Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ravishankar vs. Nithyananda

Once during a tour, one of Nithyananda’s teachers approached Ravishankar as he walked into a satsang and gave him a brochure of the activities he was running in the country. I found it quite audacious. As RS sat on stage, his expression was that of worry. He kept looking at the brochure and seemed distracted during the entire satsang. He barely attended the public with the usual whimsical charisma. In fact, he was even rude when taking some questions, snapping at people, saying they were boring him with their dumb questions. “If you want good answers, you need to think of more intelligent questions.”

Some of the people who were seeing him for the first time were righteously offended. Of course I justified his replies, felt small and dumb, and interpreted their attitude as that of big ego. If the guru said we were stupid, of course, he had to be right. We had to make an effort to work on our sharpness!

That satsang was shorter than the usual. He rushed back to his room and urged us to hurry our work in the area before Nithyanand took over! “Call everyone tomorrow early for a meeting! We will make everyone teachers! Everyone needs to hurry and go out to teach! We cannot let his group take over! There is no time!” He made us go into their site and started dissecting it part by part. He claimed everything was an imitation of the AoL and RS: the logo, the design of the website, the poses of the pictures, the content of the knowledge, the kind of courses and activities (note how he reveals the thought out business. It is not spirituality. It is business). He was appalled at the cheap imitation yet worried “the cheap imitation” would take over. He did not have the "come what may" smile then.

The next morning, he yelled at everyone for being lazy, slow and “chickens”. He alerted them another group, which was not as good, was doing a better job and would take over before we did. If that happened, he warned us it’d be our karma for allowing bad knowledge to be spread. He discounted all the TTC requisites and made everyone a teacher! There were people who had only done one basic course. “Make them watch Ashtavakra and give them the tape! Quick! Quick!”

The group left with the expression of little children scolded for being useless and stupid. “He called us ‘chickens and lazy’, then we must be! Oh, it will be our fault if that guru reaches every state and city before we do! What are we going to do?” Frustration, impotence, guilt, feeling of inferiority, failure, anxiety, are some of the feelings people took from that meeting – their encounter with the Master. Guilt, manipulation, abuse. He was a master at that. Somehow, we were always blamed for the failures and he was only responsible for the achievements.

I think about this Nithyanand scandal. How bizarre, how eerie. I can’t imagine what his devotees must be feeling! The confusion, the deception, the nausea! To know that your guru has done wrong and/or is a fraud is already horrible enough (I know it well), but to have it on tape! ... I can’t but remember the above story and conclude what a crook this RS is! He was worried about a con-man? He was competing with a fraud? Why would he worry about competing with worse knowledge and techniques? I thought he knew everything! Didn’t he know everything???!!!

Nithyanand definitely did not take good notes. RS is a lot more careful and controlling. Only brain-dead robots have access to his rooms and belongings. Hidden cameras, copies of accounting, etc. would never be a possibility … or so I think. Honestly, I hope I never get to see any tapes of RS fondling and “playing” with men.

Somone commented earlier: On Nithyananda's scandal, SSRS has commented 'People should live the values. Otherwise such things will only happen. So only people should have faith in spiritual tradition'.

You got to be kidding me! I guess the show must go on …

(make sure to read the first comment posted under this article)

40 comments:

Poorna said...

(comment posted earlier under "Sri Sri Reincarnations")

