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Art of Living’s Sri Sri Ravishankar – con man PLUS enemy of the truth. A total BETRAYAL OF HINDUISM (Advaita and Satyameva Jayate).

A few days ago I saw a video on FB that CLEARLY showed how Ravishankar was conning (cheating) thousands of people. This is typical in India – for its “Godmen” to cheat millions. India’s children are simply not taught critical thinking in school. I was fortunate for I read extremely widely, including Western philosophy, Voltaire and Ayn Rand while in my early years of school and therefore got inoculated very quickly against “religious fraud” which is so rampant in India. My 5 volume biology textbook for AIHSc (year 11) was also excellent, particularly its introduction by a brilliant scientist whose name skips me (I would love to find that introduction and publish it – can anyone help obtain these old NCERT biology textbooks of 1979?)

This kind of cheating being so common, I merely noted it on FB and moved on. This is what I wrote on FB on 7 September 2013:

Wasn’t aware that Ravishankar does such silly tricks. I can GUARANTEE this “oil” he sells is pure rubbish. I’m disappointed that Ravishankar is making money through PURE FRAUD.

I am fine with Swami Ramdev who actually teaches wonderful yoga and brings genuine health to Indians. But CHEAP trickery of the kind that Ravishankar is using to make money is ethically and morally wrong. I would like consumer protection regulation that punishes such FRAUD. To me such a man has no right to talk about corruption since he is himself LOOTING the people who buy this fake oil.

(I’ll append a screen shot of this comment below.)

Now I’m informed (13 September – but the message was sent on 12 September) that

Do you know Art of living foundation has banned your unload [Sanjeev: this was not mine. I don’t have time for such things although I’d love to have been its author] about Ravishankar. I must congratulate you for bringing all this into our notice, thanks to you for your efforts.

Have you copied that video ? unfortunately I could not copy that but i shared that link many times and now also want to send it to many people. Is it possible to have that video anymore ?

I was shocked that such a simple video could have come down. After all, TENS of videos about Satya Sai Baba that prove his fraudulent ways are still widely available. There was no copyright issue involved. In fact the copyright of the intellectual property (the analysis) belongs to Savvy Skeptic.

But I checked google and yes, that video has been pulled down by youtube. Looks like Ravishankar’s team dialled the numbers and used its money power to get youtube to pull down the video apparently on ‘copyright’ grounds. What a joke!! They first CHEAT and then when someone points it out they say their copyright is violated!!!! CROOKS.

And the website of the “savvysceptic” has also come down.

But there is hope. Savvy Skeptic is hopeful that Youtube will deny this claim and he can then bring this video back ‘with a bang’.

My regret is that these famous ‘Godmen’ of India NEVER teach critical thinking which is a key requirement for India to develop as a great nation. Advaita PROMOTES critical thinking and the truth, so why do these Godmen not teach it?

Instead of using a silly pretext (copyright) to pull this video down, Ravishankar should have been THANKFUL that he is being questioned and put himself to any test to prove that he is not LYING and CHEATING.

But he did not. That is further evidence of his being a con man.

Sorry, Ravishankar. In this world of the internet, your game is now over. I had at least some respect for you (after all – he does some good things). But after seeing how you have reacted to destroy even a discussion of the truth, I am TOTALLY convinced that you are an ENEMY OF INDIA.

Put that video back, you conman, and PUT YOURSELF AND YOUR OIL TO RIGOROUS SCIENTIFIC TESTS. I denounce you as a fraud, conman and enemy of India. You are an UNETHICAL man and bring great shame to the great religion of my father: Hinduism.

Now the only way you have to regain my respect is to put that video back AND get yourself tested by Randi Foundation. Nothing less than that will be acceptable to me. Remember, Randi Foundation is a place where even the ‘great’ frauds like Uri Geller bit the dust. You must now prepare yourself for COMPREHENSIVE SCIENTIFIC TESTING.

Savvy Skeptic – report of the take down by youtube and hope that it will be ‘released’ by youtube after inquiry.

