Guruphiliac: Sri Sri's Inflation Unabated

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Sri Sri's Inflation Unabated

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

Still flush with the success of his Art of Living's "Silver Jubilee," Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is gellin'... and once again there are reports his of Nobel Peace Prize nom. We reported a few months back that he got some U.S. congressman with a lot of Indian folks in his district to do the favor of the nomination.

And just like before, Sri Sri is up against the likes of U2's Bono and LiveAid's Bob Geldolf–and all by being the little yogi who could. He took a few common breathing exercises and turned them into a multinational yoga concern and massive non-governmental agency [read: grant vacuum.]

Because Sri Sri plays the charity game as well as any other guru, he's got the public eating out of his hand. All the popularity of an Ammachi with none of the back breaking hugging. Nonetheless, that popularity is still translating into stacking cheese in a bank vault.

Welcome to the Sri Sri Nobel Peace Watch of 2006. Due to the his tireless self-promotion, we're sure to have plenty to discuss and analyze as the AoL PR juggernaut goes into "look at our living saint" mode. Expect grandstanding at places of political strife and wherever disaster strikes.

The needs of people to have an omnipotent space daddy in command of their lives assures Sri Sri's continued success. That is... until he gets caught not being able to keep it in his pants. That's certainly not the only way he might fall, but statistically it's the most likely.


At 2/27/2006 7:37 PM, Blogger Videos by Professor Howdy said...

We work like a horse.
We eat like a pig.
We like to play chicken.
You can get someone's goat.
We can be as slippery as a snake.
We get dog tired.
We can be as quiet as a mouse.
We can be as quick as a cat.
Some of us are as strong as an ox.
People try to buffalo others.
Some are as ugly as a toad.
We can be as gentle as a lamb.
Sometimes we are as happy as a lark.
Some of us drink like a fish.
We can be as proud as a peacock.
A few of us are as hairy as a gorilla.
You can get a frog in your throat.
We can be a lone wolf.
But I'm having a whale of a time!

You have a riveting web log
and undoubtedly must have
atypical & quiescent potential
for your intended readership.
May I suggest that you do
everything in your power to
honor your encyclopedic/omniscient
Designer/Architect as well
as your revering audience.
As soon as we acknowledge
this Supreme Designer/Architect,
Who has erected the beauteous
fabric of the universe, our minds
must necessarily be ravished with
wonder at this infinate goodness,
wisdom and power.

Please remember to never
restrict anyone's opportunities
for ascertaining uninterrupted
existence for their quintessence.

There is a time for everything,
a season for every activity
under heaven. A time to be
born and a time to die. A
time to plant and a time to
harvest. A time to kill and
a time to heal. A time to
tear down and a time to
rebuild. A time to cry and
a time to laugh. A time to
grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones
and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a
time to turn away. A time to
search and a time to lose.
A time to keep and a time to
throw away. A time to tear
and a time to mend. A time
to be quiet and a time to
speak up. A time to love
and a time to hate. A time
for war and a time for peace.

Best wishes for continued ascendancy,
Dr. Howdy

P.S. One thing of which I am sure is
that the common culture of my youth
is gone for good. It was hollowed out
by the rise of ethnic "identity politics,"
then splintered beyond hope of repair
by the emergence of the web-based
technologies that so maximized and
facilitated cultural choice as to make
the broad-based offerings of the old
mass media look bland and unchallenging
by comparison."

At 2/28/2006 6:55 AM, Blogger ontheotherhand said...

Yes, Jody,

And his "inflation" as you put it will continue in this way until his inevitable downfall. People who lie to others and hurt others always fall. Gandhi said that Truth and Love always win in the end, and I believe him. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's ascent will last only so long, then he will be exposed for what he is.

In the meantime, one can hope that his game doesn't injure too many people, and that at least some people get some relief from "his" teachings, which are basic and good. I put "his" in quotes because the teachings are general and can be had from a number of places in India, yet he has copyrighted some of them. You cannot put a patent on Knowledge.

Whenever I see crowds following him, and him laughing and smiling as if he wouldn't hurt a fly, and I become uneasy (understatement) knowing what I know about him, I simply remember Gandhi's words and rest. If Sri Sri has somehow changed, lost his fear of being discovered, and stopped being cruel to those he is frightened by, thereby becoming the loving being he claims to be, then great. I somehow doubt it. Greedy, fearful people like him rarely change. They just continue on their path of praising themselves, and brutally slandering those who disagree with them. How such an angry, abusive and mean-spirited man could ever be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize is astounding! But then, Mohanmar Quadafi (sp?) and Yassar Arafat were actually awarded this prize, so perhaps it has lost it's relevance.

At 2/28/2006 8:03 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

What the hell you sayin', thought and humor? I cain't understand word one of what u say. Could u repeat that, please?

At 2/28/2006 8:13 AM, Blogger falseguru said...

Dear OTOH,

Some of what you said about SS being fearful, hurtful, ect. goes beyond what I know about him. You have spoken mostly in general terms about him. Could you be more specific. When SS was young, I used to see him at TM courses. He seemed like a spoiled kid, happy with himself. Maharishi, in the decades since I escaped, seems more and more to be a kind of sociopath, without common compassion for individual humans, just focussed on his mission. Tell us a few of the experiences you had with SS that confirm your feelings about him.

