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Your Blog hurts innocent devotees

October 10, 2012

By AOL Teacher

Dear Bloggers,

This is my perspective. Would you all post it as a separate posting ?. It would display your courage and motive and whether we can have a healthy debate.

I also had all these questions that you all have. But I am doing it differently. And it is working well. I made decisions and choices as I weighed the overall benefits.

In fact I think I have had even more down to earth questions then what you all are discussing. I used to think, why does Guruji lead satsangs when his voice is not the best ? Things like that.

I understood that, he was also showing us how to be perfect in all our imperfections.

Do you think that we can live in today’s corrupt world without being touchd by the corruption yourself ? All said and done, none of you will contest that Guruji is extremely hard working. He is physically taxing his body extensively. I see this too. All the time. It inspires me. Borrowed or otherwise, his knowledge brings peace to 1000s at that time when it is being delivred. It may not work the next week because the context in the devotee’s would have changed, but it works right at hat moment. That is what he teaches us though the Ashtavakra commentary.

The truth is spherical and it has the opposite elements embedded in it.

So, I can’t understand what the debate and this blog is all about. AOL is grey. So what ? Does that take away the goodness. ? The goodness in all your lives is that you have all come to a position where you are independent of AOL and still strong. But AOL gave you that opportunity. I think he is a master designer. In all likelihood it’s a planned growth for each of our sakes. He does not force himself on you.

A lot of noise is being raised about his education certificates and qualifications. The fact is that without any of the certificates, Guruji can still hold the rapt attention of thousands of people at the same time. He is a master communicator. Why does anybody have to recognize this externally, especially any university. All this is being done, so that WE GET IT. It is only for us to acknowledge the truth.

When the media can exaggerate all the negative news there is, what is the harm in exageratng the positive ? In fact anyone with any brains can say that it is the need of the hour. The world is negative. All positivity that you can see should be magnified and shared with as many people as we can.

I am a part of a chapter organizing committee. One of the teachers was desprately in need of money and was not submiting all the money he earned through courses to the finance volunteer. I felt that this was very wrong. I reasoned that we are attracting people by saying that this was for charity and the teacher was dipping into that. Guruji never took punitive action on that teacher. In fact that teacher got away totally free. I never understood it at that time. It took me ages to understand. Then I started to see it differently. Guruji is like nature. Nature is uncnditional in its giving. It is there for everybody. But it is always in control. That teacher at that time needed that money more desperately compared to anybody else. So, that’s what manifested.

You are all making so much noise about this legal case in America which AOL lost. So what ? Can’t you see that some organisers and teachers wanted to do it so badly. Guruji just said yes to the idea so they can be peaceful. He does not hink about his own reputation, he did it out of love for supporting what his devotees wanted to do.

I also see how Guruji is so hardworking but some people close to him enjoy the material benefits. This bothered me greatly. Then I realized that they must have done some positive karma from before. So what, if they enjoy. It is his wish. Otherwise he would have stopped it. Ultimately we have all to make the call of right and wrong ourselves.

Resources are important. That’s why he has to control all AOL resources. There is no way out of this. It is what these will be used for someday that is important. He has been telling us about the hard times ahead. So, he is safe guarding this for all AOL devotees. I look around me and I cannot relate to many of my fellow teachers and devotees. Many of their true motives are suspect. So, I don’t blame him for wanting to keep control. We still have a lot of work to do on ourselves before we can grow into the level of controlling AOL organizational directions and policies. We need to reach at least half his level first.

Nothing is what it is. It depends on which direction you see it from. If there is bad karma so be it. All I have to do, is to be careful that I am doing more good than harm on any given day. AOL with its millions of followers is doing just that ; Creating goodness and belongingness amngst people everyday.

Even if some of the truth the way it is being phrased can be interpreted differently such as the way YOUR blog is doing it.

That is why, I question all of you and what is that you will really achieve with this blog??? Nothing productive will come.

You will destroy the hopes of these otherwise innocent devotees…that is all.

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42 Comments
  1. Dayalu permalink
    October 10, 2012 12:50 pm

    Nice sarcasm, AOL teacher.

  2. Nithin permalink
    October 10, 2012 2:21 pm

    Short pain Long gain… dont you remember this word from the beloved master?
    According to me, it is better to know the truth early rather than later after spending many years and too much money in this spiritual scam.
    Do you know most of the politicians in india sleep less than 6 hours a day and they are always in solving worst and critical issues and also in looting public money, if Ravi want to enjoy the power and money he need to do the same hard work.. he has no choice.. no one asked him to do so.
    Look at all other spiritual master in the history they did much much better than Ravi does with out looting money, more criticism means more corruption..that is all it says.
    Jai Gurudev does not mean ignorance..

  3. freeOne permalink
    October 10, 2012 2:38 pm

    Same old same old again, Master is pure none of this is his mistakes, all are by individual devotes or teachers. After trying to crush the criticism now wants peace. No good comes to anyone by AOL as it is now. You are delusional in thinking there is some good coming out of AOL. You may be ok to accept all those corruption/cheating/lies by AOL is OK as long as if it does few token goods. But most others are not.

  4. Anonymous permalink
    October 10, 2012 2:57 pm

    To AOL Teacher:

    I know you mean well, and you seem to really believe what you have posted here. But you are misinformed, and misguided in some of what you say:

    Your Guruji is not like nature, unconditional. His love is completely conditional upon obedience and upon his lack of fear of exposure. Example? My own: When I left, he feared I would disclose many secrets I knew about him, that only those in the inner circle knew/know. I disobeyed him, and just left, against his command and wishes. He proceeded to tell horrible lies about me to people, creating stories that in some cases, when they were relayed back to me (“did you really do this?? Did this really happen?”) I had to laugh, they were so far fetched! In other stories, they were just pathetic criticisms of someone (me) wanting to lead a normal life in the world, from someone who furthered his worldly existence (money) on the backs of innocent people giving to his “charity”. I had assured him before leaving, as I had given him quite a lot of warning time that I would be going, that I would never disclose his secrets and problems to the outside world. Obviously, he didn’t believe me, and so defamed me quickly, to avoid any scandals in his direction. In fact, some of his ‘defamation’ was a joke to many I knew who said “what is the crime in your leaving to live your life? I don’t understand…” I recovered from his cruelty, although it did surprise me. I know of several cases where he did the same thing to others when they left — told stories about them, had private meetings with those who had ‘information’ on the party who had left, etc. Too bad for him that many of the people he said these things to knew me well, and thought he was completely crazy for saying things that they knew to be false. They also left him. You simply do not know this man.

    Yes he is charasmatic and can hold the attention of crowds. So what? I could name some less than lovely people in history who could do the same. And those crowds would have told you they loved their leader(s), that they felt safe and peaceful with that person leading them, etc. Charisma doesn’t always mean good, or enlightened. It means powerful. Ravi Shankar is powerful, no doubt. And he has knowledge.

