Monday, April 12, 2010

"I said YES. This was my mistake, I agree."


I have gone through your blog and I really appreciate the work you have done. It has relieved me in many ways. This is an attempt to share my experience with you like others.

Recently, I was tortured, troubled and forced to go to AOL course by one of my close friend. The thing is, I was going thru bad patch of life, some emotional failures, job hurdles etc. I shared this with my (so called) friend. She started coming to my house, sending SMS, emails, early morning phone calls etc to "convince" me to go to course. This continued for 4 weeks. Already I was suffering emotional failures, so just to get rid of it, I said YES. This was my mistake, I agree.

Later on the course day, just to check whether I am really going or not, she came to my house to drop me to course location. To verify whether I am doing full time course, she kept watch during course end timings every day. I struggled to do course as I was noticing that this is FAKE. They asked to do stupid things, such as abuse person sitting in front of you and let him abuse you. Whatever he says, just smile!! This was so called as knowledge point, 'accept people as it is'. I am against compromising when I haven't done any mistakes. Then they played stupid games, asked to dance and SK. At the end Ravi Shankar chanted some mantra. I asked teacher that what is this mantra, she said "Guruji went into 10 days silence and Lord Brahma appeared in him and gave him that mantra." I was surprised. I realized that I wasted my Rs. 1250/- Then they asked to purchase gifts from gift counter and share them with course-mates. I realized that this was marketing strategy. I wasted few bucks there.

My friend came to my home saying that I can give you guruji's blessing. Asked me to close my eyes and kept hands on my head. Later she said that guruji has come via me and they are relieving you from pain. Later she started coming to my office and started asking me to get more people from office to relieve them. I was going mad. Didn't know how to get out of this nexus.

Course ended. I thought I was out of it. But I realized I made a mistake by leaving my address details and phone numbers with them. After 2-3 days, teacher along with there colleagues came to my apartment. They asked me to gather set of people so that they can 'spread' the word. I strongly opposed them. They asked why? I told them I don't have faith in them. They asked - in whom you have faith? I told as I am Buddhist, I have faith in Lord Buddha. I am not die-hard follower but I have some faith in him. I was shocked with there reaction. They said this: "Lord Buddha is dead. Our Guruji is alive and god resides in him. Why are you following a god who is dead? Follow Guruji, the Living God. As he is alive, he can sense your feelings. Forget Buddha, Follow Guruji" I was shocked, how can they play with such feelings? I strongly insisted them to go out of my apartment and not to call me again. They replied: "Foolish people learn from own experience, wise people learn from others experience." They left and I was relieved a bit. I thought its over, but was unaware of there nexus.

Next morning, I stared getting SMSs about following kriya from my friend. I was tired of this. I thought as she is a Doctor, well educated and from well established family, I had to quit this friendship.

Atlast I am out of this AOL nexus and living a happy life. Suggesting people to read your blog. I have already sent your blog link to her to realize the truth.

Thanks for doing this graceful work. Keep it up!!


Anonymous said...

I am curious whether AOL keeps track of who brought whom in for a course.
How is this tracking done? Do they ask people during registration who referred them to this course?
If they don't track it, how/why are the aol people so motivated to aggressively recruit more people. They may not be so aggressive if they don't get credit for bringing in new recruits.

Anonymous said...

AOL is not as bad as you make out to be. It only gets bad when you get into organization, and licking guru's feet. Until then, it's quite ok, I would even recommend it, were it not for She She Shenanigans.

Of course it's not everyone's cup of tea - and that's quite ok.

Anonymous said...

I have requested people to do the course just because I had benefits and due to leading a better life myself no other motivation. Large group of people are of this nature. Offcourse the brainwashed teachers sometimes can get on to your nerves! Personally I will suggest the course even now for most people but don't get in to the feverish marketing like some people do. Advance course is a vacation as well, but just acknowledge the simple fact that SSRS is another human so enjoy the nice things out of it and STOP right there. DSN&TTC is for hardcore followers only!

grateful reader said...

Anon @ 8:18,

While its true that one can probably stay on the fringes of the organization and have a pretty good/okay experience, simply by taking the courses and giving the org money, one is endorsing its serious flaws.

Bold said...

Hey Anon, its quite ok, i would 4even recommend it . Pl go thro the other posts and watch out for posts which talk about SK affecting brain and causing memory loss and panic attacks. How can you recommend this to others ?

JOSH said...

About AOL Keeping track:

I observed 2 things:

a. They ask you to fill a form - address & telephone number with email ID and person who referred you

b. during the course they ask to send one SMS to one number to get AOL Alerts.

I was smart enough to not to send SMS on that number. But later somehow with the records, they started sending junk SMS - stating latest score schedules, Gurudev Sayings on mobile number.

