure wait for another twenty five year, he doesn’t want the competition right away. His hope is those poor baba devotees might see him in good light now and come to him.

    • April 27, 2011 3:16 am

      It is sad to think that Sai Baba will come back so soon. He fooled his followers with magic tricks and molested and raped his male disciples. I am not thrilled about him coming back. I don’t think the world needs another round of the Sai Baba circus.

    • James permalink
      April 28, 2011 5:04 pm

      Ravi’s prediction of Sathya Sai’s rebirth opens an excellent opportunity for a cunning young Indian couple to cash in. Relocate to Mandya, give birth to a male kid in 5 years, and train him in Hindu scriptures. In 25 years, you will be gain control a multibillion-dollar trust !

    • Peaceful Warrior permalink
      April 28, 2011 6:51 pm

      Looks like the village has already started preparations 🙂

      http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bangalore/Prema-Sai-will-be-born-in-Doddamalur/articleshow/8102665.cms

      “What has lent credence to claims of people of the Vaishnava sect temples of Aprameya (Vishnu) and Ambegalu Krishna (toddler Krishna) is based on a book `Sri Sathya Sai — Anandasai’ authored by one Swami, an ardent devotee of Sai Baba. In that, he claims that the godman, during his visit to Doddamalur, had told him that Sai Baba had three avatars in kalyug, and of them, he is the second avatar (reincarnation) of Shirdi Sai Baba. The third will be Prema Sai and he will be born in this village. He also claims that Baba, during his visit in the ’60s, showed a small house where he will be born. “

  22. Shanti permalink
    April 27, 2011 9:21 am

    Looks like all the gurus want to capitalize on the publicity of Sai Baba’s high flying funeral. Even good ol Nithy had gone to his funeral:
    http://www.ndtv.com/article/cities/cold-reception-for-swami-nithyananda-at-puttaparthi-101856

  23. April 28, 2011 3:03 pm

    In Hindi a saying ‘ Chor Chor Mousere Bhai’.
    i.e. chor – thief, mousere bhai – cousin
    Ravi, Satya Baba, Nithi, Asaram, Amma bhagwan all are A grade thieves of India.

  24. Anonymous permalink
    April 29, 2011 3:41 am

    Ravi Shankar & Family Pvt Ltd. are running a company which is tax free where slaves work for free or with minimum wages, and the trustee’s are his family members, financial assets and check writing privileges are with his family members. I wish I would write to the full time teachers.
    Dear Bhushan, Jani, et al,
    Go and see the home Ajay Tejasvi lives in and the other homes he owns. Go and see the assets which he owns, the trusts and boards he is a member of. Look at Aravind, the companies he owns and amount of wealth he is amassing. They along with Bhanu didi are celebrities, royal family, devis. You have given up your careers and lives to become a family servant! Wake up!

  25. Anonymous permalink
    April 29, 2011 7:05 am

    Ravi Shankar is setting targets for each region for BERLIN event just like a CEO. And just like a CEO he goes to each region and asks for a report on the performance, whether it’s Berlin, # of people taught, $$ revenue generated. In LA he asked bay area folks how many people have registered, the leads said 300-400, and he almost reprimanded them by saying it should have been 1600 by now! Probably made the leads sweat and get into feverish action. I was stunned! Now tell me, does that sound like an enlightened master to you? This is the opposite of what scriptures say is spirituality. The Gita said do your 100% and drop the result, don’t be attached to a result. The Guru is setting a number, just like a politician or a corporate head for each region. I am shocked! And even more shocked that bay area team lead by Neelam Madaik is getting into this feverishness to achieve her Guru’s target!!! Truly hollow empty so that they can be brain washed, that’s why it’s a cult.

  26. Ex- Chennai teacher permalink
    April 30, 2011 3:34 am

    Anonymous all teachers and volunteers throughout the world have been given targets and are under pressure to bring maximum numbers to Berlin. Chennai teachers have been asked to work to get a minimum of 500 people, this puts stress and tension on teachers and volunteers alike.

    I have left AOL after the Nada Vaibhavam when it dawned upon me that the whole objective of that event was to glorify the Guru and fan his ego. The whole event was badly organized and suffered huge financial losses, it did not meet the objective of raising funds to set up the school, dedicated volunteers and teachers worked tirelessly with the misconception that they were doing seva when in actual fact they were slaves toiling for the name and fame of the Guru.The senior teacher and co-ordinator of Chennai, Mr G is a egocentric maniac – has an ego as big as his Master.

