Guruphiliac: Ashram Life Vs. Psychedelic Life

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Ashram Life Vs. Psychedelic Life

File under: Commentary

We came upon the Sivananda Math's Yoga Magazine website after reading about its leader, Swami Niranjananand Saraswati, the heir to the throne of the Sivananda yoga empire:
In 1994, on the occasion of Shatchandi Maha Yagna to revive the Rishi parampara, his Guru finally passed on all his spiritual powers to him and declared him a Vishwa Guru.
Other than the fact that these "spiritual powers" were actually just the economic and political control of the ashram, we couldn't find much to gripe about in particular on this site. That is until we saw the whole thing as an advertisement for the ashram life. They even have college level courses to teach it to you.

Having lived at an ashram once ourselves, we've had our own taste of this life. It's mostly the attempt to stuff individuals into the guru's or leadership's interpretation of Patanjali's Yamas and Niyamas, a kind of moral code for the beginning yogi. A few people seem to be able fit into these ideals, but most fall well short... and out of the ashram life very quickly.

The main problem with ashram life is the occlusion that arises around these moral ideas and what they have to do with self-realization, which is absolutely nothing. Those who cannot conform to ashram life are seen as having little or no possible chance at self-realization, mostly because self-realization is seen as the result of a life lived within the strictures of whatever yoga is being taught at the ashram.

Commonly, those who leave may be told they can't have realization because they fucked up by leaving. Yet those who stay will likely learn to believe that they can't be realized because they haven't yet measured up to whichever idea of perfection they are worshipping at their ashram. This perfection is most often a well-defined set of very prudish ideals based on the hagiographic details of the life of the founding guru. This almost always means no sex and no partying. In other words, not much fun.

The fun is supposed to be had in the joy of maintaining your ideals, ideals which usually don't bring much more than a sense of pride and accomplishment. They sure as hell don't have anything to do with self-realization. It's like going for a gold star everyday because you've been told that getting a gold star a day will make God like you more, and if God likes you more, He may make you realized.

Take a close look around and see how many people are truly self-realized at an ashram.

We're not saying that it's not good to be good. We're saying it's bad to think that being good is going to get you realized. That you being good is the whole problem. It's gotta go, at least in its hegemonic domination of your identity. But how's it gonna go when it's so busy enjoying being good?

This brings us to the prospect of the psychedelic life. By psychedelic we mean primarily transgressive as far as yogic practices are traditionally proscribed. You can use sex, drugs, rock and roll or whatever other practices you can come up with, as long as nobody is getting hurt. We'd venture to call it tantric, but that term has been completely trashed as a label for anything other than someone's last ditch effort at a marriage rescue.

You can still be good while living the psychedelic life, you just may not be good in the terms as described by ashram life. Rather than cultivating a particular, usually rigid form of approach to one's existence, one that is often unyielding to personal idiosyncrasy, you'd be deconstructing and disintegrating any form already there and making new ones up on the fly. It's about finding out as much as you can about your self, what makes you tick, and then discarding that as soon as you've figured it out and quickly moving on.

People can find out about themselves in ashram life, too. But instead of just being allowed to be as they find themselves, they are usually jammed up into the appropriate posture as recommended by the guru or tradition. Instead of it being a natural evolution of the psyche, it's just another trip through the cookie press.

What exactly is psychedelic life? It's whatever you make it to be. It's whatever guru or teaching you happen to be interested in at the time. It's whatever experience you believe is going to bring more insight. Insight is the activated buddhi. That is where discrimination begins, not in the blind adherence to some ancient moral code. It's by learning direct and firsthand, and sustaining the cuts and scrapes that may result. This is what brings true discrimination to a life.

You are still responsible for your bills and for the lives of those around you, but you are also free to take up whichever exploratory direction feels fit, not to be decided by anyone other than yourself. It's basically about being your own guru and seeing the opportunities for growth that exist in every facet of life, not just those few at the stick-up-the-butt conventions known as ashrams.

We're sure Swami Niranjananand Saraswati knows a lot about Yoga as the tradition in India. We'd like to think his yoga university is a good place to learn about that tradition as it's been handed down for way too long now. But what the Swami seems to be failing to see is that Yoga is now conforming to life far outside the walls of any ashram. As it leaves the ashram, it leaves ashram life, and this is the best thing that could ever happen to Yoga.

