Monday, February 22, 2010

Violence and deceit promotes you

A common satsang question was, “Why are you surrounded by such horrible people?” A usual clever Ravishankar response was, “because they’d do more damage in the world” (implying it was his “seva” to keep them close to him). Witty. People laughed, some applauded. I have never met anyone with such a talent - an expert orator, creative liar, most brilliant manipulator. They say Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Castro possessed this skill with the words too - mesmerized and hypnotized the masses.

When I joined “the club” I believed spiritual qualities, values and growth was what promoted someone or made someone a Part 1, Part 2 or meditation teacher. With time, I realized anyone could become a teacher (in fact, in some areas, you can do so in 3 weeks: TTC1 and TTC2), even those with violent psychopathology. Furthermore, the ones most capable of extortion, distortion, manipulation and violence were the ones who got promoted the most to higher positions.

“Here is this evolved soul who will teach my advanced course.” Wrong. In the AoL violence and deceit is what qualifies someone for promotion. Let’s face it. How qualified and evolved does one need to be in order to play the Hollow and Empties while the class undergoes trance induction, keeps silence, cleans toilets and does dishes, and if someone wants to leave, you tell them and the class it is a sign of their weakness, fears and ego? How difficult is to teach meditation when mantras are listed and given by age and gender? How advanced does one need to be to physically, verbally and psychological abuse in DSN? How deep does one need to be to press play for people to breath in and out with “So Ham So Ham So Ham”, and recite, “Expectations reduce the joy in life”, “accept people as they are”, etc.?

If you carefully observe, the people Shankar coincidentally places in position of power are the ones quickest and best in manipulating and lying without any ounce of remorse. “The means justifies the end”, stated Machiavelli. I learned the meaning of this in the AoL, though even today I cannot agree with it. How can one create a better world if values are corrupted in the process? What good can be created if it is done with “bad”? What kind of apples will a tree grow out of a rotten seed? What kind of education, moral values, role models will people act upon if what they learn is crookedness is what gets awarded, celebrated, promoted? Is this the man who claims will “change the world”? If this is the methodology he proposes to implement the change, I rather it all remains as it is. At least, “in the world”, I have encountered a lot more people with ethical and moral values, conscience, and most importantly, discrimination between correct and incorrect.

I know of teachers and board members who have secretly falsified signatures, or fabricated emails someone did not write, or stolen money, or simply, lied, lied, lied. Just recently a friend who left the organization found out, they were using a bank account under her name to organize courses! To her dismay, they did not seem to understand the unethical and immoral aspect of it. “They were just being ‘practical’”, they explained. And, instead of apologizing, they were offended by her demand to immediately cancel the account. Other than the financial implication, using a bank account with the name of a former teacher indirectly implied she still supported AoL activities - deceitful in many ways. In the world, such action is labeled as unethical, illegal, immoral, whereas in the AoL it is “practicality”. Anything in the name of the greater cause.

Another friend still whines about not having ever been promoted to advanced course teacher despite her seniority, sadhana and unconditional seva. She is convinced she never evolved in the path. She still cannot understand she was too nice, gullible and na├»ve! Being "evolved" in the AoL means, being crooked, not having values or sense of morale, and being capable of anything “for the greater cause” = “the interests of the guru.” (Ravi gives many vegetarian brownie points for such behaviors!)

One will never find a correct, ethical, deep, genuinely nice person in a position of power or leadership in AoL, though for the public they may project great PR skills. I always struggled with this distorted model that was presented as “the best form of spirituality”.

Some of the most senior teachers have histories of violence that seem never to disturb Ravi. One of his all-time most senior teachers is known for his physical violence but whenever incidents were reported to Ravi, he nodded in disbelief, turned around, made the victims into the aggressors and losers, demoted them and instead, promoted the aggressor. I know of at least four women (though there are more than 4) this TTC, Part 2, Sahaj, etc. teacher, assaulted, and had the “privilege” to witness one of the incidents. He was physical with two of them, almost seriously injuring the head of one of them, and he strangled the other two. The funny thing is – big AoL secret - one of the people he tried strangling is another one of the most senior teachers (Part 2, Sahaj, TTC, etc.), also known for her disproportionate violence, apparently right in front of Ravi (aren’t you wishing I gave names at this point?)! In the world this is known as criminal offense: “attempted murder”, but Shankar instead promoted them both to advanced course teachers, and higher positions thereafter! (Perhaps, for having had the audacity to strangle someone and the other for fighting back? Kinky! Perhaps if they choked each other to death then, they would have spared many people from later abuses.)

The other teacher is known for throwing things, e.g. chairs, forks, knives, even an entire painting over the head of someone while yelling the life out of the person (yes, like in the cartoons or movies, except cartoon characters are not real, and in movies, professional extras and special effects are used).

Once she completely lost her head for some little incident in a store of the neighborhood of a family that hosted her (common complain of many of her hosting families). She yelled and cursed the store owner in such outrageous manner the family is not welcome to return to that store! Not every family member was involved in AoL, thus they properly asked the question, “Doesn’t AoL teach people to control their emotions and transmit peace?” Back then, a brain-washed true-believer myself, I patiently explained about pita imbalance and how because she is so evolved she feels everything, blablabla. She herself justified, as usual, as expressing the repressed anger of the person in front of her.

Cursing, kicking, abusing and all, knowing her irrational violence and temper tantrums, Ravi promoted her to Blessings course teacher. “One can never understand the Big Mind,” devotees correctly explain. Excuse me, where is the “big mind”? A histrionic top “role model”, teacher trainer who has often publicly cursed the guru himself, teaching Blessings courses. Go figure.

Or you have the story of the senior teacher who has people line up for darshan, whose picture many people place in their altar, who has affairs though he himself is married. We know his wife suffers with the incidents. Who knows how many families he has broken though! Despite knowing about his extracurricular activities, Ravi promoted him to Rishi – the married saint. Go figure!

I will never forget the conversation I heard between one of the most dynamic teachers and another one (who had been her student), wondering why she never got promoted, instead the lousy horrible ones were, etc. Her student's reply was loud and clear, "Because you are too nice."

I have myself witnessed and been informed of TTC teachers slapping students, throwing water at them, etc. in the name of their tough egos. Participants would be gathered to swear they would never talk about the incident. This is an indication even the teachers knew it was wrong but they’d justify it “for the greater cause.” Poor people believed they helped students move forward. Somehow, the participants also knew it was wrong but they also were persuaded to believe it was for their own good. At the end of the day, they bowed down to their teachers “in tears of gratitude” or rather, in stretched psychological dissonance, like the beaten wife who rushes back to the husband, with broken ribs, fractured jaw, because she was made to believe he loves her and it was all for her own good.

A senior old time teacher who was often described as "Hitler" to even RS himself, even in official letters asking she was removed ... TTC teacher and leader of an entire area, and more. Another old timer who was known for sending Nazi propaganda ... advanced course senior teacher. Go figure.

In DSN I saw teachers literally physically drag students into a dark closet after confessing they were afraid of dark, enclosed areas. The yelling and shivering of the person was an indication of the tough ego that needed to be cracked. The more the person did not calm down, the more the teacher would uncontrollably yell at the person. Note under such stress, people who suffer of claustrophobia can break down into a panic attack, choke to death or fear, or have a psychotic breakdown. But of course, “the ego and the greater cause”, and the “grace of the guru” is there to protect you. In the world, it is irresponsibility, and if something happens to the person, it is a crime (though I am sure AoL would explain it in terms of karma).

I wonder though, are the students the ones with the big egos or the teachers and the guru? These are only a few examples of what teachers of high level courses or in positions of power hide behind the “fake it until you make it” smile, “walking like a king, being a perfect servant.” In the AoL, such people get promoted, whereas in the world they get reported, treated, locked up or medicated.

Conclusion: if you want to be important in the AoL, either have a lot of money, or think and act like a mafia godfather or better, learn Thai-box, to kick and punch, with style … and a smile.


Anonymous said...

when the bloggers are ready to comment on SSR himself why the teachers mentioned in this post is not mentioning names and giving only clues that many people including me can not understand?

