Sunday, March 02, 2008

Ramdev And Sri Sri BFFs?

File under: The Siddhi of PR

From the inky dark of the internets bursts forth a strident defender of Hinduism with this shaft of light bearing on the socio-political standing of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and his new best bud, Swami Ramdev:
The 'category passes', that is, the more money you give, the more closer you would be to the action, is a very old practice. As old as humanity itself. In the context of Indian Yoga Gurus, this practice was revived in Yoga classes by Swami Ramdev, and [then] Sri Sri's organisation followed suit.

Both Ramdev and Sri Sri are Socio-Political Yoga Gurus who believe they are contributing to the building of the Indian Nation. Between both of them they now command the maximum following amongst Politicians, Indian Movie Stars, Industrialists, Media Journalists and Indian Sports Stars - more than any other Guru. This shared self-belief of Hindu Glory and the Rise of the Indian Nation is the basis of their camaraderie (Ramdev takes Sri Sri's advice on how to expand and run his 500 acre Patanjali Yogapeeth and Hospital in Haridwar, and both consult regularly on rallying the Hindu Saints on one platform on issues like Female Infanticide, Poverty, Farmer Suicides, Organic Farming, HIV/AIDS etc.) Both see themselves as inheritors of the Vedanta legacy of India and that they have been born on the planet to contribute to India's rise in stature and power.

To the westerners they may behave like Gurus or whatever but the analysis of the growth trends of their respective organisations and the strategy being adopted reveals the Hindu Pride and the politial element of their work.
We frequently come under fire for being anti-Hindu and ignoring the good that big-time gurus do in the world. Maybe we do sometimes, but only because the "good" they are doing comes at such a high cost. It's one thing to be a socio-political leader who campaigns for positive social reform, it's another to be called a God and have people expecting you to perform miracles. We realize this is a deeply Indian tradition, but that doesn't mean it's one a thinking person can't question.

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34 Comments:

At 3/02/2008 2:49 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

Jody said...
We realize this is a deeply Indian tradition, but that doesn't mean it's one a thinking person can't question.

I've heard from a big former devotee of (hugger) Ammachi... that her real goal is to use the money from rich Westerners to make things a little better for struggling Indians.

IF indeed it's true that this or that guru is giving a teaching that fundamentally Indian, that's very different from teaching for the good of humanity, or for all beings. If their intention is to increase the power and status etc of Indians in particular, then anyone else ought to be aware that the whole teaching and organization is at least subtly excluding them.

Sweet Jesus! If y'all want to help Indians, there are plenty of non-religious charitable organizations to contribute to. Why not just use those orgs to funnel your assets to India, and leave the middle-man guru out of it?

There's something so distasteful about presenting a meditation or inquiry practice in a way that favors some people over others. Man, it makes me want to vomit when I read about certain temples in India with a "Hindus only" policy. It's so small-minded to cling to such group-identity. I think that slowly and unsteadily, the world is moving away from nationalistic and "racial" divisions, and more towards a "for all beings" attitude.

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

 
At 3/03/2008 8:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frankly, I think it's about time for poor Indians to get what they need from rich Indians in India. There has always been wealth in India, It is simply that Indians don't share it outside their own families. The rich Indians are the ones who conspired with and benefited from the British. It is way past time for fundementalist Hindus to take care of their own. To think that Hinduism is a religion of "oneness and realization" is like saying that Christianity is a religion of compassion. A true Guru would run from these religious/political groups. A westerner will always be a second rate Hindu to them.

 
At 3/03/2008 9:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jody, you are a sinner to critize Guruji who is a God in human form. Unlike other Gurus, He has no scandal. He does not have sex with His devotees and neither does he drive Rolls. His image is squeky clean.

 
At 3/03/2008 9:49 AM, Blogger jody said...

Jody, you are a sinner to critize Guruji who is a God in human form.

I am a sinner for many reasons, but exposing these con men as nothing more than greedy fools is not one of them.

Unlike other Gurus, He has no scandal. He does not have sex with His devotees and neither does he drive Rolls. His image is squeky clean.

He just hasn't been caught yet. Plenty of commenters have exposed the ugly underpinnings of Sri Sri's org. One day it will all come out. It's just a matter of time.

 
At 3/03/2008 2:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He does not have sex with His devotees. His image is squeky clean.


May be that needs some manliness. He may be missing a lot of that !

