Guruphiliac: Sri Sri's Shameless Flimflamming

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Sri Sri's Shameless Flimflamming

File under: Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

How does an inveterately preening pretty-boy fame-whore get people to believe he is a divine guru? Simply make up some bullshit like this and start getting your "guru" on:
In my experience, the stories really came up in the first phase of the teacher training course (TTC1), which is an indoctrination intensive. Let's see. There was the one told by one of the seniormost teachers and devotees in the US about the space ship that landed at the outskirts of the Bangalore ashram when he and others were staying there for an extended period of time. The visitors had come to see SSRS, of course. More detail wasn't available. Yet another time, they observed him talking in some unknown language looking up in the air. Upon inquiry, SSRS explained that Vasistha had had his ashram at the same location many years ago and that people in those days were much taller, hence his looking up. The devotees asked what instructions had Vasistha brought and the reply was that SSRS wasn't taking instruction from anyone.

Another story, from the same person, was about how SSRS, through a nonchalant-looking gesture of his hand sent a ball of blue light up the nostrils of a kid, whose mother had brought him to a meeting with SSRS in the US early on (late 80s or early 90s) and who had been looking quite disturbed and inadequate. This teacher asked SSRS about it and he replied "Oh, you have seen my magic?" and then explained that the child had time moving backwards in his perception, which he fixed.

Another senior devotee and teacher tells the story of an event which finally convinced her of SSRS's divinity, where a large aggitated male charged SSRS, shouting "Satan! Satan!" in a church in DC, where SSRS was giving a talk. At the last moment, as he was towering over the totally unperturbed SSRS, the man fell down at the guru's feet and started crying.

Then there's the story told by one of the swamis, who was a skeptic when he met SSRS, but a hug sent him into another dimension of consciousness, after which he became a follower. Another story by the same swami has SSRS insistently asking him to not leave the place wherever they were staying that night (I think it was in Delhi). The still immature in his faith in the master swami did not comply and left in a car with other devotees. The next morning, SSRS showed him a newspaper with a story of a car accident the previous night in which a bunch of young people the swami's age had died. SSRS said it should have been the swami, had it not been for a intervention by SSRS. The swami is greatful to SSRS for saving his life (and apparently sending the victims to their doom). In yet another story by the swami, SSRS revealed to him that he was the one who did not go into fight in the Mahabharata as the Lord (SSRS) wanted to preserve him and arranged things so (this was a little vague). The swami had forgotten this, but SSRS remembered.

Another story has SSRS's body go lifeless and droop in a car seat causing distress in the teacher driving him to the venue of a course. He came into the body for a few moments to calm her down and then went out again. Later, at the course venue, she spoke to a participant who assured her that SSRS had been at the course venue all the time that she had been driving him there.

Last year, when he came to the US after visiting Mongolia (where they claim about half of the population has taken AoL courses), stories were told of two paralized ladies getting up from their wheelchairs healed.
Absolute. Complete. Total. Horseshit. This is exactly how a guru flimflammer works. Welcome to the criminal enterprise known as the Art of Living, with its mastermind con man and charlatan, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

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At 4/02/2008 3:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another story said in Bangalore during the first phase of TTC is that there lies under the lake which is on the ashram premises, a devi temple. And when Sri Sri announces his divinity for the whole world to see, as a form of blessing, this devi temple will rise to the surface of the lake for all of mankind to see that the devi too has endorsed Sri Sri's divinity.

At 4/02/2008 8:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, in Washington a critic rushed the stage but fell at Sri Sri's feet in tears? I've heard the same story, but that it happened in Montreal. Does anyone else wonder if these incidents might be staged?

At 4/03/2008 12:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But Jody, I have experienced gurus doing weird stuff. It does happen.

I haven't seen them hanging out with aliens though.

At 4/03/2008 4:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Washington critic may well be an insider acting a role to show the power of Sh*t Sh*t RS. The guy is so deceptive you never know how far he would go.

I attended his talks in the late 1980's or early 1990's. Though I didn't find him inspiring, he seem harmless those early days. He taught weekend workshops himself at a reasonable price. Now he has unpaid volunteers teaching the workshops at outrageous price. If he Sh*t Sh*t really want these techniques to reach the masses, the fees he charge tells a different story.

I don't see why it need to so pricey when it is taught by local unpaid volunteers.

What has changed? How does a meditation instructor become a godman ?

At 4/03/2008 7:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess we're still not done with the need for superstition and the miraculous. when do we truly learn that stuff is all full in the head down to earth ego gunk.