Ashram life is for the very few, most of whom are too distracted by it to see the truth of their own self-realization anyway. It's time for self-realization to become established as a natural occurrence–happening within almost every facet of culture and life–not just the oppressively "spiritual." The psychedelic life can help bring this about. When people realize they can make up their own yoga, provided that sincerity is at the root of their motivation, they won't need to try to live up to the anachronistic and unrealistic ideals of ashram life in order to come to see something that is always with them, as much out of the ashram as when in it.

Speaking of ashram life, there's a few blokes in London putting together a documentary about this very thing. Film researcher Sean Kenny of the UK-based Documentary Filmmakers Group explains:
The film is at an early stage so we still have a lot of flexibility on what stories we will include. Basically, we're looking for people who have been to an Indian ashram or guru who can tell us about their experience there, good or bad. One idea we have is to film a travelogue going from ashram to ashram to see what different ones have to offer, and the sort of people they attract. So any ideas of off-beat or unusual holy men and places would be good for that. We're also looking at concentrating on a couple of people and their experiences, eg is there anyone who went to an ashram with their friend and the friend got sucked right in, destroying the friendship?
So pro or con, drop Sean a line and tell him your story. You just may save a poor soul in the process of preventing their self-realization by jacking themselves up with a bunch of superstitious Hindu nonsense... or maybe help keep them out of the reach of any hookers with cocaine to blow off their asses.


At 3/08/2006 9:19 AM, Blogger falseguru said...

Hi Jody,

Your description of the psychedelic path sound to me like a series of occluding ideas waiting to happen. It's just as mental as believing if a devotee is really good and really submissive to God and Guru, that realization will dawn.

What makes your "new" ideas any less an "idea" than the old ideas. The mind is still trying to organize a way out, still trying to "get it right".

At 3/08/2006 9:27 AM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

First off, they aren't "my" ideas. Secondly, those I know who have come to realization have done so through their own very personal and idiosyncratic means. That's all I'm saying. Everyone has their own way, and to stuff yourself into this or that guru's way is less efficacious. How many Sri Sri devotees are realized, let alone that shuckster himself? Finally, any way is going to be the mind trying to organize a way out. There is no escaping that. What I'm calling the psychedelic life isn't a way as much as an attitude, and that attitude is try whatever you feel like and see what happens, as long as you are sincere and nobody is getting hurt.

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

It's about learning as much about yourself as possible. Spirituality is a psychological process, no matter how many "spirit guides" or "ascended masters" you may think you have. You've got to jump in with both hands and feet and expect to get really dirty while you are digging around in there. The prize is insight into how you operate as an individual being. At the very least this will help you in your life, regardless as to whether realization is established.

Those I know who are realized all went through some sort of big transformative process. It was different for all of them, but they all went through something. What I'm suggesting is that you jump start that process, taking the proper precautions and with responsibility for your life and that of those around you.

At 3/08/2006 9:47 AM, Blogger falseguru said...

You only have the word of these people that they are realized. In reality you just resonate with them in a similar way that other people resonate with She She. I am not aware of the Self 24 hours per day, but when I am more alert to what may be the "scent" of the Self, it is when my mind has settled and is not involved with anything. The mind must be quiet and alert at the same time, not on drugs or hyped up on ideas, imagining God and still believing it can dig out of prison with a spoon if it can just get it right.

At 3/08/2006 12:31 PM, Blogger jacflash said...

falseguru, I think you are being a bit dogmatic, and my observations and experience suggest that dogma doesn't generally facilitate realization. Realization pops up in the oddest places. While it may be true that drugs don't usually result in full-blown abiding understanding, for example, for some people the perceptual shift that follows a first use of something like LSD is an important first step -- and that first step can be a doozie.

As far as "the mind must be quiet and alert", this is true and it isn't. Once one is on the other side, one feels the bliss (for lack of a remotely adequate word) most acutely when one is in that state, but I am not convinced that one need be in that place to Get It. Plenty of people (including me) Got It while conversing with someone else who had It, and in my own case it's hard to say whether I was quiet-minded at that instant or not. It is true that getting It does tend to pop you into that particular quiet-alert-blissy place for awhile, and the resulting goofy grin can last for days, but I'm not sure you have to be there to receive the thunderbolt, as it were.

