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The Origins and Truth Behind AoL Knowledge and Practices

May 22, 2011

by Anonymous

Dear Ones,

there is an ancient mantra called “Hamsa” with several meanings and great depth that will require a paper. Hamsa later became Soham. Here I just want to stress that a method for Soham breathing is ancient, the control of incoming and outgoing breath. It is NOT something invented by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. There is no harm in this practice, it has been done for thousands of years, as a pranayama. And pranayama purifies mind and emotions, it has been said – this is nothing new. The problem is that SSRS made his own version and patented it. In fact even he can’t repeat the same pattern of breathing, each time he does it live it’s different. A LOT of people hyper ventilate which gives them a high. When a new tape came out a few years ago, it was shorter, and abrupt I think, and it did not give people that “high” as the original tape. So it was recalled. Soham or pranayama is not meant to give you a high. It is an artificial elevation feeling that can be harmful.

In Kriya Yoga the “Hamsa” doesn’t have the 3 circles, just one length. Here you see this website which has the Soham online practise, and all you want to know about Soham. Yoga is not meant to be patented and made money on by an individual – an enlightened person will never do so.

http://www.swamij.com/index.htm

I also want to say one thing. I have studied the Vedas and other hindu scriptures and then heard some commentaries by SSRS. I just want you to be aware of what I have found. As far as literal translation is concerned it’s fine. A lot of the implied meaning he is giving is WRONG. Also, he does NOT know the implied meaning in most cases nor does he connect the dots in analyzing the text. Why do we have to go to a Guru? not because we have to know the literal translation or meaning, but because a master knows the implied meaning. He learnt it from his master and this has been an endless chain of master-disciple in Hindu tradition. Going to SSRS will NOT, I repeat will NOT give you the full implied meaning or may give you the WRONG meaning. He is so insecure that’s why he doesn’t want his disciples to go and listen to anyone else. I dare you to read, listen and compare notes with other masters on the Upanishads, Bhagavad & Ashtavakra Gita. Most masters will be on one side and SSRS on the other. Like I said his literal translation is fine, but most of implied meaning is missing or incomplete. This is a GREAT disservice to the Hindu Dharma, a sin in fact. If you have not learnt from your master, please don’t become a master. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a good Pandit, priest, and he was one for his Guru, just a Pandit. So he is good at Pujas, Sanskrit, Devi, Devatas, and that category. When it’s come to true knowledge he fails. I have seen he will read knowledge from other masters and then come and speak on it. Well anyone can do that!

He has come as a savior for a lot of weak people, ignorant people, and made them happy. But that to at a large cost. Most of these people are then spending a lot of their money, time, energy on AoL and have an addiction to Guruji. He has become their walking stick and they depend their lives on them.

He has brought a lot of values, Dharma, and goodness out of people. So many have been able to learn these and get into Yoga, rather than bad habits or depression.

However; he is extremely commercial and his personal fallacies of ego gratification, power, fame, money, greed, are over shadowing the benefits he initially brought. He is at putting on an act and charming people. His public and private image are opposite. However; only the truly devoted ones, who’s mind has lost all discrimination, get to see his personal side. He is a very good CEO, and even better politician in private.

He claims you get an experience here in AoL that you won’t get in other orgs. yes it is true, but that you can also get from another Tantric master, the highest path is that of Knowledge. That he is an incarnation of Adi Shankara, Christ, Buddha, Krishna, etc. and all that as come together, devotion, knowledge, service, after thousands of years. See I think one should use some common sense and not get deluded and go wakko. Don’t you think? How about just using your Vivek, discriminatory powers, and see if a business like organization, with politician type tactics can classify as a combination of the saints mentioned above. Do you really think Christ, Buddha, Adi Shankara, Krishna, ran or would run an organization like AoL? Don’t loose your common sense and blank out your discrimination and listen to things like “He is God walking on earth” – that is not normal you see. It is harmful for you.

So yes, do Service, Yoga, Prayers – devotion, Knowledge – all has been there for thousands of years and will continue. Pay attention to – the MESSAGE – not the messenger. A true messenger will keep himself as little a factor as possible, invisible, so you can focus on inner realization. For the Kingdom of God is WITHIN you.

With love,

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32 Comments
  1. The Doctor permalink
    May 22, 2011 8:39 pm

    A very well written and revealing post, thank you for sharing your view with us.

