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Sri Sri’s Graduation Certificate: What does it prove?

July 12, 2012

As many of you will no doubt have seen, Ravishankar’s graduation certificate was recently published on Bawa and Dinesh’s website, almost definitely as a direct response to IO’s Sri Sri’s Petty Deception and Lies post, published recently on Skywalker’s blog, which challenges Ravishankar’s educational qualifications.

Whatever the underlying intention, whether they realize it or not, in doing this B&D have inadvertently opened a whole new can of worms by doing this.

In IO’s original post, he highlighted the fact that there are a great many different accounts of Ravishankar’s education on record from various Art of Living sources. However Bawa and Dinesh seem to have completely misunderstood this and are actually trying to show that there was only one point of contention here: that Ravishankar didn’t graduate at all. Whilst this was indeed one possibility that was considered, there were and still are a large number of other possibilities, all of which seem to have been ignored by B&D.

So what does Ravishankar’s graduation certificate actually tell us? If it is indeed authentic, it tells us exactly what it says on the certificate: that Sri Ravishankar was examined in October 1974 and then subsequently graduated in December 1975 with a 3rd class Bachelor of Science degree.

In which case provided the certificate is genuine, it proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that EVERYTHING which has been said about Ravishankar’s educational qualifications by Art of Living up to this point is a complete lie. At the very least, he graduated when he was 19, not 17 as most accounts tell us. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science, not an Advanced degree in Physics, nor in Vedic Literature, and not even in Vedic Sciences as so many accounts also tell us. Further, he graduated with a Third Class, not First and not even Second, which is very strange given the many accounts – including one given directly by the RS himself to the BBC (see interview on IO’s post) – which claim he received a double promotion.

The following comment goes into a lot more detail over this matter:

Anonymous, Submitted on 2012/07/10 at 10:42 pm
@Anonymous

“I also know people in Bangalore who were his peers in school who said he dropped out, and never came back, and that he was around 17. They said he did not graduate with them. So they must all be liars as well?”

They were not liars. It is true that he did not graduate with them.

Around 95% of the students in St.Joseph’s College complete their degrees in their very first attempt during the regular final year exams held every April. Of these at least 50% complete in FIRST class, 30% complete in SECOND class, 15% complete in THIRD class and the remaining 5% FAIL in one or more subjects. For these failed and dull students, like Ravishankar, Bangalore University has supplementary exams in October, giving them a chance to complete their degrees instead of waiting for one full year till next April’s regular exams. Students completing degree in supplementary exams and that too with a THIRD class were rarely able to get jobs. A student FAILS in any subject if he scores below 35%. For grading, aggregate marks scored in all the three years is taken into account. This shows that Ravi Shankar was a consistent THIRD classer and a dull student.

Following were the grading system by the Bangalore University.

FIRST CLASS — 60% and above
SECOND CLASS — 50% to 59%
THIRD CLASS — 35% to 49%

Following were the five subjects which Ravi Shankar has studied.

First Language — Kannada
Second Language — English
Physics
Chemistry
Mathematics

There is no specialization in the core subjects of Physics, Chemistry or Mathematics. All these subjects carried equal weightage. One can’t claim that he/she has completed his degree in Physics. If someone says that they have completed their degree in Physics, it means that they have completed either Master of Science (MSc) or Phd in Physics, which is not the case with Ravi Shankar. He has been fooling the public about it for decades making them to assume that he has an MSc or Phd from Bangalore University whereas in reality he is just a BSC that too with a disgraceful THIRD Class. Even this THIRD class was not obtained in the first attempt during the regular exams but in the supplementary exam. He has taken 3 1/2 years to complete this degree instead of 3 years which 95% of student’s do.

I have seen several videos and websites which mentions that Ravi Shankar has advanced degree in Physics.

AOL’s San Franscisco bay area’s website currently continues to mentions it as ” By the age of seventeen, he had obtained an Advanced Degree in Modern Physics.”

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

It is a matter of shame for Ravi Shankar to be shown with this THIRD class B.Sc certificate, which clearly exposes the lie that RS/AOL has been propagating for decades.

So really, isn’t publishing this certificate actually doing a great deal of damage to Ravishankar and to Art of Living? Granted, there will be many people who aren’t bothered by this (for example the pro-Art of Living contributors on IO’s post left comments to this effect), but won’t there be at least a small handful of those in Art of Living who will think to themselves, why have we been lied to on so many occasions about Sri Sri’s education? Won’t these same people start asking more and more questions, and won’t this add to any of the doubts they might be having about the organization and its leader, which may result in their leaving the organization?

