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How Can a Divine Revelation Be Defective?

April 22, 2012

by The Seer

[In response to this comment]

Proud Teacher, I really appreciate you responding to the criticisms in a civil manner and your respect for the criticisms. You represent a point of view I myself possessed until a few months ago.

Now let me respond to your comment.

You say,

“But, I would like to ask you a simple question, have you seen any bad or wrong in Guruji or his intention.”

I’m not sure if you have read all the posts in this blog. Yes, there are too many and it’s not possible to read everything, but you should at least read all the recommended posts you’ll find the links in the sidebar. You’ll find people asking all kinds of questions about Guruji’s intention and there has never been a satisfactory response.

One question that everyone asks is regarding the financial aspect of the organization. Why does AoL claim to be a non-profit org while it really operates business like? And where does all the money go? Why is it so very difficult to trace the money trail of an org that claims to be non-profit?

But I don’t want to go into the financial allegations, I’ll discuss something that’s very obvious . Please read my previous comment here and I’d appreciate if you can share your views.

I have something to say about the Sudarshan Kriya and the way it is ‘given’ to people, I’d really appreciate if you can sincerely discuss about this as an individual, thinking for yourself, not going by what you have been told by the org.

You say,

In SKY, I know few people have faced problem due to this, hence the tape itself has revamped three times from the inception.

From what you say it’s obvious that the original version of SK is defective. Now, the AoL says the SK has been divinely revealed to SSRS. How can a divine revelation be defective? And can a divine revelation be revamped and progressive versions be released? From what you say, it’s possible that the current version too could be defective and maybe this version too will have an upgrade. Don’t you think it’s unethical to offer a possibly defective process to people who come with high hopes that their problems would be healed?

While SK could be problematic in some cases, I’ll admit it does solve many health issues, I myself have experienced that and have seen a number of people benefit. It’s good if it’s ‘taught’ to people so that they can do it themselves. But it’s not really ‘taught’ to people, I feel there is something very wrong in that it can by practiced only by listening to a tape. Even doing it by listening to the tape once or twice is okay, but if someone feels the need to do it every single week by going to a follow-up class and listening to a tape, they are hooked, they are bound, there is something seriously wrong with this approach. You are really not freeing people from their problems, you are only binding them more.

And haven’t you read in the posts from this blog and elsewhere in the internet that SK is similar if not same as hyperventilation? What do you say about this?

You know, when you live breathe AoL and spend a lot of time in AoL circles, it’s very easy to conclude the criticisms are unfair. I recommend you take a break and spend sometime completely away from the AoL, maybe 3 months, or at least one month. You will begin to see that it’s not what you believed it to be, you’ll get a completely different picture. We are not forcing you to take our point of view. Take a break, look at the whole thing with a different perspective and decide for yourself.

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116 Comments
  1. VSS permalink
    April 22, 2012 5:32 pm

    @ The Seer

    This post is extremely insightful. All the issues you raise are absolutely valid. You’ve articulated each one of them exceedingly clearly.

    For me, the two most important questions that you raise are:

    1. HOW CAN A DIVINE REVELATION BE DEFECTIVE ?

    2. WHY IS SK USED AS A BAIT BY AOL TO HOOK PEOPLE ONCE A WEEK ?

    I’m also wondering if the following information can be accessed somewhere:

    – How many people has SK been tested on?
    – For how long has it been tested?
    – How many people (what percentage) reported side effects?
    – What are the typical side-effects?
    – Do all side-effects have something to do with a prior medical condition?
    – If yes, then what are those medical conditions?
    – Are there any other factors that should be taken into consideration?
    – Which AoL website has all the information where this data is provided and updated?
    – How frequently is the data collected and updated?
    – What method is adopted for data collection?

  2. April 23, 2012 1:45 am

    Reply to VSS Queries

    How many people has SK been tested on? How frequently is the data collected and updated? What method is adopted for data collection?

    By testing, you mean before a product is released ? Some kind of a beta version right ?. By testing you mean, there will be specialists other than the inventor / teachers that will be there with their eyes open, taking observations. By testing you mean clear documentation that gives you an idea of the effects and these are measured over time to draw trends. By testing, you mean that this method is then easy to compare with other like methods. Do clarify. Do we call it a test if the results are rarely published. If it is a test, there would also be assumptions, parameters, protocols to be followed….right ? And what all would we test…Body ability, mental ability ? Propagation ability (ie difference between a tape, CD ..and so on). And do we mean Short SKY 20-40-40 or the long SKY ? What about variations (someone who is regular only with Long SKY, irregular with short SKY ?). What about Karma…is that also measurable for the cases where the snake lotion does not work anymore ? Take the case of many regular SKY practitioners such as some AOL teachers who have been struck with many chronic diseases including cancer.

    For how long has it been tested?

    Aha……if you go by the statement that SKY is based on ancient Indian techniques……then its forever…..

    But if you go with the timing of the divine gift……then its 30 years +….

    It depends on the situation and context at which time the question is raised. You have to produce the answer that will appeal to the audience. Consistency is not important.

    How many people (what percentage) reported side effects? What are the typical side-effects?

    Side Effect 1 – My old friends are not that friendly anymore.
    Side Effect 2 – Free cash availability is depleting
    SIde Effect 3 – I have been recruited into n NGO-MLM
    Side Effect 4 – I am being told how to run my life. I don’t have to think anymore.
    Side Effect 5 – I am but a poor sinner. I cannot connect to God/Existence anymore. I need a go-between (read Guru) to do it for me and to teach me techniques and Knowledge so I can become a part of existence again.
    Side Effect 6 – There are only 2 types of people in the world. Now its clear to me. Those that are already AOL. And those that are going to be AOL. World integration is happening. WE ARE ALL ONE. And the man who created all this is taking care of me.
    Side Effect 7 – There are some enemies that are trying to sabotage the SKY effect. In fact they are doing their best to Blog the good work being done by my master.
    Side Effect 8 – AOL teachers are my role models. I am inspired to be one someday.

    Do all side-effects have something to do with a prior medical condition?

    There are nothing called Prior. Its all in the NOW. Its the pre-sent move-ment. Got it ?
    Its Know, Right Know….Clicking my fingers !!!!!

    If yes, then what are those medical conditions?
    They are medivial conditions no ?….not necessarily medical.

    Are there any other factors that should be taken into consideration?
    Grace and Disgrace.

    Which AoL website has all the information where this data is provided and updated?

    http://aolresearch.org/ is their internal site

    The above is a good start…..provided general public are also allowed to post….and as we do i the blog….people post their SKY experience there. Would AOL ever allow that ?. Me thinks never….its too risky for them. AOL is a lesson in how to be seen to be transparent without being transparent.

    • VSS permalink
      April 23, 2012 8:19 am

      @ IO [April 23, 2012 1:45 am]

      I so get all that you say.

      What a pity that no ethical parameters have been kept in mind to test SKY and its effects.

      What a pity that people cannot give their feedback about their SKY experience in an open, and like you said, “transparent” manner.

      What a pity that SKY empties minds — making them ready for all sorts of ugly indoctrination — that swallows an individual’s sense of themselves, their confidence, and, their support system — making them completely dependent on AoL for every feeling of faith, relief, validation, and, recognition.

      “AOL is a lesson in how to be seen to be transparent without being transparent.”

      This concluding sentence of yours further substantiates all that is said about cults — they brainwash by controlling the information that is “revealed”.

      “Would AOL ever allow that ? Me thinks never….its too risky for them. ”

      I agree with you. They would never “allow” that. If they had their way, they wouldn’t “allow” this blog to exist either. (That’s why ‘The Proud Teacher’ has a problem with a blog in which people express their ‘aversion’ to AoL.)

      AoL is an archaic and regressive religious cult. You had said once that it will implode. You’re right. It will. My guess is that the reason will be the internet. Because of the nature of the internet — because it cuts across all man-made boundaries — they will be unable to control the flow of information. That will be their nemesis.

      Thank you for yet another outstanding post. I can sense the pain that spiritual abuse has caused you and am sorry you had to go through it. Yet, what is comforting to witness is your resilience — that also shines through your words. It is inspiring for me, and I’m certain that it is inspiring for many others too. You have rescued your soul from severe spiritual abuse. More power to you, and to all those who have accomplished the same and triumphed over the same. I learn a lot from all of you all the time and am very grateful. I wouldn’t have been able to deal with my past pain effectively and definitively had it not been for the words of all those who have come forward and courageously exposed the abuse that AoL has subjected several people to (and continues to subject several people to). In fact, I am confident that there will be a time in the future, when possibly everyone who leaves AoL, and everyone who doesn’t join AoL (despite aggressive conversion tactics) will be infinitely indebted to you all. Information is power, and the information in this blog is bound to empower more and more people with the passage of time. Unfortunately for AoL, the internet ain’t goin’ anywhere — it’s here to stay and it’s here to become more powerful with time.

  3. Proud Teacher permalink
    April 23, 2012 4:24 am

    Hello Seeker,

    I was not expecting your response so quickly. Please find my response below:

    1. Hyperventilation: For this, I will give the same reply. Are we doing the SKY properly. Since I cant reveal the technique here, but I would like to share the one of my experience. We have practice of calling our regular participant once in week. During this exercise, one the participant told me to have better experience she is experimenting with the SKY. I ask her to immediately stop doing the SKY and meet me after the follow up. So please tell me, if she faces the hyperventilation problem, the whose fault is it. Other thing I request all the people who have had bad experience with the SKY, please meet the senior teacher of AOL and talk to them. If they still face the problem, go to the doctor or have a medical research and prove that SKY is not good for health.

    2. Change of tapes: I accept that tape have been changed thrice. Its not because technique had the problem. It because participant were not able to follow properly. AIIMS have recommended the AOL during its very first version.

    3. Corruption in AOL: I am finance expert by profession, so being expert in finance I know AOL is very opaque structure and there are many financial loopholes in it. How can anyone manage such is complex structure with 10000 teacher across the globe.

    Now I will want to bring forward below points:

    1. To all ex-teacher: Have we followed the TTC guideline properly. Teacher themselves in the blog over here are mentioning that they have not completed the knowledge session. “The one who have taken the pledge of taking the responsibility of the society are not taking the responsibility of themselves”. Have you volunteered few course and co teach few courses after becoming teacher? Were you doing you sadhana regularly and before taking courses? Were you listening to knowledge after becoming the teacher?

    2. Intention of AOL people: If in basket, few apples are rotten we don’t discard the entire basket. I know few people in AOL are rotten yet to come to the path and they will come one day, but can we discard the knowledge. Guys if you have problem with these people take pledge lets come and clean them, but don’t have aversion for entire organization. Organization is doing good job (in India outside India I don’t know) so don’t blame entire organization because of few people. (Do you leave your country just because few people are corrupt or bad or you face problem or take responsibility to clean the country).

    3. Guruji: Dear Seeker, I have read all the recommended blog, it all about the experiences of people. I have seen anyone who have quoted Guruji word. I accept he bring forward conflicting point. So close your eye and think, Isn’t bible conflicting, Isn’t Bhagavad Gita conflciting, Isn’t Quaran conflicting. Have we rejected this holy book just beacause its conflicting. To be very frank, there is one video of Guruji in youtube which I don’t like at all, I still wonder why guruji spoke those word. But I surrender 100% to him. I have seen him getting angry, but I am lucky enough to see how the angry should be (truly his angry was in his face not in heart). The life as ashramite is very tough, it just polishing exercise. Please read, authobiograaphy of other yogi and enlighten, then you will say our guruji is truly compassionate.

    4. AOL is business house: I accept AOL is truly profit oriented organization, we think of numbers, we think of how to generate more fund. But just think, why we are doing these. All the funds goes to charity (I again accept, it difficult to track the utilization of money, but I request you all to become yuvacharya for month or two, then you will wonder from where we are getting these money). If you think AOL course are expensive, I will say teacher have liberty to give discount for genuine cases.

    Dear All, if you think, there is problem with SKY, please do proper medical research and come forward. Do not assume things. If you think, few people are corrupt, lets come and clean.

    All the thing that you have mentioned in the recommended blog, I accept (with some exception). But I am still proud to be associated with AOL, because of guruji, because of SKY, because of Silence. I don’t care who is trustee, I don’t care who is fellow teacher. I will do maximum sadhna, seva and satsang for beautiful society.

    All my views are personal, I appreciate all your effort. And I expect you all to become more responsible and will not just assume things because of few personal experience and bring forward your views to AOL in more rational manner.

    • Anonymous permalink
      April 23, 2012 9:24 am

      Dear Proud teacher,

      Just one question to you, on your statement “it difficult to track the utilization of money”. You need not even answer it publicly in this blog. Just ask it to your own self and please don’t escape from the question. Let this question be in your heart.

      Have you ever seen, any money which reached the Art of Living foundation coming back into any of the service/humanitarian/charity work any time? (other than stipend/pay to yuvacharya/full time teachers – this is not charity, though)

      You mentioned about the schools run by AOL. Have you seen any school, which is running for more than 2/3 years? Has any money been spent by the AOL for any of the schools (other than the one in the Ashram) ?

      • Proud Teacher permalink
        April 23, 2012 3:08 pm

        Dear Anonymous,

        Yep, I know its difficult to track every penny that AOL receive. There are 10000 teacher who takes courses regularly. Most of them receive their course fee in cash. So its going to be difficult for the main ashram which is located at Banglore to keep eyes on every teacher located throughout the globe. Its onus on teacher to give receipt to every participant and deposit the money. Similarly, for expenses we have seva project all over the country through thousands of volunteer, in small village if you made some expenses, can we expect to have receipt of the same.

        Systems are improving now, since last 6 month I have seen big change, now courses are tracked online. Hope as IT infrastructure of the country improves, we will also improve.

        If you know better way of tracking, I want to expect you to join ashram in you vacation and advise us.

        Regarding schools, please visit http://ssrvm.org/. Most of them are in UP, Bihar. For schools outside India, please google.

        Dear, its easy to complain and difficult to resolve. We are doing our best. We expect you all to give you valuable idea.

