Monday, February 18, 2008

Art Of Living's Anti-Gp Propaganda

FIle under: Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

It's become a fairly common phenomenon to see Sri Sri shills and AoL operatives leaving comments on our own Sri Sri Ravi Shankar commentary insisting that we were once Kool-Aid drinking Art of Living cultees ourselves, but because we allegedly fell victim to some kind of self-generated moral lapse, we had to leave in disgrace, making this blog nothing more than our revenge on Sri Sri, his dupes and all other gurus as well, so deep must be our supposed shame and guilt.

While we can proudly say we've self-generated many moral lapses over our time on this planet, none of them had anything to do with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, his Art of Living cult, or any other spiritual org for that matter. While we've left a few orgs after becoming frustrated with the lack of critical perspective we observed, we are still on good terms with all those orgs which matter to us.

This blog is written to make clear two things: Anything you believe about realization is wrong, and holding on to beliefs about realization are preventing its own self-generated recognition in your life. Sri Sri or any other guru we target are objects which come to represent these ideas about enlightenment, all of them completely wrong, yet often employed as the primary sales device in the marketing of a guru. The fact that these ideas are enshrined in superstitious Hinduism surely isn't helping the cause.

Another important notion here is that realization doesn't make you anything other than what you are right now. All gurus are human, and unfortunately, some are downright bad humans. Spiritual attainment isn't the measure of the quality of a man, it's the structure of their personality. Many of the big-time gurus just happen to have narcissistic character disorders. This, along with a somewhat well-marketed meditation technique and a superficially taking up the cause of world peace, are the only reasons Sri Sri has got to be the world-famous famewhore that we see today. Presently, his face is plastered all over city transit buses in San Francisco. We cannot imagine that the beauty of one of the best places in North America has ever been more sullied.

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23 Comments:

At 2/18/2008 11:56 AM, Blogger gregory said...

he's ok.. lots of people need structure

 
At 2/18/2008 12:15 PM, Blogger jody said...

lots of people need structure

There are many better places to get your structure. He's ok only insofar as he makes as a good an ishta devata as any other inert object. As far as the fact that he's an inveterate famewhore? No, he is most definitely not ok.

 
At 2/18/2008 1:33 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

doing breathing exercises seems like a minimal amount of structure, just wanting to get and stay high is not structure, it's a mess. What else has he got?

 
At 2/18/2008 2:39 PM, Blogger Jonas said...

I must express my understanding of Jody's not being so happy with the silly and unargumented comments that try to make all Sri Sri's and Chotarishi's alike look like humans that are beyond criticism for the simple reason that they have shiny smiles or high pitched giggles.
And I also agree that you can't make their lies and egotism less problematic because they might coincidentally have had a good effect somwhere on somebody. The third reich-idea also gave structure to the germans and also made some of them very happy, that doesn't make it good or permissable.

 
At 2/18/2008 3:09 PM, Anonymous Nobody said...

Jody have you seen this? =)

http://specials.rediff.com/news/2008/feb/11guest.htm

 
At 2/18/2008 10:44 PM, Blogger DEEPAK KAMAT said...

Art of Living is good for the common man. There is a stage of evoution where you will have to leave everything including the Guru. That's it. However such a state cannot be forced.

The problem is that Jody does not about the dynamics of Hindu soceity as well as Hinduism.

 
At 2/19/2008 9:21 AM, Blogger Redactor said...

Right on! We all remain human here on earth. That's the miracle, in fact.
-Doug Millison

 
At 2/19/2008 10:08 AM, Blogger eka said...

How serious a yogi is Sri Sri Ravi Shankar?

The award from Guiness Book of Records for "Most people performing a mohiniyattam dance" a dance which should be performed solo, about says it all. It just seems to put things in perspective.

Perhaps it is time Mohini (Vishnu in disguise), along with Siva, once again [as they did in Darukavana] appeared to entice the pseudo-yogis and their mislead followers away from their foolish karma bound ways. B-)

 
At 2/19/2008 10:23 AM, Anonymous Betty said...

Deepak, I don't think Jody cares much about Hinduism or Hindu society. Most of us don't. We didn't come to an interest in or awareness of the Self through religion. The only value any religion has is to instruct in the dos and don'ts that preserve physical, mental and moral health. There is no truth or God in religion, just politics. In this regard, Hinduism is just as worthless as is Christianity and Islam. This is just my opinion.

 
At 2/19/2008 12:21 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Betty said...The only value any religion has is to instruct in the dos and don'ts...

