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Sudarshan Kriya and Bipolar Disorder

June 9, 2012

For those who continue to challenge a key concern raised many times on this blog that practicing Sudarshan Kriya can produce harmful effects in the practitioner, and for those who in the same breath claim that sufficient research has been done to deem it to be safe, let us consider the practice of SK with regards to those who suffer from bipolar disorder.

The following accounts are taken from Art of Living websites, and represent the current views regarding bipolar disorder:

Source: http://www.artofliving.org/best-gift-wisdom

Q: Can people diagnosed with bipolar condition do Sudarshan Kriya or the Silence Course?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I don’t advice them to attend the Silence Course, but they can attend the Basic Course and do everything except Sudarshan Kriya. Simple meditation, pranayam and some yoga is very good for them. They should do Sri Sri Yoga.

Source: http://aolf.blogspot.co.uk/2007/06/psychiatry-today-on-sudarshan-kriya.html

Comorbid psychiatric illness. Yoga breathing—particularly Bhastrika and rapid cycle breathing—may trigger manic episodes in patients with bipolar disorder. Those with type II bipolar disorder whose mood swings are well-controlled may do yoga breathing under supervision if they avoid Bhastrika and rapid cycle breath forms.

Now, consider that in his defamatory letter (which is reproduced here on this blog) Swami Sadyojatha named a former AoL teacher who he claimed was a bipolar sufferer, it is evident from reading this letter that Art of Living encouraged this former teacher to practice SK in spite of her allegedly suffering from SK. Indeed, the Swami makes it sound as if SK was the one thing which helped her to control and compose herself, and that when she wasn’t practising, that’s when her troubles were at their peak.

What this tells us is that at least up to the time the letter was written, August 2010, Art of Living were unaware that SK can be harmful to those who have been diagnosed as suffering from bipolar. In other words, this clearly shows that insufficient research had been done between 1982 and 2010 to determine at least one of the harmful effects of SK, and that this only came to light subsequently. Because since 1982, Art of Living have been publicly teaching this technique to anyone who attends their Basic Course – without taking into consideration if they suffer from bipolar.

I can further add to this that during the entire time I was with Art of Living, I had (and still have) a friend who suffers from bipolar and who I was trying to convince to do the Basic Course. I told many teachers about his condition, and they all urged me to bring my friend to the course because they strongly believed that SK would help to treat bipolar.

Yet now all of a sudden we are being told that SK is not suitable to those who suffer from bipolar. If this is the case, then one cannot help but wonder, with all this purported research Art of Living claim to have done on this technique how on earth did it take them nearly 30 years to discover this? And if it took 30 years for them to discover this one thing, what other harmful effects still remain to be discovered? Can they honestly still claim that “side effects, if any, are only positive”?

ADDENDUM 1 (June 11, 2012)

Q: Specifically, why should those who suffer from bipolar not practice SK?
Q: Can someone show the scientific research which has been carried out which concludes that SK is not suitable to those who suffer from bipolar?

ADDENDUM 2 (June 11, 2012)

After reading “ex teacher’s” comment (which became the following post, Would You Put Your Life in the Hands of People Like This?), I wish to acknowledge that “ex teacher” is in actual fact CORRECT about what the Sudarshan Kriya notes say with regards to bipolar disorder. Specifically, the notes mention that those who suffer from manic depression (which later came to be known as bipolar disorder) should NOT practice Sudarshan Kriya.

Based on this information, Art of Living have actually presented us with TWO conflicting views regarding the practice of Sudarshan Kriya. On the one hand we are told that “officially” those who suffer from bipolar disorder should NOT practice Sudarshan Kriya (see quotes above and now the SK notes), whilst on the other hand one of the seniormost teachers in Art of Living, Swami Sadyojatha, has told us something radically different in his letter (link above) where he defames the former teacher which he accuses of suffering from bipolar. A letter which must have been sanctioned by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar himself otherwise it would not have been allowed to be published. So was this really means is that RS is contradicting himself on something which is an extremely serious issue. In other words, he is lying.

All of which still doesn’t help us, because we still don’t know the truth about SK with regards to bipolar, and most likely we will never know.

Just to be clear on this, all other questions raised here still stand.

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75 Comments
  1. Anonymous permalink
    June 9, 2012 10:42 am

    Very interesting post; If they were so sure about the non existence of harmful side effects of SK they would have paid for serious researchs that would have been published officially. And -regarding the teacher the swami mentioned-, I do not believe she had any problem at the time she started working for the organization, for RS wouldn´t have trusted a sick person the responsability of founding and running AOL branches -from zero- in 2 whole countries. You don´t give a plane to a pilot you don´t fully trust and who´s abilities you cant be sure of. If she became sick, maybe some of the processes she went through while working for AOL trigered her condition. I´ve done an extensive research on coercive manipulation and some people have developed a sicotic brake at the end of a “hot seat” processes, not to mention serious depression. If they knew she was bipolar, keeping her working for AOL was then very irresponsable on AOL´s side towards the rest of the people. Of course, after she left, the organization needs to raise defammatory suspicions about her because she was very important and credible and they don´t want anyone to believe her. Last, I wonder if some key teachers in the organization would succesfully pass a psiquiatric evaluation by now. Actually TEACHERS SHOULD PASS A PSIQUIATRIC EVALUATION BEFORE BEING ENTITLED AS SUCH, since it´s known that such possitions are favorite among sycopaths. Who knows how many wolves dressed as sheep are holding important possitions inside the organization?

  2. JewMonkey permalink
    June 9, 2012 12:40 pm

    If you truly believe that SK is harmful, then why do you include a download link on this website?

  3. VSS permalink
    June 9, 2012 1:05 pm

    @ The Doctor

    Thank you for this post — though it moves me to tears. If you recall, I’d said in one of my first posts on this blog, that the person who brainwashed me — who was brainwashed by an AoL volunteer (his best friend) — had symptoms of bi polar depression. And, it saddens me beyond measure to confirm that SK has not helped the person at all. There’s no change for the better — there are only signs of deterioration. At least I have an insight into this issue. He doesn’t have this insight. There must be so many others who don’t know. How can anyone possibly say that Mr. Ravi Shankar and AoL are even a bit humane? They have no mercy. Is this any way to treat human beings? Just because one is weak, should one be hunted? They are predators — heartless and ruthless predators. Just because of their lust for conversion, they hurt and harm unsuspecting people. They don’t even inform people properly. And then they try to post using several IDs to abuse those of us who have been hurt — to discredit us and to silence us — so that they can go on hurting and harming people. Yes, there may be some good seva projects that are going on — but guess what — they are just the justification for this lust for conversion. And, this is not Hinduism. Hurting and harming people is not Hinduism. All those who are in AoL and converting people left, right and center — please stop this. Please think. I beg you to. Please don’t surrender your inherent goodness to a dangerous cult and its leader. You may have good intentions but you’re ending up destroying homes and human beings. Please wake up. Please don’t convert people blindly — it’s just not right.

  4. Harshal permalink
    June 9, 2012 1:51 pm

    “If you recall, I’d said in one of my first posts on this blog, that the person who brainwashed me — who was brainwashed by an AoL volunteer (his best friend) — had symptoms of bi polar depression”

    So if he had some psychiatric issue – how can you blame AOL? how did you know? Did he tell you? was it formally diagnosed?

    Do you think everyone in AOL is brainwashed? Did you know that you were brainwashed when you were brainwashed by AOL? How do you then definitely know that you are not brainwashed by this blog?

    Do you think everyone in Islam, Hinduism and Christianity is brainwashed? Can you define ‘brainwashing’ coherently and succinctly since you refer to it all time. No links please.

    • June 10, 2012 12:26 am

      Dude Harshal,

      The very energy in your message has changed. You are genuinely seeking the above answers aren’t you ?. Is that why you said “no links please” ???.

      In the past such a request from you may have indicated the following

      1. You do not have the patience or the reasoning ability to go through links. ie you have a problem with attention span…..not because you cannot do it, its because you have already JUDGED….prior.

      2. You have partly labelled some of the contributors as JUNK contributors. In your mind you cannot distinguish the message from the messenger (especially in your mind a tainted/junked messenger). Hence you ability to comprehend things depends on whether the other has a position (Read, RESPECT, AUTHORITY) that you have given them.

      3. For eg if SriSri said the very same thing above as some of the blogger’s said, you would find it easier to understand. Because of the elevated position YOU have place him at.