At 3/01/2006 10:02 AM, Blogger sheila said...

This is so unfair to Sri Ravi Shankar. I have taken his courses and been helped in my life. I know people who have been close to him, maybe even closer than you claim to have been. They say that what you're telling are just lies. Sorry, I don't believe what any of you are saying. Please be respectful to a living Saint. This is very rare chance to grow spiritually. Don't waste this chance. Thank you.

At 3/01/2006 11:28 AM, Blogger dontbullme said...

"They say that what you're telling are just lies."

Shiela is a typical example of people who fall for psuedo spiritual gurus like Sri Sri. This is the attitude which takes them to gurus. Go on Sheila..good luck..

BTW..have you heard of Sai Baba....he can even do magics....give it a shot...

At 3/01/2006 11:47 AM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

This is so unfair to Sri Ravi Shankar... They say that what you're telling are just lies.

Of course they are. Every successful public figure has a squad of PR spinsters to counteract the less than flattering truths that leak out.

Please be respectful to a living Saint.

Sri Sri is no more a living saint than my dog. He is a successful public figure, more akin to a politician or an industrialist rather than any kind of "saint."

At 3/01/2006 1:01 PM, Blogger ontheotherhand said...


I'm sorry you are hurt by these statements I have made. They are not lies. If the people you know who are so close to him are telling you the truth, they have lived with him in the company of no more than 2-3 other people for at least 3 months at a time in a very close setting, with lots of personal attention. If that is the case, then they know I am not lying, but rather are of the ranks of "she has dirty ears". That is or was the standard remark for anyone who receives unpleasant remarks or complaints about Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. He would say "that person has dirty ears so they hear dirty things and people tell them dirty things about me..." In other words, turn a blind eye, and "doubt the doubt" as he loves to say.

I am glad you derived benefit from the courses. They are very beneficial for many. The knowledge is basic, accessible and useful to most. However, the knowledge does not belong to him or anyone else for patenting. Nor does the knowledge having good effects on you make him also good. Like all humans, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is mixed -- good and bad. I have seen both the good and the bad. My objection to him is that he doesn't hesitate to hurt others who cross him in order to protect his standing and position. You say he is a "living saint". Do living saints slander others who they fear might harm their reputation? No. A saint does not live in anger or fear of remarks from society. I have seen both many times in Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (anger and fear for his reputation).

Many who were close to him have left. Those who are telling you that anything you hear about him that is bad must be lies, are either a) lying themselves, or b)not in the know.

Having said that, why should you mind if he himself is not perfect? You have benefitted from the teachings. He isn't God, so you need not believe in him for the knowledge to work, right?

I am not talking about some vague unpleasant experiences. I am not talking about some rumors I heard somewhere. You can believe it or not believe it, but at least open your eyes and watch carefully. Don't take my word for it. And don't take others' word for it either! Get close and find out for yourself if you can. When you get disappointed, remember that you were warned.

At 3/02/2006 8:20 AM, Blogger sheila said...

on the other hand,

I do recognize sincerity in your words, though not in the others’. You seem to really believe what you are saying. But I am not willing to trade my faith in someone I have loved for what really are vague statements from a former and now disgruntled student. Saints and sages have always been slandered. Even Jesus Christ and Ramana Maharishi had their accusers. Ramana Maharishi was accused of many terrible things, engaged in legal actions to preserve his reputation, verbally abused people, and allowed people who had loved and served him to be mistreated and thrown out of his ashram for things they had not even done. Perhaps like St Paul, who was Jesus’ main accuser, you will later come back to apologize for what you are saying now. Perhaps you will become Sri Ravi Shankar’s biggest supporter.

I would have to have detailed information about these things you are saying about Sri Ravi Shankar to believe them. As I said before, you seem sincere. If you lived so closely with Sri Sri, you are probably known already by this inner circle of vindictive people you say are directed by Sri Sri. Are you really afraid of these people? If so, why?

At 3/02/2006 9:17 AM, Blogger ontheotherhand said...


I guess from your question "are you so afraid of these people", that you don't understand the type of abuse that can come from such a group. It comes in the form of phone calls to friends and family, lying about you. It comes in the form of phone calls and visits directly to you, telling you "if you say anything about this person, you will be very sorry". Vague, but scary. Or the ridiculous 'spiritual' type of threat "you wil pay with terrible karma if you mention these things to others."

I am unwilling to give you specific details that you seem to require because they would identify me to those who would further hurt me and possibly those who know me. I have been honest in what I feel I can say, but have withheld, purposefully, anything that could let them know, should you share these posts with those "close" with him, that I have spoken out. I know the lengths he and they have gone to in the past to silence people. I do not know to what lengths they would go now that he is even more famous and so much is at stake (money, fame, etc.)

The comparisons to Jesus Christ and Ramana Maharishi are quite ridiculous. Although Sri Sri likes to compare himself to Jesus, he is not so compassionate (by a long stretch), nor so good. He will not be remembered so long (although he loves to say he will be).

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is surrounded by brainwashed zombies (I was once one, so I speak from experience) who go around defending him even when they know he is wrong. They overlook anything so they can go on being dependent people, unwilling to take responsibility for themselves. They trade their freedoms because they are terrifed to live in this world. If they dare to ask for their freedoms back (leave him and his group) they are promptly ostrasized and apologies are demanded of them (!) You have obviously joined the ranks of the brainwashed, mesmerized many. He would certainly say "what freedoms do those people have? They are not free!" But how many enlightened people have you met around him. How many are free?