It will be helpful if some anon give names to the teachers quoted in this post to make it a complete read. sanatana dharma is built on purity and truth, if AOL teachers can not keep up with those standards then the org rather take the right decision by getting rid of such teachers. There is a saying that a drop of poison can spoil the milk ocean and this blog is clearly that, but ready to churn the AOL organization itself in bringing the truth. keep up the good work KLIM. After all we were taught "opposite values are complimentary" enough.

ImNotSurprised said...

I am not at all surprised by what all is written here in this blog. It validates my suspicion about AOL. The AOL people are so brain-washed and and out of touch with reality. Only God, not SSRS can help them.

I only took part 1 course and went to one volunteer event, to see what AOL is all about. And here is what I learned about the organization

1) If you are intelligent and defy their philosophy, they say you have ego. In Part 1 course, the so call teacher clearly asks to leave your Intelligence at the door. Sure. I might as well give up all my intelligence and just be dumb as a rock.

2) Atleast 50% of the who are there have nothing better to do in life thats why they are there. Either they are jobless, housewives, dont have friends, etc. For some its a good social every so often. For others, its a good place to make friends and ask for favors. Example, if you dont have a car, you can join AOL and ask for ride in the name of "Seva".

3) As far as the members go, they are too artificial and lack organization skills. How can one be happy and smiling all the time. Real human beings have emotions and they cant be happy all the time.

Anyway, I just thought to write a bit about my own experience with AOL. In my opinion, its An Organization of Losers (AOL).

Anonymous said...

I dont like you criticizing the Guru. Not one bit. I mean it. Mind you it is a bad karma to foul mouth guru and you will realize that in good time. I have done many courses have liked some and will continue to do more

But despite my intense dislike for your guru bashing attitude today you had me laughing. This post is written with such cynical humor :)

My friend a volunteer aspiring to be a teacher tells me if you want to cut your worst past karmas you have to become teachers. So after reading your latest post My worst suspicions are getting confirmed :) All crooked wrongdoers have gathered together to lead people on The Path of Light. Promotion to teaching advance courses means darkest sinistermost past karmas (reflected also in present time behaviour) God its all so hillarious.

I want to say AoL courses are very good and are helpful. (see I am not brain damaged after repeated Sudarshan Kriyas for many years or havent turned into a zombie. All of AoL courses have worked well for me)

But I want to Caution people that they should be very shrewd when they want to get involved with AoL as an organization or idolize senior teachers. If any harm comes to them after such association it will be of their own doing.

Nandita Jayaram said...

Very true Klim.
The senior teachers i encountered in AOL were highly arrogant, threw up tantrums, megalomainacal and narcissistic. While conducting a course they are in a position of power and power corrupts. Many people opt to become teachers because of the power and authority it bestows.
What Ravishankar and AOL does not realize is that the 'end does not justify the means'. Lying, manipulating, exploiting and commiting fraud and justifying it for some utopia, that's politics not spirituality which is a life of sincereity and truth. The means is the end. And to quote JK the first step is the last step. When JK was speaking he had these kind of gurus in mind.

KLIM & CO. said...

yes ... but you see, I no longer believe he is a real guru, and I think he gets worse karma from deceiving so many people, and I compensate the bad karma I got by spreading his lies by sharing my experiences. Fair trade of karmas?

Vishal said...

" Mind you it is a bad karma to foul mouth guru and you will realize that in good time."

Get out of this guilt trip buddy. Guru is not some exalted position set up by some equally exalted spiritual commitee. It is not some unversally acclaimed status. There is a Guru in every street corner. Your belief is no different from the guilt ridden belief system of eternal damnation, hell fire and salvation. Just the context is changed. All religious manipulators have used these belief systems to justify their excesses. Ravi Ravi and his chelas are no exception.

drone basher said...

well, nobody should worry about bad Karma, because as the most enlightened st guru, ssrs himself says on many occasions, the fastest way to divinity is to criticize the guru because when one does that one thinks of him more intensely.
Anyways you fried drone, you actually know what is written in this blog post is true, like anybody who has been as long in the aol as you have. And the proof you are a complete brainwashed zombie, is that even though you know all this is true, block that from you awareness by the silly story they tell about teachers having the worst karma.
That is actually just a story to make you less envy, that you are slaving and giving up on everything in order for the teachers to run around and pretend they are really clever, and get all the admiration, and lay with all the woman, whether they are married or not.

Peaceful Warrior said...

@Anon 10:42
"My friend a volunteer aspiring to be a teacher tells me if you want to cut your worst past karmas you have to become teachers."

And pray, on what authority does your friend say this ?
Which scripture says this ? Is this his own b.s...or something someone from AOL has told him.

Painful as it may be, AOL is a cult. I can empthize with your position - and would suggest you read and reflect on some of the things written in these pages.

Something in you wants you to get out of AOL - you cannot suppress it - it is the voice of reason. That's why you are here reading and posting on this blog.

Wake up my friend!

Dayalu said...

what is your take on "The Eternity Process"? Where did SSRS get it from? Is it same as "Past Life Regression Therapy" ?

Anonymous said...

Dear drone basher

OK may be I am a zombie if that pleases you but you sure seem to be very violent towards an annonymous stranger you know nothing about. Get a grip. Its just an online discussion od everyone's views. Its not your psychiatric counseller's office. Chill out.

paramitha said...

AOLers are now blaming google for exposing the fraud of Ravi Ravi:

The search in question is for “Sri Sri Ravi Shankar”, but by the time you have typed “Sri Sri” into Google the drop-down options Google offers have suggested his full name, but the second suggestion offered by Google is “Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Fraud”.

Obviously AOLers don't understand that the drop down lists the most searched. In this case all that peopel associate with Ravi Ravi is fraud. Google is so revealing.

Art of Leaving said...

When I was living in the Bangalore Ashram, my room was next to that of the Kashmiri pundit boys. One of the international ashramites who worked with the boys told me that one of the small boys had cried that he wanted to return home. The man in charge of the boys ordered the boy to kneel with his hands behind his head and beat him for crying and wanting to go home. When the international ashramite challenged him about this, the guy just said that he knew he was cruel and that he enjoyed being cruel.

I was shocked that someone like this could have been put in charge of vulnerable boys who had no recourse to their parents or families, and no power to seek redress. I also wondered what kind of relationship this man had with the Guru that he felt no moral compunction to act like this. At the time I was still under the mistaken impression that Ravi would not condone physical violence (though I have witnessed and was experiencing his emotional violence, sure enough).

The international ashramite managed to report the violence to Ravi during a darshan for international ashramites. Subsequently the abuser was replaced by someone else who seemed to be kinder and more responsible with the boys. Still, I was upset that some cruel psychopath could have been put in charge of vulnerable kids in the first place. At the time I still believed that Ravi had the ability to know everything that was happening in the ashram and it pained me to think that he was consciously allowing such cruelty. Now I no longer believe he has that “all-knowing” ability, but I will also no longer be surprised to hear that he deliberately appointed a cruel person to break the boys’ spirits, demoralising them and turning them into slaves for his ends. It is a great crime against children to raise them in such a cult environment. While their families are under the mistaken impression that their children are safe in the ashram.

Anonymous said...

"I dont like you criticizing the Guru. Not one bit. I mean it."

So, what do you mean? Your guru should not be criticized by anyone? Ha Ha Ha. It is a good joke. Any one can expose anyone's misdeeds. Thanks go Web 2.0. It just needs whole hearted commitment and courage to do 'Seva' like this. If you like your Guru, so be it. You write your good experiences in this blog. Share with us what all you have benefitted and how peaceful you are in your life.

On the surface, everything looks good. I also adored SSRS based on his serene and calm speeches etc. But you cannot go by facevalue. Slowly you should use your intelligence and think, and ask questions about AOL and SSRS to yourselves. You will automatically get some conclusions. Even after doing SK for so many years, you are happy, means, fine. But the incidents posted in this blog are noteworthy for those who are already experiencing some symptoms about SK. The incidents narrated in this blog about DSN ( what and all is done to shed EGO)... are not normal at all. The teachers' behaviour and other incidents which are shared, are totally abnormal. So, how then AOL can be a good movement / SSRS can be a chaste guru? I am not able to understand...

Art of Leaving said...

KLIM: ‘What good can be created if it is done with “bad”?’