At 4/03/2008 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, in Washington a critic rushed the stage but fell at Sri Sri's feet in tears? I've heard the same story, but that it happened in Montreal. Does anyone else wonder if these incidents might be staged?

Of course. That's a guru-flim-flam standard trick. Sai Baba has done it, lots of them do it. It could be called 'The Attacker Converted'. It's old (the best tricks are old and corny); Paramhansa Yogananda in Autobiography of a Yogi tells a story which is a variation of 'The Attacker Converted'. Of course, Yogananda speaks about it from a believer's perspective.

I'd say this one is pre-historic.


At 4/03/2008 12:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Can you or anyone here find out if Life Bliss Foundation (lead by Paramahamsa Nithyananda ) is anything similar to AoL ? I want to trust the young swami very much but am conflicted and confused.

At 4/04/2008 7:22 AM, Blogger DEEPAK KAMAT said...

Sri Sri is full of stories? They want everybody to believe that he is the only ascended master on Planet Earth who will save mankind.

Sri Sri said to one of his devotee. From now on, there will be only two types of people in this earth -- Those who have done Sudarshan Kriya and those who have not.

What this Mastermind does not realize is that Kriya is not his faher's property. It has been there all along.

Sri Sri -- greedy for money and power -- just converted it for his own purpose. He is not enlgithened as I thought he was once upon a time after doing the basic course.

He is purely a dominating character who wants everybody to imitate him. Thank God, I am out of the cult.

I pity my friends who are still sucking up to Sri Sri? Grow up buddies, grow beyond Gurus and realise your soul yourself.

At 4/04/2008 5:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Deepak Kamat,

SSRS doesn't want you to imitate him to become like him. He want you to be a slavish follower worhshiping him, working as unpaid volunteer making big bucks for him pushing his courses on your family, friends and community. You are so right he does not own sudarsan kriya - even if he had made some changes to the more traditional kriya methods. Kriya has been around for many hundreds if not thousands of years. People like SSRS gives meditation and Vedic tradition is bad name.

At 4/05/2008 12:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi jody what is your definition of God?

At 4/05/2008 1:02 AM, Blogger stuartresnick said...

when Sri Sri announces his divinity for the whole world to see, as a form of blessing, this devi temple will rise to the surface of the lake for all of mankind to see that the devi too has endorsed Sri Sri's divinity.

We appear in this world, who knows how and why. We can see, we can hear, taste, smell, touch, and act. What could be more amazing and miraculous?

Strange that anyone feels the need for comparitively tawdry magic tricks like levitating a temple.


At 4/05/2008 1:40 AM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

what is your definition of God?

Not Sri Sri over any other person who lives on this planet.

At 4/05/2008 4:38 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Anonymous said...
what is your definition of God?

What we're experiencing right now.


At 4/05/2008 10:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jody ,

Click on the following link to know more :

At 4/05/2008 10:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

" Sri Sri’s father Mr.Sundaram was a big fraud, who was kicked out of his job at TAFE(Tractor and Farm Equipment) on charges of misappropriation where he worked as a Inventory Manager. Later on he started the 3 wheeler car ‘badal’ and swindled the investors before the car plant was shutdown.

The son is following in his illustrious fathers footsteps by conning the general public in the name of art of living (to me it looks more like art of lying). His Sudarshana Kriya is nothing more than Paranayama nicely packaged and this guruji has the gall to patent traditional knowledge known to Indians for ages. His disciples are mostly westerners who are looking for instant Nirvaana.

I have heard to some of his audio tapes and it is full of bull crap without any traces of spiritualism. I found Sri Sri’s thoughts on spiritualism was mostly rip offs from maharishi mahesh yogi "

One of the comments from

At 4/05/2008 11:28 PM, Blogger Global Purple Orchestra said...

stuart said
What we're experiencing right now...

So stuart, is God a thing or things, that can be or should be experienced ? Which means the experiencer is quite different from the God 'the experience(s)' ?

At 4/06/2008 10:19 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

[What is God?]

stuart said
What we're experiencing right now...

semblance said...
So stuart, is God a thing or things, that can be or should be experienced ? Which means the experiencer is quite different from the God 'the experience(s)' ?

Why ask me? You have a just-now experience. See for yourself whether or not it's a "thing." See for yourself whether there's a difference between the experiencer and the experience... or whether that's a distinction made by thinking.