      Hence you usually not ISSUE centric, but person centric in your learning. The reason you get riled so much….is that you have been hurt many times before and secretly you are blaming yourself. Re-vamping your existing image of AOL (which is already tottering) is painful to say the least. So in your last gasps, you want to attack the messenger (you never have any arguments on the content, especially the serious ones which shake the very foundation of AOL…..in the past YOU HAVE MOSTLY EVADED THEM and to me this is the biggest PROOF that you ARE BRAINWASHED……but there is an even bigger PROOF that you are NOT BRAINWASHED…..thats because you are here on the BLOG a lot).

      There are times you are Brainwashed and there are times you are not. Do you have a problem accepting that ?. Well so is the case with all of us. Conditioning by religion, media, education, family, the rest of the social systems, work place, politics….all have some element of brainwashing. The point is not which brainwashing is is better than which ?. The point is what do you do when you see it clearly ?. The answer is self evident.

      Remember, something keeps bringing you back. And trust me, that which brings you back to the BLOG is not SriSri. It is the real you Harshal. It is who you are. I can bet you are spending more time and energy on this BLOG than any of SriSri’s books or CD’s. Think maan think…..Why ?

      You current ploy, you always fight the messenger….because the content breaks your heart and points out that you trust is misplaced ….indirectly saying “You are wrong Harshal”.

      If I were you……I would also re-collect my experience, I would 100% know that my intent was never wrong….how can come my actions are being called wrong ?.

      The interesting point here……if you can be so critical of others…..you are also being very critical of yourself….just step back and take a look. We always treat others the way we treat ourselves. You are dismissive of many of the bloggers. Can you see that you also dismiss yourself easily ? The small things your heart wants. Little hugs, little pats on the back, a little returned loyalty, a little courage, a little love…..but NO ONE around you is displaying any of this with you Harshal. Are they ? Also, by the same token, you probably are your own worst critic and are putting a lot of pressure on yourself because of this. Every time you see something hard in a message or posting you are also GOING after yourself…indirectly. Dude, be kind to yourself and in so all others Harshal.

      Here is the side os Harshal I see which is clear and evident to me now. I salute this Harshal and my own clarity on this issue. read the below paragraph multiple times Harshal…for this is YOU as in display at this time.

      What I see behind all the Harshal abusive posts and the illogical rants is a heart that is so staunchly loyal….its unbelievable. A spirit that is so dogged in its nature and so fierce, so amazingly valiant….the willingness to take it till the end is unbelievable. You are a very very courageous person and will do anything (including kill and maim and die yourself) for the person you love.

      You very well know that SriSri does not encourage or like ANYONE of his devotees to visit this blog. And yet you have thrown that to the winds are here BECAUSE of your own convictions. You do not represent AOL…you represent yourself 1st and then other people, ideas and concepts. You are your own boss.

      Harshal, only great mythical heroes have shown and demonstrated such positive qualities (Hanuman for instance) as above.

      Just know, when anyone (an average Joe) encounters someone like you they get shocked, disturbed and surprised and are unable to accept so much fierceness, intensity, protective force and such loyalty….. hence they decide to back off and importantly keep you off as well…..keep a BIG distance. Its too much to take for the average human. However, for the person being protected, they would want you around…ALL THE TIME…. provided they also knew how to get rid of you when they want privacy and want you out of their sight at that time.

      Now, the thing is Harshal does not take instructions from “content” / “logic” or his own sensitive heart. Harshal has decided that he will only take instructions from AUTHORITY (Self brainwashed and willed). ie people in UNIFORM or perceived position.

      At one time, in Harshal’s mind the ultimate authority was SriSri. Harshal has probably forgotten that it was Harshal’s heart that lead him to SriSri in the first place. Trace your introduction to AOL and you will see that you followed or joined someone, who you loved or secretly admired at the time you got introduced to AOL. Clearly, your heart constructed your AOL journey. A bunch of lessons that served your spiritual journey for a SET period. The boss is your own heart…the language of your spirit. You are here because you care for the truth and its showing……Dude, it is in fact shining.

      With my all my heart, my love, best wishes and my being, I want to say now to you Harshal, man to man, me to you…… “I recognize you my dear friend”. Hey Harshal, You be well maan. Be gentle and kind to yourself. Stay fierce and intense. May your sprit thrive and do many great things in this journey.

      Love

      • VSS permalink
        June 10, 2012 7:21 am

        @ Harshal [June 9, 2012 1:51 pm]

        I shall take my time to respond to each of your questions.

        Meanwhile, I request you to reflect about each thought and insight expressed by IO.

        @ IO [June 10, 2012 12:26 am]

        Thanks a million for yet another supremely insightful, perceptive, empowering, and compassionate comment. You are a gem. IMHO.

      • The Revolver permalink
        June 10, 2012 11:24 pm

        very well written IO. I can see myself through that post when I was avoiding this blog in the past because all the teachers including Ravi used to tell me not to visit this blog. But eventually I had to face the truth and leave the SK crutches.

      • Anonymous permalink
        June 11, 2012 1:25 am

        Wow IO!! Are you being overly generous? This is quite a post. I’ll have to think this one through. I only see a hurt ego when I see Harshal’s posts. I’m happy you seem something more. I’d like to be able to see something positive in this abusive person named Harshal.

    • Meditator permalink
      June 10, 2012 7:53 pm

      Harshal,

      I love ‘your’ master HHSSRS. What wonderful disciples he has !!! Keep up the good work. I love reading your language and choice of words !!! Your master sure is doing great work.

      • June 12, 2012 2:45 am

        @ Revolver, Anonymous PERMALINK June 11, 2012 1:25 am

        For me writing on this blog and seeing all your comments provides a sense of balance and perspective. I see brilliance in so many posts. It helps me think for myself in these other situations I face today in my life. I am also learning hugely as I write about life and about myself. It feels amazing to keep rediscovering who I am.

        As far as the above post goes, I did not stop to think…..I was simply responding to Harshal’s message and one thing followed another and when I read the post at the end after it was finished it surprised me too. So, I too read it many times over to make sure this is how it was. It was…and I felt clear / balanced and good about it.

        There is always a flip side to everything….I know this intrinsically. I have encountered certain situations in my life in recent times, where I just unable to see the flip side. Hence seeing the other side in this situation is helping me with a dose of extra faith for these other situations…..my heart prays that eventually that flip side will emerge and that I will be lucky to witness that too.

        In the beginning, (say 6 months to 1 year back) I did not see this potential version/explanation to Harshal’s reactions and personality. Its highly probable what I have written. Yet it never struck me. So, I guess I had my blinkers on. Just like Harshal has labelled many of us. Perhaps, I too had labelled him a zombie. But, in actuality, there is a spirit that is using Harshal’s body to go through this earth journey and Harshal’s mind and personality has been drilled into him by the very many man MIND made institutions.

        Lets not judge whether its wrong / aligned or truthful……just the intensity and energy form Harshal…..is just so strong. You cannot fight like that if you do not care. Harshal is not an indifferent person. The guy truly cares. That is undeniable. As far as he is concerned, he is fighting for the right thing. ie… his own view of the world…to him that view had earlier provided clear logical explanations (read sanity, peace, and being conflict free). While his view, may be complete or incomplete….but the fact remains that he is a huge fighter and he cares not who he takes on or how well he is equipped…..,,he has just taken it HEAD ON.

        I compared. In my case, I choose carefully which battles I want to fight. This is more elegant and you waste less energy. However, it also keeps me mellow and I do not have the intensity that Harshal has. Thats fine, I am who I am. He is who he is. Could change with time….but at this time he is very different from me…..he just FIGHTS. On my part I was unable to embrace that quality which he was demonstrating. Because, I just could not see the situations and times / context where such Harshal qualities can be very valuable…..rather I paid it no attention….until now.

        So, a few days ago, when I noticed his post….it said “No links please”.

        To me that said a lot. He was asking for a direct person to person talk…. He did not want impersonal links. It told me that even if it was filled with animosity, Harshal had indeed developed a relationship (even if virtual) with folks on this blog. To me that declaration, even if indirect, was sacred and it needed to be respected. So, I chose to respond to him….even though I had earlier told myself, all future Harshal posts….just glance and push it away.

        And maan, as I started to write I started to see and experience the purity behind the personalty that I know as Harshal…..I got so engrossed with the flow of what I was penning that I even completely lost track of time…and just got immersed.

        It was also a good opportunity to showcase and introduce Harshal back to himself.

      • VSS permalink
        June 12, 2012 8:05 am

        @ IO [June 12, 2012 2:45 am]

        What is the flip side of “No links please” ? What is the flip side of the explanation you offer ? I appreciate you a lot for the compassion you exude. But does Harshal appreciate your compassion ? How shall I interpret his silence on your heartfelt words ? Do you think he’ll respond to the appreciation you expressed ?