Read this blog yesterday in Bangalore Press Club along with other fellow journalist friends. Great Job. I know some journos in Bangalore who have a huge list of material against the fraudulent activities of Ravishankar. Land grabbing and money laundering tops the list. Ravi used high influence to settle a case in court against a serious case of land encroachment where he had almost gobbled up a whole village. Journos are waiting for the right and opportune moment to strike. The top bosses in some media houses are protecting Ravishankar and some have fianancial intrests. But you never know when the power structure tilts. Opinions and PR can change overnight.
Nithyananda was caught in the sex tape and the same people who used to lick his feet a day before are now burning the Ashram.. Land grabbing and money laundering are far more serious than the sexploits of a Guru. After all it is sex between consenting adults. No crime under law. But Indian crowds are unthinking and emotional and there is no way for Nithya or his PR to stop the tide now. He and his followers are doomed. But what is distressing is that nobody in the mainstream media gave second thoughts about Nithya's fraud till he was caught fucking on screen. Now they are trying to dig into his land scams and other financial irregularities. It was only intenet blogs like these which highlighted it before.
Same with Ravishankar. Except for some media houses not many have probed the fraud. They haven't questioned where the money comes and escapes. How Ravi has hedged his funds and how the corrupt instituions he has created operate. With Nithya's fall Ravi will cover up his romping with the boys and he would be extra careful with high security surveillance in the ashram and around. The queen bee should be protected for this fraud organization to thrive and there are many lives and careers at stake if it falls.
It is the duty of right thinking people to bring any thing they have against these criminals to light. I hope more people like you come out and bring awareness on the mechanism of how these groups operate. This awareness building would not go waste. I think it is already working. The gurus and their loudmouthed fanatic disciples have gone into their shell and open it only to mouth some plagiarized spiritual platititudes. I am cocksure sure none of these scoundrels will dare file any defamation case agianst a blog like this which hits at their very foundation. They would love to, but cannot. If they do they are doomed. Their approach now is to feign gnorance and indifference to all contra views. But there is a tipping point after which the scales will tilt. It was the sex tape of Nithya. What would it be in case of Ravishankar is what we need to wait and see.

Anonymous said...

Referring to what is in Poornas first comment post said
"With Nithya's fall Ravi will cover up his romping with the boys and he would be extra careful with high security surveillance in the ashram and around."

Is the above comment from KLIM yourself or from the "
Press club member" . One more clarification the main topic "Ravishankar vs Nithyananda" is from you?

These are serious allegations on the blog so I think, but unfortunately many AOLers can not digest if RS is not a celibate and has preferences as you stated in this and in earlier blogs.

While Nithys followers may be in a mourning period , AOL must be thinking

KLIM and CO. said...

Note: Comment was posted under previous article and copied exactly as it is under this article.

Anonymous said...

With Nithya busted, I am sure the Aol organisation is next under the microscope. He will surely be very very careful and low-key during this time.

Even if the guru is busted, they can shave off their head, change clothes and slip away. What happens to the thousands of devoted teachers who have given up their careers to join the ashram? Sad.

Anonymous said...

Ravi is great businessman, he would be very happy looking at the Nityananda and Kalki events.
His two competitors are in trouble, so he can catch the customers of these two. More business. More money.
All is well..............

alex said...

All humans are conman. They all try to control others with every advantage they got. All indian gurus are conman. All of them no except.

There is no enlightenment or Spiritual crap. All are mumbo jumbo.

You all are unknowing victims of clever charlatans.

Get overself. Accept you have been dumb. Then there is a chance you can grow.

Until you become honest with yourself , you will always believe in someone else crap.

Sankaracharya is biggest criminal because he had brahmin caste support. Not all GODMAN has brahmin cast support to survive criminal killing.

The Dude said...

As one can see, he's very much the politician. Though people still hold on to fanciful image of "guruji" that they have been fed. Let's face it, very few people have actually met him - but people are in awe of him and worship him,

I would hold senior teachers responsible for creating this aura of "guruji". People are generally suspicious of RS, but when teachers share heartfelt "stories" of guruji, it builds the aura. We are told - what to think about him, what feelings to have for him. Before people can see him and judge for themselves, propaganda has already filled their mind. Teachers are brainwashed, to believe in this fairy tale, and when the talk to people, they come across as genuine, because the really believe in this B.S.

He is very clever in hiding his hand, and letting propaganda do the work. Very much a pro.

Anonymous said...

//The top bosses in some media houses are protecting Ravishankar and some have financial interests. //

That must be The Times of India.

Anonymous said...

I agree now AOL is becoming too much restrictive for access. I was one of the victim of their courses and whenever I had requestioned about fees and their high class targets I have always been getting answers for doing charity. However the fact is they are "good sellers" - spiritual sellers! I have heard that teachers in AOL also get paid to run their lives. I guess they get 10% of fees and hence they are always behind collecting more people for the course. afterall its their side business without tax and maintaining social circle to have helps at free of cost under the name of "spirituality".
Now is the time people should see all their teachers whether their intention is to spread message or to gain intentional packages.
The recent incidence I heard from one of AOL followers - they played holi in ashram, enjoyed and also had big satsang. For that they paid minimal fees - Rs.200
Now why is that required?

