How genuine is Sri Sri

26 Jul

I was born in a family that follows Jainism. Hence the first time I heard of The Art of Living and saw the picture of a saint, I wondered, “How genuine is Sri Sri?” After a few more proddings from my doctor who was strongly recommending the Art of Living Program to me, I enrolled for it. Very soon I would find out the answer to my question: how genuine was Sri Sri.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar founder of The Art of Living

The first time I met Sri Sri was in Mumbai at a very small media gathering at a devotee’s place. Being a journalist I was trained to be sceptical, to question the genuine-ness of everything. I had interviewed a few prominent religious leaders earlier and so I was prepared for a series of instructions from his devotees prior to the meeting. Usually I was told to sit far away from the leader so that I do not pollute their aura and shout out questions, or I was frisked. I don’t know how valid such procedures were but it had got me to wonder how genuine it all was.

But none of that happened here.  We were simply ushered into a room where we sat in a small circle along with Sri Sri. The simplicity, the ease and the genuine manner in which it was conducted and in which he answered struck a chord in me. Yes! Here was a genuine saint. Natural. No frills, no drills.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar the founder of the Art of Living

This has been an enduring impression in my future interactions with him – a genuine saint. I saw the media associate big-time industrialists and businessmen with him. But he remained unfazed by all that they had to offer, politely declining anything offered in excess. What could he want from anyone? His mission was to bring peace and happiness in people’s lives. And he was going about it in a practical way; a way in which he and his organisation, The Art of Living, were self-sufficient; a way in which he did not have to compromise on the genuine-ness of his purpose.

Once I happened to be on the same flight as him. He had just finished meeting  thousands in Bangalore and boarded a flight to Mumbai. When we got off, I saw at least 500 devotees at the airport who sought to reach out to him and in the process pulled his hair, his scarf, scratched his hands. The police struggled, hollered, pushed but it continued. Such was the frenzy but when I looked at Sri Sri, he had a smile, a genuine one, blessing all with his flower.  When someone asked, “How do you handle this each day, everywhere?” He simply said, “See the love behind the act. The intention is important.” Only someone with genuine intention would look beyond the act.

He works twenty-two hours, seven days a week. The other two hours he sleeps on the floor. Here is a saint who doesn’t preach. He lives it, naturally. People ask him his mantra for success. I say it’s his genuineness which touches the hearts of the millions who follow him. Millions around the world can’t be fooled!


The author is a journalist 


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24 responses to “How genuine is Sri Sri

  1. Chhavi Methi

    July 26, 2012 at 6:22 am

    well thank you for this post ! I think many journalists would do nothing but only complain 🙂 A much welcome post 🙂

  2. Ensures

    July 26, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Very True! and Well Written.

    LoL part – “Being a journalist I was trained to be sceptical, to question the genuine-ness of everything”

    Pity that today our media has brought down journalism to this low. Isn’t good news, a news? I hope the author currently active in Main Stream Media. This tinge of positivity and freshness is what is badly needed in the media.

    Coming back to the post, Doubt on Genuineness is demystified for those brought up on an overdose of myths surrounding this great Soul. Thanks a lot!

  3. Gitanjali D. Sharma

    July 26, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Simply Gr8 Guru, who has touched the lives of millions & transformed them !

  4. Savita Sharma

    July 26, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Sooo beautifully expressed..since i came from the advertising background, i would look the Beard (GURU’s) type people as “a professional way to fool innocents for their money” , well all my doubts got cleared 9years back ,the day i saw SRI SRI first time in ma life..i was AMAZED! by his simplicity & spontaneity etc etc…….(till today the same phase is cont…:))

  5. Ashwin Belagodu

    July 26, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Well written n thx for this post 🙂 n As Gurudev tells you always doubt something positive. You also doubted the positive 😉

  6. leena

    July 26, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    very true

  7. Anonymous

    July 26, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    His strength lies in his simplicity, He is so strong at the same time so humble. Grateful to have Him in my life 🙂

  8. Anonymous

    July 26, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    His strength lies in his simplicity, He is so strong at the same time so humble. Grateful to have Him in my life

  9. Prakash

    July 26, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    A Genuine article about a Genuine Master

  10. agnyaa

    July 26, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Excellent Mamta ji.. We all are so blessed to have such a GREAT MASTER in our life time 🙂

  11. Anonymous

    July 26, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Good work..nicely presented…

  12. swalia

    July 26, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    thanks for sharing your experience….wish media would highlight the positive in our society rather than focussing on the negative!

  13. Hrishikesh

    July 28, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Wow…! I liked that last line.. “millions around the world can’t be fooled”..! and for Sri Sri Simplicity is the FASHION…!

  14. mkailkhura

    August 2, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Nice sharing! Only those who have eyes for it, can see a genuine Master for what He is.

  15. Sudarshan Kulkarni

    August 6, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Thank you so much..wonderful Article…Very true about the geniuinness.

  16. Anonymous

    August 6, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    First of all, I am an admirer of Guruji… I’ve no doubt on the geuine part of guruji… “as a guruji fan” everyone would find this article good, true and would rate this up… but, my genuine thought, this article would fail to convince a person who actually doubts the genuine ness of Guruji (if the intention of this article is so)… this does not have any strong content to establish that… but few simple examples and few, not so bold, statements…

  17. Anonymous

    August 6, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    guru ji ko bhakti bhav se dekhte hi jeevan ka dard aansoo ban ker bah jata hai

  18. sagar

    August 7, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    I didnt understood why this is posted.. The post doesnt say how genius is sri sri… how he is different from others…

  19. Anonymous

    August 7, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    so we say Jai Gurudev… Victory to the well being in our nature…

  20. rakesh kumar

    August 11, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Jai Guru Dev!

    Guru ji ka koi jawab nahi

    Congrtuations to all these journilast and welcome AOL Parivar


  21. Anonymous

    September 14, 2012 at 6:48 pm


  22. Puneet Agrawal

    October 17, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Very good discussion. I was wondering too and I cant think of a better one than this…on this discussion:


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