His "unconditional love" which he touts is quite conditional. Test it and find out for yourself. He will turn on you like a cornered animal and say anything he can to hurt you before you can hurt him if he feels threatened. (Take this post directly to him and ask him to swear he has never done any of the things in my posts to anyone, and watch him squirm, unless he has become a better liar than he used to be.)

Why should I apologize for speaking the truth about a person perpetrating a fraud? The teachings are good. The man is a fake. If and when he falls publically (he has already fallen spiritually) Ramana Maharishi's trials will look like a child's play compared to the accusations (which will be true) made against Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. In fact, he does not deserve the title Sri Sri. He is simply Mr. Ravi Shankar, imo. I am not slandering him. However, he has spent quite a lot of time slandering me and many others. I understand his reasons (self preservation) but it doesn't make it okay at all.

You are entitled to your opinion of him. I am entitled to mine. Mine is based on far more information and experience than yours, it appears. People get the guidance they deserve. You deserve him, I suppose, just as I did once. I learned more from him than any other person on this planet. And not all of it was good.

It looks to me from your posts, that you and I should simply agree to disagree about this. This board is one which is for making light of spiritual people who take themselves too seriously, or bringing to light frauds or partial frauds. Why should you care? All of 6 people are likely viewing this little posting place. It doesn't hurt Ravi Shankar in the least. Thousands of devoted slaves like you will never believe the truth. They will continue in their little "blissful" world until the bubble bursts or they die. They would not be affected by this board.

I suggest that if you have loved him for so long, and trust him so much, you go, without fear to him privately, and ask him "is there anything you have hidden from the public that would harm your reputation in any major way, or that would make people leave you en masse if they found out?" Then let him answer honestly, if he is able or willing to. If he answers you with a question, don't accept that. See what happens. If you feel you are not good enough to go and ask him, then you have no self-esteem, and don't understand that the disciple is allowed to ask many questions of the guru. If there is truly unconditional love, nothing bad should come of this questioning.

At 3/02/2006 9:44 AM, Blogger dontbullme said...

Jesus Christ = Ramana maharshi

St.Paul = OnTheOtherHand

Sri Sri = Jesus Christ

Sheila = Must Be Crazy

At 3/02/2006 11:36 AM, Blogger sheila said...

Now it seems I have hurt your feelings. I am also sorry for this. Again, I hear the sincere pain in your words. I will think about what you have said. In bringing up the names of Jesus and Ramana, I was not really drawing a comparison. I was suggesting that if these sages were alive today, they might also be portrayed on this blogsite as Sri Sri and others have been. Jesus spent time with prostitutes and Ramakrishna is now said to have been sexually attracted to his male devotees. Would not Jody file them under “hands where they don’t belong”? Ramana is now portrayed in a storybook fashion: he was just silent, didn’t accept gifts etc. Might he not be spoken ill of by Jody. He was accused of sexual misconduct by a close former devotee. He allowed good people to be driven from his ashram by his own brother. He could be said to have been cold and cruel. Might not Jody just print these accusations without finding out the truth?

So it important for me and others to know the true facts, not just the rumors or sad stories of people whose feelings have been hurt. All of us have been deeply hurt by “good” people at some point in our lives. I have heard hurt stories before about other people and found out they were exaggerations or misunderstandings, not facts. As you know, there is little chance of me getting close to Sri Sri to ask these questions of him. So I am in limbo. Although there is no chance I could ever be as close as you were, therefore I cannot be so badly hurt. I am an independent person, doing my best. Thank you for your concern for me.

I do not think it is true that only six people read Jody’s blog. Most of the people who write to this blog seem very unintelligent, like “don’tbullme”, "facedog" and “chuck”. They seem very childish to me. But you do not, “ontheotherhand”. Thank you for trying to help me in a loving fashion.

At 3/02/2006 11:51 AM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

Jesus spent time with prostitutes and Ramakrishna is now said to have been sexually attracted to his male devotees. Would not Jody file them under “hands where they don’t belong”?

If there was an attempted coverup, they'd get the same treatment any other guru gets here, and I say this as a long time initiate in the Ramakrishna lineage.

Might not Jody just print these accusations without finding out the truth?

The "truth" about Sri Sri is right there in the news every week. He's been caught in hypocrisy on many occasions. He is an unrepentant self-promoter and grandstander. And then on top of all this we have the testimony of ontheotherhand.

When all is said and done, Sri Sri is just another self-aggrandizing satscammer. A little man who found a way to be big by repackaging ancient practices and then acting saintly in the dissemination of them, ending up with millions in the process.

At 3/02/2006 12:52 PM, Blogger sheila said...

Jody, wouldn't you say there has been an attempt to coverup the stories about Ramakrishna? You yourself have glazed over the "mistakes" of Rajneesh by declaring that he wasn't involved in these things and didn't know. How do you know he didn't know?

I have found that hypocrisy is often subjective and that often those who point the finger are hypocrits themselves.

Having said that, I am beginning to think seriously about what ontheotherhand has said. I just wish there were more details to base my conclusions on.

I am wondering if there has ever been a Saint or Sage who could stand up to the critical light you judge the living by. I am beginning to doubt it. If Ramakrishna can't be trusted, who can be?

