Guruphiliac: The Real Sri Sri

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Real Sri Sri

File under: Gurubusting

Quite often, Kool-Aid drunk devotees just can't fathom why we don't like Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. This is why:
Get to know SSRS a bit better and you might not respect him so much. If only the bulk of his Indian following knew! Chuck gives a very accurate description of the AOL course, from his own perspective, of course. Why should anyone feel that Ravi Shankar is superior to them? Because you do? He started off as a sincere man with some knowledge, quite a lot of it, in fact, some compassion, good intentions, and got, imo, overwhelmed by the money, the name and fame. He changed very quickly as he because famous. If you didn't know him in 1990, then you cannot possibly know that fact about him. The man is a fallen yogi. That's about it. I feel sorry for him and all his devotees. They will get lead nowhere by him.

The great Tiruchi Swamigal (now in Maha Samadhi) was someone whom Ravi Shankar went to for advice and help. He felt that Swamiji was superior to him, evidently. I was once present when Swamiji counseled a distraught young man who had been threatened by Ravi Shankar (that he would be destroyed if he left him without permission). The man said that he had been told by SSRS "you will never be happy in this life if you leave me. I will destroy you...." Sickening, really. Then Tiruchi Swamigal replied, laughing: "It would have been better of Ravi Shankar would have gotten married, I think. Why should you be destroyed or unhappy if he says so? So many people never heard of him, and they live perfectly happy lives! You have followed a blind man and you yourself are blind. Now, you have ended up in a pit as a result. It's good you have left. Go and tell everyone what you know about him. Write a book about it. It will do him some good, maybe". Then he laughed a lot. If you knew Tiruchi Swamigal, then you know that it's rare for him to have someone sitting for long in front of him. So I was indeed fortunate to be a "fly on the wall" as this conversation took place that day. And so I felt good that I had already made the decision not to follow SSRS any more, knowing how corrupted he had become, and how corrupt the entire organization was.
There are a number of these sort of accounts peppering the comments sections of this blog. You've got to dig for them a bit, but these are all the evidence we need to proclaim Sri Sri the most fame-lusting fauxru to hit the scene since his former mentor the Maharishi decided he was going to take over the world.



At 11/05/2007 12:09 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Old "on the other hand" sure knows how to tell it like it is! I wonder if Mugharishi threatned poor Shri Shri when he left his teacher without permission. They've both been lyin about that ever since. When I saw poor Shri Shri in 1990, he seemed quite hurt and embarrassed by Maha's henchmen who came to his talk to publically denounce the fellow!

At 11/07/2007 3:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People pass through all sorts of situations whether it is the devotees or their Guru.Nobody who comes into this Sansara is immune.Krishna is a perfect example of someone revered as a God incarnate as well as decried as a charlatan & sly politician & humiliated viciously at the same time.The only proof of his Godliness is that his side won the Great War in the end.Similarly Jesus,he was murdered at the cross but 500 years later,people who hadn't even personally known him set up an organisation called the Church which had Jesus as a central Messiah figure.It also happened with Budhdha.If people judge God & Gurus simply on the basis of what happened to them.....
Well that is what is called Maya by the Rishis.In Yoga,the only requirement is the sincerity of the seeker.The sincerity & devotion of a seeker takes him or her where he or she has to go.Om Namo Narayana.Respect to all Gurus.

At 11/07/2007 7:34 AM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

The sincerity & devotion of a seeker takes him or her where he or she has to go.

This is very true and why very bad gurus can still be great for the right person.

However, none of that excuses Sri Sri for being an asshole, and none of that is any reason to continue to follow an asshole after you know they're an asshole.

At 11/07/2007 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Hinduism,there is nothing like a good or a bad Guru.Everybody has a right to follow the Guru of their choice.It is a dynamic & ever evolving religion unlike the Semitic ones whose mindsets currently guide a large part of humanity.We Hindus create new Gods & Gurus everyday.

At 11/07/2007 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every spiritual teacher in this world has had his or her detractors.How are you going to judge who's right?Ramana Maharishi was accused of keeping concubines in Madras & fathering several children from them when he was alive.Similarly you have detractors of Amma etc.How to decide?

At 11/07/2007 10:01 AM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

How to decide?

It's very simple. Does the guru present themselves as a normal individual who has come to that special understanding termed jnana, or are they presented as some kind of magical, mythically-empowered special example of extraordinary divinity.

If it's the latter, run like you're being chased by a tiger, because that person is full of shit.