        I’ll not believe Harshal is receptive to my definition of brainwashing unless and until I see an appreciative response to your compassion-immersed words for him. In any case, I am still working on the definition. I don’t think I have the words though — I am an ordinary human being. I cannot see myself coming up with a definition that is better than the definition provided by SMEs on the internet.

        Would you consider helping me with a definition that doesn’t resemble any definition provided by any expert online and is succinct too ? Do you have the competence to come up with a comprehensive definition in just a few words ? Please help me if you do. I don’t have the competence yet — am still working on it. Brevity, as you know, ain’t my forte.

  5. anonymous permalink
    June 10, 2012 8:14 am

    @ IO

    very well written

    • Anonymous permalink
      June 13, 2012 2:02 am

      @ vss

      IMHO

      Brainwashed = Being in denial of ‘what is’

      • VSS permalink
        June 13, 2012 8:08 am

        @ Anonymous [June 13, 2012 2:02 am]

        Thanks a million.

        @ Harshal

        Here’s the definition of brainwashing (provided by Anonymous):

        Brainwashed = Being in denial of ‘what is’

        Do you agree with this definition?

        {I shall take my time to answer the remaining questions you asked — I’m still working on the draft of my response.}

  6. The Doctor permalink
    June 11, 2012 6:44 am

    I’ve added two more questions to the above post which I feel need to be answered:

    Q: Specifically, why should those who suffer from bipolar not practice SK?
    Q: Can someone show the scientific research which has been carried out which concludes that SK is not suitable to those who suffer from bipolar?

  7. stupidseeker permalink
    June 11, 2012 11:12 am

    @All,

    Ten signs for recognising a sociopath. How many does HHSSRS fulfill ??

    http://www.naturalnews.com/z036112_sociopaths_cults_influence.html

    • Anonymous permalink
      June 11, 2012 11:34 am

      Roopesh…welcome back

    • The Doctor permalink
      June 11, 2012 2:18 pm

      @SS – do you mind re-posting this link on this post where this very subject is discussed at length?

  8. Doreen permalink
    June 11, 2012 12:51 pm

    @Doctor,

    To be fair you should have excerpted the entire paragraph from the blog you referenced:
    “Yoga breathing—particularly Bhastrika and rapid cycle breathing—may trigger manic episodes in patients with bipolar disorder. Those with type II bipolar disorder whose mood swings are well-controlled may do yoga breathing under supervision if they avoid Bhastrika and rapid cycle breath forms.”

    • The Doctor permalink
      June 11, 2012 2:32 pm

      @Doreen,

      I’m happy to include the remaining part, however as far as I can see it only reinforces the points I have made in the article. Sudarshan Kriya clearly involves rapid cycle breathing, so all the second part is saying is that those who suffer from type II bipolar shouldn’t practice it. Am I missing something here?

      • Doreen permalink
        June 11, 2012 5:17 pm

        Yes. There are cases where SK is taught but students are instructed not to do bhastrika or fast circles. In other words, the official word on teaching SK to people with bipolar is aligned with what the blog quotes is the recommended course of action.

      • The Doctor permalink
        June 11, 2012 7:00 pm

        Ok Doreen, I’ve updated the post to include the rest of the comment you’ve quoted.

        However I would challenge that there is any “official” word on how SK is taught. I have already acknowledged above that yes, the notes do state that SK should not be taught to those who suffer from bipolar, however I have also noted that RS has obviously encouraged one of his at one time most successful teachers (I believe you yourself knew her or at least knew of her if you were the same Doreen who posted words in praise of her on Kashi’s blog when Swami Sadyojatha’s letter was first published there) to practice SK, knowing fine well that she suffered from bipolar.

        I would also challenge whether SK without the fast rapid breathing cycle can still even be considered to be SK, but that really isn’t something anyone can readily answer. Hmmm, isn’t that a bit like SK without a teacher isn’t SK? 😉

      • Doreen permalink
        June 11, 2012 7:16 pm

        Yes, it can still be considered SK. There is an official word on SK, and it includes the instruction not to teach fast circles to heart patients, and not to teach people diagnosed with bipolar who are on lithium-based medications. These are simply facts, whether they support your point or not.

      • The Doctor permalink
        June 12, 2012 9:16 am

        Doreen,
        If we’re taking the SK notes as the official word on SK, and it seems reasonable to do so since these are dictated to the participants during TTC, then we must also include the fact that “grace” is officially a component of SK since this is mentioned a number of times in the notes in direct relation to the effectiveness of the technique. In fact, the notes make it sound as if grace is the most important factor with regards to the effectiveness of SK, with the technique itself being the least important.

        As such, doesn’t this give teachers an extremely confusing perspective on SK? If they are led to believe that SK is mostly due to “grace”, and they have already been conditioned to believe that “grace” is some sort of special power which also gives them (the teachers) the ability to heal others during SK practice, then won’t this be the foremost thing on their minds when they are conducting kriya sessions? Wouldn’t this explain why so many of them don’t seem to be aware of or have completely forgotten any of the precautions mentioned in the SK notes with regards to its practice? And if they do believe that “grace” is responsible for the effectiveness, why would there even be certain conditions which “grace” is unable to treat? Why for instance is “grace” ineffective in treating bipolar disorder?

        I also strongly challenge that SK can still be considered SK without the rapid breathing cycle. If this were the case, then whatever benefits AoL are claiming SK produces should be the same whichever version of SK is taught, otherwise AoL would need to publish different sets of benefits depending on the version. In which case, surely SK can be taught to everyone without the rapid breathing cycle?

      • Ronin permalink
        June 12, 2012 12:28 am

        Doreen and Doc,

        My oppinion with this is that none of this and other issues are addressed in the into talks, Just be open about it

        Just like the intro talks in TM never do they mention your mantra is based on age. What the puja really means. It is deceptive.

        And mind you the notes are dictated and they were dictated in such a fast pace that hardly any one had a full set, I complained abut this and was told you got what you needed and Guruji will be with you when you teach and use the tape.

        And these were only addressed to us when the notes were dictated during the last day of TTC we NEVER addressed this issue or any others.

        Should there not be at least some training time spend on this. What are the signs to lookout for

        Again the general feeling given is just go out and teach and all willbe ok. And not to mention all the young teachers that went through TTC who really were not capable of dealing with this.

        It is not a one filts all thecnique nor is it the best one out there. Once this is truthfully addressed AOL would have made a big step forward.

      • Doreen permalink
        June 13, 2012 7:32 pm

        @Doctor

        In my TTC both were emphasized equally. Both grace and integrity to the teaching instructions. I’ve seen SSRS correct some teachers who weren’t following all of the instructions so that leads me to believe that integrity to the teaching instructions is somewhat important to him.

        I haven’t personally met any, but if there are people out there who are not teaching SK according to the manual and are simply winging it on the winds of “grace”, I do not think they should be teaching.

        Re SK without the rapid breathing cycle, I haven’t done it myself but I’ll hazard a guess that it has a milder effect than regular SK but probably still some effect.

      • VSS permalink
        June 14, 2012 3:27 pm

        @ Doreen [June 13, 2012 7:32 pm]

        — I haven’t personally met any, but if there are people out there who are not teaching SK according to the manual and are simply winging it on the winds of “grace”, I do not think they should be teaching. —

        Here are some facts for you. I think they are pretty compelling but I leave it to you to ascertain whether they are compelling for you or not.

        1. Approximately two years ago, a former teacher of AoL started a blog to critique AoL. (I’m referring to this blog.)

        2. The blog has posts by the former teacher and various third party authors detailing the excruciating pain that they suffered because of AoL.

        3. While there is no photographic evidence or documentary evidence of torture, the posts are heartfelt and moving beyond measure.

        4. Many of these posts talk about how people suffered because of SK.

        5. Some time after this blog was started, AoL took this blog to court claiming defamation, copyright violation, and trade secret violation.

        6. The first two charges have been dismissed — the court has so far only found “minimal merit” in the third charge and asked AoL to prove “particularity”.

        7. The court has ruled in favour of the continuance of this blog because people have a right to warn others about what they perceive as a dangerous cult.

        8. While AoL alleged in court that bloggers were acting out of malice, outside court AoL alleged that this blog had been started by someone who is bipolar — which is an utter lie — but also an extremely prejudiced one. It reeks of utter insensitivity towards those who suffer from mental ailments. But, like I said, the inside court and outside court version is different.

        9. While your explanation explains why people continue to join AoL, it does not explain why people continue to leave AoL.

        10. IO had written a post recently explaining — in detail — how very few people return after the first course.

        11. Therefore, not only does your explanation not account for the sheer number of people who do not return to AoL, it also does not explain why whatever has gone on in AoL has led to the existence of two blogs (I’m referring to this blog and Klim’s blog) and hundreds of posts that clearly articulate how much people have suffered because of AoL.