    Why not just let people have their peace and knowledge? Go ahead. Just don’t get involved, and don’t kid yourself that the money goes to charity. It doesn’t and he doesn’t care that it doesn’t just as you saw in the case of that teacher. Ravi Shankar himself is the example of the man who needed money, and kept the ‘charity’ money, and gave it to his family. Why should he punish another for doing the same? Or did you believe the lie that his father was in the ‘automotive business’ before the ashram business? If fixing tires for a mechanics shop is the ‘automotive business’, then, well, that part is true, I suppose 🙂 And did you think that his sister and her husband were wealthy before the ashram business? Check around Bangalore and find out the truth of his family. It wouldn’t be a big deal if they had not had some education, and had no other way to go. But the sister and husband were educated. They could have lived modest lives with government jobs instead of becoming wealthy on the donations meant for the truly poor. And their kids could have gone to regular Indian schools instead of overseas. But Ravi Shankar chose the path of deception over yoga. He is a fallen yogi. He was great once, but looked small and inconsequential. Now he is small, but looks big and important. That’s not uncommon.

    Wake up, or go back to sleep and enjoy. If you do enjoy, just do it with a little better information, and, for your own sake, don’t get involved in his mess.

  5. Anonymous permalink
    October 10, 2012 3:45 pm

    Dear AOL teacher – I hear you and know exactly how you feel…the reason is that I was exactly in the same boat as you…defending each and every action of the master…not trusting my first instinct….not trusting myself but reasoning to find exactly why Guruji is everything and Guruji is nature…

    Please read this carefully…i am not attacking you…i am talking from a space of understanding and going through the same emotions as you …..

    Trust me – it is a viscous cycle – in doing so you will get trapped and slowly and gradually loose your individuality – who you are, stop loving yourself in quest of comparing yourself to the master and people around him – thinking you are a lesser being….
    Every other vice that we are taught not to do – we end up doing without our knowledge…

    You said: “I also see how Guruji is so hardworking but some people close to him enjoy the material benefits. This bothered me greatly. Then I realized that they must have done some positive karma from before. So what, if they enjoy. It is his wish. Otherwise he would have stopped it. Ultimately we have all to make the call of right and wrong ourselves.”
    Do you see what you have stated here? that someone else who is closer to Guruji has better karma and so he is enjoying…. subconsciously you are putting yourself down and saying you did not do enough good karma….in reality you have a wonderful heart that loves someone so dearly… recognize that first dear teacher…..

    You also said “Do you think that we can live in today’s corrupt world without being touchd by the corruption yourself ?”
    Same applies to you dear teacher….however you think you will not be affected by the AOL propaganda and the toxic environment created – you will be …..I came to only after coming out of it…!! the major toxicity is hanging on to the Guru…let go and be free…! come out of it and you will know….

    and “I look around me and I cannot relate to many of my fellow teachers and devotees”
    Why are you there if you cannot relate?

    Like your genuine letter here – here is my genuine call to you-
    Please Please come out, keep that love in your heart and spread it to people close to your, your family, your friends…however small that group might look (maybe not even as close to the number of people you have taught the course), there is joy in being true to yourself, listening to your instincts and being who you truely are….instead of hanging on to an image of the guru which you have created (against your instincts) which is a mirage and not representative of the true image of the guru…!! my heart goes out to you…!!

    And you know what true seva is really at the core – It is being yourself – the impact you make is much more than being stressed out (like AOL teachers generally are) but externally thinking that they are serving for a higher cause…!! first be who you who are meant to be and then seva will happen automatically..! no effort required..!!

  6. Klim1008 permalink
    October 10, 2012 3:47 pm

    AOL teacher: Sri Sri hurts innocent people. Have you never thought about that? About the endless damages his deceits cause in innocent people’s lives? Hyping news for the argument of “positivism” with lies is not a human value. On the contrary. The teacher who could not submit the money for the courses he taught and was going thru financial problems is not wrong. What is wrong is that people need to submit money for work they have done themselves, with their effort, skills, time, to a man who lies about where the money goes and everything about him. People pay to work for him for free. He is becoming a multibillionaire who does not really take care of anyone. The day you might need help, I doubt he will give you money or anything you might need. I was a teacher. I myself and many others know that as a fact. Happiness based in lies is no happiness at all. There is corruption in aol. Sri Sri is corrupt so is his team. Today you support him and seek for arguments to defend your choice. Tomorrow he may lie about you too. See what he has done to many ex devotees. Nothing happens without his consent and instruction. You are wrong and naive if you believe that. If you think the law suit was his wish to satisfy his devotees needs, you are in x land. It was all his idea. And if really it was not, what kind of master is that who supports senseless actions of revenge and lies? You call that enlightened? Spiritual? He hurts innocent people. Many. We in this blog are against because we are innocent people he’s hurt and keeps hurting. We are against lies and against using spirituality as means to feed one person’s narcissim. We are against cults and the abuse that comes with them. Wecare not hurting innocent people. He is. We are helping waking up innocent people. AOL teacher: it’s time to wake up. It hurts but you are better off at the end of your life.

  7. Mangal permalink
    October 10, 2012 4:20 pm

    “You will destroy the hopes of these otherwise innocent devotees…that is all.”

    Devotees are not innocent !! They have lot of bad Karma from previous incarnations. That is the reason they are now coming to Guruji. He makes them pay lot of money for courses to help them get rid of bad Karma quickly.

    Truth is spherical and has opposite elements in it. Criticism and devotion are part of the circle of life. The ones in AOL who complain about the blog are guilty of linear thinking bcos they only want to see praise from all.

  8. Meditator permalink
    October 10, 2012 4:33 pm

    All the best to you AOL Teacher if Sri Sri works for you. For me, he’s a fraud. Let the innocent devotees decide for themselves what is the truth. Maybe, the omnipresent HHSSRS will pull them. Don’t you trust your Guru? Shame on you. Chant Jai Gurudev 108 times and get a Guru Pooja done at your home.

  9. Dayalu permalink
    October 10, 2012 6:16 pm

    Am I the only one reading this post as a sarcastic note. AOL Teacher, please clarify! Did you really mean all what you stated here? if yes, that is incredible!

  10. AOL Teacher permalink
    October 10, 2012 6:54 pm

    Dear Meditator, Mangal, Klim108, Anonymous(s), Freeone, Nithin,

    Lets see……I am having a good time. I am able to reach out to 100s of new people every month. I make new friends. If it was not for AOL and Guruji, I would never have even discovered that I could have such a platform to reach out. There are a whole bunch of us that enjoy hanging out together and doing yoga. We socialize and share a sense of community. We share problems. Even business opportunities. These days the money we raise as charity, we use locally. The course money goes to the Ashram. After all Guruji devised the course. Let it go there. I am really not concerned.

    I am surprised…..how can you say that there is no goodness. I admit that many things are grey. But to say that there is no goodness…..that is pretty extreme.

