Posts Tagged ‘Art of Living’


Via [The official blog of Sri Sri RaviShankar] a beautiful talk on Guru Poornima by Guruji.

Life and Guru are inseparable. When you throw light on life, and when the wisdom is there, honor the wisdom. Wisdom is the Guru tatva, Guru principle. So, within you the Guru Principle is there, wisdom is there. In each and every one there is wisdom. Throw light on that.In life wisdom dawns; wisdom has come; honor wisdom. When we stop honoring wisdom that is when darkness takes over, that is when the full moon is not there, no moon is there. Moon is the mind and when it is brimming, full of wisdom, that is Guru Poornima. So everyday could be Guru Poornima in your life when you honor what life has taught you.

Head over to the blog and read the rest of the talk.

Two things that Guruji talks every year about Guru Poornima is about Gratitude and Reflection.  Now, is a good time to pause, reflect and be grateful for the presence of Guruji in our lives and how the presence has changed our lives.

The Art of Living website has a beautiful theme called “I am Grateful” on its website. If you feel like go ahead and share your reflections out there.

Posts on Guru Poornima from previous years are here.

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I landed in US after a 24 hour flight and another hour to clear immigration, customs and a couple of hours wait at the airport to be picked up and a long drive home in peak hour traffic from EWR to NJ…it seemed like a long day….however, I made sure that I took time out to do the Sudarshan Kriya before I hit the bed. I woke up fresh next day morning with no signs of tiredness or jet lag. Not only me, but it worked for my kids too!

So, if you are a globe trotting exec, here is one arsenal you can add to your armory to beat the Jet Lag – The refreshing and energizing Sudarshan Kriya!

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Meena woke up to the incessant SMS’ coming in on Sunday morning asking if we are coming to the Ashram. We found out that Guruji was doing a Devi Homa on Sunday at 9,30AM and we had no knowledge about it. We were in Mannarkkad and were to leave onto our journey to the most beautiful destination of our vacation….well gotto wait for one more post before I reveal the name.

But this post is about the presence of Master in our lives. The thing about “Surati” (or remembrance of Divinity or Master) is that it is so ingrained now, that we may be swept in the mundane activities, but at some level, somewhere deep in the consciousness, the remembrance stays, and once in a while, all of a sudden, it manifests and takes us within its embrace for no reason whatsoever, engulfing us with joy and peace

We spent two days in Munnar and I mentioned to Meena that I hadn’t seen a single photograph of Guruji in Munnar and just as we are filling fuel in our cars in Munnar on our way out to Manarkkad, we get to see this car parked near the petrol pump with His photograph.

So on Sunday morning, as we left Manarkkad and started driving, we stumbled upon an old CD of Lalitha Sahasranamam in the car and as we listened to the melodious chants, we suddenly remembered that Guruji was probably doing the Devi Homa in the ashram at the same time and we were probably in the same space with the Sahasranamam playing in our car.

As we drove, we continued to see hoardings and Art of Living centers in the towns through TN and Kerala.

Somedays, the presence is overwhelming and undeniable. This was one of those days!

Grateful and much Gratitude !!

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This Navaratri, I would like to take you to my post from 2010 – “This Navaratri, ask and it will be granted“; the knowledge given by Guruji and Swami Pragyanandji is so beautiful and so fresh.

Dear Readers, my prayers that all your wishes come true this year by the Grace of Devi Ma!






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What a brilliant answer from Guruji in last evening’ Satsang.

Someone asked, “When there is conflict, does God takes sides?”

And He responded, “God does not take sides…..The one who surrender takes the side of God.
This happened. God is unbiased and not anyone’s side. But the one who surrenders to God comes on God’s side….”

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Related Posts:

Part 1: The beginnings

Part 2: The Despair

Part 3: The magic of Sudarshan Kriya

It just so happened that the time we visited Ashram coincided with the time Guruji (Sri Sri RaviShankar) was meeting visitors. Despite being very spiritual in nature, I was very skeptical about this whole Guru business.

Not knowing what to expect, I entered the place – Narayana Hall – only to find a short person in an all white dress, with his back towards me surrounded by some 20-30 people, all trying to converse with him a the same time.

He turned around, looked at me deeply in my eyes and asked “Are you happy?”. His eyes  reflected such deep intensity, love and compassion as if I had seen them before….. and then it struck me, that I was seeing the same sense of compassion and care  that I had seen in my Part 1 teacher – Kavita’s eyes. I couldn’t answer him then, that I wasn’t happy and my life was almost a wreck! I remember mumbling a muffled yes and for no apparent reason, I found tears flowing down my eyes. Something changed that day. For lack of better words, all I can say is that I peeped into the eyes of God!

After a few months after that visit, on a whim, I decided to do the Art of Living Part 2 course and that course changed my life forever! The experience of deep meditation, the silence and the lilting satsangs was awesome! My practices deepened and we took home the Satsang with us which continues to date.