After I left AoL, I sent a scathing critique of its unspiritual, unethical culture to to His Unholiness’s e-mail and to some other AoL people. One of the things I said was that the end can never justify the means, not even if the end is spiritual progress. I said one can never reach the Highest Divine Love through using violent methods. I also said that it is the responsibility of a spiritual organisation that it makes amends whenever it harmed anyone, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Of course I never received any response.

One promise I made myself after the whole violent Ravi & AoL experience, is that never again will I take a violent person as Master. At the least indication of violence – whether physical, emotional or spiritual, whether blatant or subtle - I will walk away. A person who cannot teach through love and love alone, is not worth being called a Master.

Art of Leaving said...

Ravi likes saying things like: Everything an enlightened person does is for the good of the world, Rishi Durvasa’s anger only did good to the world, etc.

I now recognise those statements for what it is – a lot of ideological rubbish that enables some people (whether so-called enlightened or not) to act with impunity. Anger is anger, hurt is hurt, violence is violence – at the hands of a “Master” or anyone else. Sugar-coating and justifying violence by using teachings of non-duality or surrender to the Guru are all merely a lot of deception.

Just because some teachings are seen as Vedic knowledge and claimed to have been revealed to rishis in deep meditation, doesn’t mean they are automatically laudable or true or non-ideological or not produced by a twisted mind. Like all other forms of knowledge, Vedic claims should also be critically investigated and questioned.

For me, anyway, if a Master and her/his teachings don’t lead to love, compassion, respect, truthfulness, dignity, integrity and wholeness every step of the way, they’re busy taking us backwards, not forwards. I question the “Enlightenment” of all persons who claim to have reached it through violent means (including the practice of severe austerities by themselves). Do we really want violent teachers who are producing new generations of violent teachers? Is humanity not capable of higher ideals than that? If our minds and desires really do have an impact on reality, then we better start desiring more loving, humble and pure teachers, rather than trying to justify the status quo. I mean, if there are “ordinary” “unenlightened” people who are caring, sensitive and ethical beings, why can’t we have such Masters and teachers?

Prairie Princess said...

The Eternity Process is Past Life Regression Light. It is simplistic and given by people who are not trained as hypnotherapists for the most part and who do not seem to know what they are doing. If you want a past life regression find a trained hypnotherapist to do it for you. Don't believe the nonsense that the guru is removing your karma. He can't even keep his "troops" acting somewhat normally.

The Dude said...

@Art of Leaving 10:05

Well guruji always knows what's going on. If he does not then there is some mysterious divine reason. It is probably the children's bad karma from past lives that they are exposed to the cruel teacher.

That's how knowledge is to be used...right ? It is amazing how the misuse this knowledge. The knowledge is very pure, but they use it to justify misdeeds and to play power games. How's that for bad karma ?

KLIM & CO. said...

Wow. I wonder how much more is happening with those little pundit boys that we don't know. Ravi always tells that story about how he took him so many pundit boys that Maharishi left out (apparently Maharishi also mistreated pundit boys), as a story of heroism. Somehow it always bothered me to know none of those boys are today around. If truly Ravi was so nice all along in rescuing these kids ... should they not at least have remained his devotees? None of them, except one who once in a while drives a taxi at the ashram (and hopes to score with a Western woman) is still around. The saddest is if any abuse is happening with these children, they'd be afraid of speaking out too. :(

KLIM & CO. said...

"I also said that it is the responsibility of a spiritual organisation that it makes amends whenever it harmed anyone, whether intentionally or unintentionally."

They'd pull the "Don't see intentions behind people's actions" card. Of course, don't see intentions, they are just mistakes ... nice ... but if it was a mistake, shouldn't we at least recognize and apologize for the mistake? Instead of having a humbling effect, the way knowledge is twisted in the AoL, makes someone arrogant.

Narendra said...

Let everybody use name while posting (true name or whatever XYZ for their identity).
Anon replying to anon which is replied by anon is very confusing.

Renaissance Man said...

Is there any possibility of reform within AOL.

Many of the people involved are genuine. And i strongly believe that they would most likely like to address any of the real issues of AOL or YES+.

What are the issues that need to be addressed?

The most obvious to me is lack of financial transparency. Another would be an over dependence on the teachings of Mr Shankar. He is only one thinker, i would hope there would be other thinkers that would have much to say about the art of living that could be taught in there course. It seems to me that an irresponsible cult of personality has developed around Mr. Shankar.

Religious movements have been reformed throughout the millenia, surely AOL could be reformed from within.

Chris Williams said...

Hmm...well, it's been a while since I used my keyboard. Let's see...KLIM, kudos again on a well written post. Loved the ending! I see that two kinds of comments keep coming back to your posts: how dare you call the guru names/you'll get bad karma for guru bashing,etc. and then there is "if aol were fraud, we would have found out by now"/at least they are doing something good,etc. When would such people learn? With my limited memory and poor knowledge of history, I want to ask: wasn't Jesus, a saint, whipped and made to carry a cross and wear a crown of thorns and nailed to that cross and died on it? If SSSRS (how many Ss again?) is a saint, then he'll have to endure many such things. Stop whining, it's okay. His spiritual power will protect him. All you zombies out there needn't worry about protecting him, coz you yourselves are powerless helpless little pups, trying to become lions, right? Let the lion protect himself. He's omniscient and so knows which "loser" is writing what about him. Start focusing on your personal spiritual betterment instead. Secondly, wasn't Hitler a bad guy? Unless we're all Neo Nazis, we know that he was. However, he was powerful and his philosophy spread. This whole stupid argument of "oh, if it were wrong, it would have come into the light by now" is a big load of crrrrrrrrrap. Get it? CRAP. The world isn't what you ideally expect it to be, it simply is what it is. It's easy to cry foul and say "hey" if you see somebody calling your guru names, but it's wise to give him the benefit of doubt. ANDDDDD, according to your theory of reincarnation, it takes so many lives and so much karma burning/blasting/melting,etc. to become a saint. So can't you simply accept that perhaps this guy of yours is still on his way to being a saint and is working out his karmic stuff by supporting and being a cause for b.s? Benefit of doubt dear little is called "benefit of doubt".
I would like to re-word what KLIM wrote by saying its the right for any participant of any of these supposed ego breaking courses to fight back as violently and behave as violently with the "teachers". FYI, ego is having either superiority complex or inferiority complex. Both make you think of "me, me, me" which is what you want go get rid of in aol, right? By humiliating and violating the participants physically and mentally, these "teachers" are creating an inferiority complex. So after these courses, the people walk out with thoughts of "oh, but I'm just a filthy little bug sitting in God's garden of beauty" or "what does it matter if that person spit on me and used me sexually..I'm simply a nobody",etc.'s still all EGO. Tough one, huh? A true Guru wouldn't give you such crap as trapping claustrophobics in a closet. That would be violating them. Even if he had to do that, there would be much more love than yelling! I agree with several others who said that spirituality that doesn't lead to love, respect, kindness, compassion, maturity and humility, is nothing but a load of b.s into which we willingly stepped to make ourselves "clean". Oh and as for names, isn't that "senior teacher who has people queuing up for darshan, have pictures on altar,etc." Rishi Nityapragya? I saw his pictures on Google and I wouldn't keep him on my altar. Sure, he sings well and all, but his eyes look like he's a lust puppy. goes on. Keep up the good work KLIM. :)no

Jivani said...

Sometimes it seems people are so interested in being "spiritual" or becoming enlightened that they complicate the process. Like throwing someone who is claustorphobic into a closet so they can get rid of the ego. That is a freakishly bizarre way of helping someone be rid of ego. What about trying good old-fashioned acts of kindness like helping a sick friend instead?

Spiritual practices and teachers should lead one to deeper and still deeper levels of kindness. The things described in this blog entry are the opposite. It's difficult to reach a place of constant and utter compassion, but acts such as the closet experience are not the place to start!

I wonder if the teachers written about here, with terrible tempers, are like that because they are in AoL? Somewhere, their unconscious might be telling them the org. is totally fraudulent and they are a part of such fraud. I wonder if they left AoL and maybe even stopped SK or other AoL practices, if they would improve?

Peaceful Warrior said...

@Renaissance Man

Acknowledgement of what's wrong is the first step to reform. Being contrite and apologizing to those whose lives have been affected is the second.