    I know some teachers who read the blog and went away. I see them every once in a while. They have lost all sense of direction. They are negative. They are physically not fit. (This is all compared to what they were when they were active in AOL). I don’t want to become like them.

    Dear Klim1008 you said “What is wrong is that people need to submit money for work they have done themselves, with their effort, skills, time, to a man who lies about where the money goes and everything about him”

    These are volunteers. They are contributing their time. Knowingly and willingly. They do not expect to make remuneration. In this case the teacher was also a Volunteer. Guruji allowed him to keep the money. We did not design the course. We had no clue of something like the SKY. It was all given to us. So whats the harm is giving the money back ?

    You also said “I doubt he will give you money or anything you might need.”

    But, I don’t want his money. It seems to me, you had a problem with that and wanted more money.

    You said….”Sri Sri is corrupt so is his team”

    Name me someone today who is not corrupt. Do you think he started AOL with the view to exploit innocent devotees. Common. !!! He could not help himself. The course was so good that devotees kept flocking around him and would not go away. Now, he had more people to take care off. Its been growth unlimited after that. What could he have done otherwise?

    Just because we have a good thing and actively promote a good product….that does not make people corrupt. Do you really think volunteer’s approach a new participant wanting to make money….think again. You are wrong.

    You said “You call that enlightened? Spiritual? He hurts innocent people”

    So does Mother Earth. With her earthquakes and tsunamis. ….

    And then we have Mangal who said “Truth is spherical and has opposite elements in it. Criticism and devotion are part of the circle of life. The ones in AOL who complain about the blog are guilty of linear thinking bcos they only want to see praise from all.”

    Well, I am trying to use the blog for myself. I am not complaining (not yet).

    I thought that I will confront him with all these doubts of mine…..but they are not doubts, if I read your comments……they are outright accusations. Who am I to accuse anyone ? So, what am I supposed to do…..ignore the goodness and focus on the potential misunderstandings of which I have not a very clear grasp ???

    Looking at your language and the experience, looks like many of you are pretty strong individuals. I am struggling to understand, why you all not meet as a group and confront all concerned. Why is leaving the only way ?

    Also, I am still here not as much for Guruji as much as my part 1 teacher. He is so so awesome. Sometimes, i feel, I connect to him more than any other Advance course or DSN teacher. If he knew I was posting here, he would be so greatly hurt. He has had many one to one personal experiences and miracles with Guruji. His humbleness, devotion and faith is stunning to say the least. I have seen how the grace works for his family. They are all devoted. They have been in AOL for more than 15 years now. I want to discuss all this with hm…..but I cannot. It feels like I am not having faith in myself or my Guru….(both of them).

    Also, there is something wrong. All this Argentina news is translated from Spanish. None of us can really be sure what is happening there. And always there will be criticism whenever something good is happening. Also, Rita seems to be wanting revenge for something.

    No matter what, instead of leaving and retiring, there seems to be much more opportunity to serve when you are in AOL. Outside AOL, its so difficult to relate to the world there.

    Dear Dayalu….I do not understand.

    • Anonymous permalink
      October 10, 2012 7:53 pm

      AOL teacher – this is Anonymous 3.45pm
      “Outside AOL, its so difficult to relate to the world there”
      Dear AOL Teacher – exactly…! why are you in the bubble called AOL when you can be in the real world with real people facing real problems and creating real solutions…instead of living in a make believe world?
      You also mentioned that you do not relate to people in AOL…so are you stuck?

      “So does Mother Earth. With her earthquakes and tsunamis. ….”
      Why don’t you come back to mother earth? burst the AOL bubble and come and face the real world…why did AOL create this separation in your mind in the first place – have you ever questioned that? don’t you see there is something terribly wrong with this attitude? like you belong to a cult that is beyond this world that is striving for its betterment but it is soo isolated from the very world that it wants to make better?

      “I am having a good time. I am able to reach out to 100s of new people every month. I make new friends. If it was not for AOL and Guruji, I would never have even discovered that I could have such a platform to reach out. There are a whole bunch of us that enjoy hanging out together and doing yoga. We socialize and share a sense of community. We share problems. Even business opportunities.”
      All this happens even in here….just that AOL makes you soo isolated from real world…giving you a perception that AOL is perfect that guruji is perfect that SK is the only way to enlightenment – once you come out you realize you were living a A BIG LIE inside AOL…..

      “I am surprised…..how can you say that there is no goodness. I admit that many things are grey. But to say that there is no goodness…..that is pretty extreme.”
      OK – so now AOL is not all perfect and there is grey – that’ good…the “outsiders” have to shout that there is no goodness in AOL for you to accept that there are greys in AOL – do you see it now? do u see why we have to state that there is no goodness??
      so it is no different than real world out here…!!

      “No matter what, instead of leaving and retiring, there seems to be much more opportunity to serve when you are in AOL.”
      My heart goes to you dear – this is the typical distortion of the word SEVA in AOL dictionary..!! opportunities can be captured in life wherever you are…every breath you take can be seva if you want to…so please come out of the delusion that you are doing seva by teaching AOL course …there is tonnes of opportunity out here…in the real world our platform is our own self and we are not hung up to an image..!

      • Meditator permalink
        October 11, 2012 1:10 am

        You mirror my thoughts Anonymous.

      • bloggisatwa permalink
        October 11, 2012 1:52 am

        Very well written Anonymous. I agree with your views too.

        Hello AOL Teacher,

        I would like to suggest something if I may. I believe that this will help you greatly. I suspect that you have only read a few of our recent posts. There are 2 other existing blogs that you must pay attention to. Anyway you are here. Anyway you are engaging in a dialogue. Reading a few more posts will not do any great damage or good.

        The links are there right on right side under recommended posts.

        Also, I feel, you should not force yourself to make a call…”In” or “Out”. That is not necessary. If you are enjoying yourself great. But, do watch the life cycle of the devotee. An average devotee. See what happens to an average devotee after they have been in AOL for many years.

        You said the blog hurts innocent devotees. How many have complained to you ?. Common now….hard direct question ? Are you extending you own discomfort to the world ? Feel free to write back as if you are writing to yourself. In case you feel compromised and are unable to discuss openly, you may write to Obi or me by email.

        It is an extremely busy next 30 days for me. I am in and out. So responses from my side may be kind of slow.

    • freeOne permalink
      October 11, 2012 2:11 pm

      Dear AOL Teacher, Starting Klim’s blog go through everything, your head will clear up slowly and it takes time.

  11. rajee permalink
    October 10, 2012 7:32 pm

    What are these innocent devotees doing to others? Do you have any idea?
    My friend’s marital life is completely shattered because the husband an AOLite thinks that his guru has taken him to higher plane and every second of his life is guided and blessed because of SK. He is freed of all bad karma and toxicities. He is the purest soul just about to get moksha. With this misguidance, totally ignores family life, contributes nothing to the family either financially or emotionally. Looks down upon his wife because she does not believe in SK or Ravi shanker. Wife herself being in healing profession who struggles day and night to serve the sick, is battered by her husband who has contempt for medical profession because after all RS can heal and cure any disease!! Can the AOL teacher explain this. Who has given these devotees the right to torture their family or friends just because they are against this cult movement ??
    Why can’t the great and almighty RS visit all the hospitals and demonstrate his miraculous powers.

