Time for a little diversion, don’t you think? Of late this blog has been too involved with serious matters and I think it is time for something entirely different. Many of you regulars know that SSRS — a.k.a Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a.k.a Param Pujaniya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankarji, a.k.a His Most Exalted Holiness the Maha Param Pujaniya Gurudev Bhagwan Sriman Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji Mahadevji, etc etc — is a favorite diversion for this blog. As luck would have it, another of His Most Exalted Holiness Sri Maha Param Pujaniya Gurudevji Bhagwanji Sriman Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji Mahadevji’s (henceforth shortened as HMEHSMHPGBSSSRSM) devotees has deigned to write me a note instructing me to mend my ways.
[I know that this naming of the man is getting a bit out of hand. Previously I had been persuaded by his worshipers that the proper title for the man should be "the Supreme Commander of the Universe out of whose Nether Regions the Sun shines in all its Splendor" which for convenience one should write as SCOTUOOWNRTSSIAIS. So I say, take your pick -- use HMEHSMHPGBSSSRSM or SCOTUOOWNRTSSIAIS -- whichever you fancy, until of course another embellishment comes along to do proper justice to the amazing abilities of this god on earth.]
One Sri Joe Blow (not the actual name of the person) wrote me an email. As his email to me was in response to something that I had written in the public domain — namely, a post on this blog titled “Is Sri Sri Ravi Shankar a con man?” — I wrote back and asked if he could show cause why his email to me could not be considered to be in the public domain. He replied but did not show any cause why his email should not be part of the pubic record and why I should not respond to his email publicly. So here’s my response.
Sri Jeffery’s email is quoted and my response is interleaved:
The note you wrote to your brother about Art of Living was done so long ago that you might have a completely new orientation.
I might. On the other hand, I might not have. You see, just because something is old does not mean that it needs revision. Not all things are in the nature of fads and fashion. There are things that are enduring because they reflect what is true and that which is true need not change.
I would have a completely “new orientation” if I had new information. From what I have learnt since my first tentative conclusions about His Most Exalted Holiness Sri Maha Param Pujaniya Gurudevji Bhagwanji Sriman Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji Mahadevji (HMEHSMHPGBSSSRSM) — mostly from emails from his worshipers such as yourself — I have not found any reason to deviate from my conclusion that HMEHSMHPGBSSSRSM is a very useful person doing very good business and thus promoting social welfare. HMEHSMHPGBSSSRSM is not any more a con man than any other business man doing legitimate business.
What you wrote then was interesting but strange. Looking over a website and claiming to able to declare not only the motives but even the state of consciousness of the founder has got to be a new level of confidence in the world. I wonder how you would evaluate yourself if you ran across your own letter. Or maybe it was some kind of satire on people who make judgments by projecting their experience on other things.
Perhaps I am satirically inclined and do jump to conclusions. But that still does not detract from the fact that HMEHSMHPGBSSSRSM promotes himself to the hilt and has legions of brainwashed morons to do his bidding. I don’t envy him his legions of brainwashed morons but I do take exception when some of them legions of brainwashed morons write to me telling me what I should or should not do. There are limits.
You also claim to know that his technique must be nothing new — even though you don’t know what it is. It reminds me of the Harvard researcher Herbert Benson, who had the theory that you didn’t need to practice TM to get the same results. But to prove his point he only cited research on TM! (And of course other researchers found that the mantra was key in creating brainwave coherence, and that the level of rest was deeper when using those mantras.)
Yes, I do know what he teaches as there are sufficient number of people who have undergone the training and have personally spoken about it to me. His technique is nothing new because it is part of the traditional methods of breath control that have been in practice for thousands of years in India. For ignorant Westerners, perhaps, HMEHSMHPGBSSSRSM’s technique may come as a shockingly amazingly new thing. But for the average well-informed Indian, it is as amazingly novel as the fact that bears shit in woods.
It is also interesting how common it is for people to elevate the consciousness of people who lived hundreds or thousands of years ago, and proclaim that no one could possibly have that level of consciousness or grace today.
Thanks for that non sequitur. I will add it to my collection and let you know if it wins the first prize in the “Annual Totally Irrelevant Comment I have Ever Received Contest.”
I would recommend taking the post down, and striving for a bit of innocence and humility. Why not support something that is doing so much good in the world? (If it is a joke, the humor isn’t that good. In my opinion. But even bad comedians seem to get work. Humor is a funny thing.)
You would recommend, would you now? Take that post down? Are you out of your friggin’ mind? I take that back. You have to be out of your mind to have the gumption to write to me asking me to remove a post that has in any way done nobody any harm. All my post did was to reason that there is nothing special about a man who is so fucking full of himself that it has started straining credulity.
Get over it, mister. Judging from the emails that I get from people such as yourself — brainwashed zombies who have lost the power of reason — I am beginning to suspect that the answer to the question “Is SSRS a con man?” to be a most definite yes.
I’m sure you are quite wonderful and like to be able to give your brother advice (and you do advise him ultimately to go with his own experience, which seems very wise), but it would probably help him more to speak about things you know more about.
Feeling a tad patronizing, are we today? Stick it where the sun don’t shine, sweetheart. Here’s what’s puzzling about your attitude. If HMEHSMHPGBSSSRSM is all that wonderful, perhaps he should have taught you some humility. What you display is naked arrogance of a person whose understanding is so little that he doesn’t even know that he is ignorant.
I am finally coming around to the conclusion that SSRS aka HMEHSMHPGBSSSRSM is overall not as harmless as I had first thought. He is turning too many average people into zombies.
In any case, good luck to you.
Mister, it is you who needs all the luck you can get. Don’t go about handing it out so generously.