The The great great Sri Sri NGO NGO scam scam

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar‘s Art Of Living kicked off Sangam 2008 yesterday, a three-day All-India Summit for Environment. Using the “triple bottomline approach” (ecology, economy and technology), the confluence sought to bring together “multi-sectoral non-government organisations (NGOs) on one common platform to develop practical solutions for India’s most pressing environmental concerns.”

Organised through AOL’s sister concern, the “International Association for Human Values” in partnership with the United Nations Millennium Campaign, with “technical support” from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, promotional literature for the summit said Ravi Shankar, along with Dr R.K. Pachauri, Dr Ashok Khosla, Sunderlal Bahuguna, Dr Vandana Shiva, and Kartikeya Sarabhai would be in attendance.

BHAMY V. SHENOY of the Mysore Grahakara Parishat, who plays a lead role in bringing out a magazine for NGOs called Catalyst, was among those who signed up, paying Rs 5,000. He fled before the end of the first day. This is a letter he has written to several NGOs and NGO heads of his first-hand experience.

***

“I am back from Ravi Shankar’s Sangam 2008 within a few hours of its inauguration. It was supposed to be an “all-India NGO summit for protection of environment and access to social justice.” In reality, this was one of the cleverest hoaxes perpetrated in the name of a spiritual movement using the facade of NGOs.

“We should keep away from this “spiritual” person. His is a commercial ashram doling out psychological products specially for some foreigners and middle-class women who have studied in English medium schools. Many are working there as volunteers. It was impressive to see how so many could be motivated to give their services free of cost to produce profit for an institution. This requires genius of the highest order.

“I even met a professor from IIT Bombay who is a volunteer there. When I expressed my disappointment with the whole show, she was very “sympathetic” and assured me that she too felt the same way at first, and later thanks to “guruji” she could see the light.

“Uniformly every volunteer to whom I complained about the NGOs being taken for a ride, responded in the same manner as though all of them were robots programmed by some unknown force. The whole campus is filled with security people. Going from one place to another place was like going from one section of a jail to another where every gate is protected by a security guard.

“After charging Rs 5,000 as a delegation fee, Art Of Living was providing us a room to be shared with two others, and with no towels, soap, drinking water, etc. The food was sub-standard. We were expected to wash dishes after eating.

“We did not go there as his disciples. I do not think delegates were taking part to learn about self-help as his disciples may be expected to do. I refused to wash dishes which was not liked by some. This is not because I dislike it. I have done it often. But I did not pay Rs 5,000 to do that. Moreover on the website, I was offered better lodging and food facilities.

“What a wonderful way of advertising his product by charging us!

“Companies pay money to advertise their products, but here Ravi Shankar collects money from us and introduces us to his product.

“There were satsanghs, “free” introductory yoga classes, visit to his first abode, etc. I am sure some NGOs would have decided to buy his products and will act as his emissaries. Of course, there will be a few like me who will attempt to do just the opposite. There were spies in the ashram observing people like me. It was obvious and at one time I was even frightened.

“During an evening satsangh, there were some planted questions put to Ravi Shankar. Still, his responses were pedestrian at best. One of the questions was about the new burning topic of global warming and climate change and what he (Ravi Shankar) thought about them.

“At first, he ridiculed those who are worried about such things and proceeded to give the example of the Y2K phenomenon. Ravi Shankar dwelt on how foolishly people worried about Y2K, about places exploding, about the world coming to an end, etc and how nothing of the kind took place. He was suggesting that Y2K was not a problem and so also global warming. Little did he take into consideration the elaborate precautions taken by the world to prepare for Y2K and how India became the world capital for IT and outsourcing as a result.

“What a pity such an ignoramus is considered as a “guruji” even by the firebrand Vandana Shiva.

“Someone asked the question about the unrest and violence in Kashmir and his response was to pat the questioner and to state that youth should get involved.

“After spending less than 24 hours, I decided to leave the place. The cult-like environment was suffocating. Some other delegates from Mangalore with whom I have been conversing also decided to leave after the inauguration. One of the speakers Ananth Nadkarni, vice president, Tata council for community initiatives, too decided to leave early. Another speaker who was to talk on HIV left even before the end of the first day.

“But for Vandana Shiva, none of the advertised experts and well-known speakers (R.K. Pachauri, Ashok Khsola, et al) were present. Is it possible that their names were prominently placed to sell the Sangam?

“We were told that about 500 delegates had registered and there were three silver sponsors. They must have raised at least Rs 30 lakh and the incremental cost would be no more than Rs. 3 lakh. This is an excellent and clever way of making huge profits. Business colleges should use this as a case study. We should admire the entrepreneurial capabilities of Ravi Shankar. It needs genius.

“Despite being a keynote speaker, Vandana Shiva spoke for just few minutes and that too in a rambling manner. She took the opportunity to bash Tata’s small car, the Nano. Her so-called keynote speech was dull and did not dwell on the main subject. A high school student could have delivered a better speech with greater insight.

“A High Court judge also gave an uninspiring talk making no substantive points except offering “pranams” to “guruji“. What a joke!

“I attended the first workshop and it was also equally boring. Speakers were more interested in offering pranams than dwelling on the subject.

“I do not think we can collaborate with this group. When they were pressing us to register all the time, and not giving us any suggestions on how we could collaborate, I knew this was a commercial establishment and not a spiritual centre as is advertised. Perhaps we should write an article on how NGOs should guard against such frauds in the future.

“I am sure during your meeting with Ravi Shankar and his people, you would have come to the same conclusion. Let us now revert back to the poverty issue and stop any idea of collaborating with Ravi Shankar.

“I am planning to demand the return of payment since facts were misrepresented to me while registering. I am exploring the possibility of filing a case in the consumers’ forum. When our NGO, Mysore Grahakara Parishat, is encouraging others to file cases, I need to follow that example.”

Photograph: courtesy Art of Living

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710 Responses to “The The great great Sri Sri NGO NGO scam scam”

  1. mrignayani Says:

    thank you for this post. plse read the latest issue of AGNI a weekly tabloid in English to know how Ravi Shankar has cheated people in this ‘summit’ (The LOOT SHANKAR). Even when poor NGOs who wanted to attend but could not pay the heavy admission fee of Rs 5000 begged for some concession thye were denied. For all his talk of being Pro-Poor he charged the participants for everything.

  2. Mayura Says:

    Sri Sri’s father Mr.Sundaram was a big fraud, who was kicked out of his job at TAFE(Tractor and Farm Equipment) on charges of misappropriation where he worked as a Inventory Manager. Later on he started the 3 wheeler car ‘badal’ and swindled the investors before the car plant was shutdown.

    The son is following in his illustrious fathers footsteps by conning the general public in the name of art of living (to me it looks more like art of lying). His Sudarshana Kriya is nothing more than Paranayama nicely packaged and this guruji has the gall to patent traditional knowledge known to Indians for ages. His disciples are mostly westerners who are looking for instant Nirvaana.

    I have heard to some of his audio tapes and it is full of bull crap without any traces of spiritualism. I found Sri Sri’s thoughts on spiritualism was mostly rip offs from maharishi mahesh yogi

  3. kaangeya Says:

    Scoundrel! Ayogyan! Thanks to Catalyst we have one more account of the utterly worthless babble peddled by SSRS’s AOL.

  4. Mayura Says:

    Also take note of the recent mention of AOL’s encroachment of government lands near ramanagara which was found out by the committee set up to look into land encroachment. Surprisingly, this matter was hushed up and was never discussed in the mainstream media

  5. H.R.Bapu Satyanarayana Says:

    Ravi Shankar’s reply about global warming is to advice us to do nothing while all the while we human beings have been profligate in consuming resources and destroying the nature which has boomaranged on us creating hell in climate change and global warning. Therefore we have to act. The revenge of Gaia by Lovelock should awaken to future shock and not be complacent as advised by Ravi Shankar. Bamy Shenoi has done an excellent public service by exposing the fraud.

  6. Narayana Says:

    This video features Ravishankar being cornered. This can be shown to his disciples who believe invincibility of their Guru.

    http://nadunudi.wordpress.com/2008/02/01/ravishankar-cornered/

  7. Mayura Says:

    It is very stupid to assume that these guru’s are masters of everything. WTF does Sri Sri know about kashmir problem or global warming or Y2K. In fact I have heard him on a tape claiming to have revived the Ayurveda system of medicine in India. This could be bought by those innocent western devotees of his, but any one else who can do some little thinking and checking around knows that it is bull crap.

  8. NS Rao Says:

    I have been one of those persons who has always hated this cult of spreading spirituality at a cost. I attended the course on Sudarshana Kriya and found that they were most interested in getting folks into their so called hi-tech ashram with my family. I am happy that I did not venture into it. Agreed, Sudarshana Kriya is good, but looting big time money from public in the garb of spirituality is as bad. The silver jubilee celebrations that were done in Jan’06 was another joke. God knows how much money was spent on this. If they ever used the same money to provide employment and food to poor, they would’ve been better off and god would have definitely smiled.

    Well there may be many people who are falling at his feet, but I think he is the greatest conman after Saibaba of Puttaparthi. Only difference being that some of the social work done by Saibaba is evidenced in Ananthapur (drinking water programme) and Bangalore (hospital). I have not seen an iota of charity done by AOL anywhere.

  9. Sir Vibhudi Aatmapudi Says:

    The author has my full sympathy. What ahankaara to call himself “sri” and that too, 3 times! A few years ago I attended – by invitation – a discourse of his in San Francisco downtown. He was late by 45 minutes. He did not apologize. Cracked some really, really poor jokes. Then he sang.And by god that man could not sing to save his life let alone anyone’s. Worst of all, he dislikes children. When I witnessed his attitude towards a few children who were crying, I immediately got up and left. People around were staring at this mad guy who dared get up and leave wheneveryone else was sitting with folded hands.Idiots.

  10. MGRao Says:

    Sans for the venue being Columbus downtown and fortunately not bearing witness to his dislike for children, my experience in a ‘by invitation’ event when in Columbus(his hub in the US), was exactly like that of Sir Vibhudi’s. It was a listless, insipid rehash of mediocre banal rhetoric symbolic of a wannabe.

  11. Doddi Buddi Says:

    I always suspected this Art of Living was a bit of a fraud and Shenoy’s post confirms it! Sir Ashley, a super comment. I am uncomfortable with these spiritualists.

  12. Anonymous Coward Says:

    Please watch this –

    We miss Swami Vivekananda.

  13. UpholdIndia Says:

    I feel so sorry for the state of India today. We are so against anyone trying to do any good, that no good ever seems to happen. So many people have benefited from the Art of Living courses – prisoners, Naxalites and the common man. I have personally seen people with substance abuse and depression problems get cured from the Art of Living course.
    But no, you guys will not see that. What matters is the superficial stuff – there are foreigners in the Ashram or I have to wash my plate in the Ashram and so on. I am not saying that everyone has to prostate before Sri Sri Ravishankar (I am fortunately not a fundamentalist).
    Don’t get stuck with the personality, just look at the awareness and human values that the organization is building. And why should it be free of cost? Indians just have this feeling that anything spiritual (yoga or meditation shd be free). The West, on the other hand pumps in millions into lame Yoga and meditation classes – I have attended some of those too. Believe me, they are nowhere close to what Art of Living offers.

    I don’t mean to hurt people’s sentiments with my post. My only intention is to make people look at both sides of the story and not to spread hatred against any personality.

  14. jeevarathna Says:

    Mr. Narayana’s Post on Ravishankar cornered looks like well orchestrated drama. I do not know where and when this function was held. But as the post is made on 1-2-2008, i suppose it is a recent one. But two years ago a similar function was held at Bangalore Palace grounds and the actors were again Zakir Naik and Sri Sri and the the same scene was enacted . But from the video it does not look like a function held at Palace grounds ! Hope some one will clarify the location and date >

  15. Vitlan Potli Says:

    If only we could accept “Yes, We are here by some quirk of fate. We will see & feel pain (may be lots of it) we will also see joy (may be very little). Our body will be diseased however healthy we might be and we will perish. We have to strive and try to make thing as pleasant as possible”.

    Then we will have no room for guys like these. who play on the weakened & harassed mind for a few dollars telling them they are been given peace of mind, deliverence, succour or some such.

    I am reminded of a dialogue in the movie ‘Gladiators’ where Oliver Reed(the Slave master) tells the gladiators to go out and win the crowd

    “……and ultimately we are dead men”

  16. Anonymous Coward Says:

    Please do watch it.

    Ravishankar should stop acting like an ambassador of Hinduism. He is no Vivekananda.

  17. Bhaskar Chatterjee Says:

    Edward Luce (In Spite of the Gods, the rise of Modern India) has shown Sri Sri as very close to Sangh parivaar too. Probably, this will cause more heart-burn amonst Nehruvian dinosaurs, and they can try some medicine :)-

    We can very well understand (& analyze why its so) that there are lots and lots of heart-burn amongst Nehruvian dinosaurs in and around Bangalore(technological capital of India), seeing Sri Sri Ravishankar flourish. Guess what, nothing is going to change because of your opposition, ridicule.

    Facts are: He is one of the most powerful face of global Hinduism today- has massive reach, credibility. He does NOT need to become another Swami Vivekanand- because his task is different- to popularize, give alternate solutions to issues. Many Govts, including some run by Congress works with his group to solve issues. As in the case of farmers suicide in Vidarbha.

    Islam is God 3.0

    However, its not expected to see video of Zakir Naik, a known Islamist preacher, who thinks “..young Muslims are raised on the view that Islam is God 3.0. Christianity is God 2.0. Judaism is God 1.0. And Hinduism and all others are God 0.0″ (a term used by Tom Friedman to describe attempted bombing of British Airports by Muslim Doctors- http://freedemocracy.blogspot.com/2007/07/thomas-l-friedman-at-theater-near-you.html ) to rebutt Sri Sri.

    The way a convert to Islam from Hinduism was welcomed by the mob is most outrageous to see. And unless this belief that “Islam is God 3.0- Hinduism is God 0.0″ is checked forthwith, make no mistake to handover the country to Moditva.

  18. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    As some have mentioned we need to see both the sides. We should not badmouth a person based on some ideology. Let us look at “facts” if we can without trying to make value judgement.

    I am coming from a background of consumer protection movement without any known bias. Definitely I am not of Nehurivan bent. If any thing I strongly believe in the Adam Smith’s invisible hand of self interest theory.

    Let us analyze the facts. When an organizer charges a large amount of Rs 5000 per person, and promises good housing and food, they should deliver them. There was a lapse in this. This does not require a lot of planning. If they were not capable, they should not have charged such a huge amount. It looks like a con operation excepting to those who are the devotees of Ravi Shanker which I am not. When one goes to a restaurant, is he expected to wash dishes? When one goes to a hotel charging a high tariff, can one expect soap and towel? Do you expect to be packed like sardines in a small room when you pay Rs. 5000 per person? I did not go as a devotee or follower of Ravi Shankar.

    When you advertise big names like Dr. Pachauri, Khosla, Behuguna etc all well known personalities in the environmental field and no explanation is given for their absence, what should one conclude? Also when some one like Vandana Shiva does not dwell on the subject and rambles on the topic, any objective person will conclude there is definitely a lapse.

    Again when Ravi Shankar ridicules the dangers of global warming and climate change through his analysis of Y2k, how can there be any credibility in the summit which is supposedly for environmental protection.

    When a person supposedly dedicated to the concept of environmental protection moves around his campus in the latest air conditioned car, what kind of message does he convey to NGOs who are interested in environmental protection?

    When we the NGOs are taken around the campus, and not one example of sustainability is shown and all the time subtle messages are given on “guruji” teachings, yoga classes, vedantha school, “initial abode of guruji”, etc, what should one make of such things? Is that an advertisement for Art of Living courses or some thing else?

    During my short stay of less than 24 hours, I met several delegates. But for his die hard devotees, I did not come across one delegate who had kind words about what Ravi Shankar has done to extract Rs 5000 from all of us in the guise of organizing a summit for NGOs. Of course just like most of his devotees who are mesmerized by his message, it is possible that all of these delegates might have been prejudiced. However I would say the probability of the latter is small.

    I have absolutely no problem in Ravi Shankar earning huge amount. He is definitely ‘meeting’ the needs of his customers who are his devotees. But let us call this a business venture for profit and not an NGO dedicated to the cause of spreading spiritual ideas. Just like a restaurant meets the customer needs by serving food and drinks or psychiatrist serves the patients, Ravi Shankar is doing a great job of meeting psychic or other needs of his customers. If they are willing to spend money so be it. But we need to be clear about the true motives and not get confused. Using the facade of non profit spiritually oriented NGO, one should not try to earn money as he seems to be doing.

    I as a consumer activist appreciate those businessmen who earn profit in a legal way. They are serving the customers. I admire the business genius of Ravi Shankar. He may be like what Dhirubhai Ambani was for Petrochemical sector. It is just that his sector is dispensing psychological help using the concept of spirituality. Then he should also be paying taxes like any businessmen.

    Bhamy V Shenoy

  19. Not A Witty Nick Says:

    Paapa! They were only “warming up” for the real event! ;-)
    Are you sure that these value adds were not mentioned in the fine-print? :D

  20. Bhaskar Chatterjee Says:

    Hello Mr. Bhamy V Shenoy
    [Ref to your post: 2 February 2008 at 9:29 am ]

    1. Its not as simple as you are trying to put it: advertised speakers did not show up. If you see their brochure, handouts, payment slips closely, somewhere they may have put: changes in schedule may take place, and there will be no refund. This will stand in a Consumer Court, legal scrutiny and a standard procedure by event organizers.

    2. Neither its the case that people of the stature of Pachauri, Khosla, Bahuguna ever get engaged with Sri Sri Ravisankar or his organization. He regularly takes part in many programmes worldover where movers and shakers do participate. Dalai Lama, President Kalam and others took part in such a programme in Delhi few days back.

    3. DO YOU HAVE ANY PRIVILEDGE COMMUNICATION FROM PACHAURI/BAHUGUNA THAT THEIR NAME WAS PUT AGAINST THEIR WISHES? IF YES, YOU THEN HAVE A CASE. If they don;t object, you have NO CASE.

    4. Fact is: Your original post at Churumuri is DEEPLY BIASED, PREJUDICED, SWEEPING in nature. Otherwise you would not have made such sweeping comments like: “I am sure during your meeting with Ravi Shankar and his people, you would have come to the same conclusion. Let us now revert back to the poverty issue and stop any idea of collaborating with Ravi Shankar”.

    5. Bhamy V Shenoy >>”Then he should also be paying taxes like any businessmen”. Did Karnataka Govt charge Benny Himm for his programme? What was your stand then? Can you show us any proof that you aired similar demand then?

    You sure are entitled to your views. Hope, you will also accept similar deeply biased, prejudiced, sweeping comments about your views?

    Right Mr. Bhamy V Shenoy ?

    –Bhaskar Chatterjee

  21. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    Hello Bhaskar Chatterji,

    if I was swindled by Benny Himm or any one who might have been cheated by Benny Himm came to MGP, we would have taken exactly the same stand as I am suggesting now. There are many persons like Ravi Shankar who are taking people for a ride. Unfortunately not many come forward to expose them.

    Thanks for your observation on Pachauri, Behuguna etc. I do not know if any of them will respond back to me to answer the question about their acceptance. The fact that only one of the prominent persons has attended raise doubts about the summit. But my main objection concerns the kind of food and lodging they provided and charging Rs 5000 for that. Can you imagine any one making Rs. 27 lakhs from a small investment and that too from the NGOs? It requires great genius and for that I have the grudging admiration for Ravi Shankar.

    Bhamy V Shenoy

  22. captainjohann Says:

    A very good expose of AOL. But then global warming is another huge Hoax being played by western countries on India and china and asia.
    GLOBAL WARMING is beneficial to India!!!
    Global warming has become the Buzz word in Social science forums across the world. It is even thrust into Corporate Social responsibility(CSR) seminar circuits that money will be earmarked for this huge HOAX
    . What is the truth?
    Global warming is taking place and that is a fact. But due to green house gases and it is man made say some scientists. Of course Al gore got his Nobel and Pachauri for sponsoring this cause. But there is a significant scientific community which believes that global warming is taking place due to SUN IRRADIANCE. They base their theory by taking cognisance of Mars warming in the same proportion as earth inspite of lack of human habitation and lack of green house gases. But the global warming camp say it is due to wobble of mars. In olden days the same scientific community used to say that cycles in earth temperature happens due to this wobble of earth. Ice age will come to earth as the wobble happens. Now as the global warming is taken up by western governments, they have become silent. Why?iceage doesnot gel with global warming!!!
    In what way this global warming is affecting Earth? It is melting some ice mass in western Antarctica and Greenland. But in Eastern Antarctica ice mass is actually growing!!!In South pole this global warming has no effect at all.
    In India as per ISRO scientists and those involved in this study have found that in Sikkim which had only 21 glaciers in 2000 has now 84 glaciers. A four fold increase in just 8 years. so actually we in India are having more glaciers and so we will have more water and our water starved country will be benefit ted.
    This cacophony of chorus is basically a move by western governments to starve India and china to cut down on their Petrol consumption while they will continue to use their SUV.This conspiracy theory gets reinforced by the vehemence of opposition to NANO a small car. Instead of appreciating a small car which will benefit the poor there was this chorus that it will increase the pollution and co2 emission. But they will not stop using their SUVs!!!!!!!!!
    INDIANS MUST BE MADE AWARE OF THIS HUGE HOAX.

  23. Piteel Master Says:

    Ravi Shankar is a clever Ayyangari. When he offers you yoga lessons or words of wisdom at a seminar, he charges you a big fat fee. But when you offer him your services, he gives you no fee. It is guru seva!

    Bhamy, I understand your outrage. Bhaskar, you hit the nail on the head when you talk about Benny Hinn and Ravi Shankar in the same breath. They are both mercenaries.

    Hinn only comes once in a while to India, and goes away quickly enough. This “Sri Sri” (means Money, Money) won’t leave us in peace. You have to endure his banalities and his PR.

  24. Gokulam 3rd Stage Says:

    When I went to the AKKA Sammelana in Baltimore in 2006, at some point Ravi Shankar in his speech got up and announced that he had just returned from the Immigration office where he became a US citizen. All his devotees gave him a standing ovation!

    I was dumbstruck. It was surreal.

  25. Bhaskar Chatterjee Says:

    BV Shenoy writes>>”But my main objection concerns the kind of food and lodging they provided and charging Rs 5000 for that”.

    BV Shenoy writes earlier>>“I am sure during your meeting with Ravi Shankar and his people, you would have come to the same conclusion. Let us now revert back to the poverty issue and stop any idea of collaborating with Ravi Shankar”.

    Do they match up? Or its a case of over-reaction, sweeping statements?

    Piteel Master>>Bhaskar,you hit the nail on the head when you talk about Benny Hinn and Ravi Shankar in the same breath

    They are not same, neither their goal is same. However I am not surprized, as I saw some people referred Zakir Naik. Do you guys really know who Zakir Naik, Hinn are, their theological, political baggage?

  26. Doddi Buddi Says:

    GK3S,

    I am not surprised. This Craft-of-living is a weirdo!

  27. Nina Says:

    Bhamy Shenoy,

    good observation. As you have rightly mentlioned, no one has the courage to expose such things in public. I agree with your arguement, having charged Rs. 5000, they should at least provide decent food and shelter, if not anything else. If I were there, I too would have run away. I wonder why T.V. 9 would not expose such things. They dwell on small issues for 4-5 days interviewing people (like s.m.Krishna and B. Sarojadevi affair, which was nobody’s business) and talking nonsense. But they don’t take up on real issues like the one you have. I appreciate your effort in narrating your experience.

  28. Setudev Says:

    hmm, That is interesting. Why would a spiritual person announce receipt of US Citizenship to a crowd? It is either just as FYI or out of excitement. If it was just FYI, he/she should not accept standing ovation for that. If it was out of excitement, then why get excited and annouce such a materialistic thing? hmmm I have no answers for that. May be one of his devotees can come up with a spiritualistic hidden message in this gesture. I am curious as to what it will be.

    My understanding was, usually spiritual leaders avoid talking about me or “I”. For instance saying: “I just received US Citizenship”
    In the view of cosmic events a US Citizenship is meaningless and artificial. Humans dont need liscence to live on this earth. Why should one even mention that, leave alone letting people celebrate it by a standing ovation?
    It leaves me speechless.

  29. Thyampanna Shetty Says:

    “The cult-like environment was suffocating….”
    A perfect one-line summary of all these ‘spritual leaders’.

    Any affluent spiritual leader needs to be seen with suspicion. I know it sounds a little extreme, but…

  30. Thyampanna Shetty Says:

    By the way, it also includes ‘scholars’ like Zakir Naik who is peddling ‘sheria laws’ and ‘polygamy’ in India! If you need evidence, watch his other videos! ‘Trojan horses’ like him use ‘fredom of speech’ to push exactly the opposite views and are even more dangerous!

  31. Anonymous Guy Says:

    If you stop breathing for a minute you die. Yet you pay this dude good money to learn to ‘breathe’.

    Obviously such a guy will think he will get away with anything. And in India he will. Its the same with all religious hoaxsters – Sai Baba, Benny Hinn (a thousand more names can be added to this list).

    Since suckers seem to exist everywhere, we should encourage our gurus to expand abroad and earn good foreign exchange for our country. But for that they have to learn to be a professional.

    After IT outsourcing – this ‘knowledge in a can’ may be a next big thing for India. And in fact art of living seems to have successfully targeted the IT worker segment very well.

    Who knows, this incident may make Mr. Sri realize that he has to give some value for suckers money and improve his production values a little (like say Benny Hinn).

  32. Bhaskar Chatterjee Says:

    Gokulam>>When I went to the AKKA Sammelana in Baltimore in 2006, at some point Ravi Shankar in his speech got up and announced that he had just returned from the Immigration office where he became a US citizen.

    Spent 30 minutes in google, don’t find any reference to him accepting US Citizenship.

    This info appears to be out of imagination to defame somebody and his followers. Reasons could be one of those vested interests which he has taken on.

    Each one of you may have any numbers of reason to criticise Sri Sri. But if its illogical, sweeping in nature and defamatory- you end up showing an ugly, intolerant face.

  33. Bhaskar Chatterjee Says:

    >>Who knows, this incident may make Mr. Sri realize that he has to give some value for suckers money and improve his production values a little (like say Benny Hinn).

    Anyday, Sri Sri followers will be 1000 times that of Benny Himm in number. Do we have any reason to believe they are less valuable than that of Benny Hinn? Or care less about end-product? Of inferior intellectually compared to followers of Hynn?

    Time has come to become less intolerant, less ignorant and less illogical.

  34. vinay Says:

    as a regular occurence , whenever there is a real estate enquiry , we find the AOL in the list …somehow they are never caught , its creepy

  35. Arun Says:

    This man has acres of land on the foothills of Chamundi Hills. It looks almost part of the Hills. Encroachment again?

  36. Anonymous Guy Says:

    BC,

    Since you didnt get the sarcasm in my post (why are fanatics like you always serious anyway?), I think both Benny and Sri are birds of the same feather. I dont care who is ‘intellectually superior’. Or who has 1000 times more follower-fools (and where did you get that number from – your imagination?).

    If our conman cleans up his act a little and adds some production values – he can charge more money from more people. Like Bollywood has learned incorporated some Hollywood production values into its movies etc.

  37. Anonymous Guy Says:

    BC,

    And you are the one who comes across as an illogical, intolerant, superstitious person with a fanatic bent of mind.

  38. kailasam Says:

    This Ravishankar looks likes a twin sister of actress Jaya Bachchan!

  39. Bhaskar Chatterjee Says:

    >>Like Bollywood has learned incorporated some Hollywood production values into its movies etc.

    Only two Film industry in the world- Indian and Chinese are self-sustainable. Hollywood cannot survive unless its dubbed into Hindi, Kanada……

    Bachchan, Shahrukh are recognized by more people in the world than any Hollywod star- anyday.

    Time has come not to live in mentally colonized world anymore.

  40. Setudev Says:

    @Bhaskar Chatterjee:
    Gokulam may be referring to following:

    Honorary Citizenship, City of Baltimore, Canada, (September, 2006)

    See this line on this web page abour SSRS:

    http://www.artofliving.org/SriSri/AwardsHonours/tabid/73/Default.aspx

    It got probably converted during translation.
    So its not even US citizenship hun?

  41. Narayana Says:

    @jeevarathna,

    You are right Dr. Javed is as dangerous as any other religious heads. I have updated my post

  42. kbangalorappa Says:

    I once heard Sr Sri speak on corruption at Ambedkar Bhavan, Bangalore, organised by Samuel Paul’s Public Affairs Centre. His speech was ridiculous and childish at best. I do not know how he could command such a huge following with his substandard thoughts….I think he is a shame on Hinduism. I agree Zakir is a more dangerous creature but look at the way Sri Sri defending his book. Unsubstantiated and ridiculous claims on Hinduism and Sanskrit are not going to promote HIndu-Muslim unitywhich is what Sri Sri claims is the purpose of writing the stupid book. People like Zakir will have the last laugh if we allow spurious gurus like Sri Sri to represent the HInduism….Thanks Dr Bhami V Shenoy for taking the courage to write against one of the holy cows….

  43. AOL: Art of Looting « Rambling with Bellur Says:

    [...] friend Ramya titled India alias Hindustan? and left a comment there. Next, I read this article The The great great Sri Sri NGO NGO scam scam in Churumuri. It was sheer coincidence that the last portion of my comment and the article in [...]

  44. Nastika Says:

    Somebody living in Jayanagar 4th T Block can shed more light:
    Ravishankar was a failed student, who as a teenager bugged his acquaintances with his religious crap. One fine day he disappeared. After some years he had land in Kanakapura road and lots of funds from Infosys. AOL is registered as an NGO and have tax exemptions. It is said that a Japanese devotee designed & built his ashram, of course, free of cost.

    Whatever he did in those years, his business acumen magnified 1000 times.

    Out of curiosity I had signed up for AOL basic course. The lady tutor try to find trouble in my life (like a doctor does in a patient) and wanted to bring peace in my life. She was disappointed to find none. Once I asked her why Guruji’s thoughts were childish. She replied Guruji was as innocent as a child and it was actually a cute thing.

    Couple of years back, Discovery channel did a feature on AOL & Sudharshana kriya. This kriya (without AOL & Guruji) was administered to some patients of Nimhans. Patients felt better and had better recovery.

  45. Gokulam 3rd Stage Says:

    I don’t care enough about this person or his movement to do an in-depth research on his citizenship. Anyway, this forum isn’t meant to be Journalism 101 for people to check their own facts. It is possible that he talked about some honorary citizenship which I misunderstood or misheard. I thought it might be relevant to this discussion and put it out there.

    As they say, I regret and apologize for any hurt caused to real devotees of real or imaginary Godmen by my mistake :)

    Thanks Setudev for clarifying the issue. It is highly likely that he referred to that incident.

  46. Bhaskar Chatterjee Says:

    Satudev>>Honorary Citizenship, City of Baltimore, Canada, (September, 2006)

    What we were told it was US Citizenship- and people jumped on.

    This one is a honorary one from a city in CANADA!

    If this is not deliberate mischief, I don’t what it is.

  47. Bhaskar Chatterjee Says:

    Gokulam>>Anyway, this forum isn’t meant to be Journalism 101 for people to check their own facts.

    Its expected that dished out facts are facts. Not from imagination because someone has other issues to settle.

    As I stated earlier, you can surely have 101 reasons not to agree with Sri Sri. But you have to present facts, not what is going on here.

  48. Avi Says:

    At the same time these NGOs are no ‘do-gooder’. They try to extract every piece of money in the name of some ‘xyz’ prgorammes.
    @mrignayani: In the same issue of ‘Agni’ this rowdy editor praises Mr Parvez Musharraf a lot in his editor; and inicdentally this was just before the murder of Mrs Bhutto.

  49. Bhaskar Chatterjee Says:

    Nastika>>Whatever he did in those years, his business acumen magnified 1000 times.

    hehe..Father of the Nation was a “bania”, and his closest associates were Birlas, Bajajs.

    Swami Vivekanand was given lots of assiatence by (say) Maharaj of Mysore.

    Missionaries in India run business, own properties worth 100000s of Crores of Rupees. All of those who manage these properties, educational institues, business are appointed by direct appointee of the Pope. Average Indian Christian has no way to elect them. Right?

    Economy and faith go hand in hand. I see no problem in that. Rather, if we compare Sri Sri with many others like Amritanandamayi, Satya Sai Baba etc etc, its said, Sri Sri has developed less centers, run less business.

    By the way, I am NOT a follower of Sri Sri. But I posted here few comments because:

    1. facts presented were prejudiced, manipulated.
    2. There is no reason to demonize a Hindu saint whom 10s of millions adore. This anti-Hindu attitude of ‘Nehruvian dinosaurs’ has been very costly for them.
    3. I respect his social activism- specially for NRI communities, working to destroy caste.

    Its time to show some respect to religion, even if we are Nastika/atheist. If a fraction of what people here wrote against Sri Sri where directed against a Muslim preacher, there would have been law and order problem.

  50. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Bhamy Shenoy,

    Please keep us posted about what happens. Wonder if they will have the decency to return at least a part of your Rs. 5000.

    And thanks for writing about this – will help at least people who browse here be aware of some of the practises of conmen collecting money under the name of one or the other religious or social cause.

  51. Nastika Says:

    To All,
    Please don’t quote source from roll-call papers like Agni, et al. Whatever might be the truth, these papers have lost all credibility.

  52. vkinfotek Says:

    When i was first offered by a friend the details of AOl sudarshana kriya and a subtle hint to join – i was repulsed. I hate any marketing of spirtual activities. I am a yoga practitioner myself and feel there cannot be further fine tuning of these asanas as they are already fine tuned. If you practice the basic asanas of yoga, you will notice that you will reap similar benefits…

    The knowitall attitude of people including Sri Sri and NRN is disgusting to say the least …. Each subject is divine. If you are true student you will never behave like a master. What does Sri Sri know about global warming. Does he know that the global warming is confirmed by measuring the temperature at the surface of the earth and oceans. Does he know about the Kyoto Protocol ?

    Another gentleman Mr. NRN also has this knowitall attitude. Yesterday he was at the ‘ZERO to Billion’ conclave and gave some sagely SOFTWARE strategic advice to Mid-Day meal organizers.

  53. Mrignayani Says:

    nastika

    Dont show your ignorence and dont accuse people without even knowing them. Calling Agni a roll call paper is sheer height of stupidity. If you dont know dont comment.

  54. Mrignayani Says:

    There is a huge former Sri Sri desciples community who reveal a great deal in the blogs. for eg: How genuine is Sri Sri Ravi Shankar? http://www.yunusnews.com/ and guruphiliac.blogspot.com etc

  55. Gokulam 3rd Stage Says:

    Bhaskar Chatterjee, please get off the high horse or it will throw you down.

    What part of “I don’t care enough about this person or his movement to do an in-depth research on his citizenship” don’t you understand? How did you come to the conclusion that I have “issues to settle”?

    I appreciate your zeal to be supportive of AOL, but the self-righteous indignation that you seem to portray is a bit off-putting. No one here owes you anything – facts or otherwise. This is one of those things that people form an opinion on based on experience, facts and hearsay. People have a right to having it and expressing it.

  56. Mayura Says:

    Piteelmaster wrote

    >>Ravi Shankar is a clever Ayyangari.>>

    He is a clever Iyer, born and brought up in Bangalore.

  57. Mayura Says:

    Nastika,

    Sri Sri is actually from Jayanagar 5th block. His house is right opposite the new BMP park (close to Adiga’s food joint). In those years when he disappeared, he claims to be doing higher studies(?) in Australia. I believe he did his engineering and MBA from some australian university(don’t ask me why of all the places in Australia). To cue you on this, Ravi Belagere’s son is doing a goddamned course in a australian university and so also son of cine actor srinath. Bottomline, if you have loads of money, you can send your kids to study in australia. Money was never a issue for Mr.Sundaram, Sri Sri’s dad. (Read my post earlier on this). So he comes back from Australia, denounces worldly pleasures, becomes a swamiji and starts conning people in the name of AOL. Incidentally it started as a very small organisation called ‘Vyakthi Vikasa Kendra’ in Jayanagar 5th block and grew from strength to strength, which goes to prove that there is no dearth of suckers in India. Imagine, our own PM nominee LKAdvani is a ardent follower of Sri Sri and has come to Bangalore to attend a function at Kanakapura when he was a Dy.PM in the NDA government.

  58. Doddi Buddi Says:

    The Animal-Eyed One,

    Thank you for the links that explain the Artist of Living. Never liked the Artful Living Dodger! Always thought he was not the genuine article.

  59. Anonymous Guy Says:

    BC,

    ‘If a fraction of what people here wrote against Sri Sri where directed against a Muslim preacher, there would have been law and order problem.’

    Please post some doings of famous Muslim preachers, who are collecting money etc. – we would love to direct our barbs towards them too.

    Will be nice if it were a little entertaining without ranting like a fanatic…

  60. Faldo Says:

    Bhamy Shenoy has our full sympathies but I think it is important not to throw the baby along with the bath water here.

    From what one has heard, AOL centers is widely known for imparting a version of Sudarshana Kriya which is said to reduce anxiety and depression. This has been acknowledged by a number of people. This is commendable. As this kriya and may other similar techniques have been imparted by holy people in the past, it tends to have religious overtones.

    However, there is a tendency of many individuals who have achieved fame in one area to hold forth on many other topics. This must be taken with a pinch of salt. While criticizing this aspect, the distinction needs to be clearly made, otherwise people could get a wrong impression that the religion itself is being criticized.

  61. sima Says:

    yesterday i visited his session in goa. on anaduttsav 2008.

    may be he is doing a good job in uniting hindus,,, still i feel the amount of money they charge is exhorbitant. a course of 7 days and 2 hours a day is charged rs 700/-…, all it means is that they r only targeting the rich people … why being a saint, he is not considering the same service to poor and needy at a very nominal rate..

    he would win more ppl if he accepts ppl who do not have any money.

  62. Prathibha Nandakumar Says:

    >@mrignayani: In the same issue of ‘Agni’ this rowdy editor praises Mr Parvez Musharraf a lot in his editor; and inicdentally this was just before the murder of Mrs Bhutto.
    >Please don’t quote source from roll-call papers like Agni, et al. Whatever might be the truth, these papers have lost all credibility.

    I feel compelled to respond to these two points.

    1. The editorial says “…..when Musharraf assumed power eight years ago Pakistan was vitually sitting on a boiling kettle. It had on the one side Afghanistan, controlled by Islamic fundamentalists, on the other the war. It also had India, ruled by BJP and political party of RSS to tackle.
    Weapons were abundant in Pak because of Afghanistan… thier biggest passion was hatred towards India and anything Indian. That hatred reached such an extent that even an orndinary cricket match between the two countries was played like a virtual war. Anybody at thehelm of affairs in Pak was forced to feel that hatred towards India to his maximum capacity.
    Then came the war against terror by US. Musharraf was forced to take a stand against thefundamentalists of his country who were in league with the Mujahidinis of Afghanistan. To add salt to the injury, India was hoping to assit US in its war against Afghanistan.
    For Musharraf it was a tight rope walk. On the oneside he had to woark out a strategy to keep India out of war and on the other he had to convince the liberals in his country. ….
    That was the time he visited India. The Indian press praised him to thesky. He invited Indian cricket team to play in Pak. He attended a match and praised our Dhoni more than any other player of his country.
    Suddenly Pakistan became Dhoni fan. Hatred started diluting. Now cricket matches between the two countries are looking like friendly matches between two colleges of the same university!
    The Cricket Chacha who had come to our office symbolises the present day pakis. ….if anybody tries to wake anti India sentiments it sounds like a cliche (he said)

    2. Now do you find anything objectionable in this? Agni in English is a new, the only English tabloid from a kannadiga in Karenataka. The rest of the English media, except Deccan Herald, is owned by outsiders. It is Delhi and Mumbai money that is ruling the English media. We are small, tiny, tabloid struggling to make a place for ourselves amongst serious papers. If we were into roll-call journalism we would not have taken on TOI, Sri Sri, Nityananda and scores of others that we have criticised. Evenwhen TOI is blocking sale of our magazine and thretening shops not to display we have not resorted to any reaction. It is strange hwo people are fast in believing the REAL roll callers but doubt sincere honest person even without any reason. Even Sri Sri gets the benifit of doubt.

    * I am the associate editor of AGNI- the alternative Terrorism. The only Weekly tabloid in English by a kannadiga, fighting corruption.

  63. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Prathiba Nandakumar,

    Do you guys have a Website? I would like to see it please.

    I would like to point out some elementary historical errors in your defence of your own editorial….my comments are within /// marks….

    “1. The editorial says “…..when Musharraf assumed power eight years ago Pakistan was virtually sitting on a boiling kettle. It had on the one side Afghanistan, controlled by Islamic fundamentalists, on the other the war. It also had India, ruled by BJP and political party of RSS to tackle. ///This is a ridiculous assertion because Pakistan had reached the Hall-of-Fame Jehad on its own merits. BTW India was ruled by NDA of which BJP was a major party. In fact much of the ‘potage’ making came from the far sightedness of leaders like Musharaff himself. You reap as you sow was said of Paki generals. And who can forget the strategic depth doctrine practiced by the Paki generals? They sought and got the Afganisthan they wanted and more as we now realize:)///

    Weapons were abundant in Pak because of Afghanistan… their biggest passion was hatred towards India and anything Indian. That hatred reached such an extent that even an ordinary cricket match between the two countries was played like a virtual war. Anybody at the helm of affairs in Pak was forced to feel that hatred towards India to his maximum capacity. ///Once again these are inane moronic comments and they don’t stand up to the searching and searing light of DB’s common sense. Right from day one, Pakistan has always played the aggrieved asshole’s card. BTW all sporting contest between India and Pakistan is like a war because we are more or less well matched–be it cricket or hockey. Pakis were always planets ahead of India in squash though thanks to the Pathans. Paki army has to have this institutionalized bias against India otherwise they will be mistaken for a NW Muslim Regiment belonging to the Indian Army:))///

    Then came the war against terror by US. Musharraf was forced to take a stand against the fundamentalists of his country who were in league with the Mujahidinis of Afghanistan. To add salt to the injury, India was hoping to assit US in its war against Afghanistan. ///Only an extremely ill-informed moron could have come up with this line: US and CIA fully knew that it was the product of ISI Labs that had blown up in American face. It was not Powell’s call to Musharaff that made him blink! US simply said, assholes we know everything what you shitty things you were up to! Now choose to live or meet the famed virgins and young boys in paradise!!///

    For Musharraf it was a tight rope walk. On the one side he had to work out a strategy to keep India out of war and on the other he had to convince the liberals in his country. ….///Oh really? How amusing! ROFLMAO! That sneaky turd in good suits was the craftiest asshole till last week and suddenly everybody knows that he has been taking one and all on a ride!:)///

    That was the time he visited India. The Indian press praised him to the sky.///Yep I agree. many secular journalists were besotted with his good looks and were even love sick at the sight of him and literally eat from hand and hung on from his sherwani. It is said that many opportunistic secular pen turds inveigled repeat visits across the border just to catch a glimpse of the Hero!///

    He invited Indian cricket team to play in Pak. He attended a match and praised our Dhoni more than any other player of his country.
    Suddenly Pakistan became Dhoni fan. Hatred started diluting. Now cricket matches between the two countries are looking like friendly matches between two colleges of the same university! ///Once again, good PR mistaken for strategy! There is the same intensity and it was not because of Mushy the Fox.///

    The Cricket Chacha who had come to our office symbolises the present day pakis. ….if anybody tries to wake anti India sentiments it sounds like a cliche (he said)” ///That crafty bugger said so many things, I would not seriously take his word on any thing.///

    Bottom line: By the way, if this is the best you could do in an editorial I shudder to think what incisive editorial you can possibly print in your paper!!

  64. paciFIER Says:

    Prathibha Nandakumar, I was a regular reader of both your Kannada & English Agni. Your glossy editions are very impressive to look & feel.

    But, over last 2 years, I noticed you were specifically targeting top officers from SC/ST, Backward castes. When the officers were clean, you invented some lame excuses (such as the officer hit the security personnel, mis behaved with some staff, used Govt car for personal use, officer was drunk during office hours etc).

    Initially, I believed such news. Then I met a senior journalist and this is what he told me: The paper “Agni” is an acknowledged yellow magazine and whose main business is to blackmail politcians/corrupt govt. servants. If they pay, then no stories. If they don’t pay then the colorful stories – all with some lame reasons.

    With such reputation in the press circle, how can anyone believe Agni is publishing true news? He advised me to read ‘Agni’ to have a good laugh.

    I felt I was doing disservice to honest officers (who can’t pay Agni). Hence stopped reading it, let alone buying it.

    If I find that Agni publishes truth, then I have no objection buying it.

  65. Mysore Boy Says:

    Nice discussion. But Mr. Shenoy and most folks here are critical of Sri Sri’s rates rather than Kriya. So if he were cheaper they would be okay with him?

    And please, Dr. Zakir Naik’s “cornering” Sri Sri doesn’t say anything about Sri Sri’s Kriya. Dr. Naik is a talented orator and a fine apologist for Islam: Watch his defense of Indian Muslims eating cows (available on youtube) to see his debating mastery. Sri Sri is simply not a debater; he is, like many other Hindus, probably too mild-mannered to demonstrate his learning.

    If we pitched Bal Thackeray against Manmohan Singh, I have no doubt Thackeray would win. But that wouldn’t mean he was right. If we pitched Uma Bharati against Dr. Zakir Naik I have no doubt Dr. Naik would meet his debating match.

    We need to critique Sri Sri’s WORK rather than his fees or his obvious inability to debate a talented orator. To the extent that the seminar was disappointing with regard to keynote addresses, I can understand Dr. Shenoy’s disappointment. But taking it beyond that is a bit too much given the facts on hand.

  66. prathibha nandakumar Says:

    Doddi Buddi – i will get back on your remarks in a while.

    paciFIER – “Then I met a senior journalist and this is what he told me: The paper “Agni” is an acknowledged yellow magazine and whose main business is to blackmail politcians/corrupt govt. servants. If they pay, then no stories. If they don’t pay then the colorful stories – all with some lame reasons.” I dont know who this senior journalist is and why he said what he said. but what surprises me that how come you people believe anything anyone says with out even bothering to find out if it is true or not?! Anyone knowing Sreedhar will know that he does not blackmail. If people sit in judgement without even trying to know the truth what can be done?! On the contraray the REAL yellow journalists are let off because no senior journalists goes bad mouthing them. Please produce even a hint of which honest officer was targetted for not paying Agni? which one? Dont say he is scared to come into the open. Because there is not a single incident of Agni demanding money either to publish or withhold a write up. I sit here sweating, working hard to get stories, assigning senior journalists to write to us freelance and who write for us in a different name and you just make allegation in thin air that we are targetting honest officers, that too for money?! for what purpose. This is most unfair. U know its the classic case of having to prove your innocence, otherwise proved guilty. So far we have brought out 18 issues of Agni in English. Six of our stoiries were lifted by mainstream papers including TOI. Those are the ones we had put together working hard. If you read it in TOI or anyother paper you will say it is the truth. If you read it in Agni you term it yellow journalism? Give honesty a chance please. This hurts.

  67. KL Says:

    I have a feeling that this sri sri (or for that matter the sai baba)might have invented this packaging to lead the good life in bangalore targetting the non kannadiga IT segment with a feel good version of simplistic hinduism,exploiting the good natured kannadigas.

    They seem to be gobbling up real estate,though they are bringing some money into bengalooru.But then there is a vacuum in the established religion segment.Ramanuja was from TN,madhva too simplistic,sringeri too orthodox,basava was sectarian,vivekananda’s hinduism a reaction to christianity.So there is going to be competition for this space among evangelists and feel good hinduism.

  68. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    Why is the discussion moved from Ravi Shankar to bashing Agni. Is there some invisible hand operating here?

    Let us try to concentrate on the great “genius” Shankar who has succeeded in fooling so many for so long in the garb of spiritualism. This has nothing to do with Hinduism or any ideology. This is pure business and we need to come up with ideas to stop this fooling people.

    Just yesterday I met a future nurse from the US who was also taken for a ride. But she felt Shankar can create miracles. She was asking me what do I have to tell her when Shankar has cured a cancer patient. She is going to be a nurse. She had visited the ashram (really a jail) for the second time. But even she told me that she was also surprised by money making by Shankar. But it did not seem to affect her devotion since every needs money.

  69. paciFIER Says:

    Ravishankar is not doing anything illegal. He is selling mental peace for nominal fee. Whats wrong in that? Its your choice. If you like, travel to his ashram & take part in satsang. Else, stay at home and enjoy your favorite TV show.

    I agree Ravishankar should do what he does best & not get into global warming, Hindu-Islam co-ordination and other stuff.

    Bhamy, please put forward your thoughts (delegates not wanting to wash their plates) to the right person in AOL. They might like your ideas and implement in future.

  70. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Prathiba NK

    I look forward to your reply. ‘Fire’ away! Thanks.

  71. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    PaciFIER

    deleagtes paid Rs. 5000 for two reasons; one was to get exposed to leading envionmentalists as advertsied and second was to enjoy stay and taste satvic food in an International Center again as advertsied. They did not have plans or inclination (at least those whom I met) to learn about spiritual side of the so called ashram.

    Five top environmentalists were adverstised to participate and only one showed. Even that person gave no opportunity to interact with the delagates. Was this a chance incident or some pre conceived plan? This is definitely a defficiency in service under consumer protection act.

    International center implies good and decent loding facilities and not being packed three to a room and that too not having towel, soap, drinking water etc. While one pays Rs 5000, one does not expect to wash dishes. Delegates did not go there to wash dishes. This is also in my view defficiency in services under consumer protection act.

    I would like to hear views on this of different people.

    Bhamy Shenoy

  72. Anonymous Guy Says:

    In the absence of true heros in our society especially in the fields of sports and science (olympic gold medallists, nobel prize winners in science etc.), we seem to treat all sorts of people with business savvy as great heroes.

    Saying – oh this guy has a million followers so he is great wont do. By that yardstick someone like Deve Gowda would be a legend and saviour of our society.

    Ravishankar is doing good work in his chosen area – good for him and his followers. But expecting him to be treated him like some holy cow is too much.

    We give way too much importance to religious leaders – though their conduct have impacted our society in as many negative ways as positive. Added to the mindless public fawning, tax breaks and lack of auditing of business-religious organizations makes them unaccountable for their actions.

  73. Avi Says:

    @Bhamy V Shenoy Says: “Why is the discussion moved from Ravi Shankar to bashing Agni. Is there some invisible hand operating here?

    Let us try to concentrate on the great “genius” Shankar who has succeeded in fooling so many for so long in the garb of spiritualism. This has nothing to do with Hinduism or any ideology. This is pure business and we need to come up with ideas to stop this fooling people. …”

    We should also discuss about how the NGOs are looting? money in the name of many programmes…

  74. chandan Says:

    i never belive in these god mans…
    they brain wash ordinary people who doesn’t have the capacity to do cirtical thinking and reasoning and fool them.

    why only software engineers , urban people need ART OF LIVING..why can ravi shankar show art of living to rural ppl in north karnataka..
    its only because these ppl have money…. as simple as this..!!!

    i have even encontered s/w couple meeting ppl in morning jog ground and pestering them to join art of living..
    once i scolded 2 ppl like that.

    hope at least in 21st century people will get to knw real background and facts about LANDMARK , ART OF LIVING..etc

  75. Kris Dev Says:

    Moral of the story:

    1. Don’t run after people or programs to be in the limelight. There have been so many international and national programs with big names with little results.

    2. Don’t accept anything on face value. If anyone is charging a high fee, don’t ever think it gives some exclusivity and get fooled.

    3. Believe in yourself more than in anyone else. No harm in trusting people to guide you; but not to become a zoombi.

    7. Eschew cash transactions as it can corrupt people. Demand transparency and accountability from every individual and organization.

  76. karan Says:

    any idea on the sucessor , just in case sri sri sri ??

  77. Ramesh Naidoo Says:

    All of you are correct… click below to see a video of Sri Sri putting His life in danger in the Red Zones of Baghdad and Najaf in Iraq… all this for what… money…???

  78. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    Going and meeting leaders, widows, children in Iraq is not putting one’s life in danger. This is pure and simple media hype. The same technique was used in organizing Environmental summit of NGOs. After all Pachuari’s organization got a nobel prize for fighting against global warming. Can there be a better and less controversial topic than environmental protection? AOL’s Shankar finds a good cause. There are gullible NGOs like myself who are prepared to pay Rs. 5000. I do not know of any NGO seminar/workshop/summit which has charged that much excepting the one conducted by high profile international NGOs. Even then few more deserving NGOs get discount or concession. But spiritually oriented AOL need not show such consideration.

    Irq peace making, resolving LTTE in Sri Lanka, negotiating with naxals, etc are high profile media events which can be managed only by genius led organization. That is exactly what Ravi Shankar has done. In none of this there is any spirituality involved as such. Let us call him a management guru who knows how to make money out of nothing excepting some simple ideas. This is a true picture and not the one which media has tried to do.

  79. atheist Says:

    as long as gullible people exist , godmen exist too. sri sri is just one among the many our country has seen. its just a mass hysteria. as a popular saying goes in kannada “jana maruLo jaathre maruLo” ..

  80. Harshal Says:

    It is very easy to write not so good things about anything. Get you prana levels high, meditate, do some pranayams. you will see world in a different light!

    Have you seen the movie Matrix? It was based on yoga-vashistha. Most of us are stuck in the Matrix- and then we write things such as the above comments.

    Raise your prana , meditate:-)

    Regards,
    Harshal

  81. Sharanga Says:

    I was associated with the AOL movement for five years in the early nineties and yes I was a resident of Jaynagar 4th T block. I have witnessed the con of this organization first hand. I was also teaching this AOL which is a rehash of the yogic breathing technies with some new age wisdom interspersed in between. I have also witnesed first hand how this AOL has swindled money. Bamy Shenoy is right in asking why this organization should be given a non profit status. The AOL organization commite is full of his family members and a couple of sychophants. One of them was in a major money laundering scam. Again Sri Sri is a poster boy of certain media houses and they blow up things beyong proportion. Even the soial welfare activities are all scams used for publicity stunts. Most Aol people know this. Regarding Sri Sri’s great intellect less said the better. He goofs up in public platforms and mumbles nonsense. I have seen him first hand how he has goofed up in certain seminars. But again for his idiotic followers the emperor’s clothes are really fascination. I now prefer to work in a genuine NGO into rural development and who are not real into some personality cult and working towards the personal aggrandizement of a cult guru.

  82. Shamanth Says:

    This is a Fraud organisation. Money can’t buy spirituality. I am really shocked to know that many educated people, mostly IT professionals fell into this trap.

    This is not at all related to Hinduism or Spiritualism. I am really worried about my religion and non-Hindu’s perception on Hindus. He is a Fake Guru but a brilliant smart ass!..

  83. MURALEEDHARAN RAGHAVAN Says:

    All in the name of spirituality. The Television Guru’s are all set to spoil the generation NEXT.
    An awareness against self-styles Guru’s will take them to the right path, I believe!

  84. Doddi Buddi Says:

    BVS,

    I completely agree! When I look at Ravi of AOL I see a man who is ‘high on something’ and who is having a ‘mad’ look in his eyes! Of course I don’t have any tears in my eyes as his devotees do and I am free to judge how he appears in public to me. Sure any form of meditation is good for the soul but to start applying it in real-life situations only for the sake of publicity and tireless self-promotion needs a ‘genius’.

  85. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    I had put a similar story on another web site which is read mostly by Mubaikars. Unlike this site where I have got more support to my argument than in that site. In fact browsers of that site have written very critical emails to me. According to one of them Ravi Shankar is a brightly shining sun and I am like a child throwing dust at the sun. What a scycophantic way of praising Shankar.

    But another good development is that three news papers have agreed to publish my article. One of them is Agni and another one is from Mumbai.

    Can readers of Churumuri suggest what can be done to expose this kind of fraud? There should be movement to ask the government to look into the non profit status of this organization. It is perfectly all right if gullible people attend his classes and pay him huge fees. But it should be done like a profit making organization like any other doctor, or company.

  86. jaideep Says:

    Hats off to you, Bhamy Shenoy. There is a big anti- TM website called DOWN THE TM RABBIT HOLE.. This comes up on search engines when one types TM…. hopefully your objective observations should propel those who have seen through Ravi Shankar to create a similar website. This website would act as therepy for all those who were part of his cult and broke away because of being disillusioned. The scars for such people are deep, and very often are not healed.

  87. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Bhamy,

    Trying to get back money you were conned out of, raising public awareness about the workings of these ‘socio-religious’ leaders is all fine.

    But targeting just one organization with respect to its non profit status?

    How is this any different from a church, mosque, temple which doesn’t pay any tax on its earnings and uses money it earned in ways not open to public scrutiny? Some of them may be making better use of the money than the tax money which is being pilfered by bureaucrats.

  88. Hosa-Belaku Says:

    Bhamy, at this time of the year the Income Tax department puts out ads urging people to report tax irregularities–suspected or real. Why don’t you do it? Maybe that will start a raid against all such institutions, we have to start somewhere…it is not about tageting one.
    Also, why can’t India have a new rule or some sanskrit/samskriti organisation “patent” honorifics like Sri under the “geographical indications” or whatever. The fake Sris can be stripped off the Sri (like medals from a dishonoured army officer) and bestowed only on deserving candidates like knighthood. I mean only, when Sri is being used for “public use.” Not as a normal form of address like Mr. Otherwise, if left to the ghost-like Ravi types, the word “sri” may soon get the opposite connotations globally! It should’nt become like well, tantrik–mostly mistaken for black magic.

  89. Blogger Bhaiyya Says:

    Thanks for the article.

  90. Sudarshan Says:

    “Sri Sri” Ravi Shankar, for the information of all posting here, was a “close” (according to him) disciple of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He never publically gives that credit to his only guru, however. Privately, to some, he does. In fact, he has been known to say “I AM Maharishi…” and swish away with the same giggle as MMY.

    He was born in Tamil Nadu, he said, in a village or small town (can’t remember which) that was wiped out by floods. His family moved to Bangalore when he and his sister were small. He was raised there. He dropped out of school at 17 years old to join Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and was brought to Switzerland to chant Sanksrit there. He helped to build MMY’s ashram in Noida, outside of Delhi, and became extremely ill there. His father says that he had to go there and bring him home, and that Ravi nearly died. After this, SSRS was told by MMY to gather 200-300 students of Veda and teach them to chant. SSRS’s father went around Karnataka and gathered students from poor villages (only Brahmins). There was a property purchased in 5th block and used for the purpose of housing all of these boys (over 150, I was told) — how? who knows. It’s a three story, smallish house. But SSRS says they chanted there, and lived there. Then MMY called them all to be moved to Noida. The story from here is that SSRS’s father had promised the parents of these boys that they would never be far from home, and Noida was too far away. So SSRS started his own school for Vedic Pundits right then and there. MMY was extremely displeased and angry with SSRS. One of the first pundits was sent with a missive (this story from that man himself, thank you) to MMY. This pundit claims that MMY was angry and said basically that he would have nothing further to do with SSRS, and sent him back to Bangalore. It is widely known amoung close early followers, that SSRS used to try to call Maharishi in Holland and would be repeated told he would not speak to him. He was devasted, and used to keep a picture of MMY next to his bed. It is a very sad story, actually.

    SSRS’s father went to the local government and acquired the land on Kanakapura Road by using the method of land being donated if someone promised (at that time) to build a rural school to benefit the local villages. A “school” was built (don’t know if it still ‘exists’) in the form of thatched roof huts, where students did cram in to “learn”. This was all a front, of course, to start the Art of Living Ashram. Since the police and local government are mostly bought off by the empire of AOL at this point, the organization, in spite of failing early audits, enjoys not-for-profit status.

    SSRS’s mother, God Rest Her Soul, was heard to brag: “My son is a millionaire! He has his own account and has more than a million US dollars in it!” She was very proud of this. This was in the early 90s, when SSRS was already beginning to ramp up the collections from the US and Europe and Canada.

    SSRS, btw, never got any degree, and used to publically proclaim the same — that he never finished school. Somehow, in some places (Wikipedia for awhile), it is wrongly stated that he earned a degree in Physics, other places says Engineering, etc. It’s false. He has no earned degree in anything, and stopped his schooling at 17 years old.

    Obviously, the many pundits dwindled to a small number over time.

    It is unknown by this author whether SSRS was ever able to meet with MMY again before he died a few days back.

    I personally feel sorry for SSRS. There are many personal things about him that I will not report here, because this is about his organization, not about the man. But the ‘man’ is a sad case indeed.

    The organization is totally corrupt, and he tolerates no advice on conducting matters in an above board and honest way.

    His followers are indeed, as pointed out by several on this post, like robots.

    Many have lost their lives to him, giving up good careers, ruining their health. I heard at least two say “there is nothing else I could do at this point — where would I go? At least he pays our tickets and feeds us….” They laughed but it was a thinly disguised sadness that the laughter covered. They were trapped.

    I’m certain that many if not all of his full time teachers are in that situation. Have pity on them. They are brainwashed and sad people with no lives of their own anymore. He has stolen everything from them.

    God Bless every one of them, and show them an exit strategy that will give them solace and real Peace of mind, not the fake peace that can be had for a moment scrambling for an audience with SSRS.

  91. ashutosh Says:

    i have seen ppl in my college turning into sheep-headed hypocrites after getting atched to aol…we call it fart of livin…
    on orkut…look for “we pity art of living”
    aol is just a respite for losers who pay to get attched to a community of their kind…

  92. VishwaManava Says:

    Good post Sudarshan. You have enough info about 2SRS to write a book. How about a book? Since Churumuri is also swalpa spicy, please reveal the 2SRS, The Man :)

  93. Sandip Says:

    Dear Ones,

    Facts are facts

    when you critisize go to the root of the cause. when you heard something, you want to support that or oppose without knowing much. I know there are people who want to do some favour to somebody..

    As all are discussing the things on Sri Sri Ravishankar ji, one should ask themself ” what they are doing to get this world to live a better life for coming generation?”

    Arguing somebody is easy, but executing the work is not that easy job. you go and work for people, If you have time to lookafter your parents, your neighbours, your country people, you should ask yourself”

    comment to somebody with biased mind is easy job,

    if you are ready to work with us come & do. writing in website is easy.

    what are your achivements ?

    For what you are here?

    What is your purpose of Life?

    Dont ask to anybody,

    please ask only yourself, within you there is energy which can be utilised for constructive work.

    dont go on giving bad ideas to world, let us work for better tomorrow.

    Its waste of time to blame anybody, If you have ideas implement them.

    have a inward thinking !

    Wish you best for your life.

  94. Sandip Says:

    Dear Sudarshan ji,

    Its all fake ideas that you got somehow & writing them here with prejuidice.

    You never looked the work done by AOL , you never tried to come & see yourself what is reality.

    There is nothing to believe by writing big article as above.

    If you want to see the school lets come & visit & see the differene in 2000 Children studying here.

    One thing everybody should notice when people dont know much, & they are negative about something. & the same time they hear or get a chance to share fake ideas. They act like they are the one who knows everything!

    But nobody is ready to go into deep at the root of the cause.

    Anyway, whoever going to find faults of AOL, its like went for sweet coconut water – but got hard outer shell with full of thik covering. He assumed its all waste to get the water from the stone.

    I would like to appeal everybody !
    Dont go by the rumours who ever is spreading!

    If really Mr Bhamy V Shenoy wants to do something
    I would like to ask him –

    Are you noticed all the work done by volunteers of AOL across the globe?
    As I am associated with AOL since 2001. I am an Electronics Engineer, doing fulltime Seva in ashram,

    I know what is the problem with people who want to show off everything.

    There was nobody to speak about AOL or Sri Sri Ravishankarji when He & His organisation was working hard across the globe. After the Silver Jubillee Function evrybody came to know specifically about the citizens most part of Karnataka.

    Then they are started what is the mantra behind the wealth of organisation & start feeling jeoloucy about it.

    I would like to share that whoever feel AOL has lot of money, its not the fact, The fact is AOL have dedicated volunteers who are working voluntarily & getting good results without spending much money.

    I am not here to argue with all of you, but everyone should keep in mind that

    If some body doubt the good thing, oneself believe it blindly but you give them good things they will ask you really its like that?

    Nothing to show off, if you want to do good things you are welcome but dont prepare yourself with prejudice mind to take a issue publicly without knowing much.

    As a senior journalist , I would like to appeal Bhamy V Shenoy, the people nearby karnataka dont know the reality & what contribution is there of AOL to spread the knowledge.

    You are thinking in terms of money & money with prejudice. Come out of your own school of thoughts & see with clear eyes what is the truth!

    Anyway we the volunteers of AOL pray for peace of your mind & soul.

    Think & Speak Dont Speak & think!!

    yours
    sandip

  95. Shamanth Says:

    Hello Mr.Sandip,

    Where is all the money going. He is a fake guru. People like you are foolishly working there for free and you are paying them for your work. How stupid? Spend your money for poor. That would make you feel more good than breathing on and out..

  96. Sandip Says:

    Come & do some work for people. You sincerely want to know Without prejudice.

    For what you are asking? By what purpose ?

    get involved in activities then you come to know

    As you are asking

    when you do something then you have right to ask something !

    dear friend get out of your own ideas

    I am clearly said I am not here to argue. The time is the answer!
    do not blame anybody ! who is foolish & how nobody can state.

    Anyway Sincerely if you are asking you do something by your own! & feel the difference you can make!

    Do it , My best wishes to you. You all have complains from Bangalore only.

    Dont gossipe do it!

    best luck

  97. gaby Says:

    Wow first we have His Royal Highness of Karnataka HDD masquerading here as Dr Ramesh and now we have the SRI SRI ( *1008 times) Himself calling himself Sandip come here to dispel the ignorance of the chattering sinners at Churumuri!!!

  98. VishwaManava Says:

    No offence Mr Sandip, please pursue your interests and let other pursue their’s. The question is, what is the truth about AOL? We are only interested to ensure your services are for a good cause.

  99. vinay Says:

    I smell grass :)

  100. Anonymous Guy Says:

    I smell the rants of a brainwashed sisyan.

  101. Sandip Says:

    dear gabby ,

    you are ignoerent is ok but are you willing to come out of it?

    if you are interested give your mobile or contact no. then I will give you mine.

    without sincerity you can not dig a well, by digging 100 times at different places.

    Any way all paths lead to death of human body & coming close to the spirit that controlling each & every activity in the universe.

    ignorance is first qualification to get on a path,
    but the will take you on the path with the focused direction to the ultimate goal!

    FOr you what is the quest find out & ask yourself , your innervoice will give you the answer !!

    but you should first prepare to accept that only….

    You can cheat everybody
    BUT

    Can not cheat “yourself” !!

  102. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    Dear Sndipji,

    thanks for a courteous rseponse to my note on Ravi Shankar. First let me ask some questions to respond to some issues you have raised.

    I have been to Ashram and talked to many volunteers. Every one of them was extremely courteous and fully sold on the philosophy of Ravi Shankar. Every one of them was talking the same way. What does this show? In your work place, in your surroundings, colleges and schools you have studied, have you even seen two human beings talking the same way? After all having different opinions is healthy and that is what Upanishads and old gurus (who were not interested in acquiring wealth) has taught us. Given this why are volunteers at AOL as robots including the IIT professor?

    If Ravi Shanakr knows about environment and at least attempt to respond global warming, why did he comment by giving the analogy of Y2K that it was a fad or a fraud? Do you think Y2K was a fad? Do you think that billions spent to avoid the problems of Y2K was wasted? Do you think global warming and climate change a fraud?

    What does one assume when it is advertised that lodging will be provided in “international center”? Do you think it will have some minimum standard?

    You are talking about money being used for “good” purpose. have you seen an audited account of AOL? There is a lot of information on the web site of AOL. Is there an audited account of AOL put there as all the corporations do?

    This is where I and you differ. I have the highest admirtaion (Not respect) for Ravi Shankar as a businessman. There is much many MBA students can learn. Even Peter Drucker could have lreant a lesson or two from Ravi Shankar. The very fact he is able to give mental peace and happiness to many literate. rich and urban people from 160 countries show that he has some service to sell. But let us not call that spiritualism or non profit function. There is absolutely nothing wrong if he makes money the way others do. But let him do it as other do.

    Looking forward to gettting your response.

  103. Shamanth Says:

    Bravo Bhamy Bravo! Even I noticed the samething. All AOL volunteers behave in a same strange way. Probably they might have got influenced by drugs…not sure though. Sri Sri can do anythng! One of my friend fell into this trap. He was a very brilliant student, Superb athlete, used to enjoy the life like anything. Many used to be jealous! .. He got a good job. But he is not concentration in it… doesn’t want to improve his career. Now he is only interested in AOL, AOL and AOL. He is addicted to it. His parents are very much worried as he doesn’t want to see any girl or want to marry any …

    Mr. Sandeep, you have no place here. Get the hell out of here. You say you are not here to argue, but you only argue. You are sick.. get well soon. Go and enjoy the life.. chill out, play, work, get a girl, spend with family and friends…. I hope you will recover soon!

    Good Luck

  104. Sandip Says:

    I am from a farmer family there are plenty of volunteers working in field.

    If your concern is money & standard , It will happen by the coming time. If you see the old photographs of the Ashram place you will come to know how mabny people put their efforts to make this place Green & Green.

    You are saying its jail, that is your view Its up to you by which way you are looking.

    ” Saundarya dekhanewale ke drishti main hota hai, drishya main nahi, drishya se hatkar drishta ban jao, tum dekhoge ki mere siva aur kuch hai hi nahi”

    It is one’s intention what he want & He used to listen that things only. As you are responsible citizen of Mother India, you look yourself for what you are responsible.

    I will tell you when Guruji was travelling by bus in early days nobody bothered about the person “Sri Sri Ravishankar” why they are bothering themselves without contributing to the organisation or participating His work now.

    As a Citizen of Republic of India you have freedom to speak, but that not allow to blame somebody without knowing !

    I have respect for you, though you raised some questions, but the manner you raised & intention behind it is not that much powerful.

    My dear friends, I appeal you please look into your goodselves & focus the problem community is facing, countering each other is not an issue.

    Time is answer. Nothing to worry from myside.