    I am fortunate to leave when I did- endured too much of crap, hypocrisy, favoritism, backbiting etc etc in the organization, it’s not a charitable trust as it claims to be but a full fledged corporate body, only difference is that employees are paid forvtheir services whereas in AOL they are mindless slaves toiling tobenrich the master and his family.

  27. Chamiyaar permalink
    April 30, 2011 11:22 pm

    See what AOL does to you. Prestigious IIT graduates Bawa and Dinesh have founded a network marketing firm to sell soap.

    http://www.prakritinetwork.com/about_us
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=16564033150

    Prakriti Network is founded by Dinesh Ghodke and Khurshed Batliwala, both graduates from the prestigious IIT – Mumbai, to create a brilliant blend of business and spirituality.

    The company was founded with the vision to give opportunities to individuals to pave their way to financial freedom, and support them to realize their dreams and live a lifestyle of their choice.

    The company aims at marketing quality products which promote holistic health and beauty, are ecologically sound and preferably made in India.

    Prakriti Network is committed to contribute a percentage of its profit to support Community Service Projects.

    http://wisdomfromsrisriravishankar.blogspot.com/2011/03/you-are-here-for-others.html

    Q: Guruji, how to maintain the purity of teaching Yoga in today’s commercial world?

    Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: First of all we shouldn’t blame the world and we should not blame the cause. Purity of Yoga is there when your intention is clear, you are here to serve. If you count that there are twenty people and I will get this much money, if you think that then it can spoil the purity. That is why we have kept our courses in such a way that the teacher gets a very little amount to cover whatever expenses are there. You know you are doing it as a service and you are keeping a charge because without any charges people don’t value it and of course you need some finances to make arrangements like the durries and the microphone and all this stuff. So if your intention is pure, if you are financially and otherwise okay and this is only an added support or income to you then it is okay but if you are thinking only on these lines that I want to make money out of teaching yoga then your whole attitude is changed.

    Just imagine a school teacher is teaching the children only to get money and not to see that the students are passing or they should get better. A teacher comes for tuition for an hour and he keeps looking at the watch then within fifteen minutes he runs away, what is the quality of such a teacher. So there is no individual, personal attention that is given, so if the commercial thing doesn’t enter your mind then you are there for the cause, you are there for others.

    • freeOne permalink
      May 2, 2011 1:43 pm

      What this says is the “inner circle” is doing really well, making money, having great life style and investing on stocks, bonds, businesses for “secure their future” while getting free labor from gullible. If anyone still doubts these (including AOL) are not corporate companies then it is hard to wake them up. Hope these free up some more minds.

    • freeOne permalink
      May 2, 2011 1:54 pm

      Attn: To all AOL devotes (& Harshal), here is the great opportunity to donate to Mr. Bawa(n) Mr. Dinesh coffers. Please follow the steps below. Sure to receive blessings in return – Good luck.

      Steps to register as an Individual Representative (IR)

      Make a DD of Rs. 7200 payable in Mumbai in the name of Prakriti Network India Pvt. Ltd. Note the DD Number.
      Decide who is going to be your immediate upline and get their IR number.
      Note the number of any one of the following personal ID proofs:
      Driving license, PAN card, Voter’s ID or Passport and keep it ready.
      Register yourself at http://www.prakritinetwork.com using the above info and obtain your own IR number. This registration will give you grey status which will be maintained for a period of 2 months, after which if you have not got green status you will lose your position in the referral program.
      Clearly print your full name and your IR number on the back of the DD.
      Post/courier the DD to:

      Prakriti Network India Pvt. Ltd.,
      Diashine exports,
      2504, 25th floor, Panchratna, Opera house,
      Mumbai 400004

      Also, Send to the address given above, a self-attested (self signed) copy of the personal ID proof (Driving license, PAN card, Voter’s ID or Passport) with your IR number mentioned on it.
      Once your DD is cashed, you will be granted green status.
      Note that you may start to add people under you in the referral program even when you have grey status.

      Click here to download these instructions.

      • Dayalu permalink
        May 3, 2011 2:11 am

        Behind the scenes, AOL has always been a multilevel marketing network.

