Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sri Sri Bio Blasted

File under: Gurubusting, Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

India's Deccan Herald slams the new Sri Sri Ravi Shankar biography, written by some French guy who thinks he's a part of the Hinduvta:
The emergence of Ravi Shankar coincided with the unleashing of market forces in India in the early 90s. He came up with just the sort of mind candy that the obscenely acquisitive middle-class needed. If he was not there, they would have invented one.

Dispensers of chocolate sauce for the soul come in limousines; seated in throne-like chairs. Their patrons include the mall-crawlers and the well-heeled...

French journalist Francois Gautier tells the story of the smiling guru in hagiographic fashion. He provides interesting insight into Ravi Shankar’s transformation as a guru...

Gautier talks about the divine powers of Ravi Shankar, almost conferring godly status on him. Some of his devotees are even said to have experienced visions of Jesus Christ during Sudarshan Kriya.

The noted intellectual and humanist Richard Dawkins attributes such visions to hallucination or illusion.
The whole Sri Sri empire is built on a foundation of sand, the placebo effect. The same is true of just about any other spiritual empire built on a cribbed and overly-simplified spiritual practice. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is no more divine than Britney Spears, but at least with her you get a good show and something to talk about around the water cooler at work.

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34 Comments:

At 2/17/2008 9:23 AM, Blogger gregory said...

the cool thing about ravi's ashram in bangalore is that it is filled with upper and upper-middle class indians who would otherwise be knocking back scotch and chasing each other's wives, plus a few corporates, who got a hit of his stuff at some office-sponsored seminar. it is all bhajans and dancing and shiny eyes, not a bad way to spend the day. what else do you expect him to do, get a job? crikey....

 
At 2/17/2008 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hon, stop Sri Sri Ravi Shankar bashing. Just because you were ousted from the Art of Living for being a charlatan, does not mean the whole world is like you! People are totally onto you :))

 
At 2/17/2008 5:29 PM, Blogger jody said...

Hon, stop Sri Sri Ravi Shankar bashing.

Dear, pull your fat head out of your fat ass.

I have never had anything to do with Art of Living.

 
At 2/18/2008 1:08 AM, Blogger gregory said...

two mentions of him the the times of india today... one, a conference on buddhism and vedanta, with the mahbodhi society, and the second is about how in the next years, maybe something like 2009 to 2018 is going to be a big spiritual push in the world... and this i agree with, watching tiruvannamalai for the last few years, and all the ashrams and trusts and foundations coming there, buying land, building ashrams... it is amazing, and a bit disconcerting..

no matter how much skepticism and criticism may be given these gurus, they aren't going to stop

probablyu a good site in future would be one that separates the wheat from the chaff

 
At 2/18/2008 1:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you know the people are not fools to attend the programs of art of living. They have benefitted a lot from these courses and hence are flocking just to see a glimpse of him. It is highly impossible for any one to fool for around 25 years. Millions have beniffited across the globe by his breathing technique and i am one of them. People like sri sri ravishankar only can bring peace and smile on every face. That makes him highly popular guru of today's times. instead of critisizing a noble soul why not do some constructive work

 
At 2/18/2008 5:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never had anything to do with Art of Living.
--
why is that you get so touchy when people doubt your possible past connexion? why you get pissed off about it when you were 'not' really a member there?

 
At 2/18/2008 7:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"She She Rabid Skunknards..." it's all in the name...

AOL is just a girly panced version of TM, Hon.

 
At 2/18/2008 10:01 AM, Blogger jody said...

why you get pissed off about it when you were 'not' really a member there?

Because it's patently ridiculous, and an affront to my own spiritual history.

 
At 2/18/2008 1:24 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

probablyu a good site in future would be one that separates the wheat from the chaff,,,, Probablyu? who's that Prabupads little brother?

 
At 2/18/2008 10:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is highly impossible for any one to fool for around 25 years.


How tragic in being incorrect. It is not uncommon for members to remain brain washed in cults for 20 - 30 plus years. Plenty of history since these charlatans started landing on Western shores to prove this this is not unusual.

The problem being when they do start to wake up, hopefully they still have some job skills if they have emptied their bank accounts into the coffers of these cons. If not, living on public assistance at tax payers expense is also not an uncommon outcome for overworked to the point of being very sick, and financially drained former cult members.

