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Art of Living: A very UN-spiritual organization

March 26, 2012

by VSS

@ anonymus critical [March 25, 2012 4:36 pm]

Thank you, infinitely, for your supportive words.

I’ll definitely share my story with readers soon. For now, here’s a summary:

There were many reasons why I contacted AoL and decided to relocate to the Bangalore Ashram. However, I found this blog just a few days before I relocated, and changed my mind. I do not regret my decision. I changed my mind and do not regret my decision because I am an ordinary human being — I could see very clearly that AoL and Mr. Ravi Shankar are fully capable of demolishing me in the way that they have demolished other (far more exceptional) human beings.

I am also not cynical — in the sense that I don’t think that the world is such a terrible place that no matter what I do and no matter who I seek help from — that person would have deceived, abused, and, exploited a few people. I noticed that many who defend AoL and Mr. Ravi Shankar on this blog (and related blogs) feel that it is okay to harm a few people as long as the majority benefit. This, to my mind, is severe cynicism.

The fundamental basis and essence of any religion is love and compassion for all. Cruelty and humiliation towards anyone is not justified in any religion. So, I found Mr. Ravi Shankar and AoL, irreligious. Since I work in the realm of education, I also knew that saying things like “you have low prana”, “your ego is too massive”, “you ask too many questions”, etc. etc. does not facilitate education — it causes the demolition of a learner’s confidence. Some learners recover from demolition of this kind sooner than others — but that doesn’t mean that demolition is not demolition. Hence, I learnt that AoL and Mr. Ravi Shankar are not spiritual.

One of the things that I would look for in an organization that trains adults is a knowledge of adult learning approaches and techniques. A phenomenal amount of research has been done in this field and it teaches us many things that we must know when we’re teaching / training adults. It doesn’t matter if we’re teaching meditation or teaching leadership skills. Perhaps the most important lesson to be learnt from this research is the fact that adults must not be humiliated. Any kind of humiliation is counterproductive. Teaching is considered a noble profession because of the sanctity associated with it. I found that in AoL, learners are not treated properly and the sanctity of the teacher-learner relationship is not respected. I read many comments from people who had been hurt by the insensitive and cruel attitude of teachers, and that this insensitivity and cruelty was justified as being “needed” by certain people. In the world of education, this line of thinking would be considered regressive and archaic as also damaging and arrogant.

In fact, this is why there is a widespread furore in India about the recent comments made by Mr. Ravi Shankar. Journalists, activists, and, educationists, are shocked at the sheer arrogance in the comments made by Mr. Ravi Shankar. He has, of course, further axed his own foot by not apologizing to the people who he hurt. The sentiments of those who have been hurt are of no consequence to him. If he had issued a simple statement that said something like “I am sorry for hurting the sentiments of those who study in and have studied in government schools — I didn’t mean to hurt anybody and it was unintentional — I admit that my choice of words was unfortunate and shall choose my words more carefully in the future”, I am pretty certain that all television channels would play his apology all day and there would be a queue of people outside all AoL centers in India. The majority of people in India are not members of AoL today because they do not associate any greatness with Mr. Ravi Shankar.

However, if he would have apologized, people would associate greatness and enlightenment with him, and he would not have to spend any money on promoting AoL for the next 30 years. Let’s look at both situations — one in which he made comments intentionally and another in which he made comments unintentionally. If he made comments intentionally, it is intentional bad karma to hurt so many people. If he made comments unintentionally, then it is unintentional bad karma to hurt so many people. How does one deal with bad karma ? One can’t deal with bad karma by meditating and yoga. One deals with bad karma by facing the people who have suffered as a result of the bad karma. If he had apologized to the people he hurt, he would have gained the respect of even those who are critical of him. One deals with bad karma by doing what one can to relieve the pain of those one has hurt. Therefore, an apology would have been appropriate — it would relieve those who were hurt by his statements. It would also have ended the potential for more bad karma.

Instead, he didn’t apologize. Many of his followers went on a rampage — abusing the media and all those who criticized them and a lot of bad blood was generated. (How can Mr. Ravi Shankar and AoL possibly claim that they know anything at all about conflict resolution ?)

The point of mentioning this being that when I was thinking of going to AoL, one of my motivations was to get rid of bad karma. I read on sites and blogs promoting AoL that meeting Mr. Ravi Shankar, meditation, yoga, and, charity work for AoL projects, rid people of bad karma. When I read this blog, I realized that there are quite a few people who have not only not gained from being in AoL, but have been deceived, abused, and exploited by AoL. So, I decided to face myself and those who had been at the receiving end of my bad karma, and tried my best to do what I could to apologize and make up for my wrong actions.