    If you are looking from outside like a person on bank of the river want to learn swimming. If he make his mind then only he will go deep & swim very nicely.

    My quest is if you are sincere dont argue with anybody on any issue, try to get the root of the problem. & if you are raising You are only first responsible to get a solution. Then others are responsible.

    Only fighting or going publicly is not solution, or it will not affect the problem.

    Our life is just 50 – 60 years nobody serious about the past or future. Anyway everybody will leave the body & will settle peaceful spirit with nature.

    Our Aim should be How we can leave the present world to coming generation, a better place to live.

    If you are interested , find the answers yourself dont ask, gossipe with anybody the focus will shift on other issue.

    YOU ARE THE SOURCE OF EVERYTHING!

    RESPECT YOURSELF & IF POSSIBLE OTHERS!

    All this I am writing is my personal feelings. It is not the statement from AOL.

    yours
    Sandip

  105. Sandip Says:

    Dear Shamanth,

    You are searching for a Joy like a cat playing with its own the tale ,

    You are prepared to listen aginst somebody , try to prepare yourself to look in the truth.

    Anyway you are the owner of your way of life!

    God Bless You!

  106. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    Dear Sandip,

    I am disappointed that instead of responding to my question, you are taking the same strategy of those robots at AOL jail. Now I can appreciate what Jiddu Krishnamurthy had been syaing about modern gurus. His frequent comment was not to accept what others precah inlcuding what he says. Perhaps in an ironical sense you may be a follower of Jiddu. In that sense you are not accepting even what he said of what he said of not following others and accepting blindly the AOL precepts without questioing. That is how robots are designed.

    By the way like you being a farmer, I am a villager, grew in a village, went to Kannada medium school in that villege. If that is the qualification you want me to have (Not that I believe in this) I am qualified to question AOL.

    Please do respond to my questions and do not suggest that I just accept. Can you please help me to get back part of my fees of Rs 5000 which I felt was illegally obtained by AOL? This is not because I need that money. This is a question of principle.

  107. Shamanth Says:

    Sandip,

    Do you think I liten to somebody and say these things??!!! What a joke? That is you, not me. You follow a person blindly who has no ethics and morals. Cashing on people is inhuman. He is a fraud.. many AOL followers see him as a God. He is just a man like you.. infact you are better than him and you are not that idiot as Ravi Shankar. Do you think cheating people, Plagiarism is great?!!!

    I am just wondering if you had eaten any stuff at AOL ashram when you joined there in the begining.. Probably they are mixing something in the food to make you follow them! Many Babas follow this trick… Your leader is dangerous, cunning fellow..kick him out with your left leg. :)) Poor Sandit.. I pity…

  108. Sandip Says:

    Dear Shamanth ji,

    I understand your feelings !

    That come out of your ignorence. I am cooking in our own Kitchen. There is no mixing going on. If you asuming ” Probably they are mixing something in the food to make you follow them!”

    You cant understand, I will tell that is “LOVE” which does not want anything !!

    I am not doing for H.H. Sri Sri Ravishankar ji, Not For my Parents, Not for Anybody. I am getting on the Path of Truth! I am whatever doing is for Myself & my development!

    If you feel something is “your” feelings. You can not drink water for me in same way I cant do for you!

    There is no point you should bother about me! I have that much strength & Divine is given to me! It is given to you also!

    Whatever you say , my friend dont bother yourself, If you are criticizing somebody Ask yourself
    1. Who are You?
    2. What is your goal in your Life?
    3. For what you are on planet earth?
    4. What are you doing yourself to move on in your life?
    5. Are you doing enough for your own growth?

    I know You may feel I am advising you, but it is not like that, If you are serious Think again & again about it.

    Dont think about myself, Sri Sri Ravishankarji, or anybody else nobody can bother me.

    If you are on your own you do something for society!

    You take care yourself!

    My dear friend, Its up to you, Time is an answer.

    Dont worry! Dont Hurry!
    Say Hari ! Hari !

    With Love & respect
    yours
    Sandip

  109. Sandip Says:

    Dear B V Shenoy,

    You know better to whom you should approach for your money?

    Why my help is needed? Did you think what you are going to write? Its OK , you got excited & you written something as you understood in your own way!!

    Questions said by you there is no point I should answer. what is the point if you take it in your own way. So ask yourself & dont work in biased manner. As you are responsible person, you know your responsibilities!

    I am sure one day you will get the truth & that day you will have a nice laugh & divine feelings!!

    Take care & focus on your own!

    Do not bother about anybody my friend, You take good out of it !!

    With love & respect.

    yours
    Sandip

  110. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Sandipji maharaj,

    Couple of questions for you. I am merely curious.

    1. Even Sridevi had only one sri and she was far sexy than Ravishankar. Why do you call the man Sri Sri Ravishankar?

    2. Have you heard of HHH Sir Sir Abraham Koovor? What are your thoughts about this saint?

  111. Sudarshan Says:

    For Sandip,

    From your posts I can see you are most sincere and longing for Truth and God. If that is so, I strongly suggest that you look somewhere else. AOL will never give you what you want. Neither will Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. It’s useless to even give very good details of why I know this. But if you trust God, trust that God is possibly speaking even through my words/mouth:

    Get away as fast as you can. Don’t tell anyone you are leaving the organization. Just say things like “i’m so busy with work right now” making excuses every time it’s time for satsang or seva. This is the ONLY safe way to leave Guruji. Otherwise, you would possibly be injured by his anger, which is powerful and real. Don’t delude yourself into thinking that you have “arrived” anywhere just because you feel so good around him. That “feel good” has to constantly be replenished by going again to satsang, by getting near the personage called Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. It’s like a drug. If you have been attending for a few years, and still you are not able to maintain your Peace and Love and Assocation with God without running back to the ashram again and again, ask yourself “why?”

    Please trust me, my friend, you will never have any permanent Truth from that place or person. Anything that goes away, that is not permanent, is not Truth. It is a phenomenon. Good or Bad, it is a phenomenon. That which slips away, is of this world, not God, the Absolute.

    There are saints who will tell you this. Ravi Shankar is not one who will tell you this. He wants you to come back and serve again and again. He feeds off your love and adoration. He can not exist on earth without all of you. He becomes enraged if anyone leaves who has been close. So be extremely careful if/when you do walk away. Walk softly, quietly, and don’t tell.

    Love your family. Forget Ravi Shankar. He will destroy you, yours, and everything you really love.

    Concerned for you in Bangalore

  112. Raaj Gaurashi Says:

    Seriuosly, I am grieved by the kind of discussion I accidently witnessed here. I wish I had never come across this blog.
    You are very right Mr Sudarshan, that’s the easiest and by far, the most practical way of leaving guruji. Its actually of no earthly use atleast to do something for which you feel ashamed of when looking in the mirror at night when you are all alone…….. guruji would forgive you again and again and again, but after all, he always wants to see a smile on your face. So, if you are happy otherwise, better be !

    Here people would call such things as ‘blind faith’, won’t they ? Even I was among them till 6 months back, making fun of people who seemed to be content with what they were made to see and not what the reality is, atleast this is how I used to justify my critisisms………… bt who is blind? a person who can see nothing even after being with such people as those in the bangalore ashram, or a person who believed that his eyes were undraped they day he saw the world after coming back from the asram? The former is ‘they’, the latter is ‘us’…

  113. Chris Says:

    Everyone here misses the point. AOL never says that you have to kowtow to the Guru. Believe me, I have been an administrator in it for a long time. It is too democratic and each person does his or her own thing without any discipline.

    Sri Sri takes a lot of flak here for his overenthusiastic followers. I am not a blind follower of Sri Sri but his Sudarshan Kriya is a fabulous thing. Just learn it and do it. You need not even go to the weekly long Kriya. Incidentally for the gentleman who thinks that Rs 700 is too much for it, I paid Rs 1000 and consider it the best Rs 1000 I spent in my life.

    What sucks is his followers, especially the ‘enthu’ guys who are as bad as the baptists. However, you cannot separate Sri Sri entirely from his followers. One may think that 2Sri is an evil guy who takes revenge on those who leave him. Far from it. He is a gentle soul and is worthy of respect at least. He may not be perfect, but that has to do with his being human. Let’s agree that he cannot be without consequence if he has achieved all that he has.

    As for Bhamy Shenoy and the imbecile Anonymous guy who is obviously of the community that Z.Naik belongs to, let them confine themselves to their businesses and not put down the good in AOL. Let Mr Bhamy Shenoy ask for his money, he will get it back. Stop cribbing in public fora like losers

  114. Venkat Says:

    I read most of the posts here, to me it kind of made sense to have a debate on this issue.
    We should not get carried away with what others have to say regarding this issue. Question is what are our personal experiences? Be it good or bad, can we generalize them and come to a conclusion?
    Daylight has no meaning without experiencing the night. Similarly there are always two OPPOSITE sides to most of the things we perceive.
    So is the case, with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
    You are responsible for what is going on with you. Be responsible for your own actions. It is your weakness that let someone cheat you.
    I don’t want to justify any of the facts/accusations put forward here.
    All I can say is that instead of pointing towards other people, be with our own experiences and think twice before saying something. The word spreads fast. Just imagine, actions/blogs like these can spread so much negetive/positive energies around.
    Most people have ONLY accused of AOL taking lot of money for the course? But did anyone, including me, even tried to contact AOL representatives to see how exactly the money is spent? What projects are being undertaken?
    Instead of spreading the same message (being conned by AOL), lets move forward and do something with which we can come up with actual data and show people what the reality is.
    Lets stop fighting among ourselves, but instead try to prove others wron by providing the facts.

  115. sisya Says:

    for all we know, bhamy might have gone there with a Pratham donation dabba.. and got thrown out unceremoniously. And Bhamy, as seems to be his wont, is letting it all rip on churumuri. che! che!!

  116. AI Says:

    It is interesting to find so many people ready to jump on selective facts to support individual statements, experiences and bash or support AOL.

    First–Rs. 5000–Did not get satisfactory food and lodging. But did u go there to eat and sleep? Dint you go there to network with the NGOs and seek options and solutions? You ran away on the first day…how can you claim it to be wasteful when you have thrown away Rs. 5000 and not done justice by staying through out to get the full picture? Was it your personal money? were you charging your NGO for the trip?

    Second–What can the organization do if the speaker’s dont turn up or walk out? Or if the speakers dont deliver the speech of the century? You are entitled to be dissapointed but you cannot call it a scam!

    Third–Yes, Sri Sri’s programs are expensive. But the money from those programs fund many programs such as prison rehab (which govt. has failed to do!) and supports over 140 schools across India. They fund schools in Indonesia and some African nations. They provide for free food, clothing and education to children. check out http://www.careforchildren.org The web site is not high funda…it is just getting established…so dont denounce it right away! Only 20% of the money collected by AOL is used for admin costs the rest is pumped back into the community. You can contact AOL and ask for their annual statement and they will provide it. If not go to the tax offices.

    Fourth–Why cant a failed student become a sage? Is there a rule against that? Sri Sri went to live with Sri Mahesh Yogi before starting on his own. The Australia thing is just hearsay.

    Fifth–Why does is bother you whether his father was a fraud or not? Just because, my father cheated people doesnt mean I am a cheat!

    Just get over your biases. Just because you dont get it doesnt mean it is a scam. By the way, I am not an AOL follower…I did the course but dont follow it…I am simply impressed by their entusiasm to provide a chance for the world, their dedication to bringing education to our country.

  117. sachidanand Says:

    It makes me really sorry to read many of the responses to Bhamys postings. Not so much because of their nasty remarks about Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, but because of the deep seated prejudices that people have about anything remotely connected to spirituality.

    The first example of our prejudice is that we are overwhelmed by “an experience posted by one frustrated participant of a conference attended by over 500 delegates”. If the whole conference was so bad, I am sure that other participants would have also brought their experiences to the public through media. Surely media would have also been invited to witness the conference.

    The absence of such feedback from any sources other than Bhamy makes me doubt his story. Either, he was carried away by his prejudices or he is mentally not stable. More so, when he admits that he ran away from the conference soon after the inauguration. How can he be in a position to pass judgement on a three-day conference after running away from it just after the inauguration?

    If he was really serious about knowing about the conference he would have stayed back for the entire conference despite his discomforts. I am also appalled to know that a person who makes such a big fuss about washing his own plate represents an NGO to help others. When he seems so averse to helping himself how can he help others?

    To be able to able to appreciate spirituality one needs to have some depth. It is inevitable that those who lack the depth feel like a fish out of water in a spiritual atmosphere. In order to justify their shallowness they coin terms like ‘cult like environement’.

    It is regrettable that many so called intelligent people have become gullible to Mr Bamy Shenoy’s prejudices and shallowness. Thankfully their tribe is confined to the blogspace.

  118. shamanth Says:

    Hello All,

    I want to bring the bloody AOL down. But one can not do that. I am just starting to build a community to do accomplish my task. Does any one have any better ideas?? Unfortunately many people related to press and police are in AOL.

    Not just AOL…many like AOL. I found another famous fraud in Andhra Pradesh. People call hii Kalki Amma Bhagwan. India can not move forward if we have People like Ravi Shankar andother fake babas. So, please come up with some ideas. Otherwise our kids might be praying to this idiot’s (Ravi) idol. So, I want to expose his fradulence before he dies..

    Thank you,
    Shamanth.

  119. Sandip Says:

    I was at home for last two -three days. I know the problem people are facing in villages. We, who are using daily internet & most of the time using electricity for not needed & less useful purpose in urban areas.

    Nobody can make a effort to do something, Let us think ourself. What best I can deliver to my coming generation. There is no point who is doing what?

    My dear friends,

    there is so much work to do! by doing coments & questions & answers what we want is the quest!

    I am writing all is my personal feelings. I am not blaming anybody who are writing against H H Sri Sri Ravishankar ji, He is He.

    If anyboddy has problem let it be with them.. its their ignorance.

    I dont want to waste my time again on this blog.

    I am saying ” Time is an answer”

    I will continue my work as per guidelines by Guruji.

    Its my personal experience, nobody can feel others feelings in reality. He/she has to assume it may be like that something which I feel.

    So I request all my friends, dont point something for sometime.
    You are sencere, You know the path.

    I am here to serve humanity!

    Jai Gurudev !!

    If my reply hurts somebody, I am sorry for that But at the sametime one should realise what they asking , for what & for whom?

    All the best!

    with love & happiness!

    Sandip
    know, what they want & need

  120. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    Since the publication of my note a long time back, some of the newcomers to the blog especially those who are ‘hurt’ by my protest might not have read it carefully.

    To AI, you are right I did not go for good food and world class lodging. But when it was implied in the announcement that world center, it sends the message that it is not like what one can expect in ashram style. I have done such stays in my younger days as an NGO even sleeping at the railway stations etc. I would have made alternate arrangements. This looks like a fraud to any one who sees the things objectively.

    You are also right that Ravi Shankar is not responsible if speakers do not deliver a speech of the century or they do not attend. Here is the catch. Vandana Shiva is a fire brand speaker and always deliver a good speech. Why did she fail this time? Why did she leave the space immediately? When only speaker turns up of the famous speakers, what does it show? Does it smell rotten? When the organizers do not even bother to give reasons for their absence what does it show? When there is no details on three days event (like who is going to speak on what subjects etc) and there is no material on/articles on the sustainable development or articles by any of the speakers what does it show?

    By the way there were many others like me who had left the place and in their own ways they have protested. I am not the only one. I have seen beautifully written detailed story about Ravi Shankar’s fraud in Kannada. I hope some kannada magazine will publish that article. The author along with a friend of his also left the venue the same time I left. I have called and talked to an NGO friend of mine to find out what has happened and learnt that it was a totally wasted efforts. He stayed for all the time.

    By the way these gurujis and yogis build schools, hospitals, orphanages etc. This is good. As some may recall robber barons of yester years who made crores by cheating also built schools, temples etc. Therefore just building schools, hospitals do not amount to much. This is another marketing tool like Corporate social responsibility projects of some of the companies.

    If some one gets psychic help from Ravi Shankar it is well and good. Let us appreciate him. Let us even admire him and award him. But to call him spiritual guru and to give charitable status is questionable. It is high time, we start questioning the charitable status of gurus.

  121. Mia Says:

    In the Feb 8, 2008 issue of “Business Week,” there is an article entitled “In India, Dow Jones Meets Dharma.” Apparently Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is on the board of advisors for something called the “Dharma Global Index,” which recommends stocks based on “good governance” and “environmental friendliness.”

    In prior posts, some people have questioned Ravi Shankar’s integrity, and have suggested that he has friends in law enforcement, the media, and politics. In this new role, he can also indirectly influence the investments patterns of his followers. Companies having his blessing must feel very fortunate.

    Mr. Shenoy’s makes a strong argument. He was expecting to attend a professional conference, not an ashram. Perhaps the IAHV will publish the conference proceedings that can be evaluated by experts. I’m not holding my breath.

  122. jaideep Says:

    India needs more level headed people like Bhamy Shenoy and Mia. They put their point across logically and analytically. Cant say the same for some of the posts which were only just rants and rumbling.

  123. avanad Says:

    someone please give bhamy shenoy 5000 rupees, he is going on whining non-stop

  124. Mahesh Says:

    “jaideep Says: India needs more level headed people like Bhamy Shenoy and Mia. They put their point across logically and analytically. Cant say the same for some of the posts which were only just rants and rumbling.”

    My Dear Jaideep,

    What Bhamy and Mia are using is logic but it is negative logic. There are 3 types of logic – see http://www.totallyok.com/yoga/sutras/17sutra.htm Kutarka – reasoning oriented towards the negative: Whatsoever you say, the man who lives in kutarka, always thinks how to deny it, how to say no to it. He is always complaining, grumbling. He always feels that something somewhere is wrong — always You cannot put him right because this is his orientation. If you tell him to see to the sun, he will not see the sun. He will see the sunspots; he will always find the darker side of things: that is kutarka – wrong reasoning – but it looks like reasoning.

    Does the definition of Kutarka sound familiar with the postings of Bhamy. It may not be a psychological problem, its just how some people are, just negative.

  125. jaideep Says:

    Quit psyco babble, Mahesh!! And as far as Avand is concerned- why does he not give Shenoy the money? Shenoy has presented his case well, the ones who are whining are the AOL followers. All Cults are dangerous- they take ove critical thinking as is evident from posts defending Ravi Shankar.

  126. Dr S.K.Kammath Says:

    Dear readers,
    Recently my cousin told me about this discussion that is hapenning in this site. Mr Bammi Shenoy had gone to the Art Of Living ashram with an intention to do false propaganda against Art Of Living and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Guruji. I am sure that he was paid for it. My cousin who had also participated in the same NGO conf had told me how Mr Shenoy was purposefully trying to create a scene. It seems, first he said that he cannot share room with anyone ; immediately the ashramite who is in charge of housing came and politely offered a single room for Mr Shenoy. He did not expect that. Then he started complaining that he cannot wash his own plate after meals!! It seems many other particpants were observing Mr Shenoy’s eccentric behaviour and it was very evident that his sole objective was to tarnish the image of Art Of Living Foundation. It is unfortunate that people like Mr Shenoy (IIT graduate!!!!!!) can stoop to such level just to make some money !

  127. Adv Govindaraju Says:

    Any sensible person reading Mr Bammi’s article will agree that it is not truth. I agree to Dr Kammath that Mr Bammi was paid to write negative about Sri Sri Ravi Shankar swami and his ashram. Those who have read what is publisehd in the Kannada magazine know that it is junk and Mr Bammi says that it is ”beautifully written” !!! This shows the conection between Bammi and this yellow magazine…Yes, it is clear that this yellow magazine has hired Bammi to do the ”job” for them. Poor Bammi fell into the trap (people who have known him from long knows his greed for money)…we cant expect anything different from people like Bammi…

  128. jaideep Says:

    And just how is Shenoy trying to make money, Kammath?

  129. Kamal Says:

    I have stumbled upon this post and I am shocked at how many people are jumping to conclusions based on 1 person’s completely prejudiced opinion. I thought I should spend some time here and separate facts vs fiction. Even though I am not an expert in debating, I want to write what I think about this posting.

    It has become a fashion to some of these left oriented “Hindus” to throw mud at their own heritage/culture/tradition and anyone who upholds dharma.

    “I am back from Ravi Shankar’s Sangam 2008 within a few hours of its inauguration. It was supposed to be an “all-India NGO summit for protection of environment and access to social justice.”

    >> Above must be a fact.

    In reality, this was one of the cleverest hoaxes perpetrated in the name of a spiritual movement using the facade of NGOs.

    >> This is your prejudiced opinion.

    “We should keep away from this “spiritual” person.

    >> That is a very wise decision by you. You dont deserve to come anywhere close to spiritual people, not in this life time.

    His is a commercial ashram doling out psychological products

    >> Ashram is a fact. “Commercial” – yes commerce does happen at the ashram, people buy services and products, so you can perhaps say it is commercial. Courses for mental peace can be considered as psychological products, so it is a fact.

    specially for some foreigners and middle-class women who have studied in English medium schools.

    >> Not some, many foreigners, according to their website they are in more than 140 countries. “Middle-class women” – probably your brain could see only women and not men, that is very much possible at teenage.
    “studied in English medium schools” – probably some truth in it but I am not sure how you came to that brilliant conclusion.

    Many are working there as volunteers. It was impressive to see how so many could be motivated to give their services free of cost to produce profit for an institution. This requires genius of the highest order.

    >> Above could be a fact. There are usually many volunteers at the ashrams and unless they are motivated they don’t volunteer. I am sure you have also volunteered to some NGO or the other because you were motivated by their work.
    “Requires genius of the highest order” – I see it in a positive way and that is a fact based on the amount of work done by Art of Living

    “I even met a professor from IIT Bombay who is a volunteer there. When I expressed my disappointment with the whole show, she was very “sympathetic” and assured me that she too felt the same way at first, and later thanks to “guruji” she could see the light.

    >> Could be a fact. I will give you the benefit of doubt.

    “Uniformly every volunteer to whom I complained about the NGOs being taken for a ride, responded in the same manner as though all of them were robots programmed by some unknown force.

    >> Maybe a fact, I guess you were looking for a different response. I have seen that myself, I have met few Art of Living teachers, they are very calm and have a smile on their face, maybe they become good robots. I guess you didnt like calm and smiling faces, it happens when you are irritated and angry.

    The whole campus is filled with security people. Going from one place to another place was like going from one section of a jail to another where every gate is protected by a security guard.

    >> Here starts the drama. Now what happened to the foreigners and the middle class women. Did you try to do something bad to the “middle class women”, that suddenly you were surrounded by security people and put in jail. Did you have a bad dream in the conference?
    Or is it possible that you never had a glimpse of peaceful mind. The ashram environment can be like a jail if you cannot take peaceful atmosphere.

    “After charging Rs 5,000 as a delegation fee, Art Of Living was providing us a room to be shared with two others, and with no towels, soap, drinking water, etc.

    >> Could be a fact. I guess Art of Living did not meet your expectations. You probably expected 5 star lodging.

    The food was sub-standard.

    >>Come on now, how will you like the food in a jail, your mind was already biased. Did the rest of the delegates also throw the food away?. Was the food too sattvic for you? Its possible especially if you are used to eating unhealthy.

    According to Sangam website it was quite clear about the food:

    http://www.sangamngosummit.org/schedule.asp

    Sattvic meals prescribed in Ayurveda which maintain the body equilibrium by balancing the tridoshas – vata, pitta, kapha .

    We were expected to wash dishes after eating.

    >> That is common in the ashrams you are supposed to wash your own dishes, were you expecting some servants or bus-boys to clean your plates?

    “We did not go there as his disciples. I do not think delegates were taking part to learn about self-help as his disciples may be expected to do. I refused to wash dishes which was not liked by some. This is not because I dislike it. I have done it often. But I did not pay Rs 5,000 to do that. Moreover on the website, I was offered better lodging and food facilities.

    >> Agreed you did not go as a disciple, but so much fuss about washing a plate. What do you mean by better lodging and food facilities. Did they say that they will cater the food to individual tastes and provided 5 star hotel lodging. Did they post the menu ahead of time? I am sure you would have complained if they had 5 star lodging also, you would have said that Art of Living spends all this money to build top class ashram facilities.

    “What a wonderful way of advertising his product by charging us!

    “Companies pay money to advertise their products, but here Ravi Shankar collects money from us and introduces us to his product.

    “There were satsanghs, “free” introductory yoga classes, visit to his first abode, etc.

    >> Must be a fact. You are complaining about satsangs and yoga classes. I am sure they were optional, if you don’t like yoga don’t do it, who is forcing you. Were you expecting free beer and disco nights. BTW whenever you visit a company/organization/home they like to talk about their place/ products – that is normal. If they are hiding their products, I would be either suspicious or I would think that they don’t have any respect/pride for their own products/place.

    Again according to their website it is very clear that it was optional (it says participants may enjoy)

    http://www.sangamngosummit.org/schedule.asp

    During the Summit Participants May Enjoy :
    Sri Sri Yoga – Wisdom and techniques of yoga taught in a pure, joyful manner bringing one back to one’s self!
    The Art of Living Part 1 Course – Eliminate stress and experience peace through simple breathing techniques.
    Satsangs – Evenings of blissful singing, celebration and knowledge.
    Nadi Pariksha Consultations – Ayurvedic pulse diagnosis.

    I am sure some NGOs would have decided to buy his products and will act as his emissaries.

    >> If someone likes a product they will purchase it and it is quite natural to tell others.

    Of course, there will be a few like me who will attempt to do just the opposite.

    >> Your intention and attempt is quite evident from your posting.

    There were spies in the ashram observing people like me. It was obvious and at one time I was even frightened.

    >> Vow what a drama? “Spies” – Were they the middle class women from the English medium schools?
    “Frightened” – Are you sure you did not get a nightmare while you were sleeping in the conference? Hope you did not pee in your pants, then you would have been expected to clean that too.

    “During an evening satsangh, there were some planted questions put to Ravi Shankar. Still, his responses were pedestrian at best.

    >> “Planted questions” – how do you know? If you think you have better answers, that is well and good. Anyway you went with a closed mind, how did you expect to get anything? One thing is true though, that wise people like Sri Sri Ravi Shankar talk in a very simple manner so that a common man can understand, but it still takes a certain level of intelligence to understand even the simple things.

    One of the questions was about the new burning topic of global warming and climate change and what he (Ravi Shankar) thought about them. “At first, he ridiculed those who are worried about such things and proceeded to give the example of the Y2K phenomenon. Ravi Shankar dwelt on how foolishly people worried about Y2K, about places exploding, about the world coming to an end, etc and how nothing of the kind took place. He was suggesting that Y2K was not a problem and so also global warming. Little did he take into consideration the elaborate precautions taken by the world to prepare for Y2K and how India became the world capital for IT and outsourcing as a result.

    >>You are taking the answer completely out of context. I have heard him speak, he is not one of those who creates fear in peoples mind. If he is not concerned about the environment why would his organization organize such a conference or do any work in organic farming, tree plantation etc. Recently I read an article about Art of Living’s work in Vidarbha. http://www.indiaabroad.com/news/2007/nov/01aol.htm . His work and your interpretation seems contradictory. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is action oriented, if there is a problem I am sure he will say, lets discuss solutions and implement them, not sit and write thesis after thesis on the problems and certainly not scare the people.

    “What a pity such an ignoramus is considered as a “guruji” even by the firebrand Vandana Shiva.

    >> Just like you have been given a freedom to have an opinion on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar why don’t you give the same freedom to Vandana Shiva.

    “Someone asked the question about the unrest and violence in Kashmir and his response was to pat the questioner and to state that youth should get involved.

    >> Did you forget to write something negative here. I don’t see anything wrong, if you want to do something about Kashmir, do it, don’t simply sit and ask everybody’s opinions and just talk. Atleast Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is not sitting quite about it. I have read that his organization is doing good work in Kashmir too. Again I found an article from rediff. http://www.rediff.com/news/2007/may/08jk.htm

    “After spending less than 24 hours, I decided to leave the place. The cult-like environment was suffocating. Some other delegates from Mangalore with whom I have been conversing also decided to leave after the inauguration. One of the speakers Ananth Nadkarni, vice president, Tata council for community initiatives, too decided to leave early. Another speaker who was to talk on HIV left even before the end of the first day.

    >> About you leaving the conference must be a fact. I don’t know about the others. Based on your prejudice so far, it is tough to believe anyone else left like you are saying, I hope some organizers or other participants of the conference can verify this.

    “But for Vandana Shiva, none of the advertised experts and well-known speakers (R.K. Pachauri, Ashok Khsola, et al) were present. Is it possible that their names were prominently placed to sell the Sangam?

    >> It does happen that high profile speakers cancel at the last minute. According to their website he seems to have either attended or sent a message (usually happens when speakers cant attend).

    http://www.artofliving.org/Initiatives/Conferences/NGOSummit/tabid/334/Default.aspx

    “Raising the alarm of unprecedented climate changes, Nobel Laureate Dr. R.K. Pachauri, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, urged the need to shift to more sustainable lifestyles.”

    “We were told that about 500 delegates had registered and there were three silver sponsors. They must have raised at least Rs 30 lakh

    >> It’s a simple calculation so must be a fact.

    and the incremental cost would be no more than Rs. 3 lakh.

    >>Ya right. Can you organize a conference for 500 people just for Rs 3 lakh (Rs 600 per person including meals, lodging for 3 days). Let me know, I will be the first one to register.

    This is an excellent and clever way of making huge profits.

    >> If profits was the main goal (by the way they are doing good work in rural India and other countries, so at least profits are being put to good use), why would Art of Living organize a NGO conference and try to milk money as you are suggesting, they have enough products and enough customers.

    Business colleges should use this as a case study. We should admire the entrepreneurial capabilities of Ravi Shankar. It needs genius.

    >> I am sure some business school might be doing it but with a positive mindset not like yours. It is a wonder that they expanded to so many countries and reached out to so many millions in such a short time just with volunteers. It does need a genius.

    “Despite being a keynote speaker, Vandana Shiva spoke for just few minutes and that too in a rambling manner. She took the opportunity to bash Tata’s small car, the Nano. Her so-called keynote speech was dull and did not dwell on the main subject. A high school student could have delivered a better speech with greater insight.

    >> Okay that is your opinion and I guess you were expecting Vandana Shiva to talk about something more. So she also did not meet your expectations. Were you expecting some PhD thesis papers or what.

    “A High Court judge also gave an uninspiring talk making no substantive points

    >> Oh boy, even a high court judge did not meet your expectations. Did you tell the organizers that next time they should invite you as speaker and you can do a better job?

    except offering “pranams” to “guruji”. What a joke! “I attended the first workshop and it was also equally boring. Speakers were more interested in offering pranams than dwelling on the subject.

    >>It is our Indian custom to offer pranaam to the revered speakers first. I am sure it is a custom all over the world, that you greet respected speakers before you deliver your speech. You might have forgotten your tradition, culture, religion, values or simply not taught but dont expect that from others please.

    “I do not think we can collaborate with this group.

    >> Duh.. After all that opinion.

    When they were pressing us to register all the time, and not giving us any suggestions on how we could collaborate, I knew this was a commercial establishment and not a spiritual centre as is advertised. Perhaps we should write an article on how NGOs should guard against such frauds in the future.

    >> So here you admit that you went with a prejudiced/closed mind and came back the same way and now you want to warn all the NGOs. Pity you. BTW their website is quite clear about the post summit objectives also.

    “I am sure during your meeting with Ravi Shankar and his people, you would have come to the same conclusion.

    >> You will find some closed minded friends for sure.

    Let us now revert back to the poverty issue and stop any idea of collaborating with Ravi Shankar.

    >> Looks like you love to be poor. You went to the ashram poor and you came back poor. With this mindset you will remain poor unfortunately. (I am referring to poverty in a different sense not materialistic)

    “I am planning to demand the return of payment since facts were misrepresented to me while registering. I am exploring the possibility of filing a case in the consumers’ forum. When our NGO, Mysore Grahakara Parishat, is encouraging others to file cases, I need to follow that example.”

    >> Demand money – what a joke. You should be charged with a defamatory suit my dear, for false propaganda. But I am sure that Art of Living people are busy doing good work and have no time to attend to your nonsense.

    Bhamy, I know no matter how much anyone writes will not make sense to you, even God will not be able to make sense to you. As Mahesh posted, you will see only negative in everything. I wrote this reply not for you but for other readers who dont know about the work of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and have an open mind.

  130. Dr S K Kammath Says:

    If a man is creating a scene about washing his own dishes after meal, it shows his dignity and hidden agenda !

  131. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    Dr. Kammath’s cousin who seems to have followed me as a “spy” to observe my “eccentric” behaviour has informed Dr. Kamath wrongly.

    I did complain not having a room for myself after paying Rs. 5000. To placate me and also to stop my “eccentric” complaining robot like volunteers of AOL promised to look into the possibility of giving me a single room. This never happened. Dr. Kammath’s cousin is telling a lie.

    My purpose of attending AOL’s Sangahm was to collaborate with them to bring a special edition of Catalyst magazine for which I am the Chief Editor. We had earlier planned to bring the next edition on poverty. My friend Dr. Rao (publisher of Catalyst) had met Ravi Shankar few weeks back at AOL. We were discussing with his staff the possibility of bringing the next edition on NGO summit. Though Catalyst and AOl are supposed to be equal partner, we were treated as though AOL is doing us a favor. This started to raise questions in my mind.

    We had carried a full page ad costing Rs 10000 for AOL on their NGO summit. Still they were asking us to register and pay the full amount. In fact there was one more person from Catalyst who had also registered paying the full amount. However after my sad experience (lodging, food, jail like environment, no participation by the announced speakers, lack of written articles, no definite agenda with the topics and names of the speakers, no useful discussion on the topics etc), I suggested to our editorial board to drop our earlier plan of bringing a special issue on the NGO summit.

    This naturally created a problem for us and we had to postpone our next issue by one month. Thus one can see that I was not sent by any one to attend and it was my own decision. I do not feel sorry for losing Rs 5000. I got a valuable first hand experience about our gurus, sadgurus, Mahayogis, Sris, Sri Sris. etc. Till this time I kept my mind open and did not allow myself to be influenced by what others had said. Incidentally some of my close relatives have taken part in AOL and paid handsome money for Sudarshan Kriya. Many of them are still his devotees.

    The reason I am claiming Rs 5000 from AOL is to make a point and not to make me “rich” by Rs. 5000. Just to give one example, when I could have earned thousands of dollars as an advisor on fighting corruption in Georgia (one of the former Soviet Union Countries), I worked for free and I have done the same in India also. Therefore for those who want to bring the level of discussion to few rupees, let us think of some other excuses other than money. Basically I am an activist and cannot keep quiet when I see some thing is wrong. Incidentally Catalyst editorial board offered to pay my Rs 5000 and stop my protest. They are concerned that some of the readers of Catalyst may be disappointed with my protest. By the way those interested can see Catalyst at http://www.afhd.org

    As Mia has suggested if AOL can bring out a proceeding on NGO summit with learned articles presented and the intellectual discussions that took place during the summit, one can truthfully be critical of me for raising this issue. Just yesterday I saw a reference made to the comment made by Dr. Pachauri during the summit in AOL’s summit. This was news to me. He was not there during the inauguration and there was no explanation on why he was not present. To my knowledge he did not come later either. Then how did he make a comment at the summit? This has intrigued me.

    Perhaps Dr. Kammath’s cousin can throw light on this subject. Since he knows so much on what I was doing at the summit, can he also tell us why so many left soon after the inauguration? Can he also tell us why so many participants were complaining at the venue?

  132. Rama Says:

    Shri Shri Kamal, Couldn’t find the true feedback from the Sangam site. Still it is talking of the registration. Could you get some official MOM. Good Analysis. But your mind is already biased against Bhammy V Shenoy as he is biased about Shri Shri. So no end to it!

    ***

    Now now.. kammath Mam, dont fight with Shenoy Mam with half baked information received from a Zombie at the summit. Mr.Shenoy is questioning the content of the summit as well as how the participants are taken for a ride. If it was a spiritual summit to humble our egos, Mr.Shenoy should wash not only plates but also feet. But it is not a spiritual summit. With due respect to the allmight, will “hare Rama, Hare Krishna” bring down the ill effects of Global warming?

    ***

    Coming soon: Shri Shri Shri Muthappa Rai. Registration free.

    ***

  133. Harshad Says:

    Kamal – a very detailed reply, i have been following this conversation from start . I was not sure abt the AOl organization and did know much about it. Infact was negative about it. But through out this discussion .. one thing is very evident. .. people want to talk .. mostly bad but never ever do anything Good. All these people have a great sense of detectives to find out what is wrong in the organization. but one wants to support what ever good this organization is doing for militants , for naxals, for farmers … just the other day i over heard someone in my office talking very highly about AOL. He was from Kashmir and the fact which he reveled were shocking. Infact he also told us the facts that the AOL courses were held for our armed forces , BSF jawans.. who really are so stressful..I amazed at you Bhamy & Mia.. you guys have just blabbering for the sake of doing it.. you should be ashamed about your selfs. You dont do any work and you try to become to rodent in others way.. Mr Shankar is rightly getting the deserved position of Indian Culture, Heritage & Science in this world which we lost due to our stupid politicians and a number of other reasons. Due to people like you.. India has reached in a position where we debate whether lord Rama was there or not.. It is pity Full that people from this land doubt and ridicule their own Culture & Heritage. And some one above was talking about saving Hinduism.. You want to save Hinduism go and fight with Sonia Gandhi & Congress Party… dont park yourself and talk rubbish about things which you dont have guts to change..
    Kamal – its amazing that you written your posts so well.. but somewhere i feel we are giving Mr Shenoy to much time… we need to really rethink . does his issue really deserve it…
    Mr shenoy – i have suggestion for you a very .. dont be surprised and satrt saying that people from IIT and lot of intellectuals follow Sri Sri .. and you feel so stupid. I would just ask you to rethink .. that how can so many people be crazy wit such high amount of intelligence.. before labeling people i think we should always.. think where the hell are we.. i hope you get my point.. if not GOD SAVE U

  134. Rama Says:

    Shri Shri Harshad!

    <>

    What diu mean? We are bloggers and need not update here what we are doing elsewhere. At this point I am not sure whether you are wanking or doing something good.

  135. Dr S K Kammath Says:

    Bammi, people have better things to do in life rather than spying you ! Your eccentric behaviour was very obvious and maybe you wanted everyone to notice it because you had come with a hidden agenda. Yes, I spoke not just to my cousin ,but many more people who had participated in the conferrence. They were all of the opinion that this one was simply superb becasue they all got very chance to network with other organisations and The Art Of Living Foundation provided a very good platform for it. When I asked few others about you, they just told me to ignore you because of your past records. One person jokingly said,”maybe Bammi has been washing everyone’s dishes in his house always, he wanted to take a break when he came here ! ”…

  136. Rama Says:

    Dr.Kammath, BTW your friends seem nuts to crack such jokes. Now apart from Networking what is the outcome of the conference? The website still shows the registration form. There is no resolution taken. And why dont you just try to get details on what the speakers presented and why so many walked out abruptly. Do they plan to have such summits every year? It all looks like an eyewash. Now stop clinging to mundane points in the posts like Washing dish and food which was incidental. What about the real issues? Nobody is trying to ponder that. Dont we need whistle blowers in this country but hypnotized zombies like YOU?

  137. Adv Govindaraju Says:

    Yes, we definitely need whistle blowers in this country ! We need sensible dignified whistle blowers and not yellow magazine street whistle blowers like Shenoy !

  138. shamanth Says:

    Who the hell are you people? We have a right to discuss anything…

    You know what.. you are so scared that your fake Guru may get exposed..

  139. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    Can some one tell me which Kannada magazine has published an article on Ravi Shankar? When I do not even know the name of the magazine which has published my article, how can I be paid to write for it.

    Sudha has published my views on Nano and using that connection I had requested to publish my article in Kannada version. I am not sure if they have done it yet.

    By the way there are others from Dakshina Kannada who had attended the Sangham and feld like I did have written far more scathing article and that too in beautiful Kannada. I wish it could be reproduced here. Mr. Manjanath Rao, former Syndicate Bank manager is the author of this article. He is very disappointed that not only he lost his money, but also the precious time of attending the ashram.

    I wonder how many must have left like us?

    By the way this is not the first time I have been a whistleblower. I do it all the time in Mysore. Intent was not to bring bad name to a Hindu culture as suggested by some. Why does one take such an easy way to arouse the emotion? In fact it is the true love of genuine Hinduism which has resulted in trying to be whistle blower.

    I wish there was Jiddu Krishnamurthy now to expose gurus and mahagurus like this. In his days, he used to be critical of all such. But their number was few when he was alive. Among the educated, he had a powerful voice. But now they are mushrooming like wild weeds. This is a phenomenon worthy of a study. How one can earn huge money without any capital, but just with saffron robes and some patented yoga system.?

  140. sanjaya Says:

    4 Marketing Lessons from the World of Spirituality!

    India has been known for its spirituality, swamis and sadhus for as long as anyone can care to remember. Spirituality has been one of India’s most successful exports (Bollywood’s “soft power” notwithstanding).

    Given the vast spirituality “market” it is not surprising to find a bewilderingly large array of spirited entrepreneurs of spirituality. Yet there are only a few that have acquired a pan-Indian or global following. The success of these few therefore offers many interesting marketing lessons to entrepreneurs from the temporal world.

    Lesson 1: Unique well defined customer segment:
    Each guru has a well defined set of followers. There are hardly any overlaps and fewer instances of cannibalization where one guru weans away followers from another. For example, one would be hard-pressed to find, say, a follower of both Sri Sri Ravishankar and Osho. Or of a Baba Ramdev and Mata Amritanandamayi. Each segment is uniquely defined.

    Lesson 2: Unique Motifs:
    Each guru has a unique motif that defines his/her message or persona. For example, Sri Sri Ravishankar has his Sudarshan kriya, Baba Ramdev has his Yoga, Swami Prabhupada had his Krishna Consciousness, Maharshi Mahesh Yogi had Transcendental Meditation, Osho had Dynamic Meditation (most significantly), Mata Amritanandamayi has her unique hugs.

    Each guru also has a unique pre-fix or suffix that defines them. “Sri Sri”, “Baba”, “Swami”, “Acharya”, “Mata”, “Bhagwan”, “Ma”, “Maharshi”, “Amma”, and so on. Who gives them these titles?

    Some perform “miracles”; Others talk in “holistic” terms integrating everything from Christianity to Zen; Others advocate a back to basics or back to nature approach. But each is unique in its appeal to a target audience!

    Lesson 3: Laser sharp initial focus, Growth in concentric circles later:

    Each guru initially just had a focused simple spiritual message usually of enlightenment, how to live a stress free life, deal with personal angst and so on. Later, as the number of followers grew, the messaging reach spread up and down and across different customer groups. For example, Baba Ramdev, primarily a Yoga guru, now holds forth on AIDS, role of MNCs and fast-food; The Art of Living movement offers spiritual solace to Defence personnel and to prisoners; Deepak Chopra from mind-body medicine to “Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” and “Kama Sutra”. Swami Sukhbodhananda has corporate training programmes.

    Almost all gurus today predominantly perform social service reaching out to many tens of thousands of people every day. They have established disciplined and sophisticated structures for co-ordination, command, and control of operations.

    Lesson 4: Communication, Branding and Positioning:

    The communication techniques are interesting as well. For example, some adopt the time-tested formula of having celebrities endorse them (politicians, film-stars, sports personalities). Others use the well-known MLM (multi-level marketing) model where each follower organizes local gatherings (usually a home) where the uninitiated are invited and so on down the hierarchy. Yet others use mass media (e.g. TV) for reaching out to large numbers at a time. Mega events such as meditation camps, international meets on spirituality and consciousness with several national and international dignitaries in attendance. Aggressive pamphleteering, noisy processions and colourful banners proclaiming the arrival or presence of the gurus are employed usually catering to the mass audience.

    The creation of the personality cult via the addition of adulatory prefixes and suffixes. For example, a recent banner in a city proclaimed the arrival of “His Holiness Shree Shree Param Pujya (insert guru’s name) ji Maharaj”! Clearly, some organized group of people is bestowing these honorifics and popularizing them.

    Usage of modern communication tools such as TV, Events, Audio, Web-sites call for a sophisticated understanding of the role of these tools and the target audiences for each of these media vehicles.

    Sample this from the web-site of a spiritual leader with a reasonable name-recall:

    QUOTE “Times of India in their recent poll on “who talks the best” places Swamiji as the one, who tops the list on all counts as the best speaker; The Week magazine acclaims Swamiji as one among the top five best exponent of spiritual knowledge (sic); His other English books are marching best sellers; Swamiji was invited as a dignitary in five different panels at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and was a special invitee to the United Nation World Millenium Summit of spiritual Leaders” UNQUOTE

    Clearly, gaining recognition abroad is an important element is gaining acceptance at home. Indians love things “phoren” and spirituality is no different. Most gurus started out at home, acquired celebrity Indian followers and then acquired foreign followers, which helped increase the following in India; Some like Swami Yogananda and Swami Prabhupada (ISKCON founder), and Maharshi Mahesh Yogi emigrated to the US; However, with India’s rising self-confidence (thanks to the attention in the international arena and recognition by the global press!), gurus like Baba Ramdev have gained immense following in India even with a negligible international following with their simple earthy communication bolstered by savvy TV based messaging.

    Well, what do you think of these four lessons?

  141. JATT Says:

    if u dont like the guru’s peaceful approach..

    i guess its time to call the opposite of the guru.. one man who can deal with lazy kashmiri muslim jihadi terrorists. in a language they understand: NARENDRA MODI

    Make Modi PM, within two days kashmir problem will be solved.

    I mean modi uses jihadi techniques on the jihadis

    osama and other muslims know if u attack one innocnet hindu.. modi will kill a thousand muslims.

    950 million hindu’s support Modi.

  142. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    Sanjay,

    you have caught the unique features of the phenomenal success of the holy men of India. One observation which comes out of these four lessons is that they indicate the essential elements of any profit making organizations. Thus our holy men have adapted the western successful formula to sell age old Indian philosophy. If we realize this and treat them exactly the way we treat titons of industry there should be no problem.

    However their products are sold under a different guise to “fool” the people. This is where the problem arises. Ravi Shankar definitely has a good, viable product to sell. He has well established brand recognition. He has a motivated volunteer groups who are capable of selling his product. If people know these things the way you have explained through the four lessons, then one has no right to complain about him. Unfortunately AOL wants to create what they think is a more noble idea of their organization. They think of themselves as non profit organization doing social work. This is what some of us find as inconvenient truth.

  143. Anonymous Guy Says:

    sanjaya,

    Hanumanthun bala thara…

  144. jaideep Says:

    Sanjay, great analysis!

  145. vyayas Says:

    you guys………..

    great work!

    totally enjoyed each and everyone’s post.

    again hats off to you guys.
    great stuff for entertainment.

  146. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    Dear Friends,

    Star of Mysore had published my article on Ravi Shankar and one of his devotees from Australia got offended by my letter and he sent a rejoinder. For that Dr. Narendra Nayak, President of Rationalist Association of India has sent a response. You may like to read it.

    Sir,

    When people cannot prove something, they resort to name dropping as suggested by Dr. Anand Shastry’s diatribe against Dr. Bhamy Shenoy’s complaint about Ravi Shankar’s sort of business in the name of Art of Living for the NGOs (SOM dated Mar. 3). Perhaps when he suggests that Shenoy take the views of many ex-IITian, he does not seem to know that the correspondent himself, Dr. Shenoy, is an ex-IITian!

    When Ravi Shankar takes the credit for the all so-called “success” derived from the money collected from the gullible, why not the complaints? Well, his organisation, by whatever name it may be called, should be responsible for what goes on in the name of their training. It is their duty to check about the facilities provided to the entrants and not the other way round. Particularly when the camps are conducted in places where nothing is available but what is provided by the organisers.

    Coming to the proponent of this, Ravi Shankar, why should he flaunt to Sris before his name? Who has accorded him that title? That apart, he has a simplistic way of condensing issues to suit his prejudices. For example, in North India, he made statements like the Indian farmer is poor because he is lazy and got properly slammed for that. How can a person who has never done a hard day’s work in his life claim that the Indian farmer is lazy?

    Besides, he advised them to seek alms instead of committing suicide and there was nothing wrong with that as people like Mahaveera and Gautama Buddha have done that! Well, if all resort to begging, including the Indian farmer who grows the food, which we have been eating all our life, it doesn’t need the sixth sense developed by Art of Living to tell you that all will starve!

    And Art of Living and cancer. What? The way it was organised with himself strutting about, it looked as if a new treatment for cancer had been discovered by him! When the proceedings were followed closely, it turned out that all the patients attending the meet were receiving conventional treatment for cancer but were also doing Art of Living along with that! A clever way of making it look as if it was their mumbo-jumbo that was responsible for the cure!

    Sri makes tall claims like developing the sixth sense, increasing immunity without a shred of evidence. He has a message to the people that the poor man should be happy with his poverty (and conversely the rich can enjoy their wealth without any qualms of conscience). This will certainly make his following which includes Vijay Mallya and such capitalists happy.

    One reason why criticism of Ravi Shankar and his Art of Living or Sri Sri Yoga does not take place is because of his hold over the media.

    The English media in particular is dominated by his followers and besides he has many friends among politicians who always wish to appear on the right side of Godmen like Ravi Shankar.

    — Narendra Nayak, President, Federation of Indian, Rationalist Associations, on e-mail

    Mangalore

  147. jaideep Says:

    Sri Sri bestowed this title upon himself!!

  148. Raghavendra Prabhu Says:

    The very fact that Mr Bammi Shenoy is keeping this going on and on shows his nature , his state of mind, his hidden agenda. It has become very very clear that he stepped inside AOL ashram with this agenda only. That is why he started to create conflict from beginning,basically he was creating a subject so that he can talk bad aginst AOL and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar swamiji. This is the reason why first he complained about room (I found out from a participant that he was given twin occupancy because he himself had booked that only!). When AOL volunteers told him that he will be given single accomodation, he came up with this plate washing issue! Thanks to Mr Bammi Shenoy I visited AOL ashram in Kanakapura road for the first time last week. I was so impressed. More than 2000 school children who are first generation students from neighbouring villages are fed mid day meals every day! (btw I also saw that everyone including many senior Swamis of the ashram are washing their own plates … even international people are washing their own dishes.. ).
    Poor Shenoy has now sought help of rationalist association ! And anyone who is logical and sensible will know that whatever that man (no one has heard about him before!!) has written is totally foolish and baseless. We all read in the newspapers that hundreds of Vidarbha farmers had come to bangalore AOL ashram last year to express their thanks to Sri Sri Swami Ji for bringing solace in their lives.
    Before leaving the AOL ashram, I bought a book of Sri Sri Swamiji. It was such a beautiful co incidence that the page I opened was his discourse on CRITICISM !!! I dont remember verbatim,but, i will convey the gist. He says,” You should be able to give criticism and take criticism. If they criticise you to correct you, accept it. But, if people criticise just for the sake of criticising or just to pull you down, you just smile and move forward”.
    At his age, I sincerely feel that Bhammi should not keep his mind full of frustration, agitation, anger etc. I really request Bammi to just go and meet Sri Sri Swamiji and talk to him directly. He will accept Bammi with all the love and will really encourage Bammi to speak out whatever is the opinion he has formed in his mind. Bammi, it is very easy for you to say ”off” to me or say that ”I will never go and meet that man” etc. Please listen to my humble suggestion and stop this stuff which is just dragging from long time, take some time off and without a biased mind take an appointment to meet Sri Sri Swamiji.

  149. Nirav Nayak Says:

    Millions are being fooled by siritual leaders. I was one of these but was fortunate to get out of AOL ‘nasha’ which lasted for almost three years. I learnt many lessons and feel that AOL heads the list of such business organisations running under the garb of spirituality.
    Please see the link below which is a very sensible article regarding genuinness of AOL guru. The effect can be seen from the reaction coming from AOL ashram. Again apt replies have been given to all questions raised by AOL.

    http://www.yunusnews.com/node/486

    But I feel this phenomenon will continue as long as there are takers and so called seekers. I can vouch from my personal experience that lot of your time, energy and money gets wasted once you fall prey to such organisations. AOL has a business like approach to all this process of attracting people and AOL teachers are the agents who get their share by way of fixed percentage of fees collected. So the stress is on making more and more people to do the course.
    However thousands of people have realised this and are quitely going away and the recession has started. But meanwhile an empire has been created on public money.
    Buddha’s spiritual journey was from kingdom to forest but in case of today’s spiritual leaders it is exactly opposite.
    By looking at the hangama going around I can only recollect the famous saying
    ‘Duniya zukti hai, zukanewala chahiye’

  150. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    Sri Prabhu,

    you have missed the issue over here. I have great admiration for Ravi Shankar. He is a great entrepreneur like Bill Gates, Narayana Murthy, Azim Premji etc. He has been able to create wealth on a simple idea of Sudrashan Kriya. Many seem to get psychological help. It requires great genius to attract so many well educated volunteers from all over the world and to establish hundreds of ashrams in more than 100 countries.

    But Bill Gates and others call their business profit making and our Ravi Shankar calls his as religious organization for non profit purposes. It is in this background I happen to see myself when I attended NGO summit. Here had he organized it as a profit making event, I would have had no problem. I would not have attended. I am sure ministry of environment might not have been a sponsor.

    I am glad that thanks to me you attended AOL ashram and even bought a book by him and learnt about criticism.

    Can you just help me to get back the fees which I paid. By the way washing dishes is just one of the most trivial things I had indicated. Incidentally when I paid, I was neither told about a double room nor was I gievn a chance to stay in a single room. As you correctly pointed out, I was making scene when I learnt about three people sharing the room. Just to get rid of me and to quieten me down, I was told by a volunteer that they would look into my problem. When I inquired again I was told that since there are many attendees they cannot do any thing. Do not try to repeat the lie that I was offered a single room. Again food, washing dishes, three people sharing etc are not the significant things for which I am complaining about. I am against the whole premise of bringing all these NGOs to sell AOL giving the pretext of NGO summit. Let us concentrate on main things and not divert the attention.

  151. Rama Says:

    Sri Sri Raghavendra Prabhu,

    Now why do you feel that Mr.Bhammy is keeping it going? It is a blog and it has invoked mixed responses. Could you find the Minutes of that Conference? The website doesn’t provide anything and since many of the speakers were missing or walked out after a brief talk, it would be wiser to talk to them not Sri Sri ji!

  152. ANIL Says:

    IN THE NAME OF SUDARSHAN KRIYA THESE PEOPLE ARE EXTRACTING THE MONEY.

    IN REALITY INDIAN GURUS ALWAYS TEACH THE GOOD TO THE PEOPLE IF THEY GIVE ANY DONATION THEY MAY ACCEPT.

    BUT IN THIS CASE EXTRACTION TO START WITH Rs 1000 AND SO ON

    BUT WHAT IS CONTRIBUTION TO SOCIETY?

    I DONT THINK ANY THING SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION THE AOL HAS GIVEN OTHER THAN NONSENSE PAPER RELEASE

    LOOK AT SRI SAIBABA HE ADOPTED AND DEVELOPED A VILLAGE & FREE MEDICAL TREATMENT
    MATA AMRUTAMAI BIG HOSPITAL IN COCHI WITH ECONOMICAL TREAMENT.
    THIS IS WHAT IS CONTRIBUTION
    EVEN AOL HAS GOT MANY DONORS AND SCHOLARS

    BUT ONLY EXTRACTION IS GOING ON

    IT IS FRAUD ORGANISATION

    AOL MEANS ASSOCIATION OF OLD LAFUNGAS
    CHEATING IS THE ONLY BASIC

  153. Reddy Says:

    Anil.. You are absolutely right… Association of Luchas.. money suckers

  154. Suresh Says:

    I googled about this organization, Mysore Grahakara Parishat (since someone enquired with me for more details about its activity) and unfortunately the only noteworthy stuff that results threw up was this.

    BHAMY V. SHENOY of the Mysore Grahakara Parishat – Hmmm…..it means nothing to a common man. I am no big fan of any Godmen, but Bhami Shenoy is no lesser culprit. He is also chasing popularity which unfortunately does not seem coming at all. Pity!!! I am sure even this Rs. 5000/- doesnt come from his pockets. Easiest way to popularity is to find a popular person and take potshots – like some crazy nut claiming Aishwarya Rai was his wife – ha ha ha. Mr. Shenoy sounded pretty much like this crazy guy. His reliance on Agni (a titiliating yellow journal – not worth the ink and paper it is printed on) proves his credentials. And pray! what has this NGO he is supposed to head done till date. He tried to find an easy way to get himself into the limelight and has now made an ass of himself. As I know Ravishankar has more educated followers than this two penny Mysore Grahakara Parishat because the work apparently seems evident in the country that I live. Mr Shenoy rather than waste the Mysore Grahakara Parishat’s money why not get going doing something worthwhile. The issues seem extremely trivial to waste the organization’s money. The best way to counter Ravishankar is to organize a similar event and prove them as to how it ought to be done – not being a crybaby – they made me wash, they made me walk, they made me share room – blah blah. If this is what an NGO in India means God save the nation. Government Organizations are bad enough and NGOs like yours are adding to the numbers. And when you say millions of educated people are being fooled, you are not being very intelligent.

    I also happened to view the video purportedly put forth here. Hey guys! I found nothing wrong in that video. I guess a great deal of Indianness emanated in the response. Mistakes were accepted and the conference moved on (and we did not find anyone walking out ;-)

    I checked with a couple of NGOs who attended this conference and was given to understand that this guy Shenoy was out to create trouble for the sake of creating trouble and it was purely a publicity-monging excercise (unfortuantely for him, apart from this web community no one seem to have taken notice of him). Being originally from Mysooru and living abroad for a decade now, I sincerely wish Shenoy to do something for the city rather than project himself and more importantly the entire NGO movement in bad light to the world.

  155. Suresh Says:

    Oh yes! You have got me interested in studying Art of Living organization to understand what makes it tick. I dont agree that tens of thousands of educated people can be fooled (this is an insult to these people and also those who educated them). As a IITian you just got my curiosity aroused. Give me a couple of months and after my next vacation to India, would help you understand what this means.

    As I see the whole issue is as a Indian living in India you never realize the values and respect that you take it for granted. You should attend a conference or meeting abroad to realize what it takes to make a mark abroad. You could easily be ignored (let alone ask to do your dishes, if you get one you can count yourselves lucky) and made to realize your roots again and again. So stop hankeing and cribbing and get on with life, kid.

  156. rama Says:

    Suresh,

    and did you get anything online regarding the great great NGO NGO meet? Any minutes or what happened in the meeting. I couldn’t get anything and the website still shows the invitation!

    Since you are “ASSuming” that Mr.Shenoy would have used Grahak Parishath’s money I feel you too are Ravishankar’s agent. I dont think Mysore Grahak Parishat needs publicity outside Mysore and learnt Mysoreans know what MGP is doing. Since you have entered into mudslinging and likely to be a zombie at the AOL, now you convine us with your own research what was the stuff in the NGO meet! All the best.

  157. rocky Says:

    its a shame 2 c ppl fight on such issue.. well i think one shuld not comnt on spritual guru tht also frm ur ur own counrty who is an inspiration for millions abroad.. well u never complain against mnc’s like coke.. they r selling poision n tht also on the cost of lowering ur own water table.. few days bck there was a report abt a drought in a village in south india due to lowerd water table coz of a softdrink plants cunsumtion of water.. these companies sell our water 2 us n charge mony dnt u thnk thts wrng.. n more over this guy is doing real good work in many areas.. AOL alone has adopted many villages in vidharba.. atleast he is doing sumthing he is a god 2 millions u ppl r bragging ur knowledge without even clearing ur facts…. i dont care if he is rite or wrong but he do make ppl smile… n now come 2 the point of him charging money.. well thts funny he is charging money its ok its ur choice u do the course or not.. y dwell on it… if u dnt want 2 pay dont do it.. if u want 2 do it 4 free u can go to any of the central jails where the prison smart program is happening…. this is a program to rehabilitate prisoners n its absolutlty free.. good news for u.. hehehe.. more over there r sum navchetna shivirs vich aim at the lower class society n teach them the same tech absolutly free.. but the point is it is for those ppl who realy cant pay.. nt for ppl who spnt on smoking, drinking n any thing simmilar 2 it but ven it come 2 sprituality n yoga the highest knowledge of our sages they want it free of cost.. funny na..this shows wat is the value of spritualty for u.. its free just like air.. u dnt care for it.. u dnt hv any right 2 b given such knwoldge until n unless u hv sum respect ffor it.. i dont intend 2 hurt any one n if i did m sorri but its fun 2 c ppl against such a person who is atleast doin some good work…n he never force anyone 2 follow him.. its compltly ur wish.. n he is harmless… if u work for ur ppl 2 tht level then u deffintly hv the right to comnt against him… bt wat hv v done?? nothing.. there is no point crtisizng anyone until unless u hv a btr idea n r willing 2 work on it.. there r many issues in our socity tht nds 2 b workd on.. y dnt v look at thm n thnk of how 2 work on them.. rather than frustrating ur self by just sitting n complaining, this wont change anythng.. the ppl who love sri sri will keep on loving him.. wat ever u do.. nthng will change….

  158. rama Says:

    Rocky. You rocked. We do protest against coke as well. But not in this post!

  159. harry Says:

    i did AOL course a few years back when i was under depression & I benefited from it & i do practice sudarshan kriya .Its my only connection with AOL.I don’t consider sri sri a saint or any thing like that,but i do pity Bhamy V Shenoy who lost Rs 5000.00 .i think we should all make a NGO to help Mr.shenoy get back his Rs 5000.00 & in the process make millions our selves.Mr shenoy should have been smarter. he him self runs a NGO & he knows that NGO are run for personal gains & public service is a by product .Most of the NGOs are made for personal gains .I am in hospitality industry & i have seen NGO heads travel business class with NGO money be it maneka gandhi, CRY chief ,sri sri or any other .
    Mr shenoy you made a mistake & you should pay for it,u trusted your own tribe.well there is a saying a in Hindi CHORI KA MAAL MORI MEIN .Do Not cry & we should all make a pledge that we wont pay any money to a NGO ,because NGO are meant for looting govt,UN & other peoples money .I would request people to learn sudarshan kriya & then teach it to people Free of cost so that people don’t have to pay to learn > I am planning to make a NGO for that any one willing to join

  160. shubham Says:

    rocky buddy u really rock..!! i toaly agree with u.. sri sri is a guru for many ppl .. guru is nxt 2 parents.. how would one feel if some one critisize his father in frnt of him… so v shuld not comnt until n unless v have some solid proof.. n more over this guy is realy doing some good work.. recently i heard abt some de addiction camp in our area.. n that also for free so all those ppl who dnt want 2 pay but still learn can go there..lolz..

  161. krishna Says:

    i hv experienced the sudarshan kriya… 1st it seemd ok but good 2 relax my mind…. but then i reapeatd the course n as i started doing it on regular bases i see amazing results.. this thng is intoxicating… i feel so realxd n so much joy.. this thng cant b explaind in words…. n its true 2 know it one has 2 experience it… but i agree 1000 is a huge amnt of money… but i also thnk tht wat u get out of it, IF U Do IT 100% is worth the amount… its true atleast for me… wat do u say??

  162. Rikhav Acharya Says:

    Hi All,

    was going through the comments/Views that you people expressed on NGOs, Global Warming, other society related Issues and the main person His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (Guruji).

    Well for the attention seeking Bhamy M Shenoy…. good work… i really like the way you ” EXPRESSED” your experience in the AOL… its a question of personal experience and one has to be there inorder to feel such a severe treatment.. I do agree with you..

    Bhamy.. Why dont you do one thing? Its jus a small favour i ask from you.. Im sure that you being such a knowledgable person ( one who can bring ppl out in public by judging them in the right way ) you would surely be able to get me the best available service im gonna ask you for…

    I NEED TO STAY IN A CLEAN DECENT HOTEL in bangalore (With an attached bathroom ofcourse) along with towel and soap… oh and not to forget breakfast and 2 meals ( appetizers + main course + deserts) for 5 days.
    KINDLY NOTE THAT THERE WHOULD BE DRINKING WATER AND ALSO GOOD FOOD… aaaaah NOT the sub standard food that u were served in the ashram….

    OH I FORGOT THE MAIN PART HERE… FINANCE… kindly make sure its not soo expensive as the ashram… it should surely be a lil less than Rs5000.

    Im sure a knowledgable person like you would surely be able to find a decent hotel like this for me..

    Look my dear friend Bhamy,… wat you see and experience is not wat you deserve… FOR INSTANCE.. Your comments on the food that was provided to you “SUB STANDARD” to put it in your own words.. was not at all accepted by me.. firstly i believe you should be thankfull to god that you get 2 times bread to “feast” on to.. look around and see the thousand who dig for a small piece of some left over bread that was thrown into the bin by some “STANDARD” personality like you..

    Coming on to your criticism on the AOL ashram food and the expense… jus for your kind information… the ashram makes food for 30,000 people every day and that to not jus 1 meal but 3 complete meals.. WHERE DOES THIS MONEY COME FROM?

    There are so many villages that have been adopted yes “ADOPTED” by ART OF LIVING… WELL SINCE YOU ARE THE REVEALING KNOWLEDGABLE PERSON… you wouldnt know wat adoption of a village means.. just to brief you on it.. adopting a village means providing strong concrete houses for everyone.. which is converting their mud houses into concrete Houses.. establishing a hospital and a school in that village and last but not the least providing methods where these villagers can gain some monthly income so as to live their life in better “STANDARDS” as compared to the “SUB-STANDARDS” they were living in..
    oh but with money comes bad habits too.. but not to worry as all these people have done the NAV CHETNA SHIBIRS ( free courses ) and thus they do meditation and are very well aware of the illeffects of drinking , tobbaco chewing, and other money consuming bad habits…

    And like this there are many more villages which are Adopted by Art Of Living….Again the Million $ Question : WHERE DOES THIS MONEY COME FROM?

    A lot of farmers in maharashtra who were on the verge of suicides due to indebtness to the landlords were saved by just one mans work… yes… again my beloved Guruji… His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.. How did that happen Bhamy? It all happened when Guruji himself visited these farmers personally and gave them ideas to use natural manure rather than buying FOREIGN fertilizers at higher prices and thus reducing their costs.. oh yeah.. and FOR YOUR INFORMATION… this talk was not charged.. there were no tickets sold to hear him…

    There are various topics of this sort that i can go on n on n on n on again n again till you get some knowledge my friend..

    Bhamy , Kindly note that i have no personal grudges or disrespect for you… i Respect you the same way i respect myself and other fellow men and women who are involved in this discussion or who are reading it…

    My words would have been harsh and insulting at places in the above written clarification.. and i Apologize from the bottom of my heart if i have hurt you by any means… Hope you forgive me for that…

    Last but not the least, I would like to say that seeing is not believing… always try to get the reason behind what is happening around us… At times wat you see is not wat it really is and wat really is can not be seen…

    My final quesiton to you Bhamy is ” CAN YOU IMAGINE THE COST OF RUNNING SUCH A BIG ASHRAM? and then THE COST OF BUILDING VILLAGES, ORPHANAGE HOMES N SCHOOLS, OLDAGE HOMES…”

    The Million dollar quesiton : “WHERE DOES THE MONEY COME FROM?”

    All this money comes from the courses that you do.. its from that 5000 rupess that you had paid to stay there.. all this money is gone in giving these smiles to the needy… so Bhamy feel proud that you too have gifted a smile on an orphan’s face..with those 5000 rupees..

    the defination of art of living : it is a NON-PROFITABLE,CHARITABLE , NGO..

    Cheers n peace,

    loads of luv..

    hugs…

    Rikhav Acharya

  163. GAURAV NATH Says:

    DO the Sudarshan Kriya THEN ONLY you can speak against such a humanitarian NGO and its founder’s enormous efforts to unite the whole world in a culture of selfless service. Commenting against it before doing Sudarshan Kriya is as good as trying to explain the taste of a sweet to a person who has never known how sweet tastes it.

    Do the Kriya then comment…you have full right to comment then, instead of being religious against someone who is trying to do the best for the WORLD.

    “THE WAY OF THE WORLD IS TO PERSECUTE THE LIVING SAINTS AND TO PRAISE THE DEAD ONES. ”

    JGD

  164. Suresh Says:

    Rama

    First up, my joining the issue was not about the Art of Living or the NGO summit. The issue was the way this crybaby put his case (non-issue) forward – a typical pampered citizen of this great nation a colonial hangover and a brown sahib expected peons and attendants to be at his disposal. And my research on this organization is how a single man was able to sell the idea to the world. Want to learn a few things that can be adapted to my company (oh yes!!!! I own a company and had no chance to crib about step-motherly treatment at every stage presented by the government of my adapted country).

    I am not going to offer my research findings on a platter to you – spend your dough to find out what makes that organization tick. Since I also graduated from IIT that he claims to have graduated from, we are expected to act similar too :-) We sell ideas – there are no free lunches in life. And regarding NGO conference’s proceedings, I am least interested because in the end, what NGOs in India do is not something I can proudly write home about.

    I am planning on visiting my hometown this winter and I would definitely be reaching you out, if ever any contact details exist. Coming to the zombie stuff (agreed – a zombie, proud citizen and zombied IITian too) and being an Agent – I am proud you labelled me as Ravishankar’s agent – atleast he is an Indian. As I wrote in my rejoinder post, you never realize the value of living in the great nation and freely allowed to take potshots at famous personalities. In the place where I live at every step you are being reminded that you are an immigrant and run down.

  165. Tony Says:

    I’m sorry you had a bad experience at the Ashram. Most of which seems to be related to your ego and unfortunate state of mind that day. Really your whole rant is about how things were not the way you expected them to be. That doesn’t mean they were bad.

    Staying in an Ashram is not the same as going to a conference at the Hilton hotel. If you are not familiar or mature enough for ashram life, that’s doesn’t mean Ashram life is a hoax. True, in Ashrams there are no syndicated employees to wash your dishes, clean up after you and serve you with silver cuttlery. That doesn’t mean simple living is a bad thing, on the contrary, it’s a heart warming and humbing experience.

    Had your mindset been a little less negative that day, you could have taken the opportunity to grow, share, and help improve things, rather than complain, drag people down with you, and demand luxuries that you thought your nominal financial contribution entitled you to.

