Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Why they don’t like Sri Sri

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar did not become famous because of his name. He took care of that long ago, by differentiating it from the already famous sitar player. He did not become famous because he had friends in high places. He did not have a headstart to reach where he is today. He started alone and all he did was share some of what he knew. You can argue that yoga, pranayam and meditation have always been known and there's nothing new in what he does. The bottom line is people liked what he had to offer and they kept coming to him. Like it or not, spirituality was not fashionable until Sri Sri.

Whatever it was that he did, he did it long enough and well enough to be known all over the world today. So far so good and things would have been fine if this was all it was. But the trouble is that he doesn't want to stop at that. He seems to want to be everywhere. It would've been fine if he had stuck to teaching breathing exercises, working in villages, reforming prisoners, teaching organic farming, planting trees etc. No problem. But when he wants to be active on political issues, mediate on issues he doesn't need to, voice opinions on matters that are not spiritual, well, that's a problem. Because then, he is encroaching, edging past people who had headstarts, who have the right surnames. And that is a serious breach of territory.

He can close his eyes today and put his finger on any city in India and gather lakhs of people there. Which politician today in India can do that? The strength of his popularity and connection with people, all these years, was visible only in the form of service projects like trauma relief. No matter where disaster strikes in the world, he is able to mobilize people and resources, even during the floods in Sindh last year. Good, more importantly, harmless.

But when that strength is moved from fringe issues, that affect a section of society, to core issues, that affect the bulk of the population, it starts shaking the seat of power. Suddenly, there is a fear that he may have political aspirations. Jesus, after all, was crucified on that very accusation. It starts showing up in remarks like "Swamiji, stick to spirituality, leave the politics to us." The condescension gives away that someone is rattled.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar embarked on a tour of Pakistan a few days ago. You don't agree with what he does, fine. You question his intentions, it's your right. But by any account, somebody as widely known as him, going from India on a peace mission to Pakistan is big news. Consider the ground work: He has managed to portray spirituality in a way that nobody finds it an infringement in a religiously orthodox atmosphere. His volunteers directed relief operations in a country where our government has no influence. He has been able to tap the significant but unexpressed sentiment - “Fine, whatever, let’s just be friends now”. He has created a demand for himself when nobody in Pakistan has a reason to welcome anything or anybody from India. The breakthrough is historic, at the very least. Nope, not to our media. Peace mission? Boring.

Our media likes to believe that people love watching them sit in their studios and argue over the day's developments in sophisticated vocabulary. These people reach millions of people on a daily basis. But they are so busy being full of themselves, that they fail to connect with common people. How many times have you heard anybody say anything nice about any of our news channels or newspapers? Nobody today has a kind word for the media and you have to say, they’ve worked very hard to get there.

Without any support from this media, Sri Sri connects with people on the ground, in millions. Why? He adds value to their life, in some way or the other. You can choose to remain skeptic, or unimpressed by what he says but you cannot deny that what he does requires extraordinary commitment. He may well be the most traveled human being in the world today, and since planes are still recent to our civilization, in all of history.

It was not easy going to Pakistan. Apart from those who regularly criticize him because they find him elementary, for this trip, he had to face opposition from the fundamentalists on both sides. "Who are you to interfere? Who asked you? Let the governments handle it." We have seen what the governments have achieved over the last 60 years. It is beyond them. This issue requires a large-heartedness impossible for politicians. Making policies or signing documents does not bring the hearts of people together.

People are very simple and they connect to his simplicity. What he is doing may not be sensational but it's solid. What is sensational is forgotten within days, what he is doing will be remembered much longer. This was an opportunity for our media to show some class. Skepticism is healthy, cynicism is not. Skepticism keeps windows open to find reality, cynicism closes them all and shuts you from reality. And the reality is that today, you cannot ignore Sri Sri. He IS everywhere.

These words from Mahatma Gandhi make a great quote, but nobody thought of them as a prophecy: First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. The sad part is that “they” are our own people.

If you liked the above, help me blow it all over social media.

