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How can his techniques help in Pakistan, if they can’t help his own devotees?

March 30, 2012

by VSS

“My dream is to see a violence-free Pakistan and I’m sure it is possible” he said addressing a gathering of dignitaries in Lahore, which was attended among others by Former Finance Minister of Pakistan, Mr.Sartaj Aziz; Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid leader, Ms. Humaira Shahid; Secretary General of Tehrik-i-Insaf, Mr. Omar Cheema, and Pakistan Today Editor, Mr. Arif Nizami.

He even offered to talk to Taliban to bring peace in Pakistan. “I am ready to go and talk to the Taliban. I want to talk to them, understand them and give them my opinion. We can definitely make a difference. We should try it again and again even if we have to try it 100 times,” he said during an interaction with the public and media in Islamabad on Tuesday.

In almost all his interactions, Sri Sri dispelled the notion that majority of Indians are polytheists and hence not compatible with Islamic Pakistan. “Like Allah has 99 names, there are over 1,000 idols but God is not in them. God is one. Hindus also worship one God,” Sri Sri said.

http://www.artofliving.org/in-en/sri-sri-ends-3-day-visit-call-indo-pak-peace

http://edition.cnn.com/video/?/video/world/2012/03/13/sayah-pak-spiritual-solutions.cnn

Mr. Ravi Shankar is very smart.

He knows no one takes him seriously, especially not Former Finance Minister of Pakistan, Mr.Sartaj Aziz; Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid leader, Ms. Humaira Shahid; Secretary General of Tehrik-i-Insaf, Mr. Omar Cheema, and Pakistan Today Editor, Mr. Arif Nizami. None of them took his offer to negotiate with the Taliban seriously. They must have had a hearty laugh at his expense after he was out of sight!

He is claiming he can solve all the political problems of the world, when he can’t even get Harshal, Satya, Naren et al to stop inflicting verbal violence on this blog.

His diagnosis of what is causing Pakistan’s problems and the solution he recommends has been completely ignored. Here’s what he said:

Emphasizing the importance of a calm and collected mind, he said, “When decision-makers are stressed, they will project the same thing in their decisions. They should do some meditation and relax, especially when they have to make a serious decision that will impact a lot of people.”

But no one was listening. The joke doing the rounds in AoL centers must be that Pakistani leaders are dumb. The joke doing the rounds in Pakistan must be that Mr. Ravi Shankar is dumb. We all can decide who to laugh with — the Pakistanis or AoL members.

More importantly, at least, Harshal, Satya, Naren et al need to listen to their “guru” — Mr. Ravi Shankar. They sound so stressed out. I don’t think either of them knows the meaning of meditation. They don’t seem like they know the first thing about being at peace. They should lead by example in showing how peaceful AoL’s tools and techniques make them instead of behaving like absolute bullies. After all, who is their “guru” — is it the Talban or is it Mr. Ravi Shankar? So far, it seems they believe in the philosophy of the Taliban.

Mr. Ravi Shankar should realize that charity begins at home.

He should start by fixing the minds of those AoL members who visit this blog — he should begin by ridding them of stress. These people sound super anxious, intolerant, agitated, foul-mouthed, derisive, and, mean.

From their behaviour, it is clear that AoL and the tools and techniques deployed by AoL simply do not cause any stress relief. They induce a tendency for verbal violence. They also cause crude and insensitive behaviour. Above all, they encourage complete ignorance. People like Harshal, Satya, and, Naren, are simply not aware that the reason why their comments are not deleted is because their comments show AoL in a pathetic light. They have simply lost the ability to see this simple truth. They don’t know the difference between behaving themselves and misbehaving. They cannot zoom out, take an aerial view, and, just see how they shame AoL.

I didn’t think brainwashing could slaughter the ability to be discerning about the simplest of things. So sad. Poor fellows are completely clueless. But as Mr. Ravi Shankar says “behind every perpetrator of bad behaviour is a victim crying for help”. Hope he can hear the cries of Harshal, Satya, Naren et al and wipe their tears. These people need to be at peace more than anyone else who posts on this blog. Time will tell if Mr. Ravi Shankar has the ability to make these people behave themselves or not.

Good luck, “Gurudev”!

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148 Comments
  1. Jr. permalink
    March 30, 2012 4:46 pm

    One of SSRS’s famous sayings is “Peace is the first step before anything else…”

    Harshy, Naren and Satya need to restudy this concept.

    • VSS permalink
      March 31, 2012 7:08 am

      @ Jr. [March 30, 2012 4:46 pm]

      Those are just words. As you know, actions speak louder than words. For instance, when Mr. Ravi Shankar had to deal with a conflict with this blog, what did he do ? Did he follow any of the principles of conflict resolution that he recommends ? Did he win the hearts of all those posting on this blog as he suggests to world leaders ? Absolutely not. His reaction was violent.

      He took this blog to court with the intention of silencing the owners. He and his team started bad-mouthing people they thought were behind this blog — they didn’t even bother to confirm if they were targeting those who are actually behind this blog. So, they’re not just violent but randomly so — their egos are all over the place — out of any control whatsoever. That is the example they set for followers. Harshal, Satya, Naren et al are not at all responsible for their behaviour. They’ve been programmed. What Mr. Ravi Shankar and AoL succeed in doing is that they tap into the energy of young people and connect their self esteem with AoL, so that the moment someone is critical of AoL, these people get aggressive. They behave as if someone said something to them. They take it personally. They simply cannot see something in an issue-based manner. They perform a verbal tandav the moment someone says AoL does not work.

      What is AoL ? AoL is simply an outfit that sells a mental activity-physical activity combination for relieving stress. Why should anyone have a problem if a certain combination doesn’t work for someone else ? Why should the statement of AoL not working for someone invite rage and abuse — especially from those who claim that they have been relieved of stress for life ?

      Harshal, Satya, Naren et al simply do not know that they are behaving badly. Yesterday, in one post, on another thread, Harshal is mouthing obscenities. He’s also making communal statements – asking someone preposterous questions like “are you jealous of AoL because it is reaching those places that Christianity cannot reach?”. All those of us who have had even half a decent education in India have been taught the concept of “unity in diversity” (anekta mein ekta).

      In another post, he says “non-Indians are confused”. He is unable to speak respectfully to or about Foreign Nationals. He has forgotten the concept of the whole world being one family – Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम. from “vasudha”, the earth; “iva” = is as a; and “kutumbakam”, family). He has also forgotten the concept of guests being akin to God – atithi devo bhava.

      Do you think he can comprehend that he is bringing shame to India and to AoL ? Not at all. He is simply behaving like those in AoL who lead by example in bad behaviour, intolerance, and egotistical thinking. Simply claiming that AoL is promoting Indian culture is not enough. The three concepts that I have listed form the soul of the quintessential Indian identity. Irrespective of which religion we believe in, we believe in these three concepts, and live them. We’ve been taught these concepts throughout school.

      Deep down, Harshal knows that something is wrong. As of now, his mind is telling him that anyone who is not abusive is insane. His mind is projecting. It is not functioning properly. He attacked my sanity a couple of times. So one day, I told him that if being insane means being unlike him, then I am happy with my insanity. But he can’t process that. He keeps saying the same thing over and over again.

      Further, none of Mr. Ravi Shankar’s ideas are original.They’re there in any good corporate training workshop presentation on “conflict resolution”. Many such presentations are easily accessible on the internet. As far as the specific concept of non-violent protests is concerned, it is Mahatma Gandhi’s contribution to the world.

      • VSS permalink
        March 31, 2012 9:10 am

        @ Jr. [March 30, 2012 4:46 pm]

        Scroll down and you’ll see more evidence of all my findings about Harshal. He simply cannot tell that he is misbehaving and bringing shame to India and AoL. His mind has almost packed up. I feel really bad for people like him — I don’t know why they’re so insecure that they allow AoL to exploit their energy. The kind of negativity that he is expressing must be destroying his peace of mind each and every day. Poor fellow. His disconnect from reality is turning him into someone who is perpetually abusive. I hope he finds peace soon. People like Harshal are very sad inside — it’s heartbreaking to see him unleash his rage thus. He is absolutely unable to “accept people as they are” and increasing the level of toxins in his injured mind.

        Here’s a poem I just wrote for him:

        Your injured mind
        is breeding toxins
        Your soul is bereft
        of any decency

        I wish you peace of mind
        I hope you find it soon
        and are able to retain it

        The world outside AoL
        is not out to get you
        Your paranoia is

        It has been injected by AoL
        and made you incapable of bliss

        Your cynicism is winning
        from your heart of gold
        Let your heart shine and blossom
        Don’t let it grow cold

        We are all part of the same world
        And everyone’s guru is not the same
        Accept people as they are
        Don’t bring your country shame

        You have talent and intelligence
        if only you’d deploy them for peace
        Why abuse the whole world
        and try to bring people on their knees

        Violence cannot lead to beauty
        Happiness cannot thrive through terror
        Spiritualism is not hurting people
        Hope you recognize your error

        It’s just a matter of time
        before you respect everyone
        when you do your words will glow
        and you’ll be as radiant as the sun

  2. Satya permalink
    March 30, 2012 6:34 pm

    @VSS
    hahahahahahahhahahahahahhahhah……ROFL….:-)
    ur concern has touched my heart VSS…… u r an angel….. ur compassion n kindness has just flown into ur post…… am deeply touched…..seriously….;-)

    • VSS permalink
      March 30, 2012 7:58 pm

      @ Satya [March 30, 2012 6:34 pm]

      JGD !

      I am joining AoL on 1st April (it’s a special day for all AoL members) as part of the mass enrollment drive ! A new world record will be set that day ! This time it won’t be veenas, tablas, or yogathon. It’ll be enrollment of all those who are not in AoL and write for this blog. Haven’t you heard ?

      Happy Seva, Sadhna, and, Satsang to you !

      I don’t think you are doing enough Seva ! (That’s why you’re always behaving badly.)

      But don’t worry, “Guruji” will take care of you. He knows everything. He has many siddhis. Just by posting on this blog, I have informed him about your need for “inner conflict resolution”. I don’t know about me (it all depends on my Part 1 teacher), but “Guruji” will definitely turn you into an angel soon. I have full faith in his powers. Maybe you don’t right now, but you will. It’s just a matter of time.

      JGD !

  3. Jr. permalink
    March 30, 2012 6:44 pm

    The irony here is that many of us on the blog believe in following some of SSRS’s knowledge. Satya on the other hand, doesn’t believe in his own master’s knowledge. Why follow him then, if you’re not going to live the knowledge?

    • Satya permalink
      March 31, 2012 2:40 am

      @Jr
      thats an enlightening statement u have just done there Jr….:-) U have opened up my eyes….:-) am now indebted to you….;-)

  4. Anonymous permalink
    March 30, 2012 7:51 pm

    Yes, please leave Harsy, Naren, Satya and etc AOL devotees’ nasty comments on this forum. They are perfect evidence to show how AOL and its so called ‘guru’ can damage ones’ brain and inner-well being.

    No need to waste time to argue with them. The more they post here, the easier for people to realize how stink and dangerous a cult like Art of Living is.

    Please leave their nasty showcase here for people to witness so that they can make their own judgement.

  5. harshal permalink
    March 30, 2012 8:57 pm

    VSS is suffering from BBS.-burned bitch syndrome.–thanks to her ex…from now on you will be known as BBS

    • VSS permalink
      March 31, 2012 8:51 am

      @ harshal [March 30, 2012 8:57 pm]

      JGD !

      Thank you so much for your diagnosis ! As usual, it is accurate !

      Your knowledge and earnestness are charming beyond measure, and incredibly humbling too. Your greatness resonates in this universe and showers blessings on all us poor lost souls. The warmth in your heart gives us great solace and comfort. You are a phenomenal phenomenon! After reading your words today, I have no doubt in my mind that you are truly enlightened.

      The best thing about you is your language — it’s made of rose petals. It’s almost an Ayurvedic product manufactured in AoL’s laboratories. There’s such beauty in your mind. You don’t sound stressed out at all. You don’t sound enraged. And, you definitely do not sound abusive, venomous, contemptuous or derisive. In fact, you remind me of some of the greatest saints who have walked this earth — those who never use any abusive language ever, no matter what the provocation. Self-restraint is one of your signature skills — each day you sound more and more enlightened, more and more humane, and, more and more subtle.

      From now on, I shall refer to thee as His Holiness Sri Sri Harshal Harshal (HHSSHH).

      You’re the perfect Indian, and the perfect AoL representative. I’m so inspired by your evolved way of being that I’m joining AoL tomorrow as part of the 1st April mass enrollment drive. It’s a special day at AoL and I want to celebrate it with all members of AoL.

      I just can’t wait to surrender my mind to “Guruji” and become as holy as you. Then, just like you, I’ll comment on posts on this blog and say “I’m holier than thou!” Oh, it’ll be wonderful. I can’t wait to follow in your glorious footsteps.

      Thank you so much once again. I am indeed suffering from “burned bitch syndrome”, except that it’s not because of my ex. I am a born bitch. I even bark like one — I go woof woof !

      Have a lovely day !

      JGD !

      – BBS

      • harshal permalink
        March 31, 2012 11:35 am

        @BBS:

        Since you wrote a poem on me I am will also oblige..with my few lines

        “In this mostly beautiful world
        BSS… you are a crooked one legged bird
        even your ex thought that you are turd
        best you can do get back at him… is by throwing mud”

        I also encourage you to follow the four-point program

        1) forget your ex and stop throwing random mud…at people and organizations.. it will not help. If you throw mud on others some will fall back on you too , which will hurt your more
        2) find a good psychiatrist or a counsellor
        3) get a job
        4) move on with your life and stop being an entertainment for others

      • VSS permalink
        March 31, 2012 5:34 pm

        @ harshal [March 31, 2012 11:35 am]

        JGD !

        Your thoughtfulness is inspiring. I am moved and overwhelmed by your wonderful words and of course assumptions about my career and life. It seems like you know me better than I know myself. You seem to think that just because I don’t work for AoL, I don’t work. Amazing line of thinking ! I congratulate you for this especially. I think, like your “guru”, you have many siddhis.

        As if your abuses about my mental deformities and character deformities were not enough, now you’ve added a physical deformity too. Wow ! You’re such a lovely person.

        The world needs more people like you. Your words are so beautiful that their beauty astounds me. I think one of the main reasons why I’m planning to join AoL tomorrow on 1st April is you. Thank you so much for being the spectacular human being that you are.

        I was wrong in my poem.

        You are already as radiant as the sun !

        JGD !

        Have a terrific day !

    • Satya permalink
      March 31, 2012 7:09 pm

      @Harshal
      ‘BAD’ Language….

  6. Satya permalink
    March 31, 2012 2:36 am

    @VSS
    my behaviour is bad for calling you an angel and deeply appreciating your concern!!! how do i understand that now???? 😉

    • VSS permalink
      March 31, 2012 6:09 am

      @ Satya [March 31, 2012 2:36 am]

      JGD !

      Well, to understand, you need to repeat some AoL courses. Once you do that, you will become completely enlightened. Just trust “Guruji”. Have implicit faith in him. He is going to solve all problems in Syria, Palestine, Pakistan, Afghanistan etc. etc., but he will start with you. He will tell you that you need to do more Seva, Sadhna, and, Satsang. Everything will be alright. You will not be left with any questions to ask. All your questions will be answered by “Guruji”. Have faith in “Guruji”. Just surrender your mind to him. Stop thinking. You think too much — that is your problem. Let him think for you and everyone else in AoL. I have faith in him. He’s so holy.

      JGD !

  7. stupidseeker permalink
    March 31, 2012 12:42 pm

    An integral part of the “spirituality” at AOL is the guru puja.
    I wonder how the ulema in Pakistan will react if AOL teaches the Pakistanis to recite, “achmaniyam samarpayami shri gurucharanakamalebhyo namah”. And its a fact that no one in AOL can get to become a teacher of AOL spirituality unless he/she has complteted the guru puja course.

    At a time when rationalist secular humanists in both societies are facing the heat from religious bigots,more so in pakistan, this enlightened being hasn’t anything better to do than indulge in comparative religious studies.

    • VSS permalink
      March 31, 2012 1:07 pm

      @ stupidseeker [March 31, 2012 12:42 pm]

      Thank you for this truly insightful piece of information.

      Now the picture is clearer than ever before. Basically, Mr. Ravi Shankar and AoL are converting people to Hinduism, or, trying to. I read on one of the blogs that the conversion is subtle. To me, it’s not so subtle after reading your comment, but I suppose it must be for those who are in AoL.

      However, the mass conversion of Muslims to Hinduism has never happened. The reverse has happened. Maybe Mr. Ravi Shankar and AoL intend to be pioneers. But, it’s very surprising that Mr. Ravi Shankar did not visit Afghanistan. I hear that members of the Taliban in Afghanistan are extremely stressed out. If he can make Afghanistan violence-free, then world peace would not be that difficult. The Nobel Peace Prize would not be out of his reach either.

      I really hope his siddhis help him to read this post — the people of Afghanistan need stress relief since decades now. He should give them some attention. They deserve it.

