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Deconstructing Religion: A Memetic Perspective

July 16, 2011

Years before he felt the need to show people that science is the only “right” way to discover the ultimate truth (whatever that is) and that religion is the root of all evil (for want of a better way of putting it), the British biologist Richard Dawkins in his book The Selfish Gene coined the term meme to describe a very interesting concept which I want to put to use in this article.

Whereas genes are responsible for transmitting biological information, memes transmit ideas, beliefs or opinions from person to person within a culture. What makes memetics (the study of memes) useful is that it allows us to study beliefs using the same principles used to study genes. In other words, we can apply such concepts as evolutionary theory to ideas and beliefs to try to ascertain why some survive whilst others die over time. It also allows us to look at ways of grouping ideas into sets so that we can study these groups in more details to see how they relate to each other.

One of the most interesting applications of memetics is in the study of religions, which essentially consist of a large number of memes, and in this article I plan to present my own perspective as to how I see religions from a memetic point of view. In particular I will highlight a very interesting adaptational advantage which Art of Living has developed which I believe has helped it to spread to as many people, especially Westerners, as it has.

Religion as a Collection of Memes
Every religion can be viewed as a meme “package”, essentially a collection of memes. The memes which form any given religion can be classified into three groups:

  • World View memes – which include how the universe came into being, whether or not there is/was a creator responsible for bringing it into being, whether there is an afterlife, and how the laws of the universe operate. These memes differ in detail from religion to religion, however most posit that there is a supreme being (God) who in one way or another was responsible for bringing the universe into existence.
  • Moral and Spiritual Values memes – which are rules or guidelines that followers of the religion are asked to adhere to in order to make them better people. Again there are many similarities from religion to religion, such as that one shouldn’t kill, one should be kind and compassionate towards others, one shouldn’t steal, and so on.
  • Group Support memes – which are more subtle beliefs that followers are asked to commit to which don’t so much benefit them as they do the religion as a whole. Examples are provided in the following section.

Whilst both World View memes and Moral and Spiritual Values memes play a large part in drawing new recruits into a religion, it is the Group Support memes which are ultimately responsible for ensuring the survival and continued growth of the religion. What is particularly interesting is that these memes are almost identical across all religions.

Group Support Memes
One of the underlying concepts in the field of memetics is that ideas and beliefs can be studied in a very similar way to genes, for instance by applying the laws of natural selection.

Gene packages (for instance humans) compete for finite resources (food, land and so on) in order to ensure the survival of the constituent genes. Over long enough periods of time, certain genes mutate and develop competitive advantages which ensure the survival of their hosts over other contemporary genes which die out.

Meme packages are also competing against other meme packages for survival, this time with the number of viable hosts (human minds) as the finite resource. Religions are a very good example of this behaviour, especially as it seems that over time they too have evolved memetic advantages to ensure their survival over other (competing) religions.

These memetic advantages, which help to ensure the survival of a religion in any given population, are what I am terming “Group Support memes”, since they are supporting the group, in this case the religion.

The following is list of key Group Support memes which can be found to some extent in most religions:

  • Followers of this religion cannot follow any other religions. This “religious exclusivity” meme is prevalent in all major world religions, and as such it is rare to find someone who follows more than one religion.
  • This religion is superior to all other religions.
  • The God of this religion is the ultimate God and all other Gods are false (or lesser Gods.)
  • Followers of this religion are specially chosen, over and above all others, by God (or by his representative in Earth). This particular belief leads to a superiority complex in followers.
  • The world is in some kind of imminent danger, and the followers of this religion will be the only ones to be saved, whilst all others will perish.
  • Those who follow this religion will eventually become liberated / enlightened, if not in this life then in some future life.
  • Followers of the religion “belong” to the religion, are members of the religion. This belief results in the followers self-identifying with the religion and with its tenets. This creates an in-group vs out-group, or “us and them”, dynamic between followers and non-followers. It also means that followers will easily be offended by any criticism of the religion, its various tenets, or of the founder since they will see it as a direct criticism of themselves and will naturally become defensive.
  • To advance on the path of this religion, it is important to proselytize by spreading the Moral and Spiritual Values of the religion in order to draw more people into the religion. An obvious incentive for doing this is that followers will somehow be “saving” non-followers from the imminent danger they believe the world is in by converting them. Interestingly enough, Group Support memes themselves aren’t used to proselytize as they do not in and of themselves hold any moral or spiritual value.
  • If necessary it is acceptable to use force to convert people to the religion. This only applies to some religions.
  • For those who cannot be converted to the religion, they may be treated as an enemy of the religion and any appropriate action may be taken against them. This only applies to some religions.
  • The founder/leader of the religion is/was an enlightened being, an incarnation of God, or a representative of God on earth. He/she could perform miracles, and this is proof of their divinity. The founder/leader is also seen as the ultimate authority, and must be worshipped.
  • Collectivism is more important than individualism, in other words the survival and welfare of the group as a whole is more important than the survival and welfare of any single follower.
  • Blind faith in the leader (whether dead or alive), ancient scriptures, or God is greatly encouraged.

  • If the World View of the religion holds some belief in an afterlife, be it eternity in either heaven or hell, or reincarnation back into this world again over successive lifetimes, followers are led to believe that their actions in this life will have some influence over what they will go on to afterwards. In particular many religions will profess that members of that religion are guaranteed a better life after death (for instance going to heaven), simply because they are members.

It is evident that although a very small number of these Group Support memes may have been derived from the World View memes of the respective religion, the majority were never a part the religion when it was first conceived, but rather have been introduced over time to help support the religion.

Since the number of world religions has increased significantly over the last two to three millennia, and more recently the means by which information can be transmitted have also increased especially over the last few hundred years due to advances in technology, this has meant that religions have now more than ever before come under threat from competing religions.

As such, whilst the World View and Moral and Spiritual Values memes by themselves are enough to draw people into a religion, they can do very little to prevent followers from leaving that religion in favour of a competing religion should that competing religion have something better to offer. Especially if they are unsatisfied with their current religion.

So it would seem that these Group Support memes have evolved over time in response to ever-increasing threats from competing religions in order to preserve the original tenets of the religion and to ensure its survival within any given population. This is why these memes are so prevalent in most world religions today.

There is a particularly interesting feature of these Group Support memes, and that is that some followers of any given religion will view these as being more important than the World View or Moral and Spiritual Values memes of that religion. This is because within an individual, memes of a religion will be competing for each other for importance, and as such to many, the Group Support memes actually seem to be more fundamental to a religion than do any of the other tenets. Especially in the many cases where there are actually contradictions between the Group Support memes and the remaining memes.

There is much evidence to support this, such as the the occurrence of Holy wars worldwide (even though most religions profess peace and love and that killing is wrong), followers being more focused on proselytising than on living the spiritual tenets of the religion (which often many don’t follow at all), and of course self-identification with the religion and the beliefs of the religion which as we have already mentioned creates divisiveness (which contradicts one of the underlying tenets of most religions which is to create unity and harmony among people).

As well as helping to ensure the survival and propagation of the religion, a number of these Group Support memes, for instance establishing a leader as the ultimate authority and encouraging blind faith in followers, have doubtless evolved to benefit those who are in some way in control of a religion by increasing the power they have over their followers.

How does all this relate to Art of Living?
It is obvious to anyone who has spent any serious amount of time with Art of Living that it has a) a world view which is based entirely on Hinduism, b) Moral and spiritual values which again are drawn from Hinduism, and c) the majority of Group Support memes enumerated above. For instance, followers are generally far more interested in proselytising than they are actually living the core values, they are encouraged to surrender to the Guru and accept him as the ultimate authority as well as an incarnation of God, they are led to believe they are specially chosen, that Art of Living is the highest path, and that they will be saved from the imminent danger which they believe the world to be in by being on this path.

Art of Living’s founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, is obviously a Hindu Guru, and his entourage consists of a number of “Swamis” and “Rishis”, titles which are given to Godmen only in Hinduism. In every possible respect, then, Art of Living is at the very least a Hindu organization, and in some respects it can even be viewed as a religion in its own right with its roots in Hinduism.

What is particularly interesting about Art of Living, however, is that it makes use of an incredibly powerful mechanism, which up until recently was something which religions weren’t aware of, to ensure its survival and propagation. The Group Support memes mentioned above evolved to prevent followers from converting to competing religions. However, what Art of Living does which is a master stroke of genius is that it uses every means available to it to convince prospective followers that it is a non-religious, non-sectarian, secular organization. How does this give it any survival advantage? Simply by not presenting any threat to a religion which a prospective recruit already follows, since Art of Living won’t be seen as a competing religion. How many times have we heard that “Guruji is beyond religion”, and how many of us actually believed it?

Additionally, it has also removed the “religious exclusivity” meme, which gives it yet another propagation advantage in that potential recruits can seemingly follow Art of Living without foregoing their existing religion.

Once followers are reeled in, over time they are gradually exposed more and more to the various tenets of Hinduism, such as that the it is a spiritual organization founded by a Hindu Guru, that it is important to kneel down and touch his feet, and that ultimately one should strive to surrender to him. As long as they continue along this path, before they realize what’s hit them they will have become Hindus in all but name! And what is even more interesting is that everyone knows deep down inside that it is a Hindu organization and that they have been deceived this entire time, but they not only accept it, they themselves further perpetuate the lie. Why? Because they have been convinced of yet another powerful Group Support meme found in Art of Living: that it is ok to use deception if the ends justify the means, which they are also led to believe that it does in this case.

Really then, doesn’t Ravi Shankar have a hidden agenda which is simply to use Art of Living as a vehicle to convert as many people as possible to Hinduism without their realizing it? Isn’t he in turn using Hinduism as a means to make more people worship him and surrender to him? Would the majority of non-Hindus have taken an Art of Living course in the first place if they were told from the outset that Art of Living was a Hindu organization? And when all is said and done, is it ok for a religious organization to deceive its followers by claiming it is not a religious organization?

Moving Beyond Religion
Any group which calls itself a spiritual organization but which claims it is not religious, is lying. It can’t get simpler than that. Whilst an organization can teach World View and Moral and Spiritual Value memes, as long it also teaches Group Support memes, we have to label it a religious organization. We also have to question why it is claiming that it is a non-religious organization, and if, as is the case with Art of Living, it is doing it to deceive people in order to bring more followers into its fold, we need to alert people that this deception is taking place. As we are doing here.

Whilst I believe there is a lot of value in religions, the Group Support memes present in most religions detract greatly from the moral and spiritual values taught by these religions. As such, surely individuals will be better off actually taking a more a secular approach towards religion in general, or at least religious organizations, and opting instead to study the various values of any religions which they feel drawn to, rather than deciding to become a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist or any other denomination they care to mention? Wouldn’t the world then truly become a better place without religious organizations?

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173 Comments
  1. harshal permalink
    July 16, 2011 8:51 pm

    now she is showing her true colours.

  2. stupidseeker permalink
    July 17, 2011 4:05 am

    @ The Blogmaster a.ka. The Doctor,
    The stench of a guilty conscience is in the air.
    You felt that “You Am I’s” posts on me being an “evangelical parasite” out to demean the hindu faith were off topic but you felt my “evangelist” responses were way off topic and hence decided not to post a single one of them. Not even one, for the sake of the so called “fig leaf” (no, I just cant let go of those biblical expressions, so those who tihnk otherwise can go suck a lemon)And then you advise me to take them elsewhere.No Doc,I don’t think I’m going to take your advice.

    • The Doctor permalink
      July 17, 2011 6:21 am

      Sorry @SS, but as I said previously, your posts and “You am I”‘s were completely off-topic and had zero relevance to Art of Living. They were just rants about which is the best religion, and had degenerated into mudslinging between the two of you.

      Get back on-topic, show relevance to Art of Living, and then they will be posted.

      • You am I permalink
        July 17, 2011 9:31 am

        @Doctor

        My responses were fact bytes against the article of Manu Joseph on this blog and the subsequent opportunistic downplaying of Hinduism by pastor @stupidseeker.

        All criticism of Hinduism is welcome, but don’t expect a Hindu to not highlight the irrationality or factually incorrect bytes of such articles.

  3. harshal permalink
    July 17, 2011 5:01 am

    @stupidseeker: she id not going to publish your posts. All the bible masala will be counterproductive to the purpose of this blog- which is to spread misinformation about AOL. May be you should seek some intervention from your father in heaven, or just cool off by watching this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYc9dRy2qD0&feature=related

    • The Doctor permalink
      July 17, 2011 6:14 am

      “All the bible masala will be counterproductive to the purpose of this blog- which is to spread misinformation about AOL.”

      What misinformation about AOL? Come on Harshal, I want details. If you make a statement like that, can you at least cite some examples to back it up? Or are you just going to evade this like you evaded everything else we’ve asked you so far?

      Speaking of which, there are some outstanding questions which were specifically asked of you and which as was predicted you’ve also evaded.

      • harshal permalink
        July 17, 2011 8:31 am

        @Doctor: Are you so naive to think that I would answer his questions? I just wanted to see where he is coming from-he is just a silly guy. I dont evade questions, I just ignore those.
        I will give you a example of misinformation though. Some time back this blog claimed that palpitations cause valve damage(which is wrong medically) and SK causes palpitations, so SK causes valve damage. No proof, nothing, just allegations. Is this not misinformtion?

      • The Doctor permalink
        July 17, 2011 1:33 pm

        @Harshie,

        Evade, ignore, the end result is exactly the same.

        The problem is, by ignoring all these questions you are actually causing even further damage to AoL since you have already demonstrated that you do in fact respond to certain allegations, such as the example of what you are referring to as misinformation you have given above, if you believe you have a suitable answer. By maintaining silence on all other issues raised, you are in actual fact acknowledging that there may be some truth to them. Otherwise you would have made some attempt to debunk them, as you did with the above, but you clearly haven’t.

  4. Meditator permalink
    July 17, 2011 6:23 am

    @Doctor

    Now this is taking things a bit to far. I have dissociated myself from AOL but would disagree that AOL converts people to Hinduism. That’s definitely not on their agenda. I think that by starting this blog, you have become so much negative that you have started finding literature and somehow trying to link everything with AOL. Focus on the real issues if you want this blog to have an impact on anyone.

    • The Doctor permalink
      July 17, 2011 9:29 am

      @Meditator,

      On the contrary, I see this is as one of the core issues in AoL. On the surface this may not be apparent, but once you spend any time with AoL it becomes obvious.

      Perhaps if we were to call it “AoLism”, a religion which stems from or is a sect of Hinduism, that would be more accurate. But there is no doubt at all that it is a religion which is trying to convince people that it isn’t.

      • You am I permalink
        July 17, 2011 9:40 am

        @Doctor

        and that is where you erred in your analysis. Hinduism is an umbrella term – it has thousands of sects of which many are Atheistic and Agnostic.You don’t have a case against Hinduism at all !

        since thousands of years , there is a an atheistic order of Hinduism , the Charvaks , who don’t believe in dharma and moksha.They are what you call Athiests today. So your choice of using Hinduism as the stick to beat AOL is not only flawed but counterproductive !

      • July 17, 2011 9:50 am

        I do have to agree here though that the things that make AoL a cultic group are also many of the things that set it apart from Hinduism.

        AoL doesn’t try to convert you to Hinduism, it uses Hindu-based beliefs and practices to convert you to AoL– and that is different.

  5. You am I permalink
    July 17, 2011 8:07 am

    @Doctor

    First let me apply this theory religion wise

    1.Followers cannot follow other religions?
    Hinduism : No!
    Christianity, Islam, Judaism,Atheism : YES!

    2.The religion is superior to all other religions?
    Hinduism: No! (all paths lead to God)
    Christianity,Islam, Judiaism,Athiesm : YES!

    3.The God of this religion is the ultimate God?
    Hinduism : No!
    Christianity,Islam,Judaism,Atheism(Empricism): YES!

    4.Followers are chosen few of God?
    Hinduism, Atheism:No!
    Christianity,Islam,Judaism: YES!

    5.Followers of only this religion will be saved?
    Hinduism,Atheism: No!
    Christianity,Islam,Judaism

    6.Followers of this religion will sure become enlightened in this or future births?

    Hinduism: No! (as Hinduism says emphatically that no matter what path you follow, all souls will one day merge with God)
    Christianity,Islam,Judaism, Atheism(partly) : Yes

    7:creates an us versus them divide?
    Hinduism: No!
    Christianity,Islam,Judaism, Atheism(partly) :YES!

    8:Forced conversions?
    Hinduism, Atheism, Judaism: No!
    Christianity,Islam,: YES!

    9.Harm, conquer, loot non-religionists?
    Hinduism, Atheism, Judaism: No!
    Christianity, Islam: YES!

    10.Founder is god incarnate?
    Hinduism, Atheism: No!
    Christianity, Judaism,Islam (the prophet is god chosen) :YES!

    11.Collectivism is more important than individualism?
    Hinduism,Pure Atheism: No!
    Christianity,Judaism,Islam, Neo Atheism:YES!

    12.Blind faith in leader, scripture?
    Hinduism : No!
    Christianity,Judaism,Islam,Atheism : Yes
    (* Atheism blindly believes in empiricism, magical natural selection and mutation at the macro level without any proof)

    13.We face the consequences of our good or bad actions?
    Science, Hinduism, Atheism : YES!
    Christianity,Islam, Judaism: No!

    So you see , unfortunately , your plan to beat AOL with Hinduism has backfired. Hinduism absolves itself of almost all the charges of the Atheists ..so if AOL indeed follows Hinduism as you assert , then i must say it’s done the right thing and you must join me too in congratulating them

    PS: Crusades and Jihads and deceitful ,forceful conversion are Christian, Muslim copyrights..you can’t shield these cults by clubbing them with other religions and philosophies

    • July 17, 2011 9:34 am

      Your analysis is interesting but I’m afraid you’ve missed the point.