        I remember the days when I was new to AOL. Around the same time I was roped into Amway too, for less than about six months. I was amazed by the similarities between the two :
        -Blindly follow the system, no questioning.
        -Herd mentality
        -Talk of all this high energy, low energy stuff.
        -Sharing of experiences
        – Create hype around each and everything

        But I was carried away by all the spiritual bliss& seva aspects of AOL and got sold to the idea that as long as the end is noble, means don’t matter. Now I find it so farcical.

      • Observer Jr. permalink
        May 3, 2011 3:11 am

        Speaking of Harshal/Corrector/Fred, I’m glad he’s gone. This place is so much nicer with him away.

      • Peaceful Warrior permalink
        May 3, 2011 11:53 am

        You spoke too soon….The Attack of the Clones cometh.

      • Anonymous permalink
        May 3, 2011 1:50 pm

        Darn, should have kept my mouth shut. This whole place is flooded with AOL spam.

    • Peaceful Warrior permalink
      May 2, 2011 2:42 pm

      AOL has been selling ayurveda medicines, incense and cosmetics for years now. This is nothing new.

      It is not a blend of business and spirituality – it is a business. As long as people are clear about it, it is fine. They need to make a living, and if they sell you what you need at the price you like, good for both of you. That is how markets work. But it is dangerous to assume that just because it is a “spiritual” company, the soap is better – other wise you end up being the sucker again and again.

      I think it is better to say upfront that while you are a teacher, you also need to make a living for yourself – instead of claiming you that you do everything out of need to help others, while secretly craving for money and the comfort it brings.

      It is not that AOL has suddenly discovered the problem of living one’s spirituality in the world. Humankind has struggled with it for millennia. Those of us, who live in the real world, wrestle with these questions daily – how to put our spirituality in daily life – how to make a living, but yet not harm the planet or others. It is what makes us human. Alas, most of us don’t claim to be above all this or claim we are whiter than others. Surprisingly, it is the so called “spiritual organizations” that commit more ethical lapses.

    • Anon2 permalink
      May 3, 2011 11:47 am

      “That is why we have kept our courses in such a way that the teacher gets a very little amount to cover whatever expenses are there.”

      There is another reason which Ravi has not elaborated. It has to do with simple arithmetic. If teacher gets more, Ravi’s markup goes down. Who will then pick tab for his first class travel and five star accommodations? How will he buy diamonds for his sister, his mother and his assorted relatives? Where will he get seed capital for Inwex Pharma, and Sumeru group of companies? How will he sponsor expensive foreign education for his doting nephews? And don’t forget the people from his inner circle. Many of them know much more than they should. Buying their silence doesn’t come cheap.

      “You know you are doing it as a service and you are keeping a charge because without any charges people don’t value it and of course you need some finances to make arrangements like the durries and the microphone and all this stuff. So if your intention is pure, if you are financially and otherwise okay and this is only an added support or income to you then it is okay but if you are thinking only on these lines that I want to make money out of teaching yoga then your whole attitude is changed.”

      Funny he mentions some finances to make arrangements like the durries and the microphone and all this stuff. I have been witness to many bitter mudslingings at Bawa’s house at 5 Gardens in Dadar over accusations of inflated logistic bills among teachers. It was funny and pathetic at the same time. Teachers would form their small groups and would gossip about teachers in the other group. Everyone bitched about everyone else of submitting inflated vouchers. Barring a few newbie teachers practically everyone was doing such manipulations and everyone knew that everyone was doing it.

      In fact I don’t grudge teachers getting paid for their services. If Ravi needs to get paid, so do his volunteers and teachers. The problem is that Ravi wants to control all the money himself leaving very little for his volunteers and teachers. He runs the boards of all his charitable trusts with an iron hand. Anyone showing even a slight deviation from the party line and asking for transparency is immediately accused of “doubting the master” by other members of the board and is promptly shown the door. Many young idealists get trapped by his sweet talks of one world family and stress free world etc. and start imagining that they are playing some very important role in some momentous crusade of historical importance about saving the world etc. By the time they realize the truth, the world has moved on. Many of them are past the crucial age at which they should have started their career and their life. Having squandered some of the most productive years of their life, now they don’t want to stand in queue with people ten years their junior competing for the same job. They reconcile to their situation in life and then try to earn a living out of AOL courses by making petty manipulations here and there knowing fully well that they are on the payroll only till the pleasure of the master. If they are lucky, they get to live at the ashram and at least get free food. Otherwise they are left to their fate.