      Thank you again for this truly insightful piece of information.

      • March 31, 2012 3:08 pm

        @Stupidseeker

        “And its a fact that no one in AOL can get to become a teacher of AOL spirituality unless he/she has complteted the guru puja course.”

        Since when?

      • Original Anonymous permalink
        March 31, 2012 3:47 pm

        @VSS

        I think he did visit Iraq and Afghanistan during war times, he cannot be accused for not having guts ..

        Plus I think Sri Sri is not directly responsible for your woes, he may have really worked up idiots around him, but his intent is good i.e. to transform them and all ..

        His goal is simple to get people rid of worries, unhappiness etc, he realizes that a war at this stage of nuclear capabilities can spell disaster for the whole world. hence the importance of peace is very high and he alone is one force who can unite the world at this stage. If he at times feels proud of it, we could forgive him for that, he is like us after all ..

        Yes there may be idiots around him in plenty (Maheshgiri, Nityapragya etc etc) .. but he needs them to spread meditation and peace..

        There is this propaganda in aol which claims him to be Krishna (etc etc), but he did mention amongst Senior teachers that its not so and he is not Krishna( way back pre 2005) ..I heard it from a very senior teacher herself .. He once scolded Rishi Nityapragya in front of a crowd filled with 10,000 people at Bangalore, because he and manikantan were busy propagating him as Krishna, though he didn’t directly mention so, he was kind of really pissed with the Rishi for that..

        I have been reading some of your posts and I have been reading posts from the so called pro aol folks. There are people who are really messed up in AoL even amongst the rishis and Swamis but if you sit back and really think deep over it .. keeping your hurt aside for a while .. you will see that Sri Sri is not what he is spoken about here… enlightened or not .. if you read the Daily Sutras you will see what Sri Sri really is .. Yes there is an irritating propaganda around him, there are messed up people around him, but so many people, he has to keep them busy ..

        I have met YLTP yuvacharyas whom Sri Sri has fed with his own hands, he has called them up during the times they were traveling, they sincerely feel that he takes care of them.

        Regarding him doing business, he is not enjoying any of the money you think he earns, he is busy round the clock, he is always meeting people round the clock, rarely does he ever watch a movie, most of his day he is resolving issues of one devotee or maybe even amongst countries..

        . I am no longer active with the organizational part of aol .. but I do support his movement fully .. I may dislike probably even more people than you in aol but one thing I am sure of is that people do need meditation and the Kriya and he has to be appreciated for reaching out to the world at such a fast pace.. i understand the pain that you have undergone .. but just wanted to write as I see this blog is heading to a very negative – criticize and rubbish everything about Sri Sri route ..

        I have observed him very closely for many years and I do see that he is very very sensitive to the pains of people .. he has indeed brought about a much deeper level of understanding about life and spirituality than I ever had and he has indeed raised me .. yes Art of Living as an organization is really messed up but whenever I met him he never really encouraged me to be a teacher and get active here, even though I feel I am an exceptional public speaker with a lot of confidence .. he never told me that teacher ban jao etc – every time I met him he just asked me ” khush ho naa “, tu khush hai naa, thats it .. and deep down I feel he really meant it ..

        Probably Art of Living(and Yes!+) makes you feel bad about art of living.. .but both of these don’t really represent him, these are just the rock stars here.. people stuck in the glamorous side of the organization.. there is an unglamorous side too which not every one has seen.. remove the rishis/swamis/ senior teachers bawa and dinesh /ntc etc etc and you will see that Sri Sri is much beyond these entities..

        Once many years back( I don’t know exactly ) somebody in a small Satsang somebody asked Guruji that ” Guruji have you ever made any mistake in your life, or have you been totally mistake free” – He said I have made one mistake .. – starting this organization the Art of Living ..

        Maybe he does realize that it is indeed a mistake … but I do think that he is indeed an enlightened soul.. and whether you work for aol, or work against it, whether you criticize him or praise him, he will still love you unconditionally, irrespective of whatever his expression is for you, ….

        All the best for your life ahead..
        Regards
        Original Anonymous ..

    • Ronin permalink
      March 31, 2012 2:03 pm

      Funny thing That puja…..Copied by AOL…but what els is new..

      Who’s Puja Is It, Anyway?
      By now both TM critics and true believers have become accustomed to
      the public availability of the once “hyper-secret” TM Puja, or
      initiation ceremony, over the Web.
      Well, it’s high time the other shoe dropped.
      Most TMers, even TM teachers, believe that the Puja was written by the
      Maharishi himself. Or perhaps it is a secret ceremony passed down for
      generations by the “Holy Tradition” that the Maharishi claims to
      represent.
      Tain’t so.
      Many, if not most, TM initiators had some trouble with the Puja
      translation the Maharishi gave us on Teacher Training. “Hey, this is
      supposed to be a Science — not a Religion! ” But we made our
      rationalizations and carried on. Fact is, all our hand-wringing was
      for nought. The deck was stacked. We never had a chance to make an
      informed choice.
      The translation we were handed was thoroughly sanitized.
      Even when we thought we were being told the esoteric truth, we were
      being lied to!
      But the real shocker is that it appears the Maharishi cobbled together
      scraps of Sanskrit poetry to create a “Hindoo ceremony” to wow the
      Western crowd. He took selected verses of
      * Trotakacharya’s famous guru paramparA,
      * selected verses from the gurustotra that every Indian who studies
      with a guru knows by heart,
      * and for good measure added a short middle verse used by Sanskrit
      students for recitation practice — which invites Shiva and
      Shakti to take up residence in the performer’s heart.
      As you’ll see below, he simply snipped out the verses that might be
      most obviously offensive to the Western sensibility.
      If there’s one thing the Maharishi’s Puja isn’t, it’s secret. All the
      verses are readily available to anyone growing up in India’s rich
      spiritual culture. An Indian student might very well learn them as
      part of public school education.
      So why were TM teachers sworn to lifetimes of secrecy?
      Perhaps the Maharishi concocted the entire Puja — and he didn’t want
      to share his embarrassment with the world. After all, since he was not
      born a Brahman and therefore could never become a swami, the Maharishi
      was never a member of the “Holy Tradition” himself. Most likely he was
      never privy to whatever secret rites Swami Brahmananda Saraswati
      taught. According to the very Vedic Law he touts, he commits sacrilege
      by teaching bija mantras — a sin he compounds by charging money for
      his teachings. (See below for information on Guru Dev’s successor, the
      current Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math, his revered place in the “Holy
      Tradition,” and his dark revelations about the Maharishi.)
      Or perhaps it was a marketing move. If only he was the source of
      “secret” knowledge, he was guaranteed a virtual lock on mantra
      meditation in the West.
      Most likely of all, the Maharishi always had the religious agenda he
      announced in Beacon Light of the Himalayas, back in 1956: To bring as
      many souls as he could to his Lord. But having discovered that
      Westerners were somewhat skittish about converting to Hinduism, he
      attempted to hide the Puja’s purpose in order to gain converts through
      this magical ceremony.

      Other site of interest

      http://www.suggestibility.org/whatIsTmLongStepsOfInit.shtml#puja
      http://onwww.net/trancenet.org/secrets/puja/tradt.shtml

      • VSS permalink
        March 31, 2012 5:55 pm

        @ Original Anonymous [March 31, 2012 3:47 pm]

        “A man is known by the company he keeps.”

        “Birds of a feather flock together.”

        You are entitled to your opinion and I respect it, but the sheer number of times you’ve mentioned “messed up” people around Mr. Ravi Shankar in AoL is startling.

        Besides, I have read his biographer’s anti-Muslim sentiments on the recent elections in UP, and evidenced his proximity with the RSS and the BJP. You might not have. You can choose to read and know what you wish to.

        The fact of the matter is simple — Mr. Ravi Shankar has mixed religion with politics. History has not forgiven anyone who does that.

        The RSS-BJP-AoL combination wants to rule this country and perpetuate a “Hindu identity”. They might have been successful because everyone is quite sick of the current Congress Government at the Centre.

        However, the U.P. elections have proved that this country no longer thinks that the only options are the Congress and the BJP.

        By the time the next general elections happen — in 2014 or sooner — all of India will be polarized. Those in AoL who believe in the “Hindu identity” as defined by the RSS-BJP-AoL combination shall remain in AoL; all others will leave.

        It is very easy to talk about peace and non-violence. It’s quite another to extract a price for it. The price in the case of Mr. Ravi Shankar is not just the fees that he charges for courses run by AoL, but subservience to a communal mindset in a cult setting.

        Those who wish to pay in cash as well as pay with their freedom will find innumerable reasons to be with him.

        We are what we validate.

        My conscience does not allow me to validate someone who is communal, slyly converting Foreign Nationals to Hinduism, and, has deceived, abused and exploited several people.

        Those who think that’s alright are free to think what they wish. i don’t believe in this kind of cynicism and won’t in the future either.

        Regards,

        – VSS

        P.S. I still don’t understand why he didn’t go to Afghanistan and talk to the Taliban. He went all the way to Pakistan, didn’t he ? Why didn’t he go a bit further and actually facilitate some peace in the region ? He can silence his critics by bringing about peace. He can start with abusive devotees like Harshal and conclude with converting the Taliban. If he does that, I think he’ll definitely get the Nobel Peace Prize. Maybe you don’t think so.

      • Original Anonymous permalink
        April 1, 2012 12:18 pm

        @VSS..

        “A man is known by the company he keeps.”

        “Birds of a feather flock together.”

        Agreed. But do students,disciples and followers qualify as company?

        You are entitled to your opinion and I respect it, but the sheer number of times you’ve mentioned “messed up” people around Mr. Ravi Shankar in AoL is startling.

        I have written what I felt and I have observed without distorting anything .. If I feel people around him have messed up attitudes and don’t know how to behave I will say so ..and probably thats the reason I am no longer active…

        RSS-BJP-AOL combine .. discussion

        Thats kind of way off topic .. I do not think there exists any such thing and there is very little proof of it .. The Delhi YES!+ concerts usually has a young lady congress MP(or MLA not sure) as a chief guest .. Anyway I don’t want to discuss any further on this as I don’t have any knowledge of the same..

        P.S. I still don’t understand why he didn’t go to Afghanistan and talk to the Taliban

        To talk probably they need Taliban to agree to talk to him. He did goto Iraq during the US-Iraq war. So I guess the reason he has not visited Taliban is probably not because of any lack of courage but just other reasons.

        My conscience does not allow me to validate someone who is communal, slyly converting Foreign Nationals to Hinduism, and, has deceived, abused and exploited several people.

        How? Has he asked them not to goto church? Or does chanting the name of God amounts to conversion? Does Sri Sri Ravi Shankar mentioning Jesus make him Christian?

        There is a lady teacher named Shyama ji in Delhi .. she used to travel to Kashmir.. conduct courses in live terrorists camps …. and she used to insist her participants to chant OM .. I don’t think she would have come out alive if there was any intent of conversion in her mind ..

        There is a teacher Sanjay Bihari in Delhi .. who does what Shyama ji does on a very large scale in live terrorists camps .. They may not have the best of attitudes but surely they do seem to have a lot of confidence and faith in their master .. and doing what they managed to do does require some courage and like you said “birds of a feather flock together” ..
        ” A man is known by the company he keeps.”

      • VSS permalink
        April 1, 2012 4:43 pm

        @ Original Anonymous [April 1, 2012 12:18 pm]

        Yes, students,disciples and followers qualify as company. Mr. Ravi Shankar spends almost all his time with them.

        Please read the following :

        http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/column_the-real-reason-sp-swept-uttar-pradesh_1661723

        This is an article written by Francois Gautier.

        Also, if you recall, Mr. Ravi Shankar’s recent comments were made from an RSS platform. He was also the person who released Mr. Nitin Gadkari’s first book. Mr. Nitin Gadkari is a member of the RSS and now the President of the BJP. Mr. Ravi Shankar is also very close to Mr. Narendra Modi who is also a member of the RSS and the Chief Minister of Gujarat — where the BJP is currently in power. All this information is easily available on the internet. This is one of the links you might find :

        http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/Protest-against-Sri-Sri-Ravi-Shankar-for-his-remarks-on-government-schools/articleshow/12362498.cms

        It seems you’re not aware of text messages being sent to AoL members from AoL employees asking them to vote for the BJP. You probably also don’t know about Bawa’s post asking AoL members to “vote for the lotus”.

        Additionally, you might be aware that Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse who was an RSS Swayamsevak as part of a conspiracy by the RSS. You might also be aware of Mr. Ravi Shankar’s comments about Mahatma Gandhi about how there was violence inside Mahatma Gandhi and that’s why there was violence in his presence.

        When you read Mr. Francois Gautier’s article, please read carefully what he has to say about Muslims. Please also read the comments below his article. You’ll know exactly the kind of mindset he is catering too.

        Further, the Art of Living Foundation is a dangerous cult. The following comment shall establish that for you. All the points mentioned therein apply to the Art of Living Foundation.

        https://aolfree.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/how-can-his-techniques-help-in-pakistan-if-they-cant-help-his-own-devotees/#comment-10369

        The fact of the matter is that Mr. Ravi Shankar has mixed religion with politics. By asking AoL members to vote for the RSS-BJP combination through Bawa, by expressing anti-Muslim sentiments through Mr. Francois Gautier’s column, and, through his recent comments about “adarsh students”, Mr. Ravi Shankar has clearly expressed that he stands for a Right Wing Hindu ideology.

        If you still can’t see the RSS-BJP-AoL combination clearly, then I’m afraid I can’t help you. However, I can assure you that before the next general elections, this combination will actively seek the votes of all Indians.

        As I’d mentioned to you earlier, we are what we validate.

        If there are people who are validating a Right Wing Hindu ideology by being in AoL, then it’s their call. I won’t. The U.P. elections have proved that voters like me will neither vote for a political party as corrupt as the Congress nor for a political party as communal as the BJP. We shall choose some other option. Seasoned journalists have already predicted the emergence of a third front.

        Yet, if the RSS-BJP-AoL combination comes to power, I won’t be validating it. I cannot validate a cult that has deceived, abused, and, exploited individuals who’ve written moving accounts on this blog and other related blogs. They’ve categorically mentioned that they were slyly converted to Hinduism.

        I’ll validate Indian journalists, educationists, and non-communal political leaders.

        If you want to validate a Right Wing Hindu cult, it’s your choice. I’m not as cynical as you. I don’t think that I must validate an outfit that has deceived, abused, and, exploited people. If I have to support an outfit, it better be better than AoL. It better not have “messed up” people in it, it better not have a terrible track record, it better not be conversion-centric (please refer to the list of prerequisites for a TTC), it better not be selling enlightenment for a pre-defined fee, and, it better not be telling me that the mental activity – physical activity combination it recommends is the only available option for ensuring general well-being.

        At the end of the day, we all do what our hearts say. If your heart says that AoL is a Right Wing Hindu cult just from my perspective, then that’s what you need to go with. Accept people as they are. My perspective is different from yours. That’s all. It’s no big deal.

        P.S. The Taliban is not willing to talk to him because those who can facilitate such talks do not take Mr. Ravi Shankar seriously. The same applies to the leaders of Pakistan, Syria, and, Palestine.

      • Original Anonymous permalink
        April 2, 2012 2:47 pm

        @VSS

        RSS ..BJP AOL discussion

        Assuming all that you are saying is all true .. even then its not really illegal to

        – have an ideology ( left, right and center does not matter ) all saints, priests, Maulvi’s do have a bent towards some ideology .. And I respect that for each and all of them

        – even though I don’t fully agree on the conversion thing .. but even if we assume that you are right about this conversion thing then too under the Indian Constitution under the right to freedom of religion one has the right to practice, preach and propagate one’s religion. So there is nothing wrong with that .. Everyone does it .. whats wrong if a Hindu saint does it .. ( I fully support this freedom for all religions and thoughts .. )

        – Regarding validating Right Wing Hindu ideology .. again I am not validating anything .. its just you who are assuming that I am validating things .. Sri Sri met Narendra Modi, went on a RSS platform .. fine .. but I also saw him in Hyderabad speaking in a mosques with Islamic scholars .. I also saw him in Iraq .. I have seen him conducting satsang’s in Maoists affected areas where even the Police and the army don’t dare to enter? Does this make him a right wing islamic scholar or a maoist?

        – Regarding why does not he speak with the Taliban . . you seem to make the Taliban seem like a NGO .. doing charitable work .. for your kind information Taliban is not some sort of a charitable trust .. they are far more dangerous than the whole of Art of Living put together and multiplied by 1 billion times . (that is considering AoL is dangerous) ..

        I fully respect your right to express your opinions and also have them .. and also believe in having and expressing mine .. So like you said .. its no big deal ..

        Take care n all the best ..

  8. VSS permalink
    March 31, 2012 6:22 pm

    @ Ronin [March 31, 2012 2:03 pm]

    Thank you for your supremely informative post.