84 comments:

  1. Agree with all that you have written Nakulji...but is'nt it wise to first work on the unabated Suicides in Bangalore...Upliftment of poor and downtrodden in many parts of N. Karnataka...where people do not even have access to a health center/toilets/safe drinking water/electricity...It would be better to try fix these HOME issues first...it will be good to see AOL doing activities in N. Karnataka districts for the upliftment of the poor...Sri Sri should tour these places and see how the conditions are and do something before embarking on peace missions which I do agree are fine...

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    1. dude, what stops You from joining hands with Sri Sri and fixing these home problems!? take responsibility. and don't be Selfish, Karnataka or for that matter India alone doesnt own Sri Sri. He is here for the entire humanity.
      And what do you know of His work in Karnataka !? do you know that 25000 government college students did the programs by AoL? That he regularly visits the City and meets people. do some homework.

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    2. Sri Sri is everywhere.Maynt be with body bt u can feel him in HOME as well as outside means everywhere.Those who need his dual presence badly,his duty is to go there.Isnt it?

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    3. Why be afraid to identify yourself when commenting on Sri Sri. Ask first what you did, rather than asking what others did. Isn't it?

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    4. Sai Venu...I have volunteered when the 2004 Tsunami struck with organizing relief efforts...have conducted Part 1 courses for nearly 2500 people...have done seva in ashram and have been blessed by HIM...But I just thought i'd bring to HIS notice some issues which are disturbing and need immediate attention..I am not commenting on SRI SRI...What me and my family are today is because of HIM...nearly 100 people in my family have done the AOL course for your information...The website is outdated by the by...

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  2. jai guru dev

    Nakul bhayya i always wanted to right something like this but was short of words ,I will give my best and blow it all over the place just leave it to me,thanks a lot really wonderful job. hats off.

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  3. and by the by Nakukji...I am a AOLite and stand by what I said...this disturbing issue needs urgent attention from AOL - Suicides in Bangalore..everyday we see people taking lives for silly reasons - All the AOL teachers in Bangalore can be trained and start counselling in schools, colleges etc...believe me it will help...

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    1. to Anonymous, there is lot of project is which is going on in and around karnataka. Divine karnataka project (DKP) which is initiated by art of living long back. please visit artofliving.org website. to get more about this project and please part of it. http://www.divinekarnatakaproject.org/

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    2. sorry that was for nakul bhayya

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    3. Dear Anonymous,

      Yes, there are a lot of projects. I am sure they can do with your help, in whatever way possible.

      I think the sense of belongingness that Guruji (Sri Sri) has with every one in this world, its tough for us to get and therefore we think of our limited boundaries.

      If Guruji waited to completely finish things in Karnataka before moving out, I guess it would be years before people from all around the world could benefit from AOL.

      Guruji has given us so much, lets be grateful for it and lets contribute in whatever way possible for us.

      JGD!

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    4. Abhishek, feel free to mail me at nakul dot dhawan at vvki dot net.

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  4. Amazing!! Sooo true.. A hardblow on the faces of so-called cynics!

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  5. sahi hai nakul bhaiya...:) loved the bold use of words... and u've portrayed guruji's character in da most realistic way possible... jaigurudev..:)

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    1. I wrote you a reply but it showed up at the bottom... :-)

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  6. Nakul, great. Slow but steady, it is going to happen. Closing eyes is not blindness; the eyes will have to be opened one day. On the other hand, if the eyes are closed because indeed of blindness, Else, the paths are wide open to complete the mission. Stray outbursts (ignoring - grudgingly - is the worst kind of expression of frustration) do not and should not hinder the momentum. Best of luck. Let us do together.

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  7. Simply sensational :) this is all i wntd to express to ppl. Got it thru u.Thnx n well done.

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  8. JGD Nakul, a wonderful blog by you. This should have been in headlines of our so called "SABSE TEZ CHANNEL" and all ....anyways our media has no time to propagate the good work of AOL. keep it up...

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  9. People want to clean their own house first and then if they get time, if their mood permits they will perhaps bother to clean the surroundings. And if some1 cleans the surrounding, they will check that persons house and accuse him of not cleaning his own house before cleaning the surrounding! Great Article :)

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  10. Nakul, it's an excellent article. I would like to add to what Rishabh has just commented. There is no such perfect day when all the issues in your own home are absolutely taken care of nothing needs your attention anymore and everyone unanimously says "OK please feel free to go out and take care of the surroundings".