My comment on FB:


A question has been asked of me by someone who hasn’t seen the video: What happened in the video? Well, more or less this: (and its proof – in another case – by James Randi himself, of this kind of cheating as being totally FAKE)

One of the students from the back rows of the auditorium was chosen to share the dais. The chosen volunteer, a lean-framed male student wearing a black t-shirt with horizontal white stripes, was asked to extend his arm parallel to the floor, clinch his fist and resist the pulling down of his arm. Mr. Ravishankar, gripping the volunteer’s arm near the wrist, was able to pull down his arm easily over and over again, much to the amusement of the audience. He then produced from his pocket a small vial containing an unknown fluid, and shed a few drops on the volunteer’s arm. The volunteer was then asked to rub and spread this oil over his arm. After the volunteer took a step back and a deep breath to relax, the whole exercise was repeated again – except this time Mr. Ravishankar struggled quite hard to pull down the volunteer’s arm, amazing the vast audience. The volunteer, visibly impressed and believing that he had in fact become stronger in a matter of seconds after the application of the oil, went onto fall at the feet (cultural practice of surrender) of his new Guru Mr. Ravishankar. Following the thundering applause from his audience, Mr. Ravishankar went on to urge stronger volunteers to come forth. [Source]

Arvind Iyer has provided to related links on Sri Ravishankar:

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and the Art of Living it Up.

Pseudoscience unchallenged at IIT Kanpur

Arms, Drugs and Spirituality -A Counterpoint to a Counterpoint by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar



Also a liar par excellence: THE ART OF LIVING BUSINESS


And an arrogant, ill-mannered joker [].



Sanjeev Sabhlok

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26 thoughts on “Art of Living’s Sri Sri Ravishankar – con man PLUS enemy of the truth. A total BETRAYAL OF HINDUISM (Advaita and Satyameva Jayate).
  1. Kishan

    Sir you are always looking for the smallest iota to attack anything related to Hinduism and reserve the most venomous words to attack with the maximum force that you can command.This is hugely unfair.You are surely entitled to your views but expressing them in such language only makes your readers wonder if you are suffering from some kind of anti-Hindu disease.I have been following your blog for many years but never saw you use such language for the most dominant religions that have shed the most blood in world History and destroyed India.Sri Sri Ravishankar has benefited a large number of people around the world with his breathing excercise ‘Sudarshan Kriya’. One small Ayurvedic product that may have not benefited some one does not deserve such extreme condemnatory language. And one more thing.I don’t think your venom is going to make even the slightest difference to Sri Sri Ravishankar’s following.

  2. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    I was toleating Ravishankar’s ‘magic’ oil before, but once he has ACTIVELY acted to take down the video, I think he has now moved into the category of enemy of India.

    I don’t care what magic rubbish he sells, but if he stops free speech then I can’t tolerate that.

    Let the truth be freely discussed. He wants to sabotage the truth.

  3. Kishan

    Same type of language here too.You don’t want to see real enemies of India. You can have your views but such language does not help India.It does not help you too.I hope you want to help India. Or is it some hidden enmity in your sub-conscience?

  4. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    A person who first CHEATS and the BLOCKS discussion of the cheating is an enemy of the India I want to see. Sure, Indians love being cheated, but that’s not the kind of Indian I am. I dislike being cheated, and worse – this person is blocking open discussion of his cheating. 

  5. Kishan

    As I wrote earlier, I have been following your blog for many years now.Never saw anything like this by you against the biggest cheats of India who have looted India of trillions of Dollars worth of Indian wealth and stashed away overseas. That is why I have started suspecting that your agenda is not pro-India but pro something else.

  6. Shravan

    Are you sure Ravi Shanker or his foundation got your video blocked? What if his fans did too many dislikes or flagged it for inappropriate content like ‘Hurting Sentiments’ or something like that? Look into it, contact google or something, IF indeed the foundation or Ravishanker was involved (only) then that is just too bad but that does not change my opinion about you.

    What do you know about Advaita? Who is more Hindu? Truthful Advaita or Beef eating Mimansa? What makes you say Advaita promotes critical thinking? Are you following Advaita because it is fashionable?

    Also stop talking as if Hindu babas are holding back India. For all your secularist claim that India belongs to people of all religions you seem to blame India’s problems only on Hindus. Get a grip on your mental pain and agony to defeat your hatred of Hindus. I can help you if you want.

  7. Shravan

    Advaita opposes animal sacrifice by mimansa with the claim that only it’s own interpretations of scriptures are the right one i.e it opposes Beef eating. so is it still truthful?

  8. Shravan

    For all your secularist claim that India belongs to people of all religions you seem to blame India’s problems only on Hindus. Why NEVER write about damage done to India by the semitic i.e muzzie and Xtian terrorists as well as their own crackpots?