Last but not the least, I wanted to join AoL because my ex had joined AoL. However, once I’d read this blog, I knew that if I went to AoL, I would not be honest about AoL with him, and I did not want to deceive him in order to be with him. He is still in AoL and has moved on. I have moved on too. Although I am not seeing anyone and don’t intend to either, I have started working on something that requires twelve to sixteen hours of work in a day. I have absolutely no time for anything else. The only other activity I create time for is posting on this blog as I think it is a privilege to post on this blog, and try and help the blog that helped me.

[Still, if those who are reading this post wish to join AoL, they should join AoL. I am not here to stop anyone from joining AoL.]

  1. Satya permalink
    March 26, 2012 3:35 pm

    Good for you that u didn’t join the aol course…. are u getting any msgs or emails inviting u for one?

    • VSS permalink
      March 26, 2012 4:31 pm

      @ Satya [March 26, 2012 3:35 pm]

      I was bombarded by AoL representatives so aggressively that I had to change my phone number and my email address, just to prevent AoL from contacting me.

  2. Satya permalink
    March 26, 2012 4:55 pm

    hahahahahahahahhahhaha….:-) so ur ex is in aol n u r not…. thanks to this blog….
    he has moved on n so have u….. he is stuck in aol n u r free…..
    he is seeking solace there n u here….:-)

    • VSS permalink
      March 26, 2012 5:17 pm

      @ Satya [March 26, 2012 4:55 pm]

      Righto ! “Free” is my favourite word and favourite state of being !

      I just couldn’t get myself to pay to have my mind hijacked and mutilated — my definition of enlightenment does not involve paying in cash or kind.

      However, those who wish to join AoL, must join AoL. Those who wish to become AoL teachers, must become AoL teachers.

      • Satya permalink
        March 26, 2012 6:59 pm

        Its true…. ur ex paid to get his mind hijacked n mutilated and u who believe in ‘Free’ got ur mind hijacked n mutilated for ‘Free’…..

  3. VSS permalink
    March 26, 2012 7:12 pm

    @ Satya [March 26, 2012 6:59 pm]

    Do you think everyone who posts on this blog got their “mind hijacked and mutilated for free” ? I don’t think so. That’s because you post on this blog. I don’t think your mind is hijacked or mutilated. I think you know exactly what you’re doing.

    • Satya permalink
      March 27, 2012 5:36 am

      oh! Yes, Isn’t it?
      ur ex’s mind was hijacked and mutilated by Pro Aol’ites & ur mind’s hijacked and mutilated by Anti Aol’ites…..

      • VSS permalink
        March 27, 2012 6:42 am

        @ Satya [March 27, 2012 5:36 am]

        JGD ! Have a nice day !

  4. March 26, 2012 7:38 pm

    Thx VSS. Hope much more to come. Ravi Shankar never discusses content, details n scientific basis of courses. Their strength is to conceal rather than to reveal. What he talks in sutsangs is all gol- mol to confuse people with normal mind and strengthens confusion of already confused AOL lot.

    • VSS permalink
      March 27, 2012 9:36 am

      @ anonymus critical [March 26, 2012 7:38 pm]

      Thank you for your supportive words.

      If you have time, you could take a look at the following link :'s_Taxonomy

      Even if this subject doesn’t interest you, you will notice that a lot of thought goes into creating a coherent, structured, objective-driven, and focused training workshop for adults. It doesn’t matter what the subject is — it could be anything from meditation to time management.

      Further, Bloom’s Taxonomy just illustrates one of the approaches. There are several. A good trainer / facilitator would be aware of these approaches, and would design a training workshop based on his or her own knowledge, experience, ability to be innovative, and, exposure.

      Just as a school teacher needs to complete a Bachelor’s degree / diploma in how to educate someone, irrespective of which subject he or she is teaching, someone who is teaching Spiritualism needs to be trained in how to educate students.

      To teach a subject like Spiritualism, which is so profound and life-changing, teachers need to train for at least one academic year. This would be necessary for them to learn the tenets of Spiritualism as well as to practice teaching them effectively. However, AoL offers no such structured program. What they offer is a short program that has proved to be a disturbing experience not only for participants and instructors but also for those who are later certified to become instructors.

      I think Sri Sri University could run such a course — provided AoL intends to learn, grow, progress, and, evolve.

      I don’t know why AoL does not spend any time whatsoever in introspection and innovation. Instead of attempting to discredit me by questioning my sanity repeatedly and proving that they are simply perfecting their knowledge of the art of bullying, I don’t know why AoL people don’t do what they can to upgrade their processes and procedures.

      How does it even matter if I am sane or not ?

      They should simply focus on making AoL better.

      How does it matter if the media covers them or not ?

      They should just accept people as they are, let go, and, move on.