    Most of the participants who stayed until the end had a great time! You were quick to judge and decided to leave based on your concepts and closed mindset. And now your solution is to bash up someone who actually cares enough to make a difference, unlike you who cares so little you left at the first discomfort.

    It’s easy to criticize and attack those who have dedicated their lives to service and to bettering the conditions of millions of people around the world. But people who criticize and throw personal attacks towards others are generally the spoiled ones who do the least.

    So go ahead, keep bashing up Sri Sri, and Vandana Shiva, and you can bash me up too if it makes you feel smart, but instead you could also spend that time learning from their example, and doing precious service to make this world a better place.

    Look at it on the bright side, now that you have learned what not to do, I’m sure that when people will come to your conference, it will be absolutely flawless, all the speeches will move everyone to tears, there will be sumptuous meals and lush room service, the outcome will please everyone equally, and you will feed and host everyone for the night for free. Thanks in advance for the kind invitation!

  166. stillsearching Says:

    Tony,

    Hey pal, listen up good. When folks get a whiff of bullshit chances are that’s exactly what it is, a big smelly festering pile of bullshit. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

  167. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    Dear Friends,

    we had 166 responses so far. Still there is definite idea about AOL. We are still searching in the dark.

    Just to bring you up to date about my Rs 5000. I had filed a case in Mysore Consumer Court and to my surprise the judge did not even admit the case after two hearings. Since I am travelling I have not yet been able to find the reason for the rejection. This should please the admirers and devotees of AOL. I lost another Rs. 200 to file my case in the process of getting back my Rs. 5000. Looks like another consumer activist who also left the ashram the same time I did, is also planning to file a smilar case. Hope he would not get discouraged by my experience. Different judges can have different interpretation of the Consumer protection act.

    Coming to Mysore Grahakara Parishat (MGP) which has been brought into this discussion. MGP did not finance me. I am not even an executive member though I was the founder working president 19 years back. MGP does not need any publicity from this case and does not seek any either. Incidentally MGP is a well recoginsed NGO in Mysore.

    I have expressed often that Ravi Shankar definitely has great talents to have established ashrams all over the world. He must have also satisfied thousands of his devotees. He is supporting many good causes like educating the poor, helping the farmers etc. This needs to be appreciated. I also agree that all this requires money. But means are as important as ends. When some thing is promised and it is not fully met, there is deficiency in service and that is what I was after. When NGO summit on an important subject is held, it should be for that purpose and not to introduce ashram life or ashram service. That is what I saw and experienced. This is what I want to concentrate on and not on other aspects of what AOL does. I have not done any research and thus not competenet to comment. As an NGO I have considerable experience of attending several seminars, workshops and meetings. Never have I paid such a huge sum. One was asking if I could show any hotel in Bangalore which could offer room, meals etc for Rs 5000 for five days. No I cannot do that. But no hotel is promising such a sweet heart deal. Here AOL’s brochure created an image of providing in an “international center” comfortable lodging. I did not expect five star treatment. I did some minimum comfort of at least one person per room. It was not the case. Even more important than the room which I would have gladly ignored was the organization of the summit. There was no written information giving the details on the speakers and topics (excepting the five famous speakers and only one turns up and no explanation given for the absence). That is when I felt that the whole summit was a hoax. Let us concentrate on the conduct of the summit. More than a month, is there any development as a result of the summit? Any proceeding on the web?

  168. Aashadabhoothi Says:

    Bhamy I really admire your guts and spirit for not giving up on your fight. Most people in India have been numbed by these spiritual conmen like Ravishankar. As you mentioned there is no news or any intelligent conclusion or minutes of the summit which is available.
    I was involved in this organization in the early and mid 90s when it was still small and had not grown into the full blown cult that it is now. But all the cultish prpoganda mechanism and publicity stunts were right in place even then. Ravishankar had learnt a lot from his guru Maharishi Mahesh yogi on organising events and mobilizing funds. Mahesh Yogi was also the crazy guy who taught yogic flying. Esentially you can sell anything in this mad spiritual business market and there are enough gulliable people who will buy.

    I was also instrumental in strating up some of the social welfare and development activities of art of living and one of the first teachers of AOL to teach in Bangalore central jail. However these social welfare activities are a big mask and the intention of this organization is the self aggrandizement of the Guru and his cult. Most of these social movements and adoption of villages are big publicity stunts. I know it first hand. I left this movement when I realized their sham social welfare schemes were used to recirculate money from alternate sources ( black money) into personal assests for Ravishankar, his family and associates and all the while doing some token social work. Incidentally Ravishankar’s immediate family (Sister, Brotherin law, father – pitaji and others) are the main members of the AOL trust.

    It is another matter about the law suits and land grabbing the ashram did and encroached on the Green belt sorrounding bangalore. There was a law suit in Karnataka High court on this which Ravishankar’s sister Bhanu and another teacher (now he has left AOL) used to attend court for almost two years. Finally they won and went through an out of court settlement.
    Take even the example of the village adjacent to the ashram – Udipalya. There is no development work done in this village except that their land has been encroached by the ashram. The land this village used to use for Grazing their cattle in the late 80s is now no longer available. Now you find hotels, restraunts and STD booths opposite the ashram all owned, controlled by aol devotees and of no benefit to the villagers. All the people who own and control these establishments are not locals from udipalya.
    It is difficult to fight a mighty powerful and vicious organization like art of living cult. Although it is a losing battle, I commend Bhamy Shenoy for atleast taking up this issue.
    Finally I remmember a scene from the movie Anubhava, when the progressiveyouths counter the hero and conman ananth nag about the creation of a fake temple, he replies that “If you have 10 people on your side I can get 1000 on my side’. Ultimately it is herd instinct, irrationality and zombies who truimp especially in such a superstitious country like ours.

  169. Gaby Says:

    The Anant nag movie being mentioned above was Udbhava. The other movie Anubhava I’ve heard was another experience altogether:)

  170. krishna Says:

    i feel bad for u aashabdabhoothi…. god bless u…

  171. God Man Says:

    Mr. Ravi is a smart ASS …. cleverly evading tax & fooling people publicly!

  172. rama Says:

    Suresh,

    What the hell do you know about MGP? Mr.Ravi is making ASSes of people like you and you want to link the post to MGP’s activities. If you can go on assume, you bloody well furnish your sources as well. Just because you and your family are hypnotized by Mr.Ravi it doesn’t give you rights to talk about another organization. MGP is not Mr.Bhamy alone.

  173. Kalyani Says:

    This is another whistle blower’s letter :

    ” ….I wish I had read your Web site, long before my fiancé and I were lured into registering for the Part 1 course of the Art of Living Foundation. We walked out on the last day of the course because we couldn’t stand it any longer. I couldn’t have written or explained the experience better myself. You have beautifully verbalized your opinion of the Art of Living Foundation.

    I have lost my money permanently, and I am also, without permission, included as a statistic in the set of AOL “followers” of 20 million or so now, even though I strongly oppose the organization. I have to believe that are many others like me. Only about 30% of the Part 1 course was about breathing and the remainder was ear-splitting, fear-psychosis propaganda (for example, “A question is a hook that tears the brain”, and “Questioning SSRS’s principles and teachings can prove costly”), illogical analogies and anecdotes, and disguised pressure to encourage more people (friends and family) to give their credit card numbers to sign up for the course.

    It is a totally for-profit, commercial, very well-marketed product and organization. I do see some token projects here and there in poor and tribal areas of India and around the world, the expenditure on such projects is negligible compared to the hundreds of thousands of dollars that the organization earns from a single “US tour” of a “specialist teacher” from India. I have not seen any document showing or even referring to exactly how much money the organization is really spending on building schools or hospitals for the disadvantaged, other charitable projects. Since the organization is so fond of shouting out the numbers of their followers and so fond of promoting themselves as a philanthropic organization, why not reveal how much they are actually spending on these philanthropic and charitable projects? Wouldn’t that make them more credible? Almost everyone that “works” for the organization does so on a voluntary basis. Almost every piece of land that the organization builds something on, is donated by the government or a wealthy but gullible member of the AOLF. So where is all the money that is collected from their members really going to? What is being done with the profits?

    During several of our Part 1 propaganda sessions, we were told we would be the “privileged few” whose place would be reserved for the “coveted” Part 2 course, if we signed up right now. The whole six day course looked like a live version of one of those late night paid commercials that we were participating in and listening to. People from the class were picked on, randomly, to come up to the front and dance and sing, “so that all inhibitions would be vaporized and self-confidence would be developed”.

    “Jai Gurudev” had to be the greeting instead of “good morning” or “good afternoon”. I cannot think of a better way to humiliate and control masses of gullible people than to make them do what is being commanded of them to do in front of uncontrollably laughing people. What upsets me more than my loss of money, is the sheer number of followers this organization has. When you can control a small class to dance on command, you can use that power to control the entire 20 million. SSRS is gaining popularity around the world, like never before and he loves to paste pictures of himself shaking hands with world leaders, on his Web site. “Wow, if he is shaking hands with world leaders, he must be good”.

    He certainly falls in the “useful” category. Who is stopping all this madness?

    Regards.
    SG ”

    http://www.deeshaa.org/2007/01/30/art-of-living-another-letter/

  174. rocky Says:

    kalyani,

    bro..do u like chocolate..?? u no my girl frnd love chocolates n i hate em.. same way u think AOL is bull shit but for the other 20 million followers it is the sweetest thing in the world… if u dnt like chocolates tht does nt means tht chocolate is bad or no one shuld like it.. thts obsrd.. dnt u thnk so?? m not a follower of ravi shankar but i do respect him for wat he is doing…. dancing in frnt of ppl or doing sum wierd stuff is not only in aol but u c this method in many other personality devlopmnt classes, acting classes n this is a method used in NLP ( neurolinguistic programing) invented by richard bandler… n is used by clinical psychologsts through out the world…. this practice increaases ur confidnce, ur expression of feelings n reduces ur fear of ppl but only if u do it 100% n honestly… sitting there in crowd n lookin at ppl doin it may seen wierd.. u might b feeling fearful, ur heart beat rise n all the signs n symptoms of anxity appear thinking tht wat will happen if i m told 2 do all this stuff.. this shows tht u lack confidnce n u r wk inside but u dint wantd 2 admit it so u came up with an excuse tht this thng is absurd, illogical n of no use.. brother this single activity has changed the life of millions including my gf… i no u will feel ofended at me calling u wk or an underconfidnt personality.. but once u no it u can over come it.. and now coming 2 the breathing part.. the sudarshan kriya.. one of the most wonderful things which is even amazing the scientists of nasa… search on net for the biochemistry of sudarshan kriya n u will no all its medical benifits wich r scienticly proven.. for example in terms of physiology it gets u in a state of hypoxia.. which in turn induces secreation of erithropoitn frm the kidneys which increases ur rbc formation… it helps in increasing ur hb.. n tht also within few days.. it works as an antioxident… takin care of all those free radicals which make u grow older… so in normal language if u do sudarshan kriya regularly u slow down ur ageing process n this is medicaly proven..!! sudarshan kriya is a part of training for astronauts in NASA … now do u thnk they r also fools?? AOL training is a part for miss india participants so tht to incrses their confidnce…. n this thng is even certified by WHO…. sudarshan kriya is bieng used t treat extreem cases of dpression… with 70 % sucses rate… u may b a part of the other 30 % but think of the 70 % whos lives hv been changed… its just like any other exercise equipmnt.. u buy it n then use it… its good for u… but if u pay for it n then dnt use it.. its usless… wastge of money…..rubbish.. crap… bull shit.. nonsense.. illogical.. got my point?? n here a link specialy for u frnd…it will deffintly change ur preception abt tht dancing process… wish u ahppy married life ahead… god bless u.. http://www.saladltd.co.uk/nlp_tip_97.htm

  175. Aashadabhoothi Says:

    Why did Ravishankar build a monument in memory of his mother which costed around 30 Crores. He could have utilized this money to his so called social welfare activities. But no they are least bothered about these things and social welfare is the last priority item in their wish list. The hall is of no utilitarian value and is used to conduct public meetings and it can hold up to a couple of thousand people. This could have been acheived by building a cheaper building.

    Another AOL scamster is suggesting here that Miss India’s do breathing exercises and NASA scientists do it as well hence AOL is not a scam. Breathing exercises are not the monopoly of AOL. Ravishankar lifted this excersie and even the name of sudharshan kriya from Yogi Bhajan who used to teach this similar excersise in 1970s in america.

  176. Nirav Nayak Says:

    Aashadabhoothi’s post dated 9th April is the ultimate analysis of AOL as well as today’s overall scenario of “spiritual bazaar”
    Although not a AOL teacher like him, having got close to it, I can vouch that what he has stated is cent percent truth.

  177. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    Dear Ashadabhothi,

    thanks for your kind remarks. I hope there are more people like you, Kalyani, and others who have been sharing their bitter experience about Ravi Shankar.

    Just the other day I saw a book on Ida Tarbell, a journalist heroine of early 1900s who stood against one of the Titans of that era, John D. Rockfeller. Compared to him, Ravi Shankar is not even a pygmi. Roackfeller was the richest person at that time though considered as robber baron. He had also donated many worth causes. Univeristy of Chicago was just one such institute and he did not even visit that once. Unlike Ravi Shankar he did not advertsie his generosity. He sincerely thought that he was helping the industry through his monoploy practice by cutting costs and selling products at low cost. Politicians were supporting him. Most of the people were awe of him because of hsi immense wealth. Still it was to the credit of Ida Tarbell who exposed the shenanigans of Rockfeller and succeeded in breaking down his company. Also congress adapted anti trust act as a result of her work.

    Now where and how can we find Ida Tarbell to expose the empire of Ravi Shankar? Like Rockfeller, he is indeed doing yeoman service to many of his admirers. He is justfied in charging whatever they are prepared to pay him. But ny no generally accepted standard what he is doing can be considered as non profit or charitable activities. The new income tax regulations are tightening what is considered as charity activities and many of the NGO activities will come under income tax net. I wonder which bureaucrat will have the courage to treat AOL as money making activity. It is for this reason we need a movement like the one by Ida Tarbell against Rockfeller. Can you or kalyani or others who had first hand experience suggest ways ? This will be a great contribution to a vibrant NGO movement and also to India’s development?

  178. Kalyani Says:

    Bhamy,

    Thank you. Much earlier when I started writing first hand experiences about this aol cult to a supposedly ” hinduism saving nationalist” blog, I was brutally muzzled. ravishankar has a powerful lynch mob. And spin doctors.In fact the plethora of charlatans marketing Spirituality are extremely diabolical.

    A very old man in the know of things advised me :

    ” In today’s world, take care of yourself; by trying to save someone else you would end up endangering yourself. Let each follower or ” devotee” think and decide for himself”.

    Initially I thought that was the height of apathy. But I am wiser now.

  179. chak de Says:

    i don no y u ppl r against this guy… he is just selling his ideas n providing his services… n we r the guys who pay him… it means those ideas n services r good… let him earn n let him decide how much charity he wants to do…. who r u 2 determine wat the other person needs 2 do until n unless its a crime…. he never robs money out of ur pocket n never forces any one to follow him or work for him… if u thnk his followers r fools then let them b… atleast they r happy bieng fools…. and if v c he is doing a gr8 job of gettin lots of foreign currency in india… n now westrnrs also know india n they look up to it… its fun 2 c those goras dancing around him like small puppies

  180. rocky Says:

    @Aashadabhoothi
    i realy doubt if u were ever a teacher of AOL.. but its ok even devine makes mistakes.. so my dear teacher dint they ever told u during ur training tht sudarshan kriya is cerified by WHO.. n go up n plz read the ENTIRE post.. do u think all those medical benifits are also a scam.. sweet heart am a doctor n i can prove my statement through laboratory tests.. gat it.. n the NASA people do it under the AOL program… 40% of the indian out of 70% indians in nasa hv done the course n it is compulsary for the astronauts.. n sudarshan kriya may b like anyother breathing exersise .. but its the rythemic breathing that makes it unique.. its rythem is unique.. dint they even told u this in ur teachers training program..?? every thing in nature has a rythem.. a viberation.. if u happen 2 study quantum physics u will know tht even the smalest pasticle ie the electron is nothin more than a viberation.. so everything around u is vibrations.. go read some 12 standard physics books.. n sudarshan kriya has its own rythem, which helps 2 get ur brain frequency in harmony with the nature…. n even if kriya is lifted but it still works for people who practice it.. n u can c positive results in them medicaly, emotionaly n spritualy…. so wats wrong in it?? if u can pay for medicine, u can pay for smoking , drinking, movies.. then y not sudarshan kriya??? n if u dont want 2 pay then dont do it.. simple as that…

  181. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    Rocky,

    you are absolutely right about we paying the doctors and your comparison to AOL. Since AOL is doing a similar service like a doctor (though not certified by competent bodies ) “paying” AOL is the right thing.

    Just like coca cola advertises its products, AOL is also justfied in “marketing” its services.

    On both these counts it is a business for profit. The fact it does some “social work” will not absolve it from paying its taxes. By the way many doctors also donate funds for good causes. But they still have to pay taxes.

    On this basis AOL should be consdired as a for profit organziation and should come under the tax nets.

    I had filed a case in the consumer court on this basis for deficiency in service and also unfair trade practices against AOL. But the learned Mysore Consumer Court did not admit my case and I still do not know the reason since I have been travelling.

  182. rocky Says:

    there was a recent report by the world bank wich was in news papers a few days back wich says that aol is an organisation wich spends 97% of its earning for social welfare.. and only 3 % is used to run the organisation.. where as the red cross society spend 60% for social work n rest 40% is used to run the organisation..

  183. rocky Says:

    aol is among the 15 NGOs which recive funds from the world bank… the rest of the world is giving n u urself want to impose tax on some one whos working for ur welfare only… here r some links i would luv u 2 have a look at em..

    http://www.artofliving.org/aol/press/aol.pdf

    n have a look here too…

    http://www.bio-medicine.org/medicine-news/Art-of-Living-concept-expanding-around-the-globe-4730-1/

  184. rocky Says:

    and mr.bhamy vs shenoy wat hv u gat 2 say abt this link….

    http://www.artofliving.org/Initiatives/Global/TraumaRelief/tabid/79/Default.aspx

  185. rocky Says:

    “Since AOL is doing a similar service like a doctor (though not certified by competent bodies ) “paying” AOL is the right thing. ” HOW MANY TIMES DO I HV TO SAY THAT SUDARSHAN KRIYA IS CERTIFIED BY WHO( WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION) GAT IT??

  186. krishna Says:

    rocky.. u r the best man…!!! u rock..!! hats off to u…

  187. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    If the world bank report on the spending of AOL for welfare is authentic, credible and trustworthy, then I will completly change my present veiws of AOL. Not onlt I will apologize publicly (I will drop my charges against AOL in the consumer court), I will start singing its praise. Jut 3% overhead is simply fantastic and it is almost like using transmitting electricity with zero losses.

    I googled to get more information on the world bank report. I could not. Can you please either copy the report here or send information on where we can get it.

    Starting a trauma center is a highly visble place like Iraq where the US is spending billions on all kinds of things is a perfect example of doing “small things” by AOL to get maximum publicity. Do you think when the US is ready to spend billions, even a rich organization like AOL can make a difference in a fluid place like Iraq? Prioroities are misplaced. If trauma center is located in Darfur, it has more credibility.

  188. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Rocky,

    Where is the world bank report about art of living spending 97% on … etc.? And dont link back to some art of living website or something similar.

  189. Gaby Says:

    The WHO is not a Certifying Body in the first place. It is principally a Poiicy setting agency and a collaborator in providing expertise and funding of health research.

    All the medical evidence for SKY seems to suggest a potential role as an alleviator of mild depression and stress , modulator of gene expression and immune function and as an enhancer of general well being. The maximum publications on SKY in peer reviewed scientific journals seem to be the Department of Biochemistry in AIIMS, Delhi and the Departtment of Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Bangalore. Interestingly although the authors do start by mentioning SKY in their introduction and methodology give the credit ( very sensibly) to Yogic practices in a generic fashion than to SKY as a specific procedure.

  190. truthseeker Says:

    Rocky- are you a real ‘doctor’ ?? Your choice of words, thoughts, reflections and overall flavour of writings does not suggest so. I hope you are not lying.

    Anyway, I know many senior people at WHO, UN and other agencies. Am sure you would be keen enough to prove that WHO has given money to AOL. Please share your contact details with me. US office would get in touch with you next week to certify your statements. And I am sure you know, making false statements about US based UN organisations invites criminal proceedings, so you would have doubly checked all your statements.

    JGD

  191. truthseeker Says:

    I am getting such emails almost on a daily basis and whenever I ask them where is the money being spent, they ask me to ‘beleive in HIM’ , ‘dont ask questions’ ‘small mind’ etc etc…. Am sure all of us work hard to earn money, why dont we have the right to ask for our own money’s direction in AOL Land ??? Maybe Rocky or Tony or Suresh will have answers.—

    The email is —

    Gift 52 Smiles

    Our Gurudev’s 52nd Birthday is soon coming…..

    It is an honour and a blessing that we are able to give a very very special gift – 52 smiles on this most special occasion.

    The idea, is to get 52 sponsorships for 52 children for Guruji ‘s 52nd Birthdday.

    Let’s make it happen together.

    GIFT A FUTURE GIFT A SMILE
    Ved Vignana Maha Vidhyapeeth was established with a commitment for excellence in holistic education for children from rural background. Located on 21st km of Kanakpura Road, Bangalore, the school provides free education to over 2000 children from around 45 villages in the surrounding area.

    His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is the inspiration behind this unique institution.

    Free Transport is provided to all children. Every day, the school bus picks up children to take them to school and drops them back home. A fleet of four buses ferry the students to and from the school. The transport facility enables students from villages within a radius of 10 km from the school to attend classes and avail of the educational facilities.

    Free Uniforms, school books, along with school bags, are also provided to children, so that they don¡¦t forsake their education for want of any of these material amenities. Specially trained teachers, familiar with the background and mind-set of these rural children, cater to their educational needs.

    Wholesome nutritious vegetarian meals are provided for the students under the midday meal initiative. The food is cooked on the school premises itself and served fresh.

    A spacious playground and a well equipped sports kit gives the students an opportunity to let off steam in the playground. Trained sports instructors guide the students in their respective spheres of sports to deliver a rich and enriching experience.

    Along with academics, education is balanced with an emphasis on social responsibilities and human values. The children participate in various co-curricular activities like music, dance, drama, debates, tree planting campaigns, literary clubs, computer training, tailoring workshops for girls and a host of other cultural events.

    The children have been provided with a healthy and nurturing atmosphere. The school follows the State Board syllabus. In spite of 95% children being first generation learners, the school has 100% results in the exams!

    The task is gigantic. We need to educate more and more children and we invite you to participate in this noble cause.

    HOW CAN I CONTRIBUTE?
    GIFT A FUTURE – GIFT A SMILE
    Sponsorship is Rs 10000 per child per year (includes the cost of tuition, uniforms, school books, bags, transport, regular medical check-ups and mid-day meals for one child). All contributions are tax exempt under Section 80 G of the Income Tax Act

    Participate and make a BIG difference to the lives of rural children.
    Name: ______________________

    Email:_______________________

    Address:__________________________________________________________

    Tel:________________________

    I would like to make a difference to ___________child(ren)

    Amount:________________________

    You can send your contribution by courier/mail to

    Gift a Smile Delhi Desk. A-15/15 Vasant Vihar New Delhi – 110057 Tel Shikha 9810223588, Richa 9818291552

  192. rocky Says:

    my dear truth seeker.. JGD.!! n i belong 2 u…. sweet heart i have done a lot of hard work for gettin tht smal dr. in frnt of my name n m realy hapy with it n i did for MYSELF so i dont nd 2 prove to anyone.

    secondly…. plz rather than concentratin on my FLAVOUR of writing n my overall selection of words n thoughts concentrate on wat m saying… i never said WHO gave money to aol… its the WORLD BANK.. gat it?? n if u r patient enough rather than fiering bck on me right now.. go through the very first link… it says aol is being given funds by the world bank.. now coming to the fake statement thing.. u said u no ppl in who n un.. can u give the contact no. of any one single person frm un or who?? even the security guards no. will do… now will c whos fake n whos real..

  193. Gaby Says:

    I am terribly sorry to say this but why do I get the feeling that the discussion between Rocky and Truthseeker is like two queens btching – sorry guys Rocky and Truthseeker I didnt mean to be rude but had to ask.

  194. truthseeker Says:

    Dear Rocky

    JGD

    I am scared that you belong to me !!! ROTFL :-))

    As for your Dr. thing and you not proving it to anybody, you are wrong. Perhaps you do not understand the law of the land. You might be required to prove. But on that, later.

    First, I mixed up WHO and WB and so you think you have scored a million points over me !!! Which office, which department, which particular executive’s number do you want ? Let me know and (with that person’s permission ONLY), I will be happy to post it here, all within 1 hr. Would you like to share your contact details to enable them to reach you ? For you, WB or WHO or UN or IMF might be a BIG thing, for which you think i will lie !!! hahaahhahah what a brain you have. Typical of star and ‘big’ fanatic AOL !! I have worked with WB for over 6.5 years and IMF for over 3 years in US, EU and India offices my dear. Besides, I am a IIT-Delhi and IIM-A pass out who also qualified for IAS in 1998. So these, so called ‘big’ names don’t make me rush to them gushing with folded hands and perfumed white kurta pyjamas, mouthing sweet songs !!

    I was expecting you to respond to the email spam that AOL is running these days for raising funds in children’s name . pls share your deep insights my dear. I am sure you would be well conversant with their expense sheets, accounts and all other projects.

    And returning to your ‘Dr’ thing, I still refuse to believe that a medical doctor can be of such a puny brain as yours, unless ofcourse you have been helped by VP Singhs and Arjun Singhs of this country.

    The very ‘MYSELF’ in your last message smacks of sheer arrogance and impertinence. It is behaviour and conduct like this that has rubbished a well meaning institution like AOL. Sheer arrogance. What do you mean ‘even the security guards no. will do… now will c whos fake n whos real..” ?? who are you challenging ? Become aware of yourself and your nadir karmas, you ignorant soul. Wake up. Not for me, but foryourself. For your well wishers. Do something good to people around you than take up fights for an organisation that is so strangely and sadly embroiled in a huge credibility crisis. That is a service to humanity.

  195. truthseeker Says:

    Gaby- that’s an interesting observation !! Thanks for bringing me back to awareness.

    Will monitor my thoughts and writings before posting.

    JGD

  196. truthseeker Says:

    Hello all…. any thoughts on these fund raising forms and email spams !!?

  197. rocky Says:

    dear truth seeker.. love u.. muaaah.. now listen.. i still belong to u.. coz frm deep in side u r pure soul like every one else so u n me r 1… now coming bck 2 the point… sweet heart i never scored on u.. its ur mind which makes u thnk tht i scored on u coz u r here 2 score.. n thts the point i was trieng 2 prove.. n tht also fr ur benifit.. really even if u r shattered intp pcs debating with me n on ur knees in frnt of me.. tht wont make any difrnce 2 me.. coz i dnt want tht.. i want u 2 rise with me… n even if i wnt 2 feel gr8 abt myself ill go out n help some realy needy person n thts enough 2 make me fl good abt myself.. u r not concentratin on wat m saying… coz u r mind set is in a combat mode not in a receptive mod.. i told u some of the medical benifits of kriya n told u tht i no this coz m a doctor… n look wat u did.. u dnt even had a look at those benifits.. did u ?? coz u cant prove em wrong they r medicaly proven benifits.. u have 2 do sumthin so u fierd bck saying tht u r not a doc… even if i am not a doc wich i am, does it makes any diffrence 2 those reports..?? funny.. now i realy doubt with such a mind u did tht AIS N IIT n all tht… u gettin my point?? there is no point talkin 2 u until n unless u hv a neutral state of mind n u realy want it 2 b constructive…. read ur last post.. wat can u make out… ?? anger..!! frustration.. lack of confidence… there is a desire in u to prove urself.. isnt it?? u want recognition frm the entire world.. c even gr8 person like sri sri hv ppl against em.. so y dnt u jst belive tht u r the bst?? will u ever say tht rocky is the bst?? no na.. so no other person will ever say tht 4 u .. wat ever u do.. n c u r trien so hard jst 2 prove ur self.. just go n practice sudarshan kriya n every thing will b alright in just 1 month.. its my promise…
    JGD…

  198. truthseeker Says:

    You are the best Rocky !

    JGD

  199. Gaby Says:

    Good the queens have made up!

  200. truthseeker Says:

    Gaby has had the maxium fun ;-)

    but my question about the email spam still remain unaddressed !! Rocky, lets try to the address them, together :-) jgd

  201. Ajay Malur Says:

    I accidentally happened to follow this blog & all the series of questions & answers. I am a native of Bangalore working in Dubai of late.

    As is characteristic of any typical Indian, i have seen lot of bashing of someone who has achieved something great. I wish, first & foremost, that Mr.Shenoy has got his money back(May is approaching & this debate started in Feb) coz i believe he is the only person who has been ‘affected by it’.
    Secondly, i definitely accept the point that people are all of a sudden ‘concerned’ about THE MONEY in the organisation, because it is FAMOUS..
    Were these people anyway concerned about the auditing matters during the initial years of AOL.
    Anyway that money was given by people’s own interest/consent. Are you at loss?? If all of those donors are best concerned, they will file a petition on the same. Iam sure there are many who has contributed more than the mere Rs.5000/-. Let them raise the concern if required.
    To boast that a man is WISE is one thing & to ridicule millions as FOOLs is ummm really another thing…It is not the tax that you are paying that is going there right?? There is an elected GOVERNMENT to take care of the welfare of people.

    Third & the last point..If you are really bothered about the rise of that organisation & IF YOU REALLY want to create awareness against its activities, tell me how many of you who cried repeatedly in this blog over a period of 2 months..have already FORMED a community(not ONLINE but REAL) & staged a protest??

    All the cowards who cannot come out & protest in the open have now a reason to justify their actions or lack of it by saying they are doing it ONLINE…pleaseeeeeeeeeee take a break.

    For everyone’s information, iam not a follower of any saints & iam a civil engineer busy in my own professional world in Dubai.
    Comments most welcome…
    Reg
    Ajay

  202. truthseeker Says:

    And i hope and pray that you , my friend- Rocky, understand that my questions were not to pull you down dear. They were only to highlight that so much money raised from innnocent people is being channelised in some dark corners. India is a poor country friends. we need to save money for our poor brothers and sisters :-)

  203. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    Friends,

    those admirers and devotees of Ravi Shankar will do a great favour to them and to us if they can show authenticated and certfied accounts of AOL. How much money is raised from well wishers, from whom, how much is spent for what and what is the % overhead, etc. I seriously doubt any international financial institutions can study AOL and make definitive statements like the overhaed of AOL is 3%. This looks more like a joke than a serious statement.

    Now let us take a look at the cost of Rs 10000 to educated a poor child at Kanakapur school for 2000 childern by AOL. I am on the management of several educational institutions in my town including a high school where we are educating about 600 students. It does not cost us any thing close to Rs 10000 per child. But I do not claim that ours is an ideal school with highly qualified teachers. I readily agree that the actual cost to give a good education will cost more than Rs 10000 per child.

    Knowing a little about the operational style of AOL where quality is substandard and excellence is unknown concept, cost of educating a child like most ‘convent’ type of schools where childern are packed like sardines and teachers are paid ‘coolie’ wages, cost to educate a child can be as little as Rs 3000 to 5000 or even less. Can our freinds of AOL give some details about this Kanakapur school. If it is indeed run the way it should be, then we need to applaud the efforts of Ravi Shankar and support these poor childern. I have doubts based on my experience of Sangham where we were charged Rs 5000 and provided sub standard loding and food. Even worse the organization of the program lacked any professional touch. I can expect any different standard in managing this school. But I am prepared to change my opinion if facts are presented.

  204. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Rocky,

    Where are the world bank links? Or any authentic source besides hocus pocus you spouted?

    Looks like another example of the misleading ploys art of living marketing try to use to fool people.

    You are only showing us some of the tactics used by AOL marketing. It may be accepted by people who are blinded by religious fervour. But on these forums it only shows how things work for you – making unsubstantiated claims and then hoping people will take the bait.

  205. truthseeker Says:

    And whenever i have asked these two people listed in the spam emails- —- Gift a Smile Delhi Desk. A-15/15 Vasant Vihar New Delhi – 110057 Tel Shikha 9810223588, Richa 9818291552—— they have never bothered to reply !!??? Mr Ajay- this is reflective of attitude that people like you and these 2 listed on these emails represent. As you said -‘mere 5,000′. how dare you say this ? that ‘mere 5,000′ would be somebody’s hard earned money, sweat toiled money, money for which he would have been away from his loving family, small kids, ailing parents etc and then earned those ‘mere 5,000′. Shame on you. It is disgusting to see that Gandhi’s India has produced such people who would call other’s blood, sweat and toil as ‘mere 5,000′. If there is God, and am sure there is, you will realise the importance of 5 rupees. Shame on you Ajay, Shame

  206. Friend of all Says:

    Truthseeker- you dont need to get so agitated. Remember, Aol is made up of rich people for whom money, people, simpilicity, values etc dont matter. what matters is only power, which they get thru sitting in a monkey like chorus. Chill man.

  207. Ajay Malur Says:

    @ truthseeker:Accepted my friend, that Rs5000/- is indeed not ‘mere’…but you have read in this blog that ‘many businessmen who have joined AOL have already contributed THEIR hardearned money’ which amounts to a few lakhs. When they are not bothered or concerned about it, why are you all bothered?? Anyway, i repeat, welfare of the society is the responsibility of the governing bodies & NOT at any cost that of AOL’s.
    Fine in that case, how much of your hard earned money have you contributed to the welfare of the poor?? Saying & doing are two oppositely directed actions in case of we INDIANS.
    Never mind, all i mean to state here is that rather than digging deep into their MONEY matters, all you bloggers here could think of starting an alternative group to counter AOL…please do that…lot of bashan & less of action is seen in this forum….

    I have been associated with a kannada theatre group for more than 15 yrs & it also includes doing street plays in lower class areas to create awareness on AIDS, polio, dowry etc..I have known thro my dad(who is the organiser) how the eyes of people fall on you the moment they hear that this or any group has earned SO & SO money. Come on, it is an individual’s effort of many years that is translated to what he(SSRS) is.

    As ‘friend of all’ says- it is upto the people who are going to AOL to seek what THEY want…
    so when positives outnumber the negatives, no one will listen to you my friend.

    By the way, your reponse is only on the ‘mere 5000/-‘ statement. Please do respond to my other points & enlighten me more.

    ***

    Another point i would like to put across is:
    Every person has become something by his own choice- example Dr.Rajkumar, Rahul Dravid, NarayanaMurthy etc..etc. Agreed that our people expect these very few famous people to contribute to the society by way of CHARITY, but it is not a duty on they part to do so. They will contribute in their own way, whether economically, socially or culturally.It is the DUTY of fellow citizens to recognize that aspect first & then the expectations people have. Is anyone rubbishing on the MONEY earned by the above mentioned people?? No, coz u don’t have the right to do so.
    Same applies to SSRS. Even though iam a neutral person to this controversy, i will look at the positives than the negatives.

    One thing is clear, if anyone had created this blog based on the other religions- it would have become a law & order situation in Karnataka. Anyone here dare so??

  208. Truthseeker Says:

    My response as below:

    Ajay-‘many businessmen who have joined AOL have already contributed THEIR hardearned money’ which amounts to a few lakhs. When they are not bothered or concerned about it, why are you all bothered??

    Response- I am bothered because we all know the ‘hardwork’ of a businessman is different from a hardowrk of a service person. Also, dont try to confuse the matter by going in numbers. Numbers are just those- numbers. Please open your eyes and look at the big picture

    Ajay- Anyway, i repeat, welfare of the society is the responsibility of the governing bodies & NOT at any cost that of AOL’s.

    Response- If AOL shouts from the rooftop that it is taking this responsibility then it has to fulfill it. else, in simple english, it is called ‘LYING’

    Ajay- Fine in that case, how much of your hard earned money have you contributed to the welfare of the poor??

    Response- None of your business

    Ajay- Saying & doing are two oppositely directed actions in case of we INDIANS.

    Response- It seems that by sitting in Dubai, you have become superior to Indians, Mr Ajay. This is ARROGANCE

    Ajay- Never mind, all i mean to state here is that rather than digging deep into their MONEY matters, all you bloggers here could think of starting an alternative group to counter AOL…please do that…lot of bashan & less of action is seen in this forum….

    Response- You will see apples on apple trees and oranges on orange trees Mr Ajay. In a blog, you will see discussions and not street processions

    Ajay- I have been associated with a kannada theatre group for more than 15 yrs & it also includes doing street plays in lower class areas to create awareness on AIDS, polio, dowry etc..

    Response- very good

    Ajay- I have known thro my dad(who is the organiser) how the eyes of people fall on you the moment they hear that this or any group has earned SO & SO money. Come on, it is an individual’s effort of many years that is translated to what he(SSRS) is.

    Response- not clear what you want to say

    Ajay- As ‘friend of all’ says- it is upto the people who are going to AOL to seek what THEY want…
    so when positives outnumber the negatives, no one will listen to you my friend.

    Response- Friend of all did not say that. pls read his/her comments again

    Ajay- By the way, your reponse is only on the ‘mere 5000/-’ statement. Please do respond to my other points & enlighten me more.

    Response- later

    ***

    Ajay – Another point i would like to put across is:
    Every person has become something by his own choice- example Dr.Rajkumar, Rahul Dravid, NarayanaMurthy etc..etc. Agreed that our people expect these very few famous people to contribute to the society by way of CHARITY, but it is not a duty on they part to do so. They will contribute in their own way, whether economically, socially or culturally.It is the DUTY of fellow citizens to recognize that aspect first & then the expectations people have. Is anyone rubbishing on the MONEY earned by the above mentioned people?? No, coz u don’t have the right to do so.

    Response- these people say that they are eaarning money for themselves. They dont raise money on people’s goodness and for something else. PLS SEE THE DIFFERENCE MY FRIEND

    aJAY- Same applies to SSRS.

    response- It does not

    Even though iam a neutral person to this controversy, i will look at the positives than the negatives.

    Ajay- One thing is clear, if anyone had created this blog based on the other religions- it would have become a law & order situation in Karnataka. Anyone here dare so??

    Response- you may be right here.

  209. krishna Says:

    i totaly agree with u ajay about what you said regarding the indian mentality, its a shame to see docotrs and iitian free enough to fight here, demonstrating the typical crab metality by pulling each other down, if any one of you really want to make a change then go out and do sumthin rather than sittin here and bragging…

  210. Truthseeker Says:

    Krishna- you seem to agree a lot ! It seems you also agree with the shameless practice of asking peeople for their hard earned money in the name of children or other projects and then not be accountable for it.

  211. rama Says:

    Anna Hazare, green pioneer, wins World Bank award – AOL NewsFor breaking news, latest headlines and top stories with interviews, updates, analysis and latest reports of national and international events around the …
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  212. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    To look at positives and igonore negatives

    When a thief steals and with the stolen funds takes care of his family or poor families or pays for cancer patients, should we praise him for the good things and forget about he being a thief?

    When politicias expolit the people, takes bribes from the rich, spends a little of it to help the people, starts a school (again spending little on that), should we concentrate on his good deeds and ignore his corrupt practices?

    By this new logic of our Dubai activist, we should stop criticizing our political leaders. After all they all take care of their families and do not ignore them when there are some who ignore their families like Mahatma Gandhi. This is good logic.

    Ravi Shankar has indeed taken care of his families based on this bolg.
    He has indeed built schools (just look at Kanakapur where it costs Rs 10000 per child to educate).

    If he does not open is accounts we should not worry. After all there are many rich businessmen who have given their hard earned money also do not worry about some lapse (is it even a lpase for our Dubai activist?) why should others worry?

  213. Ajay Malur Says:

    Sirs, Iam a very normal person who believes that untill & unless something is actually done in reality there is absolutely no use crying over the issue.
    Yes sir, you people are repeatedly showing what i had mentioned in the beginning of my comment that people love to criticize..& will keep on doing that with ZERO result in the end. Even if I join you in the list of ‘critics’, i will just remain in that ‘list’ till the end of my life..i mean NO ACTION TAKEN.

    @Shenoy: I accept your reply to my comment.

    But just one question for you-What has been your/ your supporters’ action against them after almost 3 months of creating this blog??

    @ Truthseeker:

    I don’t want to be personal in this discussion, but FACTS won’t change if u call me arrogant or stupid or whatever. If asking you ‘what is your contribution to the poor?’ is not my business, then it’s not your business to ask what activities AOL is doing..If you have spent money & got cheated, go there & protest.
    If i pay ticket & go to a cricket match & if it rains or if i myself exit in between stating that the match is boring..will the cricket board refund me the ticket?? Next thing(according to you all) i do is start a BLOG crying that the organisers did not refund me the ticket coz the match was boring.
    Should i laugh or cry for this???!!!!!

    If i agree on the point that the AOL money matters should be made transparent, will you all make it a point to apply the same principle to lot of minority & ‘+’ organisations that collect money similarly??
    Would you also question the Govt’s policy of diverting the money from hindu temples for facilitating the pilgrimage of the minorities??
    Iam not trying to divert the issue..but are u willing to fight for these causes?? If you say it doesn’t matter, then what else matters???

    In the end, understand my point of view. Iam not here to bash anyone but to seek the solution & that’s about it. There is no use in getting personal & calling people names.

  214. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    Some good things have happened since the publication of this article.

    Some had called me to tell/write that they were having some doubts about AOL and they may reconsider not attending the high fees based course.

    Many have told me that they had attended the AOL courses and were put off by the money driven efforts of putting pressure on them to take up next courses. They were telling me that they are now cconvinced of their initial feelings. They just did not know how to expose these things and they are happy that some one has done it.

    You may say these are trivial results in comparsion to what a real activist like say late H. D. Shouri (father of more famous Arun Shouri) would have done or what Ralph Nader did to GM. I agree.

    Few years back I would have done that. I had taken up struggles against the those who were swindling even greater amount of money through diversion of PDS kerosene which I am fighting even now. My house has been stoned and I have been nearly man handled and even got death threats. I have organzied and particiapted in many protests againt the mighty. Thus this is not coming from an arm chair fighters as you implied.

    Please be not neutral as you state. As a wise saying goes those who keep quiet when injustice is done is as guilty as the one who perpetrated the crime in the first place.

  215. Truthseeker Says:

    Well said Mr Shenoy, well said.

    My response to our dear Ajay’s last post.

    Ajay- don’t want to be personal in this discussion, but FACTS won’t change if u call me arrogant or stupid or whatever.

    Response- Apologies for use of strong word like arrogant, but I hope I am able to drive the point that I love my country, wherever I be. As our scriptures say, (which you should defnitely know) that our country is our motherland. Interestingly, I had once walked out of a gyan session by Mahesh giri (all AoL ites know him) when he said that a Guru is above ‘mother’. Shame. Just look at Guruji himself consturbint a huge buidling in the name of his mother but all of his chamchas ask people to place him above their mother and father. Shame

    Ajay- If asking you ‘what is your contribution to the poor?’ is not my business, then it’s not your business to ask what activities AOL is doing.

    Response- It is my business because i have given money and more importantly I have placed FAITH and TRUST. Money can be earned again, but trust and faith, lost once, is lost forever my dear friend

    Ajay- If you have spent money & got cheated, go there & protest.
    If i pay ticket & go to a cricket match & if it rains or if i myself exit in between stating that the match is boring..will the cricket board refund me the ticket?? Next thing(according to you all) i do is start a BLOG crying that the organisers did not refund me the ticket coz the match was boring.
    Should i laugh or cry for this???!!!!!

    Response- Dear Ajay ji, you are again missing the point by a mile. If you purchase a ticket and cricketers place bets (what Hansie Cronje and Azhar did) then it is called CHEATING, for which they were punished. Similarly, if the schools do not work because of any external happening, then it is different. Hope you get the difference here :-))

    Ajay- If i agree on the point that the AOL money matters should be made transparent, will you all make it a point to apply the same principle to lot of minority & ‘+’ organisations that collect money similarly??
    Would you also question the Govt’s policy of diverting the money from hindu temples for facilitating the pilgrimage of the minorities?? Iam not trying to divert the issue..but are u willing to fight for these causes?? If you say it doesn’t matter, then what else matters???

    response- this is simple and crass diversion of issue and brining religious and communal overtones to the entire discussion. Reading this para, I have lost all kinds of respect (even human respect) for you Ajay. Please go and canvass for your communalism to the mother who has lost her only child or the 1 month old baby who does not what is mother or old parents who do not have any support. All victims of crass and disgusting communalism perpetrated by people like you. is this what Aol has taught you ? could never fathom that it would reach such levels. Shame on you Ajay. Shame

  216. Truthseeker Says:

    Btw, what happened to the evidence of World bank giving money to AOL !! ??? hahahhahaha

    Come on Rocky, I expected some stellar performance from you dear ! JGD

  217. Ajay Malur Says:

    @truthseeker
    I have collected enough of ‘shames’ from your vocabulary, save them for others, or u will run out of them. Don’t worry i wasnt in my dream begging for ur respect or AOL’s respect. Time will decide if people want to continue there or not. NOT U..
    What a silly excuse u get any given time when matters like religion are brought in front..communalism…pleaseeeeeee chill out. Hav the guts to answer straight to the point & not deviate using some more high-funda words. When u spoke about MONEY, i also replied in the same tone..but the area concerned was & is BIGGER & WORSE.
    If something is crass & disgusting for u, then whatever u r grunting/braying/moaning here in this forum with zero paise contribution to society & lots of bashan..is & only is stink. :-)
    I really wish for the day when u will come out victorious having officially defamed that organisation..& we will really have a blast and i only hope i will be alive by then..

    @Mr.Bhamy Shenoy,

    Nothing personal intended at you, i just wanted to know if people have progressed beyond writing crap in forums(for which they don’t have to shell out any money) & done something to seek justice in real.
    Anyway justice to one person is injustice to another. Sense to one person is nonsense to another..
    I might not have done as much as you have done to society..due respect to u on that front..but i am trying within my capacity to do a bit.
    I don’t mean to stay neutral but in this case I still cannot buy the relevance of the whole issue & so iam happy with my decision.
    I will anyway keep tracking this on this website & i hope for something JUST to happen.

  218. Truthseeker Says:

    Dear Ajay- Jai Guru Dev !

  219. KolikeRanga Says:

    @TruthSeeker
    I can’t help but notice that your reasoning is flawed. You sound like the disgruntled voter who is seeing his tax money going down the drain. Only that in the case of AOL, the money that you shell out is completely voluntary. I’m sure none of the AOL fans are patrolling the streets and pointing guns at gullible people to pay up. If in case, you lost *your* money, badmouthing other bloggers and trying to be a crusader in an online community won’t work. You’ll find little takers other than probably Mr.Shenoy.
    Your cricket “match-fixing” analogy has little relevance to the arguement. It only shows your staunch inclination for a confrontation with other commenters.
    Disclaimer: I have no association with AOL which gives me no right to question the rationality of millions of happy AOL “customers”. And for people intending to carry out expose operations in churumuri, well, good luck.

  220. Truthseeker Says:

    Thanks for your sweet and loving reply Ranga. I can surely learn something from it. Anyway, my response to your post–

    Ranga- I can’t help but notice that your reasoning is flawed. You sound like the disgruntled voter who is seeing his tax money going down the drain. Only that in the case of AOL, the money that you shell out is completely voluntary. I’m sure none of the AOL fans are patrolling the streets and pointing guns at gullible people to pay up.

    Response- There is something called ‘subtle blackmail’ or ‘subtle application of force’. It is so funny Ranga. Oo one hand you say, you dont have any association with Aol and on the other hand you say that you are sure that none of hte Aol fans make gullible people pay up !!! Make up your mind pls.

    Ranga- If in case, you lost *your* money, badmouthing other bloggers and trying to be a crusader in an online community won’t work. You’ll find little takers other than probably Mr.Shenoy.

    Response- Not worth a reply

    Ranga- Your cricket “match-fixing” analogy has little relevance to the arguement. It only shows your staunch inclination for a confrontation with other commenters.

    Response- Am sorry I could not make you understand my friend.

    Ranga- Disclaimer: I have no association with AOL which gives me no right to question the rationality of millions of happy AOL “customers”. And for people intending to carry out expose operations in churumuri, well, good luck.

    Response- thanks spectator

  221. Truthseeker Says:

    Dear Mr Shenoy, I was just contemplating as to why are there so many ex-Aol people who are against AOl… why do you think this is ? loss of trust/faith…feeling of betrayal ? I have done the aol progs and per se they are good but the paraphranelia that comes along with it (too much !!) is beyond limits of decency and volunteerism.

    Thoughts ? Rocky ? gaby? ranga? ajay ?? lets discuss dear friends !

    JGD

  222. Ajay Malur Says:

    @Truthseeker:

    It is God’s creation that 4 out of 10 people think differently. One wants to LEAD & another wants to FOLLOW. Since the reasoning of those 4 people differs, one would laugh at the path taken by another & vice versa..
    So like u said, the growing number of those dissatisfied is because they think THEIR contribution could be much bigger than just volunteering or doing some simple tasks or that something better could be done.

    Also as regards FAITH or TRUST, iam sure to say one thing- the bigger an organisation gets, the more saturated their work becomes. And unless each & every member contributes(by doing service) the same way as it was say 10 yrs back, probably the degree of satisfaction increases as it does down the hierarchy. And this transforms to loss of faith (which is typical INDIAN mentality)

    Out of around 60-70 artists that our troupe(Antharanga) has seen in 15-20 yrs, only 8-9 have remained loyal & supported our troupe through thick & thin.And we have seen people of extreme degrees of ego.

    So the margin between the urge to lead & to follow is very thin..my friend.

    I think this puts some thought to your question??

  223. krishna Says:

    do u really want to discuss?? u are here 2 show urself off.. ur response to most of the questions is irrational and you give such comments to save ur face.. there is no point discussing things with u coz u r not worth being a part of the discussion…

  224. Truthseeker Says:

    Ajay- I see some very valid points in your post. Though i would say, i agree with the second argument more than the first one.

    Thanks dear.

    JGD

  225. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    Dear Truthseeker,

    by asking a good question, you might have suggested the solution to this problem.

    Since I am a consumer actvist, I may be influenced to see AOL issue from that point of view.

    You are right that many who have commented against AOL are those who have taken part in their programs or “convinced” by others to take part in them.

    There is no doubt that AOL is meeting some needs of people. Otherwise it would not have grown like this. But what it is doing is “selling” their services using the garb of non profit spiritual and charitable organziation. This is where those who attend the programs get cheated. It is like large coproations or large private hospitals selling their products or servcies. When customers of these profit making companies get cheated they have a recourse to get redressal. When they stand up for their rights, other customers do not criticise like it is done in the case of AOL.

    If AOL just changes their structure from non profit to for profit organziation, then all the probelms will be solved. In fact they may be able to expand their operations even on a larger scale. Other religious groups will not be against them. If AOL works like a private company, they need not be transparent, they need not give their accounts, and they are not accounatble to any one.

    Why won’t AOL then change its structure which gives them so much flexibility?

  226. Truthseeker Says:

    Quite a thought there Sir. Perhaps getting labelled as ‘for-profit’ will deprive AOL to pitch for the Nobel Prize :-))

  227. Truthseeker Says:

    Btw Rocky dear… all of us are eagerly waiting for that World Bank report !!

  228. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    Friends,

    recently I learnt that “Art of Living” was coined as early as 1935 by Pastor Vincente Peale in the US. Here are some excerpts about his activities. We will never know if Ravi Shankar got the idea of using “Art of Living” from Vincente Peale.

    “Peale started a radio program, “The Art of Living,” in 1935, which lasted for 54 years. The Power of Positive Thinking is by far his most widely read work.

    “Positive thinking,” as described by Peale could be broken down into a three step process of practicing repeated self-hypnosis, attaining “divine” or God’s power to use for oneself, and eliminating and avoiding all negativity in life.

    The first step in positive thinking is focused on the use of repeated “techniques.” Peale describes positive thinking as first and foremost as “simply a series of practical and workable techniques for living a successful life.” [6]

    Peale, who had no mental health credentials, was vague as to a definition of his “techniques,” although he repeatedly stated that they were scientifically proven and “firmly established as documented and demonstrable truth.” Mental health experts, however, clearly saw and identified the techniques as hypnosis. Hypnosis is defined as “A trance like state that resembles sleep but is induced by a person whose suggestions are readily accepted by the subject.”

    I do not know if any of the several organizations started by Peale has taken any action against Ravi Shankar for using his brand name “Art of Living”. Does any one know about this?

  229. Truthseeker Says:

    From a a website, i quote”

    She apparently was the real thing, that combination of spiritual understanding and compassion that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar so skillfully emulates in the masquerade of his false sainthood:
    Pushpa Anand, a Hindu guru and social activist who worked ceaselessly for the health of Indian villagers and the empowerment of women, has died. She was 83.

    None of the hundreds of thousands of people who benefited from her charitable work knew her name. Nor, indeed, did many of her disciples. She was known simply as Ma, whose dedication to the poor, especially women, inspired followers from around the world.

    From the age of 34, she dedicated herself to several years of intense religious study and spiritual practice, and thereafter became known as Param Pujya (Her Holiness). But she always preferred Ma.
    While the false saint Sri Sri spends millions upon millions celebrating himself, a real saint like Ma would have plowed that money right back into charity. Think about that the next time you attend another AoL birthday celebration.

    ” Unquote

    Link- http://guruphiliac.blogspot.com/

    http://www.thetimes.co.za/PrintEdition/News/Article.aspx?id=756850

  230. Vasu Gokaraju Says:

    See the following blog to find simple and straight forward answers to majority of your questions on Sri Sri. I am not into spirituality, so I see Sri Sri as a person who is trying to bring some change in the society.

    http://vasugokaraju.blogspot.com/2008/04/my-take-on-sri-sri-ravi-shankar.html

    Also take some time to read my response to the following articles.

    Is Sri Sri Ravi Shankar a Con Man?
    How genuine is Sri Sri Ravi Shankar?

    I am yet to get hold of the book “In Spite of the Gods” and see what Mr. Edward Luce had to say about Sri Sri.

  231. Truthseeker Says:

    Vasu- Your information and knowledge is quite amateurish. In your innocence, you have been asserting oft repeated beliefs as facts. I can only laugh it away :-)

  232. Truthseeker Says:

    rocky— dear friend ! Am still waiting for the report from WB !

  233. Truthseeker Says:

    Where is everyone !!??

  234. krishna Says:

    i think now u hv made ur point and ur search for truth is over u are enlightend…

    u r the bst truthseeker… no one can dare to spk against u..

  235. Aashadabhoothi Says:

    ‘Art of Living’ is a common word in self help circles since ages. Sri Sri infact got this title from his Guru Maharishi mahesh Yogis’ Book “Since of Being and Art of Living”. That whole book is a big piece of promotional literature for Maharishi Mahaesh Yogis teaching of Japa which he rechristened as Trancendental Meditation.

    Much before this there was a Buddhist Author Leonard Bullen who wrote a book called art of living. THe vipassana Guru wrote his book ‘Art of living” mch before sri sri started growing his beard. So all these trademarked terms and techniques used by scamsters like ravishankar are not so original. It is original only for the ignorant masses and people like ravishankar are too secretive and hide their sources.

  236. Truthseeker Says:

    Aashadabhoothi- how to ensure that the ignorant masses get to know the facts. Am sure, blogs like these dont get a million hits a day. Any thoughts ?

  237. Truthseeker Says:

    This is so shocking !!! What a way to market AOL.

    Check it out friends-

    http://guruphiliac.blogspot.com/2008/05/sri-sri-infects-internet.html

    Art of Living Kool-Aid distributors are working overtime to make Sri Sri Ravi Shankar more famous in the States with some viral internet popularity scamming. From a message sent on the U.S. AoL mailing list:
    If we can have you and the people in your network (local satsang groups and other AOL networks) follow the simple steps below, we will have an EXTREMELY powerful marketing campaign for guruji on the internet.

    If we can have a large group of people follow the steps below, we can have the links to articles/blogs on guruji, shoot right up to the homepage of the website of an extremely popular site digg.com. This is a very powerful way of marketing, as lots of people visiting digg.com would see it on the homepage.
    Name, fame and fortune are Sri Sri’s game, and he’s got an army of dupes to get it for him.

    But what of those who see right through him? AoL has a plan for that too!
    There seem to be a lot of comments on the two articles listed below on digg.com. If you did digg it, then do remember to go back and give a “thumbs up” to the comments that are pro-Art of Living, and a “thumbs down” to those comments that are anti-Art of Living.

    Also, it would better if the people who dugg the two articles also dugg a few more (random) articles as well, and made a few random comments on some other random articles as well, so as to camouflage this campaign, otherwise it becomes very transparent, if you read the comments. It should appear that we are just normal users of digg, if you understand what I mean.
    Yes we do. You are dishonestly gaming the digg.com system to make your pathologically narcissistic guru even more pathologically narcissistic.

    We hate to break it to you, but AoL’s marketing campaigns have always been transparent, as clear as the air above Annapurna. You are only fooling the fools, Sri Sri. Anyone with half a brain can see you for exactly what you really are, a flimflamming fraud who does it all in an effort to burnish his own reflection in the mirror.

  238. Truthseeker Says:

    is this why most of the ‘supporters’ have been saying that they have got nothing to do with aol, that they are not connected with aol, that they are objective 3rd parties ???

  239. Ajay Malur Says:

    Hey Mr. Truthseeker…
    I still find that your comments & not other’s comments are to be laughed at..time & again.
    If different people come & state the same things at different points of time, it means it is a FACT. FACTs wont change..

    By the way, i will give you a movie name for you(& all) to watch. Please don’t respond by giving the same ” this is no way related to AOL, you have deviated …it is nonsense .etc etc..” reason. Look at it from a point of ” How people/ a person can MASS INFLUENCE an opinion”.
    People do cry their hearts out saying he is spending millions on so & so..& again the response is the same..none of their business or money.

    When i give an opinion, i keep in mind lots of things along with the main issue in hand..
    Search for “ZEITGEIST” English documentary movie on youtube or anyother movie site & give your opinion on the movie with respect to MASS INFLUENCE. I will respond after you watch it & reply.

  240. Aashadabhoothi Says:

    Dr Janakiraman one of the directors of NIMHANS who has done a great deal of research on Yoga and Neuro sciences with Vivekanada Yoga Kendra, Iyengar Yoga and Art of Living does not have many good things to say about AOL scamsters. Unlike the reputed yogic institutes like Vivekanada Yoga Kendra and Iyengar institue, AOL thrives on hypocrisy and false propoganda.

    In a published paper by Lousiana State University Dr. Janakiramaiah has recognized the marketing behind the spirituality and expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that although the research had been conducted jointly between the Art of Living and NIMHANS, he felt that the research findings had been published much before any valid testing could be done to prove the results were valid. Especially claims like improved areas of function in the brain etc were not done according to the approval of NIMHANS. The preliminary ‘positive’ effects had been observed and then published and used as a validation for the Sudharshan Kriya before any actual scientific testing could be done.

    He referred specifically to one example and said that in one of the brochures they describe that doing Sudharshan Kriya leads to a tingling in your fingers and toes. The brochures claim that this has to do with ultimate brain function and is a result of Sudharshan Kriya. “But if anyone keeps breathing like that- essentially they are hyperventilating and flushing their body with oxygen, which is what is going to happen. There is no mystical meaning behind the tingling in their fingers and all that. Then you have those people who will say that they felt guruji’s presence while doing the Sudharshan Kriya and when you ask them why they will say the same thing- that they felt this tingling sensation. If you keep breathing like that then what else will happen. I know these things- they say all this because they are swayed into believing that what is happening to them is spiritual or mystical but it is not. It is a common physiological reaction to hyperventilation. Then they throw in all this science and research that they
    have done with AOL and all that. One very clever thing they do- they tell you that other than teaching you the Sudharshan Kriya method the rest is up to you. They have this subtle way of attributing any changes to you and this goes down very well with the western audience. It is easily accessible also so there are a lot of people who are coming in to do AoL courses.’ By attributing some aspects of the course as appealing to the western audience, Dr. Janakiramaiah is referring to the marketing of the AoL which takes into consideration the different backgrounds of people that it can refer to and then works on that basis.

  241. Truthseeker Says:

    My response to Mr Malur-

    Ajay- Hey Mr. Truthseeker…
    I still find that your comments & not other’s comments are to be laughed at..time & again.

    Response- so ???

    Ajay – If different people come & state the same things at different points of time, it means it is a FACT. FACTs wont change..

    Response- I have never seen or heard a more nonsensical argument.

    Ajay- By the way, i will give you a movie name for you(& all) to watch. Please don’t respond by giving the same ” this is no way related to AOL, you have deviated …it is nonsense .etc etc..” reason. Look at it from a point of ” How people/ a person can MASS INFLUENCE an opinion”.
    People do cry their hearts out saying he is spending millions on so & so..& again the response is the same..none of their business or money.

    Response- i have answered this so many times. Either you dont understand or you just DONT UNDERSTAND !!

    Ajay- When i give an opinion, i keep in mind lots of things along with the main issue in hand..

    response- self praise, AOL style

    Ajay- Search for “ZEITGEIST” English documentary movie on youtube or anyother movie site & give your opinion on the movie with respect to MASS INFLUENCE. I will respond after you watch it & reply.

    response- next month then. thanks for the suggestion

  242. Ajay Malur Says:

    Response:
    Truthseeker style: blah blah blah blah blah blah

    Watch the movie, whether next year or next month…it is really thought provoking.

  243. Ajay Malur Says:

    Response to Aashadabhooti:

    Due respects to all the information provided..But a single question to all you AOL bashers: What has been the result of so much investigation into the “scams” of AOL?? Has anyone filed a PIL against the org? I don’t see any such action mentioned here in the blog or any new forum for that matter..

    I am pretty sure this blog will continue for another 5-10 yrs to come (courtesy all the truthseekers) but the result will be the same. Coz you know, we Indians love criticism but take no action.

    KIND REQUEST to any person who reads or responds to my comment-

    please watch the documentary movie- ZEITGEIST (which is banned by the US govt) it exposes the least known but biggest ever conspiracy of innocent human manipulation. I hope people can spend 1 day on downloading & watching from the Internet.

  244. Truthseeker Says:

    Ajay- just because you dont like my line of thought, should that lead you to attempt humiliate me or pass sarcastic remarks ?

  245. Truthseeker Says:

    Aashadabhooti:

    It is amazing the way good intentions and scientific research is twisted for banal and narcisstic groups. A true revelation in your post. Incidentally, this research by NIMHANS is highly publicised by AOL, though not many ppl would know abt it’s truth as unfolded by you.

    And for you Mr Ajay- pls see my earlier post above. An important link there is – http://guruphiliac.blogspot.com/2008/05/sri-sri-infects-internet.html

    this describes people like you who are camouflaging themselves in -oh-i -am -not- a aol-person-but-a third-party attitude.

  246. Vasu Gokaraju Says:

    Truthseeker, thanks for the visit to my blog. I am happy that I made you laugh. Please be specific about the points that caught your attention so that we can determine who is amateurish?

    By the way, why are you hiding behind a fake name?

    Don’t wait for quick reply as I only spend limited time on blogs.

    Thank you,
    Vasu Gokaraju
    http://vasugokaraju.blogspot.com/

  247. llamba Says:

    toughtI love the way you people fight over a non issue ,i think its like a dog fight over territory,both of the groups have some hidden agenda to pull each other down.Guys if you don’t like AOL do not join it,don’t pay the fee ,let AOL people f**k up their lives ,if you haven’t paid fees or joined them y the hell you want to pull them down,its a consumer friendly world,consumer will buy what it likes,bring a better product & market it better ,AOL will itself close down.
    If anyone runs a NGO & earns its living from it,it is not a social service ,its a business & you can do anything to promote your business so nothing wrong about it.Mr.bhamy I am with you in mater of getting your money back ,if you did not like the seminar ,you should get your money back ,go to supreme court to get your money back.After you win i will sue my school & college to get my fee back,90% of what i studied did not benefit me & i lost my valuable years of life in college.
    Another thing I don’t under stand is why this noise being made about people from IIT joining AOl or Mr shenoy being from IIT.95 % of students joining IIt are droppers who waste more than 2 years of life trying to get into IIT,not all are genius 30 or 40% maybe brilliant ,but what is their contribution towards society or India .Tax payers money is wasted on their education & these snobs run away to USA.Like all of you people i too love to pull people down be it NGOs or IIT graduates,its a CRAB mentality,we don’t want to do anything,if anyone tries to do something we tend to pull him down ,so suckers go on pulling each other down & I pray to god that at least in another 200 years a day comes when we don’t have any NGOs lechers OR consumer activist blackmailers & every one earns his living by working hard .

  248. Ajay Malur Says:

    Response @ Truthseeker:

    Hmmm, come on man,now you cannot tolerate a single piece of derogatory remark!!?? Doesnt this strike to you when YOU make personal comments as responses. I won’t bother coz u represent that part of the society which wants to escape by crying on & on & on but still have the issue unresolved.
    You have a clever way of responding to comments(& deviating from the ISSUE) by either getting personal or by replying to statements which won’t ask you for action.
    I have never gotten personal before- but i just gave a taste of your own medicine.

    *************
    I repeat my question for the N x N x Nth time— what has been the “productive” action taken by all or any of the AOL bashers so far in churumuri???
    *************
    If you say that the productive action is “creating awareness by blogging”- iam so sorry i cannot accept it- there are million others across the world who do the same.What else then??
    For a change, don’t get personal- just answer me the above question enclosed between the stars & pleaseeeeee watch the doc movie. By the way, i checked all the links that u have provided, but my opinion remains the same.

    Response @ Ilamba:
    Well said!! What you have said is stark reality & that’s how people love to live. When we choose to watch a movie, we take a chance- we are not sure we will like it or not, but still go & watch it. And if we crib that it is bad after coming out of the movie, will the producer refund the money??!!

    It will take ages for the general Indian to come out of the ‘destructive attitude'(or criticism) phenomenon. Being intelligent is good but it is not good enough unless we take proactive action.

  249. Aashadabhoothi Says:

    I thank the readers in churmuri for creating awareness on the AOL scam. That is the least they can do.

    There have been many litigations against and by AOL. SOme of them were related to the land deals and acquisitions. However there was one where AOL/Vyakti Vikas Kendra filed a case against Rangaraju, a friend of mine and the first AOL teacher who was initially instrumental in spreading AOL across Karnataka. Rangaraju got disgusted with the false life he was leading ever since he came to know the internals of this vicious organization. He could no longer lead a duplicitious and false life and opted out of the AOL organization. After leaving AOL, he started teaching Yoga and breathing exercises on his own as this was the only thing he knew. He was a reputed yoga teacher even prior to joining AOL. It was during this time he was threaned by the AOL goons. Senior AOL teachers Vinod Menon and Arun Madhavan even came to his house and threatened him not to teach and told them of the reach they had in the government. They also brough several vicious messages from the Sri Sri Himself. Sri Sri had told him that he would be destroyed if he goes against him. But Rangaraju stood by his convictions, AOL slapped a law suit on him. I admire the guts of Rangaraju for fighting this law suit right from the sessions court till the Karnataka High court. Finally the Karnataka High court gave a judgement in favour of Rangaraju and mentioned that “In this land of Patanjali and Shankaracharya no one has any exclusivse rights over teaching certain Yogic techniques”. This news was published in many newspapers including a couple fo english language national newspaper. It was indeed a trail of courage and conviction which made Rangaraju to come out successfully in this particular case with AOL. Unfortuantely not many people are lucky while fighting against injustice with oppressive and powerful organizations like AOL. Gurus like Sai Baba and Ravishankar have a long reach and can get away with practically anything. Remmember the four murders in the Satya Sai Baba ashram in putparthi. It is not easy to nail these Godmen as they have powerful allies in politicians, judiciary and press.

    The amount of time the guru cults like AOL spends on false propoganda is quite a lot. As teachers we were told to cook up miracles of Sri Sri Ravishankar. This used to be published in their periodical called ‘Rishimukh’ and we also used to talk about these miracles in a subtle way during the course to basically explain the efficacy of the Guru’s Grace. One of the key message to all we teachers was that we should supress all negataive evidence by people who come with compaints resulting from the practice of the breathing exercises. This was a message given to us from the Sri Sri himself in his own Kutir from his own mouth.

    Among the numerous miracles of sri Sri, I will give you a few instances of some miracles published in Rishimukh (in 1993 – I have the copies). Sri Sri himself did the final proofreading of the copies of Rishmukh. I myself used to take the proofs from a printer in VV Puram to the ashram. In one copy of rishimuck a belgian lady claimed that because of the grace of Ravishankar she was cured of Cancer in just one single sitting in a satsang. This was completely false as she never had cancer at all and never even mentioned it in the Basic course of which I was the teacher. She just cooked up the story and became a celebrity of sorts within the AOL community for a brief period of time as a result of the due publicity given. In another instance a man claimed how he was saved from a major accident from a speeding lorry due to the Grace of Guruji. Ironically after a few months four sincere and loyal AOL teachers met with a serious accident while they were coming to Satsang to the ashram. One teacher died on the spot and the other had rib cage fractures. The two others survived. Why did not the Guru’s grace operate in this case. When Sri Sri who was in Germany at that time was informed of this accident he mentioned that this is because of Karma and their spiritual evolution has speeded up because of this accident. IT is a case of Heads I win and tails you lose. Thats the logic in the Guru cult. Anything can be explained and accounted for. A couple of years later the daughter of the Times of India chief Indu Jain who was an enthusiastic AOL teacher died in a plane crash while touring the North East in a AOL volunteer campaign. Again the same answer from Sri Sri. But even now they make all kinds of outlandish claims of miracles and miracle healing. Why was the ailing mother of Sri Sri- Mrs Vishalakshi Ratnam hospitalised for three months in Apollo hospital before her death. WHy did she not rely on Sri Sri Ayurveda and AOL techniches if it is so efficacious. There are many many more incidents of Guru doublespeak and hypocricy.

    I am not saying that Yoga lifestyle and practices are no good. I have found lot of benefits and healing in Yoga and the satwic diet in myself and others. But going out of board for propoganda and twisting facts is unethical.