In which case, this brings us back to the $64,000 question: why was this certificate ever published at all? In B&D’s post, they tried to make us believe that the reason they published it was to prove that Ravishankar actually did graduate from university. But surely someone in Art of Living must see what we can see right now, and that is that publishing this certificate has done irreparable damage to RS and to his Art of Living and that it actually helps to support much of what has been said in these blogs?

The following comment is the only account thus far which has attempted to provide an explanation as to why this happened.

Bloggisatwa, July 10, 2012 4:49 pm

Sheer Brilliance.

Bawa is a smart bloke. He is definitely not stupid. He sees all the hanky panky way back….having been deep inside already. Knows it can go bust anytime. Does the ultimate Shaguni job.

I have noticed how he always was able to get away with extravagant statements / demands and even expenses. Also, Bawa’s father, Yezdi is an ex TATA employee…. handles AOL’s money. Together they would know every crime that AOL has committed and would have all the documentary evidence as well. Which means that they have the 1st family by the %ALLs.

So Bawa starts WAYE with Dinesh. That too with the blessings (reluctant) of Ravi. Ravi has no choice.

Look at the WAYE website everyone. there is very limited reference to AOL except in the affiliates section where the AOL and IAHV logos are displayed. Legally, there will be no links, between the 2 organisations. When the AOL shit hits the ceiling WAYE can come away legally scott free.

www.wayeonline.org

This explains many things

  1. Bawa would always insist that any Yes+ volunteers and teachers have nothing to do with other AOL teachers or Sewa projects. This was the case in the early days when he attempted to attract the best teachers from AOL into the Yes+/WAYE movement.
  2. Its just that WAYE is a trust managed entity. However, Trust Directors all legally allowed to receive remuneration, and benefits. Also, they do deals with preferred vendors and suppliers.
  3. WAYE stands to gain significantly if AOL is exposed.
  4. Bawa appears good by posting pro-AOL on his BLOG ….seemingly fighting a lost cause. I can almost see him rubbing his hands in glee, looking at IO’s post abut the Graduation cert, going to Banu Didi…telling her all about it, asking for Ravi’s Grad Cert, taking a scan, and telling Badu Didi that he will fix it all…..and he does a soft expose while looking loyal. Such utter cleverness.
  5. Bawa is tech savvy. He understands the power and reach of the Blogging …alteast amongst the youth. So he sets-up a Harshal to do his job. That is the only thing that can possibly explain to me why other Sr AOL members did nothing to stop a ravaging and rampant Harshal as he continued the verbal abuse. The other Sr members I used to know are not so tech savvy….in terms of BLOG etc.

Truly Machiavellian …and very very interesting.

We do know that this lawsuit must have cost Art of Living dearly, and not only from a financial point of view. From all the recent blogging activities, it is obvious that they have been unable to keep the lid on either the blogs or the outcome of the lawsuit. So it is very likely indeed that Bawa senses that the end is in sight for Ravishankar, and is now not only preparing for the worst eventuality but is actually going so far as to act as a catalyst for it. Through his Yes!+ courses, WAYE and his blog, he already has enough followers in his own right, so if RS were ever to fall he could easily take his followers with him and detach himself from Art of Living without too much difficulty and without having to suffer too much from the downfall of RS or Art of Living.

Yes, this does sound very sinister, but it also provides a very good motive as to why the certificate was published. In fact, if this explanation isn’t true, then the only other possibility is that Bawa, Dinesh and everyone else in Art of Living who thought this was a good idea must be so incredibly short-sighted to not see that they have shot themselves in the foot by doing this. I can’t really think of any other possibilities here, but if you can then please share below.

I’d like to leave you with a number of questions to ponder over, some which have been raised already in the article. As usual, I encourage you to not just accept what is written here but to do your own research and come to your own conclusions about this matter.

  1. Why is it even important to tell anyone about Ravishankar’s educational qualifications in the first place, other than to try to impress them?
  2. If it is genuine, what does Ravishankar’s educational certificate prove to you?
  3. Why after so many years has it only come to light recently?
  4. If he has been lying about his education for the last 30 years, which if this certificate is genuine then he definitely has, then what else could he be lying about?
  5. Does it bother you that Ravishankar has been lying about his education for the last 30 years?
  6. What possible motivations could B&D/Art of Living have for publishing this certificate now, given that it is already doing a great deal of damage to Ravishankar by showing that he has lied about his education?
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36 Comments
  1. Doubt permalink
    July 12, 2012 1:22 pm

    I believe it is the begining of the end of AOL. In India if yoy don’t go to school, its OK. But if you perform poorly that is not acceptable. This B.Sc. degree in third class will finish career of HHSSRS. That is why probably it was kept secret. And by ‘look what we have found’ they have found the truth and published it on net. Now which student would like to do Art Excel or Yes+ or even Part I and even Part II. Not every one want to become Sanyasi, most pepole want peace, happiness, and belongingness. This episode will destroy all that. I have seen some one commenting on AOL post that, what should we tell our students about this third class degree? Such doubts now will trouble AOL teachers and followers more. Doubt is the first step from release from Maya (AOL’s Charm).