At 4/06/2008 2:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the Anon who mentioned the father of SSRS:

Though SSRS is scum, he cannot be blamed for the crimes of his father - unless you believe that souls chooses their parents and came to earth as co-conspirators. This is a dogma I do not accept, not without strong verifiable evidence.

I will continue to assume that children born to criminal/abusive parents are simply unlucky thru no fault of their own.

At 4/07/2008 12:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

taodancing ,

If you read earlier detailed comments of ontheotherhand you would not be defending ssrs.

When the defaulter father was pursued by creditors, the son decided to rescue and his extended family has benefitted considerably since then. Nothing is as lucrative as ' godman ' profession with no accountability or responsibility.

At 4/07/2008 5:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"unless you believe that souls chooses their parents and came to earth as co-conspirators."

Every hear the one where the criminal is before the judge saying, 'You know without me, you'd be out of a job'...or how about Judas was necessary....or Sri Sri and the like exist so Jody could have a blog.. Excuses, Excuses... ;-)

At 4/08/2008 8:28 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Stuart said...Why ask me?


If I was smart enough to know what Stuart and Semblance was talkin about, I'd jump right into the conflab!

At 5/06/2008 11:55 AM, Blogger SK said...

In a satsang at the Art of Living centre in Germany last night, someone asked Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: “Guruji, I have observed that Guruphiliac seems to follow your every move and then writes negative things about you. Why are they doing this?”

This is the gist of what Guruji said: I have inherited an ancient lineage and my job is to further its cause. Neither by thought, nor through word, nor by deed, have I ever done any harm to anyone, nor will I ever do so in the future; it is simply not in my nature. Nobody can expose me because there is nothing to expose: I stand tall, clean and naked in front of the whole world.

I do whatever maximum good I can, and I inspire others to do so. These people who keep writing about me simply cannot leave me alone - they must be in deep love with me! (laughter) When they keep comparing me with other people all the time, I must have made a very deep impression on them. I cannot help it if they can’t get over me - that’s the way I am! If I am that bad and fake, they should simply be able to ignore me and move onto the truth - but why are they are holding onto me, again and again?

If they are trying to teach me a lesson, if their intention is to correct me, then I’m sorry, I am incorrigible! (laughter)

If their idea is to stop people from coming to me, and if people do stop just by reading these blogs, then I really thank them; it is good for me, it reduces my responsibility! If they think I am doing this for publicity, they are unaware of the disadvantages of popularity. I pity them. Celebrities enjoy only popularity, but spiritual leaders have a huge responsibility with that popularity. People do not go to celebrities for guidance and blessings, but with spiritual leaders they do.

If they think I have no right to exist on this planet, then they can crucify me; I am afraid neither of death nor of being defamed. I am not afraid, because nothing can destroy me.

We do charity with the hard earned money from our courses. We are, of course, rich with people and with good character, and I am ready to share this wealth with anyone.

Lest these people understand their hatred is nothing but love standing upside down.

At 5/17/2008 2:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"When the defaulter father was pursued by creditors, the son decided to rescue and his extended family has benefitted considerably since then. " - From where are you getting this information??

At 5/18/2008 1:24 PM, Blogger angelfire said...

As to how someone can get to become a guru!? - a friend told me the other day about an interesting episode at a spiritual gathering or festival, when a woman took someone for being a guru she knew of. That came across to the 'man' in question.. he himself, probably bearded with long hair, decided to act it out, rather then telling the truth! After some acting, and some responses, the newborn 'guru' got completely amazed at what he then felt!! - the immense sense of 'power' - was giving him a direct experience as to how it would feel to be a guru. Then imagine how it will be when millions of people are adoring/loving/surrendering their devotion.. What do we know of the 'real' effects on this? I am currenly under the suspicion that a guru actually can 'enter' your energyfield as a way to 'sign in'... - somethings gotta hold on devotees..

At 5/21/2008 4:59 AM, Blogger Priya Saraiya said...

I was an ardent follower of sri sri ravi shankar till d day i realised i was becoming a slave to his discourses...i went through the biographies of all successful people on this earth including dhirubhai ambani, bill gates, amitabh bachchan and realised they were original thinkers and did not need any guru to liberate them...having said that..i am a huge SRK fan...and i see a lot of similarities in Shah rukh khan and sri sri ravi shankar...both are charismatic to an extent they inspire a great fan following...both are great marketing people...amazing at selling their brand.....both are witty and can answer any question with great intelligence...Both are extremely passionate about their work....both inspire extreme emotions i.e. either people love them or hate is said only "Sex and SRK sells" i think instead it should be "Sex, SRK and Sri Sri R S sell" sum it up....for me...ther is no differnce between Sri Sri and SRK....both are noraml human beings in love with thier lets treat and respect SRI SRI as a successful professional rather than an ethereal saint!