  250. rama Says:

    Mayura Says:

    1 February 2008 at 6:48 pm
    Sri Sri’s father Mr.Sundaram was a big fraud, who was kicked out of his job at TAFE(Tractor and Farm Equipment) on charges of misappropriation where he worked as a Inventory Manager. Later on he started the 3 wheeler car ‘badal’ and swindled the investors before the car plant was shutdown.

    The son is following in his illustrious fathers footsteps by conning the general public in the name of art of living (to me it looks more like art of lying). His Sudarshana Kriya is nothing more than Paranayama nicely packaged and this guruji has the gall to patent traditional knowledge known to Indians for ages. His disciples are mostly westerners who are looking for instant Nirvaana.

    I have heard to some of his audio tapes and it is full of bull crap without any traces of spiritualism. I found Sri Sri’s thoughts on spiritualism was mostly rip offs from maharishi mahesh yogi

  251. Truthseeker Says:

    Lamba , Ajay and Vasu- Unfortunately there is very little that you do except throw your own dirt around. You are not worth speaking with.

  252. Truthseeker Says:

    Aashadabhoothi- Your examples are so apt. I have seen and experienced them so many times. heads I win, tails you lose- this is the only motto. Every word of what you write is making me gush and relive all those moments. So true, so apt, so reflective. May god bless you.

  253. llamba Says:

    well i am not one of you suckers pulling each other down,i want to pull all of you down,to most of neutral people in this fight Bhamy is as good or bad as AOL.As for truthseeker u mentioned my name,who do you think u r ,mohammad, lord krishna or mahatma gandhi,i think you are bhammy in disguise .you can go on bashing any one you like but tell us about your contribution to society ,ur community or towards your family .Even if you feed a stray dog i think i think you are better then all these NGOs ,but if you think you are better because you can pull people down ,then you are worse than AOL & bhammy put together.if you people are so sincere about your country why don’t you write against terrorists who blast innocent people,pull down USA,Pakistan ,Zimbabwe ,invasion of Iraq or even khalistani or Muslim terrorists .You cant because a single word from them & you will shit in your pants.Grow up guys no one is bigger than your country

  254. Truthseeker Says:

    As i said, llamba is all dirt !! thanks for proving me correct dear llamba !!! hahah

  255. Shreyas Says:

    and Trusthseeker goes blah blah blah blah again…
    You are just shying away from a genuine debate by giving your amateurish “responses”. You are a disgrace to the anti-AOL tribe. The debate was much better and healthier before you crept into this forum. Before you start showering us with more of your “responses”, please, grow up.

  256. llamba Says:

    How does it fees now Mr.bhamy@truthseeker ?.If you think running a NGO is social service ,do it voluntarily ,i will join you ,but running a NGO as business you are as good or bad as AOL.So what truth are you seeing truthseeker ,any thing you say is truth ,other say it is dirt hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.I love my country & i hate NGOs ,extremists & terrorists .Say something against attacks on innocent people in jaipur or your Rs 5000.00 is of more value than hundreds who lost their lives in jaipur

  257. Truthseeker Says:

    totally incoherent and zonked out you are my friend ! suggest you take some rest, a genuine advise as a friend (even if you dont consider me one)

  258. Ajay Malur Says:

    @Lamba

    I’m happy there’s one more person here who believes in action more than blabbering his guts out. But i feel Mr. Bhamy(who is not truthseeker) is a more genuine person because of his background. As for the rest of them, they are here to manifest themselves & their egos..I pity them all.

    And as for Truthseeker- i pity you coz you proved again that personal attacks matter to you more than the issue or PRODUCTIVE ACTION. If i were in Bangalore, i sure would have organised a meeting of common thinking people who are here. As the other guy said- making the minimum most contribution to the society is good enough.
    Iam expecting your reply still Mr.Truthseeker, put your ego beside & tell me. I am not against any person, i am against the thoughts..that’s it.

    Simple example: My juniors in the engg college(9 yrs back) where i studied were asked to pay an amount of Rs.200/- along with their annual fee, which the management said was part of a donation..but there was no reciept for that. Meaning- it was unaccounted for. All the students put together it amounted to more than Rs 1 lakh. Those students were brave enough to make a silent demonstration in front of the admin office. Believe me- there was no Student union there, so a few classmates of mine joined hands with them & together made a louder protest. The management didn’t ask a single question. The protest ended in half an hour.
    Action speaks louder than words.

    Mr Aashadabhooti: If your examples are real enough, which does seem like, i am with you. But is there a way in unifying all the people & making a common statement?? Say by preparing a video showing all the misdeeds thro those people & many more? Iam pretty sure, some media channel will grab it – if it is geniune enough.

  259. Truthseeker Says:

    My dear Ajay- it seems we are still at tangents. let me take the inititaitve of bringing us on the same page.

    I am very much in favour of an action, in fact I would support it wholeheartedly. So there is no dispute about that., was never !

    Thank you for your pity, but I am not in bangalore.

    To answer your *** question, I dont think any ‘action’ has been taken so far. But i would be happy to support if we decide to do so.

    Some of my friends here have chosen me to be their punching bag ! no problem, somebody has to take this role. What is a problem is that the big picture is being lost sight of

  260. Truthseeker Says:

    And I hope we all have read the news of Monday where a godman from Kerala was arrested with drugs, police unifroms, tiger skins besides a litany of sex crimes

  261. Truthseeker Says:

    Shreyas-

    Hello. I am afraid but i do not see any of your prior posts, so either you have been a silect spectator or you are changing identities.

    My ‘response’ (u must be cringing now)

    Shreyas- and Trusthseeker goes blah blah blah blah again…
    You are just shying away from a genuine debate by giving your amateurish “responses”. You are a disgrace to the anti-AOL tribe.

    Response- I am not against AOL. It is doing some good work my dear !! Pls open your eyes and look around. The problem is that it is getting too commercialised and separated from the main objective

    Shreyas- The debate was much better and healthier before you crept into this forum. Before you start showering us with more of your “responses”, please, grow up.

    response- Thanks for your feedback. You are free to ignore my posts.

  262. Shrinidhi Hande Says:

    Hello guys,

    My 2 cents:

    I have not studied the operations of AOL to declare if it is good or bad, but have observed Cult like behaviour in my friends who are volunteering there. They treat their Guruji like god and are reluctant to answer any logical question put forward against AOL’s operations. And Cultism is very dangerous. (Similar to those in network marketing/MLM business like Amway etc-unquestioned faith in their organization and outright refusal to hear anything that is negative)

    Also it is very much expected that AOL makes its account book public. People have every right to know how the money is being spent.

  263. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    Dear Friends (both for and against AOL),

    I just finished reading a book on Ida M. Tarbell, a actvist journalist of early 20th century. She was the one who led the protest against Rcokefeller after a thorough research into the “illegal and clandestine” activities and brought down Standard Oil Company. It was an epoch making event and still celebrated in some circles in the US. It was an era of gilded age of Rockefeller, Carnegie, Mellon, J P Morgan, etc and it was simply unthinkable that a journalist and that too a female could do such an outstanding muckraking job against the richest man in the world. She did and succeeded. By the way Rockefeller was well known for his charitable contributions when Tarbell was writing about him just like AOL’s Ravi Shankar.

    Now our “rich” Ravi Shankar who presides over AOL is also a genius like Rockefeller. It is not a simple feat to have so many ashrams all over the world or attract thousands from all over the world to his place and ask them to pay money for the previlege of being assocaited with him. One needs to admire his great marketing genius like we need to admire Rockefeller for “killing” all his competition for the good of oil sector.

    While admiring Ravi Shankar, let us find out what actually he is doing? Is he really charitable? What has he done with all his crores of assets? If it a charitable association as he claims then he has a responsibility to open his books for public scrutiny. Why has he not done that yet?

    It was only after attending the so called NGO SUMMIT, I started to have doubts about his true intentions. It will be only a question of time, some dedicated and concerned youth from some NRI family from the US will dig into AOL and write an expose like Tarbell did. This is my prediction. I wish some of our own youth from India could have done this.

    Unfortunately our educational institutions do not instill such high values into our youth. As one can see from this blog, we have not seen any one showing interest to dig into “facts” of Ravi Shankar. Yes there have been some interesting revelations and anecdotal findings about the wrong doings of AOL. But can they stand in the court of law? How can we prove that money is siphoned from AOL? How can we prove that AOL is indeed a commercial organization in a court of law if we want to file a PIL?

    Even my small and inconsequnetial case against AOL in a consumer court was not even admitted when I thought that I had a strong case and one of the judges agreed with me.

    In short what we need is Indian version of Tarbells to expose not just AOL, but many such modern gurus who are taking ordinary folks for a ride. Any suggestion to find them?

  264. Truthseeker Says:

    Agreed Sir, agreed. Your thoughts very much hit the nail on the head

  265. krishna Says:

    @ truthseeker..
    i thought u atind enlightenment but its sad to c tht u r still searchin for the truth.. anyways here s sumthing for u my special frnd.. here s a video exclusivly for you… i hope this will help.. well i thnk this is the only thng tht could help….. plz go through the entire video n i hv a msg for u at the end.. n belive me if u dnt get enlightend aftr this there s no chance for it in the next 10 thousand centuries….

  266. Rakesh Says:

    hi… why dont someone use the “right to informations act” and gather informations about the volunteer services, and the belongings of art of living?… then make it public.. so that we can know if service activities are really happening with all these money collected.

    take a look at this webpage…

    http://persmin.nic.in/RTI/WelcomeRTI.htm

    Could anyone take up the responsibility?.. Bhamy maybe?

  267. Vishwas Krishna Says:

    RTI Act is “An Act to
    provide for setting out
    the practical regime of
    right to information for
    citizens to secure access
    to information under the
    control of public
    authorities, in order to
    promote transparency
    and accountability in the
    working of every public
    authority….”
    Section 2(h) of the Act
    defines “public
    authority” as any
    authority or body or
    institution of self-
    government established
    or constituted-
    a.by or under the
    Constitution;
    b.by any other law made
    by Parliament;
    c.by any other law made
    by State Legislature;
    d.by notification issued or
    order made by the
    appropriate Govnt, and
    includes any-
    i) body owned, controlled
    or substantially financed;
    ii)non-government
    organisation substantially
    financed, directly or
    indirectly by funds
    provided by the
    appropriate Govnt.

    Going by the above
    definition, AOL does not
    come under the purview
    of this Act.

  268. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    Rakesh,

    I would have gladly taken this task of seeking information on Art of Living if one can get such information under RTI. Perhaps some information can be obtained. But it may not throw light on the total assets and also how those assets are used.

    What we need is an investiagtive team of volunteers who can look into this. If some volunteers come forward I can try to conince Mysore Grahakara Parishat to support them by paying for their expenses. We need public service minded youth with dedication. That is why I was predicting that some childern of NRIs will take up this challenge.

  269. Gaby Says:

    Mr Shenoy I am curious and frankly bemused about the last statement you make. I am a child of an NRI and neither me nor any of my ilk are any more public service minded or dedicated than a young person from Kalasipalyam or Kuvempunagar. I hope you were being facetious in your predicting things.

  270. paciFier Says:

    Hey men, whatever might be AOL, its harmless to society.
    Some people are benefited by it.
    If you feel you will waste time there, then don’t join – its not for you.

    Unlike other Hindu mutts, gurukulas, AOL is broad minded in welcoming even the down trodden, socially unwelcome groups into its organization.

    We have to compliment AOL for that.

  271. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    Gaby,

    I was serious in my comments. I know of several childern of NRIs who have come to India and are involved in India’s development projects. Have you heard of Indicorps started by two NRI children from Houston? They have brought several NRI children to work in rural areas on some interesting projects. These are not the ones who are interested to get a certificate so that they can meet the requirements while seeking admission into colleges.

    Pacifier,

    I do not know the criteria you use to define harm done by AOL and such cult like groups. Let us assume AOL is doing a great job unlike other groups. Then an objective study will bring it out and it may help to continue its “noble” work.

    As far as allowing downtrodden into ashram, I could not see any one. In fact jail like enviornment kept all such people out. All those who were in attendance (excepting for employees taking care of toilts, garbage collection, etc) in ashram were well to do, college eduacted, middle or rich.

  272. Truthseeker Says:

    Hello friends. I am reading Paul Brunton’s ‘Search in Secret India’. Any thoughts, comments, views on the book will be welcome.

    thanks

  273. Gaby Says:

    Well Mr Shenoy, good luck as you wait for your Messaiah who doesnt need certificates to get into college. let me also tell you that the possibility of meeting any of these messiahs in the ‘ satsangs’ at AOL is pretty high. NRIS and their progeny like working on projects involving seksy things like povert, malnutrition etc. They wont touch leave alone investigate the ‘Sri Sris and Gurujees’!

  274. Truthseeker Says:

    hahaha this is HILLARIOUS !! am told by some contacts at AOL’s bangalore ashram that in a recent sewa activity some of htem were given the task of combating online criticism of AOL !!! I am sure ajay, rocky, etc etc are all from that tribe !!!!! poor you !!

  275. Anonymous Guy Says:

    If one of the things AOL does while combating online criticism is take a look at the real issues mentioned in the criticism (leaving out the name calling etc.) – it will be good for AOL itself. Self-introspection is good for any large organization. Very few criticize things out of pure malice – and you can easily ignore such criticism.

    Hope AOL can look at the reason behind the concerns raised by Bhamy and others and take action to improve on these (these include collecting high fees for events and not giving back what is promised, aggressive marketing based more on hype than substance, some degree of nepotism in the inner circles, etc.). And then after some time maybe publish replies on how the things were addressed. Instead of encouraging unintelligent spammers who only make their cause look bad.

    Anyway AOL is a big organization, a few online comments wont hurt them much. How they act on these comments will show their mettle as an organization.

  276. Ajay Malur Says:

    @trrrrrruthskr

    Iam the one in disguise..I gave the information to our fellow tribesmen..
    Big brother is watching u, all you cry babies beware. internet is an insecure form of communication..
    hahahahahahhahahahaahahahahaaha :)))
    it feels good to type ‘hahaa’, isnt it guru? I love it.

  277. Manu Says:

    Is washing your own dishes a big deal? I personally mistrust all spritual types but this post and the letter does not give any fact that showes that this meet was a charade to make money. And anyway just because they make a profit from the meet they dont become anti-socials. Ravi Shankar might call himself Sri Sri, but we don’t have to mind him. What matters is if he does help society like he claims to or not. Who cares if some people were dissapointed with the treatment? If you must, think of him as a self conceited person who might be doing good to people; for whatever reason.

  278. Santosh Says:

    Barmy Shenoy… Now that you have lost your illgotten INR 5000 bucks !!!

    I have a few more tips to you on how to loose money and feel betrayed.

    Visit SAICS(South Asian Institute of Christian Studies on Hennur Road in Bengaluru).
    Missionories of Charity(Kolkatta)
    Jehovah’s Witnesses(St. Thomas Town,Bemgaluru)
    Madarasas(Eastern UP)

    Conventional wisdom states the largest profit making industries in the world are Religion and WAR.

    Now that you have faced religion and your next objective is to wage War against your adversery mentioned.

    Wish you Good Luck !!!

  279. Dheerendragopal Says:

    WTF is SriSri ? or whatever he is ?
    Once Buddha said ” Go get mustard from Savu Yilladha Mane’

    I think Sri Sri and his parents are healthy and still kicking by doing Pranayama day and night .His house must be Saavu yilladha mane .

  280. Loka samsta sukhino bhawantu Says:

    I am a youth and have done my 1st Yes!+ (Youth Empowerment & Skills workshop) 2 years back. I have since volunteered for many other yes!+ programs and done other advanced courses. and each program has been a revelation to me. it had opened all kinds of possibilities for me. Experiences that nothing can offer. The experience had been extremely cathartic and beautiful. I love the Satsangs and sri sri’s ancient knowledge for new millenium, which would ave been lost on MTV genX like us.

    There are a few people who do go out of their way to enroll others to experience the bliss, that they experienced. But 1st they are volunteers and do not earn any money by doing that and 2 the money goes for charity. Lots of charity work is done by AOL – find out some on the AOL website.But there is a lot more work going on a micro level, which is not doccumented, a testimony to the fact that AOL is not looking for cheap publicity.

    There is no ‘marketing team’ for AOL. Everything is done by volunteers some younger than me. It’s better to be engaged in such, rather to be sloshed at pubs. There have been thousands of youths who have been helped in more ways than one.

    Yes, there are few issues which are not very transparent and anyone who wants to REALLY find out the ‘TRUTH’, should do that actively coz a blog post or searching on the internet WILL NOT reveal it to you. About the money AOL makes you may ask for a balance sheet etc. Experience the program for yourself. 1000 Rs. for a 40 hours program is as low as 25 Rs. per hour. More than this one pays to a plumber. Your mind certainly deserves much more.

    About Sri Sri- you can slander him all you want, for millions across the globe he is a light of hope and fun and knowledge and unconditional love and nothing will change that. Because what ever is said here are just concepts – what I have is experience, which cannot be disproven and I cherish it. You should give it a try too. If nothing else, it will be a very different adventure.

    There are certain issues which might offend purists but one can find negatives even in a rainbow, forget aout a human being. Even Jesus was crucified, sri sri is anyway still a human being, yet.

    I was doubtful before I did my 1st course and I have some other doubts still but I am finding answers to the doubts and that canot be done by reading on the internet.

    And lastly, Mr.Shenoy AOL Bangalore is an Ashram & not a resort where you’ll get room service or 5 star hotel ameneties (and I am sure nobody would have promised you that). Is it not childish to denounce someone on this basis? The facilities are the same for everyone.It has become my second home and it is BEAUTIFUL.Even if you HATE AOL and Sri Sri still visit once.

    or if some dignitary did not turn up should you not denounce (if you have to) that person rathet than AOL? or how many SRI’s one has in front of his name. etc. etc.

    My take on ‘spirituality’ being commercialised-AOL is a nonprofit NGO and it is involved in LOTS of charity,
    1)charity cannot happen from empty bowl, 2) they are offering you a service, there is charge to that service; 3)Initially and for a long time programs were free of cost, course fee was brought in for commitment coz where one invests money one invests time.

    My teacher is from IITM and IIML and I was wonder struck to see such an intellectual in such an environment with such wisdom and faith. He is not a hermit. He is working, have kids, plays guitar, sings, amazing sense of humor and has a deep unshakable calm & is dedicated to AOL. And such role models are a plenty in AOL to inspire youth like me to become and do more than go to college-pub or got to work 9-5 – sleep.

    The Art of Living really is a Beautiful experience!

  281. Ishweshwariah Says:

    Annonymous Guy,

    It is a good idea for organizations like AOL to introspect what went wrong in this NGO scam. Unfortunately these organizations are quite totalitarian and fascist in nature. There is nothing wrong the Guru can do so there is no need for any improvement as the Guru’s words come from some divine source and hence unquestionable. There is no learning from mistakes as such because there is no acknowledgement of mistakes. Intelligent and logical decision making process is absent. What the organization thrives on is sloganeering and concluive cliches.

    As a person who has involved in may important conservation and development projects in Rural India, I have worked with national and international NGOs and organizations. I have been in many commitees where there has been intense brainstorming and descion making. These kind of things are absent in Organizations like AOL. They browbeat and publicize a lot of things but there are no intelligent decisions or action plans. This is clearly evident in this particular meet as well as in another meet which I had attended in AOL. Their agenda is quite clearly the self aggrandizement of the individual guru and furtharance of the personality cult. The petty bougeouseise followers of these organizations blow up the work beyond all proportion.
    Now there is a latest and new Seminar / NGO scam that Sri Sri is conducting. This is about combating AIDS by gathering 200 hindu religious leaders and NGOs in his ashram. No prizes for guessing the execution and conduct of this seminar.

  282. Truthseeker Says:

    My dear Loka samsta sukhino bhawantu – It is so good that you are enjoying. May god continue this dream trip for long. May you not get exposed to and hten hurt by seeing, observing and knowing what all AOL does or does not. May you live in your illusions. Coz for you, your truth is only that.

  283. jaideep Says:

    Loka samasta…. because AOL misleads people as innocent,trusting and gullible as you, make cults such as AOL a complete scam. Dear Loka and all those reading these posts, who are members of cults, God is application of common sense. Bhamy and other whistle blowers need to be encouraged to make those misled by these Guru’s, to see sense.

  284. Pratik Says:

    I am not intelligent and expert to decide on something but it is common sense which is not so common.
    One can make fool to billions of people. I think there is something above all those comments which makes AOL so popular.
    Do think any Hoax can do this?

  285. Pravin Says:

    Hi,
    I have never seen n read faltu bakwas blog like this one before. I accidently visited this blog and wasted time. Feeling sorry for that. This churumuri blogger’s intention is only to earn some chirimiri n it seems that many intellectuals haven fallen to his pranks. Please donot waste your valuable time and stop writing on this blog.

    These people donot have intellect to understand the noble cause behind AOL.

  286. Truthseeker Says:

    My dear Pravin

    From your enlightining post, it seems that you are of superbly high intellect my friend. As a rank holder from IIT and then IIM and now a senior IAS officer, perhaps I need to learn something from you Pravin. My intellect is lower than yours but still it seems to have gone into areas where your enlightened self is not going. Why ? think Pravin. You are talking of intellect, then pls think.

  287. Truthseeker Says:

    by the way, where is rocky ? krishna ? ajay maloor? and so many others !! or was it one only changing identities !!

  288. KolikeRanga Says:

    >>>As a rank holder from IIT and then IIM and now a senior IAS officer

    I was refraining from commenting on this post but couldn’t hold off my temptation on seeing this line. Mr. Truthseeker, did it occur to you that your netiquette doesn’t match well with your “credentials”? Or perhaps we need more truthseekers to relentlessly seek the truth behind your “credentials”, bashing up anyone who dare come in the way.
    I know Mr. Truth “I am always right” Seeker will pounce on me with his blistering response and prove how wrong I am and how right he is and make me speechless just like what he did to other mortals here. Because for Mr.TruthSeeker, that’s the way of seeking truth.

    Mr Shenoy, you should probably be spending your effort and time elsewhere to get back your Rs. 5000. Perhaps you could use some inspiration from Dr. Anil Kumar/Ganapati Sachichidananda Swamji episode reported in Churumuri. Dr. Kumar was definitely not waiting for NRIs and children of NRIs to come and help him get his land back.

  289. Truthseeker Says:

    My dear Ranga, (and I wont make fun of your net id), your thoughts are well taken. Apologies if my response has been deemed to be not in line with the netiquettes.

  290. sakthisagaram Says:

    The seed of communism has spread across kerala like weed. No development is possible as long as communists and their puppies(DYFI and SFI) are there. A daily wage earner and govt office employees all want a dose of Stalin and Lenin at the end of the day(along with a bottle of toddy. prepared by comrades after mixing with yesterday’s kunji water). They get goosebumps when they talk about china(the paradise for them). These days top comrades are busy DISTURBING THE TRADITIONS OF THE TEMPLE, AND MAKING MONEY WITH FRAUD SANTHOSHMADHAVAN
    So but far away in Bengal, Buddha is laughing and crying hysterically what his comrades have been doin since last 30 years. Even after 30 years, there are hand-pulled rikshaws running in Kolkata.
    I am sure once the oil get dried up in gulf, we are also going to do the same. you can see the handpulled rikshaw everywhere. They will run from Kochi to Thiruvandapuram also.

  291. Dayalu Says:

    What is communism in Kerala go to do with the above topic? I am puzzled

  292. Raj Says:

    I guess the attitude of some on this site are typical that of the communists. The biggest threat we are facing is naxal fundamentalism…not even religious fundamentalism. There seems to be a few people (same people) posting with different names arguing for and against AOL…keeping this blog well and alive.

    I see some hurt egos to incorrect expectations to total ignorance to lies to anger. As one pointed out..some are aruging for the sake of aruging…some people need attention. Good luck.

  293. Rohit Kumar Pandey Says:

    Hi to all!
    Jai Guru Dev!
    Dear friends, I am a student, pursuing my M.B.A., and came across art of living ONE YEAR BACK. It has changed my life and guru ji is like God for me. You people may not know that how blessed we are that we took birth in the time, when he is visiting this planet. Most of you are simply ignorent( though I am just 23 yr. old and many of you might be older to me but still believe me, time will prove it.) One day you will come to know that what he is. and I am sure, he will forgive you for your ignorence.
    But please think before writing anything, because you are not typing it for anyone, he is the beloved of crores of people. We love him, I personaly love him most, even more than anything, anyone.. Don’t you think even for a while that why so many highly educated people love him?? Think for a while.. and please for god sake, think before anything which you say…
    It’s really pity
    May God Forgive you!

  294. Truthseeker Says:

    Dear Rohit Kumar Pandey- you are the true symbol of love and generosity who is great wisdom (perhaps only after Lord Krishna) is still blessing the opponents of his Guru. Wah .. wah waah May you remain in that self concocted belief till harsh reality confronts you and by then you will have little to defend for except your incredulous acts. Btw, from where are you pursuing your MBA ?

  295. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    To Rohit Kumar Pandey

    my congratulations to you for finding a perfect teacher.

    Since you are studying for MBA, you should consiser writing a thought provoking article on branding, marketing (ethical and non ethical) and promotion stratgey for a non profit NGO using your own example as a case study. It would be of great help to many.

    Your “guru” is an embodiment of marketing genuis. Since you have that rare insight into his unbounded energy, please enlighten us with that wisdom.

    When I attended the ashram, I could only see the profit making activities using his great power of marketing. That is why I fely I was cheated.

  296. Poli Hudga Says:

    @Bhamy

    We call this as “Ethical Dilemma” in MBA terminology (Today Ethics is something we learn in university, seldom used in real life). Nothing is wrong or right unless its forced upon you or forced by yourself. Sometimes this mindset will foster Sri Sri Sri’s & scam scam scams…, life is such … what to do ?

  297. Gaby Says:

    People with Addiction related problems say the same thing as Pandey –
    ‘We love IT more than anything else in the world’. My heart goes out to both varieties of individuals!

  298. Truthseeker Says:

    The latest spin is that Sri Sri has brought Gujjar agitators to the discussion table !!!!!

  299. Raj Says:

    “When I attended the ashram, I could only see the profit making activities using his great power of marketing. That is why I fely I was cheated.”

    Just that you wanted a palace for 5000 rs. Obviously you are disappointed. Bhamy as I said earlier you just want attention.

    Truth Seeker – IIT, MBA, …oh what else??? You are playing for spin when you have to play for straighter ones. Obviously too much spin in your mind. Get it straight.

  300. jaideep Says:

    And now, because of the Gujjars, he’s get himself nominated for the Nobel Peace-HA!!

  301. jaideep Says:

    check out the latest on http://guruphiliac.blogspot.com/ all you aol followers, and see the truth for what it really is

  302. Truthseeker Says:

    raj- you are totally incoherent

  303. Amit pandit Says:

    Are koi ‘ BHAMY V. SHENOY’ ka Rs 5000/- wapas kar do bhai….I observed the whole discussion was revolving around Rs 5000/- :-)….Take my suggestion, Think as if you have donated or lost your money some where, belief me you will be happy after wards….

    “Be blessed by the ‘Divine Bliss'”

  304. Raj Says:

    jaideep – why not you create your own blog and point a link to it …?

    TS – of course your confused mind cannot get it.

  305. Truthseeker Says:

    My dear friend Raj- I agree that I am not of a superior category as I am not a member of the present aol team, but I am sure you are. The way you are behaving on this blog, by calling people names, is this the way Guruji has taught you ? Do you think you are making him happy by doing all this ? What are you trying to achieve by calling people all kinds of dirty names Raj ? Think. You are only hurting your own self. This is also mentioned in Yogavashishta, chapter 8 & 9. Remember ? Remember Bhagfwad gita ? remember Narad sutra ? remember shiv sutra ? Go back to your soul my friend, become hollow and empty and then you will get your own answer. You dont have to come here and announce to the world what you found, but just be with it. just be. that is important. I know you do not like me. You and your friends have also made fun of my qualifications, my blog id and so many other things. When you do So-ham next, thing about this. Does your soul become happier by hurting another part of hte divine soul ? think.

  306. anand srivastava Says:

    Guru ji is like guru ghantaal. A scammester he teaches how to scam and never get caught. what he preaches is already borrowed or copied from someone else and at the same time he got them patented also !!!. This requires great genius. Some thing to be learnt from him.
    He is more like BARISTA and Cafe Coffe Day where people accumalate get some cofee in nie environment at an exhibourent and high cost than a neighbouring coffee shop.If a fool wants to spend his money lavishly than why other should stop him ?

  307. Raj Says:

    Mr. TS.

    I am glad you have a great knowledge of all the great books and I hope you are using all the knowledge you have gained in your day-to-day life.
    Seriously, I do not have any of that knowledge. But, please do not ‘SPIN’ saying that I somehow called someone with a ‘dirty’ name. (btw, I am not incoherent or here to call someone with a dirty name – no name calling please. If someone did so, please go after them).

  308. Friend of all Says:

    It seems to be that some of this new yuppie guru community (befittingly parrodied in ‘Love Guru’) are something like rent-a-guru !! I know what some of the die-hard Guru fans will say (not only in India but here in NY as well) but the fact remains that Myers has parodied Sri Sri Ravi Shankar totally and completely in ‘love guru’ !! Dont believe me? No probs mate, just checkout this link

    http://www.lovegurumovie.com/

    http://www.thegurupitka.com/

    US has seen a deluge of them. But this one goes all the way upto the White House !!

    From what my friends in India & UK tell me, these hogwashers schmooze with the wealthiest, have ‘fun’, have the sexiest women around kissing and feeling them up, get RICH, make a fool of people at large, get their cronies into politics and rule in absentia. My brother has a huge farmhouse in Los Angeles and some of the people mentioned in this blog have also been there !!! And I have been also ‘blessed’ by them ! How many of you know his rich ‘tastes’ ? Just check out his mobile phone and shades next time kidos

    Though not many of the people have cared to respond, but ‘Search in Secret India’ by Paul Brunton is indeed a window to the real spirituality. It is sad to observe but Sri Sri bashing is all what you all are interested in. Search for the real source, and that has been clearly guided in ‘Search in Secret India’

    TruthSeeker- it would be good if you concentrate your energies there. You would do a lot of good to yourself, your soul and some of your friends here, who dont really seem to like you !! You will find real solace, calm and the true Guru. Dont be seen here longer mate. you are wasting your time.

  309. Friend of all Says:

    And pls dont start a hate campaign against Mike Myers guys….. He is doing only what your Sri Sri asked for. It is a befitting (but yes, a humiliating) reply to him

  310. AL Says:

    Good and bad are complimentary not opposite…….and many more…i see AOL as a great place who simplified “Yoga”, “Veda”, “Upanishad” for a professional like you all nothing more than that. I say its 100% truth…… It’s a place for rich people……I have not seen any poor guys in AOL Ashram yet. Every coin has two sides my dear friends but I am very happy to see you all with great clarity of thought…. “YE KEVAL DRISHTI AUR DRISHTIKON KA FARK HAI BHAIYON”….I see all of you know lot of things about ancient books and tradition…….The best thing i see here “data mining and pattern mining” skills of you all…superb….. true example of quite old for India but new for the rest of world “non linear algorithm” and “Stochastic theory”, now a day’s getting applicable in every field. You all are true strength of INDIA to make is again as knowledge super power…
    Let me come back to common topic of (LOVE/HATE) discussion. sri sri is keeping all of you at same platform. It’s up to you guys how many sri you want to add or remove….simply superb discussion…..you all are doing it perfectly…. All such guru says our religion is oldest none of them says there is no name of our religion…….why not these modern ashram able to find out good leader….…we all are follower……even our leaders and follower of these gurus……our country is famous for being follower now, being part of the hub of outsource industry. Being sri sri based at Bangalore for him it’s time to in cash opportunity cost, there is nothing wrong in it….at least he keeps you refrain from alcohol & bad habbits…..people do “pranayama” regularly whatever “kriya” he has named it….nothing is wrong in it… I see it’s constructive…you pay him to bring back your good habit…whatever you have lost till now. If you see he provoked you doing something bad then its sin. You have money you pay and bring back good habits. In AOL ashram you get good ambiance and free food as many as you can whenever you go there. You don’t have to pay next time. So you all know if you want to have free food in weekend go there and enjoy. You don’t have to pay second time it’s just one time investment. At least many of us know meaning of SO-HUM now. In “Guru” Movie there is dialogue “Jab log jalne lagen to samajh lo ki tarakki kar rahe ho”. So please keep stop discussing on this topic here otherwise SSRS we keep going on progressing. If you want to stop him please ignore him! Else he will be part of discussion and will keep gaining more and more popularity. May be some internet blog company will make him his brand ambassador. Though he is already brand ambassador of our top national newspaper. You have to stop him from making money in future…if you guys will stop here. This ignorance will be a potential threat for him. Love/hate discussion always stimulates our hormones. Hope all of you must have experienced it personally :-)

  311. Truthseeker Says:

    Quite interestingly put Al.

    wow !

  312. Dayalu Says:

    I got dizzy reading Al. ..Sir abhi bhi chakra raha hai

  313. AL Says:

    Thand rakho bhaiyon……have lassi and chill madi. Gyaan kee ganga me kudne se pehle koi life jaket nahi pehnta………usme dubna hee uski fitrat hai. This is called PARAMANAND.
    No one is permanent hear….do any one of you remember “Pulkesin” or “Samudra Gupta” or “Kanad” they were one of the greatest ruler , strategist and scientist respectively…..no one remember them even though they conquered the world……..remember one thing mob cannot be intelligent…..they follow trend……we all are part of that …..else we would ware DHOTI in our offices in place of trousers…….
    when I was kid there was big fame of “Shriram Shrma Acharya” founder of gayantri samaj and many other things….many ppl use to claim him as similar to SSRS get claimed by his followers…….but he has gone after some time…every one try to be great here……they all are simple human being with greater leadership quality but why we forget that he is also a human with all human nature within him……….all of us are result of SEX only, so why you think he came out from some other process, so he will be different from us….let him be a simple human…..Embrace your/his good qualities and forgiv bad one…….in VEDANTA there is term called NEERA KSHEER VIVECHANA ….if you don’t know meaning let me know…….remember nothing is linear in this world.

    Enjoy this beautiful song by movie “kabhi kabhi”….which says no one is permanent here

    Kal nayi konpale footengi,’
    Kal naye phool muskurayenga,
    Aur naye ghass ki nayi farsh par,
    Naye paaon ithlaayenge,

    Woh mere beech nahi aaye,
    Mein unke beechme kyun aaoon,
    Unki soobha aur shamona ka,
    Mein ek bhi lamha kyon paaoon

    Main pal do pal ka shaayar hoon
    Pal do pal meri kahaani hai
    Pal do pal meri hasti hai
    Pal do pal meri jawaani hai

    Mujhse pehle kitne shaayar
    Aaye aur aakar chale gaye
    Kuchh aahein bharkar laut gaye
    Kuchh naghme gaakar chale gaye
    Woh bhi ek pal ka kissa thhey
    Main bhi ek pal ka kissa hoon
    Kal tumse juda ho jaaoonga
    Woh aaj tumhaara hissa hoon
    Main pal do pal ka..

    Kal aur aayenge nagmon ki
    Khilti kaliya chunne waale
    Mujhse behtar kehne waale
    Tumse behtar sunne waale
    Kal koi mujhko yaad kare
    Kyoon koi mujhko yaad kare
    Mashroof zamaana mere liye
    Kyoon waqt apna barbaad kare
    Main pal do pal ka..

    Let me know if you want to know meaning of any word in this song.
    Cheers!
    AL

  314. Varsha Joshi Says:

    Crap ! I say ! Fools i say !! But i dun really want to blabber infront of fools ! AOl is always a turning point in my life ! I owe a lot to AOL and to the courses i have attended.

  315. AL Says:

    Varsha Joshi, Everyone is different in this world….ppl are writing there own thoughts here…Your thoughts can be positive about AOL but you cannot stop ppl …..”Darkness” make “light” more important else there will be no importance of light in our life…..reminding you basic rules again…Good and bad are complimentary not opposite……Don’t be football of other’s opinion….I am highly oblised with the people here who has shown me so many new dimentions of SSRS…..

    What is truth…?
    Truth is that which does not change. Examine your life and identify all that changes as not truth. With this outlook, you will find that you are surrounded by only untruth. When you identify that which appears to you as untruth, then you will become free from it. When you don’t identify the untruth, you cannot become free from it. Your own experiences in life make you identify your own untruth. As you mature in life, you find everything is untruth – events, situations, people, emotions, thoughts,
    opinions, concepts, your body – everything is untruth. It is only then the satsang (company of truth) in the real sense happens. For example, a mother cannot see the child as untruth until the child becomes an adult. For a baby sweet is not untruth, and for a teenager sex is not untruth

  316. karihaida Says:

    prajegale swalpa tamtamma yAksabladegalanna kammi madtira

  317. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Yaake karihaida, avaru churumuri ‘space’-alli blade hakkudhre haakli, nimigenu?

  318. Art of Living Community Says:

    Diff. people have diff. views, diff. opinions, diff. thoughts at diff. interval of times. You may find his organization a crap but for others, many others, the AOL course has helped them to get rid of many physical problems.

    Why you concern about others? Concern about yourself, first. Have you done basic and advance course of AOL? I suggest you do that, leave your though for a while and go for the course. You’ll see the difference in yourself. Whether he add bucks to his pocket or not when you pay for the course is not a matter of concern, if you have been benefited with the course than who ever own/run the organization, you are the KING. And if this happens then you’ll have diff. opinion at this stage.

  319. Friend of all Says:

    I have done all courses at AOL (in all exotic ashrams that it runs) and I have a BIG problem with this money making engine, which attracts people with a humane, gentle, goodie goodie face but has someting else running behind.
    If you are blind, I cannot help it.

  320. anand Says:

    Lot’s of SriSri bashing going on here. It’s expected when there is hugh success. I’ve spend money on quite a few art of living courses and let me tell you, it’s worth every penny. Increased productivity at work, superb health condition, great relationship situations with family and friends, and most importantly peace of mind. As a result, I’m contributing my time in gratitude.

    I think some of you in this discussion have to get a life and be happy, too much bitterness.

  321. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    We seem to be going around the bush. I for one have a lot of admiration for the marketing genius of Ravi Shankar. In fact I wrote in the beginning it is business schools which should study AOL model and have case studies on his success.

    Any one who can convince to take courses in thousands whether putting old wine in new bottles or new wine in old bottles is worthy of admiration.

    My reason for complaints is based as a consumer activist. I was sold a product/service which did not meet the promised standards. I felt India’s NGO movement was taken for a ride and I just wanted to set the record straight by taking AOL to consumer court. I wanted to hear their side of the story in the court of law. Before that I gave them an opportunity. But AOL did not even respond to my email. However they did find time to respond to my artilce which was published in Houston ethnic papers, but not in Indian papers. Some bloggers may be able to figure out the reasons for such step motherly treatment.

  322. Ishweshwariah Says:

    UG Krishnamurthi used to tell this about the holy business – Holy Business is the only Business where you can promise something and don’t deliver. You can always get away by claiming that your efforts are not sufficient or some past life karma or lack of sufficient devotion. There are many out their selling their pieces of goods in the spiritual market. Also people are guided by hope and fear when they approach these gurus. The hope for gaining something they don’t have and fear of losing what they have. There are many number of Gurus to cater to the Gulliable populace. One thing common across all these gurus is that they all need your MONEY.

  323. Ishweshwariah Says:

    @ Art of Living Community

    A little bit of self knowledge for you

    “Why you concern about others? Concern about yourself, first. ”

    Why don’t you apply this to yourself here. It is quite hilarious that you are not practicing what you preach.

  324. raj Says:

    Bhamy:

    What is wrong with marketing? A good product ought to be marketed well. Otherwise someone with a sub-standard product with a better marketing campaign is going to do better. I also see nothing wrong with charging 5000rs for a 3-day event. No one is going to charge you exactly Rs2062. Your argument that their expense is probably only 3 lakhs has no ground. AOL has enough reach to raise in 27-lakhs in two minutes. They do not have to conduct a 3-day conference to do that.

    Your expectations are mis-placed. I have never been to any of these Ashrams, but your expectations that you must be provided with a towel, paste, soap, royal treatment in a ashram set up shows that you are naive. And top of it calling AOL with a headline like ‘NGO Scam’ is a cheap shot. That just tells me that you are seeking attention more than anything.

  325. AL Says:

    Bhamy:
    You must have some agenda in your mind before going to AOL ashram specific to your NGO or something else. Do your agenda is to just criticize AOL/SSRS, Value for money or royal treatment…..I don’t see any where that what is your actual agenda in entire BLOG…..were you completely shocked to see how people are so happy and keep smiling in AOL……….Why not file a FIR against all, if you are so disturbed at least Fraud/mental harassment kind of case will be quite strong along with that you can get your RS 5000 back with interest of couple of months!! :) Why not you also make money so your NGO have popularity as well as some positive cash flow!

    As evidence you can show this blog…Any way India is a democratic country. Some of the MLA/MP can come to support you as same as Ms Karat has done for Swami Ramdev another yoga guru though his services are there for all class of ppl (rich & poor)

  326. Ananth Shenoy Says:

    AL aka spokesperson of AOL: It’s not just Rs.5000. We need whistle blowers to alert us before falling into traps (Sugar coated slow poisons). How is AOL different from Reddy’s Country Club? When the Ashram is organizing a seminar for NGOs (Mind you.. these NGOs are not dejected in life and keen to embrace Vaanaprastha), it needs to be organized as per expectations. THey can’t have ‘Speakers’ who dont speak! As I understand, the purpose of the post is not Ashram bashing, it stands for pure Consumer Rights.

  327. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    Raj and Al,

    you have raised some different issues and I will respond to them.

    I do not see any problem in self promotion and any good product needs good and honest ad. But it is the deceptive part of the ad which I found offensive. What was advertised was “international standards”. Will any one think that “international standards” mean ashram type living where one has to share room with three and no basic amenities like soap, drinking water, towels are not provided? Where one is expected to wash dishes? I am perfectly happy to enjoy ashram type of living if that was mentioned early. in fact I do not like five star and prefer simple living. But once promised, they cannot go back especially when they expect NGOs to pay Rs 5000 which is still a princely amount for most NGOs.

    I did have an agenda which was to help AOL. I wanted to promote AOL as an NGO though a magazine Catalyst which is dsitributed to NRIs and RIs to promote NGO movement. I was the chief editor of that magazine. My friend had met earlier Ravi Shankar in this conenction. Thus I did not go there with any hidden agenda of “bashing” AOL. I was sincerely interested to meet NGOs, collect information for many articles and bring out a special on AOL summit at our cost. This was to help AOL.

    But when I came to the ashram, met some of the like minded participants and saw what was going on I was shocked. When I heard the comments made by the Ravi Shankar during the satsnag on the eve of the summit, it was an eye opener and realized how shallow he was and how he was completely out of touch with the reality.

    I do not need any publicity. What I will do with all this publicity? I am not standing for election now. I am getting more than required recognition from my articles published in other places. This is the easiet criticism thrown against NGO activists that they are after cheap publicity.

    As Ananth Shenoy stated this is just a consumer rights case and as a consumer activist I am compelled to bring to the attention of the public. in fact as a result of principled stand I took, I have stepped down from Catalyst when my article on AOl was not accepted by the editorial board. I was one of the founders and still I stepped down and paid a small price for my principled stand.

  328. Dayalu Says:

    Bhamy, can you provide an update whether you filed a court case of any sort against AOL and if yes, what is the status?

  329. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    I had already reported on my filing case in Mysore consumer court which was not admitted. I still do not have details on why it was rejected. I have been travelling and I do not have details yet.

  330. Utrue Says:

    dear Bhamy
    I love you,
    its natural in kaliyug that truth has to suppressed.Any thing false will flourish .
    It becomes very difficult to prove a pirated Godman as a fraud among fools.

  331. UFalse Says:

    Kaliyug is a period when certain people will try to destroy good things. Earlier it was invaders who try to destroy India and Indian culture. Now the invaders and present within India itself in the form of communists and other negative-minded people.

    Bhamy Saab – Your case did not stand in the court. There ends the matter. AOL has nothing to gain by cheating people like you. Move on sir!!!

  332. Utrue Says:

    This is also indian culture:
    In Mahabharat Vidur said,” O Dhirtraashtra , there are many people who would say sweet things to please and flatter others, but rare is the man who would say or hear a truth which is unpleasant to his ears but really coducive to his good.”
    An opened mind is one that has courage to impartially examine before coming to the conclusion of what is truth and what is false. And obviously quite the opposite is a closed(negative) mind.
    Well a better conclusion cannot be expected from one who is not familiar with what the truth is . The ignorant call it hate for it hurts,but the learned looked at it as a duty.
    Now figure out who is sacrificing truth(indian culture) for loyalty .

  333. UFalse Says:

    Unfortunately, Kaliyug is full of people who criticize saints with little or no proof to back them up. No saint has escaped criticism. Even Krishna faced opposition and criticism. At the end of the day, these criticizers come and go but saints live on. In Kaliyug these people even quote Geeta to back their false claims. The very same people have a closed mind and think that others mind are closed. Unfortunately and historically these negative people don’t go too far

  334. Utrue Says:

    It is pity that man has relegated their intellects to such perverted state in this age , that they don’t even know what is truly of benefit to their souls anymore. It is those void of rational thinking write for the sake of writing.
    Resoning and critical thinking is the path to enlightment and one void of it can only rely on grace which is false hope .

  335. guardian Says:

    Jai Gurudev!

    We are happy to announce that in July’08, Sri Sumeru Realty Pvt Ltd (SSRPL) is launching multiple properties for ownership in Bangalore Ashram surroundings… taking us one step closer to making our collective dream of Sattvic Communities near the Ashram a reality!

    All available information is summarized at the link: SSRPL Ownership Project

    We are releasing pre-launch information only to those who have registered with us in advance, so those of you interested can reserve your place before the public launch. You are requested to use this information for your personal use and not post or forward to mailing lists, esatsang etc. In July, we will ourselves broadcast the same, complete with all architectural plans and details. The pre-launch offer ends on Guru Poornima (July 18, 2008) and we open to the public thereafter. Quick action from you will ensure your place is reserved for you.

    We are expanding our team to respond to you faster. At the same time, request you to send all your queries and feedback, as far as possible only on email, to info@sumerurealty.com. You can also call or meet with prior appointment, with Sneha or Ruchika, during office hours at +91-80-28432328 or +91-80-32415989 or our Soudhamini-Tripura Office adjacent to the Ashram.

    If there are other people who you want this information to go out to, please send us their name, email and mobile number and we will send the same based on availability of the properties.

    Sending you enchanting weather and lots of masti from Bangalore Ashram!

    Warm regards,
    Digvijay Choudhari
    CEO – SSRPL

  336. guardian Says:

    Friends, This is the link of the real estate venture announced by and for art of living devotees . Check out http://docs.google.com/View?docid=dc69vz9h_33nszbx5db

  337. Raj Says:

    People like my friend Utrue are only being Critical and but there is no thinking. Poor thing is that people like Utrue make irrational statements by calling others as irrational Utrue also sounds like he or she knows THE PATH and the ONLY PATH (again unlike you, I am not saying your path is wrong or right). Let people choose their own path and find their enlightenment. Stop lecturing others on what path he/she should follow.

  338. Raj Says:

    Appreciate your response. Let us say what you said is 100% true. Even in an Ashram type set up “International Standards” need not mean that soap, towel etc should be provided. Yes, may be they should put it in the disclaimer that the attendees should expect Ashram type set up and not Hotel type set up. I am sure they would do it next time to avoid any controversies. LOL

    But taking this issue to the level calling it a scam for just money making and all that holds no water. Like I said earlier, AOL need not conduct a 3-day conference for making 27 lakhs. They can do it in 2 minutes. You cannot call someone shallow after seeing him/her for a couple of hours. You have gone a bit too far with your judgment.

    It is okay to disagree and it is okay for you to take up this issue..you have every right to do that…but in that process by choosing a sensational headline (which to me says that you are seeking attention. This is what a typical media would do) you have taken up this issue too far and given room to some unwanted people to come and bash others here. As I go through some of the posts, it is clear to me that some people just have hate, you have provided them with a platform to come and express their hate in different ways here.

  339. raj Says:

    Thanks Guardian…will certainly do.

  340. Utrue Says:

    It is good thing that you are still laughing my freind,
    if evey one has their own path to enlightment then there is no need of your guru .Or are you saying that there was no enlightment before your guru?

  341. AL Says:

    Hey Folks,

    Why to think so much about AOL and SSRS. Ppl ought here dieing for ROI.
    Our mind itself is victim of this good or bad…….i remember one exp of my life….In chieldhood when i was watching a movie (Love song in movee Silsila…”Ye kahan aa gaye hum”) my elders says its wrong its bad…”GANDI BAAT HAI CHALO TV BAND KARO”……and when i grown up same person was pushing me for marriage or asking me about my girl friend etc etc…..if i conclude i dont know what is bad…it has created quite conflicting impression in my mind about him. I was judgemental…then i thought ….what kind of person he is….so i realise i will stop judging ppl. But by the actions and behaviors of people, you either approve or disapprove. We should always remember that everything is changing, and do not hold onto the judgement. Otherwise your judgement gets solidified like a rock. It brings misery for you and for others.

    If judgements are lighter like air, like a breeze, they bring in fragrance,
    then move away. They could bring a foul smell, then move away. They should not stay there forever.

    Judgements are so subtle that you are not even aware of their existence.
    Judging or labeling someone as judgemental is also a judgement. Only in the state of Being when you are full of love and compassion can you ever be free from all judgements.

    Yet the world cannot move without judgements. Until you judge something as good or bad, you cannot do any actions. If you see rotten apples in the
    market, you say, “No good.” Good ones you buy. If someone lies to you ten times, you think next time it also could be a lie. A judgement happens
    automatically.

    See the possibility that people and things can change at any time and don’t
    hold onto the judgements.

    You need to judge your company. Your company can pull you up or pull you down. The company that drags you towards doubt, dejection, blame,
    complaints, anger, delusion, and desires is bad company. The company that pulls you up towards joy, enthusiasm, service, love, trust, and Knowledge is good company.

    So better decide your own…..In the words of economics/game theory……try to avoide case of prisoners dilemma…..in each case u will have lower pay off…….some one else have higher payoff by knowing information…….until you dont reach Dr. Auman’s state of War & Peace……Better to play win win game rather playing zero sum game like being judgemental on AOL.

  342. UFalse Says:

    Some people are proving that they are rationally irrational.

  343. AL Says:

    I remembere a sloka my grandpa use to tell me…and i see the reason to share why ppl folow religions teachers

    tarko’pratisthah srutayo vibhinna nasau rsir yasya matam na bhinnam
    dharmasya tattvam nihitam guhayam mahajano yena gatah sa panthah

    ‘Argument alone has no solid foundation. The scriptures contradict each other. No one is considered a sage without having expressed an individual opinion. The truths about religious duty are concealed in the heart. Thus, the only true path is the one that has been followed by great authorities.’ (Mahabharata Chapter “Van Parv” Section- “Ysksh-Yudhishthir Vartaa”)

  344. Friend of all Says:

    Al- you seem to be one of the saner voices here. Happy to read your posts

  345. FG Says:

    When Marxist leader Brinda Karat attacks Swami Ramdev, she is not attacking Ramdev in particular, she is attacking Hinduism in general.

    This guru or that guru makes no difference to her; she is against all gurus.

    Other gurus might think they are safe, that Ramdev committed some sin for which he is paying. But one of them will be the next in the line of fire!

    Swami Ramdev: Yoga does it

    Hindu gurus are all vulnerable in today’s India: The Kanchi Shankaracharya has already been hit. So has Satya Sai Baba. Amritanandamayi has to live under the constant shadow of a hostile Kerala [Images] Communist-dominated government. Dhirendra Brahmachari is dead and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is periodically targeted as the ‘Guru of the rich’, the ‘Glib Godman’ etc.

    May I be forgiven my arrogance, but what Indian gurus have to understand is that for Indian Communists, Hinduism is the Number 1 enemy. Mao called religion ‘the opium of the people’. But for Indian Communists, what stands between their ambition for absolute power in India (and eventually the triumphant return of Communism in the world — as Indian Communists believe) is the hold Hinduism has in the hearts of the rural people of India, who constitute 80 per cent of this country.

    Yet, the humble farmer from Uttar Pradesh to Tamil Nadu has a natural understanding of the universality of God, who takes many names throughout the ages who could be Buddha, Jesus Christ, Ram or Mohammad. This humble farmer possesses the knowledge that there is a something deeper than the skin and the mind, and a life beyond death. This knowledge is inbred, it is not in his head, not even in his heart, but in his or her genes from generation to generation.

    Ramdev vs Karat — who’s right?

    Of course, the English-speaking media is too happy to oblige Brinda Karat and come down hard on gurus with all kind of accusations.

    Before Ramdev, they came down on the Kanchi Shankaracharya, before him on Osho, before him on Dhirendra Brahmachari. You can even go back to Sri Aurobindo, who was accused in the early 1900s by the moderate Congress-controlled press to be a ‘fanatic’, when he was only demanding total independence from the British long before Gandhi took it up.

    Accusations against Hinduism of superstition, brainwashing, ritualistic ignorance, date back from British missionaries and have been taken up today by the Communists. Yet, Hinduism — at least the Hinduism which goes beyond the rituals and becomes universal spirituality — has nothing to do with superstition and conmanship: it is all about science, knowledge and light.

    Look at Pranayama, a science that has known for thousands of years how to harness breath and use it for controlling the mind, for a better, more healthy, more spiritualised life. If you read Osho’s books today, you find a lot of solid common sense, wisdom, even light.

    Satya [Images] Sai Baba cannot have millions of disciples from the most humble to the Presidents of India without ‘something’ which is beyond superstition. So goes for Amritanandamayi, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Ramdev, or Guruma of Ganeshpuri.

    And why should Brinda Karat target Ayurveda, the most ancient medical system in India still in practice, the first medicine to realise 3,000 years ago that plants and minerals offer the best cure, that many illnesses have a psychosomatic origin, the first to practice plastic surgery on patients?

    In India today, every third shop is an allopathic medical shop, whose profits go to Western multinationals (hello Mrs Karat!) at a time when Ayurvedic medicine is becoming increasingly popular in Western countries, after being disillusioned by antibiotics and other heavy-handed medicines.

    We are witnessing an interesting phenomenon in India today. Some Communists, some Christians, some Muslims and some Congress leaders — all of whom have nothing in common and often hate each other are united against Hinduism and Hindu leaders.

    In contrast, look at the Hindus: Swami Ramdev himself criticised Sri Sri Ravi Shankar live on television, advising his followers not to practice Art of Living breathing techniques. During the tsunami relief operations in Nagapattinam, disciples of Amritanandamayi and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar nearly came to blows over who would give relief to whom, instead of networking and uniting their efforts.

    And who came to the rescue of Osho when he was maligned to death, or Dhirendra Brahmachari when the entire press came down on him, or Satya Sai Baba, when he was slandered, or the Shankaracharya when he was thrown into jail, or Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, when Javed Akhtar accused him of coming ‘from a cave to live in a palace’ (and not from a palace to a cave like the Buddha)? None of the previously mentioned. Yet, Indian politicians can commit any crime, have any number of court cases against them, and they still end up as Union ministers and get positive press coverage.

    The greatest curse of Hinduism throughout the ages has been its disunity — and more than that — its betraying each other. The British did not conquer India, it was given to them by its warring Hindu princes, jealous of each other. The same is true of Islam: the last great Hindu empire, that of Vijaynagar, was betrayed to the Muslims by the Lingayats.

    I know there is something mysterious and unfathomable in the manifestation of the Divine upon earth, and that each guru has a defined task to fulfill and that the combined task of all the gurus may solve the great puzzle that is this ignorant and suffering earth.

    Thus, it may not be necessary for each guru to communicate with each other. But nevertheless, it is of the greatest urgency today that Hindu leaders unite to save Hinduism, rather than ‘each one for his own’ that we see today.

    The Catholics have their Pope and his word is binding on all Catholics. Muslims have Prophet Mohammed’s words and that binds all of Islam together. Indian Communists have the words of Marx and Lenin, even if it has become irrelevant in Russia [Images], Germany [Images], and also in China. But the poor Hindus have nobody to refer to, so as to defend themselves.

    Yet, if you take the combined people power of Satya Sai Baba, Amritaanandamayi, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Swami Ramdev, Guruma of Ganeshpuri, the Shankaracharya of Kanchipuram, and so many others I cannot mention here, it runs in hundreds of millions.

    Again, in all humility and conscious of the limitation of mind compared to some of these great gurus whom I have met, I propose that a Supreme Spiritual Council, composed of at least seven of the most popular Hindu leaders of India, be constituted, maybe under the leadership of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the most travelled of all these, the one who has disciples and teachers of all religions, both from India and the West.

    It should be a non-political body, and each group would keep its independence but nevertheless. It could meet two three times a year and issue edicts, which would be binding on 850 millions Hindus in India and one billion over the world.

    Then and then only can this wonderful spirituality which is Hinduism, this eternal knowledge behind the outer forms, the wisdom to understand this mad earth and its sufferings, be preserved for the future of India, and for the future of humanity.

    I bow down to each of these gurus mentioned above and to all those not mentioned, to Swami Vivekananda, the initiator of modern Hinduism, to Sri Aurobindo, the great avatar of the supramental, and to all the great gurus who have graced over the ages, this wonderful and sacred land which is India and beseech them to hear my prayer:
    Hindus leaders, unite, if you want eternal Dharma to survive.

  346. Truthseeker Says:

    u r a sick mind FG. Go and do some pranayam in public loo and drown yourself in pig’s pee

  347. UFalse Says:

    Truthseeker uses his rational non-sick mind to counter FG’s points with some invaluable insight that he gained from his years at IIT, IIM, IAS, ISI, SIA or whatever. Lovely message TS.

  348. ADVENT Says:

    Lovely message FG,

    I guess, what you say will happen if there is a divine will for it to happen that way. Of couse, These things, I guess, can work only as per a devine plan.

  349. Truthseeker Says:

    UFalse- Apologies for my conduct but FG’s post was communal and representative of the lowest creations, hence the outburst, which should not have happened.

    thanks for pointing out

    Apologies again

  350. jaid Says:

    SSRS is a thumping success in Pakistan.

  351. Dayalu Says:

    TS, your post was hilarious – “praanayam in a public loo” Ha Ha. Is this your own or borrowed? Anyway I don’t agree with you that FG’s post is communal in anyway. It may be a weird idea that you might not agree with and I can categorically state that none of the current guru’s or Godmen or women are going to unite. They are too busy competing with one another and trying to undermine one another, sometime like politicians. Then how can they ever think of collaborating. But it is certainly an idea for them to reflect upon- I don’t think there is any communal intention behind FG’s idea.

  352. Truthseeker Says:

    Even though you may want to discount the ‘intention’ factor, the result was dirty communal.

    We can agree to disagree

  353. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    What a pity that FG missed the whole argument of reviving hinduism. Great thinekrs like Swami vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo, or Raman Maharshi, or Ramakhrishna, Mahatma Gandhi did not preach Hinduism unllike the heroes of FG. They practised Hinduism. They did not monetize their power over their admirers and followers.

    Look at what Ravi Shankar is doing. he is collecting millions by holding sudarshan Kriya. Does any one know what happens to those millions? Is any one accountable for all those millions? Yes there are examples of some schools run by AOL. yes there are some examples of poor being helped. But has any one seen the audited statements?

    In fact most of the so called Hindu leaders of FG if any thing has run down the real philosophy of hinduism like pope, imams etc. And FG gives the wrong example of other religions as model for hindus to follow.

    FH has forgotten or decided to ignore the reason this topic was started. It was to debate the alleged scam of AOL and what can be done.

  354. Truthseeker Says:

    Bang on Bhamy brother. Point made quite well

  355. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    Many were inquiring what happened to the case I had filed against AOL in Mysore Consumer Court. I was able to get the order and it is here. Even a cursory look show how the consumer court has erred in their observation in not admitting the case. On one hand they state that I have paid Rs 5000 for registration and accomodation. Then they observe that I have not paid for any “lecture”. The commission members do not seem to have any concept of seminars. This is fit case for appeal.

    Please read and enjoy the way our learned courts function. What a shame!

    DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM MYSORE

    No.845, 10th Main, New Kantharaj Urs Road, G.C.S.T. Layout, Kuvempunagar, Mysore – 570 009

    consumer case(CC) No. CC/08/76

    Dr.Bhamy V.Shenoy ………..Appellant(s)

    Vs.

    Art of Living

    Art of Living International Center ………..Respondent(s)

    BEFORE:
    1. Smt.Y.V.Uma Shenoi
    2. Sri D.Krishnappa

    Complainant(s)/Appellant(s):
    1. Dr.Bhamy V.Shenoy

    OppositeParty/Respondent(s):
    1. Art of Living
    2. Art of Living International Center

    OppositeParty/Respondent(s):

    OppositeParty/Respondent(s):

    ORDER

    This is a complaint presented by representative of the complainant against Opposite party alleging deficiency in the service of Opposite party with their further grievance that the Opposite party had arranged a seminar at their premises by inviting few scholars to speak on a subject and issued publications inviting the public to attend the seminar as delegate by paying fee of Rs.5,000/-. It is further contended that the complainant after paying Rs.5,000/- attended the seminar found that the speakers whose name had been published in the advertisement except one the others did not attend and therefore there was sort fall in the quality of lecture. It is also contended that the accommodation and food provided by the Opposite party in the course of the seminar was not of good standard and therefore the Opposite party caused deficiency in its service in providing such service and therefore has prayed for refund of Rs.5,000/- with interest at 12% and to award exemplary damages of Rs.1,00,000/- with cost. Heard the representative of the complainant regarding maintainability of the complaint having regard to the definition of consumer and the service. The literature produced by the complainant shows that the Opposite party had received Rs.5,000/- per person which is inclusive of registration fee and accommodation for up to 4 nights (31st and 1st January, and 2nd February at summit venue. Admittedly the Opposite party is an institution involved in preaching cultural activities and arranging seminars to create awareness among the people. The materials pleased before us do not indicate the Opposite party having had received any consideration for arranging lecture, but received delegations fee for providing accommodation and food to the delegates who attended the seminar. Here also the Complainant has not made out that the Opposite party had assured a particular standard of accommodation, food and service so as to complain that such facilities offered by the Opposite party were of a particular standard and that was not kept up so as to call on deficient. Therefore for these reasons we find no relationship of the consumer and service provider between the complainant and the Opposite party and hold that the Complaint under law is not sustainable and therefore dismissed at that stage.

    Smt.Y.V.Uma Shenoi

    ………………….
    Sri D.Krishnappa

    03/04/2008

  356. ADVENT Says:

    Hey Bhami …..a lot of missing links in your argument in the previous post

    1. First of all AOL is charging fees for the Courses and people pay to attend the courses because they find it (or hear about it) benifitting their friends and colleagues and so on want the benifit for themselves. It is nobody’s case that AOL is collecting money in name of charity. It is another matter that they choose to use the hard earnt money for charitable purpose. Had they collected money from you in name of charity, you had right to ask for explanation for usage of the funds. Whatever donations are paid (voluntarily of course) by people, they are done directly in the name of benificiary organizations such as schools or specific projects, which are managed by AOL volunteers . and FYI, there quite a sizeable number of them.
    2. AOL does not employ people of professional agencies for marketing and advertising Their course is spreading at a high pace primarily by word of mouth. So, for this to happen, people’s experience should be able to speak for itself, which itself suggests that a large majority of people must be finding experince to be very good. In other words, If for instance, 4 out of 10 people find it good, there will be x rate of growth, if 6 out of 10 find it good, growth rate will be y and 8 out of 10 finding it good, will translate into rate of groth of z. It is no secret taht AOL courses (specially Sudarshan Kriya) has grown really fast. Let us say 7 in 10 find it good, the worst the reamining 3 can say is that they have wasted money for the worst that the course can do is “ cause no harm”. And i things in such things there will always be some people who will not find it a big deal.
    3. I think it is more upto a third interested and curious party to do a simple survey and get a feedback about it’s effectivity. From AOL’s perspective, the fact that it is growing in demand on its own and a sizeable number of people are reporting its positive effect itself should be sufficient incentive to continue with the activity. As regards social service and social projects done by AOL volunteers is concerned, any sensible person with his eyes and ears open will see that thare are indeed quite a few things happenning,
    4. Comming back to item 1, i will remind you of one thing. If a friend of yours, earning one lac of (hard earnt) salary per month, claims he is spending 70,000 on charity, and you later discover that he is spending only 40,000, the worst that you can say about hims is that he is exaggeratinng his claims. You can call him a scamster for that. In fact I will tell you that he is at least doing that much , the rest of us only talk and crib and citisize.

  357. Friend of all Says:

    Advent- It is nice to see that AOL has left its messengers here also. Welcome friend. you are also welcome.

  358. Dayalu Says:

    Whether Advent is a messenger of AOL or not, he misses the whole point. So many wasted paragraphs and the time and energy that went into them. Displays lack of basic critical reasoning skills.

  359. ADVENT Says:

    Dayalu, Fienends etc,
    Just in case….. my reply is to Bhamy’s post on 12th july and not the one on 14th july (abt court order)

    Dayalu, thanx for the comment it is good to get one’s ego busted once in a while, for those are the very qualitiies that i am supposed to possess in plenty (or so my friens/colleagues believe)

    Bhamy, on court order..
    reading the court order, it does not seem to me that you have much of a case there

    any way good luck to you

  360. Avantika Singh Says:

    My room-mate was crazy for this Art of Living thingy and she was all-praise for it all the time. She said I must pay $250 and join it to experience the immediate bliss.

    I said instead of me paying again, since you’ve already paid and know the kriya you can teach me and I’ll do it. But she said “it was against the ethics”.

    Somehow I did get fooled and paid $250 for the course. I found nothing great and it is simply pranayama with some bullshit added to make it feel different and given a name “Sudarshan Kriya” to sell it for $250 per head!!

    It is just another form of the fraud Quixtar/ Amway group where they don’t allow you to make a copy of the CD as its against their “ethics”!

  361. llamba Says:

    Avantika if you can describe & teach us how to do sudarshan kriya it would be a great help to those who are gullible to be cheated.So why not make a clip & post it on u tube & post a link here ,you don’t have anything to do with ethics that your friend had.

  362. Rama Says:

    In Star of Mysore dated 21st July 2008.

    MYSORE’S CONSUMER COURT: IS IT ANTI-CONSUMER?

    Sir,

    I was surprised to read the news item titled Speedy Disposal of Cases by Consumer Court (SOM dated July 16). One can dispose of cases speedily if the cases are dismissed at the admission stage itself in favour of the service providers.

    I want to share with SOM readers how my case against Art of Living was dismissed at the admission stage itself without even serving notice against the opposite party.

    I had paid a delegate fee of Rs. 5000 to take part in an NGO seminar organised by Art of Living. The AOL brochure had advertised the names of five prominent speakers to participate in the event. It had also stated that “accommodation will be available at one of the comfortable housing complexes at the International Centre.” My complaint was that except for one speaker none showed up and accommodation provided was not up to international standard as implied in their brochure.

    The NGOs were misled by the hyped advertisement. The real purpose seemed to expose NGOs to their products (connected with Sudarshan Kriya) by AOL and not to discuss the environmental protection and development.

    In early years, when consumers filed the case in these courts, notice to appear was served against the opposite party without going through the so-called admission stage.

    The President argued that registration fee does not give any right to the consumers. According to him, the organisers need not provide the lectures by the speakers even though they included it in the brochure. It is an astonishing argument.

    Anyone who has attended any seminar/conference/workshop paying a fee expects to participate in talks promised by the organisers. That is the purpose of attending any seminar when participants pay huge fees. In fact the lady member of the court argued with the President and tried to convince him that my complaint was justified. But he overruled her plea.

    Despite the objection of the lady member who felt I had a legitimate case, the President dismissed the case even without serving the notice to the opposite party. If this kind of approach is applied to settle disputes, I can understand how Mysore Consumer Court can dispose of cases speedily despite a heavy load. Does it imply that Consumer Court meets the spirit of Consumer Protection Act of 1986?

    — Bhamy V. Shenoy on e-mail

    Camp: Houston, USA

  363. Rama Says:

    Ganapathi didn’t write about Ganapathi. At least Ganapathi published about Ravi anna

  364. who looks with open eye Says:

    I don’t read ur whole article but just few lines.
    u r looking with stressed eye and having something in ur mind before visit.
    one can see sun set and other see that sun is going to rise somewherelse.
    I m very sure that complaining person are doing so by nature.
    but u can get recovery of this sickness.don’t worry. this is a place where there is space for everyone.
    should look that half bottle is full and half door is open.

    get well soon

  365. balanced libra Says:

    It took me more than 2 days to go thru each and every comment listed here! I came in contact with AoL in 1997 and have done their 2-3 Basic, 2 Advance, DSN (Divya Samaj ka Nirman), Sahaj Samadhi (Meditation) and TTC (Teacher Training Course) – Phase I. To be eligible to become teacher and train others one needs TTC Phase II which is not at our disposal! It is by invitation. We have option to do upto TTC Phase I and after that produce documentary evidence about our contribution in assisting teachers, seva, work in slums, +++. During this phase of over 10 years I have experienced and observed a lot. During DSN a casual and innocent mention that AOL is actually a registered NGO turned couple of heads with suspision towards me! During TTC at Bangalore Asharam, even the dumbest individual could feel that the place was full of informers and “watchers” leaving you with a sense of unease!! I stopped my journey at TTC-I for the following reasons –
    – Furthering on the path demanded lot of time;
    – Making use of learnings to improve just the self, not easy – believe me;
    – Fully knowing it is impossible to change people – only nature can do it;
    – Even after being taught so much in this path, disciples donot appear disciplined;
    – Groupism/leadership – if all want to become leader where would workers come from?
    – Politics – a blind race to do things and reach as close to Guru as possible and fast;
    – Increasing ego !! – a bitter truth – a teacher bang opposite my house does not have the courtesy of informing and involving me at SATSANGS taking place in their house for four years; on the other hand I enjoy it fully taking stroll in the street and listening to Bhajans. I am not complaining a bit for SATSANGS are constantly running within me at all times.