  12. AOL Teacher permalink
    October 11, 2012 2:41 am

    Dear Rajee, Bloggisatwa, Anonymous, Meditator, others….

    First to answer the direct question from B.

    I was pissed off with that question. How dare you asked me this. A voice popped into my head and asked. It’s just a simple question, why are you angry ?. Then I got it.

    I feel sheepish now….however, I need to admit —– It is only me that is deeply hurt. Even my wife does not know I am here. No one else has complained to me or told me. But I am assuming that everyone’s reaction will be the same. Let me not project. I guess, I can ONLY talk for myself. In fact that is all I want to do. I really cannot answer for any other devotee. Including, answer queries on behalf of an AOL teacher that does not care of his wife. (Ref – Rajee). Not meaning to be rude. I just cant.

    I said this above very easily…..but the realisation that I am walking this alone just dawned on me. I feel so scared.

    As far as reading all the other posts, I started to but I find it extremely difficult. Every new post I read puts increases the pain. So, I have to stop. I am not able to think of anything else. I am frozen. My world is breaking. So, that is why, instead of reading I decided to write here. I wish I could cry. But I am not able to do that either.

    Now its so much more scary, I am starting to distrust everything. Initially, when I looked at all your responses, it seemed to me that you were writing from your hearts. A few comments were pretty judgmental, but some of you like Anonymous took a lot of time to connect to me. That to me was very touching. But now, I am starting to see so many of you that just want me to quit AOL. Its not like you guys even have a parallel organisation, technically you don’t even exist. So, its just like me talking to myself. And, I am being asked to ditch my existing reality and go where ?????

    You keep saying that this blog exists to complete the AOL view. So, lets do that. there are other things I happen at AOL. Let me this in reference to some of your comments above.

    This is @ Rajee

    With this misguidance, totally ignores family life, contributes nothing to the family either financially or emotionally..

    Was he a perfect partner before AOL ? Maybe he is just looking for a reason to escape his responsibilities. He simply does not follow any of the primary principles of the part-1 course himself.

    I can only answer for myself. I am a better partner after AOL happened to my family. In all ways. So, we cannot generalise here based on a few isolated cases. AOL gave my family a reason to be integrated and have many common activities.

    This is @ Bloggosatwa

    The anxiety that really bothers me is the following. I have several 100s of students and followers in my city. If they read this blog and ask me questions, I have no answers for them. I go crazy thinking of this. Even if I read all your posts soon, It does not look like I am going to have any clear explanations. And it looks like I will need to go to Guruji for many of the answers.

    That is exactly a 180 degree shift to everything I have promised myself. I promised him that I will serve him for the rest of my life. Forget, promising him, this is what I promised myself. Now, I have to go and question the very soundness of my that “call”. Based on this (because I am the de facto leader in our family), the number of friends and relatives that have come in is not funny.

    If I cannot go through the Blog and answer these questions and be convinced. What about all of them, who just look up to me for answers and help when they are in trouble. What happens to all of them. What gives me the right to break their bubble ? Is that even an option ?

    Does this mean I was messed up when I chose Guruji as my master ???? I now myself. I am not messed up. I am pretty good guy. I truly wanted to serve the world. I enjoyed that. I was just a recluse, who never did any seva until AOL happened to me. Guruji showed me how to serve. he showed me the power of commitment. Of taking responsiblity for myself. So I too committed my energy and my life to service. Now, I have to break that ??? I wish I could say I am back to square one, except that it feels far worse.

    Its like showing this great promise adn dropping you like a rock. Why do things have to be so complicated ?

    @ Anonymous – I cannot relate the your statement

    “just that AOL makes you soo isolated from real world…giving you a perception that AOL is perfect that guruji is perfect that SK is the only way to enlightenment”

    What isolation ?
    Who said SK is the only way to enlightenment ?

    You said

    “there is tonnes of opportunity out here…in the real world our platform is our own self and we are not hung up to an image.”

    What image ? I am not connecting. Sorry….but please if would explain further.

    Platforms are important I feel. The AOL name opens doors. On my own, I would be a nothing. Makes life very difficult. Now, the moment I wrote this I realise that I probably stuck to the AOL calling card….Oh !!!!….maybe this is what you mean by image ? Please clarify.

    You asked “You also mentioned that you do not relate to people in AOL…so are you stuck?”

    Well, I cant related to those that have been in AOL for a long time. I can see that all the games that happen in the corporate world happens there. Back biting, show off, manipulation, untruths, predatory attitudes….all of that. But the new crowd I meet, they are just too good. That is where I have a really good time. It is their innocence that attracts me. And these days, AOL is indeed attracting more and more young people. If I can share my life with some of them, I am sure that I can help them in many many small ways.

    • Meditator permalink
      October 11, 2012 3:06 am

      AOL teacher – you appear to be a very good person from heart. No one can stop you or for that matter anyone from making the choices that you want. However, it’s always better to take an informed decision. SSRS is not the only spiritual master (if I may call him one). There are loads of ‘genuine’ masters, living as well as those who have dropped their bodies. They will not do things that boosts your ego and will never ever ask you for money to accept you as your disciple.

      It’s also wrong to assume that people writing or sharing their experiences on this blog are all non-spiritual. Most of us were a part of AOL once but have moved out because we felt that something was just not right in AOL. There is life beyond AOL – a much better life. I may not have the guru grace which so many AOLites claim but I always have the Divine grace shining on me. I would rather suffer and face the problems that life throws up at me than let it be taken away by the so called Guru grace.

      You may want to go through the teachings of Meher Baba and/or Paramhansa Yogananda. Whatever you decide – it’s your free will. I wish you all the best in your spiritual quest.

    • Anonymous permalink
      October 11, 2012 5:15 am

      Dear AOL teacher – this is Anonymous again!
      No parallel org. no agenda….I am writing cause I relate to you…I know how it feels to have your world shattered..! there is no need to loose hope….i cried a lot…it made me lighter..!

      “What isolation ? – just look within yourself… aren’t you isolated from the real world and feel you cannot relate? I was too at one point in time..i dint want to relate..cause I thought that the whole word should become like AOL..i need to propagate…that is the isolation created by physiological manipulation….it is a slow and gradual process that happens in the org.
      Who said SK is the only way to enlightenment ?” – there are many that say that in the org. – i am sure that many like you and even me when I was in the org. never said this or propagated this but if u look at AOL culture – this is propagated…if u observe u will know..