At 11/07/2007 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Jody.I have just been to Arunachala & just saw how Ramana Maharishi is being worshipped like a God with pricey differential ticketing,loads of security,& devotees being herded like goats.I am done with Ramana.To hell with him.

At 11/07/2007 10:11 AM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

I am done with Ramana.

You are not done with Ramana. You are done with a bullshit, commercial facsimile of Ramana which was designed for nothing more than taking money.

Ramana has as much to do with all that as my dog's ass.

At 11/07/2007 10:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a difference between Western & Indian seekers.Westerners seek presonal attention as they are doing something different from their religious tradition.Indians are already living that religion & so seek reformers & that is how Hinduism survives.One must never judge a Guru by the size & nature of his/her following or Ashram.If you do,it is just your personal opinion & you should be honest about it.

At 11/07/2007 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In India a Guru is judged by his follwers numbers & status.People think that since so many people are going to a particular Guru he/she may be good.In India,people rely on other people's recommendations for everything,from TV serials to shampoos to gods & gurus.Very different from how things are in the West.Not only this,every Guru's supporter is criticizing the other one's Guru.So take every Indian's criticism about Sri Sri,Amma,Ramana Maharishi etc with a pinch of salt.They might have another Guru & they may be plain jealous about the attention the other one is getting.
Sarcasm apart,India has always preferred mass based Gurus even in the most pious times.It has got to do with the fact that in India,Hinduism is a proper religion & means everything to approx 80% of the people & due to it's unique nature of reforming itself every few years-a mass movement becomes necessary.
You have had Gurus like Guru Ramdas whose 1,00,000 devotees lead by Shivaji drove the Mughal Army out of Maratha country & founded the Maratha Empire which streched to present day Afghanistan.It had quite a few capable Muslim Generals also who were not discriminated against in any way.The dogma of Hinduism is a unique one.It is a Universalist Religion & not an Exclusivist one.Hindus generally believe thieir religion & customs are not at conflict with any other belief syatem as "all paths lead to One God".I think those who tell people that Gurus ought to have small establishments are not in touch with the Indian Spiritual Tradition.You've got all types of Gurus here in the Scriptures-from Royal ones like Vasishtha to mass based like Valmiki to loners like the Warrior Guru Parashurama.

At 11/07/2007 1:16 PM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

I think those who tell people that Gurus ought to have small establishments are not in touch with the Indian Spiritual Tradition.

Yes. Unfortunately, almost all of "Indian Spiritual Tradition" is not in touch with Vedanta, its very distillation of truth.

At 11/07/2007 1:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, and then you have all sorts of fakes as well. I just love that whenever someone says something truthful and objectionable about their Guru, they then start comparing the same fake fool to Jesus or Krishna in that they were also maligned by people. What rubbish. A fake is a fake. SSRS is a fake.

At 11/08/2007 2:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Jody

Vedanta never means you put yourself in a hole.All Indian Gurus whether Spiritual or Warrior or Politician Gurus derive from that same tradition.You can comment on Gurus only when you yourself have lived like a Hindu.For you Westerners & Westernised Indians,a Guru is one you should be able to keep in your pocket or closet.You can't digest when he grows big & dosen't give you attention.Your egos get hurt & you trash that guru & start eulogising the dead ones.They are not going to shock you by their actions,they are just going to smile from their photos & conform to your very christian ideas of a saint (only the dead can be saints in christianity after all).You learn nothing,go on forming opinions,get beaten up (deservingly so) at holy places like Varanasi & then shamelessly go on to rant about it.This will not be tolerated for long in a resurgent & powerful India proud of its culture & roots.
Sri Sri & Ramdev are not personal Gurus.They are Socio-spiritual Gurus who are bringing about a big social transformation in India.People like you who want a Guru in your pocket naturally find them repulsive.It is your ego stupid.They are true to themselves & the roles they have to play in the world.We Indians have built our lives,our society & our social institutions arund Vedanta.Do not try to prove us as fools.Instead you could start with spreading the vedanta & sanatana dharma in your christian lands.

At 11/08/2007 2:20 PM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

Instead you could start with spreading the vedanta

I'm trying, but your big-time gurus keep fucking it all up by claiming to be more God than you and I.

At 11/11/2007 2:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jody, a Guru is a Guru only to his devotees. Stop condemning the Guru's behaviour or external attributes because that is not what a devotee sees. If he sees differently, he is no longer a devotee.