    Criticising, blaming, complaining are most easy things. The more we apply intellect the more we invite sadness and stress. At some stage (sooner the better) we have to learn to accept things as they are. Faith moves mountains. If you have faith, you worship a stone. After finishing an overseas assignment and jobless, I learnt that Sri Sri is visiting our locality and I had a faith that this would turn things around and it did happen when I got a call very second day for employment. On another occasion, at my silver-jubilee wedding anniversary a few years back, it suddenly became cloudy making me uncomfortable as our function was in the open. I turned my head towards sky and remembered Guruji seeking his intervention. Whole day dark clouds kept playing cats and dogs. In the evening, closer to function time, it actually started raining. I looked up again and repeated my prayers with Guruji in mind. Would you believe, we had wonderful party until sharp at 12 midnight. Thereafter it might have taken an hour before we settled accounts with the caterer and guests must have reached home that suddenly sky opened up. I simply cannot forget the way lightening, and cracking thunder sounded that night, as if in full anger and protest for stopping it forcefully the entire day, from doing its job.

    Have you, all aggrieved people of the world at something or the other, got the point I am (trying to) making here? Even after having unease, suspicion, and my own intellect, I could not care less on anything, except making good use of what was taught. As long as you are sure that the message is right and good for you, you donot care (even if a Guru is fraud) what he is doing. On the other hand, if you still show faith in him (regardless of his activities) even the nature comes to play its positive role in your favour. Nothing comes free in this world. The course teaches you – yoga, meditation, stress busters techniques, knowledge (not information), seva (is it bad if you are taught to be self dependent by washing, cleaning), satsang, etc. etc., – and shows you a path. How far you are receptive depends only on you. Implementation is the most difficult part in practical terms.

    Coming to the basic question of not getting products and service worth 5000/-, though grievance appear to be valid and genuine, please note that one has to apply little logic and understanding of situation and circumstances. When you are invited to stay at Ashram, you cannot expect comfort of a hotel. Here again, I agree with you that guests are not disciples and cannot be expected to wash after eating. Here the purpose of inviting participants is different (not teaching them spiritual values). This is one of those things against which we avoid to raise our voice and end up becoming victim of our own follies! Every question has an answer. But have we ever closed our eyes, sat down with calm mind and dared to do questioning – from ourselves!!!???
    As part of our “system” prevailing in the country, AOL may be making merry but still making contributions (leave behind manipulations) on the surface towards uplifting moral and forgotten values and telling us how to become a good, aware, sensitive and awake society. If we dare to become what AOL wants us all to become, can they survive, if they are manipulative? Things are bad not because the system is too strong to be broken, but we are too weak to speak. And instead of doing something constructive, end up in wasting precious time in making comments over comments.

  366. Cute guy Says:

    Thanks heaven it has reached its end! or has it?

  367. Friend of all Says:

    As long as less-than-true organisations last, this discussion cannot end, Cute Guy

  368. Friend of all Says:

    or even as long as people continue to have mindless faith in some ‘occult’ powers than the power of the God above, they will make such mistakes and continue fighting.

    my two pence

  369. UFalse Says:

    As long as negative ppl like ‘Friend of all’ who thinks that only their way is the true way and questions other people’s faith…and continue to make such mistakes this discussion will continue.

    My two cents.

  370. Friend of all Says:

    :-) god bless you UFalse

  371. UFalse Says:

    FOA – God Bless you too.

  372. Friend of all Says:

    I deserved the smiley my friend ! :-)

  373. UFalse Says:

    Did not figure out how to post it!!!!!! may be just a :)??

  374. gampa Says:

    Advent

    ” lac of (hard earnt) salary per month, claims he is spending 70,000 on charity, and you later discover that he is spending only 40,000, the worst that you can say about hims is that he is exaggeratinng his claims. You can call him a scamster for that. In fact I will tell you that he is at least doing that much , the rest of us only talk and crib and citisize.”

    And if your friend gets a non profit charitable status for his trust. Gets the Tax ememption. Get the politicians, businessman to hoard their money in their trusts. Uses them for token social welfare projects. We honest tax paying citizens of the nation should bow down our heads and sing praises to the great service rendered by this friend.

  375. UFalse Says:

    Gampa – You sound like no one in this world can run a tax exempt organization. May be you are the only honest person in this world!!!! Btw, you neither have to bow down nor have to sing praise of anyone. You already called yourself a ‘honest tax paying citizen’. That is a good start.

    Avantika – You have to be a little more aware off Sudharshan Kriya type breathing exercises. Do some research including what Lord Krishna said in Verse 4.29.

    TS – Thanks. I guess you got too emotional. I am yet to see anything communal in FG’s post. May be FG said something that hurt your religious sentiment. After all you may be following a different religion.

  376. Nag Says:

    Health care, stress management etc etc is a leading emerging industry in the world. Start an org, claim yourself a guru with some knowledge of yoga and hinduism. Guess what in a short time, you have bounty of $$$, name, fame and respect.

    All these orgs tap onto some element inside human heart which is vulerable and weak. Once that is cracked, the whole individual is a programmed robot to like you.

    All the benefit that one talks is due to Yoga and great seers of India who documented them and not due to todays gurujis.. People tend to forget that

  377. Nag Says:

    Forgot to add, Health care industry is not only emerging industry but prone to all recession, inflation and has global reach. No great marketing strategy to emply, quote this upanishad or yogasutra, people will flock and pour $$$S

    What a perfect business model

  378. Friend of all Says:

    Nag- you cannot be more closer to truth.

    This Guru business is the most lucrative. How about setting up a Guru Coaching Institute ? :-)

  379. UFalse Says:

    People are not fools. People pay and go where they get values. If everyone can start a yoga organization then there would be millions of people just doing that. There is a reason why Ramdev, Sri Sri, Jaggi and Bikram are successful. They provide value to your money. If you call it a business that involves marketing, so be it. Nothing wrong with that. Like any other business no one wins in a short-amount of time. That is plain rubbish. AOL is over 25+ years old and so are other successful Yoga based organizations which took time and effort to build. On the other hand, it will be simply stupid not to market Yoga and related techniques. Let the world benefit from it instead of keeping it closed. If you read Autobiography of a Yogi, you will understand that there is a clear guideline from the Masters to spread Yoga to the world. Don’t expect to learn these techniques for free of cost especially when you can offered to pay for it.

    It is equally rubbish to think that people who follow one of these organizations is vulnerable or weak. Such people are all over the place. In fact you get stronger by some of these practices.

    Great seers of India deserves a lot of credit. No doubt about that. Whenever you do yoga, you should thank these Masters. A Guru is just a guide. You don’t have to bring your EGO into the picture and deny the current masters. For 1000s of years there are many who contributed to Mathematics. That does not mean that your current Math teacher should not be given any credit for teaching you the proper Math. At the end of the day your Math teacher is your Guru as well.

  380. Friend of all Says:

    there is a lot of bull-_hit work that Ufalse is doing here folks !!

  381. UFalse Says:

    FOA – I am sure you can still smile when you disagree with someone instead of calling whatever??? AsI said earlier, I hope you are not one of those negative people who thinks only your way is the true way.

  382. To Friend of all Says:

    Friend of all – name sounds misleading. You should probably rename yourself ‘Friend of some’. You can come back and give an excuse like ‘God Bless you’ with a smile and expect others to smile too!!!!!!!

  383. Friend of all Says:

    Isnt Sri Sri in the smiling business !!??? trust me it is the most risk free business.

    Everybody in this post- For so many weeks, we have been reading, replying, posting, abusing etc etc on this blogpage. Let me share with you something today, which I have never done so far and probably will not even do. Not because it will hurt me, but because it will impact the basic premise of human faith.

    I have been an ardent follower of Sri Sri for several years. As close to him, as anybody can. Travelled with him, sat with him, ate with him etc etc. In the past few months, some events have unfolded which have completely destroyed my mental peace, my family’s well being and my entire existence. Before I entered into this, I asked repeatedly, sought his blessings and withi his full and complete go-ahead i took the plunge. Today, I stand shattered, destroyed in ways more than one. Whatever transpiured between him and me will always remain within me. It crossed all limits of Guru and Student. It killed me a million times over. Ofcourse, there would be several of us who would wisely say – it is karmas, it is destiny. I dont want to get into any arguments, but I know and he knows what is the truth.

    YOu seem unhappy with me smiling ? I should have been dead long back my friend, not inspite of but because of hte person whom we write about here. And still I am smiling. And you hate that ? What exactly do you hate ? my smile or my existence inspite of the bitter cruel experiences ? Am trying my best not to have any feelings of anger, but put yourself in my situation. I hope you can feel the pain, i hope. And for those who say it is Guru’s parshad, I pray that such parshad be given to them and then i will see how they behave

  384. Truthseeker Says:

    My deepest support and strongest encouragement to fight like a valoured soldier, Friend of All. As all, this Guru Business is ruining and ruining more and more lives. Recent example of Bapu Asaram’s ashram deaths is another in the list. How could a mother, who lost her child less than 24 hours ago, was fighting with the media to save honour and respect of her Guru ? Shameful, detestful. These conmen may face what they are throwing everyone else into.

  385. To FOA Says:

    Whatever happened between FOA and your GURU, I was never a witness. I cannot take sides. Why should I trust you anyway? There is always two sides. I was a bit sarcastic about your posts, because you say you are a FOA and when you disagreed with UFALSE a couple of times, your posts were a bit nasty. That is what I pointed out. We can all agree to disagree without talking non-sense.

    Mr. Seeker – The mom may or may not be right. But what would be your position if the kid died because of an accident? It looks like you are just waiting for an opportunity to criticize GURUs. Media is the last think I would trust. Media in India is just plain nasty not trust worthy (look at what CNN IBN did)

    It has become a fashion to criticize gurus. This is not something new. This is a age old thing. India is in danger not because of Gurus but because of the naxals, communist fundamentalists, missionary fundamentals and other religious fundamentalists who are trying to change the demographic of the nation.

  386. Truthseeker Says:

    May the Supreme bless all

  387. UFalse Says:

    TS – much better message than one you posted earlier. Keep it up.

    Friend of All – obviously a few negative things have creeped into your mind leading you to post some negative posts. Well, the best thing I can tell you is to follow the techniques that were taught by your Guru. Its worth serveral millions. Get rid of unwanted expectations of yourself and your Guru and march on.

  388. Truthseeker Says:

    UFalse- you are perfectly in line to enter the Guru Inc profile :-)

  389. UFalse Says:

    Good Point TS. Btw…do some pranayams and keep your emotions in check!!!!!!!

  390. Truthseeker Says:

    Neither do i need to seek your advice nor do I have the inclination to ask you, my wise friend

    As I said, you are perfectly positioned to enter Guru Inc profile. Start your Guru business and make it Fortune 10. You can, you have the talent.

    Of course, you neither have the need nor the inclination to seek my advice !! ROTFL :-) :-)

    V must meet some day mate. Two intelligent people can be good friends, though I do not think you will be considering my intelligent :-)

  391. Truthseeker Says:

    Spelling error rectified-

    Neither do i need to seek your advice nor do I have the inclination to ask you, my wise friend

    As I said, you are perfectly positioned to enter Guru Inc profile. Start your Guru business and make it Fortune 10. You can, you have the talent.

    Of course, you neither have the need nor the inclination to seek my advice !! ROTFL

    V must meet some day mate. Two intelligent people can be good friends, though I do not think you will be considering me intelligent

  392. Truthseeker Says:

    Ufalse- one quick question. Did you take this log in id of UFalse only to show me and my id- Truthseeker, down ? Just a thought my friend, otherwise I am sure I do not matter to you so much.

  393. UFalse Says:

    Oh you are used to giving advises and not taking it??? Perfect. Thanks for your advise (or judgment) that I am good enough to enter Guru Inc.

    Nothing against you man. As long as you are not throwing tantrums (like you did to someone a few days back and later apologized. That is why I said, “do your pranayams”!!!!!! ROFTL). Even when you threw tantrums for no reasons, no one threw it back at you. That was good in one way.

    Disagreements are part of our lives and not a big deal. Obviously we can be friends. We might have agreements in sports, politics etc. I hope you are not a JNU trained Leftist IAS officer. In that case, we will surely have differences…:). May be we will find a common ground in Sports.

    Someone had an Id here called Utruth and I started off with UFalse. I hope you were not the one who created UTruth. I guess we have crossed each other in Sulekha (if you are the one posting there with an Id TruthSeeker)!!!.

  394. Truthseeker Says:

    UFalse- you give me a reason to visit this page and smile :-)

  395. UFalse Says:

    Am I reporting to you TS? Are you FOA as well? You are here for a reason and I am here for a reason …right? U figure out!!!!

  396. Truthseeker Says:

    ooops…. could not understand the meaning of this hostile reply, my friend.

    You are definitely not reporting to me. I said that i find your posts interesting and thus there is a reason to visit this page :-)

    god bless

  397. Ashish Goyal Says:

    Nice stuff you guys have here !! LOL

    btw, UFalse, are you a aol member ? if yes, good. if not, no harm in trying their course. it will make you calmer (perhaps saner too !!) LOL !!

    you are a funny guy, UFalse

    LOL

  398. Ashish Goyal Says:

    Btw, your english grammar needs lot of help, UFalse. Try Wren & Martin.

  399. UFalse Says:

    I did not mean to be harsh. Typed a quick reply to you and I guess I did not come out the right way. Sorry!!!! Needless to mention that my reply was no where close to the one that YOU posted a few days back!!!!! LOL.

    Ashish – I can find holes in your posting too!!! my 2 cents to you – Don’t take these posts too seriously (in terms of written English or the content). Just laugh it off and move on.

  400. Ashish Goyal Says:

    Feel free to have a go at my English, UFalse. Am too happy to learn, anytime, anywhere

  401. UFalse Says:

    Ashish..just copy a couple of your posts into a word document and see it for yourself.

  402. Ashish Goyal Says:

    My dear UFalse, I did copy my posts in word. Thanks, I do see your point now.

    Come what may, our friend, Ufalse, will try all and any trick to con/ fool/ outsmart people, but little does he realise the mountain of follies and buffoonery he is creating.

    Anyway, am not a regular one here. UFalse- you win, Sir, at all costs, anytime, anywhere, against or with anyone. And I must say, this is very much like your SSRS’s philosophy !! Trust UFalse to let loose a barrage of invectives and character assasinating arrows at me. Ouch !! it hurts man LOL !!

  403. UFalse Says:

    Ashish…if you cannot counter my point, don’t talk something irrelevant and throw abuses and accusations at me when you cannot backup any one of them. Good day man!!!! and as TS says..I will end with a :).

  404. Truthseeker Says:

    Where do I get into all this ??

    Btw, Ufalse, you did not make any ‘point’ that was worth countering :-)

    And sorry to say, I do not see any abuses in Ashish’s post

    Grow up yaar

  405. UFalse Says:

    TS – LOL…Thank you. Of course your level of abuses is different. In comparison with that, AG’s posts are too friendly!!!!

  406. Truthseeker Says:

    I love you buddy ! you are too cute :-)

  407. Truthseeker Says:

    Kal nayi konpale footengi,’
    Kal naye phool muskurayenga,
    Aur naye ghass ki nayi farsh par,
    Naye paaon ithlaayenge,

    Woh mere beech nahi aaye,
    Mein unke beechme kyun aaoon,
    Unki soobha aur shamona ka,
    Mein ek bhi lamha kyon paaoon

    Main pal do pal ka shaayar hoon
    Pal do pal meri kahaani hai
    Pal do pal meri hasti hai
    Pal do pal meri jawaani hai

    Mujhse pehle kitne shaayar
    Aaye aur aakar chale gaye
    Kuchh aahein bharkar laut gaye
    Kuchh naghme gaakar chale gaye
    Woh bhi ek pal ka kissa thhey
    Main bhi ek pal ka kissa hoon
    Kal tumse juda ho jaaoonga
    Woh aaj tumhaara hissa hoon
    Main pal do pal ka..

    Kal aur aayenge nagmon ki
    Khilti kaliya chunne waale
    Mujhse behtar kehne waale
    Tumse behtar sunne waale
    Kal koi mujhko yaad kare
    Kyoon koi mujhko yaad kare
    Mashroof zamaana mere liye
    Kyoon waqt apna barbaad kare
    Main pal do pal ka..

  408. Truthseeker Says:

    And my dear friend, UFalse, if you ever have been hurt by many any of the posts, then I apologise, unconditionally.

  409. Truthseeker Says:

    i mean it Ufalse. Never meant to hurt you. what will i get, except guilt n pain. hope you forgive me.

  410. UFalse Says:

    You have never hurt me and I never said you did. Its all fun!!!! Take it easy!!!!

  411. To Goel Says:

    Goel you sound like “Keze vizundhalum mesila mann ottala”. TruthSeeker, you are not far away from Goel…ROFL

  412. Truthseeker Says:

    say that in english.

  413. Truthseeker Says:

    and btw, he writes his name as ‘Goyal’ and not ‘Goel’

  414. Truthseeker Says:

    cumon, where are you mystery man ? A- you dont even have the balls to write your id and B- you are too scared to reply.

  415. to Goel or Goyal or ?? Says:

    Mr. Seeker, you seem to care too much about Goelji. Is he related to you or is it your other id? ROFL. You say “that” in English and I will also say “that” in English. Until “that” time, that is it from this end.

  416. Truthseeker Says:

    you are just a sample of the kind AOL churns out !!

  417. Atul Sharma Says:

    Wow! this is one of the most miraculous things I ever seen. It is very surprising to see how stupid, insane and crazy people can be who will say crap about a person like Shri Shri Ravi Shankar who is one of the most finest human beings to hit this planet. I had read somewhere that “most of the great achievers in history were people who were bitterly criticized but who persevered” and also that the only thing that saturates is stupidity. After reading all the negative comment from people about Guruji I’ve found these words to be true. It shows how stupid, crazy and funny people there are in this world. Jesus was crucified too but he was right but people did not understand, some people just don’t get it, they are born confused and they die confused and all they can do is find faults event in the best people like Ravi Shankar. Such people always live in mediocrity and do not achieve big things and don’t enjoy life to the fullest I pity such people.

  418. Truthseeker Says:

    Atul Sharma- I am sure you have achieved big things in your life, very much like SSRS. Congrats to you

  419. to goel aka goyal aka truthseekerji Says:

    Mr Seeker is always ready to point finger at others. Arre seeker, talk about yourself yaar. Forget about AOL, Goel and others. I read some of your posts and the language that you have used in your posts. Very well done!!!! You are surely not a sample of non-AOL guys, right???? Just remember, people who come here don’t have to be with AOL to laugh at people like you!!!!!.

    When are you going to say ‘that’ in English? Why are you hiding? Let me use your IIT-IAS-IIM language ‘- do you have the xxxxx to say ‘that’ in english’? come out man. Don’t hide.

    PS: if you ever have been hurt by any one of my three posts, then I apologise, unconditionally. I mean it Goelji/seekerJi. Never meant to hurt you. what will i get, except guilt & pain. Hope you forgive me. D-ROFL-D-RROFL!!!!!

    I am sure you have achieved big things in your life. Congrats to you. But please continue to post your jokes!!!!!!

  420. Truthseeker Says:

    Get original, sucker !! or does your entire tribe just copies and pastes :-)

    Btw, are you scared of goyal/ goel etc etc throwing their support behind me ? go run to your ashram and cry your heart out, F

  421. Truthseeker Says:

    I hate to think of it, but is it my good friend, UFalse, using pseudo ids ? I would believe not so. He has enough guts to post in his name only. That is what i believed !

  422. Truthseeker Says:

    This is exactly what Aol does. Shoot the messenger and kill the message. Typical. Very typical.

  423. to goel aka goyal aka truthseekerji Says:

    D-ROFTL. SeekerJi is getting angry and now started using his favorite language. Good to see that!!!!! AOL??? D-LOL.

  424. UFalse Says:

    TS, Not me friend. Take care. :)

    bye.

  425. Ashish Goyal Says:

    It is highly deplorable and shameful the way people (or it seems one sh*t scared scumbag) are reacting irresponsibly to my post. No wonder, people run away from AoL, as AoL’s ambassador’s aptly show us ‘why’. You seem to have no respect for age at all. Is this what AoL camps teach you ?

  426. to goyal aka goel aka seeker Says:

    D-LOL Goyal/Goel/Seeker. AOL? D-LOL….“Keze vizundhalum mesila mann ottala” Goyal is back now using his Responsible/abusive IAS-IIT language…are you representing all non-AOL people? ROFL. You are getting angry and I like it. FYI – I don’t have to be a member of AOL to post here….but surely having fun at your cost.

  427. Ashish Goyal Says:

    At my cost (ROTFL) but at what price ? (ROTFL !!)

    Perhaps you will not realise the price through this post. Saam- daan- dand- bhed.

  428. to goyal aka goel aka seeker Says:

    You tell that to yourself for all the nasty stuff you have been posting here D-ROFL-T-ROFL

  429. Another Anonymous Coward Says:

    Well, anyone who is __aware__ knows that the world is being run by elites with the intention of living a comfortable life by making the common man work for it. Yes, they are bankers. If you seriously look into this phenomenon, you will understand that anyone who wants to start a cult or an organization has done so with the free of cost efforts of people following him. All that he has done, is to tap their egos and work hard on how to do it better

    The business has just become more sophisticated, if not fool proof. The business of the so called __spirituality__. Anyone who is supported by governments, elite and common man alike (ofcourse the ignorant ones) is doubtlessly an __agent__ of the illuminati. These people are here to preach forgiveness in the hearts of the poor common man so that they can look at the elite with benevolent eyes

    If at all you guys understand this!

  430. Everyone is Anonymous here Says:

    Anyone who wants a free meal should go and steal from others or beg from others. If you do not want to beg or steal then be prepared to pay for it.

    Let spirituality be a business. So what? If you do not want to pay for it then so be it. If you want to pay then so be it. Just stop judging people and telling people what they should do!!!! The very fact that some of us think that others are ignorant makes us more ignorant. Let people find their way and u make sure you are not in the wrong path.

  431. To Everyone is Anonymous here Says:

    What are you doing if not judging !!! ?? hahahahahha

  432. Everyone is Anonymous here Says:

    Yes..I was aware of it when I wrote it…but I am willing to accept people who want a free meal and one wants to pay for it. At a minimum, I had to tell people to stop judging others …..at the end of the day, I am not perfect either.

  433. To Everyone is Anonymous here Says:

    That is one of the wisest posts (ooops… me judging too !)

  434. Everyone is Anonymous here Says:

    Yeah right!!!!!!!!

  435. Annie Says:

    Truly Said that our mind is capable of holding only to Negative aspect of everything! Just a bunch of people get together on forums and start cursing someone who at least has courage to do something for the humanity even what if for a cost! And nothing comes for free in this world people….any course organized, any service project they are involved with, definitely need money and where will it come from if not from the courses taught. Besides, we Indians can only value things for which we pay. If the AOL courses offered for free, nobody would care about it all and will just take it as ‘Just another course’!

    Sorry to hurt your sentiments but its time either please have courage to take responsibility for what’s happening around or stop criticizing some one who can at least think about it!

    You all could produce one video where he is being cornered but what about thousands of videos which talks about his service towards humanity?

    Nobody asks you to follow it until you do not feel from within but its high time you at least stop giving opinions about something you cant do at all and just sit and complain.

  436. Poornaprajna Says:

    Excellent expose by Bhamy Shenoy on this fraud organization and Guru cult. I was involved ith AOL in 2000 for an year and I firmly convinced that Ravishankar and his blind followers with their fundamental lack of contact with reality and disdain for logical consistency promote a rational approach to the basic problems of society.

  437. sabine Says:

    Dear people who have been in bangalore ashram. I am planning to go for a month for the first time to the ashram for ayurvedic treatment and yoga, meditation and rest.;-) i cannot read every item but I do like a reply from someone who has been there . Is it wise to go there? and what about the ‘informers and watchers”.??? what do they watch or inform then??????

    maybe naive but I just did aol 1 and 2 and have never met sri or other ‘gurus’. please, let us try to be as objective as possible. thanks !

  438. Bhamy V. Shenoy Says:

    Sabine,

    having spent less than 24 hours in the ashram, please go there and have a nice time. It is a very nice place. It is clean. Food is simple and be prepared to wash dishes. Pack towels, soap, have plenty of drinking water or you can buy from nearby canteens.
    There are guards when you go from one section to the other. You may like to have your visible ID so that they will not stop to find out who you are. Only when you start asking inconvenient questions like I did, then there will be spies and watchers to find out who you are and what you are doing. If you are one of those who want to simply enjoy the tranquil environment of the ashram you can have a good time.

    My problem was not with the ashram or the kind of simple facilities they provided. It was just that they marketed themselves as an NGO summit with several noted activists delivering talks and also they providing lodging in international setting. Both were missing. It was because of that I had filed a case. If AOL markets themselves as profit making organization which it is, then there is absolutely no problem. In fact they are pretty good at that. Management students learn from their model.

    After spending a month, please do share your experience good or bad. Wishing you a great time at ashram.

  439. raj1 Says:

    Non-profits will have to make some profits to pay people who work for them and spend money to run their organizations. Non-profits will have to make some profit so that other projects can be funded. Every top non-profit organization in the world does that.

    Have you read about what AOL did with Baroda’s suiciding farmers? Who do you think funded the project?

    Every non-profit should be run like a business …and they are fine to do so as long as they do not pocket their money. As long as you cannot prove that they do it….please stop spreading imaginary stories.

    Sabine – just go with an open mind. Enjoy yourself. It is possible that AOL might have made a mistake in Bham’s case…and it is also possible that Bhamy may be just making too much of nothing. We cannot come to any conclusion since none of us were there. I do not believe AOL would do something like this to make a few lakhs.

    Lastly, from a security stand point; there is nothing wrong in keeping an eye on people. These days there are so many crazy people around among every group that includes religious people, communists and leftists.

  440. Pritesh Says:

    Guys there is one principal in life which says nothing is free in this world.
    Even GOD does that. If you ask something from GOD than he will fulfill your wish but will take many things in return.

    I have seen many people who follows Sri Sir completely are basically nice people who does not have jealous mind.

    One thing I strongly believe that I myself is not the best judge to decide something good about myself. If you surrender/(samarpan – in hindi) yourself to spirituality than the result will be always be very positive.

  441. paramitha Says:

    To Annie,

    It is one of the prime propoganda in most of the movements like AOL, its predecessor Siddha Samadhi Yoga and many other guru and personality cults that we should not talk anything negative. It is a means of building the blind adherence and faith towards the movement. Love me love my Dog is the philosophy here. It is shocking to see the absence of rational and critical thing in the people who fall prey to these cults. These forums are a important ay of educating people not to fall prey to these movements. You make general sweeping statements against Indians which make no sense.
    Not many here are blind to see the amount of money laundering, land grabbing, political stategies that Ravishankar fosters. If not anything these Gurus are a bane to the indian soceity and making the soceity ever more stupid and strip them off all critical thinking and rationality. But unfortunately the Law cannot even touch these people like Sai Baba, Ravishankar, Ammachi. Remmber the murders of young people in Sai Baba ashram. I feel sorry for the people of India as they made non anaytical and rational sheep following these scamsters.

  442. leftist crap Says:

    rational crap ….that is the leftist mantra from leftist scam artists meant to ridicule everything that is outside their red agenda. people can think for themselves. just Leave them alone.

  443. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    Dear Friends,

    as mentioned earlier I had lost my case in the district consumer forum. Then I took it with the state commssion. It was also dismissed at that level. The order of that has been given below with some of my observations. One can clearly see the bias of the commission. I am now planning to take it to the national commission.

    Bhamy V Shenoy

    BEFORE THE KARNATAKA STATE CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION, BANGALORE

    DATED 17/09/2008

    Present
    Sri T. Hariappa Gowda Member
    Smt. Rama Ananth Member

    Appeal No 1566/2008

    ORDER

    Sri T Hariappa Gowda: Member

    The complaint aggrieved by the order of the district consumer redressal Forum, Mysore in CC No. 76/2008 dated 03.04.08 has filed this appeal.

    The DF dismissed the complaint of the complainant at the stage of admission itself on the ground that there was no relationship of consumer and service provider between the complainant and the Ops without issuing notice to the other side. We have heard the complainant on admission.

    It is see from the impugned order that the complaint was presented by the complainant through his representative alleging deficiency of service by the Ops. The complainant has alleged that the Ops have arranged a seminar at their premises by inviting few scholars to speak on the subject and issued broacher inviting the public to attend the seminar as delegates by paying fee of Rs. 5000/-. The complainant has further alleged that when he attended the seminar he found the speakers whose names had been published in the broacher, except one others did not attend and there was short in the quality of lecture. He has further alleged that the accommodation and food provided by the Ops caused deficiency in service in providing service and therefore has paryed for refund of Rs. 5000/- paid by him with interest at 12% p.a. and exemplary damages of Rs. 1,00,000/- with cost.

    The impugned order shows that the DF heard the representative of the complainant regarding the maintainability of the complainant and found that though the Ops have received Rs. 5000/- from the complainant, the Ops is an institution involved in preaching cultural activities and arranging seminars to create awareness among the people. The DF has further found that the materials placed before it did not indicate that the Ops have received any consideration for arranging the lecture, but received delegations fee for providing accommodation and food to the delegates who attend the seminar. The DF has further found that the complainant has not made out that the Ops have assured a particular standard of accommodation, food and service as to complain that such facilities offered by the Ops were of a particular standard. Accordingly the DF has dismissed the complaint as not sustainable.

    Before this commission the complainant has produced the brochure published by the Ops and also the email sent by the complaint to the Ops. No doubt in the email the complainant has alleged certain deficiencies on the part of the Ops, such as not attending of all the speakers and not providing the necessities such as soap, towel, and drinking water etc in the accommodation to him, but the brochure produced by the complainant does not show any such promises. The only mention found in the brochure regarding the accommodation is; “ Accommodation is available at one of the comfortable housing complexes at the international center”.

    In the event, the claim of the complainant that the OP did not provide as claimed by him does not found a place in the brochure published by the Ops. As regards providing accommodation on payment of Rs 5000/- is concerned it is stated thus “Summit Fee: Rs. 5000/- per person also includes Delgation Fee, the Art of Living Part 1 Course, Sri Sri Yoga Course, Accommodation for 4 nights at summit venue (Jan 30-31, feb 1-2)”.

    From this the only inference that can be drawn is that collection of Rs. 5000/- by the Ops includes delegation fee and accommodation to be provided. Nowhere it is found that the Ops have agreed to provide lecture of 5 persons as claimed by the complainant. In order to maintain a complaint under the CP act, it is necessary to show that he is a consumer by availing certain services from the Ops and the Ops are deficient in providing such services. Admittedly, from the facts of the case it is clear that the Ops have arranged a seminar and it was not a service provided to the complainant. In view of that the complainant is not a consumer as defined under the CP act and therefore the complaint is not maintainable. Therefore the DF is right in dismissing the complaint in the inception itself. In view of that matter, in our view the impugned order does not call for interference. In the result, we pass the following:

    ORDER

    The appeal is dismissed.

    Member Member
    T. Hariappa Gowda Smt. Rama Ananth

    Obvious questions and doubts:

    How does the member know that AOL is an institution involved in preaching cultural activities and arranging seminars? This shows the possible bias of the member. One could argue that AOL is a profit making organization giving yoga classes and organizing seminars.

    Second the delegate fees always include to pay for the costs of inviting noted speakers. It is through arranging talks by well known speakers, organizers try to attract delegates. This is a fact known for all excepting to the honorable members of State commission. AOL brochures which were presented to the state commission showed in bold letters the bios of five speakers. When AOL advertises five speakers will be present, there is no need to make any special promises. Publishing their bios implies promises excepting to those who want to be charitable to AOL. In this case it is obvious the state commission member is biased towards AOL just like District Consumer Forum President was.

    The SC member has not applied his mind to our argument of how one becomes a consumer after payment of Rs 5000 to attend a seminar. The material provided to SC clearly shows the advertisement of AOL about the international standard accommodation (member decides to ignore the fact of packing three to a small room despite international center) and attendance by five well known speakers.

    Any objective reader can clearly see how AOL hoodwinked the NGOs by making tall promises and failed to keep their promises. They could have written that simple accommodation in Ashram type of environment with three to a room will be provided. But they decided to write that accommodation will be in comfortable housing complexes in international center. Through this they wanted to create the impression that accommodation will be of high standards.

    They could have written that invitation has been sent to five well known speakers and we are waiting to hear from them. Instead they wrote that five well known speakers will be making presentation. This is clearly misleading when only one speaker attends.

  444. IndianGuy Says:

    Benoy, Anonymous – get a real life man- you & your singleminded pseudo secular, pseudo intellectual group here sound at best like a bunch of of whiney bored out of your mind loosers.

    If you guys are really concerned about the state of world, eradicating poverty, sustainable development etc, as you claim to be, then use your time and energy in doing something meaningful that acutally makes a postive difference in people’s lives – – rather than trying so hard to demonstrate how clever & avant garde you are and putting others down …..

  445. Shalu Says:

    Very well said IndianGuy (though I think you may have meant to address Bhamy Shenoy and not Benoy).

    There will always be criticism especially from those persons who are insecure in their own selves and consequently are easily threatened. So the easist way they have to feel good about themselves is by putting down someone else as is being done on this site with Sri Sri. Is this not a hopeless copout!

  446. Shahid Says:

    While eveyone has a right to express thier opinion, at least it should be constructive and factual.

    I do agree with the Indian Guy, the type of whining on this site is a poor show.

    If AOL has grown into a huge international NGO and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has the following of millions from all backgrounds and faiths from around the world which has been consistently growing over the years, you guys here have the audacity to say that all these people cannot think for themselves or decide what they want!

    What a dsplay of your arrogance and ignorance.

  447. bari olu Says:

    Bhami
    >>“We did not go there as his disciples. I do not think delegates were taking part to learn about self-help as his disciples may be expected to do. I refused to wash dishes which was not liked by some. This is not because I dislike it. I have done it often. But I did not pay Rs 5,000 to do that. Moreover on the website, I was offered better lodging and food facilities.

    This statement is atrocious. This shows your double standards. You pay money that doesnt make you a maharani of sorts that you dont wanna wash ur plate. And you people talk of doing service to the people, the NGO’s the ones who cannot serve themselves. who do you think should have washed your plate for your 5000 bucks?? Ravishankar himself??

    Even after paying 5000 you are asked to wash your plate depicts equality. You are the ones who go by the gandhian ethos and blah blah. where were those when you were asked to wash ur plates.

    As the Indian guy says you are more like a “Rakhi Sawant” of NGO world.

  448. Kavita Says:

    Bhami,

    your double standards are coming across clearly here. Just because you represent an NGO does not grant you a right to exude the high handed, holier than thou, I know best attitude you are showing here.

    You say your NGO wants equality of treatment but how are you representing these values both as an individual and as a representative of your NGO?

    Washing the dishes does not make you a lesser human being as you are implying here —SO WHAT THAT YOU WASHED YOUR OWN DISHES!! this is called self reliance and a belief system that says that I have humility because I do not consider this task beneath me as all of us are equal – – the same values that you claim your NGO is striving for.

    Surely there are bigger issues for this world to deal with rather than hear you complain that you had to wash dishes.

    May be you should have hung around Sri Sri’s Ashram for a bit longer so you could have picked up a broader more holistic way of looking at life and the world.

    YES I am proud to say that I have done several Art of Living Courses over the years, and I am a significantly better human being for it and that I am serving humanity.

    Perhaps you should also keep an open mind and do a Course too.

  449. Roop Says:

    hey thanks kavita for this perspective LOL. you make an excellent point about the small mindedness of many people blogging here which i have followed curiously and in wonder

    the cronies on this blog are really making a mountain out of a molehill about Art of Living when there are bigger more important issues that all of us should be spending our energies on.

    it is really great that an Indian like Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has been able to conceive and run a very large international entirely voluntary based and run NGO like AOL . He has clearly demonstrated the remarkable ability to communicate with large numbers of people from all over the world who have very different cultures abd backgrounds, speak foreign languages and have different belief systems. No easy task.

    All of this takes not only good but excellent skills, keen intelligence, consistent committment, very hard work and most of all sincerity and good intention because if not for especially the latter, there is absolutely no way that millions of persons whould give him the time of day for the past more than two decades, and his movement emerge into one of the largest if not the largest NGOs in this world today.

    if only other NGOs were run the same way

    while every detail of any organisation, large or small, NGO or for profit, in India or anywhere, cannot be perfect (because we do not live in a perfect world with perfect individuals & socieites), the point remains that AOL has demonstrated that it can stand up to the test of time and keep on growing and more persons keep on joining to do thier share of making the world not just India, a better place for its citizens.

    i too want to join the ranks of the millions and applaud Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for not only being an excellent global Indian ambassador of Indian culture and our ancient Vedic knowledge, but for also commend him for joining our common thread of global humanity which cuts across all lines of religion, language, color, and creed.

    Quodos and BRAVO to Sri Sri and his Art of Living Foundation. At least someone out there is caring enough to spend his life doing something truly meaningful.

    I have also done some AOL courses Kavita and I find they are terrific and have helped me become a better person, wife, mother, daughter, daughter-in-law, worker, journalist and most importantly a better global citizen.

    Thank you Art of Living

  450. Great deal Says:

    Summit Fee: Rs. 5000/- per person also includes Delgation Fee, the Art of Living Part 1 Course, Sri Sri Yoga Course, Accommodation for 4 nights at summit venue (Jan 30-31, feb 1-2)”.

    The above deal is a steal!!!! Bhamy..it is a steal!!! Since you lost the case, you should change the heading now to….”Bhamy the attention seeker”…just kidding. Having lost the case, you should remove the post or change the heading.

    Seriously…5K offer for the things listed above is a steal. You never mentioned that the 5k includes the two courses and delegation fees!!!!

  451. Roop Says:

    great deal,

    thanks for shedding more light on this. Surely Bhamy can be a big man and offer Sri Sri and the Art of Living a public apology for such mis-representation

    also is it not irresponsible for bloggers here to present inaccurate non-factual information about individuals e.g . Sri Sri’s citizenship, family background etc

    this site seems to be is nothing more than frustrated rantings & gossip mongering of idle people or as you say, attention seekers! or perhpas it can be said irresponsible attention seekers!

  452. You Go Girl Says:

    I have spent time at several Art of Living Ashrams many times and have not come across spies or felt I was being watched or followed.

    Where are you peoople from that you have such paranoia ??? or perhaps I am not as important as you think you are , to believe that I am been spied and followed!!

    At the Bangalore Ashram I have seen see security persons at the gates . But are we not used to seeing security at the enterances of homes, buildings, offices, etc? So why do we think it cannot be at an Ashram which is a wide open ground in the midst of several villages where the public is moving around. It is only common sense to have some security persons around.

    Anyhow, I too admire Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for the things said above but also for his tremendous leadership abilities to run such a big vlounteer based NGO which promotes not personal , spiritual and community growth from the level of the grassroots.

    And I admire him more because Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a person who walks his talk. This is cannot say for other leaders.

    I beg to remind people here that I am thinking person who can gauge situations and people and my own decisions. So stop fearing that I and other persons who respect him and are his followers, have been brainwashed!!!

  453. shoba Says:

    Bhamy

    Come on be a man and aplogize to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Art of Living. Your case has been thrown out so go on, admit you were off track.

    It clearly seems you only want instant recognition, have nothing better to do so you start slandering Sri Sir Ravi Shankar who is getting legitimate attention because he is doing something meaningful in India and elsewhere.

    Really Bhamy, why don’t you do something tangible if you sincerely care about impoving India. Do something to make a difference in a positive way. Good luck

  454. Niranjana Says:

    I like to form my opinion from my direct personal experiences. Not from what others say. As to Ravishankar is concerned, I’ve come across only his talks on the internet. Listening to them makes a lot of sense. Some of the points I do not agree or difficult to believe (like rebirth etc in one of the talk). My thinking is limited to my personal experience. I do not want some one else’s (especially when I do not know both Ravishankar personally or the people who are complaining about him and his organization).
    People go to Ravishankar or others like him because they have not found peace in their life. If they find what they want from him, so be it. If one has been forcibly taken and held against his/her wishes, it is a different thing. As long as people go on their own volition to find something who are we to question them? Only they should not be causing nuisance to others leading their own life.
    If one goes to such person or organization with an intention to scrutinize and finding fault he will be able to notice a lot of short comings. No one is perfect in this world. Also, expectations are the worst curse of humanity. Having paid Rs 5000/- (a considerable sum), the author expected certain things and the same were not met. If one goes expecting certain things, there are bright chances that some of the expectations will not be met.
    If one has ego and the same is not pampered, the hurt ego will start thinking negatively.
    On the other hand, if one goes with an open but thinking and independent mind, it will gain in all respects. If the things are good, that is wonderful. If they are not good, one gains here also in the sense that such situations/persons can be avoided in future. They can also tell their near and dear ones about what they learnt from such situations (provided they are interested and have faith in you).
    In that article, the writer is accusing Ravishankar of playing with people’s mind. It is possible only if people do not have their own thinking capacity. In fact, I feel that the writer is also playing with the people’s mind. He is trying to influence others from his own experiences and perceptions.
    We all make mistakes and we should learn from them. If the writer has made a mistake, he should learn from that. He can avoid such mistakes. He need not go to Ravishankar again!! But he should not force his “WISDOM” freely to others too. If someone asks his opinion (according to me opinions should not be asked but they should be formed based on own experiences) he can give it. It is possible that the writer’s ego has been hurt.
    We see/hear/experience so many things in our life. We need to pick the best (for us) from all that. When we eat an apple, if a small portion is spoilt, we can discard that spoilt portion and not the entire apple.

  455. prajwal Says:

    General curiosity question:

    Isn’t spirituality/nirvana/moksha or whatver one wants to call it a state of mind achieved by deep thinking or some such way by an individual, isn’t it somethin an individual has to achieve by striving on his/her own?

    If yes, then how can we expect to follow ppl who claim to be spiritually enlightened? Even if they are enlightened, they have done so by following their path, and by logic u cannot follow wat they did to achieve piece of mind.

    Last i heard or made an attempt at understanding spirituality, there was no mathematical formula or a fixed and proven method based technique that could make one achieve peace of mind!

    If anyone disagrees or if anyone can clarify the idea of spirituality ot me, i d be grateful and wud gladly reconsider my opinion about the same;

    If you agree then it is understood that a lot of us agree and follow ppl without good reason and without any understanding!

  456. eric johnson Says:

    This thread very clearly shows the mentality and the stupidity of people who wouldnt move their ass, wouldnt do anything useful for their homes or the society or the country but criticize somone who does something useful . The world especially india is full of armchair critics. Sri Sri has done relieved the stress of so many people through kriya and so many people have benefited from it . What is the big deal if he charges money for it ? and also the foundation has done a lot of charity work .

    in any case, go do the art of living course and know it for yourself. I bet you would be making a big difference to your life.

    Prajwal, to learn swimming or cycling you need a teacher. You have to make the effort but the teacher makes the job somewhat easy . It is not necessary but it does help.
    on a sidekick , Is using logic always logical ? most of the things including love and happiness in this world does not make sense. Science and logic are cool tools but it is easy to develop a tunnel vision with it . Lots of quantum theory results defy the mind and logic but are bloody true. So use your logic to open up and not get stuck into ideas.

  457. Cheddi Chikka Says:

    Double Sri of the art of deceiving fame comes in the same line of august Indian Holy conmen selling snake oil like Dhirendra Brahmachari, Chandraswami and Sai Baba. The credulity of his followers is to be seen to be believed. My cousin who is a volunteer in this organization has been stipped of all possesions by the AOL cult and he is into social welfare activities which primarily is Ravishankar in the media and take photographs and videos of some token social welfare activities and blow them out of proportion. Like adoption of 30,000 villages which is a joke as all they have done is conducted some silly satsangs with Bajans in about a few hundred villages. Few weeks back I went to meet my brainwashed cousin in Art of living campus in kanakapura road. My car was searched with metal detectors. So much for people who claim to bring peace in the world. Look at your own paronia, greed and self promotion first. It takes guts to have self knowledge.

  458. Gina Says:

    Hey Cheddi Chkka, double c, You sound like a Bhamy clone.

    I too have not one, but three first cousins and a sister , who are Art of Living followers and volunteers since between the the last 10-20 years. All three are anything but credulous — they are all professionals and of some affluence in their societies. They all have several friends are AOL followers. None of them are gullible or the type who would fall for a cult.

    I am close to all of them and have watched their engagement with AOL over many years. I have not seen any of them as being “brainwashed” or anyone being “stripped of all possessions”.

    I have seen them being consistently engaged in social welfare activities which they conduct on behalf of AOL. In fact one of my cousins is a dentist and he does dentistry in the AOL adopted villages.

    I say good for him and for AOL for inspiring him and all of them to be selfless, and to think beyond themselves.

    So pray tell , why you would cast stones at someone who has not done anything to you, has consistently demonstrated good will towards society and has helped millions worldwide and inspired others to do the same?

    Double C, is it not high time that you do some of your own introspection to see why you are paranoid!

    I do agree with you that self knowledge does take guts – so do you have any guts to examine your judgemental paranoid pseudo self? Certainly, it will time better spend for you and for the rest of us. good luck to you.

  459. Shivom Says:

    I have read many of the comments above and I would like to add my views

    An year ago, I attended one of Art of Living’courses on a friend’s advice. I am a Medical Doctor working in Florida and was a little bit sceptical about all these breathing exercises and stuff. However, since I hve done them I have found them very helpful in improving my health and well being.

    I paid $400 for the 20 hour course. Initially I felt it was a bit pricy but still I dont agree with anyone’s objection to it. They teach you and charge a fee for it what they think is due to them. Then if they spend it on charity or themselves it is upto them. I dont have aproblem with it. The course was good and techniques useful and I paid for what I got. Whats the problem ?

  460. ADVENT Says:

    PRAJWAL,

    >Isn’t spirituality/nirvana/moksha or whatver one wants to call it a state >of mind achieved by deep thinking or some such way by an individual, >isn’t it somethin an individual has to achieve by striving on his/her own?

    >If yes, then how can we expect to follow ppl who claim to be spiritually >enlightened?

    I will say a few thingd based on my understanding.

    spirituality/nirvana/moksha or whatver one wants to call it , is INDEED a state of mind OR A STATE IN WHICH THERE IS NO MIND achieved, definitely not by deep thinking alone, as you need to go beyond MIND, by an individual, YES. it is something that an individual has to achieve by striving on his/her own, which is AASPIRATION.

    (1)ASPIRATION, GENUINLY STRIVING ON ONE’S —>(2) DESCENT OF GRACE——–>(3)BECOMMING HOLLOW & EMPTY(NO MIND)——>(4)FURTHER GRACE——–>(5) BEING AN INSTRUMENT OF DEVINE and so on.

    I rememeber something that the author of ZEN and ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE says ……All scientists who have produced something completely original theoritical stuff have been great thinkers, they have thought and thought about their problem,pushed the thought to its very limit, reached the very dead end of the road by thought, kept pushing hard, seeing absolutely no light at the other end of the tunnel, and then some flashed of light have dawned in to the mind zone from above and then the thoughts crystallized, (such as benzene ring or umteen other examples in Physics)

    A spiritual seeker sa to look inwards, seek guidance from inwards, and then Devine povides guadance in whichever form, completely internally or outwardly (probably becase our system does not recognize inward hints) the outward aids are just outward expresession of the inner guide. So an outward GURU is an medium created by your own SELF is trying to help the you that lives in the mental zone.

  461. prajwal Says:

    @advent

    i do agree with u that we need to aspire and strive to achieve this but how a guru as a medium helps in leaving behind the material/mental state is slightly beyond my understanding.

    @eric johnson

    open mind/closed mind? what are u talking about? i was very specific when i used the term “logic”! it was very specific to the case that one accepts the statement that “enlightenment” can be achieved by individual struggle and thought! It wasnt a logic to explain the process of enlightenment. I also mentioned that as far as i know there is not formula to achieving this goal(call it a quick fix formula if u will).

    Again using ur very statements, a lot of things in quantum theories are beyong mind n logic! i agree!

    Again as u said love etc can’t be explained by logic! so to say, even enlightenment n spirituality is beyond simple scientific n philosophical logic! i agree!

    So pray tell, do u need a guru to teach u how to love a girl/ur spouse/or ur children(this is assuming that ur definition of love is not restricted to the idea duties and responsibilities of being part of a relationship)? or do u need a teacher to define for u wat u describe as beautiful? If not, why do u need a guru to teach u spirituality?

    My mind is open to arguments and to new avenues, But my question is simple! If u can accept that a lot of things like love n quantum theories cannot be explained by simple logic, and if u accept that spirituality is beyond logic, then do u need a teacher/guru to show u the way?

  462. ADVENT Says:

    PRAJWAL,

    1 Master is someone who has left behind his mind and being in state of No mind, has a consciousness which is not bounded, which is infinite and hence becomes a medium, as it were, for transmission of cosmic energy or GRACE. Love is just his natural state. This GRACE which is transmitted by the MASTER helps you to dissolve your mind into your or his MIND or THE MIND.

    2. You have a great aspiration to break your bounds/limitations (of mind/body/senses)This aspiration has to come frome a zone in you which is beyond these limits, for if such a zone had not existed, there would be no Aspitartion in you. Let us call this zone as SELF. This SELF is constantly trying to show you the zone beyound what you see now.

    3 SELF is all poweful and can choose an internal medium orif that does not wor, and external one, such as a MASTER. Going beyond that, SELF has created this thinsg in this world to help you such as even the MASTER.

    4 External medium is just one of the ways. The bottomeline is, If a creature living in 2 dimensions has developed in himself a great aspitartion to go beyond the 2 dimesions into the third dimension, The aspiration as well as a help in some form has necessarily to come from the third dimension in one way or the other, Otherwise he would forever be striving and struggling in his 2 dimensional world.

  463. qwan Says:

    I have a very fishy feeling about Sri Ravi Shankar so i decided to do a search on the net to see if there are any frauds or scams.
    In my search I came across your post, and when I read the heading i thought “wow I got some proof”.
    But after reading your article I am sorry to say Sir you are an ignorant idiot.
    The reason which you have given are utter nonsense.

    You think that 5000 rupees for a 3 day event in Mangalore at the International Centre with food is Costly!!!
    They are giving you accomadation in Bangalore for crying out loud. Do you know the cost of the Venue??
    Moreover do you know the cost the logisitics involved, the promotion costs in such an event.
    You are living in a well if you think 5000 rupees is costly for a 3 day event in 2008.
    Secondly I think the security has been ramped up in all major public places so it has nothing to do with SSRS.
    If Vandana Shiva call RaviShankar her Guru then I am pretty impressed because I believe that I have never seen anyone as selfless as her. If not for her right now you would not be able to grow or use the Neem tree. India would have been flooded with poisonous food and the entire ecology would have been destroyed by multinational like Monsanto.
    Visit http://www.iamnolabrat.com to get some info on what is happening and use your energy for some good.(I just added this since the topic of Monsanto came up)
    None of the reasons you have given has any weight.
    I think you and all your (supportive) readers have some kind of Bias and feel good about yourselves while bashing such people.

    I would like to add that I am not like you.
    Which means that even though you have come up with one of the most ridiculous article about Ravishankar, I am not going believe and think that ravishankar might be “good”. I still believe that he is not someone who is “divine” he does not look so. His face looks like that of a conman(yes I might be judgmental here but as you can see I have not jumped to conclusion based on my knowledge of face reading thought I have been 100% right on past occasions)
    So please go easy on yourself and stop this nonsense. Search for real things to “demonize” Ravi shankar.
    let me give you some tips, as this is what I too want to know.
    he speaks about yoga and living a satvic life, Find out if he practices what he preaches.
    Because If you see Baba Ramdev, that guy look like he practices what he preaches.
    There is a yoga teacher of mine who also conducts such camps for much cheaper(at cheaper locations in a small city) and many of SSRS followers whom I met accuse this yoga teacher of copying SSRS teachings.
    Can you believe that!! Ravishankar followers act as if he himself wrote the pathanjali suthras(that is where Ravishankar takes his “philosophies from).
    My Guru tells us that he is not a divine person and this is all in the vedas and sutras.
    but our SSRS does the same but he calls himself divine.
    I end here. Please do some real research
    Thank You

  464. Nanda Says:

    Good points on the last post. I also like qwan always felt something was not right. It maybe the way his believers constantly praise him or his need for constant attention or the fees he charges to teach spirituality. I would also tend to agree that 5000rs for a 4 day event is not that high. Anyway, thats beside the point.
    Things to question are:
    – What are the solid long term accomplishments to uplift the downtrodden by AOL with the money they have collected?
    – Why is it that most AOL believers keep talking about him? Are they programmed to always praise him to strangers?
    – As raised above, does he live the life he suggests? What is his monthly expenses? If as accused he makes too much money, what is the point if lives a austere life…?

    I am always wary of any person selling God or spirituality for a fee, including temples!, and I dont believe Ravishanker is an exception.

  465. Ravi Says:

    It really pains to see how people are goimg mad and envy the great achievements of a great guru like our dearest sri sri… The lady at the top of this page to tells that she didn’t like art of living because she had to wash vessels… What a shame! is she an indian woman????? If you don’t have even that much patience i don’t know where you’ll end up… Its a shame on every person who says sri sri is wrong, because they have miserably failed in recognising and appreciating a wonderful opportunity to be with such a great guru…

  466. chanakya Says:

    Ravi shankar is a fraud

  467. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    I for one do not question the greatness of SSRS. In fact to amass the assets from a humble beginning requires enormous talents.

    What is being questioned is the strategy that is adapted to amass that asset. One such example is organizing an NGO summit. If that summit was held for the purpose it was advertised in spirit and letter, it would have been perfect and it is difficult to be critical.

    NGOs were misled through “false” advertisement about the speakers and also about the lodging in “international setting”. One attends these conferences not to take part in yogas (there are better alternatives at AOL itself) nor to spend just some time in an ashram wahsing dishes and relishing satvic food(again one may like to do under some other circumstances). A person of the stature of SSRS need not stoop down to such techniques. It is possible though unlikely that it was all the mistakes of his staff. But when you are the head, you take the blame as well as the credit.

    The whole NGO summit looked like another hoax by AOL to promote itself and also to make money. This kind of business strategy which is being questioned here and not what he is marketing as Sudarshan Kriya. If people find that it gives them comfort, they are free to give money, buy services or donate funds to AOL. Business schools can learn from AOL some marketing strategies.

    What is questioned here is the simple ethics involved in organzing an NGO summit and not meeting the promises. It was to help the greived consumers under such circumstances Consumer protection act was adapted by the parliament . Thousands have been able to use it to get redressal. Unfortunately in this case I have not succeeded so far at district and state courts.

  468. Sonia Says:

    Bhamy

    how many times are you keep repeating your poor boy I had to wash dishes saga?

    are you so desperate for attention? or you just get a kick from knocking someone who has proven himself and you have not?

    you have lost your case at district and state level. Go do something more useful with your time and prove you are teh humanitarian you claim to be.

    if not the rest of us may think that YOU are the fraud.

  469. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    Sonia,

    like others who fail to see the point I am trying to make you are picking on a trivial item like washing dishes. How come you managed to ignore all other issues which are more significant?

    What attention I am craving for. There are more than six billion people in this world. The number of people seeing this blog directly or indirectly is infinitesimally small and not even worth mentioing.

    Whether one is honest or fraud depends upon the value system of the assessor.

  470. Neha Says:

    This guy would probably meekly take his own tray to the bin at McDonalds and boast about his ethics ; because it is cool, because western masters do it,

    but when he had to wash his dishes at an Ashram, he complains that his consumer rights were affected. What a load of BS!

    He even didn’t complete the program, therefore has no prima facie case as service provider had to be given the full time to deliver the service. Justifiably his case has been dismissed in two courts. He has bitten the dust and made himself a laughing stock.

    Art of Living has millions and millions of satisfied and happy followers and those who are calling AOL a cult are insulting these millions of people. I would request them to introspect and explore before writing such venomous and misleading comments.

  471. bari olu Says:

    Mr.BS Bhaamy you dont have any valid point in there. Dont keep harping on the same subject. All the logical fallacies in your arguments have been disproved by lots of people here.

    When u say
    >> like others who fail to see the point I am trying to make you are picking on a trivial item like washing dishes. How come you managed to ignore all other issues which are more significant?

    Washing dishes is a trivial thing to do but saying that u dont wanna wash your filth is non-trivial. It shows ur level of thinking. None of them have ignored your points. People have answered it back and also the fact that u have lost the case twice speaks for itself. Now please dont come and say that Sri Sri threatened the judge @ gun point Mr. Rakhi Sawant so u lost the case:)

    >> What attention I am craving for. There are more than six billion people in this world. The number of people seeing this blog directly or indirectly is infinitesimally small and not even worth mentioing.

    Come on man. Lets assume that you are not an attention seeker for the time being. You have posted this content to bring to attention the “Sri Sri Scam”. Why do u need this forum which has “infinitesimally small” number of readers. Go out tell all the 6 billion people. By the way why do u even need to post it in your name and stamp it with Bhamy V shenoy if u dont need attention.You could have had a clandestine name say “anamika”, Karataka damanaka etc.

    >> Whether one is honest or fraud depends upon the value system of the assessor.

    This is one big self goal that you hit. According to ur own admission of not liking the funda of washing ones own plate, proves beyond doubt that u have no value system. Hence you are a BIG FRAUD.

  472. Neha Says:

    Dear Qwan

    Namaste :)

    You suggestions to readers to look into more substantial issues to ‘demonize’ Sri Sri Make me smile. You are also questioning his Divinity.

    So let me explain you something.

    In mainstream Hinduism and Indian Spirituality we follow what is called Monism. Monism is a spiritual concept that says God lives in all his creations therefore everything that is there is Divine. This concept is very different from Dualistic concept of other religions which say God and his creations are different.

    Most Hindu Indians and Indian spiritualists follow the non dualistic (Monism) concept and so does Sri Sri and so do his followers. We believe everything is divine and God is in everyone, even in animals, even in non living.

    God is the same energy that is present in all living and non living.
    Therefore you are also divine for us.
    That is why I greeted to you with Namaste- meaning I bow to the Divine in you.

    Having said that,
    From time to time, there have been many persons who have realised this Divinity in themselves to a greater extent than average person.
    For example, all of us can sing, but some have more natural talent of singing or some practice more or some have both- so we have billions of bathroom singers but few great singers.

    India is a spiritual place and has a long history of spiritual inquest of mankind. Therefore, India has produced more spiritually enlightened people than other places in the world. We call these people Gurus, Saints and Gods.

    Now if you nodding your head-go back to our original concept- God and his creation is one – so to see God in a spiritually enlightened person is nothing new to Indians. We Indians see God in our mother, father and ourselves, everything around us, even if they are not spiritually enlightened :)

    Therefore, for many of Sri Sri’s followers he is Divine. If he is not divine for you, so be it.

    Divinity is everywhere and I wish you see this Divinity in whomsoever you chose to see it in. It could be your religious God, your prophet, your Guru or even yourself! What is most important is that you see this Divinity in this world, in persons and things around you and in YOURSELF.

    Who enlightens you to this realisation is not that important. You can choose whom you wish to be enlightened from. There are many paths to this enlightenment :)

    Regards
    Neha

  473. jumri Says:

    I think this is the coment of depressive and pessimest people,you guys are so depressed and are so lack of knowledge you will soon question about your own existece.You guys are really jaelous about his achievements.
    I nt want to convience you but really have sympathy for you.
    jhumri

  474. Sonia Says:

    Bhamy

    Touche! finally you said something that makes sense. As you profess above, ” Whether one is honest or fraud depends upon the value system of the assessor.”

    SO, Sri Sri has millions of followers worldwide and you are trying to do the same on this defunct blog with your assinine complaints and small mindedness

    It ain’t working man! So quit while you can still exit with whatever dignity and face you have left!

    But obviously given your demonstrated looser-like conduct here, you are too egoistical and a desperate attention seeker to admit this, and you will go on and on and on in your usual predictable boring repetitive manner.

    YAWN- atleat 3x

    so let me just say – shame on you!! and go eat cake as the french would say

  475. rj Says:

    Name calling should stop at all costs. Calling someone loser is not fair.

    Bhamy, what you are getting 5000rs is a lot. I don’t think you realized that fact. When you do Yoga and other meditation courses, only Satvic food will work better. When you eat a heavy food, you cannot breathe….AOL’s Basic courses consists of a lot of breathing exercises. A lot of your complaints are arising out of your lack of knowledge about what you are getting for the price you paid. For a longtime, you did not disclose the fact that for 5000 includes things listed here: “Summit Fee: Rs. 5000/- per person also includes Delgation Fee, the Art of Living Part 1 Course, Sri Sri Yoga Course, Accommodation for 4 nights at summit venue (Jan 30-31, feb 1-2)”.

    Having lost the case, you should remove this post or at least change the headline. Calling it a scam and all that is for sure you are searching for attention. AOL can make 27 lacs in 2 minutes. They do not need a four day conference for it. Just wake up buddy.

  476. Sonia Says:

    Bhamy,

    I am sorry for calling you a loser.

    I do think that indeed you owe a huge apology to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the Art of Living and AOL follolwers for all that you have alleged on this blog including the blog title.

    Your misrepresentation, inaccurate information, lack of facts is hugely unfair not to mention your insulting attitude that millions of his followers are blind and lack judgement and intellect to make thier own decisions. THis is more so now that you have lost your cases

    Are you big enought to apologize Bhamy?

  477. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    If I thought that I was at fault I will not hesitate to apologize to any one. In this case I feel along with some of my freinds who also left the ashram that we were given the wrong information. Five well known speakers were to take part and only one shows up and that too for a short time. No explanation was given as to their absence. How should one interpret.

    I did not go to the place to learn about Yoga. I went there to collect information about NGO summit to produce a magzine. My purpose was to collaborate with AOL and not to find fault with them. But I felt the NGO summit was a hoax. For those who are admirers of AOL, Rs 5000 is not a big amount. But for an NGO it is a princely amount. They thought that the fees were high because the lodging is at international level and they justifed it thinking they get to listen to well known persons like Bahuguna, Pachauri, Khosla etc.

    We need to just agree to disagree.

  478. Neha Says:

    ^
    The fact is that the fee of Rs 5000 included things listed here: “Summit Fee, Delegation Fee, the Art of Living Part 1 Course, Sri Sri Yoga Course, Accommodation for 4 nights at summit venue (Jan 30-31, feb 1-2)”.

    Bhamy says:

    ”I did not go to the place to learn about Yoga. I went there to collect information about NGO summit to produce a magazine”

    You should have checked that major part of summit was of course yoga. Part 1 course also has lots of yoga. You even didn’t check about the contents of summit and what the fees meant for. It clearly shows all you went for was a mal intent, either to gather some publicity for yourself or to malign Art of Living. In both of these missions you have miserably failed.

  479. Disgusted Says:

    I recently attended the Art of Living Part 1 Basic course which was disgusting. The teacher was a woman with half-baked knowledge, judgmental, and very forceful. She insisted that people sit in vajrasan even if it meant great physical discomfort and pain. When I refused on account of a recent hairline fracture, I was looked upon with great disapproval and as if I was this sissy. The second thing was the fat cow insisted everyone hold their breath during some exercises. Holding your breath, if you have high BP is extremely dangerous especially if you dont have any prior practice. Also, they taught abdominal breathing to novices! Again, very dangerous. Also, the teacher behaved as if she was being paid by the word. She had verbal diarrhea. Spoke and spoke and spoke. And nothing she said was rocket science. She said that the guruji claimed that light from some stars reach the earth in 2-3 years. Give me a break! Make it a few thousand light years. Accd to her all problems wd be solved by ppl doing the kriya. So what abt those who work in humanatarian orgs, helping the poor and the underpriveleged? All in vain?
    My thing was, teach us the kriya (which is old breathing technique, gift wrapped in new snazzy cover, anyway) and cut the clap-trap. All AOL teachers have these benign, idiotic smiles and a peculiar sing-song voice which is jarring to the ears. And the tape with the great man’s voice himself is a disgrace. It has been recorded somewhere where you can hear horns in the background and cell phones ringing! And you’re supposed to concentrate with the background music!
    This is a farce and a great money-making scheme. It is truly a cult.

  480. rj Says:

    Yo disgusted…you should have first said
    “This is a farce and a great money-making scheme. It is truly a cult.” –

    Then give all your blah blah…your half-baked knowledge of kriya and what AOL does are not even half-baked.

    Obviously your blah blah does not make any sense. obtw, in the world what is not a cult? tell me one organization that is not cult like? right from religions, to movies to your cricket fans…are all cult like. your mind is corrupt…go and clean it up.

  481. Disgusted Says:

    I’m not going to flame rj as he seems like a halfwit anyway with extremely poor comprehension skills…

  482. Sonia Says:

    Yo Disgusted.

    Tell me if you are have or more baked or are the millions & millions of people around the world from every religion, country, culture, linguistic & economic background, rural / urban, etc etc who have done numerous Art of Living Courses courses that are taught by AOL teachers and have loved them. In fact so much so, that the word about the Course has spread widely because if has been tried tested and true for almost 3 decades.

    So is half witted with extremely poor comprehension skills. It seems clearly that its you.

  483. rj Says:

    Yeah right!!!!! give up your ego. everything will be okay.

  484. Sonia Says:

    yo disgusted

    dont forget to also pick up comprehension skills and wit along the way so you don’t feel too light headed after dropping some of your ego.

  485. Disgusted Says:

    Free country and freedom of speech, hmm? Maybe you got a good teacher who didn’t talk your socks off? Maybe you like claptrap and maybe some don’t? Maybe for you its the way of life and maybe for others it isn’t? How about that. Chew on it and stop preaching and bleating like demented sheep.

    Sycophancy is truly a refuge of the dullards.

  486. Deep Says:

    Corruputed mind leads to corrupted thoughts

  487. Sonia Says:

    disgusted

    right on – freedom of speech is the only way! your view against those of the multi-millons pf people around the world who, simply put, love the Art of Living Courses!

    Chew on this sycophancy some more and let it truly penetrate through your psedo intellectual masturbation dullard mode!

  488. VALALE SUBBANNA Says:

    The punchline of AGNI should be changed from “Idu patrikeyalla prathibhataneya astra” to “Idu patrikeyalla ROLL-CALL na astra.
    Instead of PNK ,Sridhar must have responded to the allegations.

    Sri Sri is the creation of media like TOI.They created him but forgot
    to install the brain.

  489. Disgusted Says:

    Imbeciles with limited vocabs are a pain in the wrong place…Instead of breathing like some faulty steam engine, go do some homework and brush up your language skills…And while you’re about it, brush up your do-it-yourself techniques also. God knows you probably don’t get the Real McCoy

  490. Sonia Says:

    Ditto disgusted. Back at ya!

  491. Agni Says:

    Yeah right Subbanna!!!! Sri Sri could have borrowed some from you….but it looks like you have nothing to offer!!!! People here seem to spew venom. It looks like they have nothing positive to talk about. Some people don’t even like it when others smile!!! What a pity. Every heard of a Laughter Club? May be some of you will have to join that instead of showing off your English skills and your level negative thoughts here

  492. Setudev Says:

    A fwe questions:
    1)Why does AOL course cost about 300 to 350$ in USA and 15,000 RS in India?
    2) Why do teachers who atr trained to teach in India cant teach in USA unless they have that “special” training? ( I heard this first hand from my cousin who is AOl teacher in India and was visiting me in USA.
    3) when I requested him to teach me and my roomate the sudarshan kriya, he said there has to be a class of 8-10 people at least to teach.
    4) So why cant my own cosuin teach me this breathing technique in USA and without a 8-10 people class?

    The recorded answer from AOL members for the fees is as follows:
    “Because we want to pay the fees of the teacher, his/her charges for commute and couse setup fees. The rest of the money is used for numerous charity activities done by AOL all over the world.”

    Now So lets say I am ready to offer ride in my car for teacher’s commute. I will offer home cooked food to him and even all the atendees. Now that leaves us with fees. So I say lest say 50 to 100 for 2-3 hours per day couse for 5 days. I will give 100$, so thats 500$. Now why we need 350$ from 10 people for 5 days? (that is 3500$)
    And Ohh by the way I will offer my house as venue too.

    Why should each atendee pay 350$ instead of 50$? Even if rest of the money is used for managemnet and charity. Why should we do this forced charity? I do charity as per my own convinience and ideas. Why not charge exactly what is needed to teach?

    Bye the way AOL members: Where does AOL publish their yearly accounts? Like any other NGO they must make these records public. Please point me to those public records.

  493. Setudev Says:

    A fwe questions:
    1)Why does AOL course cost about 300 to 350$ in USA and 15,000 RS in India?
    2) Why do teachers who atr trained to teach in India cant teach in USA unless they have that “special” training? ( I heard this first hand from my cousin who is AOl teacher in India and was visiting me in USA.
    3) when I requested him to teach me and my roomate the sudarshan kriya, he said there has to be a class of 8-10 people at least to teach.
    4) So why cant my own cosuin teach me this breathing technique in USA and without a 8-10 people class?

    The recorded answer from AOL members for the fees is as follows:
    “Because we want to pay the fees of the teacher, his/her charges for commute and couse setup fees. The rest of the money is used for numerous charity activities done by AOL all over the world.”

    Now So lets say I am ready to offer ride in my car for teacher’s commute. I will offer home cooked food to him and even all the atendees. Now that leaves us with fees. So I say lest say 50 to 100 for 2-3 hours per day couse for 5 days. I will give 100$, so thats 500$. Now why we need 350$ from 10 people for 5 days? (that is 3500$)
    And Ohh by the way I will offer my house as venue too.

    Why should each atendee pay 350$ instead of 50$? Even if rest of the money is used for managemnet and charity. Why should we do this forced charity? I do charity as per my own convinience and ideas. Why not charge exactly what is needed to teach?

    Bye the way AOL members: Where does AOL publish their yearly accounts? Like any other NGO they must make these records public. Please point me to those public records.

  494. Setudev Says:

    the Art of Living Foundation, which only recently acquired this beautiful old embassy by Meridian Hill Park as its national headquarters in washington DC. Who pays for these 10 million dolllars to by an old embassy in DC?

    At the Art of Living’s new national headquarters, which was purchased last July and is still in the process of being cleaned and renovated, volunteers who during the day work for places like the World Bank and NASA have pulled weeds and Swiffered the floor in anticipation of Shankar’s visit. He comes about twice a year, fresh from tours of other countries, his schedule packed with courses to teach and speeches to give. (Today he is scheduled to speak in Washington at a conference for Indians sponsored by the Telugu Association of North America; he’s been billed just under another speaker, Bill Clinton.)