At 5/21/2008 9:15 AM, Blogger angelfire said...

"This is the gist of what Guruji said: I have inherited an ancient lineage and my job is to further its cause. Neither by thought, nor through word, nor by deed, have I ever done any harm to anyone, nor will I ever do so in the future;.."

Well then, the lineage inherited is somewhat different from other lineages. Is it the lineage of enlightenment? - Buddha left all his masters and became enlightened all by himself!! Sri Sri inherited a lineage? - from Maharishi? - very well, many of the concepts are defenitely inherited.

He is not harming anyone, - well I believe so too.. - but many are actually harming themselves in the idiolatry of guru in organisation, and in denying reality when it comes knocking on the door.

In the world of forms, all manifestations are bound to rise and fall like waves on the ocean. Sri Sri should know that he cannot take his organisation to heaven as to ever increase the number of his fold, to increase the "benefits", without increasing the "grudges". It is all quite simple..

The only valuble cause for anyone with such "power", would be to liberate man and woman - sorry to say - I never found that to be his cause.. and that is why it becomes shamelessly flimflamming. Not at the rising wave, but on its return to the sea..

At 6/06/2008 1:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jody, OTOH and the rest of the gang,

Having been in the organisation for a decade, I must say there are some things that Sri Sri surely has lost control of, and among them are the chinese whisper like exaggerated and fact-altered stories people make, and this post is an example of such myths created by people who know him more through stories than real human contact.

I do also feel however that it is not fair to blame SSRS for the myth propaganda by his teachers. There are some experiences I had with him, that i told some friends and I find them in outright Narnia type fairytailised version, totally devoid of the inspiration or clarity that the incident/conversations had provided. I myself listen to some of these accounts in shock and horror, as it is distortion of facts that is happening even in a span of few years. But this is the tendency of people and Sri Sri does all he can to discourage students from making up coo-coo fairytales
and being too air headed about meditation experiences. Of all people he seems to encourage people to think for themselves, and have faith in themselves more than anything, and to put all responsibility of the limitations and exaggerations of his disciples on him is kind of unfair.

And yes the story about the guy running to him as satan etc- happened in St peters basilica in Montreal, one of the old christian churches where Sri Sri addressed a gathering. There were huge protests by christian fundamentalists and the security checked people with metal detectors as they had gotten threats that if the talk is held there could be weapon-fire on Sri Sri. Despite police recommendation to cancel the talk, Sri Sri went ahead and gave the talk, and this man did scarily stand up and violently start talking but Sri Sri made no attempt to stop him and let him go for about 10 minutes as he ranted about a variety of venomous intolerance for religions other than christianity and how Sri Sri had no right to be there.
After patiently listening to the ordeal, and by the way the man did not collapse at his feat, Sri Sri just smiled and replied something like that is why we need multi-religious and spiritual education in the world - the crowd, 2000 montrealers not many of whom were aolites, went in a thunderous applause.

Yes facts do get distorted by people who may have never travelled beyond bangalore-do we call that shameless flimflamming of Sri Sri?
That he has not taken the stick on his disciples asking them to be more careful in narrating stories-granted, that could be his error, but then most of what goes in teacher training is hardly as per the curriculum that he set!!!he has set the meditations and the knowledge exercises and then a lot is the teacher's style how they do things. Some of the DSN teachers also outright laugh at meditation and curriculum set by Sri Sri scoffing and saying-well i teach it "my" way!!!! So a lot of what is happening here needs to be viewed in context. After all, Sri Sri is also a human being and he possibly cannot micromanage what his teachers do!

I would encourage all those uncomfortable by these accounts to go and challenge the source people and enquire from them if they witnessed the event first hand and if not how can they vouch for its accuracy-nothing wrong in asking for references for verification. I bet you most of them will fail in producing one as most is generated by the crowd itself, who is entertained by such myths and notions! Unfair to blame it saying the guru promulgated it when it is actually not the case!