  2. Meditator permalink
    May 22, 2011 9:04 pm

    WOW what a post. Simply brilliant.

  3. stupidseeker permalink
    May 23, 2011 4:45 am

    India will always remain a god dependent society as opposed to a self dependent one

    • Peaceful Warrior permalink
      May 23, 2011 5:18 am

      Are’nt both the same ?

      • stupidseeker permalink
        May 23, 2011 6:27 am

        Well. The Gods certainly arent going to come and clean up the garbage in our rivers and streets for one. We cud chant mantras and do yagnas for the mext ten million years and im, not so sure that malnutrition poverty and illiteracy wud vanish.The west certainly doesnt have the unbroken tradition of spirituality and religious insight that we claim to have. But despite this lack they seem to have a public sanitation system that works, while our God dependent scoiety doesnt have one worth its name

      • Peaceful Warrior permalink
        May 24, 2011 2:28 pm

        The point of having faith, is that it gives you hope, self-belief, serenity and irrational confidence that is necessary to move mountains. Like patience, faith is good when you are actively engaged, not so good when you are sitting passively.

        Lots of people live their lives without having faith, and that is perfectly okay. But spirituality is a strength of Indian culture, not it’s weakness. The weakness is sloth.

  4. vijay khambati permalink
    May 23, 2011 6:07 am

    i agree with your analysis and your observations on the tactics of ravi shankar…..it is indeed a sad commentary on the commercialisation of tantric powers…

    in a chat with one of his “possessed” followers i mentioned that spiritual knowledge was always meant to be free to which she retorted that ravi shankar also conducts free courses of aol for poor people!!!…ha ha ha…she has been brain-washed into ignoring the fact that the organisation collects big money for the same free knowledge from slaves so that the Master can globe-trot in first class!!..
    a classic case of a wonky guru giving rise to wonky logic and wonky followers…

    it’s a marvel that he is able to control so many people who are otherwise reasonably intelligent in their own professional fields….that’s the power of tantra,i guess!!…

    i have seen an avid devotee of aol being ecstatic at receiving an sms ostensibly from the guru….she shared it with me….all that the sms said was how great the Master is (likening himself to the Ocean)….for a non-believer like me it sounded like a brash promotional message from this presumptuous guy who is interested only in constantly advertising about himself…for the mesmerised follower,this self-touting sms from the Master created ecstasy!!!….
    on a similar note,i know of an indian couple where the wife is so subservient to her husband (her Master) that even a smile from him towards her sends her into an ecstasy…
    hordes of people must have felt elated when Hitler smiled at them and shook hands with them….
    such is the power of tantra which catapults the practitioner to a position of immense power….
    as a philosopher guru of mine used to say: “beware of the tantric”…

    i have read ravi shankar’s self-proclaimed “unique commentary” on Ashtavakra Gita….i found it speaking more on the benefits of aol courses and sudarshan kriya than seriously explaining the interactive dialogue itself…
    regarding the “literal translation” that you speak about: even there,ravi shankar makes a hash of the real facts….in one of the chapters he confuses between what Ashtavakra says and what Janaka says…ravi shankar attributes the speech to the wrong person and even unashamedly explains it from the wrong person’s point of view!!!!…when i mentioned it to a blind follower,he said it surely must be a typographic error….when i said i could prove it was not just a typo error,he said i should rise above these petty details about the Ashtavakra Gita and just believe in the Guru….when i wrote to ravi shankar about it,he said i should read the scripture over and over and over,and all my confusions will disappear!!!…ha ha ha….i have not stopped laughing ever since at this joker and his hilarious behaviour….

    • Anonymous permalink
      May 23, 2011 10:39 pm

      (I am the Anonymous who wrote the post)
      The topic of Tantra and Tantric / Tantrik Gurus is very interesting. I wonder how many followers of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar are educated about Tantra and Tantric practices/techniques/methods.
      The problem is also that most people are ignorant about Hinduism (Sanatan Dharma) and therefore can’t make out who and what is authentic.
      If you see the definition of Tantra or tantric, then yes, SSRS is a Tantric and Kriya is a Tantra.
      Weak people can easily come under the whip of Tantric powers.
      Tantra in it’s authentic form may not be bad but it’s not for me. For me the word “Tantric” equates to “Run!” 🙂

      There are so many Gurus, babas, swamis, etc. with powers in India.
      In my small village in Tamil Nadu also you will find them. My aunt’s Guru is a powerful Yogi with several Siddhis, yogic powers – unbelievable ones. There are Tantrics with amazing mystical powers. People are so amazed at powers. As Gods can have powers so can Demons. So if someone has a Siddhi, Tantric power it depends who it is, Saint or Asura 🙂 meaning someone having a powerful ego, powerful arrogance, powerful greed, jealously, desire, hate, anger, etc.