    Jai Gurudev, Thanks for enlightening us. HA HA HA

  2. Bloggisatwa permalink
    July 12, 2012 1:50 pm

    A few potential answers

    Why is it even important to tell anyone about Ravishankar’s educational qualifications in the first place, other than to try to impress them?

    Well…remember the claims….Ravi used to say “My parents wanted me to be a banker. Once I graduated, they wanted me to to take up a banking job. Instead I wanted to teach meditation…..

    If the truth about the 3rd class came out, would folks not wonder which bank would have even wanted to hire him ?

    Have you heard Bawa……? I am a math lover. I did very well….and I could have pursued a career in maths. However, I thought its better to teach meditation and make people happy, rather than teach maths and make people sad. Don’t you agree ? Simple isn’t it ?

    Copy cat ? A disciple who caught on to the angle early on ?

    If it is genuine, what does Ravishankar’s educational certificate prove to you?

    I am pretty positive it is genuine. (Very small chance that it is faked). If it is faked, then there is hell to pay legally. Also the 1974 (Exam date) – 1975 (Convocation date)…..that would be the stroke of a genius forger (Just to throw everything into a spin and confuse the hell out of people)………

    Are they really that good ? I think not. If they were that bright, they would have taken all the criticism from all our earlier blogs and implemented them.

    So me thinks, sheer inertia….sheer stupidity…..even a lot of arrogance….an arrogance that comes out of “Whatever we dish out to our devotees….they will take it and still comeback for more”. Taking your audience for granted totally.

    Why after so many years has it only come to light recently?

    Well the question was asked formally (on the Blog) only recently.

    If he has been lying about his education for the last 30 years, which if this certificate is genuine then he definitely has, then what else could he be lying about?

    A lot of things.

    1. On the no of followers
    2. On the utilisation of the money (80% overheads), where it is invested….and so on
    3. On how much money they make.
    4. On who manages the money and how ? How it is all accounted for between the various AOL companies.
    5. On the number of people leaving him and WHY. he fabricates stories about the teachers that leave him.
    6. On the close association with the Dalai Lama.
    7. On the assassination attempt.
    8. On the no of villages they adopted and what they did there.
    9. On his past…..he endorses his father’s potential stories which cannot be proven and where there were no witnesses (Bhagawad Gita, Cradle’s chains falling inwards…..That might explain the advance degree in PHYSICS)
    10. On his understanding of different religions and the founding principles (Remember the public debate where he was ripped off)
    11. The legal status of his businesses and the related tax implications in every centre/country
    12. The Guru Grace bit
    13. HIS Promise (Such absurd romantic promise which his devotees lap up…and will die for). I reproduce it below

    If I had to promise you something, what would it be?

    I can’t promise that you would always be comfortable… Because comfort brings boredom and discomfort.

    I can’t promise that all your desires will be fulfilled…. Because desires whether fulfilled or unfulfilled bring frustration.

    I can’t promise that there will always be good times… Because it is the tough times that make us appreciate joy.

    I can’t promise that we will be rich or famous or powerful…. Because they can all be pathways to misery.

    I can’t promise that we will always be together….. Because it is separation that makes togetherness so wonderful.

    Yet if you are willing to walk with me, If you are willing to value love over everything else, I promise that this will be the most rich and fulfilling life possible.

    I promise your life will be an eternal celebration, I promise you I will cherish you more than A king cherishes his crown

    And I shall love you more than A mother loves her newborn. If you are willing to walk into my arms, If you are willing to live in my heart, You will find the one you have waited forever….

    You will meet yourself in my arms… I promise.

    – His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

    Does it bother you that Ravishankar has been lying about his education for the last 30 years?

    Well, me personally – Not this one. In this he set his own trap. A classic situation where the liar over did it and as is his case….due to the sheer arrogance, he probably at one time, stopped keeping track of all the lies. And that is because of the confidence that his devotees were really dumb and would not ask questions. And also, most of the followers would choose to see the good and bury the uncomfortable. Escaping responsibility….this they saw as a common modern human weakness and they are exploiting it like crazy.

