With apologies to The Lovin’ Spoonful…

I came to Art of Living as a secular spiritualist searching for a meditation practice to help me recover from polycystic ovarian syndrome and its unsettling side effects; a beloved teacher and a community of kindred were blissful bonuses. Ultimately I believe I was searching for a deeper source of meaningfulness in life. I’m still searching for that.

I believed RS when he said things like, “there’s no such thing as my wisdom or your wisdom. Wisdom is wisdom, isn’t it?” and essentially answered questions about how one could become more devoted to Him,  “Fuhgeddaboudit!”. I found this reassuringly humble and endearing.

So one of the biggest loudest neon screaming red CULT flags (on fire) was when I started hearing Christ claims from his followers. I tried to laugh it off as some aolers being a little kookie. (Ok, I’ll fess up. I actually thought he might really be Jesus there for a couple weeks during and just after my trip to the ashram. I am not. even. joking. –“he is far gone, far gone: and truly in my youth I suffered much extremity for love; very near this.” ) But a responsible leader takes responsibility for his or her followers. He wasn’t just allowing the christ claims to flourish–he was encouraging them. I personally find this unethical.

On a sillier note though, it got me humming a catchy little tune which some of you might recall from your halcyon pre-cult-deprogramming days.

“You Didn’t Have to Say You’re Christ, I would have liked you anyway”.

ok I think that’s all you really needed to hear. but the sad fact is, I actually wrote the whole song. I’ll spare you and put it in a comment. 🙂 Ukulele cover on Youtube doubtless to be expected…




About theartofleaving

Former devotee and member of The Art of Living organization reflecting on the process of joining and leaving cults, abusive relationships, and sundry obsessions. Trying to draw the line by connecting the dots.
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13 Responses to With apologies to The Lovin’ Spoonful…

  1. You didn’t have to say you’re Christ,
    I would have liked you anyway.
    Your loving words would have sufficed
    To bring me to your Quiet Way.

    As soon as my heart said that I should follow you (da na da na na)
    I should have known you were too good times two
    To be true!

    You never had to be Buddha–
    We would have loved you anyway.
    When people say that you’re Krishna,
    I think they should be put away.

    And when we’ve got a few more blogs (when we’ve got a few more blogs)
    I wonder if your legal dogs (wonder if your legal dogs)
    Will sue us for the things we say (things we say)
    And once again you’ll make us pay! (once again you’ll)

    When my heart said the time was right to follow you (my heart said to follow you)
    I should have known you were too good times two (should have known you were too good times two)
    To be true!

    (repeat verse 1 or alternate verse to finish!)

    I wish that you had just been nice
    And maybe shared some wisdom too.
    But when you tried to claim you’re Christ,
    That day I lost my guuru.

    OK next time maybe I’ll bring the analysis and self-reflection.

    OR I might re-write “I Know Things Now” from Into the Woods…


  2. Chamiyaar says:

    > JGD!

    You wrote JGD at the end of the post…ha ha ha… Habits die hard 🙂

  3. Peaceful Warrior says:

    “That day I lost my guuru.”

    …rather you woke up from your dream and found the real guru sitting inside. When one door closes another opens. Thank god for small mercies.

  4. 2bit says:

    First you connected dots to make a deity
    Now you connect them to make a donkey
    The binge is, having to connect them, and that ain’t leaving you yet

  5. The Doctor says:

    If anyone has ever doubted whether or not SSRS himself encourages these stories of his being the reincarnation of Jesus/Krishna/Buddha and so on, check out the following from Bawa & Dinesh’s Blog:

    If they think I have no right to exist on this planet, then they can crucify me; I am afraid neither of death nor of being defamed. I am not afraid, because nothing can destroy me.

    Why would anyone say a thing like that, given that crucifiction as a method of execution hasn’t been popular for hundreds of years?

    • Several of the last “guru stories” I heard (and probably will ever hear first hand!) also included references to this claim. Swamiji Sukhchaitanya has said for years with a wink and a nod to secret Knowledge that Christ didn’t die on the cross, but lived till he was 80 ,married Mary Magdalene and had a family. Swamiji knows this because Guruji told him and Guruji was Jesus so obviously it’s true.

      The last one I heard was from a dear friend who was a fellow ashramite during my time living at the Quebec center (a place which will always, always be painfully dear to my heart…). She said that when RS had been told that a church would “probably let [AoL] use the facility for our event” RS said quietly, “they should, they built it for me!”

      so many stories like this. And I know it might seem silly, but the Jesus claim was actually the unraveling thread of the whole picture for me… because it revealed the Messianic impulse, it rang untrue to me (if you’re really Christ, why mention it? It just didn’t…I just didn’t believe it!)– and I started questioning, if he can say things I believe are untrue and unethical to say to a believing horde, then…. then…

      and the walls came down.

      • Peaceful Warrior says:

        Tsk Tsk – You modern people just don’t get it – jesus took avatar as a hindu guru because otherwise all the nuns would have been after him – having so many wives is not easy. Plus he would have to deal with Pat Robertson and his ilk.

        If you had been a simple farmer you would be able to see this, and that he has to save humanity without revealing his real identity ;).

  6. @PW Krishna did just fine with oodles of ‘wives’. And Christians need more dance parties. Can Sri Sri be Jesus AND Krishna and multiply himself to dance with lots of nuns?

    • Peaceful Warrior says:

      of course – that’s what TTC is for – to make clones of Sri Sri ;). He’s already thought of this – coz he’s Jesus, Krishna, and Chuck Norris rolled into one person.

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