Slowly, but gradually I became regular with the practices of Sudarshan Kriya, yoga and meditation and then one day as I was meditating, I experienced the panic and anxiety attack engulfing me, this time, instead of feeling nervous, fidgety and pacing up and down or popping in a tranquilizer, I sat there just observing the sensations and feelings of fear and anxiety, as they arose in the body, and a remarkable thing happened, the sensations, just melted away, leaving me with a sense of profound peace and tranquility.

Several times I had read and heard Guruji talking about fear – and he says:

“The symptoms (of fear) are an intense sensation in the body, it trembles and the breath is ragged and there is a feeling that the ground is lose under your feet. There is a feeling of contraction. There is a tendency to hold onto something. There is a feeling of non belongingness. There is a sense of void. These are all the feelings and an intense sensation between the navel and the throat region. This is fear.

We can connect this sensation which is so intense to a particular event or a particular thing. This is where we perpetuate it. Suppose, we think the fear is because of heights, then we are anchoring this sensation or linking it with a particular situation. Trying to get rid of the situation does not eliminate fear, there is only one way to eliminate it and that is awareness. When you become aware of it, or if you are ready to experience it intensely and just accept it. You will find that fear flips over and becomes love”

I used to think this made no sense at all. He doesn’t know what fear is and when a panic attack hits home, there is no way on earth that one could even stand still, and the sensations in the body are so highly pronounced that forget about observing you are not even in a state of mind to think rationally……. he talks of fear flipping over and becoming love and here I was seeing that it flips and becomes depression. Every attack used to send me into a state of melancholy and depression.

But that experience of observing the panic attack in meditation changed it all. How true the Master was!

The Art of Living Part 2 courses helped me in deepening my meditation and bringing a sense of awareness towards my body-mind complex that has been of immense help in my journey. Christian mysticism, talks of dark night of soul, I felt as If I have emerged from this period.

Consequently, on a routine visit to Dr. Vatsa, I was told that I no longer needed the medication! I got off the medication in 2004 and since then, I had no reason to go back to the medication. The panic attacks and depression have become a thing of the past and life today has become joyful.

But today’s post is about Sri Sri RaviShankar, my dear Guruji –  every time I sit to write about him, words fail me. How do I describe my relationship with Him? How does one describe a relationship with a Guru? How does one describe a relationship with Divinity? In Indian tradition, the place given to a Guru is higher  than that of God! My family and I have been fortunate and very blessed to have experienced his extreme grace. No amount of gratitude would compensate for his blessings in our lives.

As Guruji said the other day:

“Kar kar ke jo paya woh kaudi ka hai,

Jo kripa se mila, who karodo ka”

( What you have got out of your own effort is so little,

but what you have got due to grace is worth billions)

Recall the Pranic healer I mentioned earlier? This was sometime before I stumbled upon the Art of Living programs, and one of the homeopaths, referred me to this gentleman in Indiranagar, who drew an image of a person with a long beard and said something to the effect of that you have the grace of this Guru and do not worry, nothing will happen. At that time I had not even seen Guruji. Today when I recall that incident, I think that in all probability, he had drawn Guruji’s picture.

What has definitely made a difference in my life is the regular practice of Sudarshan Kriya, Meditation and Yoga coupled with satsangs and Knowledge. The practices have brought a profound change in me and have added richness to life. More than the anything, they have helped establish a deep sense of connection with my own Self, and an unshakable faith in the Divine.

I shudder to think as to how my life would have been without the presence of Guruji and had I not stumbled upon the practices? It was as if He crafted these courses just for me to get me out of my problems.
Next: The wheel comes a full circle.

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Via Bawa’s blog:

Guruji has indicated that the next few months, upto around the middle of October are not so good and He has advised that we keep three things in mind

1. No adventure trips at all. No trekking, rafting, mountain climbing, etc

2. Cut down on partying and night outs

3. Drive slowly, carefully and don’t leave your house till you have finished your Sadhana

For these few weeks, please be more sattwic, eat at home more, not outside as much as possible…

What i see in this, is it’s an opportunity for all of us to go more inwards. Clean up our life and start up some really good habits.Do all your Sadhana, Surya Namaskars, Padma Sadhana, Sudarshan Kriya, Sahaj. Also do chanting, Om Namah Shivaya and the Guru Pooja if you know it.

Start to read the Bhagavad Geeta and the Yoga Vasishtha … You know you have been wanting to do it, instead of that trek, sit home and read these books. Doesn’t matter if you don’t understand or it is too deep for you, just reading will open something up in you… Read these books just after meditation.

Go Inwards.

Be safe…

Jai Gurudeva!



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Last evening in the Satsang, someone asked Guruji, “You have said in Celebrating Silence to look at the world from the eyes of a Master. How does the world look from the eyes of a Master?”