    What possible motivations could B&D/Art of Living have for publishing this certificate now, given that it is already doing a great deal of damage to Ravishankar by showing that he has lied about his education?

    Showing off to their flock. Beginning and End of story. Who goes to their blog, Their die hard gang. They probably did not even think of the consequences. Just plain stupidity. One of those things where the whole bloody foot gets stuck…..in the ^%$%(*#@.

    • July 12, 2012 2:43 pm

      @Bloggisatva,

      Yes, it is indeed possible that this is a monumental screw-up on their part, referring here to everyone who was collectively involved in coming up with this idea. Who they exactly are we can’t say for sure, but it must include at least Bawa and Ravishankar, and possibly Bhanu.

      If this is the case, it won’t be the first time. 18 months ago they – most likely a different they to the above – decided it would be a good idea to bring about a lawsuit against a number of bloggers. And that too turned out to be a monumental screw-up.

      Maybe the obvious has been staring us in the face this entire time: they haven’t got a clue what they’re doing and they’ve been relying on the good-will and gullibility of their devotees the whole time, hoping that they won’t ask questions or notice the glaring massive holes in so many areas of the organization. Come to think of it, didn’t many of us when we were devotees do exactly the same thing? Didn’t we just accept everything we were told and not bother to question so many things? And when we did, didn’t they have a whole stock of pre-prepared responses to fob us off with?

      It could very well be that they are indeed victims of their own arrogance, that they believe that they are so high and mighty that they cannot be touched, and hence are acting now without thinking about the consequences, exactly as they did with the lawsuit.

      To be honest, both explanations – this one and the one whereby Bawa may have done this on purpose – are very disturbing.

  3. Harish Kembhavi permalink
    July 12, 2012 3:38 pm

    The Degree certificate is clearly forged by the AOL folks. Elementary forensics can dismiss this as fake. Apart from that there are factual errors as given below.

    – First the shade of the ink. The certificate is supposed to be given in he 70s and is almost 37 years old. The ink looks fresh and looks like it has been recently typed. Even an amateur forensic professional can tell you that the ink in the certificate is not more than three months old.

    – Second, I am from Bangalore university and no university certificate and especially Bangalore university will NOT have the prefix ‘Sri’ or ‘Srimathi (for women). AOL folks have given the name in the certificate as Sri Ravishankar V.S. I can challenge anybody to show a Bangalore university certificate where there is a suffix of ‘Sri’ in them. Clearly the forgers missed this. Bangalore university is run by the secular government of India and they do not use such prefix as ‘Mr’ or ‘Sri’ or pandit or ustad. Unless Ravishankar’s original name is Sri Ravishankar V.S. this is not possible and we all know that Sri (and the later Sri Sri) were later additions.

    – Third, I studied in National High school and College (for 12 years), whose chairman was H Narasimhaih, the great rationalist who challenged and debunked godmen like Sai Baba. Dr H Narasimhaih was the vice chancellor of Bangalore University during the alleged time of Ravishankar graduation. Dr Narasimhaih always signed in Kannada (his mother tongue). The signature is absolutely forged.

    • VSS permalink
      July 12, 2012 7:10 pm

      @ Harish Kembhavi [July 12, 2012 3:38 pm]

      I found the following links that contain information about Dr H Narasimhaih.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._Narasimhaiah

      http://www.hindu.com/mag/2005/02/27/stories/2005022700160300.htm

      http://www.outlookindia.com/mad.asp?fname=Difference%2Ehtm&subsubsec=Bangalore&synopsis=Education&fodname=19990405&personname=Dr+H%2E+Narasimhaiah

      I think you are right — he would’ve signed only in Kannada. That seems consistent with all that I’ve read about him after reading your post.

      He translated Mahatma Gandhi’s speech into Kannada too.

      I believe you.

      I believe your other observations about the certificate too. I had my doubts the day I saw the scanned copy. It just didn’t look old from any angle. However, for a while I thought one should take it at face value. I won’t now. Not after reading your post.

      What’s also incredibly shocking is the fact that the godman Dr H Narasimhaih exposed — Satya Sai Baba — if I recall correctly — was a friend of Mr. Ravi Shankar. After the death of the former, there was something on the Art of Living web site about Mr. Ravi Shankar’s friendship with him.

      Can someone who is reading and has knowledge of the relationship between the two as well as recalls that article on the Art of Living web site (about Satya Sai Baba soon after his death) please shed light on this issue? I’d really appreciate it. I’m not sure if I am recalling the connection between these two “godmen” accurately. If you have information about this, please do share it.