Kumara Kanteerava said...

Ravi Ravi will benefit by the disgraced gurus but not to a great extent. I am not sure if Ravi Ravi can take all the market share of followers of disgraced and soon to be out of profession gurus like Nithyananda and Kracki baghwan. Ravi Ravi himself is in the process of being unrobed and there are too many similarities between Ravi Ravi, Nithya and Kracki although he appears a little bit more sauve and careful.

The cult spilloff followers would tend to gravitate to quite different groups mostly they would go for traditional temple and mutt kind of gurus or some pure advaitha teachers. The same happened when Osho was disgraced in oregon and died a few years later. Most of the osho sanyasins who were used to the commune and celebratory mode of thing with all the dancing and singing made a beeline to lucknow to meet Pappaji Poonjaji, a householder advaitin and many others ended up in Tiruvannamalai sitting under the feet of some old nameless gurus who did not know english.

Now the media in south india is bombarding the guru escapades. Yesterday TV9 kannada showed Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and his alleged affair with Mia Farrow. Many young people do not even know who the hell maharishi is. Generally they are creating a distrust on the long haired and bearded babas. The delhi guru who was pimping and running a call girl racket has an uncanny resemblence to Ravi Ravi.
Looks matter to a great extent in the holy business. The typical indian emotionally weak bhakti oriented shishya gets carried away by such simplistic association and looks. Ramdev rules the Yoga market share with his low cost videos and large gatherings. Sudarshan Kriya is passe.

Ravi Ravi will have a tough time in the west. With higher internet penetration and so much of his cult exposed and the scandals he would keep a low profile and concentrate more on the indian diaspora and take advantage of some cultural identity crisis. He will be viewed with suspicion if he goes overboard. Of course he will forget his Nobel prize fantasy.

There is a new market segment opened up for a guru maybe in the ordinary casual and semi casual dress. Someone who looks and acts normal but still can dish out some philosophy and wiseacring.

Kumara Kanteerava, MBA
Guru Market Analyst

Life is a Bull said...

Very interesting .... read this one..
http://inthehandsofgrahas.blogspot.com/2010/03/politicians-and-godmen.html

Anonymous said...

In many youtube videos and blogs puttaparthi saibaba was ridiculed for having no magical powers and involvement with boys, Osho Rajneesh, premananda, nithyananda, kripalu sidekicks....for sex scandals, jaggi vasudev of Isha suspected with wife murder acts and few other babas in India for land grabbing and other illegal activities. This blog is focussing on SSRS and AOL and I got this from one of the blog comments from an Indian newspaper posting and wondering why AOL folks are not defending or the Blog master intentionally skipping those comments? Kumar Kanteerava hope to hear you more in this blog

Anonymous said...

Kumara Kanteerava ,

Very perceptive analysis:)Particularly enjoyed " The typical indian emotionally weak bhakti oriented shishya gets carried away by such simplistic association and looks...concentrate more on the indian diaspora and take advantage of some cultural identity crisis".

Incidentally , Poonjaji always maintained Ramana Bhagavan is the Guru not me.

Peaceful Warrior said...

@Alex : Man you are so cynical. Man cannot thrive without spirituality - without it life goes into nihilistic hell. There will always be something bugging you until u turn towards god. That is a fact.

@Anon 10:10 : TOI, India Today Group, Pioneer, and the entire right wing press. Don't forget, RS is has friends in BJP and RSS. Nithy is amateur compared to RS.

I have no problem paying people for education - if it supports their livelihood, it's ok. Social Business can be a very good thing..I have absolutely no problem with the "business" of spirituality. It creates many jobs, and I get educated - everyone benefits.

However, I do have a problem with people misusing public funds as their own, cheating, lack of accountability and transparency, manipulation of people by telling them lies. Means do not justify the end.

Chris Williams said...