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  11. superb!!!no words...very well said..jgd

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  12. Thanks Nakul. What a article. keep writing.jgd

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  13. Hi anonymous, if you are an "AOLite" yourself I strongly encourage you to start seva projects in the areas you speak about. You can also do TTC or YLTP and teach BWS or yoga or meditation. We are all responsible for the world around us...and I am sure Sri Sri would bless such projects!
    JGD from a land far away...

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  14. very nicely written! will share it for sure!:-)

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  15. Facts with beautiful narration...!!

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  16. lots of projects which are there never get complete...please dont turn away from reality...when Guruji is here in Bangalore all of the people are around...but when it comes to going to the grassroots level that's it...Websites and Prints outs are good only there...actual work has not happened in Bagalkote, Koppal and those far reaches of Karnataka...and abouty Suicides - I have made a strong point...and its important that all teachers do something about it...JGD...Life in Cynicism is a cynical thought itself...By sharing this article all the people are doing the same that happend with all great sensationalistic things that have happend in the past...

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    1. Ok, Anonymous, so since you are in contact with AoL, why don't you organize camps and meets with the schools and colleges ?
      we have well structured programs, happening successfully in many of the educational institutions. join hands

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  17. I dont say that I dont like Sri Sri...just that when HE can attempt a peace mission to Pakistan...why not do the same here???

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  18. JGD Nicely written Nakul

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  19. was just thinking why no one one frm our side is not cmg out with an article on HIS visit to PAK !! You hv done it !! & Well Done !! keep inspiring people with ur blogs !!
    Abhijith !!

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  20. its a wonderful article.. really impressive... a problem and fear in all Indians heart..relations with pakistan... the entire world entertains themselfes of out of it..... BUT NO MORE .. THE RIGHT TIME HAS COME....N THE RIGHT ACTION BEING TAKEN. JGD

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  21. It is so easy to say what has NOT been done, why not first see what HAS been done? :)

    The REALLY important things that have happened have had to be kept away from the media, else some politician would stop it.

    But they have happened. And some of us have been lucky enough to witness or even be a part of the change in some cases.

    Which is why I say, like him or dislike him, boy, he sure is effective! :)

    If you didn't understand a single word I just said, you need to go have a drink (nimbupani with honey will not be refused) with any Art of Living teacher, and all will be clear!!

    :)

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  22. Gud piece of work nakulji,,i personally feel 'the media is just doing their job to be top in the TRP..well their is No hunger/expectation for coverage as Art of living work speaks by itself..i m amazed with the overwhelming response & welcome from pakistan to Sri Sri Ravishankarji.

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  23. An awesome piece of work by u. I have shared it on Facebook...JGD

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  24. Wow!
    ONLY TRUTH
    Hats Off!!!!
    Jai GuruDev!

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  25. thats very well written nakulji.

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  26. Excellent Nakul, very well written... I like the catchy title you kept to attract attention... Way to go... You MUST keep it going.. You are an effective writer, simple, lucid, hard hitting & effective...

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  27. Nakul ji,
    That was BANG ON !

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  28. Brilliantly said. Very precise. Loved it.

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  29. fully agree also check out

    http://beyondmeiam.blogspot.in/2012/02/reform-movements-and-spiritual.html

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  30. Man,this is straight at the bulls eyes..excellent much appreciated dear...

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  31. There is something something about Sri Sri :) and definitely something about Nakul!

    Very well written! Jai Gurudev

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  32. very well written,i think cynicism can only be tackled with spirituality..
    we all need to work very hard
    jaigurudev !

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  33. Hats off Nakul! Very well said! The power of words...keep yielding them! it makes a lot of difference!
    JGD!

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  34. I did my Art of Living course in 2001 and have been doing the Kriya ever since and have also done advanced courses. The best thing I like about Guruji is that he respects diverse opinions and always strives to find a common ground for re-conciliation and celebration amongst parties in conflict.

    This is what always attracts me to him.

    At the same time, to say that spirituality was not fashionable before Guruji would be wrong.