      • May 4, 2011 2:59 am

        Well said! Great post.

  28. Aeon permalink
    May 3, 2011 12:08 pm

    “In YSS, all I was supposed to do was sign a pledge that I will not share the course material with anyone and even my wife has not seen the course material. ”

    Isn’t this the same as not disclosing Kriya materials? You all who want to defame AOL are after Guruji like scavengers. You are being a hypocrite and frankly your post makes no sense. Why I am reading through this blog? Its because Its my duty to defend my Guruji regardless of the fact that anything will pass through any of your thick skulls.

    I have had instances of Guruji hearing my prayers and helping me countless of times. If he wasn’t there for me when I needed him, I would be miserable right now. He has guided me and protected me..you all are very unlucky and disrespectful people.
    You can tell your personal experiences, but cannot label a person you dont know.
    If he was a wrong person, then God would have punished him by now and his organization wouldn’t be growing day by day.
    May God give you some sense or help you all get a life.
    Jay Guru Dev!

  29. The Meditator permalink
    May 3, 2011 2:59 pm

    1) What is spirituality? Is it something restricted to a particular Guru? Or is it that only those people who follow a particular guru spiritual? What about the countless millions who do not even know about spirituality and do not believe in any Guru? Are they all doomed and never achieve salvation (or rather be freed from the cycle of death and birth)?

    2) What if a person follows a particular Guru and decides to leave and either join some other Guru or rather not follow any Guru at all? Is it a big crime? I remember that when I had first joined AOL and was after that trying to convince people to join the AOL basic course, the teacher had remarked (when some people went on AOL bashing spree) not to try to convince them, as the Guru himself draws his disciples. Why then is it so difficult to accept if people decide to leave. Or is it only a one way ticket. I think we should all “ACCEPT PEOPLE AS THEY ARE”.

    3) Why do AOLers get perturbed by anything posted against them. They are the truly enlightened ones and true followers of the Guru (Read the beautiful language used by Bawa and Dinesh on their blogs) or for that matter something posted by AEON – (Why I am reading through this blog? Its because Its my duty to defend my Guruji regardless of the fact that anything will pass through any of your thick skulls.). AOL teaches – “DO NOT BE A FOOTBALL OF OTHER’s OPINIONS”. So why do the true followers even bother about us lesser souls?

    4) I think AOL does not teach anything about humbleness, gratitude, love, forgiveness etc and that’s the reason pro-AOLers are generally not aware of these things. Does anyone remember a PAID course from AOL which teaches these such things? Maybe these guys are working on it and will start teaching once they have a PATENT for the same.

    5) A true Guru – disciple relationship is where there is unconditional love from both sides for each other. I can see that in the pro-AOLers who post statements on this site or elsewhere against those who utter anything negative about AOL. Good. Excellent. That’s how it should be and one should always be proud of his/her own Guru Lineage. However, I am still do not know who SSRS’s Guru is/was?

    6) I fully agree with Aeon that – “If he was a wrong person, then God would have punished him by now and his organization wouldn’t be growing day by day.”. What is the take of AOLers on Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Osho, Swami Nithyanand, Param Pujya Asaram Bapu, Paramhansa Yogananda and a lot of other Gurus. Are they all good or are they all bad? God has also not punished Dawood Ibrahim and does nothing for the politicians of the world. So we should all start following them because GOD has not punished them and so by your definition they are all Good. In fact until just day before yesterday I was thinking of joining the Al-Qaeda and taking up arms because GOD had not punished Osama Bin Laden and thus he was a role model for me to follow :-). Anyways realization dawned on me before I could go on the wrong path.

    I am in no way comparing SSRS to Osama nor am I against him as a person. I respect him for what he has done for the world. But somehow I cannot connect with the the functioning style of AOL (not SSRS). I think we should all believe in “live and let live” and respect people for what they are, rather than being a football of other’s opinion.

