Saturday, July 12, 2008


Subject: Fw: Art of Living Foundation in Dallas claims to be not Hindu

Is this news true? How can true Hindus understand and accept this?

--- On Sat, 7/12/08, Naresh Khanna wrote:

From: Naresh Khanna
Subject: Art of Living Foundation in Dallas claims to be not Hindu
To: "Rana Kumar"
Date: Saturday, July 12, 2008, 10:57 AM

Ajay Nair and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar... A comparison

If Ajay Nair at Columbia University, called the honor killing an aberration on otherwise peaceful

South Asian families, thereby completely obfuscating the disctinction between Hindus and Muslims;

thereby failing entirely to acknoledge that honor killing is a frequent Muslim occurrence, and

has nothing to do with Hinduism; thereby selling out the Hindus to the South Asian identity - here

is another embarrassment.

Today, the Art of Living Foundation in Dallas is holding an event in Dallas, where Rishi Nithya

Pragya is being featured. When we asked for permission from them to distribute the Hindu Unity

Day Flyer to the audience at that event, we were refused permission based on the fact that

"The Art of Living" is not a Hindu Religion based organization.

Such is the state of our people - They take the word "Rishi", "Nithya" and "Pragya"; They do

"Sudarshan Kriya"; sing "Bhajans" and "Kirtans" praising "Rama" and "Krishna" and then

they turn around and say "They are not a Hindu organization". Hinduism gives and gives, and

allows anyone to take anything from it - Thus it is possible for anyone to take "Some Yoga;

Some Philosophy; Some Pranayama: some Karma Yoga" and rebrand it as "Jeevan

Mukti Yoga" or "Transcendental Meditation" etc. and give it a new sounding name, and on top

of it simply refuse to acknowledge where they got it from - i.e. and say that they are not a Hindu

based group at all.

May be it is a marketing gimmick - May be it is a way of attracting non-Hindus to the Art of Living;

May be it is a way of bringing people into something without the Hindu word associated with it;

But I would prefer that they had the guts to invite non-Hindus to Hindu Dharma; and not take

things from Hindu Dharma and resell it as something else.

It is at this point that I am torn between my love and admiration for Sri Sri Ravishankar, my pride

and regard for all that he has accomplished and my pain at their inability to acknowledge

that this too is Hinduism; This too is Sanatana Dharma; This too is knowledge that came to

us from the Rishis.

Let's contrast this with Bhagwan Shri Krishna in the Bhagvad Gita, who says, candidly to Arjuna,

"I am not teaching you anything new - It has always been part of a tradition".

Sri Sri Ravishankar has a responsibility to clean up the image of Hinduism - Not avoid it, and take

everything from it and repackage it and resell it as something else. In the process he may attract

many foreigners to the Art of Living, but he also creates numerous Hindus who get even more

confused about their own "Hindu-ness".

I would like to know why Sri Sri Ravishankar believes that the Art of Living is not a Hindu based

organization. I want him to define what indeed is the Hinduism that he so wants to avoid ? How

is this Hinduism different from Sanatana Dharma ? Or is he now teaching something that is even

outside the pale of Sanatana Dharma itself ?

It is a pipedream - that people think they can attain some kind of spiritual growth, and even attain to

Moksha without first attending to Dharma. No amount of breathing, bhajans and kirtans will help

us attain to Moksha, until we discover Dharma in our lives. And part of our Dharma is to protect

that Dharma itself. Merely doing Pujas, and singing Bhajans and chanting something is not enough.

I wish I could do something about this too. I am afraid we have a long way to go.

Kalyan Viswanathan

614-668-1668 (cell)


At 11:20 PM, Blogger COFFLER said...

Your allegation about AOL not being a Hindu is completely false and baseless.
The Art of Living believes in each and every religion on this planet universe. Because during satsang and also during our face to face interaction with our Master Poojya Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji, we discuss and sing songs based on all religions. As a matter of fact we believe in the concept of " ONE WORLD FAMILY" Now if you say that AOL is not Hindu's, then can you please say "WHO ARE WE". I am sure you don't have an answer to it. If you take a deeper look in our organization then you will find the preachings of Islams, Hindu's, Christians, Sikh's, Jain's and also other religions and beliefs prevailing and around the globe.
have you ever noticed or observed the fact that if you are pointing one finger to some one then the rest four fingers are pointing towards you. I also sincerely request you to do a AOL Basic course once. And also visit our Bangalore Ashram. Its a Mecca Medina for all AOL Devotees. Give me one name of a NGO is working so hard to improve the living conditions globally by implementing programs like 5 H programs( Please visit for more details). Can you name me one person who is working almost 23 hours a day, visiting countries and meeting people and trying to solve their problems. I am sure you do not have the answer. It's Poojya Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji. He was the 1st person to visit Iraq, Pakistan and Afganistan. If you take a closer look at HIS life, your eyes will be filled with tears for this person who has dedicated HIS life for the benefit of the society. A man who lives on the ethics and virtues of Love. So, I personally request you that before blaming some one else, look inside your one self.

At 8:45 PM, Blogger Sound And Silence said...

You misunderstood the facts


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