      If I may, what I believe our good Doctor is trying to do here is illustrate the internal mechanisms of reproduction and survival within many faiths which actually go counter to the professed values, and how in a globalized society we can and must be able to move beyond these group-identity beliefs if we’re going to progress (and survive) as a species.

      This isn’t about clubbing Hinduism with a cult. In fact, it’s not targeted at any one faith. And yes, in many ways “Hinduism”— if you really can call it a single thing with a single, definitive history, which i don’t think you can– is innocent of the more absolutist tendencies of the Near-Eastern faiths descending from abraham. That’s why its spiritual teachings can be so attractive to a secular spiritualist like myself. Also, similar to Judaism, it has its existence as a religion but also as a cultural identity– which is why a Hindu can practice another religion, but I can’t “become” Hindu. These are all far more complicated matters than can be pieced out here, requiring a lifetime of comparative study to make sense of. And I don’t think any of us can truly boast of that?

      I fear you’re still in us/them mode and reading through that lens and that’s not what this post is meant to be about. It’s about looking beyond group identifications and finding what’s left in faith when it’s no longer about Our God is Better, or Our Group is Chosen, or Only the Wise See This is Truth– etc. What happens when we drop all that? What’s left of our faith? How do we express it, develop it and experience it? And what is left to divide us then?

      That’s the world I want to think about and envision, and I believe that is the Doctor’s project here too. My Good Doctor, do correct me if I’m wrong. 🙂

      Boadicea

      • The Doctor permalink
        July 17, 2011 10:16 am

        In every possible respect, you are spot on, and I really couldn’t have said it better myself. In fact, I had already replied below and as you can see you did do a better job. 😉

      • You am I permalink
        July 17, 2011 10:21 am

        Greetings Boadicea!

        in a globalized society we can and must be able to move beyond these group-identity beliefs if we’re going to progress (and survive) as a species.

        Do you see the contradiction in your-statement? : that our group survival depends on not believing in groups !

        formation of sub-gropus within groups is inevitable- sex, food, self-preservation , social recognition – all these drivers will force one or other type of subgroup formation in all primates.

        so in my opinion what’s essential for our progress as humanity is agreeing to some golden principles of universal human morality.these thumb rules must be respected globally.that’s where we need to put our effort in my opinion.

        let them practice their religions but ensure that none of these religions break these universal codes of morality.This will help both atheists and theists in becoming(remaining) human.

        which is why a Hindu can practice another religion, but I can’t “become” Hindu

        You yourself acknowledge that Hinduism is not a single doctrine ideology.It has many sects and I don’t know how you can miss one of the most visible sects : ISKCON which is a hindu sect (Gaudiya sampradaya) but most of it’s followers were once “non-hindus” !

        I fear you’re still in us/them mode and reading through that lens and that’s not what this post is meant to be about.

        rest assured your fears are ill-founded, unless of course you can prove that my arguments are biased, factually incorrect or irrational.

        The premise of Doctor’s article is that Hinduism is bad (despite his/her memetic perspective being more applicable to christianity and Islam than any other religion) and then goes on to establish that AOL is a hindu organization, and hence one must disard AOL.

        What happens when we drop all that? What’s left of our faith? How do we express it, develop it and experience it? And what is left to divide us then?

        Blog posts, comments(your or mine) unfortunately operate in the realm of duality .This blog itself is an us versus them blog (AOL versus against AOL ) .It;s just that Doctor has now graduated to a much higher us versus them strata : us versus Hinduism

      • July 17, 2011 11:08 am

        @YouamI

        You can extend any argument or premise “logically” until its absurd. Suggesting my “argument” contains a contradiction because I talk about our species as a group which needs to move beyond its clannish tendencies is really ridiculous. Ultimately, our group survival can’t be separated from the survival of the rest of life on earth so should we eliminate our identification as human beings? That’s a spiritual conception of existence, that’s not a framework from which one can approach problems in society and work towards solutions.

        The global acknowledgment of a concept of human rights is in itself one of the miracles of the modern age, and something I look to when I feel overwhelmed by the problems facing the world. Expanding this tolerance and mutual respect can only be to the good, and I agree that it’s a necessary step. However, *part* of that is recognizing the group-supporting beliefs that make that impossible, and moving beyond them. Some group-supporting beliefs are against that tolerance, and we can have a huge acceptance and tolerance cake walk, but that won’t change the dangerously totalist views of these groups and sub-groups. And unless we prioritize the values of a faith over its identity as a group, we can’t move beyond the dangers of group identification. That’s what we’re looking at here, not eliminating groups and sub-groups but moving beyond the dangers of tribalistic thinking.

        There are sects of anything that believe anything. If you said, “Jews don’t believe in Jesus as a prophet”— would I call you out for missing or ignoring the massively visible sect “Jews for Jesus”? No, I’d admit that your statement is broadly true.

        Finally, I’m just going to be blunt and say, No. You’re wrong. The Doctor isn’t writing against Hinduism. That’s a flagrantly inflammatory statement and I think it’s uncalled for. The Doctor may have made an error when he called this group a Hindu group, which he has already acknowledged. The idea that he’s against Hinduism because he thinks AoL is dishonest about its origins is absurd.

        also, saying his perspective is that “hinduism is bad” lacks all the nuance of his actual thread of inquiry and I think you should actually read what he wrote because it doesn’t sound like you did. Or if you did, you didn’t see what he was getting at because what he said about Hinduism felt like an attack, which it wasn’t.

      • You am I permalink
        July 17, 2011 5:50 pm

        @artofleaving

        I have read the article and my conclusion is the same. Elsewhere in the comments section, @Doctor is delighted to buy any irrational argument so long it goes against Hinduism ..This further corroborates my conclusion.

        He is pouncing on a religion that says all paths lead to God and all souls will attain salvation one day … a religion that is prescriptive and not directive..a religion that respects atheists…the fact that AOL has picked up spiritual bytes from Hinduism does not make Hinduism wrong.

    • The Doctor permalink
      July 17, 2011 9:50 am

      @You am I,

      I specifically said “The following is list of key Group Support memes which can be found to some extent in most religions”. I didn’t say they are all present in all religions because that would obviously be wrong!

      Whereas you are arguing that Hinduism does not feature these Group Support memes, AoL most definitely does feature the majority of them. Whether you like it or not, AoL at the very least is adapted from Hinduism. It’s founder is a Hindu, it teaches Hindu knowledge (albeit a watered down version) and practices, and it sells discourses on Hindu texts. Everything in AoL is clearly derived from Hinduism, and it has added a number of these Group Support memes to help it to propagate. As I replied above, we can label it as a new religion “AoLism”.

      And just to correct you on number 7 “Create an us and them divide”, as long you label a group of people as Hindus (or Christians, or whatever else) you are dividing the world into two groups, Hindus and non-Hindus, hence creating an us and them divide. There is no way to escape this.

      • You am I permalink
        July 17, 2011 10:24 am

        @Doctor

        as long you label a group of people as Hindus (or Christians, or whatever else) you are dividing the world into two groups

        I am not labeling them as one group or another.They are that way , i am just pointing out the way they are.

        The fact that i see zebras and horses in this world does not mean i am creating a divide of sorts in the horse-like kingdom

    • Anonymous permalink
      July 17, 2011 10:14 am

      First of all regarding:
      “9.Harm, conquer, loot non-religionists?
      Hinduism, Atheism, Judaism: No!
      Christianity, Islam: YES!
      Early Judaism has been found to have been extremely war-like and intolerant of its contemporary religions in both the “Promised Land” and its environs, leading to wars with its neighbors, razing of cities, destruction of temples and conversions.
      Second, Hinduism itself is not being attacked so no need for defensive posturing. If anything a conclusion that one can draw is that both AOL/RS are using Hinduism aka. “pimping” it for their own devises.

      • You am I permalink
        July 17, 2011 10:30 am

        @Anonymous

        The messaih and his followers in their mad frenzy to change the whole world is typical of abrahmic faiths and not of Hinduism!

        Hinduism is the souce of Yoga ..Now if some junkies use it to patent Hanging yoga, porn yoga etc.. you would rationally attack the junkies and not ring Hinduism in the picture at all.

        and read the article again, Doctor does assert that AOL is a Hindu organization

  6. July 17, 2011 9:47 am

    Nice post Doc. I agree when you equate spiritualism with religion. I disagree, though, when you equate “AOLism” with Hinduism. The memes of AOL are similar to those of Hinduism, but differ in central aspects having to do primarily with the belief in karma; AOL twists the original Hindu concept to increase the Guru’s powers.
    Read https://aolfree.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/knowledge-that-enslaves-you/

    Probably there are more differences, some of them maybe even favorable to AOL (like AOL’s stand against the Hindu caste belief), but certainly enough to establish AOL as a religion/cult in it’s own right.

    • The Doctor permalink
      July 17, 2011 10:09 am

      @Skywalker,

      In fairness I never “equated” AOLism with Hinduism when I coined the term, I specifically said that is “stems from” Hinduism. 😉

      I would certainly agree that there are enough differences to establish AoL as a religion/cult in its own right, and from an evolutionary theory perspective, this can readily be equated to speciation, the process which describes how a new species arises from an existing one.

  7. Harshal permalink
    July 17, 2011 12:41 pm

    you guys should watch this 😉

    • The Doctor permalink
      July 17, 2011 3:30 pm

      For anyone who doesn’t want to waste 15 minutes to watch this video, the presenter is a TMer who is answering allegations raised in various anti-TM blogs by trying to debunk the bloggers who have made the allegations.

      I’m guessing by Harshal’s logic, which I’m starting to understand a lot more now, he has posted this as some sort of “proof” that just because someone has written something on the internet about Art of Living then it doesn’t mean that it is true. Correct me if I’m wrong Harshal?

      If this is the case, then I challenge you to actually debunk each and every allegation made in this blog, just as the presenter in the video claims to have done. Come on Harshal, put your money where your mouth is. 🙂

      • Harshal permalink
        July 17, 2011 3:46 pm

        no, you got it wrong again. I was trying to suggest that there is so much similarity between you guys and anti-TM losers. If you visit the tmfree blog and then see this blog , you can see the history repeating itself. When-ever there is a true secular spiritual movement, there will always be unhappy cynical people like you. I can use all his answers to debunk all the questions in this blog. But I don’t want to. I want only entertainment.

      • Anonymous permalink
        July 19, 2011 10:10 am

        Did you watch the documentary movie “David Wants to Fly” about TM?

        http://stillinmotion.typepad.com/still_in_motion/2010/08/david-wants-to-fly-the-hard-knocks-of-getting-enlightened.html

  8. stupidseeker permalink
    July 17, 2011 1:12 pm

    @ you Am i,

    I can understand your posturing.
    Your basis of the interpretation of hinduism is merely a comparative one i.e based upon comparisons with Islam and christianity.You make some sort of comparison between the three and award first prize to hinduism.

  9. stupidseeker permalink
    July 17, 2011 1:38 pm

    @You Am i

    1. Followers cannot follow other religions
    Hinduism: Yes.
    The most basic of Hindu tenets is “All the wisdom of the world can be found in the Vedas and the ancient Vedic scripture”. If this is true whatever religion or philosophy one may be following, is actually Hinduism.

    2. The religion is superior to all other religions?
    Hinduism: Yes, again, if Hinduism contains all knowledge of spirituality and spirit within itself, then no other religion can lie outside its ambit or lay claims to originality.

    3. The God of this religion is the ultimate God?
    Hinduism : Yes, Hindu philosophy stresses that God is one, but may be worshipped in various forms, thus the one God is being worshipped in many forms. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna declares himself to be the only one, with all life hinging on him, like pearls on a string. He goes on to declare that there is no second to him, and no one else besides him in the whole universe. This is exactly how the Islamic and Christian God describes himself. In his Vishwaroopa he dazzles Arjuna with his universal, all encompassing form. The ISKCON movement takes the Bhagavad Gita at face value (read “Bhagavad Gita As It Is”) raising the personal God Krishna to ultimate Godhead while rejecting the canon of other Hindu scriptures which deify other deities, while other denominations variously describe other Gods including Shiva and The Devi as being the ultimate personifications of Godhead. In the Rig Veda, the ultimate deity is referred to as Purusha and his creative principle as Prakriti. Thus the concept of the One God is not unique to Islam or christianity.

    4. Followers are chosen few of God?
    Hinduism: Yes
    Hinduism claims that all religions are paths to the same goal. It further makes the eclectic claim that, Hinduism is the hoary ancient mother of all Knowledge. For instance many Hindu commentators, including HHSSRS have linked Jesus and his theology to the Kashmiri Shaivas while others have put forth the claim that the Kaaba was actually a temple built by Raja Vikramaditya and the black stone is actually a Shiva linga. Furthermore other Hindu commentators have claimed that the Taj Mahal was actually a Shiva temple called Tejomahalaya, which was usurped by the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan. So if all these claims are true, then absolutely no religion can be said to be original other than Hinduism. Thus by extension can there be anyone on the path who is not a Hindu?

    5. Followers of only this religion will be saved?
    Hinduism: Yes,
    Again the same all encompassing principle that all methods of worship are to be found in the Vedas and other Hindu scriptures. So again if this is true, it is only Hinduism which is saving people on any path. For instance, a Buddhist believes that faith in the Buddha will save him i.e. bring about his salvation. But Hindus deify the Buddha as being one of the ten avatars of Vishnu, thus while from a Buddhist perspective it’s the Buddha who is doing the saving, from Hindu perspective it’s really actually Vishnu.

    6. Followers of this religion will sure become enlightened in this or future births?
    Hinduism: Yes,
    Hindu canon, like the Bhagavad Gita clearly mentions the four types of Yoga following which one may achieve salvation. I.e Kriya/Raj, Bhakti, Karma and Jnana Yoga. The Patanjali Yoga Sutras expand upon this much more. Both Patanjali and Krishna guarantee salvation if the instructs or sutras as the case maybe are adhered to. In short, all forms of worship in Hinduism from the Shaiva and Vaishnava sects on one hand to worship of say Hanuman on the other guarantee salvation. Thus Hanuman traditionally a servant of Lord Rama is quite capable of delivering salvation to his devotees. Thus unless I’m very much mistaken, the various scriptures of Hinduism guarantee salvation if they are adhered to in much the same way that the Koran and Bible do.

    7. creates an us versus them divide?
    Hinduism: Yes
    Again the same all encompassing tendency of Hinduism at play here. All religions of the world lead to the same goal, including the path of the Charvakas, who incidentally reject any notion of God or Godhead. Hinduism is the mother of all religions; it is a well-known fact that Hinduism uses its eclectic mantra – “Truth is one, the wise call it by different names” – as an instrument to demonstrate its secular credentials. Abrahamic religions go about converting the other through persuasion and through the use of physical force. Hinduism, in contrast, absorbs the alien other by proclaiming its doctrines to be only “different names for the One Truth” contained in Hinduism’s own Perennial Wisdom.
    The teachings of the outsider, the dissenter or the innovator are simply declared to be merely nominally different, a minor and inferior variation of the Absolute and Universal Truth known to Vedic Hindus from time immemorial. Christianity and Islam acknowledge the radical otherness and difference of other faiths, even as they attempt to convert them, even at the cost of great violence and mayhem. Hinduism refuses to grant other faiths their distinctiveness and difference, even as it proclaims its secularism. Thus I must embrace the other to proclaim my secularism even as the other squirms in my embrace with discomfort and when he refuses my embrace, I must brand him bigoted. Thus the tendency of Islam and Christianity to subjugate and their refusal to absorb into Hinduism and maintain their own separate identity lies at the root of strained interfaith relations.

    8. Forced Conversions?
    Hindus: Forced conversions are not Hindu style
    Again the same all encompassing doctrine of Hinduism. “Truth is one; the wise call it by several names”. “All paths lead to the same goal”. Thus who is there to convert when all are walking the path laid down by the ancient Vedas? Islam and Christianity actively seek converts to their theology which they robustly declare is different from Hinduism. Hinduism declares all religions to be the offshoots of its own Vedic knowledge, therefore is there anyone who is not Hindu?? Thus can anyone be converted? Another core belief in Advaita is the all encompassing nature of the all pervading Brahman. Thus if you and I are both Brahman at the core of our beings, can one convert the other?? All conversions from a Hindu viewpoint are merely superficial then. Christianity and Islam have no such philosophy and thus freely seek converts. Having said that, many thousands of tribals who had converted to Christianity (another form of Hinduism if the ancient Vedas are to be believed) were “reconverted” back to Hinduism after a spate of interfaith rioting. Thus in this case, the Hindus who undertook this reconversion acknowledged the radical otherness of Christianity, its difference from Hinduism, and sought to bring the tribals back into the “hindu fold’ and can therefore be termed as Hindu Evangelists. Hindu groups such as the RSS/VHP are actively engaged in branding Christianity and Islam as the outsider, the foreigner. Thus if in this case Hinduism regarded Christianity as the “other” in contradiction to its own doctrine, that no “other” can exist, can Hinduism be termed as a secular faith, in the truest sense of the term?? Is it not then just a faith based religion like Christianity or Islam seeking converts to increase the number of adherents to its own “separate” doctrine??
    To go further, AOL promotes itself as secular and non denominational. A non Hindu as he goes further and further into the organization is introduced to numerous aspects of Hindu culture such as Bhajans to various gods and Goddesses, Navratri pujas and celebrations and the Guru Puja amongst others. All this is promoted as part of the spiritual package to reach the divine and not as being Hindu customs and rituals. Thus in time the distinction between purely secular spiritual pursuits and Hindu customs and rituals, becomes blurred. Thus the non Hindu has now been “converted” into thinking relating Hindu customs and rituals as spiritual pursuits. Can we call this as conversion by subterfuge as opposed to a forced conversion effected by the Islamists??

