Of ancient wisdom & fake modern gurus

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Today, I came across this YouTube video of a talk given by the person known on this blog as P2S2RSg who was speaking at the recently concluded India Today Conclave 2013. The title of this session was “Is ancient wisdom in sync with modern living?” Listening and watching him in action, I have revalidated my earlier analysis that P2S2RSg is not a spiritual guru. Furthermore, this video has strengthened my view that P2S2RSg is an ignorant and inarticulate person who hides behind his public image as that of a “spiritual guru” spouting nonsense to fool gullible people. I suppose one would not go wrong in coming to the conclusion that he a fraud. What’s disturbing and disappointing is that there is a significantly large number of reasonably well to do and supposedly well educated Indian lower and upper middle class who believe that he is a genuine “spiritual guru”. And they have been swallowing his pearls of wisdom (I mean bullcrap) hook, line and sinker.

I have reproduced below the transcripts of P2S2RSg’s talk along with my comments which expose his basic lack of understanding of the subject matter that he tries to appear knowledgeable about. Also, you can see for yourself that much of his talk consists of incoherent, disjointed & meaningless sentences which do not even address the topic at hand.

Namaste

 Wisdom is beyond time… like the sun is very ancient but yet today’s the sun ray is very fresh, its not an old stale rays… same with water…the river Ga Ganges is so ancient but today’s water is very very fresh. 

In the same way I would say wisdom is that something which is applicable to our life, which is new, which is fresh yet ancient.

That which upholds life, that you can call wisdom.

See the ignorant or fanatically religious.. the so called intelligentsia is fashionably atheist …And it is the wise one who know how to combine the old and new and make their life.

Like a tree it needs ro.. roots that are old and shoots that are new life needs to be adaptable and this exactly is ancient wisdom.

The very first hymn in Rig Veda says “rṛṣibhi nūtanairuta” 

“Aghniḥ” .. second hymn in Rig Vedas is (long pause)

“Aghniḥ pūrvebhirṛṣibhi nūtanairuta” 

P2S2RSg first says that “rṛṣibhi nūtanairuta” is in the very first hymn in Rig Veda. Then he says that the second hymn in Rig Vedas (sic) is “Aghniḥ pūrvebhirṛṣibhi nūtanairuta”. The long pause he takes here and the repetition of almost the same verse with attribution to different hymn numbers got me curious and suspicious enough to check out the original Rig Veda.

I was also curious whether a “spiritual guru” of his standing could at least get right the very first hymn of the oldest of all Vedas i.e. the Rig Veda. And I was not wrong in my assessment of him; he got it all wrong. Look at it yourself here on this website or below where I have reproduced both the Sanskrit and English script.

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As you can see the verse that he is quoting is not complete. It is supposed to be:

aghniḥ pūrvebhirṛṣibhirīḍyo nūtanairuta |

He neglected to add the boldened part of the verse as shown above. Also, what he refers to as Hymn 2 is really Hymn 1 and verse number 2 of Hymn 1. You would expect that someone like P2S2RSg would know this. Hell, even I would know if I were told once that the first Hymn of Rig Veda is dedicated to Agni (Fire) and the second is dedicated to Vayu (Wind) , the third to Asvins, the fourth to Indra and so on. A complete list of dedications can be seen here. Moving on to P2S2RSg’s talk briefly; he seems to be translating the verse from Rig Veda:

Modern and ancient rishis do it. The old and the new, they exist together and that’s wisdom.

I don’t know from where he got the translation of the second verse of Hymn 1 that he quoted wrongly to begin with but the translation is simply not satisfactory and is totally off the mark. The translation of that verse is thus as per this source:

“Worthy is Agni to be praised by living as by ancient seers.”

Not only does he misquote and misattribute the hymn, he also mistranslates! Great going, you modern seer and “spiritual guru” attempting to bring the ancient wisdom in sync with modern living! So, there you see the proof in support of the statements I made at the outset of this blog post. The following lines contain the rest of the transcripts of his talk (that ends as abruptly as it began) interspersed with some poor attempts at humour through observation on my part highlighted in bold! If my attempt at humour doesn’t work, then I can only attempt to humour you by encouraging you to check out the comments on the YouTube video made by P2S2RSg’s followers. These zombies drool over the nonsensical garbage P2S2RSg spouts in this talk and show how they deserve each other’s company and their “spiritual guru”!

Look, like in technology and trade, tradition needs to be revived and renewed again and again. This is essential. And the vibrancy of India is that we were able to do this.