I don't see AOL doing any of the above. It is surprising that in an organization full of narcissistic prima donnas, there is no self-reflection - only a denial of the truth.

Helpless Guy said...

Stop the Spread:

Today there was a mail to me advertising Yes+ and canvassing people to join the same. The wise (vice) words were:
"Now you have the opportunity to gift yourself the fantastic Workshop called YES!+. It is a platform to Go MAD! (Go Make a Difference) whereever, whenever and whatever! :) "

It adds further the following
"YES!+ graduates can repeat the Workshop for free but have to be present for the entire Workshop duration. Refer your friends for the Workshop and experience the high once again by repeating it !

YES!+ (Youth Empowerment and Skills workshop) is an Art of Living Workshop specially designed for the youth. It is an innovative fun packed life skills training program that empowers the youth with a strong healthy body with high energy levels and a relaxed stress free mind. It includes practical sessions that help one combat fatigue, monotony and tension.

Key Aspects of the Program:
1) Physical: Challenging body exercises, yoga and innovative breathing techniques.
2) Mental: Processes to relive stress, improve memory, concentration & focus.
3) Social: Experiential processes to develop problem solving strategies and social skills; Interactive processes to develop leadership and life skills; Teamwork exercises to teach cooperation and conflict resolution.
4) Emotional: Processes to improve interpersonal relationships and to better handle criticism and peer pressure. "

How is AOL able to continue it's agressive marketing and mobilise people, if it is so bad.

We should reach out to people more quickly with this Blog link... Awareness has to be spread fast.... Before many innocents fall a prey to it...

Any more ideas to make this blog popular and wide-read?

Anonymous said...

Even if you make it popular and widely read the authenticity of information posted in this blog is going to challenged by people and can only be justified if the people posting reveal their identities and gutsy enough to post the name of the teacher or whoever they are referring to in the posts. Even posting a link like this the authenticity is going to be questioned or suspected -

Peaceful Warrior said...

Is there such a thing as "promotion" in AOL ? Don't people come to an ashram after having realized the futility of living in the rat race.

I can see why there may be some tension in any organization - spiritual or otherwise. We all need some degree of control over our fate - you cannot be a doormat - even if you are a nice person.

But aspiring for promotion, and cheating is another thing altogether ? I've seen many human qualities (i.e big egos) in AOL teachers I've come across - and I was always ok with it. (I never saw them as divine -just messengers.) But cheating and lust for power is not one of them.

Peaceful Warrior said...

To add to what I wrote earlier - sometimes a teacher's job is to push people out of their comfort zone and make them face their fears. It is not just the act, but the intention behind it that matters also.

Parents also beat their children sometimes. An onlooker may think kids are being abused. These things are so contextual - one cannot judge these things on face value.

Your blog would be much more effective if your criticism is sharp and to the point. If it sounds like complaining about the millions of things not OK, people will see it as whining - and you would have lost.

Anonymous said...

How do I send you 'juicy' details about AOL?? my better half is a blind follower of sri sri and i get to see all 'behind the scene' stuff.

here's an example of an email sent to 'devotees'

Bangalore ashram, Feb. 10:
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar reached the ashram at 8:30 pm, and came straight for satsang at the Vishalakshi Mantap. He just returned from Velanganni, a hamlet in Tamil Nadu and shared his experience of addressing 1,000 Roman Catholic priests of the Indian Priests Congress. (The address is available on the wisdom blog.) Then, a little girl stood up and told Sri Sri that there was no Art of Living center at her hometown, because of which programs were not being conducted. After saying this, she started crying.He assured her that a center would come up. The girl's mother stood up and said, “With whatever, we have we want to buy a plot on which we can construct an Art of Living Center.”
He said, “You can’t be emotional and give everything you have, as I won’t accept it like that. Many people should contribute a little to have the center. Many people in the past also said this. At first, when I went to Canada when there was no center there, a man came to me and said, “Sri Sri, my whole life has been transformed. I have $15000 and I want to put all this money and make an Art of Living Center.’ I refused him and said, “I am not in a hurry to have the Art of Living Center. If you insist, you can contribute $1000 and if you still want to contribute more, you can give $2000 but not more than that. Everyone should be given the opportunity to contribute.”
He said that the Divine's job was to take care of His devotees' needs.

Anmol said...

Klim & Co. , who are you ? what is your name ? What is this Klim and Co. ? what is your email id or any other contact detail ?
And all the others here too who are claiming to be former AOL teachers/volunteers/sufferers ?

My name is Anmol.I live in Delhi and was quite involved in AOL at one time as a volunteer and was thinking of becoming a teacher and had great faith in Sri Sri.
I had my very strong doubts about AOL and that is why I am cut off from it for some time but not about Sri Sri.I still go to touch his feet whenever he is in delhi.
So it comes as a great shock to me that Sri Sri is being called a Paedophile , psychopath , "uncontrollable rage behind closed doors" etc. on this blog.
He is a fraud ? someone who deserves to be arrested for spiritual abuse ? the kriya kills brain cells ?

Is anyone of these in delhi , India.I would like to meet with them.

KLIM & CO. said...


WE ARE NOT CALLING SRI SRI A PEDOPHILE. AS FAR AS I KNOW, HE IS NOT. "A psychopath, "uncontrollable rage behind closed doors", a fraud?" - WE HAVE EXPERIENCED. Someone who deserves to be arrested for spiritual abuse? YOU SEEM TO BE SUGGESTING THAT, WE HAVE NOT, IT'D BE GREAT HE'D STOP CHEATING ON PEOPLE'S GOOD FAITH, LIKE YOURS. The kriya kills brain cells? YES.

KLIM & CO. said...

"sometimes a teacher's job is to push people out of their comfort zone and make them face their fears"

Excuse me? A teacher's job is not to push anyone out of their comfort zone. None of the teachers are prepared in any way for anything than facilitating the kriya and reciting knowledge points. "Pushing people beyond their comfort zone" requires a lot more preparation, knowledge and humbleness than 10 day TTC prep. It is the ego and twisted personalities of the teachers that push them to push others ... beyond what? That is such twisted thinking.

KLIM & CO. said...

"If it sounds like complaining about the millions of things not OK, people will see it as whining - and you would have lost."

Sorry but what is it I am trying to win?

Peaceful Warrior said...


"This blog was created with the sole purpose of providing former Art of Living members and currently doubting ones a space for healing.."

This is an excerpt from your mission statement. Fulfilling the purpose is what I would refer to as winning.

"Pushing people beyond their comfort zone" requires a lot more preparation, knowledge and humbleness than 10 day TTC prep."

Isn't facing your fears and learning to go outside your comfort zone, what the DSN programme is all about. It is not for everyone and that's ok.

I agree, making someone face their fears does require a lot of humility, sensitivity and compassion as well as a certain maturity. I thought that's why they had so few DSN teachers. In all other courses they talk to people as if they are in kindergarten...DSN is more intense - although hardly a big deal as it's made out to be. They do that stuff in any corporate leadership seminar.


Anonymous said...

Dear KLIM, you have said


I request you to please publish this as a post. Thanks a million for being honest. Despite raging anger. To me it feels alright to be angry with a Guru its not a sin. You get angry because you have loved with all your heart and soul. But hurting other peoples feeling with that kind of lies would be horrible. You sure know how much it hurts to hear such stuff about a Guru you really love. Its not about the Guru but its about other people's faith and feelings isnt it?

Bless you my dear.

Anmol said...

Why did you not give your name , email id etc. ?
What is the problem with sharing that ?
Also can you post a proof of involvement in AOL , you must have retained some papers with your name on it.
Can you scan them and post it to give credibility to the allegations you are making ?

If you truly want to save others from AOL , then you should not have any problem with proving your authenticity first.

Mriganayani said...

I am reading this blog since last two months. A few of my relatives are working in AOL as volunteers and one Aunt is a teacher. This aunt has forced me and my brother to take up the Yes+ course. Last week i completed my first Yes+ course. Thanks to this blog and I was quite happy to see that the teachers are playing the script and exhibiting the same behavior described here. To me the teachers and volunteers in the course looked like programmed robots. I had to smile from the bottom of mhy heart looking at these zombies.