        These facts — lead me to the conclusion — that your explanation is incomplete.

        Hence, I would appreciate it very much if you could explain to me why people don’t return to AoL after the first course and why two blogs were started and why hundreds of people have been pained by AoL.

        I would also appreciate it very much if you could explain to me why the number of people reading this blog is so high and increasing — albeit gradually.

        Thank you.

    • Anonymous permalink
      June 12, 2012 5:36 am

      In the blessing course i did under swami pragyapad, a lady turned violent after the ‘roaring like a lion’ process. She became so violent that she tore of the cushion that we use to sit in the vishalakshi mantap and the cotton was flying all over. I could not understand how one can tore a thick cushion with bare hands. She appeared as aggressive as a lion, shouting tearing. Later she regained her senses after a spell of unconsciouness. Then pragyapad had sent her out of the course, telling that she hid that much anger inside her. The lady pleaded him to allow her to continue with the course. But he refused.

      I know of another incident where a person died while doing ‘om shake’ during an advance course with dinesh.

      • Anonymous permalink
        June 12, 2012 3:30 pm

        @ Anon june 12 2012 5:36 am — “I know of another incident where a person died while doing ‘om shake’ during an advance course with dinesh”

        This does not surprise me. I’ve seen people fall unconscious, and turn blue. Ravi Shankar himself brags that one of his senior teachers (now left from AOL, good for him) died during the SK, and that he, RS, brought him back to life.

        It’s a matter of time before someone sues big time and this whole things crumbles.

  9. The Doctor permalink
    June 11, 2012 6:51 pm

    @ex teacher – thanks for your comment, I’ve published it separately (as https://aolfree.wordpress.com/2012/06/11/would-you-put-your-life-in-the-hands-of-people-like-this/ and updated the above post to reflect what you’ve said.

    @ALL – please read “ADDENDUM 2” above which I have written to reflect “ex teacher”‘s comment.

  10. VSS permalink
    June 12, 2012 2:44 am

    @ The Doctor

    You are absolutely right. This entire episode with the ex-AoL teacher — who was accused of starting this blog — exposes Mr. Ravi Shankar and AoL — blatantly.

    1. If she was bi polar, why was she made a teacher who taught SK ?

    2. People can say she was made to practice a milder version of SK but can they say that she was made to teach ONLY a milder version of SK too ?

    3. Why was bi polar depression used as an explanation for starting a blog ?

    4. Why does AoL perceive bi polar depression as a human inadequacy ? When the entire world is waking up to no inadequacy being an inadequacy — hence the expression differently abled rather than disabled — then why is AoL perpetuating and instigating archaic and regressive notions about mental ailments ?

    5. Isn’t this condemnation of a person based on a mental ailment yet another example of creating intolerance in the mind’s of devotees towards people who suffer from mental ailments — so that — people are divided into “those who are blue stars” and “those who aren’t blue stars” ?

    6. Why is it that several people who have verbally bashed up people who critique AoL on this blog question the sanity / mental well being of critics ? What does their behaviour — on display through not one but several posts — indicate about their attitude towards human beings and human beings who might be suffering from mental ailments ? Doesn’t it prove that one of the prejudices indoctrinated in AoL is that if someone disagrees with AoL, then that person is not “sane” or is “paranoid” etc. etc. ?

    Doesn’t it prove that AoL is anti-education ? Doesn’t it prove that the letter you have quoted serves as a guideline for AoL members on how to behave on this blog and that’s why most of them act like perfect bullies over and over again ?

    When this blog was started, it was started with the objective of giving people a place where they could share unpleasant experiences in AoL because AoL did not provide any such forum where people could raise issues openly or give AoL feedback. But this blog has transcended that purpose a long time ago. It is now a living document — proof of the intolerance that is indoctrinated in AoL.

    People who ask for proof should simply read the comments of AoL members who post on this blog — and see for themselves — how various biases and prejudices are indoctrinated in AoL. They will find ample evidence of the fact that it is an organization that claims to be “humantarian” but it anti-humanity.

    When one reads the comments of most AoL members on this blog, does one ever get the feeling that they are tolerant and sensitive — and at peace ?

    No.

    One gets the feeling that they are intolerant and insensitive — and not at peace.

    Sadly, what that letter started continues till today. At that time, only the writer of that letter made those allegations, today several more make it against several people.

    That letter is the “official strategy” for dealing with this blog.

    Still, I’d really like to know what research they’ve done to ascertain the impact of SK on people who suffer from bi polar depression. I need that information to help someone (in whatever way I can).

    And, to all those who “recruit” blindly, I’ll say this again — please stop right now. Unless and until you are absolutely certain that the person you will be “recruiting” will not be harmed — unless and until you are absolutely certain that no home will be harmed and no family will be harmed — please do not “recruit” people. I beg of you.

    • Anonymous permalink
      June 12, 2012 3:37 pm

      Many teachers exhibit types of mania, becoming extremely fast talking, overly happy, bubbling, frenetic. They recruit like crazy! Then, if you know them personally, you can see them ‘crash’, and go into various stages of depression, in private with acquaintances or friends. I believe these extreme mood swings are produced from the practices, SK, and association with Ravi Shankar. I noticed my moods becoming very pronounced, swinging from ‘high’ to ‘low’, and knew this could not be healthy. Unfortunately, some people like the ‘high’ too much, like a drug, so they continuously seek out RS and the SK to try to reproduce it again and again, regardless of the low that occurs later. I have never seen a balanced Art of Living teacher, calm, quiet, introspective, with good energy, who exhibited those traits most or all of the time. I only saw extremes of behaviors and a little in-between sometimes. To me, it felt not like growth, to see people and to participate in the running after the guru, and seva, etc., but rather like being some kind of addict. Anyone who wants a truly peaceful life will probably avoid AOL once they see beyond just one or two satsangs. It’s not a peaceful existence at all.

  11. Harshal permalink
    June 13, 2012 1:02 pm

    @ VSS: I will wait for all your answers before responding to them.

    • VSS permalink
      June 14, 2012 2:52 pm

      @ Harshal [June 13, 2012 1:02 pm]

      What do you have to say about IO’s insightful, perceptive and compassionate comments?

      Is IO’s reading of you correct ?

      Further, some questions struck me as I was working on my draft earlier today:

      Were you aware that you were being abusive and using profanity when you were being abusive and using profanity — or — did you simply have no consciousness of that ?

      Has the fact that The Doctor does not post comments from you that contain abuse and / profanity imposed a kind of additional consciousness on you ?

      Do you feel wronged that your comments containing abuse and / or profanity are not posted — or — are you grateful that they are not posted ?

      I don’t mind if you don’t agree with IO’s reading of you or feel grateful. I just want to know the truth about where you are at right now — so that I might be able to ascertain how receptive you are — and accordingly give final shape to my response (to the best of my limited abilities of course).

  12. Harshal permalink
    June 14, 2012 5:35 pm

    What do you have to say about IO’s insightful, perceptive and compassionate comments?
    Is IO’s reading of you correct ?

    Ans:I feel in love with IO. I was so emotional that i started crying. I used up all the tissue papers in my house and neighbours house as well. Then I went to wallmart to bring more tissue papers. Wallmart was closed, so I didnt know what to do. So I went to alabama tuscaloosa to get more papers.

    Were you aware that you were being abusive and using profanity when you were being abusive and using profanity — or — did you simply have no consciousness of that ?

    Ans:I have been told that consciousness is all pervading eternal etc etc. I have little bit of it here and there.

    Has the fact that The Doctor does not post comments from you that contain abuse and / profanity imposed a kind of additional consciousness on you ?

    Ans: Ya I get doctors additional consciousness. Hence he is not posting these days because his additional consciousness is getting so smaller and smaller no…

    Do you feel wronged that your comments containing abuse and / or profanity are not posted — or — are you grateful that they are not posted ?

    Ans:Its complicated.

    PS: I am scared of reading whatever you are drafting. Its ok if you dont post it.

    • stupidseeker permalink
      June 15, 2012 2:23 pm

      @Harshalbhau,

      What’s happened to you ? No profanities, no slurs in your posts of late. Don’t you have your reputation of being a kshatriya, destroyer of the adharmis, descendent of Shivaji, to consider ? Last time you said you couldn’t help yourself attacking the adharmis, thanks to your warrior blood. What happened since then ?? Don’t let that warrior blood of yours cool down Harshal. The blog won’t be much fun without its resident jihadi…err….ummm…dharmyoddha if thats what you would prefer.