-- Josh

Anonymous said...

Anon writes " I have requested people to do the course just because I had benefits..".

It is not that inocuous as you & other followers of RS make it out to be. He has become so influential a lot of schools & colleges make it compulsory for all students to take to SKriya & with it RS worshipping , jaigurudev screamings.

Whatever stress free or trancelike state it allegedly induces can be accessed in safer , cheaper ways.

A lot of people accessed happiness before Ravishankar was born. So he does not hold some hitherto undiscovered magical panacea.

He did come up with a lot of concocted stories like post grad degrees in advanced physics etc . Recanted when some people pointed out they were all made up.

Such an alleged messiah lacking basic honesty ?

Anonymous said...


Did kriya regularly for 5 years. I never had a problem. I found it quite useful actually.

I don't do it now because I don't need it. Meditation comes naturally.

My experience was on the whole positive with kriya. I don't deny that some people may not have same experience as me...and that's fine.

Anonymous said...

You have to separate AOL from SSRS. Yes, there is a relationship. of course, but there are teachers out there for AOL that are just crappy and obnoxious. Why are you so weak? If you don't want to take a course just say no and stick to it. Get a set of balls, friend!

KLIM and CO. said...

That is exactly what I used to tell my own students when they doubted. That is exactly what I told myself to justify all the incoherences I experienced. And that is exactly the mistake we all make. Teachers, devotees and HIM cannot and should not be separated. In fact, he is behind all the "crappy and obnoxious". He supports it, encourages it and applauds it. As he LOUDLY said to me once: AoL cannot be separated from SSRS, and AoL IS RS. Thus, teachers=crappy and obnoxious, RS=teachers, therefore RS=crappy and obnoxious. The teachers become what they are because of him, and because he selects them and he trains them to be that way! Some already were faulty when they got there, some became faulty with the indoctrinization, techniques, brain-washing, fanaticism.

Jivani said...

Anon 4:17 PM:

I don't know RS or the inside of AoL well but from what I know of cults and what I've seen of AoL, RS IS the problem with AoL. Manipulative leaders such as him create a following and brainwash people into doing all sorts of things (even killing people). In fact, I assume he carefully chooses those close to him who he believes will carry out and agree with his ideas. That is what you see as AoL. All those crappy or obnoxious teachers are mini Ravi Shankars. Make no mistake of how influential charismatic leaders are within their organizations. There may be small issues in AoL which have nothing to do with him, but overall my guess is that the organization is a reflection of his vision. Perhaps if he left, AoL would be a much nicer foundation.

Anonymous said...

Klim and Co said,"Teachers, devotees and HIM cannot and should not be separated. In fact, he is behind all the "crappy and obnoxious". He supports it, encourages it and applauds it."

That is prima facia absurd, and you know it. Everybody has a different personality. I know dozen's of AOL teachers and some are humble and quiet, some are loud and obnoxious. Some are quite intellectual, some are more felly-touchy. There's a whole range there. You over-simplify the entire situation by making the ridiculous comment that all AOL teachers are the same.

The problem with you, Klim and Co is that you have decided, apriori, that nothing SSRS or AOL does can be good. You were as unthinking as an AOL teacher just excepting everything with no discrimination as you are now. You have learned nothing. Once SSRS and AOL were all good and perfect and now they are all bad and terrible. Both positions are ridiculous and indicative of an immature spirituality. You will do the exact same thing again with another guru until you learn to discriminate. Grow up!!

Anonymous said...

Jivani said,"RS IS the problem with AoL."

You admit to knowing nothing regarding AOL or SSRS, yet you make statements like this? How can anyone take what you post seriously if you have no experience with what you talk about? Here, I know nothing about nuclear physics, but let me post my completely uninformed opinion about it and I want you all to take it seriously. Do you see the little problem with that? Hmmm?

Anonymous said...

All followers of RS advocating kriyas , please recheck & know this is art of living FREE blog.

You folks should not stray from art of living forums/blogs. There are plenty of those for you to graze & gorge nonstop.

Anonymous said...

A very well written story.

Anonymous said...

Anon @9:51 PM snarls " grow up" to Klim instead of "have a nice day".

Based on comments in this comments section alone ?

Had you folks read the entire blog from the day it started in tandem with yunus's balanced views, blogs exposing nithyananda cult & several such overhyped godmen , cogitating over what is written with an uncluttered mind would not lunge forward so hastily defending your gurus.

I repeat we are NOT DEBATING here. We are not in doubt. As we have seen through.

Please do hold your Ravishankar's feet or beard tight & stay put there. Your very attempt to redeem your master's faltering credibility is downright irksome.