      They simply do not practice what they preach.

      This venom for all those who are outside AoL is only making AoL people more and more intolerant and reactionary. The courses and the way they are taught need serious improvements if personal peace as well as world peace is to be achieved. AoL people are simply not at peace.

      Thank you again for your supportive words.

      [Still, those who wish to join, must join AoL.]

  5. Anonymous permalink
    March 26, 2012 8:39 pm

    Ravi not apologizing does not only indicate he is not a spiritual being, not enlightened, but also, it shows his level of arrogance, narcissism and sociopathy. Psychopaths don’t have regrets and incapable of having any feeling. It takes little to say, “Sorry”, even if just for politeness or diplomacy or PR. He is incapable. But, how can God apologize if he is perfect? All this power is getting too much to his head, and maybe he will finally choke himself, alone. Can he blame the blogs now? The journalists? The government? People who are not ready to see how enlightened he is? Or maybe all the people who do not have enough good karma to understand his benevolence? All right, maybe he is doing this too, as a sacrifice for all of us to learn from his mistakes. Pathetic and sad. He’s been making just too many mistakes, one after the other one, and he is still blaming everyone else instead of taking responsibility. To name a few: the shooting incidence, defaming people who he thought could be behind the blog (many were not, content was full of lies and another indication that AoL is not a spiritual movement), going after bloggers with a law suit. A truly enlightened master would have not cared either about blogs and negative criticism. “Walk the talk”? Living the knowledge? Even sadder, it’d come as a surprise to many if he actually apologizes. We’ve become too used to his all-knowing, all perfect, all arrogant, all full of himself behaviours. Interesting spiritual path.

    • Dayalu permalink
      March 27, 2012 1:26 pm

      He did apologize publicly in a large muslim gathering, surrendering to a fundamentalist named Zakhir Naik. But that was when he was cornered and he had no other option and no argument to make for the stupid things he wrote in a book,

      • naren permalink
        March 28, 2012 4:38 pm

        fools keep on mugging in arguments and keep on advertise them as great……..intelligents cut the arguments nicely ….says things for the betterment of the society even costs their ego…….

      • March 28, 2012 5:08 pm

        He was surrounded by lacs of people ready to start a riot .. thats the reason he didn’t argue .. He wasn’t cornered by words, he was cornered by goons ..

    • VSS permalink
      March 28, 2012 1:02 pm

      @ Anonymous [March 26, 2012 8:39 pm]

      Your comment is extremely insightful.

      The more I learn about AoL, the more I realize that it’s a cult. People in a cult go to absolutely any extent to justify anything and everything. At the same time, people who rescue their freedom from cult-control, are able to see through all the manipulative tactics of the cult that enslaved them. The complete picture is clearly visible. I think that people are continuing in AoL because the number of people who have left it are less than the number of people in it. Most people feel safer when they are in the company of many others. It takes clarity of thought to see what AoL is all about, but it takes a tremendous amount of courage to act.

      One of the reasons why AoL members lash out violently against anyone who criticizes AoL is because they know that they are not courageous. Instead of coming up with a coherent response to criticism, they try to silence independent voices by being contemptuous and derisive. They are not able to tolerate diversity. What is alarming is that they believe that this intolerance will ultimately help them silence more and more independent voices over time. They believe that they will dominate their way to world peace. This is simply not possible.

      The more they attempt to silence independent voices, the more those very independent voices will protest. By 2014, or whenever the next general elections happen, they will know that they cannot silence broad-minded people. The number of Indians who vote for a candidate irrespective of which religion a candidate belongs to is growing. Taking all decisions based on religion is utterly narrow-minded thinking. The Indian media is already empowered. On most occasions, it doesn’t cover stories based on which religion will benefit from the story. The rest of India is learning, albeit not as fast as we wish. Yet there is hope because we all know it’s just a matter of time before we see people leaving AoL in large numbers.

      No matter how intelligent, manipulative, and, deceptive Mr. Ravi Shankar is, he cannot possibly enslave people forever. He has benefited so far because India is a backward country, and because Americans and Europeans have a fascination for all things Indian. There will come a time when people will automatically google for information on any organization that invites them for membership. The internet’s not going anywhere. The very internet that has helped AoL grow, especially in the last few years, will prove to be AoL’s nemesis. As we all know, information is power. This is the time for recording insights, as IO pointed out in a comment — this is the time to build our library of insights. By 2014, this library will have more members than we ever imagined.

      The biggest mistake that Mr. Ravi Shankar has made is linking religion with politics. History has never spared anyone who does that.

      Thank you again for your insightful comment.

  6. VSS permalink
    March 27, 2012 6:51 am

    @ ALL AoL Members

    @ Mr. Ravi Shankar (SSRS)

    JGD ! Have a nice day !