      What image ? – the image of the guru…u are soo in love with the image of the guru that is created by your own mind that you have stopped believing in yourself…u have stopped knowing who u really are…that is the image i am talking about (i know this cause I experienced this)…u have to snap the cord and let go…
      if u observe more deeply – the guru is as much as the student makes him…otherwise he is like u or me…! HHSSRS is a image that RS has gained from his devotees…its just a image nothing else…look beyond the viel of maya…! look at him without the image… recognize him for who he is truly…forget all the saving the world thinghy ..it is a false propaganda..! the world needs no saving…believe in mother nature and that she will take care of u and everyone..!
      “On my own, I would be a nothing” – Please do not do this to yourself dear…u know ur heart and strength…please recognize your own strength and rely on yourself ..
      ok think about this – you love your guru beyond anything and u think he gives u strength….where does this love come from? which place? its your own heart…u are strong because u have the ability to love – not because of anything the guru does (thats why we say in this blog that guru grace is hogwash)….grace is in u – pre-exisitng…!

      “Well, I cant related to those that have been in AOL for a long time. I can see that all the games that happen in the corporate world happens there. Back biting, show off, manipulation, untruths, predatory attitudes….all of that. But the new crowd I meet, they are just too good. That is where I have a really good time. It is their innocence that attracts me. And these days, AOL is indeed attracting more and more young people. If I can share my life with some of them, I am sure that I can help them in many many small ways.”
      So by this just understand that you are subscribing to create more people like the ones you cannot relate…u personally are creating such people and eventually u will be a AOL long timer without any way out..!!

      Many have decided not to do this anymore and gone past being a teacher….
      its up to you to read the rest of the blogs (i know it is hard)…..one thing for sure – u will see who RS really is if u read these blogs…!!

    • AOL Teacher permalink
      October 12, 2012 3:51 am

      I have come to some realisations and conclusions.

      I remember some 8 years ago, I needed a better explanation of the world. The whole materialistic pursuit bored and sickened me. AOL came as a gift at that time. I was very confused and unhappy (Grey) at that time. AOL bought it some clarity. Helped me redefine myself and move on with life.

      Over the years, the greyness has come back. Except that 80%+ of my world now is AOL. So a lot of my current Grey has to do with AOL.

      I needed a master because I needed clarity. Guruji’s teachings gave me that. I realise that I was also not an active reader and seeker of any type of LIFE knowledge from other sources. My primary source was and has been AOL. I started to read KLIM’s and Skywalkers blogs and am amazed at the number of references made by many many contributors to many other sources.

      I feel, I need to take my time and explore things. I will not be rushed….this I am clear. Thank you all for writing back to me with your hearts.

      I identified with may people in similar positions as I am now in, writing back. But, what shocked me is the comments from this devotee Harshal. That was very strange. I am also totally shocked by the email campaign about Klim. I thought that that may be a false idea. So, I actually called a friend in another country and she laughed at me. According to her the whole AOL world knew this. That email did come from Bangalore she said. Well, I did not. I only knew about the USA court case. So, it looks like I don’t even know my own organisation very well. I am very disturbed.

      I also now realising that perhaps many of my own students come to me because they need clarity. I enjoy and value their trust and that I have been able to contribute to them. I really have no options now. I am going to talk to my inner circle, our gang that invariably works together all the time, including my wife and my part-1 teacher. I am going to share with them that I am seeing and feeling, especially the greyness and that I need my space for a while. Today is the day. Right NOW is better than any other. I am going crazy. How am I going to share this with our kids ??. I will have to do it anyways. I need help…and real grace to help me through this.

      I am attempting to come to terms with what feels like a great great loss. My world is not going to be the same again. This is going to be a most difficult time.

      I am also a little alarmed. Deep within me….I am also sensing something…it wants to be free…its bursting out. I cant understand this.

      • Anonymous permalink
        October 12, 2012 1:48 pm

        God Bless You, your wife, your children. Fade away quietly, don’t announce anything. Be safe. Just get too busy. Direct your friends to the blogs and say “gee, I read this and it was disturbing”. Let them decide for yourselves. Take care of yourself. God will help you.

    • Anonymous permalink
      October 12, 2012 1:45 pm

      Dear AOL Teacher,

      I really feel so sorry for you, reading how you are in pain reading these posts, and on Klim’s blog and the other Beyond the Art of Living Blog. I went through the same thing when I realized I had to break away from SSRS and AOL. This was my place! I was also a teacher. But I was so disgusted by what I knew, saw, experienced, I had to leave him. That was the hardest part — admitting to myself that I had been wrong, that he was not my Guru, that he was not even a good person. It was clear in his actions (I was inner circle, like up close and personal on a daily basis) yet it took me some time to break from him. And when I did, he was cruel, horrible, unspeakably unkind, and that prompted other people to walk away, some quietly, some not so quietly. They saw him for what he was/is: a weak, small man with an agenda, and mostly concerned for his reputation and ‘career’. Really sad. I had believed him to be a great siddha yogi, and he turned out to be fallen.

      You said “I know some teachers who read the blog and went away. I see them every once in a while. They have lost all sense of direction. They are negative. They are physically not fit. (This is all compared to what they were when they were active in AOL). I don’t want to become like them.”

      My experience was the opposite: When I first left, I became extremely ill. But I prayed that whatever curse was on me should be forgiven, and not even be sent back to him who was sending it to me. I went to temples and cried my heart out. I prayed for him, I prayed for those I left behind in AOL, I prayed for myself. I quickly became well. I found a new direction which was superior to the stagnant one in AOL. Life is a challenge, and I began to meet that challenge on life’s terms, not insulated by some clique (AOL) or certain group of cult-friends (AOL). I never lost faith in God. My health, which had actually deteriorated quite a lot in AOL while teaching, improved quickly, and I became strong again and happy inside. It could be that I refused to lose faith in God. But I know that my life became much better than my life in Art of Living. Continuing to visit various saints and sadhus, I didn’t lose touch with spiritual life at all. Not getting involved with any other groups, I just absorb whatever I need, do some seva and leave, not joining anyone or anybody. Because I was not attached to teaching, and felt that it was just an ego boosting activity, I never missed it. If you are able to face the truth about Ravi Shankar and Art of Living, you will get your life back. You will not be some lost lamb. God is kind and good. There will always be various teachers doing various things. Some are good and excellent, some have good points and lots of bad points. Some are just fakes. Each of us has to decide for ourselves what is acceptable for us in order to accept someone as Guru and lead us to God. I personally could not accept Ravi Shankar’s methods and habits and problems. It became clear to me that I was not growing past a certain point and had stagnated. So I left. Whether or not you leave is up to you. But if you do, take my advice: Don’t announce it to anyone at all. Just become “too busy” with this or that. Be too involved with your family life to teach. Just fade away without fanfare. Because if you are close to him or his seniors, and you make an announcement, you are likely to fall sick and be talked about and defamed. Just quietly disappear from AOL while smiling. That’s my advice. Friends of mine who did that never got ‘the treatement’. They were never called names, called mentally ill, nothing. Sometimes, I heard he’d ask “whatever happened to so and so?” about them, and it was always ‘he/she is so busy with xyz, I’m sure they go to satsang now and again’…….