 
At 3/03/2008 10:58 PM, Blogger gregory said...

i am changing my mind about ramdev, saw him on tv last night giving a talk, and he is degenerating fast, could not believe the change in his face and posture... waaayy too many hotel nights and restaurant meals, or just plain corrupt.

 
At 3/03/2008 11:10 PM, Blogger gregory said...

given what i know about indian "charitable" organizations (rajiv gandhi once said 15 paise reach the people out of every rupee given... he was optimistic) i would far rather give my money to amma

i have see how she uses it and far more than 15 percent gets to where it is intended. sure there will be a sign saying this was done by the math, but that is normal

scams are a way of life here, you would not believe the scale, but some good ones are here too, just very difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff

about the hindus only policy, you cannot believe how much the average white tourist pollutes the culture here, and keeping them out of a few temples is really wise, in my opinion, mosques too...

another thing to stuart, we all have conditioning, even saints, and the first rule in india is take care of your family... this ALL indian gurus do, second is the nation, third is the world.. they are merely following their training and cultural expectations..

to anonymous, every culture thinks it is the best, and all the rest are inferior... but you are right about the wealth of india... far richer than america in some ways, just not distributed...

 
At 3/04/2008 1:48 AM, Blogger DEEPAK KAMAT said...

Regarding sex, I have come to know that Nitin is exploiting women in the Ashram and he impregnated one woman, while the hallowed Guruji refused to listen to her.

Sri Sri is a fuck shit asshole who is playing Jekyll and Hyde. He is a saint during the day and a playboy during the night.

I heard a private conversation with Sri Sri. He said that he is very much concerned that Madame Sonia does not listen to him

Sri Sri has a big ego trip. He wants every politicians to fall at his feet.

He even tried to dictate terms to Narendra Modi, the BJP chief Minister. However, Modi proved smarter and Sri Sri had to cover up.

Hey Sri Sri. Grow up your Freudian complexes and focus on your breathing rather than politics.

FYI, even I believed the crap about your Kriya and did your basic course. You can't fool all the people all the time. Is it not?

I know the inner secrets. How he fools and emotionally blackmails disciples.

 
At 3/04/2008 2:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stuart said...
I've heard from a big former devotee of (hugger) Ammachi... that her real goal is to use the money from rich Westerners to make things a little better for struggling Indians.

-- even if im not a great fan ammachi, but i used to be reading your comments like your fan and thought you are somewhat
'enlightened' but you proved me wrong.

It is ridiculous that you tell ammachi and likes come for the $$$ only. A wannabe guru who like to feel some green perhaps think only about money. But ammachi must have gotten over with her money kicks long ago. Now it is the number game of how many being hugged perhaps.

I would not agree that ammachi is working for indians too. Except the big placards and banners on the roads, nobody has seen anything else as amma's contribution that influenced whole of india in such revolutionery manner.

She must be tripping on something totally different, for all we know, from all the speculations we could manage here.

She must have done something which benefitted her community people in kerala. But certainly nothing that 1.2 billion people to relish for a lifetime....

 
At 3/04/2008 8:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Deepak

Are you talking about Nitin Limaye? I was told that he is a very senior and well respected teacher and is happily married to a fellow teacher. Cannot imagine such rot from him.How do you know all these deep secrets? Just curious :-)

 
At 3/05/2008 3:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL at: "about the hindus only policy, you cannot believe how much the average white tourist pollutes the culture here, and keeping them out of a few temples is really wise, in my opinion, mosques too... "

written by 'gregory'

yeah, that and all the indians who couldn't care less about God, who go to do business with "their" God, and the "priests" in many of the "temples" who stand there chewing paan while chanting garbage like "Kanchan is standing here in front of you Ma, please bless her. She has given 5 rupees" I think before we worry about westerners polluting the temples, we first clean up the temples from the inside out. Many of the westerners I've seen wandering around the temples that would admit them know far more sanskrit (!) than even the priests at times. Yeah, it's true.

Excluding anyone from any religious place is simple racism. Nothing more.