    Please continue with whatever you are doing.

  7. March 28, 2012 4:24 am

    @ VSS

    I read your most recent post with interest VSS. It resonated very well with me. I was with AOL a long time. I buried myself in the stories, propagated them myself, became very proficient at the propagation. Developed my unique delivery style and course content that significantly augmented the AOL programs.

    I noticed something about myself…. I feel much more complete and centred in myself when my blog posts are driven by my intent to simply to share in as beautiful a manner as I possible….my view (just one more view of many zillions) to a situation or event. How does a reader interpret that, whether they even do anything about it (outcome)….is actually of no real relevance to me at the time I write the piece.

    I can see in your journey, your “bookmarks” are very interesting. Your passion for education is also clearly palpable from the way in which you have constructed your message. Just from this, I feel that those who utilise your sessions will be touched deeply. All the very best to you VSS.

    You mentioned that you and your ex have moved on. I am specifically referring to the below statement

    “Although I am not seeing anyone and don’t intend to either, I have started working on something that requires twelve to sixteen hours of work in a day.”

    I pray that it is just an energetic break and that you are taking….enjoying your freedom and space more. At the end of the day…..there were some things that made that relationship in parts very incomplete…..

    1. The two of you did not have the platform to discuss AOL objectively. There was probably limited integrity and your intimacy because it would not allow the questioning of the AOL phenomenon. This is a very difficult situation, I still face this everyday with the friends I had in my AOL days who I am still friends with, except that they are still in AOL and refuse to acknowledge my most legit questions.

    In the AOL days we used to talk only AOL. Now we don’t discuss AOL at all….at least I don’t. My still AOL friends cannot stop altogether talking about it in my presence. To me the brainwashing is so obvious and the waste of energy….so I tend to switch off. To them, they are oblivious, they don’t care a damn. We do not share any real intimacy or real friendship as we cannot challenge each other. Our worlds have become very different. Its just so grey….at least for me it is. Its very temporary.

    2. Given that the system is capable off…..I think you were very lucky that you became aware of it sooner than later. Also, our romantic expectations and imaginations of love relationships, makes us sometimes want to believe that in the ultimate human relationship the other becomes so supremely important that we can do ANYTHING for them. Here your ex would not give up AOL and you would give up on your sense of integrity and authenticity just so to be with him.

    Your worlds were as much different as perhaps were some common moments that you shared. (Or maybe you thought you shared ?). The reason I say this is that in my VERY DEEPLY involved AOL days I would have sworn by some of my friends. I thought we would all die for each other. However, I was naive and very surprised. The uniform is important. I realised very few really had a feel for the real me (ie the heart to heart connection). 99% of the relationships had been head to head ones. I am simply grateful that at least now I know who the heart friends are. More importantly, without my uniform, who am I. What do I stand for ? What are my values ? What am I without the platform that AOL offered me ? My social system, my time, my food habits, my routines, my career…..everything changed. Earlier the system had a strong role in all of this. Unfortunately, even as much the heart would want you to help you ex out of his prison, just the fact that you are involved would make it counter productive. You can just pray and wait. You have each chosen your own ways.

    3. At sometime spirit will expose one to the truth. Ravishankar can also make stupid mistakes. But for most parts he is very intelligent. So, I feel that its not that he is unaware…..he knows that he is exploiting…..he probably also knows that there is a huge price to pay karmically, but he is too stuck….and he cannot apologize….he is the supreme God. Also, his sense of power is relative. He mentioned to me once that “some astrologer had told him that there was nobody more powerful than him on earth at this time”……and I remembered thinking to myself…..”That’s not important to me Guruji, I am here because I love you”……thinking back… alertness had picked up on the following

    a. This piece of knowledge is irrelevant to me. Why is he telling me this ?
    b. Why is he comparing himself to others ? And that too through an astrologer ?

    The above came back to me strongly, when it was time to make a break away cleanly from Ravishankar and his organisation. That was a “bookmark” moment for me I guess.

    Likewise, all his current followers will at sometime (even if not in this journey)…wake up to the trap…..then there is a price to pay. Just as you had mentioned earlier, its better to payback this lifetime….and finish it off when you can. However, this takes great courage and commitment to the truth. That is missing in Ravishankar….he who can twist the a simple matter such as an non-existed attempted assassination….into other things and then twist them again… suit his mood for the day.

    4. I believe that the blackout is only within the AOL world. There is a very similar thing happening on a larger scale globally. And that can be scene from here…..

    The Russian Media has to expose to the American people what is happening in their own country.

    The full and complete truth about AOL is unstoppable. The blog helps…..and every human at the end of the day I am sure would prefer not to be wantonly mislead about simple truths. AOL will implode on itself….