    • Dayalu permalink
      July 12, 2012 7:15 pm

      But then the question is, why would they not show him to have passed in first class instead of third class, if at all the certificate was forged. Would they do such a stupid thing as forge the certificate that would expose them even further and land them in much deeper trouble?

      May be the certificate was issued recently based on old records?

      • Harish Kembhavi permalink
        July 13, 2012 3:37 pm

        Recent re-issue of certificates are computer generated ceritifcates and they will not have anybody writing it. The forgers mentioned a third class just to prove the obvious lie of his degree. A typical case of criminal psychology.

      • Arjun permalink
        August 2, 2012 10:10 am

        Some of us have multiple signatures. A long form for banking and serious legal stuff. And some when we have pseudonym or a hobby. We need to make sure that Dr HN did not not cultivate such other signatures for multiple uses.
        Bloggisatwa

        Dr H Narasimhaiah’s signature in Ravishankar’s certificate is clearly forged. Dr HN always used to sign in Kannada and this is the proof.
        Please refer the signed portrait of Dr HN (9th image from the top). Bawa and dinesh have clearly lied and have been openly exposed.

        http://drhnnhshossur.blogspot.in/2012/02/blog-post.html

    • Mangal permalink
      July 12, 2012 7:56 pm

      thanks harish but you need other certificates so we can compare to prove this objectively. issue a call on twitter asking those who graduated from Bangalore in 1975 to scan and post an image of their certificates

    • Anonymous permalink
      July 13, 2012 5:36 am

      did they use black ink for writing in 1970s? i can’t recall or remember seeing black ink in use until late 80s in the schools that i went to and my parents/relatives degree certificates were written in blue ink

  4. VSS permalink
    July 12, 2012 4:54 pm

    @ Obi-Wan

    We did indeed believe what we were told. I wasn’t even a full time devotee but I really did think that Mr. Ravi Shankar was God’s gift to mankind and was all set to relocate to the Bangalore Ashram when I found Skywalker’s blog.

    The following post on Skywalker’s blog is very insightful for the purpose of studying the answers that are fed into the minds of devotees:

    http://aolfree.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/control-strategies-employed-by-the-master/

    On this post, I had posted the following comment:

    @ Freedom Found

    This is an extremely insightful post and extremely heartfelt too.

    I can almost predict the responses of those who will defend Mr. Ravi Shankar’s behaviour.

    For # 1 — they’ll say — this is “standard satguru behaviour” meant to facilitate growth.

    Well, if that is the case, then Skywalker and Klim, are Mr. Ravi Shankar’s satgurus. Why did he take them to court?

    For # 2 — they’ll say — this conflict and chaos is caused by lack of complete submission and surrender — people should think from beyond their intellect.

    Well, hello? Do you know any sane and thinking human being who doesn’t think using their intellect?

    For # 3 — they’ll say — you have to see the context in which he says something.

    Well, then please don’t expect anyone to believe in someone who behind the closed doors of his cult indulges in the non-verifiable jugglery of concepts (read: mumbo jumbo), and on BBC says, people should not get into the non-verifiable jugglery of concepts. Then, allow some people to say that AoL is a humanitarian organization and others to say it is a dangerous cult. It’s one and the same thing, right?

    For # 4 — they’ll say — it’s the love — people love him and he loves them.

    Well, then please don’t mind people who don’t love him and who he doesn’t love. Loving him cannot be the only evidence of sanity. Some people love the colour blue and some people don’t. Why question the personal choice of people? You can’t force someone to love someone else and abuse those who don’t love someone, can you?

    For # 5 — they’ll say — it’s devotion — not brainwashing.

    Well, then why question those who are not devoted enough to ignore malpractices because they do not blindly surrender their intellect and integrity to the master? How can you force someone to surrender their intellect and integrity to someone you are devoted to?

    For # 6 — they’ll say — no one can understand why he is doing something for their good.

    Well, it’s again about submission and surrender, and you can’t force someone to submit and surrender to his intellect and sense of integrity just because you did so.

    For # 7 — they’ll say — AoL is too large to have policies and procedures.

    Well, where there is a will, there is a way. If he has the will to have policies and procedures in place, he will put policies and procedures in place. Thirty years is a long time to accomplish this.

    For # 8 — they’ll say — what’s wrong with seeking influential people if it leads to peace?

    Well, if you truly believe that, what are you doing here reading this blog? Why are you not at peace and attacking critics left, right and centre, including questioning their sanity?

    For # 9 — they’ll say — people love to work for him because he inspires them.

    Well, then why are some people feeling exploited and abused by his holiness? If he was truly holy, then no one would report exploitation and abuse, would they?