Guruji's pup said...

Very good now everyone knows big chrissie is nobody's dog

Chris Williams said...

KLIM, could you please change your name to read "KLIM&Co" and not "KLIM&Co"? It would make it easier for people to read. Thanks. Anmol, KLIM never called Sri Sri a paedophile. There is mention about his sexual behaviour with handsome young men, that is all. From what little experience I have about the spiritual, I can tell you that there are/can be people who cheat people, have sex with boys, blast out in rage and encourage crap, while still having certain divine powers, charm and charisma around them. Powers, etc. don't prove that someone is God. From my circle of friends, all I hear is how he performed this miracle or the other. If you were to notice Sri Sri all alone, walking down a street like your average sadhu, perhaps you wouldn't feel such awe and rush to fall at his feet. But, add a million devotees in his presence, all focused at him, you'll be pulled into that sort of energy and automatically become awed. I'm not saying he's not a saint - perhaps he is. However, it is for people to decide if they'll let him rule their lives in the name of spiritual betterment. The decisions are INDIVIDUAL. As you said, you still touch his feet when he visits Delhi. Someone else tries to visit wherever he goes and touches his feet. A third decides that his feet are his home. So you see, it's all individual. Asking KLIM for proof, identity,etc. is good, but also please realize that this could mean making the person(s) vulnerable to brainwashed zombies' cult rage. Why did you distance yourself from AoL? Let's face it. It is a cult. The attempt is being made in this blog to present facts as openly and honestly as possible, for people to understand/judge/think for themselves. On a personal level, I think it's a good test of faith for faithful devotees of this Sri Sri, to be reading the things on this blog. Anyway, take it easy and have a good one.

KLIM & CO. said...

"Thanks a million for being honest. Despite raging anger"

You are adding the "raging anger" to someone who is not at all angry. See the raging anger is coming from the AoLers and Sri Sri. One does not need to be angry to unveil these secrets. One simply needs to wake up and want to take some responsibility. I wished many of those old-timers who left and know so many secrets too would have the courage to come out. It could help so many avoid the experiences we went through. Just a few weeks ago, not knowing about this blog nor my participation in it, a young man who left the movement several years ago, came up to me quite uncomfortable to say the guru had touched him and asked impertinent questions about sexual activities. He is still very disturbed. My endless discussion with old-timers is exactly this: knowing, we have a responsibility, we kept quiet too many years, indirectly we promoted the bad things too, that keep happening bc noone speaks up! I knew about the rishi who had affairs. Did I do something? Not at all. I turned my back, I justified it with "karma, or guru knows best", or simply, the way we reacted to situations: doing NOTHING. Keeping quiet promoted the popularity of someone I knew always is not that good behind doors, and I learned now that it has hurt one family (and maybe more). Old timers either leave it to karma to solve it or are afraid of what Ravi will do to them. I am not angry. I am just saying the sky is blue. "It is not violet Guruji! IT IS BLUE!" And it is not fine to keep telling people it is violet. The rest, you decide. I don't need to give you my name, my address, my email, my sizes, documents, etc. I am already giving too much information. The rest is up to each person to figure out with themselves.

KLIM & CO. said...

Anmol, you know what is the problem? Your saintly guru and his spiritual crew threat people and are capable of a lot more than just breathing, meditating, organizing courses (which they call doing seva), and blessing (by placing their hands on someone's head while chanting 3 times .....).

Anonymous said...

Going forward thing that would not surprise me is Guru or teachers asking in satsangs who is reading that (.....)blog.. Take a few deep breaths and let go...

Now a question to you KLIM: with all your noble! intentions can you confirm that you are not in payroll of any evangelizing organization to run this blog? or did I give you a cool idea :) to make a buck here

Jivani said...

To those people asking KLIM to identify him/herself. Do you really think that's a good idea? KLIM could be exposed to violence and rage by AoLers. It would be nice if a bunch of ex-teachers came out and gave their names and dates of involvement and validated the stories. But exposing cults and cult leaders is more delicate than that. In time, if what KLIM says is true, probably more people will come forward. But it takes time. Please, be patient. Luckily KLIM is smart enough not to expose his/her identity but please stop trying to persuade KLIM to do so! It would probably do more harm than good at this point in time.

jivani said...

...And besides, even if KLIM and others revealed their identities, everyone has to decide for themselves whether or not RS and AoL are genuine. If identities were revealed, plenty of people still wouldn't believe that RS and AoL are fraudulent. Even if RS admitted to some of the abuses KLIM talks about, there would still be followers who would defend and follow him. Look inside for the answer. That's what the spiritual path is all about.

Art of Leaving said...

Anmol: “Klim & Co. , who are you ? what is your name ? What is this Klim and Co. ? what is your email id or any other contact detail ? And all the others here too who are claiming to be former AOL teachers/volunteers/sufferers ? ....
Also can you post a proof of involvement in AOL , you must have retained some papers with your name on it.
Can you scan them and post it to give credibility to the allegations you are making ?”

Hi Anmol,

Thanks for enquiring. By the way, what are your full names? As well as your e-mail address, postal address, residential address and phone number? I mean, how can one contact you in Delhi? – You’ve forgotten to give any contact details.

While we’re at it, could you also please supply your birth date, profession, salary, medical history, gender and sexual orientation? And who were your teachers in AoL? From when to when exactly were you involved in AoL? What exactly did you do as a volunteer? Which courses did you do and how many times did you repeat them? What exactly made you get “very strong doubts about AoL”?

Please scan in copies of all the above details, e.g. your ID document, AoL papers, employment contract, medical reports, financial bills, etc. and post them here so that we can have proof of your existence. It will give credibility to your enquiry.

“If you truly want to save others from AOL , then you should not have any problem with proving your authenticity first.”

If you are truly interested in getting answers to your queries, then you should not have any problem with supplying all the above details – to prove your authenticity first, you know...

Art of Leaving said...

“Peaceful” Warrior: “Isn't facing your fears and learning to go outside your comfort zone, what the DSN programme is all about. It is not for everyone and that's ok.”

Yeah, it’s only for those most highly evolved beings among us – the spiritual sadists and masochists. Those depersonalising and aggressive AoL sales training and marketing campaigns are right up their alley. The rest of us are cowards and wimps. We just don’t have it in us to undergo the needed physical, emotional and spiritual abuse that will transform us into radiant Divine Abusers.

“Peaceful” Warrior: “I agree, making someone face their fears does require a lot of humility, sensitivity and compassion as well as a certain maturity. I thought that's why they had so few DSN teachers.”

DSN teacher = Devilish Sadistic Nasty teacher (as opposed to “Creating a Divine Society”). The fewer of them there are the better. One must have quite a twisted understanding of humility, sensitivity, compassion and maturity to be able to think that those teachers embody such qualities.

“Peaceful” Warrior: “In all other courses they talk to people as if they are in kindergarten...”

And in DSN they talk to people as if they are a piece of s... - Great improvement. One has graduated from kindergarten to the torture chamber.

“Peaceful” Warrior: “DSN is more intense - although hardly a big deal as it's made out to be.”

No big deal if one is thick-skinned, insensitive and arrogant, no big deal, no. We’re so tough, ain’t we?

“Peaceful” Warrior: “They do that stuff in any corporate leadership seminar.”

Cool, one gets sadistic corporate leader cults too.

Well, I wish you all the best of luck with your evolvement into a highly spiritual being by engaging in such pursuits.

KLIM & CO. said...

"can you confirm that you are not in payroll of any evangelizing organization to run this blog?"

You want to sponsor me? It would be great if I got paid to run this blog. no? It seems I keep working for free for the AoL!

Whether anyone here reveals their identity or not, it won't add value to any of the stories shared in this blog. Experiences, observations, reflections are what they are, with or without a name. Why don't you ask RS for evidence of all the bs he says? Exactly where and how, a video tape of the moment and how he cognized supposedly the SK, etc. Ask him to provide for paperwork for everything, etc. It is not the so-called miracles a person can perform that proves one to be "enlightened", that is one of the biggest stupidities in the AoL! They confuse that with "spiritual path"? It is all too superficial.

Anonymous said...

KLIM & Co puzzle - I think there are clues in this name. It is 3 to 4 people together forming this little co(mpany) and running this blog.