    If there is a version of reality that you see….which is going unseen and unheeded by others…..just share your piece and leave it there. Who knows how many more souls will stumble on this blog and check out the VSS sharing….and choose to retain their freedom. Even if it is just 1 more person in the next 10 years….it would have been more than worth it. But then…..thats actually irrelevant….this Blog is just an act of beauty….left there for the viewer to decide, whether they like it or whether they don’t.

    • March 28, 2012 4:30 am

      I missed including this under “The Russian Media has to expose to the American people what is happening in their own country.”

      • Harshal permalink
        March 28, 2012 11:09 am

        IO: Are you nuts? Such amazing nutcases come and post on this blog! Russian media has exposed forged birth certificate…… No wonder you guys pumped yourself out of AOL.

      • Hari permalink
        March 28, 2012 9:01 pm

        @ harshal March 28, 2012 11:09 am

        AOLites aren’t “perfect” cases either! The reason why I think you keep revisiting this blog and come down with verbal diarrhoea is coz., you have come to realize the truth that AOL has turned you into a nut-job… you have lost your “trust” in Ravi-Ravi… and found out that, the “career” you chose to be in AOL will not come to fruition and therefore your life is screwed up… I will give a worthy advise – give up your AOL, go through a rehabilitation program and get back your life Harshal… AOL and Ravi-Ravi is not worth your life…

      • Anonymous permalink
        March 29, 2012 6:22 am

        Very well said Hari. People who realise this fact are the true enlightened ones…AOL drains one’s mind and money. It is an unfortunate thing happened to today’s youth.

      • March 30, 2012 2:54 am

        @ Harshal.

        “It takes one to know one……”

        Harshie darling, in all your innocence, I am positive you will not even remotely connect to what I am insinuating here. But, lets just say, that against my better judgement, you actually get what I said above, then dude, you are not really as brainwashed I thought you were. Which is a relief (for all humanity….there is still hope for this world !!!!) and its a kick on my backside for making such a bad judgement call on you sweetie.

        So what is it going to be dude ?

        A kick on my faceless anonymous backside while demonstrating serious hope for all humankind BY demonstrating to all very clearly that even under the ‘Harsh’est of conditions (In my opinion nothing can be ‘harsh’er than being harsh-all……PUN intended) , things can be still turned around.


        You make the usual Harsh(ie) vitriolic, abusive and seriously tangential comments demonstrating once again that “you don’t ever get it”……and that your real purpose here is to only to entertain…and to not be taken seriously at anytime.

        Dude, at the end of it all ….if you did choose the path to my precious backside, then you really are not as brainwashed as I thought you were. Hence, in (if) this situation, by my new revised calculations I will be forced to also acknowledge that humanity’s average IQ just went up a few notches.

        Thank you sincerely for giving me the opportunity to share my bit here Harshie. Let me tell you and everybody here sincerely and with all my heart, no one does Harshalism better than Harshal. You are indeed awesome. Hail Harshalism !!!…a path that has pioneered the attainment of enlightenment through blog orientated entertainment.

      • March 30, 2012 3:32 am

        What in the world is Harshalism ?

        In response to my post on the Russian media having to expose to the Americans what is happening in their own country…

        1. Assuming that the writer was nuts, without doing any research by themselves. (Judgmental….Actually more mental than judgmental)


        Just sheer laziness… size fits all…..A one formula for all life syndrome….. can simply not see diversity …..single track ….all the time…..could be very boring…hence has the need to be entertained and in the process ends up entertaining others.


        everything is vanilla….totally no imagination whatsoever

        2. Lack of any ability to do any original reasoning (Intellect is dull…cannot compare and contrast). The type that is easily brainwashed.

        3. If I don’t get it the other person is nuts (Blame, anger, running away).

        Remember the Pied piper story……..

        Harshie…..with a prayer in my heart for you, I will send you one more link…..

        If you could please manage some patience and go through the information provided here and tell me how come the US mainstream media did not talk about it ? While its totally not connected to the main objective of this blog….it is just to show you that best of us can be blind at times…..and that there is always help….from many many quarters. We just need to be open.

        See this before it gets taken down

    • VSS permalink
      March 29, 2012 5:00 pm

      @ IO [March 28, 2012 4:24 am]

      Thank you for your thoughtful wishes and powerful insights.

      My project is a life-long one. It is in the realm of education, and, it is extremely rewarding. I haven’t been happier. I’m working with some rather gifted people with innovative ideas as well as experience in how to make innovative ideas work. I’m focusing on the present moment, and the present in general, and learning a lot. As far as the past is concerned, it is a closed chapter. It had its moments, and those shall always enrich my life.