    9. Harm, conquer, and loot non-religionists?
    Hinduism :Yes
    Indian history is replete with any number of Hindu kings who attacked their neighboring Hindu kingdoms including the temples of the rival without compunction for territory and plunder. Anyone interested can go through the history of the Indian subcontinent to confirm the same. The most well known amongst these rulers was a king called Asoka who instigated war against a neighbor in around 264BC and the resulting war resulted in about 1,50,000 casualties, a humongous number given the fact that this war took place about 2200 yrs. back. Following this war, saddened by the scale of death and destruction he embraced Buddhism. Let’s also not forget the terrible humiliations and atrocities heaped upon the lower castes for centuries altogether by the upper castes. This is one aspect of Hinduism that can never ever be understated enough. It was only by the adoption of the secular constitution in Jan. 1952 that the caste system that had been in place for centuries upon centuries was officially disallowed by law.
    Having said that, the monotheistic philosophies such as Christianity and Islam have ratcheted up impressive body counts in their bloody history that any other religion is going to be hard-pressed to surpass. From a secular and humane viewpoint atrocities committed by the Muslims and Christian armies in the name of God cannot be justified by any means. Any killing of hapless, defenseless non combatants merely because they are the “other”, absolutely cannot be condoned from a secular and humane viewpoint. Again, it must be emphasized that Muslim rule in India could not have been achieved, by brute force alone, without the co operation of the various Hindu rulers. Recall the numerous political alliances that the Mughals made with the various Hindu rulers.

    10.Founder is god incarnate?
    Hinduism: The founder of this religion, if the Vedas are to be believed, is the supreme deity referred to as Purusha, the primordial one, the first masculine principle, who spoke the Vedas to the rishis on the banks of the river Indus. Christianity and Islam, much younger doctrines decided to rely upon messengers and prophets to get to know their God’s will. To be sure, the Hindu may also look up to his guru as god incarnate too. Recall “Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru Devo , Maheshwarahah……Guruve Namah.

    11. Collectivism is more important than individualism?
    Are you saying that the organizations such as the RSS or the VHP or the Bajrang Dal and other Hindu organizations are more individualistic and less collectivist vis a vsi their faith than say the Tabhlighi Jamaat?

    12. Blind faith in leader, scripture?
    Hinduism: Very much yes.
    People have died from untreated cancers because their Guru forbade them from taking treatment. Superstitions of all hues abound amongst Hindu society even today. Faith in yantras, charms, mantras to achieve fulfillment of desires is at an all time high. Such amulets, charms etc. are sold on prime time TV. There is no verifiable testable evidence to show these work. People, who use them, use them on faith. The expositions of Hindu dharma that matter is but an extension of spirit, is also yet to be scientifically validated. Until such time such expositions will have to be taken on faith. The theme of the Gita throughout is that the way of salvation lies through surrender. Your faith in your scripture can be no more blind or open eyed than that of people following other faiths. If you are not willing to kill for your faith or your caste, attribute that to the influence of secularism on the Indian society.

    13. We face the consequences of our good or bad actions?
    Hinduism: No
    The bhaktha, such as Arjuna, has all his sins absolved by the mercy of the Lord merely because he substitutes his will for that of the Lord. In Hinduism Bhakti, yagnas and yoga are seen as way by which the devotee can negate the negative fruits of karma. Thus for example if one has enough Bhakti to satisfy the Lord you may be forgiven for even the most grievous sins in much the same way as the Koran forgives sins if the faithful adheres to the word of Allah.

    • Harshal permalink
      July 17, 2011 3:04 pm

      wow this pastor guy is nuts.

      He can write paragraph after paragraph without making any point! He creates his own hypotheses and then proves those with his own assumptions.

      I would prefer to be baptised rather than arguing with him on each of these points… but I am wondering what kind of conversion that would be? intellectual torture conversion?

      And What name would I take? Harshal Schweinsteiger?

    • The Doctor permalink
      July 17, 2011 3:06 pm

      @SS,

      BRILLIANT response, and completely on-topic 😉

      I was a little suspicious with You am I’s claiming that none of these things applied to Hinduism, and was going to have them checked out in order to validate them.

      One of the key things you’ve highlighted under your comments about Forced Conversions is exactly what I was trying to get across in the original article, that AoL is trying to convert people to Hinduism/AOLism by subterfuge, which it clearly is under the guise of “spirituality”.

      • You am I permalink
        July 17, 2011 5:18 pm

        @Doctor

        I didn’t know that you are as rationally impaired as pastor @stupid-seeker

        I chose not to reply to his babble because i thought you guyz would be smart enough to call his bluff.

        all his arguments eat their own conclusion !

        for example ,

        if i believe that all humanity will be saved ..does it mean that i believe that few people will not be saved ?

        if i believe that all paths lead to god ..does it mean that i believe few paths will not lead to god ?

        If i believe that my religious book contains all the wisdom , can you show me your book where it says that it lacks some of the wisdom?

        If a king in the medieval period attacked another king for territory , does it mean it was a religious war when there is no evidence of conversion from one religion to another …can it be compared to crusades and jihad that were religious wars ?

        and i thought pastor @stupidseeker is the only dud here

  10. The Doctor permalink
    July 17, 2011 2:43 pm

    @You am I,

    The premise of Doctor’s article is that Hinduism is bad (despite his/her memetic perspective being more applicable to christianity and Islam than any other religion) and then goes on to establish that AOL is a hindu organization, and hence one must disard AOL.

    As Bodicea has already pointed out, you are COMPLETELY WRONG in your summation that the purpose of my article is to show Hinduism is bad. This clearly isn’t the case, and I have no idea how you came to this conclusion. Please do explain since if this did come across I’d like to correct it.

    […]and that is where you erred in your analysis. Hinduism is an umbrella term – it has thousands of sects of which many are Atheistic and Agnostic.You don’t have a case against Hinduism at all !

    Then surely by your argument we can at the very least call AoL a Hindu “sect”, so then does that not make it a Hindu organization?

    Now, through reading all your posts in response to this thread, one thing I find particularly intriguing is that on the one hand you have stated that Hinduism doesn’t create divisiveness, but then you go on to make statements such as “The messaih and his followers in their mad frenzy to change the whole world is typical of abrahmic faiths and not of Hinduism!” and everything you have written in this entire comment where you compare Hinduism to all other religions trying to demonstrate any ways which you believe it is superior. The fact that you are not only defending Hiduism, even though no one has actually attacked it except in your mind(!), but also that you feel the need to compare it to other religions in this way clearly shows that like all other religions it suffers from the very divisiveness that you are trying to deny exists! And you even had the gall to try to say that Hinduism doesn’t create an “us vs them” dynamic yet all the others do?!!

    If you call yourself a Hindu, and other people call themselves Hindus as well, you form a group of Hindus. By forming a group in this way, irrespective of how beautiful the underlying tenets of the religion are, you are dividing the world into Hindus and non-Hindus, an in-group and an out-group. It is IMPOSSIBLE to avoid this, since this how groups are defined, and your attempt to try show otherwise has failed.

    • You am I permalink
      July 17, 2011 5:29 pm

      @Doctor

      None of Hindu sects ventured out to kill/loot/rape/loot other religions.History is a testimony to this fact. We are well aware of what Islam and Christianity have done to others in the NAME OF RELIGION.

      No sect can claim to be Hindu if it carried out such heinous acts as that of Anrahmic religions.

      and when i state these facts ..i am doing just that ..stating facts.

      to say that by stating facts i am a party to their heinous ideology is ridiculous.

      If i state that Osama bin Laden’s 9/11 attack was a heinous attack on humanity ..does this mean i am a terrorist? if i go by your twisted logic , i sure am 😦

      • anonymous permalink
        July 18, 2011 1:33 pm

        Uh, You Am I,

        You said:

        None of Hindu sects ventured out to kill/loot/rape/loot other religions.History is a testimony to this fact.

        Think you forgot about the disciple of Jesus who was martyred by the Brahmins in India (there’s a big church there now). So Hindus do set out to kill, rape and slaughter members of other religions. Religions basically are all terrible, in my opinion. Spirituality is not religion. Religions are usually filled with dogmatic people looking to either make everyone else just like them, or get rid of anyone else not exactly like them. Each religion appears to have started out with purity and then to have been totally lost/corrupted by men. over.

      • You am I permalink
        July 18, 2011 4:07 pm

        @anonymous

        Think you forgot about the disciple of Jesus who was martyred by the Brahmins in India (there’s a big church there now).

        Who told you that…your evangelist historian?

        The massacre of Brahmins (Saraswat Brahmins) by Christian missionaries and pirates in Goa and Calicut is no news to the students of History. You are probably referring to evangelical hoax about St. Thomas in India ..that he came to India has been categorically denied by historians of merit .He never ventured beyond Afghanistan

        But since you mention about a church , i think you are referring to St. Thomas Church in Mylapore, India.For your kind information it was built on top of Kapalishwara temple (a Hindu temple) by the marauding Portuguese christian missionary pirates.[if you don;t know Vasco de Gama was a pirate..read history]

        So Hindus do set out to kill, rape and slaughter members of other religions.

        hmm .. i have given you the facts ..your turn now ..before passing sermons from the clouds

        Religions basically are all terrible, in my opinion. Spirituality is not religion.

        i concur

        Religions are usually filled with dogmatic people looking to either make everyone else just like them, or get rid of anyone else not exactly like them.

        That allegation does not stand against Hinduism. It’s not rare to find Hindus thronging Churches and Dargahs in India. Hinduism believes in respecting all noble ideas no matter where they come from.

        Each religion appears to have started out with purity and then to have been totally lost/corrupted by men. over.

        This cannot be said of every religion , IMHO. some religions were evil from the very beginning 😦

  11. Harshal permalink
    July 17, 2011 3:08 pm

    @Doctor

    “By maintaining silence on all other issues raised”-

    Your hypothesis assumes that if someone remains silent , they don’t have answers. When your kids were young, did you bother answering all their questions? When some questions are stupid you just have to ignore those.

    • The Doctor permalink
      July 17, 2011 3:19 pm

      @Harsh: “Your hypothesis assumes that if someone remains silent , they don’t have answers. ”

      No it does’t. What I said was: ” By maintaining silence on all other issues raised, you are in actual fact acknowledging that there may be some truth to them. Otherwise you would have made some attempt to debunk them, as you did with the above, but you clearly haven’t.”

      In other words, I am saying that you DO have the answers (because I know fine well you do), but you are choosing not respond because if you do you will damage both yourself and AoL.

      Your perspicacity is getting worse and worse each day, soon you won’t be able to string a coherent sentence together! (Although there are those who will argue that you’ve already passed that stage ;-))

    • anonymous permalink
      July 18, 2011 1:34 pm

      Yeah, Harshal, by the way you write, you sound like my father or grandfather and must be some old guy. Get a life.

    • anonymous permalink
      July 18, 2011 9:55 pm

      @You am I,

      I was actually referring to a church in Chennai, not Mylapore. As to historians, all of Hinduism is basically myth, which lives on, as is Christianity, as is Islam and all religions. They are all built on stories that get repeated over time, and may or may not be true. You can’t claim that the Christian myths are any more untrue than those of Krishna, Rama, and other Hindu Gods. So What? You say that some religions were evil from the very beginning, but I can’t agree. Read the Koran, and you’ll find much that’s beautiful, and some things which are bizarre and ugly, but appear to be reflections of culture of the day and place and time. Same for the Bible. Same for Hindu scriptures. According to some Hindu scriptures, in Kali Yuga, a guru may be ‘a lunatic’, and they pass off all sorts of awful behaviors and say we should just look the other way, knowing the guru is enlightened, blah blah blah. Even the Dalai Lama disagrees with this degree of ‘Guru Yoga’ as they call it in Buddhism, clearly stating that Dharma has to trump the Guru. If the Guru says go East and points West, then you should politely decline. (These are D.L.’s words, not mine.) And there are all sorts of problems with Buddhism as well 🙂 The problem with all religions, I believe, are people that come after the first writing, or master. Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism are all very intolerant, imo. They each believe they are right. Just because some number of people out of billions go to a different place of worship, doesn’t mean that their religion is not intolerant. The intolerance of all of them are obvious at different times in varying places. I dislike all of them, but love their basic tenets (the first writings, by the masters, before people got their interpretations going). From those writings, I can feel inspired and uplifted.

      • You am I permalink
        July 19, 2011 11:14 am

        @anonymous

        I am surprised that you find Islam’s beginnings to be great ! your are forgiven for your ignorance is all that i can say. if you get the time, do read the sahih hadits (at least Bukhari and Muslim)

        as far as being intolerant to other religions is concerned, again clubbing Hinduism or Buddhism with Abrahmic religions is unfair.Hinduism never ventured out loot and belittle other religions. while Buddhism spread in a very peaceful manner.Christianity and Islam have document histories of waging religious wars.

        It’s one thing to ask the true seeker to rise above all religions, it’s another to give false accounts to build your case.You are unfortunately doing the latter.

        It’s no news to anybody aware of Indian history that Hindu kings gave refuge to all religions who were persecuted in their himelands.If Hinduism would have been hostile..why did the Hindu kings gave land and protection to jews? persians? cristians?

        It went to an extreme in the case of the parsis(persian Zoroastrians)..the persians laid down a condition that Hindus must not venture anywhere near their fire-worship temples.The Hindu kings agreed to it and even brought in injunctions upon the Hindu pupil of their kingdom that no Hindu would do so and if found guilty would be punished !

        our Itihasas( lit. history) (Mahabharata and Ramayana) were downplayed as mere mythologies.But as they say , you can’t fight with truth for long.The lost city of dwarka was discovered recently based on the contents of Mahabharata.

        You call it mythology, Professor Rao did not.He believed the text as a historical account and unearthed the submerged city.

        I know some people want Hinduism to look as bad as abrahmic faiths.But ican;t help it if it isnt

  12. Jr. permalink
    July 17, 2011 3:49 pm

    Very interesting post and discussion going.

    I don’t think religion is the problem. Religion is just a set of beliefs and moral values a person believes. It’s people’s addiction to religion or getting too deeply involved that is the problem. Any cult/religion is safe if you stay in the shallow waters. But the deeper you get, the less open minded one becomes, and they stop being open to anything else that is different. Us vs. them takes over and the person is no longer free. But isn’t the nature in life to keep going deeper into something? That is why we might be destined to become damaged in any religion, since it’s inevitable that we want to enter the deeper waters, looking for truth and answers.

    AOL is brilliant in that it appears to transcend religion. That was one reason I was so attracted to it. I didn’t want anything to do with organized religion. But after a while, you realize there is dogma, fear, superstition, guilt and other things you find in other religion, also in AOL. You can’t find freedom in AOL. Call it whatever you want, but it’s just rules invented by people, so it’s safe to call AOL a religion if you want.

    And of course Harshal ignored my questions – he’s too much of a coward to answer them.

    • Harshal permalink
      July 18, 2011 9:03 am

      “You can’t find freedom in AOL”

      That is why I think you are stupid. You went out looking for freedom somewhere outside?You want freedom in AOL, your relationships, your work. But you dont realize that you cant get it there. Its just in your mind. Since you cant still get it, you keep blaming AOL. I am sure same happens with you in other spheres of your life..blame blame blame…

  13. Harshal permalink
    July 17, 2011 3:50 pm

    @The Doctor: I don’t know what perspicacity is . However, I wonder why you are so keen to get answers from me ?

    • The Doctor permalink
      July 17, 2011 5:22 pm

      It isn’t that I so much want answers from you. I just like to see you shoot your feet off, dig yourself into a hole, and generally make a fool out of yourself in the process by being the hypocrite that you are, by evading the many questions raised, consequently proving a lot of the things raised in this blog. And so far so good, you’ve done a great job. Please keep it up. 😉

      Perspicacity

  14. Harshal permalink
    July 17, 2011 4:03 pm

    @ fakedoc: why are you so obsessed with damaging AOL. See these two lines. If I don’t answer I will damage AOL. If I were to answer , I will again damage AOL and myself.

    “The problem is, by ignoring all these questions you are actually causing even further damage to AoL”

    “but you are choosing not respond because if you do you will damage both yourself and AoL”

    Why this obsession with ‘damage’ grandma?

    • anonymous permalink
      July 18, 2011 1:40 pm

      Harshal,

      Maybe you and Doc should get married? Grandpa and grandma! LOL Sometimes both of you sound like them. Blah blah blah blah. Didn’t anything ever happen to you personally? Your write like you just sit watching out your window at other people going by, and you don’t ever do anything yourself. That’s what my grandparents do. Please tell your personal experiences of AOL (if you even have any to report!), instead of just trashing everything you watch going by (real people, reporting what really happened to them, while searching for God/Guru/Light./Truth). Please forgive my disrespect if you are indeed an elder, as you really sound, but even my grandparents aren’t as critical as you sound! They just gossip about what they see, rather than trashing it. They comment, because they can’t get up and do anything anymore. I’m not criticising you for being old, Harshal, just that you seem so bitter! Age hasn’t mellowed you like it should have.

  15. The Doctor permalink
    July 17, 2011 6:28 pm

    @You am I,

    I have read the article and my conclusion is the same. Elsewhere in the comments section, @Doctor is delighted to buy any irrational argument so long it goes against Hinduism ..This further corroborates my conclusion.
    He is pouncing on a religion that says all paths lead to God and all souls will attain salvation one day … a religion that is prescriptive and not directive..a religion that respects atheists…the fact that AOL has picked up spiritual bytes from Hinduism does not make Hinduism wrong.