 
At 3/06/2008 11:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Deepak Kamat, you are a rotten soul.Shows me your intelligence level, when you say Sri Sri tried to dictate terms to Modi! That he complaints that Sonia Madam does not pay any atention is certainly not "private conversation." Sri Sri openly talks about that. In fact, He turned down a meeting with Sonia Gandhi. And why spread gossip about Nitin? Who by the way is Rishi Nityapragya? Guruji would never give him the Rishi title if he was so fucked up. Rishi Nityapragya is also a complete star in L.A. His satsangs are magical. And you believe Guruji is Jekyll and Hyde-a playboy at night? Get your brains checked. Guruji sleeps for just 4 hours the rest of the time He uuses to spread His goodness and peace in the world. The Ashram is Heaven on Earth, with so much Divine Knowledge and deep meditation, the vibrations can be felt all over Bangalore. Soon it will be all over the world. You need to purify yourselk Kamat!!

 
At 3/07/2008 8:57 AM, Blogger gregory said...

anon, you should have seen your guruji sri sri on the telly last night, shivaratri, listening to the bhajans while the blessed were dancing, and he was throwing your basic beginner kundalini twitches and kriyas, as if in ecstasy, stopping whenever anybody walked up with a gift

the closeups were less than forgiving, should be careful of head shots when you want to market your guru

meanwhile, on another channel, the isha guru jaggi vasudev in coimbatore looked very natural, had a huge crowd, must have been in the tens of thousands, and a really great music lineup

jody, you ought to come to india, you would find a lot of people agreeing with you

 
At 3/07/2008 9:10 AM, Blogger jody said...

you would find a lot of people agreeing with you

Until one assassinated me.

 
At 3/07/2008 9:59 AM, Anonymous Betty said...

Anonymous said...
Deepak Kamat, you are a rotten soul.

I don't know the man so can't say if he is or is not a rotten soul. But some would say that when a disciple betrays and abandons his guru, as Sri Sri did and as Maharishi himself did, he can expect the same from his own

 
At 3/08/2008 3:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gregory, your views on Sri Sri are based on the live telecast of Shivratri. Have you even MET Guruji? Or are you simply basing your opinions on His television appearences? He is God in human form. It really angers me that without even meeting Guruji, people like you form opinions. Gossip should not be the basis to form opinions. And for your info, during Shivratri and even Navratri Guruji connects so deeply with the Divine energies. Normally, during Shivratri, He even breaks into the Tandava dance, because Shiva's energies completely overtake Him. He becomes Shiva. The crowds feel that energy so strongly that they go berserk. Same thing happens during Navratri-He connects so deeply with the Goddess energies. I have attended the Navratri poojas. The energy in the hall becomes so strong that many people cant handle it and some pass out and others have tears of joy streaming down from their eyes. He is the only Guru who has such a clean image. Spreading God vibrations in the world. All His teachers are really Angels doing the work of Guruji.

 
At 3/08/2008 8:33 AM, Blogger jody said...

He becomes Shiva.

No, you've become exactly the idiot Sri Sri likes you to be. The easier to take your money, don'cha know.

 
At 3/08/2008 12:39 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Anonymush,

I have encountered your Sri She on 3 occasions. The first was in the mid 70's when he was a butt swishin bramachari with Maharishi. Talk about a girly boy! But he was already tryin to boss his fellow brams around. The second time I met him was in an airport in the US of A. I was with a friend who happened to have plenty of money! Sri She looked through me like I was a wad of chewin gum somebody had stuck on a wall. At the same time he made goo goo eyes at my rich friend and asked him if there was anythang he could do for him! The third time I saw the boy, was at a meetin to which Mugharishi had sent his own girly boys to stand up and make a public statement that Sri She was misrepresentin hisself, that Mugharishi had never given him permission to teach, etc. Very embarassin! Afterwards I went up to ask the poor boy a question and he was almost in tears! I almost felt sorry for the little sawed off son of a gun!

 
At 3/09/2008 4:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jody ,

You just cannot talk sense to a whole lot of idiots called Indians out there. There is one Krishnapremi who is apotheosized by his devotees as Lord Krishna Himself. He has 8 wives; smears butter all over his body during some festivals and prances around with girls calling it 'RaasaLila'; holds aloft a cardboard calling it 'GovardhanaGiri' and of course gives voluble discourses.

His devotees are so ludicrously,abjectly stupid to call him Lord Krishna. The Real Krishna did not thumb through Srimad Bhagavatham/Mahabharatha to accomplish whatever He did. This KrisnaPremi is only acting out and this patently simple truth is missed by the brainwashed devotees.

 
At 3/11/2008 4:12 PM, Anonymous stillcrazy said...

*Hindus Only* ??!

What does it mean by being Hindu? Is it the skin color or the aspirations for enlightenment following the Vedic tradition?