      As an Indian National, I am incredibly ashamed of how an Indian like Mr. Ravi Shankar is slyly converting Foreign Nationals into Hinduism. I take time off work to post on this blog because it helped me and I want Foreign as well as Indian Nationals to find my words, should they choose to research AoL, before or after joining it. Then, it’s their wish if they want to continue with an outfit that has very blatantly deceived, abused, and, exploited several people.

      I don’t think AoL will ever end, but I do think that when Indians wake up and stop being in denial about the RSS-BJP-AoL-SRI SRI-FRANCOIS GAUTIER connection, those who don’t want to be a part of a purely “Hindu identity” for the rest of their lives, will leave AoL. Foreigners will leave when they start researching AoL before or soon after joining.

      Some days ago, an AoL member posted a comment that claimed that there are 98,000 members of AoL on Facebook. I noticed today that only 517 of them have so far shared Francois Gautier’s defence of Sri Sri’s recent comments. The same AoL member claimed that there are 38,000 AoL members on Twitter. Yet, so far, only 124 have tweeted about Francois Gautier’s article so far. The cracks are already visible.

      People simply do not spare those who mix politics with religion. By 2014, or, whenever the next general elections happen, only those members of AoL will remain in AoL who are pro RSS and pro BJP. In 2018, or, whenever the subsequent general elections happen, there will be even fewer people who are pro RSS and pro BJP. Earlier the choice was between the Congress and the BJP. This will no longer be the case. No one will be compelled to vote for the Congress any more. A number of other parties are becoming prominent — parties that are not as corrupt as the Congress. So, people won’t vote for the “Hindu indentity” RSS-BJP-AoL combination just because they are sick of the corrupt Congress government. They’ll vote for some other political party, like they did in U.P.; the people of U.P. simply did not think that their only options were the Congress and the BJP. Similarly, at the national level too, people will probably not vote for the Congress or the BJP. They’ll pick and choose from a list of other options.

      Thank you again for your thoughtful wishes and powerful insights.

  8. VSS permalink
    March 28, 2012 9:04 am

    The BJP connection in Francois Gautier’s words :

    Some lines from the above column:

    “The BJP is also in its own delusions. It keeps trying to reach out to the Muslim voters, and in the process loses its Hindu identity, which alone separates it from the Congress. But the truth is that Muslims will never vote for the BJP. Advani and Gadkari should just reconcile themselves to this fact. The only thing they can do if they come to power at the Centre is to rule justly and give Muslims education, water, electricity and prosperity, as Narendra Modi has done in Gujarat. Only then a few of them might start voting for the BJP.

    Another aspect, which has been missed out by the media is that Mulayam Singh is a very sick man and that is why Akilesh, who has become popular on the strength of his youthful face and supposedly computer savvy ways, is being made the CM. But will he be different from his father? What skills does he bring to governing the largest state in India? Will he bring prosperity to those who voted for him? On the contrary, it is quite possible that UP may sink more in bankruptcy and lawlessness.

    The truth is that the Muslim population keeps growing and thus its electoral clout keeps increasing. Look at the statistics in UP: there are around 140 constituencies where Muslims are around 30% of the population. While in 73 assembly seats the community is between 20-29% of the population, its population is over 30% in 67 constituencies. This is why the SP won in 72 constituencies with a Muslim majority.

    Mulayam Singh, Mamata Banerjee, the Congress, of course, and even the BJP occasionally, have come to the conclusion that if they want to be elected they can do it by pandering to the Muslim vote; you then just need a few Dalits, Christians and disgruntled Hindus to get a majority or near majority.

    This is a tragic mistake; for not only it is at the cost of the large silent majority of India, the Hindus, but this cynical calculation has never benefited the Muslim community economically.

    India needs courageous politicians who will ask everybody to vote Indian in the interest of the larger Indian nation, and will tell the Muslim community that their first afflation is to their country India, which gives them freedom and equal opportunity, which Hindus neither get in Pakistan, Bangladesh or the Gulf countries.”

    Here’s a link to another column by Francois Gautier:

    I’d like to draw your attention to the following sentence:

    “The BJP is also in its own delusions. It keeps trying to reach out to the Muslim voters, and in the process loses its Hindu identity, which alone separates it from the Congress.”

    As most of us know, the RSS is inextricably connected with the BJP. For instance, the head of the BJP is Mr. Nitin Gadkari who became a member of the RSS before becoming a member of the BJP. The same is true of Mr. Narendra Modi and Mr. L.K. Advani, to name just a few.