    Let me get this into your head for the last time as the message isn’t getting through: I AM NOT SAYING HINDUISM IS WRONG/BAD/EVIL! You are only deceiving yourself in this, and you have yet to provide me with what it is in my article that makes you come to this conclusion.

    For your information, for the last few years of my life I have been practicing yoga asanas, pranayamas, and meditation on an almost daily basis. I have THREE different commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita, many textbooks on subjects such as yoga, tantra (the real tantra, not the BS that all these New Age cults are trying to sell in the West), and advaita vedanta philosophy. And every night before I go to bed I read one or two pages from Vasistha’s Yoga (translation by Swami Venkatesananda). The majority of the 30 or so spirituality books I own are in some way or another associated with Hinduism, and the only two that aren’t are by Ekhart Tolle!

    Before I got into this, I was an atheist, mostly because the only concept of God I had been exposed to (that God created the universe but is separate from it) didn’t chime very well with my scientific mind. When I started to learn about Hinduism, which credit where credit is due I did through Art of Living, I was introduced to a whole new concept of God (that he/it is consciousness and that we and everything else in the universe are a part of he/it) this explanation really appealed to me on so many levels that I began to wonder if maybe after all this particular God was more real than the God I had been brought up to believe in.

    Over time, I started to learn more and more about advaita vedanta philosophy, and again this really appealed to me on so many levels, where previous religious texts simply couldn’t. I can’t explain why, I just felt more comfortable with it and believed it was more plausible. I just find the whole breadth of it fascinating, and ironically it really appeals to my scientific mind.

    So given everything I’ve just told you, can you honestly tell me if I sound like someone who really wants to malign Hinduism?

    • You am I permalink
      July 17, 2011 7:14 pm

      @Doctor

      a) Your first charge against AOL is that it’s bad because it’s Hindu
      “It is obvious to anyone who has spent any serious amount of time with Art of Living that it has a) a world view which is based entirely on Hinduism, b) Moral and spiritual values which again are drawn from Hinduism, and c) the majority of Group Support memes enumerated above”

      b)Then your charge is against Hinduism’s copyright “Godmen” doctrine.Ignoring that a Mufti or Pope can order the followers to burn witches at stake or stone the apostate to death
      “Art of Living’s founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, is obviously a Hindu Guru, and his entourage consists of a number of “Swamis” and “Rishis”, titles which are given to Godmen only in Hinduism”

      c) Charge against AOL , again highlighting it’s intention to change your religion to evil “Hinduism” [seems if AOl would not have duped you into Hinduism , you would have indeed not felt cheated ]
      “In every possible respect, then, Art of Living is at the very least a Hindu organization, and in some respects it can even be viewed as a religion in its own right with its roots in Hinduism.”

      d) your lament that poor Christians are fooled to convert to Hinduism.I don;t know much about Art of Living ..but if they stop you from worshiping Christ or Allah ..it;s their fault ..what;s more. it’s against Hinduism..but you lament nonetheless
      “And what is even more interesting is that everyone knows deep down inside that it is a Hindu organization and that they have been deceived this entire time, but they not only accept it, they themselves further perpetuate the lie”

      e) here is your absolute lament ..Can a sensible Christian ever join a Hindu organization ? [ by the way ..by making this argument you prove exactly what i always suspected..your intolerance as an Abrahmic towards anything Hindu ]
      “Would the majority of non-Hindus have taken an Art of Living course in the first place if they were told from the outset that Art of Living was a Hindu organization?”

      I know what i have read .. don’t tell me to read between the lines ..because you have not left enough space between the dots !

      By the way Tolle’s A New Earth (though repetitive) and Power of Now are good reads.He does not give credits , but that’s immaterial , he says the right things and that is all that matters for Humanity.

      I have studied Yoga Vashishtha,Astavakra, Bible, Quran, Yoga Sutras, Shankara, Tolle, Rashid Khalifa, Nazrul Balagha ..as humanity first living scripture the Rig Veda does not forbid me to accept goodness from wherever it comes

      Aano bhadra krtavo yantu vishwatah – let noble thoughts come to all from all sides.

      Not like you ..who believes that if Abrahmics like you knew beforehand that AOL is a Hindu organization you would not have joined it.

      you made your point ..but you lost your argument across the blog

    • You am I permalink
      July 17, 2011 7:55 pm

      @Doctor

      Also for your info , the Guru-Shishya (Master-Disciple) system was mandated in Hinduism because of many things , foremost being that the knowledge was transmitted orally from one generation to the other.Strict discipline was needed so that this knowledge was not corrupted.

      In India we respect the Gurus by touching their feet. A Guru is the one who dispels your ignorance. For us our Mother is first Guru, we touch her feet for teaching us our first lessons of life – Love, Compassion, Dedication,Language,Discipline, .Even If i turn 40 , i would not feel ashamed or awkward about falling at her feet . Our scriptures assert that

      “A religious teacher is 10 times more important than a teacher. A father is 100 times more important than the religious teacher. A mother is 1000 times worthier than the father.”

      your fault lies in not understanding the baiscs of Hinduism before hitting out at its traditions.A religious Guru who tries to become a greater Guru than your mom and dad is a fool and NO! Hinduism does not FORCE you touch anybody’s feet..its prescriptive and not authoritarian.

      So it’s naive on your part to belittle Hindu traditions without understanding what and why they are what they are. If you have anything against AOL keep Hinduism out of it.

      • Peaceful Warrior permalink
        July 18, 2011 2:47 pm

        AOL is not hinduism – RS picks and chooses concepts from hinduism based on convenience. Among other things, in hinduism gurus don’t charge fees for teachings.

        Quote from conversation with shankracharya –
        http://minet.org/Documents/shank-3

        This is a principle. A quotation from Goswami Tulsidas:
        “The guru who charges or takes money from his disciples in return
        for initiation, steals disciples property and goes to damnable hell.”

        For that reason Guru Deva used to give `upadesha’ (initiation) without
        any fees. He used to say “If I accept any gift from the disciple
        (or fees), then his sins are transmitted to me.” In India, dharma,
        yoga, knowledge, specialized knowledge can never be sold for money.

  16. harshal permalink
    July 17, 2011 7:48 pm

    @You am I- you are amazing! you have just stripped apart this fake doctor.

    • stupidseeker permalink
      July 18, 2011 4:03 am

      Where did you learn your sycophancy from harshal ??? let me guess, from a guy in white robe with a flowing beard, with twinkling eyes, yes the very one playing the part of “spiritual”leader ??

    • stupidseeker permalink
      July 18, 2011 4:11 am

      I remember a very nice story from my, Amar chitra katha comic days.Allow me to indulge myself please.
      There happened to be this jackal, the sidekick of a mighty lion living on the scraps thrown to him by the lion. As his service he used to massage the legs of his master, the lion,every night, to help him to sleep. Then one day the lion was killed by an elephant and thereafter the jackal became very sick, dspite the fact that his jackal family adopted him into their fold. None were able to diagnose what was wrong with him.
      Then one day the physician jackal came and saw what the problem was. He asked the other jackals to fetch the carcass of a lion. The other jackals searched far and wide and finally brought back the moth eaten hide of a long dead lion.
      The physician then took hold of the paws of this stricken jackal and pressed it to the feet of the carcass, and lo and behold the color began to return to the jackal.

    • stupidseeker permalink
      July 18, 2011 8:16 am

      The best of sycophants have a bit of subtleness about them. Apparently you haven’t learnt that yet at AOL.Maybe in time….

  17. The Doctor permalink
    July 17, 2011 8:52 pm

    Goodness me, You an I, I now realize that you’ve obviously only come here to start a fight and you have no intention of actually engaging in any of the issues raised in this blog! I also realize that it was you who started the whole debacle on the previous thread, and you’ve already admitted you don’t have any experience with Art of Living.

    Well, for the sake of deconstructing your arguments, I will respond to your allegations:

    a) Your first charge against AOL is that it’s bad because it’s Hindu
    “It is obvious to anyone who has spent any serious amount of time with Art of Living that it has a) a world view which is based entirely on Hinduism, b) Moral and spiritual values which again are drawn from Hinduism, and c) the majority of Group Support memes enumerated above”

    Can you point to where specifically in either this sentence or in my post I say AoL is bad? To date I have always maintained that AoL has both good and bad aspects. By applying your above “logic” this also means that I am saying AoL is also good because it’s Hindu. However, the sentence makes no implications whatsoever as to whether either AoL or Hinduism are good or bad. All I have done is stated a number of facts about AoL, and yes they are facts and not just opinions. If you believe otherwise, show it.

    b)Then your charge is against Hinduism’s copyright “Godmen” doctrine.Ignoring that a Mufti or Pope can order the followers to burn witches at stake or stone the apostate to death
    “Art of Living’s founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, is obviously a Hindu Guru, and his entourage consists of a number of “Swamis” and “Rishis”, titles which are given to Godmen only in Hinduism”

    I said what I said to support my argument that Art of Living is based on Hinduism. Persons bearing these uniquely Hindu titles (Guru, Swami, Rishi) are those who are at the head of affairs in Art of Living. Muftis, the Pope, and any other type of religious leader leader has no relevance here, simply because they are do not run Art of Living, and I can’t even begin to understand why you’ve brought them up, nor why you even made any reference to burning witches(?)

    c) Charge against AOL , again highlighting it’s intention to change your religion to evil “Hinduism” [seems if AOl would not have duped you into Hinduism , you would have indeed not felt cheated ]
    “In every possible respect, then, Art of Living is at the very least a Hindu organization, and in some respects it can even be viewed as a religion in its own right with its roots in Hinduism.”

    I’ve come to realize that YOU are the only one who seems to be making the implication that Hinduism is evil, since you have yet to show me anywhere I have even remotely hinted at this. What I have clearly argued is that yes AoL has duped people into joining not only a religious organization but one which is based specifically on Hinduism. Not only do AoL pretend hide the fact that many of their teachings and practices stem from Hinduism, they go further and even pretend that they aren’t a religious organization but instead are “spiritual”, when in actual fact they really are one and the same. And yes I have known people who have specifically asked if AoL is a religious organization who didn’t want to join a religious organization and have been told the same lie that AoL tell everyone, that it isn’t. This is the source of deception. That it is a Hindu organization is almost irrelevant compared to that AoL uses deception to draw members in.

    d) your lament that poor Christians are fooled to convert to Hinduism.I don;t know much about Art of Living ..but if they stop you from worshiping Christ or Allah ..it;s their fault ..what;s more. it’s against Hinduism..but you lament nonetheless
    “And what is even more interesting is that everyone knows deep down inside that it is a Hindu organization and that they have been deceived this entire time, but they not only accept it, they themselves further perpetuate the lie”

    Ok, now you’re just making things up! In fact, everything above is obviously made up as well, but here specifically you have again shown what your agenda is on this blog, and that is to create a conflict between Hinduism and any other religion you somehow feel is inferior. And all your posts so far reek of this.

    Let me tell you right now: NOWHERE up to the point in my above sentence have I even mentioned Christians or Muslims or any other faith, and I don’t actually mention them until my very last paragraph. I have clearly shown that ANYONE who is involved with Art of Living over time essentially becomes a Hindu. And you’ve just further shot yourself in the foot by admitting you don’t know much about Art of Living. well done 🙂

    e) here is your absolute lament ..Can a sensible Christian ever join a Hindu organization ? [ by the way ..by making this argument you prove exactly what i always suspected..your intolerance as an Abrahmic towards anything Hindu ]
    “Would the majority of non-Hindus have taken an Art of Living course in the first place if they were told from the outset that Art of Living was a Hindu organization?”

    And now, you’ve just proven that you’re an idiot. I have already explicitly told you that I am not an “Abrahamic” since I never felt comfortable with the world view postulated by all Abrahamic religions. You seem to be under some delusion that anyone who isn’t a Hindu us thus an Abrahamic? Wow!! Your logic is just getting more absurd, but please do continue to bring it on!

    I asked a rhetorical question, which just to clarify for your benefit means I already knew the answer to it. I know that most people wouldn’t take a course with ANY religious organization if that organization was honest and told people it was a religious organization to begin with. Art of Living is dishonest in this respect, and this is how it attracts more followers. People don’t really find out that it is a religious organization until much later, and even then the smoke and mirrors is there to make them think that it is really a “spiritual” organization which embraces all faiths.

    I know what i have read .. don’t tell me to read between the lines ..because you have not left enough space between the dots !

    I know what I wrote, and I’m not asking you to read between the lines: I’m asking you to actually read the lines properly in the first place and not add your own completely twisted interpretations which seems to stem from your hatred of all other religions and people who aren’t Hindu, which is what all your posts so far would indicate.

    I WILL WARN YOU NOW: NEITHER RELIGIOUS HATRED NOR RACISM IS TOLERATED ON THIS BLOG, SO IF YOU CONTINUE IN THIS MANNER YOU WILL BE BANNED.

  18. Harshal permalink
    July 17, 2011 9:11 pm

    “NEITHER RELIGIOUS HATRED NOR RACISM IS TOLERATED ON THIS BLOG”

    Only rumour mongering, fake allegations, gossiping are allowed on this blog.How can you be such a hypocrite shit-head fake-doc?

    • The Doctor permalink
      July 17, 2011 10:11 pm

      [sigh] you really don’t understand the English language very well at all do you Harshal?

      I recommend you take the time to actually look up what the word “hypocrite” means and then you’ll see the flaws in the sentence you just wrote. You’ll also understand why it is that you and many who are at the core of Art of Living have on numerous occasions been referred to as hypocrites.

    • Jr. permalink
      July 17, 2011 11:08 pm

      From the book of your own tiresome self, why don’t you show us some proof Harshy? Show us some proof of rumour mongering and fake allegations.

      You’re just a coward who never answers any questions.

    • anonymous permalink
      July 18, 2011 1:43 pm

      And Grandfathers sitting around moaning about how much pain it gives them to see their precious fake guru put down (a guru that grandpa hasn’t even met, probably and knows nothing about, and if he did, would run away really fast!)

  19. harshal permalink
    July 17, 2011 10:15 pm

    @fakedoc: dont teach me english. I have learnt my english and not picked up like you. I mean what I said.

    • The Doctor permalink
      July 18, 2011 4:43 am

      Harshal – I think that sentence, and much else you’ve written on this blog, just proves my point. 😉

      And no, you still don’t know what a hypocrite is.

      • Harshal permalink
        July 18, 2011 8:56 am

        the only thing which has been proved now is your anti-hindu agenda.

      • The Doctor permalink
        July 18, 2011 9:58 am

        @Harshal – no it hasn’t.

        You and ‘You am I’ are just trying to play this anti-Hindu card in an attempt to make out that this blog is something which it clearly isn’t. This allegation has nothing whatsoever to support it, especially when I have explicitly made my views on Hinduism clear.

        It is obvious you are so frustrated with what is written in this blog that you are desperate to try anything to bring it down, including inciting religious hatred. Your abuses to date have been tolerated on this blog, however as I have already warned ‘You am I’, you will also be banned if you continue in this manner.

  20. Peaceful Warrior permalink
    July 18, 2011 12:13 am

    The fact that AOL is hindu in nature and character is not hidden from anyone. Many western people I’ve met in the organization, had no problem with it – in fact being with a hindu satguru was what pulled them and kept them. I don’t think anyone is so immature to believe the marketing hype about it being non-religious. AOL does not fool you in this regard – you fool yourself. People just take advantage of your folly.

    Religion is about doing things with other people – spirituality is more personal. Personally – all the benefits you get from doing Art of Living courses are best experienced when you are away from the organization, and putting whatever you learn in daily life.

    • Doubt permalink
      July 19, 2011 1:44 pm

      @ Doctor

      A time comes when things have to come to an end. I think this blog has outlived its utility. Rather than exposing AOL, it has taken a new course and that is exposing AOL and thus denouncing Hinduism. AOL is not Hinduism. Period.

      Most of the westerners visiting this blog have learnt something about Hinduism through eyes and ears of AOL. And that is perfectly distorted/ one-sided version of Hinduism. That is why our cool doctor can agree with strupid seeker’s version of hinduism (SS reply to you am I reply dated 17th july 1:38 PM). In hinduism, for every dogma/ thought / principle, there will be an exactly opposite dogma/ thought / principle. So if there are advatins, there are equally big sect of dvaitins and various sects of dvaitdvait, vishithavait and also a sect of Charvaks, all of them are Hindus.

      This blog is becoming battlefield of religious bigots and hindu-bashing and this pains me. I will remain opposed to practices of AOL because they are unethical not because they have some close resemblance to some sect of Hinduism.

      Doubt

      • stupidseeker permalink
        July 19, 2011 2:56 pm

        Hinduism by its very definitions alllows for different versions to exist. It extends to me that right. If you have a problem with this right, get it annulled.If it cant extend to me that right, it can also get it anulled.

        But don’t expect to respect that annullment anymore than me waiting for its permission to speak my opinions on it.

      • Doubt permalink
        July 19, 2011 4:51 pm

        Hinduism is not a religion. It is a life style. If you start defining Hinduism as a religion, it will lead to contradictions or very narrow interpretation like AOL’s or yours. This whole post is about deconstructing religion and Hinduism is not a religion it loses meaning. However, AOL displays all characteristics of a religion. for that it may be relevant.

        That is the problem that is one person have right to annul other persons views, but at the same time it does not give anybody right to annul others thought or rather misrepresenting something that is obvious.

        Another problem is many of Sanskrit words do not have any exact counterpart in english. Like Dharma and many a times it is translated as religion which it is clearly not. Similarly, Nastik, which is loosely translated as atheist, which is clearly not true. It means who donot explicitly accept authority of Vedas. Five out of six traditional schools of philosophy, Charvaks, Buddha and Jaina do not accept authority of Vedas. Only one school of philosophy accept autority of Vedas.