      • AOL Teacher permalink
        October 14, 2012 5:06 am

        Your advise made sense Anonymous.

        I decided to keep my exposure limited to my immediate world. I discussed openly the greyness with them. All their reactions totally surprised (shocked) me. I am still reeling.

        And to top that, Yesterdays post by Bloggisatwa about the Argentina TV exposure was even more of a nasty shock. I was already feeling down and I feel the whole world was now kicking me.

        Just last week, I sent an email to all my colleagues in the office about AOL’s success and recognition in Argentina. last night, once again, I found myself being pissed off with Bloggisatwa, a someone I don’t even know.

        Luckily I realised quickly, that he is just one of the watchers. Like the whole world is. Some people got caught with their pants down. I am one of them. There is no one to blame.

        The what happened in Argentina email (Awards, big courses, 150,000 meditation) was promoted by me willingly based on the ONLY information I had at that time. Now I am so so exposed. God !, there is no way I can come out of that hole. I really need a miracle to help me out on this one.

        I feel stupid, angry, lost, pretty confused and sad….all at once. For now, all I can think off is how am I going to take back my life.

        Thank you all for helping out. I am grateful. I am not sure if I will be back. In fact I am not sure about anything at this time. Will visit this place occasionally.

        I can’t remember feeling more miserable ever in my life.

      • bloggisatwa permalink
        October 14, 2012 5:12 am

        Dear AOL Teacher,

        First : I am truly sorry. I’d like to reach out to you. And I would like to help.

        What you are going through, many of us have gone through.

        Until you find yourself again, if you would like to talk, please email me at bloggisatwa@yahoo.com and I will write back. All that you write will be in the strictest of confidence unless you expressly make your wish for the information to be published.

        Time, genuine friends, the divine will come to your aid. Just stick with it. Go through the burning. Go back to the past. Question everything. Most of all your own personal motives at each of those times. Trust your own inner voice. Do not attempt to explain anything to anyone. The clarity will emerge. Take a break.

        You will come out a more beautiful you. This is exactly what a caterpillar goes through before becoming a butterfly.

        I wish you all the very best and a big electronic hug.

  13. rajee permalink
    October 11, 2012 9:06 am

    . `He simply does not follow any of the primary principles of the part-1 course himself’
    AOL teacher- can you please explain in detail the primary principles of the part-1 course as understood by you??

    • AOL Teacher permalink
      October 11, 2012 1:25 pm

      I hope you are not angry or upset. I did not mean what I said in any such way.

      From your description it was evident that

      1. Your friend’s husband is clearly not giving his best to his family.
      2. He is also not taking his family responsibility seriously.

      While it might seem that AOL is preventing him from giving his best…..it may not be so. He may have been a shirker for a long time.

      Someone close to him who he will listen to needs to nudge him in this. This is all I wanted to say Rajee. Perhaps that someone could even be you, if your existing friendship with the family allows you that comfort.

      I know one thing for sure from my own experience. There were times in the last years, when I wanted to become a full time teacher and I approached Guruji with the idea. He always only advised me that my immediate family came first and that I need to continue to do that.

      Given, that this is his stand with volunteers that have kids, I feel that your friends husband needs to look at his own motives a lot more closely…and that its not the AOL compulsions that keep him away.

      In all likelihood he does all his hanging out with other AOL people. He should change that and spend time with regular people as well. That helps with his balance. But it becomes difficult, if you are not strong in yourself. Again, somebody does need to talk to him. There is no point in reaching out to the rest of the world when we are unable to even be there for our families.

  14. Anoop permalink
    October 11, 2012 6:17 pm

    Dear AOL teacher,

    I think each post of these three blogs conveys different experiences and messages of different individuals. You may find more real-life stories shared in skywalker’s blog and klim ‘s blog also have lots of personal experiences. This blog has more of opinions.

    Atleast glance through some of these old posts:
    http://aolfree.wordpress.com/the-prosecutor/
    http://aolfree.wordpress.com/2010/10/02/the-purpose-of-these-blogs/

    I did art-of-living course part1 and was happy doing that. The thing I did not like was guru-stories and guru is supreme kind of talks. Rest I enjoyed.

    The things I did not like when I started reading about AOL ( after the course) is (1) past life regression course (2) blessings course. As per my belief or lack-of-belief that is fooling people. And I map AOL to Peter popoff or Benny Hinn kind of miracle healers.

    Recently in artoflivingsecrets and dinesh’s twitters we can find hidden hindu RSS agenda also ( its just my opinion).

    And sri sri ravishankar himself does pseudo science tricks with shakti drops…

    I admit AOL is grey and every one of us is grey. Sri sri ravishankar is also grey. That is only my point. I myself dont disagree on any of the good things he is doing or AOL is doing. I am just telling there are lots of grey……..!!!

    Regards,
    Anoop

    • Anoop permalink
      October 12, 2012 6:49 am

      is sri sri a saint ?

      In a message from Germany, Ravi Shankar said, “Baba will be born in Mandya after six years and he will come into public life when he turns 18 years old”

      http://www.deccanherald.com/content/156771/art-living-pays-homage-satya.html

      He and AOL are manipulating people by spreading about next life / past life / the babas and saints and BS stuff.

      AOL is manipulating weak and vulnerable people who are afraid of their present life by these kinds of BS. Quote some veda shlokas and talk some thing about next life and past life and talk terms like prana / kundalini etc etc …

      Ya agreed there are worst examples in christian and muslim world. But that doesnt make this correct.

      • Anoop permalink
        October 12, 2012 8:05 am

        other BS stuff:

        http://bawandinesh.name/a-time-to-go-inwards/

        And then there is a official art of living video telling about how Guruji’s miracle helped Dushyant from paralysis ( could not find that video now)

        You guys ( AOL teachers) are corrupting the youth by spreading all miracle and stupid astrological BS.

        Some swami says and you guys just repeat it and convince the mass.

        You guys are doing a great evil to the society. The only intention I can see here is make the mass slave of the great guruji. They have to turn to Guruji for all their sorrows and make them dependent on Guruji.

        And then do some marketing stuff by writing in some blog” Guruji doenst make followers, Guruji make leaders”.

        The anti-AOL people in this blog also may not agree with me on these comments.

        But this is my feeling about art-of-living.

  15. someone permalink
    October 12, 2012 9:56 am

    Blah blah blah blah and more blah blah.