    But, these are just my predictions based on what I’ve been reading on this blog. I am not stating facts. I have no supernatural powers to be able to predict what someone will say. I am a mere mortal — and these are just words — they are not bombs.

    In response to this comment, Dr. Peter said:

    Exactly what VSS said!!

  5. Prakash permalink
    July 13, 2012 4:58 am

    ### Why is it even important to tell anyone about Ravishankar’s educational qualifications in the first place, other than to try to impress them? ###

    I have a benign explanation for this.

    When SSRS started all this he did not imagine that his business would one day grow this big. He needed to start small – to attract stray followers and most importantly foreigners who could provide instant credibility to his business. He was with MMY and had first hand experience of the credibility that is imparted to eastern mysticism by western disciples. Look, “People from US and UK and Canada are following him! So he must be teaching something great!!”

    An undergrad college degree in India means nothing. There are legions of unemployed degree holders in India. In contrast, in the US or UK, a college degree is not meaningless. And when it is not just any degree but “an advanced degree” in “modern physics” and “vedic literature” and that too “at the age of 17” it all adds to the mystique – esp for someone from the western world for whom this BS was primarily intended.

    In his opinion it must have been a minor embellishment on his resume that all of us are guilty to some extent. Just like his “yoga shiromani by President of India” which was hyped in the initial days of the movement as something big but later played down since it really meant nothing. Thus his “double promotions” and “advanced degree in modern physics and vedic literature at the age of 17” were simply compulsions of a start up business to distinguish himself from teeming crowd of babas and swamis – most of them illiterate.

    Had SSRS been only mildly successful (which he must have imagined at the start up), then his “minor embellishments of resume” would have hardly mattered. But then he grew too big – bigger even for Jesus and Krishna’s shoes; his devotees claimed he was Jesus and Krishna rolled into one – and then naturally people started expecting the same level of ethical standards from him. Something which was “excusable” for a start up businessman came haunting when he was elevated to the level of God.

    • July 13, 2012 1:18 pm

      Utterly brilliant explanation Prakash, it explains a great deal and may indeed be true.

  6. Anonymous permalink
    July 13, 2012 6:45 am

    “ Why is it even important to tell anyone about Ravishankar’s educational qualifications in the first place, other than to try to impress them?”
    A nice explanation by @Prakash.
    Without these tall claims educated people would not have joined him.
    To attract highly qualified people, who will never despise him because of his lower qualifications.
    This is an approach to score over other not so academically educated gurus of his time.
    This is to show people that he is not in the guru business because he failed to achieve academic excellence. Passing graduate degree in second attempt with a third class was/is considered a failure, in India.
    Western people respect degrees more than in India where degrees are very common, easy and highly cheaper to get.
    Claim of 17 years is to show that he is an extraordinary and brilliant student.
    There was no risk of getting caught because things like internet and blogging was unheard of, 25 years back.

  7. Anonymous permalink
    July 13, 2012 9:36 am

    if world was a peaceful and serene place when SK and Sri Sri’s teachings are followed, why is Taekwondo being taught at Sri Sri’s school at Pune – http://www.ssrvmpune.in/index.php?option=com_phocagallery&view=category&id=8:health-a-fitness&Itemid=57
    Even if it counts towards fitness, there so many other “non-violent” ways isnt it? perhaps hiring the “taekwondo master” was a mode of “seva” to help the impoverished “taekwondo master” to find a “livelihood” teaching taekwondo in the school

    • stupidseeker permalink
      July 15, 2012 11:12 am

      @Anonymous,

      Taekwondo at SSRVM in Pune you say ?? Well the RSS teaches all its members proficient use of the lathi and baba Ramdev also floated the idea of a personal army of youths for his defence. Could HHSSRS also be thinking on similar lines ?? A band of dedicated mercenaries as his personal army/bodyguard ??

  8. Anoop permalink
    July 13, 2012 12:09 pm

    Nothing related to art of living .. But thought would be interesting to everyone

    India Untouched: Research Documentary!

  9. stupidseeker permalink
    July 13, 2012 12:30 pm

    @Anoop,

    Are you also a member of Nirmukta ??

    • Anoop permalink
      July 14, 2012 6:29 am

      No, but my friend is.

  10. VSS permalink
    July 13, 2012 1:57 pm

    My perspective after reading the most current comments:

    IO’s post played the same role as a comprehensive and intense investigation would. Mr. Ravi Shankar suffered from righteous indignation — as someone who had been accused of doing something he did not do would — meaning that he had completed his BSc but he felt it was being implied that he hadn’t.