    AoL is taking foreign nationals for a massive ride — converting them to Hinduism using all kinds of tactics. Mr. Ravi Shankar hobnobs with Right Wing Hindu Organizations and individuals all the time. His biographer is venomously anti-Muslim. Several AoL former members who post on this blog have spoken about how AoL members solicit votes for the BJP through text messages, Bawa’s blog posts etc. etc. On the face of it, they speak about stress relief, but their intention is plain and simple conversion to Hinduism and gaining political power on communal lines.

    The last time the RSS-BJP combination came to power was many years ago. The reason was that people were sick of the Congress Government at the Center and thought they had no other option but to vote for the BJP. The U.P. elections have changed that. The Indian voter is very aware and very progressive. Mixing religion and politics simply won’t work.

    Thank you again for your supremely informative post.

    • Ronin permalink
      March 31, 2012 11:00 pm

      @ VSS

      All the info was posted on the web by Ex Tm Folks. People forget where Mr. Shankar learned his trade. Yet it is important to realiaze this yo look at the back drop

      The puja was something so secret and sacred in the TM movement. Yet CEO Shankar made a course out of it. Course one and two but wait you need to take all the prereq courses frst. Makes a lot of business sense..

      I wonder what his teacher Mahesh would say. But then a again Mr. Shankar never acknowledged him as such.

      Strange Would you say now respect for the lineage of teachers….

      Go through the rabbit hole website it is an eye opener

      Have great weekend

  9. VSS permalink
    March 31, 2012 6:57 pm

    A NOTE TO ALL THOSE WHO HAVE NOT JOINED AOL AND ARE VISITING THIS BLOG

    The Art of Living Foundation is a cult. It is extremely damaging.

    For evidence, please read the comments of those who defend AoL.

    You’ll find that they are abusive, intolerant, incoherent, snide, and, offensive.

    None of the defenders are at peace. Let alone facilitate world peace, they are incapable of tolerating any opinion which does not coincide with theirs. They are unable to co-exist peacefully with those who are not in AoL.

    Also, AoL is now getting into politics in a big way. Please read the most recent columns of AoL’s inhouse journalist — Mr. Francois Gautier — in DNA. He is blatantly anti-Muslim and perpetuating a Right Wing Hindu identity. He refers to Christians in a condescending way was well, and is not kind to Dalits either.

    The best way to know AoL is through those who speak for it.

    Happy Reading !

  10. Harshal permalink
    March 31, 2012 7:03 pm

    @BBS:

    spew as much venom as you can. You cant stop the AOL Juggernaut.

    Anyone who reads your post will make out that you are sick and need treatment.

    • Anonymous permalink
      April 1, 2012 1:21 am

      LOL @ Harshal! You really think that AOL is such a unique, huge thing? Are you in India, dude? One more swami. So what. There are so many of these guys, and most pull bigger crowds than this Ravi Shankar. You’re so brainwashed. Either that or you never left Bangalore, and think the the rest of the country revolves around it (and Ravi Shankar, and Nityananda, and what’s left of Sai Baba’s people……….speaking of which…..uh, Sai Baba — here one day, gone the next and the whole thing exposed and nobody cares anymore… Same to happen to precious Sri Sri and your “jugggernaut”) LOL What a bunch of ostriches you are at Art of Living. Should be Art of Hiding (from the world)

  11. Jr. permalink
    March 31, 2012 8:52 pm

    Oh Harshy… your juggernaut has been sinking for quite some time.

    This blog is thriving and you’re saving more and more people everyday with your comments.

    JGD

  12. Anonymous permalink
    March 31, 2012 9:53 pm

    @Harshie,

    “You cant stop the AOL Juggernaut.”

    You really haven’t got the faintest idea about what’s happening in AOL do you?

    Because according to Ashwani Dhall, chairman of AOL US:

    “Since the false and defamatory statements were published on the Blogs and the Manuals, Principles, and Breath Water Sound Manual were disclosed, Art of Living’s enrollment and revenue have dropped.

    Source: http://cyberslapp.org/documents/Doc%2040%20Dhall%20Decl.pdf

    Keep living in that fantasy bubble of yours as long as you like, you wouldn’t be able to survive if it ever burst and you found yourself facing the real world.

  13. stupidseeker permalink
    April 1, 2012 7:13 am

    @Stupidseeker
    “And its a fact that no one in AOL can get to become a teacher of AOL spirituality unless he/she has complteted the guru puja course.”
    Since when?

    @OA,

    Apparently I was wrong in stating that the guru puja is a necessary prerequisite for becoming an AOL teaching. I could find no evidence to corroborate my statement. I apologise for the misstatement.

    But while on the subject of prerequisites towards becoming teachers of AOL spirituality, IMHO even without the Guru Puja the criteria are pretty stringent. The prospective candidate would have to fulfill the following requirements:

    • Attend Satsang and follow-up sessions regularly

    • Daily practice of Pranayama, Sudarshan Kriya and Sahaj Samadhi meditation

    • Attended at least 4 Art of Living Courses (part1/basic)

    • Attended 2 Advanced AOL courses (part 2) including one week long with Sri Sri

    • OR, attended 3 Advanced AOL courses (part 2) including one with Sri Sri

    • Listened to the complete set of Bhakti Sutra audio tape series

    • Watched the first 10 Ashtavakra Gita video tapes

    • Do not drink alcohol, take recreational drugs or smoke cigarettes

    • Actively involved in seva projects

    • Approximately one year has past since your first Art of Living Course (part 1)

    • Must be at least 20 years old

    • Vegetarian Diet

    That’s quite a lot of fees paid towards a lot of courses and other merchandise such as tapes & DVD’s. And whats the cost of the TTC itself ?? Isnt it approx 5000 USD in the USA and 11000 INR in India ?? And thats not all. Other soft skills such as being able to negotiate the price of a hall are also needed.

    http://www.google.co.in/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CDAQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fartdevivre.artofliving.org%2FAPPLICATIONS%2520FORMS%2F2009%2FTTC-Requirements.doc&ei=kf13T8vWPIfJrAfRz5C9DQ&usg=AFQjCNEm1iYVwvErc9J3DsLCK4_6XdXIww&sig2=V_mhDW3Z2kR3oHvtE7i3rg

    So if I want to learn from HHSSRS I must pay him and if I want to teach his stuff even then I should pay him. So would this mean that ll the top echelons of AOL i.e Dinesh, Bawa, the Sad Swami, and the rest of them, all so close to the guru, actually paid HHSSRS once to become him teachers ???

    • VSS permalink
      April 1, 2012 8:50 am

      @ stupidseeker [April 1, 2012 7:13 am]

      Thanks a lot for the information.

      I apologize too for what I extrapolated from your earlier comment.

      However, after reading this new list of prerequisites, I am convinced that my extrapolation was a mild statement of how conversion to Hinduism takes place in AoL. This information that you’ve now provided indicts AoL further and inexorably.

    • Original Anonymous permalink
      April 1, 2012 12:34 pm

      @Stupidseeker

      So would this mean that ll the top echelons of AOL i.e Dinesh, Bawa, the Sad Swami, and the rest of them, all so close to the guru, actually paid HHSSRS once to become him teachers ???

      I guess so .. they must have paid him or the organization ..

      But also at the same time there are YLTP yuvacharyas, Rural Basic Course teacher who are more often than not paid to be volunteers and teachers .. and taught these courses at a highly subsidized charge .. So before declaring the organization and Sri Sri guilty one needs to investigate a little more and do some ground work ..

      • stupidseeker permalink
        April 2, 2012 6:17 am

        @Original Anonymous,

        Well for one thing, there is no historical record of either Adi Shankaracharya or brahmananda Saraswati charging money to teach the mantra meditation technique.

      • Original Anonymous permalink
        April 2, 2012 2:22 pm

        @Stupidseeker ..

        They(Adi Shankaracharya and Swami Bhramhananda Saraswati) were great Saints .. but not being a great saint is not a crime. Is it? What I am saying that before pronouncing someone guilty one has to first investigate the matter and gather some concrete evidence against them.. .. otherwise such pronouncements without the support of any evidence amounts to defamation .. Even I suspect them for financial inaccuracies but since I don’t have proof I would give them the benefit of doubt .. Innocent until proven guilty ..

        Plus somehow I feel this blog is turning into a “rubbish each and everything about Art of Living” .. which I feel is really foul and below the belt . … Venting out feelings is fine .. stating what is a fact is also fine .. but just throwing accusations left, right and center is not good .. There are certain things which are really wrong about some of the Art of Living members… but what is coming on the blogs is just way too much off the mark .. anyway we must not forget that nothing in the blog is proven till date .. even blog owners agree on that … nothing illegal is yet proven against Art of Living on this blog ..

      • Anonymous permalink
        April 2, 2012 2:22 pm

        Actually, Swami Sad, as he is lovingly called here, was originally a paid ‘volunteer’ living at the ashram, having run away from his family, professing a wish to not have to marry. SSRS paid him a monthly stipend from nearly the beginning of his stay there. Wonder how much he gets paid now? All the inhouse ‘volunteers’ are paid staff. That’s what nobody seems to understand. Art of Living is basically like any temple with paid priests, or the catholic church with paid priests and personnel.

      • Original Anonymous permalink
        April 2, 2012 5:34 pm

        @Anonymous ..

        He is still paid volunteer and also a paid art of living teacher .. I think its Rs 15000 per month for the Swamis and Rishis must have increased the amount now … to Rs 20-25 K not sure ..

        All the inhouse ‘volunteers’ are paid staff. That’s what nobody seems to understand. Art of Living is basically like any temple with paid priests, or the catholic church with paid priests and personnel.

        Yes .. agreed but once again whats wrong with that .. there may nothing to beat one’s chest about but then again there is nothing wrong about that too ..

  14. VSS permalink
    April 1, 2012 8:41 am

    @ Anonymous [March 31, 2012 9:53 pm]

    Thanks for the pdf.

    It also claims:

    “Art of Living has never been invited to respond to the Blogs’ posts or to
    contribute to the Blogs.”

    They don’t think that foul-mouthed AoL members mouthing obscenities is enough. I was astonished yesterday to find Harshal expanding from including mental deformities and character deformities in his abusive posts to including physical deformities. He’s gone from alleging lack of sanity and lack of integrity to including lack of limbs.

    I’ve told him several times that if he represents sanity, then I’m happy being insane. It is comforting for me to not be like him. However, he is simply unable to process this simple piece of information. It’s almost as if his mind has ceased to work.

    As far as AoL’s fortunes are concerned, it is shocking to see that only 557 people have shared the column written by Francois Gautier in DNA in support of Mr. Ravi Shankar when Naren claimed that there are 98,000 AoL members on Facebook. It is equally shocking to see that only 126 people have tweeted about the same column so far when Naren claims there are 38,000 AoL members on twitter.

    In over 30 years, AoL has managed just this much support.

    The pdf also mentions that AoL doesn’t have enough media support.

    Have they ever introspected about why this is so ?

    Why do thousands of educated, aware, and, conscientious journalists not cover them ?

    Are all journalists biased ?

    In over 30 years, why is it that the only defence of Mr. Ravi Shankar’s recent comments is written by an inhouse journalist ?

    Could they find no one outside AoL to defend them ?

    Why aren’t prominent newspapers, at least in the Bangalore area, highlighting the “benefits” of AoL ? At least journalists in the Bangalore area should have been in AoL by now. Surely not all of them are biased.

    The fact of the matter is that AoL is not doing well at all. It’s an archaic and regressive Right Wing Hindu cult, and archaic and regressive cults cannot succeed in continuously deceiving people. Still, AoL would have done better if it was apolitical. By mixing religion with politics, it has set the stage for further failure.

    Francois Gautier refers to all Hindus who are not Right Wing Hindus as “disgruntled Hindus”. He conveniently dismisses the majority of the population of India on the basis of religion. According to him, the Congress came to power because of “disgruntled Hindus”, a few Christians and a few Dalits. He could not be farther from the truth. The Congress came to power because it’s not a communal political party. It’ll go out of power because it is incredibly corrupt. Everyone knows how corrupt the Congress Government is.

    However, Indians will not be voting for the BJP in desperation. If that had to happen, then the BJP would not have lost miserably in U.P. It is all very well to publicize pictures of Mr. Ravi Shankar and crowds at his rallies in U.P. along side pictures of sparse crowds at Rahul Gandhi’s rallies in U.P. Doing better than Rahul Gandhi is no indication of anything. Besides, why is Mr. Ravi Shankar competing with Rahul Gandhi ? Look at the consequence of that competition. Both lost miserably.

    The same thing happened to Priyanka Gandhi and Mayawati too. They had large crowds at their rallies. Yet both lost miserably.

    Still, Francois Gautier is thinking on communal lines. He hasn’t realized that Mayawati lost, the Congress lost, and, the BJP lost. The Indian voter is very intelligent — far more intelligent than Francois Gautier.

    And, the Indian media is very enlightened. Even if the RSS-BJP-AoL combination wins in the next general elections, it will not support or perpetuate Right Wing Hindu philosophies and thinking. AoL can scream and shout and even abuse the media for not being Right Wing Hindu, but the media won’t relent.

    Respect has to be earned. AoL is simply not doing enough to earn the respect of more and more people. However, they do pray for the truth to reveal itself. They happen to quote what we’ve all learnt in school – Satyamev Jayate. The truth is indeed winning.

    That is why no journalist defended Mr. Ravi Shankar’s recent comments.

    That is why Mr. Ravi Shankar was not invited to talk to the Taliban.

    That is why he has not been invited to Syria or Palestine either.

    That is why he hasn’t won the Nobel Peace Prize.

    AoL is simply not doing enough.

  15. Anonymous permalink
    April 1, 2012 9:21 am

    Did everyone see the “AOL juggernaut” at the World Culture Festival in Berlin last year?

    The capacity of the stadium was only 70,000, but somehow, I don’t quite know how, they managed to get 2.3 million people in there all sitting comfortably, meditating and singing bhajans!

    I think a little somebody wiggled his nose and made it all possible 😉

  16. VSS permalink
    April 1, 2012 11:17 am

    http://www.factnet.org/node/901

    Common Properties of Potentially Destructive and Dangerous Cults

    >>The cult is authoritarian in its power structure.

    >> The cult’s leaders tend to be charismatic, determined, and domineering.

    >> The cult’s leaders are self-appointed, messianic persons who claim to have a special mission in life.

    >> The cult’s leaders center the veneration of members upon themselves.

    [Priests, rabbis, ministers, democratic leaders, and leaders of genuinely altruistic movements keep the veneration of adherents focused on God, abstract principles, and group purposes. Cult leaders, in contrast, keep the focus of love, devotion, and allegiance on themselves.]

    >> The cult tends to be totalitarian in its control of the behavior of its members.

    [Cults are likely to dictate in great detail what members wear, eat, when and where they work, sleep, and bathe-as well as what to believe, think, and say.]

    >> The cult tends to have a double set of ethics.

    >> The cult has basically only two purposes, recruiting new members and fund-raising.

    [Established religions and altruistic movements may also recruit and raise funds. However, their sole purpose is not to grow larger; such groups have the goals to better the lives of their members and mankind in general. The cults may claim to make social contributions, but in actuality these remain mere claims, or gestures. Their focus is always dominated by recruiting new members and fund-raising.]

    >> The cult appears to be innovative and exclusive.

    [The leader claims to be breaking with tradition, offering something novel, and instituting the only viable system for change that will solve life’s problems or the world’s ills. While claiming this, the cult then surreptitiously uses systems of psychological coercion on its members to inhibit their ability to examine the actual validity of the claims of the leader and the cult.]

    @ stupidseeker [April 1, 2012 7:13 am]

    Thank you for the link to the “Requirements for TTC” doc.

    Readers, please take a look at the following information while keeping in mind the aforesaid point about :

    >> The cult has basically only two purposes, recruiting new members and fund-raising.

    This is an extract from “Requirements for TTC”:

    IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING TTC, ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS.

    Can I publicize, set up, and present intro talks?

    • Have I sought out various interest groups and introduced the Art of Living to them?
    • Have I had experience speaking to groups of 25 and over?
    • How many people have come to courses from intro talks I’ve given or organized?
    • Do I have effective phone skills?
    • How many people that I personally speak to actually attend a course?
    • Am I committed to people and to working with them until they take a course?
    • Do I stay in touch with them and continue to inspire them after they take it?

    Here’s the complete text of “Requirements for TTC”:

    IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING TTC, ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS.

    Have I observed numerous courses from beginning to end?
    • Since doing Part 1 or YES!+ course, have I participated and observed several courses from beginning to end?
    • Do I know how the course is structured and how it flows?
    • Have I seen how different teachers handle the course and how they handle difficult situations? Have I worked with some senior teachers?

    Can I publicize, set up, and present intro talks?
    • Have I sought out various interest groups and introduced the Art of Living to them?
    • Have I had experience speaking to groups of 25 and over?
    • How many people have come to courses from intro talks I’ve given or organized?
    • Do I have effective phone skills?
    • How many people that I personally speak to actually attend a course?
    • Am I committed to people and to working with them until they take a course?
    • Do I stay in touch with them and continue to inspire them after they take it?

    Am I familiar with all the aspects of setting up courses?
    • Can I locate a hall?
    • Negotiate a price?
    • Properly prepare it for the course?