    Innocent devotee? WTF do you mean by that? To be devotee does not mean leave your brains outside.
    heard of Swami Vivekananda? He debated, tested, argued disagreed for years before accepting Ramakrishna as his Guru. He observed his behaviour, gathered feedback before surrendering and even then he did not leave his critical thinking and reasoning outside.
    Anyone who wishes to hope for a quick shortcut miracle is better being with the hopes destroyed than living in a daysdream

    • wandering yogi permalink
      January 20, 2013 2:52 pm

      well said

  16. Anon permalink
    October 12, 2012 10:48 pm

    AoL teacher, I was also once in your shoes, trying to find anything to hang from and not hurt at the recognition of the deceit. I also justified the guu. He was right and compassionate. It was his people who were mean. And he made sure we all believed that, even if he was nasty right in my face. He is a saint. Well, he is not. He is corrupt, a fraud, a charlatan. I was surprised you took Rita’s reports as a form of revenge. You so badly need to defend him and believe, right? Well, unfortunately to you Rita’s reports were accurate. I was there and we keep seeing jokes about him. The general public sees the scam. See the links, the clips, those were not created by ex devotees seeking for revenge. You don’t understand Spanish? Well, read the article that was translated here, see the images. The story AOL is telling of their tour is quite different from the truth. A version that tells the level of madness. At the end, he only propagates lying because when someone is telling the truth, anything different from his version, the person is perceived as seeking for revenge or having some mental sickness.

    See this that came out not long ago. You won’t understand the content which is simply telling and funny, and quite accurate about his character, just see the scenes and if you still think people in Argentina think highly of him, dude, you need help. Maybe someone can translate it to put t up here in the blog. This is public tv, not Rita nor any former participant, and they tear him apart, it’s all about how he fools people and makes money.

    Good luck with finding peace cuz it’s about that.

    • bloggisatwa permalink
      October 13, 2012 3:06 am

      This channel on facebook has almost 2.4 Million Likes. YIKES

      Facebook Like

  17. jemma permalink
    October 15, 2012 12:05 pm

    to aol teacher
    i only ever watch the posts on ;here but i must say that on this site you are seeing true spirituality in practise. i see the other bloggers showing care and awareness of where you are but not attempting to force or influence you other than ask only that you seek the truth. You will get thru this time and the experience will help you to guide others so do not see the involvement with AOL as time which was wasted. To the rest of you guys I give my respect and heartfelt appreciation , your honesty, strength and self awareness is in itself the antidote to the negative actions of those who mislead and abuse others. Bless you. Keep spreading the truth.

  18. Anon permalink
    October 15, 2012 9:29 pm

    If aol teachings were so good, don’t you think it should not affect people who leave? On the contrary. Ask yourself why your friends who left seem confused and deteriorated. A good doctor leaves his patients well, they don’t make them dependent to the point that without him, they fall ill. Again, an incoherence in Ravi’s discourse. Why do people need to be with him if they want salvation and health? Why does he only “take care” of those who are with him, and to those who leave him, he defames and wishes ill? There is also something such as cult abuse and its symptons. Please read about it. You will relate. And then you will need to face the possibility aol is a sect. That hurts but it is a freeing wake up call. In Argentina, like Bloggi put it, he is part of the table conversation, but not praising him, it’s more about making fun of him, and mentiong his obvious fraudulent business, all the money he ran away with, the stupid things he says, cuz they sound very silly when you are not brainwashed, and how evidently gay he is. All the best.

  19. Blossom permalink
    October 20, 2012 1:38 am

    “Just become “too busy” with this or that. Be too involved with your family life to teach. Just fade away without fanfare.”

    This advice by anonymous is excellent! Just wanted to highlight it again.

    Do not expect your wife/inner circle to react how you did, it depends on their experience,involvement. It might become difficult to keep up the sadhana without the carrot of regular kriya to push you.But it was your own willpower which made you follow it and you can do the same with any other exercise routine to keep fit. Having some alternative stuff to do in your usual seva time also helps – maybe learning a new skill….. Your kids will thrive with the extra attention and the cause for it won’t matter. If people come to you with questions regarding life situations, problems….you can still helpout with your experience or knowledge. If they keep talking of guruji, ashram, seva…. go along for sometime and change the topic as soon as u can. As the superficial involvement with many reduces, the connection with the few near ones will deepen. Request for help directly from the higher power and you will no longer need grace to get through things. JGD is the most difficult to get out of, I still mutter it at times. Change its meaning in your mind as discussed in the earlier blog. Welcome back to real life…

  20. Sahil permalink
    November 26, 2012 8:15 am

    Firstly, the blog is welcome, if there is a genuine intention of forewarning devotees, teachers of any alleged wrongdoings in Art of Living.

    I do not understand 2 things…..

    1. Why are the writers of this blog so hell bent in debating and forcing their view of Art of Living on the readers.

    They have pointed out their experiences and their doubts and questions about AoL.
    Fair. If you have a good intention, why not just represent your point of view?
    What is the need of forcing your views?
    Readers, will decide for themselves.. They are intelligent beings, just as you are..

    2. If the bloggers are so concerned about people waking up to the ‘reality’ of Art of Living, it shall be very responsible of them to take further steps as to address these issues, particularly those of financial malpractices to appropriate authorities..

    This way, their message shall reach not only the small number of blog readers, but to millions of people world wide.

    I have been reading quite a few blogs.. Some dated as back as 2009.
    I am surprised that inspite of such serious allegations, such as Foreign Exchange manipulations etc. why no effort has been made by the bloggers to expose such a scam of such large magnitude.
    And why in 3 years time, no such news of financial misappropriations have come out in the media about Art of Living?

    Art of Living is so big that it bribes revenue departments in US, India, Germany, everywhere..?

    If you bloggers are serious and actually want to do public good, please dig the truth and expose the ‘scam’

    Let truth prevail…

    Waiting for a reply..

    • November 28, 2012 5:32 am

      I don’t subscribe to your theory that this blog is “forcing its views” on readers. Could you point out specific examples of where you think this blog is doing this?

      There needs to be blogs like this. Why? Because there is no other way to warn other people of the dangers of AOL. Yes, there are good things about the organization, but people should a right to see the darker side of the group. If you go to the Wikipedia article on the Art of Living, you will find no criticism at all – nothing. If anyone is trying to force their views on people, it is the people taking down any criticism of AOL on sites like Wikipedia. The people that tried to shut down the previous blog (and this one) are trying to force their views on people. People have a right to see both sides of the coin – even AOL teaches this point in its courses. Nothing is all good or all bad.

      You second question is an interesting one. I think that most people don’t want unnecessary drama in their life and want nothing to do with going to court, legal fees, etc. Most people would rather be doing better things with their time. Also, going to court is no guarantee that something will be exposed. Often times it’s the one with the bigger bank account that wins, and AOL certainly has a larger bank account than any of the people who have left the organization. There is no need to “prove” anything about AOL. The people who are being honest with themselves and listening to their own mind and heart will figure it out. Most people on these blogs are not out to destroy AOL – they just want to warn people about the potential dangerous consequences of being part of the organization. I certainly would not want someone to go through what I went through.