 
At 3/11/2008 4:35 PM, Anonymous taodancing said...

Betty, so you would stay will *guru* after you discovered that he/she is an exploitative criminal scam who markets ordinary meditation or pranayam techniques as some secret at a outrages price.

TM, AoL & Sri Sri are all scams. Sai Baba is child molester, may be murderer as well (please watch the Secret Swami by BBC).

 
At 3/11/2008 5:09 PM, Anonymous Betty said...

taodancing, my point was that anonymous shouldn't get upset with deepak for criticizing Sri Sri, since Sri Sri has done similarly with Maharishi. I would agree that they are scams. I would not and did not stay with a Guru like Maharishi. Sri Sri never really appealed to me except as a way of playing with Jody a couple of years ago.

 
At 3/13/2008 2:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Betty, Deepak Kamat is not to Sri Sri what Sri Sri was to the Maharishi.Deepak Kamat is just spreading stories not supported by fact or truth, which is irresponsible of him.

 
At 3/13/2008 7:41 AM, Blogger Chris said...

Both Deepak and Anon need to lighten up. Sri Sri is no playboy, I know for sure, having been close to AOL for some time now.
About the God part only time will tell. IMHO, no way!

 
At 3/18/2008 9:36 AM, Anonymous Betty said...

Chris, you are likely no closer to Sri Sri than I was to Maharishi in the 16 + years I spent in the TM organization, as a meditator and teacher. ie, I didn't know the man from a hill of beans. I saw him from a distance sitting on his throne or passing by. I hid from the knowledge my own heart and mind revealed to me, that Maharishi was a self promoting sociopath who cared nothing for people. People were a means to an end. Use them up and throw them away. We have heard on this blog from one or more who have been very close to Sri Sri. The picture painted is not flattering. I'd suggest you listen...

 
At 4/04/2008 7:12 AM, Blogger DEEPAK KAMAT said...

I stand my statements. Sri Sri has double standards.

He wants to be the Jagadguru, while the plain fact is that he is not.

Rishi Nityapragya did impregnate one of his devotee? When it was brought to Sri Sri's attention, he just said that he had nothing to do with that.

That meant Sri Sri endorsed Nityapragya's sexy act? Is it not? He surely gives good head.

Besides Sri Sri is as much ignornat as the rest of us. I know it because he did not pass my Guru trip.

Regarding powers, I concede, he may have the power. However, he is not an enlightened person as made out to be? That is hoax.

 
At 8/27/2008 8:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jody,
Are you a Christian

 
At 8/27/2008 9:22 PM, Blogger jody said...

Are you a Christian

Most definitely not.

 
At 7/20/2009 12:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is Nitin, I came across this blog and found it appalling that people have been saying bad things about me or Guruji. I have not been doing any sex acts with any of the disciples, it is all hogwash. Anybody who spreads these rumors, I can only pray for them so they find some inner peace. Jai Guru Dev!

 
At 10/05/2009 10:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JGD RishiJi ,

"What has to be done here in the world has to be done by Wise men alone" - Yoga Vasishta
These people have formed concepts and opinions that have been derived from other peoples opinions or beliefs!.Rather than seek the truth themselves they cloud their minds with false propaganda. They have a right to be ignorant!

JGD.

 
At 11/10/2009 10:37 PM, Blogger IndiaSolicitor said...

hey all,
i think you all are crazy...lol. keep up the good work. i am very religious, absolutly believe in god, educated and a lawyer to many gurus (we create litigation strategies). Meeting many of them outside their environment and without their chelas, can honestly say they are more human (and more fallible) than we are.
at the risk of putting my bread n butter in jeopardy...absolutly love your blog