  13. The Doctor permalink
    June 15, 2012 6:49 am

    @Doreen,

    “In my TTC both were emphasized equally. Both grace and integrity to the teaching instructions. I’ve seen SSRS correct some teachers who weren’t following all of the instructions so that leads me to believe that integrity to the teaching instructions is somewhat important to him.
    I haven’t personally met any, but if there are people out there who are not teaching SK according to the manual and are simply winging it on the winds of “grace”, I do not think they should be teaching.”

    But doesn’t any emphasis on “grace” actually create confusion in the mind of the teacher? Doesn’t it give them a false sense of security, something to fall back on which as far as they’re concerned is an all-seeing, all-powerful force which they expect to mitigate any and all shortcomings in the technique itself? Something which obviously doesn’t work, but which they are strongly conditioned to believe does? Wouldn’t it be far better if Art of Living removed all trace of “grace” from their teachings, especially those connected with Sudarshan Kriya? If they did, wouldn’t teachers then become far more likely to actually teach the technique just like any other pranayama, and to actually observe all the precautions?

    Because at present, many clearly aren’t, believing that “grace” is actually responsible for the both for the effects of SK and for ensuring that things don’t go wrong when participants practice it. Isn’t this extremely dangerous?

    • Doreen permalink
      June 15, 2012 12:34 pm

      “SSRS is all-seeing and all-powerful” is actually not a part of the teaching manual 🙂

      Still you’ve asked a valuable question:

      If one believes in grace (whether the grace of God, or the grace of Krishna, or the grace of SSRS, or simply the grace of universal goodness) then what does that mean for the responsibility they take for their life?

      There’s a spectrum of possible interpretations.

      On one end there are people who interpret it as, God/Krishna/SSRS/universal goodness has got my back so if I live sincerely, put my full effort to the best of my ability, and keep my heart clean – then my mind can be at peace that God/Krishna/SSRS/universal goodness will take care of the rest. It puts them in a place of active surrender. Like Arjun on the battlefield. In other words, the concept of grace is a spiritual tool to get one’s mind to relax so that they can focus 100% on the work at hand in front of them.

      On the other end are people who interpret it as, I don’t need to do a damn thing and grace will take care of everything, all I need to do is believe in grace. In this case, grace is more of a crutch than a tool for growth in life. I don’t believe that this is what SSRS is advocating.

      • stupidseeker permalink
        June 15, 2012 1:24 pm

        @Doreen,

        Does this mean that AOL leaves the interpretation of the term “grace” as used in the teaching manuals, to the individual discretion of the teachers ??

      • The Doctor permalink
        June 15, 2012 1:52 pm

        @Doreen,

        I was specifically referring to “grace” with respect to the teaching of Sudarshan Kriya and asked a number of questions all which you have completely ignored.

        Instead you gave a whole explanation as to what you believe “grace” is, and whilst it’s interesting to hear your interpretation of this otherwise intangible and somewhat subjective concept, you haven’t come remotely close to answering any of my questions. You really are starting to sound like RS himself when he avoids answering things that could incriminate him in some way.

        And just to remind you, as you yourself have already admitted, “grace” is very much a part of the teachings, and is explicitly mentioned in the Kriya notes.

      • VSS permalink
        June 15, 2012 4:58 pm

        @ Doreen [June 15, 2012 12:34 pm]

        I am sure you have some answers to the questions you are avoiding. Kindly share them.

        @ stupidseeker [June 15, 2012 1:24 pm]

        That is a very valid question. I too am interested in knowing the answer to that question.

    • Doreen permalink
      June 15, 2012 9:10 pm

      @Doctor

      I’m afraid we’re at a crossroads wrt this conversation because I have answered your questions but you’ve either not read my comment in full or you’ve not understood it.

      – The concept of grace does play a role in AOL teaching. Active grace – meaning, do your 100% and be at peace, trusting that everything that happens after that is for the best. It is no different from the instructions that Krishna gives Arjuna on the battlefield: do your duty whilst surrendering the fruits of your actions. Being 100% in the case of teaching would including following all of the instructions, being prepared, being responsive, etc.

      – I have not seen SSRS advocating the passive interpretation of grace, the interpretation that says, it’s ok for you to sit back and be lazy or sloppy and some unknown force will clean up after you. Not at all. In order to even qualify for TTC one has to watch the Ashtavakra knowledge series, which like the Bhagavad-Gita is all about the delicate balance between being 100% in your action without letting your responsibilities become a burden to your mind.

      • Anonymous permalink
        June 16, 2012 3:25 am

        Don’t make the mistake of watching astavakra gita videos. better buy some non-aol astavakra gita book and study. The videos contain only few verses from the first four – five chapters and prejudiced explanations that serve as promoters of SKY and Part 1 course.

      • The Doctor permalink
        June 16, 2012 5:20 am

        @Doreen,

        I was very explicit about the questions I asked in my original comment:

        https://aolfree.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/sudarshan-kriya-and-bipolar-disorder/#comment-13113

        and left no room for interpretation. You on the other hand have either not understood what I wrote (which I doubt very much) or you have just evaded the questions.

        Worse still, you have actually come up with a whole new definition of “grace”, one which we have never seen before on this blog or in Art of Living. The “grace” of which you speak has nothing whatsoever to do with the “grace” which is taught in Art of Living. There is no “active” or “passive” grace, and there never has been. I don’t know where you got this from but I would say you just made this up in an attempt to downplay the “grace” which we have gone to lengths to debunk on this blog.

        Whenever anyone refers to “grace” they are talking about “Guruji’s Grace”, which devotees believe to be some kind of mystical power which emanates from RS. It does not in any way mean “do your 100% and be at peace, trusting that everything that happens after that is for the best.” There is no room for interpretation of this, even in Art of Living. There is no way you could have done TTC and not been conditioned to believe this. And given the various comments you’ve made in the last month on this blog, it is evident that you fully understood this. So really, please don’t try to deny this.

        Frankly Doreen, I’m very disappointed in you. Since you appeared on this blog, you seemed very sincere in much of what you wrote and gave the impression you were genuinely seeking answers. However now it looks like even you have had to resort to lying and evading questions. And as I’ve already stated previously, if there’s one thing I won’t tolerate on this blog it’s people who lie. I think we’ve finally seen your true colors Doreen.

      • Doreen permalink
        June 16, 2012 9:37 am

        @Doctor

        It seems at odds with the spirit of this blog that you can’t tolerate a different view from your own without calling someone a liar.

      • VSS permalink
        June 16, 2012 11:38 am

        @ Doreen [June 16, 2012 9:37 am]

        Do you believe that Mr. Ravi Shankar has “mystical powers”?

        Also, what are his educational qualifications?

        @ Harshal [June 16, 2012 5:15 am]

        According to you, does Mr. Ravi Shankar have “mystical powers”?

        And, what are his educational qualifications as per your knowledge?

  14. Harshal permalink
    June 16, 2012 5:15 am

    “I have answered your questions but you’ve either not read my comment in full or you’ve not understood it”

    It is the latter. He just doesn’t get it and then accuses others of lying. Just wait and watch ;-)..low IQ I suppose. He should just talk with VSS!

    • Jr. permalink
      June 16, 2012 8:30 am

      Wrong Harshal. Wrong as always. Doreen did provide some interesting discussion on the topic of grace, but she completely evaded Doctor’s questions in regards to sudarshan kriya. The fact is the teachers are taught that grace is the biggest part of the process. I’ve heard numerous times from teachers say this exact thing. Just like Peter, Doreen refuses to answer the tough questions that are asked. This shouldn’t surprise anyone though. Why? Because AOL is an organization that teaches people that questions are bad and that we shouldn’t think too much or trust our mind.

    • sadhana permalink
      June 17, 2012 5:34 am

      He doctor,Doreen has been very sincere in her writings. What she writes about ‘Grace’ is obviously her interpretation after watching many AOL people or even people in non AOL society.

      It’s right what she writes about interpretations of word ‘Grace’. I have seen few good teachers around who give their 100 % and then only leave it to ‘Guruji’. This can be considered ‘active’ as Doreen describes.

      Her remarks make me remember one friend who once explained ‘Pravrutti’ and ‘Nivrutti’ in ‘Ashtavakra Geeta’ as ‘Give your best efforts and then just relax’.

      Everybody interprets ‘Grace’ in their way.That’s why there can’t be a single defn of ‘Grace’.

      From simple ‘Aashirvad’ or blessing it could mean anything, even actual physical experience or even feeling a presence.
      Some might express it as feeling of ‘gratitude’.

      I personally feel most of the AOL people mean it as ‘Kripa’..that’s what may be u mean by mystical power..