    Do I have all the following prerequisites?
    • Listened to all the Bhakti Sutras?
    • Listened to all of the Ashtavakra Gita series?
    • Listened to all the Patanjali Yoga Sutras?
    • Am I alcohol, cigarette, drug-free?
    • Have I been a vegetarian for three to six months before coming to TTC?
    • Do I attend Satsang regularly, and Art of Living Part 2 Courses at least every 6 months or so?
    • Have I attended at least 4 Art of Living Courses (Part1/Basic)?

    • Have I attended 2 Advanced AOL courses (Part 2) including one week long with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar OR, attended 3 Advanced AOL courses (Part 2) including one with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar?

    • Am I at least 20 years old?

    You can request an application at ttcdeskcanada@artofliving.org.

  17. VSS permalink
    April 1, 2012 2:56 pm

    @ Harshal [March 31, 2012 7:03 pm]

    “You cant stop the AOL Juggernaut.”

    That’s the perfect description of AoL.

    Readers, here’s what “Juggernaut” means :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juggernaut

    A juggernaut in colloquial English usage is a literal or metaphorical force regarded as mercilessly destructive and unstoppable. Originating ca. 1850, the term is a metaphorical reference to the Hindu Ratha Yatra temple car, which apocryphally was reputed to crush devotees under its wheels.

    The word is derived from the Sanskrit Jagannātha (Devanagari जगन्नाथ) “world-lord”, one of the names of Krishna found in the Sanskrit epics.

    The English loanword juggernaut in the sense of “a huge wagon bearing an image of a Hindu god” is from the 17th century, inspired by the Jagannath Temple in Puri, Orissa, which has the Ratha Yatra (“chariot procession”), an annual procession of chariots carrying the murtis (statues) of Jagannâth (Krishna), Subhadra and Balabhadra (Krishna’s elder brother).

    The first European description of this festival is found in the 14th-century The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, which apocryphally describes Hindus, as a religious sacrifice, casting themselves under the wheels of these huge chariots and being crushed to death. Others have suggested more prosaically that the deaths, if any, were accidental and caused by the press of the crowd and the general commotion.

    The figurative sense of the English word, with the sense of “something that demands blind devotion or merciless sacrifice” was coined in the mid-19th century. For example, it was used to describe the out-of-control character Hyde in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

    The term is often applied to a large machine, or collectively to a team or group of people working together, or even a growing political movement led by a charismatic leader—and it often bears an association with being crushingly destructive.

  18. Harshal permalink
    April 1, 2012 4:16 pm

    @BSS

    Copy pasting from wiki as all that you can do?

    You say AOL is not doing enough, not enough followers on twitter have liked/re-twitted some post?

    What about you. How many people like you? You couldn’t even keep one partner…..no wonder he/she left you…..he/she should get a noble for tolerating a BSS like you…. and now you are trying to get your revenge by posting defamatory things here with such vengeance and in the process subjecting yourself to mental and physical trauma?(lol).

    Such is the misery of your life that anonymous people on an anonymous blog can compound the misery in your anonymous life. why are you even alive?

    • VSS permalink
      April 1, 2012 5:30 pm

      @ Harshal [April 1, 2012 4:16 pm]

      You’re the best. Not a single word you ever utter is untrue.

      You’re even more radiant as the sun. Here’s another poem for you :

      “Harshal – The best human being ever”

      Your beautiful words are magical beyond measure
      All your comments are a lovely treasure
      Your mind is brighter than the stars
      It seems you have unending powers

      Your soul is golden and spiritual
      Your instructions are like a sacred ritual
      Your respect for life and people is magical
      Every comment you make is so logical

      You possess a sound mind and it works beautifully
      You live your life oh so dutifully
      There is beauty in every observation you make
      The Gods exist for your sake

      There is no negativity in your words
      Your peaceful thoughts fly like birds
      Sudershan Kriya has liberated your soul
      Your bad karma takes no toll

      There is such intense greatness in you
      You only say all that is true
      You are the greatest Indian too
      You are greater than your guru

      Hail Harshal !

  19. Dont permalink
    April 2, 2012 12:07 am

    What a juvenile non sense of a post!

    AOL techniques do help people, it is a fact (personal and anecdotal).

    however that is not what this blog is about. This blog addresses the superstitions, non-rational myth making and plain lying and other unethical practices of AOL.

    So, stop hurting the credibility of this blog and your own by making childish rants and blinding criticizing anything and everything about AOL in the eyes of rational and sane people.

    • stupidseeker permalink
      April 2, 2012 3:56 pm

      @Dont,

      Surely you aren’t referring to getting people into a cult of personality as helping them are you ?? Every single course point or technique taught in AOL is done under the gaze of a photograph of HHSSRS, as if he is the originator of that knowledge and that the course participants ought to feel grateful towards him for giving them the knowledge. If knowledge has to come with that much baggage then i say to hell with it. Tell me one good that can accrue from having faith in HHSSRS ??

      • Dont permalink
        April 2, 2012 9:28 pm

        Faith in HHSSRS is different from doing the breathing techniques and other exercises. I personally never had faith in HHSSRS but have enjoyed the courses, so it is possible. And, this blog should bunk/bust the myths but ranting without reason and criticizing every action destroys your own credibility. Even a broken clock is right some time of the day. In this case, I am all for preaching to the islamic world which desperately needs competing spiritual philosophies and theologies.

      • stupidseeker permalink
        April 3, 2012 4:13 am

        @Dont,

        So In AOL which is more important ?? Faith in the guru or the exercises themselves ?? AOL people themselves say that the exercises wont work without the grace of the guru.
        And in any case it can’t be said that the exercises are beneficial for everyone all of the time for any and all ailments.There have been far too many personal and anecdotal reports of the SKY causing severe unpleasantness on regular practise which dismissess any notion of a blanket endorsement of SKY.
        Speaking of the islamic world in need of a competing theology, do you think getting Muslims to believe in the theory of karma or in reincarnation or in multiple Gods or in beings that are at a higher evolutionary state than ours is really going to solve the problem of religious extremism ?? The theory of karma was used by the upper castes to justify the lowly status of the lower caste people. The theory of reincarnation was used to justify yagyas and rituals of all kinds amongst others.
        Religious extremism cannot be solved by replacing one story with another and in any case religious extremism is as much political in its genesis as religious, if not more.For instance if during the 1980’s when the mujahedin in Afgghanistan were fighting the soviets, you had said that Islam was a religion that promoted violence, you would have been called cuckoo.

      • Dont permalink
        April 4, 2012 8:17 pm

        @stupidseeker
        Don’t want to get into a long debate, but non-violence/vegetarianism enjoys quite a strong basis in present day hinduist movements, where as no such thing exists in islam. In fact one guaranteed way to enter heaven is to die fighting for islam theologically. So, extreme(even normal) islam can easily resort to violence for conflict resolution and I would argue is quite a bit different from extreme christianity or extreme buddhism theologically and as a result the effect it has on society. All religions are not the same and address different aspects of human nature depending on the personality of the founder.

        “For instance if during the 1980′s when the mujahedin in Afgghanistan were fighting the soviets, you had said that Islam was a religion that promoted violence, you would have been called cuckoo.”

        You are quite naive. you need to read a lot more about history of islam. Read up on jinnah/iqbal/ambedkar’s views on islam during the partition of india. Jinnah defended a guy called ilm-ud-din. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilm-ud-din. Read up on him and ponder. And, I m sure similar debates probably happened in akbar and aurangzeb’s time and all around the world wherever islam spread. Aurangzeb wasn’t a bad emperor, he was actually quite sincere in following islam and jaziya from non-muslims is a requirement from quran.

      • VSS permalink
        April 5, 2012 7:01 am

        @ SS [April 3, 2012 4:13 am]

        “Religious extremism cannot be solved by replacing one story with another and in any case religious extremism is as much political in its genesis as religious, if not more.”

        Very well articulated!

        Replacing Islam with a Right Wing Hindu cult mindset is not going to lead to world peace.

        Mahatma Gandhi-bashing will also not lead to world peace.

        Nor will RSS-sponsored “adarsh” (ideal) schools lead to the end of Naxalism.

        AoL has been in existence for more than 30 years. If any of their extremist strategies had to work, they would have by now.

        Mr. Ravi Shankar would have won the Nobel Peace Prize and would have been made the head of the United Nations Organization.

        Every day newspapers would dedicate columns to his glorious achievements and enlightened recommendations, at least in India — at least in the Bangalore region.

        The fact of the matter is that AoL has failed.

        Unless and until, it has a new leader who brings about reforms in AoL, stops abusing followers, gives all members greater freedom of expression, increases the charity work being done substantially (more work — less projection of work), and, respects all those who are outside AoL, AoL is going to remain just one of the many fringe cults.

      • stupidseeker permalink
        April 5, 2012 4:22 pm

        @Dont,

        Many thanks for your reply. I stand by my contention that no religion can be considered to be inherently peaceful or violent. One cannot brush away the social and political context in which religious ideas express themselves for good or for bad.
        If you ever get the time please do read up on Ambedkars views on the caste system in Hinduism or the Sino-Japan conflict in WWII (Buddhist on Budhhist) or the savage Tamil-Sinhala conflict (Hindu upon buddhist) in Sri Lanka, where Muslims for once were not the responsible party.

        Having said that, and not wishing to prolong the discussion any further, I wish that you exercise your right to criticise any religion that you wish to, without any hesitation, but with only one caveat in mind, articulated best by the urdu poet Basheer badr (and brought to my notice here: http://nirmukta.com/2012/04/02/campaigning-for-secular-humanism-conversations-beyond-constituencies/) “dushmani jamkar karo lekin yah gunjaaish rahe; jab kabhi ham dost ban jaayen to sharmindaa na hon” (Fight me like a worthy foe, but let us not the chance throw;That if we become friends some day, shame does not come in the way!)

  20. Ex-Aolite permalink
    April 2, 2012 12:37 am

    Wow, you people sound even more high strung and whacked out and self pitying than the AOL teachers and Harshal. You’re going to be mentally chewing over your alleged injustices and waste the rest of your lives?

    I got out of AOL after 10 years inside. If you can really look at it from the outside, it’s all a parlour game, but there are some gems in there too.

    Nobody said life was fair. Be tough, or become tough. Drop this AOL fixation if it doesn’t work for you, and move on.

    • Dayalu permalink
      April 2, 2012 1:48 pm

      I agree with Ex-Aolite. This blog is getting off track.. Deviating from its original objective. Doctor and who ever else is the moderator, please be moderate the posts (not necessaritly comments) so as to make sure they have some worthwile content. Please make sure the interest generated initially is maintained.. .If the recent trend continues, I am afraid the blog will lose readership. Remember, the original objective is to help people on the fringe get out of AOL.

      • Biju permalink
        April 2, 2012 4:23 pm

        @ Dayalu

        I completely agree with you.

    • stupidseeker permalink
      April 2, 2012 3:58 pm

      @Ex-Aolite,

      It’s a deal then Ex-Aolite! The day HHSSRS admits to what he really is,i.e a psychopath in the mould of his equally psychopathic guru Mahesh yogi, I’ll give up my fixation with AOL.

      • Original Anonymous permalink
        April 2, 2012 5:53 pm

        There was a time when people on this blog used to post about their own real experiences and that is what this made this blog popular .. not their knowledge of how cult works etc .. If we stick to real experiences then I think that is helpful for people to learn both the good and bad of being involved in Art of Living … If at all what the blog readers need is not different names for Sri Sri Ravi Shankar .. but how to get their life back on track .. after being involved in AoL for so many years … AoL went ahead and gave us different names for Sri Sri( Jesus, Krishna, Adi Shankaracharya, etc etc ) and this blog is doing the same ( psychopath, psychotic etc etc ) … just with a NOT gate attached to the AoL zombies .. we don’t need a NOT gate .. we just need a good healthy discussion … that benefits everyone who read these articles .

    • Anonymous permalink
      April 4, 2012 12:03 pm

      Uh, Ex-Aolite — if you’ve ‘moved on’ so completely, then what are you doing on thie blogspot? 🙂

      • Ex-Aolite permalink
        April 10, 2012 6:45 am

        @Anon, I’ve moved on, but I stop by once in a while to watch the fun. Dear Harshy baby and the likes on one side, spewing insanities and insults, and the con-AOL folks on the other side frothing at the mouth, ranting about cults. Fun times. I’m getting my popcorn and a large coke.

  21. April 2, 2012 2:32 am

    Easy VSS. Please let it be. You don’t have to defend your posts, nor defend yourself against Harshi’es harshness. We attempted a few times….it just does not sink in. It just breeds more of it. It is so much like shadow boxing. The pond has already been stirred. The dirt is mixed up in the water. Let the dirt settle…….it will become very evident what is what. Suggest maybe that you do not respond so often in terms of frequency. Some of what you have written are important views. Allow it sinking time.

    You really don’t need to point out to anyone who has “LOST IT”. In my opinion Harshal is not the average blog visitor. The average blog visitor is someone who thinks for themselves…otherwise they will not even be here.

    Meanwhile, all these poems and stuff has now become personal and emotional. If we all continue in this vein, then the wisdom and discriminatory thinking/views in some of the previous posts will be lost in the noise. Lets just focus on showing all readers the other side and a more complete view of what AOL is about.

    How any of them responds to the CONTENT is their call. Freedom to the reader.

    Stay well.

    • Harshal permalink
      April 2, 2012 9:26 am

      “If we all continue in this vein, then the wisdom and discriminatory thinking/views in some of the previous posts will be lost in the noise”

      right. and what was the wisdom? breathing causes valve damages, Obama’s birth certificate is forged , people liked hitler too etc etc?

      • stupidseeker permalink
        April 2, 2012 7:53 pm

        @Harshal,

        And oh yes! the fact that he kicked his own guru out of the Advaita lineage and nested himself comfortably in his place.

    • Harshal permalink
      April 2, 2012 9:30 am

      @BBS

      You should thank IO , dont etc. for the counselling. They are telling you the same things (in milder ways) which I have been telling you—that you have some psychiatric problem. You are not alone. Doctor has it too.

      Stay well.

      • stupidseeker permalink
        April 2, 2012 4:01 pm

        Whats the word for that in AOL lingo Harshal, “blue star” isn’t it ?? Remember the blue star Eng An, Harshal whose bipolarity the Sad Swami revealed to the world. BTW whats the diagnosis criteria for blue stars in AOL harshie.

    • VSS permalink
      April 2, 2012 9:41 am

      @ IO [April 2, 2012 2:32 am]

      I hear you and appreciate your concern. In deference, I shall refrain from responding to anything that AoL members have to say. In any case, I am inundated with work for the next 12 weeks at least. So, time is just not on my side.

      At the same time, I’d plead with you to have more faith in the reader. With time, people are evolving into more discerning human beings. I am a mere mortal — an ordinary human being. Readers will understand that and forgive me.

      When I was praying this morning, I apologized to Harshal too, and posted the following comment to try and make up for anything that might have seemed personal:

      https://aolfree.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/how-can-his-techniques-help-in-pakistan-if-they-cant-help-his-own-devotees/#comment-10394

      This is not written by me. It is not my opinion. This post describes the prototypical cult. Readers will be able to ascertain for themselves if AoL is a cult or not.

      Don’t worry. Have faith in the innate intelligence of human beings — it is what ultimately saves them from cults.

      And, take care.

  22. VSS permalink
    April 2, 2012 4:46 am

    http://www.refocus.org/deception-dependency–dread.html

    Deception, Dependency & Dread
    By Michael Langone, Ph. D.

    The Conversion Process

    Although the process here described is complex and varied, the following appears to occur in the prototypical cult conversion:

    >> A vulnerable prospect encounters a cultic group.

    >> The group (leader[s]) deceptively presents itself as a benevolent authority that can improve the prospect’s well-being.

    >> The prospect responds positively, experiencing an increase in self-esteem and security, at least some of which is in response to what could be considered “placebo” The prospect can now be considered a “recruit”.

    >> Through the use of “sharing” exercises, “confessions,” and skillful individualized probing, the group [leader(s)] assesses the recruit’s strengths and weaknesses.
    Through testimonies of group members, the denigration of the group’s “competitors” (e.g., other religious groups, other therapists), the tactful accentuation of the recruit’s shameful memories and other weaknesses, and the gradual indoctrination of the recruit into a closed, non-falsifiable belief system, the group’s superiority is affirmed as a fundamental assumption.

    >> Members’ testimonies, positive reinforcement of the recruit’s expressions of trust in the group, discrete reminders about the recruit’s weaknesses, and various forms of group pressure induce the recruit to acknowledge that his/her future well-being depends upon adherence to the group’s belief system, more specifically its “change program.”
    These same influence techniques are joined by a subtle undermining of the recruit’s self-esteem (e.g., by exaggerating the “sinfulness” of experiences the recruit is encouraged to “confess”), the suppression or weakening of critical thinking through fatiguing activity, near-total control of the recruit’s time, trance-induction exercises (e.g., chanting), and the repetitive message that only disaster results from not following the group’s “change program.” These manipulations induce the recruit to declare allegiance to the group and to commit to change him/herself as directed by the group. He or she can now be considered a convert embarking on a path of “purification,” “enlightenment,” “self-actualization,” “higher consciousness,” or whatever. The recruit’s dependency on the group is established and implicitly, if not explicitly, acknowledged. Moreover, he/she has accepted the group’s authority in defining what is true and good, within the convert’s heart and mind as well as in the world.