    He doesn’t think that lying about the age when he graduated or subjects he had studied is a big deal. Mr. Ravi Shankar has a history of not paying any attention to detail. So, to silence all those who had read IO’s post and had genuine doubts, it was decided that — at least the truth would be revealed. However, no evidence of the truth was anywhere to be found. His certificate could not be located.

    B&D in their characteristic over-confidence might have said something like “how does it matter if you can’t locate the certificate — getting a certificate is no problem”. Mr. Ravi Shankar might have said something like — “but it should have the truth and the truth is that I got a third class otherwise people will get completely put off by me — they’re already quite upset”.

    B&D would have said something like “alright — give us the info”. Mr. Ravi Shankar would have provided the info. A certificate was ordered with info provided by Mr. Ravi Shankar.

    However, they lied again with “Look what we found” implying that they’d found the original certificate from years ago and dragged Mrs. Bhanumati into it as well — again assuming that no one would question them on the authenticity of the certificate and catch the obvious flaws in it.

    Essentially, IO’s post made several people ask questions. Mr. Ravi Shankar could not afford to remain silent on the issue any more. To hide the fact that he got a third class, Mr. Ravi Shankar has been lying since several years — just to avoid what is going on now — because people are not fools — they will obviously be disappointed that their “academically brilliant” guru only got a third class. I know through my sources that those in Art of Living who are aware of this third class now are feeling extremely let down.

    However, they sat and assessed the damage caused by remaining silent and the damage caused by revealing the third class — and arrived at the conclusion that far greater damage was being caused by remaining silent. But, the original certificate could not be located.

    Instead of saying so and being honest about the whole thing, they lied again. They’re trying to pass off a freshly made certificate as the original one. Those who are not brainwashed any more are able to tell clearly that the certificate simply does not look old.

    However, so are those who are brainwashed — because when it comes to educational certificates — all over the world — people simply can’t digest lies. The human race may lie about everything under the sun — but lying about educational certificates and one’s scores — is unethical and never goes unpunished in any place in the world. Also, sometimes one genuinely misplaces an educational certificate and one has to get a “duplicate” issued. There’s a proper process in place for this.

    But how could they say that he has completed his BSc but has misplaced his certificate, so here’s a copy of a duplicate recently issue by Bangalore University?

    People may have laughed or gotten even more upset.

    So, they said “Look what we found”.

    The problem with lying even once is that it’s very difficult to come clean after that. The least one has to do to come clean is to actually come clean. But their minds don’t think straight — so every now and then they make a fool of themselves.

    Now they must be thinking they should have remained silent.

    They simply don’t think they should state the truth no matter what it is because it’s only the truth that cannot be refuted. Everything else can.

  11. Anonymous permalink
    July 13, 2012 5:55 pm

    @Mangal

    This is not a certificate issue by Bangalore University recently since the signatory Dr.H.Narasimhaiah passed away in 2005. He was the Vice Chancellor of Bangalore University from 1973-1977 and cannot sign a degree certificate outside his tenure as VC.

    For obtaining a duplicate degree certificate Bangalore University had a laborious procedure shown below.
    1. File a police complaint about losing the certificate
    2. Take oath on an affidavit from the court
    3. Advertise in a leading news paper like Deccan Herald about losing this Certificate
    I believe that the certificate will be tagged as ‘DUPLICATE’ even if they issue one. It will show the date on which the duplicate is issued and the signature of the Vice Chancellor during that date.

    I have never seen the Bangalore Univerisity degree certificates in color. My degree certificate issued after 8 years is in black and white. All the other degree certificates I have seen during those times are not in color but in black and white. Did they really issue a color certificate then?. Has anyone seen a color certificate issued during those times.

    Notice that the color of the outline, the words ‘Bachelor of Science’ and an emblem on top are of the same color. The same emblem at the bottom appears in a different blue color.

    Punch marks shown at the top show that it is original and a stored one, though it is surprisingly missing a fold line. As the certificates were bigger than A4 size it needed to be folded once before being filed.

    Bangalore University was filling the details using already printed certificates. Notice the last digits of 1974 and 1975. It is hand-written. It is very easy to take the original certificate and change just these last digits at 3 different places to show convenient years.

    One most important uniqueness of this certificate is the appearance of Sri. I have never seen any Bangalore University certificate prefixed with Sri. I checked my own degree certificate which doesn’t show Sri in front of my name. I also checked 10 marks sheets issued by Bangalore University over a period of 5 years at different times. Nowhere they have mentioned Sri in front of my name. It is impossible for anyone to commit this error of including Sri, as Bangalore University appears to have strict standard of filling the certificates.