      AOL does not have a single definition of grace that is fed to or bombarded on devotees or participants. It acquires different meanings depending on level of devotees involvement and his spiritual experiences..

      One more thing to add..I at least know one AOL teacher who reads his Kriya manual everyday on the course days..He is doing that once or twice a month for past minimum 5 years..There are sincere people around who are following their notes.

      • The Doctor permalink
        June 17, 2012 11:09 am

        @sadhana,

        Here is what I find particularly interesting. Nearly 100% of people who have LEFT Art of Living and who have ever discussed “grace” on this blog all say EXACTLY the same thing about it. They usually describe it as some sort of mystical or magical power or energy which Ravi Shankar is somehow in control of, and that it somehow affects the lives of his devotees. If a devotee becomes a teacher, or is close to RS in some other way, then they have more “grace” in their lives. This is an almost universal explanation I have seen from those who have LEFT Art of Living, and at no point has anyone given even the remotest hint that this is open to interpretation.

        Now, those who are CURRENTLY in Art of Living have actually provided a completely different explanation of “grace”. In fact, they have tried to give *several* different explanations, and suddenly they are trying to claim that it is something which is open to interpretation. Peter has tried it (even though he already shot himself in the foot by posting under a different Id that he actually believed in the above explanation), Doreen has tried it (and her attempt at redefining it was quite laughable) and now you too are trying it.

        As far as I can see, this is an obvious and feeble attempt to try to downplay and outright deny what many of us on this blog strongly consider to be probably the most dangerous brainwashing mechanism in the whole of Art of Living. It’s a nice try, but seriously, who are you trying to convince? It certainly isn’t any of us who left, because we’ve already seen so many of the lies exposed here on this blog and elsewhere. So I suppose you are all trying to convince yourselves? In which case, is there really any need to do it on this blog?

      • Anonymous permalink
        June 17, 2012 1:01 pm

        In one of the DSN courses the teacher shared an anecdote where SSRS threatened a person who is committing wrongful acts that SSRS would withdraw his grace from that person. SSRS told that person that he is surviving because of his grace and his life would be miserable beyond measure if he withdrew his grace. And reportedly the DSN teacher had goosebumps on hearing the words of the master. He concluded the whole world is running because of the grace of SSRS.

        The aolites who are yet to realize the fraud of SSRS will come up with bizarre explanations to support the actions and words of SSRS.

      • sadhana permalink
        June 17, 2012 4:34 pm

        Doctor,I am not trying to convince anyone..I had written that post in response to your post where you have doubted Doreen’s interpretation of
        ‘Grace’..

        No, I’m not trying to convince you people as it’s of no use. You have your experiences and everyone is free to interpret their own experiences as they want.

        There is no question of convincing myself as I know what I know and I know it with true experience. It’s my experience that I have sincerely shared on this blog and not just some logical information.
        If it’s of use to someone who is still in confused state well n good..If no, it’s fine with me..

        No,I have never brainwashed anybody..and I am not doing that here.When I decided to share my experiences on this blog, it was for people like Mr.Confused. I realized there were many like that reading this blog. I just wanted to give them other thought to ponder upon..They had to know there are people who have had real experiences with SK,something beyond just feel good effect..That is not brain washing.

        If any one of us are suggesting a different definition of ‘Grace’ that does not match with your definition,why can’t you consider even slightest possibility that we might have actually experienced it in our life in that form ?
        Give this a thought just once..

        Doctor, if one has not had a particular experience in life,does that mean that nobody has had that moment in life?
        It’s same here. You people have a set of experiences which you have chosen to interpret in certain way. We have a
        different set of experiences. Accept it..

        Consider that may be there was something that really happened in basic and advance courses and many other times, there is a possibility you have missed on that ..but there are few others who have caught on that..It’s a possibility..Accept it.

        Again, I am not convincing you here,I’m just asking you to consider a possibility.

      • The Doctor permalink
        June 17, 2012 6:06 pm

        @sadhana,

        I don’t think you’ve understood my comment, because you’ve actually gone off on a complete tangent.

        I am not talking about “grace” in any general sense of the word, and I never have done on this blog. If there is a dictionary definition, or it is mentioned in various scriptures or other holy books, that is not something that is being discussed here.

        What is being discussed on this blog is “grace” as it is defined in Art of Living. There is ONLY ONE definition of “grace” in Art of Living, and that is the one I have stated in my previous comment. The point I was trying to make is that everyone who has left AoL knows this and have thus far been very forthcoming in discussing this openly on this blog, whereas those who are still in AoL and are doing their best to deny this.

        If you’ve had any number of experiences and you’d like to call them “grace”, then I’m really happy for you and I won’t challenge that. But unless you want to attribute these experiences to some mystical energy or power which emanates from RS, then we aren’t talking about the same thing.

        I hope this clears things up for you.

      • VSS permalink
        June 17, 2012 8:07 pm

        @ The Doctor [June 17, 2012 6:06 pm]

        I am not talking about “grace” in any general sense of the word, and I never have done on this blog. If there is a dictionary definition, or it is mentioned in various scriptures or other holy books, that is not something that is being discussed here.

        Thanks for clarifying this, Doc.

        Personally, I think that God’s Grace and Guru’s Grace cannot be the same. No mortal can claim to be equivalent to God. Such a claim is inherently flawed.

        If it’s not — then I would really like to know — precisely what mystical powers Mr. Ravi Shankar has and which Gods have granted him these powers.

        However, I find that this question is being actively dodged by all current members of AoL. This is extremely suspicious behaviour.

        If current members believe that Mr. Ravi Shankar has mystical powers, they should say so and detail those powers accurately.

        If they don’t, they should say so clearly. If they continue to dodge this question — then it can only mean that they are trying to intentionally confuse all current and future readers by not taking a stand.

  15. Anoop permalink
    June 16, 2012 7:37 am

    The mails i received on apartment mailing list today —

    2nd mail:
    Physical health benefits of Sudarshan Kriya
    Reduces stress
    Improves health and well-being
    More energy
    Strengthens immune system
    Reduces cholesterol levels
    Mental health benefits of Sudarshan Kriya
    Greater creativity
    Greater clarity of mind
    Improves sleep
    Enhances brain function
    Improves ability to manage challenging situations
    Improved interpersonal relations with Sudarshan Kriya
    More ease, joy and harmony in personal and work relationships
    A deeper sense of community
    Increases awareness both of self and surroundings
    Improves patience
    Increases confidence and self-esteem
    Psychological benefits of Sudarshan Kriya
    Relieves depression and anxiety
    Relief from anxiety and depression (mild, moderate, and severe)
    Spiritual benefits of Sudarshan Kriya
    Enhances yoga and meditation practices
    Experience a deep inner peace of mind

    1st mail mail:
    About the course
    The Art of Living course gives you the practical knowledge and techniques to unlock your deepest potential and bring fullness to life. Whether happy and successful or feeling the stress of poor health, work, or relationships, every participant is cared for and goes back much lighter. The techniques are effective in reducing stress levels and increase your health, physical energy, enthusiasm, self-esteem, awareness, and clarity of mind.
    What can I learn ?
    * Yoga: Easily learned tension-releasing stretching exercises.
    * Revitalizing breathing techniques that increase energy and deeply relax body and mind.
    * Interactive processes & Natural principles of effective living.
    * Guided Meditations
    * The Sudarshan Kriya ; A powerful breathing technique that purifies and rejuvenates through the elimination of toxins at a deep cellular level.

    How will it help me ?
    * Reduces stress
    * Increased health & well being
    * Improved self-esteem
    * More ease & joy in personal /professional relationships
    * Greater creativity and clarity of mind

    Independent Research Findings:
    * Reduced cortisol (stress hormone).
    * Relieves depression & anxiety.
    * Restores normal sleep patterns.
    * Increased prolactin (well-being hormone).

    Videos & Research Papers:
    * CNN Project Life [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6yulE3v7WA]
    * MSNBC [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEdiWh1qhtc]
    * Harvard Medical School [https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mental_Health_Letter/2009/April/Yoga-for-anxiety-and-depression]
    For more research and medical information, visit: http://www.aolresearch.org
    For testimonials and other information visit: http://www.artofliving.org

  16. Jr. permalink
    June 16, 2012 8:35 am

    And while you’re at it Harshal, why don’t you answer my questions you evaded earlier on meditation? Let me refresh you memory.

    You said…
    “The problem is that your thinking has become irreparably crooked because of the ideas which you have in your head. If someone meditates then they should be calm and peaceful? Why ?”