    >> The convert is next fully subjected to the unrealistically high expectations of the group. The recruit’s “potential” is “lovingly” affirmed, while members testify to the great heights they and “heroic” models have scaled. The group’s all-important mission, e.g., save the world, justifies its all-consuming expectations.

    >> Because by definition the group is always right and “negative” thinking is unacceptable, the convert’s failures become totally his or her responsibility, while his or her doubts and criticisms are suppressed (often with the aid of trance-inducing exercises such as meditation, speaking in tongues, or chanting) or redefined as personal failures. The convert thus experiences increasing self- alienation. The “pre-cult self” is rejected; doubts about the group are pushed out of consciousness; the sense of failure generated by not measuring up to the group’s expectations is bottled up inside. The only possible adaptation is fragmentation and compartmentalization. It is not surprising, then, that many clinicians consider dissociation to lie at the heart of cult-related distress and dysfunction (Ash, 1985).

    >> The convert’s self-alienation will tend to demand further psychological, if not physical, alienation from the non-group world (especially family), information from which can threaten to upset whatever dissociative equilibrium the convert establishes in an attempt to adjust to the consuming and conflicting demands of the group. This alienation accentuates the convert’s dependency on the group.

    >> The group supports the convert’s dissociative equilibrium by actively encouraging escalating dependency, e.g., by exaggerating the convert’s past “sins” and conflicts with family, by denigrating outsiders, by positively reinforcing chanting or other “thought-stopping” activities, and by providing and positively reinforcing ways in which the convert can find a valued role within the group (e.g., work for a group-owned business, sell magazines on the street).

    >> The group strengthens the convert’s growing dependency by threatening or inflicting punishment whenever the convert or an outside force (e.g., a visit by a family member) disturbs the dissociative equilibrium that enables him or her to function in a closed, non-falsifiable system (the “dread” of DDD). Punishment may sometimes by physical. Usually, however, the punishment is psychological, sometimes even metaphysical. Certain fringe Christian groups, for example, can at the command of the leadership immediately begin shunning someone singled out as being “factious” or possessed of a “rebellious spirit.” Many groups also threaten wavering converts with punishments in the hereafter, for example, being “doomed to Hell.” It should be remembered that these threats and punishments occur within a context of induced dependency and psychological alienation from the person’s former support network. This fact makes them much more potent than the garden-variety admonitions of traditional religious, such as “you will go to hell if you die with mortal sin.”

    The result of this process, when carried to its consummation, is a person who proclaims great happiness but hides great suffering. I have talked to many former cultists who, when they left their groups and talked to other former members, were surprised to discover that many of their fellow members were also smilingly unhappy, all thinking they were the only ones who felt miserable inside.

    • VSS FANS permalink
      April 2, 2012 1:54 pm

      @vss
      1) “opposite values are complimentary “….it is exactly happening here……..i read some comments done by this guy vss….checked on youtube and facebook…….cleared perfectly
      when i see sri sri’s interview with shobha de (impressed by answers done by sri sri for her stupid,hatred questions)

      thank u vss AND LASTLY “GREAT PEOPLE WHO ARE DOING SERVICE TO THE SOCIETY ARE CALM MINDED,HAPPY……AND these PEOPLE WHO ARE NOTHING TO DO IN THEIR LIFE AND ZEROES IN THE SOCIETY ARE TRYING TO GIVE ALL THESE NASTY ,STUPID ,VULGAR .COMMENTS..” really this is irony
      i repeat “opposite values are complimentary”
      thank u VSS

      • stupidseeker permalink
        April 2, 2012 3:42 pm

        @ VSS FANS,

        Impressed with his answers were you ?? How impressed were you when he said that government schools breed naxalism while private school students develop an “adarsh” ?? In the video above, very impressively he says that hospitals aren’t needed (23.50). Surely he wasn’t referring to the hospital where his own sister underwent a hysterectomy or his chela, pragyapad was admitted for heart problems or where dinesh ghodke was admitted for gastroenteritis i.e Narayana Hrudayalaya founded by the HHSSRS bhakta, devi shetty.
        The great satya sai baba took mahasamadhi after one month on the ventilator. Lets see how many months HHSSRS takes on the ventilator and in which hospital, before he takes his mahasamadhi.

      • Anonymous permalink
        April 10, 2012 6:06 pm

        Does this mean that people high up in art of living have no seva to do and so are here reading this huge blog??? LOL,

      • stupidseeker permalink
        April 14, 2012 11:39 am

        And this one too has gone private too. Wonder who is it who has so much to hide ??

  23. Harshal permalink
    April 2, 2012 1:25 pm

    @SS: there is also no record of the fact that you were artificially inseminated. That doesn’t mean you were not or if you indeed were.

    So you see, if there is no record, it doesn’t mean anything. So you cant use it to make an argument.

    • stupidseeker permalink
      April 2, 2012 3:31 pm

      @Harshal,

      What next harshal?? shall we here a statement from HHSSRS that Adi Shankaracharya and brahmanand saraswati took money for what they preached ??

      • Harshal permalink
        April 2, 2012 4:41 pm

        @pastor

        “The great satya sai baba took mahasamadhi after one month on the ventilator”

        What about your mom? We know that she is a heart patient. Will she be allowed to take mahasamdhi following ventilation or does she have a DNR order ?

        Since you are talking about random unrelated people, lets talk about her too…

      • stupidseeker permalink
        April 2, 2012 7:00 pm

        @Harshal,

        One sacrilege after the other Harshal. First you say adi shankaracharya and Brahmananda saraswati may have taken money to preach their stuff and now you compare my poor old mother to all those luminaries who have taken and are yet to take their mahasamadhis.

        Anyways do you think your Guru’s Shakti drops might do her a bit of good ??

  24. RAMANA permalink
    April 2, 2012 2:21 pm

    @ANOTHER IRONY
    if i say” this guy vss raped 50 girls ” then people got much interest ,and they don’t even think who is saying?why is he saying?is it true?some narrow minded people may believe it as true even though it is false…
    but if i say”this guy helped 1000 people” then it doesn’t go that popular…………………it is only BECAUSE OF NEGATIVITY…
    i m not saying don,t believe this guy…..listen to him……and use ur intellect and internet whether it is true ……if he simply doing for publicity educate him……even though it doesn’t work ………have COMPASSION for this guy vss…………..BEWARE OF NEGATIVITY http://s1.wp.com/wp-includes/images/smilies/icon_wink.gif?m=1336659725g

    • stupidseeker permalink
      April 2, 2012 5:19 pm

      @RAMANA,

      if I say i don’t believe HHSSRS’s claims of enlightenment then will that make me a negative person ?? If i dont believe the stupid claims that AOL people make of HHSSRS having healing powers does that make me a negative person. If i take the claims made by AOL of the hundreds of “free” schools and the “numerous” charitable programmes with a tonne of salt does that make me a negative person.
      If I were you, I’d have some compassion for the guru who has to resort to skullduggery of the following sort to peddle his ayurvedic concoctions (3.30). is he that desperate for cash ??

      • stupidseeker permalink
        April 14, 2012 11:33 am

        Well guys, this video has gone private too. hehehehe

    • stupidseeker permalink
      April 2, 2012 5:24 pm

      @RAMANA,

      Want to see where ur guru learnt his guru puja from, which he teaches to you at 15000 INR only.

      http://tmfree.blogspot.in/2009/04/still-not-religion-video-of-puja.html

      Play the video in that link and compare with the link of sri sri below:

      Your guru is really the most pitiable charater in this charade called AOL

      • Anonymous permalink
        April 3, 2012 3:32 am

        there is sri sri’s picture by the side of brahmananda saraswati in the huge guru parampara picture behind maharishi in the video. has mmy accepted sri sri as the successor to brahmananda saraswati?

      • RAMANA permalink
        April 3, 2012 9:14 am

        @ss
        if u feel , it is too costly, then don’t do it! who asks u to do it?
        pepe jeans shirt costs 3000…….if u feel too costly then don’t buy it?(LOL.)
        but because of your feeling of costliness ……..IF U ADVERTISE THAT….IT IS CULT,BAD,…BLAH BLAH……AND SHOWS CYNICISM……PEPE LOSE NOTHING,BUT U WILL BE THE LOSER IN LAST LOL

      • stupidseeker permalink
        April 3, 2012 12:17 pm

        @Anonymous,

        Sri’s Sri’s picture ?? Really ?? well u arent the one he deceived. Now just think! HHSSRS was born in 1956. Brhamanand saraswati died in 1953. Thus he and HHSSRS never met, atleast in this material realm. And yet now HHSSRS is the successor of the lineage and not MMY.

      • stupidseeker permalink
        April 3, 2012 9:01 pm

        @RAMANA,

        You appear to be the perfect example of the genius of HHSSRS in action, which lies in giving people nothing, and yet making them pay in exchange for nothing. The owners of the Pepe Jeans brand have still to master this masterstroke of business.
        But let me correct myself. It’s not as if he doesn’t give you anything at all in exchange for your money. You can walk away from his courses and especially the guru puja course with your own personal Santa Claus.
        And while you consider it your good fortune at having being given your personal santa claus, HHSSRS gives something far more tangible to his nephews and his brother in law and his inner coterie. He gives them things like pharmaceutical and software companies, real estate businesses and of course the perennially successful herbal and ayurveda business amongst a host of other material goodies.
        And guess where HHSSRS gets all the funds for all these material goodies he showers his near and dear ones with ?? So, leaving you with that question to ponder over, I’ll take your leave for now.

      • VSS permalink
        April 4, 2012 5:46 am

        @ SS [April 3, 2012 9:01 pm]

        You’re right.

        It’s Mr. PAY PAY (and not Pepe) Ravi Shankar — every disciple has to keep PAYING him “for all the material goodies he showers his own near and dear ones with”.

        And, this is intentional. You might have seen videos of Yes!+ course participants who say that their relationship with their family has improved. This happens because when they see Mr. Pay Pay Ravi Shankar making all his disciples go bonkers trying to enroll people for courses to raise funds for his near and dear ones, the course participants realize what he’s all about. They then leave AoL and start loving their families more.

        It is all intentional. Mr. Pay Pay Ravi Shankar does this to ensure that ultimately, after getting severely manipulated by him into paying for multiple AoL products, people leave AoL and realize the true value of their families and cherish them more than they did before entering and exiting AoL.

        This how enlightenment is facilitated in Kalyug.

        After this enlightenment happens, people realize that it’s better to buy a Pepe shirt and smile an authentic smile rather than pay pay all their hard earned money to Mr. Ravi Shankar and be told to smile at Mr. Ravi Shankar’s near and dear ones wearing that very Pepe shirt.

        The art of living is the art of giving gifts to Mr. Ravi Shankar’s near and dear ones with the objective of ultimately realizing that it’s better to give gifts to one’s own near and dear ones.

        One begins to learn this lesson by first learning Sudershan Kriya — it’s the course to learn how to breathe. Tomorrow, there will be a course on how to blink (Darshan and Pradarshan Kriya). Next there will be a course on how to walk (Margdarshan Kriya).

        The only content not covered in any course is how to run (Jaan Bachaake Yahan Se Bhaag-darshan Kriya) — because if that is taught then people will run away from AoL sooner than they do now.

  25. ANONYMOUS permalink
    April 2, 2012 2:28 pm

    I M WATCHING THIS THING AND SOME USELESS PERSON DELETED THE COMMENTS
    ……U CAN KEEP THIS DIRTY BLOG IN YOUR OWN AND ENJOY IN YOUR FANTASIES…….

  26. stupidseeker permalink
    April 2, 2012 5:08 pm

    @ANONYMOUS,

    Fantasies……u mean the ones which course participants are encouraged to reveal during the blessings course ???

  27. Anonymous permalink
    April 3, 2012 5:07 am

    @VSS

    “Besides, why is Mr. Ravi Shankar competing with Rahul Gandhi ?”

    http://www.artoflivingsfba.org/pressroom/SriSribio.pdf

    Because “By the age of seventeen, he had obtained an Advanced Degree in Modern Physics” and vedic literature.

  28. VSS permalink
    April 3, 2012 5:36 am

    The following link is for those who wish to revisit the purpose of these blogs :

    https://aolfree.wordpress.com/2010/10/02/the-purpose-of-these-blogs/

    The following link is for those who wish to know “Partial compilation of Charges against the Art of Living activities – Edition 4” :

    https://aolfree.wordpress.com/the-prosecutor/

    The above are the two most important sections of this blog. If you haven’t read these sections, please do read them now.

  29. VSS permalink
    April 3, 2012 8:04 am

    This thread is amazing. I am convinced that everyone in AoL is stressed out and utterly intolerant. If someone says they are not at peace, they shout venomously from the rooftops to say they are at peace. It is like a terrorist standing with an AK 47 pointed at one saying that he or she is not a terrorist, and, if one doesn’t agree then one will be dead. Thank God this is a blog and these are just words. I’d have been killed by AoL by now if that wasn’t the case — just for saying abusive AoL members who post on this blog are not at peace, and Mr. Ravi Shankar should start by making them peaceful before going to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, and, Palestine. I thought AoL was into charity. But it seems my biggest crime is saying that charity begins at home. Still, I didn’t prevent Mr. Ravi Shankar from starting in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, or, Palestine. What can I do if no one takes him seriously ? I am a mere mortal — an ordinary human being. Further, from the comments of AoL members on this post, it is more than obvious to me that AoL trains people into violently shouting their lungs out about how peaceful they are. Maybe AoL has changed the definition of peace. I am not aware of this new definition which seems to suggest that peace is about being abusive towards anyone who believes in the old definition of peace. I didn’t know that not being stressed out is about getting agitated. Aren’t you guys happy ? Aren’t you guys smiling all the time ? Aren’t you guys enlightened ? Aren’t you guys into leading by example ? Aren’t you guys dispassionate ? What’s with all this aggression ? What kind of example are you setting ? Is this how you think you can bring about world peace ?

    Shiva shiva …

    AoL is an even more dangerous cult than I thought it was. I cannot thank this blog enough for saving me. I shall be grateful forever.

    I’m so glad I didn’t pay money in the name of stress relief to become abusive.

  30. RAMANA permalink
    April 3, 2012 9:22 am

    @VSS
    U RELY ON ONE THING THAT THESE PEOPLE ARE ABUSIVE………EVEN AFTER DOING THE COURSE…….LOL ,YOU AGREED THAT THIS COURSE MAKES ONE NOT ABUSIVE AND IT DIDN’T WORK ON THEM???// OK THANK U!

    • Anonymous permalink
      April 3, 2012 12:08 pm

      RAMANA PLEASE SHOUT LOUDER!!!!!!!!!!! DUDE DO YOU HAVE BIGGER CAPS???? I CAN’T HEAR YOUR RAGE PROPERLY!!!!

      • Anonymous permalink
        April 4, 2012 6:31 am

        then consult nose doctor

  31. VSS permalink
    April 3, 2012 10:00 am

    Extracts from Francois Gautier’s “Rewriting Indian History”.

    (New Delhi: Vikas Publishing 1996)

    “Ultimately, it must be said that whatever his saintliness, his extreme and somehow rigid asceticism, Gandhi did enormous harm to India… The British must have rubbed their hands in glee: here was a man who was perfecting their policy of divide-and-rule, for ultimately no one contributed more to the partition of India, by his obsession to always give in to the Muslims; by his indulgence of Jinnah, going as far as proposing to make him the prime minister of India.”

    “Even today, there is no doubt that Islam has never been fully able to give up its inner conviction that its own religion is the only true creed and that all others are kafirs, infidels. In India it was true 300 years ago, and it is still true today. Remember the cry of the militants in Kashmir to the Pandits: ‘convert to Islam or die!’ … The Hindu-Muslim question is just plainly a Muslim obsession, their hatred of the Hindu pagans, their contempt for this polytheist religion. This obsession, this hate, is as old as the first invasion of India by the original Arabs in 650 AD. After independence, nothing has changed: the sword of Allah is still as much ready to strike the kafirs, the idolaters of many gods.”

    Source :

    http://www.deeshaa.org/2008/01/29/rewriting-indian-history-book-review-by-cjs-wallia/

    Francois Gautier most recently wrote the following article :

    http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/column_sri-sri-ravi-shankar-merely-spoke-the-truth-about-naxalism_1668263

    His views on Muslims or India haven’t changed since 1996, as is obvious from the following article posted in 2012 :

    http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/column_the-real-reason-sp-swept-uttar-pradesh_1661723

    I believe that who those think that the Art of Living is not an anti-Mahatma Gandhi Right Wing Hindu Cult are free to think what they wish.