Jody, well said. I never did the ashram thing but I've met more than a few of its victims. It ends up being just another thing to break free from, and a particularly pernicious one at that. (It is interesting to consider the idea that entering an ashram might significantly lower one's chances of getting it, but it seems likely to be true.)

At 3/08/2006 5:56 PM, Blogger falseguru said...

I agree with you jacflash that dogmas no more effective in bringing about enlightenment than drugs. I have no interest in dogmatic ideas, such as the idea that drugs can lead to awakeing. Neither drugs nor dogmatic beliefs are of lasting value, except to give a person a feeling of temporary expansion which the ego imagines is the Self.

At 3/08/2006 6:14 PM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

I have no interest in dogmatic ideas, such as the idea that drugs can lead to awakening.

It's not dogmatic. It's the truth in at least one case I know about. First time LSD experience.

But I'd say it's maybe a bit less rare than coming to realization in the context of a morally conservative yoga org, although I know someone who came to know themselves there as well.

The value of drugs is in the rewiring that can occur (that's also their greatest danger.) It's about the transformation that happens. Now granted, it happens in a context of hedonism most of the time. Almost everyone is getting high to engender a pleasurable experience, with a peak experience the most sought after. The danger here is confusing the peak experience with a realization experience. Realization is anything BUT a peak experience. But us early ravers were all about chasing that peak experience and calling it spirituality on the dance floor. And it was, in the sense that we were frying out our old wiring to make room for a new wiring. I'm not quite sure it is an altogether better arrangement, but most of us seem to be getting on ok.

Neither drugs nor dogmatic beliefs are of lasting value, except to give a person a feeling of temporary expansion which the ego imagines is the Self.

The value of belief is to provide a focus for intention. They are useful as long as you are trying to get something done. Drugs can be radically tranformative in a very positive way. They also wreck lives. To each his own and buyer beware.

At 3/08/2006 6:50 PM, Blogger jacflash said...

I have no interest in dogmatic ideas, such as the idea that drugs can lead to awakeing.

I don't think that that statement qualifies as "dogmatic", but I'm not interested in defending it. For many, the journey starts with the realization that all is not what it seems. LSD (etc.) can certainly bring on such a realization. Beyond that, I can't attest to their value. It seems unlikely (but not necessarily impossible) to me that regular drug use could lead to realization, but I don't dogmatically rule out the possibility that it could be of value for someone, somewhere. A thousand roads to God, and all that.

Jody, I think perhaps "psychedelic" was not the best choice of word. Perhaps "tantric" should be reclaimed from the new age nitwits who have co-opted it.

At 3/09/2006 8:10 AM, Blogger facedog said...

If drugs bring realization, there are millions of realized 50 somethings, me included, just waiting to tell how they "popped in". Start a crusade against ashrams and offer drug use as an alternative? Jody knows at least one person out of millions it worked for and how many whose wires are not working properly now? How many whose egoes just got a little more expanded, who think that a feeling is the same thing as a realization?

I appreciate that you do give the warning label, Jody. Another way of finding out more about yourself is to take care of children, serve old people, work retail, with alertness. This give a great opportunity to see first hand what others see in us.

At 3/09/2006 9:26 AM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

Jody, I think perhaps "psychedelic" was not the best choice of word. Perhaps "tantric" should be reclaimed from the new age nitwits who have co-opted it.

You are completely correct, jf. Tantric is a much better word insofar as it describes that which transgresses. However, transgression as a practice has been completely divorced from the term tantric by the NewAge™ nitwits as well as the puritan ashramites.

The nitwits have made it all about extending orgasm and the puritans have made it about rigid adherence to guru-mediated practice, neither of which I'd call transgressive. Psychedelic is still transgressive in our culture, and so I picked that word more out of the desire to communicate the transgressive nature of the approach rather than see it confused with what all the nitwits and puritans have done with it.