IMHO let the devotee continue to bond with the Guru who gives him or her strength to go through the vicissitudes of life. You are entitled to your opinion so long as it does not hurt others. You mentioned that the behaviour of ones devotees is as much related to Ramana Maharishi as "my dog's ass". However, why hold Sri Sri or Amma accountable for the behaviour of their followers. Judge all Gurus dead or alive by the same standards unless, of course, they are the perpetrators. Incidentally, if we did not have Gurus such as Sri Sri or Amma, we would have been awash with Christian missionaries killing off what little is left of Sanatan Dharma.

At 11/11/2007 9:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous said...we would have been awash with Christian missionaries killing off what little is left of Sanatan Dharma.

Isn't it grand to have enemies you can conveniently blame for the decay of your religion and culture? Missionaries suck, that is for sure but so does the caste system, dowry killings, genocide of female fetuses, total disregard for the earth and the poor, and the incredible arrogance of your rich.

At 11/12/2007 7:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Betty. As a male Indian, and practicing Hindu, I also happen to agree with you completely.

Are you aware that in the United States of America there are doctors who will no longer disclose the sex of a fetus to an Indian female patient because they know what that could mean? (Abortion based on sex only). So now there are accomodating Indian females that one can consult so that you know which American doctors to go to who WILL tell you the gender result of the test so you can abort if it's female.
Yes, this is now going on in America with NRIs.

In India, when you enter any decent clinic or hospital, they have huge signs that have the "no" in red (circle with a line drawn through) for sex determination. Of course, many doctors ignore this law.

As a result of this disgusting and sad practice, whole areas of Punjab state, a generation after the introduction of this "convenient" test, find themselves without any brides for the grooms! They are forced to go to other states, outside of their own language and customs, where gender selection is not as important as in Punjab, to find a bride! Still, these morons don't learn, and continue to test and abort according to sex!! They are left with a huge imbalance of male to female ratio in the 20-30 age range.

It makes Sardar jokes seem true as opposed to funny.

At 11/12/2007 8:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous said...It makes Sardar jokes seem true as opposed to funny.

Mother Nature always gets the last laugh and She is getting ready right now, taking a big, deep breath from the belly.

At 11/30/2007 5:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Veering away from the India, non-india bashing, let me come back to the original topic :)

A guru is known through prescence alone. The prescence is experienced by every individual differently, and thats why we say don't judge devotees or Gurus. If one person cannot feel the prescence, that doesn't mean other people cannot!

A guru is not his actions, and not his relationships and not his body.

At 11/30/2007 7:56 AM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

A guru is known through prescence alone. The prescence is experienced by every individual differently, and thats why we say don't judge devotees or Gurus. If one person cannot feel the prescence, that doesn't mean other people cannot!

Here, we judge gurus on how they attempt to create their presence, either through miracle-mongering, spreading superstitious ideas or otherwise making sure they are up on a pedestal.

Presence is a function of the devotees' expectations, which big-time gurus must cultivate in order to appear holy and imbued with magic powers. All the guru's power is in the heads of the devotees. It's the faith of the devotee that does it all. S/he could have faith in a rock and it could function as guru.

A guru is not his actions, and not his relationships and not his body.

Your quaint definition of guru is what allows the crooked ones to get away with their crimes. We don't buy that bullshit here, and treat gurus as we would any other person who seeks to exalt themselves at the expense of the spiritual clarity of their followers.

At 2/28/2008 2:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its sad to see intelligent mind spending their energy in discussing who is right who is not..if you want to make real difference, go out and work with youth, criminals, women...whatever is your passion. No point throwing mud at have wasted enough time doing that and are promoting that behaviour. All these are words!!! you want to really know a person...go by what they are doing:

See this: And I can guarantee that these are not just words, since I was part of many of these projects, and I helped to put this together.

At 2/28/2008 2:38 PM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

you want to really know a person...go by what they are doing

All that "doing" is simply to present a more favorable picture of the grandiose and excessively self-admiring little man who is the biggest famewhore gurudom has to offer at the moment.

At 3/14/2008 6:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think becoming a follower of any living guru can ruin one's life. My family members have become followers of SSRS and thru it our family has only suffered. My father and brother have boosted their ego for no reasons and have become very grouchy. I wonder how can that be art of living. Our home has become a living hell.

At 6/20/2012 5:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not want to comment on Sri Sri, but yes, his secretary is a crook and has a habit of sleeping with married women


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