Sri Sri's Shameless Flimflamming
File under: Satscams and The Siddhi of PR
How does an inveterately preening pretty-boy fame-whore get people to believe he is a divine guru? Simply make up some bullshit like this and start getting your "guru" on:
In my experience, the stories really came up in the first phase of the teacher training course (TTC1), which is an indoctrination intensive. Let's see. There was the one told by one of the seniormost teachers and devotees in the US about the space ship that landed at the outskirts of the Bangalore ashram when he and others were staying there for an extended period of time. The visitors had come to see SSRS, of course. More detail wasn't available. Yet another time, they observed him talking in some unknown language looking up in the air. Upon inquiry, SSRS explained that Vasistha had had his ashram at the same location many years ago and that people in those days were much taller, hence his looking up. The devotees asked what instructions had Vasistha brought and the reply was that SSRS wasn't taking instruction from anyone.Absolute. Complete. Total. Horseshit. This is exactly how a guru flimflammer works. Welcome to the criminal enterprise known as the Art of Living, with its mastermind con man and charlatan, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
Another story, from the same person, was about how SSRS, through a nonchalant-looking gesture of his hand sent a ball of blue light up the nostrils of a kid, whose mother had brought him to a meeting with SSRS in the US early on (late 80s or early 90s) and who had been looking quite disturbed and inadequate. This teacher asked SSRS about it and he replied "Oh, you have seen my magic?" and then explained that the child had time moving backwards in his perception, which he fixed.
Another senior devotee and teacher tells the story of an event which finally convinced her of SSRS's divinity, where a large aggitated male charged SSRS, shouting "Satan! Satan!" in a church in DC, where SSRS was giving a talk. At the last moment, as he was towering over the totally unperturbed SSRS, the man fell down at the guru's feet and started crying.
Then there's the story told by one of the swamis, who was a skeptic when he met SSRS, but a hug sent him into another dimension of consciousness, after which he became a follower. Another story by the same swami has SSRS insistently asking him to not leave the place wherever they were staying that night (I think it was in Delhi). The still immature in his faith in the master swami did not comply and left in a car with other devotees. The next morning, SSRS showed him a newspaper with a story of a car accident the previous night in which a bunch of young people the swami's age had died. SSRS said it should have been the swami, had it not been for a intervention by SSRS. The swami is greatful to SSRS for saving his life (and apparently sending the victims to their doom). In yet another story by the swami, SSRS revealed to him that he was the one who did not go into fight in the Mahabharata as the Lord (SSRS) wanted to preserve him and arranged things so (this was a little vague). The swami had forgotten this, but SSRS remembered.
Another story has SSRS's body go lifeless and droop in a car seat causing distress in the teacher driving him to the venue of a course. He came into the body for a few moments to calm her down and then went out again. Later, at the course venue, she spoke to a participant who assured her that SSRS had been at the course venue all the time that she had been driving him there.
Last year, when he came to the US after visiting Mongolia (where they claim about half of the population has taken AoL courses), stories were told of two paralized ladies getting up from their wheelchairs healed.