At 3/02/2006 12:59 PM, Blogger dontbullme said...


We do not need long explanations to understand scum gurus like Sri Sri et al. we read about these gurus in news daily and we are intelligent enough to seperate good from bad.

It seems you are new to all this GURU concept. BTW, have you been to India? will find hundreds of gurus in every city...

now go tell your daddy about all these gurus....not us...

At 3/02/2006 1:09 PM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

Jody, wouldn't you say there has been an attempt to coverup the stories about Ramakrishna?

That's called hagiography. It's systematic and happens whenever there's a person who is or has been alive who is considered to be a saint. You yourself are a progenitor and promoter of the hagiography developing around Sri Sri.

You yourself have glazed over the "mistakes" of Rajneesh by declaring that he wasn't involved in these things and didn't know.

I have done no such thing. I've merely stated that Osho's hands-off approach is what got him in trouble. I have no idea as to what he did and did not know, yet I still respect the fact that he was experimental in his approach... despite his management troubles.

I have found that hypocrisy is often subjective and that often those who point the finger are hypocrits themselves.

Sri Sri failed to censure a genocidal politician by saying he doesn't comment on individuals, but when the Pope died, he decided it was now ok to comment on individuals.

I am wondering if there has ever been a Saint or Sage who could stand up to the critical light you judge the living by.

No, there is not. The ideas of "Saint" and "Sage" as you characterize them are false and based in the myths and superstitions of Hinduism rather than the actual facts of the lives of these individuals.

If Ramakrishna can't be trusted, who can be?

Ramakrishna's homoerotic desires do not make him less of a spiritual savant in my eyes. Every saint and sinner poops on the same pot. That's the message this blog is trying to present, that self-realization and enlightenment do not excuse one from their humanity. Behind every such person you'll find just another fool on the bus, just like the rest of us.

At 3/02/2006 1:38 PM, Blogger dontbullme said...

"Every saint and sinner poops on the same pot."

Nicely said...Shiela, if you do not agree with that, please tell us more about his divine pot :-)

At 3/02/2006 1:56 PM, Blogger sheila said...

To me, even if I’m beginning to revere Sri Ravi Shankar less than I did before, this is not much to brand someone a hypocrite. It seems to me that you have set ideas about what constitutes a saint or sage, behavior-wise. If they don’t follow Jody’s guidelines, then they are hypocrites and can be defamed. There is no repercussion to Jody. Jody pays no price for saying others are hypocrites. In fact he gets applauded by his zombie followers, don’tbullme and chuck. There might have been a price to pay for criticizing this politician that was too great to pay for Sri Sri. Perhaps don’tbullme is not a zombie. Perhaps he is in fact Jody’s famous dog or maybe just his dog’s ass.

Is there any living teacher that you do respect?

At 3/02/2006 2:05 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

She-sheila said,

"Most of the people who write to this blog seem very unintelligent, like “don’tbullme”, "facedog" and “chuck”."

Wait a minute. Howcome I'm getting dragged into this mess? Maybe Sheila is really She She, himself. I may not be rich enough to hang out with SS, but that doesn't make me unintelligent. And frankly I think dontbullme is expressing himself very well. He's not as smart as Jody but he aint no dog's ass.

You take that back, She-Sheila!

At 3/02/2006 2:38 PM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

To me, even if I’m beginning to revere Sri Ravi Shankar less than I did before, this is not much to brand someone a hypocrite

Sri Sri, being watched by the entire Indian media, demures from calling out a genocidal politician by using the excuse that he doesn't comment on individuals. He then comments on the death of the individiual known as the pope. Both actions were politically motiviated, and taken together, are clearly hypocritical.

It seems to me that you have set ideas about what constitutes a saint or sage, behavior-wise.

It's quite the opposite. So-called saints and sages will exhibit all the behaviors all the rest of us do. My problem isn't with their behaviors, it's with their and their devotees' denials of these behaviors.

There might have been a price to pay for criticizing this politician that was too great to pay for Sri Sri.

Of course there was. He would have lost a good deal of his Hindu fundamentalist base. But claiming to be a pacifist while kowtowing to the genocidal right makes him a hypocrite, not a saint.

At 3/02/2006 3:00 PM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

Sheila, I'm not suggesting that you abandon Sri Sri as your guru. In fact, I believe that completely false gurus can be every bit as effective as utterly true ones. It's not what the guru has or doesn't have, it's all in the faith of the devotee. That's where all the power of the guru/chela dyad lies.

All I'm saying is that Sri Sri is just another person trying to get ahead in the world, much more so than the saintly figure he's attempting to portray himself as. I'd contend that all gurus are such, just people making their way in the world with a marketing plan. It just so happens that to be a guru, you have to market yourself as a saint. What I'm saying is that if you just pull up the dhoti a bit and look underneath, you'll find just another person, not the being of limitless light they want and are expected to be seen as.

At 3/02/2006 3:20 PM, Blogger ontheotherhand said...


Your points are exactly the ones I would try to make: that these gurus are people. They have human qualities and do stuff. Some of that stuff is not very saintly. If their behavior is just too much to take, we can leave their company, hopefully without punishment in the form of slander, etc. My main objections to Ravi Shankar are that he refuses to allow people to know him as he really is and hides behind this fake persona. (Hypocrite) My other objections are more personal, since he can be very nasty, hurtful, and damaging if one dares to disagree with his agenda.