At 3/09/2006 9:35 AM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

If drugs bring realization, there are millions of realized 50 somethings, me included, just waiting to tell how they "popped in". Start a crusade against ashrams and offer drug use as an alternative? Jody knows at least one person out of millions it worked for and how many whose wires are not working properly now? How many whose egoes just got a little more expanded, who think that a feeling is the same thing as a realization?

That's all a completely unfair characterization of what I said, fg.

I said that some psychedelic experience can helpful, not that drugs bring realization, despite the fact that I know of one person who came to jnana this way. I stand by my assertions that ashrams do not produce realized people, they just pop out either guilty failures or prideful puritans. Regarding ego "expansion"; it's a misnomer and one of the primary problems in yoga culture today, the idea that egos expand or contract, and especially the idea that they can be eliminated and must be.

The ahamkara must be broken, but that's not at all saying the ego must be destroyed. The ahamkara is merely the connection between the I-thought and our lives as individuals. When it is broken, we still remain individuals, only now we are individuals who know that we are not individuals.

You appear to still be under the sway of the very ideas I'm attacking with this blog. That's ok, so am I to some degree, which makes this blog as much about my own personal therapy as it is my personal Quixotic crusade against those ideas I've come to believe occlude self-realization.

At 3/09/2006 10:34 AM, Blogger facedog said...

I was speaking primarily to jacflash, not you, Jody, concerning drugs bringing on realization. I am certainly still trapped in the mind, as are the folks who feel they have "popped in". These instant enlightenment, now I give satsang people (not referring to the ones you have learned from whom I have not encountered) are as goofy to me as the new agers, ascended master followers you mentioned. There has been a lot of spiritual bullshit over the last 40 years, and the "popping in" folks are more of the same.

No offense meant, Jody, but I have come to believe that drug use can structure the same kind of occluding ideas that dogmatic self serving gurus gice to their students. I also believe with you that ashrams do not tend to produce enlightened people.

I just suggest anyone who believes he/she is enlightened, test themselves with a few years of unrelenting service, without hope of ego gratification, before they claim to be that.

At 3/09/2006 10:42 AM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

I just suggest anyone who believes he/she is enlightened, test themselves with a few years of unrelenting service, without hope of ego gratification, before they claim to be that.

And there is another occluding idea, that enlightenment will automatically render someone a servant-bot.

Service is great, as long as you are able to pay your bills. The famous Zen saying sticks everytime: Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water.

At 3/09/2006 11:33 AM, Blogger facedog said...

That's the kind of service I meant, Jody, real service where you do whatever you do with full attention, not trying to glorify your identity in the doing of it. Having a peak experience which people claim as enlightenment, and then charging people for satsang, even after returning to the baseline ego, is not service. It's flim flammery. If you work in retail, as I do now, people often treat you like a subhuman. It has made me aware of how I have treated people in the past. To look at another person and see your own egotism, and get paid for it. That's sadhana.

At 3/09/2006 12:13 PM, Blogger jacflash said...

I think it was Ram Dass who said that if you think you're enlightened, you should go spend a week with your parents. For a certain kind of person it's both an excellent test and good practice.

At 3/09/2006 12:45 PM, Blogger facedog said...

Finally we agree on something, jacflash. I especially respect a Guru who has ordinary people around him, not just flattering yes-men.

At 3/11/2006 12:54 PM, Blogger falseguru said...

The ashrams I have visited in the US and India have no real structure. There are no lectures or sermons to speak of and all sadhana is self determined. Most importantly, they are not money makers. My own Guru has lived all of his adult life in this setting. Maybe you should give more examples of the kinds of ashrams you feel are not particularly helpful.

At 3/12/2006 11:06 AM, Blogger jacflash said...

Facedog, were we disagreeing? I understood you to be speaking generally, as very little of what you said seemed applicable to the points I was making.

At 3/12/2006 11:36 AM, Blogger facedog said...

Sorry jacflash, my own snide side was showing through. I guess, like falseguru, I take issue with the promotion of drug use, and the belief in instant enlightenment. I have no doubt that if you took a poll of recruits into fundementalist Christian groups in the US, you would find a sizable number who took psuchedelics. It also wouldn't surprise me to find a number who believed they were enlightened for a while, ie popped in and popped out.