..............

My dear friend Betty, I must disagree! Here in Dimne Box, the DB First Baptist is deep into preservin traditional Southern Soul Food with our monthly community feeds! No fast food allowed, just good old natural deep fried foods such as chicken and okra! I'm sure that other churches around the state of Texas are doin the same. Please, a little respect where it is do!

 
At 2/19/2008 12:36 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

The teachings of Hindu Origin have gone beyond cultural/religious concerns Gate Gate!!!! all cultures have these issues ,So what? By common man do you mean anyone willing to take second-hand predigested treacle as spirituality? that's not unique to hinduism.

 
At 2/21/2008 6:24 AM, Blogger semblance said...

Satsangs in India end with a grand deep fried food eating anyways.
Barring a few who send people back home for 'home food'the rest splurge away in the deep fry. People show more interest in the prasad than the actual stuff. I would say thats the best part of any satsang. I think I have gone for a couple of satsangs just for 'prasad'. But no chicken there...

 
At 2/21/2008 9:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you REALLY think an organization as BIG as ART OF LIVING will waste time and energy having an anti-Gp propaganda??!!
Come on, get real:-)))))))))))))

 
At 2/21/2008 10:09 AM, Anonymous Betty said...

Anonymous said...Come on, get real:-)))))))))))))

...............

In a cult like AOL and others, there is noone too small to crush if they are seen as against the big leader, sir.

 
At 2/21/2008 10:15 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Hey Semblance, my man. We are ever more seen as the same type of fellow, except for you are young enough and slim enough to live the dream with the beautiful girls who hang on you! Back to what is important---food!! I always used to go to the Houston Hare Krishna Temple for the food. It was well worth the sermon and the ear busting yodelling! Fried food and fundementalism seem to go together. Unlike the Baptists, the Krishnas at least got to wear those cool costumes. But at least I don't have to take off my Tony LLama's when I go to church. Even the women wear them to Dime Box First Baptist!

 
At 2/21/2008 10:39 AM, Blogger jody said...

Come on, get real

It doesn't require an institutional sanction. But clearly, the word among those AoL members who read this blog is that I'm a fallen comrade. This has turned up multiple times over multiple posts, leading me to believe that this particular falsehood has been spread within the confines of the org.

Bottom line: who cares? But it is an interesting phenomenon to observe in the context of Sri Sri's gurudom. All voices of dissent must be stamped-down in order for this false gurudom to perpetuate itself, and so to stamp-down my criticism, they've decided to make me one of their own, yet fallen and resentful now.

That all said, I would not be surprised in the least if higher-ups in the org were behind this. In fact, you could be one of them attempting to deflect the attention on your backhanded ways.

 
At 2/21/2008 9:03 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

About 2.4 million of those students turned up in August for the 25th anniversary of the Art of Living Foundation, the non-profit organisation Sri Sri began in 1981.
Event managers in Mumbai agree those are eye-popping numbers, especially considering the celebrations were held in a remote airfield outside Bangalore.

these are quotes from an article on the Rediff site called Marketing Lessons from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

2.4 mill people seems ridiculously high. but still,gives you an idea of the dough people like Sri Sri and Amma are pulling in. I have an acquaintance who sent home some pictures of mothers and children that Amma's money (that he raised) helped, and it was a couple of handfuls of rice on a banana leaf, and a very small group of women and kids. nothing compared to what she is raking in. As the rediff article says business people are very interested in this retail guru model because the consumer does all the work in creating awareness of the "Brand"
My knowledge and experience of the world has shown me that when you make this kind of money you can call yourself whatever you want. great humanitarian, international peacemaker, divine feminine, God , whatever. and do whatever, influence politics , buy votes, diddle whatever,have the incarnation of the Buddha of compassion kissing your ass,Hello Dalai!! it's all pretty interesting. hopefully the Dalai lama can weasel more out of him than the less influential.

http://www.rediff.com/money/2007/jan/02spec2.htm

Also that whole tone the AOL scrubbs have toward GP is just new age yoga mind F- ing. Namaste Kids!!!!!!

 
At 6/22/2009 3:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Jody for raising these issues. It is time more and more is unveiled about this great multi million dollar business in the name of spirituality and world peace (basically, the Nobel Peace Prize, fame and money, lots of). Neither the leader nor the teachers are walking the talk. The technique is fantastic only after a few courses or a few years. The more you get involved the more a mess it becomes. Teachers, the more senior and old timers they are, the more sick and stressed they are - both physically and mentally. SSRS himself is very sick and stressed.