        To understand Hinduism, in reality, this is also a term coined by others, to distinguish people living beyond Indus and their traditions; one has to understand Dharma. The Dharma that has been in discussion in this post is Sanatan Dharma (The eternal principle or law / or eternal natural order/ in Rig veda it is known as Rita). However, that is not religion.

        I have no quarrel with you, only about the interpretation of Hinduism.

  21. stupidseeker permalink
    July 18, 2011 7:06 am

    @ Peaceful Warrior,

    I agree that the Hindu nature of AOL maybe an open secret. I also agree that the exoticism and esoteric nature of eastern philosophy may have drawn many “westerners” into their fold.
    But then what I don’t agree is that you put the onus of the discovery of AOL’s fundamental Hindu nature on the seeker alone.You exonerate AOL of the fundamental unethical behaviour of not explaining upfront what the product is all about, and by extension of not allowing the “customer” the freedom to choose by witholding essential information of what the product is all about.

    • stupidseeker permalink
      July 18, 2011 7:10 am

      In other words, from a Hindu perspective, AOL and HHSSRS may actually be accused of denying their own faith, by proclaiming, what are essentially Hindu rituals and customs, to be secular in nature.

  22. stupidseeker permalink
    July 18, 2011 10:10 am

    Harshal permalink
    July 18, 2011 8:56 am
    the only thing which has been proved now is your anti-hindu agenda.

    And you proved a long time back that you are anti humanity itself, who finds the process of life itself abhorrent.

  23. Harshal permalink
    July 18, 2011 10:11 am

    “you will also be banned if you continue in this manner”

    I challenge you to ban me.

    • Jr. permalink
      July 18, 2011 2:22 pm

      Would love to see you gone. It’s getting tiresome…

  24. Harshal permalink
    July 18, 2011 10:37 am

    you did that by posting the hindu hater convert manu joseph article. You should ban yourself.

    The problem is that the real nature of this blog is coming out now, you have exposed yourself and your evangelical agendas are opening out like the legs of a tortoise. Hence you are threatening to ban us.

    • The Doctor permalink
      July 18, 2011 10:57 am

      If Manu Joseph really is a “Hindu hater” as you call him, can you please enlighten us as to how on earth he was awarded the HINDU Best Fiction Award in 2010?

      • Harshal permalink
        July 18, 2011 11:10 am

        lol…keep exposing yourself fakedoc. You are just showing how much you do not know about india. The Hindu has nothing to do with Hinduism. It is just a left-leaning newspaper in India -which explains this award.

        Keep entertaining me.

      • stupidseeker permalink
        July 18, 2011 12:02 pm

        @ The Doctor,
        Pls. dont go by the name of the daily ,”Hindu”. It’s actually the name of a leading Indian daily, which apart from its name, which has religious connotations, is actually amongst the most secular dailies in all of India. Infact the magazine called “Frontline”, a publication of the same house, is sometimes seen as dangerously left wing. To be honest,this daily has yet to compromise on the secular principles of the indian constitution.

        Regards
        SS

  25. stupidseeker permalink
    July 18, 2011 10:44 am

    Harshal permalink
    July 18, 2011 8:56 am
    the only thing which has been proved now is your anti-hindu agenda.

    And BTW harshal has there ever been anything in your life that you are happy with, that has met any of your expectations.

  26. Harshal permalink
    July 18, 2011 10:55 am

    And BTW harshal has there ever been anything in your life that you are happy with, that has met any of your expectations

    No pastor. Come and convert me so that I can get eternal happiness.

    • stupidseeker permalink
      July 18, 2011 12:09 pm

      didn’t you know harshal. It’s all Maya, it’s all a delusion. The eternal sorceress called Maya has all creatures under her magical spell. The spell that covers glass with smoke, the veil that separates the manifest self from the unmanifest eternal.
      The all pervading eternal brahman that animates you and me is all the same. Awaken your Kundalini Harshal, let it rise. Open up the sushumna, balance your Ida and Pingala, activate your chakras, let the Kundalini merge with your sahasrar.
      Once that happens maybe you might leave us alone, for God’s sake.

      • Harshal permalink
        July 18, 2011 12:38 pm

        @stupidseeker :I can do all that, if you are ready to sing along…’all things bright and beautiful all creatures great and small’

    • stupidseeker permalink
      July 18, 2011 12:56 pm

      @harashal
      No pastor. Come and convert me so that I can get eternal happiness.

      Actually harshal, there is a vacancy for a new devil as guardian for hell. The old one I see cant match your qualities of viciousness, vindictiveness, coarseness and innuendo. Care to apply ?? See, how much i care for your eternal happinness, to find you a job for life that suits your innate strenghts.

  27. stupidseeker permalink
    July 18, 2011 11:08 am

    Harshal permalink
    July 18, 2011 8:56 am
    the only thing which has been proved now is your anti-hindu agenda.

    And just how “pro-Hindu” is your Guru, when he denies his own faith, to gather for himself a cult following.
    He uses the tenets of his faith to propagate himself as a spiritual guru and then denies his own faith by calling those tenets secular calling them beyond religion when back home, in India these very rituals are part and parcel of hindu culture and mores.
    Just how “pro-hindu” is that ??? You can’t expect me to be more “pro-hindu” than your boss ravishankar, do you.

  28. Harshal permalink
    July 18, 2011 11:13 am

    @stupidseeker aka pastor: get a life. Let me work. Find someone else to convert.

    • stupidseeker permalink
      July 18, 2011 12:13 pm

      Remind me when was the last time I forced you to make your posts at gunpoint Harshal ??

  29. Harshal permalink
    July 18, 2011 12:29 pm

    @stupidseeker : again you are misleading poor old doc. If she does some research on The Hindu online she can easily find out that it is left-leaning.

  30. stupidseeker permalink
    July 18, 2011 12:38 pm

    @Harshal,

    Don’t I know cunning people like you who fake religiousness to appear holier than thou.

    In your dictionary if you call someone guilty that someone has to produce proof of innocence and not you proof of guilt. If the doc, he/she took the trouble of finding proof of innocence, it does not exonerate you of the crime of laying false charges on he/she.
    I can actually smell your cunningness and viciousness over this blog. In AOL lingo, you are a fit case for enlightenment.

  31. Harshal permalink
    July 18, 2011 12:48 pm

    “if you call someone guilty that someone has to produce proof of innocence and not you proof of guilt”

    This is the whole concept of this blog.

  32. stupidseeker permalink
    July 18, 2011 1:05 pm

    Harshal, if ravishankar was caught romping on the bed with a beauty aka nityananda on live TV, even that would not shake the conviction of his devotees. Devotees continue to kkep faith in theri objects of reverence even if a million prayers go answered
    In such case, can any amount of proof be enough to prove Ravi ravi is nothing but a peddler of solace and takes advantage of the innate urge of seekers to look beyond for his own aggrandisement.
    And BTW have you produced even a shred of proof, even out of shame,even out of a sense of duty to your guru, to show all the charges as false. You label someone as anti hindu and whatnot and consider your duty done.
    Gimme a surprise someday harshal, or then again I’d follow HHSSRS’s dictum “expectations reduce joy in life”, that very aphorism he and others of his ilk borrowed so liberally from Zen philosophy.

    • anonymous permalink
      July 18, 2011 10:02 pm

      Stupidseeker! LOL!!!!!!! That you would even print that HHSSRS might be caught romping on the bed with a beauty like Nityananda was caught with a woman, is hilarious, and proves you know nothing about him nor his preferences!!!!!!!!!!This conversation has really become very very funny — two people who don’t know anything about Ravi Shankar, reporting about Ravi Shankar. Have either Harshal or this Stupidseeker person ever even met him?

      • stupidseeker permalink
        July 19, 2011 5:38 am

        I was only referring to the power of faith.

  33. stupidseeker permalink
    July 18, 2011 1:06 pm

    oops!

    Devotees continue to kkep faith in theri objects of reverence even if a million prayers go unanswered

  34. Harshal permalink
    July 18, 2011 1:16 pm

    if popepope was caught romping on the bed with a beauty aka pastor on live TV, even that would not shake the conviction of his devotees. Devotees continue to kkep faith in theri objects of reverence even if a million prayers go answered
    In such case, can any amount of proof be enough to prove pope pope is nothing but a peddler of solace and takes advantage of the innate urge of seekers to look beyond for his own aggrandisement.

    (just being efficient, I am at work)

  35. stupidseeker permalink
    July 18, 2011 1:48 pm

    So that’s what you are actually ?? Just a devotee, who has laid his brains aside ??
    Tell us something new Harshal

  36. stupidseeker permalink
    July 18, 2011 2:03 pm

    @Harshal,

    Could you at least show me the video where you caught me having a romp. God knows I could do with a few laughs. And yes, I’d be happy to show you any number of Nityananda’s videos of his rasa krida.

  37. Anonymous permalink
    July 18, 2011 2:50 pm

    “Years before he felt the need to show people that science is the only “right” way to discover the ultimate truth”….

    I should disagree with that – because if you look at it, Science is just another set of ‘memes’. Any framework – be it Newton’s Gravity or Einstien’s Relativity – is not the truth – it is just a framework for explaining the phenomena you observe. It is just a conceptual model to explain what you see around and what you may see around when so and so condition is true.

    It is important to realize that this is called model related realism – which explains reality with in a defined model – and not universal as explained by Stephen Hawking in the Grand Design. In an open system, you can create such models by observing just a part of the system and considering that as a closed system – and come up with your own set of rules – while the basic rules/reality is totally different.

    If you look at the actual Hinduism, there are a lot of similarities in the core ‘memes’ with that of the new science ‘memes’. The concept of Advaita is almost e=mc2 (all matter is energy), which means almost everything is one and the same at the higher level. The ‘meme’ that the observer, observing phenomena, and the process of observation can not be separated that you find in Hinduism (see Lalitha Sahsra Nama and all) is almost equivalent to Feyman’s quantum model where the observing phenomena is affected by the observer/process of observation.

    One dangerous aspect I’ve seen when some one goes out of AOL is, they’ll start dis-believing the entire spiritual system, may be because of the bad experiences they had in AOL.

    To keep it short, it is perfectly possible to argue that both religion and science is in fact just a set of ‘memes’ 🙂

    • The Doctor permalink
      July 18, 2011 3:57 pm

      @Anonymous,

      Right on the money!

      Every possible perspective is just that, a perspective, and nothing more. This was described succinctly by Alfred Korzybski last century with the expression, “The Map is Not the Territory.” You may disagree with what I stated above, however this does not change the fact that Dawkins, as well as many other leading scientists worldwide, appear to confuse the model with reality, or at the very least insist that their model is the most superior way of describing reality.

      These days Dawkins has become somewhat of an evangelist for science and for atheism, almost to the point that he is pushing for science as a religion for atheists. And in several respects, it can be viewed as a religion. After all, science almost exclusively features World View memes, lacks Moral and Spiritual values memes, and has a certain number of Group Support memes, at the very least that most scientists believe science is the highest path to the truth, and of course scientist self-identify with science and get become very defensive against conflicting World View memes such as those presented by most religions. And it is precisely this conflict of World View memes that is the source of Dawkins’ criticism of religion (for instance in his book “The God Delusion”).

      As you have expressed, however, there are indeed many parallels between the World View memes of modern science and those of Advaita Vedanta philosophy. Somewhere along the way this was one of the factors that got me sucked into AoL even further, as it came up quite a lot during a number of Rishiji Nitya Pragya’s talks. Thankfully, since my overall experience with AoL was fairly positive, my leaving hasn’t scarred me in the same way as it has others towards spirituality, and I still find these parallels fascinating and worthy of further study. 🙂

      • Harshal permalink
        July 18, 2011 4:07 pm

        Chose the write answer

        Thankfully, since my overall experience with AoL was fairly positive,

        1) I decided to moderate an anti-AOL blog
        2) I highlighted the benefits to others
        3) I decided to leave AOL based on anonymous opinions rather than trusting my own experiences
        4) I realized that it can be a threat to my faith

      • The Doctor permalink
        July 18, 2011 4:23 pm

        I’ve already answered what I think you meant to ask me (re-read your question and you’ll see what I mean) in my first post on this blog, and I know full well you’ve already read it, so I’m intrigued as to why you feel the need to ask me again. Is your memory failing you now as well with all that hyperventilating you’ve been doing?

  38. Harshal permalink
    July 18, 2011 3:04 pm

    @Peaceful Warrior:

    That document is BS. Gurudakshina has always been a part of Indian traditions. But you are so fu**ed up that to prove your fake point you don’t mind giving a BS evidence.

    • You am I permalink
      July 18, 2011 4:33 pm

      @Harshal

      @PeacefulWarrior is right.The guru-dakshina according to shastras used to be the inexpensive freely available samidha ..that too as a symbolic gesture of surrendering one’s ahamkara.

      It’s in the times of puranas and itihasas that this tradition got corrupted and is followed till date.The evil dronacharya demanded Eklavaya’s thumb in guru dakshina ..i hope modern gurus are not doing the same

      • harshal permalink
        July 18, 2011 4:46 pm

        are you sure you am I?

        which shastras? Any reference?

      • You am I permalink
        July 19, 2011 5:18 am

        Namaste Harshal

        refer Chandogya (svetaketu) and Mundaka (Saunaka)

  39. stupidseeker permalink
    July 18, 2011 3:20 pm

    Peaceful Warrior permalink
    July 18, 2011 2:47 pm

    AOL is not hinduism – RS picks and chooses concepts from Hinduism based on convenience………….

    As per the Gurukula system the disciple had to make a dakshina or offering to the teacher as a symbol of his gratitude. For example Eklavya had to offer his thumb to his teacher by proxy, Drona as demanded by him.
    In hierarchial terms this was was called gurudakshina or offering to the guru by the disciple. In modern terms the term dakshina exactly translates to “course donations” and never course fees, since in acknowledgement of the ancient custom there can be no “fees” for the education received, thus only a donation or dakshina can be made.

    • Harshal permalink
      July 18, 2011 3:49 pm

      such a big idiot this pastor is. he says dakshina =donations. Donations can be voluntary dakshinas are not.

      Dakshina is whatever the Guru asks for, has to be given Dakshina is more closer to fees than donations…..Or else eklavya would have given the thumb of left hand and not right.

      • stupidseeker permalink
        July 18, 2011 4:13 pm

        Yes if donations can be voluntary then half the dharavi slum wud be hyperventilating by now

    • Peaceful Warrior permalink
      July 18, 2011 4:13 pm

      Clearly you are more knowledgeable on these matters than shankracharyas of dasnami tradition. Please let me know which traditional mathas ask for donations from disciples. People give out of gratitude – but rarely is it asked as a fee.

      Donations by their very nature are voluntary. AOL calls course fee a donation – but really it is not. It may be a perfectly fine practice, but goes against the tenets of hinduism. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

      This is precisely the sort of rationalization that AOL makes – twisting well known concepts to serve their own purposes. Talk to any authority on hinduism who is non-AOL in privacy. None of them are comfortable with commercialization of religion and the way AOL does business.

      • You am I permalink
        July 18, 2011 4:43 pm

        you said it !

        Fixed price, mandatory donation is no donation at all ..worse still is to call this business as guru-dakshina.

      • stupidseeker permalink
        July 19, 2011 4:30 am

        I was referring to donations in the perspective of AOL lingo. If I can be accused of anything it can be only of not specifying the context in my “dharavi” post

      • stupidseeker permalink
        July 19, 2011 4:34 am

        I dispute that. The administrative regency and the religious clergy have always walked hand in hand for almost any Hindu kingdom. Huge sums as donations towards temple construction even at the cost of public projects were the norm. the clergy of today, living in a constitutional republic dont have those amenities. hence the commercialisation. And the possibility that, those who are uncomfortable with the AOL commercialisation,are really only jealous of HHSSRS’s fame, cannot be ruled out.

      • You am I permalink
        July 19, 2011 5:23 am

        @stupidseeker

        at the time of the Hindu Kingdoms .. India was the second largest economy of the world. State was run through taxes and temples received “offerings” and not donation.

        the fact that somanth was resurrected and rich 17 times after repeated loot and plunder by Abrahmic marauders is proof enough that the temple was not connected to the treasury (The king moved his treasury but he could not shift the temple of the lord)

      • Peaceful Warrior permalink
        July 19, 2011 12:41 pm

        Huge sums as donations towards temple construction even at the cost of public projects were the norm. the clergy of today, living in a constitutional republic dont have those amenities. hence the commercialisation.

        That’s not true – In india godmen and gurus have always attracted $$. Be it Sai Baba Trust, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Vipassana, or mathas like Sringeri/Kanchi – these organizations get lot of money from devotees, without even having to ask for it.

        It is a silly rationalization to think that “in these times” hindu tradition has to adapt to fee model. Tenets of a religion do not change.

        It’s ok if MMY/RS charge course fee but then they have a vested interest in making the devotee pay – and such a person cannot claim to be a guru by hindu tradition. A teacher – maybe, but not guru.

  40. Prairie Princess permalink
    July 18, 2011 3:21 pm

    Is Harshal paid by the word by AOL for his rantings? He never seems to have a point except to promote AOL and deliberately misses the point of most of the postings here. Why don’t you answer the questions The Doctor has asked you?

    • Harshal permalink
      July 18, 2011 3:52 pm

      @Prairie Princess: unfortunately not. But I am pretty sure that this blog owner is paid by some people to maintain this blog.

      I dont answer the questions because I am not here to answer any questions. I just highlight the irony /falsehood/hypocrisy in this blog and am entertained by it.