From ancient times, the tradition were kept ,certain aspects of traditions were kept intact yet we became vvvery much adaptable as time flew into the modern day ummm requirements in life and life’s challenges that one has to meet. What is really wisdom, why why should we be wise? Nobody wants to in suffering. Nobody want to uhhh be upset

(Here the camera pans to a part of the audience comprising of women. These women look visibly embarrassed and bored! One girl is even trying to get herself through this tortuous talk by playing around with two mobile phones. Another looks away from the “spiritual guru” tightlipped perhaps not to betray the disgust on her face)

That’s something which takes away from suffering… which gives us vision. It/which makes life vibrant and which connects you, the individual You to the universal You that exists in the universe and brings the immense satisfaction.. that small gratification doesn’t bring… is what is wisdom

(The camera pans to another lady who appears to be sitting there thinking, is that so!!?)

And it available in everybody… it’s nothing to do with education I tell you… you you will find wise people even among the illiterates in the villages, perhaps even more.They know how to manage their homes, they know to manage, keep harmony in the neighborhood, they know how to bring people together, (he failed at it, didn’t he?), and how to aahhh (with hands pushing) bring celebration in life, wisdom is that which brings celebration in life. It brings smile on your face. it keeps you healthy and gives you that intuitive ability to see life what is ahead of you

I would like to add one more thing, as we were talking about the thought, you know. I, I find the thought is like the gatekeeper of the house. Emotions are a little more powerful than the thought. You may think, oh, I am happy or you may put all your thoughts, but when some emotions come that they just barge in,, with such force, all the thought process you kept to yourself they just disappear.

 (The camera captures another woman sitting there looking perplexed)

Are are you are you with me what I am saying? You know you find that emotions are much more powerful than thought The situations overpower you though you want to say, oh I want to be happier, I am happy.. I am.. then suddenly what happens is a bolt of emotions comes up or some energy comes and all this disappears. So we need to work on several layers of our life. First: environment, body, breath. Breath is the link between mind and body. And then mind, the thoughts and then emotions which are even subtler and more powerful than that. And then beyond that is the energy field that the positivity, the radiance, the soul, the spirit that you are… that comes into play.

And all these techniques, meditation, and uh contemplative prayer as in Christian tradition or Buddhist, zen meditation. All these is to transcend the thought and reach to that level from where everything else runs. So that is like attending to the houseowner then the guard will listen to what the owner says. Thank you very much.

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11 thoughts on “Of ancient wisdom & fake modern gurus

  1. Hahahaha!! This is hilarious!! Thank you so mucho for this stupendous effort!! You deserve applause!! 😀

    I cannot fathom why anyone would praise Sri Sri Ravi Shankar aka P2S2RSg. I wonder why his “devotees” are sleep-walking through life and unable to pick up such terribly ridiculous symptoms of foolishness that this man displays so lavishly. 😛

    Incidentally, I have never quite understood why he looks so unhealthy because of excess weight despite being a “yoga” guru. To me, he looks like someone who is usually parked on a rather comfortable throne. 😛

    Ba ba Ramdev (or shall i say B2RDg :P) looks very healthy (even though some of his thoughts are rather unhealthy). I think it’s been a long time since P2S2RSg did any yoga. His “devotees” also say that he doesn’t do “Sudershan Kriya”–he only sells it to them. 😛

    (https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-xEIITI8aXtE/T_Qz-THIIvI/AAAAAAAADzk/2lBKqQv2KFY/s800/132.jpg)

    But returning to your superbly written post, I must say that I am tempted to borrow from your style of writing (a bit) and play the “devil’s advocate” in the way in which a certain ‘defender’ would, not too long ago (on another blog–http://aolfree.wordpress.com/).

    I think we can have a discussion that makes this post even more insightful than it already is. 🙂

    # 1 Yes, you have proved beyond doubt that P2S2RSg doesn’t quite know about the Vedas.

    justification: He studied Vedic Physics at the Bachelor level not mantras. But wait…nobody quite knows what he studied. But then…how does it matter anyway? You can charge cell phones by putting them in front of his picture. No educated person has achieved this. Therefore, spirituality is beyond education. (:P)

    (http://aolfree.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/srisris-petty-deception-and-lieswhy-every-devotee-should-always-question-what-he-says/)

    (http://www.jaisiyaram.com/ravishankar-web.htm)

    # 2 Yes, you are right about his incoherent sentence construction.

    justification: Only “enlightened” people can understand what he says. Plus, he did not study English Literature. He studied Vedic Physics…but wait…no one knows what he studied…how does it matter anyway? (same loop :P)

    # 3 Yes, his incoherent sentences are off-topic.

    justification: The topic is there in his beautifully soothing and gentle voice. You educated people only go after words. That is your problem–you are educated. Just un-educate yourself and you will see that he is always talking about the same topic–and that topic is “enlightenment”. (:P)