No offense meant to you or Jody personally. In my time I've seen a number go that way.

At 3/13/2006 6:25 PM, Blogger RITA said...

Having looked around your blog, now I can see why you're in such a mental mess. You're all on drugs for God's sake. How can you begin to understand a great saint like Sri Ravi Shankar when you're on drugs! Pitiful!

At 3/13/2006 7:06 PM, Blogger jacflash said...

Rita, you must think very highly of yourself to make such emphatic statements about other people.

At 3/14/2006 7:47 AM, Blogger ontheotherhand said...


Wrong again, Rita. I am not on drugs. They don't interest me, actually. That others do them is their business.

You are on the "drug" of Sri Sri's satsang though. It produces effects like a strong "high" while sitting in his presence or while singing in the group. It erases the mind for some time. Then afterwards you feel lots of energy from it (or even the Kriya). Then some time passes and you just "Have to get to an advanced course or Kriya session". You feel horrible if you don't get to go. You cry if you can't go. You do anything possible to get to sit near to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (if you don't, please note those towards the front, side-glancing at one-another, looking for a spot to usurp, so as to get a better "hit" from the master. Watch also for all the jealousy among the people near to him, if you are a distant devotee. It's quite something to see.) After the satsang/advanced course, you feel great! You'll do any work they ask you to do, signing up for all sorts of duties. Then, after a few days it begins to erode again. You become depressed. You would like to go to satsang again. You would like to see Sri Sri again for that unique "feeling".

If this has not happened to you(yet) then run away fast so it doesn't. It happens to most who get any close association with him, even some who don't get to meet him at all, but are just part of the group.

Doesn't this sound like a drug? I once asked him about this phenomenon and wondered what the difference was between drug addicts and people addicted to his company. He doesn't like those sorts of questions very much. You can say "well, Art of Living people don't ruin their lives by following him! Drug users do!"

Wrong again. Many drug users overspend, give all their money to their drug suppliers, leave their families, all for the sake of the high. Would you like me to enumerate the numbers of people who have done exactly the same things to be near Sri Sri Ravi Shankar? It's quite common. And just like with drug dealers who then have no respect for their loyal followers who buy from them, SSRS's minions even had a name for "outsiders" who had given up their money (in some cases, their life savings at an advanced age!) houses, spouses, careers to be with Sri Sri, and now only worked at his Indian ashram, serving in whatever capacity they were able to: "foreign beggars". This phrase was coined by Sri Sri's sister. Sri Sri's father (!) told me sadly about this. "They are calling all the westerners who have left everything for him 'foreign beggars'".

Sounds like a drug dealer to me. He just deals in a different form of drug -- psychic drugs. The drug of emotional blackmail. The drug of threats if one lacks obedience and refuses to give up absolutely everything.

Now Rita? What do you say?

At 3/14/2006 8:04 AM, Blogger RITA said...

I'd say that you would do well to see a grief counselor, find the true source of your pain, and try to find someone close at hand to give all the love you imagined you were previously giving to Sri Ravi Shankar. When you can actually love another person, you will loose this bitterness and go on, remembering the good that you did receive earlier.

Other than that I would just wish you peace where ever and however you find it. Thank you for your concern for me.

At 3/14/2006 10:02 AM, Blogger ontheotherhand said...

Gee Rita,

Thanks for the advice! First I'm a liar, then a drug addict, now I need a grief counselor, and after all those comments, you wish me peace. Typical Art of Living zombie.

I don't imagine I gave Sri Sri anything but a hard time :-))

Because I don't love Sri Sri Ravi Shankar that means I cannot yet love another person? Interesting point of view. Typical Art of Living crap again. Sorry.

Learn to laugh a little. Remember? Laugh, sing, dance, meditate? Oh, I forgot. I insulted your beloved "Guru".

I'm not in MMY's employ. Wrong again, Rita. But I do suspect you might be employed by Art of Living. Good for you. Get a little of that money he collects so fervently. Enjoy it.

I don't wish you anything. I simply contradict most of what you have said, and maintain that what I have printed in these posts happens to be factual.

At 3/14/2006 10:28 AM, Blogger falseguru said...