    However, for an ordinary human being like me, who is nothing but a mere mortal, the truth cannot be more obvious than this. I simply cannot validate the Art of Living Foundation. The first reason is that I have read accounts of those who have been deceived, abused, and, exploited by the Art of Living Foundation. These are heartfelt accounts and moving beyond measure. The second reason is that the AoL members who post on this blog are stressed out to the point of being absolutely intolerant and abusive — which is nothing but an extension of AoL’s attempt to silence the owners of this blog. The third reason is that I cannot validate an anti-Mahatma Gandhi Right Wing Hindu cult. The sort of attitude that is reflected in the quotes above simply cannot lead to world peace. The fourth reason is that I don’t believe that enlightenment can be bought or sold for a sum of money — the very thought sounds completely delusional to me.

    And, it’s no surprise at all that it originates with someone who thinks that India should have less hospitals so that people learn to live properly. (Reference : Shobha De interview)

    How enlightened, Mr. Ravi Shankar ! What a peaceful approach towards all human beings ! And, what a deep insight into India and India’s needs ! Last but not the least, what a compassionate approach towards those who suffer from ailments that require medical attention ! I suppose we should begin by shutting down the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. No ? Can we please gather AoL volunteers outside hospitals to campaign peacefully for shutting them down ? Can we please have flash mobs outside hospitals to generate awareness about how there is a need for less number of hospitals in India ? Can we please have yoga raves and start beach parties too that focus on the need to have lesser hospitals ? Or, will this deep knowledge also be turned into the content of another course run by the Art of Living Foundation — to be acquired for a hefty fee ? Maybe all of us can pay to learn the art of shutting down hospitals. More work comin’ up for you, dear AoL volunteers. Be ready.

    Plus, once this campaign is a success in India, it will naturally be carried out in the rest of the world too. After all, don’t all people in the world need to learn how to live properly as defined by Mr. Ravi Shankar ? Why just in India — shouldn’t there be less hospitals all over the world too ? Such sound, rational, logical, intelligent, peaceful, compassionate, and above all, enlightened thinking should be welcomed by all of us. No ?

    • Anonymous permalink
      April 3, 2012 12:00 pm

      Sure VSS! Sounds great! But be sure to have the flash mobs etc. outside only those hospitals not occupied by Ravi Shankar’s family and friends, when they’ve fallen sick, as they do, and requiring surgery for heart disease and other ailments, as does happen. We wouldn’t want to deprive SSRS’s devotees of proper medical attention. 🙂 (Love your writing style btw)

      • VSS permalink
        April 4, 2012 5:16 am

        @ Anonymous [April 3, 2012 12:00 pm]

        Yes, we wouldn’t want to deprive them — not ever.

        Those hospitals that are occupied by Mr. Ravi Shankar’s family and friends will be in the category of those hospitals that are still needed. They already know how to live properly as defined by Mr. Ravi Shankar.

        I was referring to hospitals for the aam aadmi (ordinary human being), not to hospitals for the khaas aadmi (special human being with divine powers).

        Although, eventually, once enough revenue has been generated by the art of shutting down hospitals course, Mr. Ravi Shankar and his family and friends will be deploying those funds for getting medical treatment abroad. Already Mr. Ravi Shankar is competing with Rahul Gandhi; so, if Mrs. Sonia Gandhi can get medical treatment abroad, why can’t Mrs. Bhanumati ?

        When volunteers do seva (selfless service) and enroll more and more people for the art of shuttting down hospitals course, they will be getting rid of their bad karma, plus they will be facilitating medical treatment abroad for Mr. Ravi Shankar and his family and friends.

        (Thank you for your fantastic comment and encouraging words.)

    • Satya permalink
      April 3, 2012 2:07 pm

      @VSS
      God! Are you well? Such obsessiveness to prove all your so thought intelligent posts n comments!!!
      Seriously, Slow Down and please GET A HOLD on yourself….Gosh!!
      Take a break….
      Wish you Well…..

  32. Harshal permalink
    April 3, 2012 10:04 am

    @pastor
    “The theory of karma was used by the upper castes to justify the lowly status of the lower caste people”

    pastor you are still stuck with upper-caste lower-caste thing. When will you get over this inferiority complex?

    • stupidseeker permalink
      April 3, 2012 12:48 pm

      @Harshal,

      And what complex was it on the part of your guru that he kicked out MMY and planted himself in MMY’s place in the guru shishya parampara ??

      • Harshal permalink
        April 3, 2012 3:08 pm

        I will tell you Mr Peter, when you tell us how your forefathers were proselytized for a bag of rice.

      • stupidseeker permalink
        April 3, 2012 8:15 pm

        @Harshal,

        You are asking me how ?? As if you don’t know how conversions are effected. At its very basic an offer of paradise is made and then money changes hands and the conversion is effected, as if you didn’t know. However in your case, you Harshal, paid the man who converted you, as payment for the effort he expended in convincing you that he could take you to paradise.
        But I’m sure you don’t consider it a loss Harshal since you have the master to dissolve your ego into and this blog where you can keep coming to reassert it.

      • Anonymous permalink
        April 5, 2012 2:05 pm

        oops, @SS — actually MMY threw SSRS out, didn’t you know this? He rejected him when he started his own pandits school without the TM movement, and then MMY wouldn’t ever speak with him again. So SSRS’s response to that was to simply remove MMY’s pic from anything, it seems, and put himself in his place. Ridiculous person. Harshal, et al, certainly is unaware of the origins of Art of Living or they wouldn’t speak so boldly. Anyone in Bangalore who knows anyone of SSRS’s age group knows the truth and they stay away, unless, of course, they are poor and need a job, it looks like. From land grabbing to brainwashing to guruparampara grabbing to money grubbing Ravi Ravi does it all, and for now, he appears to be made of teflon. Nothing sticks. But, as we all know, teflon coating wears away eventually……

  33. Harshal permalink
    April 3, 2012 10:05 am

    BBS is going nuts. someone should save him/her.

  34. Anonymous permalink
    April 3, 2012 12:09 pm

    Who is BBS?

  35. Harshal permalink
    April 4, 2012 2:28 pm

    “At its very basic an offer of paradise is made and then money changes hands and the conversion is effected”

    How does one reconcile with the fact that their forefathers were proselytized with a false/fake/ promise of paradise? By throwing mud everywhere. That is what SS is doing. Anything remotely associated with Hinduism is no good for him.

    I was born as a Hindu and will stay like that Mr Peter. —swadharme nidhanam shreyahs paradharmah bhayawahah.

    • stupidseeker permalink
      April 5, 2012 4:27 pm

      @Harshal,

      Know what Harshal, no doubt you will make a damn good Hindu. No doubt also that, had you been born into a christian or islamic culture you would have made a damn good christian or muslim respectively.

  36. Anonymous permalink
    April 4, 2012 6:07 pm

    @Harshie-baby,

    Where exactly did you get this notion that Stupidseeker is a Christian? If you actually bothered to read any of his posts you would perhaps quickly realize that he is an atheist.

    Just because he is critical of AOL and Hinduism, and just because You am I decided to brand anyone who spoke against Hinduism as a Christian, so did you. Are you really that incapable of thinking for yourself that you have to rely on someone else to think for you and blindly follow what they say without even bothering to question it at all?

    This is your fundamental problem. You continually demonstrate your complete ignorance of everything you talk about here, you don’t even bother to read things and just come to whatever conclusions that suit you.

    You still don’t get what this blog is about, and you continue to insist that it is a “defamatory” blog, in spite of the fact that there is zero evidence to show this and that you yourself have been unable to find anything which is defamatory in nature.

    So I challenge you here and now, show us any evidence that Stupidseeker is a Christian. Or that this blog is defamatory.

    The simple fact is, you won’t be able to, because there isn’t any evidence for either.

    Prove me wrong if you can.

    • anoni baby boy permalink
      April 5, 2012 5:27 am

      @anoni baby girl/boy
      this blog itself writes things with no proof ,then how can u ask for proof for the content in proof less thing…..if u have that much intelect…..then prove him as non christian lol

  37. Harshal permalink
    April 4, 2012 7:09 pm

    @anonymous: First get some balls and get a peusdoname.

    Second, do you realize that by asking for evidence you are just pooping in your own pant?

  38. rahul permalink
    April 5, 2012 5:33 am

    @vss
    when i saw 97 comments ,i thought it may be popular blog…..but these comments are done by bunch of guys………..
    why don,t you start facebook page..to show this negativity strength…..lol (if u have guts)

    • VSS permalink
      April 5, 2012 9:11 am

      >> Because by definition the group is always right and “negative” thinking is unacceptable, the convert’s failures become totally his or her responsibility, while his or her doubts and criticisms are suppressed (often with the aid of trance-inducing exercises such as meditation, speaking in tongues, or chanting) or redefined as personal failures. The convert thus experiences increasing self- alienation. The “pre-cult self” is rejected; doubts about the group are pushed out of consciousness; the sense of failure generated by not measuring up to the group’s expectations is bottled up inside. The only possible adaptation is fragmentation and compartmentalization. It is not surprising, then, that many clinicians consider dissociation to lie at the heart of cult-related distress and dysfunction (Ash, 1985).

      – Dr. Michael Langone

      • Anonymous permalink
        April 5, 2012 2:10 pm

        Don’t do it VSS! Don’t fall for the AOL taunts and post a facebook page on this subject. If you are in India, you will be forever hounded by AOL thugs at your door! You’ll be sued for defamation or some other thing, if you are in another country. These people are just hot to know your identity so they can pester you and your family. The AOL people like Harshal posting here sound to me to be employees of Ravi Shankar. They revel in getting their commands from their fearless leader, and in insulting anyone who dares to speak out against him and his brainwashed minions. Just post what you know, or your opinions, and stay anonymous. Otherwise, you’ll land in a lawsuit. These people are horrible.

      • VSS permalink
        April 5, 2012 2:56 pm

        @ Anonymous [April 5, 2012 2:10 pm]

        I appreciate your concern and would like to assure you that I have no need or wish to start a Facebook page. If I have something to say, I shall post on this blog. Thanks again. Don’t worry.

    • stupidseeker permalink
      April 5, 2012 4:31 pm

      @Rahul,

      You saw the 97 comments made by only a bunch of guys. So this blog isn’t all that popular you surmise.

      As of now i.e 05.04.2012 the total hits on this blog are exactly 6,07,789. Check how by much this number increases within the next 24 hrs.

      • stupidseeker permalink
        April 5, 2012 4:33 pm

        @Rahul,
        forgot to mention the time : 22.02 by my lappie’s clock, indian standard time

      • Harshal permalink
        April 5, 2012 4:50 pm

        6,07,789 views in what 3 years? Kolaveri D got 51,000,000 hits in a few months. Doesnt mean people dislike or want to save people from kolaveri D. it is just an entertainment, just like this blog is. So knock it off pastor.

      • Anonymous permalink
        April 6, 2012 5:43 am

        @ Harshal

        It shows the spread of AOL. The smaller number of aolites justifies the “6,07,789 views in what 3 years”. Not many of the 51,000,000 might have heard about AOL or ravi ravi, hence the chances of them stumbling into this blog are very rare.

        But achieving .6 million with such a small closed group is not ordinary.

      • Anonymous permalink
        April 6, 2012 6:10 am

        Yeah Stupidseeker, KNOCK IT OFF! Who cares if 600,000 visit this blog in less than 2 years. The majority of them are people like Harshal coming here for “entertainment”! There’s only really 3 or 4 of you who are disgruntled, negative people, you have to start this boring blog and say how great you are and try to damage AOL.

        You are stupid just like your name. Harshal is GREAT, just like his GREAT GURU, because GURUJI has 100 BILLION followers worldwide, which is considerably more than your stupid blog.

        How DARE you think you can damage AOL with your stupid nonsense! Guruji has a massive storage room full of bad karma, and he’s not afraid to use it against people like you and Doctor and VSS who bad mouth him.

        And Harshal is a hero, because he is standing up to stupid people like you and showing you how stupid you and your blog really are, which is really stupid. All he has to do is write something, and it is as if Guruji himself has used his amazing grace to write through Harshal. So full of grace in fact are his graceful words, and even when Harshal farts, it is as if Guruji himself farted through Harshal’s backside 😉

        All hail Harshal-ji, and vote for him in the next guru elections, because he’s awesome!!

  39. VSS permalink
    April 5, 2012 6:21 am

    LEAVING THE SPIRITUALLY ABUSIVE SYSTEM — THE WITHDRAWAL STAGES

    (Jan Groenveld)

    STAGE ONE:

    This often begins almost immediately after conversion. The mind and will may be completely taken over by the logic presented by the cult. However, the gut feeling, emotions, or conscience often indicates that something is not quite right.

    STAGE TWO:

    This doubt causes a feeling of guilt which the person attempts to stuff and deny. The guilt drives him or her to deeper resolve to “do right” or submit and to ignore any information that conflicts with the cult’s message. However, the conscience continues to exert itself causing the person to question things.

    STAGE THREE:

    The person will give lip service to the cult but in reality often behaves or does things that are against the rules. This causes even more guilt and more resolve to “get right.”

    STAGE FOUR:

    If the person is observant and alert, he or she may notice some discrepancies between what the cult says and what is done within the cult. Or he may hear of a scandal or problem that bothers him. This may worry some people but many others just think, “Oh, well, the people aren’t perfect but the cult is perfect.” Or “Oh well, what can I do?” or “Oh well, God will take care of it.”

    STAGE FIVE:

    The cult member may begin to wonder why he was lied to regarding the founder of the cult. An inquisitive person may begin an investigation. At this point, the person usually becomes very quiet and fearful about letting others know of his questions. By this time he has found out that it is socially unacceptable to voice any doubts.

    STAGE SIX:

    The denial stage in which the person decides to ignore all the warning signs. They are actually afraid of or angry at anyone who has information that exposes the deceit of cult members. Some people NEVER get past this stage. They are hostile towards any information that spotlights the deceit and errors of the cult.

    STAGE SEVEN:

    The “Don’t know what to think” stage. MANY people get stuck here. They will try to figure things out on their own. They are suspicious of everyone. They don’t trust their friends or family and they don’t trust themselves. They don’t trust traditional religion. They don’t trust the information that exposes the cult.

    At this stage, some people try to reason with the cult leaders. They will either arrange for visits or write long agonizing letters. Some hope that they can change the system or get some to agree with them. They are AMAZED at the total inability of cult leaders to hear what they are saying. However, some cult leaders / members may agree with their arguments, pat them on the head and try to smooth their ruffled feelings.

    STAGE EIGHT:

    The state in which a decision is made to leave the cult. The person may go in several directions. They may become angry at God, or become an agnostic or atheist. They may try to start their own spiritual quest. They may reach out to secular psychology for relief. Or, they may hook into another cult. They may decide to just let the spiritual part of their life hang in mid-air for awhile. Some people get stuck in a yo-yo syndrome: they will leave the cult, go back to the cult, leave, go back, leave and go back. They rarely ever figure out what the cult believes or even what they believe. Or, they may become born again as a result of doing some intense praying, in-depth study and reaching out to normal religious information.

    STAGE NINE:

    The state in which the old personality disintegrates and a new one is formed. The person will get rid of old clothes, old hairstyles, old possessions. Some people experience a lot of anxiety in adjusting to a new identity because their whole self concept was so closely tied to the cult’s attitude towards themselves. New interests, charitable activities and hobbies are found. The world looks beautiful, people seem wonderful, nature seems to glow with the power and beauty of God.

    STAGE TEN:

    The person is in constant amazement at the difference between the old life and the new life. The person is able to pity those who are still in the old cult and will eventually be able to laugh about his old experiences. The person will often want to reach out to others whom he has known while in the cult. He feels a strong need to talk about the experience in order to understand the strong emotions and confusion he felt while inside the cult. Talking to other ex-professing people seems to be the best therapy for those going through this process. Writing down what one has heard and experienced also helps clarify one’s thoughts.

    Readers (if you’ve left AoL), have you been through one or more of the stages mentioned above while you were going through the process of disconnecting from AoL?

    • Nithin permalink
      April 5, 2012 1:18 pm

      YES i am in stage TEN 🙂

      • VSS permalink
        April 5, 2012 3:33 pm

        That’s fantastic, Nithin !

    • stupidseeker permalink
      April 5, 2012 5:44 pm

      @VSS,

      If anecdotal reports are to be believed then Khorshed Batliwala a.k.a Bawa is the closest to guruji after his blood relatives.Here’s a link to how bawa defines skepticism, what he/guruji thinks of them and how to dispel skepticism.For the last, he delivers the punchline at 3.15.

      Watch parts II an III for more “knowledge”.

      @The Doctor,

      You Judas, @ 4.50 in the above.

      • The Doctor permalink
        April 5, 2012 6:31 pm

        @SS – I doubt it 😉

      • Anonymous permalink
        April 5, 2012 7:36 pm

        A very poor answer. So what he’s suggesting is “If you doubt art of living, we’ll just doubt you in return.” That makes no sense is no spiritual at all. He’s suggesting people shouldn’t have freedom to doubt AOL. That is one of the many ways AOL keeps people close-minded and stuck. They rely on your faith, suggesting that makes it justified. But faith alone does not make something good. People had faith in Hitler and many other leaders who were wrong.