At 6/25/2008 12:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous Said: I am rationalist and request all followers of Sri sri, Ashram bapu and other numerous bapu, All this sri sri, Ramdev are like Gym instructor they teach you yoga and charge fees, and sri sri says atma is immortal then why did he need so much security guards around him, wants big cars, foreign tour and when our country poor people needs help, his banglore ashram cost is Rs.250 crs why such big ashram needed for seva, they charge Rs.5000 for staying of childeren during summer, and provide them unhygenic food and cloths, when they can't provide services by charging fees, how they can provide free of cost to poor. I think people should wake up of this consumerism by so called guru.

At 3/29/2009 6:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ah!! i can understand what kind of life you all people are living. actually you guys are just alive but not living cos there is no life in your living as THE ART OF LIVING IS MISSING!!! God bless you!!! i tell you hate sri sri more cos then only you will become like him.

At 6/04/2009 5:22 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

The problem with all Guru critics is that they are humans. Human beings have very very limited knowledge of the world, universe, creation, purpose of life etc. A guru is one who has identified himself with eternity. To understand him, you need to do selfless service to society. this will get you clarity of thought and vision and expand your consciousness, then only will you appreciate his mysterious ways which all will seem fake acts for fame until then.

At 6/04/2009 9:18 AM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

You sir, are exactly why fauxrus can even exist. There's one born every minute, and you appear to be at the top of that heap.

At 10/27/2009 8:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

preaching like a parrot is very easy any body can read the manual and become AOL teacher but being a AOL teacher myself i hardly see anny aol teacher living in the knowledge that they preach. it more like amway or similar organisation where every body shares the profit. i however continue to remain the aol teacher because he content of the course are very good and useful.but i do not glorify sri sri during the course

At 3/20/2010 6:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the asshole who posted this :
"Sri Sri’s father Mr.Sundaram was a big fraud, who was kicked out of his job at TAFE(Tractor and Farm Equipment) on charges of misappropriation where he worked as a Inventory Manager. Later on he started the 3 wheeler car ‘badal’ and swindled the investors before the car plant was shutdown"


"Rover's Indian partner, sick Sipani, keen on small segment MUV

Meanwhile, the Sipani group, which has come under the purview of the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction in India, is awaiting a rehabilitation programme from the agency to salvage its troubled bottomlines.

Sipani has a history of failures in the automobile arena starting with the country's first three-wheeler car Baadal and the three-door model Dolphin. Even its much-touted tie-up with Rover Car group to produce the Montego range of cars failed to be a good draw in the market, which saw the company's prospects crashing.

The failures notwithstanding, R K Sipani, owner of Sipani Automobiles, still seems to be willing to take a shot at the auto market in India. Even as the company had eroded its net worth, Sipani planned to introduce another vehicle for the Indian market, this time a small segment multi-utility vehicle called Arjun. This eight- to 12-seater was expected to be powered by a 500cc diesel engine by Greaves.

Besides the five car models, the Sipani group has also been producing a tractor at Auto Tractors Limited, a company Sipani took over in 1991.

Sipani Automobiles, which was reeling under accumulated losses of Rs 70.9 million for the 15-month period ended March 31, 1997, had expressed hope in its then annual report that the future of the new vehicle will be bright."

At 4/25/2012 9:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures."
[Bhagavad Gita 7:20]

The Gita states that people who are materialistic worship demigods i.e. ‘gods’ besides the True God.

At 1/26/2017 10:40 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Since My sister has followed a spiritual guru from Bangalore. She gave up her life to worship him as god. She basically a homeless, no job, no money, no friends...
5 years ago, she has everything, beautiful girl, intelligent, educated, high demanding job... now she lives under my roof, cuz she couldn't able to work. All she does is meditation, chanting, detoxing and some kind of chakras and kundalini things...
I don't know that she is a cult member or brainwashed person. I really don't know what to do. She is driving my family insane of her way of living. It has been 5 years, and it doesn't get any better. Will she ever be able to have her normal life back?
Please excuse me for bad English which is my second language.

At 5/25/2020 9:07 AM, Blogger Goodwill Hunter said...

Tony, nudge your sister to do Qi Jong (basic) and gently introduce her to the pitfalls and critical revealations of the cult she is associated. There may be videos on YouTube, QnA threads on Quora and make her engage in household chores and ask her to do it as a service out of her devotion. I know this sounds somehwhat ridiculuous but it takes time for the brainwashed pattern to ease off and the person to become normal like he or she once was.

One of the other most important things you can do is to help her ground - sit across together and watch family photos ask her to recount the scenes and relate her experiences, she will remember how she was. It will help a big deal.


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