    All those who are in AoL, are validating this concept of a “Hindu identity” intentionally or unintentionally. They are validating the venom with which Francois Gautier speaks about human beings:

    “…if they want to be elected they can do it by pandering to the Muslim vote; you then just need a few Dalits, Christians and disgruntled Hindus…”

    In one breath, he has almost labeled all those Hindus who don’t believe in this concept of a “Hindu identity” as “disgruntled Hindus”. Please also notice the sheer contempt with which he speaks about Dalits and Christians.

    By his logic, Mahatma Gandhi was perhaps the most “disgruntled Hindu” on earth. He was, in fact, assassinated for this very reason. The RSS blamed him for the creation of Pakistan and Nathuram Godse (an RSS Swayamsevak) was identified and trained to carry out the assassination. Francois Gautier is anti – Mahatma Gandhi. This religion-based thinking, which caters to the assumed ego of “the large silent majority” of India is archaic and regressive. Uniting people on a religious basis is a narrow-minded perception. Liberal thinkers and leaders unite people for a cause. Mahatma Gandhi united people for the cause of Independence from Colonial Rule. He did not fight for the creation of this “Hindu identity”. And, that is why he was assassinated by the proponents of this “Hindu identity”. People like him are in a minority because the majority of people, unfortunately, are narrow-minded. However, that day is not far, when such people will cease to be in a minority. I derive great hope from the fact the media in India is largely broad-minded. The education system is continuously improving too. Narrow-minded people will not succeed in preventing the progress of India and the rest of the world. The more they promote this narrow-mindedness, the more they will end up attracting the attention of broad-minded people. That is precisely what happened recently when Mr. Ravi Shankar made disastrous comments.

    Additionally, all those who have left AoL and claimed that they were slyly converted to Hinduism, and that AoL is a Hindu outfit, are 100% correct.

    Before the next general elections, whether they happen in 2014 or before that, all of India will become polarized. Those who support this “Hindu identity” will support the BJP-RSS-AoL-Sri Sri Ravi Shankar-Francois Gautier combination. Those who don’t will support other parties.

    The Congress may lose miserably, like it did in UP. The BJP may also lose miserably, like it did in UP. But India will be polarized.

    All AoL members in India will know whether they support this “Hindu identity” or not. They may stay with AoL or they may leave it.

    Ultimately, this is the ideology of AoL. It may be doing a phenomenal amount of charity work — so does the RSS — but it is promoting and indoctrinating this “Hindu identity”.

    It’s like Anna Hazare and his practice of tying people to a pole and beating the hell out of them to rid them of alcoholism. We all have a choice — either we can say the means justify the end. Or, like Mahatma Gandhi, we can think that the means as well as the end should be humane.

    We live in a free country and a mostly free world. We are free to choose. That’s why I think that those who wish to join AoL, must join AoL.

  9. Satya permalink
    March 28, 2012 2:40 pm

    oh! Jeez…. now he is the center of General Elections, UP Elections, Majority – Minority Statistics, RSS, Europe – US…..!!!!! What about the petrol price hike n electricity cuts n medvedev reassuring Russia his cat, Dorofei is safe…..LOLzz….

  10. Harshal permalink
    March 29, 2012 10:15 am

    @ Hari

    I dont work for AOL. So keep your imaginary ideas in you lala land. Its funny to see how you hold AOL responsible for every misery of your life and this planet…….What next? Global warming? you guys are just a bunch of frustrated Indians..and confused non-indians.

    • Hari permalink
      March 29, 2012 5:23 pm

      @ Harshal… aren’t you a teacher at AOL? What do you exactly do at AOL? aren’t you a blesser at AOL?

      FYI, I was never into AOL to begin with, only seen people who fell into the trap and changed from the people who I liked and knew to extremely unlikeable and weird… + the way AOL functions and calls itself as a “spiritual organization – NGO – largest no. of followers” is very disturbing, given the fact that after a PhD and understanding of how businesses function, it would make me dumb to believe that they are indeed “spiritual”… what I see they are doing is packaging and selling spirituality to dumb wits, whose life are largely empty and have no idea of moral values in life are getting sucked up into this glitterati… and Seva in AOL is the WTF-news of the Universe’s lifetime

      • Hari permalink
        March 29, 2012 5:25 pm

        and I don’t understand, how Indians alone could be “frustrated” and non-Indians alone could be “confused”… why not the other way and why not both?

        I guess you are as confused as the rest of the world is 🙂

      • harshal permalink
        March 29, 2012 5:37 pm

        @ Hari: I am not a AOL teacher.I am just someone who has benefited immensely from AOL and I help out once in a while to organize courses..

        you are more fu$$%ked up then others on the blog. because you were never in AOL and still spread BS about it on blogs. Dont mind the PhD ..been there done that and much more…so keep you balls where they belong..