Art of Leaving - Add SSN to the list. If Anmol truly revealed his name and from Delhi, and perhaps just giving his last name may be suffcient for Delhi satsangees to identify himself. In US it is a smaller group so name itself can ring a bell to lots of people.

As rightly defined by someone true DSN qualified candidates use this opportunity and can come out and share the (true) experiences here.

Seriously looking at the naming revelations it may be tough for most people the longer they stayed with AOL surely would have developed a wide network and revealing that can possibly impact the network in different ways, o there is a business impact and social impact. Another risk that
not sure the blogger can be taken to the court for defamation suite depending on the contents.

Art of Leaving said...

“a man came to me and said, “Sri Sri, my whole life has been transformed. I have $15000 and I want to put all this money and make an Art of Living Center.’ I refused him...”

See, this is where Ravi is a very clever and subtle manipulator and it is important to analyse examples like this. One would think that the effect of his statements would be to make people more practical about what they can realistically afford to give the organisation. But often the effect is quite the opposite. People are so struck by Ravi’s supposed divine kindness and concern for their welfare, that they want to give even more.

Assuming the satsang story of the little girl and her mother actually happened and was not just a PR invention – here someone is publicly offering to give him a lot of their resources. He does not just focus on the case at hand. He gives an example of someone else who has also wanted to do it before. He is sure to point out that the previous person also wanted to do it because their lives have been transformed, out of great gratitude. Indirectly he is giving the message that many people are tremendously grateful to him in this way. Inevitably this kind of sacrifice is set up as a norm for ardent and grateful devotees.

Like another time Ravi told of a poor person who felt so much gratitude that he wanted to give him a whole month’s salary/a year’s savings in an envelope and Ravi said he refused to take anything except 100 rupees.

What devotee would not want to be able to match it? Or at least would not feel guilty that they are not giving enough to their kind and gracious Guru? Such examples really don’t make people more practical.

And how many people who feel tremendous devotion actually get the opportunity to personally present their donations to him and actually have him inspect it and refuse it? Relatively few. Many just donate recklessly, like I did, even though I was a poor student – giving for the Guru’s cause, which was surely more important than paying my debts. After all, he constantly gave the message that “the Divine's job was to take care of His devotees' needs”. That’s what I also once believed. Except that today I am still struggling to repay debts which could have been settled with the money I spent on AoL courses, CDs, books, donations and running after Ravi to India.

Ravi is good at paying lip service to one thing while at the same time promoting the opposite within the organisation’s culture.

Peaceful Warrior said...

Art of Leaving..
"Cool, one gets sadistic corporate leader cults too."

Yeah dude, the whole world is a cult and everyone out to get you! Schools, colleges, all those teachers and mentors - they are just out to take advantage of you. How can we forget bosses - they are such sadists - pushing people around to get work done.

How dare they say anything but nice things to you.

Narendra said...

The persons asking KLIM for proof, have you asked proof from RS about -
1. He recited Bhagwat Geeta at the age of 4.
2. He held Masters degree at age of 17.
3. He get Sudarshan Kriya in 10 days silence.
4. He is incarnation of Lord Krishna/Buddha etc. (names changes all the time)
5. He has come to this world after 5000 years and so on..............

There are many proofs that he has lifted many things like Guru Pooja, Sahaj Meditation etc from his Guru Mahesh Yogi.

Ramachandra said...

This video is the best commentary on Art of living:

Sanjay D said...

Wow 30,871 hits fantastic. Need to send out more mails publicising the blog. BTW Klim, did you get my mail?
Lots of work to be done and not much time.... rings a bell?:-)


Anmol said...

This reply is to Chris' post of February 25, 2010 5:49 AM

Yes I am sorry for using the word paedophile.I think it said pretty boys, so that s the word that came to my mind.

Why did I distance myself from it ?
Because AOL started to appall me.In any of their satsangs or courses I was not able to stand the people and the general atmosphere of show off and falsehood.People seemed to be shallow, lacking depth.

KLIM & CO. said...

ANMOL SENT several comments replying to all the answers requested from her, ie. the courses she attended, the volunteer works she's done, the teachers she's taken courses with, her address, her phone numbers, her CV. I am not posting them because I think it is degrading, not necessary, etc. Bottom line, let's agree to disagree, and let's not fall into the mistake of adopting the same AoL behaviours we chose to leave behind. Let's create a space to share experiences, find answers to doubts, help each other heal, etc. Unfortunately there will always be some AoLers checking in and out, leaving all sorts of comments, but this (outside of AoL) is a free world, and there is an array of different opinions. That is true life, not a one-sided unilateral AoL kind of world, "I love Guruji, only Guruji is the best, everything else sucks, let's kill them all." Let's not fall into policing others, inspecting, etc. Let's leave that to AoLers to do, and understand that if they also read this blog, somewhere inside, they have doubts themselves. Shall we?

Anmol, welcome to the blog. That is all I have to say. If you do have something to share that you want to post, send an email to But we will not provide evidence to anything. This is not a blog to expose anyone nor take anyone to court. This is a forum for people who have left to share. But, as you see, there are those who have not left who are getting involved too. They are trying to conquer the world, we are trying to live in peace in the world and with the world. :)

KLIM & CO. said...

PART OF ANMOL'S COMMENTS (all previous personal data deleted for the safety and integrity of the person):

What exactly made you get “very strong doubts about AoL”?
1)I will give an e.g. initially for blessing course the condition was 4 advanced courses , actually from different people in AOL you hear different things , someone says 3 advanced course plus one with Guruji , someone says something else.ultimately when i did my blessing course I found people even with 2 advanced courses were doing the blessing course ( I thought what is this )
2)Recently they totally changed the rhythm of their long kriya and shortened it from about 40 minutes to 25 minutes,I am not a teacher never have kept the tape in my hands and never counted how long it is but that s what it appeared to me , plus one very important point in the older tape in the end he chants the first few chaupais of ramcharitmanas and he chants them the new tape they are chanted correcly , but I thought to myself why these ? ( is it that no one should be able to find out from where they are ? )
3)General seeing of false people in their courses.some of the volunteers were untolerable with their false attitudes.
4)Increasing corporatization and it seemed that the org's purpose is only to expand itself rather than deeper self enquiry finally culminating in the only true goal of any spiritual life - God Realization.

Anonymous said...

How do u guys track the hits 30K whatever on the site?

Anmol - Definitely you can fix your problem with satsang people as you are the one who needs to take care of it as you have a problem accepting the people it can happen to you anywhere not only in AOL satsangs. Most people I meet in satsangs are normal people probably like you and me and possibly some of them can not stand a person like you that you may not be aware. Sorry to get personal, please stay with comments focussed on Teachers, organization and specific people not a generalization on people coming in to AOL satsangs, as lot of times even people who have never taken a course show up.

Art of Leaving said...

Dear Anmol,

I deeply apologise for questioning your sincerity. I really didn’t think you’d take my challenge seriously. With my insolent requests I was merely trying to indicate that you were asking people to expose themselves too much, which would violate their privacy and put them in danger.

There have been so many demands on this blog asking people to reveal their identities, often not with very noble intentions. It is very difficult to know who are making sincere requests and are merely unaware of the dangers involved, and who are trying to manipulate.

Thank you for answering my questions despite their tone. Please also protect yourself. Don’t give in again to sarcastic requests challenging you to give all your personal details. Those answers of yours to my questions (the ones KLIM decided to post) were mature and honest enough to have spoken for themselves, and merely reading them would have shown me that I have wrongly doubted you.

My apologies again.

Kind regards.

Anmol said...

Firstly,I am a he not a she :-)

One more experience
After a few months after the blessing course last year ( in which they had given some form for donations for their new kosi ashram )
I got a call from AOL Delhi asking me what happened to that form and where was the money.she was having a very demanding tone as if I was under obligation to give charity.I scolded her on phone itself saying how can you persuade charity from someone , this is not the way to talk etc. and this kind of thing is very common , persuade people to get people for courses or persuade them to give donations .. all this is just so common that it can't but make you sick and doubt their true motivations.

Art of Leaving said...

KLIM: “Let's not fall into policing others, inspecting, etc. Let's leave that to AoLers to do, and understand that if they also read this blog, somewhere inside, they have doubts themselves. Shall we?”