    Source:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/04/AR2007070401609_2.html

  495. VALALE SUBBANNA Says:

    Dear Agni its not ART OF LIVING but COMMERCE OF LIVING.

  496. Sheetal Says:

    I feel, you have still not understood.. what Sri Sri is? And I think, you people are right from your point of view.. because eveyone is different in thier perception.. A person who is giving happiness, Joy and knowledge, you claim that he is fraud…. why we always look at the negative side of it… come out from your comforts and see what Art of living is doing for the socity… you are talking about money… people go and drink, smoke and do harm to thier body.. for that you are ready to pay.. what about meditation.. if you pay, you have a problem.. It is easier to say bad things about other people…………. but so difficult to come forward and take action..

  497. Sheetal Says:

    I would like to tell you something more about There was a politics during Krishna, there was politics during ram…. So if you say all about this Sri Sri, it is absolutely ok… Because, there is always talk about good people. if does not happen.. It means that there is no good ness in the person..

  498. agni Says:

    Yeah Subbanna, you like free meals, don’t you? nothing is free in this world!!! as somone said here earlier, you get free stuff when you beg or steal….you decide what you want to do!!! May be you can then start an organization called Art of Getting Free Meals

  499. Neha Says:

    Setudev and others who have issues with Art of Living’s Fees and always complain it is a money making enterprise and all that

    The simple answer is, WHO IS FORCING YOU TO PAY?

    Art of Living do a course, they have set up their fees for it, what they do with the money collected id none of your or anyone’s business. Weather they keep it themselves, do charity, throw it in the bin. That is none of anyone’s business. ?

    WHY THEY CHARGE SO MUCH ETC ETC is none of your business. You wanna do the course ? Pay the fees and enjoy. You don’t want to do it, good for you.

    Armani charges $ 4000 for its suit, a private doctor may set his fees $ 500 for one consultation, a speaker may charge each participant $ 200 for a single lecture, you wanna buy their services , you go and pay, you don’t want to pay, don’t buy.

    No one is forcing you. Go and buy a $ 30 Suit, visit your family doctor, and read a $ 10 book about the subject of the lecture. But you have no right to complain, why do ask such a price. It is their service, their product. They have right to ask a price they want. Simple.

    Art of living CHOOSES TO DO CHARITY work with the money it earns. Art of Living DOES NOT HAVE TO SPEND ITS EARNED MONEY ON CHARITY.

    However Art of Living’s Charity work can be viewed at http://www.iahv.org and all accounts are also available online.

  500. Sara Says:

    Ramdev is a genuine person and urges people to do pranayam regardless of who and where they learn it from. He seems very down-to-earth, humble and approachable, I feel.

  501. neha Says:

    No doubt Baba Ramdev is very good. He has single handily revived Yog in India and now across the world also. Sri Sri and Baba Ramdev both are great Yogis and have their own style of teaching, working and organisational management. Both are exceptional personalities, no doubt.

  502. Setudev Says:

    Neha:
    You sounded very angry, that is very surprising for an AOL desciple. But anyway thats understandable.
    Its interesting that you ask these questions: WHO IS FORCING YOU TO PAY?
    Hmm that means 375$ for a basic course + more for advanced couse = about 2000$ for whole “knowldege”. I am happy that someone was actually able to put a price tag on this invaluable knowdge which was available for free in our vedic scripters. Thats called packaging IMHO. So I have a friend who cant afford to spend 2000$ a year because he is very low salary. poor guy doesnt qualify to earn this knowldge. I think when he goes to the doors of AOL class and says he cant afford, people like Neha will say: WHO IS FORCING YOU TO PAY? Go home, earn more money and then show up. You dont complain when you buy armani do you? I would like to video tape that scene if possible. The expressions will be invaluable.

    Neha further says “Art of living CHOOSES TO DO CHARITY work with the money it earns. Art of Living DOES NOT HAVE TO SPEND ITS EARNED MONEY ON CHARITY”
    From her comparision of AOL to armani and other expensive brands, it will be fair to also compare armani’s profit making philosophy and business tactics, wont it be? Because she did a raw comparision of AOL’s prodcuts to commodities. So it will be unfair to do a partial comparision here. Its great that Neha confesses that charity is just a part of choices AOL has made and they are free to change that choice at anytime. From this they should declare themselves as profit making organization and not an NGO necessarily. They mention about their charity on their website and seminras in marketing style, similarly they should mention that they are buying 10 million dollar worth old embassy in Washington DC with “their” money. They should also mention they just bought some huge land in India. These are definitely some things to be proud of for a business as Neha says: its none of our business to ask what they do with that money.
    She almost convinced me with her aproach that AOL is a great business. Thanks Neha.

  503. Setudev Says:

    Neha mentioned that “However Art of Living’s Charity work can be viewed at http://www.iahv.org and all accounts are also available online.”

    But I couldnt find any accounts online. I am already very convinced that AOL does a lot of charity. So there is no need for link to charity website.
    Can anyone send me a link to AOL’s online accounts please?
    I hope this is a reasonable and legal request and I hope it doesnt anger any AOL desciple again.

    Please dont give evidences of charity again and again, just send the link to public accounts if possible, that will be sufficient to convince.

  504. Agni Says:

    Jaggi Vasudevji is doing a great job too. There are many…some are well known and some are not very well known.

  505. Setudev Says:

    Whenever you ask Any AOL desciple, why do they charge 375$ in USA and 15,000Rs in India for a basic cource, the recorded answer from AOL members for the fees is as follows:
    “Because we want to pay the fees of the teacher, his/her charges for commute and couse setup fees. The rest of the money is used for numerous charity activities done by AOL all over the world.”

    On the other hand if you really press them on this question, people like Neha get angry and ask you the question: ” The simple answer is, WHO IS FORCING YOU TO PAY? It is their service, their product. They have right to ask a price they want. Simple. ”

    This means one of the two things: 1) they are selling a product under disguise of being nonprofit organization.
    2) OR they want to force charity upon you.

    So if they are selling a product, then they should be a normal business like Armani and should not be given non-profit status.

    If they are doing charity with your money, then that is forced charity. I am here to buy AOL product and if you are non-profit organization, then just charge me whatever is needed to meet your expenses, which could be much less that they actually charge depending on location.
    After this if participants feel that they really liked the course and are benefitting from it, then they may offer more money volunterily for charity.
    People have their own ideas of charity and they dont want necessarity to give money to an Organization for charity. They may choose to personally feed the needy. If tomorrow Armani says we will charge 1000$ for a suite instead of 400$ because we will do 600$ charity on your behalf, will you accept that? — since we are comparing AOL teaching with a commodity like Armani products here.

    Neha, tell me one thing, instead of selling me your procuct for a reasonable price, Why are you forcing your charity on me?
    Sudarshan kriya as Neha rightfully said is a technique, a product.

  506. NTDV Says:

    SetuDev – or a leftist? or a leftist journalist? wow…you seem to have a good feel for manipulating numbers. Keep it up. Some how you came up with this $2000. Well done!!! Of course this is expected from leftists. You seem to have made some conclusions before doing the research and now you are trying to justify your conclusions at all costs!!!

    AOL’s is a 501(c) organization. Their tax filing should be a public one. Don’t wait for someone else to do the job for you. You go, search and figure out man. Ask your friend who cannot pay for the course to talk to AOL and check their response before you post your imaginary stories.

  507. Sara Says:

    Why can’t people express their views without others getting all upset. Setudev has asked some very relevant questions and there’s no point in getting defensive. The more defensive ppl get, the more it seems things are not quite what they seem.

  508. NTDV Says:

    Sara, it seems like Setudev’s relevant/valid (?) questions are based on a few invalid assumptions. He needs to research and find the truth instead of just writing things here based on what he/she said!!!!

  509. Neha Says:

    Setudev, you are twisting words and deriving suitable conclusions from my post.

    First of all no one is forcing their charity work on you.

    The fees you are charged for the course- is the course fees, that should be clear. You pay for the course. End of the story.

    Then it is Art of Living’s prerogative what they do with that money. If they chose to do charity, and inform you and others of their charity work, then also it is their prerogative. This point should be clear to you, The money you pay is course fees, not donation towards charity. It is Art of living who decides to do charity with it. OK?

    If they get tax benefits etc as a charitable organisation, then it is charity commission of concerned country who has right to verify their accounts, not you. And I am sure their sister organisation (through hich AOL does charity work) don’t get recognised as ‘Best independent charity of America 2006’ without their accounts being checked. However, as someone pointed out, if you are really keen to know, that is your work. Go ask charity commission or concerned authority to provide of their account details under right to information acts, its not my job or any other blogger’s. I just gave u a link, if accounts are not available online, then you can ask them or charity commission, but that’s your job not mine.

    Also, note again I will point out- It is Art of Living who decides what they do with their EARNED money. They are asking you for FEES for a course you choose to do, not donation. What right you have got to ask for AOL’s account? Do you go and ask your doctor’s accounts for the fee he charges you?

    I am not angry or anything like that, its just a bit difficult to make you understand a simple point.

  510. ADVENT Says:

    Setudev, you are getting confused, so let us put it in a kind of mathematical logic.

    1. Here a AOL guy comes to you nearly like a salesman from a profit making organization (like Armani if you prefer) and tells you that here is a course costing so much, and possibly giving there xyz benefits
    2. You check out with a few friends around and decide to try it out basically for the benefits that it gives you. The charity aspect really does not figure here
    3. It is another matter that AOL then prefers to spend all the money for charity. If they get a tax benefit for this, they need only to convince the taxman with all the details , that they rightfully qualify for this benefit. They are in no way obliged to publish their accounts to the world simply because they qualify as a non-profit organization
    4. They have some sister organizations that directly do charity work and collect funds explicitly towards this purpose. …such as IAHV (www.iahv.org) (and there are others as well) They (like cry and others) owe it to the contributing public to publish their financial statements. Although they have done in the web site, I just checked out, the link (under “financials” ) does not seem to get through. There could be a genuine problem and you could write to them and ask them.
    5. This said, a few things are obvious and one can judge them for oneself. In India with a GDP growth of a little over 8 percent the financial disparity had reached such levels, that money, education, basic facilities simply do not reach a substantial section of people. In the corporate sector employment situation had come to such ridiculous levels only a few months ago that on one hand salaries were reaching the levels that u find in countries where per capita is over 30000USD, (when India’s per capita is less than 1000USD) and on the other hand there are millions and millions of jobless youth who are unable to become employable simply because they could not even get the threshold education. Govt does not seem to have either the cash or the will to ameliorate anything. So the roles of NGOs and even some of the corporate has been significant. We really need to encourage any attempt by anyone (individual or organization) to reach out. Spiritual organizations in India have played a great role here
    6 As an external observer, It should not take one a great deal to observe the commendable contributions contributions that AOL volunteers have done in Education or in calamity relief situations, be it Bihar flood of yesterday or Vidarbha’s farmer suicide issue etc. This is what surprises me about the zeal with which Bhamy is working. He seems to me a fairly an aware guy. Why do you have to sit and split hair endlessly over a few cents here and there, as if there are no better issues around. Can you not take a broad view and weigh for your self the revenue versus the expenditure ? (I mean the +ve contributions of AOL vs the –ve aspects, that you observe, whatever they may be)

  511. Neha Says:

    Let me tell you something- Bhamy, Setudev and others of the kind

    Art of Living is a volunteer based organisation. There are thousands of volunteers belonging to every religion, almost every nationality and every race who are working for Art of Living out of their free will. They spend their money ( many volunteers don’t even claim expenses), take time out, sometimes even risk their lives to help people ( go to naxal areas, war torn regions). Why would they do that? Are they all idiots and you guys so smart that you see something that they don’t?

    There are millions of people who practice sudarshan kriya everyday in their homes and at AOL courses. Are they all idiots who have been fooled into doing a breathing exercise for 30 minutes everyday which has no benefits? Are these people from every corner of the world, all fools who waste 30 minutes of breathing exercise everyday without any benefits? Probably millions of these people don’t see that Sudarshan Kriya has no benefits but you know. You are so smart.

    All the stupid allegations that have been thrown at Art of Living have been convincingly refuted in earlier posts. What else some can now come up ? Seems like some people have just one agenda-to find a fault with Art of Living, rational or not, they just have to say something.

    However let me tell you one more thing. Until now there is no allegation of yours had any basis. In future you may find one . That is very possible. An organisation that operates in 145 countries, has thousands of workers and millions of followers, is bound to have some rotten apples at some point of time. It is also possible that vested interests e.g. powerful religious lobbies of west may plot something against AOL as they see AOL as a threat to their evangelical agenda. However, truth shall prevail.

    Epilogue: The convincing refutations to your allegations and you biting the dust is not a matter of jubilation. Rather it is sad.

    Here is some man and his organisation who is bringing smiles to millions across the world, a man who talks of unconditional and universal love, a man who is admired by millions of diverse people across the world in today’s time when people have lost faith even in their own kind, an organisation that is run by volunteers, an organisation that has been praised by United Nations and many others, YET Some people, just have to throw mud at them out of their vested interests. It is sad. It is sad for India, sad for people who want to make this world a better place, sad for humanity.

  512. sulochanosho Says:

    This species Sri Sri or Shi Shi must be a great genius as told here for even the wisest of the wisest are brought under his net to nourish his great Soham oe Swaham. As long as the mass is there to follow and to do pranams in the name of temptous non-existing Spirituality and God, there are are bound to be more species of Shi Shis popped up amidst us.

    Congrats to Chirumuri for this upfront bold presentation of hypocrisy played out by nicy juicy Shi Shis out there. Imagine his geniusness of cunningness that he can even fool the UN body there.

  513. NTDV Says:

    Sulochanosho – There are all sorts of people in this world including the ones like you who do not believe in God. That is perfectly fine. If you do not understand God or prayayams or whatever….that is perfectly fine too……..there is no cunningness here except I see a typical cunning leftist junk posted by you.

    You cannot be more leftist than a naxalite…and you know what? even naxalites have taken AOL courses with an open mind and have progressed in their life.

  514. NParry Says:

    NEWS FLASH!

    The Art of Living name has been changed to the ART OF LEAVING! As of January 2009, cash only donations in the multiples of 1000s accepted to breathe free air with the help of your own nose!

  515. basanth@rediffmail.com Says:

    Fiction: Someone out here has mentioned that the Art of Living course fee in India is Rs. 15000. No ifs, no buts.
    Fact:
    1. The fee in major cities like Mumbai is around Rs. 1500. Casually omitting a Zero, I can see the designs.
    2. If Art of Living was purely about money-making they would not have Zero to Rs. 20000 fees. Why does no one care to mention that the course is FREE in prisons, slums and other low-class areas?
    3. Also anywhere in the world the fees is half the regular cost for students, seniors and anyone who expresses financial constraints.

    This is just one example of how non-factual and misleading this blog is.

    Most of the armchair critics here I bet must be blowing thousands of rupees on a disc or in some bar. But ask them to pay to learn spirituality and here go thousands beating thier chests on churumuri.com in the comfort of thier A/C’s. It is very difficult for any such person to understand the mentality of a volunteer who works on the ground. Completely ir-responsible journalism is a way of life after the blog revolution started. This website is one such example. The journey from selfishness to self-lessness is something that everyone will not undertake. And those who undertake it will also face some critisism and are completely used to it! Every seer who has walked this planet has been criticized. Please continue…

  516. basanth@rediffmail.com Says:

    I wonder if Setudev does a break up of every cost he spends? He goes to the doctor and asks Why $500, I’ll give you scissors from my house, do the operation at my home and take only $100…please doctor please. Even the doctor may be advertising that the surgery is danger free. It can’t be. So, learn to read beyond the advertising.

    Sir, the fee is $xxx. Take it if you see value in it or leave it.

    He also mentions about someone having to do all the courses in a year and pay $2000. What a concocted theory. No one ever says do it together or in the same year. You can do more courses even after 10 years…

    But I find many things flawed here. Not a discussion to be trusted.

    I am not an AOL’ite yet – I was surfing to decide weather I should do the course or not. And now, seeing so much negative publicity I am sure it must be DAMN good and I will surely go ahead and do it. Like in my many jobs, I have notice that the bad guys make so much noise about the good guys. And the guys keep doing thier work. Like the terrorists just by killing 200 people have gained so much publicity, even a earthquake killing 30,000 people does not get that kinda publicity. This seems like some kind of web terror against Art of Living.

  517. basanth@rediffmail.com Says:

    AOL even teaches courses free of cost etc…

    http://www.flonnet.com/stories/20090102252603100.htm l

  518. VALALE SUBBANNA Says:

    @NTDV
    Its high time to stop your cock n bull stories of Naxalites being taught
    AOL (COL) courses.You have mastered the art of manipulation.You have not answered valid question raised by S.Dev.Idont see any difference between you and a fanatic follower of Bin Laden.

  519. sulochanosho Says:

    You are just YOU. There’s neither ‘right’, nor ‘left’. That’s the best reality that you can breathe. Tell it to your Sri Sri. Can he stop Tsunami, can he stop Terror by his magic Soham? Please stop talking meaningless hypes and hypocrisy, by doing so you are spreading a grand perfumed red carpet
    on the shit there. We have to face the hard reality. Where were our Sri Sris, when our best police forces and our NSG cammandos fought affront with the terrorists for almost 60 or so hours, saving the people, never thinking in terms of Soth Indians, Beharis, North Indians, Hindus, Non-Hindus, in the recent Mumbai Terror attack? Sri sri and his gang would have gone there and tried there breathing soham magic? Now the fire and dust are settled down, and now Sri sris go there for a great News Photo click so that he can claim Nobel Prize for HIS great service for World Peace.

  520. Agni Says:

    Basanth – Accept the fact that there are all sorts of people in this world. There are some people who still believe that moon landing by NASA is a fiction…and you will find stories about it on the web….some people are not sure if NASA landing really worked or not..they are kind of not sure and skeptical about it….and some people totally believe that NASA did land on the moon. On the other hand, there are same people who would foolishly and blindly believe in some concepts.

    Some people, till they die, would like to believe that breathing exercises and Pranayama would never work, some people are in the middle…skeptical, some people who did the course and who practice believe in it 100%. In fact, skeptical people have the best experience of doing an AOL course because they are relatively open about the course.
    You can’t help but accept the three types of people. The world would be a boring place without these types of people. I guess these three types of mindsets are also part of human evolution.

    US Universities have done research on Meditation and found significant advantages of doing Meditation. Breathing exercises are part of Yoga and someone had to be foolish to make a statement that these techniques do not work. At the end of the day, similar techniques are taught by Shri Ramdev, ISHA etc, but these people would not criticize others because AOL is the most popular organization. As you said earlier, if you are popular then problems do come with it. You got to handle it.

    How many know that you can repeat certain AOL courses for free? And many do repeat the courses multiple times for free. You can repeat it in any part of the world for free. Upon completing the course, every week there is a follow-up session which you can attend it for free. I myself did the course when I could not offered to pay and AOL gladly accepted it by letting me pay only 50% of the of the course fee.

    Bottom line – These techniques have worked for centuries. The wiser ones would learn these techniques (from Shri Ramdev or AOL or ISHA) and practice them on a consistent basis and gain benefits from it and the rest would continue to wonder what this is all about!!!

    I am not a believer in giving these techniques for free. Giving something away for free never works. People who are getting things for free would never realize the value of what they learnt or would not put the techniques into action unless you charge them money. This is a fact of life. Of course there is a different group of people who like to get anything for free!!!! You can’t help but feel sorry for them!!!!

    In India, for thousands of years, teachers have charged students in the form of GuruDakshana!!! Now in 2008, some people are dreaming that they should get these courses for free!!! Yeah right!!!!

  521. Rakesh Says:

    I am not going to tell the big things in that,i attended yoga for 2 years,and i think nothing is better than there in art of living than yoga.In my experience art of living is not good thing for everyone,it like some what brain washing(already my 8 years of love lost,because she trapped in this and she is now speaking to me as a saint that she can marry anyone,there is no prob on that because she is considering all as same.Fate is there,so we cant do anything etc etc….).In my knowledge all religion and courses like this is teaching to love,but in art of living people will get a dead mind with no love and respect to others.So many people are there that are affected badly because of art of living but we don’t have a common forum or money of that much Ravisankar have,so that will not come in front of world.If 100 persons are there saying they are benefited with art of living ,there is 1000 persons are there got mad with art of living.I am a perfect victim of this ,but indirectly ,think if some one you loved or they loved you started behaving like a stranger to you in a morning ,what will you feel.it is painful…..very much

  522. Setudev Says:

    Neha,
    I am happy to know that you are not angry, but just sound angry.
    Neha, it is rather amusing to see language of “eat the dust” in your speech, while you are carrying the torch of “universal love” in your hands. (FYI- That language is used only while fighting.) Your denial of anger is also interesting while you are questioning everyone’s smartness here sarcastically.
    Your convincing refutations have no other basis than statistics and statistics doesn’t prove anything but facts do. Even publicly traded companies post their accounts via mail, why is it not as easy here?
    You say “Probably millions of these people don’t see that Sudarshan Kriya has no benefits but you know. You are so smart.”
    Thats a great personal attack. I never said in my post said that Sudarshan kriya is not beneficial. You have directly put words into my mouth and questioned my smartness. In my opinion techniques like sudarshan kriya and pranayam are invaluable treasures of our society and they have been passed along for generations for a nominal gurudakshina and a lot of faith. I am surprised here, because here there is a lot of gurudakshina and faith comes after the experience.
    In ancient times fees were paid after the learning of disciple is over. I know its not possible in modern times. But even private schools dont charge so much for years of learning these days. (375$ for 18 hrs?)
    Instead of educating us about how the fee structure works in AOL, you should go and teach other disciples that: dont go on telling people that we charge so much because 80% of the money is given to charity. Tell them to stop doing this marketing campaign and be honest by saying, we charge so much because its our secret knowledge and we think its cost is 375$. Dont give lectures about how that money will be used and show fancy videos. Because that is exactly what you said, it is the cost of the course and not necessarily for charity. I like that answer better than marketing campaign. Can you really tell other disciples Neha? I dont think so, because you are going to say, thats not my job.

    Your Epilogue says: “The convincing refutations to your allegations and you biting the dust is not a matter of jubilation. Rather it is sad. ”
    1. I dont think you have convincingly answered or even addressed most of my questions.
    2. It is rather sad that you have to write this all to convince people. Most saints in ancient history did not need marketing videos or huge 25th years silver jubilee celebrations to convince people. Their work was self evident. The knowledge that they gave was not charged with fees. Only thing they asked was faith and trust in return. And still they were able to make a huge impact on humanity. Mere thoughts supported by action can change generations, they dont need a charity organization status.

    3. My unanswered and unconvinced questions are as follows:
    a. Who pays for these 10 million dolllars to buy an old embassy in Washington DC? Speaking of simplicity and minimalist approach by AOL to all their disciples, why didnt they buy or even rent a house in DC and save millions and feed the needy? Buy do we need such expensive place in middle of the downtown? (one guess is — proximity to politicians and access to more charity, more lobbying etc.) Usually most saints stay away from politicians and power, because their “satsang” is not welcome by them.
    b) Why do teachers who atr trained to teach in India cant teach in USA unless they have that “special” training? ( I heard this first hand from my cousin who is AOl teacher in India and was visiting me in USA.
    d) when I requested him to teach me and my roomate the sudarshan kriya, he said there has to be a class of 8-10 people at least to teach.
    e) So why cant my own cousin teach me this breathing technique in USA and without a 8-10 people class?
    f) What about middle class people who cant afford 375$ or 15,000Rs? Are you going to say: WHO IS FORCING YOU TO PAY? Go home, earn more money and then show up. You dont complain when you buy Armani do you?
    f) why spend millions on silver jubilee? why not instead start a food donation camp with that money? I have heard all the arguments “for” celebrations, but none for using that money for poor. You know in spirituality, birthdays and silver jubilees dont matter in vast span of time this soul travels and goes through experiences. Given all the benefits of such gatherings, I think these can be organized with much much less spending as shown by history, if you care to look back.

    Sorry Neha, your strong language couldn’t answer my simple questions forget about convincing. I am not even questioning the very basis of organization yet, but you are getting offended as if I am. “That” is what is sad.

  523. Setudev Says:

    and Ohh by the way Neha,
    You need to get rid of the attitude: “AOL is can do whatever they want. It is none of public’s business to question them. AOL is not answerable to anybody but Tax people”

    That will be true only if AOL was a private company like Microsoft or Yahoo. Bill Gates earned a lot of money from people and he is now doing charity. I have no right to ask him what and how he is doing charity, because that is a private money and private comapny.

    Neha says: “Also, note again I will point out- It is Art of Living who decides what they do with their EARNED money.”

    Charging excessive fees by saying most of it is for charity is a different way of “Earning”, than charging excessive money for software (like Microsoft does) and being upfront about it.

    AOL is not a private company. Dont you think it is answerable to people who contribute money to this organization? You are questioning the very right of people to question this organization about what they do with the money which was marketed to be used for charity.

    Either go private or stop marketing charity. Microsoft has done both.

  524. NTDV Says:

    Art of Free Living (Mr. Subbs), I guess I answered your question and now you are worried about me answering Setudev’s question??? Sulochona – we will talk when you start talking sense. Thank you.

  525. VALALE SUBBANNA Says:

    @Agni
    Since you are not a believer in giving anything free, you dont offer re 1.00 to a handicapped begger,if you do so it will be free.Instead of “Corporate Gurudaxina ” you can charges Re 1.00 as nominal fee.
    If you do so how could Shi.Shi mint money.Remember Shi Shi neither invented Yoga,Pranaayam and Sudarshankriya nor hold the patent.

  526. sulochanosho Says:

    That’s all a ‘borrowed sense’ can make us, we go numb; again we need to go to some sri sris to borrow some new answer. Live totally, it’s YOUR LIFE. Life is spontaneous and instant, it never cares somebody’s rotten sermons.

  527. sulochanosho Says:

    That’s what all these teachers/preachers gurus like sri sris teach the lkg stuff there in terms of questions and answers. As if everytime we need to run to them to fetch the answers. In fact our LIFE is neither Question, nor Answer. JUST YOU. In fact nobody can answer your life. You alone need to answer your life. Listen none (first, me included!), one day you start listening on your own.

  528. Koli Manja Says:

    There is this guy who is publishing his experience of AOL check it out.

    http://aolbasiccourse.wordpress.com

  529. Neha Says:

    ”Listen none (first, me included!), ”–one intelligent blogger writes

    Thats a self defeating teaching. Mr/Ms, You are contradicted yourself by asking people to listen to you to not to listen to anyone. :).
    Chill dear chill.

    Come to Sri Sri’s knowldge session sometime, you will gain a lot of knowledge.

    Setudev, What to say to you now ? I advice that you go read Vedas, do some Paranayam and Yog. You do it under anyone’s instructions you like but please do it. You need some rest and relief.

  530. sulochanosho Says:

    All said and unsaid, let me make it very clear that unlike the parasites and hypocrites gathered around there, I have the best uninterested regard and respect for a fine soul like Ravi Shankar. Even I respect my enemies. (I dont think I have any enemies, for that matter.) But certain things we need to speak out. I dont have any intension to hurt the sanctity and sentiments of the disciples there. Many innocent people are there.

    But the irony is that many times once a man grows to a certain stature and dimension, suddenly a big business like coterie surrounds him. The grip and whip of this business coterie so loud that you seldom hear the real Ravi Shankar. He too surrenders there. Just a small glimpse of the other side – I wanted to highlight.

  531. sulochanosho Says:

    Contradiction is the very essence and sign of ‘aliveness’. Only in dead things we dont find any contradictions.

  532. sulochanosho Says:

    It’s the so called knowledge junk that makes us stinking.

  533. Setudev Says:

    Neha,
    You sound like a very close friend to me. It seems you already know so much about me that instead of answering my generic questions, you have given me some unsolicited “free” advice. You assume, anyone who is not an AOL desciple is ignorant about vedas/spirituality and has not done pranayama.
    It seems you know more about me than yourself — I can tell one thing about yourself though–you have failed to answer my simple questions. Ignoring them or down playing them will not make them go away.

    sulochanosho had said: “In fact nobody can answer your life. You alone need to answer your life. Listen none (first, me included!), one day you start listening on your own.”

    Which is same as what Sri Sri Ravishankar had said once, when someone asked him, what is meaning of life? — He said, that is like asking me to chew on your candy”

    Neha, I hope you understand it when you hear it in Sri Sri Ravishankar’s words. It seems by doing a few AOL courses Neha has got liscence demean and mock anyone who is not Sri Sri’s desciple.

    Here is small surprise for you — personaly I like to listen to Sri Sri Ravishankar’s thoughts. I read them whenever I get a chance or my cousin reads out them to me. I think his thoughts are very good.
    I just dont believe in the philosophy of the organization, (until I get my questions answered). So its easy to get me interested in doing a course – just give me some sensible answers instead of beating around the bush and I am ready to do the course.

  534. Agni Says:

    Subbs: You like it or not AOL owns the patent for SK. If you are a believer in free loading for everyone…keep it to yourself…it will not work in any age. Get real.

  535. Agni Says:

    Setudev, it is you who are beating arond the bush. The best way to get answers to your question is to go do the course and be part of AOL. You will find the answers. Until that time, whatever Neha or someone else tells you, will never make sense to you. All these discussions here is a waste of time…you go and experience it…do not wait for someone else to give you the answers. Go figure out

  536. Setudev Says:

    Agni,

    Are you sure AOL course answers all the questions I have listed? I thought they teach Sudarshan Kriya and give some spiritual teachings. I never knew they shed light on the “whys” that I have asked.

    I asked them to people who are teachers of AOL and they didnt/couldnt asnwer those, I dont know how the course is going to answer them.
    And even if I do the course and they still dont answer the questions, again then what? do I come back here and ask it again? What is so hard with those questions that “none” of you can answer those? You really surprise me Agni.

  537. Sam Says:

    Pl close the comments for this article!

  538. Agni Says:

    Seteudev –

    I will try my best to answer your questions/imaginations based on whatever little I know…. Just going through your questions, it is clear to me that you do not understand half of what you are talking!!! You sound confused with all your questions. You do not know what is going on when you do a Basic course!!! Believe me, Take the basic course first and half your questions will be answered.

    1. Washington DC – Who pays? AOL Washington DC would pay for it. Probably there was a loan involved and the local chapter would be responsible for it. What is wrong with that? People here in the US pay for the course, raise funds…some funds have to go in to develop the local chapters. You cannot rent a house and convert it into an AOL place. The neighborhood home owners would object to it…there can be law suites, traffic issues etc…zoning issues etc. Now your next question would be…why not buy something cheap in a remote place…if you want your organization to grow, it would be a good idea to buy the place in a central location…not some remote locations where no one can go.
    2. Feeding the needy is important which AOL does in different ways…also local growth is important as well. There are so many advantages of having a permanent building for your local chapter. Otherwise lots of $ goes towards renting places and setting up places.
    3. because their “satsang” is not welcome by them???? – not sure what you mean here!!!
    4. There are plenty of teachers from India who come and teach in the US. I do not think you were given the right information. In addition, it is possible that teaching in the US did require a special training…what is wrong with that? It is a different environment, different country, people have different expectations and different mindset. It is better to get an additional training before they teach here. Another trivial question from you without understanding the big picture.
    5. “teach me and my roomate the sudarshan kriya” – on one hand your cousin is not qualified to teach in the US…and on the other hand you are forcing him to teach and he said needed 8-10 people to teach? Something is missing here. And you were trying to get a free meal here!!!! Doing an AOL course, I would like to believe, is a process. It is not a fast food that you learn SK in 2 hours and Basic course is done.
    6. (e) is another confusing question – your cousin is not allowed to teach in the US…now you ask him to teach??? You somehow want your cousin to break the rule that he has to follow so that you can get a free meal? An AOL teacher would not and should not break the rule. If I were your cousin, I would have simply told you that the rule is “I am not allowed to teach – does not matter if it is 2 people or 20 people”. AOL course is a 20 hour course. SK is just part of it. Even if I am allowed to teach it does not make sense to teach for 2 people.
    7. What is wrong with celebrating silver jubilee? Sewa is part of AOL and every one associated with AOL does Sewa and help people. When it is time to celebrate an occasion we celebrate too.
    8. Who said middle class cannot offered to pay $375? That is your imagination. In your mind if you think that $375 for an AOL course is too much, it is too much…What is the right fee then? Let me tell you something …$375 is not too much. If you cannot offered to pay like I was, AOL would offer you a discount. In India the course fee ranges from 1000rs to 1500rs. It is not 15000 rs. I am glad you are no longer publishing your ‘gas’ $2000. Let me tell you that $375 is worth it because the value that you get from that course is worth more than $375.

    Most of your questions are a mixture of your lack of understanding of what AOL is, your imaginations, some gas and so on. I don’t think you have talked to any AOL teacher except your cousin…and I doubt that as well.

    Don’t expect a free meal and keep arguing this and that here. Take the course…practice it for sometime and see if it helps you. There is no point in asking all these questions and commenting without having a first-hand knowledge. What you are writing here is all GAS. As I said in my last message…go figure out …don’t expect someone else to find tax returns, don’t expect someone else to answer your questions to your satisfaction…..go figure out. Until that time…see ya!!!

  539. Krishan Says:

    How much of this criticism is rooted in Christian and Marxist fear of New Age?

    If you are aware, the biggest ideological fear of Christian Institutions in West and of Marxists in China (and India) is what they call ‘New Age spirituality’. All spiritual traditions be it Osho, Maharishi, Yoga institutes, ISKON, Art of Living, Buddhism of any kind etc are all ‘cults’ of new age by their definition. (Who points to them that someone once said; If a few thousand or million follow it, it is cult, if billions follow it, it is a religion!)

    And they fear them most because no city is left in developed world where you will not find one or more of these ‘new age’ institutions drawing hundreds of westerns who are getting more and more disengaged with Christianity.

    That is one of the main reason you find internet and media and even real world full of accusations, ridicule and condemnation of these ancient traditions. You just need to type any Indian spirtualist’s name and hundred’s of smart disenchanted ex members surface up, slandering and accusing of whatever comes to their mind.

    How many articles you find questioning funding thousands of churches and convent schools in India?How much business they are making in name of education of young children that goes to fund conversions? Hoew many articles questioning child abuse cases of church priests world over? How many blogs questioning financing of Mother Teresa’s Institute from West ? You call that charity? I call it business. Help to convert. No one dare talks about that.

    Do you question what is being taught in Madrassa’s all over India, funded by our own taxes? Do you know recently Govt announced hundreds of crores of Grants to Madrasa’s wheres no school with Vedic education will ever get a grant! Do you do your ‘sneaky’ or Tehlaka operations in madrasa or Orissa where tribal’s are being converted in exchange of bags of Rice? No. But you have got time to slander a man who talks of universal love and love for nation and teaches Vedic Wisdom?

    As this blog concludes, let me tell you one thing, The ancient Vedic Wisdom of India and its spiritual traditions have withstood onslaught much bigger than this and have come on top. You like it or not, What is indirectly being attacked here and in blogosphere is ancient Indian spiritual traditions, Guru parampara, yoga and Vedic wisdom. But both the great Gurus and spiritual traditions of India will always win because truth always wins. Satayamev Jayate.

  540. sriram Says:

    I did my AOL course in 2000 and paid about 250 USD for it.. Money very well spent, I may add; I still do the breathing exercises and relaxation techniques. Ultimately like running, swimming or anything else, it is a matter of staying with the practice that helps while we are alive.

    I have lost touch with the AOL organization as I live far away from their centers. However, based on my interactions, they were very honest and classy folks. Sure they were enthusiastic about SSR, but for that it has to be earned. Some of them may be folks who have negatives.. but which group does not have such people?

    So I honestly dont get why people have a problem with an organization that

    1. gets indians and others to come together to improve their health and also contribute to local communities. AOL groups throughout the world do service in the communities they live. And they dont make a very big show of it

    2. Projects Indian spirituality in a positive way worldwide

    3. Does gutsy projects like working in Iraq and Kashmir

    Oh, well.

    sigh

    peace and out

    –sriram

  541. Shanmuga Says:

    Thanks Koli manja for posting the AOL basic course link. You are almost accurate in describing the AOL Basic course. It will help many people here to go through the blog.

  542. Krishan Says:

    The link posted is highly by Koli Manja is not a true account. It is account by a cheater- who has cheated on his teacher. Art of living takes an agreement from each course participant to not disclose contents or techniques.

    One of the main reasons from confidentiality , which cheater does not know is that breathing exercise and meditation are highly specialised techniques and must be learnt from a well trained Yogi/Teacher otherwise they can be very harmful.

    God forbids, If any unsuspecting person starts doing the techniques will this cheater guy take responsibility? This is highly irresponsible behaviour , irresponsible ‘journalism’ if you cal it that.
    Also, the guy may find himself in court for breaching the legal agreement.

    Someone who cheats on his teacher and breaks the vow given to teacher for cheap publicity is lowest of low characters :) . How can you trust a person like that?

  543. Agni Says:

    There is nothing great in the link provided by Koli. Here is a OSHO guy who is finding fault in every possible way. The beauty is that all these guys are after AOL ..why? because it is the most popular organization. Otherwise who would care about AOL? Not just AOL course….but any course or anything that you do, you get the best experience when you do something with an open mind and participate in it 100%.

    For the many people who want to read the blog – here is my suggestion – when ever you do something, just give it 100%.

  544. Krishan Says:

    Awards & Recognitions (partial list only)
    2007: Proclaimed as “Human Values Week” in Washington DC
    2006: 7 Proclamations of “His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Day’ in Canada
    2006: The “Humanitarian Award” by the city of Brampton, Ontario (for H.H. contribution towards human values and society)
    2006: Proclamation of “His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Day’ in Washington DC
    2006: Order of the Pole Star (highest civilian and military honour), Government of the Republic of Mongolia
    2005: Dara Shikoh National Award for Harmony, New Delhi, India
    2005: Global Humanitarian Award, Illinois
    2005: Bharat Shiromani Award, New Delhi, India
    2005: Mahavir-Mahatma Award for contribution to peace – Times Foundation, India
    2005: Proclamation by Mayor Bob Wasserman, Fremont, California. Presented to the International Association for Human Values and the Art of Living Foundation for Tsunami Relief, trauma care and rehabilitation
    2004: Proclamation by Mayor Gus Morrison, Fremont, California. Presented to the International Association for Human Values
    2003: Proclamation by Mayor Tom Bates, Berkeley, California. Declaration of May 14th as H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Day
    2002: Proclamation by Governor James E. McGreevey, New Jersey. Presented to His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
    2002: Recognition of Honor by Mayor James K Hahn, Los Angeles, California. Presented to the Art of Living Foundation
    2002: Atlanta Senate Resolution. Declaration of April 29th as H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Day in Atlanta
    2001: Letter of Support by Mayor Marylou Makepeace, Colorado Springs, CO. Presented to H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
    2001: Certificate of Congressional Recognition, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Houston, TX. Presented to the International Association for Human Values, 5H Program
    2001: Letter of Support by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Washington DC. Presented to the International Association for Human Values, 5H Program
    2001: Certificate of Honor by the Board of Supervisors, San Francisco, California. Presented to the International Association for Human Values, 5H Program

  545. NTDV Says:

    Krishnan – not only some of the people (leftists, communists, missionaries, some people in the Congress Government) who have agendas to bring down organizations like Ramdev’s Yoga, Isha, AOL, Hindus etc, our own Bhamys of the world have an indirect role to play too.

    For all that matter, Bhamy it is clear to me that you are just seeking attention here. For all we know it is possible that AOL might have errored. No one is perfect Instead of looking at the big picture and writing about the good work that they are doing, you managed to find a rare AOL mistake (? You already lost the court battle) and managed to get some attention for yourself. Just want to remind you that you lost the court battle twice!!!!!

    It is foolish to believe that AOL would do something like what you described for a few lakhs on a 4 day event. Bhamy, you lost the court battle. Now you keep this blog going to get some attention for yourself and let some negative people post total non-sense here.

    Bhamy – I would like to strongly object on the fact that you did not approve two of my messages when I merely pointed out abuses by a person here. You let your friends post the abuses and when I pointed out that in my post, you did not approve those messages. How in the world you can let someone use the Sh* word, calling someone parasite etc? and you deleted two of my posts when I just pointed such a language is not good.

    This blog is all about Bhamy Bhamy scam scam blog blog attention attention seeker seeker.

  546. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    When the “venerable” Enron in Houston collapsed, it was an eye opener for many. But till it fell, any one who questioned their model was criticized the media. There were many red flags. But a company whose chairman had the easy access to White house, whose board had the wife of US senator, an executive committee whose members had won more awards than any one can count, a company which has been the darling of the media escaped all due diligence.

    Enron scandal today has been eclipsed by a ponzy scandal led by Bernie Madoff of the US which has led to the loss of more than $50 billions. Just as in the case of Enron, there have been whisle blowers. But SEC which is now under attack did nothing.

    Let us hope that we do not have any such thing in the case of AOL. As many sincere bloggers have expressed their satisfaction with AOL, they may be doing a good servcie and they are entintled to charge whatever consumers are prepared to pay.

    But once they become a charitbale institution and get all kinds of tax benefits, the game rule changes. That is what is being challenged. When an NGO summit is held with the announcement of well known speakers and only one attends, and the organizers do not take trouble to annouce their absence, it raises some serious issues. The fact that two courts do not find any thing illegal does not amount to mean what AOL has done is correct.

  547. Sonia Says:

    Bhamy

    You go from being desperate to even more desperate in your quest to get attention –even though it may be through a minor blog space

    The comparison you draw above is beyond prepostorous and a farce!!

    You really want to compare the fall of Enron to Art of Living, an NGO which you claim made last minute agenda changes for an event and did not inform you until you arrived!

    How much more reckless will you get?

    At best you show audacity! But really you are fraught with despondency!!

  548. NTDV Says:

    Thanks for publishing my post. There is no need to compare Enron and AOL. You would be better off comparing how some of the good people have been vilified by people like you for personal or political reasons. That would be a better comparison. Buddha, Krishna, Jesus, Ram and all the good souls have gone though this.

    Regarding your experience with NGO summit — law of the land is supreme. The court twice ruled against you. Not once…twice. Even if something went wrong at the summit, you don’t have to post this message with such a mean heading. You could have shown a little class by choosing an appropriate heading. No wonder your blog is one of the most visited…and you continue this because you get all the attention.

    its all about Bhamy Bhamy getting getting attention attention.

  549. NTDV Says:

    Krishnan – I guess sulochanOSHO guy/girl is also from OSHO. The blog guy was a OSHO guy too. Oh well, obviously these guys are whining..

  550. Krishan Says:

    I think NTDV has correctly summed up this blog ! (see above)

    Bhamy Bhamy Scam Scam Blog Blog Attention Attention Seeker Seeker !

    Adios Amigos :)

  551. Doddi Buddi Says:

    This is to all AOL types and Bhamy Shenoy!

    Please recognize that Bhamy wanted his money’s worth! Not being fobbed off with some lame excuses. OK that said I am concerned that AOL Ravi has gone on record saying that he is a Tamil and therefore he is qualified to handle Lankan Tamils issue. Staying in Bangalore I would appreciate his efforts to handle the restive DMK and AIADMK types. That alone is a black mark as far as I am concerned because Ravi is capable of claiming fantastic powers under the guise of AOL. We already had Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who was up to no good with one of the Beetles wives:)

    Sorry folks I had to ge this off my test.

  552. Doddi Buddi Says:

    I wanted to say Chest. Sorry too much libation:)

  553. Karihaida Says:

    Bhamy Shenoy,
    you are insulting Bernie Madoff by comparing Sri^3 with him. The people at the top of the pyramid made quite a bit from Madoff :)

    The 1st comment started on Feb 1st and the AOL propaganda/defense is still going strong… Sri^3 is a genius to have created such dedicated minions.
    But as like any other bubble even this one has to blow, whether its a sex scandal or some other, remains to be seen …

  554. NTDV Says:

    Obviously when people like Karihaida are there to post mean stuff from Feb 1st, there would be people defending too!!! Are you trying tell others that we can tell whatever we want and you guys just listen??? just to let you know…people can make their own decisions. Don’t think that everyone is blind in this world…there are blind people like you too who simply would try to talk bad of others because some people don’t fit your hidden agenda…whatever that hidden agenda may be!!!!

  555. shade Says:

    its about time i read an article about the elaborate scam we know as “The Art Of Living”. I figured it all out when i went there for a ten day course which literaly costs 100$ a day to be there. Gurugi’s right hand man is a successful entrepreneur, and to his left hand man has a PHD in accounting. Now what would a spiritual teacher do with these men? did gandhi do his affairs with business men and accountants. The art of living feeds off peoples ignorance and social belonging. I sensed that “Gurugi” was putting up a front when he foolishly tried answering the most ridiculous questions that were written for him by the people taking courses, which some were written by 7 year olds. It looked like he was putting up a front, like he had something to prove. I also questioned his wisdom when he was making fun of old people, how their wrinkles are ugly. I remember this girl stood up and sang her heart out to him, which looked like bothered him by the expression on his face, and then made no acknowledgment to the song and told her to sit back down. I think there should be systems to weed out frauds like The Art Of Living in our society. Something should be done to expose this chandelle. Its wrong and we should take action!

  556. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    Shade,

    your intention of expsoing AOL is commendable. Do you know of any former member of AOL in the US who had similar experience like you and is ready to help a family to get out of the clutches of AOL? They seem to be desperate. They have contacted me and I have not been a member and am unable to help. My exposure was when I went to the ashram and was taken for a ride. My telephone number in Houston is 713 797 1147.

  557. sulochanosho Says:

    Today SAIDS (Spiritual Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome) is far more dangerous than AIDS on this earth.

  558. Arun Says:

    All these have happened through out the history of mankind. As long as people think that there is some coveted thing called “spiritual enlightenment’ and once they get there they’ll leave happily ever-after there will be people who will sell all sorts of stuff. Can’t blame them. Its just the classical supply-demand at work. What people are seeking is not truth but some kind of a state where they are undisturbed in thoughts and activities.

    Truth and life are not apart. They are one and the same. Life with all its moments of joy, sorrow, fear, anger is the only truth. Live in the moment completely without avoiding any thought or feeling – that is truth. With this realization you don’t need any one who sells “truth”- especially shoddy stuff.

    Read the great upanishads, read Sankara, read Buddha, read Jiddu Krishnamurthy, read Ramana Maharishi, read Nisarga-datta – all these people lived in the a moment to moment existence and taught that. Realizing truth costs you nothing and if you are not so lucky, it costs you a couple of thousand bucks. Then there will be no need for all this drama.

  559. Arun Says:

    Just wanted to add that my problem is not AOL charging money. Even many US yoga centers charge a lot of money and we don’t seem to have any grouse against that. Also , in my opinion the large population of AOL is comprised of nice people – a little brainwashed -not at all harmful.

    My problem is with the cult mentality that is getting cultivated. I have known a friends friends of mine who have called off marriages , separated from people they loved for years , just because their Guru advised them to do so. Anytime this happens it is very dangerous for the world as a whole because a million people would have allowed themselves to be directed by a fanciful few under the delusion of spiritual enlightenment. AOL or any other organization, money or no money – beware of a few trying to control your lives.

  560. Sophist Says:

    My experience of AOL was all about Cheap thrills and communal group-think. You may feel better in a superficial way being part of a big lie cult, but that is not really going to help you or the world in the long run. You can use group energy to hide from the world, but the world will always overtake you in the end.

  561. NTDV Says:

    I thought this chain of useless bashing stopped. Now it started again. I am sure Bhamy wants to keep this blog going for his self-promotion. This blog is all about Bhamy Bhamy getting getting attention attention. We fools are feeding his fat Ego. Bhamy twice lost the court case against AOL and he talks about fairness.

    Shade comes up with a “Shady” imaginative story and someone who is searching for personal attention is saying “commendable”. Btw, where did this guy attend a 10-day course? I am wondering which AOL 10-day course did Shade attend? Osho (SulochanOSHO) guy is back to bash AOL. I see that most of the bashers have other motives. SulochanOSHO and a few people are plain jealous about the growth of AOL.

    Arun – your views are a lot more balanced…but if you find a niche on what you want to do…you practice what you know the best. There is nothing wrong with that. Let people find their way and you please stop judging them based on what you do. Don’t you know that Criticizing Gurus and their followers have happened through out the history of the mankind? Buddha, Jesues, Ramana Mahrishi, Vivekananda – all have been criticized and stones have been thrown at them.

    Please stop spreading rumors that Sri Sri would advise some couple to separate. Either you are making up the story or the person telling you is making up the story. Did you see it in person? This is your friend’s friend….and you take that story at face value? Commmmon man…get real!!!! If you believe in that story that is worse than the cults’ belief system.

    Arun, lastly, what you are preaching is not easy to practice. Living in the moment is not that easy buddy!!!! Half of the visitors to the blog won’t even understand what you are talking about. Every great saint tells people to do Prayanama, Meditation etc. Lord Krishna also talks about “cyclic breathing” in Gita. People who understand all this would practice these exercises.

    At no point of time, I am saying AOL is perfect. When an organization is operating in 150+ countries, you are going to see issues. There is no doubt about that. But, most of you are spreading imaginative stories based on some one else’s experience or make-up stories or stories based on plain jealousy. Some are just talking here because they want the course to be free. What a joke!!!!.

    Some are in search of personal attention or their ego has grown so big that they are not able to let go this issue.

    The worst of all this are the people from other meditation groups, who out of pure jealousy are talking ill of AOL. That is a plain stupidity. Just be happy with what you have, who you are and where you are. I do not even want to talk about other groups with hidden agendas.

    And finally Sophist…who thinks that AOL is a cult. In this world which group cannot be called a cult? Every group would fit the definition of a cult. You just call an organization a cult based on your liking or disliking. A bunch of movie fans or Cricket fans can be called a cult too. When a cult grows big…it is called a religion.

  562. Karpagambal Says:

    The human mind absorbs anything and everything…..that too in a country like india, the ears r always open to what spiritual leaders say. Most people wouldn’t be able to distinguish between who’s worth it and who’s not.

    Most Indians have been brainwashed from a very young age by their own parents….”visit the temple and offer prayer to lord shiva, or be ready to inherit his rage”…..”today is shri rama navami, u must do all this, or u’ll be a sinner”…..”Adi Shankaracharya is our family guru, we must visit kancheepuram every 6 months”……”Satya Sai Baba is the incarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba, puttabarthi is the holiest of places”……so on. Parents r just doing what their ancestors did, we can’t blame them…..but constantly listening to things like these since our childhood, tends to impart within us that ‘sense of respect’ for the ‘orange robe’.
    Hence its not easy bringing to light the scams of a “commercial” guru, which might take decades in a country like ours.

    Personally I have this instinct wherein I can distinguish bet. ‘real’ gurus and ‘fraud or commercial’ ones. Till date, Chadrasekhara Saraswati is the only ‘guru’ whom I’ve seen in person and respect a lot. Am not even that big a devotee of Jayendra Saraswati and Vijayendra Saraswati.
    Most others like Satya Sai Baba and Sri Sri Ravishankar are ‘commercial’ gurus, if not scam artistes.

  563. NTDV Says:

    Karpagambal – I will quote what I said earlier ”

    The worst of all this are the people from other meditation groups, who out of pure jealousy are talking ill of AOL. That is a plain stupidity. Just be happy with what you have, who you are and where you are”.

    This is applicable above quote is applicable to you (and me) as well.

    You may want to call Sai Baba or Sri Sri or Jaggi Vasudev or Sri Ramdev whatever you want…but what each one of them have done to the society and common man (in the last 10 years) is much much bigger than what Kanchi Mutt has done to the public in the last 100 years.

    Please stop name calling and learn to accept the differences and have respect for different Gurus. Each one is different and each one have their own way of doing things. Let us learn to appreciate their good work and move on from there.

  564. muruga barathy Says:

    First i have to thank Mr.Shennoy for exposing conman like ravishankar. Many may think Mr.Shennoy is doing this because he has been cheated, But please remember even mahatma gandhi stood against the british after his personal experience.
    Few of my own family members are in the clutches of AOL. He chooses his followers based on their bank balance. He makes people wash his dirty legs (i hope he gets it pedicured regularly) , he claims to be a god, which is very funny from the view point of an educated person like me (Bachelor of engineering and masters in business from university of western sydney).

    I have experienced his exploitation of my family members using their house for all his con activities and their marriage hall for cheating people in the name of art of living. He hugs all girls and women in the pretext of guru(he has to be a pervert).

    I dont understand why he does not shave his dirty hair on the face, i have seen his pictures with out beard he looks like any ordinary man on the streets.
    When he used stay in my in laws house i have seen them preparing atleast 30 variety of food , in a country where poverty is the main issue.

    He and his family members are enjoying the money collected in the name of charity and are acquiring properties all over the world. If Satyam is a big scam , this is a bigger scam. I read people claiming about the good deeds he is doing. Please understand he is not even spending 25% of what he is receiving. He has built an image for himself and his organisation so that he can collect more money from abroad and innocent wealthy business men and women in india.

    Iam sure he will exposed on a fine day , when all his foollowers will realise how they have been cheated.

  565. muruga barathy Says:

    Dear NTDv,

    This con guru advised my brother in law and his wife to seperate, and based on that he filed divorce, fortunately he realised what he was doing and now they are living to gether HAPPILY.

  566. muruga barathy Says:

    hi all foollowers of ravi, does he wash his plate?

  567. Setudev Says:

    Are AOL teachers allowed to drink or eat meat? I am asking because recently I had few drinks with a person who is an AOL teacher. We went to reasturant he ate chicken etc…I am a veg. Further visiting a strip club to just get an american experince was also on the agenda. I am not AOL member so I dont mind all this just for experience. But is this all allowed by AOL?

  568. muruga barathy Says:

    Today he is in chennai fooling the chennaites once more. The publicity is much less this time, only small billboards on the road , publicing his face (what ever you can see with all that hair). I think he is underplaying so that he does not attract too much attention.

  569. muruga barathy Says:

    I request all fellow indians learn to believe in yourself, dont allow some con man who does not give a damn about your life to control your life. Build your relationship with your loved ones and work hard, be sincere to the work you do. I assure you all will lead a happier life. This conman is exploiting human emotions and making money out of it. He has to be really sick.

  570. Agni Says:

    Setudev – buddy, you are back huh? this time with one more imaginary story!!!!

    Murgua – the quality of your posts shows the kind of guy you are. Nothing more to say.

  571. muruga barathy Says:

    Attention Agni,

    I read all your postings , it is very clear that You should be one of the crooks involved in this scam and benefitting out of it .

    Me and my family have been personally affected by this con man and his group, that is the reason for this posts.

    Why are you supporting him, do you get some commision for bringing innocent people to exhtort mone

  572. Setudev Says:

    Agni,
    Hey you have become so sad to see me back again. You know fortunately we have “real” jobs in real life and we dont have time to “teach” others art of living life –since there is so much to improve in ourselves before teaching others. But you seems to have continued your “noble” task of defending AOL by completely dissmissing other people’s experiences and facts as imaginary and GAS.

    Hey attention all people here — Agni has acquired special powers (through AOL SSKriya ) of sensing truth vs. imagination and GAS. His powers are so powerful that he can sense GAS thousands of miles away by reading website posts. Since he is with AOL, every words he speaks is golden and absolute truth. We all non-AOL people are Gassy liars.

    Agni – with such extraordinary powers of sensing imagination and GAS you should be working at one of these organizations and you could save thousands of Human lives:
    1) National Security Agency — sense the truth in global chatter and save the world
    2) NASA — sense which scientist in NASA are gassy by reading their observations and help NASA fire them — save thousnds of dollars.
    3) Gas Station — sense GAS leaks early on and save thousands of lives from a blast.

    I wish I could reject other people’s findings/observations/questions as imagniation and GAS. But we non-AOL people have a problem called conscience and common sense which prevents us from doing that.

    With such tremendous powers of yours, I wonder if it is even worth responding to any of your posts here? People please dont play a failed game with Agni here. He has already assumed victory it seems.

  573. muruga barathy Says:

    good reply setudev, i hope agni stops defending that crook ravi and his entire family.

  574. Arun Says:

    It is clear that these discussions are turning to meaningless rambles. Lets close this and get on with our lives. As is said, the world is perfect the way it is and even these discussions are just a part of the whole !! Lets realize that and be in peace (I hate the word “bliss” used in spiritual lingo – life is not at all blissful but you can be peaceful)

    My two cents worth

    /Arun

  575. muruga barathy Says:

    Attention:

    Arun you are perfectly correct. Why waste time discussing about this because as long as innocent & vulnerable people are around, these kind of elements and institutions will coexist.

  576. Agni Says:

    Setudev :What else you can talk about? When all your lies (I just put it mildly as GAS) came out in public, you went into hiding and now you are talking about some irrelevant stuff. Keep it up.

    Muruga Bharathy – None of your family members are cheated. Your first post claims that your family members are his followers and then you claim they are cheated. Just don’t say things for the sake of saying. If you don’t like him there is nothing wrong with that. You should stop right there

    Can you show me a proof where he claims that he is God? This is all BS. He never said that. Watch one of the interviews in You Tube where he tells a Swedish Interviewer that he is not even an enlightened person.

    You are in disagreement with your family members about their AOL activities …and you are showing that frustration here!!! You would rather give away the marriage hall to Bipasha Basu…won’t you? You don’t have to show off your ignorance and immaturity by calling someone a pervert and all that…. Not worth replying your post!!!!

  577. We Says:

    Did you ever stop to think that You will end your life without EVER coming to SEE or EXPERIENCE GOD…

  578. Setudev Says:

    Agni,
    You are so amusing, haha, I was expecting your exact reply — so predictable! Why are you in deniel? Why are you denying that you have developed extraordinary GAS sensing abilities? I mean you exactly know why I went into hiding etc. If your guesses are so right why dont you buy a lottery ticket and win and donate that money to AOL?

    How is my suggestion for you to work for GAS station irrelevant after your display of extraordinary abilities? You seem to be frustrated so fast — Didnt AOL course teach you any patience with people who dont agree with you? you should do SSKriya and come back here with more force and demeaning words!! That will give real meaning to AOL teachings.

    Now that you have dissmissed me and insulted Muruga with a personal attack, you are qualified for advanced AOL teacher’s training. In that they teach Seva, Love, sadhana, etc. I am amazed at display of your love towards Muruga already.

    I dont understand why giving Hall to Bipasha Basu is bad — she at least entertains for the amount of money she charges — She doesnt eat 30 different dishes cooked for her free of cost and then give Art of Living lecture while burping, does she?

    A real spiritual person will deny such treatment and *demand* that they cook simple food only.

  579. Vaibhav Sharma Says:

    You stupid people. SRI SRI RAVISHANKAR JI is a GREAT SAINT. Do NOT misguide people. You have just NO idea about all the good things ART OF LIVING is doing around the world. First know & then say.

  580. Don Says:

    If any one is interested in listerning Knowledge, listen OSHO, available fee of cost on oshoworld.com in english and hindi. Sri Sri Ashtavakra Geeta cost Rs. 5000 +, but the same is avaialble from OSHO at free. Its sad that a knowledge is kept so costly at AOL. I have done 4 AOL various type of courses, the best is Basic course, all other are new packages with same material.

  581. sulochanosho Says:

    .”..You stupid people. SRI SRI RAVISHANKAR JI is a GREAT SAINT…”

    This is a small sample of what happens when more and more plastic flowers are churned out from these phony sri sris on this otherwise beautiful earth. These sri sris are polluting this beautiful earth with their spiritual baits or (shits?). Of course, these sri sris and for that matter the whole world sincerely think that these sri sris are doing great service on this earth. But what is happening is the quite opposite and it’s too dangerous. It’s far more dangerous that it’s so subtle virus that nobody can diagnose it. It kills the spontaneous energy of the people. It blocks the otherwise spontaneous brains of the people. We may excuse a terrorist, but never these spiritual errorists and terrorists. Please understand. I am not joking. My intention is not of knocking down these sri sris. I mean what I say.

    Your anger and fear are far more divine than your so called perverted bliss and turia.

    Go to our gullies. There watch our slum boys playing chinni dandu. Measure the joy on their innocent faces – I challenge there their joy is no match or of far more better quality than the toy joy given by your sri sris. Please stop playing hovoc on the humanity. Pack off your spirituality package. If you have guts, do some concrete works. Enough of windo dressing. You may fool the innocent mass, the world. But you can not fool the existence.

  582. Jane Says:

    Bhamy, Muruga, Shade

    You sound like frustrated gay men stuck in the closet screaming to get out but afraid to .

    So instead of deploying your energy fruitfully, you vent & bully innocent bystanders

    I dont know much about AOL expect having done the first and second level courses in the USA which I must say I enjoyed and benefitted from. The money I paid for them was worth every penny and I did not feel that I was charged unfairly for either. In fact, I have participated in similar events in other organisations and paid much more.

    I also now know many persons who have been in AOL for many years in several cities in US, UK and Canada and I have never heard any of the allegations you are carelessly hurling here.

    I would like to suggest you act responsibly and examine your motives.

    If you want to have meaning in your life then go find it because you will not find by this cheap thrills site.

    If you want to vent out your frustrated life and want an easy unharmful way out, then go bang out your frustrations on a treadmill in a gym

    or do a brave act that truly merits the attention you are so desperately seeking.

    or go seek help to come out of the closet so you can lead a happier life.

  583. nik Says:

    jai gurudev….god bless you all

  584. Agni Says:

    Setudev,

    LOL…amusing? Are you talking about yourself? Here is a guy who is doing all the talks based on lies, imaginations or whatever someone else tells him. Go and experience AOL buddy and then come back and talk. Take a Basic course, practice it for 60 consecutive days and then take the advanced course….come back and we will talk. Until that time whatever you say is all rubbish. Regarding Muruga – oh you enjoy all the name calling by Muruga and you talk 30-dish rubbish, burping, lies etc….and you expect people to sit back and watch all these non-sense ..is that what you want?

  585. Setudev Says:

    In my company there were multiple emails sent out to thousands of people about some stress relieving breathing technique’s free seminar. I asked the person is this some way related to AOL. He replied yes. Then I asked why havent you mentioned name of AOL in any of these emails, at the end if you are going to use these ‘free’ sessions to recruit more people to AOL courses? He never replied. But that made him conscious of his ‘real’ self and on next such email he mentioned the name of AOL.

    For many months previously all scuh ‘free’ seminar emails were without mention of AOL and were going uncaught. Pretty sneaky and amusing hun?

  586. Agni Says:

    Read Bhaskar Chatterjee’s post on Feb 4th 2008:

    “What we were told it was US Citizenship- and people jumped on.. This one is a honorary one from a city in CANADA!…If this is not deliberate mischief, I don’t what it is.”

    “Its expected that dished out facts are facts. Not from imagination because someone has other issues to settle.”

    “As I stated earlier, you can surely have 101 reasons not to agree with Sri Sri. But you have to present facts”

    The above was a reply to Setudev’s post. Setudev’s michivious post was exposed by Bhaskar Chatterjee. After that Setudev disappered for several months and reappeared again with next step of michivious posts.

    Setudev continues to spread his imaginations to suit his agenda…Keep it up buddy. You have a history and I just found that out today.

  587. Arun Says:

    I am happy reading the Bhagavad and the Ashtavakra gitas, Nisargadatta, Ramana, Krishnamurthy and Eckart Tolle. I personally believe that I have nothing to gain from AOL programs and I am just keepng quiet.

    Those against AOL, instead of screaming here on this website, got to do something. Get some evidence and expose him. Otherwise shut-up.

    Let people who want to do AOL, do it and then later on decide for themselves what they want to do. Its not somebody’s business to tell others, how they should lead their life. Its their faith, their moiney. Even if some AOL person persuades you, do it if you want. Else tell him you are not interested. In my experience AOL people can be a little persuasive but they will understand if you absolutely do not want to be a part of it. No one can chain you and take you to a course.

    Even those criticizing Sri Sri suffer from complexes, have ulterior motives, jealousy and so on. Show it in action or keep quiet and let the world be.

  588. Setudev Says:

    Agni,
    Really a sloppy job of reading this post by you!! Congratulations you just proved to all the people here that you read facts as you want them to be and not as they are. You have collected 3 different sentences from this forum which were not even directed at me and given me a responce!!

    1. First of all information that it was CANAD’s one small city’s citizenship and not US citizenship was researched and found by me and not by Bhaskar! Agni Read the forum correctly. Bhaskar replied on top of that to Gokulam and Gokulam apologized for it.

    So if now I post my earlier posting as it is by changing the word US citizenship to CANADA and my question remains the same: “Why would a spiritual person care about citizenship of a small town in Canada when this universe is his town? ”

    ——————————————————————————

    Setudev Says:

    3 February 2008 at 12:16 am
    hmm, That is interesting. Why would a spiritual person announce receipt of CANADA’s city’s Citizenship to a crowd? It is either just as FYI or out of excitement. If it was just FYI, he/she should not accept standing ovation for that. If it was out of excitement, then why get excited and annouce such a materialistic thing? hmmm I have no answers for that. May be one of his devotees can come up with a spiritualistic hidden message in this gesture. I am curious as to what it will be.

    My understanding was, usually spiritual leaders avoid talking about me or “I”. For instance saying: “I just received CANADA’s CIty’s Citizenship”
    In the view of cosmic events a US Citizenship is meaningless and artificial. Humans dont need liscence to live on this earth. Why should one even mention that, leave alone letting people celebrate it by a standing ovation?
    It leaves me speechless.
    ————————————————————————–

    Fact:
    Here is the updated list of awards given to Sri Sri

    http://us.artofliving.org/founder/honors-awards.html

    There is a mention of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Day, Ohio, USA, 2003.
    I used to live in Ohio and I know this is from a very small town called Columbus. Now why would a spiritual person care for this award? Why publicize this? DOes it matter what award one has when someone is at such high level spiritually and experiencing eternal bliss etc?
    What does it prove?

    P.S.: the have killed the earlier link from AOL site which I had found about CAnada citizenship, probably they realized it is too small to even mention.

  589. Agni Says:

    Setudev – If I incorrectly mentioned it then I am wrong…sorry!!!!

    Going back to your question – who said a spiritual person cannot accept an award? This is another irrelevant question – very similar to your questions and some imaginary issues that you had raised in last year. Just a waste of time!!!

    To all your future questions – the answers are in Arun’s post. This is exactly what I tell people. Let people decide what they want to do. Osho guy and you just do what is right for you. You are not in a position to give a good critique of AOL because you have never done the course and never practiced for long enough to comment on it. Until that time, it is a waste of time answering all your irrelevant questions.

    irrelvant issue (like you raise) – Columbus is a very small town in Ohio? Are you talking about the capital of Ohio?

  590. Ramnath Says:

    Dear AOL supporters/critics and others,
    One thing repeatedly mentioned by AOL supporters that one should do the course first, continue the Kriya for 3 or 6 months, then take the
    Advanced course and then talk about AOL. Its true. No one should criticise/comment on any person or organisation, which is not based on his/her own experience.
    I have done the AOL Basic course, continued the Kriya and Pranayam for many months, Done Advance Course, DSN course and finally Advanced Course at Banglore Ashram.
    After completing Basic course, I have amazing experience, the course is very good as it is a good mixture of Yoga, Pranayam, S Kriya (which is a type of pranayam) and knowledge which increases awareness. The people are encouraged to do the service, satsang and regular sadhana.
    But, after doing Advanced Course at Banglore (18 months after first basic), I realised few things:
    1. In advanced course, various meditations are done, but all are guided on cassettee. So, no one can do them individually at home.
    2. There are 10-12 advanced courses, like DSN, Gurupuja etc. after discussing with others, I realised that nothing is new in these courses, but only new bottle with old wine.
    3. In Advnaced courses, stories of miracle of Guruji are spread.
    4. In advnaced or some time in basic course, the work done by AOL are shown or described, and the peoples are asked to give more and more donations for the work. Nothing wrong in that, BUT AT THE SAME TIME IT IS IMPRESSED THAT IF YOU GIVE THE DONATION, YOU WILL GET 4/8/10 TIMES OF WHAT YOU HAVE GIVEN. Few examples are given. , But, I want to ask, whether it is Donation or Business? you give 1 you get 4. I was very disappoined by the Advanced Course Teachers approach. Its like sowing seeds of greed.
    5. After giving the donation, we are interested to know whether it reach to the needy persons/given purpose. there is no information. Just we are told that AOL has reached more than 30000 villages, doing this and that work.
    6. The Sahaj Samadhi Course, only 30 minutes for 3 days during advanced course. Nothing new except Mantra, for which Rs. 1500 are charged. Some one will say that, we are free to join the course, but one who has attended the advanced course, can know the way of marketing the course. Out of 2000 course attendants in my batch, more than 800 done the course. (Only one teacher for this course – Guruji’s sister)
    7. The books, CDs, and cassettes of AOL is very costly. Generally, the print material of any spiritual organisation is for spreading knowledge, no profit motive is there, and available at very reasonable pricel. AOL thinks that knowledge is more precious, but they made it very costly.
    8. In a Satsang in our city, one very famous singer and teacher came and asked everyone to attend the Advanced Course which was scheduled 2 days after. But, one thing he mentioned that everyone should attend the course, if no money, beg or borrow (thanks God, he has not said to steal). My question was that, why don’t you provide some concession to the persons who has to beg or borrow for the course?
    9. In advanced course, the course attendants, are given very simple food, no problem, but I have seen a teacher of advanced course, do not eat the same food. she requried special food for herself. Her to and fro travelling from Banglore were reserved in Second AC train, but she insisted Air travel at the time of return. Why do not they travel in Sleeper class and save money for organisation.
    10. In my city, I have seen lots of volunteers (not all) who are doing the Sudarshan Kriya regularly for 3/4 years, but no change in their basic attitude, at the same time, their ego is increased. But, I have to mention that few volunteers and basic course teachers, are doing very good Seva without any expectations, I think, AOL has gained the Goodwill because of these type of persons.
    As a true devotee at that time, I have observed these facts, I can not close my eyes, so clarify the same, I have e-mailed all these questions to AOL, banglore but I have received any reply.
    I am disappoined by the AOL. Money looks for important than people. At the end, from my experience only I can say is, the basic course is good, everyone (who are not doing any yoga or pranayam) should attend and continue the practice, its very good, but STOP there. If you are Truth Seeker, AOL is not for you.

