Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The blind and the seva

For more than a decade I ran on behalf of the AoL here and there “saving the world.” The world is not perfect. It was not back when I joined the AoL. Many things can be improved in the world, but listening to SSRS somehow makes you feel something must be done urgently before we are all doomed, and that salvation depended on, specifically, his intervention. I don’t know if I have become thick headed or if actually I evolved, but I now see the world is simply so perfect as it is, in its imperfections. Wanting to make the world better is nice, but having the feverishness to change the world is insane.

The man who taught me to “accept things and people as they are”, that noone could change anyone, except by accepting followed by responsibility detached from results, and that everything from the Divine is perfect, was, at the same time, urging me to change the world and everyone because what the Divine had done was not good enough.

Seva warriors or seva angels were so stimulated, so excited, so feverish in their conquering of seva, the only image that comes to my mind right now is that of many teenagers running around with excessive hormones trying to copulate with whatever comes in front of them! These behaviors obviously came with aggression, competitiveness, lack of integrity, instability, personality disorders, dissonance, etc. Anything was acceptable as long as results were achieved. I literally understood the saying, “over my dead body” coexisting with AoL teachers. I still don’t perceive corrupting values to uplift human values spiritual. I could be wrong. But I remember how upset Ravishankar was the day I told him it was hypocritical to break values in the name of human values.

There were a few seva projects here and there. I was one of those teachers who went without sleep or food for many days in crazy projects in crazy areas. I thought it was the best yet I did not receive the proper support, and finally faced the truth it was all for publicity or added material for his NPP nomination. None of those projects had real continuation. The real seva in the AoL was actually to bring more people to the course, organize courses, teach courses. Let’s face it. That is about 90% of the seva projects (oh yes, and doing the dishes and cleaning the toilets and ironing his clothes). The rest is placebo, a pretty decoration, an extra spice. Bringing more people will not change the world! It is all to add more money to his family account, value to his popularity, evidence for his narcissism.

Every time I clean the house, do the dishes, etc. I joke with myself, “Oh I am doing seva!”

Not long ago, I was crossing the street and turned around to see a blind man trying to cross too. I went back and offered to lead him. I helped him walk 3 blocks. When we reached his final destination, I had this immense feeling of satisfaction. I pondered about it for a long time and realized it was the first real seva I had done in years!

There I was, someone who for over a decade prided in having dedicated life to the selfless service to humankind realizing that was the one real seva I had done in years! The rest had been actually enrolling people to a course that is a fraud! The Greek have to agree it is indeed tragic comedy!

I was always reminded of all the merits I was earning from all the seva! When I think about it now, I shriek at the thought of all the karma I probably created on myself for having brought so many to the path of “devolution”.

The blind helped me see.


Anonymous said...

Klim ,

You are so honest.That relative of mine travels by train from one corner of India to Bangalore aol ashram of Ravishankar to clean toilets sleeping only few hours in the night. Irony being , would not wash a single teaspoon , leave alone the toilet in her own house.

(Btw , I find his smile & eyes pure evil)All such seva have wrecked her marriage as the husband is no moron. The only child who was abandoned frequently had to gorge on maggi instant noodles. Only to become an obese teenager that she too is being dragged to do sudarshan kriya plus seva to wipe out her 'bad karma'.

This evil SSRS is converting people into idiots. There is a powerful group of hindu lobby muzzling sceptics with:

" Keep quiet , indooism is in danger, he is preventing conversions; otherwise all will become Christians....he is bringing peace between hindus & muslims...." and more such pukesome bilge.

In Middle East, he craftily avoids using words like religion & hinduism.Thus roping in rich Arabs to part with dinars all in the name of good health , lowering hypertension , stress yadayada.

His worshippers/footsoldiers are dangerous idiotised automatons.

OTOH reported a female teacher in the ashram was beaten up by a male teacher with a shoe in the very presence of Ravishankar. She sat in a corner with bruises & swollen eyes crying. And evil SSRS was happily smiling. When asked to intervene or console her , SSRS said:-

" Ignore her, that is her karma".

SSRS makes unsavoury 'jokes' about the physical attributes of female teachers behind their backs to his male sycophants.

He is one of those mighty Untouchables in India.

Anonymous said...

The irony is that one of the most egoistic people (herds of people) I have come across are the so called AOL senior teachers/ volunteers. They think they are very special (high prana) & knowledgeable (hearing to a few talks) backed by almighty SSRS and end up being a bundle of ego and most of them even try to imitate SSRS in his expression, gestures, tone, looks. All looks like a drama...no genunity at all. If not all, but a lot many of senior teachers are unworthy egoist's.

There is one AOL volunteer in my cousin's office, who claims he is in the SSRS's Noble Peace Prize (NPP) committee. This volunteer hardly works in office, he goofs around the office claiming he has good contacts with all politicians and bla bla...having worked in NPP committee. Many managers are pissed off, but just ignore as he claims political back up & few managers who have done AOL course feels bounded to keep their mouth shut bcos of false gratitute for AOL and this volunteer who enrolled them. In office he talks and works only for AOL, but draws hefty salary from this multinational software company he supposedly is working for.

Sheer misuse of name, power & gratitute bestowed by people to SSRS.

Thats why it rightly said: "Half knowledge is dangerous". Such people are neither enlightened nor innocent, they are bubling egoistic. And they teach others the Art of Living Life. Alas!

JIvani said...

Stopping to help a blind person cross the street is a great service. I too used to desparately try to do seva and serve the Guru. One day I realized it's the things that seem small that make huge differences in the world. Like being available for friends, writing a letter to my Grandmother, or offering to help someone move.

I have a friend who jets around the world to help starving children but when I call, she never has time for me and even acts like the friendship is a bother. She's simply too busy saving the world.

So, whenever I hear "do service" in AoL or think I'm not doing enough, I think of a seemingly small thing I can do which may not seem like a lot to some but has a huge impact.

ritha said...

@jlvani yes i do the weekly long kriya and apart from that have no involvement in aol because i feel real seva starts at home and all i had chemical imbalancs in my brain and no modern medicine helped me but long kriya does so thats the only reason im doing the practicies.... yes i give more importance 2 non aol seva as in the gita it says seva and chairt begin at home so only aol seva donating old clothes to an aol slum in my vicity thats it.. otherwise i dont care and i didnt have a maqid or a poor person 2 give away the clothes..

Pastrami said...

I enjoy your blog but find it interesting that you continue to use the word "feverish" which is clearly an AOL term and something popularized by SSRS in his books and speeches.
I for one, never understood why this word was being used by SSRS as it seemed like a strange choice for dialogues and it was picked up by many followers as if it was the word du jour for every conversation. I guess it has something to do with his Indian background since I've never heard any American using this term in similar contexts, only hearing it exclusively by AOL followers and Da Man himself.
I would suggest if you have left this movement and are de-programming, you lose their kitchy little terms as well, since most people outside the movement don't use these words as well.
Just my $.02.
Keep up the good work and don't stop!

Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks for sharing. I managed to get out of the grips of another such thug called "Paramahamsa Nithyananda".

Your experience sounds similar to people like me who have "missed the Master" as Nithyananda would say. As you have said, in the name of saving the world, all integrity is compromised. It is sickening.

Glad you are out and have started this blog. We are doing the same on the Nithyananda side of the "thug camp".