      • VSS permalink
        April 23, 2012 3:20 pm

        @ Proud Teacher [April 23, 2012 3:08 pm]

        When will you be providing us with the names (and other contact info such as department and board numbers etc.) of doctors in AIIMS who have given feedback on Kriya tapes?

        We want to know what feedback the doctors in AIIMS have given directly from them.

    • VSS permalink
      April 23, 2012 10:14 am

      @ Proud Teacher [April 23, 2012 4:24 am]

      We would all appreciate it very much if you could provide us with the names of the doctors (along with other contact information such as department, board number etc.) in AIIMS who have given feedback about the SK tapes.

      We want to find out the nature of the feedback they gave on the Kriya tapes directly.

    • anonymous permalink
      April 23, 2012 2:35 pm

      I’ve heard Rajshree Patel say that a long time ago, kriya went on for hours and hours, and some of the teachers/volunteers fainted regularly while doing it. So the kriya that we have now is a much condensed and refined version, that Guruji and the volunteers optimized, changing cycles, duration, everything. If this is true, then the kriya practiced now is not the ‘divine revelation’ that came to Guruji anyway. Did you know this? Or was this totally before your time? Or was Rajshree lying? Either way, something is not right.
      It is entirely possible, and even obligatory for an NGO to have a transparent financial structure. I don’t even understand how you can so easily justify saying “it’s not possible to have financial transparency because we are doing so much”.
      There are too many people asking about discrepancies, and pointing the finger back to them saying “you must be doing such and such wrong, and why don’t you be part of the solution” and putting the focus essentially back on them is not going to work. It is the onus of AOL to prove to the world that nothing is wrong with them, and that the allegations on the blog are untrue. Why would I be part of something I no longer believe in, and “try to clean it?” Prove to me you have something genuine, and I might be interested. AOL is the entity with something to lose here, since they are running a business, the bloggers are simply sharing their experiences. I for one don’t even care that much if people believe me or not. Everyone is going to figure it out eventually.

      • VSS permalink
        April 23, 2012 5:01 pm

        @ Proud Teacher [April 23, 2012 3:20 pm]

        http://www.nadanet.org/board.aspx#vinod-kochupillai

        Dr Vinod Kochupillai is the Former Chief of Cancer centre ( IRCH) at AIIMS , New Delhi.

        THIS DOCTOR CAN NO LONGER BE CONTACTED THROUGH AIIMS.

        http://www.aiims.edu/aiims/departments/spcenter/IRCH/Anaesthesia/FacAnae.htm

        The above link tells us who the current head of IRCH is, and it is NOT Dr. Vinod Kochupillai.

        http://sudarshankriyaa.blogspot.in/2010/02/latest-research-on-sudarshan-kriya.html

        The above link records some feedback given by this doctor but please notice that there is no mention of the problems with the Kriya tapes. This could well have been the forum for comprehensively covering the process of arriving at the current version of the Kriya tapes.

        But please read the feedback. It has no mention whatsoever about the feedback that led to three versions of the Kriya tapes. It gives no insight into what the problem was with the first two versions of the Kriya tapes.

        DEAR READERS,

        I DON’T KNOW WHO THIS “PROUD TEACHER” IS BUT THIS PERSON IS AN EXPERT AT TWISTING FACTS. THIS PERSON GAVE ME THE ADDRESS OF A DOCTOR WHO IS SIMPLY NO LONGER THERE AT THAT ADDRESS. THIS PERSON EVEN GOT THE GENDER OF THE DOCTOR WRONG. (Please go and meet “him” said ‘Proud Teacher’.)

        THIS PERSON ALSO CLAIMED THAT THE FEEDBACK WAS FROM AIIMS, BUT IT WASN’T — IT WAS FEEDBACK FROM ONE DOCTOR. THE DOCTOR HAS BEEN GIVEN ADEQUATE WEB SPACE FOR SHARING FEEDBACK REGARDING THE THREE VERSIONS OF THE KRIYA TAPES BUT HAS SIMPLY NOT DONE SO. THIS IS ALL VERY DUBIOUS. PLEASE DO NOT TRUST THIS PERSON. THIS PERSON HAS ALL THE SYMPTOMS OF SEVERE BRAINWASHING.

        PLEASE DO NOT TRUST ANYTHING THAT IS BEING CLAIMED BY THIS PERSON.

        REGARDS,

        VSS

      • Proud Teacher permalink
        April 23, 2012 5:25 pm

        Hello,

        Regarding the financial structure, as organization is becoming more complex, slowly things are coming to place. Since I am teacher, I am in position to comment and receipt side. No donation can be taken in case and no course money can be collected without receipt and course money is supposed to be deposited to bank immediately. I hope things will improve further and so far this area is concerned donation is going to right place and course money is being deposited.

        I know there are loopholes which along with time will be filled. Please keep one thing in mind its 80G Institution and since AOL is supporting anti corruption movement government is against AOL but still we hold 80G status because we are doing our best in transparency and will improve further.

        Regarding AOL tape, the technique is still the same. Since you have done the course, i think you will understand better. Is there any difference between the long kriya and short kriya? Technique remains the same. In three different version of type, only length was changed, such that people comfort level are retained. Hyperventilation, i simply reject that as none of the research have revealed. Please post in blog if you have any research documents.

        JGD

      • The Doctor permalink
        April 23, 2012 7:26 pm

        @Proud Teacher,

        Before making statements such as “Regarding AOL tape, the technique is still the same”, you would do well to actually listen to the various tapes and see what the difference is for yourself.

        I have done this exercise myself with two versions of the tape in order to better understand what exactly was supposed to be going on. It was a very tedious exercise, but it was also very revealing. I thought I would discover some consistency between the two tapes, or at the very least some pattern between the different rounds in just one tape.

        What I actually discovered was far more surprising. For each successive round of Long-Medium-Short, the number of repetitions, the duration each cycle, and hence the breaths per minute is COMPLETELY RANDOM. There is absolutely ZERO CORRELATION to be found across either of the tapes or between the different cycles within each tape. So this begs the question, what on earth actually constitutes kriya? For someone to carry out any rigorous scientific testing whatsoever, how can they do this if they don’t have any concrete definition of the basic experimental parameters?

        As far as I can tell, SKY is simply breathing for a random number of long breath repetitions, followed by a random number of medium breath repetitions, followed by a random number of short breath repetitions, and repeating the whole series of Long-Medium-Short with a different number of repetitions each time.

        It follows that your statement “In three different version of type, only length was changed, such that people comfort level are retained. ” is also FALSE. But please don’t take my word for it. Sit down with the tape that you have and do the counts for yourself. If you have access to more than one tape, even better.

        Once you’ve done it, you’ll see exactly what I mean.

        I have heard people argue on this blog that SKY isn’t hyperventilation because the “long cycles balance out the short cycles”, but frankly having gone through this exercise myself I’ve come to realize that this is complete nonsense.

      • The Seer permalink
        April 23, 2012 5:31 pm

        anonymous said, on April 23, 2012 2:35 pm,

        So the kriya that we have now is a much condensed and refined version, that Guruji and the volunteers optimized, changing cycles, duration, everything. If this is true, then the kriya practiced now is not the ‘divine revelation’ that came to Guruji anyway.

        Yes, exactly. I have practiced long kriya with both the original version and some revised version (not sure which revision) and I can confirm that the later version is of much shorter duration than the original, the number of breathing cycles is reduced. This means the technique has indeed been changed, and it’s not the original divine revelation. Proud Teacher has not answered my question on whether or not SK is a divine revelation.

        It is entirely possible, and even obligatory for an NGO to have a transparent financial structure. I don’t even understand how you can so easily justify saying “it’s not possible to have financial transparency because we are doing so much”.

        I second that.

      • VSS permalink
        April 23, 2012 5:37 pm

        @ anonymous [April 23, 2012 2:35 pm]

        Thank you sharing what you’d heard Rajshree Patel say. And, you’re right, whoever has to figure it out definitely will. I just posted a comment (it has three links so it’s awaiting moderation) and anyone who reads that will be able to figure out what this new character ‘Proud Teacher’ is all about.

        I just don’t understand the arrogance. Why do they have to keep on being abusive? Why don’t they post on their own blog? Why don’t they start a blog that critiques this blog? I’m sure none of us would mind. What’s the point of constantly abusing and blaming anyone who doesn’t agree with them? It seems to me that those who leave AoL can’t actually break their ties because someone will land up and start blaming them all over again. Do they simply not get that the person who left AoL left AoL because of excessive blaming, among other things?

        It seems like everyone in AoL is severely brainwashed. What’s the point of coming to this blog and misbehaving? Maybe they’re too brainwashed to realize what they’re doing. They probably are in dire need of compassion.

      • Dayalu permalink
        April 25, 2012 3:14 am

        Proud teacher,

        I have met and spoken with Dr Vinoda Kochupillai. In the TRM held in Shimla in 2003, in a private conversation she had admitted to me that many people developed hypertension, a few weeks after they started the practice of Sudarshan Kriya.

    • The Seer permalink
      April 23, 2012 3:21 pm

      Proud Teacher,

      It’s not about proving that SK is defective or proving you wrong. The purpose of these discussions is to raise questions so that we all have a better understanding about AoL, SSRS, the techniques, the methods, the practices, financial practices in particular because AoL calls all the money it collects as donations. Now, most of us who raise these questions here tried to ask the questions inside AoL with all good intentions of making AoL better, but AoL directly or indirectly discourages the culture of questioning, so this is a platform for us to freely discuss these issues.

      You yourself admit that there are problems, there are financial loopholes, there are rotten apples, etc…. Have you raised these issues with your senior teachers? If so what’s the answer you got?

      You said,

      To be very frank, there is one video of Guruji in youtube which I don’t like at all, I still wonder why guruji spoke those word. But I surrender 100% to him.

      Why do you have to surrender while the dislike about the video still lingering in your mind? Isn’t it much better to share your dislike with Guruji, or if that’s not possible with your senior teachers, discuss about it, and clear any misunderstandings you might have? Why is it that you are not able to ask the question to people above you in AoL? Do you now see what we are upto?

      You said,

      AOL is business house: I accept AOL is truly profit oriented organization, we think of numbers, we think of how to generate more fund. But just think, why we are doing these. All the funds goes to charity ….

      If AoL is a business house, and everyone knows it is, then why doesn’t it declare itself openly as a for-profit organization? If they can call the money they collect for courses not as ‘donation’, but as ‘course fee’, for that’s what it actually is, nobody cares what AoL does with the money that’s left with them after paying the taxes. It’s because AoL calls all the money as donations and say it all goes to service projects and charity that people are questioning, and people have every right to question because they are donors.

      You said you ‘will do maximum sadhana, seva and satsang for a beautiful society’, I truly appreciate that. But do understand that you can do all that even outside the confines of the Art of Living, and you can do it more effectively outside. Everything in AoL is codified, and there are unwritten rules, if you break or bend the rules even with good intentions you’ll have people with raised eyebrows looking at you. Outside the AoL, there is much more freedom and you can do maximum good to bring forth a beautiful society.

      Please do respond to others who have replied to your comments, but you don’t have to be in a hurry to come up with answers, you don’t have to be defensive or offensive. Take a step back, relax, look at the whole thing objectively and respond. And more importantly ask these questions to yourselves, that’s what we want, we want people to think for themselves.

      • Proud Teacher permalink
        April 23, 2012 5:33 pm

        Hello Seer,

        I will ask you one question, if you have read Gita. Don’t you get confused. Same way many time I get confused.

        Regarding the rotten apple, sometime Guruji forgives and sometime he punish in his own way. In my city, I have bring teachers together and removed conflicts between them. I am doing my job :-).

        Regarding seva outside AOL, yep I have done that. I was with one NGO teaching the roadside student. But I think AOL is better platform for them.

        Here I am not advocating AOL is only way, all of us have our own comfort and our own opinion. Do what suits you. But follow spirituality and do seva, sadhana and satsang. Be it Ram Dev, be it ISKON, be it Yogananda, be it Bipasna.. but do it 🙂

      • VSS permalink
        April 23, 2012 5:53 pm

        @ The Seer [April 23, 2012 3:21 pm]

        What a thoughtful post. You sound like a really kind, sensitive, and, considerate person. However, all your words have landed on severely brainwashed ears — as you can tell. Now, the AoL smiles are also being flashed at you. It’s so tragic.

        This ‘Proud Teacher’ character is particularly delusional. After all the blaming and blaming and blaming, now we shall all be subjected to brainwashed dementia and completely contradictory statements, followed by more instructions.

        Are all AoL teachers as delusional? Do they think they are teachers of the whole world? Do they start pontificating and blaming absolutely anywhere? What is so lethal about AoL’s brainwashing that it’s so effective?

        If I had any doubts about the damaging effects of SK, all I need to do is to read this Proud Teacher’s utterly delusional comments. Why don’t these people not listen to you and take a step back and reflect?

      • The Seer permalink
        April 23, 2012 6:15 pm

        Proud Teacher,

        Yes, I have read the Gita, and I am not confused. If I get confused with Gita or anything, I try to look at the confusion, understand it and get over it, or I ask someone who can clear the confusion, I can’t live with the confusion forever.

        It’s good that you are doing your best despite the constraints of AOL, it’s good you accept there can be seva outside AOL and it’s very good that you don’t advocate AOL is the only way. But not all teachers are like you. I have seen teachers who emphatically state that AOL is the only way.

        See, you can only speak for yourself. Just because you love AOL and you love Guruji, don’t try to justify the loopholes in AOL and try to make it look good. If you really love AOL, go in and at least try to fix the issues, and let us know the results.

      • The Seer permalink
        April 23, 2012 6:47 pm

        @VSS (April 23, 2012 5:53 pm)

        You may say whatever you want about Proud Teacher, but I am happy he/she at least recognizes that there can be seva outside AoL. S/he accepts the possibility that there can be a life beyond the AoL. I still have a few friends who are in that mindset and I am concerned about them, that’s why I post these comments here. Proud Teacher has to be appreciated because he/she is quite prepared to come of their comfort zone and discuss things here single-handedly and without any namecalling. Not many in that position can do that, they will just call anybody who opposes them delusional and quickly get back to their comfort zone.