Alex, you gotta learn blog behavior (after learning proper English first!). This is not a blog for Sankaracarya or Brahmin caste, this is about AoL. Secondly, your attitude of life is not for everyone else, so take a chill pill and relax in your corner while life passes by. Please don't preach your complacency here.
KLIM and Poorna, kudos again and again. KLIM might call me a bit of a pervert, but I would like to see the day when somebody leaks a tape of you know who romping with boys. If I am right, it's still a legal offense in India to do it with boys, huh? In any case, a video tape like Nithy's is sure to spell disaster like nothing else. I know, it would break a lot of hearts, but the best way to slap people and wake them up is to say: " here, your Guru is doing boys while urging you to be celibate and pure ". Whack. Anyhooooo.....have a great day y'all. (Alex, buddy, no hard feelings!)

Peaceful Warrior said...

KLIM,

You should write more about RS. Because of Nithy scandal, RS is being put under the microscope, and this blog is receiving a lot of attention.

Strike while the iron is hot!!

Narendra said...

Once in Satsang, someone asked Guruji "Guruji, you give us lot of joy, happiness and many things, what we should give to you as Gurudakshina?'
Guruji said, "If you want to give me something, give me your sorrows, tension, problem."
So sweet.
After few months, I heard Osho discourse given sometime around year 1970, where he has given the same answer to same question.

Moral of the story:
1. Great men things alike and/or
2. One copied another and/or
3. sorrow, tension and troubles means money, time and brain.

Anonymous said...

Alex ,

You are wrong.

Sri Kaanchi Shankaracharya was wantonly framed & sent to prison by malicious politicians.

Subseuently ,all the witnesses have testified in court they were threatened at gunpoint to provide false evidence.

The print & visual media expended all its energies in vilifying Him. But have done the houdini where the witnesses including petty thieves have confessed to His unimpeachable integrity.

YET , He did not abscond . Has remained as self possessed as Sri Ram who on the day of His Coronation was exiled to the forest.

The very attempt to bracket Him with the charlatans around is atrocious.

Sanwani said...

All the regular contributors and readers of this blog should help KLIM create awareness to the irregularities in AOL by informing all your friends and acquaintances of this blog and requesting them to forward it. This way we can reach out to more people, KLIM cannot obviously advertise his own blog.

Lets do our part and do a great service to this world by exposing all the fraud that is AOL.

Anonymous said...

one day aol fraud will come out

Anmol said...

to the anonymous who was wondering why they charge rs. 200 for holi celebration.
I think almost everything in AOL is paid for and comes at a relatively heavy price except for their basic course repeats.
For e.g. I attended an advc course follow up in jan 2007 , they charged rs. 200 for that 2 hour or so session also.It was just a discourse by one of their advanced course teachers.
They have a course called eternity which is for past life regression.
They charge rs. 1500 for that.

Anonymous said...

It's not how they raise money...but how they use it. They can as well use it for charity - but rather all the money goes into RS's pockets, and to fund his family's lavish lifestyle.

jivani said...

Once I asked Baba Hari Dass (of CA./USA) about celibacy in yoga. His answer was one sentence and something like this though not exact words: 'Celibacy is for very, very few people'. I sensed it was a warning. Good answer. Such a simple, practical answer can have much power in guiding a student.

Lots of interesting information from Poorna and Kumara.

Paul said...

It is not just Nithyananda in India who has been exposed.

The Vatican has been found in a scandal involving male prostitution. The Pope has a lot of explaining to do.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8552804.stm

And a good article was published by the NY Times about Scientology. The content of it, too familiar to us who have been involved with AoL.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/07/us/07scientology.html?emc=eta1

Anonymous said...

Paul ,

Let Vatican handle its trangressors. Let mullahs focus on the true import of islam.

Here the focus is on holier than thou sanctimonious hindu faux godmen who never tire of telling the world "we are the greatest".

Anonymous said...

Yes Nityananda was doing what normal humans do ie to have consensual sex. Since I don't follow his teaching, does he preach against sex? But invading his privacy this way is not ethical at all. Who is to bell the cat? Should we now keep camera in every bedroom in the country? Hinduism is not against tantra and sex. Why this bruhua?

Anonymous said...

Lets draw a distinction folks. I saw the video. It didn't seem like Nityananda was abusing anybody. Violation that keeps happening in western churches against children is serious human rights issue against the law. Hindu temples have erotic carvins since ages. Lets stop this nonsense right now. The problem is that convent educated people are mixing up value system taught in school with age old Indian tradition and the result is the kind of ignorant mind set that we are in today.

Anonymous said...