KLIM and CO. said...

All this "immature immature immature, grow up, grow up, grow up" ... is that all you can say? And they still think we are looking for another guru? Gee! Are they that clueless? Holding on to gurus for everything ... I wonder who needs to grow up. "40 years in TM and 20 in the AoL"? Maybe it means, 40 years practicing TM and 20 in AoL, because the other is impossible, unless you have been living a double life (AoLers are banned from TM), and even so, 40 and 20 years of all of that, too much 20-40-40 and you still think you have critical thinking left over in your brain? Grabbing on to TM and AoL labels as if they were some degree: "I have a BA from Yale, an MBA from Colombia and a PhD from Stanford." No, it does not compare and it does not work out that way. TM and AoL are yet not ivy leagues! Pathetic. Talk about needing to grow up! Anyway, that tone of anger, arrogance, all-knowingness, preaching, sense of superiority and spirituality, aggression, fanaticism, shallowness and narrow-mindedness is just a little bit of the same stuff ... but in this case, it reminds us of a senior advanced trainer president of the AoL ... talk about someone needing to grow up! People: AoL police is back and just to remind us of their kind of "spirituality" and that, of course, they are the best, we are fools! Isn't that nice? Hey, but we all belong to each other and we all should accept each other as they are and we should not see intentions, blablablablabla. Anyone objects to not publishing comments from that person in the future unless he grows up? :)

Jivani said...

Anon 9;56 PM:
Point taken. However, I have seen quite a lot of AoL and consider myself to be very informed about cults and I am sure AoL is a cult (not in the good sense). Even though I said I don't know RS well, I believe I know enough to comment, otherwise I would not. Notice my wording "my guess is he..." It's quite okay to make a comment like that when I nearly got sucked into AoL and all the brainwashing. That's a scary thought and that's why I'm here. I've seen enough to know what's going on!

I have experienced a lot of AoL actually, some through rude and angry posts here like yours, and it's enough for me to make judgments and comment here. Klim never said you can't be here and comment if you haven't been an insider of AoL for 20 years. We're all here with different levels of experience but actually, I think I'm more informed and able to comment than most AoLers who can't see behind all the lies of AoL and RS and their own denial. I'm lucky to have figured it out quickly.

I'd be willing to bet a lot of money that I'm correct about what I said about RS being the problem with AoL.

Prairie Princess said...

Dear Klim..I love this blog. Gurudom is so last millennium. To those who feel the need to have a your eyes..All experience is a teacher. Take a lesson there and leave the opium (and opinion) of AoL behind. If the nasty anonymous is indeed that senior trainer president fellow, out him on this blog and publish his silly pr attempts under him correct name. Met him and had some brief interactions with him..such a sad person lacking the ability to love. If he is an example of the benefits of AoL, the organization is sicker than I thought.

Anonymous said...

Prima facia absurd, Ridiculous, immature spirituality and grow up. That is big words coming from somebody hiding behind an anonymous profile. Klim and Co. is very justifiable scared of harassment from the enabler and henchmen of the psychopath ravi shankar. What is your excuse?

Anonymous said...

These AoL "volunteers" so enamoured by SSRS don't get it when I say "get me off your phone and email lists". Even now after 9 years of quitting I keep getting mails and messages on my phone. This is the best way of completely putting you off AoL for good. Great going, idiots.

Anonymous said...

many female followers and teachers in AOL are suffering from Histrionic personality disorder.Psychiatrists treating them at some stage can verify the fact.While they get treated in AOL environment they are useless as teachers. can do more harm than benefit,

Anonymous said...

Organize any event which you think will help more than 10 people other than you and your family members. Like spending 5-6 hrs time with sick person, helping somebody to study etc etc. Take help of minimum 3-4 friends. You will have idea how difficult job is to organize anything. Then you will appreciate and wonder how Art of Living does so much work and appreciate your friends effort. Unless you know art its difficult to appreciate artist.

Peaceful Warrior said...

@Anon April 17, 2010 1:26 PM

Come on - you are not talking to neophytes here.
People here, have organized many events, big and small for Art of Living for many many years.

Any organization based on lies, manipulations, and half-truths is not real - especially true in case of spiritual organizations.

The one who belittles volunteers is RS - claiming credit for things done well, and blaming them, when things don't. In fact he (they) shamelessly manipulates sincere and earnest seekers to serve his ends - not all of which are noble.

The money raised for "service projects" get diverted to his personal kitty - all we see is token work. They don't even live the human values they speak of - at least not when it is inconvenient.

AOL is a business - they take more and give less. And as far as hinduism goes - the way AOL is run goes against the basic tenets of hinduism. In sanatana dharma, teacher never asks for money - although people donate without being asked.