 
At 2/19/2008 7:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those who are so terrified of Jody's little "bashing" of their dear Sri Sri -- please go to:

http://churumuri.wordpress.com/2008/02/01/the-the-great-great-sri-sri-ngo-ngo-scam-scam/

You'll find it's not just some people who have (or haven't, in Jody's case) been "ousted" from the Holy Movement of Sri Sri.....It's lots of folks who see through this crap and say so.

People will follow anything.

In America, they have a saying, "There's a sucker born every minute". it appears that many of you, hon, are suckers, or blind to what you are into.

to greg: LOL at your take on Ravi's ashram! What makes you think they are not chasing each other's wives right there at the ashram? In fact a lot of that goes on there, since their families get fed up with the brainwashing and tell many of them, in so many words, to get lost. The scotch part, well, haven't seen that (yet). Give time some time.

It's all pie in the sky foolishness, glazed eyes, robotic, empty looks from the long-timers. They no longer have any power of reason or intellectual ability.

Whatever else Ravi Shankar is, he is damned powerful to be able to wipe out the good minds of many of these qualified people who were previously useful contributors in the society. Now they are just robotic shells of people, stating the party line.

Hey, greg! Did you ever read about Hitler? His following was shiny eyed too, and very very happy to be involved in such a "wonderful" group of zombies. It's just another brand, that's all. So far, Ravi is not advocating violence. Let's also give time some time on that front.

 
At 2/25/2008 6:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The dogs bark as the caravan passes!

 
At 2/26/2008 6:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

marketing..marketing...banners in la on the main street!!!!
soft spoken
he was literally an errand boy for maharisi in the 1980s...
he went to swami laxmanjoo in kashmir..a friend remembers swamis veiled warning to sri sri

 
At 7/14/2008 4:07 AM, Anonymous Anti-Guru said...

Just because someone has a consistent following, one doesn't become right. BJP has had a consistent folloing; they are not Ram devotees (bhakt) as they claim but they have been successfully cheating the masses in the name of Maryada Purushottam Prabhu Shri Ram for about 3 decades.

Hitler was reigning the minds of Germans, civilized and educated lots, for 2 decades! Does that exonerate him of his sins?

Sri square Ravishankar has some evil inside that's why he is not consistently in spirituality alone.

 
At 12/19/2008 1:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First let me apologige for not reading the blogs and writing a comment.But I do know about this site and it is against about Sri Sri Ravishankar's work.

I have only one question?

How much is your awareness in spiritual path? May be in any religion.Have you reached to the highest?If so I will accept all your comments. Can you prove the existence of God?

If you do not know God then listen to Sri Sri and his words.

Do not please pass comments as you like? This is equivalent to a cowardish act which we are seeing all over the world.

You can not understand what Sri Sri is teaching but there are many like me who understands his language.

Sorry I do not understand your filthy language .

There may be meaning in it too. I have to find from my dearest Guruji why some can not recognize you and accept you and your knowledge.

 
At 3/03/2009 6:30 PM, Anonymous Kiran Kumar said...

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is an extremely talented human being. Respect him for that, even if you are not into spirituality. See him playing Veen instrument http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEh2IUGFRZ8 . BY the way, personal experience is nothing compared to what you read in the blogs. My respect for him, does not sway on the basis of your unfounded allegations. All the links posted in this blog are allegations. I have done Art of living course, i can testify to the amazing experience. God is not understand by reading books alone, or by intellectual discussion. Art of Living opens your heart to new realms. To err is human, Art of Living has its short comings, just like you do.

 
At 8/12/2009 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Sri Sri had stuck to spirituality alone, I would not have had a problem. The problem is the accompanying self promotion and cult worship that happens in AOL and the advice he gives on "other aspects" of life.
Attributing Sudarshan Kriya as his "discovery" and not acknowledging its history and past proponents is unfair to say the least.

 
At 11/13/2009 6:51 AM, Blogger vedang said...

You all people blogging need to know that it is not easy to take vedic trends and make a new package.Sudarshan Kriya is really found by him see if 5 out of 100 are not believing with that he has found it by himdelf then we are not telling taht do not believe please see how beautiful it is.If it was easy to make the old techniques one's own and then sell it then atleast 10000 gurus would be standing here in India itself but it is not like that.It is not that easy to do thinks as it is to speak of them.Jai Gurudev

 
At 12/25/2009 2:28 AM, Blogger neha said...