    • Prairie Princess permalink
      May 4, 2011 4:04 am

      I do believe God had punished Osama now. Question- why do the pro-AOL ranters on this site come over as raving lunatics? I remember a course point that said “accept people as they are”. Some people have a negative experience with AoL, some people object to the abuse and manipulation of some of the senior people, some people are concerned and question the dubious accounting practices of the charitable contributions of AoL. The pro-AoL-ites have an opportunity to accept these people exactly as they are. Or are they afraid to do that because deep down they themselves aren’t so pro-Aol and have their own doubts?

    • Aeon permalink
      May 4, 2011 6:29 am

      A person believe in live and let live or believing in accepting the people , situation or places doesn’t publicly defame a person they don’t know and more-over lets the AOL people stay in peace…If you don’t like it then you would shut up and do your own work.
      Every human being reacts when something bad is being said about the thing they like.
      If I say some pretty nasty things about your country, how would you feel?
      If I diss your family, calling you all a bunch of fraud’s descendents, then won’t you try to denfend it..if you don’t then you are either an enlightened sage who forgives everyone or you are admitting the fact that what i say about you is true.
      Talking about the punishment of Bin-Laden…publicly hitting someone in the face is not the only punishment is it?
      Think about the suffering of Laden, hiding from the world in an unknown place, being searched and hated by 90% of the world population. Put your self in that position and think how would you be reacting? Its a fun ride, is it?
      People who have respect for AOL and Guruji are humans as well and thus we react when someone publicly disses our family.
      As for the intake on other spiritual organization, each individual has their own way how they see things and as for me personally, go anywhere you want doesn’t matter and no one really cares.
      Haters like you are present everywhere. You are trying to defame AOL and there are countless of people trying to get Baba Ramdev, Osho, Shivananda Baba (calling him brainwasher), even non spiritual people like Obama (now what has he done wrong, he’s no bush). Just because you have ‘A Oh So Self Proclaimed Great and Exposing Blog” doesn’t make you anything or prove anything. On the contrary it just shows how jealous you bunch of people are ..its like “why didn’t I come up with AOL first”
      If you hate the organization, stick to hating it..not posting out its course materials….even if one person does the course through fraudulent ways the credit still goes to AOL, you will never be mentioned anywhere.
      This is not a Beyond AOL blog, this is a blog for those stuck-up people who can’t seem to make or meet new people, its for those who is hated by all and thus want to practice AOL teaching in private cause they are not men enough to face people.
      All you people so desperately want the long kriya and meditation tapes, if Guruji is teaching you so called hyperventilation techniques, why do you willingly want to practice it on your own and “hyperventilate”.?
      All your incoherent ramblings make no sense to me. It is you all who are opening a cult here.
      As for secrets, each organization has it. Shivananda Baba does not let anyone tape his Sanjeevani kriya…and there is a special technique to each leader which shouldn’t be done without their blessing. As far as I know, only Baba Ramdev is transparent because he teaches all Yoga techniques.
      No one will legally support you in this anti AOL campaign, all they can do here is just make fun for pro-AOL people and say nasty things about AOL and go on a “quest” to desperately search long kriya tapes.
      I have been in AOL more than 5 yrs and never once have I been asked for ‘donation’ to repeat the courses or been text messaged daily for donations or to bring new members to the courses. When ever an event or celebration is taking place, I am informed and that’s about it. I don’t know where you come up with all these ‘donation’ non-sense.
      most of you here are just haters, you know those people who randomly hate things, and have not even been to AOL.
      Rest In Peace.
      I won’t be seeing this any longer. I have made my point.

    • anonymous permalink
      May 5, 2011 7:08 pm

      But Gee! Doesn’t SSRS look just like Osama Bin Laden in some of the pics???? It always amazed me how similar they can look. 😉

  30. Aeon permalink
    May 4, 2011 6:36 am

    Just one last thing. About Kriya Yog, it is not mentioned anywhere because it is an ancient and really dangerous technique which should only be done in the presence of a guru…the fact that you know it exists is evidence enough of its leaked information.

  31. Prakash permalink
    May 4, 2011 8:38 am

    @Aeon:

    “A person believe in live and let live …….. lets the AOL people stay in peace…”

    Sorry to know that you were forced on gun point to read this blog.

    My sincere request to blog-owners: If AOL people want to stay in peace, let them be. Please do not force AOL people (as you seem to have done with Mr. Aeon) to visit this blog.

    “Every human being reacts when something bad is being said about the thing they like.”

