Sri Sri the SCotU

One of the rewards of writing a blog is the occasional email expressing gratitude for something which resonated with the reader. I get those emails fairly regularly on a variety of topics. The flip side is of course the rant from some disgruntled reader who finds something objectionable about my opinion. I get these very rarely but when I do, it is always from a follower of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. I believe that the most commented post is the one titled “A Letter from a Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Worshipper” which to date has 74 comments. (One of the sites maintained by the devotees of SSRS has a link to this post. I am pretty certain they did not bother to read the post — they mistakenly think that it is a news item praising SSRS.)

Here’s an informative letter from someone who has attended SSRS’s Art of Living course, for the record. The writer wishes to remain anonymous. Continue reading

Art of Living: Another Letter

Not having the gift of foresight, one rarely knows how far one will stray having embarked on an ill-advised direction. So it is with me and my simple assessment of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar many years ago. I began with concluding that SSRS is very skilled in marketing a good and ancient Indian technique generally known as yoga. Many others from India have done so and I approve of all of them because I approve of good ideas being shared. Some made huge fortunes (self-styled “Bhagwan” Rajneesh AKA Osho, for instance) and some labored out of sheer love and devotion for the ideas.

However, my conclusion that SSRS is a “useful” person, just like you and I, did not go down too well with those who are persuaded that SSRS is God Almighty incarnate (whatever “God” is.) So I get nastygrams from these fairly regularly. But once in a while I also get letters from dissatisfied AoL customers. The curious thing is that the nastygrams from SSRS worshippers are pretty incoherent rants; and the dissastisfied customers are generally pissed off but coherent. Because I have published one recent incoherent rant from an SSRS worshipper, I am publishing one from someone who has an opposing point of view. Here it is, for the record.
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R U MAD ??????

HELLO,

PLEASE STOP WRITING NONSENSE ABOUT OUR GURUJI SRI SRI RAVISHANKAR JI. HE WILL NOT EVEN GET A SINGLE PENNY OUT OF ART OF LIVING ORGANISATION. HE IS STRUGGLING SO HARD DAY & NIGHT TRAVELLING ALL OVER THE WORLD FOR PEACE AND A SMILE FROM HEART. I GUESS YOUR LIFE MUST BE FULL OF TROUBLES..NO DOUBT ABOUT IT….STOP JUDGING ABOUT GURUJI..YOUR LIFE WILL BE PATHETIC AND IT IS ALREADY PATHETIC…STOP ALL YOUR BULLSHIT AND RUBBISH. ATLEAST JOIN THE BASIC PART 1 COURSE YOU WILL CHANGE. MY LIFE TOTALLY CHANGED BECAUSE OF GURUJI OTHERWISE IT COULD HAVE BEEN MISERABLE. TRUST ME HE IS GOD.. YOU WILL REALISE ONCE YOU DO THE COURSE. I’M NOT HERE TO HURT YOU..PLEASE REALISE GURUJI IS A GOD’S GIFT. HE IS VERY VERY NICE PERSON ON THE EARTH. I CAN NOT REPAY HIM FOR EVER. MY FEE IS NOT AT ALL WORTH…I GIVE MY WHOLE LIFE TO GURUJI..ONCE AGAIN PLEASE STOP ALL YOUR RUBSIH AND REALISE….YOU WILL SEE A BEAUTIFUL WORLD.

JAI GURUDEV

HEMANTH

[Thus wrote Hemanth {previously published email address removed}. I would be embarrassed if I had such worshippers. Sri Sri Ravishankar, please read and weep. To answer your worshipper who asked if I was mad, I assure you that I am merely confused, not mad. I am confused regarding why your worshippers write such emails to me when I have not written a single negative comment about their “Gurudev.” Gurudevji, if you are here for the first time, please read my final word on you.]

The Final Word on SSRS and AOL

The time has come for me to bring to a close the matter of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and his Art of Living as discussed on this blog. It began with a simple enough request some years ago from my brother who asked me to check out AOL since he was (and continues to be) a big admirer of SSRS. I checked out the site and I realized that I had indeed heard of SSRS before. It was at an Indian classical music concert in San Francisco. The concert was being sponsored by the Art of Living Foundation (or something to that effect). Before the concert began, there was a fairly long video presentation promoting the AOL program. I recall seeing SSRS images on that promotional video and it seemed to me that the man was central to the movement. Continue reading

SSRS, AOL, and Devotees

AOL refers not to “America On Line” but rather to “The Art of Living” as taught by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (SSRS, in short).

A simple straight forward piece I wrote some years ago (Is Sri Sri Ravi Shankar a Con Man?) does get a lot of attention. I get emails from people, some of which is the average “I agree with you” type. Then there is the “How dare you even suggest that SSRS is not god almighty himself and that the sun does not shine out of his butt? You are an evil person” type. I would like to share part of one such exchange I had today with one SSRS worshipper (initials “AG”). Continue reading

A Letter from a Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Worshipper

I expressed the idea that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is not a supreme being endowed with the power of the Almighty God in my article titled “Is Sri Sri Ravi Shankar a Con Man?” I concluded that he is doing very useful work and as evidence I pointed out that he has very large numbers of followers who are willing to pay good deals of money for his guidance. But that rubs his worshippers the wrong way. Fortunately, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a Hindu and therefore his followers are not in the habit of calling for the murder of those who hurt their feelings. When SSRS’s followers feel slighted by my not considering SSRS god incarnate, they merely write letters protesting my view.
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