Yes, point taken. Even while writing I was thinking I’m falling to the level of AoL strategies, adopting a vicious writing style, etc. Tough to resist it, it does kind of rub off on one, especially if one wants to protect oneself and others who are vulnerable. Then it’s easy to fall into the trap of just mirroring AoL strategies back at them and becoming equally unkind and unethical. A blog like this one is not always the easiest space to be in.

Anonymous said...

klim explain what makes people to repeat the courses

Anonymous said...

Klim what makes people to hook to the organization

Anonymous said...

Klim if you took so many years to realize the facts what are the ways to prevent people to be trapped.

Anonymous said...

klim should the vulnerable persons be left prey to AOL because thats their 'best' destiny?

Anonymous said...

Klim are aberrant people best 'managed' by AOL than scientific physicians/ healers?

Anonymous said...

KLim how to prevent 'extended family' to control over poor legitimate family?

Anonymous said...

Klim what extent of 'cult rage' is prevalent in AOL? To what extent AOLALCOHOLIC can go for a person like you?

Anonymous said...

Klim post your views on 'silence'. does it hastens self realization or a step towards isolation from family n world and being vulnerable to 'BRAINWASHING'?

Anonymous said...

Recommend 'mind control cult' video available on net to every one intending to join AOL/other spiritual groups.
Let people know other aspect of...

Anonymous said...

I know the last comment on the latest blog can gets the maximum attention and readership. Can the bloggers agree to spend a little time looking at the title and post their comments in the appropriate blog? Otherwise it all looks to me like one BIG anti AOL commentary going on in any topic.

KLIM - there are blogs in which the blog owner recommends where the comments are appropriate and the thread that is born out of those comments. Tend to think there is no special effort needed from anyone to spread this blog, the very fact I see people from India(Anmol, Sanjay, Gopal krishna..) involved it is a natural process that word is spreading rampantly about this blog.

Any news on a long time teacher/singer from canada use to be very close(Devoted) to guruji and travels with her guitar in big gatherings left a while ago, any news on her and basis for her leaving - Also called as DP. Leaving stories are equally important to the guruji stories we all get subjected to


Chris Williams said...

I'm going to share something personal here, without names. Anmol, thanks for answering my question. You're right, "appall" is about the only word that is right to describe the atmosphere of an Aol "satsang". My cousin is a member. He has a great job (yes, he still has it, thankfully!) and is a good guy, but then he joined AoL. I don't know what art they taught him, but he started behaving very aggressively, started swearing like it was nobody's business, began flirting a lot,etc. There were just way too many changes in him to attribute to anything else other than his involvement in the org. He became sort of like a living flier for the org. doing stuff like almost forcing his mom to visit their AoL clinic which is dead expensive, always babbling about the courses,etc. The so called "satsang" crowd is, as you said, all about showing off and falsehood - jewelry, clothes, flirting, lewd smiles. I think the wrong message is being given with these courses, sort of like a violent "let's rule the world" attitude. In my opinion, AoL is basically saying, "go flirt all you want, have all the sex you want (indiscriminately of course), beat up people if you're angry, destroy relationships if you don't like them, cross all lines of normal behavior in the society and recruit everybody you see to become an AoL member. Oh and don't forget to fake a spaced out smile and saying 'Jai Gurudev' all the time". Any wild guess as to who would take up such an offer? The youth of course. This is definitely not's just a crazy cult. Sad. Very sad. By the way KLIM, what I was trying to write earlier was that your name is showing up the word AMPERSAND as "a m p ;" in between the words KLIM and Co. Peace to all of you guys.

Anmol said...

To anonymous who wrote
Anmol - Definitely you can fix your problem with satsang people as you are the one who needs to ...

You are right , it is not right to find problem with certain people.And you are right some people may find me untolerable etc.but for e.g. if some old timer says about a newly introduced guy to AOL who is doing his very first course (YES+) that this new guy seems to be teacher material .. what will you think.Are they looking to make people art of living teachers or self-realized souls ?

Anmol said...

To Art of Leaving

There is no need to apologize ,you were right.If I ask someone for details then first I am the one who should be giving them out otherwise what right do I have to ask you.

Anmol said...

I got this email from one of the many AOL persons to whom I had sent the link of this blog.

Dear Anmol Bhaiyya,
Thanks a tonne! I have been doing this in my journals for fear of going public about my opinions about the organization that, if I may say, ruined the most precious 3 years of my life! by heaven's grace, my life is getting back to normal after all the trauma, trying to fight the brainwashing and believing in my own sense of right and wrong. Sometimes, you just can't fight, while being "in the system".
I am following your blog now. I shall contribute some of my experiences which were nothing short of HORRENDOUS while being associated with the organization, that calls itself The Art Of Living.
I am doing great these days, How are you doing...?

Useless Blesser said...

Hi Anmol
The Blessing Course was a blessing in disguise for me. The blessings course opened my mind and eyes to what a farce AOL is.

When I wanted to do my Blessings Course in 2006, the requirement was strictly 4 advance courses,listen to all knowledge CDS, read all the knowledge books, be steadfast and steady in the path. At the end of the then 6 day course, only a few became blessers.

Of late, one can do the Blessing course (which has been reduced to 3 -4 days) even with one advance course (like what happened in my batch) people who were ill,mentally unstable, depressed cases were all in the course and surprise of surprise everyone in the class became Blessers.

The teacher, a young rishi, who himself was a sickly and dull looking person, wonder how he became a blessing course teacher.

What the hell does it matter? There are so many pathetic souls out there who are looking for solutions through all these bogus gurus and courses, failing to realise that everything is within ourselves and we do not have to seek spiritual growth outside.
These poor souls will buy anything the guru/teacher says,they are told to beg borrow or steal to attend the programs.

The Blessings course opened my eyes and I am now totally out of AOL after being an active volunteer for almost a decade.

Anmol said...

To Useless Blesser

I had a similar experience in the blessing course I did last year.People who had done just 2 advc. courses were doing that and except 1 or 2 out of about 200 all the others became blessers and they charged an exorbitant sum for the was 7500 rupees , it seemed the higher the nature of the course (I had heard this course was much more powerful than advc. course etc.) the greater its fees in other words higher the quality of the product greater its price.

Anonymous said...

Klim pl trace the fate of AOL Teachers from joining to the time they leave AOL/die in AOL.

Anonymous said...

Teachers of AOL- bullshit. Our first teacher are our parents, followed by school teachers. Still further are college and professional teachers.One can become AOL teacher in as little as few weeks and they teach para normal and veered teachings?

Anonymous said...

Visit and read about the upcoming 108,000 and 75000 courses planned in Mumbai and pune.

Advise to youth while I am heading towards my 40 soon - As a 7 year follower of AOL activities there are lot of good things to learn from the organization and one can or must leverage that after having taken the courses, however dont spend weekened after weekend volunteering for this or any other organization and spend money doing course after course or mad after guruji chases.

Focus on your studies or professional careers and become wealthy while some keeping time for yoga or exercise time to remain healthy. Also know teachers are normal people and are also in a self development path, so if you see good stuff suck it all and ad stop leave it alone. Ok to praise people for their goodness but don't keep glorifying them and hype them. Bottom line is focus on on your professional career and dont waster too much time on other activities.

Peaceful Warrior said...

When I started doing sewa, I was appaled at the way things were done. Being new to the organization, I though it was because the people did not have good organizational skills and did not know what was to be done. I thought I should take responsibility instead of complaining, so I started to take charge, and very soon was the person running the show - despite being very junior.

We genuinely believed that organization was doing things for charity - and we built a nice sangha. But soon, "national" started to push us to do things their way. People went to DSN and TTC - and soon clear vision and honest hard work was replaced by silly superstitions, praying to guruji, and cliquish politics. Patience gave way to feverishness, and publicity and marketing was replaced by manipulation of near and dear ones to take the course.

I soon realized, that this organizational culture came from the very top. People blame "normal people" for the dysfunction. It is the other way rounf - normal people would have taken a much more common sense approach, and built a better organization. The problem is that at the very top.

Anonymous said...