The question was in Hindi and the answer in Hindi too was instantaneous – अपना लगता है, अच्छा लगता है (Apna lagta hai, Accha lagta hai).

Loosely translated – “The world look as if it belongs to me and it looks good.

For those who haven’t stumbled upon this knowledge, it is in the book “Celebrating Silence“, titled “The Spiritual Master”. Guruji says:

See the world from the eyes of the master at all times. The world looks so much more beautiful – not a nasty place, but a place filled with love, joy, cooperation, compassion and all virtues.

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Back today morning after conducting the Apex program for a small but a very sincere group of folks at Chennai and logged into my Google reader to catch up with the world and the first post I came across was this beautiful description of the Sudarshan Kriya given by Vikram Bhaiyya.

The Sudarshan Kriya itself is like a beautiful poem; its rhythms seem familiar yet esoteric, the experience sometimes excruciating but always enlightening, a feeling of being totally spent yet craving more. Its like listening to a wondrous dhrupad recital — the tones sometimes pinning you with their raw physicality, sometimes lulling you into meditation, sounding faintly familiar yet just out of reach, and always that sense of a higher power, a presence that seems to hover protectively close by.

And ah, how powerful our own breath is! It energises our body, calms our mind, soothes our emotions, and offers insights into our true nature. Is it too subtle? Do we sound too simplistic when we teach it? Perhaps. But one’s own experience always bears testimony to the efficacy of this premise.

Most humbling is the trust that people place in you as a teacher, going through every process and technique with unflagging enthusiasm, apparently sure that this is going to work. And most fulfilling is the glow, the peace on every face on the last day; they know that its impossible to describe what they have experienced, or what has touched their lives.

The course is also an introduction to meditation (“the best gift you can give yourself”) and to the experience of encountering a living, enlightened being, a true Master. That itself is worth the price of admission.

Actually, no, it’s priceless!

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[Via Art of Living's Blog ]

What Sri Sri said today: July 7

The Guru principle is so vital in life. The first guru is Dakshinamurthy, the embodiment of infinity woven so skillfully in the finite that the finite and infinite co-exist. There is an element of the guru in every human being. That wisdom in each one has to be invoked and awakened.

When this element is awakened, misery in life disappears. It is the medicine for misery; the wealth of all knowledge.

Gurave sarva lokanaam – the Divine Consciousness is the leading light of the whole world-of all the worlds.

Bishaje bhava roginaam – It is the medicine for the ills of society, of life, of misery. It removes all misery.

Nidhaya sarva vidyanaam Sri Dakshinamurthaye namaha – I take refuge in this Consciousness which is in my heart!

The word guru is used today to mean expertise – like an expert in business management. Guru means enormous, the biggest. Of course, expertise is a part of it. There is perfection in everything. There is that depth.

In our consciousness, wisdom comes to life when the guru tattvacomes to life. When we have no desires of our own, then the guru tattva dawns in our life. Do you ever wish to do something for someone without expecting anything from them? Then you have played the role of the guru. The mother is the first guru. Then there are the teachers – the veena teacher and so on. The Satguru gives you knowledge of the truth, the ultimate reality, spiritual knowledge.

On Guru Purnima, one must reflect, “Where was I before I got this knowledge? Where am I now?” When you see the contrast of where you were without this knowledge, then gratitude wells up.

This full moon is also called Vyasa Purnima. Vyasa categorized the entire lore of wisdom into the 4 vedas, the Upanishads, the upavedas, the 27 smritis, 27 upasmritis – a huge lore of knowledge pertaining to every aspect of life from ayurveda to architecture to alchemy to medicine. This full moon is named after him.

This day we remember the contribution of all those who have been on this planet for the wellbeing of the human race. We remember what they have done. We see the contrast (brought about by spiritual knowledge) in our lives and feel grateful.

How fortunate you are to perceive the infinity within you – in this finite framework of the body-mind complex. The body and mind are finite but the expression of the spirit is infinity.

For the Seeker, the New Year is from Guru Purnima to Guru Purnima. When it is half way for the rest of the world, we celebrate one whole year on the spiritual path. One year towards the Divine manifestation in our life. One year towards feeling the oneness and seeing the world through the eyes of the guru. That is the guiding star for us. Let me do that which a guru, a wise person would have done in this situation. A wise person would never react. He would respond. You will learn by putting yourself in that position (of the guru or wise person) again and again – by attempting infinite patience, immense intelligence, complete compassion and unblemished joy.

Nobody knows when the tradition started. Billions of years before, on this earth, so many sages and rishis have been there and so many in the future too. We thank all those in the past, present and the future for the continuation of wisdom on this dear planet. Without wisdom it is not living, only existing. Life begins with wisdom.

This Guru Purnima think about all the blessings that you have received and feel grateful. Everyone sing and let go and be immersed in the inner bliss.

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