      • The Doctor permalink
        July 18, 2011 4:32 pm

        “I just highlight the irony /falsehood/hypocrisy in this blog ”

        Yet to this day you still haven’t been able to highlight a single thing.

        You have however clearly demonstrated that you don’t know what “hypocrisy” means, and I’m fairly certain you don’t understand “irony”. That then just leaves “falsehood”, which to you means “anything said by anyone who criticizes Art of Living”.

  41. stupidseeker permalink
    July 18, 2011 3:34 pm

    @Anonymous

    Hinduism IMHO cannot be diffrentiated into actual and imitation Hinduism. It is essentially the the sum of the spiritual,religious and esoteric, thoughts of a civilisation spread over a period of five thousand years and counting.
    It came up with the concept of worship a personal God to attain salvation and as an exact counterpoint it also came up with the concept of an impersonal God, the all pervading Brahman. Buddhists took this point further to name this all pervading Brahman as “nothingness” also known as the state of “shoonya”. If you simply remove the limitations of time and space that an “embodied being” experiences, then logically the Godly or illimitable state is one where time and space no longer bind you. You are here and now and everywhere. I’m not sure that is so hard to arrive at.
    Yet I find it hard to believe that if the seers understood it perfectly, why weren’t the mathematicians able to express it mathematically. After all didn’t a theoretical physicist like Einstein work it out in a non empirical manner and express it with mathematical equations.

    • You am I permalink
      July 18, 2011 5:07 pm

      The six philosophies of Hinduism with samkhya as the primary and others either in consonance or dissonance on it’s consciousness principle have never undergone any change since thousands of years.

      It’s just that from these six philosophies many sects and sub-philosophies emerged and are still emerging.But this applies to all religions.Christianity is still evolving in India , it;s becoming more and more hinduised – You find many chrsitian ashrams in south [not that they would let you know they are christian] where christian swamis sing Yesu Suprabhatam in sankrit !

      coming to the pertinent part in your post: Empiricism and mathematics.

      If you see Einstein of special relativity and general relativity – these are two Einsteins . one wedded to empiricism and the other shattered by the failure of empiricism.

      To treat mathematics as absolute is to deny axioms their due respect. atoms, universe, us are nothing but mathematical probability functions – mathematics can point to reality but cannot establish it

      • stupidseeker permalink
        July 19, 2011 4:28 am

        Neither can faith establish reality.

      • You am I permalink
        July 19, 2011 4:48 am

        @ss

        the first step of any learning or attempt to establish reality,secular or religious – is faith !

        in science you call it hypothesis . in religion you call it a scripture

        its sad that in the case of religion, for most people the first step remains the last and thus becomes blind-faith

      • stupidseeker permalink
        July 19, 2011 5:09 am

        @You Am I,

        You refer to the Hinduisation of christianity. Again, to repeat my earlier post, If Hindu philosophy contains all within itself, then what exactly is the identity of christianity, if not an offshoot of hinduism ?So in one stroke you make two contradictory statements. One you deny the “other” can exist and another that the “other” exists but is being absorbed into the superior philosophy.
        I know of many Hindus who have deified Jesus and worship him as God, alongwith other Gods and godessess, should I then say that Hinduism has been christianized ?
        Moreover hindu society in general has adopted “western” technology on a mammoth scale.Should I say that hindu society has become “westernised”. Even the concepts of secularism, democracy, the power of the ballot, were western concepts. Would you accuse the hindus of becoming “westernised” because they adopted democracy, and voting as a means of governance ??

      • You am I permalink
        July 19, 2011 5:53 am

        Again, to repeat my earlier post, If Hindu philosophy contains all within itself, then what exactly is the identity of christianity, if not an offshoot of hinduism ?

        Hindu philosophy does not contain all within itself ..it explains all possibilities of reality. for example Hinduism does not pray hell upon no-Hindus. This is trademark Christianity which gives it a distinct identity.

        So in one stroke you make two contradictory statements. One you deny the “other” can exist and another that the “other” exists but is being absorbed into the superior philosophy.

        I hope this is now clear to you. for example , the concept of trinity is already found in the Hindu concept of soul,prakriti and Ishvara.So as a matter of fact, the religious framework is already there in Hinduism…just that Christianity has patented a localized version of it and has thus become the “other”

        I know of many Hindus who have deified Jesus and worship him as God, alongwith other Gods and godessess, should I then say that Hinduism has been christianized ?

        why other Hindus? even i pray to Jesus in the realm of duality (no one can deny the purity,selflessness and sacrifice of Jesus Christ for Humanity..it;s the bible and the evangelist idiots that i am against )

        Hinduism says that you can pray to God in various forms . For Hindus Jesus is one more form .They are not violating the tenets of Hinduism at all ..so your charge doesn’t stand

        Moreover hindu society in general has adopted “western” technology on a mammoth scale.Should I say that hindu society has become “westernised”

        technology is a secular issue. The British tore apart the Indian textile industry to usher the first industrial revolution of the world.Today India and many other nations contribute to this secular endeavor.And technology is adapted based on its applicability.If its good its good.You would know that intel and amd revolution happened under the leadership of Vinod Dham – a Hindu ..should i foolishly assume that all those who are using intel powered systes are Hinduized. why do you mix secular and religious issues time and again?

        . Even the concepts of secularism, democracy, the power of the ballot, were western concepts. Would you accuse the hindus of becoming “westernised” because they adopted democracy, and voting as a means of governance ??

        Phew! another secular issue clubbed with the religious .Anyways for your info , democracy and the idea of a republic is not only found in ancient India but many other non-western cultures. the concept can be dated back to RV and sanghas

      • Doubt permalink
        July 19, 2011 1:59 pm

        As we discuss mathematics, here are some quotes of Einstein,

        As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
        Quoted in J R Newman, The World of Mathematics (New York 1956).

        I don’t believe in mathematics.
        Quoted in Carl Seelig. Albert Einstein.

        The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.
        What I Believe.

    • Anonymous permalink
      July 18, 2011 7:53 pm

      The core of Hinduism was, is and will be the same – it is all about the consciousness where the energy manifests as matter.

      Gita is so elegant that it explains this with out any space for a doubt with out mentioning religious aspects – as long as you interpret it as a whole – and takes you from religious memes to an experimental plane – and then explains various ways for you to tune your nervous system.

      If you are talking about Salvation, God etc – that is the imitation part of Hinduism, which is required to some extent to trigger an initial interest.

      The problem with theoretical physics is, it doesn’t really know how to treat entities like infinity, the vocabulary is not perfect. The assumptions regarding the boundary conditions breaks when the system is observed from a different level – for example, the shortest distance between two points on a two dimensional plane is a straight line which is a rational observation – but this breaks when you find that you are just part of a sphere and with reference to a sphere, a ‘straight’ line in a limited x,y surface is in fact a curve.

      Also, classical model treats observer different than the observing phenomena, while quantum mechanics proposes concepts like sum of histories where observer can’t be separated from an event.

      Relating this to the AOL – I think the core of Hinduism is all about being Self Established, while in AOL, this is interpreted as being Guru dependent. Guru is projected as the global consciousness personified in one form, and gets glorified.

      This is fine as long as the members are later redirected to self-dependence, which seldom happens in AOL. After one thresh hold point, knowledge itself becomes just another instrument to do business and worldly transactions. Is it because the organization has reached a stagnation point is something that I don’t know.

      Also in AOL, it is common that all difficult situations are interpreted as a way for the member to practice swadhaya or self study – but this is (mis) used by various authorities to justify the ‘sweat shop’ culture with in AOL establishments which is the real problem as I see it.

      The real problem starts when the member finds that the environment and AOL establishment itself is not aligning with the definition or memes of ‘dharma’ – the ones he heard in AOL and the ones he is constantly trying culture with in – and this conflict shatters the faith in the ‘sangha’ or the system. This naturally leads to the thinking that the Guru himself is not having a super natural powers as it was interpreted earlier – and he should be doing something really wrong because he is doing nothing to correct the system.

      This is a logical thought process that leads to the conclusion that there are lot of issues – but again, this is model dependent realism where the conclusions are drawn by observing one part of the system where there are lot of visible issues around the observer. Some one that observes the system from some other (distant) corner may have a completely different opinion – like Harshal :).

      AOL’s Guru ‘bhakti’ culture is in sharp contrast to some other schools like Ramana, where the group member is constantly encouraged to do self study with out being subjected to any demands from the system/guru. It can also be interpreted as two different paths.

      Another aspect is the conscious upbringing/narration/popularization of guru stories and miracles in AOL, that really seems like a deviation from the true aspects of Hinduism. Again, this can be interpreted as way to attract people initially for redirecting them later to the true aspects.

      • You am I permalink
        July 19, 2011 5:01 am

        @Anonymous

        well said. Albeit, i would like to say that a Guru is indeed required for most people.

        The final doubts are cleared in silence ..which happens in the presence of a realized guru much faster.A guru also gives you the confidence of dropping yourself to realize your Self.

        Needless to say, a true Guru would ask you to drop the “Guru” first before dropping your self.If he’s not doing that, he aint a Guru at all.

      • The Doctor permalink
        July 19, 2011 5:53 am

        Needless to say, a true Guru would ask you to drop the “Guru” first before dropping your self.If he’s not doing that, he aint a Guru at all.

        You am I – THIS is golden, and really proves exactly what we have been saying all along that SSRS is a fake.

      • You am I permalink
        July 19, 2011 6:13 am

        @Doctor

        To understand Advaita Vedanta there are many texts like vivekachudamani, atma vidya, avdhoota gita etc etc ..

        But AshtaVakra Gita stands out as the one which shows the guru-shishya dissolution in action.Janaka the shishya ,becoming one with Guru and attaining the silence where there’s nothing left to say.

        I am curious to learn from you as to why would AOL teach you ashtavakra gita if they didn;t want to convey this central message of the text?

  42. harshal permalink
    July 18, 2011 4:42 pm

    “Yet to this day you still haven’t been able to highlight a single thing”

    Oh like this morning, i highlited your ignorance and resultant misinformation, when you asked how the hindu was awarding that convert journalist.

    • The Doctor permalink
      July 18, 2011 6:03 pm

      You are absolutely right, I did make a mistake and I stand corrected on that account.

      However, are you seriously telling me that you’ve spent nearly a whole year on this blog and you have only managed to highlight one single thing which is misinformation? Surely in all that time, you would have come up with more than just one? It seems like a complete waste of a year of your life, and come on, you have been on this blog almost constantly during the times you’ve been actively visiting it.

      At this time, there are a total of 135 posts on this blog. So given the amount of time you’ve spent here combined with the fact that in many of your comments you are insinuating that this blog is full of “falsehoods” and “hypocrisy” (and even “irony”), can you provide a comprehensive list of as many of these things as you possibly can so that we can discuss them? Or are you just going to settle with the one that you have just given me and leave it at that?

      I have a feeling I know what your answer is going to be. 😉

  43. Harshal permalink
    July 18, 2011 7:29 pm

    @ The Doctor

    There are a many more. Like when you apologised with reference to noble peace prize and stockholm. Or when you stood corrected wrt me not being a AOL teacher.

    with particular reference to AOL

    1) medical claims of SK damage without any proofs. From valve damage to what not SK can cause everything. No proofs were given- only big threads opened. You encouraged these threads even though personally you had good experiences. For example:Someone like our pastor to promote his evangelical aims can create multiple accounts and claim anything or some psycho girl like theartofliving, just beacuse she broke up with someone in AOL can make up stories.

    2)wrt YLTP. The moderator realized that it was a mistake and was forced to remove the thread. Who is responsible for the losses incurred in the meantime because of the misinformation?

    3)wrt misappropriations of funds in AOL. No proofs have been given yet. Just accusations

    4)you were always eager to point out if anyone in AOL posted from multiple usernames. However, you NEVER corrected people when they thought that I was ‘corrector’ or that other funny guy. You wanted to hide the fact that many people speak for AOL.

    5) blatant copyright violations by this blog. You guys were forced to remove stuff. This is criminal and illegal and by removing those you have accepted your faults. If you have the balls to think that you are right in putting those up, put those up again.

    6) playing with peoples emotions. Knowing very well that founder of AOL is revered and respected by many. A guru in India is considered as a mother. Would you be happy if anyone opened a blog and abused your mother?

    7)No attempt was made to keep a check on the language. All abusive posts were allowed.(including mine maybe).Abuse of Hinduism is everywhere on the blog even.

    8) No attempt made to verify the authenticity of links posted. Anything anti-AOL isalways true, while anything pro-AOL is always false.

    9) denying and trashing all the medical research on AOL, because of the suspicion that AOL people might be involved in the research.

    10)abusive language to any pro-aol people visiting this blog. They are usually very humble and modest people who do not use harsh language. All of them are harassed (frequent referral as AOL zombies and brainwashed) and forced to go away so that more anti-aol traffic is visible.

    11) refusing to have transparency on this blog. People have the right to be anonymous but they also have the right to make a informed decision based on the demographics of this blog. What if 90% people opposing AOL come from a particular demographic which raises suspicion about their motives on the blog? Attempts by people to have a anonymous survey was rejected.

    Now don’t spend your time taking each one of them and writing a detailed response. It will just be a play of words, which will help you to spend you time.

    For me these 135 posts, is some time less spent on contributing something towards the cure of an incurable diseases. This is what I have lost by visiting this blog, ‘time’ . however I do get my ‘entertainment’. And I have also realized the shallowness and hypocrisy of anti-AOL group.

    • The Doctor permalink
      July 18, 2011 10:58 pm

      I’m really sorry to disappoint you Harshal but not one single thing you have enumerated above can be classified as “falsehood”, “irony” or “hypocrisy”. They are merely grievances you have with this blog, which you are certainly welcome to.

      Please take the time to read the Disclaimer above as this fully explains the nature of what we are posting here. That we have not provided solid proof of a lot of things does not make them false, least of all in the minds of the people who have reported their experiences. We have provided as much information as we can to support as many claims as possible, and we have always left it up to the reader to make up their own minds. We have certainly never made something out to be true when we have known it isn’t so.

      So really, although I appreciate your frustrations, they don’t actually address my original question. As such, I’m not going to waste any time giving you a bullet-by-bullet response.

      One thing that I find very amusing though is that you yourself have actually told a great many falsehoods and have been very hypocritical on a number of accounts in your above comment. Now, isn’t that ironic?

      • harshal permalink
        July 18, 2011 11:37 pm

        Thanks for not disappointing me. You have only done what you can do. Cry foul. It takes balls to go into prison and teach yoga, it takes some real compassion to go to villages in rural india and teach meditation to farmers in diffiult situations. But it take nada to write shit on a blog. Shame on you and your life.

      • The Doctor permalink
        July 19, 2011 12:32 pm

        Thanks for also revealing what your true purpose on this blog is.

        That long listed of grievances you have with this blog clearly shows that you are angry and frustrated with what you see here. Are we honestly then to believe that you would purposefully spend any time here for “entertainment”? Are you a masochist Harshal, or just mentally challenged?

        No one in their right mind would spend even a fraction of the time you spend here with something which causes them any amount of pain if they can avoid it, and they certainly wouldn’t do it for entertainment.

        Think about it.

    • Anonymous permalink
      July 20, 2011 9:02 pm

      “7)No attempt was made to keep a check on the language. All abusive posts were allowed.(including mine maybe)..”

      So Harshal is now complaining that you let him post on the blog???! Doesn’t it now sound like HE is the one one with the multiple personality disorder? 🙂

      And why is this important? “No attempt made to verify the authenticity of links posted.”??

      And why does Harshal always demand proof when he himself never answers a single question to do with AOL, such as the questions asked of him on this page?

      And we all want to know Harshal, you asked @Doctor about “medical claims of SK damage without any proofs. “, what about Dr Janakiramaiah research concluding that it was just the effects of hyperventilation? Why don’t you answer that Harshal, instead of just shouting and screaming like a little brat who doesn’t get his way? Is it that you were you bullied at school Harshal? Is it that you don’t have any friends? Is it that you can’t get a girlfriend?

      I know you’re not going to answer the question, Harshal, so stop asking for proofs when you yourself ignore everything people ask you. I’m sure you won’t even reply to this comment, but if you do you’ll probably say “Such an idiot! Ra ra ra … ra ra ra, ra ra ra ra….”.

      • harshal permalink
        July 20, 2011 10:23 pm

        ya anon.you are stupid. Jankiram says there is no mystical meaning behind tingling. There is’int. It is just the respiratory alkolosis which causes it. I know that , most of the people know it and i realized that when i did the SK for the first time. Does that mean SK is BS? But does she debunk the whole SK?Does she say that there are side-effects because of SK. Is she saying that there the paper she published is bogus?

        How will you explain respiratory alkalosis to a villager or a layman? Do you even know what it is?

        you are happy to believe the tingling part, but you dont want to believe other parts of the paper , and other papers which show a clear benefit of SK? Why is it? Is it because you are so fu**ed up that you can only see negatives?

      • Meditator permalink
        July 21, 2011 10:38 am

        Great post Harshal. You again and again prove that SSRS teaches nothing to his disciples other than the use of expletives and bad language. Your arrogance and command over bad language is exactly the same as another idiot in AOL – Bawa. Keep it up and please continue writing here so that people can see the true colours of AOL.

  44. Jr. permalink
    July 18, 2011 10:25 pm

    “1) medical claims of SK damage without any proofs. From valve damage to what not SK can cause everything. No proofs were given- only big threads opened.”

    …and you can’t disprove this either. Ask your master what he has to say on the importance of “proof.”

    “4)you were always eager to point out if anyone in AOL posted from multiple usernames. However, you NEVER corrected people when they thought that I was ‘corrector’ or that other funny guy.”