    Before Guruji, the TM movement (of which Guruji himself was a part) of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi & Osho were the two Masters who conquered the Western world with their flamboyant spirituality.

    Apart from them, since Swami Vivekananda first arrived in the United States and conquered its heart with Indian spirituality, many Yogis like Paramhansa Yogananda, Swami Rama, Swami Shivananda, Swami Satyananda etc. have achieved fashionable and iconic status in the West.

    Of course, Guruji's contribution is that he made spirituality fashionable for the youth of India who did not know the value of their own spiritual heritage.



    Note: The salutation Jai Guru Dev is also done in TM movement. It is basically derived from the Jyotishpeetha lineage of Shankaracharyas.

    Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, the Shankaracharya of Jyotirmath in the Himalayas was the Guru of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

    Incidentally, Swami Brahmananda Saraswati is also featured in the Art of Living's Guru Parampara. (The white bearded Swami seated on a throne in the end in the AoL Guru Parampara photo is Swami Brahmananda Saraswati)


    Jai Guru Dev

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    1. You are right, Achintya. We've been lucky to have Masters in every generation. And they are all legendary in their own right. Comparisons are pointless. That was not my intent. I don't think it's yours either. Your clarification is well placed.

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  35. Inspiring...

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  36. The world has million problems. Whenever somebody tries to solve a particular problem, people can always ask why that, why not this. Only fruit bearing trees are hit with stones. You have to appreciate the way he won the hearts in Pakistan. He comapared the names of Allah to names dieties in India. He suggested a boy to think beyond his ex-girl friend.

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  37. Very effectively expressed.. yet words are not enough to describe Sri Sri's power & blessings.

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  38. Bandhavi VasireddyMarch 16, 2012 at 6:46 AM

    Gorgeous Nakul.U brought it so effectively n emotionally as the representative of Aol followers.Well done! keep it up.It came deep from ur heart n even representing the hearts of all devotees.

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  39. Smashing article, I must say! Congratulations on a job well done.

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  40. Nakul,
    Well written.. very articulate.
    Love,
    Ganges

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  41. Superbly analytical article. Keep it up

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  42. Wow !!! Jai Gurudev. Thank you for a wonderful article Nakul.

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  43. Wonderful Article dear. Why don't you post it in Newspaper. Such stuff should be read by masses. Don't worry about social networks, i'll do my best. Ask guruji and publish it all over the INDIA. Good luck.
    - yogesh
    Jgd

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  44. Simply mindblowing... Jai Gurudev!have shared in facebook groups..!!

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  45. Its was awesome..... The best line is that "People are very simple and they connect to his simplicity..." I loved this line... Thank you so much reading this many closed eyes will get open.....
    JAI GURU DEV...!

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  46. Brilliant man, terrific post!

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  47. Bang On...Bulls Eye...

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  48. எல்லோரும் போய் ஆகவேண்டிய வேலைய பாருங்கடா! சும்மா......வேலை வெட்டியத்தவங்களா............

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    1. ya we are wasting our time...Why are you bothered.?. why don't you mind your business.. ? All through life.. you been useless to others.. at least encourage who is doing good...

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    2. நக்கீரா......நன்றாக என்னைப்பார்.........

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  49. Well he can give peacemaking a try too. No harm in it. He's also been to Iraq and met the maoists on his other peace making projects.So he's not on unfamiliar territory.

    Even if peace doesn't come, who is going to ask him why it didn't come just as nobody is asking, how many people in AOL have achieved enlightenment other that Ravi shankar himself.

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    1. Well...May be we should ask Sri Sri to issue certificates to those who are enlightened in Aol.

