Guruphiliac: Sri Sri's Big Jubilee Blow Out

Friday, February 17, 2006

Sri Sri's Big Jubilee Blow Out

File under: The Siddhi of PR and Gurus Clockin' Dollars

We touch our head to the feet of the great Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The man is a public relations genius and a veritable god of self-promotion. Case in point: hundreds of thousands of people are invading Bangalore to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Sri Sri's Art of Living Foundation. It's putting Sri Sri over Ammachi, Sai Baba, Kalki Bhagavan and Swami Ramdev as India's most beloved guru.

As a service to our readers, we'd like to bring you the impressions of someone who was for a time close to Sri Sri:
Many people follow Ravi Shankar. They follow him blindly, knowing very little about him except the sometimes blissful feeling that can come in his presence. Where that comes from, who knows, and I frankly don't care. Once I privately questioned him how that feeling was any different from a drug, since it needed repeat contact over and over and over again with him. I told him that drugs do the same thing, often without doing nearly as much damage to one's life! (I had watched many successful people throw their careers away for him and become destitute, like drug addicts, and never gain anything except that poverty and lack of self-respect that comes from slavery to a "guru".) He was dumbfounded with my question. He sat helplessly and changed the subject. Questions like these often threw him.
Let's not forget about the time he failed to censure a genocidal politician using an excuse he forgot about when it came time to make another smart political move.

The magic of Sri Sri lies entirely with those people who believe in him. His seemingly many faults don't register because folks just don't want to see them. Instead, they want to see an omnipotent space daddy who can protect them and help them prosper. It's craven spiritual materialism. This is not so unusual any more in India with the advent of the tele-gurus like Sri Sri and Ramdev. They, the Babaster and the Kracki are dragging the whole of Hinduism away from self-realization and into income realization (to make for those generous donations.)

They do so by making themselves gods. It's such a clear ploy for name and fame, and yet nobody even blinks over it. The devotees want to ascribe their own altruistic feelings to these megagurus. It's what drives the whole enterprise. Throw around some platitudes about peace and oneness and watch those dollars clock.

Our hat is off to Sri Sri. He's managed to make a bit of yoga into a multinational corporation, with himself as the CEO. The man has ambition in gallons. We pray that it will one day translate into balls and a desire to live up to his image.


At 2/20/2006 9:19 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

I’ve read several things here about Sri Sri and understand why you don’t respect him but am wondering about the intensity of your feeling. Do you feel this strongly because he hurt your personally?

Having seen some photos of the guy, he looks like a true wimp.

At 3/03/2006 11:27 AM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

Did you live at the Bangalore ashram in 1995


At 3/16/2006 9:36 AM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

Also a big thing about criticism is that it does not give you anything

Except discrimination.

Go through the words of Swami Vivekananda. He was a consummate critic of many things social and spiritual. He knew the force for positive change that criticism can be.

At 8/28/2006 12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have spent some time on this blog, reading the various comments. I am not a follower of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar but I have done the Art of Living Basic Course. My opinion is accept the teachings and the techniques, because they are useful. Ok, you don't like the Guru. But studies show that your chances of paralysis after doing Sudarshan Kriya are zero. That's right, zero. There has been someone who has lived with HIV, and living a healthy life, thanks to doing SK, for 15 years. Actually, it could be worse. Thank God, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar isn't like Osho or the head of Aum Shinrikyo.

At 11/11/2006 2:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

people are so frustated, that they need to bring others down ,in order to feel that they r better off than others.Thats what most of these people who gossip about gurus are doing.
sri sri, is an embodiment of love, i was a very young naive person in 1993 when i first met him. his mere presence brought up many experiences in my life. i was afraid and bewildered at that moment, about what was happening to me due to my ignorance.I was before this person who all callled guruji, i was like a rebel,what guru,who guru,but at hte end of the course he had me bowled over without saying a word. slowly over the years after reading books ,and articles of different philosophies ,i found that the experiences i had were those that people long to have.earlier it was very hard for me to understand sri arvind or the geeta,almost impossibel,but sri sri has a very simple way of imparting the highest knowledgein a ligth manner that one can easily understand it. he has shown us a path where we stand a chance of liberation staying in this very world ,which many religions tell us to shun in order to be enlightened.By the grace of sri sri, and an open heart i am able to live life grace fully,with love and at peace in spite of the daily hurdles of life.I have seen people come out from depression and saved from attempts of sucide.
he doesnt want to promote himself, he wants the youth to awaken,
only those who want to get forward in life and have the willingness to move ahead can,those who want to find faults can find faults everywhere,there is no dearth of such minds.
i dont know what others found, but i have had a lot of glimpses of bliss .No ordinary person is capable of doing this.Poetry flows out in his presence. consiousness is elevated to higer levels.
and yes its not everyones cup to walk on the spiritual path, and it cannot be achieved in one life time. you may have to take several births.
have you ever wondered who you were, where you have come from , how many births have you taken before on this planet, ponder deep on these questions who am i , why am i here on this planet earth.
think a little, close your eyes relax and ponder on these questions.
to understand spirituality we have to expand our mind and consiousness.
which like any other thing takes years to cultivate.
but everyone wants instant gratification
take out a little time to nourish your souls, friends, wake up
a seeker
Baroda india

At 4/19/2008 12:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Instead of criticising and discussing which guru is doing what, let us spend our valuable time in following the teachings which help us handle our life better and enjoy it. The teachings may come from any guru it does not matter as long as you follow good teachings. Finally a guru is a medium to reach God he is not God Himself. Keep walking on the path of spirituality, you yourself can be your own sadguru.

At 4/19/2008 12:59 PM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

a guru is a medium to reach God he is not God Himself.

Tell that to Sri Sri, who through his organization encourages his devotees to consider him to be God Himself.

At 1/04/2010 9:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sri Sri have never encouraged any of his diciples to consider him as God...

Better ask yourself... What have I done for this Planet? What have I done for my country? What have I done to help others?... then have the guts to talk about spiritual leaders.


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