      • VSS permalink
        April 23, 2012 8:01 pm

        @ The Seer [April 23, 2012 6:47 pm]

        I understand and I sincerely hope that your hopes are not belied. In any case, I’ve already found out what I needed to about ‘Proud Teacher’. I have no intentions of engaging in a conversation with the said person in the future.

  4. Jr. permalink
    April 23, 2012 5:08 am

    Dear Proud Teacher,

    Because you have made an attempt to discuss and answer some concerns without insulting for the most part, I will respond to you with some comments that will hopefully let you understand better the purpose of this blog.

    As you state that it’s impossible for everyone in AOL to be monitored, it’s also impossible for everyone on this blog to share a fair view of the organization. People have varying degrees of experiences and some were left very hurt, while others like myself were just amazed that our minds were taken over by this organization.

    Let me try to answer some of your questions and respond to some of your comments.

    In your response above, you claim ” All the funds goes to charity… ”

    This is far from true. Have you noticed the growing number of new centers the organization is creating? Like the location in Los Angeles that was purchased for millions of dollars? Where does that money come from? Other concerns deal with why the expensive hotels and first class tickets. Also, why are so little of the profits going to the teachers who work so hard?

    It’s easy to see the organization is very money-driven, and even you admit this is true. That is why there is no kriya tape to take home, and why courses are required to have a certain number of students. AOL has really lost sight of the true meaning of spirituality in favor of numbers and money.

    “If you think AOL course are expensive, I will say teacher have liberty to give discount for genuine cases.”

    I can state this was one of my problems with the organization. It’s fine to charge something for a course, but costs have risen a lot over the years. I was with AOL for over 8 years and saw the increase in costs. Sahaj courses used to be $75 dollars. Now they are asking at least $250 in most cases. The advanced courses with SSRS used to be less than $200. Now they want at least $800. Check out the price on the Unpanished course. So much money! It clearly is not aimed at the poor or those on a limited budget. True spirituality does not only belong to the financially lucky.

    “Other thing I request all the people who have had bad experience with the SKY, please meet the senior teacher of AOL and talk to them.”

    I did this, on more than one occasion. I had some friends who are very senior teachers, and they did not know what I should do. I had been practicing Sudarshan Kriya for 8 years. I started experiencing more and more fatigue and negative side effects from the practice. When I stopped doing it, every part of my health improved.

    The truth is, the technique is helpful to some, but extremely harmful to others. Go through this blog and read the article on Sudarshan Kriya and heart problems. That will give you some idea of the countless examples of people who have been harmed by the breathing exercises.

    “But, I would like to ask you a simple question, have you seen any bad or wrong in Guruji or his intention.”

    There are countless examples on this blog and KLIM’s blog about this topic. I would first off ask: isn’t it wrong to be trying to sue a blog because of some criticism? That’s not an intention I would expect from a spiritual being – to try to silence those who someone disagrees with. There was another story where a woman wanted to have a baby but told he he did not want her to have one.

    I encourage you to read this post below. It’s a very honest question a long time teacher asked SSRS, and it will hopefully give you some insight to what the organization is really about. https://aolfree.wordpress.com/2012/03/11/revealing-questions-about-art-of-living-and-sri-sri-ravi-shankar/ There are countless others you should read on this blog and then decide for yourself.

    Most of us of on this blog don’t believe AOL is all bad. I have said several times that I believe Sahaj Samadhi is a good technique and very beneficial, at least for me. The part two courses have some really nice techniques as well. And I can say that most teachers I knew personally, were good people with good intentions.

    Lastly, I encourage you to take a close look at the senior teachers like Bawa and the Swami that went off attaching that bipolar woman. Are these people who are very close to SSRS a good example of what you would expect to see from someone who’s been “on the path” for 20 years?

    I hope this helps, and good luck on your research. The fact you are here, shows you might be open to seeing the bigger, true picture of what is going on in the organization.

    • Proud Teacher permalink
      April 23, 2012 3:29 pm

      Thanks Jr. Sorry I am based out of India so I can’t answer most of your question. I can only comment on What we are doing over here. Whenever anyone approach me saying I cant pay, either I give him option of paying whatever he can or installment.

      Regarding senior teacher, I will say one thing. Even Guruji is here to show path to divine. (Part I, Day 6 last point). Lets not stuck in this small point and grow up in our path for better soceity.

      • Nithin permalink
        April 24, 2012 8:01 am

        Yes all funds to be properly documented, otherwise you will be caught, no BJP support available in foriegn country.
        All money collected in foriegn country are asked to keep it there and send to special projects to india as donation for the projects, and the projects are 1, University, buying land, equipment for the collage, etc..
        So where the F… the money is spending for charity.
        Is it beacasue AOL itself is underpriviledged and poor so spend for owm projects?

    • VSS permalink
      April 23, 2012 6:04 pm

      @ Jr. [April 23, 2012 5:08 am]

      Your post is extremely informative. And, you raise extremely important issues too. There’s so much earnestness in all your words. I am sorry that most of your words have fallen on severely brainwashed ears — as has happened to all of us here. Sadly, there’s little we can do. I suppose ‘Proud Teacher’ is too proud to listen to anything, in addition to being severely brainwashed, of course.

      My guess is that after you guys left AoL, a lot of AoL money was spent on researching and perfecting brainwashing techniques. This research was quite successful. If you read the comments of ‘Proud Teacher’, you’ll have all the evidence of AoL’s successful innovations in brainwashing over the years. This ‘Proud Teacher’, for instance, has now arrived on this blog to ‘teach’ everyone here. Amazing!

      • Jr. permalink
        April 23, 2012 9:36 pm

        Well, Proud Teacher and us may not see eye to eye and that’s fine. I will say for once that it is refreshing to hear someone from AOL post more logical comments on here for once. We rarely get anyone on here from AOL that can be coherent. Also, just the fact that he/she is on this blog means this person is at least exploring other points of view about the organization – which is good.

        I hope Proud Teacher does stick around and answer some of the questions. It might open the doors for a health debate, which rarely happens on this blog.

    • Venkatesh permalink
      April 24, 2012 3:21 am

      Dear Proud teacher,

      The reference you have given of Dr Vinod Kucchupillai is not correct. It is Dr Vinoda Kucchupillai who is a lady and not a him. She is no longer with AIIMS.
      Please get your facts right.
      If AOL teachers cannot get the facts of the researcher right I wonder about the quality of research done there and wonder how much we can trust the out come of the results.

      • Harshal permalink
        April 24, 2012 8:33 am

        be careful before commenting on any work published on NIH/NCBI. All these are peer reviewed papers and commenting on these in this manner and questioning the integrity of these researchers can easily pull your balls in the court of law.

      • Hari permalink
        April 24, 2012 1:10 pm

        dear Harshal,
        I don’t know if you know how peer reviewed papers “really applies” to everyday situation! for e.g., a promising drug or cure for a serious disease, that is “pathbreaking” discovery, that gets published in Nature or Science, might get realized for the actual applicability to the human disease, after say atleast 15 yrs of further work only… and the probability of this “pathbreaking discovery” making it to pharma market is 0.1 out of 1000000…. and the Sudarshan Kriya paper research done in AIIMS… well, the paper as such is joke… neither does it have anything significant to create ripples, nor does it conclude that, sudarshan kriya is next only to the discovery of “plutonium”… that is why it got into a journal, that does not even matter or real scientists bother to take a look… that is why they term it as “impact factor” of a journal or publication… and NCBI is a mere database… and does not “endorse” the paper… anybody can publish anything “scientific” in any journal… it can be even observation of the types of flies that is commonly found in a dumpster or garbage… there would be journals that would gobble up happily… but, is it significant? i would put the AIIMS paper on SKY in that league!

      • Hari permalink
        April 24, 2012 1:20 pm

        The impact factor of Journal of Affective Disorders is 3.7. More FYI here in this link – http://www2.lib.udel.edu/colldev/impact.htm
        Poor Harshal… before talking about journal papers, tell me that one discovery from a journal paper that you saw recently and that had immediate impact on human life!

      • April 25, 2012 6:13 am

        “All these are peer reviewed papers and commenting on these in this manner and questioning the integrity of these researchers can easily pull your balls in the court of law.”

        This might be the worst attempt of fear mongering I’ve seen in months.

      • VSS permalink
        April 25, 2012 8:17 am

        @ Hari

        Thanks a lot for putting things in perspective — for all of us who are reading. I think misleading people in the name of scientific research is not justifiable. The truth behind the research, it’s weight in the scientific world, and, the content of the research, should not be lied about.

        Having said that, I still haven’t got an answer to the question of whether or not SK is a “Divine Revelation”. If it is, then what is it doing in any Scientific Journal? If it’s not, then why can’t information about side effects be actively invited, recorded, studied etc. etc.?

        The question really is whether or not SK is a Divine Revelation which is meant to be a mystery to mere mortals like me or not.

        If it’s meant to be a mystery, then it’s meant to be a mystery. What’s the harm in saying so clearly?

        If it’s a scientific phenomenon, then what’s with the secrecy? Just as pharmaceutical companies have copyrighted medicines specifically invented in their research facilities but have shared the formula with others, AoL can do the same with SK. They have their copyright in place and know that no one else will be able to teach it. So, what’s the big deal?

        Why is Mr. Ravi Shankar so paranoid? With so many followers in so many countries, is he afraid of a copyright violation? He shouldn’t be. After all, the American Judiciary did uphold his right to copyright, didn’t it? So, aren’t his fears and insecurity completely unwarranted? What is he so afraid of? Why doesn’t he come clean in front of the entire scientific community all over the world? What is it that is stressing him out so badly? Does he not think that the sharpest minds in the world will be convinced? Has he tried in the last 31 years to communicate his perspective? What’s really going on?

        Further, if SK is indeed a cure to various ailments as is claimed by AoL, then in over 31 years, it should be in the curriculum of those who are studying medicine, all over the world, shouldn’t it?

        It should’ve been accepted by the entire scientific community all over the world and incorporated as an active element of treatment in each and every hospital — rural and urban. Then there would be no debate or discussion about it, right? After all, people who accept paracetamol have the potential to accept anything which has “medicinal value”.

        Isn’t 31 years a long time to communicate the scientific authenticity of SK to the entire scientific community? If it can be explained, then it ought to have been explained by now. If it can’t be explained, then what’s the harm in simply saying that it can’t be explained to anybody?

        So, the question is, does anyone know if SK is a Divine Revelation or not?

        Is it meant to be a mystery to mere mortals or not?

        It’s a simple question.

        Does anyone have the answer to it?

        Anyone?

      • VSS permalink
        April 25, 2012 1:14 pm

        @ Jr [April 25, 2012 6:13 am]

        So true. I agree. And, it’s more saddening than frightening. It’s heartbreaking to watch Harshal’s peace of mind disintegrating and crumbling thus. I so hope he is able to find peace soon.

  5. VSS permalink
    April 23, 2012 6:16 am

    Oh! What do we have here?

    EXTRACTS FROM THE PROUD TEACHER’S COMMENTS:

    > It because participant were not able to follow properly.

    > How can anyone manage such is complex structure with 10000 teacher across the globe.

    > “The one who have taken the pledge of taking the responsibility of the society are not taking the responsibility of themselves”. Have you volunteered few course and co teach few courses after becoming teacher? Were you doing you sadhana regularly and before taking courses? Were you listening to knowledge after becoming the teacher?

    > Guys if you have problem with these people take pledge lets come and clean them, but don’t have aversion for entire organization. Organization is doing good job (in India outside India I don’t know) so don’t blame entire organization because of few people. (Do you leave your country just because few people are corrupt or bad or you face problem or take responsibility to clean the country).

    > Isn’t bible conflicting, Isn’t Bhagavad Gita conflciting, Isn’t Quaran conflicting. Have we rejected this holy book just beacause its conflicting. To be very frank, there is one video of Guruji in youtube which I don’t like at all, I still wonder why guruji spoke those word. But I surrender 100% to him. I have seen him getting angry, but I am lucky enough to see how the angry should be (truly his angry was in his face not in heart).

    MY OBSERVATIONS ON THE ABOVE:

    The blame game continues — replete with rage, cynicism, bitterness, and, talking down. I cannot help but wonder if all teachers in AoL are like this. Are they so full of venom? Are they this stressed out? Is a mere blog with mere words on it all it takes for them to lash out? And, why should anybody “surrender 100%” to any human being? Pray why? Is it good for an individual? Is it good for the individual one is surrendering to?

    ANOTHER EXTRACT FROM THE PROUD TEACHER’S COMMENT:

    AOL is business house: I accept AOL is truly profit oriented organization, we think of numbers, we think of how to generate more fund. But just think, why we are doing these. All the funds goes to charity (I again accept, it difficult to track the utilization of money, but I request you all to become yuvacharya for month or two, then you will wonder from where we are getting these money). If you think AOL course are expensive, I will say teacher have liberty to give discount for genuine cases.

    MY OBSERVATIONS ON THE ABOVE:

    And, here comes the classic brainwashed AoL-inflicted incoherence. Contradictions reign here — from “truly profit” — the oscillation goes to “charity” — talk about absolute extremes. This is utter nonsense at its inglorious best.

    YET ANOTHER EXTRACT FROM THE PROUD TEACHER’S COMMENT:

    Dear All, if you think, there is problem with SKY, please do proper medical research and come forward. Do not assume things. If you think, few people are corrupt, lets come and clean.

    MY OBSERVATIONS ON THE ABOVE:

    Hello? Teacher? You listenin’? Why should others do research on SKY? Is it that high? AoL should do research on SKY because AoL is recommending it. AoL should provide date — regularly — on the side effects, on the connection between prior medical conditions and side-effects, and, on any other factors that might need to be taken into consideration. Is AoL not recording this data? Is AoL not collecting and recording feedback? Is it not updating its records? How unscientific is that!

    AND ANOTHER EXTRACT FROM THE PROUD TEACHER’S COMMENT:

    But I am still proud to be associated with AOL, because of guruji, because of SKY, because of Silence. I don’t care who is trustee, I don’t care who is fellow teacher. I will do maximum sadhna, seva and satsang for beautiful society.

