Monday, December 14, 2009

Maharishi, Maharishi not

Stories about how terribly “Guruji” was treated in the TM movement were told all the time. We heard how horrible Nankishore was, or rather, we knew how much “Guruji” did not like Nankishore. We were told “Guruji” was every TMer’s envy: he was Maharishi’s right hand, favourite secretary.

There were stories such as,
• Maharishi was told the man who would bring about the spiritual revolution of the new millennium would come to him. He recognized Ravi as this man.
• Once Maharishi asked Pundit Ravi to go somewhere and the other devotees, in a rage of envy, slashed the tires of his car so that he would not reach the event and be in trouble with the Master. His was so one-pointed he found ways to make it anyway.
• Maharishi was very mad at him when he left. He wanted him to become one of the Shankaracharyas instead of creating his own movement and become a competition.
• All of TM will become AoL’s (also all of Sai Baba, Chriatianity, in fact, all devotees of other Gurus and all religions will be his, except the Muslims, of course, and China Mainland would have to wait for his next birth, at least as one of his Indian teachers heard him once say).
• Ravishankar is the reincarnation of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati. Thus, Maharishi was his favorite disciple and his beloved master, and viceversa. Once in a while he would ask one of his German teachers to share his personal collection of photographs of Ravi in the early years and TM times, compare them with Gurudev’s and tell stories that would indicate the similarities (people came out of those talks mesmerized, or rather, idiotized! Of course, we were the best, following the best).
• Maharishi spoke badly about Ravi to the group when in fact he himself instructed him to leave and create his own movement.

I don’t know what is true and what is not. I just know they were all rumors that favored Ravishankar and that I myself never questioned. Long after I left, I met various long-time TMers who said Ravi (as they called him) never taught meditation, never underwent a TTC, was just a pundit boy, was a secretary but not Maharishi’s favorite (in fact, there were hundreds of secretaries), coordinated (not taught) the Patanjali courses. Apparently Maharishi said terrible things about him. The hush-hush one being, “he is dangerous. Sugar coated poison.”

I also don’t know which is true. Though, as far as I am concerned, Ravi does not behave that differently from Maharishi. He himself has cursed his own disciples who left and spread lies about many of them. After reading things about Maharishi and the way he conducted his movement, I doubt Maharishi actually blessed and instructed Pundit Ravi to leave and create his own organization. They both are just as ambitious and narcissistic, and they both have been deceitful about their techniques and teachings. Funny, I remember someone asking SSRS how he came up with the name “Art of Living”, to which he replied, “It just happened.” It just happened? What about Maharishi published a book called Science of Being and Art of Living?

Former TMers who left TM to follow Ravi hoped to join an organization with less politics, hierarchy and rules. Somehow, though, it seems AoL may have become an organization with a lot more politics, hierarchy and insanity than TM (although in AoL, you would often hear, ”Oh, it is a lot worse in TM”). We can agree on one thing: Ravi did a wonderful job in perfecting and expanding the work of his master!

The typical discourse to devotees, especially teachers, in the midst of politics was, “Oh, Guruji also had to go through these politics. If he could, you also can. Look how beautiful and strong it made him. You are so lucky you are given his same opportunity. They also envied him. They also lied about him. His own master lied about him.”

For many AoL devotees, psychological survival includes believing these remarks and drop the mind. Whatever our Master did, however he behaved, was for our own growth and that of the “greater cause.”

Somehow we never questioned this as devotees: if all the bad things said about Maharishi are correct, does it mean Sri Sri was initiated by a fraud? Does that mean “Guruji” is a fraud? Instead, we simply turned the stories around to support our dissonance and save our minds.

When Maharishi left the body, Sri Sri and company were proud to inform HE was invited to the funeral. Other than an obvious press release, the exciting highlight was “he was invited to sit in the front row. Justice was done.” For Sri Sri and company it meant TM finally acknowledged him and gave him the seat he deserves (even if, literally, over his dead body).