      If someone has an Ego they are definitely not enlightened, for in enlightenment the ego is dead. The highest path is that of Knowledge.

      • PasserBy permalink
        May 24, 2011 3:32 am

        Wow, good to know magic is so common in India. Here is an opportunity for one of these “tantriks” to help out the poor – in fact RaviRavi can do it too, and then claim to help out the poor while aol keeps most of the money. whichever way, ask anyone of them to win the challenge first:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Randi_Educational_Foundation#The_One_Million_Dollar_Paranormal_Challenge
        This has been around for a long time – I wonder why no one has used their “powers” to win it, yet?

      • Anoop permalink
        May 24, 2011 3:40 am

        now both pro- and anti aol posters seem on the same side to me…

      • anonymous permalink
        May 24, 2011 11:36 am

        Dear Anon (who wrote the original post)

        thank you for repeating what I’ve been posting all over this board! It seems most of Ravi Shankar’s followers don’t understand or want to believe that what they are feeling around him, all that energy, is the result of his practices which have, by natural law, given him certain siddhis. And you are so right — it’s difficult to know if one such with these powers is asura (demon) or deva (God) like. In his case, I know from personal experience that he is the asura version. He becomes furious if you disagree with him, turning red in the face and makes threats of all sorts. He is petty and selfish and puts on a huge act for the public. He is proud of fooling them, also.

        I’ll repeat what I’ve posted here in the past: He told me personally, long back, in a private conversation that he had “control over the bodies and minds of several hundred people the world over. They have less than 70-80 percent of their own thinking and feelings anymore…..” He looked very pleased with himself, and expected me to feel pleased as well! I was horrified. I knew of the siddhi involved (these things are written of in many scriptures) and found it utterly disgusting that he was using people to do his bidding and was proud of it. I began to inspect my own feelings and thoughts and noticed I had developed certain tastes that I had never had, certain habits, etc., which I immediately realized, from close contact with him, were actually his. I began to pull away, but it was not that easy, as he would see it happening, and re-engage me, giving a blast of “good feelings”. He’s quite able to do this to keep people he wants to use. I continued to resist, and did leave. It took some months before I felt “myself” again. I know many people who were close to him who had the same experience in varying degrees. I also know that many of his close teachers want to leave and cannot because of this effect. Their minds are too weak to pull away. He owns them. By now he must ‘control’ thousands upon thousands of clones.

        He exhibited many entertaining siddhis when I knew him, including the ability to conjur up any smell asked for, like rose, jasmine, even food smells.

        I understood after a short time that all these talents were just a big ‘so what?’ and that they would never help me spiritually at all.

        Thank you again for thoughtfully posting what you understand about tantra. It’s such a common thing in India, and many AOL people just don’t know or want to believe he is doing this to them. They also don’t understand that he will hurt people with these powers if they ever disobey him and he gets angry. He is truly dangerous.

      • Adyut permalink
        May 24, 2011 2:12 pm

        This makes me curious.
        Can you post some examples of the unbelievable sidhis of your aunt’s guru or other people with sidhis.

  5. Anonymous permalink
    May 24, 2011 5:26 pm

    (Post Owner)
    @Adyut I don’t want to mention what Siddhis but it is the same as what Shirdi Baba also could do.

    The eight powers, ashta siddhis, are mentioned in Patanjali. Please read:
    http://www.yoga-age.com/sutras/pata3.html

    I want repeat that either the good (Devik) or bad (Asurik) can get powerful. This is demonstrated in terms of stories where negative qualities like ego, arrogance, greed, hatred, anger are symbolized using Asuras (Demonic qualities) and they can also do great Tapas (conserve/channel energy), and the same Sadhanas (meditation, pranayama, yoga) and attain great powers not even destructible by Devas (good qualities).