      How can you say nobody is asking for peace.. The World is not just asking .. it is crying for peace.. when your own family is affected by the terrorists,maoist or any kind of violence.. you will know the value of the peace efforts sri sri is upto.. if you think i am safe and it is only my neighbors are affected...please wait my dear friend.. your turn will come tommrw. - expresshan@gmail.com

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  50. Sangeetha BhathiyaMarch 19, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    To all the people that responded to "Anonymous"'s post above, just be a little more practical when it comes to defining what you mean by involving in "seva projects" in Karnataka? In your eyes, it means organizing courses for AOL and get more money for the organisation. But "seva" in the true sense means helping the downtrodden by organizing free medical camps, facilitating safe drinking water and helping them understand the benefits of hygiene etc. Now that is called seva not just organizing AOL courses and that too charge money for it. It is indeed a noble mission of Sri Sri to undertake the Pakistan peace effort but to me, it also appears he is garnering publicity. So sad, he tried his very best all these years but could never get the Nobel Peace prize. You know why? When money is a dominant factor and when the fact is that it IS the underlying factor for all the AOL courses, one can never get a Nobel peace prize. Let him offer all that for free and then he will get the prize.

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    1. At last someone has responded in the tone that I meant...Blood Donation Camps, providing water for people in villages, providing food for people who do not have anything...Organizing courses in HIGH TECH cities / campuses is not SEVA...stepping out of the comfort zones and going to places where AOL has not been till date is what matters...and there are many many such places in Karnataka where AOL needs to reach to make AOL's activities meaningful...JGD...

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    2. Going to placed where AOL has not been till date ? do you mean to say conduct courses in caves,Hill top, tree top,under the ocean ,In the moon etc etc.. where no people live..? - expresshan@gmail.com

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    3. Samurai of Love...I mean to the villages in North Karnataka where no one has even heard of Art of Living..Even today there are people who do not have safe drinking water, toilets or basic necessities of life. Conducting courses is not what I meant. I have seen that AOL responds only when there is a Natural Disaster and we beat our band about what we did. Rather why dont the teachers leave behinf their iPhones and Cars and travel to these places and build some toilets and use their IITs and IIM degrees to bring real change in the world..Its not rocket science.

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    4. hi people... well i would like to reply to anonymous... AOL does charge some money for their course but that money goes to the society in a bigger way than u can ever think.. and the people doing the courses and following wat is being taught know dat d money dey r paying is nothing compared to wat dey r gainin...
      and reply to ur north karnataka village problems... well if ur soo concerned about them then why dont you contact the art of lving volunteers and teachers at AOL'S bangalore head office and guide them to the place u tokin about... they r all humans and they are doing their best for our society and they would be more than thankfull if you help them just reach that particular place.

      see my friend it is easy to see mistakes in everything but it requires a lil effort to step up and make it right.

      the AOL GLOBAL FAMILY is doing a lot for the whole world and PUBLICITY is onli for the PEOPLE.d AOL wants mre people to come and join their family and follow this path and know that the world is beautiful.

      i know it because im a part of this family.

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  51. Excellent Article..!

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  52. At last...

    Somebody who is looking at the resistence to the force of good that is Sri Sri.

    "But when he wants to be active on political issues....that's a problem."

    Why they dont like Sri Sri?
    "They" dislike the fact that there is no money to be made, no quick buck, no backhanders in Sri Sri's solutions.

    Its a filthy business and it looks like Nakul is our man to sort it out...!

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  53. Just to add in case you are wondering "Anonymous" man has worked with Nakulji way back in 2001-02...

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  54. Nakulji it is my humble request to show this blog to Sri Sri and bring to HIS notice the issues in our state and the urgent need to address them. Suicides in Bangalore is a serious issue and I am appalled by the comments that people have put up here stating "why dont you do something??" I have atleast brought up this issue. Nakulji please do share this with Guruji and help those people who really need help.

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  55. Whats an "enlightened" being's solution for ameliorating naxalism ??

    No prizes for getting that one right. But for those who came in late, follow the below to get your answer.Go straight to 4.52 for the answer.

    http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/vinod-dua-live/video-story/227009

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  56. Hey Nakul, I want to reblog this post.
    I will give due references to your blog and you.
    If you want to discuss or have problems please contact at coolvihal@gmail.com
    Thanks.

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  57. brilliant article Nakul, blessed to be part of AOL...JGD

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  58. Hi Nakul, I loved every bit of your write-up. U got me teary eyed with joy :) With Sri Sri in my life, I can't help but be high on life and be in love with life at large !!!

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  59. hey nakul this article is very nice...
    sri sri has reali changed my life and i know he will continue to change millions of oders...

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