Sheila, I'm not suggesting that you leave this man, but rather that you decide for yourself, having seen clearly how he is, whether or not you "love" him so much. Couldn't his teachings still be useful to you even if he were to fall off the pedestal you've put him on? (that he has put himself on). In the case of Ravi Shankar, I have not seen anything like realization occur near him. His teachings appear to be limited, although useful for a start onto a path of some kind. I've watched many talented people ruin their lives for him. And they are around him smiling their zombie smiles. I question the enlightenment of a man who says things like: "I have entered the bodies of 240 people on the planet and I am controlling them 85%. They have only 15% of their own personalities left". All that said with a satisfied and proud smile. No malice. He thought this was good! I found it terrifying and thought "great, I'm probably nearly one of them. Maybe I've held out 20%?"

I don't think people coming to this blog are following Jody, btw. But you must admit his sense of humor is good. Better than mine. He makes me laugh at things that could make me cry otherwise.

At 3/02/2006 3:40 PM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

I question the enlightenment of a man who says things like: "I have entered the bodies of 240 people on the planet and I am controlling them 85%. They have only 15% of their own personalities left".

Given the fact that enlightenment obliterates the person who would be entering any bodies, I'd say the statement makes the declaration in boldfaced and italicized type: Sri Sri is no more enlightened than my dog's ass.

I don't think people coming to this blog are following Jody

While I gladly offer my thoughts and opinions to whoever asks, I shudder at the thought of being followed the way people follow Sri Sri. If I was, I'd grab the nearest hottie and do her sixteen ways to Heaven and Hell just to get myself out of it.

you must admit his sense of humor is good

Thanks, otoh. But I can't even lay claim to my sense of humor as it is only a very weak facsimile of that of my snarkster guru, Mark Lisanti of Defamer.

At 3/02/2006 3:52 PM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

Is there any living teacher that you do respect?

I'm cool with my guru, but he's every bit as unfamous as all these other gurus are famous. I'm a bit more ok with Ammachi than Sri Sri, Sai Baba or the Kracki, but I still find major problems with her message and its delivery. I like what Adyashanti has to say, and I enjoy the honesty of Wayne Liquorman. But most of the "gurus" I respect have little or no following whatsoever. They're just folks who have come to self-realization who are just chopping wood and carrying water. They've made no attempt to capitalize on their understanding, and quietly offer their wisdom to a few folks by way of various online forums and email lists.

At 3/02/2006 4:05 PM, Blogger dontbullme said...

Guys I think this is enough...Sheila might already be crying in front of Sri Sri's picture..

Take it easy Sheila. It's ok. Every species on this planet has problems. Not just you. So start leading your life and be your own guru..

At 3/02/2006 4:54 PM, Blogger sheila said...

If Sri Ravi Shankar said, "I have entered the bodies of 240 people on the planet and I am controlling them 85%. They have only 15% of their own personalities left"., then I admit this sounds like a terrible thing to say and believe. You say it was said without malice. Was it said jokingly, like another way of saying, “All these people love me and this love makes them act in support of me.”? Submission is a key component in the learning of anything, but even more so in the Guru/disciple relationship.

I will think about what both of you have said. I do see the good intentions of Jody. I agree that the student has the right to question the Guru and must stand on her/his own feet. There have certainly been many false teachers revealed in the past few years. I would not expect a plaster saint type of perfection from any teacher, only that they follow the same rules of decent human conduct that all of us must follow. From reading over many of the reports on this site, the general feeling I come away with is that there are no worthy teachers, no enlightened beings, noone who can be trusted with one’s heart. This sounds to my ears like those who have been hurt in marriage, believing that real love does not exist, that all men are pigs, and all women are cats, etc.

Do you follow any teaching or teacher now, on the other hand, or are you too bitter?

Again, I will think about what you have said.

I wish you well. You also, Jody.

Best Wishes to you both.

Don’tbullme and chuck please be quiet now, since you have nothing worthwhile to say.

At 3/02/2006 5:14 PM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

Submission is a key component in the learning of anything, but even more so in the Guru/disciple relationship.

If a guru expects submission, I would run a million miles an hour in the opposite direction. My guru has never asked for submission (maybe because he realizes he would never get it from me.)

In my opinion, a true guru would never expect submission, and would allow open and honest inquiry about the teachings each and every step of the way.

From reading over many of the reports on this site, the general feeling I come away with is that there are no worthy teachers, no enlightened beings, noone who can be trusted with one’s heart.

You can trust a guru with your heart, but you better do it with your eyes closed if you expect perfectly saintly behavior at all times with no exception.

As I said, it's way more about your faith than it is about the power of the guru. That begs the question: why rely on a guru in the first place? Enlightenment is not a disease you catch (a la the Kracki's "deeksha"), it's an understanding that arises spontaneously, at its own bidding. The value of the guru is to confirm this for you, not grant it to you. He or she cannot gift you with realization, and if they say that they can, they can automatically be looked upon as fraudulent.

Do you follow any teaching or teacher now, on the other hand, or are you too bitter?

I am a student of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda, with some compensation for the difference in era and their human dimensions. In other words, I don't follow their teachings blindly, but I employ them as starting points and reach my own conclusions based upon my own life's observations and realizations.