    MY OBSERVATIONS ON THE ABOVE:

    Dear teacher, are trustees and fellow teachers not part of the beautiful society you speak of? Exactly why is it that you don’t care for them? Do they infuriate you? Does their existence bother you so much that the only way you can deal with them is with an “I don’t care” attitude? What did they do to you?

    AND HERE’S THE BEST EXTRACT OF ‘EM ALL:

    And I expect you all to become more responsible and will not just assume things because of few personal experience and bring forward your views to AOL in more rational manner.

    MY OBSERVATIONS ON THE ABOVE:

    Oh! After you vent your rage — blaming everyone for what they think — over and over again — you want them to express their views in a rational manner? Pray why? And, why after you justify everything from profit, philosophical contradictions, Mr. Ravi Shankar’s temper (which you see on his face and not in his heart because you can, of course, see his heart too), rotten apples etc. etc.?

    May I ask what your aversion to this blog is about? Why do you think that you can be averse to this blog but people can’t be averse to AoL because they had a bad experience with AoL? Why shouldn’t people be averse to something that harmed them? Why should AoL’s definition of legitimate aversion apply to people who have left AoL? Can people not leave AoL even after they’ve left AoL? Is Mr. Ravi Shankar the owner of all human beings who ever joined AoL?

    At the end of the day, what’s your best argument — good intentions ?

    Well, the wise often say that even the road to hell was paved with good intentions.

    Have you got any other “rational” argument or will you be venting your temper again on this blog?

    Oh, but wait, I think I know the answer to that question.

    • Proud Teacher permalink
      April 23, 2012 4:04 pm

      Dear VSS, You are most welcome to see all negatives things. Sorry If there is any bitterness in my wording, my intention is pure. I don’t have any anger against any one of you. I stand by my words but with due respect to all. I have read most of you blog.

      So for participant not able to follow, I have given my own example. For large org I have mentioned above also. For profitable organization comment, yes while generating the revenue we behave like business man but all the revenue generated goes for charity. So far SKY research about, I have mentioned one of my reply to Patanjali Yog Sutras and you can see in one of the above link.

      Dear we can keep fighting … But one thing I can assure you. I can link myself to all of you. If you say you have bad with AOL teachers, I have worst experience with AOL teachers. But I know I am here to follow Guruji and to serve society. You have mentioned why I don’t care about teacher. If I care about them, I will react not repond. In matter of few months of being teacher, I have virtually ended politics among teacher.

      Thanks dude.. lets have proper question and answer lets end bitter.. I am not against you all.. I have faced the similar situation like all of you but my faith was strong that’s why I continued in path of spirituality ( I refrain from using AOL, coz I want you to be in spirituality if not in AOL) ..

      • VSS permalink
        April 23, 2012 4:12 pm

        @ Proud Teacher [April 23, 2012 4:04 pm]

        This is the third time I am requesting you — could you please provide all of us with the names and departments of the doctors in AIIMS who have provided feedback on the Kriya tapes?

        We want to know directly from them what their feedback is. The best way to resolve any confusion is with authentic information. So, please, I’m requesting you for the fourth time — if your claim is true, could you please provide us with the names and departments of the doctors in AIIMS who have given feedback on the Kriya tapes?

        First, let’s ascertain exactly what they said — straight from them. And, then we can discuss the feedback. I know quite a few doctors in AIIMS. As soon as you tell me the name and departments, I’ll ask those doctors to connect with the doctors you name and ask those who have provided feedback on Kriya tapes to post directly on this blog. All the readers will know the truth about exactly what their feedback is about the Kriya tapes.

      • Anonymous permalink
        April 23, 2012 5:27 pm

        @ Proud Teacher.

        It seems you are a Die – Hard AOL Teacher.

        Can you pls publish your Annunal Financial Report to prove urself whatever u r doing is charity ?

  6. stupidseeker permalink
    April 23, 2012 7:57 am

    IMHO “The Seer” has indeed raised a very valid point in response to “The proud teachers” assertion that the SKY was revamped no less than 3 times in order to make it more safe for all. Wouldn’t this repeated revamping fly in the face of HHSSRS’s claim that the SKY was a divine revelation ??

    • VSS permalink
      April 23, 2012 10:09 am

      @ stupidseeker [April 23, 2012 7:57 am]

      THE PROUD TEACHER SAID THE FOLLOWING:

      Change of tapes: I accept that tape have been changed thrice. Its not because technique had the problem. It because participant were not able to follow properly. AIIMS have recommended the AOL during its very first version.

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

      It means AIIMS doctors “got” SK from the first version of the tapes. There was no problem with the revelation. The problem was that Mr. Ravi Shankar just doesn’t know how to teach it to people who don’t have the same prior knowledge as AIIMS doctors. I’m sure you know that out of lakhs and lakhs that appear for the AIIMS entrance exam, only 30 or so make it to AIIMS each year. Those people “get” the divine revelation. They have the required IQ to “get” it.

      But others, who are probably more like the lakhs and lakhs who don’t make it to AIIMS, don’t “get” it. Who’s fault is it? When a teacher who is supposed to teach a student something but is unable to, who is responsible? In the real world, the teacher is responsible. One would say that the teacher has the ability to learn but does not have the ability to teach. Now, imagine the exact opposite of this to know what happens in AoL. In AoL, the student is blamed. It is the student’s fault if a student doesn’t “get” a divine revelation right.

      Also, if doctors from AIIMs say that Mr. Ravi Shankar doesn’t know how to teach, he will learn. But, if non-AIIMs doctors say that Mr. Ravi Shankar doesn’t know how to teach, he will not learn. What is so special about the doctors in AIIMS, you may wonder? I do too. I’d like to know precisely what feedback it is that they communicated.

      Does anyone who is reading know the names of these doctors from AIIMS who gave AoL feedback on the Kriya tapes? Could you please provide them to the rest of us so that we may clear our doubts directly? Thank you.

      • Proud Teacher permalink
        April 23, 2012 4:08 pm

        Dear VSS,

        Please don’t misinterpret what I have said. There are other research also you can follow those link, AIIMS is just an example and doctor name is mentioned above also.

        I have not blamed the student.

      • VSS permalink
        April 23, 2012 4:20 pm

        @ Proud Teacher [April 23, 2012 4:08 pm]

        What are you saying? All your comments are full of blame, cynicism, and utter bitterness. You go on and on and on and on blaming everyone on this blog. Are you seriously not able to see that? Please read your own comments again. I think you’re not paying any attention to what you’re reading and writing. You have expertise in blaming. Ever since you landed up on this blog, all you’ve done is blame everyone here. Take it easy, dude. You just blamed me as well, in case you didn’t notice. Please take responsibility for what you’ve said. This is not AoL. You’re not a teacher here who can bully the hell out of everyone. Wake up, sunshine!

  7. Nithin permalink
    April 23, 2012 8:08 am

    Divinity in the form of Guru is safe..
    Guru in the form of Divine is not safe…

    • Proud Teacher permalink
      April 23, 2012 4:09 pm

      Thanks Nithin.. Day 6 of Part I talks about it and its even there in one talk to guruji.

      • Anonymous permalink
        April 23, 2012 5:31 pm

        Whats Donation amount ? How many participants you brought by telling lies and lies only ? I am sure you havent involved any single poor participants into it. Dont you ?

  8. VSS permalink
    April 23, 2012 3:33 pm

    DEAR READERS,

    IF YOU HAVE INFORMATION ABOUT THE DOCTORS IN AIIMS WHO HAVE GIVEN FEEDBACK ABOUT THE KRIYA TAPES, PLEASE PROVIDE THE NAMES OF THE DOCTORS IN AIIMS ALONG WITH THEIR DEPARTMENTS.

    IF THIS CLAIM ABOUT AIIMS DOCTORS IS A LIE, THEN PLEASE DISREGARD ALL THE SPURIOUS CLAIMS MADE BY “PROUD TEACHER”.

    THANKS,

    – VSS

    • Proud Teacher permalink
      April 23, 2012 4:17 pm

      Dear VSS.. sorry I was not able to answer you question when you have asked for the first time that’s why you have to ask three times. Next time onward will try to answer as early as possible. I will like to listen from you. You can see the answer to above question in my previous reply.

      Hey to be very frank, I have seen many similarity between all of you and one of participant. She questions like you .. After days of my effort, she is doing SKY regularly and listening to Guruji tape.

      As sincere request to all, read Bible, Quaran and Gita… follow spirituality.. Remember part I course point, it will settle your mind.

      And if you seriously have some health issue, come to ashram and meet us.. I am not saying this for AOL, not for you, for the society..

    • Proud Teacher permalink
      April 23, 2012 4:40 pm

      Dear VSS,

      I am reading KLIM blog. Nice experience sharing.. will complete that.. But I like the most about her she is still doing the seva (service).. I know one day she will read the knowledge and do sadhana….. we should have emotion and intellect.. I appreciate you all lets have health conversation..

      • Anonymous permalink
        April 23, 2012 5:32 pm

        If you think you are too positive then us can you please share your real identity on this blog ?

      • VSS permalink
        April 23, 2012 7:26 pm

        @ Proud Teacher [April 23, 2012 4:40 pm]

        https://aolfree.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/how-can-a-divine-revelation-be-defective/#comment-11142

        I wish you well. I sincerely hope that you are able to see through the severe brainwashing that you are being subjected to. I have not judged you for being on a blaming binge and for all else that you’ve said and assumed. I’ll pray for you every day. The only option you have to be able to detect and diagnose what’s happened to you is by reading about brainwashing and seeing in the privacy of your own space if you have any symptoms. Try and discuss your findings with someone you know — someone who you meet and interact with who is not in AoL — someone who is objective — face to face.

        Reading this blog or Klim’s blog won’t help you. I’m fairly certain of that because your mind is severely prejudiced owing to severe brainwashing. Still, if you want to, feel free to.

        The most important part of spiritual abuse through brainwashing is thought and information control. The only way you can test your mind is by seeking more information. The only way you can seek more information is by reading about religious cults and how they operate. Read things written by people who do not know about AoL but have still written about the prototypical characteristics of a cult — eminent scholars from renowned universities.

        Remember not to blame yourself. What’s happened to you could have happened to absolutely anyone.

        Good Luck and Happy Reading!

      • Dayalu permalink
        April 25, 2012 4:14 pm

        Proud teacher, how did you conclude that KLIM is female? Appears you are toeing to the official AOL line in KLIM’s identity, which is obviously wrong!

  9. Proud Teacher permalink
    April 23, 2012 5:35 pm

    Since there are same question at many place.. reposting the below

    Dr. Vinod Kochupillai

    Chief, Institute Rotary Cancer Hospital,

    All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi -110029

    Please meet him.

    Dear VSS,

    Its easy to find the research document in google, please read those.

    http://www.aolresearch.org/

    http://www.sudarshankriya.net/default.aspx?pg=16ac1dc2-a9d6-4c26-9e7e-e68b65d3b612

    http://www.sudarshankriya.net/default.aspx?pg=ede0c99f-8252-45c1-88bf-22724ee19343

    As a due respect to you all, I have also searched in net for any reference of hypentilation to sudharshan kriya. I have found one docs on that. And it is talking positive only.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10708840.

    I would appreciate, if anyone of you who have faced the problem due to SKY. Please approach senior teacher to verify whether you are doing correctly or not. If he say yes and you are still facing the problem, please approach, medical research center to prove SKY also have side effects.

    • Anonymous permalink
      April 25, 2012 3:13 am

      Seems like you have never seen Dr Vinod Kochupillai. You please meet her first.

    • @anonymous permalink
      April 29, 2012 6:41 pm

      @proud teacher
      get your facts right , it is DR VINODA KUCCHIPILLAI . She is a lady .
      Somehow I get the feeling that you are a ardent AOL chela who is posing as though you are in favour of comments on this blog.

  10. The Seer permalink
    April 23, 2012 5:52 pm

    Talking about Sudarshan Kriya, I found acomment posted in an earlier post in this blog by Ranga, an ex Aol teacher. I reproduce the comment here for the sake of convenience of the readers.

    [ Comment by Ranga on September 9, 2010 6:02 am]

    Thanks for the comments by AOL teacher. I was a teacher of AOL for six years. Apart from the list of ill effects of Sudarshan Kriya mentioned by you, there are several more I have evidenced.

    SK creates heat in the body just like any other energizing pranyama like Bhastrika or Kapalbhati, this has led to boils and tumors in many people. The standard AOL teacher response to this is that it is a purification process, however the reality is it is an imbalance in the doshas (created by SK). It is not suitable for all. There are several other ill effects I have evidenced. I know one lady who got a very bad skin condition due to SK. It stopped after she stopped practising. SK is beneficial for only some people. I have seen people becoming extremely lethargic and putting on unhealthy weight because of SK. Alternatively I have also seen people becoming highly energetic and unearthly and spaced out. SK is not some magic wand. And it is also not breathing in natural rhythms of the body as advertised. There is no such thing as that. Any external breathing through force is unnatural. I have witnessed that even Ravishankar doesn’t have a clue when something bad happens to the people who practice techniques taught in AOL.

    In my experience as a teacher and also observing the students taught by other teachers including ravishankar – I have found that more than 95% of people stop doing SK after the first few weeks. This I have learned is due to their innate bodily intelligence and their natural rhythms which has discarded the practice of SK as unnatural.

    I personally know long time teachers and functionaries in AOL who have stopped practising Sudarshan Kriya as they have found it harmful to them. They now practise the traditional yogas as in suryanamskars, pranyama, sri sri yoga and padmasadhana. But they still preach and teach SK because that is the trademark product of AOL.

    The unfortunate people are those who get carried away by all the propoganda and practise things which do not suit them. These people do a great degree of damage to themselves. I hold AOL people as culprits for these people as they have done little to warn these people of the contra indications and ill effects of sudarshan kriya. Check out any good yoga teacher or school, they always highlight the pros and cons of the kriyas and yogas they teach. They customize the practise to the needs of their students. Bihar School of Yoga, Krishnamacharya or Iyengar – they have a huge repository of techniques suiting differing needs. Osho Rajneesh devised many meditation techniques to suit needs of different people. He warned people to drop things if it is not working for them. However in AOL it is different. They are more intrested in brand building and blind unintelligent dogmatic acceptance. This I beleive is not the spirit of yoga at all.