  591. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    Ramnath has done a superb job of giving a true picture of AOL without any exaggeration or any emotion. This is based on his own example of going through most of the courses offered by AOL.

    My orginal entry started with an observation of AOL based on my experience of bringing out a special issue of Catalyst. I realized that AOL may have some product which attracts customers like Pepsi, or Apple or Micro Soft and they have every right to market it the way they want so far as they comply with the rules and regualtions. Their marekting strategy is simply superb when they are able to train thousands of their followers as unpaid volunteers – including professors from IITs.

    But my complaint was their use of non-profit status to collect funds in the name of helping the poor and remaining non-transparent. Every NGO has the responsibility to remain transparent and accountable to the society which nurtures it. Where do we find the accounting information on AOL even after nearly 600 entries on this blog?

    My another complaint was that AOL should change its classification from non profit to profit making and start marketing its product. Then there is no problem and people like myself have no right to complain against them.

  592. The saga continues Says:

    1. In the olden days, AOL basic and advanced used to be a single course spread over 10 or 11 days. It was very difficult for people to take time off to attend these courses. So it was divided into two courses (part I and part ii – sometimes part II is also called advanced). Fees were donation based. The take away from 11 day course is the MANY home-based practices that are taught during current Basic and Advanced courses.
    2. Some of the advanced course meditations require the presence of a teacher. It is better to find out the truth before complaining and some of our complaints are irrelevant.
    3. In the olden days, AOL used to do courses on a donation based system. Guess what, people after doing a BASIC course for 20 hours or after completing a 10 day (part I and part ii) course, will donate $10 or Rs 50 and walk away. LOL…I was told that fees collected did not cover a one day of rent.
    4. One of my friends told me that AOL recently did a leadership Basic course for many leaders (who are not poor by any means). This was a donation based course…and guess what 2-3 of them finished the course and walked away without giving money and some donated $10-15. this is in 2008. The donation collected did not even cover one day’s rent.
    5. Most of us don’t have the mindset to donate…..many do not even know the concept of helping or volunteering or donating money. Everyone wants it for free.
    6. In Churches, you guys know how the donation process works?
    7. AOL grew only after they started collecting money. I personally do not believe that these techniques should be given away for free.
    8. Bhamy’s comments that AOL should define itself as a profit business has no basis. Every non-profit has issues. I can work with Bhamy’s NGO for one day and for sure I can find a fault.

    Look at Bhamy, even after one year he is still complaining. You lost court cases – twice. Even if AOL is at fault, you got to realize that AOL, a large NGO, is not perfect. You take any NGO and you will find faults with them. You got to accept that AOL is not perfect and cannot be perfect. Once you have that realization you will stop this blog.

    If someone goes to Iraq or Iran or Pakistan or Jungles of Sri Lanka without any security and for the sake of peace then I am sure the person wants to do a lot of good. How many of us would dare to go to Iraq with or without any security? It even gets worse when you go to Iraq as a Hindu Guru. A Hindu Guru, who is interested in money, would never venture into Iraq or Iran or Pakistan or Sri Lankan Jungle

    AOL is going through all this because they are the most popular Yoga type organization from India.

    9. Bhamy and Ramnath, at the end of the day…AOL, one of the largest NGO’s in the world, is not perfect. It is run by 1000s of teachers…each teacher is different and some of us are going to be turned off by a teacher or his/her message etc.
    10. As you said Ramnath, the best thing to do is to practice the techniques. But no use of getting turned off by a sleeper train or plane type of incidents etc. Who knows, may be the teacher had some urgent engagement. If we start looking at everything in a suspicious manner, everything will look bad.
    11. Ramnath, there is nothing wrong with an advanced course teacher asking for a separate food. 1. Advanced course participants are given simple food because you have to meditate longer. You got to eat something that you can digest fast. If you have a 10-course meal, your stomach is going to be full and then you can not meditate. On the other hand, Advanced course teacher require a normal meal because he or she is teaching from morning to night.
    12. Number of teachers per course depends on the type of course. Advanced courses need not required many teachers to teach because most of time you are in silence …where as DSN type courses required more teachers to help out the main teacher
    13. Regarding some EGO of some volunteers…either they are not practicing SK or even SK is not helping them or you are overstating the numbers.
    14. You got to read about what AOL did for Baroda farmers to see where your money is going.
    15. Last but not least, .as Arun said…let individuals find their “truth seeking path” …you may please speak for yourself.

  593. Don Says:

    Ramnath,
    You are not supposed to ask questions in any spiritual organiation. If you have any questions in your mind, it is considered as your lack of faith. You are supposed to believe whatever said by the organiation. They are right whatever they do. I feel that your way is not of devotion (Bhakti marg) but of knowledge (Gyan Marg). so, I suggest you to read Osho and J. Krishnamurti.

  594. Arun Says:

    ‘Bhakti marga’ has great potential for misuse by individuals to become cult leaders – which is what we are seeing in this case.

  595. pankaj Says:

    This world full of Dobting Thomasses. It is very correct that even God ventures to come to this planet He had to face such suspecting people. In Dwapar yug and Treta yug also ,people like these were available who doubted Krisna and Ram about their incarnations.Brain is the real culprit. We donot grow beyond Brain level.We should grow to Soul level ,spirit level and some unknown force level.
    Well I must say the very existance of such people since immemorial across the 4 yug are the reasons for incarnation and employment of God otherwise the world would become boring .

  596. Ramnath Says:

    One of my friend, a AOL volunteer, has got message on his Yahoo group about SRI SRI BAL MANDIR. He was very excited to start the same in our city. We were inspired to do Seva. We (our group of 5 friends) were discussing about giving our time for educational purpose, one was ready to give his vacant place for Bal Mandir. We were expecting it as a Service Project, in which children, specially underpreviledged, are given value based education at lower fees. But, when he got the franchisee form, it was just like a commercial Company, in which nothing was free or at lower fees. Fees were structured at same level of other schools. No concessions to any one. Also. a good part is required to send to AOL HO for their support in training and study material. In fact, a detailed Project Report was sent showing our profit in year 1,2,3 if we can collect X no. of students. It was like a franchisee of Educomp or same company. Since, we were not interested in any other business, we forget it.

  597. Arun Says:

    To Pankaj : Come on, grow up. Your stupid concept of God as a person and all those stupid stories of incarnations will take you no where. You might as well gamble and drink. Both are the products of dysfunctional brain. Sit and find out if you can truly find anything at all that is immortal. For that you should be free of every damn concept that thought has created including your gods and gurus. When that happens you’ll discover a truly amazing thing. That nothing can be pinpointed about the truth is really the truth. The newness of every morning, the freshness of the flowing river , the unpredictability of events to unfold – that is truth – not some stupid thing that you repeat like a parrot after being taught to do so by some equally imbecile people. Once you discover this for yourself you’ll no longer go knocking the doors of Tom Dick and Harry. Yo’ll of great use to the society.

  598. the saga continues Says:

    Arun, can you back off and let people believe in whatever they believe in? stop preaching man….don’t tell people what you believe in is the right way..let people find their path and truth. I think you have to grow up first before you tell others to do so!!!!!

  599. Setudev Says:

    Agni,
    I hope you read what Ramnath’ “first hand” experience with AOL is. I am very interested in seeing how Agni convert’s Ramnath’s experiences into GAS or imagination.
    Conviniently giving positive twist to neutral facts is an art and I think that is part of Art of Living teachings.
    Since we all havent done that course we poor people see mere facts. We dont see bigger “spiritual” motive behind Ramnath’s experiences.

  600. Setudev Says:

    Pankaj,
    Please stop marketing Osho and J. Krishnamurthy here. We are trying to control AOL marketing on this forum and you please dont add another marketing twist to that.
    We have all the respect for each of the techniques including AOL, but none of them need marketing. That is the whole point.
    peace.

  601. Setudev Says:

    Agni,
    Your apologies accepted!
    You say – “who said a spiritual person cannot accept an award?”
    Please read what I said carefully: I never said a spiritual person cannot accept an award. I said a real spiritual person wont make a big deal out of it and he/she will not do following:
    1) Declare it in a huge meeting and accept standing ovation for citizenshp of a small city in Canada
    2) Post it on website under Rewards section.
    See the difference — accepting an award is oe thing and making a big deal out of it or using it for showing –How great I am– by posting it on a website is another thing.

    You say – “irrelvant issue (like you raise) – Columbus is a very small town in Ohio? Are you talking about the capital of Ohio?”

    Have you seen Capital of Ohio, that is Columbus? I stayed there for 6 years. So I know how small it is. (This is called as a fact by the way) :) Amusing question though. :)

    Apart from that AOL marketers here keep telling others to do the course first and get the expereince and then speak. Some say do SSKriya for 60 days and then speak. But they did not read what I said in my earlier posts as well: I am not at all against AOL’s Sudarshan Kriya. I think it is a great paranaym technique and it definitely has good effects. Even if you learn it from a Non AOL teacher it will have same good effects. So experiencing SSKriya will not change my questions here — my questions are about how AOL conducts their business. Not about good effects of the kriya.

    Now some people said you dont have right to question AOL’s business tactis — In fact by law of free speach I have complete right to question them. As I had right to question if Enron company was doing a fraud, I have same right to question if AOL is doing a fraud. I never said it is proven. But like Ramnath, I was just presenting facts and asking questions.
    I hope AOL marketers, read this before they post any more material.

  602. Vikram Says:

    It’s a big business in the name of service, sprituality and non-profit.Non-profit is for evading tax. Stolen things from Maharishi and others are named spirituality for getting more money. So called smallest service is for getting more contribution and all are proper example of media stunt. They have huge profit margin by keeping operating cost to minimum by having zero labor cost=zombie volunteers who are leading frustrated, stressed out and false life and no way out. So, ultimately all activities of so called art of living are to have more money. Their slogan is ‘money anyhow’ and ‘sell, sell and sell’. So many sister concerns like IAHV and others are like name-all organizations to evade tax and getting more money.Govt. should interrogate their accounts and make them pay corporate tax.

  603. Abhinay Says:

    You are right Vikram. It’s all about business, nothing more, nothing less. Service is their media stunt and look good strategy. But all are like show-offs for getting more money. And there never had been true service like building a free hospital or making free houses etc. All they did is taking money from everybody by bullying people and go for some small show off service. Vikram is right and we all support to the point that Govt. of India should take necessary steps to tax them properly.

  604. From Wiki Says:

    In 2006 Columbus was ranked as the 15th largest city in the United States, with 747,755 residents, and was also the 32nd largest metropolitan area, the fourth largest city in the Midwest, and the fourth most populous Capital in the U.S..

    The city area is – 212.6 sq mi (550.5 km2).

    Setudev – Columbus is not a small town by any means. May be you were day dreaming!!!!

  605. Arun Says:

    Why doesn’t the moderator realize that all this is wasteful discussions and shut this down. Nothing ever is going to come out of this. All said and done , I want to enjoy this as long as it lasts.

    Also to the saga continues : Exactly that is what I said. Let people find their own path. I hope you are sharp enough to realize that I wasn’t preaching – just encouraging people to stop shopping but look at themselves and find a path.

  606. the saga continues Says:

    Arun,
    “Come on, grow up. Your stupid concept of God as a person and all those stupid stories of incarnations will take you no where. You might as well gamble and drink. Both are the products of dysfunctional brain”.

    I am not as sharp as you. Period. Second, the above comments does not truely reflect your real smartness. Third, some people can look at themselves but some people need a guide and have to go to a shop to figure out. Let them figure it out. You were probably a wizard who did not even go to a school and learnt everything on your own. Some dumb ones like me have to go to school and needed a guide. Your way is not the only answer.

  607. Setudev Says:

    This is great great!
    Some AOL idiot has gone on Wikipedia and done this work for me.
    Columbus population is 747000 that is out of 300 million US population = 0.249 percent.
    and that is out of 6.76 billion = 0.0112 Percent !!
    Wow, so my question remains exactly it was — without changing any words :

    “I used to live in Ohio and I know this is from a very small town called Columbus. Now why would a spiritual person care for this award? Why publicize this? DOes it matter what award one has when someone is at such high level spiritually and experiencing eternal bliss etc?
    What does it prove?”

    Similarly and my question remains the same: “Why would a spiritual person care about citizenship of a small town in Canada when this universe is his town? ”

    This defininitely deserves standing ovation, in fact I am also giving it a laughing out loud ovation and rollling on the ground laughing ovation.

    Why adevrtise so much AOL marketers?

  608. Arun Says:

    I know that some people might not like what I say. Some might support me and others might think of me as arrogant and so on. Hopefully, this will be my last post here since it has to end sometime.

    Eventually, everyone has to do “it” by themselves. Guru CANNOT give salvation to any one. When UG Krishmaurti asked Ramana the same question, Ramana replied that “I can give you moksha but can you take it ?”. What he meant was, “I (as pure awareness) am always ready to make you free. But can you (if the mentally made “I’ or “you” exists, if you are still identified with a me and a you) take it ?”.

    And beyond that point the Guru/Disciple both drop off. It just has to happen (Ashtavakra Gita). I am just trying to encourage people to do it NOW. The quicker you give up your crutches (Guru) and walk by yourself the better. Then, there will not be any shopping/marketing. As long as that doesn’t happen, there will be gurus, disciples, some form of marketing or the other and people for and against these and also discussions like these.

    However, if someone realizes all this and still indulges in exploiting people it is very bad. If you are dependent on someone for your freedom, you’ll live in perpetual anxiety. Please don’t be slaves. Walk free. Stop encouraging cult figures and wasting so much money on useless things. Please understand that “Time” can never solve any problem. Many speeches of Ravishankar are designed to keep this “Guru” thing going and keep people chasing AOL and spiritual freedom. There is nothing of that sort. All there is, is the eternal NOW. Do your job with devotion and forget about the fruits (Sri Krishna – Gita). That’ll take you far into the depths that thought can never touch. Embrace the NOW and stop chasing.

    If I sound like a Guru, kick me out of your mind – that’s the only way to peace.

  609. From wiki Says:

    Ha Ha Ha….Setudev, you must be crazy….what a logic!!!!!..You can keep arguing that Columbus is a tiny tiny tiny town. I do not care!!!!

  610. From wiki Says:

    Setudev, I think there is something wrong with your thinking process.
    You are calling Columbus a small town (LOL). I wonder what you would call a town of 50K or lesser. You are asking why someone should accept/publicize an award from a small town? I look at the positive side, wow….someone like Sri Sri takes an award from a tiny tiny small town very seriously, accepts the award and his team puts that award on the website. That shows that he is giving respect to awards even from small, very small and tiny communities like Columbus, Ohio.

    Spirituality does not mean that you have to ignore tiny towns like Columbus and ignore their awards. Spirituality is also about giving respect to a tiny town like Columbus, accept their award and be thankful to them ….but not let that award get into your head.

    If someone like Sri Sri ignores an award from a tiny town like Columbus then you would ask..how can a spiritual person ignore an award from a small town? There are no answers to questions from a “Kutherka” mind. You (think) win all the time. You are the winner!!!! God Bless you.

  611. Don Says:

    New information at Guruphiliac about One of Art of Living Teacher, One and only sister of Sri Ravi Shankar – Bhanu and all the money making business in the name of charity and religion.

    https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=11379073&postID=4576294359047917393

  612. Don Says:

    Arun, Very good.
    That’s what Buddha told at his last moment – AAP DIPO BHAV.
    I like your comments.

  613. Interesting Says:

    The Self-Realized Souls Can Impart Knowledge Unto You Because They Have Seen The Truth.” – Lord Sri Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 4:34

  614. Interesting Says:

    The smart ones know how to seek freedom….even with AOL, what I have seen is that no one is told that you should depend on the Guru. At least I have not seen it. You are given tools and techniques to take the path. The rest is up to you. Some AOL people make too much out of nothing and some non AOL people make too much out of nothing as well. It is just a waste of time here!!!

  615. Neelesh Says:

    you kid of people who is writing all this about this guru are useless people,you all suck,you dnt no the importance of spirituality so fck off if you dont know the divine truth

  616. Interesting Says:

    Neelesh, may be you are sarcastic or kind of an imposter or you are just not ready for spirituality. Either way…your comments are not right. People have the right to criticize and you have no right to use this kind of a language as a follower of a guru or as an imposter.

  617. Setudev Says:

    Wow, by looking at Neelesh’s langugae, it seems he has done Advanced Advanced course course of AOL AOL :)

    I want to see how his fellow AOL marketer’s cover up his act and deny saying that such people dont exist in AOL.

    If I were to say that one of the AOL members used bad words then people like Agni and Neha would have called it gas and imagination. I am glad it came out from the horse’s mouth.

  618. Setudev Says:

    Here is another blog that has been started on this topic:

    http://answeringaol.blogspot.com/2008/04/original-article-how-genuine-is-sri-sri.html

    following excerpt from this blog is interesting. I invite AOL marketers to defend or justify following information in “whatever” way they can:

    “Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is nonetheless very silent about his own guru Maharishi. The Beatles guru is not mentioned on his personal official website or the website of his “Art of Living foundation” – although this is kind of a give away, since the book that introduced Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation to the world was entitled: “The Science of Being and The Art of Living”.

    It is in itself questionable why a guru does not mention his own guru. It is only normal in Hindu spirituality to trace one’s lineage of Guru’s, like in the case of Paramahansa Yogananda, the founder of the Self-realization fellowship who was, besides Vivekananda, the first guru to bring modern Yoga and Indian spirituality to the United states.

    Perhaps the rumors on the net are true and Shankar is very disappointed because Maharishi Mahesh Yogi strongly and publicly renounced him after his departure. Or perhaps Sri Sri Ravi Shankar doesn’t mention his guru because of the controversies surrounding the Maharishi. Such a stain in the image does indeed not go well with the overall clean-ness and pure-ness his sites and publications want to attach to Shankar.”

  619. Setudev Says:

    Some more interesting experience by another AOL atendee:

    http://www.ntskeptics.org/2008/2008november/november2008.htm

    Here is an excerpt from the blog. (again, I invite AOL marketers to defend or justify following information in “whatever” way they can)

    “A person who teaches courses (not towards any particular accredited degree3) through ‘the Art of Living’, named Praveen Singh, was the guest on a music oriented program I was listening to at that time. The primary task of Mr. Singh seemed to be, on this occassion, to drum up the visit of Ravishankar and to advertise that the dignitary will conduct the “Maha Diwali Yagna” in the Dallas Convention Center on October 28th.4

    As I was feeling a bit of some pity for myself that I would miss this grand event, like almost all of such events, Mr. Singh said something that immediately reminded me of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) fame.5 The Yogi (connected to the Beatles in good times) died in February of this year.6 I haven’t heard any “group experiments” by the TM group lately or in recent years. It sadly goes without saying that I never felt any waves from them ever.

    Mr. Singh informed the listeners that the ‘group meditation’ conducted by the ‘art of living’ has significantly reduced the crime rates in D.C. by about 25% (I didn’t know if he referred to the District of Columbia or if it was a short form for Washington, D.C.). He emphasized that that such a significant event has one in a billion chance of happening by itself.

    At that point, I was expecting the host to ask some follow up questions like: “Has the D.C. implemented any crime prevention programs?”; “Are these statistics available from any governmental sources?”; “What’s the mechanism by which crime and meditation are connected?”; “Are the government officials around the world dimwitted to concentrate on pumping large quantities of precious resources into crime prevention programs, while they could invest in meditation programs and auditoriums?”

    Instead, the host, who seemed to me a believer himself, thanked Mr. Singh for the valuable “data,” and moved on. “

  620. HSimpsons Says:

    Good job SetuDev.

  621. Interesting Says:

    Setudev, as I pointed out earlier, your “Kutharka” questions cannot be answered. Most of the problem (I am not mentioning here that AOL is a perfect organization) is in your mind. After your “Columbus questions” now you have moved on with questions posted on some other blog, copy pasting/ some comments and waiting for some answers from some “AOL Marketers”. What a joke man!!!. If AOL does marketing…what is wrong with that?

    Now your next set of questions is around his Sri Sri’s Guru. Why not your “Kutherka” mind ask the following questions? 1. Why should TM guru upset with Sri Sri starting his own organization? People going on their own is a natural process…what is wrong with that?. There are many TM people in AOL. None of them deny their links to TM. For some people it is time to move on.

    2. Is it possible that TM guru did not want his name to be mentioned by Sri Sri? 3. Why you are ignoring the fact that Sri Sri attended TM guru’s funeral and wrote this piece (http://maharishi-mahesh-yogi.re-membered.com/2008/02/maharishi-was-emperor-and-ascetic.html)? 4. Every Year Sri Sri does honor his Guru and his lineage of Gurus during Guru Pooja

    Neelesh post was in bad taste. So was Bharathy Muruga’s post, [some of your own posts are in bad taste too – not necessarily abusive) and some amore abusive posts from non AOL people here. Why you did not condemn those posts? Do I assume that all non-AOL people including you are like Bharathy and other abusers here?

    What next now? Find some other non-issue, spin it as an issue and post it here….and keep giggling……and keep wondering…”ah what the AOL marketers are going to say now”?

  622. Don Says:

    ART OF LIVING COURSE :

    User Agreement and Refund Policy (IN CAPITAL LETTER – MY COMMENTS)
    I understand that any benefits derived from this course depend upon the extent of my participation. (SO THE CAPABILITY OF THE TEACHER IS NOT RELEVANT) I therefore accept full responsibility for the outcome and I willingly agree to follow all instructions and participate fully. I also agree that I will not disclose the content of this course to anyone.(SECREAT MOVIE) I further agree that I will not attempt to instruct others in any of the techniques used in the course until such time as I receive personal training from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and the Art of Living Foundation. I acknowledge and agree to pay the course fee by credit card, money order and/or cash.

    After the course begins no course fee is refundable. If a participant is unable to finish the course s/he can take another course for no additional fee. If a deposit is paid ahead of time and a participant does not start the course then all except the deposit is refundable.

    The undersigned hereby gives permission for any necessary medical care to be given to myself in case of accident or illness. I agree to take full responsibility for the costs of any treatment provided.

    I hereby give the irrevocable and unrestricted rights to use my performance and participation (in whole or in part), image, name, voice, and likeness for all non-commercial written, audio and/or visual presentations. I understand and acknowledge that the written, audio and/or video presentations may be used in print, broadcast and online promotions for the purposes of advancing the Art of Living Foundation around the world. (SO EVERYONE ATTENDED A COURSE EVER, BECOMES THE MEMBER OF ART OF LIVING AND ADDED IN THEIR LIST OF FOLLOWERS OF 20 MILLIONS OR SOMETHING – EVEN IF HE DISLIKE THE COURSE OR NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ORGANISATION)

  623. Interesting Says:

    Don,

    So What? I see nothing wrong with the user agreement. If you don’t like to sign then do not sign the agreement. No one is forcing you to do it. One more attempt to find fault when there is no fault. Bad Luck…try something better next time. May be you need some training from Setudev on how to find faults.

    Tell me one organization that you belong to…I will find 100 faults with it.

    May be I should not answer all these posts!!!! Just a double-waste of time

  624. Setudev Says:

    @Interesting,
    Its great that you have chosen to reply to most convinient post here, ‘s that is question about not mentioning Sri Sri’s Guru’s name on the website where he mentions awards that he received, –even the smallest one, but doesnt mention name of the guru who gave him the most valuable knowdge. So as you said my Kutarka mind asks — what seems to be more importatant? Mentioning awards that dont matter or the name ofthe Guru? The answer is self evident.

    Yes you are right there are three kinds of logic Tarks, Vitarka and Kutarka (NOT Kutharka). And thanks for making me realize that I use kutarka logic. Now some more introspection asks me why am I using such logic? Let see —
    1. My personal experinec with my cousing who is AOL teacher — he denies to teach SSKriya if I dont get 8-10 people and each pays 375$
    2. AOL marketers in my company send multiple event invite emails without mention of AOL
    3. I read claims by AOL members about SSKriya can potentially cure cancer or diabteres and BP, I read white papers published in journals on this.
    4. People like Ramnath’s experince with AOL school — read above
    5. AOL buys an old embassy in Washington DC which is worth millions if not less
    6. Another AOL teacher named Praveen Singh claims AOL was able to reduce crime rate in DC by 25% — see post above
    7. AOL teachers ask people to borrow or beg in order to pay fees for the course.
    8. Experience by a chinese fellow who was asked to pay fees and had to sign a documents saying it was a donation for some project at AOL. Plus his other ugly experience.

    Ok now what do I do? Apply tarka logic and say all these are liars, including myself. Beat myself on my head for thinking negatively. Get giddy over breathing technique and ignore all this. Or just ask questions why?
    All I am doing here is asking question “why”? I havent drawn any conclusions yet. As long as AOL marketers like you can satsifactorily address all these questions, I dont have any issue. But like you did most people take one of the following approaches:
    1. Call all Non-AOL people as liars
    2. Call it gas or imagnition
    3. Call it spin — however clearly facts are mentioned. (Try calling Ramnath’s experience as spin and I will bring you free food in your mental hospital)

    And why call out AOL people when tye write posts in bad taste not non-aol members? Its simple, we are ordinary people who havent learned your special “Art of Living” by paying 375$. So we dont know about seva sadhana, compassion etc. We say and wahtever come to our mind. But AOL memebers claim to have changed their lives permanantly and that is why I call them out when they write in bad taste.

  625. Shiva Says:

    I accidentally came across this blog while searching for reviews on sri sri Ravi Shankar. It took couple of days to read all the posts and the responses posted on this blog.
    I attended AOL course in Jan 2009 and practice the rhythmic breathing every day for 30 mins or so. Although I have found few benefits like reduction in frequency of head aches and stress, I have yet to see how else this breathing exercise will benefit/impact me in day to day life.
    I feel getting giddy by breathing exercise (as someone mentioned in the earlier post) is better than consuming drugs for pleasure. Not that I am a serious follower of SSRS but I have notices that he never sends unpleasant message to the world. All that he speaks is just plain commonsense.
    At times during the course, when the instructor quoted some of the sri sri’s message or narrates a story—I would feel “wasn’t that Buddha’s message?”
    Giving more though to the expensive fee etc, Buddha never collected any money but still preached peace. Buddha lived in a small thatched hut. I do not see any simplify like this in SSRS.
    I appreciate SSRS work world wide.
    But feel what SSRS is doing world wide still can be done without collecting huge donations, fees etc and it is not difficult for man of this caliber.

  626. interesting Says:

    Setudev:

    1. AOL cannot be run as per your wishes..Please keep that in mind. Please start an organization and please run it as per your wishes. Good luck
    2. Regarding Guru – I have looked at a lot of websites (Isha to whatever). Many of them are NOT talking about their Gurus. So what if they don’t wish to publish it? May be they want to keep it priviate. So what? May be there is a reason that you and I don’t understand?
    3. Please accept the fact that there are many languages in India and in one of the languages, your “Kutarka” is pronounced as “Kutharka”. Probably this is where the problem is……you did not take time to ask…why you are writing “Kutarka” as “Kutharka”…all you want to do is assume that other person would be wrong.
    4. Your other questions and I will answer using your style
    a. 8-10 students…see above to a reply given to you in December by someone. LOL…
    b. Second, it makes sense to do it with 8-10 students or more. Third, it does not make any sense to teach a 20-hour course for one person, Lastly…Basic courses are more effective when it is taught with more people as the course involves a lot of group exercises.
    c. Washington DC – see a December post for answers. I do not think you need a better reply than that.
    d. I have NEVER received multiple event invite from any “AOL marketers” in my company. So I am going to assume that none of the “AOL marketers” do that. What a logic!!!!
    e. Cancer? Can you provide the link please?…but BP…I know it has cured for a lot of people. the powerful pranayms have that capability. You can also direct your question to Shri Ramdev
    f. Praveen Singh? Please send your query to him. I have no idea about this.
    g. Ramnath? Please see above answer posted some 10 days back.. A lot of his questions have been answered as well.
    h. Ordinary people? I know enough ordinary people who will NOT throw venom at others…who will NOT abuse others….please stop giving excuses.
    i. Web is something where anyone can say anything to anyone. You and I cannot say with 100% assurance that the guy who posted trash is from AOL or an imposter. Either way he is wrong. So were other abusers.
    From all your posts, it is clear to me that you will never get a satisfactory answer from anyone. It is impossible. Your “Kutharka” mind will never accept it. You have made up your mind…and you will find reasons to justify what you have in your mind. If you accept the fact that neither AOL nor AOL members nor you and I can be perfect…You will be fine.

  627. To Shiva Says:

    Shiva, thanks for your balanced post. Every Archarya/Guru collected fees via Guru Dakshana. Second, as someone mentioned in the earlier post, AOL started with donation-based system but people donated very little or nothing. Hence AOL could not even pay the rent for the place. Our people will value something only when you charge them and only when you charge people they will also put what they learnt in to practice.

    Please come up with a model on how to conduct a course without collecting a fee.

  628. Arun Says:

    I just felt like clarifying one thing that bothers me a lot with AOL. In reply to the previous post, all I state is that there is no problem in AOL charging even $500 per course. Many institutions in the west charge exorbitant amounts for yoga / meditation classes while selling shoddy stuff.

    The problem is claiming that it is non-profit and not maintaining a clean record of where all this money goes. Spirituality and business have to be separated. We know that AOL can’t function without a lot of money, so make it a for profit organization no problems. This duality is what pisses off most of us. Keep a clean slate and no problem whatsoever.

    Many modern gurus charge a lot for the workshops but they don’t claim it as non-profit or that the money is for some social service. They pay the taxes (hopefully) and keeps the remaining money – no problem. Don’t say something and do something else. There lies the problem.

    Of course other things which irritate me like Guru stories etc are pure childish stuff but using them to wield influence on people and keep the money flowing in is nothing short of blackmail and I guess it is a criminal offence. Hope some honest officer takes note of all this.

  629. Shiva Says:

    “Please come up with a model on how to conduct a course without collecting a fee”.
    I think Buddha/Gandhi would have given you a better answer/solution. As far as I have read, heard about Buddha/ Gandhi, did not collect any fee or ‘Guru Dakshana’ to spread peace and freedom. But still motivated people to follow them–how?

  630. Mohanty Says:

    If all this crazy American woman called Jane who has done AOL courses has learnt from those courses is to call some men gay and urging them to come out of the closet it makes me suspicious of the course. Arent you supposed to be at peace and shoot off your mouth?

  631. Roger Says:

    Muruga and Setudev are doing right to expose merciless, long-haired conmen who trap bored middle-aged housewives into spreading lies. Slade/Shade has also done his commendable bit.

  632. Raja Says:

    Interesting, you should change your name to Confusing.
    You are most confused person and confusing others. Idiot AOL follower.

  633. Ramnath Says:

    As I have already mentioned, I like my Basic couse, hence I done the Advanced Course within 3 months of Basic course (before the Banglore Ashram Advanced Course). The advance course, is different from Basic course. There was feel good factor after the course. but, since all the meditations were Guided Meditations, you gain nothing. At home, You can not do anything at your own. So, it is recommended by the AOL teachers to repeat the Advance course, after every 6 months. (There is no concession in fees for repeat Advance Course). Our Advance Course teacher was straighforward person. He never mentioned about any miracle stories nor made sweet force for Donations. But, one thing he mentioned was, to go and meet Sri Sri at earliest, because Sri Sri will definately get Noble Prize within 2-3 years, and then he will so busy that it will not possible to meet him. I do not understand at that time why he will get the Noble Prize and how the teacher expecting him to get the Noble Prize. Expectation reduces Joy – First Key. right.
    After few days, a teacher came for Long Kriya, and after the Kriya, he asked everyone to join the DSN (Divya Samaj Ka Nirman) course, that was starting from next day. Few people were ready including myself. Fees Rs. 2500.00 for 2.5 days course. I learnt that, the food was sponsored by a volunteer, so cost not more than Rs. 10000.00 against fees (sorry, donations) collected Rs. 250,000.00 for 100 persons. We decided to join the course because – 1. The teacher told that, the Padmasadhana taught in the course, is so powerful that, if you do it regularly, whatever is said by you will be true. Who do not want to have Super Natural Powers?
    2. There is special blessing of Guruji for the course, so whoever do the course, shall get his wish fulfilled. Only one thing to do – write your wish and surrender to Sri Sri photo at the end of the course. He told us, example of a attendant in last course, who got a Motor Car as wished by him. (How? Don’t ask, because not allowed).
    When I attended the course, it was like this – Padmasadhana is nothing but the sequence of few yogasana, (most of which learnt in Basic Course), guided meditation again. which is done repeatedly so everyone get tired. In knowledge session – the Knowledge keys of Basic Course are discussed in detail. In Seva – Everyone is asked to go to some decided places and fill the Basic Course Form and collect money. First day, whether participants able to collect forms or not, the teacher will get angry and react as everyone is useless, and ready to call off the course. Then, 1 or 2 participants (already decided by organisers) stand up and promise to do better next morning. So, teacher forgive everyone for their inability, lack of dedication,committment etc. etc. Next morning, again visit door to door for form sale. As everyone get disappointed not because of much response, then the teacher will talk sweet and congratulate everyone for trying their best. So, Divine society is created by selling AOL Basic course forms, like cheap soaps or newly published books sold door to door, presenting their product, requesting to buy only one and do favour, telling the benefits etc. ( I will not compare with LIC agents, who atleast go to known places).
    On last day, the teacher told about the underpreviledged student stying in Ashram at Banglore and asked for donations of Rs. 10000.00 per child per year. 40 participants were ready to donate.atleast 20 must have actually donated including myself. I have not received the receipt for the same, nor I have any means to verify whether the same is utilised for the said purpose. I do not expect anything, but when I am giving donation for child education, I will definately mind it, if it is used for any other purpose, whether it is charitable or not. Then, I know that, huge money is collected from worldwide for this educational program.In US, it is perhaps Dollar A Day. So, there should be huge gap between enormous funds collected and little amount spend.
    I liked one thing of Sri Sri message, to donate certain percentage of your income like 3, 5 or 7 % for charitable purpose. I will certainly do that in future, but directly or known organisation in my city, but not through any distant organisation like AOL. Am I wrong in taking care that, the money I am donating, reaching the real – needy person?
    and Mr. Interesting, I have not got any answer to my questions, as mentioned by you. I do not expect answers from blind followers like you. I just want to put the questiosn in my mind before all of you.

  634. Setudev Says:

    Fabulous post Ramnath! Your writing is very factual and sounds unbiased. In comparision with this the answers given by AOL members are incomplete / artificial / robotic / illogical. The person named “interesting” tried to follow my style of referring to earlier posts while answering. But I was doing that to save space or to avoid a lengthy post. But “Interesting” was doing to avoid answering the questions . There is a subtle but clear difference there.

    Ramnath, what you have written is surprising even for me, because I havent done all these courses. But if this is the way they are conducting the course then it more than suspicious.

    1. First of all what is relationship of learning seva and collecting money by going door to door?

    2. Why is there constant mjntion of money/donations/fees in thee AOL courses, when we go to take this course in order to go away from problems created by materialistic things? excess or lack of money is one of the big reason’s for people’s worries. Why remind them of that?

    3. What should those people do who have begged or borrowed money to do the course in first place? How will they feel when course teahcer is always asking for more donations?

    Ramnath, in order to answer you last question: You are doing perfectly right thing by taking care that money you are donating is reaching the correct cause. First of all it is wrong notion that donating money is the only way do seva. Donating is the most easiet escape route. In my opnion following are much bigger ways of doing seva:
    1. Helping anyone who comes in your way in your day to day life
    2. Making lives of everyone around you and related to you better.
    3. Living life in an honest way and causing minimal harm to others.

    If everyone starts doing this we wont need phoney organizations like AOL anymore. If you donate money to the servant that works at your house for their children’s school fees or get a construction worker day’s meal that is equivalent to giving 10,000 every year. Giving 10,000 RS is the most easiest way of seva.

  635. sulochanosho Says:

    Setudev’s words there sound more sane than the holy sermons given by our so called greedy sri sris and gurus:

    1. Helping anyone who comes in your way in your day to day life.
    2. Making lives of everyone around you and related to you better.
    3. Living life in an honest way and causing minimal harm to others.

    If everyone starts doing this we wont need phoney organizations like AOL anymore.

  636. mtc Says:

    AOL is a bullshit organization , a family owned business and Shankar is the biggest scam artist. His oratory skills are poor and his meditations, including the kriya are not original.The AOL followers are emotionally disturbed people who are drop outs of society incapable of jobs of making a decent living. AOL handicaps these vulnerable people and sucks out rational thinking from them. Shankar’s sister, Bhanu is so bloody dumb and she is supposed to have a melodious voice and sings her bhajans with complete devotion to her big brother. Bhanu cant sing for nuts but is very instrumental is spreading “divine” stories of her big brother. This shows that scamming people is the DNA of Shankar’s family. Read earlier posts to also see how Shankar’s father also scammed people. The AOL teachers are dysfunctional with disturbed family lives. Ordinarily none of them could have met some of the VVIP’s they are meeting right now. Some senior teachers have their entire families involved in the admin of AOL, because their families can only make money in such a fashion. Birds of a feather flock together. One scamster compliments another.
    All you AOL followers, see how badly you are damaged. See how the ability of rational thinking has been taken away from you. Cults are a bad thing and AOL is a cult.

  637. Arun Says:

    Excellent posts by Setudev and Ramnath. I hope that any visitor to this blog will realize the futility of associating with AOL. This way the blog is doing a bit of “Seva” :-)

  638. Setudev Says:

    Peace can only be achieved by example and not by money. Mahatma Gandhi, buddha, Shirdi’s SaiBaba, Swami Vivekananda, RamKrishna Paramahansa, Sant Tukaram, Sant Dnyaneshwar are many examples who changed the world not by money but through their own example.

    If money could solve world’s problems, Bill gates and Warren Buffets would have been greatest saints on earth. The notion that charity is needed for bringing peace is wrong. We need dedicated volunteers.

    RSS – Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha is one example where volunteers donate their time and life for a cause instead of donating money. RSS also teaches a lot of good things, but doesnt force donations in terms of fees.

    A blind faith can only take you to a certain distance. In order to bring a metamorphosis to a human lives, leading by example is the only way. I should be able to be part of AOL and follow Sri Sri without donating a penny. Most valuable knowdge in this world is free. Putting a price tag on it is like degrading it.

  639. Vinay Says:

    Absolutely true…how ppl cannot see thru this scam is beyond me. If the great man’s sister can’t sing for nuts, neither can our long-haired dude. He sounds so effeminate and off-key…but persists in caterwauling till the cows come home. His answers are so vague when asked reasonably intelligent ones-just breathe and thy will be done. His way of looking peaceful is to sit with eyes half-closed and look vague with a fake benign smile plastered to his lips. I have seen ppl singing Sri Govinda and clapping away in mass hysteria in front of his photograph all garlanded. Avatar of Krishna with a massive bank balance? Wow…the gods must be crazy!

  640. Ramnath Says:

    One thing I forgot to add about DSN course in the last post. The basic course teacher who came to us, said that, Guruji has told that He came on this Earth after 5000 years and want to do lot of work before return. That’s why its our (volunteers) responsibility to be more active and strong. and DSN course is very important for it.
    That’s why in AOL it is believed that Sri Sri is incarnation of Lord Krishna. There are stories that he recited Bhagwat Geeta at the age of 4. Also, the Teacher always say, that when Krishna was on the earch, very few people know that he is God, When Buddha was here, When Christ was here – same thing. By the same logic, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is God, and very few lucky person know that he is God.
    In the DSN course, the Course teacher while replying to one question about rebirth, said that we can know what we were in our previous lifes. There is seperate course for this. It is called Eternity Process. The course teacher said that he has known his last 6 births, and out of these, this is his 4th birth with Guruji.
    and after 4 months of this course, another teacher who met the DSN course teacher claimed that the DSN course teacher knows his 12 previous births.
    I can not comment on rebirths, previous life knowledge etc. because I do not know wheather it is true or not. May be. But, what was surprising that Guruji’s last birth was as Lord Krishna (as believed) so, his earlier birth should have been Rama. The DSN course teachers claim that he was with Guruji in 4 lifes out of 6. Also, as per the other teacher, he has knows 12 births. So, he know about 6 more lifes in 4 months.
    Surprising, Amazing, Unbelivable etc. etc. etc. etc. who is correct, who is lying. But, the innocent belivers do not make the reconciliation. But, fortunately I done the reconciliation (thanks to my profession) and found that something is wrong.
    Somebody may think, when I have such problems with AOL, what I was doing there for so much time. I do not know exactly what happened. At one period of time, I want to become a AOL teacher. But, some one from within myself, was observing all the things, which were happening. Perhaps, they reached at a certain limits and I realised like I was intoxicted for certain period of time.
    I will write about how the so called Guru factor and our mind works in later posts.

  641. Arun Says:

    Ramnath, even I have heard my friend’s talk all that nonsense. Apparently one of the teachers here in WA was Arjuna when Ravishankar was Krishna. What shoddy stuff !! Unbelievable that people fall for these.

    I just want to compare two kinds of people on a certain detail. Listen to his crap for half an hour (or another immensely fraud guy named Paramahamsa Nithyananda compared to whom Ravi Shankar sounds like a saint) and read Nisargadatta’s or J Krishnamurti’s poetry like talks. You’ll know who is real and who is a fraud. JK renounced the title of “World Teacher” and gave back all the donations after his ‘realization’. Nisargadatta never moved out of his one room apartment in Mumbai but thousands flocked to his home and many did reach the goal so to speak. This chap is still after money and opulence. All people get from him is substandard stuff and material to get blackmailed unknowingly.

    Saddest part is we don’t know how to stop him from further damaging our people’s mind. Now that we are convinced that he is a crook, I suggest that spend more time trying to come up with strategies in our own ways on how to combat this. It can start out small, here on the website and slowly spread. Its high time that rational minds started seriously thinking on methods to stop and we have rationalism plenty in many people here.

  642. Raja Says:

    A COMMENT FROM GURUPHILIAC BLOG IS REPRODUCED, ONE WHO HAS ATTENDED GURUPUJA IN ARTOF LIVING, PLEASE VISIT THE SITE MENTIONED BELOW IN THE COMMENT AND VERIFY THE GENUINENESS OF RAVI SHANKAR MAHARAJ. I HAVE MYSELF ATTENDED GURUPUJA FEW TIMES, AND ITS COMPLETE COPY. IN CASE OF KNOWLEDGE I AGREE WITH THE COMMENTS, ITS HIGHLY INFLUENCED BY OSHO. HERE ARE THE COMMENTS –

    I was a part of the now famed AOL in the 80s, and let me tell you there is nothing original in the teachings of Sri Sir Ravishankar.

    Breathing – stolen from ancient practises.

    Sahaj – stolen from Maharishi’s meditation technique – its word for word.

    Guru Puja – ditto TM

    Knowledge – mostly stolen from Osho’s teachings.

    Hardcore AOLites please visit this site:

    http://www.paulmason.info/gurudev/TMpuja.htm

    and see for yourself how original your guru is.

  643. Raja Says:

    Guru Pooja is a 4-5 days course of Art of Living. They charge fees around 6000 to 8000 for teaching Guru Pooja. This is the best example about their commercialisation and greed.
    Mahesh Yogi was atleast doing the Guru Pooja of his Guru, Swami Bramhnand Sarswati, but Ravi Shankarji Maharaj doing his own pooja.

  644. sulochanosho Says:

    How true and near it is, when somewhere [religulous], Bill Maher says,

    How sad is it that we have marketed and manufactured religion for our own personal gain?

  645. Arun Says:

    Excellent work by Raja. We need more such solid proofs. I have seen hapless westerners struggling with these verses after paying hundreds of dollars in course fees and hundreds more for their tickets. Feels pathetic that the sri squared is selling all these stotras.

  646. Raja Says:

    Another Important disclosure:
    Please read:
    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/after-loan-waiver-no-art-of-living-course-for-vidarbha-farmers/327921/

    the most important part is :
    AOL received Rs 14 lakh from the state Government as against its total spending of nearly Rs 75 lakh. While a small part of that came from AOL’s own coffers, most came from its corporate donors, according to Raman.

    This work was highly published by AOL. Main thing is the work was stopped due to lack of funds. In the project, very small amount came from AOL. Most of so called development work is labour oriented. Volunters organise some type of medical camps, Navchetana shibir including yoga and pranayam and some Bhajans. No much capital expenditure is made. So, when they are not spending here, where the money is going.

  647. dayalu Says:

    Raja,

    There is absolutely nothing incriminating about Art of Living in the above article in Indian Express. In fact it has quoted many government officials commending the work of Art of Living. Your comment shows exactly how a biased mind works. Or is it that you have reading comprehension issues?

  648. bhavesh Says:

    poor dears, may god bless you and provide some sense to all. If all are thinking that AOL is a herd than just think that by sending so many criticisms, you are also becoming a part of a herd. Why to interfere the person who is doing some good thing. If u r not agreed than it s ok stay away. Even Gandhiji was criticised.

  649. jaigurudevhaha Says:

    Sree Sree Ravi says that he will be born in Mongolia in his next life. Mongolia , he says will at that time be a super power. All his teachers and those close to him will also be born there. As they are all ascended masters.He has 11 close followers who will be his immediate family in next birth.

  650. Raja Says:

    Dayalu,
    Every opinion is biased. Whether for or against anything. I agree my opion is biased, but since you are also giving opinion it is also biased.
    But, look at the facts of the case, I want to highlight that they are collecting huge donations in the name of various projects, but where they are spending?
    They advertised this Vidarbha Project, in each newspapers that, due to Art of Living work, suicide were stopped in the villages covered by them. The same is not endorsed by any Govt agency or anyone. But, let us assume that what ever they are claiming is correct, then why they stopped the project? The expenditure was financed by Govt. aid and donations from Corporates. When govt. stopeed its aid, AOL stopped its work. Why did they not spend from their own sources?
    My only question is where the huge money is going collected via courses and donations.

  651. Setudev Says:

    Raja,
    You are not supposed to ask questions like”where”, “why”, “what” in case of AOL programs. As Dayalu says, since they are doing some good work, you should blindley asuume the money is well spent, even if it is in huge huge amounts. Otherwise AOL marketers will call you as liar or nonbeliever. AOL has demonstrated clearly that money and spirituality can go hand in hand. A simple paid course can transform thousands of people’s attitude towards money and none of them is liable to misapropriate any money.

    Even if one of them does misappropriation or claims unconceivable things like 30% crime reduction in washington DC, these are one off cases and AOL marketers will immediately disown him/her.

    Faith can move mountains and blind faith can move huge amounts cash. Pure faith based gurus like Mahatma Gandhi, buddha, Shirdi’s SaiBaba, Swami Vivekananda, RamKrishna Paramahansa, Sant Tukaram, Sant Dnyaneshwar only collected peopl’e trust. Whereas blind faith based gurus like Sri Sri are creating trusts to collect people’s money. The difference is subtle but clear.

    ***

    One question:
    At age 52, most people I know have grey hair and a lot of them. How is that Sri Sri doesnt have a single grey hair ? not even in his beard?

    Is it attributed to his Yoga power?
    I am sure coloring hair is considered as “show off” in AOL spirituality. So that possibility can be ruled out. Why would a spiritual guru care about hair color right?

    So what is the secret behind ‘natural’ black hair?

    Spiritual gurus shore up Advani’s quest for power:

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/spiritual-gurus-shore-up-advanis-quest-for-power/332205/

    “Advani is known to share a special rapport with Sri Sri. While the AoL founder is known to drop in at Advani’s residence when in town, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate has often been seen overwhelmed in public in his presence.”

    Spirituality + politics = better society
    Spirituality + money = charity

    How accurate are these equations?

    Chandragupta’s spiritual Guru Chanakya used to live in a hut outside the town.

  652. Arun Says:

    I am appalled at the statement by “jaigurudevhaha”. How can a guru who dismisses the notion of “me” as an illusion come up with a statement such as “Me and my followers will be born in Mongolia”. What does that even mean ? Either Shree squared is a true fraud or this “jaigurudevhaha” guy has gone totally crazy and needs to be examined by a doctor. Look at the kind of content AOL is adding to the human consciousness. And then the great shree squared talks about burning off karma (or your conditioning). Totally fraudulent.

  653. Arun Ganesan Says:

    Hey Guys,

    Take it easy. Man cannot stop complaining. The author of this blog had a bad experience, it is ok. Here is my suggestion to him

    ” Do what you feel is best, it is your thought, if you dont like Guruji go on, keep moving, get the refund. The course is not meant for you.”

    In my case :

    Yoga by itself is an experience, you are the experiment conducting it on yourself and feel the experience. This cannot be expressed in words . Experience is something personal and stays personal.

    The reason i state the above. Jesus , Ramana Maharishi all the great saints where criticized in the beginning and thrown stones at. Guess what is happening today.

    My Guru HH Ravi Shankar’s course has given me an experience which cannot be expressed in words. So point is, he cannot be bogus, because the technique Sudarshan Kriya which has ascended through him is definitely not bogus. I think i am very judgemental person and not blown away by things easily. So i think he is NOT bogus.

    For those of you who haven’t taken his courses, like the author here who considers himself a delegate not being able to wash his own plates in the ashram, scroll up to my advice.

    Stop complaining, it is taking you far behind, look what is going to happen next and keep moving. Why is Guruji or any other thing in life os much of a botheration for you. Anyways, you are free to express your thoughts and i am free to express mine. So take my opinion as stated above.

    As i said if you keep complaining you are just staying back in the race, forget let go and keep moving, if it is not meant for you, keep moving….

    Pranams,

  654. Setudev Says:

    Arun Ganesan,
    Thanks for your thoughts I think they are correct if people here were complaining about Sudarshan Kriya itself. But I think you havent taken time to read the entire blog.

    NONE of us here are saying Sudarshan Kriya itself is bad or worthless. In fact I think it is a valuable technique given by our ancient Vedanta and Yogsutra (and not by AOL).

    We are questioning the method in which AOL is conducting its business and your advice doesnt at all answer that. What you said is nothing new and we can think of it ourselves.

    Please read a few of my posts and try to answer those questions.
    Thanks

    Setudev

  655. sulochanosho Says:

    Somewhere Setudev rightly poited out,

    One question:
    At age 52, most people I know have grey hair and a lot of them. How is that Sri Sri doesnt have a single grey hair ? not even in his beard?
    Is it attributed to his Yoga power?
    I am sure coloring hair is considered as “show off” in AOL spirituality. So that possibility can be ruled out. Why would a spiritual guru care about hair color right? So what is the secret behind ‘natural’ black hair?

    Setudev, let the Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has the freedom of coloring his hairs, if it is so. But that’s how these Sri Sris try to “color” the minds of the whole gullible people and the world there, in the name and baits of spirituality and enlightenment and “sevas”. This is what it pains to all of us.

  656. Raja Says:

    Art of Living people always say that Large Projects ae going all around the world. Has any one seen large Capital Expenditure project of Art of Living?
    (Don’t mention satsang, guidence or course in jail etc. projects which are labour oriented)

  657. Arun Says:

    I don’t know what arguments people can offer in defence. ALl I can say from just unbiased observations are :

    1) Many of Sri Sri’s talks are childish without any seriousness

    2) It doesn’t seem that the AOL practises what it preaches

    3) Sri Sri’s followers are hell bent on projecting him as Krishna’s avatar

    4) They take a lot of money for courses which are well known in the Hindu/Buddhist spiritual systems

    5) There is no proper accounting for the money taken

    Nothing against Sudarshan Kriya or Meditation processes per se. Its the way these are conducted and the brain washing that happens. My sincere view is that we should stop these discussions soon and move on if we are not going to convert this into action.

  658. Setudev Says:

    Arun,
    Taking action is definitely a next practical step. But I think we need enough evidence before that and not just speculation as mentioned in yours and at times my posts as well.

    This forum is for creating an awareness about these issues. As more AOL members start stepping up and speaking up here, we will get more evidence to take action. I dont think we have any actionable evidence here yet.

    We definitelly have first hand expereinces and observations. I have tried to put these together and asked pointed questions. But none of AOL marketers have satisfactorily answered those.

    Dont you think getting more AOL members to speak up and accept the discrepencies of their system is the next step? Once we have enough AOL member’s support they themselves will start a movement, I think.

  659. bhavesh Says:

    Doubts are always on the good things. one will not doubt the hate, crime and other harmful things, but doubts on something which is beneficial. So keep doubting, that will make us sure that we are doing something useful.

    ***

    I don’t know what arguments people can offer in defence. ALl I can say from just unbiased observations are :

    1) Many of Sri Sri’s talks are childish without any seriousness

    2) It doesn’t seem that the AOL practises what it preaches

    3) Sri Sri’s followers are hell bent on projecting him as Krishna’s avatar

    4) They take a lot of money for courses which are well known in the Hindu/Buddhist spiritual systems

    5) There is no proper accounting for the money taken

    Arun has his own view on this. But don’t forget the views of millions of people who also have paid the money. Of course some exceptions will be there. After paying 850 for basic course, people happily paid 2000 for advance course voluntarily without any force, and people who are joining the course every week are equal to the nos. of the world involved in the complaints here on this blog. They are not fool and u also r requested not to misunderstand that they are the sole person who worries about culture or country. You can not make the fool all many people for all the time. If if u consider the AOL people fool than just listen to the famous bhajan sung during many satsang. GANDA NI VANZAR AA TO GANDA NI VANZAR (its a movement of the people who are the proud fools in the love of the devine.

    God bless u all.

    In spite of all the views of Arun,

  660. RAMNATH Says:

    I am from SATARA district of Maharashtra. I have came to know some very serious, new facts about Art of Living in view of coming Loksabha Elections. I lost the whatever remaining respect for Art of Living and Shri Ravishankar. I will disclose in next 4-5 days after re-confirmation of these facts from some volunteers.

  661. Arun Says:

    Just think of this man. Sri Sri preaches that you have to get rid of karma/conditioning etc and AOL keeps inflicting you with more attachment for the Guru. So much so that people are afraid of what the Guru will say/think if they act in a certain way or otherwise. Things like Krishna’s avatar and other propaganda keeps you rooted in your karma.

    AOL is just an organization like umpteen others before. Any organization means adhering to patters, means more karma. See all this for yourself. Guru means perpetual anxiety. Look at all this and be free.

    Some things that Sri Sri says makes a lot of sense (I don’t know if he and blind AOL followers realize that). Cut off Karma absolutely once and for all. A true Guru is one who produces an disciple who is independent of him and who is capable of producing more such independent minds. Not just saying that everything is divine, everything is so nice and being in a trance. All AOL is doing is dulling you mind.

    Once you get the message, move on. No need to hang on to that Guru or organization or whatever. AOL doesn’t want you to become self-reliant. It wants you to keep you in that loop if Guru-reliant and in anxiety. So what if Sri Sri is enlightened (if you believe in that). What will you get from that unless you put in your effort. I can’t understand why you, such well educated, intelligent people fail to see this simple truth. May be this is what is Maya.

  662. RAJA Says:

    JUST READ SOME MATERIAL COPIES FROM GURUPHILIAC.COM AND MEDITATION SITE FOR THE INFORMATION OF OUR READERS:
    1.
    Having been in AOL and having known many people in the organisation, as well as devotees, here is what I feel. It is easy to find negatives in the AOL org just as it is easy to find it anywhere else.

    If you come just for doing the Basic course or Part I, you can continue the practice and feel content. The cost is certainly less than what you pay for many other similar programmes and the benefit is there.

    Unfortunately, what happens is a lot more of indoctrination once you go through the programme. And while I would not like to call Sri Sri a fraud, it is obvious that there is a lot of theatre in what he does. At the same time he comes off as a reasonably warm and simple person and appears a little astonished by the amount of attention and fame that AOL has got.

    Then there is the attempt at extraction of money once a person is hooked. The pressure starts building up, do this course and that and that. Things like the Guru Puja are ridiculous, as also the DSN. The advanced course is good and I found it fun. Darned if I am going to repeat it. Sahaj Samadhi is a straight lift from TM.

    In moments of candour some teachers say that the Basic course is all you need and that is the truth. Go for only that and stay free from any illusions of enlightenment from Sri Sri. Only a lit candle can light others. Avoid the long Kriya. Do the Advanced course, only if you are so inclined. If you are not strong and easily brainwashed, avoid any contact with AOL once you do the Basic course. If anyone visits you and suggests that you join them for some programme or the other, after you have done the basic course, shoo them off very politely and with a smile!

    2.
    Last comment –
    “Having been in AOL and having known many people in the organisation, as well as devotees….”
    This is a perfect and unbiased opinion. I have observed the same. Do the basic course. But do not fall in trap. learn the yoga, pranayam and sudarshan kriya (its a sort of pranayam) – [I THINK, RAMDEV BABA IS MUCH BETTER IN THIS AREA, SO PREFER HIM.] but do not attend their Long Kriya or Satsang, once you join them, they will extract money in this or that form, pressurise you to do various courses. and the volunteers and local teachers are really innocent persons who are thinking that they are doing something great Seva for their Guru.
    The real culprits are sitting in Banglore Ashram. Its funny to call that place Ashram. There are posh bungalows for Senior Teachers and Other close persons. 2 artificial lakes, many cars and most importantly 2 Elephents.
    Earlier, the elephents are kept by Kings (only king can afford the elephants) Why a Sanyasi need elephants? and they are fed by the course fees and donations of the innocent public who think that their money is spent for developement project.
    THERE IS ONLY ONE DEVELOPMENT PROJECT AND THAT IS BANGLORE ASHRAM. ANY ONE WHO HAS VISITED THE PLACE CAN SURELY CONFIRM THIS.

    3. THE SAHAJ SAMADHI MEDITATION OF AOL IS DIRECT COPY OF RAVISHANKAR’S GURU MAHESH YOGI’S TM TECHNIQUE:
    HERE WHAT TM IS:
    Transcendental Meditation ® is formed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. This meditation is defined as “turning our attention inwards to ourselves and our subtler level of thoughts until our mind transcends the experience of the subtlest state if thought and arrives at the source of thoughts” (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi).
    Steps in TM® Meditation

    Step 1 : Sit comfortably
    Step 2 : Close your eyes.
    Step 3 : Engage in effortless mental repetition of a special sound for approx
    twenty minutes, twice daily.

    Note: The special sound in step 3 indicates the sound that is found in the TM mantra, which are not recorded down, instead they are passed down through word of mouth.

    Practicing TM ®Meditation does not clash with religious belief nor does it require any changes from your lifestyle.

    ARUN’S COMMENTS ARE REALLY GOOD. RAMNATH AND ARUN ARE AWAKENED, WITH CLEAR MINDS AND OPENED EYES. MAY GOD HELP THE POOR PERSONS TRAPED IN AOL, TO COME OUT OF TRANCE.

  663. Arun Says:

    I completely agree with Raja’s comments. Any form of pranayama/meditation is good for the body mind whether it is taught by Sri Sri or other teachers/masters. After all, all these are the ones laid out by Patanjali – jewel among yogis. Anything beyond this – bliss, enlightenment is utterly false. Truth is in the daily life not elsewhere. Life in all its complexities, with its moments of happiness/sorrow/frustration/ecstasy is the truth – not escaping from it.

    Its nice to see some really rational thinking people in this world filled people going after illusionist promises like helping you to gain wealth gain enlightenment etc etc.

    Finding truth is one’s own very personal path. Use Yoga to lead a healthy and sane life for the body and mind. Truth is beyond these two.

    Consult true masters like Ramana Maharshi,Jiddu Krishnamurti, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Shankaracharya, Ashtavakra the Bhagavad Gita. The upanishads or whatever you prefer to help you charter a path.

    A head of a money making organization, living in a huge complex can never lead you to the truth whatever his claims may be. A really true person can never say something and do the opposite.

    Others, please wake up before you find yourself in a current so swift that you cannot escape from it.

  664. Puneet Says:

    I just happend to read this blog and im amazed at the comments made by a number of people who have not even taken up any of the AOL course.

    Its all about personal views. I can say that the sun is rising but another person can say that the sun is setting. I am associated with the Art of Living for more than four years now and i am an ative volunteer at the center attending regular follow up and the weekly satsang.

    I would just comment on the post sent by Raja. He says do the basic course(Part 1 course) and stay away from AOL. If you have done the other courses u’l observe that each course offers something different. You liked the Advance course.. but i liked the DSN better. Its a personal choice. Raja has made his comment. People who are reading it must respect that but not get completly influenced by it. In all these years have adviced a lot of people to take up the AOL courses…and I have come across people who have been dissapointed and also people who have thanked me for introducing them to AOL. IT IS JUST A PERSONAL CHOIECE.

    One cant just call poeple fools who are devotees of SRI SRI. There should not be any doubt on the intention of this holy soul. There is a very strong point made in the basic course.. “Oppositive values are complimentary”.. Positives and negative are there everywhere. Even when we go to a temple, the priest there gives an extra piece of coconut to the person who puts a 10rs note in his plate. Many may find it ok, people like me may find it wrong. But we dont doubt the intention of the Lord and continue to fold our hands with respect in front of the idol. Similarly, in an orgabisation which is spread across 150 countries, having millions of volunteers working in it, there ought to be flaws and mistakes. So lets emphasize on appriciating the good rather than trying to put down a person and his organisation which has made a diffrence in millions of lives and one which is making an effort to do something for the society.

    It is true that some of the course fees is too high. I myself cannot afford some of those. But I am ready to save up and do them if I get a chance. There are people who from all over the world come to do the courses…they do it because they are willing to pay that fee because they know what they will be getting out of it. When it comes to money, even a not so smart person becomes extremely smart. They know where they are spending thier money. And all this money is definetly used for some good cause. There are a number of villages adopted in India, Africa and other countries by AOL. Road, toilets, homes, schools. etc are made in these villages. There were AOL volunteers in the Tsunami affected areas who were carrying out trauma relief camps. During the Gujrat earthquake there was AOL carrying out the relief activities. In Kasmir AOL is activly working and teaching Sudarshan Kriya to the people of Kashmir who are contanly living in stress and fear. There was a lot of activity and donations made to Bihar when there were floods.I have been a part of some Nava Chetana Shibirs(simple workshop that are done in slums). There are a number of such activities that AOL does which are not noticed. This might sound cliche and people might call me robot talking the language of all the other people in the ashram, but it is a fact. People dont mind buying an Iron Maiden concert ticket. There is no second thought. People can worship those artists, but when it comes to making a donation for a good cause and respecting a person who is giving you(not just music :-) satsangs) so much knowledge, all the calculations and the analysis start.

    I just gave my thoughts. We should try to take the good out of everything.. No point in magnifying the negativites.

    All my pranams and respect to GURUJI!!

  665. A.K. Says:

    I think you don’t understand Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. He is just a very, very simple man. He is simply a great teacher and scholar; he shares his interpretations and discourses on ancient wisdoms in a very simple and easy to grasp manner. His discourses are philosophical, offering invaluable insight to those who wish to hear. True course fees are exorbitant. But that shows how much value I place upon knowing and learning about these things. I just came back from an advanced course, and my teacher addressed the cost issue. (She was a special traveling teacher who was on first-name terms with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.)

    She said she once talked to him about it, saying she didn’t think it was right to charge (back then it was only 300 Indian rupees) for spirituality. He smiled and said there was a reason as to why there was a charge and told her fine, if she wanted to that, she could. She said that it was a nightmare. People would come in and out at all times, not do the homework, not get anything out of the course. She hated it and stopped doing it.

    The money we pay is indicative of the value we place upon the knowledge. By making it cost so much, it ensures you practice your kriya, meditate daily. Seriously, who takes time out of their day willingly to do that stuff? Had I not paid so much money, I for one would not have persisted in daily practice. I would not have reaped the great many benefits of kriya in my life. It is really wonderful. By charging so much, it acts as a reinforcement of your commitment to integrating it wholly into your life. After all, you paid a whole lot of money to get this precious knowledge, it’d be a damn shame to not get every penny’s worth out of it, yes?

    Yes, this is knowledge that has been available for all human times and whatnot. Yes, he’s charging a TON for it. But it is not as if Art of Living has the monopoly on the yoga and meditation market. Were this the case, then yes, Guruji is a charlatan and Art of Living is a scam. But the reality is far from it. It’s a market just like everything else and Guruji is offering this knowledge to those who want it. And you know what? I prefer to learn this from Guruji. His philosophical insight is phenomenal. It’s logically tenuous sometimes, when he talks about things which he really doesn’t know – like the environment perhaps, or depression/mental illness in general. He is a scholar of ancient Indian wisdom, and I think it must also be duly noted that his scientific views are strictly Vedic, heavily Ayurvedic, and do not always really translate well into modern life.

    He is the best in the field and he – rightly so – wishes only to give his knowledge to those who truly desire to acquire it, to those who will understand and treasure it. He is a discriminating teacher, and I’m okay with that. Why throw pearls before swine? If I really wished, I could do an independent study in the ancient texts, learn yoga and pranayaam by myself, for a very minimal cost. Or find another teacher who will imbibe me with this knowledge for free. But I CHOOSE Art of Living because it is the best. You pay for expensive private schools for your children because it is the best. Sure you get the same knowledge at public school, sure you can get to the same destination from both places, but there is a very distinct and astronomical difference in the quality and level of support from both. I love the atmosphere of the Art of Living. I love the people there – educated people who have an intellectual love and understanding of what the essence of the Art of Living is. It’s not so derisive or pejorative as the author makes it out to be.

    Just because he has ignored the Indian tradition of knowledge being free of charge or very, very cheap, that does NOT make him a scam. He is a fundamentally good human being with a very simple solution for all the world’s problems: Kriya and meditation. He DID just repackage a bunch of pranayaam techniques – he never claims to invent the breathing styles. Combination is very, very important. That particular combination of breathing techniques is what he discovered, and you must understand every different combination has a different effect on your physiological, mental and emotional self. He is not a scam, he is a scholar.

  666. A.K. Says:

    Also, I want to say that Guruji says he changed his name from Sri Ravi Shankar to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar because he heard the sitar player complaining that Guruji stole his name. He is a simple and good human being who I personally believe does not care for material things and is not out to scam.

    He truly believes in the power and effectiveness of his product. He really truly believes that this is what can save a person, can heal and solve all human problems. And you know what? It’s really helped me cope with severe mental illness. I think his views on mental illness display an inherent misunderstanding, but he is a good man with a good message. I don’t think he’s god or anything, nor do I grovel in front of him, but I think he is a great teacher, a Buddha, an enlightened soul trying to do Seva. He practices what he preaches and I couldn’t ask for anything more of a man I utterly and totally consider as a very influential Guru in my life. Not all followers are blind, sir.

  667. Arun Says:

    A.K, I agree with you. All I am against is the blind worship. Eventually, nothing at all is wrong in this flow called life. It is the way it is. How can you even fight what is since that becomes a part of life :-) . With this realization, it is best to move on.

    sarve cha sukhinaha santu, sarve santu niraamayaaha, Sarve BhaDraaNi pashyantu, maa kaschid dukhabhaagbhavet

    Peace to all.

  668. bhavesh Says:

    Dear Puneet,

    What we can say about these people full of complaints. Only one devotee can understand the feeling of a devotee. I bet you these people will not be a devotee of any path or religion. So it is not possible to win them with argument. Let’s leave them to the God’s bless and let’s wish good for them. We all know the result of SPITTING WHILE WATCHING THE SUN ABOVE.

    God bless you all.

  669. RAJA Says:

    FALSE GURU TEST:
    ITS A SUBJECTIVE TEST, BUT STILL WORTH TRYING:

    http://www.geocities.com/the_wanderling/false_guru.html

    AND I THINK, MR. RAVISHANKAR FAIL IN POINT NO.
    6.Takes the credit for a particular meditative or healing technique:
    8. Lives in total opulence
    9.Encourages or permits adoration from his followers
    10.Presents himself or herself overly fashionably and glamorously
    13.Runs expensive miracle workshops and courses
    16.Talks bollocks
    18.Gives him or herself outrageous titles
    19.Runs abundance workshops
    22.Makes false claims of lineage
    23.Presents themselves as non-profit whilst raking in the millions
    24.Collects a large band of angry ex-followers

    EVERYBODY IS WELCOME TO ADD MORE POINTS TO THIS MONEY AND FAME GREEDY GURU.

  670. Puneet Says:

    For people in Bangalore,

    SRI SRI YOGA
    Date : 7th to 11th April
    Time : 6am to 8am
    Venue : Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Vyalikaval, B’lore.

  671. Setudev Says:

    A.K.
    I studied in a school where my fees were Rs 8 per month and became Rs 10 per month in 8th, 9th and 10th standard probably. I still value the knowdge gained in that school and paying more for that knowdge would not have made me value that knowdge any more.

    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar who wrote our constitution studied under muncipalty light pole. He got very cheap education, but he still valued it and put it in practise.

    Your and Sri Sri’s premise that making people pay a lot of money for knowdge will make them value it, is totally baseless and a scam.

    Binding people by materalistic rope (e.g. high fees) in order to value non-materialistic knowdgge (e.g. spirituality) itself is contradictory.

    A guru should be able to bind his/her pupils by his/her love, personality, knowldge and sicerity and not fees.

    Because once the pinch of paying so much money is over, the desire to value that knowdge also gets over.

    I hope this makes sense to you.

  672. Puneet Says:

    Mr Setudev,

    Not everyone is as commited as Dr Ambedkar. It is very easy for the mind to convince a person to not do something good. This knowledge and the different practices help us contol our mind. The fees is just to ensure that people attend the whole course. And once the course is completed and one has the experience of Sudarshan kriya, they continue to practise it…not just because they have paid money, but because of the benifits they have got.

    And moreover if a person stops valuing the knowledge, than person was NEVER in knowledge. Because one who really understands the knowledge, there is no question of feeling the pinch of paying money….he will continue to value the knowledge.

  673. Setudev Says:

    Puneet,
    You say: “The fees is just to ensure that people attend the whole course. ”

    In that case the matter is even easier. If the whole point of making people pay so much money was to attend the course, it should have been designed in following way:

    1. Take deposit of money equal to total course fees.
    2. If people attend whole course then return all the money or 90% (or any large percentage) of money.
    3. If people miss a single class without genuine reason, they lose all the deposit.

    As simple as that. But it seems the reason for charging so much fees is not according to your naive imagination. AOL WANTS to run all these phoney projects — for example read Ramnath’s post above and then tallk.