    That’s because you’re very likely posting from a different IP address, hiding behind a proxy server… I doubt there could anyone else as dumb as you, so I’m going to believe it’s one person.

    “5) blatant copyright violations by this blog. You guys were forced to remove stuff. This is criminal and illegal and by removing those you have accepted your faults. If you have the balls to think that you are right in putting those up, put those up again.”

    Right… because the blog owner is stupid and won’t see your trap in hopes the lawsuit can stop this blog. Pathetic bait attempt Harshy, lol.

    “6) playing with peoples emotions. Knowing very well that founder of AOL is revered and respected by many. A guru in India is considered as a mother. Would you be happy if anyone opened a blog and abused your mother?”

    Hitler was also respected by many. Your master even talks about the little value in respect. Respect shows a distance between people, as your master would say.

    “7)No attempt was made to keep a check on the language. All abusive posts were allowed.(including mine maybe).”

    And who’s responsible for most of the bad language around here? 😉

    “9) denying and trashing all the medical research on AOL, because of the suspicion that AOL people might be involved in the research.”

    Dr. Richard Brown, who did some research on SK years ago, was a doctor, but he also was an AOL teacher. Clearly, not all the research is unbiased.

    “10)abusive language to any pro-aol people visiting this blog. They are usually very humble and modest people who do not use harsh language. All of them are harassed (frequent referral as AOL zombies and brainwashed) and forced to go away so that more anti-aol traffic is visible”

    The only people using abuse language, are you and your alter egos or friends (Fred, Corrector, Anna, Lasha, etc., etc….)

    “11) refusing to have transparency on this blog. People have the right to be anonymous”

    We know you’d love to know who we are, so you can try to make us miserable as you. But you’e failed. 😉

    • Anonymous permalink
      July 19, 2011 6:02 am

      Harshal,

      Forget about the 135 charges, can you explain at least few? Here are some ‘proofs’ that you ignored earlier.

      1 – Scientific research on SK

      This is told by Dr Janaki Raman, a person who did Research on SK according to AOL records.

      ““But if anyone keeps breathing like that- essentially they are hyperventilating and flushing their body with oxygen, which is what is going to happen. There is no mystical meaning behind the tingling in their fingers and all that.

      Then you have those people who will say that they felt guruji’s presence while doing the SKY and when you ask them why they will say the same thing- that they felt this tingling sensation-Arre if you keep breathing like that then what else will happen. I know these things- they say all this because they are swayed into believing that what is happening to them is spiritual or mystical but it is not. It is a common physiological reaction to hyperventilation”

      https://aolfree.wordpress.com/2011/05/08/refuting-scientific-research-on-sudarshan-kriya/

      2 – Clear indication that Charity money is used to raise stocks in private companies..

      “For example, in Inwinex Pharma by the Narasimhans – According to IIFL (link 2), their market cap is Market Cap: [Rs.Cr.] 13, and based on economictimes (link1) the promoters themselves own 3368184 or 74.85% of shares – That means a ~9 crore investment has gone to purchase the stakes here.

      Even if we divide that 74.85% of 13 Crore that is approx 9.6 Crore in 6 equal part and then summing 2 parts of Arvind and Narasimhan it comes to approx 3.2 crore. And as seen these 2 guys hold a top position among Board of Directors!!

      The Stock Investment of Sumeru Industries is run through the office at Ahmedabad. Does this say something? Could anyone explain what does this mean? number of shares x price per share?

      http://www.sebi.gov.in/takeover/sumerupost.pdf
      http://www.moneycontrol.com/annual-report/sumeruindustries/directors-report/SI81
      http://money.sulekha.com/sumeru-industries_balance-sheet

      See https://aolfree.wordpress.com/the-prosecutor/#comment-2239

      3 – About YLTP – I personally know a student died during the physical training process during YLTP in a camp in Kerala. Direct proof that AOL practices are not safe as they are projected.

      4 – Practical experience that AOL is not directly funding any service projects – there is no outflow of funds that are actually raised in the name of charity.

      5 – I’m not repeating other recurring themes like education qualification of Guruji and stuff like that.

  45. stupidseeker permalink
    July 19, 2011 5:20 am

    @ss

    the first step of any learning or attempt to establish reality,secular or religious – is faith !

    Its best then to clearly demarcate the boundary line between reality and faith until such time as testable verifiable evidence emerges to validate one over the other. To what extent after all can intuition be trusted to be the pointer towards reality??

  46. stupidseeker permalink
    July 19, 2011 5:51 am

    @You Am I,
    the fact that somanth was resurrected and rich 17 times after repeated loot and plunder by Abrahmic marauders is proof enough that the temple was not connected to the treasury (The king moved his treasury but he could not shift the temple of the lord)

    And this was true (treasury unconnected to temple) of all temples during all times of hindu rule. Is there a Shastraic injunction prohibiting the same ?

  47. stupidseeker permalink
    July 19, 2011 6:06 am

    @You Am I
    July 19, 2011 4:48 am
    @ss

    the first step of any learning or attempt to establish reality,secular or religious – is faith !

    in science you call it hypothesis . in religion you call it a scripture

    Are you claimimg that making a hypothesis is akin to making a declaration of faith ??? Are you equating on to the other ?? S
    So if what you say is true, the scientist who hypothetises, that drug A is better than drug B and then experiments to prove or disprove his hypothesis is equivalent to the devotee who declares “There is no god but Krishna and chaitanya mahaprabhu was his last and final messenger”

    • You am I permalink
      July 19, 2011 6:21 am

      @SS

      exactly !

      but the problem with the god brigade is that they don’t put their faith to test and hence it reamins blind faith.

      In religion (hinduism for instance) – we do have a very scientific approach – shravana ( listening to the scripture – hypotheis) , manana ( reflecting on the concept – testing the hypothesis) and nidhyasana ( once convinced of the concept, get first hand experiential results)

      unfortunately in Abrahmic religions and some hindu sects – its just shravana at which the journey stops and the poor soul dies unenlightened 😦

  48. anon permalink
    July 19, 2011 6:15 am

    Guru Dakshina

    SSRS is a fake guru and well before any overseas visit, programme and course, the fees are settled and local centers are given quota of “Bakras” (scapegoat) to be solicited.

    Dakshina is made compulsory and enforced. Any discount is frowned upon. Local treasures are discouraged to write receipts. This makes Guru Dakshina easy to be laundered to cash and transferred to secret accounts maintained by him.

    @ Doctor

    SSRS is not a religious person but he is a religion peddler. Wherever he goes, he tries to adopt the local religion’s flavour. He is a person full of ego and abuses all religions for his personal benefits. Hinduism is used and abused more because of his ‘Pundit’ upbringing under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He was a ‘Pundit Boy” with MMY.

    Don’t let the blog to be ruined with these religious discussions. Spirituality is beyond religions and SSRS is neither spiritual nor religious. SSRS is neither Hindu nor anti-Hindu. He is advancing his own cultish religion and imposes his own weird ideas under the guise of one religion or other.

  49. stupidseeker permalink
    July 19, 2011 8:27 am

    @You Am I,
    Thanks for your reply. You have indeed moved the discussion in a very interesting direction. I have now thrown some more work for your rationality to dissect.

    First you say, Hinduism does not contain all within itself, except for certain possibilities of what maybe reality. Thus you grant, Christianity, the possibility of its separateness and its distinctiveness from Hinduism. The reason you give is that Christianity wishes hell upon non believers and as per you this is not to be found in Hinduism, and thus the possibility of Christianity being separate from Hinduism.

    Secondly you go on to say, that the central framework of Christianity i.e. the trinity can be found in Hinduism. On this point I’m not sure whether you are implying that the Christians borrowed that concept from the Hindus or came up with it by themselves. However, then you go on to say that worship of Jesus by Hindus, is not against the tenets of Hinduism, since Hinduism is pantheistic by nature.

    This is a very curious juxtaposition, wherein you posit that while; Hinduism contains the concept of the holy trinity as a possibility of reality, simultaneously it discards, for some reason, the concept of wishing hell upon the unbeliever, as another possibility of reality. This when Hinduism does not discard the concept of naraka as such.
    And similarly so, the use of the Sanskrit language by the Christians is in violation of Christian tenets, since Christians can’t be secular like their Hindu counterparts because they wish hell upon the unbeliever, but their Hindu counterparts, being secular, can worship the Christ without any loss of faith because the concept of the holy trinity is to be found in Hinduism.

    So essentially you Hinduise Jesus and the concept of the trinity, but simultaneously you Christianize the concept of wishing of hell upon unbelievers. In other words you appropriate the Christian messiah and the concept of the holy trinity to yourself and leave with the Christians the concept of wishing hell upon the unbeliever.
    In other words, as per you, the possibility of the holy trinity being a reality is to be found in Hinduism, but not the possibility of the unbeliever going to hell as reality.

    This attitude is very much in line with that of other Hindu commentators who posit that Jesus at one time visited Kashmir and there interacted with the Shaivas, and they were much responsible for the theology which he later propagated in the Mideast. Thus in a nutshell Christianity is essentially Hinduism except for the concept of wishing hell upon the unbeliever.

    This attitude has been honed to perfection by our very own HHSSRS’s. He denies his Hindu faith, when he propagates his cult abroad, where he calls AOL and all its activities secular, and yet back home in India, he is showered by plaudits by the RSS who applaud him for spreading Hindu culture abroad in non Hindu countries. Thus the denial of one’s faith becomes the very means to propagate it. If you read his books when he addresses a Western audience he stresses on the similarities between Hindu and Christian ways of worship, but back in India, he stresses the essential Hindu nature of these ways and mores to win acceptance with the Hindu right wing.

    Thus whether one is a Hindu or not is all dependent on the context and the situation and one may accept or discard the faith as the context or situation maybe. The Muslim concept of “Taqqiya” comes eerily close to this supposition. Thus the concept of freedom of worship in Hinduism Is carried to the extent of dropping the Hindu identity or picking it up at a moment’s notice. In terms of science this is nearest to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. In this light your first two statements begin to make sense and the dichotomy between the two is resolved:

     Hindu philosophy does not contain all within itself ..it explains all possibilities of reality. for example Hinduism does not pray hell upon no-Hindus. This is trademark Christianity which gives it a distinct identity.

    In this case you dumb down the position of Hinduism that all knowledge is to be found within it. You instead reframe it as “All knowledge, except for some, presumably evil, can be found in Hinduism”. In this respect it will be interesting to hear from you why the Hindu hell called “naraka” existed. In the first sentence you say “…it explains all possibilities of reality” and in the very next you say “….. Hinduism does not pray hell upon no-Hindus” thereby discarding the possibility that unbelievers can go to hell. Thus the explanation of all possibilities of reality is glaringly juxtaposed with the discarding of other possibilities of reality such as sending unbelievers to hell.

    And then in the next instant:
     I hope this is now clear to you. for example , the concept of trinity is already found in the Hindu concept of soul,prakriti and Ishvara.So as a matter of fact, the religious framework is already there in Hinduism…just that Christianity has patented a localized version of it and has thus become the “other”
    In this case again you revert back to the original Hinduism position that “All knowledge can be found in Hinduism”.

    So now the aphorism will need to be reframed as “All knowledge, presumably good, is to be found in Hinduism, while all other knowledge, presumably bad, will be found in the Abrahamic texts”. Thus Hinduism essentially divides knowledge into good or bad and appropriates for it the good and leaves for the Abrahamic religions the bad. Thus by extension, only the possibilities of “good” knowledge as possibilities of realities can exist in Hinduism. And by even further extension even secularism cannot have an independent identity from Hinduism.

    Coming to the next part of your argument you demarcate religious issues from secular ones even as you proclaim Hinduism to be a secular religion, in which case, all issues become religious or all issues become secular. In such case religion and secularism become interchangeable terms.

    In this context you refer to Dham’s Hinduness in contrast to the secular American society, where he did all his work on the Pentium chip, and which relegates his faith to his personal arena, while at the same refuting that Hindus, in the religious sense, could have been “Westernized” by use of western technology.

    Thus a Hindu gets to retain his Hinduness under all conditions of give and take, but not a Christian his Christianity or a Muslim his Islam, or a westerner his “westerness”, to the extent that Hinduism allows him to.

    To extend this if a hindu junks the Hindu caste system and the Hindu princely state monarchial system after having experienced them for centuries and replaces them with a “western” secular democratic system of governance, something which never happened in Hindu history until 26 Jan, 1952, he still can call himself Hindu, while at the same time accuse the Christians of losing their Christianity when they use the Sanskrit language and the westerner of lowering his “westerness” to the “Hindu easterness” when he does yoga Kriya.

    Thus the westerner doing yoga Kriya simultaneously becomes an opportunity to showcase the uniqueness and depth of Hindu culture, since even the “foreigner/westerner’ has accepted the greatness of the hindu culture since his own culture lacked this knowledge and at the same time proclaim its secularism by saying “All is one” in which case the term “foreigner” shouldn’t have existed at all.

    Thank you for your post, You Am I. This has been a most interesting journey into the workings of a Hindu mind. Very few religions if at all any have managed to play the game at both ends as well Hindus have.Thus while christianity and islam struggle to reconcile their uniqueness with secularism, hinduism does it with aplomb and with elan, by merely substituting Hinduism for secularism one for the other, depending upon the context and situation.

    • You am I permalink
      July 19, 2011 9:37 am

      @ss

      I can understand and empathize with your confusion.For Most Abrahmics like you , Hinduism is a religion – it is not !

      sampradayas/panthas (religions/sects) are but a small part of Hindu “Dharma”

      one can argue against a particular sect/religious dogma within hinduism from a religious perspective . for example it would be apt to compare Christianity against Shaivism or Vaishnavism etc.

      The problem with you is that you are trying to compare a religion with a collective of philosophies which is conveniently called hinduism or santana dharma (eternal law)

      This collective constitutes many secular and religious offerings. For example ayurveda, hatha yoga (body-mind yoga) , nyaya shastra (logic/reasoning) , astronomy/maths, adavita vedanta , samkhya etc are secular offerings.

      poorva mimamsa(vedic rituals), puranas, ithihasas are religious offerings.

      you problem is that you are comparing your apple with a pineapple 😉

      Now to the specifics of your post

      1. The Hindu motto is “let NOBLE ideas come to us from all sides” ..thus a Hindu rejects the idea of wishing hell upon others.You may find it noble as a Christian and that is what makes you the “other” ..it’s not my doing at all !

      2. God can be meditated upon in any form is again a HIndu thought. A christian would tell you that Jesus is the only way .Again , its not the Hindu but the christian who is creating the divide.

      by the way, can you notice that both the Hindu thoughts above are pretty much SECULAR in nature and both the christian thoughts are religious and anti-secularism?

      is it a Hindu’s fault that his religious thought is in sync with secularism and a christian’s is not?

      you are fighting against a philsophy that is the mother of secularism and beyond.that’s your problem.

      The earliest scriptures of the HIndus, the vedas , don;t talk about religion at all ..they address the entire mankind and talk about the emancipation of entire mankind..

      so it;s best for you to attack specific sects within hinduism that believe in heaven/hell as christians do…and there again you find that ther’s a huge difference in the concepts ..the hindu sects heaven/hell is temporary – the christian heaven\hell is a permanent one – where god punishes/rewards infinitely for finite mistakes/good deeds.

      That fact that Islam and Christianity pray hell upon secularism is their own undoing.Hinduism has nothing to do with it

      also, you are wrong about democracy and secularism in ancient India. Ofcousre it was not exactly as it stands today, but it was there. I have already given you hints about sanghas and RV ..do your own research. and the secularism that India forced upon Herself is not the western secularism.

      You don;t even know that the word secularism was absent in 1952 constitution.it was added later on ,that too with a twist of respecting all religions , contrary to the western concept of complete separation of church and state.

      • stupidseeker permalink
        July 19, 2011 11:54 am

        @You Am I,

        Thanks for empathizing with my confusion, but the last few posts of yours have cleared them all away. But I do believe that I understand Heisenberg’s Uncertainty principle fairly well and that light can exhibit the properties of both wave and particle without one compromising the other.

        Thus I also understand how someone can be called as being part of “myself” in one instant and that same someone can be slaughtered by branding him as the “other” in another instant. Justifications for both can be given and both will hold equally well.

        I also understand now very well how social and economic problems can be blamed on Christianity but the pollution of a river on an industrial scale can be termed secular. Your posts in this regard have been absolutely convincing.

        Understanding this, I won’t ask you to explain that if Hinduism isn’t a religion what exactly was it that you were accusing Manu Joseph and the Doctor of insulting, because quite obviously Hinduism is a religion isn’t it, but then again it’s not a religion, it’s a collective of philosophies……….and so on ad infinitum.

        Again whether or not it’s a “religion” or a “collective of philosophies” depends on the context and situation, exactly as dropping one’s faith to propagate and picking it up again to assert identity depends on the context and the situation the adherent is in. So wonderful of your “religion”…um…er….”collective philosophies” to give you this much freedom.

        It seems to become a “religion”, when Manu Joseph, or the Doctor, or the burning of a train, apparently irk some of the adherents of this “collective philosophy” and then depending on the context appears to lapse back into the collective philosophy mode, until ……….

        So its adherents have the advantage of swinging back and forth between these two modes as the context and situation demands just as they have the liberty of dropping or picking up their faith as and when they please. I have no words really to describe such a “religion” ….or…err….”a collective of philosophies”. Reminds me of a particular animal of the reptile family that changes color at the drop of a hat.
        Take your pick on whatever your mood is in now. Choose your own stereoisomer, as they say in chemistry.