    @Harish
    Though Dr.H.Narisimhaiah used to mostly sign in Kannada, I have also seen his signature in English as in the certificate.

    • Mangal permalink
      July 14, 2012 5:23 pm

      Harish

      Bangalore university in 2011 lauchned a web portal for getting crtificates last year @ http://www.bub.ernet.in.

      http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-01-13/bangalore/28375014_1_degree-certificates-convocation-bangalore-university

      we need other certificates from that time to prove beyond doubt. do you think we could see yours, with whatever details erased? send it to obiwanfrombeyond@yahoo.com so others can eyeball it for themselves

      • VSS permalink
        July 15, 2012 5:09 am

        @ Harish,

        Your certificate will prove nothing about Mr. Ravi Shankar’s certificate.

        How can it?

        How can one person’s certificate prove something about another person’s certificate?

        Let those who wish to believe that Mr. Ravi Shankar’s certificate is authentic believe so.

        Even if it were taken at face value, he lied about his age of graduating, he lied about the subjects he studied, and he performed poorly.

        That’s unethical in any society in the world.

        Further, if he’s claiming to be a Hindu, then he’s not — because Hindus even have a Goddess for education — and it’s a religious sin to lie about anything to do with education. Every true Hindu knows this.

      • VSS permalink
        July 15, 2012 5:11 am

        If someone who is claiming “academic brilliance” turns out to be a poor performer, he or she loses all his credibility.

    • Bloggisatwa permalink
      July 15, 2012 6:44 am

      @ Anonymous permalink
      July 13, 2012 5:55 pm

      I have never seen the Bangalore Univerisity degree certificates in color. My degree certificate issued after 8 years is in black and white.
      Qns) (8 years after Sri Sri’s supposed certificate ?). Can you post a sanitized copy …or email it to Obi Wan?

      On your certificate, is the name of your college / institution mentioned ? In SriSri’s case why is St Joseph’s college not mentioned ?

  12. Wanderer..sid permalink
    July 13, 2012 6:45 pm

    AOL seems to be shivering…. they proved it by writing that post.. they are not following their own knowledge points; how they expect innocent youth to follow those points …through manipulation only ! Serious crisis in AOL, i tell you…..

  13. VSS permalink
    July 14, 2012 11:21 am

    Oh, God !!! Everything seems to suggest that the certificate is not authentic. We’re — effectively — back to square one.

    None of this would have happened — if the certificate appeared authentic to everyone who saw it — which is clearly not the case.

    We have no way of knowing if Mr. Ravi Shankar completed his graduation or not. We have no way of knowing if he actually got a third class or not.

    This entire issue again points to the track record of the Art of Living and Mr. Ravi Shankar — they always try to refute lies with more lies.

    What a disaster !!!

    It is astounding how they manage to cause more damage whenever they attempt “damage control”.

  14. Hari permalink
    July 16, 2012 5:34 am

    Dear B&D, a direct request to you… I would like to know details of SSRS’s Vedic Literature degree… please “unearth” the details of that degree too

  15. Anonymous permalink
    July 17, 2012 6:12 am

    @Bloggisatwa

    My degree certificate was issued 10 years after Ravi Shankar’s supposed certificate. I missed initially to notice the additional bluish color used in my certificate. I have emailed it to Obiwan, which is in color.

    I have also now noticed a fold line on Ravi Shankar’s certificate. Name of the college is not mentioned on Bangalore University degree certificates. It appears genuine to me in all respects except for ‘Sri’ appearing in front of his name.

  16. Anonymous permalink
    July 20, 2012 11:59 am

    God bless you all

  17. Anonymous permalink
    April 15, 2013 10:49 pm

    There is the reason I am commenting anonymously. I can’t expose any of the people I am going to talk about.

    Back in 1990, I lived in Mysore, and came in contact with a person who was a don near the Sandalwood factory. This guy could arrange anything. Question papers from Mysore University before the exam? Yes, I have seen it. He arranged a place in the entrance exam for someone I knew. Just went with Rs. 5000 to the office in Bangalore and took care of it. I accompanied him on that trip.

    Need a degree certificate from Bangalore University? Piece of cake. I have seen it, touched it before it was handed over. So I would not be surprised if this is genuine Bangalore University document. If someone with far less connections than Sri Sri could do that, what could Sri Sri could do?

  18. Anonymous permalink
    May 20, 2013 10:59 am

    I heard that Sri Sri Ravishankar has a brother

Trackbacks

  1. Why tell all these Lies in the first place? « Further Beyond the Art of Living
  2. Summary of Criticisms Against Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Art of Living | Further Beyond the Art of Living

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