Bhagavad-Gita says that out of every 1000 people, one will tread the spiritual path and out of every 1000 such people on the spititual path, only one will achieve realization. In other words, only 1 in 1,000,000 people is self-realized and the remaining 999,999 people are not self-realized. This is an often quoted statement to convey the message on how difficult the spiritual path is and so on.

What also needs to be understood from that quotation in the Gita is that only 1 in 1000 people who are on the spiritual path get realization - in other words the remaining 999 people are spiritual failures. Therefore, in general, out of every 1000 people who join some ashram, 999 people are failures. In the process of seeking self-realization, they also neglect their own parents, spouse, children, and job.

Therefore, in general, 999 out of every 1000 inmates of each and every ashram in this world are double failures - failures in the spiritual world as well as failures in the regular world.

The warning here is,

"KEEP AWAY FROM SPIRITUAL ORGANIZATIONS - YOU ARE MOST LIKELY TO BECOME A BIG, BIG FAILURE"

Anonymous said...

@Anon 1:48

Bullshit !!!

Just because it is difficult, does not mean people should not tread the spiritual path. That is the attitude of a loser. One cannot succeed anywhere with such an attitude.

The only people who are failures are people like you who give up without even trying. It is better to try and fail.

Anonymous said...

@March 8, 2010 8:44 PM

I call BS on your BS, this whole concept of spirituality, religion and its associated morality is a myth, a system created to control the populace.

Wake up, smell the roses, take a walk and enjoy life instead of getting brainwashed into yet another cult, no matter how "positive" it sounds.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 8:44

And what would I be doing if I follow your advice...won't you call that being controlled. I know, i'm so dumb - the collective wisdom of all the philosophers and saints throughout history cannot match your amazing insights.

I do enjoy life, smell the roses, and no I'm not part of any cult.

But...I'm not a nihilist. A person who mistrusts the world and other people can never be at peace, or form enduring relationships. I'm glad I'm not in your shoes.

P.S: This blog is not about me and you, or about being against spirituality. The purpose is very specific, so how about we stick to that.

Hemant Parikh said...

you all are geeks do someting better den critising some one who is atleast doing some thing useful

Peaceful Warrior said...

@Hemant Parikh

My thoughts exactly. KLIM is doing a great job in exposing a fraud, why don't geeks like you do something better than criticizing geeks like us.

Anonymous said...

AOL Ravishankar is a bigger fraud compared to Nithya and Kalki and his wife are the ultimate fraud, infact his actions are more harmful to the people making them drug addicts. But the press is more focussed on Nithya as his sex scandal evokes more emotion, though not a law breaker. AOL charges $450 for it course in US, some of my friends coerced me to join, but wouldn't come forward to tell me exactly whats the content so I can decide if its worth $450 dollars for a day or two. $450 would get me a annual membership in a state of a art fitness center, ony fools will throw $450 for couple of days, yoga and pranayama are not something you learn in 2 days. All the conditions like I shouldn't train others from what I learned there only makes it more of a suspect. Though I'm genuinely interested in learning yoga and meditation, i decided not to join.
Ravi who claims to be a universal peace maker, stood with Kannada actors in the cauvery issue, which shows his duplicity, I have nothing against the Kannada actors as they were doing what they have to.
I dont little about ISHA foundation, I hear good comments about them, but they have a similar business model like AOL which is not so good.

Man said...

I was there in the meeting when Guruji condensed the teacher’s training course to 3 weeks. This was done only to make it easier for people coming from Bihar, UP, Iran etc. so that they do not need to come twice allowing them to save money.
I have seen Guruji in the most trying times, never getting angry or upset.
Whoever is writing this, writes in vengeance. We know who this person is. This person was disgruntled because he/she was not allowed into Ganga, Guruji’s meeting room.
Guruji knew that this person is going to leave. This person’s interest lies only in money, not in Knowledge.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how in the world a person who wears expensive cloths and jewelry, sits on expensive and comfy furniture and eat expensive and tasty food, get body massages like he did some physical work and tired can be GURU or SWAMI or GOD to someone. Indian people are mentally very weak; they can believe in anything, it has nothing to do with education. My dad a person of illiterate told me not to believe in crooks like this when I was a kid referring to Satya sai. I see many of these crook followers are well educated and in high profile life. When ever I was in trouble I turned to GOD but never to any of these crooks. One time in my life I attended a meeting of some GURU, where people were giving him aarthi, doing pooja singing to him and believe me I still get goose bumps when I remember, I felt like I was sitting in a crowed of mentally disabled people. Trust me I believe in GOD and I believe you can become immortal by serving needy people in the world, like 'manava seve madhava seva' but here manava is not Ravi or Nityananda or Kalki or his wife period.