I have my sympathies with those who ridicule him.

we get our mind peace from him benefit from him you guys dont :P

enjoy the depriviation He He

 
At 12/25/2009 6:37 AM, Anonymous Neha Bhagat said...

you are talking here about a human being , who has people following him in 140 countries .
YOU are talking about a person who has been nominated for nobel peace prize ...

So better curb your tongue .

whatever he is.... is better than you ,, tell me recall the last time when you ever did something for otherrs,,,,

ok forget others i ask how responsible a person are you for yourself ??
he is a man who has made numerous humans to stand on their own ...

so better become capable as him and then ...
Only those who live and exist as mere humans can bring such spite against a human like him.
FAKE or GEnuine ... HE is HELping Millions

 
At 12/30/2009 1:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think Sri Sri Ravishankar should be criticised. Infact he should be appreciated for his shrewdness and ability to understand how to fool millions of vulnerable minds. Kudos for his business acumen.

Neha: I dont want to know what you have acheived from AOL course, but my personal experience is all this course has done is destroyed the peace of many families.

 
At 1/25/2010 10:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, some brains definitely need some good washing. It has been accumulated with filth and dirt for aeons.
To talk about someone, you need to know them very well. To talk about someone who has brought a smile into millions of people, you should have brought a cheer to atleast one person.
By these indecent comments about His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, no one has proved anything to anyone ......they just dumped some dirt out of themselves ...long stored.

 
At 2/17/2010 11:02 AM, Blogger EzySpace said...

Hey Guys, Look at our track record of recognising Gurus..we have crucufied Jesus, burnt Joan of Arc at the stakes... the list goes on. And in the mean time we have killed millions, oppressed a few billions of people, and now we are about to wipe ourselves off the face of the earth ! Great going shouldn't we say ??? Then who are the charlatans ?? Who are the real terrorists ?? Let's look at ourselves & ask aren't we in any way responsible for the child dying of hunger, for people dying from the lack of simple basic medicines ?? This is the beginning of love, of compassion, which is the only doorway to spirituality... to understanding any one. Sri Sri has brought these simple things to millions world over in a way a few of us can ever emulate. Finally, all work done in love is never personal, it's the way of the clouds, the very fabric of our society, our universe. Like Sri Sri says, only when the path has taken us home, do we recognise the master, rest is mere assumption.

 
At 2/17/2010 11:15 AM, Blogger jody radzik said...

Like Sri Sri says, only when the path has taken us home, do we recognise the master

Perfect cover story for an inveterate fraud.

 
At 3/29/2010 2:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi

Sri Sri is just a ordinary Human Being with extra-ordinary business accumen.

This Art of living doesnt come free, they charge for there Basic and advance course. They claim that the funds collected is used for doing service to mankind, peace etc etc.....but nothing is accounted for.

This so called sudharshan kriya is nothing but breathing properly,which you and me can do daily, for that we dont need AOL.

Apart from that lot of people rever him next to God or more than God, which i personaly feel is not right.

Last but not the least, i feel in the name of AOL lot of people is taken for a ride & its a place where one can devolop good contacts.

 
At 4/29/2010 11:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

AOL - Art of looting people, commercial organization where nothing comes free, including satsang, various course for all ages, if AOL cares for human being why they are not giving free to people?? differnet pricing model based on location and country, no service tax payment, tax payment, no accounts, no details of trustee, AOL has very good model like AMWAY teacher will be given 40to 50 % of total sum to bring candidates and praise Sri sri and give false information about chamtkar of sri sri. Ravi shankar is not interested in anything else except money money and money, his ashram also give royal treatements to foreigners, beware ravan is also came as sadhu to pick sita. innocent people think twice before joining AOL and join only if get answer about accounts, trustee, organsation structure, management information, guru should be transperant, even ram gavt agni pariksha. I bet you people if any one plesae give me accounts of AOL, trustee appointment, orgainsation structures, income return of AOL and amounts spent on guruji luxurious travelling. If he is god than why all infulential people of the world like sonia, obama, tata, birlas are not his follower, all big people knows inside of AOL and sri sri.
I hope you all are awaken now

 
At 5/26/2010 4:56 AM, Blogger Dave Ray said...