    Proud Teacher, please let us know what you think about that.

  11. April 23, 2012 6:28 pm

    @VSS Monday, April 23, 2012 1:37 PM
    one has to recognize attempt to answer your question. when a person puts forth his/her views – it is only natural for others to retort.
    now saying ‘why dont they post on their own blog’ is like going in circles. dont you think so.

  12. visitor permalink
    April 23, 2012 7:37 pm

    its all our interpretations….you can interpret any night dream has heveanly reveleation…and the SKY is quite complex to recreate from the memory of a dream…i want to cry out loud for so much ignorance in people….to me SSRS himself seems to be dilusioned…and all these folowes having faith in him….hope they remain in a happy dream tilll the end of their lives. it is not too difficult…we humans have managed to remain in a hopeful dilusion long after our gods and saints are dead.
    we need delusions, we love miracles, we want them to exist, or we create one…gods, gurus…all out of our needs..
    if a hallocination drug can keep you smiling for the rest of your life, why not take it..
    being brutally honest and clear what the hell life has to offer anyway to most of us…?

    • VSS permalink
      April 24, 2012 6:14 pm

      life offers opportunities
      to each one of us
      to bask in the glory of the truth
      and of love
      and nature too

      to cherish all there is
      from butterflies to berries
      from great weather to great journeys

      life is a chance to share pain
      with those who are grieving
      to offer solace
      to wish for relief
      to pray
      and to worship
      purity

      to comfort
      and
      to treasure ravishing memories

      life is the celebration of life
      until the last day of life
      that very last moment

      life is a joy
      a treasure
      a lesson to be learnt
      and a string of shared moments
      that chisel personal history
      into a personal masterpiece

      if we’re lucky
      life is a reason to be inspired
      to inspire too
      it’s about giving generously
      and receiving graciously

      life is for experiencing
      the grandeur of gratitude
      without which
      no soul
      no heart
      no mind
      no song
      can play like music

      life is about dancing
      with children
      and biting into chocolates
      oh and about trying
      all flavours of ice cream

      life is about art and artists
      that perfect song
      that perfect film
      that perfect symphony
      that perfect fan moment

      life is about cricket
      about sweet world cup wins
      about a 100 hundreds
      that spell true bliss

      life is about healing
      from the broken pieces of failure
      and about striving
      for a lasting resilience
      and a lasting piece

      life is about the pursuit of excellence
      in any and everything

      oh, i could go on and on about life
      for years and years and years

      the more i live
      the more i live

      the more i give
      the more i live

      the more gratitude i feel
      the more i heal

      a mere mortal am i
      but life to me is the most precious
      and the most divine gift

      i wish you the love of life
      and a life of love

      i wish you all the hues
      the blues
      the oranges
      the reds
      the browns
      and of course
      the greens

      in nature is life
      in its perfect beings
      to be one with life
      and with nature
      is life’s prose
      and its poetry

      the universe
      is everyone’s verse

      magical
      miraculous
      and just a little crazy

      Happy living, dear visitor ! 🙂

  13. VSS permalink
    April 24, 2012 9:06 am

    Before we consume any medication, it’s a good idea to find answers to the questions listed here:

    http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/ucm079480.htm#QUESTION GUIDE

    Question Guide

    Use this guide to gather the information you need to know from your health care team.

    What are the brand and generic names of the medicine?

    Can I use a generic form?

    What is the medicine for and what effect should I expect?

    Does this drug replace any other medicine I have been using?

    How and when will I use it, what amount will I use, and for how long?

    What do I do if I miss a dose?

    Should I avoid any other medicines, (prescription or over-the-counter), dietary supplements, drinks, foods or activities while using this drug?

    When should I notice a difference or improvement?

    When should I report back to the team?

    Will I need to have any testing to monitor this drug’s effects?

    Can this medicine be used safely with all my other medications and therapies?

    Could there be interactions?

    What are the possible side effects?

    What do I do if a side effect occurs?

    How and where do I store this medicine?

    Where and how can I get written information about this medicine?

    What other sources of information can I use to make my decision?

    If SK is projected as having some sort of “medicinal value” perhaps akin to a “tonic” that addresses not one but several health issues and ensures “general well-being”, then, I would imagine, that more than 50% of the above questions would apply to SK as well.

    However, what I am unable to comprehend about SK is — is it a “Divine Revelation” that is meant to be “inexplicable” to a mere mortal like me? I need clarity on whether or not it is — by design — meant to be beyond my comprehension. If it’s a Divine Revelation, how can a mere mortal like me comprehend it? What exactly is the position of AoL on SK? Can mere mortals comprehend it or not? Does anyone know?

    If it’s a Divine Revelation, then why doesn’t AoL’s site simply say it’s a Divine Revelation that mere mortals can’t comprehend.

    If it’s not a Divine Revelation, then why doesn’t AoL’s site simply provide all the relevant information on the relevant questions in the above list — especially about all known side effects so far reported by SK practitioners?

    What is the big deal in listing side effects clearly on the main AoL website, as well as, in allowing practitioners to openly report new side-effects?

    Has anyone ever heard of a pharmaceutical company that invented a medicine only for purchase by its employees or share-holders?

    What is the standard practice followed by pharmaceutical companies?

    When a pharmaceutical company produces a new medicine which is not attributable to any “Divine Revelation”, the company tests the medicine, studies its impact over a period of time, lists the side effects clearly, etc. etc., and then submits the same for government approval. Then, a team of experts appointed by the government verifies the claims of the pharmaceutical company, and, if they are found to be accurate, the medicine is certified for sale to any and everybody.

    Something which is a “Divine Revelation” cannot be subjected — by design — to similar scrutiny by mere mortals including government-appointed experts.

    So, the question really is — is SK a Divine Revelation — or not ?

    • Anonymous permalink
      April 24, 2012 3:50 pm

      @ ALL,

      I doubt Proud Teacher might be the the Harshi after Punarnava Course on this Blog.

      Seems very positive about all of us here now.

  14. Harshal permalink
    April 24, 2012 1:34 pm

    “The impact factor of Journal of Affective Disorders is 3.7”

    That is actually a pretty good impact factor.

    This just tells me that you have no experience of publishing. Once again just a case of opening the mouth and shitting wherever you feel like. …make sure that you flush and clean your mouth before you do that again.

    I suggest you do what Burnt bitch has been telling to do on this blog…read about impact factors.

    • VSS permalink
      April 25, 2012 12:55 pm

      @ Harshal [April 24, 2012 1:34 pm]

      What is the point of abusive ? Do you really think anyone takes you seriously ? Everyone just feels sad for you. You seem extremely depressed and upset — not to speak of enraged and self-destructive. You never play any constructive role. It’s really sad to see you disintegrate like this. Please take care of yourself and your peace of mind.

      By your own admission, the Impact Factor of “3.7” is only “pretty good”.

      Everyone knows that in over 31 years, SK has not made it to the curriculum of those who are studying medicine and has not made it to all hospitals.

      Besides, where is the answer to the question about whether it’s a Divine Revelation or not. If it is, then what is it doing in scientific journals? How can mere mortals understand it no matter how hard they try? Either it’s something only the enlightened can comprehend or it’s something that everyone can understand. Where is the answer to this question?

      I would appreciate it very much if you can direct me to a link that answers this question clearly.

      Readers, if you wish to know more about how the Impact Factor is calculated, please feel free to visit the following link:

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

      It’ll tell you both about how the Impact Factor is calculated as well as the problems with it. Please take a look and decide independently. None of us has a problem with whatever you decide.

    • Hari permalink
      April 25, 2012 1:11 pm

      FYI Harshal… I have a PhD and I work for BMS 🙂

      • Harshal permalink
        April 25, 2012 7:31 pm

        “I have a PhD and I work for BMS”

        It just means that you are good in copy pasting a few things from here and there.

        Think about a few things- what is the general heritability of drug response? How much is known about the heritability of side-effects of commonly used medications and how much of the known heritability is used to make informed decision about who gets and doesn’t get a drug? What is the effect of commonly used anti-hypertensives or anti-diabetics or anti-lipid in terms of absolute reduction in BP or blood sugar or lipids and is there a conclusive evidence that most of these reduce mortality? Why is it that most of the research is focussed on symptomatic relief in various ailments and almost none on finding a cure?

        Dont answer these questions. Because I know the answers. Just tell me why is it that you are not blogging about BMS and other pharmas? I think I know the answer to this as well. One, those companies are too powerful and two you will lose your job.

        “You never play any constructive role”

        I don’t want to. I come here for entertainment. You come here for entertainment too. Just that you cant admit it.

      • VSS permalink
        April 26, 2012 1:32 pm

        @ Hari [April 25, 2012 1:11 pm]

        Here are two links that you might find insightful:

        https://aolfree.wordpress.com/2011/03/05/is-sudarshan-kriya-safe/#comment-11266

        https://aolfree.wordpress.com/2011/03/05/is-sudarshan-kriya-safe/

        Here’s an extract from the above link:

        “One Art of Living devotee posted a link on this blog (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10708840 ) detailing some very rudimentary medical research which had been done on SK to treat depression. The Abstract of that report clearly states that “Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY) is a procedure that involves essentially rhythmic hyperventilation at different rates of breathing.” So clearly this confirms that it is in actual fact a type of hyperventilation.

        The effects and dangers of hyperventilation are well-known and well-documented, so why aren’t Art of Living making any effort to warn the public of the dangers of practicing hyperventilation? Why is it in fact that many teachers go so far as to deny that Sudarshan Kriya even is a form of hyperventilation?”

  15. Anonymous permalink
    April 24, 2012 3:04 pm

    @VSS

    “So, the question really is — is SK a Divine Revelation — or not ?”

    That SK is a divine revelation is a lie like RS’ advanced degree in Physics.
    This lie is to ensure that people consider it divine and not scruitinize.
    He appears to have compiled it from different sources/techniques.

    While there may be short term benefits, it appears to be harmful if SK is done on long term basis.

    • VSS permalink
      April 25, 2012 1:51 pm

      @ Anonymous [April 24, 2012 3:04 pm]

      Thank you for the insight. This could well be the reason why those who claim it’s a Divine Revelation claim so.

      It’s just truly sad that Mr. Ravi Shankar is not being forthright and straightforward.

      If he thinks he is “the chosen one” by God for “Divine Revelations”, why doesn’t he say so clearly?

      If he’s not, why doesn’t he say so clearly?

      If he truly believes he is an avatar of this or that God, he should say so with conviction.

      If he’s not, he should clearly say so and ban everyone who says otherwise from saying that.

      What is the point in unnecessarily confusing people?

      The reason why AoL is not growing as fast as it can and the number of people who return to it after the first course is hopelessly low is because of confusion.

      Why can’t they just take a stand?

      Is he or he not an avatar of God?

      What is his stand on his own divine status? What is AoL’s stand on his divine status?

      • VSS permalink
        April 25, 2012 3:23 pm

        @ Anonymous [April 24, 2012 3:04 pm]

        Another thing just struck me — why is it that the Gods blessed him with only one Divine Revelation ?

        If he is such a worthy candidate to receive Divine Revelations, why did the Gods stop with just one ?

        Did they not like the way he treated the first Divine Revelation ?

        Were they expecting that he would not sell it and were disappointed when he started selling it ?

        It doesn’t make any sense.

        In over 31 years, there should have been at least 31 Divine Revelations at the rate of one a year.

        There’s something more to all of this.

        So, we all must know, is he an avatar of God, according to himself, or not?

        If he’s not, then why does he allow anyone else to say so and mislead people?

        Why doesn’t he say he is a scientist who came up with a scientific technique for solving health problems?

        What’s wrong with being a scientist?

        If he is an avatar of God, then why does he not say so himself?

        If he is, then he has the backing of God, right?

        What more can anyone want to speak with conviction?

        What is he so scared of?

        What’s the worst that can happen?

        Some mere mortals will say they don’t believe him.

        So what?

        Mere mortals are mere mortals because they don’t have Divine Intelligence.

        If they did, they wouldn’t be mere mortals now, would they?

        It’s time Mr. Ravi Shankar organized a Press Conference and announced the truth about his divine status. There’s no point in keeping people in the dark. It serves no purpose. In fact, it only creates confusion.

    • Anonymous permalink
      April 27, 2012 2:19 am

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10708840
      “Within the limitations of the design (lack of double blind conditions), it can be concluded that, although inferior to ECT, SKY can be a potential alternative to drugs in melancholia as a first line treatment”

      Actually SKY suits unhealthy people when used for smaller time periods. It is harmful for healthy people and harmful for everyone in the long run.

  16. Doubtful guy permalink
    April 24, 2012 3:15 pm

    We also do not the benefits we get out of are through SK. If you do any Yoga practices on a daily basis all the health benefits will come .I like AOL in one way it gave an opportunity go into true self enquiry which in not normally possible for an ordinary man unless he is given some basic knowledge about spirituality. Later one has to go on his own without hooking to an AOL

  17. Tahir-ul-Qadri permalink
    April 25, 2012 1:24 pm

    SK is a remarkable process and there is no denying of the fact that its practice brought in a lot of benefits to many. At the same time , one should also not deny the fact that AOL is a business organization that uses innovative ways to make money by selling courses to people. Many of these innovative business practices were applauded and criticized in blogs like these.

    SSRS is a human being and at times people who criticize him sometimes tend to forget that aspect. He has some great good qualities and bad qualities , like any other human being. Everyone of us do have our share of goodness and faults.

    I hope that rather than blindly tarnishing SSRS, this blog focus on creating a humane perspective of this organization. I do know that there were some people who were trying to do that. But more often , like this person who initiated this topic , the intention seems to be somehow tarnish him. Although the topic starter wanted to sound logical and wants all of us to believe so, I would like to know his take on what his understanding on “divine revelations” are.