rahul said...

well for the above said comments over sri sri ravishankarji ..i feel verry sorry for the ignorant,narrow minded people who have written all this.. ican only say one thing sri sri is a great personality..a persona born among thousand of years. and his status cannot be shaken by posting such dull and notorious comments.This attitude of foolish people as above is the main reason why our country is lagging behind.They are criticising a person who is WORKING DAY AND NIGHT FOR THE WHOLE HUMANITY.I feel very sorry for such people.In fact the truth is these people are like PIGS who prefer bathing in a sewage and if somebody wants to help them by taking them out of it, to show a better world they start resist and fight..ha ha pity on them they r really miserable.Its harsh but true.any ways god help these ignorant,silly people and their unfortunate like minded friends.someday they might come into knowledge.and then they will realise what a huge mistake they are doing by posting such misleading comments and misguiding innocent people.I would advise every person reading the above comments that dont believe such words and make your own impression join ART OF LIVING AND SEE HOW BEAUTIFUL IT IS.. may truth survive in this world.

DharmaKarma said...

There is nothing called Spiritual and Material. All is one.
When people do not have surreal experiences, it leads them to believe there is nothing like that, nothing called Spiritual.
When one has such an experience, (which could be brought about either by using tantra or by just the sheer presence of a powerful person) one believes in Spirituality.
What one should acknowledge is that there is life beyond the regular plane of experiences. Whatever it be, one cannot feign ignorance once he/she has these experiences.

But what derives from these experiences are two things:
(1) deep respect and acknowledgement towards the person who made it possible for you to have your experiences (Guru)
(2) that the Self is the most pristine, independent of the world, the guru, everything

Many of the people stick to the first idea too rigidly (my opinion though)

My opinion:
A Guru is a Guru. That's all. He makes things happen. He clarifies your doubts. He is a facilitator.
But the path is yours alone and just yours. It is all Self-effort that precedes everything once you are initiated.

A Guru is an embodiment of this responsibility.

But one need not hang around the Guru always to get knowledge. Knowledge ultimately comes from the inside. One is subjected to conditioning when they are obsessed with things, a beautiful mug, pencil, maiden, shoe, mountain, a Guru or anything...

If one is learned in Tantra, one can provide people the opportunity to have such experiences.

Most of today's Gurus may not be Seers like Adi Sankaracharya. But who cares when they do it for you!!!!

Anonymous said...

Rahul

Can you tell me why he is charging $450 for two day course in US. First of all, tell me why he needs money as he is guru and "GOD". Come on Sir.. Pls come to real world. There are no GODs,GURUJIs in the world. Go and worship your parents. They are gurus. They are your GODs. If anybody charging money, there ends the word "GURU".

Jay Menon said...

I am an art of living member for last 10 years. I volunteered for it actively in delhi and in US. I have experienced enormous change in my life and extremley positive attitute to life and its happenings. This organization truely helped me to enjoy and be balanced in most troubling situations. The people who criticize the organization are just blind, acting for their own vested interests or just satisfying their ego. Sri Sri is a true teacher of adwaitha of Adi Sankara. He never claimed you to follow him. Whoever followed and listened to him took that decision themselves. He just tells you the source of happiness is just with in you, you dont have to search anywhere. Sudarshan Kriya just helps to do that!

And when an organization is with millions of people, there can be some persons with bad attitude, other interests etc. It doesn't mean that the entire organization is tarnished.

Those who say about the celibacy status of Sri Sri, all I have to say is what Jesus told, Only he who is without sin should cast the first stone.

But you still have hope guys. Krishna gave Moksha to even Kamsa, Jarasandha and many more Asuras who were worst accusers of Him. So as Rama did to Ravana. So keep accusing Sri Sri. We all welcome that and never will have any hard feelings to any one who think or write anything about him.