Hey Jody,

Sounds like Sri Sri did not really go the conservative ashram, no drugs path. If what ontheotherhand says is true, he may be another sign of what can happen on the psychedelic life path.

At 3/14/2006 10:38 AM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

My guru admitted to me that many monks drink bhang during Shivaratri. It's a little bit of fun in an otherwise strict and conservative approach.

Ramakrishna smoked ganga and kept it on hand at all times for visiting sadhus. It's quite common outside of the stick-up-their-ass puritans who infest yoga culture like herpes.

At 3/14/2006 10:53 AM, Blogger RITA said...

At this point Jody, I suspect that your dog's ass may have been exposed to herpes.

At 3/14/2006 10:59 AM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

At this point Jody, I suspect that your dog's ass may have been exposed to herpes.

Awwwww... Who knew you were so cute when you're trying to be snarky!

At 3/14/2006 11:42 AM, Blogger RITA said...

You have no idea just how cute I am! There are plenty of very cute AOL ladies and we just love a man who loves his dog as much as you seem to, Jody. There must be 50 mentions of your dog's ass on this blog. That's sincere devotion for you!

At 3/14/2006 2:08 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

I must declare that there has been a distinct decline in the quality of postings since Rita came into this forum. I respectfully ask her to desist from gathering here among us. Be gone Rita and sin no more! You're upsetting my good brothers ontheotherhand and the well known dontbullme. There is nothing spiritual about your writings, Rita.

At 3/14/2006 2:17 PM, Blogger RITA said...

Bite me Chuck!

At 3/14/2006 7:04 PM, Blogger jacflash said...

What are you getting out of this, Rita? You aren't enhancing your guru's reputation with all this adolescent name-calling, you're just making a fool of yourself. Why? How does this serve your spiritual aspirations?

At 3/15/2006 10:32 AM, Blogger RITA said...

What are you getting out of this, Rita? You aren't enhancing your guru's reputation with all this adolescent name-calling, you're just making a fool of yourself. Why? How does this serve your spiritual aspirations?

Firstly, I have never claimed Sri Sri as my guru. I have never thought of him as God or worshiped him in any way. All I have said is that his teachings have helped me when adolescent assholes like the ones who blab here, could not. For that help I have felt a natural respect and gratitude. Having stated that, all hell broke loose and the silly adolescents who frequent this blog started dive bombing me. I do not need or expect any teacher to be perfect. Jody seems to have a thing going with his dog and I am still willing to listen to him and reply. His dog probably is the source of Jody’s teaching anyway and I assume he has never taken drugs to attain his gurudogdum. If I am trying to prove anything, it is that I can be just as foul as the rest of you shitbirds. Jacflash, you are no better, with your arrogant condescension and your pablum blabbering about Ram Das. Do you think that nobody here doesn’t hear the bullshit “I am enlightened” in your so soft and sweet voice?

At 3/15/2006 10:57 AM, Blogger dontbullme said...

his teachings have helped me
hahahaha very u still want us to believe that after reading all ur posts...

lets assume he did teach u some what?
Bush policies might have helped few people, so do u want everyone to respect him? this is human being on this planet is perfect(especially the gurus) and we have every right to comment on them.

At 3/15/2006 1:00 PM, Blogger jacflash said...

Sticks and stones, Rita. I still don't get why you bother.

At 3/15/2006 1:32 PM, Blogger ontheotherhand said...

Well Rita you did say that Sri Sri 1008 Holified His Majesty Sri Ravi Shankar was "a saint trying to save the world" and in another posting said that you are very cute and so are lots of Art of Living ladies, lumping yourself with them, which sort of, kind of, I think might, imply that you are, well, um, er, his disciple? At the very least you have said he is a saint and anyone being so critical of him should be ashamed......

Here you are saying that you never said he was perfect.

Umm, let's see here, Websters says:

saint: a holy person.....
holy: spiritually pure, sinless.

So, Rita, I believe you have indicated that Sri Sri is your guru and that you think he is perfect, since saint seems to have perfection as it's definition. If he is not your guru, congratulations! You missed getting bamboozled by him and his silly group. However, your previous posts really do make it seem that you are staunchly defending him because you are devoted to him and follow him.