For Sri Sri, his master’s death was his own victory.
Victory to the big mind? Jai Gurudev, indeed.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

The picture of the guru parampara used in AoL is the same picture used by TM. In that picture, Maharishi is the last guru in the succession and is depicted at the feet of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati. AoL did not even alter the picture to accomodate Ravi in the succession. Instead, the version of him being the incarnation of SBS was adopted. The implication is that all that Maharishi did was to carry on his master's work between incarnations and now the master himself is taking it to the next level. This created the ground for AoL being perceived as superior to TM within the minds of the devotees.

And all this nonsense happens while lip service is paid to Advaita teachings.

BTW, we should publish the kriya notes one of these days. Much can be seen there.

KLIM said...

The first time SSRS saw the altered guru parampara picture with Maharishi added at the bottom of the succession of masters, he got upset and critized Maharishi. A few years later, when he introduced the Guru Puja course, the Guru Parampara picture used, distributed and sold to everyone, is exactly the same one originally used by TM, with SSRS at the bottom of it (at the feet of Gurudev), no Maharishi. I wonder if Maharishi got upset instead!

Anonymous said...

I have not seen the picture with RS at the feet of SBS. All the pictures I've seen in AoL had Maharishi at the feet of SBS and we were told that RS was the incarnation of SBS.

KLIM said...

Interesting. I am wondering which country are you in and what period of time you are talking about. Find someone who recently did the Guru Puja course to see the latest Holy Tradition. Will be curious to know your opinion.

Anonymous said...

I quit in early 2008 so have not seen any pictures after that time. I am based in the US.

I remember some of us during TTC being uncertain who was depicted at the bottom of the guru parampara - RS or Maharishi - and being told it was Maharishi serving Swami Brahmananda Saraswati (Gurudev), whose incarnation RS was. In this connection, the story is usually retold about the old woman devotee of SBS who recognized him in RS.

KLIM said...

Oh yes, I am laughing remembering the stories about the woman who recognized SSRS! The only female devotee of Gurudev. If you are talking about the picture with a person standing on the side, holding the hands up as if offering something, according to the guys who actually photoshopped it, it is SSRS, as per the request of Bhanu. If in the US, later, the TTC teachers (ex TMers) changed the version of the story, I would not be surprised. AoL was based on thousands of versions of diverse rumors, as you probably well remember. Thank you for your info. You left shortly after your TTC, I guess.

Anonymous said...

I became a teacher in the summer of 2005. My TTC1 was in December 2004/January 2005.

Anonymous said...

KLIM,

I did my TTCs in 2001 and 2003 at B'lore. Those days the main 'Guru stories' were based on experiences by V.K., our Phase-I teacher. The story of the tyre puncture and the lady who needed money for operation, Sri Sri calling him in an unknown guest house after VK watched the movie, DDLJ,.. and many like that. I have heard from many people stories about his abilities to know about people's past secrets, et al.
Do you think these stories are all lies, exhaggerations, or does he possess certain Siddhis? What has been your experience?

Anonymous said...

"Do you think these stories are all lies, exhaggerations, or does he possess certain Siddhis? What has been your experience?"

Why should all this matter? All these concern only the perceptions of the ego and have nothing to do with the ultimate teachings of nonduality. That's why I say AoL pays only lip service to Advaita, because while there are the commentaries on the Ashtavakra Gita and the promotion of the Yoga Vasistha, the notions that get reaffirmed in AoL on a daily basis could not be further removed from the realization that AG and YV represent. Sadly, so many of us buy into the nonsense.

Anonymous said...