    SK might be SSRS’s perception of divine revelation. Infact many of the divinely scriptures are actually human perceptions of some indescribable spiritual experiences. SSRS might also be in a learning mode, his perceptions on SK might have changed over time. These human perceptions do have its limitations and one should be sympathetic and be aware of that. One could look at the divinely revealed Semitic scriptures, buddhist scriptures, hindu scriptures or recent writings of spiritual persons. One can always find faults . There were instances where some of the writings were modified to make it sensible. For e.g. The Holy Bible. But this process does not in any way is meant to prove that the Holy Bible was not a divine revelation.

    The fault might not be with SSRS alone, it might lie with the people like Mike Fischman, Patel, Bawa, Bhanu’s family, Swamis , senior teachers , half baked zealous teachers etc., who are trying to make a living/career out of selling fictions on AOL. AOL should definitely rethink about its corrupted expansion strategies and its ruthless selling practices. Their early-bird course fee incentives, shameless selling of courses in “SSRS’s presence” are very cheap and condemnable for-profit practices,as they stoop down to the ways in which american companies manufacture artificial sales demand during holiday sales around christmas and thanksgiving. As human beings, we should also introspect ourselves as to whether we should become a part of this rat race to reach some of our personal spiritual goals.

    • VSS permalink
      April 25, 2012 3:57 pm

      @ Tahir-ul-Qadri [April 25, 2012 1:24 pm]

      “For e.g. The Holy Bible. But this process does not in any way is meant to prove that the Holy Bible was not a divine revelation.”

      I completely understand your perspective.

      Would I be right in deriving from your Bible example that Mr. Ravi Shankar is an avatar of God, according to you?

      I don’t want to assume that you’re saying Mr. Ravi Shankar is an avatar of God.

      So, could you please confirm / clarify if it would be right to derive from your Bible example that Mr. Ravi Shankar is an avatar of God, according to you?

      • Tahir-ul-Qadri permalink
        April 25, 2012 7:34 pm

        As human beings, we are all here due to the “will and grace” of God. SSRS is no different, so were Jesus , Buddha, Mohammed etc. . Just like an engineer , doctor, lawyer, carpenter etc. are sharing their knowledge , skills and experience for the benefit of the mankind, these individuals are sharing whatever they experienced in their life, to the best of their capability.

        Holy Bible was written by human beings, for the betterment of mankind by sharing divinely inspired verses that would be beneficial for prospering as a good human being and a better society. As time changes, we gain new experiences and the needs of the mankind do also change . The Holy Bible also gets updated accordingly, again due to divine inspiration. This does not mean that that 8th century or the 15th century Holy Bible was faulty or wrong. Under the new circumstances, the newer versions make more sense and serves the purpose.

        Some 30 years back SSRS might have been divinely inspired to share that version of SK. Now after these many years, he might have been divinely motivated to change SK. But in now way this means that the SK that was taught 30 years ago was deficient or faulty. Change is the always there in the nature. We are all part of this nature and SK is a part of this nature. It changes too.

      • VSS permalink
        April 26, 2012 6:17 am

        @ Tahir-ul-Qadri [April 25, 2012 7:34 pm]

        In addition to what is said here:

        https://aolfree.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/how-can-a-divine-revelation-be-defective/#comment-11265

        I’d like to ask you — aren’t we all human beings — including those individuals who post on this blog ? Doesn’t our perception evolve over time ? Can compassion be extended to each individual who posts on this blog ? If compassion is not extended, then, at least, can the brutally abusive attacks stop especially when they are NEVER EVER reciprocated in kind ?

        Could you also please help me understand why several people have a problem with the “tone” of one or the other comment — which, in my mind, is a subjective issue — but don’t have a problem with the use of easily identifiable “profanity” and “blatantly abusive language” — which — in no one’s mind is a subjective issue owing to its obvious nature?

        How many times have you been moved to raise an alarm about the “profanity” and “blatantly abusive language” used against human beings who post on this blog ?

        I’m also a human being like Mr. Ravi Shankar.

        Why is tarnishing me and abusing me not an equally serious concern?

        Do I not have the same human rights as him?

        Do others on this blog who have been subjected to “profanity” and “blatantly abusive language” not have the same human rights as Mr. Ravi Shankar?

        What is it, in your view, that makes Mr. Ravi Shankar different from the rest of us?

        Once again, I’ll clearly state that I don’t want to assume anything. I just want to understand your perspective better. My perspective is that AoL is a harmful cult but I have done absolutely nothing nor will do anything to prevent AoL from promoting whatever it is that it is promoting. I am an ordinary human being and I don’t have even a millionth of the resources that AoL has. I am in no position whatsoever to cause any harm to AoL, nor have in the past. As far as AoL is concerned, my words are absolutely inconsequential.

    • The Seer permalink
      April 25, 2012 5:44 pm

      @Tahir-ul-Qadri (April 25, 2012 1:24 pm)

      Thanks for stating your views in an objective and balanced way.

      You said the intention of the person who initiated this topic seems to be somehow tarnish SSRS. Well, I’m the one that initiated the topic, please read the original post once again and say where exactly the post tarnishes SSRS the person. I only criticized AoL as a whole and their projection of SK as a divine revelation. I do question the intention of SSRS, but I have no intention to tarnish him or any person however bad he/she is.

      The intention definitely was to criticize the way teachers project SK as a divine revelation. By divine revelation in this context I mean a process or a technique that’s been handed down to a chosen person, a process that can cure any kind of problem. That’s what the teachers state when they ‘sell’ the basic course. They say SK is something very sacred that will cure any problem you might have. They never warn that it can be harmful, they never screen participants based on their prior medical conditions. It’s indiscriminately given to anyone and everyone and if anyone has a negative effect after doing the kriya or even while doing the kriya, the teachers are not even trained properly to diagnose the symptom early and ask the participant to stop the kriya. Worse many teachers just instruct the person to keep doing it every week, and say the negative effect is just a detox process. The person themselves has to stop the habit of going to the weekly kriya based on their own judgement, you cannot really trust the teachers. Don’t you think it’s the responsibility of AoL and SSRS to make sure the teachers they send out are well trained? As a technique that has a potential to significantly influence and alter your physical and mental health, don’t you think SK should be projected and introduced in a much more honest way? They just sell SK as a salesman would sell a shampoo or a soap.

      Yes, SK might be SSRS’s perception of divine revelation, and according to his perception a divine revelation is open to improvement and revision, very well. But the question is, why was it revised? Because the it was problematic to people and it was advised by AIIMS to alter the technique. So AoL knows very well it can be problematic to some people, then why do they not state this fact when they introduce the basic course and SK, why do they project is as a sacred method that’s one cure for all problems? That’s the point I wanted to make.

      The fault might not be with SSRS alone, it might lie with the people like Mike Fischman, Patel, Bawa, Bhanu’s family, Swamis , senior teachers , half baked zealous teachers etc., who are trying to make a living/career out of selling fictions on AOL.

      Yes, but surely SSRS knows what’s happening and doesn’t he hold a greater responsibility in correcting the mistakes given he’s at the helm of affairs and all these people attribute everything they do to ‘Guruji’s grace’? If he’s just a human being who won’t be able to monitor all their activities and correct every one of those people, why does he allow them to attribute their accomplishments to himself? If he’s just a human being, why doesn’t he just accept that instead of allowing people to call him God and Jesus and Krishna and Shankara? This amounts to misleading people, and in fact there are people who really believe him to be God and all that and go to him leaving their kith and kin. Isn’t this a big mistake? Again, i’m not tarnishing the person, I’m just asking questions in a critical manner.

      As human beings, we should also introspect ourselves as to whether we should become a part of this rat race to reach some of our personal spiritual goals.

      Yes, most definitely. That’s the purpose of these discussions, we want people to introspect and ask themselves if they want to be part of this, we want people to think for themselves instead of just blindly believing whatever they hear.

      • VSS permalink
        April 26, 2012 5:10 am

        @ Tahir-ul-Qadri [April 25, 2012 7:34 pm]

        >> As human beings, we are all here due to the “will and grace” of God. SSRS is no different, so were Jesus , Buddha, Mohammed etc. . Just like an engineer , doctor, lawyer, carpenter etc. are sharing their knowledge , skills and experience for the benefit of the mankind, these individuals are sharing whatever they experienced in their life, to the best of their capability. <<

        I understand this perspective and identify with it too.

        In a completely issue-based manner, I shall express my points of divergence.

        1. When people refer to SSRS as God, others get misled.

        For instance, none of the engineers, doctors, lawyers, carpenters etc. that I have come across — since I was born — allow anyone to refer to them as God or incarnations of one or the other God.

        Therefore, how do you explain the fact that Mr. Ravi Shankar, who might be as human as any engineer, doctor, lawyer, carpenter etc. allows people — and some believe encourages people — to refer to him as God or an incarnation of one or the other God?

        2. As per my knowledge, the Gita says that we should do our bit and not link are efforts to the results. One of the things that Mr. Ravi Shankar does is claiming that he believes in the Gita, and, the other thing that he does, is linking the effort to convert to the results. (Ref: The practice of making volunteers take a sankalpa about how many people they will convert and how much money they will raise.)

        How do you explain what appears to me to be a drastic contradiction, which, from my perspective, is misleading for those who believe that AoL is about learning the philosophy propounded in the Gita?

        Please keep in mind the fact that I am an ordinary human being, and hence, I feel that if I can see this drastic contradiction, then Mr. Ravi Shankar ought to have seen it a million light years before me.

        3. I have been harmed by AoL — like many others — and based on my experiences with AoL, I believe it is a harmful religious cult.

        Do I have a right to express my perspective without being brutally abused for having this perspective?

        Do I have a right to think that a religious cult that harmed me could harm many others like me in the future?

        Please keep in mind the fact that I am an ordinary human being and I have never made an attempt to stop AoL from promoting whatever it is that it promotes. I cannot be booked under the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act by even someone with an insanely wild imagination.

        4. Do you view professions as cults and professionals as cult leaders?

        For instance, in your opinion, is an engineer a cult leader in the realm of engineering?

        All the questions that I have asked you have one objective alone — to understand your perspective better. I don't wish to assume anything. I am also stating clearly that based on my personal experiences with AoL, it is a harmful religious cult that I would not recommend to absolutely any one for any reason. I'm also adding that this does not mean that I will be taking any active measures or have taken any active measures to stop AoL from promoting whatever it is that it promotes. In fact, I am an ordinary human being, and AoL has at least a million more resources at its disposal than I do. Nothing that I can say or have said or will say could ever harm the expansion prospects of AoL. As far as AoL is concerned, all my words are completely inconsequential — they have absolutely no impact on AoL. However, when a member of AoL brutally abuses me on this blog, then AoL has an impact on me. When other members of AoL do not appeal to that members sense of reason, I am harmed.

        So, last but not the least, what, in your view, should be AoL's policy towards the freedom of expression of those who have been harmed by AoL? Should such people be harmed even though they do not harm or prevent the expansion of AoL in any way?

        Some people say that there is an US Vs. Them attitude on this blog. Who, in your view, is responsible for this perception? Is it the person who took this blog to court?

        I do not have this perception. I don't even know the other people who post on this blog. My guess is that no one knows anyone in real life.

        No one has an identical perspective either. For instance, I haven't experienced any benefits via AoL — I have only been harmed. But there are others who have gained from their AoL experience. Hence, I think that anyone who accuses anyone on this blog of being Anti-AoL is seriously mistaken. This is a blog — not a competitive religious cult. It should not be alleged, in any way, that it is. That, to my mind, is being abusive to the point of imposing restrictions on the freedom of expression based on an absolutely invalid and irrational perception. I would never entertain such an allegation simply because I know that no one on this blog knows the other person in real life. There is no US when it comes to this blog. It's just a blog — just like one of the millions and millions of blogs on the internet — the people who post here do not belong to a specific organization, NGO, or, cult.

        Do I, therefore, have a right to question the basis of this allegation, if it appears irrational and baseless to me — that too after articulating rational reasons for my perspective ?

    • Dayalu permalink
      April 25, 2012 5:57 pm

      “SSRS is a human being”. Tahir, try telling that to AOL folks!

  18. The Doctor permalink
    April 25, 2012 6:59 pm

    Nithin – I’ll publish your last comment together with Jr and OA’s comments as a separate post soon.

  19. Harshal permalink
    April 25, 2012 7:40 pm

    @Tahir-ul-Qadri- You make a lot of sense. These people cant understand it. If you keep posting you will be just another brain-washed zombie.

  20. April 26, 2012 2:00 am

    Doctor, you say, “While SK could be problematic in some cases, I’ll admit it does solve many health issues, I myself have experienced that and have seen a number of people benefit. It’s good if it’s ‘taught’ to people so that they can do it themselves. But it’s not really ‘taught’ to people, I feel there is something very wrong in that it can by practiced only by listening to a tape. Even doing it by listening to the tape once or twice is okay, but if someone feels the need to do it every single week by going to a follow-up class and listening to a tape, they are hooked, they are bound, there is something seriously wrong with this approach. You are really not freeing people from their problems, you are only binding them more.”

    What do you mean SK is not taught? I do SK every day by myself or in a group for the longer SK with a tape. People practice SK on their own without a tape. Even if someone does the long kriya in a group with a tape, why is this “wrong”? How is this “not freeing people from their problems”? I don’t understand your comments at all. Explain?

    • The Doctor permalink
      April 26, 2012 9:02 pm

      Actually, that wasn’t me, that was The Seer.

      @The Seer – care to answer Peter’s question?

    • The Seer permalink
      April 27, 2012 7:33 am

      Yes, I’m obliged to clarify and explain.

      Peter, when you say you do SK everyday by yourself you mean the short kriya. Short kriya is fine with me as it’s something you do it by yourself, in fact I think it’s very good and I’d encourage anyone to practice everyday at home if it’s helpful to them. In this discussion I’m more concerned about the long kriya you practice with the aid of a tape and in the presence of a teacher.

      The weekly longer version of SK can be beneficial, and I myself have enjoyed taking the weekly kriya. The question really is, does this practice of going to a follow-up center every week and practicing the longer SK make you dependent on AoL? If a person says, “I feel good when I practice weekly kriya” it’s okay. But if he says, “I feel good only when I practice weekly kriya” I think it’s not good.