      • VSS permalink
        April 5, 2012 7:47 pm

        @ SS (April 5, 2012 5:44 pm)

        Extremely insightful. I saw part II and part III as well. Many thanks. I had no clue that this kind of absolutely comprehensive brainwashing is going on.

        What is most intriguing is that this is not even Hinduism because Hinduism has a tradition of Shaastraarth (debate). What Bawa is selling is a contorted perception. But more than Hinduism, I noticed the way he uses the “the emperor and his new clothes style perception of intelligence”, meaning that if people are not in AoL, they’re not intelligent.

        So, much like “the emperor in his new clothes”, they’re walking around thinking they’re “intelligent” while everyone can tell they’re not and watching silently. Unlike in the fairy tale, in the case of AoL, no one has been able to play the part of the child who ultimately exposes the emperor’s (lack of) intelligence. The way Bawa asks repeatedly “are you getting it” must be making people squirm and say yes. Also, the “negativity” tool is very effective in psychological manipulation. The subtle and skillful way in which he tried to imply that if people sell AoL and encounter people who are not interested, then it is the fault of the person who is selling AoL, is disgusting — pure evil actually.

        Selling sadhana and silence is sickening too. But most of all, saying that AoL works because people are “smiling” and “happy” is outrageous, especially when he himself gives the example of someone who attended the course and is still “yelling” — justifying it by saying “yelling is superficial but the change is internal”. Speaking of which, I noticed several similar contradictions. The sermon on skepticism starts with those. There is no logical accuracy or consistency in what he says.

        For instance, on the one hand he says that no one should get into the spirituality business because it’s a headache to make money by getting people to meditate, on the other he says that if you bump into someone who says he or she is not interested, it’s your own lack of interest which makes you so powerful that the person you’re selling art of living to says no. If it’s so easy to tell people that art of living works and so easy to prove it, then if someone asked him if they should get into the spirituality business, why would he say no?

        I don’t mean to be disrespectful towards those who fell into the AoL trap but why couldn’t they see these blatant contradictions? If I was in the audience and he asked me if i was “getting it”, I’d have said no. But then, maybe that’s why I’m not in AoL.

        Also, I think they’re taking this “meditation” promise too far — as if it’s candy that is manufactured only in AoL. All human beings meditate. I haven’t come across a single human being in my entire life who doesn’t meditate. To meditate is to think deeply or carefully about something. For those who want to meditate with a spiritual focus, there are plenty of resources on the internet.

        Further, his response to those who doubt the guru was plain and simple vengeful. He says something to the effect that “you want the freedom to doubt the guru” but the guru can’t doubt you and say “I won’t let you do the advance course”. This is being vindictive beyond measure.

        Even while talking about whether or not Mr. Ravi Shankar loses his temper, he starts by saying Mr. Ravi Shankar doesn’t lose his temper. Then he gives the example of a teacher who made a mistake and was “scolded” by Mr. Ravi Shankar but the scolding was so good that the teacher requested to be scolded every few months to which Mr. Ravi Shankar said “why should i change my temperament — you should change your temperament”.

        Seems to me that the template for brainwashing is drawing verbal circles of contradiction in the minds of those who are listening — say one thing then contradict it the very next moment and then ask “are you getting it” — by which time the poor disciple is so confused he doesn’t want to appear dumb so he says yes.

        I also thought the “IIT-IIM talk” was in extremely bad taste. For young Indians who haven’t made it to IIM and / or IIT, it must be pretty demeaning to listen to that talk and be slighted like that. I really didn’t think that Bawa and company would be resorting to such base tactics. Now, I won’t put anything past them — they must be capable of much worse which is not on camera.

        So sad. So utterly pathetic and tragic that young Indians are being turned into pieces of furniture like this — incapable of any independent thought and action whatsoever.

      • stupidseeker permalink
        April 6, 2012 9:24 am

        @VSS,

        The father and son duo or Yezdi and Khorshed Batliwala are BIIIG fish in the AOL family. Yezdi Batliwala for instance as chairman of the SSRVM spearheaded the efforts to set up the “Sri Sri university” in Orissa.
        http://www.orissalinks.com/archives/1106
        His efforts got HHSSRS some 185 acres of land for his university.
        The university is now ready and functioning and in the link below yezdi has been introduced as :

        “”Retired from his position as Director of Tata Finance Securities Ltd (Now Tata Capital), Mr. Yezdi J. Batliwala brings years of experience from the corporate and NGO sectors. He is currently Chairman of Vyakti Vikas Kendra, India the counterpart of the Art of Living Foundation, US.””

        http://www.eodisha.com/about-sri-sri-university/

        Here is the link to the university website and out of curiosity i checked out the course fees for the MBA programme which is 1 lakh – 1.45 lakh INR for half a year excluding hostel and other expenses.

        http://srisriuniversity.edu.in/index.php?option=com_content&view=frontpage&Itemid=1

        http://srisriuniversity.edu.in/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=61&Itemid=137

        on an unrelated note, Yezdi attempted to introduce the parsi communisty in Bangalore to AOL and if you go through the comments you will see some parsis expressing apprehension over the distinctiveness of the parsi religion being diluted.Parsis are generally known to keep business and religion apart.
        http://parsikhabar.net/events/parsi-delegation-at-art-of-living-centre-in-bangalore/2737/

      • Harshal permalink
        April 6, 2012 9:57 am

        @peter:

        such pathetic life you have. You watch AOL videos in the middle of night…so that you make up materials to critique AOL.
        Twisting simple things to manipulate others? How much does your church pay you to do all this?

      • stupidseeker permalink
        April 8, 2012 4:44 pm

        @Harshal,

        Pls. dont abuse me for Bawa’s verbal diarrhoea. Just because you can’t take it out on Bawa doesn’t mean you take it out on me.

    • Anonymous permalink
      April 11, 2012 5:03 am

      Thanks for this post VSS. I looked at it just now…I myself was stuck at Stage 8 for 3 long years…and am happy to be at Stage 10 now :). I am enjoying life to the fullest…without being a disgruntled unpaid salesman of AOL.

      • VSS permalink
        April 11, 2012 9:12 am

        @ Anonymous [April 11, 2012 5:03 am]

        You’re very welcome. It’s very encouraging to see that despite those “3 long years”, you’re out of it completely now. Thank you for letting me and other readers know about your journey. Your post is bound to empower fence-sitters who are reading — especially those who no longer wish to be “disgruntled unpaid salesman of AOL” — you’ve conveyed a lot through these words.

  40. Anonymous permalink
    April 5, 2012 2:26 pm

    Very interesting VSS! These stages are pretty exact. I would say that personally, I didn’t last long in stage 7, not knowing what to think, as all evidence and even admissions of guilt from the guilty party were given. So it was easier in a sense to walk away as there was no doubt as to the wrongdoing that was happening. I have gone through, and seen dozens of other members of AOL go through the earlier stages. I’ve seen some go through later stages and actually leave. Most I knew were stuck in the stages 3 and 4, with the change added to those that they didn’t want to leave because they said they had “nowhere else to go” or said “who would give me a job now?” and other such defeated things. They had been there too long, and had given up their careers and had no personal money in most cases. In the cases I’ve seen where personal fortune was present, and no need to earn anything, those people lingered in stages 5, 6 or 7, and some I know of did leave, and others are still there, in spite of complete knowledge of things that disgust and disturb them. They just cannot break away. The last stages described by this writer of how wonderful the world begins to look once you are free of the cult is amazingly true. God really does rescue people from this, if they listen to their own hearts and admit that something is definitely rotten in Denmark, so to speak. I would add to Stage Two, the fact that in Art of Living, if one expresses the doubt at all, one is slammed with “doubt the doubt” and told how to go about not having these ‘useless’ thoughts, and how to be more obedient to Guruji, etc., so they can obtain the ‘Grace’. Even Guruji told several of us that the doubt was our bad karma, and we should try to overcome it by never doubting him, just doing whatever he told us to. This not only sounded bizarre to me (although I admit I did try) but in light of some of the prescribed actions lauded as “spiritual” and “holy” (I really can’t go into detail, as they are too gross to mention) and for “upliftement”, I just had to internally disagree completely with him and his more ardent followers who would do anything for him, however disgraceful. Only someone keeping a good distance from him and the close followers might avoid these things. I’m grateful that the trap didn’t hold me for long and that I listened to my doubts and my own eyes and observations, and left. I was treated very badly by AOL ‘friends’ for doing so. I was called names and ridiculed as “low prana” and “not ready”, etc. But I was not ready for what Ravi Shankar was doling out. Good for them that they think that cr*p that goes on with him is spiritual and will remove their karmas and cause their enligthenment. Gross.

    • VSS permalink
      April 5, 2012 3:32 pm

      @ Anonymous [April 5, 2012 2:26 pm]

      Thank you so much for this incredibly detailed and insightful answer. I’m sure readers who are in AoL and are thinking about leaving AoL will benefit tremendously from your post. Plus, readers who haven’t joined yet will be empowered enough to stay away from AoL. Thank you again for your contribution.

      • rahul permalink
        April 6, 2012 6:20 am

        @vss
        ohhhhhhhhh!!! 609,000 views in 3 years
        i visit this blog 200 times in last month to know how silly these people are.
        ,i saw this in blog two years ago
        so 200*24=4800 609,000/4800=127 people…………….in avg case take 130 people in which 1/4 of them like aol…………….it is so stupid that
        100 PEOPLE SUFFERING WITH HATRED AND CYNICISM
        CAN HAVE A MORAL RIGHT TO WRITE THINGS ON AN ORGANIZATION WHICH HAS LIKED BY MORE THAN “110,000 people” (facebook) which is close to the THE HINDU news paper
        so it is sad that even negativity is not going popular,if all these things are wrong, if u have anything like guts,shame
        and if many people are suffering with MUTILATING VIRUS WHICH U CLAIM
        START A FACEBOOK PAGE WITHOUT PUTTING ANY OF YOUR INFORMATIOM…AND COLLECT ALL THESE PEOPLE WHO ARE SUFFERING WITH VIRUS………..LOL LOL……

      • VSS permalink
        April 6, 2012 9:19 am

        @ rahul [April 6, 2012 6:20 am]

        AoL is an anti-Mahatma Gandhi Right Wing Hindu cult, full of negativity and hatred towards the Father of the Nation and Muslims.

        Here are some extracts from Francois Gautier’s “Rewriting Indian History”:

        (New Delhi: Vikas Publishing 1996)

        “Ultimately, it must be said that whatever his saintliness, his extreme and somehow rigid asceticism, Gandhi did enormous harm to India… The British must have rubbed their hands in glee: here was a man who was perfecting their policy of divide-and-rule, for ultimately no one contributed more to the partition of India, by his obsession to always give in to the Muslims; by his indulgence of Jinnah, going as far as proposing to make him the prime minister of India.”

        “Even today, there is no doubt that Islam has never been fully able to give up its inner conviction that its own religion is the only true creed and that all others are kafirs, infidels. In India it was true 300 years ago, and it is still true today. Remember the cry of the militants in Kashmir to the Pandits: ‘convert to Islam or die!’ … The Hindu-Muslim question is just plainly a Muslim obsession, their hatred of the Hindu pagans, their contempt for this polytheist religion. This obsession, this hate, is as old as the first invasion of India by the original Arabs in 650 AD. After independence, nothing has changed: the sword of Allah is still as much ready to strike the kafirs, the idolaters of many gods.”

        The Constitution of India gives me the right to unequivocally condemn anyone who is full of hatred and negativity towards Mahatma Gandhi and Muslims.

        Interestingly, those who think that Mahatma Gandhi “did enormous harm to India”, have the same rights as I do.

        Now, if you think that I have no moral authority to condemn those who are full of hatred and negativity towards Mahatma Gandhi and Muslims, then you are sadly mistaken.

        It is you who has no moral authority.

        And, for your extremely kind information, there are more number of people in India and all over the world who would condemn those who hate Mahatma Gandhi and Muslims, than those who don’t. AoL, Mr. Francois Gautier, Mr. Ravi Shankar, and, of course, you — are in a hopeless minority.

        If you want evidence, start a page on Facebook with the aforementioned quotes by Mr. Francois Gautier on it — and see how many people “LIKE” it.

        And, don’t forget to mention on that page that Francois Gautier is Mr. Ravi Shankar’s biographer and has recently critiqued the UP elections with anti-Muslim venom and pro Right Wing Hindu opinions, as well as has written Mr. Ravi Shankar’s defence of his recent preposterous claim that RSS schools will bring about the end of Naxalism by creating the “adarsh” (ideal) student. Please also add quotes from Francois Gautier’s “Spiritual Council” column.

        You are nothing but an anti-national Indian — you’re a national shame. It is because of people like you that the RSS has still not been banned in India, despite plotting and executing Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination. You people simply do not know who you are supporting and validating. You cannot think independently — you cannot help getting psychologically manipulated.

        Do you know what Dinesh had tweeted once ?

        He said that Muslims will get “brownie points” if they give up their rights on the disputed site in Ayodhya. He also said that the Babri Masjid has no historical value.

        Is this any way to talk ? Can this kind of flagrant vocabulary ever lead to peace in India, let alone world peace ? Can this kind of vocabulary lead to conflict resolution ? AoL is run by a bunch of hot-headed and hot-blooded Right Wing Hindus who have no sense of wisdom, let alone political vision or spiritual enlightenment.

        You’re talking about The Hindu. I have tremendous respect for Mr. N. Ram who is the editor. Can you send me links to 30 articles in the Hindu that talk about how the Art of Living is not a Right Wing Hindu cult ? AoL has been around for over 30 years, right ?

        Surely, it must have done something useful at least once a year that was worth being reported in The Hindu. No ?

        The saddest part is that you don’t know what you are supporting, and are consequently, making a complete fool of yourself on this blog.

        You are just a tool in the hands of the anti Mahatma Gandhi RSS-BJP-AoL-Francois Gautier-Ravi Shankar machine which wants political power desperately.

        This machine thinks it will come to power because the Congress Government at the Center is hopelessly corrupt, without realizing that the UP elections have proved to all that the Indian voter no longer thinks that the options are only the Congress and the BJP.

        There’s going to be a third front before the next general elections and it’s the third front that’ll come into power.

        And, even before that happens, those who are being ruthlessly manipulated by this anti Mahatma Gandhi RSS-BJP-AoL-Francois Gautier-Ravi Shankar machine, will realize what’s happening, wake up, and leave AoL.

        Have patience. Wait for the truth to reveal itself.

        Satyamev Jayate.

  41. Harshal Basher permalink
    April 6, 2012 8:08 am

    Let’s look at all the evidence that Harshal needs serious psychiatric help:

    * He told us he wasn’t going to leave this blog and never write anything again, yet a few months later he came back and since then hasn’t been able to keep away. He has been seen to visit this blog up to 3-4 times a day.
    * He accuses the blog owners of trying to damage AOL yet he is actually the one who is doing more damage to AOL than anyone on the blog by acting in the way he is – something he has so far been unable to comprehend
    * He insists that SK has no negative side effects, in spite of the fact that teachers tell participants that any negative side effects are part of the “cleansing process” and just to accept them.
    * He also insists that this blog is defamatory yet hasn’t been able to show anything which is defamatory on the blog – because there isn’t anything. Even AOL’s lawyers had to withdraw this charge from the court case.
    * He at first denied that he was the Harshal who posted an email around esatsang to get everyone in AOL to recommend that SSRS be invited on the final episode of Oprah, and then after I taunted him for a while he finally admitted to it.
    * He claims he comes here for “entertainment” whereas in actual fact all his posts show that he is furious with this blog and everything written on it. Look at this for example and tell me if this looks like someone being entertained: https://aolfree.wordpress.com/2011/07/16/deconstructing-religion-a-memetic-perspective/#comment-6831. If Harshal is really being entertained, then doesn’t this show that he is psychotically deranged, or at the very least a masochist?
    * Any time anyone has called him on any of the above, he has been unable to provide any answer and usually lashes out by calling people cowards for using pseudonyms.
    * He has no grasp whatsoever on what logic is.
    * He is obsessed with social proof, believing that he needs to validate his own beliefs in AOL and SSRS by showing that 100s, 1000s, millions of others also support them, not actually realizing that these things aren’t important. If he believes in something, who really cares how many others believe in it? But that’s his problem: he knows deep down inside that he doesn’t fully believe it, which is why he needs to look around at others to get more support for his questionable beliefs.
    * He believes stupidseeker to be a Christian just because anyone You am I believed it, showing that he just blindly follows what other people tell him because he can’t come to conclusions by himself.

    And this is his underlying problem: he is unable to think for himself, and so he has to have other people to tell him what to believe so he will blindly follow them. That’s why he NEEDS to have a Guru, and no matter how much evidence (and there is a tonne of it on this blog) you show him, his mind simply won’t allow him to believe it because his whole reality system will collapse and he will end up as a cabbage. Which let’s be honest he isn’t too far from there now.