As for dive-bombing you? I don't really think that I've been nearly as rude as you have been. I have not told you to kiss my ass, nor told you to bite me. I've merely stated facts about Ravi Shankar that are quite contrary to your initial statements about his being a living saint, blah blah blah. I'd hardly call that "all hell breaking lose".

Instead of flatly denying that anything posted here against Ravi Shankar could possibly be true, why not address these critical remarks by countering them with your more powerful statements of experience with him? (If you have anything so personal, near and dear with him to report). Instead of calling people names and insulting them for having a different view and an intimate exposure to this "master" you so respect, why not just say what it is about him that you have seen close up and first hand that you find so wonderful?

As it stands, you only have been showing how little you've learned from the basic Art of Living course, which, btw, I think is of some value to many people, as I have stated in other posts.

At 3/15/2006 4:08 PM, Blogger RITA said...

ontheotherhand keeps revealing how small and weak he feels inside. He tells sad stories about how a rich boy got disappointed because he was told he could pay his way to enlightenment and buy God. All his life he was told that being rich was enough. Now the poor thing has to actually work. Now he is sad and resentful and even now still competitive with SS's devotees. He wants everyone to know how close he was and that nobody else is likely to get as close as he was. Big deal. I have never desired that. If others do, that's their business. You're just another spoiled brat who can't take the slightest slap to his little ego without it bursting into silly flames. Poor little ontheotherhand. Let's all feel sorry for him because he got his feelings hurt. Maybe he himself was in love with SS and got turned down. Maybe that’s how he knows so much about that issue. Still he tries to be so sweet. Bless his little heart!

Take Webster’s dictionary and put it where the sun don’t shine. I never said SS was perfect. The concept of a saint in India does not necessarily mean perfection. I said SS was trying to heal the world not save it. I also never said I was a card carrying member of AOL. I have been helped by SS’s teachings. You yourself have said they were good. Now you claim Brahmananda Sarasvati as your guru. As we all know, dead guru’s don’t kick ass, so you are safe. The truth is that if he were still alive, you would not be welcomed in his presence, not being a Brahmin. Your relationship with him is as imaginary as your porno magazine sweethearts. The real world is too rough on poor ontheotherhand. Bite me!

At 3/15/2006 5:29 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

You sure talk a lot for a gal with only one idea, Rita. Your meter is always running!

At 3/16/2006 7:33 AM, Blogger facedog said...

With your last tirade, Rita, I can see that any attention is wasted on you. You are indefensible.

At 3/16/2006 7:36 AM, Blogger ontheotherhand said...


Now that post is a wonderful example of how Ravi Shankar is trying to heal the world, one disciple at a time!

Your posts, from the first to the most recent, are all the proof anyone would need to say "maybe better stay away from Ravi Shankar and Art of Living."

I know, "bite me, OTOH". Oh well.

At 3/16/2006 8:47 AM, Blogger RITA said...

You're so cute when you get mad ontheotherhand, like a little pekinese wearing a sweater and sequined collar. Look at his fierce little eyes and his little tail tucked in.

At 3/17/2006 11:58 AM, Blogger ontheotherhand said...


Your post here shows just how powerful your mind is. The ability to see through the internet and know a DOG is actually doing the typing! Siddhis extraordinaire.

At 3/17/2006 1:57 PM, Blogger RITA said...

I believe you are sincere in what you say about Sri Sri. If you know that he is scamming the public and even allowing children to be beaten, why not make it public.

At 3/17/2006 2:12 PM, Blogger ontheotherhand said...


Have you seen what happens when people try to expose Sai Baba's abuse of children?

I'm only to post here, or other forums like this. And anonymously, like most ex-Sri Sri people. If you are concerned about the children (if there are any there at the present time) or any of the other abuses of power I've listed, feel free to share this blogspot with Art of Living friends and let them read it. No doubt they will defend him furiously, but that's okay. At least the seed will be planted. He would say "just doubt the doubt" if they ever question him about it.

At 3/17/2006 3:06 PM, Blogger RITA said...

So you don't care about the children themselves? Do you live in India that you need to fear Sri Sri. Are you a man or a mouse?


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