 
At 1/02/2010 7:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I met Sri Sri on five occasions. The first time was in 1995 in the house of a very rich multi-billionaire who had lost his son. I was one of the few people invited to this private event, and when Sri Sri spoke, I felt that the way he flapped his hands, the way his voice was high-pitched and feminine, the way he flashed his eyelids like a girl, pointed to the fact that he was gay and effeminate. Of course he may not have been a practising one, but nevertheless he seemed very girly. But the shocker was when the multi-billionaire met me for a few minutes after Sri Sri left. The multi-billionaire looked shaken with tears in his eyes. He then said that Sri Sri had informed him that his dead son was happy, in another plane, and he would be reborn soon, and that the multi-billionaire should not worry too much. I felt devastated that Sri Sri had used the vulnerablity of someone to spread such a poppy-cock story. Next I met him a few times in similar situations but did not have too much interaction. Later during one of his visits to my city, I met him with a few others and observed him casually asking one of the (influential) guests to send a letter to the Noble Committee in support of the Nobel peace prize for himself! A lot of stuff clicked for me then - this man was on an ego trip to get the Noble Prize and all his comical trips to war-infested areas were a few PR exercises to try and get himself a Nobel prize. Later when I attended a public programme (where everyone was charged an exorbitant rate to enter) I heard him say that people shouldn't drink fizzy drinks. I walked out into the foyeur and found some of his disciples serving coke to a few people. I have attended three or four of his lectures and he always says the same jokes every time. One of my friends who walked out of one lecture said he had felt conned paying for such an exorbitant ticket for such rubbish. His disciples of course consider him God-like. unfortunately, once you are brainwashed and become a cult-like follower, you cannot see faults and the truth. You can only believe in what the organisation tells you. So they can never see the real girly-feminine-commercial-PR machinery that he stands for.

 
At 1/12/2010 6:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did the AOL part 1 course a few years ago in the SF bay area. It was a fairly decent course, but was pretty expensive. Afterwards I used to be associated with the group for a while. I have attended a few lectures of SSR. Initially I used to like his speeches, but later all of them started sounding the same. There are some very smart guys in the group. However I think it is a glorified cult. I slowly dropped out from the group. The only advantage with being part of the AOL group is the amazing networking opportunity it gives, because a lot of folks in it are very accomplished individuals. They try very hard to recruit and to make people sign up for more and more courses - basic, advanced, teacher course, DSN .. and all these courses cost a shit load of money. I am east indian, and have been hearing about gurus my whole life. I havent met a real one yet. Based on my readings, Ramana Maharishi, and Swami Ramdas of Anandashram come close to real gurus. Everyone else has had a fair share of controversy. Its upto every individual to believe or not in gurus. However my sincere advice is to be very careful as there are many charlatans out there who are out to get your money.

 
At 5/31/2010 9:57 PM, Blogger Truth Seeker said...

Bhagwat Gia outlines the true nature of a true Guru. If we apply this rule none of the famous gurus come anywhere close to this ideal. A true saint is
1. above all dualities - money, success, pride, selfishness, rich , poor , race, religion , prestige, fame, mean nothing to him.
2. a true saint will never see sadness even in poverty. He will on the contrary shy away from he affluent and rich who are among the most superficial people.
3. He will dress in the scantiest clothes. He will delibrately not violate any of the moral and ethical restrictions. This trait is because the saint will not want to be a wrong influence on people.
If we look at these characteristics of a true saint- Sri sri does not fit in, because of his identity with money ,wealth and fame. Shankaracharyas of modern era do not fit in, because they align with sectarian principles and openly do not display the non dual nature of man, jesus of bible(I dont know about true jesus), mohammed etc also dont fit in because they have this sectarian outlook, kundalini swamis and some of the notorious sadhus practising tantric rites also dont fit in( because of open violation of moral principles), the iskcon and vaishnava gurus of modern times dont fit in because of sectarianism ,and the list goes on.

If we remove all such people in the list we are left with few. Possibly acceptable names include ramana maharishi(it is no suprise that my grandmother actually claimed to see a spark of light in the sky on the night/morning of ramana's death), ramakrishna paramahamsa( who was above all duality in religious approach, who was above caste, who was above rich and poor and avoided even the sight of money), possibly the famous avadhuta sadasiva brahmendra(we read his accounts but since he lived more than 150 years back his times are covered in mist but we have reasonable reasons to believe in the non dual nature of his life ), possibly shiridi sai baba( once again no sectarianism, no duality , no sense of identity to rich and poor, no stories of ethical violation either). These people were truly few and trail blazers . They are like beacon lights to people who still aspire spiritual standards in day to day people they hear about. They are not seen and known easily. Its true that such true gurus are indeed few because when paul brunton met paramacharya of kanchi he said there were only two competent people in India in those times itself who could teach him science of soul, ramana mahrishi and an unknown householder in benares. As far as even paramacharya of kanchi is concerned for all the genuine good he has done, I have my own reservations on his non dual character. Anyway the fact that even a respeccted saint like him could point to only a couple of advanced gurus in the early 19 hundreds means that true gurus remained rare. A fact to note even today. Cheers

 

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