Were I to recommend a guru, I might venture to put Ammachi up for nomination, but with many provisos. Adyashanti would get a vote from me, as would the underground gurus I communicate with online. I could put you in touch with one of these if you sent an email to

At 3/02/2006 8:41 PM, Blogger dontbullme said...


What do you mean by "underground gurus"??

At 3/03/2006 6:27 AM, Blogger ontheotherhand said...


The "entering bodies" thing was not a joke. It was said sincerely, like it was something positive and for the good of these people. Who knows if that is actually a siddhi? It would explain the zombie-like behavior of his followers closest to him. (I include myself, formerly, as part of that sad group.)

I love many gurus, Sheila. I love Ammachi, but would never join her group because of all the restrictions and, as Jody put it, part of her message and it's delivery. But I believe her to be more sincere and without some of the glaring garbage around Sri Sri. I follow, since you ask, any and all instructions by gurus dead and alive that I deem to be helpful to my path. St Francis had a nice prayer. Jesus said great things that I love to read and meditate on. Ramakrishna and Sarada Devi are also two of my favorites (just like Jody!! -- hehe, Jody, maybe I AM following you and didn't know it -- horrrrrors). I love the Yoga Vasishtha very much and reading it was a great help in showing me the folly in chasing around after Ravi Shankar. It helped me to leave. I consider my Guru to be Brahmananda Saraswati, who is long dead. Somehow, through Grace, he has guided me in my life, away from his disciples, and more toward myself. There are so many gurus, most unknown, who have helped me since I left Ravi Shankar! Each has told me, basically, that enlightenment doesn't come from somebody else or a group of people. One actually told me "if you want heaven, go up right now and sit with him (meaning Ravi Shankar, since I was invited at that moment to visit him in his room)....if you want to hear the unpleasant truth, sit here..." That wonderful person went on to say "this place (meaning Ravi Shankar's ashram) is a mental hospital. Why are you here? You can leave...." I considered myself a nutcase, so I stayed on for some time :-)) He also went on to tell me "you want enlightenment? That's one more desire in your large numbers of desires. It's no different from the desire for a blanket to stay warm or the desire for sex. Desire is desire....." You've never heard of him. He's not famous, and never will be. It's painful, Sheila, when we find out that there is no Santa Claus. Same when we find out that our Big Daddy Guru is not the perfect human being we hoped for. The gunas are operating in all bodies and some bodies have some tendencies that we find objectionable. Take what you love from a place, and walk away from the junk. That's what I've learned to do, and am, so far, happy with that.

Dontbullme: You have a heart!!!!!!!!!haha. You are worried about Sheila!!!! I'm too impressed for words, dude. You are great. I knew that though when you wasted Roshit for blathering on about how Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had helped him so much, but never mentioned his parents. I just KNOW you are from India. :-))

At 3/03/2006 10:13 AM, Blogger dontbullme said...

Thanks OTOH...So Yoga Vashishta helped you to move away from Sri Sri. He may not want to know this bcos he strongly recommends this book to all his students.

At 3/03/2006 1:55 PM, Blogger falseguru said...

I wish there were someone out there as informed about the inner workings of the bhagavan kalki cult, as ontheotherhand is about She She Rabid Skunkar. Although some of the noise has died down about it in my city, I do have friends who think it's great. Like many of She She's devotees, they were once TM'ers. I bet Maharishi fumes over how many of his former teachers have created so many other mall sized spiritual groups.

I have really appreciated otoh's input in these discussions. I suspect is a nicer person than I am.

At 3/03/2006 6:08 PM, Blogger sheila said...

No matter what you may think of Sri Ravi Shankar, I feel it may be shortsighted to be so rude. Calling him She She Rabid Skunkar is going too far and is quite offensive.

I realize now that I may have overlooked dontbullme's support of my feelings. If so I am sorry for my own rudeness.

I say good-bye to you all.

At 3/06/2006 12:10 AM, Blogger bobby said...

Sri Sri is no more a living saint than my dog.

Ah, but Cisco is a living saint, believe it!

At 3/06/2006 9:05 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Let's put Cisco in a room with my Molly and see how long he maintains his pretense of celibacy. I've heard that Cisco is a womanizer and dominates the other neighborhood dogs. And if he's such a saint, why does he need Bobby creating myths about him? All in all I'd have to rate SS at least as highly as Cisco.

At 3/06/2006 10:44 AM, Blogger ontheotherhand said...

LOL at the most recent posts by Bobby and Chuck! Haha. Good ones.

Once, appropos of absolutely nothing, SSRS, started raving angrily in a satsang. It went something like this:

He was calmly talking about something or other, then stopped, paused, and began raising his voice. He was saying "go ahead! Go have sex! Have sex all the time! Why not? Dogs have sex all the time! So do pigs! So go ahead. Go and have sex and sex and sex. Just like dogs and pigs...." He voice rose in pitch (he has a rather high voice) and got louder and louder and more and more angry as he raved on this way. All were looking at each other, wondering "what in hell happened to his brain all of a sudden??" because there had been no comment or question in the room. Then he calmly went back to the original topic and spoke normally for an hour. There were maybe 25-30 people present. The satsang was being taped. Afterwards, he called 2 of us aside and said "you can edit out that part about sex?" The person in charge of that said "sure, but what was all that about?" SSRS said "never mind, but just edit it out so people who buy these tapes won't hear it."

Your posts on your dogs is very appropriate.

