This is nothing but mass hypnosis, what you so called “believers” are actually experiencing. Just the same way the masses felt that Lord Ganesha’s statues were actually drinking milk, back in the nineties. When people start using their own brain to think, they do not need these highly commercialized (and copyrighted?) swamis to show them the way. Conquer you mental weaknesses and you will so how fake these guys really are. Being one of his zombies was not the why God brought you into this world. The the only grace that we feel, is the grace of God.
You do not need to be in anyone else’s embrace if you are in god’s grace, and to connect with almighty you don’t need anyone’s help either. Just remember that god is always with you (for free of any charge or fee). So wake up HUMANS!!!!
You are doing a great service by keeping this website up and defending your stance. The internet is flooded with all kinds of propaganda about ssrs and very few articles that give an opposing opinion.
BTW, I am a former Art of Living teacher, and after many years of “service” to the org, I managed to see the light and escape with my sanity in tact. There are other teachers like me, and you can read their stories on the following blog:
I have done AOL courses and now I left the organization because I do not like their many things -
1. In AOL, the person who come to Basic and other courses are considered as ‘lucky’ ‘chosen one’ and if some one is not interested in joining course after repeated attempts by volunteers, he is considered as Unlucky and BECHARA. (This is told by Advance course teacher)
2. Everything is sold at much higher price, let it be books, CDs, Ayurvedic products, phots of Ravishankar etc. and the reason given that the money is used for charity. Why don’t keep the price of above things at lower side to make it affordable to more people. Isn’t this a charity?
3. It is encouraged that only bringing more and more people to course is only Seva.
4. I have experienced a brain washing program to give more and more donations.
5. Various magic stories about Ravishankar is spread by Teachers and Some volunteers. Many people attracted because of such rumors.
6. The most interesting thing I experienced that, many teachers and volunteers who are with AOL for many years and listening to Knowledge and doing Sudarshan Kriya regularly, are always keep smiling. But, during many situations, I have seen the smile is replaced by hate, anger, jealousy, competition etc. The reason is that, they are supposed to smile because they are in AOL. But, this has suppressed the negative feeling, AND NOT REMOVED THE NEGATIVE FEELING BY KNOWLEDGE AND YOGA. The reality of character comes into play in some adverse situations.
They think themselves superior to others who are not in AOL.
These are my first hand experience.
I have still good relations with the volunteers of AOL on personal level though I have left the organizations.
My view is if someone is feeling better in AOL, let him remain with it. Respect his views.
I have done my TTC 1 course in AOL, and several more. Recently got a call for doing TTC 2 but found myself politely declining (my soul seems to be want to break free from groups and orgs).
Personally, I found the AOL courses good and interesting, helpful too. However, I find now that the group members generally appear to forget spirituality and concentrate on registering more and more folks to the course. I have been in the ashram and have not seen any malpractices myself. But this incessant, feverish lookout for ‘bakras’ to take the course really irks me. Even satsangs seem to be an excuse to talk about money. So I have stopped attending aol activities.
However, I cannot judge. Nor do I want to judge- the guru. On the contrary, I feel that many teachers do not understand the basic tenets of spirituality themselves. So they become feverish about the cause forgetting
That said, I wish the organization well, for surely at least pockets are doing good service and it started with a wonderful cause. I guess every organization has its lifecycle, its phases. Perhaps AOL will bounce back to the simple, straight, and sincere org that it once used to be. (Just my two cents.)