  9. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Clearly you’ve missed my denunciation of crooks like Congress leaders whom I’ve not only called enemies of India but traitors (from a public stage, on TV).


  10. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Mr Shravan, I’m not publishing any comment that doesn’t add value. That’s my policy. So unless you remain focused on issues, please don’t waste your time on this blog.

    Now your statement shows you don’t even READ and understand – leave alone other issues/questions.

    1) What makes you think this is my video? (“your video”)?? What kind of absurd idea is this?

    2) Youtube has CLEARLY indidated that the Art of Living TV Foundation (namely a branch of Ravishankar’s) has blocked the video. Can’t you read that much?

    3) The youtube video says it was a copyright case, nothign to do with ‘hurting sentiments’. Youtube cares TWO HOOTS about anyone’s sentiments. There are millions of videos that “hurt” someone’s sentiment or other. Youtube is owned by google, and promotes free speech which is GUARANTEED by US constitution. Only copyright issues are not proteted. And Mr. Ravishankar used that ploy. And you, UNABLE TO READ ANYTHING – are wating my time suggesting this was a “hurt sentiment” issue. 

    4) I don’t care about your opinion about me, so don’t waste my time telling me about your opinons. If you can’t read and can’t debate facts, expect me to delete your comments instantaneously.

    5) This is not a debate about Advaita but about the fact that Advaita promotes the truth. And this man is ANTI-TRUTH.

    Anyway, let me move on.


  11. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Clearly you don’t care to read my criticism of ALL religions. I’m tired of  your wasting my time.

  12. Narayanan

    Dear Sanjeev,

    What do you think about Yoga? Is it a scientifically proven technique or pseudo-science?

    I want an unbiased answer from you.

  13. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Yoga – in the form of a stretching exercise – is perfectly fine. It is merely what you and I would do ourselves without calling it yoga. The body moves up and down. That’s yoga. There is nothing being sold. Just move your body/stretch it in certain ways. The body was made after billions of years to do such things. It is perfectly natural and does not involve inserting any extra chemicals into the body.

  14. SavvySkeptic

    Full video debunking Ravishankar is back online –

    Here is response to AOL on raising copyright strike against original video –

    Here is comment from Sanal Edamaruku on the video.

    “Ravishankar, undoubtedly, is a conman.
    The false claim with his ‘magic oil drops’ is enough to convince anyone having common sense the importance to debunk this charlatan. I recommend that this video is downloaded by all rationalist friends and show, share and distribute widely.
    Instead of trying to defend Ravishankar’s claim, thArt of Foundation tried to stop this video on YouTube by claiming copy right of the images used. Glad that now we have obtained permission from IIT friends to use the clipping of his performance!
    For distributing and promoting the Ravishankar debunking video, Art of Living Foundation has already sent me a legal notice, threatening civil and criminal procedure against me. Well, if they move legally, the truth behind his fake claims will get better public attention and the unmasking of the ”double Mr.” charlatan will become easier”.
    President, Rationalist International

  15. srikkanth

    A comment on the recent WISDOM of sri sri:

    Extracts:”f you look at an infant, you will see that he is so contented. He does not need anything at all. The same is the case with a devotee also. If you ask a devotee, ‘What do you want?’ He will say the same thing, ‘Nothing!’
    One who is intelligent always worships the Divine with a one-pointed mind.”

    Full story is at following link:

    What knowledge. Have you seen an infant. It needs all the attention of the world. It wants things to be provided instantly without being asked.

    indirectly sri sri wants his stupid devotees to do his bidding at any cost, without asking anything in return. A perfect con man. There are stupid people everywhere to buy his wisdom at any cost even sacrificing career, family, life.