For the ones who just enjoy the fad, the show, the cute seduction of the Guru, the courses, the popularity, it is simply a nice weekend retreat or a nice networking or a cool way to find a potential husband or wife who is also ¨spiritual¨, or a nice way to feel one belongs to something elevated. Someone is making fun, making use and manipulating our egos. Let´s face it. It is a lot of power struggle and ego delusion that goes on amongst the teachers who teach to accept people as they are, to drop the ego, to not see intentions, to live the present moment, what not. And SSRS is involved in all those games, not as lila, but because he creates conflicts and separation amongst people so that he remains solely with the power and control over each person. The movement that declares will bring peace to the world by eliminating stress, is stressed in doing so and has no peace in its own movement. Again, pl. do not confuse a weekly satsang where one only goes to breathe, sing, eat and socialize with what really goes on in the different chapters and movement as a whole.

I invite the ones who are enjoying the ride from the outside or not too inside, to please investigate further. For people like me, who was an insider and an active member for many years, I know the behind the scenes. It is not what it seems. Neither the numbers, the projects, the cause. Do not get lured or seduced by just words and a few pics or videos. Inquire more. This is all I dare say for my own protection since I have been threatened. But I cannot keep quiet either and let so many people be deceived and ruined, like I have and many others who also keep their mouth shut in fear of retaliation of the group.

Knowledge, techniques, true spiritual leaders are universal. God dwells inside. Find peace there, find wisdom there, find God there, find freedom there. We don´t need to belong to a circus nor a movement in order to be spiritual nor grow nor attain moksha. And certainly, a true Guru who will take you to enlightenment, is not obsessed with being famous and conquering the world, and definitely not making all that money. Not at all.

 
At 10/17/2010 7:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do Art of Living teachers shag around like rabbits? They are unfaithful in their marriages and take advantage of their students.

 
At 1/13/2011 5:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They use people in the name of SEVA. It is slavery in the 21st century in the name of Seva and spirituality.
People are convinced to ignore their families and instead work for the organization.
The working hours and living conditions are inhuman.
One feels guilty to leave. One is scared to be punished by the bigger forces for not following this cult. It is not easy for people who are involved and brain washed.

 
At 1/23/2011 10:00 AM, Anonymous AOl is good said...

please you guys..shut up stop criticising about my guruji....u know what he took my depression away...it was his shudarshan kriya..he is a very nice person...and i am always with him and will continue to spread his knowledge and you people cant supress something as good and as divine as him as long as millions of devotees like me are alive...and ofcourse the whole nature is with us..that is why AOL has made so much progress starting from zero..you people are ignorant..dont worry we will reach you too..guruji loves you...
Jai GurudeVa!!!

 
At 3/15/2011 12:21 AM, Blogger pks said...

Dear Friends,
As I have spared around an hour in observing critically the blog and all comments, I would like to share the truth as per my perception.First & Foremost a comment about my eligibility to do so.I was,am and will remain the student for TRUTH.
SRI SRI has the only intention to share the ETERNAL TRUTH with universal appeal.For those who gains even a glimpse for the same can only appreciate his efforts.With all possible limitations one may find as an insider or outsider in the AOL,It is worth tolerating due to the noblest cause it carries for the society, in general & specifically to the seeker of truth.
o.k. Thanx for patience reading & see you again.Bye

 
At 8/27/2011 9:30 AM, Blogger Garima Yadav said...

hi i would like to add that there is a difference between an individual headig an organisation and the members of its organisation... i too had my own shar eof problems with the art of livig functions.. the way many art of living teachers will force us to do something or perpetuate something which we ourself don't know well... but i found few who gave me the space to express my discontent with the working of the organisation...however after meeting guruji i realised this man is amazing.. it might appear funny n can be ignored or dismissed by many as a lie but since i was 12 yr old,,i wanted him to be my guru just didn't know the way n after 10 long years he became my guru.. i rememeber sri sri himself saying once: for an organisation to function we need atleast 12 ppl: 4 ache(good) 4 kache(who're not that strong)n 4 luchhe(no exact translation but it means those stupi sppl we all myt have met in art of living satsangs..desperate types)!!! he also said u have to move beyond these to reach guru n then move beyond guru too!!! he is never askig to worshio him or stick to him.. he is asking to move beyond him n his name n his words... meet him once personally.. to be a good critic one should read all the material n not just air their opinion based on popular perception...

 

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