    Yes there are many people in India I know who have Siddhis (yogic powers). Some famous ones some just householders.
    The problem is that just like you can get stuck in money, fame and power, you can get stuck with Siddhis or use the wrong methods, wrong means, for the wrong goals, and be lost for enons. A lot of Tantrics, Siddhas, Yogis are therefore not attaining final liberation or enlightenment. Read Ramana Maharishis description of Sahaj Samadhi.

    See children should not play with fire.
    Weak people should not sell their soul and their nervous system to someone else.

    I would say don’t make ignorant choices. Investigate. Get to know what path you are following and who you are following. Trust based on knowledge. If you don’t understand, or it seems mysterious, or defies common sense, or other people’s views are strongly negative, then investigate further, keep some distance till you figure out who you are following and what you are following.
    If you want to be happy, or want enlightenment, there are many ways, ancient time tested ways.
    My questions to the readers are:
    1. Do you know and understand Sri Sri Ravi Shankar using your own independent wisdom? Truely? Or is he a mystery?
    2. Do you know and understand what the Sudarshan Kriya is using the knowledge of Yoga, 3rd party information?

    Finally, it’s your choice.

    • Jr. permalink
      May 24, 2011 5:45 pm

      I also noticed that the courses have a lot of inconsistency. I’ve taken basic courses that taught sudarshan kriya with an emphasis on breathing very forcefully and loud. Others taught the same course explaining that it should be done with very light breath. On the advanced courses, different ways of applying the locks on bastrika are taught. Hollow and empty meditation is taught as not being for home use, yet I had courses where the teacher said it was ok for home use. A lot of inconsistency usually indicates bad organizational skills and standards. Makes you wonder if they really have a standard way of teaching these techniques.

      • vijay khambati permalink
        May 25, 2011 5:56 am

        their only “standard” seems to be the collection of fees…i was once witness to a local “meeting” of the aol’ites….all they were talking about was the “collection”…and the leader was urging the team to “catch” more and more poor souls who have not yet realised how much they need to have this “knowledge” (if you know hindi, her words were “pakad pakad ke le aao” !!!)….of course the meeting ended with the leader ensuring that she got the payment from the hostess’s spouse for an advanced course of aol !!….dangerous tantric guru indeed!!!!!

    • May 24, 2011 5:45 pm

      Another bullshit comment about siddhis.
      Sai Baba was an illusionist , meaning all his siddhis were sleight of hand tricks.
      This deep rooted meme about such siddhis gotta die at some point.

      • May 24, 2011 5:50 pm

        Just to add, all so called siddhis exhibited by indian sadhus or householders or whatever are pure sleight of hand tricks. These con men intentional or unintentionally are polluting the indian trandition of spirituality.

      • Anonymous permalink
        May 24, 2011 6:17 pm

        @Dont – I was not referring to Satya Sai Baba but Shirdi Sai Baba.
        I will refrain from any further comment on your comment.

      • Anonymous permalink
        May 24, 2011 6:19 pm

        @Dont – I was not referring to Satya Sai Baba but Shirdi Sai Baba.
        I will refrain from any further comment on your comment.

    • June 9, 2011 12:12 pm

      The OP said, “Finally, it’s your choice.”

      Exactly. All this prattle about Sri Sri is only for yourselves. I’ll go with my experience over your concepts. When and if my experience changes then I will behave accordingly.

  6. Adyut permalink
    May 24, 2011 11:48 pm

    @anonymous wrote:
    > He exhibited many entertaining siddhis when I knew him, including the ability to conjur
    > up any smell asked for, like rose, jasmine, even food smells.

    Are you sure he did not have perfume bottles hidden somewhere? Maybe someone else was holding and spraying them for him to trick you.

    • anonymous permalink
      May 25, 2011 11:29 am

      Yes, I’m sure. And at first I was impressed. After a short time, these things failed to impress me, as I was interested in spiritual growth, not acquisition of powers. And I noticed that people around him were not too interested in growth, but rather, just trying to “feel good”. Siddhis are real, like it or not, but they have zero value, in my opinion. And yes, some are conjurers. Ravi Shankar happens not to be in the cases I witnessed. So what? He’s a bad man with subtle powers, using them to manipulate people. And yes, some of his manipulation is simple psychological tricks as well. He successfully blends both subtle and gross talents to achieve his goal: to be as rich and famous and respected as possible. That’s all he cares about.