  16. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Comment received re: the biology NCERT textbook:

    The author of those classic biology volumes is Panchanan Maheshwari, who was the professor in the Dept. of Botany, University of Delhi. As you say, the preface to those volumes was excellent, where he talks about the really bad standard of biology textbooks in India at that time. (I, too, am looking for that preface and will send that to you if I find it.) I bought those books from Delhi’s kabadi bazar–since they had gone long out of print at the time when I was about to enter the middle school. Volume 5 had a chapter on evolution, and that’s what created my interest in paleontology, which I pursued for research before moving to the oil industry. Sadly, by the time I entered grades 11-12 (PU, Chandigarh), I ended up studying exactly the same archaic syllabus and books that Prof. Maheshwari lamented: it seemed as if the science of biology (which changes very fast) had not moved past the early 1900s. One of the things those biology volumes had was a “Further Reading” section at the end of each chapter–introducing me to journals like “Scientific American”, “Nature”, “Science”, and “Understanding Science” (now extinct). (BTW, the biology syllabi in India for BSc is still unchanged for decades–colleges/universities there still treat botany and zoology as separate rather than having an integrated life sciences approach).

    Here are a few links on Prof. Maheshwari:

  17. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    But this is sheer nonsense, not scientific. It is a pure trick. And chiropractice itself is junk (I know because I’ve tried it – and wasted money on it).

  18. sundar

    Mr. Sanjeev, thank you for exposing this con. I stumbled upon your blog as I was searching for info on the background of Mr. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar following a news item which appeared in the Indian and Sri Lankan media regarding bogus doctorates being handed out by the International University for Complementary Medicines (OIUCM) in Sri Lanka. According to the news item/s (links given below) Mr. Ravi shanka was one of the recipients of an Honorary doctorate from the institution under investigation. The news item claimed the following:

    “Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar received an honorary doctorate of philosophy in holistic medicine from the OIUCM in 2006. In 2010, godman Swami Nityananda also received an honorary doctorate from this dubious university.”.

    I think I have read somewhere a while back that the godman Nityananda was involved in a scandal with an actress of some sort. I can’t be sure whether this is the same one.


  19. Milind

    I’ve been following Sri Sri and through his discourses I’ve found him reasonable. No outlandish claims, flexible in considering possibilities, pragmatism in his talks. Of course I’m not a blind follower and the commercialization was a put off.. However he cannot be bracketed with Saibaba or Asaram Babu (serious offences like child molestation) . Nor has been as active as a fixer like Swami Dhirendra Brahmachari or Chandraswami…
    There are many unspoken, unsung gurus in India, steeped in Indian thought, rendering yeoman service… However to paint them with the same cynical brush is an overkill.
    One last point about your assertion that Indians lack critical thinking… Critical thinking would not be a cure all… I’m sure if Indians are trained in it, they will overuse it and mess it up probably becoming cynics. The right approach would be to know when to leave critical thinking is to be adopted and when to leave it to faith.. Cause all happenings cannot be tracked down with empirical evidence… faith in a God or a power moves things as well.

  20. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Ravishankar is a racketeer par excellence. Just like any other typical baba. The man cheats and deceives in order to sell his snake oil. The proof is unequivocal.

    You are welcome to leave critical thinking in the bookshelf and “believe”. I don’t think that’s something worthy of a human being.

  21. Milind

    I’m not a fan of abandoning critical thinking for belief.. else we’ll have another society like the Middle East. Point is, you cannot extend critical thinking to all areas….Intuition, gut feeling, belief should complement critical thinking as well.. If you’re positioning critical thinking in place of intuition, gut feeling, belief you’re setting the society for failure or sub-optimal performance.
    Finally you’re free to attach Hindu gurus… What do you have to say about canonization of Mother Teresa? BTW one Marathi daily Loksatta wrote an editorial attacking Mother Teresa and her canonization last week and withdrew it in a couple of days.. It crumpled against pressure like a tissue paper.. So much for Hindu intolerance, that’s being touted all these days

  22. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Milind, DON’T EVER – and I mean that – DON’T EVER talk about my views re: religion without knowing about them. ALL religion is harmful and problematic; some more than others. Have you even read my criticisms of Christianity?

    Ignorance is the problem. Don’t believe. Don’t assume. ASK. Question. Learn.

  23. Ajay

    I was a rationalist-atheist myself earlier but now I am a rationalist-theist. And happier as well.

    Sri Sri Ravi Shankar brought really remarkable insights into my life and opened up my heart made barren with a hyper-intellect. I only wish I had met him earlier.

  24. sam

    When you just believe you are giving permission to be taken advantage off.

    We all believe politicians and religious “gurus” and are taken advantage off, all the time. Both promise and rarely if at all deliver.

    Must learn to question and understand but not just believe.

    When you make decisions with your emotions, you increase your chances of failure many fold.

    So use your head(critical thinking) and live a happy life.


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