      I haven’t been here in months but I check once in a while just to make sure there’s still an honest voice out there to warn others about this cult. As others have said in the past, post-AOL life gets better the longer you have been away from the group. 🙂

    • Anonymous permalink
      November 28, 2012 6:01 pm

      It took a long time for the Revenue Service to investigate Baba Ram Das. But it happened. These things take time in India. Lots of time. And yes, bribery is a main part of the functioning of the society in India (if you are in India, please pardon, as you must be aware of all this). As to newspapers, when the editor of a newspaper is a devotee of a guru, do you really think they will badmouth that guru? But time will tell. Just as they only found out about Sai Baba after his death, finding gold bars stashed inside of the walls of his rooms (!), so they will eventually find out SSRS. If not in life, then when he dies. Nobody lives forever. As to why bloggers don’t get it all investigated? You have obviously not read all the posts from the previous blog, and Klim’s blog….there is real danger from these people — they attack you, defame you, tell lies about you, if you dare to say anything about SSRS, the group, anything about him. He will tell any lie to get attention off of the subject. That’s why nobody here has gone ‘public’. It’s unwise.

  21. Sahil permalink
    November 26, 2012 10:53 am

    The following has been my experience with Art of Living.. You may call it neutral or pro-AoL depending on your own perspective, but I feel everyone sees life from once own lenses, and each one is entitled to his/her own opinion :

    The positives :

    1. I feel Art of Living has benefited many many more people (probably millions) than it has disgruntled.

    For one, it is an organization which preaches positive principles and humanity. And it does seem to make majority of its followers more humane, sharing and compassionate..

    So, even if the organization exploits marketing methods befitting of commercial organizations to expand its influence, ultimately the message it spreads like that of unity, love, compassion, acceptance and harmony are beneficial for society.

    2. There might be a percentage of people in Art of Living believing in receiving benefits in afterlife etc., However, there is a strong number of people who have actually gained immensely in terms of improving health and mental conditions with AoL’s yoga, meditation, SK techniques.

    You may argue that their content is stolen and there is nothing new, I shall not approve or contest that, simply because ‘I do not know’, but I can say for sure that due to their strong marketing methods, they have reached millions of people globally, which no other organization offering the same or similar techniques have been able to reach.

    3. As far as my interaction with even senior teachers and swamis/rishis have been (and I have hosted a few swamis / rishis..), I have found them to be really simple, without vanity and really down-to-earth, without a big ego of ‘I know it all’. They preach only if asked to..

    4. Contrary to what is stated here, I have not found most people in Art of Living to be self righteous. I have found very natural people here, who accept the world and who are as much part of the world. I have sometimes felt that people outside of AoL have created impressions of Art of Living devotees being yogis and ‘not their types’.
    And I myself have had to make extra efforts to assure them that inspite of me being a devotee, I am very much one of them…

    The negatives :

    1. Sometimes, people take the God-like status of Guruji too seriously…
    Probably this hype is to blame for the majority of problems.. and not just with Him, but with most of the Gurus.
    I admit there is some delusion there and sometimes teachers help to create such delusion.
    But I feel, more than teachers, devotees themselves want to blindly worship a larger than life figure..

    However, Guruji himself says that each one is as much a God as Him
    And all of us have flaws, including Him.
    We all may be Gods or the Self, but all have human attributes, both good and bad.
    The Guru is accepting you as devotee with all your flaws
    Why cant we accept Gurus as human beings with flaws. Whats wrong with that?

    Flaws are part of Nature. Why do we imagine a perfect God, without flaws?

    The key is to identify Him as a guide in your spiritual journey.. After all, inspite of all the ‘wrong’ He did to you, He still introduced meditation and spiritual knowledge to most of you.
    For which, at one point, you were so grateful to Him..

    And even if you dont need Him anymore, its perfectly fine…
    Probably, people connecting to Art of Living now, need Him as a guide at this moment.

    2. Commercialization :

    I admit there is blatant commercialization in Art of Living..
    All programs are aggressively marketed.
    Volunteers are made to enrol people, in the name of staying in the path and spreading the knowledge..
    Free Human Labour is easily exploited.
    Initially volunteers do it as fun or challenge, but gradually it does become quite a pain and a moral obligation to recruit people.

    Spreading knowledge may be the highest form of service, but why is there so much pressure in meeting the targets?
    Volunteers should definitely go out and spread the word, and who so ever wants to attend it, should enrol. No coercion is necessary.

    Actually AoL relies more on people’s trust on the volunteer than on its own perception in the eyes of people.

    In this area, I feel Art of Living should be doing more to either promote more of its Seva projects, or to take up bigger and more number of Seva projects, so that brand equity of Art of Living can grow.

    As regards financial malpractices, I would advice outsiders looking in to see the organization without prejudice.
    Few individuals have raised allegations and suspicions..
    But, AoL is a thirty year old organization and there has been no proven case of financial mishandling against AoL, anywhere around the world..
    If people are raising accusations, they should go ahead, place the charges if courts and prove them.
    Else, the accusations run the danger of being seen as malicious propaganda..

    I think the rest is on the readers to decide, to what extent, if at all, they want to engage with Art of Living..

    For me, this blog has certainly reinforced my belief in catious approach

  22. Ann permalink
    May 11, 2013 11:37 am

    Hi All,

    Before coming to this blog, I had undergone the AOL yes plus course. At that time I didnt really care where the money which is being asked for donation is going or what ravi shankar is doing. All that mattered to me was the sudarshan kriya and a good time pass in the course. But as the time passed on, I started to look more into god and finding about him.

    I came across a video on youtube in which sri sri ravi shankar is pissed off at Dr Zakir Naik. But I couldnt find the actual debate between Zakir Naik & Ravi Shankar. Ravi Shankar who claims to have read the Vedas and hindu scriptures wrote a book, Similarities betwee Hinduism and Islam. To discuss the similarities, Dr Zakir Naik invited him over and told him the flaws in the book. And sri sri ravi shankar didnt have any straight answer to it. He had the same old lame answers like he doesnt know much about islam so if there are mistakes in the book, people should ignore it but people should see his intentions in which he has written the book.

    I couldnt find his debate on yourtube or anywhere on the internet. If ravi shankar was so cool about himself, why did he ask youtube to remove the video. Also in his yesplus course the teachers taught that whatever happens, happens for good. and if someone is not good, accept the people or circumstances the way they are, dont panic. But Sri Sri panicked himself and got his followers to get the videos removed from youtube. The question is, that Sri Sri doesnt implement his own words, then why do his teachers follow whatever he says.

    He can just confuse you people by using slokas in sanskrit or beating around the bush by giving round & round replies. Dr Zakir Naik is a student of comparative studies and he is a well researched guy. You can go to his gathering and ask him any question, you will get the straight answer. Whereas go to ravi shankar, his followers or volunteers, they have a simple funda. If you challenge them. they will smile at you but they wont give you any answer, because they dont have any answer to the query. But it is their tactics to simply make a mockery of the other person who is asking the question.

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  1. Summary of Criticisms Against Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Art of Living | Further Beyond the Art of Living

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