      • May 25, 2011 3:29 pm

        This ‘miracle’ about producing various kind of scents isn’t magic at all. A friend of mine (I think) was at university where the professor passed around a very strong smelling bottle of an ammonia like substance. He told the students to smell the contents of the bottle so they can learn to identify the liquid. He warned them to be careful because it is very strong like ammonia. Most everyone smelled it very strongly, but there was a handful of people who didn’t smell anything. After everyone was done, the professor explained that there was only water in the bottle and that the people were only smelling what they expected to smell, thus demonstrating the power of the mind to trick itself.

        Now I don’t know if this story is true or not, but it makes sense to me. (I don’t even remember the original source. My friend could have experience it or it could have been a friend of his. So this story could be one of those friend’s of friends tale. I am pretty sure it is legitimate; – ) In any case, I think we underestimate the power of our minds to convince us of something that isn’t there. It is much more probable that SS is using the power of suggestion then he is manifesting it out of thin air.

        Just once I would like to see these miracle workers to manifest something big out of nothing in front of everyone. Like why couldn’t Sai baba make it rain ash out of a clear blue sky; or make an elephant out of nothing in front of everyone, or make a simple watch manifest right in someone’s palm as everyone was watching? I am very skeptical of these miracles.

        I do remember visiting the goddess that could write in India. It was a pretty bogus. We were suppose to ask the goddess in our hearts what we wanted an answer to and she would write the answer in sand for us. I asked a very specific question and got a completely nonsensical answer. Also, her ability to write was just two temple priest turning her statue upside down and using the point of her crown to scribble in the sand. SS was all about the statue and how the goddess manifest herself through the statue. It was so much of nothing. But SS had us all believing it for a time.

      • Dev D permalink
        May 31, 2011 7:17 am

        DW,
        You are right on the perfume trick.
        This is a very basic trick in Hypnosis. I rememmber 20 years ago a well known clinical hypnotist Dr Bharat Chandra had come to our school in Mysore and made us experience and taught us this trick. We used to do this trick in school. In a group we used to choose a smell like rose, lavendar or jasmine, then rub a piece of plastic paper and most people would smell the perfume that was suggested.

    • June 9, 2011 12:13 pm

      Sri Sri siddhis are quite real. I have personally experience several of them. As the OP says, siddhis are real and come along with tapas.

      • Adyut permalink
        June 9, 2011 2:26 pm

        Can you give some examples of these siddhis that you experienced.

  7. Harshal permalink
    May 30, 2011 8:09 pm

    “The point being: that the burden of proof, when claiming the existence of such phenomena, must lie by the person who claims it”

    Does this not apply to all the accusations you throw at AOL. If you are claiming that there is corruption , you have to give proofs. All you have is ‘he said that’ ‘she did that’ , nothing else. Such blatant hypocrisy of these blog owners.

  8. Adyut permalink
    June 9, 2011 2:28 pm

    Dev D wrote:
    >You are right on the perfume trick.
    >This is a very basic trick in Hypnosis.

    Can you give some details of how this is done. Maybe reference to a website, book, etc. that gives some details?

  9. stupidseeker permalink
    June 12, 2011 1:33 pm

    Hi All,
    I came across someone called rishi prabahkar who at one time was associated with MMY. The link below will take you to the gallery section of his website. some of the pictures of people doing sadhana will be very familiar to those who have done the SKY.
    http://www.ssy.co.in/imagegallery.asp?catTitle=Image%20Gallery&menuId=5

    May I direct you to picture no. 2 (from left) in the first row and and picture no. 3 in row 4. Looking at other pictures seems the kriya is taught to kids also.
    Interestingly, just recently rishi Prabhakar was accused by his wife of running a sex racket .

    • Krish permalink
      June 12, 2011 11:46 pm

      Is this accusation reported somewhere or is it more of an insider news?

  10. stupidseeker permalink
    June 13, 2011 4:22 am

    @Krish
    Its not that recent I admit, but reported very widely nonetheless
    http://indiatoday.intoday.in/site/story/wife-accuses-godman-of-running-sex-racket/1/105952.html

  11. July 31, 2011 11:19 pm

    Thanks for this valuable information
    This blog is inspiring.
    Thanks for the time and the courage to reveal the truth.

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