        Then with this evidence in hand, it also becomes clear, how you described the caste system, that heaped such terrible misery and pain upon so many millions for so many centuries, as being religion agnostic, but now describe secularism and democracy as being Hindu concepts. But of course how can I forget, the caste system was for their own good wasn’t it. Washing away their negative karma…eh! Anyways Concepts like secularism and democracy that the Hindus had developed as you say, but decided to put into use only on Jan 1952, and which lay dormant for so many centuries, since the caste system was anyway working so well to maintain social balance.

        BTW does Hinduism also contain the philosophies of communism and Nazism and fascism etc etc etc.

        Hell man, what did I just do ? Whenever am I going to learn to stop asking stupid questions.

      • You am I permalink
        July 19, 2011 1:02 pm

        @stupidseeker

        “you am i” it isn’t …it’s You am I.

        when you become the You , i will become the You am I 🙂

        i hope you get that right

    • You am I permalink
      July 19, 2011 9:55 am

      @SS

      Also, please note that i am not SSRS . what he does is for him to explain.

      You would appreciate that i have been consistent in my objection to Abrahmic faiths. I don’t oppose Jesus because i don’t have any reason to. Whatever i learn about Him only adds a depth to the level of his sacrifice.

      My Hindu way of life does not get altered by revering Jesus, but you would sure lose your christian way if you start worshiping Krishna.

      it’s facts like these which leave you frustrated.You know that your religion is anti-secularism and the “other” is not. As a result you resort to tu quoques to calm down the sorry state of affairs. But it’s a logical fallacy and doesn’t pay !Christianity’s evils wont disappear even if you manage to find similar evils in Hinduism.

      say Hare Krishna with me !.

      All your tu quoques against Hinduism cannot justify your sorry religion

      • stupidseeker permalink
        July 19, 2011 12:12 pm

        @you Am I,

        How did you know you are not SSRS. Afterall, all is one isn’t it as per hindu belief ?? and if , you am I, then why can’t you be SSRS??

        What I appreciate is that you have shown me how exactly the Hindu mind works and in ways that have left me stunned, in ways that no books on Hinduism could have taught me. Yes in some ways I could consider you as a teacher.

        And anyways my “sorry” religion can’t be more a sorrier religion than that great hoary mother of all “religions”…er…”collective philosophies” that “supposedly” “birthed all the philosophies”, I mean except for those found in the Abrahamic texts.

        And as for hare Krishna do you mean the krishna who married and “satisfied” the 16000 gopis or the one who as the all pervading “Brahman” “supports all life”. As they say, context is everything.

        Regards
        SS

      • You am I permalink
        July 19, 2011 12:37 pm

        @Stupidseeker

        My friend, it’s strange that you sound surprised at the breadth and depth of Hinduism.Infact, Missionaries use this as an argument against Hinduism – claiming it’s too complex for a common man to follow Just pocket the KGB and you are done with salvation

        anyways, if its any consolation, you are not the first one to get rattled.The indologists had a hard time too. So they christened this collective (despite it’s diversity but a common thread) as Hinduism.If anybody is to be blamed for your confusion, it’s them and not me.

        I thought that being an Indian, you did not need a discourse on the same.But your Church has kept you from this knowledge.blame them too

        The birth based caste-system was a cunning distortion of the varna system.If you look at today’s society , it’s still driven by varna system. You wont let a mason or gardener into your house if you don’t need his services.The bias is there and wont go.You need to see yourself in the mirror while you are looking(or ignoring) the beggar on the street or the mill-worker in the slum. long and short of it – No matter how much you despise it, primates will form social orders and hierarchies

        the Hindus you burnt in trains were vaishanavs, the Hindus you evangelists hit at are the practitioners of various sects of Hinduism. Evangelists neither have the courage nor the merit to challenge the yoga sutras or any of the six philosophies- so they target the practitioners of ritualistic hinduism.hope that clears your confusion somewhat

      • stupidseeker permalink
        July 19, 2011 12:40 pm

        @You Am I,

        Your accusation of me trying tu quoques against Hinduism should be seen in the light of how valid it is to compare monotheism to polytheism. Which is what you have been doing this far. But now that I’ve seen the actual social example of how light can exist as wave and particle, I shouldn’t be surprised.
        Monotheism can exist in only one state. It does not have the luxury that polytheism has of shuttling between a thousand different philosophies, including monotheism, calling each and everyone of them their own as and when the adherent thinks fit.
        Thus a polytheist can use the monotheism of a monotheist to prove his bigotry while using his polytheism to hide his own bigotry unless you exclude the possibility that polytheists can be bigots too. Again in this case, context is everything.

      • You am I permalink
        July 19, 2011 12:43 pm

        Oops! i forgot the Krishna byte

        If having so many wives is a problem to you , you must first discard Jesus Christ. he’s married to more than a million women (what’s 16008 in comparison?) – ask any nun to repeat her oath – they are Christ’s wives 🙂

        Say Hare Krishna my friend .. throw away that rice bag

      • You am I permalink
        July 19, 2011 12:51 pm

        Thus a polytheist can use the monotheism of a monotheist to prove his bigotry while using his polytheism to hide his own bigotry unless you exclude the possibility that polytheists can be bigots too. Again in this case, context is everything.

        Your grievance is your salvation and answer .Why don’t you apply the Occam’s Razor and get rid of strict monotheism in the name of “rationality” and reason.

        Hinduism, like it or not, has place for polytheism, pantheism ( Shaktas etc), Atheism(Charvaks, samkhya), Monotheism(Dvaita,Vaishnavs-Shaivs), Monism(Advaita) ..its in this context only that it proclaims ” all paths lead to God”

        monotheist hindus justify their path not by converting others by force or deceit – but through dialogue.This is what sets it apart from Abrahmic monotheism.

        we can always have a dialogue on monotheism in hinduism vis a vis monotheism in Christianity or Islam

  50. stupidseeker permalink
    July 19, 2011 1:02 pm

    You am I permalink
    July 19, 2011 12:37 pm
    @Stupidseeker

    My friend, it’s strange that you sound surprised at the breadth and depth of Hinduism.Infact, Missionaries use this as an argument against Hinduism – claiming it’s too complex for a common man to follow Just pocket the KGB and you are done with salvation

    Well obviously you have every right to enjoy the advantages that your religion”…..err…”collective philosophy” offers to you, the prime one being the freedom to discard or adopt it as the context demands or to describe it in whichever way you wish or to ascribe to it all philosophies of all religions or to discard some as and when the context demands.
    Non Hindus like me have no such luxury to lapse between multiple modes of theology as and when the situation demands. I take my message from those who died but did not give up their faith. I’m sure you will be having examples such as his in your Hindu faith.
    I guess that’s my nasty karma, so guess I’ll have to wait until my next birth when such liberties may be accorded to me. Until then, I’ll leave you to your happy swinging and swapping.

    Regards
    SS

    • You am I permalink
      July 19, 2011 1:19 pm

      @stupidseeker

      It’s unfortunate that you who claimed to be a torch bearer of secularism and rationality would cling to his monotheistic ways blaming it on past karma.

      How rational it is to believe that 6 billion unique human souls could be herded with a single doctrine or philosophy ? If Hinduism recognizes the irrationality of such an idea ..why don’t you commend it? if not accept or respect..at least acknowledge it!

      A Hindu can be an Atheist, Polytheist,Monist, Monotheist, Panenthiest, Agnostic – its as close to secularism as it can be. The common thread that binds all is yama and niyama – moral codes to be observed inwardly and outwardly

      It is all embracing , and it embraces your right to reject it ..if you malign it ..a hindu would sure respond and enlighten you

      Om tat Sat

      • stupidseeker permalink
        July 19, 2011 2:43 pm

        How rational or irrational karma is, is your call, you being a practioneer of the Hindu “religion”… ahem…….”Collective philosophies”, your choice. Until and unless testable verifiable is available, one may choose or not choose to take it on faith. Having lived here I’ve heard this word being bandied for just about everything that happened or did not happen under the sun including the sun itself.

        The whole point is you can have a trillion different paths coming up in 5000 years with a trillion different theologies, but who knows what the destination is?? Infact I’m surprised that in 5000 yrs they have this few actually. And I don’t really care what that destination is.

        So don’t tell me about the trillion paths, which at times include a non Hindu like me into their fold and at other times discard me as and when the adherents like you think fit. So unless and until you can convince me that the Hindu heaven is more real than the Christian or Islamic heaven, or even the secular heaven, I can only suggest you pursue your own enlightenment plans.

        And then you talk of maligning it. How can one malign a “secular” faith, but then again isn’t this faith exclusive of doctrines like sending unbelievers to hell, so I guess it could be maligned in that sense, but then again this faith isn’t a religion, it’s a collection of philosophies, so how could I collectively malign all these collective philosophies that at times malign each other, but then again it’s a religion isn’t it, with it’s sacred texts and figureheads which could potentially be maligned. Ooooohhhhh now that’s cracking me up. I’ve actually coined a name for this; I call it the “swing and swap doctrine” wherein the faith gives the adherent to define his/her faith on his/her own terms. Thus potentially one billion Hindus could have one billion different ideologies. Which brings me to another point. Are all hindus like you, or are there some others who may think differently.

        Yes I do agree that there are no shortage of Hindus to do the “enlightening”, if they perceive their “religion”…err…ummm…”secular faith”…er…”collective philosophy” was in “danger”. But I daresay, they have only ever done the enlightening when the odds were 50 to 1 in their favour.

        But while the “Christian problem” of naxalism ferments faster that the local brew, the “secular” problem of the pollution of the Ganges also continues unabated. Unfortunately such “secular” problems won’t go away even if the “maligners” are corrected. So best of luck with them. So if someone is looking for human sacrifice for their yagnas to restore the pride of their faith, lead them to the nearby church.

        And, lastly fellow human being, please embrace my right to want to be eternally damned, that fate that surely, awaits me if I refuse Hinduism. So please don’t yet procure the samagri for my shuddhikaran ceremony. After all doesn’t your philosophy say” All paths lead to god, all is Brahman, what’s in a name”. What’s in a name called stupidseeker or You Am I, afterall.

      • You am I permalink
        July 19, 2011 3:39 pm

        @stupidseeker

        If i pray hell upon you i would no longer remain a Hindu. That’s a clever move by you to incite me into Christianity. but i would request you try something better.

        The pollution of Ganga is due to industrial waste being dumped in it.Now if that;s not secular corruption than what is it? The Christian evangelists are the one who incite the naxals and converted tribals to fight with the locals – if that is not religious terrorism than what else is?
        The Hindu backlash can at best be call reprisal terrorism.But why don;t you get it ? stop killing Hindus and there would not be any religious terrorism .period

        Hinduism came up with six core philosophies and thousands of sub-philosophies in 5000 years to meet the secular,religious and spiritual requirements of humanity.The six core philosophies contain the essence and the various sub-philosophies address specific areas of spiritual or secular inquiry.

        If Christianity in 2000 years came with one KGB to convert or kill the pagan , what’s my fault in that? your jealously is noted and shelved.

        and finally, you will definitely reach heaven one fine day , i will be waiting for you ! 😉

  51. stupidseeker permalink
    July 19, 2011 1:10 pm

    You am I permalink
    July 19, 2011 12:43 pm
    Oops! i forgot the Krishna byte

    If having so many wives is a problem to you , you must first discard Jesus Christ. he’s married to more than a million women (what’s 16008 in comparison?) – ask any nun to repeat her oath – they are Christ’s wives

    Say Hare Krishna my friend .. throw away that rice bag

    Maybe those kashmiri shaivas he visited set him up to it. Told him that the vaishnav krishna has 16000 so to protect the pride of the shaivas he ought to do better.

    Endless huh! The possibilities of reality that Hinduism offers.

    • You am I permalink
      July 19, 2011 1:26 pm

      @stupidseeker

      for a hindu who celebrates diwali , your evaneglical story doesn’t sell. The itihasas narrate that there was King Narakasura (you can compare him to prophet Lot – as he was given to lust of the highest order) he had captured 16000 young girls .Krishna freed these girls by killing Narakasura and thus the legend of 16000 wives was born

      but ask a nun seriously, she is married to Christ – the lord with a million wives without a valid reason 😉

      • stupidseeker permalink
        July 19, 2011 2:41 pm

        was there anyone even buying it?? Seriously are there people like that who are likely to buy such stories in your community ?? no wonder HHSSRS is all the rage all over town.

      • stupidseeker permalink
        July 19, 2011 2:47 pm

        Talk of tu quoques! huh

      • You am I permalink
        July 19, 2011 3:27 pm

        In the name of the holy tu quoque, read the da vinci code – best seller dude!

  52. stupidseeker permalink
    July 19, 2011 3:04 pm

    @peaceful warrior

     That’s not true – In india godmen and gurus have always attracted $$. Be it Sai Baba Trust, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Vipassana, or mathas like Sringeri/Kanchi – these organizations get lot of money from devotees, without even having to ask for it.
    It is a silly rationalization to think that “in these times” hindu tradition has to adapt to fee model. Tenets of a religion do not change.

    The money has always been where the salvation has been. If salvation could be found in constructing toilets or sewage lines, then there would have been plenty of those also, no doubt.

    Tenets of a religion may or may not change, that’s not my call, but really I can’t take your word for it, that the clergymen of this faith are duty bound to not to follow the fee model.

  53. stupidseeker permalink
    July 19, 2011 3:34 pm

    July 19, 2011 3:27 pm
    In the name of the holy tu quoque, read the da vinci code – best seller dude!

    An opportunity for you Hindutva warrior. use your swing and swap doctrine and win some (non)converts.Afterall if all is in hinduism can anyone be allowed to remain non hindu.

    Happy enlightenment to you

    • stupidseeker permalink
      July 19, 2011 3:35 pm

      Dan browns already done most of the deprogramming for you, so all thats left to be done is the reprogramming.

      Best of luck

      • You am I permalink
        July 19, 2011 3:42 pm

        Amen! (corruption of the word OM )

  54. stupidseeker permalink
    July 19, 2011 4:21 pm

     You am I permalink
    July 19, 2011 3:39 pm
    @stupidseeker
    If i pray hell upon you i would no longer remain a Hindu. That’s a clever move by you to incite me into Christianity. but i would request you try something better.
    Are you seriously that insecure ??

    Five thousand years of history and spiritual investigations and experiments and whatnot. All the six kinds of this and the 12 kinds of that. And at the end of it, whats the defender showing for these efforts:
    The pollution of Ganga is due to industrial waste being dumped in it.Now if that;s not secular corruption than what is it
    Obviously all the carcasses that float downriver are all non Hindu carcasses. As I said earleir if you dirty all you love, gimme your hatred.

    The Christian evangelists are the one who incite the naxals and converted tribals to fight with the locals – if that is not religious terrorism than what else is?
    The Hindu backlash can at best be call reprisal terrorism.But why don;t you get it ? stop killing Hindus and there would not be any religious terrorism .period
    Ok I know your preference now, hope your god grants you your wish and you die at the hands of your fellow Hindu.

     If Christianity in 2000 years came with one KGB to convert or kill the pagan , what’s my fault in that? your jealously is noted and shelved.
    So go and lead your military response now, 1000 yrs too late upon people who have no means to defend themselves, hapless and outnumbered and with a state that will turn its back on them, thanks to your swing and swap doctrine option. Lucky you being a Hindu.

    • You am I permalink
      July 19, 2011 4:47 pm

      @stupidseeker

      carcasses are bio-degradable , chemical and other industrial effluents are not

      Thank your stars that you are minority in pseudo secular india. If you are AP the state funds your pilgrimage to Jerusalem.Your Church is the biggest land grabber with no questions asked by either the state or the alleged militant hindus . Your brigade is trying to tear apart NE from India and the state is a silent observer.

      It;s hindus like me who can only watch all this mayhem with surprise and disappointment , for the zombies of this evangelist monster are none but our lost brothers

  55. stupidseeker permalink
    August 7, 2011 11:57 am

    http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=1875

    A wonderful article written way back in the 1970’s on how MMY sold his religion in the garb of secularism

  56. stupidseeker permalink
    August 9, 2011 5:54 am

    This was a post in the following website. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as i did.
    http://guruphiliac.lefora.com/2010/04/10/gurumayi-aka-swami-chidvalisanada/

    Dear Kung Fu Mojo,
    I think Ramana Marshi said it best, “let what comes come; let what goes go; find out what remains”.
    Experiences are things that come and go…..no matter how “sublime” they feel at the time. They can be so very seductive because they feel so good and seem to have such significance and because (in my experience) those visions of Ganesha dancing in your head, texts coming alive, travels to other planes, etc. etc. take you temporarily away from “normal life” in such a way that there is a real tendency towards more division and separation: this is important and “sacred” and this other is not. Then your day gets divided up…”spiritual things” (meditation, chanting, guruseva, puja) and “worldly things” (working, cleaning your house, shopping, going for a walk). There is a tendency, then, to chase after the “spiritual things” and push away the “worldly things”…It creates greater and greater and greater separation and division in the Mind and results in a kind of “fundamentalism”. “The World” then becomes a “problem” and escaping from it into fantasy becomes more and more appealing. Sometimes, it’s just a stage we all go through.
    Eventually, though, the truth begins to dawn..that it is ALL one thing…and underneath the “things that come and go (including spiritual highs) is the reality of that Oneness. All of those “experiences” are happening within That, including your expperience of this person you thought you were. Then life itself is a kind of “practice” and things seem to integrate into “the one”…and, yes, you might still meditate and you might even have Shirdi Sai Baba appear in a dream and give you a “teaching” but it’s not so different from the “teaching” of watching an ant crawl up the side of a butterfly bush in the garden or the “teaching” of watching “yourself” in a reactive state when someone cuts you off on the highway.
    Just everyday “life” feels more extraordinary than those mind-blowing “spiritual experience”…to me anyway. Hope this is clear?
    seen too muc

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