Wednesday, January 07, 2009


Dear Joshiji,

Namaskar and Jai Hind.

Many thanks for your kind letter in response to my comments on some of
the statements of Shri Sri Ravi Shanakrji, and/.or of his followers or
workers. There is no doubt that Sri Sri Ravi shankar's programme is
benefitting a lots of people and is an excellent programme and I have
myself taken his course and find it very useful. However, what
motivated me to write those comments, can be traced back to the
following email which upset me quite a lot and I had quoted it in my
blog as well as circulated it and also had forwarded same question to
Swamiji at the time for clarification or a reply but I did not receive
any response from him at that time:


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 acknowledge 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) UNQUOTE

There was another incident whereby Swamiji went to Kashmir, either
Srinagar or Jammu and met with the Moslem leaders of Kashmir and
expressed his support to them. They welcomed him because he was on
their side. There was an email received by me on this subject as well
which was circulated by me but I am unable to trace it now.

Why our HIndu sants and sadhus do not show any support for the Hindu
religion? Why he did not ask those Moslem leaders of Kashmir to take
back to Kashmir the Kashmere Pandits but then that way it will upset
the apple cart, etc. At the same time Hindu sants preach
non-violence, tolerance and accommodation to Hindus but never critize
or put in a word to Islamis for their wrong actions; it is the same
story over and over what Gandhi did!

Anyhow these are just my random views and may be not very realistic in
today's world!

I am hoping against all hope that there is still some hope for the
Hindus for their survival, especially in India.

Dhanyavad. Bhagwan ham sabki raksha karein.




At 5:19 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

the idea expressed is true, but to let you know,I have heard him stressing.."ofcourse yoga is universal,but its roots is in the is ayurveda"
he also said.."even sudarsana kriya is not new in that sense..the ancient yoga is now given to the world in a form they can receive it: at different ages sages give the same truth in different ways to suit the masses.
he says...look at india for its spirituality..indians are truly rich but they dont know this.


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