I dont know if Sri Sri Ravishankar possesses any sidhdhies because I dont know what sidhdhies are. I assure you from my very own experience that he can clearly read your thoughts (no matter which language you think in), knows your name, your background, your past etc. To date I have never even opened my mouth before him. I am a highly educated person pursuing my small career. Now I earn just enough to go on. I am not a spiritual person. I took aol courses because I badly needed some sort of stress management techniques after losing my plum job and good thriving career. I eventually met Sri Sri Ravishankar face to face at Bangalore Ashram in Part II course. As a person / guru he simply amazed me. He did not ask for anything from me instead he gave me something and just walked away. I was least expecting that gift or anything from him. When we were so close face to face to me he appeared to be an outstandingly brilliant and exremely extremely tough man with simple living. AOL is an organization full of all kinds of people and minds( and nuts). Like a typical corporate there are bound to be jealousies, pettiness, politics and other bad things. So far I have found AOL courses to be useful. After readong your blog you seem to be a really nice person who is deeply hurt and feels disillusioned. I pray that you find peace of mind and be able to move on spiritual path and also prosper materially. May God Bless.

Anonymous said...

Well I find it very intersting. Being an ex-aolite, putting ravi into his true historical setting and exposing his fraudulent and coerceive self representation sets me free. So if any one knows anything about this subject I be gratefull. Maybe we should ask our friends on TM-Free if they are able to dig anything up?

Anonymous said...

To Anon DEC15, 8:02 PM
You know too little of him and the organization and yet it does not take away that perhaps the course did help you when you needed it. It takes a lot more than just giving you a smile, give you something you did not expect and leave, to know if someone is for real or not. Behind the scenes, SSRS is not what he projects to the public, to those newcomers, to the new clients he wants to conquer, like he did evidently with you. Don't worry. We all were there once. It is not just the opinion/experience of Klim.

Anonymous said...

Being able to predict things or know things should not be the determining factor of whether someone is enlightened or not, good or not, a spiritual master or not. There are many psychics out there. There are many people who, without being psychic, also have very sharp intuition. The mistake is to use all of this magical thinking to boost SSRS. He does not know everything. He has made many wrong predictions. Very wrong. The stories that float around, are less than 10% true, and mainly, fabrications of his devotees who have the need to believe. When I was on board, I also contributed, so I know. I was with him very closely. Being a good psychic is definitely not one of his fortes. He's even blessed people to get married when the guy was a married guy with children and all! "Very good match, good good." Come on! And even if he has the siddhi to see, what does it matter? On the contrary, he bluffs with magical stuff, to captivate people who need to believe or who have a weakness for stuff like that. The human mind is weak. He knows it and he takes advantage of it. He tells us not to go to psychics and astrologers but then he uses all of that to grab people. Come on! Open your eyes.

zhoro said...

One of the centerpieces of the intense training programs, such as TTC and DSN, is to convince one to believe in RS's supernormal powers (siddhi). The extraordinary focus that is placed on these has the effect of creating an army of blinded followers, while at the same time keeping at bay the truth that all these phenomena such as siddhi take place in the realm of the mind. The same mind that AoL pays lip service to transcending. As a result, we end up with an army of devotees spinning their wheels following their leader without edging any closer to the truth. RS's responsibility in this cannot be denied because he is the one who has designed the training to a tee regardless of the minor details of the execution by his senior teachers. If he were interested in it, he has the power to stop this nonsense. Instead, he perpetuates it.

CHUCK said...

I met She She face to face a couple of times and he impressed yours truly as a weak sister. We know now that Mugharishi in his early days enjoyed a little lay down with the gals. But I'd guess the opposite is true of She She. He likely prefers the guys. As for his siddhis, forget about it! Although when I did meet him the second time, he didn't wast a second on me, just focussed in on my friend who happens to be a wealthier sort of fellow and much nicer than yours truly. I thought at the time that he had cognized that I was poor and my friend was rich! Later I figured it might have somethin to do with me wearin overalls, string tie, straw stetson, and cowboy boots...

Anonymous said...

KLIM,

Are you the same person who came on Jody's blog by the id 'On the Other Hand' a couple of years ago?

KLIM said...

No. What did "On the other hand" say?

Anonymous said...

On the Other Hand...

http://www.google.com/cse?cx=partner-pub-5003566892527367%3A6eszkoj2p3h&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=on+the+other+hand&sa=Search&siteurl=guruphiliac.blogspot.com%2Fsearch%3Fq%3Don%2Bthe%2Bother%2Bhand