At 3/06/2006 8:07 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Thaks otoh. Other than Sheila who apologized to you and don't bull me, but not to me, you are the first to acknoledge my existence!

At 3/07/2006 3:03 PM, Blogger dontbullme said...

Guys..check this out. Interview with SSRS on IBNlive.

Anuradha SenGupta: I read that you were a disciple of Maharishi Mahayogi at that time.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I have traveled with him, stayed there conducting the Veda science programmes and he was doing at that time.It was beautiful to be traveling there with him.

What a traitor dude...he never mentions that MMY was his guru..What an egoistic BSTRD.

At 3/07/2006 5:31 PM, Blogger falseguru said...

It could be, dontbullme, that she she has made some kind of deal with mmy not to say he was a disciple. during my time in the tm movement, nobody claimed mmy as the guru.

At 3/08/2006 6:33 AM, Blogger ontheotherhand said...

no, no, noooo, guys, you are all wrong!

SSRS usually claims MMY as his guru privately, not in articles like those. He not only claims him as his guru, he claims to BE him!! Seriously. He also claims that MMY wants people to leave the TM movement and follow him (SSRS) to further their growth spiritually. This said, in my experience, when a TMer is afraid to go on courses with Art of Living because the ole loyalty issue arises (you get booted from TM if you are caught following other gurus). The sad fact is that not only is SSRS a disciple of MMY, he was rejected by MMY because he left in a way that displeased the master evidently:

He was sent to oversee a group of pundits in Bangalore that his (SSRS's) father had gathered from the surrounding area. MMY said the boy pundits had to travel up north to Noida (Delhi area) after some time and stay. The kids' families objected strenuously because of the distance. SSRS's dad said that his reputation, having gathered them himself, was at stake, so SSRS decided to just stay in Bangalore with the 200 boys. MMY got mad. I don't know if he was angry about the disobedience, or what. One of the lead pundits was sent to Noida to speak to MMY with a note from SSRS. That pundit told me that he sat and waited for MMY, he came into the room and said, without reading the letter, "tell him he is not welcome here".

SSRS tried, through the years, to contact MMY by phone, but his calls were never received by anyone but a receptionist to my knowledge. He would say, on these occasions: "that person doesn't remember me...." things like this to cover his hurt. SSRS has even taken entourages to Holland to visit MMY. Last I heard, he never got the audience himself, but that could have changed in the last few years. I'm out of touch with that particular soap opera.

Short version: SSRS wanted his own ashram and started it. He makes big money now. He also wanted MMY's approval on his project. He didn't get it as far as I know.

Last look, SSRS kept a small personal photo of MMY by his bedside. He believes that he has actually become Maharishi in some kind of way (what way, I couldn't guess), but he does say "I AM Maharishi". God knows he dresses like him. He has also told me that MMY is senile now. Who knows what he really thinks?

At 3/08/2006 9:36 AM, Blogger falseguru said...

Interesting that not a single person with extensive knowledge and long association with SS has come forward to refute anything that ontheotherhand has said. Guess that is because he/she speaks with obvious sincerity and insider information. I used to think I really loved Maharishi, although my contact was primarily "inside". Even after having seen the silliness and ugly control that he brought to peoples' lives, I still feel an amount of gratitude to him for getting me started. I still feel some sadness to think that he really is senile. I'd rather think of him as insane. I remember him saying one time, that "it is the glory of those that run fast that sometimes they fall..." ...or something like that.

Anyway, thanks ontheotherhand.

At 3/08/2006 10:39 AM, Blogger dontbullme said...

Thats too much insider info.. Thanks OTOH. These gurus have ego, desire, cunning, greedy etc but still people treat them like GOD. what a pity dude...I think the problem is with the real GOD. He never talks, listens and comes in front of people. People really need all these attributes in a GOD. They are sick of going to temples and churches.

I can bet that 90% of these devotees will come out if they use the Jody's "SHIT POT" common sense. :-)

At 3/27/2006 2:08 PM, Blogger MessageNotMessenger said...

What I want to know is what happens with all the money? I have taken the intro course and have a close friend who self-identifies as a devotee and teacher in art of living. While I believe there are benefits to the teachings and breathing techniques, I do not find them to be earth shattering or life altering revelations, rather, a lot of common sense.

Recognizing that the teachings do provide guidance to some, I have asked why is the messenger more important than the message? I get the answers seen on this page "Living Saint", "one day we won't be able to get close to him", "He's going to win the Nobel Prize", "it's worth paying that money for something that will change your life forever".

This blind devotion is very difficult for me to watch. Why can the kriya only be done when there are at least 4 people in a room, if not to be controlling? Why isn't the opportunity for well-being available to all who show up in need?

I am not a follower by nature, so I can reject the silliness, but a dear friend needs to believe that love exists and Ravi Shankar is her evidence of pure love. Her membership in the Art of Living is contributing to her massive personal debt, and I truly worry about her. Intro classes are around $400, advance classes are in the thousands. Where does all the money go?

At 3/27/2006 4:06 PM, Blogger ontheotherhand said...