    • Anonymous permalink
      April 6, 2012 8:30 am

      “He accuses the blog owners of trying to damage AOL yet he is actually the one who is doing more damage to AOL than anyone on the blog by acting in the way he is – something he has so far been unable to comprehend”

      Very good point. He is unable to understand this simple fact. He’s doing so much damage to the “juggernaut” with each of his terrible responses.

      That comment you quoted above was when Harshal broke down last year and showed his true intentions of visiting this blog. He needs help, and as long as he’s in AOL, he’s unlikely to get it. I feel sorry for him.

  42. Anonymous permalink
    April 6, 2012 12:24 pm

    The number of posts by present members of AOL on this blog, defending it, shows just how many people even care about Art of Living or Ravi Shankar. Not very many. They might have taken the course, then gone to some other swami, or even go to satsangs, whatever. There are only a handful of fanatical “devotees” who get paid to stay and teach and some peripheral people who don’t yet realize the extent of the deception in AOL, and so they do “seva” of getting more people on the courses. Basically, most people don’t know what Art of Living is, don’t care, or will take the course, and forget about it. That’s really what happens. So you get a few bizarre hardliners like Harshal and RAHUL SCREAMING about how horrible the blog is, because there really isn’t anyone with any brain left to defend AOL. If they are involved deeply, they are brainwashed and crazy. If not, they don’t care and have a life. Those of us who got away and are posting here, post because we know very well what happened to family and friends and ourselves or loved ones as a result of the sickness called Art of Living. Most people really do leave before getting very involved. It makes sense to me that there will only be a few hundred who were very involved and got out. It’s a vicious trap of a place. So you hear the same names, see the same faces “at the top” over the years in AOL. They have no place else to go and are getting well-paid for their self service.

  43. Harshal permalink
    April 6, 2012 1:17 pm

    ” It makes sense to me that there will only be a few hundred who were very involved and got out it”

    what are the odds here. Either the few hundred who got out were total nut-cases or they were brave courageous and wanted to save the world?

    Looking at the people who post here it is very safe to assume that most of them were nut-cases…based on the comments they make- like .obama’s birth certificate was forged, breathing causes heart disease, using the ‘hitler had following too’ logic, my gf/bf left me etc etc.

    • Anonymous permalink
      April 7, 2012 1:39 pm

      again, Harshal, you missed it — the point is that not that many people get really involved. Those who do, and have the brain left, leave. They then find this blog, perhaps, and post. Not trying to save anyone, necessarily, but that seems to have been the end result of this blog — people are stating that they left, realizing that their observations and doubts were correct. Again, it seems to me that the odds of AOL having millions of ardent, involved followers, and their not going on the internet and finding this blog by accident, then posting gentle, caring remarks saying how wonderful their Art Of Living experiences have been, and how can this blog be so, is very small. Those ‘involved’ are on the periphery, and just go to satsang as a thing Indians do. They do ‘seva’ as a thing that should be done. They don’t know or care the real goings on at the center. That’s the point here. Nearly everyone really doesn’t care about Art of Living. Otherwise, there wouldn’t just be 4 or 5 people here like you. There would be thousands and millions posting their well-thought out protests, not rants and raves and insults. People in AOL do use the internet, Harshal. And they would have seen this. So those attending, are not ‘in’. They may have taken the course, then forgotten about it. That’s about 99% of takers. It’s just one more swami, one more thing to do. Art of Living is not the center of the universe. It’s just one more thing to do. I’ve seen dozens of such gatherings and many of them much larger than any Silver Jubilee. Get over it. Ravi Shankar doesn’t control the universe, the world, or much else. Just the minds of a thousand or so ‘devotees’ who either have no where else to go, or haven’t figured out the deception yet or can’t face that they were wrong in their choice of ‘guru’. The rest who go to satsang and do the seva are very very temporary.

  44. Original Anonymous permalink
    April 6, 2012 1:27 pm

    When the Berlin festival was happening .. there was a campaign amongst the Yes!+ group to earn money through SpeakAsia so that the yes!+ volunteers could fund their air tickets for the same .. The tree was started by Bawa n D/Rashmin/JD and all the Yes!+ brigade were forming trees below them .. like done usually in Multi Level marketing . ..

    When somebody asked Bawa that there are talks about Speakasia being a fraud .. Bawa replied .. ” Fraud hai toh hai apne ko kyaaaa .. jaldi jaldi member banao. apne ko toh profit mile” in his typical Parsi accent ..

    A few months later Speak Asia actually turned out to be a fraud. Bawa had previously too been involved in previous MLM scams like the gold coin and the prakriti network scam. A lot of volunteers lost a lot of money in this .. Surprisingly they still follow Bawa blindly ..

    But none of the above was really sanctioned by Sri Sri .. He was always against these endeavors of Bawa .. …

    • BLOGHELPER permalink
      April 6, 2012 2:17 pm

      even i can say”pope john paul has raped 20 girls” what is the point? there should be little sense or little proof in WRITING something…………OTHERWISE PEOPLE SHOULD FEEL COMPASSION ABOUT THE PERSON WHO TALKS LIKE THAT?????????

      • Original Anonymous permalink
        April 7, 2012 10:51 am

        @Bloghelper .. There are enough eye witnesses.. .. Do you think he is such an idiot who would write such a statement down ..

  45. VSS permalink
    April 6, 2012 2:23 pm

    @ Original Anonymous [April 6, 2012 1:27 pm]

    “But none of the above was really sanctioned by Sri Sri .. He was always against these endeavors of Bawa .. …”

    If Mr. Ravi Shankar cannot see Bawa’s involvement in scams — something that you can see clearly — and doesn’t have the ability to do something about it, do you think he is a worthy “guru” ? Mr. Ravi Shankar is validating someone who you yourself say is involved in scams. Does that not tell you what sort of person he is ? If you were him, would you validate someone who is involved in scams ? According to you, is it okay to validate someone who is involved in scams ? Is it a sign of great inner strength to validate someone who is involved in scams ? Is it great wisdom to validate someone involved in scams ? Would an enlightened person validate someone who is involved in scams ? Would a spiritual person validate someone involved in scams ?

    I’ve read several of your comments. You often make a distinction between Mr. Ravi Shankar and the rest of his team — a distinction that Mr. Ravi Shankar doesn’t make — very blatantly revealing that there is no distinction in his mind. It’s there only in your mind. Bawa has a very significant presence in AoL. In over 30 years, there are only three people other than Mr. Ravi Shankar whose videos are widely publicized — Mrs. Bhanumati, Bawa, and, Dinesh. Bawa’s father even has a substantial role to play in Sri Sri University. (Reference : Above relevant post by SS) There is absolutely nothing to suggest that Mr. Ravi Shankar is not validating Bawa — someone who is involved in several scams — according to you. In fact, there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Bawa is one of the chosen ones to spread the “knowledge” of Mr. Ravi Shankar — please see the video currently on the homepage of this blog.

    Think about why Bawa — the scam man — is getting so much attention, support, and, encouragement from Mr. Ravi Shankar.

    • rahul permalink
      April 6, 2012 3:11 pm

      @vss
      even i can say “pope has raped 20 girls” so what is the point? there should be some sense and proof in writing some thing………………..otherwise people should have compassion to the person like that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! why are u deleting comments my dear??????????????

      • VSS permalink
        April 6, 2012 4:35 pm

        @ rahul [April 6, 2012 3:11 pm]

        Do you know who Francois Gautier is ?

    • Original Anonymous permalink
      April 7, 2012 11:12 am

      @VSS . . Yes you got it right I do distinguish between the Guru and his team .. and there is a reason behind that .. what we usually think of as his team is only a small part of the team .. and not actually the whole team .. . So its actually Sri Sri .. the urban team and the rural team .. what we generally see and perceive as the whole of Art of Living is the urban wings of the organization who flock to the events just because of the crowd or mainly to hang out n all, in one word people who are there for the glamor, people who want to be teachers because of the glamor, but I have seen the rural teams at work, and they are truly gems. Its these rural team of yuvacharyas, rural teachers and their interactions with Sri Sri that makes me distinguish separately this urban element of Art of Living where all the various entanglements keep happening.

      Mostly in urban areas people want to become Art of Living teachers because of the glamor associated with teachers like Bawa, Dinesh, Rishi Nityapragya, Maheshgiri, etc etc. But if you ever interact with the rural teachers, they want to become teachers because they want to get rid their villages of some problem or the other, being a teacher for them is never about themselves or their image .. And I have seen Sri Sri pay a lot of attention to this aspect of the Art of Living, to things like Zero Budget farming, Naxalite rehabilitation, which really makes me respect him as a true humanitarian.

      Regarding the publicizing of videos of Bawa, that is not done through the Art of Living but done via WAYE the bosses of which are Bawa and Dinesh themselves. They have established their own network and through their own resourcefulness. Another reason why I feel Sri Sri does not either validate or invalidate Bawa is that when Bawa wanted to sell Prakriti network via Sumeru Promotions Sri Sri strongly put his foot down and said no to it. Like just because a son has a bad habit the family does not disown him, similarly just because Bawa is a little greedy Sri Sri wont just throw him out because of that. For Sri Sri Bawa is still a disciple or devotee or whatever he is for him ..

  46. Harshal permalink
    April 6, 2012 3:41 pm

    it is almost impossible to find someone with a bigger BBS than VSS.

  47. Ronin permalink
    April 6, 2012 5:23 pm

    @SS

    What a university realllly and they calling it Sri Sri hmmmmm the concept sounds familiar……….aahhhh of course

    see link

    http://www.mum.edu/index.html

    Well done Ravi well done, u have to learned from the best. But please make a better website just like the one above for your university

    And remember how the AOl Corporation and Ravi always wanted to get Oprah’s attention this whole drive to get Ravi as a guest on her show.

    I guess he fell short, the TM team won this round…..

    http://tmfree.blogspot.com/

    Have a great weekend

  48. VSS permalink
    April 7, 2012 9:01 am

    @ stupidseeker [April 6, 2012 9:24 am]

    Many thanks for the links. (Finally got a chance to check them out.)

    It seems to me that the lust for power and blinding ambition is leading to these activities. They are literally etching the road to their own downfall.

    They seem to be trying to build an alternative world — typical of religious cults. Their megalomania is making them believe that they will ultimately own everything — the schools where children study, the universities where they pursue higher education, the companies they will then find employment in, the Gods they worship, where they live (real estate), the medicines they consume (ayurveda), the credit card they use, where they socialize (yoga raves and satsangs), etc. etc. — and all this will be controlled by controlling what people think — meaning absolute and comprehensive brainwashing.

    The problem with this line of thinking is that it completely underestimates the innate intelligence of human beings. It underestimates their inherent instinct for religious freedom. And, it underestimates their need to think and decide independently — even if that includes making mistakes and learning from them.

    That they are doing this at the cost of upsetting and disturbing the religious freedom of other religions is all the more disastrous and damaging.

    They are mixing religion with business, politics, education, health, lifestyle etc. etc. and coming up with a concoction that they think will address every human problem, not realizing that the concoction has not helped, is not helping, and, will not help anybody.

    It is more than obvious through the many posts on this blog that those who felt they were benefiting from Mr. Ravi Shankar or his tactics have realized that it was actually their own faith that caused the so-called instances of “guru grace”.

    Mr. Ravi Shankar’s unabashed pursuit of material wealth for his family and friends, through the deployment of all sorts of unethical means, will lead to complete destruction.

    Already, thanks to your efforts, and The Doctor’s efforts, this blog is directly critiquing AoL’s brainwashing tactics. Now, it’s no longer about someone recounting a horror story of their experience at AoL and insensitive and cruel AoL members demanding “proof”. The evidence is in the promotional material of AoL — right there for all to see and ascertain if it is in any way going to lead to personal and world peace or not. Anyone who sees this evidence prior to joining AoL, and cannot see that AoL is a religious cult and still joins AoL, is probably someone who has lost their critical thinking skills owing to some other brainwashing experience.

    Anyone who is in AoL, and chooses to ignore such blatant evidence consciously, will not be able to ignore such compelling evidence at a subconscious level. Critical thinking will get triggered and the person is likely to unearth more damning information with the passage of time.

    Once again, many thanks for the insightful and informative links.

  49. VSS permalink
    April 7, 2012 3:48 pm

    @ Original Anonymous [April 7, 2012 11:12 am]

    “Like just because a son has a bad habit the family does not disown him, similarly just because Bawa is a little greedy Sri Sri wont just throw him out because of that. For Sri Sri Bawa is still a disciple or devotee or whatever he is for him ..”

    By this logic / rationale / line of thinking — whatever you may choose to call it — you can justify the “bad habits” of anyone in AoL.

    You see, visibility, such as the kind of visibility that Bawa and Dinesh enjoy, is a reward — a kind of recognition.

    If there is no system / set of parameters that ensures that merit is the only criterion for allowing visibility, and that reward and recognition are given to those who do not deserve it (that too on the scale in which they are given to Bawa and Dinesh), then how must those exceptional teachers who work in rural areas be feeling ?

    I don’t see any videos of these people you mention.

    Are you suggesting that Sri Sri is so weak in AoL that he cannot ensure meritocracy ? If so, I shall again ask you why you think that he is a “worthy” guru.

    If not, and you think that he is merely extending compassion to people involved in scams such as Bawa out of paternal affection, then what is it that stops you from extending the same compassion to AoL and working for it full time along with those who work in villages, forgetting all else that is mentioned in this blog ?

    I say this because you can easily claim that Sri Sri has the same paternal feeling towards Francois Gautier, RSS, etc. etc.

    And, what about you — the individual ?

    What do you think ?

    If you ran an organization the size of AoL, would you be dealing with paternal / maternal affection towards those who are involved in scams, or, would you ensure meritocracy ?

    What does your heart say ?

    If your heart says you would extend maternal / paternal affection towards those who are involved in scams, then you should not have any critical comment about any of the people in AoL.

    If your heart says you would not extend maternal / paternal affection towards those who are involved in scams, then you are an infinitely more righteous human being than Sri Sri. That means that the biggest contribution you can make to meritocracy is by validating meritocracy where you are — in your family, in your circle of friends, at your work place etc. etc.

    Think about what you would do if you were Sri Sri. Think about whether you would ensure reward and recognition / visibility for those who work in villages or for those who work in urban areas.

    Also, think about whether those who work in rural areas without reward and recognition / visibility, are doing so because of their own inner convictions or because of “guru grace”.

    Do you know the story of Eklavya ?

    If you do, then think about whether Eklavya deserves credit for his skills or whether it was the result of “guru grace”.

    And, I would strongly recommend that you test your convictions by being in the thick of things because you don’t have clarity right now. By going there, you will know clearly. Either you will be able to have the same affection for Bawa or you won’t. Either you will think that Sri Sri is facilitating big time visibility for someone involved in scams for that person’s benefit and spiritual growth or you won’t think that.

    Just yesterday, I read this post on the AoL website :

    http://www.artofliving.org/in-en/water-conservation-laxmipura-bangalore

    In this post, there is absolutely no mention of the people who brought about the transformation mentioned. AoL is credited for it.

    In addition, I also noticed that whoever is working in villages is not equipped with the proper know-how either. The post mentions the following :

    “The drains have been made free of waste water, and are now used to collect rainwater, further purifying it with the help of natural filters. During monsoon, the water gushing through these drains is collected in small tanks, which after being filtered is left to bigger tanks. It is further made to flow down a channel to the bore-wells in the villages, giving the villagers access to clean drinking water.”

    “The villagers have also pledged not to use the clean water to wash vehicles, clothes and bathe cattle. ”

    AoL has taught the villagers to use what were previously waste water drains for the purpose of routing rain water for storage and eventual drinking after deploying natural filters. This is disastrous.

    Anyone who has knowledge of rainwater harvesting, especially for the purpose of facilitating drinking water, will tell you that rainwater is to be stored in tanks built specifically for the purpose, and tanks that can be covered after the rains with a proper lid.

    These tanks are typically constructed on terraces, although in the absence of terraces, they are also constructed at the ground level. The objective is to harvest rainwater while it is raining. Rainwater is not to be channelized via drains that were previously waste water drains. Water “gushing out of drains” is not to be collected. Rainwater is to be collected directly in tanks.

    Can you imagine drinking water that has been channelized via what were previously waste water drains ?

    Can you imagine that AoL is actually recommending that cattle should not be bathed with clean water ?

    Can you imagine that AoL is actually recommending that clothes should not be washed with clean water ?

    Can you imagine how water-borne diseases can spread through these recommendations made by AoL ?

    So, not only are people going to villages and not getting any recognition for the work that they do, AoL is not equipping them with proper information. So, they’re going with the intention to help, implementing something that is disastrous, working hard nonetheless, and, not getting any training or any reward or recognition. Their names are not even mentioned.

    If you ran a “humanitarian organization”, is this how you would run it ?

    If yes, then you should go with your heart and join AoL and dedicate your life to it.

    If no, then you should be able to see that by not ensuring meritocracy and proper training for those working in villages, Sri Sri is proving every day that he is not a “worthy” guru.

  50. Harshal permalink
    April 7, 2012 5:10 pm

    phew….can someone stop this putrefying vomitus of BBS

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