      When someone is dependent on the weekly kriya, and given the weekly kriya can only be practiced with the aid of a tape in the presence of a teacher, they are slowly giving away the key to their happiness and well being to the teacher. I have seen people who never practice short-kriya at home, they never do any sadhana at home. They only go to the weekly kriya and content breathing to the tune of SSRS hum ‘so-hum so-hum’. To them this long kriya is a big deal, they don’t feel good when they have to miss it even once for some reason. I think this approach is not very good.

      And every week the teacher says something like, “it’s our good fortune that Guruji has blessed us with the long kriya” and “everything happens due to Guruji’s grace”, and things like that. IMHO, this is how the so called ‘brainwashing’ happens. When someone holds the key to your happiness and health, you believe whatever they say and you become blind to the mistakes they make. Or even if you see that there is something wrong, your mind comes up with all kinds of arguments to justify their mistakes. You say things like, “Guruji has his own way of making things happen”, “Guruji never makes a mistake”, “Everything Guruji does, he does for a reason”, etc. At first, you say these things to yourself, and after a while you start saying these to others.

      If you are someone who regularly goes for the weekly kriya and been doing this for a long time, your first reaction would be to dismiss this argument as foolish, and if you are a teacher you’ll most definitely oppose me. If that is the case, you are free to reply with your counter-argument here, but you’ll understand this clearly only when you take a break away from the weekly kriya for a couple of months and look at it from a different perspective.

      • Ronin permalink
        April 27, 2012 11:02 am

        @seer

        it is my observation and oppinion as well. And would like to add this too. In the long sessions the aspect of grace is really played into, the teacher is the extension of the master we are led to believe that the master is with us actually there. Grace is linked to HIM the all seeing one the whole setting is one that is conducive to creating dependence. For both the teacher and those who come. What is some out of the group just presses play and not the teacher. It is a technique nothing more but it gets placed in the light of a life line to ones total happiness and survival and later to not to worry if you come the master will take care of you.

        The other thing is and we al know this that the sessions are a platform to create volunteers to get people to sign up for other courses and brng new people. This is done also very skillfully and in a manipulative way. Guilt and is used many times to get peple to commit.

        weekly sessions a clever idea indeed

  21. Shetty permalink
    April 26, 2012 9:33 am

    SK benefits my health. I have seen this over the last 14 years. My father who is now 74 years old saw his BP increasing due to kriya and his doc advised him to stop. Fact is, SK works for some and does not work for others. Test it out yourself. It has surely worked very well for me.

  22. VSS permalink
    April 27, 2012 11:35 am

    The following, as is the case with all that I have written and all that I shall ever write, is my perspective and my perspective alone. If you can’t identify with these words, I request you to trash them at your earliest convenience. There are different kinds of people who post on this blog. I belong to the category that was only harmed by AoL. If you don’t belong to this category, then please skip reading the rest of this post. Thank you. I appreciate your understanding in this regard.

    @ The Seer [April 27, 2012 7:33 am]

    I found your post extremely insightful and lucid. You demystified the “brainwashing” technique extremely well. It seems to me that you have an intuitive understanding of the human mind and of how it can be manipulated.

    In my case, it wasn’t SK but daily doses of “gyaan” for seven months. At the time, I didn’t know that his “gyaan” was coming from AoL knowledge sheets. It was full of so many contradictions that I would not be able to implement it and I was constantly feeling inadequate without the “gyaan”. For almost two years after that the “gyaan” was transmitted through very clever tactics. It cease to be in-person but continued to be long-distance.

    “Guruji” was rarely mentioned except that the person providing the “gyaan” had become an employee of AoL and a resident of the Bangalore Ashram.

    “Brainwashing” was akin to third degree psychological torture for me. Every day I would try to incorporate the feedback given and every day one or the other inadequacy would be pointed out. If I questioned a contradiction, I was asked if I wanted “gyaan” or silence. Whenever there was silence during this entire period, I would literally beg for words.

    My mind was completely kidnapped and hijacked. All I was left capable of doing was looking at things from one perspective.

    When I researched brainwashing, then I learnt that whenever “knowledge” is linked to a “human being”, it is not error-free as human beings err. No human being says only the right thing all the time. “Knowledge”, therefore, must be linked to principles.

    For instance, happiness cannot be linked to the presence or absence of a particular human being. It can’t be linked to a specific routine or regimen either. That defies the very purpose and definition of happiness.

    Happiness is an emotion. An emotion is born in an experience. For instance, when my nephew sings spectacularly, I experience indescribable happiness.

    The “brainwashing” that I was subjected to actually disconnected me from all my sources of happiness. I was addicted to “gyaan”. The simple joys in life, that are incredibly profound, got replaced by this quest for a higher life which could only be achieved through this “gyaan”.

    Since this “gyaan” had several contradictions, it was like a maze. One could get in and get lost in it but never come out. It was the exact opposite of a liberating experience. It completely imprisoned my mind and made me incapable of independent thought.

    What was most astonishing to me was the fact that I had read that “leadership is building leaders around you, empowering them, making them more and more independent”, but I completely forgot all that. I surrendered my mind to someone else’s control and forgot all that I had ever learnt. Every day I suffered but still every day I wanted to suffer more.

    When I let go of the “brainwashing”, I discovered freedom — even the freedom to make mistakes. One of the most powerful things I learnt was that “those who are afraid of making a mistake make nothing”. Another powerful thing I learnt was that “if you think you can, you can”. These two ideas from completely different people helped me to be independent of the “gyaan” from AoL, allowed me to learn from my own mistakes, and, inspired me to follow my dream in the realm of education.

    This time, I picked the employer I wanted to work for. I shared all my ideas about independent thought with them — including the independence to make mistakes. I told them that I wanted to work with someone and not for someone. I was received with open arms. I haven’t been happier in my entire life. I work on something that is likely to impact several people and contribute towards making them independent thinkers. The products I work on are primarily about developing critical thinking skills. Many lessons that I learn on this blog have helped me in my work directly. I find that truly remarkable. I share all my comments on this blog with my co-workers. They give me feedback too on how I can present my perspective better. It’s a very rewarding and enriching experience. I learn each time I post and apply that learning in my work too. I think that I’m very blessed. I did not feel even a millionth as blessed when I was being “brainwashed”. I did not smile as much for genuine reasons. I was not as appreciative of people and nature. I was unable to notice simple, thoughtful gestures. I was unable to notice birds, blossoms, butterflies, and brilliance in different art forms. All I would think about was “gyaan” and I was completely stressed out about implementing it too. All of life’s joys have returned to my life after I detoxed myself by letting go of all AoL “gyaan”. I lead a very healthy life. I follow a healthy mental activity-physical activity combination. My energy levels have increased considerably. I love life like I used to before being subjected to “brainwashing”. One of the most important lessons I learnt through this entire process of being “brainwashed” and then letting go of AoL “gyaan” was that knowledge resides in principles and not in a specific human being. For instance, Einstein discovered certain knowledge which is brilliant — that does not mean he was right about everything — he was a human being and no human being is right about everything.

    (I am also a human being and this is merely my perspective.)

    • Anonymous permalink
      April 27, 2012 4:47 pm

      Thank you for sharing your direct experience of AOL and how it was detrimental to your life VSS. There are so many suffering as you did, who don’t write as well as you, and cannot express themselves. I pray they will see your post and take it to heart and begin their healing from the brainwashing that is Art of Living. I’m happy you got out of it after only 7 months! It took me longer. Again, thank you for sharing you experience. It could help people exploring this blog looking for answers about what Art of Living might do to or for them.

    • ElevenOneLouder permalink
      April 27, 2012 5:19 pm

      Your writing style is deft. Your writings generalizes your ‘brain washing’ experiences as if, it would apply to every normal individual. You represent extremes. As I could see, after reading – re reading all your earlier postings.

      • VSS permalink
        April 27, 2012 6:08 pm

        @ ElevenOneLouder [April 27, 2012 5:19 pm]

        As is the case with all that I have written and all that I shall ever write, what I have written is my perspective and my perspective alone. If you can’t identify with these words, I request you to trash them at your earliest convenience. There are different kinds of people who post on this blog. I belong to the category that was only harmed by AoL. If you don’t belong to this category, then please skip reading what I write. Thank you. I appreciate your understanding in this regard.

    • D-Seeker permalink
      April 30, 2012 7:46 pm

      @VSS
      VSS Man ! you are too articulate and expressive to be a guy.Either you are an elderly gentleman or definitely a girl or lady. 🙂
      I like the way you take the flow in your posts.Good work.
      Jai Bajrang Bali

      • VSS permalink
        May 1, 2012 7:34 am

        @ D-Seeker [April 30, 2012 7:46 pm]

        Thank you for reading what I’ve written. I am an ordinary human being — the quintessential nobody — who is simply expressing an experience in words spontaneously. I don’t write with any motive other than spontaneous expression. The “flow” as you put it is directly attributable to the experience — and not to the technique of expression. In any case, English is my second language. I have no proven proficiency in it — nor do I strive for proficiency in it. For me, language is merely a tool for communication — not the communication itself.

      • D-seeker permalink
        May 1, 2012 9:56 am

        @VSS
        VSS Bhai(i assume u r a guy) what is your first languauge?? Lekin yaar VSS ek baat to hai teri english hai badi dhasu.Modesty mein Tendulkar se bhi aage hain aap. Writer ban jaa bhai.

      • VSS permalink
        May 1, 2012 1:51 pm

        @ D-seeker [May 1, 2012 9:56 am]

        I would not assume anyone’s gender based on their words. I would recommend the same to you. My gender is irrelevant to the topic on this thread. This thread is not about gender issues at all. Neither is it about one’s first language. As for writing, I have already expressed my thoughts in my comment above. You may wish to read my comment again.

        Have a nice day!

  23. Rene permalink
    April 27, 2012 3:21 pm

    @ VSS Friday, April 27, 2012 7:36 AM
    “knowledge resides in principles and not in a specific human being”
    well said. here is my quiet clap to you.

    • VSS permalink
      April 27, 2012 4:01 pm

      @ Rene [April 27, 2012 3:21 pm]

      Your “quiet clap” means more to me than the applause of a million people.

      Thank you, dear Rene.

    • stupidseeker permalink
      April 27, 2012 6:57 pm

      Add mine to it too

  24. Rene permalink
    April 27, 2012 8:51 pm

    Here’s wishing you a wonderful today, everyOne. 🙂

    Adding my bit to the good spirit that is prevailing today after Doc’s post.
    “What day is it,?” asked Pooh.
    “It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
    “My favorite day,” said Pooh.

  25. VSS permalink
    April 28, 2012 3:13 pm

    @ Anonymous [April 27, 2012 4:47 pm]

    I should thank you. We’ll pray together. Our prayers will work.

    @ stupidseeker [April 27, 2012 6:57 pm]

    Thank you, dear SS.

    @ Rene [April 27, 2012 8:51 pm]

    Your wish is wonderful and unforgettable!

  26. April 29, 2012 2:37 am

    Wow! Lots of responses. Doctor, I see your logic as off here. Let me explain. First of all, what is a “Divine Revelation”? I don’t know about you, but Divine Revelations are a little beyond my pay grade for right now! Sure, I have plenty of concepts regarding Divine Revelations, but they are just concepts and not direct experience. If I had direct experiences of Divine Revelations then I could talk about them with some authority, but until that occurs, any discussion of Divine Revelations amongst people that have no experience of such phenomena, is exactly the same as Medieval philosophers arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin: useless polemics. The logical fault you are making here is that you have a definition of “Divine Revelation” that contains the implicit assumption that a Divine Revelation can not change. If SK is a Divine Revelation then it can not change, according to your definition. But SSRS has changed aspects of SK (specifically in your example, the overall length of the practice and the ratio of long, medium and short cycles from tape to tape. Therefore, you conclude, SK is not a Divine Revelation. The problem here is that you are trapped in your own definition. Who, with any experiential authority, says a Divine Revelation can or can not change? Until we discuss this with an experiential “expert” in the domain of Divine Revelations we are arguing pure concepts that are not grounded in any experience. Like fundamentalist Christians protesting a movie they have never seen!

    Another point is that I have never in my 20 years in AOL heard anyone refer to SK as a “Divine Revelation.” I have heard it referred too as a “cognition” that SSRS had following his enlightenment after 10 days of silence. Why can’t aspects of a cognition change? The core practice remains the same (long, medium and short cycles) but the ratio changes as well as the length. What was cognized, I assume, was the core pranic dynamic and impact on the mind of this practice. SSRS has never changed this core practice.

    • The Doctor permalink
      April 29, 2012 7:01 am

      Hi Peter,

      Again, not actually my logic, but nonetheless I feel compelled to give my perspective on this, and if anyone else would like to, please do so.

      Yes there are many accounts of RS having “cognized” SK, but there are equally many of SK having been revealed to him. Search on Google for “Sudarshan Kriya revealed” and see what comes up.

      Now if something is said to be “revealed”, there has to be a “revealer”. So who exactly is the revealer?

      And the fact is, the majority of AoLers who have gotten more deeply involved than just being on the surface are led to believe that SK was revealed to RS by God. I certainly did as did most AoLers I knew, and so did many who post on this blog.

      Is there any one here who didn’t get the impression that SK was a divine revelation?

    • The Seer permalink
      April 29, 2012 7:41 am

      @drpetersutphen

      Again, it’s me who wrote this post (not sure if you read my response to your previous comment).

      I don’t have as much experience as you have with AoL, but in the last 8 years I have known about the AoL I have never seen anyone say SK was cognized. Most of the teachers and AoL evangelists I have come across say SK was revealed to SSRS.