      • Satya permalink
        March 29, 2012 6:46 pm

        so u had a few dumb people for friends who later turned out to be wierdos….. and u with ur phd understood the mechanism of this phenomenon….. kudos to you….:-)

      • Hari permalink
        March 29, 2012 7:26 pm

        @ Satya March 29, 2012 6:46 pm

        Nice try… I guess you are connecting different parts of the what I wrote to make sense to convince yourself… what delusion!

      • Jr. permalink
        March 29, 2012 9:16 pm

        We need to have compassion for these two poor souls Harshal and Satya. They are both lost and suffering greatly – you can tell just by their words on here. No one who is peaceful and happy would post the angry messages they leave. AOL hasn’t benefited them, or they wouldn’t be posting these agitated words. They know they are on a sinking ship, and that their life is going nowhere in AOL. But there is still hope for them, as it’s not too late.

  11. stupidseeker permalink
    March 29, 2012 5:30 pm


    How did your guru’s pakistan trip go ?? Seems he’s going to get the pakistanis to meditate too ?? Whats he going to tell them then ? That meditation is non sectarian and non religious or is he going to tell then it has its roots in Hinduism ??
    Seems he was demonstrating the “shakti” in the shakti drops there too, right ?? The house of sri sri ayurveda produces an international blockbuster. Have you tested it yet Harshal ??

    • Satya permalink
      March 29, 2012 6:42 pm

      @ stupidseeker
      rather than what the guru is going to tell the people of pakistan its more amazing to see u keep asking harshal about the shakti drops and harshal completely entertaining himself at your expense….. it now seems like u r living up to your name…..lolz…..;-)

      • Hari permalink
        March 29, 2012 7:27 pm

        @ Satya March 29, 2012 6:42 pm
        Shakti Drops is the next only to the discovery of plutonium in your opinion huh?

  12. harshal permalink
    March 29, 2012 5:37 pm

    @pastor; aren’t you jealous that AOL is going where your church cant?

    • stupidseeker permalink
      March 30, 2012 6:23 am


      The church didn’t deny the christ either.

  13. VSS permalink
    March 30, 2012 11:29 am

    An interesting comment by someone called Sri on first

    “Ravishankar is a sanctimonious ass. I wonder why people solicit and publicise his views at all. He can’t think straight on any matter; all that he is good for is to mouth pious platitudes that his followers swallow as Sri Sri wisdom. He said: govt should not run schools; govt schools breed naxalites; and, private school children follow ideals. None of the statements make sense. No wonder in the face of criticism he is now backtracking on each one of them. I am very sure when he went to Pakistan recently, it should have dawned on him that Madrassas only breed Talibans all over the world. He could have easily called on the Indian and Pakistani authorities that all the madrassas should be immediately privatised. That could have saved his offer to talk to Talibans to understand them in depth.

    Not to be left behind, our man, criminal lawyer par excellence, Kabil Sibal comes out with his illogical criticism of Ravishankar’s observation. He says: I am from a govt school and I am not a naxalite. Just now, Chidambaram said: women are treated as chattel; hence the crime against women. To this Sibal could have countered: Mrs Sibal is a woman; she is not treated as a chattel!

    Great godmen, great lawyers, great politicians. Be gone all of you.”

  14. Anonymous permalink
    March 30, 2012 12:45 pm

    What some people don’t really understand is that Art of Living is one of dozens of such organizations in India. So some family aligns itself with some swamiji or temple and says “mine’s the best and better than yours”. Same old story. Ravi Shankar is not as big, drawing huge crowds regularly, as many other “god men”. These people come and go. Those deeply involved like Harshal and others whose posts come up here sometimes, are inside of the organization and feel the need to defend it. They think it’s bigger than life, because they are in it. It’s not unusual for people to think that whatever they are doing is the only thing really happening. And if they believe in it, as some do in Art of Living and Ravi Shankar, they really believe it/he/they are powerful. They have a little power. Like all the babas who have come before and will come in the future, they have their fanatical following, and the world goes on. Most people never even heard of Art of Living, and won’t, and won’t suffer or die as a result. In fact, they may be happier! It’s a disturbing cult, sure, but they are not that great a force as some people think. They’ll be gone, along with lots of other people who came and went in India. So what? Hopefully, this blog enlightens people who would have lost their money and careers and jobs to AOL doing “seva”. Maybe people should first do seva at home for their relatives, then worry about AOL ‘seva’.

  15. Venkatesh permalink
    April 6, 2012 4:38 am

    Just wanted to post some latest information on AOL, apparently Mr Ravishankar gave away 50 lakh rupees to the event ” Sahasra Veena Jhenkar” which are jointly hosted by AOL with another organization recently at Palace Ground in Bangalore.
    Anyway I don’t understand what is the purpose of these musical extravaganzas and what is their contribution to spirituality or world peace?

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