Where does all the money go? No one place that I could see. I saw lots of it diverted to various places, including Ravi Shankar's personal bank account. (Please read all my posts, including the quote of his mother telling me that her son had become wealthy, having banked over $1 million USD) Lots of it goes to building, and some, I'm sure, goes to support the growing social projects. As he gets bigger, people who never get close to him will probably be doing very good work in his name for the poor. That would be nice. Don't forget that there are people who have, like your friend who is going into tremendous debt, followed Ravi Shankar for some time. Some of them have nothing left and are used as slaves on the ashrams. Someone has to pay for their food. For the long-time teachers, someone should pay for their travel, if they have exhausted all of their personal savings. Some "valuable" teachers, who tow the party line and are good faces for his organization, sport expensive Indian ladies' clothing which can only be found in Bombay boutiques. He pays those bills. He builds buildings for more westerners and rich Indians to come and pay nice prices to stay in. It all adds up.

I wish your friend well. Have her come to this site and type "sri sri ravi shankar" into the blog search bar on the upper left. All the comments about SSRS can be accessed that way. Maybe she will begin to think twice.

My experience and that of many others is that Ravi Shankar's "love" is totally conditional on what you say and do around him. He turns on a dime and becomes very vicious if you are not in complete alignment with him. He is selfish and uses others to satisfy his own needs. That's why people leave. They see that he doesn't walk the walk. He just talks the talk.

He relies on people who have been hurt in many cases, who are looking for proof that love exists. He preys on them. Those people find it difficult to walk away from him.

At 9/22/2006 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I may not be as fluent as u guys.
little knowledge of spirituality is bein displayed includin Sheila.

Spirituality is no joke. follow any guru u wish to and write thesis on them. Is is a v sacred bond and dealt with reverence.
Submission that Sheila mentions, is not demanded. and a guru will never say that. it might be one hears (drawin inference from somethin not explicit*)what he wanted to hear like 'submission' which is connoted negatively in english. Shraddha' is the wrd which is akin to devotion.
1000s of gurus are not jokers, they live and practice 'tapasya' all their lives to gain knowledge.
only reason a guru wld commoditise,
to moderate rising tension and entropy. n chosen ones know who they are. speculation is human tendency. that is why spiituality iss needed. might sound fantasy, but then u wld need to know what is enlightenment (nothin comes easy)and connection with sciptures. those who know will never tell but fiddle ur conscience to put u on path. I am sorry u got threatenin calls. those guys are not good lest they hav drawn a line somewhere and *

and yes every guru is diff.
I can reach US in hundred ways.

Sorry if i interrupted a pvt chat.


At 9/29/2007 8:32 AM, Blogger Hemanth said...

Please dont write all your shir crap about sri sri..he is a great man. my life has really changed once I joined art of living. there are millions of people who had this change. and people are not fools here who simply believe you with knowing completely about sri sri..people like you on earth are very dangerous. please stop all your nonsense..if you want write something write good but dont write bad about others with out any knowledge...I REQUEST YOU ALL NOT BELEIVE WAT THEY PRESENTED HERE. PLEASE DO THE ART OF LIVING COURSE. ITS AN AMAZING COURSE. MILLIONS OF PEOPLE GOT TRANSFORMED.

At 10/18/2007 12:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hems said...
"Please dont write all your shir crap about sri sri..he is a great man. my life has really changed once I joined art of living. there are millions of people who had this change. and people are not fools here who simply believe you with knowing completely about sri sri..people like you on earth are very dangerous. please stop all your nonsense..if you want write something write good but dont write bad about others with out any knowledge...I REQUEST YOU ALL NOT BELEIVE WAT THEY PRESENTED HERE. PLEASE DO THE ART OF LIVING COURSE. ITS AN AMAZING COURSE. MILLIONS OF PEOPLE GOT TRANSFORMED"

Hems-- millions of people? the needy & the ones who search always get suckered.. The people who have written the earlier remarks make articulate statments and arguments. Why are you so enraged?

Passion is right, but it has to be coherent.

At 5/09/2008 10:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have known Guruji Sri Sri for many years. I completely support Shelia.

Wonder why falseguru, dontbullme, jody have lots to say, but no proof (or proof cannot be given)....well...jealous ?

At 7/09/2008 10:04 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I attended his seminar in Raleigh day before yesterday (had attended one in Charlotte a few years ago). It was a gross waste of time & $50- there was a Horrible master of ceremonies who used the same bromides that one could choke on - life transformed, people asking her how she juggled job, family etc ,and worst of all :(describing SSRS) the man, the machine and the phenomenon. Just horrible.
The President of Art of Living was there some Mike Fishman - he practically begged for an applause :"I am the President of AOL, I deserve better applause." These are his exact words.
Then there was a a guy doing "chair" yoga.
There was a claimed 45 min meditation ( it was 25 mins in reality) lead by the guru himself.
Rest of the "seminar" was pretty much just question & answer session. The volunteer running the index cards, pencils were the only saving grace of the evening.
Folks : save your money.

At 3/03/2010 9:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

U can wake someone who is sleeping, u cant wake someone who is pretending to sleep..... If u like his preaching follow him its ur will, who cares......One who seeks true knowledge can find it them, u don't always need a guru unless u seriously lack logical precision in thinking.....

At 7/18/2010 2:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you judge him from a distance, you would find him like a quack probably, but when you get involved, your perspective changes. Sri Sri is like God. He is amazing grace personfied, divinity personified, ocean of bliss. May God bless him and may he guide us all.

At 7/18/2010 2:34 AM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

One day you will look back on this statement and wonder how you became so duped that you were able to make it.


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