      Now, my intention was not to challenge whether SK is a divine revelation or not, and honestly, I don’t know what ‘revelation’ really means. All I wanted to do was to question the way SK is marketed as a ‘revelation’, something sacred, that can magically cure your problems while the truth is that there are many who have found the practice of SK problematic, and AoL knows it can be problematic and has revamped the technique three times for this very reason. I have explained my question in a previous comment https://aolfree.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/how-can-a-divine-revelation-be-defective/#comment-11235

      • Ronin permalink
        April 29, 2012 11:27 am

        Hi Seer – Peter – Doc

        Peter u mentioned that SK was cognized after enlightenment was attained. Is Ravi enlightened, and do we dare to even question that. Just bring this up at a Satsang and see what will happen. There is now room for such thinking nor is it tollerated. So the techinique came about when a human being attained an extraordinary state, see how the fairy tale starts, he became the wise one. The correlation between the two is undenaible. And this is what is empowered in the organisation and without a doubt droned in those who take ttc from various anngles remember the Guru stories. Agian actions of a all knowing enlightened being.

        Teachers get totally sucked into this, remember the tape is sacred all these rules to abibe by. Now some would say it is out of respect. It would tell them shell out USD 3000 and take the course and observe what happens (see earlier posts) We know this not to be the case. U handle the tape in all its glory because it is something divine it will help humanity an instant game changer. It was revealed or cognized by the enlightened master ec ect. It hooks you into never to question, u got te tape so the enlighten master trust u with his divine revealtion. Actually u are a good sales person but that is my take on it.

        So my oppinion is yes it is used and brought in the way of a divine revealtion surrounded by a mystic cloud and since we mere mortal are not enlightened we actually can never question it, this is what the answers to my and others at the time were when we raised the issue up.

        And why did we because we saw senior teacher handle THE tape as if it was just an ordinary object then press play and starting to TXT people on his phone.

        Maybe they had their own revealation

      • VSS permalink
        April 30, 2012 7:39 am

        @ Ronin [April 29, 2012 11:27 am]

        Whenever you have time, could you please take a look at the following comment, and let all readers (including me) know your perspective:

        https://aolfree.wordpress.com/2010/08/20/what-is-enlightenment/#comment-11410

        Further, your post is very insightful. I am wondering about the following:

        1. Course Objectives

        Does AoL list out the course objectives of each course for each participant?

        2. Pre-assessment

        At the beginning of each course, are there AoL assessors who conduct a pre-assessment to determine the knowledge level of each course participant before the course? (Usually, assessors belong to the Quality Department of an organization.)

        3. Post-assessment

        At the end of each course, are there AoL assessors who conduct a post-assessment to determine what each course participant learnt during the course? (Usually, assessors belong to the Quality Department of an organization.)

        4. Feedback to Participants

        Is each participant given feedback (via a feedback form and a solo feedback session) on the extent to which the participant was able to learn what was covered in the course based on course objectives?

        5. Feedback to the Facilitator

        Does each participant give feedback (via a feedback form filled anonymously — that’s the best way to ensure that no participant is under any kind of pressure to give only positive feedback) to the facilitator on content delivery, presentation, ability to answer questions asked by participants, and conduct?

        6. Feedback to the Organization

        Does each participant give feedback to AoL on content design, venue, training methodology (including activities and exercises), trainee manual, and other elements of the course which are meant to be guaranteed by the brand called “AoL”?

        7. Research

        Based on the feedback provided by participants, how often are suggestions reviewed and incorporated at an organizational level as well as at the facilitation level?

        8. Data Collection and Analysis

        If this data is collected, who is responsible for the maintaining and updating records? (Usually it’s the Quality Department in an organization.) Who analyzes this data? Can this data be viewed by everyone?

        9. Repeating Courses

        I have heard that some people in AoL repeat the same course — sometimes almost ten times. How is the need to repeat a course determined?

        Can anyone who has attended an AoL course, please let all readers (including me) know how courses are conducted in AoL based on the above parameters which are typical of any well-conceived course?

        Thank you.

    • VSS permalink
      April 29, 2012 12:13 pm

      What is enlightenment?

      How is enlightenment defined in / by AoL?

      • The Doctor permalink
        April 29, 2012 3:04 pm

        Here’s an “enlightening” post on that very subject: https://aolfree.wordpress.com/2010/08/20/what-is-enlightenment/

      • The Doctor permalink
        April 29, 2012 3:09 pm

        @Peter – I’d actually like to hear YOUR definition of “enlightenment” as well since you have already told us in your above post that you believe RS to be enlightened? And I’d especially like you to describe “enlightenment” from a clinical psychology perspective.

  27. VSS permalink
    April 29, 2012 4:21 pm

    A truly “enlightening” post, Doc. Thank you for the link. Appreciate it.

  28. Anonymous permalink
    April 29, 2012 5:38 pm

    @drpetersutphen

    “Another point is that I have never in my 20 years in AOL heard anyone refer to SK as a ‘Divine Revelation.'”

    It is surprising that you have not heard it as ‘Divine Revelation’. I have heard it mostly
    as ‘Divine Revelation’ and rarely as ‘cognition’.

    Like his advanced degree in Physics RS has lied about SKY being a divine revelation.
    He has done this so that he can sell SKY to the public as a divine product.

    I prefer to accept this lie as there is an interesting benefit for others. Since this is a ‘divine revelation’ anyone else can market their own tapes claiming that they too were blessed with the same revelation. RS cannot sue them, because nothing prevents the divine to reveal SKY to many others.

    • Original Anonymous permalink
      May 1, 2012 6:01 pm

      Advance degree in modern science was what I heard …

  29. April 29, 2012 7:46 pm

    Of course I consider SSRS to be enlightened. Why would I follow the teachings and the techniques of a spiritual teacher that wasn’t enlightened? Now, how do I know SSRS is enlightened? That is the million dollar question that all seekers struggle with. To look for an ego ideal is a huge mistake because who knows what vasanas are unwinding in your guru (see the Tripurya Rahasa for a fascinating discussion on this that helps explain the personality differences between enlightened gurus.) I know SSRS is enlightened, a knower of Brahman, from my own experiences around him and through the practice of his techniques. I think every seeker needs to resolve this question on their own. There is no objective criteria. But there are very clear subjective experiences that have made my understanding of SSRS’s enlightenment very obvious to me.

  30. April 29, 2012 8:21 pm

    Doctor said,”I’d actually like to hear YOUR definition of “enlightenment” as well since you have already told us in your above post that you believe RS to be enlightened? And I’d especially like you to describe “enlightenment” from a clinical psychology perspective.”

    Actually, clinical psychology can not describe enlightenment because it is outside the conceptual domain of this science. At best clinical psychology would define enlightenment as some sort of disssociative state! My model of enlightenment is greatly informed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and later by many traditional yogic texts. It is also informed by my own direct experience. You practice a serious sadhana for 40 years, you have serious experiences! I started TM in 1972 and became a TM teacher in 1973 and was deeply involved in the TM movement all through the late 80’s. In fact, I practiced TM up until last week when I finally decided to take the Sahaj Samadhi course at the upanishad course in LA. My friends thought it was hilarious that I would take Sahaj after 40 years of doing TM. I just felt like it! My definition of enlightenment focuses on the mechanics of it.

    The first stage of enlightenment is the recognition that there is no localized, psychological “I” or private self or ego. The mind experiences this lack of localization as emptiness or “shunyata” because the mind can only experience in time and space. What has created this emptiness is the withdrawal of the projection of consciousness into body/mind boundaries. Patanjali uses a great metaphor to explain this identification. He says that pure consciousness is like a transparent jewel placed upon a colored cloth. The jewel takes on the color of the cloth and appears to be that color. But this is an illusion. The jewel is inherently transparent and no color at all. The first stage of enlightenment is the recognition of consciousness of its own “isolation” or “separateness”, or “aloneness” (i.e. Kaivalya as Patanjali would call it) from boundaries. A perfect duality is created in this state: Atman on one side, as it were, and all subjective and objective phenomena on the other.

    In my experience, the pranic manipulation through SK profoundly calms the mind and allows Atman to “recognize” itself. This is nirvikalpa samadhi. I experience this a lot when I practice meditation, but it cracks me up that that it is also produced during the vigorous activity of SK. In nirvikalpa samadhi the mind is “absorbed” by the Self and this absorbsion is not known until it comes to an end.

    I’m going to stop here for now! Obviously a lot left to talk about

    • VSS permalink
      April 30, 2012 9:03 am

      @ drpetersutphen [April 29, 2012 8:21 pm]

      >The first stage of enlightenment is the recognition that there is no localized, psychological “I” or private self or ego. The mind experiences this lack of localization as emptiness or “shunyata” because the mind can only experience in time and space. What has created this emptiness is the withdrawal of the projection of consciousness into body/mind boundaries.<

      I didn't understand this. I understand the metaphor but I don't know how it applies to this. I'd appreciate it if you could explain this in a simple way. Does the mind become empty? What does the absence of colour denote — the absence of all information and all knowledge and all emotion — or the absence of biases and prejudices?

      Thank you for your time.

  31. Anonymous permalink
    April 30, 2012 3:33 pm

    @Dr. Peter, Interesting that you have been so deeply in the TM movement, as you reported, yet you went against Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s strong warning that Ravi Shankar is “sugar coated poison”. It’s not possible that you didn’t hear this if you were actually very involved in TM. Also, MMY completely rejected Ravi Shankar on multiple occasions, refusing to take his phone calls, and refusing to respond to letter(s) brought to him in person, except to say he was finished with RS.

    I’ve also practiced TM. And I found it beneficial. I made the terrible mistake of learning the SK and getting involved with Ravi Shankar, who claimed to be coming to us with “Maharishi’s Blessings”. He also claimed that he IS Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in fact. (His exact words were “I AM Maharishi”, said with great emphasis and arrogance.) I’m happy I escaped Art of Living and Ravi Shankar. It was a waste of my time, and I’m only glad I wasn’t hurt more than I was by him and his organization. Many others have been injured and mistreated. If you have any choice left, if they haven’t ‘gotten to you’, walk away. Otherwise you will be used.

  32. Anonymous permalink
    May 1, 2012 1:04 pm

    @Dr P
    I’m curious — you say you are convinced that Ravi Shankar is enlightened or you wouldn’t follow him, etc., and give all sorts of fantastic stories of your experiences (they do sound very cool), yet you are posting here on a blog that is by people who left RS and AOL. Why? Are you here to try to gently dissuade people from their poor opinion of him and his organization? Or do you actually have some doubts, so you are reading all of this? Why would a total devotee even be interested in this blog? I know that when I was in the throes of RS’s brainwashing, I wouldn’t have even cared about this blog, had I even heard of it. It would not have interested me at all. I suspect you either have an agenda (convince people who have left that they are wrong) or that you are doubting your own choice.

    • Original Anonymous permalink
      May 1, 2012 6:20 pm

      I disagree that people who come to this blog either have an agenda or doubt

      Many are here to share their experiences (good or bad) … through these sharings can we together reach the truth ..

      only with our experiences can we reach the truth .. not with our opinions ..

      I am grateful to Dr Peter for sharing his experiences and I am grateful to eveyone here who have shared their true experiences in this blog .. every experience shared has helped me become more and more clear … negative experiences shared here about aol have helped me finish any attachments towards the organization and positive experiences shared here have helped me detach myself from any bitterness I feel towards the same ..

      Ultimately its our experiences which help us move towards the truth and that is why we are all here . .. to pool in our true experiences .. as against the hyped up – one sided experiences we listen to in aol ..

      From what I decipher from Dr Peter’s words is that he was never really involved with Aol as an organization but was involved with Sri Sri on a personal basis and with the practice of SK .. Same with TM I guess .. For a person who is involved with Sri Sri on a personal basis all is usually good .. he is fun guy to talk to and a fun guy to hang out with .. he is a chilled out dude therefore fun to be with .. infact I still miss talking to him coz he was really fun to talk to .. with his jokes n leg pulling n all .. Getting involved with the organization is a different story altogether … Also I do feel that bliss and peace around him … this is something that I have to agree with .. for it has been my experience ..

    • VSS permalink
      May 1, 2012 9:36 pm

      @ Anonymous [May 1, 2012 1:04 pm]

      Your query is very pertinent. I looked for a critique of AoL on the internet because I saw a video of Mr. Ravi Shankar in which he seemed absolutely foolish to me. He was preening so much and sounding so affected that my eyes popped out of their sockets. I also found his semi-wailing tone very strange. The inflection is not natural at all. It seemed to me that I was watching the video of someone who had crafted his persona using a list of mannerisms that he thought would seem appealing to many people. Frankly, the mannerisms made me doubt his sanity. The points at which everyone in the audience laughed almost robotically made me doubt the sanity of the audience. All his jokes were infradig.

      Since I had been brainwashed using “knowledge” from “knowledge sheets” by someone (who was brainwashed before I was brainwashed), I had never seen any of his videos. I didn’t actually know that the “knowledge” could be traced to him for a very long time. When I found out, even though I was able to detect some contradictions in the “knowledge” (even in my brainwashed state), I thought he was a sensible person. I got the shock of my life when I saw his videos. I couldn’t believe how someone who sounds so monotonous, so boring, and, so uninteresting could be a teacher.

      My teachers in college were infinitely more intelligent and interesting. They were world class orators — and each of them — barring none — had a fantastic sense of humour. They were fascinating people who didn’t go on and on and on and on and on and on in the same tone for hours and hours and hours and hours saying the same thing over and over and over and over again. I think that the people who consider him a good teacher are extremely cynical people who have very low expectations from teachers and life. I don’t think they have any exposure to fantastic teachers and I think they’re used to life being very boring. I, for one, wouldn’t be able to tolerate life if I had to deal with a super bore like Mr. Ravi Shankar.

      (I wouldn’t even wait for a bus to take me from the Bangalore Ashram to Bangalore City. I would just run.)

      He reminded me of a VP in an MNC I used to work for. That VP would literally put us to sleep during meetings. He just loved to hear his own voice. And, he too had that same semi-wailing tone. His sense of humour was equally pathetic. We used to laugh robotically for fear of offending him. And, we used to stay awake during meetings by discreetly chewing gum. And, of course, every time he made eye-contact with us during the meeting, we would ensure we had a smile pasted on our faces.

      MMY said Mr. Ravi Shankar is sugar-coated poison. I beg to differ. I detected no sugar at all. All I detected was saccharine and / or other artificial sweeteners. I’m extremely sorry if anyone is offended but I really found him utterly fake, false, and foolish. And, I seriously doubt his sanity. Just being honest.

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