    I asked…
    Here’s a better question – what other purpose does it serve? To make people more angry and agitated? What does the organization say the purpose of meditation is? Is to become abusive? So what Harshal is saying is my mind has become crooked because I expect meditation to make people calm and peaceful? Poor Harshal…

    • Harshal permalink
      June 16, 2012 11:19 am

      @Jr: Your mind is crooked , because as soon as you see someone who meditates, you expect that by default they should pass your self defined thresholds of calmness, peacefulness etc.

  17. The Doctor permalink
    June 16, 2012 10:45 am

    It seems at odds with the spirit of this blog that you can’t tolerate a different view from your own without calling someone a liar.

    Doreen, seriously, you can dispense with the BS. This has absolutely nothing whatsover to do with tolerating others’ views, and it’s absolutely disgusting that you would even stoop to saying something like this. And for the record, I didn’t call you a liar – I said you were lying about something specific. You called yourself a liar.

    If you really are a teacher and you have really done TTC, then you know fine well what “grace” means. Especially if you have the SK notes, where it is clearly stated on a number of occasions. As I said previously, there is absolutey no room for interpretation here.

    The account of “grace” which you have stated above simply is not taught anywhere in Art of Living. I have already checked with a large number of teachers and ex-teachers that I am in contact with and they can all vouch for the fact that what you have said is not taught in TTC. And these are people who have sat TTC at varying times over the last 20 years. What is taught is giving something your 100%, but this NEVER referred to as “grace”.

    So either you are lying about what you have said regarding “grace” above, or you are lying about having done TTC. Either way, it doesn’t matter too much now because you’ve turned out to be another “Peter” who pretends to want to “sincerely debate and seek answers”, but just ends up lying and being evasive when it comes to sensitive issues like “grace”.

    • Doreen permalink
      June 16, 2012 1:28 pm

      I pulled out my SK notes and I don’t see the grace talk that @Doctor mentions. If there’s a teacher or ex-teacher on this blog, can you point me to the section in the SK notes or the teaching manual where you see it? I’m not asking you to excerpt anything that’s copyrighted only to point me in the direction. Thanks.

      • VSS permalink
        June 16, 2012 1:40 pm

        @ Doreen [June 16, 2012 1:28 pm]

        Do you personally believe that Mr. Ravi Shankar has “mystical powers”? If yes, then what are they ? Further, what in your knowledge, are his educational qualifications?

      • The Doctor permalink
        June 16, 2012 2:28 pm

        It is mentioned on a total of 3 occasions in the kriya notes. On the first page of notes, at the very start, there are four factors which are mentioned with respect to the effectiveness of the technique. The first of these is grace, and it is explicitly mentioned.

        Ronin also made the following comment not long ago also supporting this:

        https://aolfree.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/the-truth-hurts/#comment-12084

        It is central to TTC, something which teachers are conditioned to believe. It has been mentioned an innumerable number of times on this blog, and every time someone from AoL has been questioned about it they try everything they can to completely downplay it or just outright deny it. Exactly as you’re doing right now.

        So please stop trying to deceive people on this, it is obvious what you are doing here and it isn’t working.

      • Ronin permalink
        June 16, 2012 3:03 pm

        @doreen

        Very easy as mentioned before it is all int the first paragraph. lets see what are the buzz words divine grace that is teaching not ourselves. intstuments of the teaching, we are part tradition of masters yadi yadi yada.

        The four factors which only AOL has and that is why WE are so succefull cause other teniques dont have these.

        Whos says that SK is the most sucessful, yes the man himself the inventor and chief in charge. Pretty arrogant if you ask me. f you re read the first section it completly entraps you since any discrimination of onesself should be put aside. And this is the kicker if you don’t then your not all of that.

        So what choice do you really have. Well once you wake up and see through it all you dont really but that is just my oppinion.

        Keep on teaching and bringing the most powerfull technique to all those who are innocently seaching for the Truth in life. Unfortunately there is no warning label or side effects mentioned anywhere (like with meds) that makes it easier to sell the course. And we all know the more we sell the better we are and the master will be pleased and bestow us with his GRACE.

      • Doreen permalink
        June 16, 2012 7:28 pm

        @Doctor

        Thanks, I found the references. I had missed them during my first pass through.

        Let’s talk about it.

        Our conversation originated with you asking me this question:
        ——
        But doesn’t any emphasis on “grace” actually create confusion in the mind of the teacher? Doesn’t it give them a false sense of security, something to fall back on which as far as they’re concerned is an all-seeing, all-powerful force which they expect to mitigate any and all shortcomings in the technique itself?
        ——

        My answer to your question is: if grace is referenced as “an all-seeing, all-powerful force which they expect to mitigate any and all shortcomings in the technique itself” – in other words, what I’ve referred to in above comments as a passive belief – then yes, I would agree with you that that sets the stage for all kinds of things.

        However:

        a. That is not how grace is referenced in the SK notes. It is not referenced as “an all-powerful force which can be expected to mitigate” anything in the face of sloppiness and carelessness.

        b. As you know, one of the four pillars at the front of the SK notes is the importance of following the teaching instructions to the letter.

        c. It is already acknowledged in the SK notes that the full SK practice is not suitable for everyone. You can call that a shortcoming if you like in the same sense that apple pie’s shortcoming is that it’s not suitable for diabetics. It is not suitable for every health condition. The SK notes have a whole section on how teachers should determine, based on specific health conditions, whether someone should learn or whether they should learn a modified version. The notes also instruct teachers to review each participant’s application form at least a day before the course starts.

        In other words if there is a teacher teaching people SK who shouldn’t learn it for health reasons, then they are violating the prime instructions that have been given to them as an AOL teacher.

        I will not write any more about the SK notes but felt compelled to call out certain facts.

        There are people who will have a different point of view and that’s okay and in a way even adds depth to the exploration. Then there are people who will loudly insist, in theatrical language, that their point of view is the one based on a complete set of facts and that the other person is a liar (a liar of course meaning someone who lies). In my view that kind of response doesn’t serve the discussion at all.

      • VSS permalink
        June 17, 2012 3:38 am

        @ Doreen [June 16, 2012 7:28 pm]

        Why are you afraid to answer the following questions?

        1. What, in your knowledge, are Mr. Ravi Shankar’s qualifications?

        2. Do you believe he has “mystical powers”?

        3. If yes, then what are they?

        What will happen if you answer these questions?

        Why do you feel compelled to not answer them?

        What are you afraid of?

  18. Harshal permalink
    June 16, 2012 11:20 am

    “I didn’t call you a liar – I said you were lying about something specific”- nice. doctor going nuts again.

  19. Harshal permalink
    June 16, 2012 10:07 pm

    “Then there are people who will loudly insist, in theatrical language, that their point of view is the one based on a complete set of facts and that the other person is a liar”

    I think the problem is that doctor just doesn’t get it. He is probably not bad intentioned just that he cant comprehend it. And other disgruntled ex-teachers keep propping him up for their own agenda.

    I think we should give him a benefit of you doubt by assuming that intelligence quotient is a little on a lower side. Many times people have given very logical explanations of various phenomenons- to which his response is ‘you need help’ or ‘you are a liar’. Further , he also believes that people are very interested establishing credibility on this blog. He said that with so much conviction that i am forced to believe that there is an intellect-gap here.You cant just teach quantum mechanics to a first grader!

    Unless the doctor gives us some hints about his academic credentials/educational qualifications – we should just accept this intellect-gap and hope that it narrows as he keeps reading our answers.

  20. The Doctor permalink
    June 17, 2012 10:45 am

    Doreen,

    Thanks, I found the references. I had missed them during my first pass through.
    […]
    In my view that kind of response doesn’t serve the discussion at all.”

    It really seems that you are following almost exactly the same blogging pattern as Dr Peter. If I didn’t know any better (which alas I do) I would think that you are the same person. Just like Peter, you try to act as if you’re really sincere and want to seek answers. Just like Peter, you have avoided answering certain revealing questions asked of you. Just like Peter, you have tried to downplay the meaning of “grace” to the point where you have outright lied about it. And just like Peter, when I called you on your lying you turned nasty and resorted to playing the victim. The similarities really are uncanny.

    It is obvious to me and to anyone else who has been following the discussions on this blog with regards to SK that one of the underlying issues of teaching SK is that a great many teachers rely too heavily on “grace” when it comes to teaching it. Since you seemed to be sincerely trying to contribute to the discussion we were having, I asked you what your thoughts with regarding this aspect, and I was very explicit in my wording. However, rather than answer my question, you completely evaded it (and you clearly did, even after I called you on it), and provided your own definition of “grace” which is has nothing to do with one that is taught in Art of Living. Eventually, when you were left with no choice but to answer the questions, you tried to spin it in such away as if to say as long as teachers are following the notes, there isn’t an issue.