    (http://aolfree.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/questioning-enlightenment/)

    # 4 Yes, it sounds strange if someone says India is able to keep tradition alive, then implies adapting to “modern day requirements in life” is bad, then says wisdom is needed to prevent getting upset.

    justification: Let me explain to you, you educated person: you think that modern day life means that you have to charge your cell phone by using a charger and electricity. This makes you upset. Instead of this, if you dig into the ancient tradition of devotion, all you have to do is place your cell phone in front of his picture and it will get charged. That’s the wise thing to do–to be devoted to him–that way you won’t get upset if you misplaced your charger or there is no electricity. As he says, this process of charging your cell phone via a spiritual guru’s picture will help you to connect with the “electricity” of the universe. Can’t you see “it’s nothing to do with education”? (Haha :P)

    (http://www.jaisiyaram.com/ravishankar-web.htm)

    # 5 Yes, it sounds strange when someone says that to not be a reactive person, first one has to work on the environment, then the body and then breath.

    justification: You educated people think that the mind is very important. You are wrong. See, when there is a problem, then we breath in an irregular way. So, if we control breathing, we can solve the problem. Why should we think rationally about a problem? Why should we diagnose its root cause? Why should we discuss it? This is the nonsense that educated people do. What we should do is to first focus on the environment–as in go to an Art of Living Center. Then, focus on the body–do yoga in the Art of Living Center and only Sri Sri Yoga. After that–do Sri Sri meditation and Sri Sri Sudershan Kriya. All problems will be solved. Devotion to Sri Sri is the solution to all problems–from charging cell phones to any other source of stress. Don’t think. Just join Art of Living. Visit the following link to see our latest “Don’t think” ad:

    http://www.writerscafe.org/writing/invisibleindian/1152642/

    P.S. I’m sure you have a lot to say in response to these “spurious” justifications. 😛 Can’t wait to read your reply. Good luck! 🙂

    P.P.S. You might find something of interest here: http://www.writerscafe.org/writing/invisibleindian/1157136/.

  2. When accepting someone as a spiritual guru, one should consult the philosophical directions of the Vedas, not simply call them a guru out of sentiment. If the guru is genuine, one will develope knowledge of the Supreme, or God. Just as if I want to cross the ocean, I require a knowledgable sea captain, or else I will not reach my destination.

  3. Anupknair I am not protecting SSRS but you are idiot. You are really 1st class idiot, because enlightened ones are often illiterate. They cannot speak properly, yet their wisdom, intuition and knowledge goes far far far beyond so called scientists. Anup, to become more intelligent first of all you will have to let go of your “knowledge” which is is really nothing comparing to the Divine knowledge.

    • Thanks for your compliment; I aspire to be nothing but top class in everything.

      You have a reading comprehension problem since you think I called P2S2RSg an illiterate when I really said that he is inarticulate. You should know that your “spiritual guru” has a degree in Vedic Physics (as Serah has helpfully pointed above in an earlier comment). I doubt he would have gotten that degree if he was illiterate. But hey, perhaps the “divine knowledge” he received (no doubt through a divine intervention) might have gotten him that degree in Vedic Physics! I didn’t think of that possibility at all; thanks much for making me see that!

      But seriously, it would be useful for you to understand the meaning of words before you use them.

  4. Sorry, this “idiot”remark, was not meant personally–like you are stupid or something… It was more like–hey awake its something more than our intellect out there !
    Please forgive me for any misunderstanding. . Love,
    Om Namah Shivaya 🙂

  5. I am a village boy living in the capital…I did my first sudarshan kriya 4 years back….that time I was going through a very rough time…having migrane and very much depressed….sudarshan kriya help me a lot….today I am a healthy person…a liitle lazy though(dont practice sudarshan kriya everyday) ,enjoy doing kriya after every match..it relieves me from pain…..amazingly…….

  6. Hi Anup,
    Though i cant comment on vedas, i would say this much that you do the basic part I course atleast once. Why? For experience is far greater than anything. And it will help you consolidate your opinion, if say you are right! See taking risks will only help you in the end! That is, you can say, my ultimate advice to you that i may give! Hope you have a good life!

  7. From personal experience, this man is a fake. I do NOT understand why so many follow him. He made some friends move their 5 bedroom house, at their own expense, every 2 months just to test their faith. I met him personally and he turned his face, and his body, away from me as if to say “you are nothing”. I saw him at a satsang where he played with a remote control car for 15 minutes while the audience applauded and laughed. REALLY? I flew all the way to Reno, NV to see that? and yet, people would die for him. It’s ridiculous and he is simply a human being that figured out how best to manipulate masses.

  8. Pingback: Moving On | Further Beyond the Art of Living

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