SLEEPING IN AFTER NOON IS CALLED meditation give you what u come to see in dream or calm that sleep gives u in night?.with some clever speech and network help all these so called gurus make people to follow.there are 2000 yogas from ancient time and these guys steal some from them and just teach.sudarshana kriya is just like running a 10,000 meter or 5000 meter.or 3000 meter.just ask an long distance runner he know better about this.or you practice a 3000 meter jogging and close ur eyes and lay calm u feel the same thing.

Art of Leaving said...

Peaceful Warrior: “Yeah dude, the whole world is a cult and everyone out to get you!”

No, I won’t go as far as saying that. And I’m dropping my sarcasm now, by the way. But cults do come in all shapes and sizes and they’re not restricted to the religious/spiritual sphere only. They also show up in political movements and in aggressive sales campaigns for particular products. A cult dimension starts entering wherever the power dynamics are highly skewed towards one person and people become one-track-minded in pursuit of one particular goal, ignoring all ethical and other considerations.

I don’t mean to say every pushy boss is a sadist or cult leader, although in some instances they might be, e.g. if they systematically subject their employees to AoL-type strategies. In my opinion the majority of businesses are not cults, but even so, most of them fall disappointingly short when it comes to good Human Resources management, ethics and environmental sensitivity. I certainly don’t believe a boss needs to be “pushing people around to get work done”. I think there we might have a fundamental difference in approach.

As for schools and colleges/universities – I’ve seen a number of teachers/mentors who were very charismatic, but also caring persons, and I learned a lot from them. Of course, like everyone else, they had their faults, and some of them had terrible tempers and there were some exploitative and unethical situations. But no cults developed around them and on the whole they were not “just out to take advantage of you”. – Unlike with Ravi and AoL, where it is clearly a case of someone whose narcissism is out of control and who has developed an exploitative and unethical personality cult around himself.

Although my own experience is not that “the whole world is a cult and everyone out to get you”, I do feel that humanity and society at large (myself included) still has a very long way to go when it comes to cultivating sensitivity, kindness, love, truthfulness, respect for diversity and so on. I am not prepared to just say, well, the current state of affairs is just the way things are and we shouldn’t expect any more of ourselves and the world than this. I feel we have a responsibility to tap into the deepest ethical and compassionate dimensions that humanity is capable of, and to evolve it further to the greatest extent possible to us.

Peaceful Warrior said...

@Art of Living

"I do feel that humanity and society at large (myself included) still has a very long way to go..."

Indeed, that's why I started to volunteer for AOL in the first place. It seemed to be a genuine light in the world. Guruji talked about coming from the heart, not just the intellect, and I thought it was a compelling message the world needed.

I never thought DSN was a bad program - just not for everybody. When you are trying to change the world, vested interests will fight back, and one needs to be mentally strong to face that - Kindness and human values not withstanding. I guess we differ in our views and that's ok.

Never expected AOL to be ideal - just better than the world around us. If it had a more transparent structure, or the teachers (& RS) remained sincere, I might still be devoting time to it. I didn't need it anymore, it was time to move on.

I continue to live by the same values I learnt in AOL - simplicity, contentment, love, kindness, sensitivity, not being a football, living in the present. I am grateful for them. Life is complicated that way - difficult to state these things in black and white in a blog comment!


ND said...

I have personnly heard from Rishi Nitin that he knows his last 7 births, and out of that in 5 births he was with Ravishankar. We clapped for 2 minutes.

After 4 months of this event, a half teacher (TTC 1completed) told us that Rishiji told them that he knows his last 10 births. So, he made progress of knowing 3 more births meantime.

I heard from one Basic Teacher that Guruji has told her that he has came to this Planet after 5000 years. (Krisha was supposed to existed 5000 years ago)He has 30 more years to work on this planet.

I cannot correlate above. If anyone can please let me know.
These are direct evidences, heard first hand.
Maharashtra State, India.

Anmol said...

This post was about promotion right.
I remember when I had helped whole-heartedly in organizing 2 yes+ courses in gurgaon in 2008 the teacher ramnik bansal had told me once that I could become [be promoted to] one of the important people for AOL in Gurgaon like the overall coordinator for AOL in gurgaon or some such thing ( I thought to myself he is a teacher why is he saying such a thing.Ideally speaking one should not work for a course because he wants to become something big in AOL or something of the kind one should do it thinking that one is taking a few more people closer to the Divine by connecting them to a Divine Being's energy through his course, that should be the spirit ).Of course two other people who were equally instrumental in organizing those 2 courses with me were not so idealistic and both of them are very political in nature and are important people in AOL now.

Anonymous said...

Many spiritual groups offer a "diksha" training that is similial to AOL's Kalki's group charges $10,000 for theirs and gets people from the US and EU to pay it. TM initiation now costs in the thousands of dollars. It is what it is. we all have "heard" lots of stories. Let's stick with the ones we have experienced or seen.

Anmol said...

Date - 14 Oct 2006
Time - Evening
Event - Discourse during the Satsang of Advanced Course held from 11-14 Oct 2006
Guruji declares that Krishna was born in 3032 BC and lived for 125 years.

Another person told me that Guruji was Buddha and Krishna in his previous two lives respectively and that his next birth will be in mongolia and that he will live for 75 years in this birth.

GB said...

Nice to read all the views, mid in the night.

My spouse had collected enough CDs, Cassettes, books, Shampoos, Oils, and what not ! The house is full of AOL stuff, in the name of SUMERU. At some point of time, I need to put a stop.

Is AOL for the spirit or for marketing, infrastructure development, housing in the name of GURU and SPIRITUALITY ?

Just visit the Ashram at Bangalore outskirts, and the mega-housing project under proposal, priced at rates almost equal to Mumbai or Chennai mid-town prices, in the name of Ashram / devotees / seva and what not rubbish being offered to so called teachers, and followers ?

Anonymous said...

I attended a Part-II course of AOL conducted by Rishi Nityapragya at Noida (near Delhi) in December 2009.

At the end of the course, Rishiji scolded one of the participant in a rather humiliating manner.

Rishiji used to say that he has been teaching Part-2 course since last 7 years.

I could not help in thinking that being a teacher of the course and that too from last 7 years when he cannot control his anger on trivial issues, what benefit will us mere mortals will have?

Anmol said...

I was not sure whether to post this comment under this heading "violence and deceit promotes you" but I went forward.
moderator,please put it under some other heading if you think correct.

Has anyone done eternity ?
Klim,did you see any past lives in that ? I did it in 2006.I didn't see anything.
One thing which surprised me was she charged me 1500 rupees for it whereas for basic course also fees was same (1500) at that basic course takes 7 days and 3 hours every day and this was just a 2-3 hour session that s all.
i mean they had said they charge 1500 for basic course so that it should slightly prick on the pocket so that it is made sure that people finish the course and not leave it midway.what pricking is required in this case so why are you charging so heavily ?

I have heard a very senior teacher telling me that she saw many things in her past lives.
Another volunteer told me he had seen 3-4 past lives.
Is this all true ?

Also they say that in the eternity course Sri Sri takes all your karma on himself.At that time I beleived it , even though i didn't see anything I thought at least some benefit i have derived by doing this .. i have progressed spiritually some what at least.

any views on this taking the karma on oneself stuff ?

fair_and_balanced said...

Its been several years since I did my last advanced course. I have done 3 DSNs.. I feel the quality of the experience depends on the teacher, setting and the participant(s). From what I am reading on this blog, it seems that the quality control has gone downhill from those days. Add to that a confused organization that has no clue on how to manage or build an institution that doesnt depend on one person, then the sorts of things that are reported here are not surprising. Its nothing short of miraculous that things haven't deteiorated much more than they have. A little honesty could go a long way.

The basic problem is that few people are "genuine" seekers. Most have some troubles or whatever that leads them to gurus. I found the DSNs pretty interesting and self-revealing.. but then others may have found it different. When an org also becomes corporation, then there are various compromises that are made and the teaching suffers.

Since I never made the commitment to be a teacher (this is a big step) I dont feel the need to leave the org as I dont feel I joined it in the first place. One thing I did learn was compassion. So if some teacher has had affairs, was rude or whatever, its appropriate to balance that with the good that they do. If there is systematic criminal wrong-doing, that's a whole different matter. On the whole the dialog in this blog is constructive.