    Really? You mean even those who teach that one should not become football of other people’s opinions actually get affected by others opinions? Difficult to believe.

    “People who have respect for AOL and Guruji are humans as well and thus we react when someone publicly disses our family.”

    So? You have now reacted by your comments. It is even. What more do you want?

    “…if Guruji is teaching you so called hyperventilation techniques, why do you willingly want to practice it on your own and “hyperventilate”.?”

    Because we ought your guru’s knowledge by paying him money. Now whether we use it or discard it is up to us. Why is it so difficult to understand?

    “All your incoherent ramblings make no sense to me.”

    On the other hand, your ramblings do make sense to me. They follow a very recognizable pattern.

    “all they can do here is just make fun for pro-AOL people and say nasty things about AOL and go on a “quest” to desperately search long kriya tapes.”

    You are unnecessarily trying to glamorize it. You don’t have to go on a “quest” to search long kriya tapes. Make a Google search and at any time you will get half a dozen working torrent links. To be quite frank, I have downloaded it and saved it on my pen drive. Though I don’t have any more any intention to hyperventilate, I still some time play it to get a hearty laugh at the people who believe this crap to be sacred.

    “I won’t be seeing this any longer. I have made my point.”

    Actually, you will be coming here again. Whenever I find someone making a comment that he will no longer visit a site, I know for sure that he will visit. If for nothing else, at least to see the replies to his comment. We have seen many AOLers (including Harshal) who claimed that they won’t visit this blog again, but they came back – to get their peace disturbed, as you say.

  32. Jacob permalink
    June 29, 2011 2:06 am

    You have the IQ of a Wet Pea.

    For die-hard AOL people please read: Autobirography of a Yogi….Yada Yada Yada..

    Let me tell you the educated AOL folks have read: Yogananda, Vivekananda and all about Advaita Vedanta..Meaning the Upanishads, Brahma Sutras, Bhagavad Gita etc…

    They don’t need to be told what to read by emotionally unstable no nothings.

    Keep mumbling and stumbling…

    We wish you well 🙂

  33. Bhavesh Tank permalink
    March 1, 2012 11:55 am

    I have read most of them. Have gone through the experience from the various spiritual organizations / Gurus. Found my niche when I meet SSRS. But I don’t believe in cursing the organizations I have passed through. Rather I have a respect for them as they have acted as the stepping stone for me in my journey on spirituality. So my view is that if one is the real seeker than he/she will not be judgmental by the outer imperfections. I am deeply influnced by the Guruji’s words ” Don’t try to find Krishn. Just be Arjun, Krishna will follow you” . Every path / Guru have their own significance and every one will find solace according to the level of their intellect. So there is no point to blame some one just because they are not fitting to our level of intellect.

  34. sadhana permalink
    May 2, 2012 4:42 am

    Hi der,visited this site after a long time..still same arguments…nothing concrete..I agree with you Bhavesh..
    About shri Shri’s comments about marketing & making money mentioned in the article,he has said that in his usual style.It’s not said seriously. Author may not be aware of his way of commenting & answering questions.3 years is too short time in any organization.
    And about Shri Shri mentioning in Ashtavakra geeta Sk is crap…This itself shows auhor has not understood it..One has to be on any spiritual path and read Ashtavakra several times,then one will know what shri Shri means when he makes such comments.Reading mght be one aspect of gaining information but what one really is ‘sadhana’ with devotion.
    went through articles about tone of the blog..Doctor,you seem to be a true seeker.Your attempt, if it really is to discuss real problems in organization and make it better,it’s really sumthing one should appreciate..only problem seem to be people from Aol who are responding in writing are immature..I am sure there are many more sincere seekers in AOL who have had spiritual experiences & achieved true spiritual growth under guidance of master.and am sure many of them are visiting these sites.only problem is none of them is sharing..AOL devotees should come out with their inner experiences of SK..Volunteers shd share their true problems..There are sum really old teachers who have shared their experiences here.We can make this a platform for healthy discussion insteade of just backlashing on each other..
    and about Navchetana,if my information is right,recently AOL has offered a course for rural areas and slums dat includes SK..not sure about name of the course..but its fee is only rs. 100 in India.
    Harshal,I request you to stop reacting emotionally.We understand your love for Guruji.but use your knowledge .Don’t react but respond..

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