I really enjoyed this blog. The devotees sound so stupid being defensive and self-righteous. And the anti-Sri Sri ians sound like morons attacking Sri Sri for things like shrewdness and supposed sexual promiscuity of his followers. Now I get a chance to sound like a dolt-It's all a big sham. Wake up! I actually enjoy the breathing-sudarshan kriya a lot (it's helped my health-I had serious acid reflux syndrome before it). And I'm very concerned about the culty nature which has consumed the spirit of Universal Love (at least in the San Jose area)in AOL. Puritanical robot-like hipocrites "run" things. Nevertheless, I get a lot out of satsangs (and they are free for whoever suggested they're not). And I haven't poured my money into their coffers(even after being involved for 15 years). There are a lot of morons in AOL though. I think whoever goes into their "spiritual (whatever the heck that really is) path with unrealistic expectations for their "guru" is destined for disappointment. I'm no exception.

 
At 5/26/2010 5:00 AM, Blogger Dave Ray said...

By the way, who gives a shit if Sri Sri's ashram is full of middle and upper class Indians? I was expecting some harsher criticism of AOL on this website. It's actually given me hope in AOL (except for the anonomous coward accusing one of Sri Sri's critiques of being a charlatan and saying "people are totally on to you".. cook! You're the type of person that makes AOL fucked up.

 
At 7/03/2010 5:54 PM, Blogger CURIOUS said...

I am just curious to know if Shri Shri Ravi Shankar ji dyes his hairs/beard. If yes with what purpose ?

 
At 10/08/2010 1:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am laughing out loud at Curious's comment. Seriously, after reading this I feel that the rays of hope in the world or in spirituality have been so much dimmed. We can criticize him and other gurus too but do we have hope in our world? we criticize people and their motives, we get tired of the world and its idiosyncrasies, that is why we run to spirituality. Like any discipline, a teacher is needed to impart knowledge or lead you somewhere. But if any teacher or knowledge numbs your inner voice then it is not good. I feel lost. (contd.)

 
At 10/08/2010 1:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(partII) I have been with art of living for 8 years, spending a lot of money and time on it. Sometimes I do feel like stepford's wives, the perfect ones with plastic smiles, whose souls have been robbed by one person and caged. I feel so because I have changed so much in course of these years. I got a lot of help from their courses. It well suited me, answered my spiritual queries too but yeah marketing, advertising and money are the things that even I cannot understand and obvious morons in the family that have graduated as young teachers. But then I think, I do not know the whole picture to be able to decide or judge them. Actually, I feel this organization has created a good platform to do something and no one is robbing anyone here. If you do not feel like, do not follow them. They do not insist or pressurize as far as I know. I was planning to become a teacher, but all these concerns and doubts have kept me from it. No matter who is my guru and what teachings I receive, I feel it is very important to be able to have complete faith in either your master or his technique. These courses might have saved me and many people from trips to the psychologists, mental hospitals or even suicide. I ask myself- why do we look for something outside, if we have everything inside? I know that courses, guru and knowledge help you to some extent, but there is no miracle. Without your own effort, even Guru fails, the courses fail. No matter how much money or time you invest, one must learn to listen to their inner guide and voice for discretion and wisdom and take from others (includes Guru, people and the world) only what you can digest. Sometimes people expect miracles or blindly follow someone, leave everything, decide in haste and then repent at leisure for following a Guru. Such people try to give a bad name to many Gurus. See Guru is on the earth for other people. We are as oblivious about him as we are about ourselves. Rather than trying to know or understand others (including your Guru), dive deep to find yourself and one conclusion I have come up with is that there is so much diversity in the manifested universe that almost anyone can be proven God or Devil at the same time. Peace to everyone here. Hope clarity comes in future.

 
At 3/20/2011 2:35 PM, Blogger YOGA IN BUSINESS said...

This is a very correct comment. I totally agree & thank you ;)

 
At 8/05/2011 7:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maharshi told that ravishankar is ..."A SUGAR COATED POISON"...Is it True..!

 
At 9/29/2011 2:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have been art of living for 8 years...

this is the most unbiased comment so far. listen to your inner voice, its intuitive, natural. I have benefited from AOLs courses but i am not stuck there. AOL is just like a bus which takes you on. get down when you feel uncomfortable, dont waste energy blaming the driver, scrutinizing bus condition,say thanks for the services and move on.

 

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