The Origins and Truth Behind AoL Knowledge and Practices
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.
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.