    From all this, it seems to me that you aren’t really concerned about any of the issues we have highlighted, but rather about convincing people that the technique is actually safe – as long as the teachers do follow the notes to the letter. I respect that this is your opinion, but I completely disagree with it for reasons I have already outlined above. As such, there’s nothing more that either of us can say on this subject.

    Howvever:

    There are people who will have a different point of view and that’s okay and in a way even adds depth to the exploration. Then there are people who will loudly insist, in theatrical language, that their point of view is the one based on a complete set of facts and that the other person is a liar (a liar of course meaning someone who lies). In my view that kind of response doesn’t serve the discussion at all.

    This is such load of BS I will call you on it. This has NOTHING whatsoever to do with differeing points of view. Throughout this blog there are so many people who have expressed different points of view, and I have NEVER called them liars, not once. I completely respect that people have different points of view, and if someone has a different opinion this in no way makes them a liar.

    But when I accused you of lying, I did so based on cold, hard FACTS. It is a FACT that if you have done TTC as you claim you have, then you will have been taught about “grace” aka “Guru’s grace” aka “Guruji’s grace” aka “Divine Grace”. This is not something which is taught in passing and which you could have possibly missed, it is one of the cornerstones of TTC. Nor is it something which is open to interpretation.

    The fact that you left this comment https://aolfree.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/the-truth-hurts/#comment-12125 would indicte that you must have read the post, in which I talk about “Guru’s grace”. And the fact that in your comment you didn’t challenge this whatsoever, combined with the fact that you have done TTC would indicate that you were fully aware of this. In fact, nowhere on this blog have you ever challenged this. You have never said anything along the lines of “I have done TTC, I have never heard of this Guru’s Grace, or about Guru’s Grace flowing through the teacher.” Which would mean that you know fine well that this IS what is taught in TTC. It really does seem obvious to me that you are going out of your way to try to downplay “grace” and make it sound as if it is something relatively innocuous, when in actual fact (something you yourself know to be fact if you’ve done TTC) it is anything but this.

    What is also very telling to me is the fact that you not only evaded my original questions, but worse still when I told you that you had evaded them you claimed you had answered them (when it was obvious that you hadn’t), but eventually you actually finally did answer them! Which means you were definitely lying when you claimed you had answered them but hadn’t. This too is a fact.

    Now you will note that I have never accused you of lying prior to this, especially in cases where we have not agreed on a point. I have always respected your points of view, as well as the points of view of others such as Dr Peter. It is only when any of you lie that in fact I have called you on it. I have said before and I will continue to say it again, this is the one thing above all else I will not tolerate. There is absolutely no reason to lie (and no, I do not accept the fact that RS lies so it’s ok to lie – it isn’t), so whenever any one here lies and I can prove it, I will do so.

    I find it sad and pathetic that you feel the need to play the victim here, but I’m not really too surprised as it’s something we’re starting to see a lot of now.

    Finally, I have NEVER called you a liar. I accused you of lying, and there is a difference. As far as I’m concerned, the word “liar” has a very fuzzy definition as it doesn’t deal with exacts. If you tell a lie once in your entire life, then does that then make you a liar forever? So rather than call someone a liar, I would rather highlight specific instances when they have lied as I have done in your case. That doesn’t make you a liar. But again, isn’t it really telling that you had to resort to writing to this and even try to define it in order to try to support your argument?

    • Anonymous permalink
      June 18, 2012 3:12 pm

      Like Master, Like Disciple — of course Dr. Peter and Doreen have to behave as victims when caught at something, called on something. Their master does the same thing. Catch him in a bad act and he first acts all “let’s discuss this”, then goes either ballastic angry, turning red and shouting, or if he knows that doesn’t phase you, because you don’t care anymore about his temper tantrums, starts with “how could you possibly think this/say this/do this about me/to me???” Of course he adds the histrionics of ‘all I’ve done for you’, and the additional ‘you’ll never get anywhere if you are not with me’ to try to add the fear of leaving. He really does this. I’m not joking. It’s pathetic and weird. And it even stimulated my sympathy for him when I was leaving, and I actually prayed for his safety and well-being for sometime…..until I found out how he was maliciously defaming me to friends and family and neighbors!!! Sending his people to say horrible things. Really unnecessary and bizarre behavior. Friends saw through it and left him because of these things. I had heard him doing this to others, and wondered why, felt uncomfortable about it. I heard him label people “blue star” or “disturbed”, etc. What kind of saint behaves this way? Is this enlightnement? And he has repeated this over and over again with so many people who ‘dared’ to leave. He felt his investment in them was diminishing in returns by their leaving??? What would make a saint behave this way?

      Harshal, Dr. Peter and Doreen may never have seen this behavior. Maybe they inherited it? Maybe it’s a siddhi he is sharing with them? The siddhi of deception and lying? It’s hard to believe that any of them are close to him and never noticed how he really is.

      If Ravi Shankar is actually an avadhut, then all these behaviors don’t matter. But then, he wouldn’t be hiding, so very very carefully, many personal things that few (here and otherwise) seem to know about him. He has purposely lied about himself to the public for many years. He wouldn’t be afraid of exposure of any kind if he were an avadhut. Then we could call his behaviors ‘guru lila’ and know that he is mad-saint, a type mentioned in scriptures. But he is calculating, careful, fearful. Which saint is fearful? Doesn’t fear leave with enlightenment? What would he be afraid of?

  21. The Doctor permalink
    June 17, 2012 6:08 pm

    @Anonymous whose comment I haven’t approved – thanks for posting the updated version. I’ll put it up as a separate post, especially given its relevance to certain issues currently being discussed.

  22. Harshal permalink
    June 17, 2012 8:27 pm

    “then I would really like to know — precisely what mystical powers Mr. Ravi Shankar has and which Gods have granted him these powers”

    Behenji- I don’t know what power Guruji has. I have seen only his playfulness and feel very good when he is around. Why are you stuck with mystical powers and gods who grant them? I haven’t heard him saying anything about it and I don’t care.

    • VSS permalink
      June 18, 2012 6:28 am

      @ Harshal [June 17, 2012 8:27 pm]

      You don’t care about something to do with Mr. Ravi Shankar ??? You expect people to believe that ?

      And, you are trying to twist my question and pretending if I asked if you have heard “him” say anything about his mystical powers??? You expect people to believe that too ?

      a diminished understanding of the universe
      faces you each day
      and each day you face it and embrace it too

      you claim to be humanitarian
      but you talk down to people as if
      it’s the right thing to do

      then you pretend not to know
      and not to notice

      not about Goddess Saraswati
      or your own actions

      you wonder aloud about the definition
      of distorted minds
      but want no scholarly answer

      lost in the maze of false assertions
      you run from pillar to post

      never knowing that you’re in a spin
      and that spin is induced and forced

      no peace you find in faith
      it makes you abusive and morbid
      you lash out at the drop of a hat
      accusing others of being putrid

      the human heart remains unknown to you
      so do the secrets of the human soul
      you verbally thrash people with judgment
      while saying enlightenment is your goal

      contradictions abound
      in your land of ignorance
      you hear no sound
      of the pursuit of reverence

      a fraudulent mortal thrives because of your validation
      and you cannot begin to see his puerile manipulation

      only God can help you see
      the difference between a mortal and Divinity

      God bless you, Harshal. I shall continue to pray for you. I believe in God and God’s ability to guide you out of illusions. It’s not a matter of if you will be able to see the truth but of when you will be able to see the truth. I have a lot of faith in faith. I have a lot of faith in God’s Grace too. My faith is not fickle so you can continue to heckle — doesn’t disturb my faith and make me drop my humanity.

  23. Harshal permalink
    June 18, 2012 10:36 am

    pakau item is writing a poem on me…again…

    • VSS permalink
      June 18, 2012 5:25 pm

      @ Harshal [June 18, 2012 10:36 am]

      Why are all the people in AoL unable to inspire you to get busy doing actual work and making a change ? When did you join AoL ? Since when have those people been failing ? Why are they unable to get through to you ?

      Look at you — reading bad poetry and commenting on it. Surely, the great volunteers of AoL could do with some more help. Why don’t you care about them? What do you get out of reading my bad poetry and bad comments? What a waste of your precious time!

      Is all of AoL unsuccessful in getting you to focus on doing some real work and making a change? Why? Why don’t you listen to them?

      How can you justify reading bad poetry by a bad person? You can’t even claim you are entertained this time — you are bored sick.

      So, why are you self-destructing? Don’t you value your own time?

      And. what do you get out of posting such contemptuous and derisive posts and harming Sri Sri and AoL ?

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