    If you are true AOL disciple, try answering my and Ramnath’s questions in posts above. Dont just justify fees using your imagination.

  674. Puneet Says:

    “The fees is just to ensure that people attend the whole course. ”

    This is particular to what A.K was trying to tell. I gave my thoughts on that. And I use the term ‘fees’ here just because everyone is using that term and discussing in that context ONLY. I would say it is donation.

    I shall stick on to the fact that there are many activities done by AOL. And in these times money is needed for everything. From where will that money come?.. If someone has to make a donation, people think a million times. One can go and buy a shirt for 1000rs without thinkng twice but when it comes to contributing, its a different case. And people who are paying the ‘fees’ for this corse is only because they actually can. There have been many cases where people cant afford that much but really want to do the course and they do it. They give how much ever they can and have no regrets. Beign a volunteer I have come across this. Everyone has their own opinion. One cant say that millions of followers across the globe are all fools. Even if they are, they are happy and positive in beign fools unlike many who just magnify the negativities.

    And this not my imagination. I am saying whatever I see beign in AOL. Maybe I see only the goodness…and im happy with that.

    To what Ramnath says:
    I told in my perivious post also that there ought to be mistakes and flaws. There are many people involved in it and there are crooks also. Even I have come across them. Doesnt mean we should not doubt Sri Sri for that. I definetly cant answer to what the DSN course teacher had to say. Its like a fairy tale :-). But im sure of one thing, DSN course has a different purpose. Sri Sri would not have asked the teacher to tell all that as part of the course. I have done 3 DSN with different teachers but have not heard such things. So lets not blame Sri Sri for this.
    Yes people do consider him God. If peole consider Sri Sri as incarnation of Krishna, good for them!! One should just think why they do.. One should realise what they have recieved from Sri Sri that they place him next to God. But that wont happen..its a little difficult to digest. But anyone telling something wrong will be accepted instantly without even thinking..

    Lets agree for a moment that Sri Sri is making money for himself. But at the same time he is giving something for the society…if not everything. There are many who feel Sudarshan Kriya really helps even though they think Sri Sri is a fraud. There is atleast something that is benfiting people right? Even though they are gullible and fools to be followers, they are happy. And I assume people who are not in favour of AOL are also happy!! That means we all are happy.
    So instead of wasting our energy in trying to show the world that he is a fraud or he is God, lets try discuss something more constructive. Something that can help us all. :-)

  675. Setudev Says:

    Puneet,
    You have made us all Puneet (means paavan) :) by telling us about your “Happy Theory” –“Even though they are gullible and fools to be followers, they are happy. And I assume people who are not in favour of AOL are also happy!! That means we all are happy.”

    I am happy to hear that the whole world by now is happy and they are doing everything (including SSKriya/DSN course) just to increase their happiness.

    You have definitely skipped all my questions and escaped Ramnath’s experience by saying — I havent heard it so it must not be true. So you just made two people out of the whole world sad.

    All you are saying is just because AOL is giving people something, they can charge whatever amount they want.

    Puneet — this has been discussed in detail on this forum and I have created a consolidated list of questions. You can read them and try to answer. Most AOL people do one of the following things. You can decide which category you want to fall in:
    1) They call its all false and lie and skip the questions
    2) they say I havent heard it, so I dont know so it must be false – which you already did once
    3) They give some lame justifications, and examples of AOL cources in Iraq, Kashmir and Prisons. A few courses in these locations justify any possible fraud.
    4) They call us ignorant fools and say Om Shanti Shanti Shanti and escape all the questions.

    Choose your route or if you are really brave and true to yourself then, assume we all are genuine people who are just asking genuine questions and — do some research in your AOL society and come back with real answers.

    A very few do that. I dont expect you to do that either — given your happy theory.

  676. sanatana Says:

    I have followed this link via another article published in Rediff related to AOL and Srilankan cricket.I have posted my views regarding AOL and what I got in return was only stupid replies from his brainwashed followers.I pity the educated youth and professionals in USA who often fall prey to these phoney Yogis(AOL,ISHA etc).It has become a fad in the last 20 years for these self proclaimed swamis to make a trip to USA and make money in the name of yoga,relieving stress etc.

    I think majority of the folks in USA fall prey to these schemes due to their own selfishness and greed, they join these courses thinking that they will become more successful by joining them and don’t mind paying money for that. Swamis sense a golden opportunity and try to rip them with fees like $425(Rs.22100) for a weeks course,couple of hours on a weekday and 16 hrs on the weekend for AOL and similarly $275 for similar course on ISHA. The audience generally are only concerned about the tangible benefit they think they are going to get and are not bothered about the dollars. This mentality is nicely cashed in by clever swamis.They are not keen on the spirituality nor they have the time or interest to pursue it,this is another golden opportunity exploited by the swamis.They deliver a concoction of their own interpretation of vedanta,their own purport and to a major extent freely lift commentary from previous eminent commentators on Gita as their own knowledge.They get away with the stuff as many in the audience is not even bothered to check facts or read on their own.These swamis often plant their own people in the audience and make them ask questions to impress the audience.

    I will tell you my experience about both ISHA & AOL.

    AOL first:I have attended “Money” “Money””Money” Ravi Shankar’s discourse live in person at the BAPS Swami Narayan Temple in Atlanta in October’08.There were around 30 men and about 50 women in the audience.Of the 30 men later I came to know that 15 were from his entourage travelling around USA for that particular trip.Ravi Shankar made us meditate for twenty minutes and later gave a discourse for 15 minutes which was neither vedanta nor spiritual or religious.It does not qaulify into anything more than talking about his own glory.The Q& A session was the longest and it is here he wanted to impress the non-AOL folks with his knowledge.I think he failed badly because of the 15 questions 12 were asked by his students which were meaning less and best can be only appreciated by his cult.Of the remaining 3 questions 2 were based on Advaita from a non-AOL hindu devotee and Ravi Shankar just gave one liners, thinking it was witty his followers just laughed much to the chagrin of the questioner.To one question he just went off tangent and defined the word “Narayana” which was totally against the meaning defined in Sanskrit langauge.Bottomline he got away with what ever he spoke because no one in the audience who is from non-AOL did not even bother to check the facts.That was about AOL and its leader’s spiritual discourse.

    The finance part of it: First time I ran into a AOL follower was in 2002 when I met one guy who is in charge of the Houston AOL center and he hosted Ravi Shankar at his residence.He came to Atlanta and met me thru a common friend.He asked me to join AOL course which was $275 at that time.I told him I don’t want to join the course as I am against paying money to some individual who was charging huge money to teach breathing to people in USA.I asked him several questions for which he did not answers. After that late last year I met one individual from my own sub-division(colony) who asked our help(we have a local indian association with around 60 families) in conducting AOL course. The course fee was $425 and he offered a $50 discount. Let’s look at the revenue assuming 50 individuals participated in the event at $375.It is 50*375=$18750,the food was pot luck for the entire duration,meaning the participants volunteer to bring one or dishes for the group.So no cost or overhead for food or water. Venue:The venue was our club house which I think was given for free,if not assuming they paid for it would be around $750. Rest everything was free volunteer service so no more overheads than $750.So the net income was $18000 for the week from one location.So the cost of conducting the course is not even 5% the rest 95 % is for AOL.If you run the numbers for such numerous courses that are being conducted in USA alone the annual income would run into millions of dollars.Now do we have the accounts for all the money spent on the charity from this revenue.If it is truly spent in its entirety for human cause then I would definitely respect Ravi Shankar. But I don’t think it is the case,major portion is spent for his luxurious business class travel to the 140 countries and travel by expensive cars,hotel stay etc.The Airfare would definitely run into thousands of dollars,if AOL’s Sudarshan Kriya is making people healthy,strong and stress free can it’s founder be not strong enough to travel by economy class and spend the difference in charity.No he would not,he would prefer to travel by business class,of course he earned the money so he is justified.

    Let’s look at other view of this non-profit:They charge Rs.1500 for the same breathing techniques in India which is less than $20 per person.So based on the fact that it is the same techniques why can’t they charge $20 per person in USA as well.So 50 * 20=$1000 and cost of the venue is $750 still bringing in net income of $250 which is not bad assuming they are doing service in 3rd world countries where they can get more bang for the buck and still do the charity.No they would not because it would rob the leader of his millions,it does not make business sense to not extract the full value from affluent customers.

    I can’t stop appreciating the business acumen of Ravi Shankar,he is as intelligent and smart as Ambani or a Tata or Birla or even smarter than them,For the industrialists need capital to start the business but Ravi Shankar does not need that and is still making millions.

    The above is only an argument on the commerce side of the organization.

    Let us talk about the religious side of it.In my view he is not a Hindu nor he is one who would fight for Hindus.He is a money sucker who wants to loot public irrespective of religion,caste, creed and community. For money has no religion,so he cannot support religion.He would go to a church,mosque or any other place where he can sell his trade.

    What are his efforts in stopping forcible conversions?How much service did his organization do for the poor priests of neglected temples in say Karnataka alone? Using his political clout how much did he help the hindus in preventing the minority appeasement of political parties.

    He would never stand up for Hinduism for it will be counter-productive for his trade.He would rather prefer to sell Hinduism.He is a pimp. His followers who support charging thousands of dollars and say it is justified are supporters of prostitution and they are pimps as well. The guys who are enjoying the unexplainable bliss are the happy customers.

    Are there any available documents or numbers as to how many people got tangible benefits like food, shelter, clothing from his organization apart from the abstract teachings,especially in Iraq,Kosovo etc what are the real expenses apart from his travel,stay.How much was the income generated?

    All said and done I think it is the mistake of Hindus who have become ignorant of their own dharma and gave others an opportunity to be exploited.If hindus paid attention to their religious texts and are aware of the basics of spirituality, superficial gurus would not have found a place in this society.We ignored the Gita,Shankara’s advaita or Ramanuja’s Visistha advaita or Dvaita philosophy,Patanjali’s yoga sutras,Prastana traya at our own peril.If we are educated on our religion then fake swamis will not define or patent breathing for us nor would they define god for us.

    We have no case against AOL ,they are strong,rich.Moreover they are a strong force of millions of mad followers.

    God benevolent someday as one AOL guy posted earlier Time will answer everything,the truth about the financial misdeeds will surface.

    Look at Satyam it met its destiny.

    What we need to prevent future fake swamis is a revolution to rejuvenate hinduism and respect our spiritual knowledge,preserve our text,create awareness about yoga,keep it free,Make our upanishad,Gita,Brahma Sutra,Patanjali Yoga sutras commentaries freely available to one and all and reach out to the community.

    We need to safe guard our religion from our own self declared godmen and let them not define Narayana for us.They can go any extent to defy god or say they are god.

    Well more later…

  677. VALLURU FARIDA Says:

    ASSALAMA’LYKUM, I WISH YOU ARE BEST IN YOUR HEALTH.AMEEN. OUR ORGANISATION IS WORKING FRON 2000.OUR ORGANISATION IS HAVING 3 MADARASAS IN OUR STATE.IN THREE MADARAS WE HAVE 300 CHILDREN.FOR OUR CHILDREN WE ARRANGED FOOD FACILITIES ,CLOTHES,STUDY MATERIALS,QURANS FOR THEM.WE GOT LESS GRANTS FOR THEM.PLEASE HELP FOR OUR MADARASAS TO SUPPLY SUFFICIENT FOOD,CLOTHES FOR THEM. WASSALAMA’LYKUM,KINDREGARDS

  678. Vineet Says:

    I have attended the AOL Basic course…what a waste of money. While teaching the kriya why are students supposed to close their eyes and not observe the teacher before attempting it themselves…not even once can u observe the teacher because u are being watched by hawk-eyed teachers to see that u don’t open yr eyes even once…there’s no example…for yogasans, there is. But for sudarshan kriya, u do it yourself without any examples/ illustrations. Why the secrecy?

  679. jaigurudevhaha Says:

    Sanatana, do you REALLY think AOL makes money ONLY on basis of courses held? Granted, your math was good, but AOL is one of the richer organizations in India. And so never really face scrutiny of source of funds. Today religious organizations as well as terrorist organizations move money all over to invest in hedge funds?

  680. Sanatana Says:

    Hi Jai gurudevhahahaha,

    Probably courses is one of the revenue streams.They are also in education industry taking hefty donations for nursery class kids etc,I have just seen one flier of a software company which says it pays and sponsors AOL(obviously marketing for each other I guess).

    To your comment I have no clue what they do with the money it could be hedge funds as you doubted or it could be anything.

    Anyways I am not against AOL or anyone.I was only sharing my own experience and view on these organizations.

  681. puneet Says:

    I have nowhere mentioned that “I havent heard it so it must not be true.”

    I meant to say that it is something that particular teacher told and Sri Sri is not to be blamed. I have not told that it must not be true even in any other context.

  682. Setudev Says:

    Excellent Puneet!
    I will repost your words here: “I definetly cant answer to what the DSN course teacher had to say. Its like a fairy tale :-). But im sure of one thing, DSN course has a different purpose. Sri Sri would not have asked the teacher to tell all that as part of the course. I have done 3 DSN with different teachers but have not heard such things. So lets not blame Sri Sri for this.”

    You call it a fairy tale. Are fairy tales true? Hopefully not. That means what DSN teacher says is false and you are saying Sri Sri is not to be blamed for “whatever” is said during the course.

    That means Sri Sri should be given all the credit for teaching a course but he wont take blame from any wrong things during the same course. Wow this is great example of accoutability. Even our corrupt politicians take responsibility and resign sometimes. But with blind followers like you around Sri Sri doesnt have to do that.

    Puneet, if you were Sri Sri would you stop spreading the bull shit or would you close your eyes and pass the blame? Let me hear your excuses to cover up Sri Sri.

  683. puneet Says:

    I dont need to use any excuse. You are just here with an intention of proving your point and even I have ended up doin that. :)I am true to myself and brave enough to tell it out that Sri Sri is a noble person. I know many people who are doing great service. I too do my bit. If Sri Sri can make a difference in our lives and make us what we are today, I dont care about anything else.
    You seem to be more impressed by the corrupt politicains. If you are really so worried about what is hapning to people, I feel you should use your energy in critizing those politician who take all our money and give us nothing.

    You already said that you dont expect me to answer your questions.. So me not giving you any answers will not dissapoint you and my “Haapy Theory” will work here aswell. I have been telling from my very first post that there ought to be mistakes in such a big organisation.

    Nevermind sir.. As I have told its just an individual outlook. I am not here to prove anything to you or anyone. Just got stuck into it. :) …

    All the best sir.
    JOY GURUDEV!

  684. Shankar_Arun Says:

    Hi all,

    This is heights. I have a very good friend who went on to become an AOL teacher. We have a common friend who also did some courses and listened to the Sri Sri avatars crap. This friend realized the fraud being perpetrated by the Shri squared and co and fell out of it. This AOL teacher friend, now doesn’t even talk to that guy because he is not part of AOL. So much for all the teachings and the courses. I tell you, eating dog s**t is better than being a part of such a corrupt and disgustingly brainwashed organization.

    Three weeks ago, I went to their publicity campaign precisely to observe what all they tell people. I was told this story. There was this dude who was apparently teaching in New Zealand and there was an old lady who passed out during the sudarshan kriya. Apparently she woke up twenty minutes later and asked this teacher where was that charming man clad in a white robe and who had a beard. Apparently he had rescued her from the jaws of death. Do you believe in this cock and bull story ? Will death ever wait because some random guy (sorry dear AOL brethern if I called your fraudulent Sri Sri a random guy) intervened ?

    They do shameless canvassing about the courses and how beneficial they are for every one and how they “transform” each person and how you’ll gain the grace of Sri Sri.

    I did sign up for the basic course, paying $250 just to find out what this Sudarshan Kriya is all about (because I am a student I get discount – good the poor students are robbed less and less looting during tougher economic times – http://us.artofliving.org/locator/reduced-course-fees-register.html ). Let’s calculate the expenses. I would be expecting about $2000 for six sessions (equivalent to one week salary of a well paid part-time professor), $500 for the room rent, $500 for the flights and $2000 for a week’s stay (mostly they stay in some devotee’s house and food and conveyance are taken care of) , $1000 more for miscellaneous expenses – in all $6000.

    How much did they make ? There were 37 people in the group with 6 students and 31 other working people. The group overall was robbed of $12350. Where did the remaining $6350 go ? After all this is a small group. My distant cousin on the east coast went to a course with 120+ people and with only one teacher – look how much money they would have been robbed off (at least 25 grand). Moreover contrary to what is claimed, these days they don’t do any course without atleast 30 people and that is why they pressurize everyone in the course to get more people. Upon being told that I don’t like this nonsense, my teacher friend was very angry at me for not being a “good human being”. I estimate that they make at least $30 million from US alone every year – that is about 150 crore rupees from courses alone !!. How many crores from India ? Anybody want to estimate that ?

    The techniques taught there are very well known in our Yoga system and that is nobody’s. It belongs to the humanity. Also this kriya is just a variation of Kapalabhati – a well known technique. There are hundreds of paranayama techniques available. See BKS Iyengar’s book. The amount of Sri Sri propaganda done in those courses is ridiculous. One thing I don’t understand is that his website says “It is said that at the tender age of four, he could recite parts of the scared Bhagwad Gita. By time he was 17 years old, he had already attained an advanced degree in Modern Physics.” At four any child can recite half a shloka of Bhagavad Gita without knowing what the heck it is. Also, I want to know , from which university he got his degree and when. Why is that hidden ? They talk about his honorary doctorate. Even my great grandma can get one such in India. WHy pretend is all I ask. Nisargadatta and Jiddu probably never went to school but I have the greatest respect for them as teachers and human beings.

    An organization that claims it is doing good for humanity, is responsible and has an enlightened person as its head should let us know how this is being spent. I am surprised they are getting away like this in the US too. Its another low-profile Bernie Madoff like scam. As for teachers being produced like farm chicken, it’s disgusting. I was told by a volunteer there that I could become a teacher in 1 year since the requirements have been loosened. Apparently the consciousness level of the planet is rising and more people are needed to accelerate this process – all stupid, brainwashed, dumb people.

    Forget the money. I don’t care on who’s blasted bank account has what balance. I am apalled by the psychological conditioning these people are subjected to. They are made mental slaves of the organization. One person told me that she is an old timer and feels ripped off but she is being made to come to all these phony courses by the scamster’s angels (knowingly or unknowingly, the latter mostly) – the teachers who almost blackmail her not to leave the group. This is what Art of Living is all about. It’s art of looting and art of lying as someone has pointed out on Guruphiliac. See Javed Akhtar’s view on all this – http://www.javedakhtar.com/itc.htm. Apparently Akhtar demolished the Sri squared dude in the following conversations. It is very clear that Sri Sri is not a truly realized person and not definitley an independent thinker.

    It could very well be possible that Sri Sri is just a nice man and has no control over his gigantic and brutal empire. A thorough investigation is the only way out to stop this organization from creating more havoc or it could well redeem it. Be open and let the law of the land decide.

    The only way to stop all this is for people to realize the futility of the so called “paid spirituality”. As Jiddu Krishnamurti often said. “You never need to even read a single book nor listen to anyone. The light is there in every one, for, each of us is the entire humanity of several thousand years”.

  685. Setudev Says:

    First I will reply to Puneet’s post.
    I found Puneet’s reply to be much more composed and sensible than other AOL marketers. It seems he truly believes in AOL and Sri Sri and has some good convictions about them. That is good for him. His refraining from trying to justify apparantly wrong acts is also good. He also acknowledges that there ought to be some problems with a big organization.

    Now only thing I disagree is that, we should accept these problems and ignore them. He is right that I am here to prove something and that something is — problems with AOL which get conviniently ignored many times.

    Why am I doing this? — I would do the same for Coke/Pepsi or Enron, even though I may not buy their products and enjoy them. I consider that whistle blowing is a social responsiblity. thats it.

    About Shankar_Arun’s post, its a good vent-out post but since he did the course by paying 250$ we just need facts from his experience rather than just opinions. Because opinions can be tainted by bias. Let both sides decide what to do with those facts.
    Thanks,

    Setudev

  686. SK Says:

    Hi all! Its simply great to see how enthusiatically you guys have put up false information on these posts..You must know that the true critic does not rely on false accusations but gives concrete facts to support his claims…I can answer all your posts and point out your flaws..but why waste time..you guys are just a bunch of losers confined to internet blogging..Even a fool must realise that it takes something genuine and really useful to reach out to the number of people that HH Sri Sri Ravishankar has…But not you intellectuals!!!
    Happy misinformed blogging!!
    P.S. I do hope this post is published..I mean its time the moderator spiced up this blog by adding a variety of posts..Wat do you say???

  687. Setudev Says:

    SK,

    Most AOL people do one of the following things.
    1) They call its all false and lie and skip the questions
    2) they say I havent heard it, so I dont know so it must be false – which you already did once
    3) They give some lame justifications, and examples of AOL cources in Iraq, Kashmir and Prisons. A few courses in these locations justify any possible fraud.
    4) They call us ignorant fools and say Om Shanti Shanti Shanti and escape all the questions.

    It is obvious you have made choice number 1 and 4 this time! Congratulations!! you are a self proclaimed winner!

  688. SK Says:

    SetuDev,
    Wow you seem to have spent a lot of time studying “AOL people”…I think you must be fascinated by us!!!Since you love us so I am willing to give you a free advice…Go to the internet and look up all the work that AOL is doing..You want further hints…OK..Bihar floods,Katrina,Sri Lanka,Nandigram,Iraq,Gujjar riots…these are starters if you want i can give you more..Do you know that free courses are held for the Indian army??Not to mention all the women empowerment programs ,drug rehabs and work going on on villages…Lets leave it there,this space isnt large enough…You know what is the great beauty about AOL and its volunteers..We dont advertise about our Seva projects..Instead of sitting home and complaining about the world,we actually take concrete steps to help people in need…But maybe you can come and open a whole new advertising division for us…We would love that!!!
    People come and do the course out of free will..If you want to look at it in terms of money then its a service and if people are willing to pay then wheres the problem??…I mean what you get out of the courses is beyond any sum of money but thats another issue…After paying for a movie in a movie hall do you come back home and start blogging about how the producers have cheated you because you didnt like the movie??No either you like or dont like the movie and move on..same with AOL..99 percent of the people who like the courses stay and for those who dont like the course are most welcome to leave!!! Wheres the place for any kind of cheating???
    O one last thing..you must either think that you are incredibly smart or the millions of people associated with the AOL are fools.The latter seems more unlikely doesnt it?

  689. Shankar_Arun Says:

    AOL is FRAUD and all its members are fools irrespective of what they say and how they justify Sri squared’s actions. They are all after a mirage that doesn’t exist. I really pity them. I don’t understand Setudev’s post. It has been my experience that the AOL course is worthless.

  690. Setudev Says:

    Sk,

    Hey this time you have made choice number 3. And you still are a winner!
    If you really want to add spice to this blog, you have to be different than other AOL marketers.

    And you again escaped all my and Ramnath’s questions. May be not worth your time. And from reading your post, I dont think you are in a position to address them anyway.
    So wish you happy marketing!

    Setudev

  691. Rajani Says:

    Losers addicted to “internet blogging”? What other kind of blogging is there apart from the Net? Fools who follow blindly and hitch all their hopes to godmen who promise nirvana are the losers here, not those who dare to question and to reason.

  692. Arun to SK and others Says:

    Dude, why mix up things. Let us be clear. Charity is fine, projects are fine (though not supremely important). Pranayama is fine. So is meditation. Mental enslavement and cock and bull stories about Sri Sri is wrong.

    Anyone can charge any money for any service. It’s up to the buyer to decide whether that product is worth the money. What the seller does with that money should be of no concern to the buyer.

    Let AOL stop this nonsense and before transparent on its projects and accounts. We’ll all welcome it as a big Indian corporation in the new spiritual business world. Modern day life ha stress and that has created the new business and we’ll have to accept that.

    It should stop enslaving people’s minds, spending millions on some stupid silver jubilee, stop promoting the Shri squared as an enlightened being (an enlightened being cannot and will not do self propaganda, will not establish business corporations, will not live in huge mansions, will never indulge in self glorification as in case of silver jubilee etc).

    I repeat that AOL followers are fools. Teachers are a big stupid lot (unless they restrict themselves to just teaching pranayama / meditation in which case they’ll be like any other kind of teachers) and their leader has probably gone off track somewhere in his search for nirvana or is a blatantly dishonest crook.

    As I keep saying, it just not possible form me to understand why people fail to see such a simple thing.

    MILLIONS ARE WRONG AND THE FEW WHO QUESTION ARE NOT WRONG.

  693. Setudev Says:

    You are Right on Arun, Since when did statistcs start telling what is wrong and right?
    Millions believed sun revolved around earth, were they all right just because they were high in number?

    People who cant face facts, usually hide behind crap statistics.
    Jai Ho!!

    Setudev

  694. kalghi Says:

    Have you people had any opportunity to think of what the ‘i’ …thiat is the real tuth….people should find that…for that you need realguru…..

    In Ravi shankars case..he teaches to do a part of a real whole….means real life evolving techniques are not easy and simple. What he does is simply doing the easiest things making you believe that the are in bliss…

    Such things only result in sexual energy increase….and with that he also does some prayers based on gandharva but he exposes to the customers as krishna….

    Technically what occurs is this….kundalini rise in a flash……sudden fall of kundalini to the base of spine, creating immense sexual energy…and the devotees feel that its some kind of bliss….

  695. RAMNATH Says:

    Money attracts money, crowd attracts crowd.
    Crowd is everywhere, it is with Art of Living. It is with Amrutanandmayi, It is with Kalki – Amma Bhagwan, It is with Satya Sai Baba, It is with Asaram Bapu and so on.
    Every one is Guru and incarnation of some God in the eyes of their followers. But, whether the Art of Living follower accept Satya Sai Baba as incarnation of Sai Baba? No. Similarly, Kalki followers will never accept Ravi Shankar as incarnation of Lord Krishna. Because if Kalki is last Avtar of Lord Vishnu, no chance for another Vishnu Avtar (Krishna) accepted by their follower.
    Who is right? Who is wrong? No one can tell. No one will accept.
    Every right and wrong things are relativet terms.
    Those who are following Art of Living, will never see anything negative in their Organisation or their Guru, unless their notions about right or wrong changes.
    I have followed this blog and found that it is criticized main on following grounds:
    1. Huge money is colleged by fees and donations, it is submitted that it is used for charitable projects, villages developemennt etc. but no concrete data is available. If Art of Living followers request their Head Office – Banglore to make such data publically available, then the credibility of the organiation will increase.
    2. The most public is attracted by miracle stories of Ravi Shankar spread by teachers and volunteers. It will be better to concentrate on Yoga and Meditation benefits.
    3. Sudarshan Kriya is a Pranayam (breathing exercise). There are many pranayams with very little difference in their technques. (Just like 84 Asanas of Vatsayana’s Kamsutra – with slight different pose, its new Asana). So credit should be given to Ravi Shankar for inventing this Kriya – pranayam. No one has taken objection on the benefits of Kriya. All the benefits of Pranayam shall be in Sudarshan Kriya (specially Bhastrika) But, the objectionable thing is Sudarshan Kriya is presented as Something Divine, Art of Living volunteers never accept it as mere Pranayam. But, Let us understand their problem, if they accept it as Pranayam, the whole Base of their Courses shall collapse, because this is the only unique thing in Art of Living Course. They know but will never accept.
    4. Art of Living volunteers always praise their Guru for his knowledge. His critics accuses him for copying Osho. Not going in such controversy, the volunteers who are interested in knowledge, hesitate to listen or read to other enlightened persons such as Osho, Nisargadatta maharaj, J. Krishnamurti, Swami Vivekanand etc. While talking many volunteers (actually very few persons are interested in knowledge) most of them feels like doing some sin if they listen to other knowledable persons, so the cult mentality created.

  696. Arun Says:

    Actually, I have been researching on these fake gurus recently. We have a long list these days. Maata Amritaanandamayi, Jaggi Vasudev, Dattatreya Shiv Baba, Paramahamsa Nithyananda and so on. I’ve seen some youtube videos of all these and man ! they provide amazing entertainment. Sadly, people just fail to see this as mere entertainment and take these charlatans too seriously and end up screwing their lives. Sri Sri is a saint compared to some of these shameless fellows. Apparently, for $250 you can get a pair of sandals blessed by Amma (she puts her feet on them). Sri Sri hasn’t gone that far. Let’s say that this is the era of spiritual commercialisation.

    How much more ridiculous can it get , when you are selling the divine, the very substratum of our existence, the all pervading NOW, the aliveness in every single object that exists. I am glad that at least some people see the truth in questioning all these jokers. It’s really pitiful when millions surrender your life to some goddamn god man. Sorry AOL folks, whatever you say I can only feel sympathy for you guys.

  697. Rajani Says:

    Way to go, Arun! Hit the nail on the damned head awright!

  698. sulochanosho Says:

    Some where, (may be in ‘Money Context’) Warren Buffet
    says:

    “After all it’s your life…, so why give the chance to others to rule your life.”

    I sense that these words may equally apply to our ‘divine context’ too.

  699. Arun Ganesan Says:

    Hey guys,

    1. Regarding AOL volunteers, they are not enlightened, so don’t look for perfection in them. The divine is perfect, neither you nor I who has not felt divinity. Seek your guru. Just like Jesus said “I am the Gate, you can see my father only through me” realize that you need a guru

    2. Be it Ramana Maharishi, Buddha or Jesus , whoever was enlightened got beaten up somewhere or the other by the society. Remember that.

    3. If someone is forcing you, guess what don’t join. It is you who rule your life, why worry about others. If you think you want to try it, give it a fair trial to experience it.

    4.Regarding accounts, if you don’t trust someone in AOL who does not show you accounts , find someone you can. I have been doing AOL accounts for a while. I am not a fool to just do it and watch where the money is going. My mom is involved with taking “Breath Water Sound workshops ” for the poor. So i know how the accounting works. Possibility of someone using AOL to cheat you is highly likely. Find out more before you can talk.

    For people who have been regularly visiting this blog, please read thru these notes which i picked up

    QUESTION and ANSWERS WITH GURUJI (FOLKS READ THIS)

    Vaidyanathan : The Art of Living Programme/Course though very very helpful appears to have become a “Commercial Venture”. Due to some financial constraints i could not enroll myself in an Art of Living Programme conducted by one of your followers in Juhu, Mumbai. On conveying my regret, i was told “You do not know what you are missing in life”. Which in my opinion is not a good gesture. The reply could have something polite. I suggest that the programme, if possible, should be open for all and on Voluntary Donation basis. We are looking at you, your highness, as our Spiritual Guru and in the traditional Guru Sishya Prampara no fees can be Demanded.

    His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar : In fact in the guru shishya parampara, dakshina is always demanded. We are keeping a fees just to see how much value you give to come and learn. But of course, in villages, where there’s already faith and conviction, we do it free. Even in Mumbai recently, we conducted free courses. But what have seen is that when people pay, they learn better

    Rao : Why all our (Hindu)religious leaders are claiming that they are avtars of God?. You cannot find this in any other religion. And those who claim finally they are bogus!!!! and Cheats!!! I really hate this. What is your comment?.

    His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar : There is a mis-representaiton of Vedanta. Everything is made up of the divine, and that is the answer. if God loves you, me, everyone is made up of love, that is not to be spoken to everyone. It is foolish to do that. If you know it, just keep quiet. That’s what i would say. don’t tomtom it. It is an experience of oneness with divinity. Jesus said me and my father are one. This is a mystic experience. Unfortrunately, in india that’s a loud pronouncement .

    Sridhar : There are many religions in this world and each religion is having a ‘definition’ of its own for God. But every religion says there is only one God who rules this world. Then who is the ‘actual’ God? There is no case where a Religion is said to have explained about other religion existing in other part of the world.How do you explain this? Thanks for the answer in Advance.

    His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar : I think you have not studied scriptures. If you read Adi Shankara, he talks of what Jainists say, Buddhists say, Purva Paksha etc. Swami Dayanand also speaks of this. This sort of intellectual debate has been there for a long time. Same way, there has also been standoff between religions. All that you have to do is take the essence of the religions, as practically one cannot study all. If you want to see the commonalities, it is up to you. If you want to see the differences, it is up to you

    riyaz : Dear Sir, I appreciate all the work you have done for the enlightenment of the humanity. However I would like to ask you that as a spiritual guru why is that you are associated with the Hindu Fundamentalist organisations of India and also you support their views on Ram Janambhoomi? I expect that as a spriritual leader you can only belong to the relegion of Humanity, else you are just a ‘LIBERAL HINDU GURU’.

    His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar : I belong to whole of humanity, not to any set of beliefs. The Ram Janambhoomi problem was a burning issue, so I cannot turn away from a burning issue. I just kept one criterion. If that was a holy place of anyone else, what stand will anybody take? The same stand we will take. Suppose it was Jesus’s birthplace, what will the world have told the other community? When millions of people have faith, we have no right to question that. Fortunately, it is not a sacred place for both communities, like it is in, say, Jerusalem, then it becomes more complicated. So it is not joining hands with anyone, it was framing a solution for an old problem of 400-500 years. We are just trying to solve the problem, we have to make them understand, give and take. I even said, let the leaders apologise for the demolition, then it can be given away. Many leaders asked me to take interest, so I interacted with both communities

    Utsav Mitra : What do you have to say to Javed Akhtar, that he ridiculed spiritualism and called you a guru of the rich?

    His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar : I will just tell him, everybody has the right to be ignorant. and if they want to be ignorant, nobody can stop them .

    Premkumar : How to Identify a true spirutual leader in this present world of fakes ?

    His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar : If you are a sincere student, you will see sincere teachers. but if you are charmed by miracles etc, it will take a little longer route.

    Anilkumar : Isn’t marriage is neccesary in human life???if yes why not you?

    His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar : It is an individual question. I didn’t grow up at all, I remained a child and hope to live in the same way. And I hope to live the same way. The way I have been travelling, no woman would have been able to cope with it. If I was married, she would have been jealous, and I would have been in trouble .

    Why have you patented the Sudarshan Kriya?

    Because someone else was going to patent it. We patented it so we could teach. Otherwise, it would have become a commercial commodity in the US long ago. People started copying it and we stepped in… [we started teaching it] free of cost in prisons, free of cost in many places.

    But these techniques have been in existence for a long time.

    Not this one. This is different. You have to experience it.

    ——-The below one is a bomber question, but check out the answer (I loved his answer ) ————

    What about other spiritual leaders? We see so many godmen and religious figures who exploit people. Doesn’t that make it a very delicate relationship?

    You know, people are not such fools. They understand very well. If they don’t get what they want they leave.

  700. Arun Ganesan Says:

    The goal of the above post is to make all of you realize, esp the last question, that no one is a fool. The day people know a guru is of no use to them they will leave.

    So just to reiterate 5 things what is said before

    1. Do what you feel like doing rather than criticizing and staying behind in the race.

    2. Understand AOL volunteers are not enlightened and are still humans and there are possibilities of all kinds of errors. You grow up to become not one among them if you were to join AOL. I have had experiences like this too where i have lost my peace of mind after joining AOL. But ultimately i feel the guru is my sole goal, all others are just passing clouds.

    3. Serve humanity whenever you can. If you don’t like AOL and want to go join Baba Ramdev, please feel free to do what you enjoy and what brings happiness.

    4. Don’t force anyone to take the course. I agree there is a lot of marketing agenda involved with this. But be what you are, if you think someone can benefit it ask them to do it. You don’t have to go beg or lose your morale by doing so. It could be any yoga course, not just AOL.

    5. If you feel AOL is charging more, go to an AOL teacher, tell them you cannot afford, see what they can do for you. Try this litmus test out. I am sure you will have a surprising answer.

    For those delegates who felt neglected at the ashram, my sincere apologies for having you

    a. Pay a ton of money for an AOL course.
    b. Wash your plates in the ashram
    c. Not being treated well in the ashram.

    I understand you are not devotees and you needed attention unlike the others. There is nothing much i can do to help you out. But all i can do is to basically let a few volunteers in my team know that these things happened and it is a lesson well learnt.

    Sudarshan Kriya is definitely a unique technique in my opinion, be it you agree or not. The So-hum meditation is similar, but a breathing rhythm to the so-hum meditation is the key. For those of you who claim it to be incorrect.

    I have read the post carefully and i kind of understand why this is happening.

    You had a negative experience because of three things i can think of , because i have been volunteering for courses and i kind of know how this works

    1. You went to the course because someone forced you to.
    2. You went to the course because you were reluctant to pay the 500 or 1000 rupees or whatever.
    3. You did it with 99% faith and 1% doubt.

    For those of you who fall under this category. My only advice

    “Expectation reduces joy”

    Try this out without any expectations or miracles happening.

    I don’t want to bother all of you in this blog by repetitively repeating this.

    However, in my opinion everyone here as an individual has a right to follow whatever they want without insulting others. If you do insult others, that means you lose it somewhere. All religions in my opinion lead to the same goal. I have been associated with AOL for a long time now, but i am not a fool just to go and take a course and experience something.

    ” Yoga by itself is an experiment you conduct on yourself, feel the experience and this cannot be said by words.”

    GIST IS….

    “If you someone else or some other technique gives you the peace of mind, feel free to follow it” . ”

    Just you are I debating and coming to a consensus on who is fair and who is unjust, is of no use to either of us”

  701. RAMNATH Says:

    That’s quite balanced view from Arun Ganeshan compared to other AOL followers. We can live together with the difference of opinions and likes and dislikes for a particular organisation or Guru so long we accept that right and wrong are relative terms that changes from person to person , time to time, situation to situation. Tomorrow, Arun Ganeshan may not like something about Art of Living and quit and Arun (the other one) may join Art of Living and praise Ravi Shankar. Who Knows?

  702. Arun Ganesan Says:

    Ram, you hit the nail. That is exactly what i was talking about. One other thing is the AOL volunteers are human and erroneous too, i accept that with all my heart. They are humans and they have fat egos and sometimes they pretend as if they were guruji hence spoiling reputation.

    But then again we have to accept things and move on. I thank the author of this website for having given me an opportunity and everyone else an opportunity to put forth their views.

    I also agree that he/she shouldn’t be allowed to wash plates and should be treated well when they enter the ashram unlike me who is a disciple. People who don’t know don’t have to go through all this.

    Thanks to whoever started this.

  703. Arun Says:

    First of all, I WOULD PREFER DEATH TO THE ENSLAVEMENT IN AOL. I am very clear that anyone who uses divinity for money is a fake guy even though he might quote the Indian traditions. These scamsters are nothing compared to the amazing sages who wrote the Vedas and Upanishads.

    My final and most important gripe is that Sri Sri says all these in public fora but everyone knows how his image is built up and sustained in the AOL. You cannot say something and do something else. I wouldn’t stop my tirade against AOL till they stop the Guru propaganda and mentally enslaving people. I would continue to speak out in my own little fora (I guess I cannot make that my problem and a big agenda) with the faint hope that at least 1 in a 1000 AOL guys would see this madness.

  704. Setudev Says:

    Arun Ganeshan,
    I agree with Ramnath that you have shown a much balanced view than most AOL followers here. You also have at least attempted to address some of the questions asked here. I wont say that you have answered them all.

    What you are saying is let AOL do whatever they want and you do whatever you want. hmm That is slightely against my view of social responsiblity. In the same spirit you can say, if there is theft in your neighbour’s house, dont be a whistle blower. Isnt it?

    I am also not convinced by Sri Sri’s personal answer to taking fees. He tried to justify fees, but he didnt justify HUGE fees. Wy 375$ in USA? that is a HUGE amount anyway.

    If the whole point of making people pay so much money was to attend the course and value it, then it should have been designed in following way:

    1. Take deposit of money equal to total course fees.
    2. If people attend whole course then return all the money or 90% (or any large percentage) of money.
    3. If people miss a single class without genuine reason, they lose all the deposit.

    As simple as that. But it seems the reason for charging so much fees is not just what Sri Sri tried to portray in his answer. AOL WANTS to run all these (phoney?) projects — for example Ramnath’s experience with School project etc.

    Quoting Indian heritage of Gurudakshina doesnt justify these huge fees. Because the Guru’s who used to take these fees followed following things:
    1) fees were asked after completion of the education, not before.
    2) Ancient Gurus used to live an ascetic life and didnt travel in business class airplane
    3) They didnt hang out with politicians and liquor kings like Vijay Mallya. In fact they didnt consider just acquaitances welcome, unless the person was sincere — Vijay Mallya would close his liquor business if he was sincere and interested in social reform.
    4) They didnt design a huge social reform project with that money. Their only goal in life was to give and seek knowledge.

    Sri Sri took donation from Vijay Mallya for doing social reform. In reality the biggest social reform needed is to close down the liiquor business. Why hasnt that happened. How is money earned from socially harmful projects welcome at AOL? Tomorrow why not accept donations from Daud Ibrahim? There are other cigarrete companies who would want to donate too.

    The questions go on. The lame justifications keep coming in.
    Anyway Thanks Arun Ganeshan for high quality balanced answers.

    Abhijit

  705. Arun Says:

    Excellent post by Setudev. I am following up on that.

    See this for Sri Sri’s involvement in politics. Meeting him in this photo is Jaffer Sharief -a big wig in Karnataka and formerly in national politics.

    http://www.sanjevani.com/17/ph8.htm

    This photo appeared in Sanjevani – a popular kannada evening daily. The stupid AOL followers would suggest that Sharief came and met Sri Sri and the other way round. Why would a big politician call on Sri Sri if he did not have political clout ? Every one knows what kind of a man Sharief is.

    Sri Sri also released Advani’s autobiography. http://artoflivingvadodara.org/images/news1.pdf
    What does an enlightened Guru have to do with crooked politicians unless he is a crook himself. First it was enslaving people, then it was and is money and now it is politics for the great Ravishankar. I’m sure he’ll be the next Chandraswami of India – much bigger one and a more influential one at that.

    How can AOL guys tolerate such a man, let alone worship him as God. Please wake up and free yourself from this scamster’s crutches.

  706. Arun Ganesan Says:

    In response to Arun
    ———————–

    Thanks Arun for taking time. You can continue what you perceive, you are an independent person with a freedom of thought. but your words are not going to change anyone’s view.

    “I wouldn’t stop my tirade against AOL till they stop the Guru propaganda and mentally enslaving people”

    In response, to the above, What i agree with you

    1. I agree there is a lot of guru propoganda
    2. With regard to your statement about enslaving people here is what i feel

    “No one in the world is mad or foolish to follow someone blindly without any reason. Everyone wants something out of someone, the day they find out they can’t get it, they will leave”.

    I am sure you agree to this :). Be it you or me, nature works that way.

    3. Forget about 1 in 1000, i see the madness too, but i am not cluttered in the small things. I know a lot of things go on everywhere including the ashram. I agree , you hit on the nail, you are 100% on target.

    However, my opinion don’t lose out on the big picture looking at these people who might just be passing clouds, who are not enlightened.

    4.

    “These scamsters are nothing compared to the amazing sages who wrote the Vedas and Upanishads.”

    Did Sri Sri make a statement saying, the saints who wrote the vedas are superior. I doubt if he made a statement that way, if he did i will be honest enough to accept it. In my opinion everyone is divine, you are , i am every creation is.

    The gist of it “Do what you heart says”. If you feel that you had no blissful experience, with the sudarshan kriya, do what works for you.

    Sudarshan kriya worked wonders for me, it is an experience which cannot be put in words. I know it cannot be narrated by someone who is bogus and hence i feel Sri Sri is no bogus.

    My experience is with regards to my health. All i can say it worked me, it might work for you or it may not work for you. You are free to do what you want.

    Goal is, no on can change anyone by saying “Stop going to Sri Sri”. People have to change by themselves, experience with something gives them a chance. In my case, Sri Sri is my light through the tunnel.It may be someone else for you.

    ***

    Response to Setudev

    Here is my response to your questions

    POINT 1
    ——–

    ” What you are saying is let AOL do whatever they want and you do whatever you want.”

    I don’t mean what you are trying to say. I am saying if you think AOL is not the right place, do whatever you want, but for people like me who are able to distinguish the good things from the bad things in AOL, let it be a choice of the individual to decide.I have agreed to whatever is good and bad in AOL. So goes my justification.

    POINT 2
    ——–

    “I am also not convinced by Sri Sri’s personal answer to taking fees. He tried to justify fees, but he didnt justify HUGE fees. Why 375$ in USA? that is a HUGE amount anyway.Indian heritage of Gurudakshina doesnt justify these huge fees.”

    Let me give you a bird’s eye view . The examples of saints who have come to the US to start off are Sri Sri, Paramahansa Yogananda, vivekananda, Satchitananda, Amritananada Mayi, Karunamayi, Jaggi Vasudev.

    I quote the following examples as a matter of explanation. So read it carefully when you get a chance.

    Here are the reason for the price

    1. Capitalistic Westerners

    No knowledge can be spread in a country without the help of the
    fellow country men. So even saints have to deal with their disciples
    who are in that country accordingly. The whole $375 is an american
    bolstered issue. It was $450 before after Sept last year they changed
    it from $375 to $450, it is $350 now until June due to the slow
    economy. The american here decide the rates, Sri Sri does not have
    much of a choice to accept american capitalistic attitude. Once the
    responsibility is given to someone to handle North American
    operations, you have to trust them and don’t have much of a say.

    It would be easy for you to say that Guruji can interrupt but trust me,
    if he does a lot of people who have sacrified their lives and are with
    the organization full time will leave him. It is hard for him to spread
    knowledge in a different country without the fellow natives.

    2. Expenses for the course

    I volunteer to conduct courses in a hotel. The hotel charges $200/day.
    I account for the money. The last time there were 25 people, each
    paid $350, this time there are just 4 people, i still have to conduct the
    course for them rather than asking them to go away. Whatever seed
    money i have from the previous we use it here for the next course.

    3. Law policies

    The law policies in the US are crazy, hence the charge and
    i assume AOL is paying insurance on that too just in case as all NGO
    are supposed to by default take insurance. This is my understanding.

    Gist is “I agree that they are expensive $350 sounds nominal , $450 sounds high. I have told my fellow volunteers and teachers i cannot go suggest someone to take the course because the fee is high and most of them agree to it, by most i mean 99%”.

    So go over the statistics i have put up above. The reason i am putting this above is that i am beinghonest with my replies, unless and until you want to disagree and regard me bogus which is fine.

    Overall in my post i have tried to make clear judgements and give everyone an understanding that i agree with most of the mess which goes on, but an enlightened master is just enlighted.

    I believe so because of the experience i have had with regards to my health. I can’t say more as it is inexplicable. Whatever is explicable i will document it.

    POINT 3
    ——–

    “”Sri Sri took donation from Vijay Mallya for doing social reform. In reality the biggest social reform needed is to close down the liquor business.”

    I have no answers for this topic, because i really don’t know what happened and what got donated where. My knowledge is limited.

    POINT 4
    ——-

    ” If the whole point of making people pay so much money was to attend the course and value it, ………………..3. If people miss a single class without genuine reason, they lose all the deposit.”

    Well contemporary corporate programs definitely need money.

    Why are we complaining here? If anyone thinks there is a
    better yoga course for a cheaper price take it.

    I have already provided details of how the money is charted out and i have accepted certain deficiencies with the system at AOL.

    If Ramnath had an experience, i am not sure if he approached Guruji directly.

    ***

    Continue from Setudevs post

    POINT 5
    ———-

    “Ancient Gurus used to live an ascetic life and didnt travel in business class
    airplane”

    Are airplanes only for non enlightened beings. I don’t think so. Use of modern technology can be used to help people out wherever they are.

    If Jesus or Buddha were present today and wanted to spread knowledge to everyone throughout the world i am sure they would have made use of cell phones, media and airplanes. I disagree with this ideology of having to stay at one place and spread knowledge only to people living there. I don’t live in India. So what about me? Do i have to come to India to get the knowledge? Can’t i make use of Gurujis travel to my country as an choice of learning something?

    Sorry Setu, i don’t mean to be rude or mean but i am just stating what i feel just like the way you do. Your point does not provide justification on the fact that gurus of today need to be simple.

  707. Arun To Arun Ganesan Says:

    Hi Arun Ganesan and all others,

    I appreciate your balanced posts. I wish the whole AOL were like this. You are someone from AOL to whom I can directly say what I feel in the innermost corner of my heart. Here is what I feel. My harsh words are for people to see that any dependence on any person is an impediment to freedom.

    Pranayama, Yoga, everything is fine. They only give you good health and if you are healthy, you’ll feel pleasurable. This will in NO WAY lead to the truth.

    My biggest and only complaint is the slavery people are subjected to the in the name of enlightenment. Let us forget money , guru dakshina, involvement in politics, huge Ashram, stupid singing of praises, everything.

    A true Guru is only interested in seeing a disciple become independent of him. I don’t care if he makes billions or has sex with a hundred women. He CANNOT AND SHOULD NOT subject the disciple to more conditioning. If he does it in any way, he is not a true Guru and is only interested in his self. He makes sure that the disciple is free of clinging to the Guru.

    This is PRECISELY what is NOT encouraged in AOL by the teachers and I guess this comes from Sri Sri himself. That’s why you see hordes of people clinging to him for years and years. It is impossible to say that he is unaware of all this. Starting from sitting on a huge throne, accepting loads of people prostrating before him, encouraging chants of his own name, the Guru pooja and all that nonsense. (I’ve been to a couple of AOL courses and one meeting with Sri Sri himself in the US). All he does is repeat the stuff found in our spiritual texs – and there is no authority in that. Can’t even pronounce Sanskrit language properly – that is not my point here though , sorry for the digression.

    Man, the truth does not reside in what he speaks. Anything that is spoken comes from thought. It is a concept and hence it is old. The truth is ‘NOW’. That is not your now or my now. It is everyone’s. All this criticism is only of the mind that has resided in the body. That aliveness which everyone truly is including me, you and Sri Sri is all that is truly there. After all who is Sri Sri. Sri Sri is the image I have built about a particular human body. Who is the image ? Am I different from the image I have built ? No ? It is the same.

    You, me and Sri Sri all all one and the same – they are concepts and images that are born in this mind. All being images, how can one be superior over the other ? Look for yourself and you’ll see that all are one and one is all.

    This NEED NOT BE SOLD. It only needs to be told because unfortunately we all have been conditioned to be in a certain way by the society since our birth.

    If you are attracted to Sri Sri just because you have some pleasurable experiences, you can rubbish all that I have written. Experiences are states of mind and they will come and go. I have nothing more to say. I have said all that can be said. I keep writing in this forum with a hope that a guy here and there might look it up and see the futility of being in the clutches of a person/organization.

    I care a hoot about AOL/Sri Sri/money. Whether he charges $400 or $1000 is none of my business. Whether he claims to be Krishna or Jesus why the hell do I need to worry about ? I am more interested in people becoming free of all this unnatural bondage. For , this attachment is the one which eventually brings hatred and misery in this world. Unfortunately, I have a job and I cannot leave that to start another propaganda – ( that will make me another Guru perhaps :-) ). So, I’ll keep writing in this blog as long as it is active and as long as I find some spare time.

    Thanks for reading thus far

    Wishing yu an AOL free life :-)
    /Arun

  708. RAMNATH Says:

    COMMENTS FROM ARUN GANESHAN POST:

    Rao : Why all our (Hindu)religious leaders are claiming that they are avtars of God?. You cannot find this in any other religion. And those who claim finally they are bogus!!!! and Cheats!!! I really hate this. What is your comment?.

    His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar : There is a mis-representaiton of Vedanta. Everything is made up of the divine, and that is the answer. if God loves you, me, everyone is made up of love, that is not to be spoken to everyone. It is foolish to do that. If you know it, just keep quiet. That’s what i would say. don’t tomtom it. It is an experience of oneness with divinity. Jesus said me and my father are one. This is a mystic experience. Unfortrunately, in india that’s a loud pronouncement

    NOTE THE LAST STATEMENT, RAVI SHANKAR HIMSELF TELLING THAT IF ONE IS REALISED THAT HE IS PART OF DIVINCE. ITS FOOLISH TO SPEAK EVERYWHERE. NO NEED TO PRONOUNCE EVERYWHERE THAT YOU ARE REALISED, YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED GOD. ITS UNFORTUNATE.

    BUT, SIR, UNFORTUNATELY THIS FOOLISH THINGS ARE DONE AND SPREAD BY THE ART OF LIVING TEACHRS, SPECIALLY ADVANCED COURSE TEACHERS, WHO ARE MORE CLOSE TO RAVI SHANKAR.

    WHAT I UNDERSTAND FROM ABOVE IS – EVERY THING IN THE WORLD IS PART OF DIVIDNE. IF EVERY ONE IS GOD, THEN RAVI SHANKAR IS GOD. FEW ARE REALISED AND MOST ARE NOT REALISED. THIS IS TO BE UNDERSTOOD ON A PARTICULAR LEVEL OF CONSCIOUSNESS. BUT, MOST OF THE PEOPLE TAKE THIS ON GENERAL LEVEL AND CONSIDER RAVISHANKAR AND SUCH GURUS AS GOD, AND THEMSELVES AS COMMON PEOPLE INFERIOR TO THE GURU.
    IS N’T IT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE TEACHER TO TALK TO GENERAL PEOPLE AT THE LEVEL ON WHICH THEY CAN UNDERSTAND? ITS CHEATING TO SAY AT GENERAL LEVEL THAT ONE IS GOD EXCLUDING THE NEXT STATEMENT THAT EVERY ONE IS PART OF DIVINE AND GOD.
    IF RAVI SHANKAR IS HONEST IN HIS TEACHING, WHETHER HE DO NOT KNOW WHAT HIS TEACHERS ARE TEACHING IN COURSES.
    IF HE KNOWS, WHY DO NOT HE STOP THEM?
    ONCE SOME ONE ASKED QUESTION TO RAVI SHANKAR :
    Q-WHAT WE SHOULD DO TO BE LIKE YOU?
    A – IF YOU WANT TO BE 5% LIKE ME, YOU HAVE TO DO LOT OF THINGS. BUT IF YOU WANT TO BE 100% LIKE ME, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO ANYTHING. YOU ARE ALREADY LIKE ME.

    I LIKED THE ANSWER. BUT, THE SAME IS NOT TAUGHT BY THE TEACHERS. TWO POSSIBILITIES :
    1. RAVI SHANKAR HIMSELF IS HONEST, BUT DO NOT HAVE ANY CONTROL WHAT IS TAUGHT BY HIS OWN TEACHERS.
    2. HE DO NOT WANT TO STOP THE TEACHERS, AND WANT TO ENJOY THE GOD STATUS.

  709. Arun Ganesan Says:

    Dear Setu,

    Answer to your question
    ——————————-

    POINT 1
    ———–

    I LIKED THE ANSWER. BUT, THE SAME IS NOT TAUGHT BY THE TEACHERS. TWO POSSIBILITIES :
    1. RAVI SHANKAR HIMSELF IS HONEST, BUT DO NOT HAVE ANY CONTROL WHAT IS TAUGHT BY HIS OWN TEACHERS.
    2. HE DO NOT WANT TO STOP THE TEACHERS, AND WANT TO ENJOY THE GOD STATUS.

    “Wherever there are people, there is politics, wherever there is politics there is corruption. AOL right now is people driven organization, at the cost of politics and corruption among the people.

    I don’t think he is claiming god status, but yes he cannot stop teachers, people are given knowledge for themselves to realize.

    I can explain this with a better example. If you were a farmer with no cows and only dirty buffaloes, you will have to use them to plough your field. At the same time you need to put up with the dirty ones. Same connotation applies to AOL. People like me can’t ask for more, if i know what is right and what is wrong, i just take the right and keep moving.

    POINT 2
    ————

    “NOTE THE LAST STATEMENT, RAVI SHANKAR HIMSELF TELLING THAT IF ONE IS REALISED THAT HE IS PART OF DIVINCE. ”

    Well what he is saying is true. I can elaborate with a more precise example, please read this carefully. During the Sahaj samadhi meditation it is very close to feeling oneness with the self. Now if you ask me to explain this it is hard.

    But i can put it in words with a correlational example. May be at some point of life you asked yourself the question

    “What is Shiva, is there someone called Shiva who exists in Kailash?”

    The answer lies in his statement. “Shiva means ‘something which cannot be expressed and is inexplicable. Just so that you know all the god figures drawn by saints those days was to help people correlate with images, because mind can correlate pictures. Look at Shiva, he sits with this third eye open and a snake around his neck. Do you know what it means???”

    Ok if you analyze the inner answer of what Sri Sri says it is the same as the expression of Shiva.

    Shiva’s third eye is open because at that state of the mind, he is in oneness with the self (described in bible as the holy spirit). At that state of mind, there is a snake which is coiled up, which represents awareness. A snake is aware of whatever is happening around it even when it is at sleep. So this state of mind is called the connection with the divine.

    I agree that everything is divine, Sri Sri did not contradict it. All the gurus talk in superfluous terms, but the inner meaning has to be analyzed and can be analyzed only if you have an experience. The level of depth i am talking about comes from years of meditation. I hope i can explain this in simple terms, but the experience makes the difference.

    Anyways, i understand your claims, but as i said all of you in this blog are failing to realize two things.

    1. As humans and non enlightened beings a lot of them are under the influence of the 5 elements and hence the greed, the corruption, the hatred, the fear. Come out of it. Today AOL is there, tomorrow it will be some other organization. same things happened with Ramakrishna math and every other organization including Paramahansa yogananda’s “Self realization fellowship”. All these prophets come and go, but are still undisturbed by what happens to people in their organization. In order for the saints to work through you, YOU HAVE TO REDUCE YOUR EGO. The AOL teachers have a fat ego now, the saints cannot change them.

    Anyways, that is a totally different topic which you understand after years of meditation.

    2. Look at the positive things, learn to distinguish the negative. Don’t get caught up in the minor things. Look at the big picture.

    Thanks for going through my comments :).

    The gist “What is the use of light to a blind man” . I did not say this, Buddha did, hence this topic cannot be put up in words. All i can say do it with fair judgement, see if it works for you, if so adopt it, if not leave it.

    ***

    Dear Arun,

    With regards to your politics comments

    1. I don’t see anything wrong in Guruji introducing Advan’s biography. As i said before, if you have a herd of DIRTY buffalos and want to plough the field, you have to use them to get your yield, you cannot disregard. All of us know that. I don’t think he is trying to do anything incorrect in publicising Advani’s autobiography, there is nothing to lose.

    2. In meeting the muslim leader Sharief, if you think he is supporting him and getting into a political cult, read this Q&A between SIMI folks and Guruji. May be you are not exposed to a lot of things, i don’t blame you, but there is another side to the coin all the time.

    Do read this… and question yourself if guruji were to get involved in politics, is talking to SIMI folks also political? Trying to comprehend everything which Guruji does as political and cultish does not apply everywhere

    SRI SRI with SIMI folks

    This happened in Kerela…

    Sri Sri Ravishankar gave an audience to the SIMI (Student Islamic Movement of India) leaders. Four leaders from SIMI came to meet Sri Sri at the residence of one of the organizers. Following their entry, an air of tension enveloped the hall where hundreds were waiting to meet with Sri Sri. Naseeb, one of the devotees, guided them to the room where Sri Sri was sitting with a few of us. They (the SIMI leaders), were dashing youths in their mid 20’s. One of them was carrying the holy Koran. They were little stern and stiff. Their eyes were fixed and seemed to reflect an inner fire. They looked prepared to repulse anything that Sri Sri would tell them and most unlikely to listen to reason.

    Sri Sri was His usual smiling self.

    The stage was set. It had all the signs of a classic confrontation. On one side were the brash youth – intemperate, impatient, driven by ideology and out to prove their superiority. On the other was a youthful, realized sage, unperturbed, offering sane explanations that echoed an uncommon depth and breadth of understanding. Those of us in the room, were eager to see how Sri Sri would deal with these firebrands. Sri Sri embraced them and offered them chairs to sit. There was not an iota of difference in His attitude. Any casual onlooker could be forgiven for thinking that Sri Sri considered these gentlemen as amongst His most ardent devotees. Perhaps the only difference that we could see was that they were seated on chairs while the rest of us were on the floor! For us, it was yet another opportunity to witness the unconditional love that Sri Sri exemplifies.

    The leader of the group spoke first. He asked

    SIMI: You had wanted to meet with us.

    SRI SRI: Yes. I wanted to understand why your organization was opposed to the Anandotsavam.

    SIMI: We thought that holding an Anandotsavam (celebration) on December 6th was a deliberate move to insult our religious sentiments. Do you know about our religion?. Do you believe in the Koran at all?

    SRI SRI: Yes of course.

    SIMI: (Not expecting this answer, pointing to the Koran, they shot the next question) We believe that Koran is the only knowledge. What about you?

    SRI SRI: This is one amongst the various knowledge revealed to man from time to time.

    SIMI: But God has said this is the only knowledge. The way of the Koran is the only way. There is no other way.

    SRI SRI: This message can be found in scriptures of all religions. In the Vedas it is said “Naanyah Panthaah Ayanaaya Vidyate” meaning “There is no other way but the way of Truth!” The same is said in the Bible, Jesus says, “To go to my father, you have to go through me. I am the only way”.

    SIMI: But our scripture says worshipping any form or idol is evil, it is blasphemy.

    SRI SRI: What is Good and Evil after all? It is relative. Relative existence is not the complete picture For example: Milk is good, but too much milk can kill you. Poison is harmful, but a drop of poison can save your life. Most lifesaving medicines have poison written on them! These are neither absolutely good nor bad they are just there. Truth transcends duality, and God is the Absolute and only Truth. So, where is the place for evil?

    SIMI: Yet you Hindus worship many Gods, whereas our ideal is there is only one God and His message is what is required to go to heaven.

    SRI SRI: There is only one god in many forms…

    SIMI: (Restless and unwilling to listen to any explanation, they interrupted Sri Sri.) But the Koran says you should only worship Allah who is formless whereas the Hindus worship idols which are only stones.

    SRI SRI: At this, Sri Sri suddenly asked them: Do you honour the Koran?

    SIMI: (They seemed a little taken aback at this question from Sri Sri and with a righteous air answered). Yes, it is God’s word!

    SRI SRI: Do you honor the Mecca?

    SIMI: Yes, of course! That is our sacred place.

    SRI SRI: So also, Hindu’s honour God’s creation as God. Just like sound (Koran), the crescent moon, Kaaba and the month of Ramadan are sacred for you, Hindus consider the River Ganges, the Himalayas, Saints as sacred. See, a picture of your daughter is not your daughter, but you still adore the daughter’s picture. When you see the picture aren’t you reminded of your daughter?

    (They nodded a yes)

    SRI SRI: So also, a symbol is not God but is honoured as God. This sense of honouring and sacredness makes you awake and alive. That is why the ancient Rishis said to feel the entire creation and your whole life as sacred. They considered God as omnipresent, as inseparable from His creation; like the dance and the dancer.

    Sri Sri elaborated further – Spirit loves diversity. Is there only one type of vegetable or fruit? God created many type of fruits and vegetables. There is not just one type of tree, not just one type of snake, cloud, mosquito….Even you change your dress for different occasions. So how could this consciousness that manifested this whole creation be monotonous? There is only one God in many forms. Only one God is advocated. When you accept the variety of Divinity, you cease to be a fanatic and fundamentalist. A pregnant silence filled the room as they looked at each other expecting the other to speak. Then as a face saving measure, the SIMI leader replied, “I will need to go and consult my higher scholars.” With a compassionate expression on His face, Sri Sri said: Never mind, (with a wave of His hand) forget about religion. We are all human beings. Let us have a peaceful society. Let us focus on development.

    SIMI: No No No! What are you saying? You are talking about this world. What we do here is immaterial. The Koran tells us that what matters is what you get in eternal life and not to worry about material life. By doing service to the society you will simply remain here. You have to obey Allah. Allah is the only God and Mohammed is the last prophet.

    SRI SRI: At this Sri Sri stopped them and after a pause asked them: Do you think the Sikh Gurus are not prophets. Isn’t Mirabai a prophet? What about Chaitanya Mahaprabhu?
    Once again, there was silence. Their expressions had changed. The rigidity had weakened and in its place was some confusion/uncertainty. Sri Sri seemed totally at ease unmindful of the challenges posed at Him.

    SIMI: No! You can go to heaven only if you believe in Allah and the Koran.

    SRI SRI: No my dear – there was Buddha, Mahavira, Nanak, Jesus, Shankara… Do you think they are not in heaven? If not, then I would rather be with them!

    SIMI: You are such a nice person, but we pity you because you cannot get the truth. You can’t go to Allah. You can’t be rewarded by Allah. God will never show mercy on you.

    SRI SRI: Never mind. (with a mischievous smile ) I will be with these people (Shankara, Jesus, etc.)

    (Even as we were admiring Sri Sri’s patience and objectivity, we were concerned at the wrong indoctrination that these youths had been subjected to. We also observed a few others who were in the room were getting a little restive, possibly wondering why Sri Sri was spending so much time with these people who were obviously not at all receptive and that too when hundreds were waiting outside just for a glimpse of Sri Sri.)

    SIMI: Do you know, that over 1400 years ago, in the middle of the desert, God revealed the secrets of creation. Even when there was no science, God said that the Atom is the smallest particle!

    SRI SRI smiled and said: Yes, the same is there in the shaastras too which were known more than 10,000 years ago. In the shaastras it is said that the Earth is over 19 billion years old! Truth is beyond time and space. It is not confined to one time or one place One needs to have a scientific spirituality.

    As if to conclude the conversation Sri Sri gave them Ladoo as prasad. By now there were traces of a smile on their faces. When they were about to leave He gave them a hug. They definitely seemed to be less stern than earlier. Could their attitude have changed? We wondered whether this (‘changed attitude’) would persist or would they go back to their old fanatic ways. But one thing was for sure, Sri Sri had made an impression that they would not forget!

    Later, while Sri Sri was having His lunch, someone asked Him, “Why is that Islam is producing so many terrorists all over the world? No other religion has given rise to so many terrorists in the world. What is the reason?”

    SRI SRI: Look at the commitment and the fire in them. Take the good from them and learn what you should not be doing. Don’t label them as bad people. They have not been imparted the knowledge of Vedanta. (Then as He was adding ghee to the chilli powder) He smiled and said “In this creation, there is a place for everything.”

    ***

    Dear Arun,

    POINT 1
    ————-

    “Pranayama, Yoga, everything is fine. They only give you good health and if you are healthy, you’ll feel pleasurable. This will in NO WAY lead to the truth.”

    Sudarshan Kriya is beyond the comprehension and not comparable to Pranayama and Yoga. It is also closely SIMILAR to one of the techniques given below

    Reference: http://www.crystalclarity.com/yogananda/chap26.html

    “Kriya Yoga is a simple, psychophysiological method by which the human blood is decarbonized and recharged with oxygen. The atoms of this extra oxygen are transmuted into life current to rejuvenate the brain and spinal centers. 1 By stopping the accumulation of venous blood, the yogi is able to lessen or prevent the decay of tissues; the advanced yogi transmutes his cells into pure energy. Elijah, Jesus, Kabir and other prophets were past masters in the use of Kriya or a similar technique, by which they caused their bodies to dematerialize at will. ”

    Now this just Pranayama and Asanas cannot do. In order to take you deeper you need a guru. Those days disciples used to work for gurus for 25-30 years to get the idea of how to practice it, today it is available for a cost. So if you have not experienced Kriya, i don’t think i can talk to you in that regard because the level of comparisons are very different.

    POINT 2
    ———-

    “This is PRECISELY what is NOT encouraged in AOL by the teachers and I guess this comes from Sri Sri himself. That’s why you see hordes of people clinging to him for years and years. It is impossible to say that he is unaware of all this. Starting from sitting on a huge throne, accepting loads of people prostrating before him, encouraging chants of his own name, the Guru pooja and all that nonsense.”

    Ok, so you have not had a chance to observe the “Guru pooja ” and the verses carefully. The verses do state the complete clan of “Adi Shankara” starting with him and ending with “Sri Sri” . There are around 12-14 masters in that chain of the mantra whom they thank for the knowledge. since your comprehension of the guru pooja has been limited, i strongly recommend you follow the verses of it the next time. Unless and until you are aware i don’t think you will get the hold of it.

    POINT 3
    ———–

    “You, me and Sri Sri all all one and the same – they are concepts and images that are born in this mind. All being images, how can one be superior over the other ? Look for yourself and you’ll see that all are one and one is all.”

    I do not see anywhere in the Sri Sri’s comments that he claimed himself to be god. So i think we are slightly out of the topic here. You will be able to understand what i am trying to tell if you read through all the posts i have once again. No one is claiming godly image here. i understand every creation is god, and guruji has mentioned that here in the answers too refer to the previous blog which Sri Sri mentions the following

    “Everything is made up of the divine, and that is the answer. if God loves you, me, everyone is made up of love, that is not to be spoken to everyone. It is foolish to do that. If you know it, just keep quiet.”

    POINT 3
    ———–

    “A true Guru is only interested in seeing a disciple become independent of him.”

    Jesus said “I am the Gate. In order to see my father you have to go through me”

    Buddha said “Buddham sharanam Gachami” means, come to me and reside in me to see the truth.

    Allah said the same “Hey guys you are not listening to me, you have been eating to your fullest and your senses have become week. Fast for 40 days, so that your toxins get cleared, your 5 senses become sharper and then you will be able to listen to me and i will help you see god”

    Your ideology will prove to be incorrect if you compare any guru. All the following gurus said the same from what i have read

    Paramahansa Yogananda
    Lahiri Mahashaya
    Babaji
    Yukteshwar Giri
    Satchithananda

    I am illustrating examples here for all the bloggers to get a clear understanding. Don’t get boiled down. All the ancient prophets were crucified, hit with stones, brutally killed, don’t go with the notion of what you see through the fellow men of the saints, experience the truth.

    Since i have had a good understanding of the subject, i am trying to explain to you that you can be with your ideology but the truth can be experienced cannot be put in words.

    So i conclude this conversation with a note saying , experience it with a true heart, don’t get ruined by the way the other fellow men fall for it.

    Arun, you are a smart guy the way you write up the blog, with regards to the Guru pooja , give it your fair trial by listening to the verses.

    Good luck all of you..!!! i end my conversation here. anyone who touches this post will have to READ ALL F MY CONVERSATIONS TO GET AN UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT I AM TRYING TO SAY.

    I leave to your understanding for you to comprehend. I am taking a vacation and will not be able to check this blog for a while.

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