The Cosmic Blanket

This poem came up after a beautiful Satsang with Swami Suryapad ji on 27.11.16

The call and the chants
reverberating
since times immemorial;
A single thread
tying us all
into the cosmic fabric
of devotion and love.

 

Somewhere, midway,
in the stillness between chants
and
the resonating loud calls,
the grace envelopes
merging us all
for an infinitesimally small
amount of time
with the One spreading
the blanket of grace.


I think that
the longing, the pain,
the joy and the ecstasy
of devotion and love
are all woven into
a single cosmic blanket –
called Satsang –
that covers both the
Giver and Receiver
making them one.

What do we want to do in Life?

This was a Satsang with a difference….and because it is difficult to put experiential experience in words, all I will say, is that for some inexplicable reason the memory and the atmosphere of the Satsang stayed with me. Guruji was leaving for Europe/US tour, the amphitheater was jam packed with thousands of folks from all over the world who had come for Shivaratri and stayed back for Shakti Kriya session with Guruji, the bhajans in the Satsang were uplifting….the electricity kept playing hide and seek and the multitude of stars shone brilliantly in the blue sky for the few minutes the power went off… and the VM in the background bathed in different colors, with the crescent moon on top of the VM set the stage up for Guruji’s arrival in Satsang…..and then He arrived, spoke for a few minutes and left. The message that Guruji delivered was simple and it resonated very strongly. Guruji’s message to continue to focus on spreading the knowledge was a gentle reminder and reinforcement of my own goal in life.

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Here is the entire transcript (courtesy: Art of Living website)

Sit in satsang and go inward; that is what is important.

(Audience: Don’t go)

You should not say that. There are many programs and people are expecting me. I don’t like to disappoint anybody. Even today, I said, I will stay back for sometime in the satsang, and not disappoint so many people. That is why I delayed my flight as well. So for ten minutes, I can afford to stay with you.

Keep doing your sadhana, seva, and satsang. And keep thinking in lines of, how we can bring more light to the world, and more knowledge to the people.

See, anyways, we all have to live for another 40 to 50 years. So life should have a direction. We need to think, what do we want to do in life?

Other than eating, sleeping, thinking, reading newspaper, watching television, we need to do something more, and what could that something more be that we can do?

Bring knowledge to people. Make people happy. And the only way to make people happy is to bring them to knowledge.

If someone is unhappy, that means they have not received or taken the knowledge; they have not digested the knowledge, and so they are unhappy.

You can say, ‘Gurudev, there are people who have no water, no food and are suffering. That is why they are unhappy. How can they be happy?’

This is a different thing; a different issues. Yes, suffering is different. People suffer because of natural calamities, or due to drought, or flood. In these circumstances, you should do seva. Even here, seva with knowledge is much better.

Difficulties do come in life, but to overcome difficulties, one needs to be strong, and the strength comes only through spiritual knowledge.

See, a butterfly fluttering its wings in South America can affect the clouds in China. This means the whole universe is inter-connected. Everything is connected with everything. So when you do a little bit of Pooja with feelings, it does create some beautiful and positive ions in the atmosphere, and it does affect the cosmos.

How many of you have noticed, that doing the Guru Pooja makes a difference? Even chanting the Guru Pooja, makes a difference!

Someone recently wrote to me, that someone was in hospital and when Guru Pooja was chanted, they became well.

A child was crying constantly, and when Guru Pooja was chanted, the child became calm and quiet.

So there are so many healing experience that are there, and it is not surprising at all. That is how it has to happen and it happens. It is quite normal. If it does not happen, then there is an element of surprise.

So in life, there needs to be a direction, and that direction is – how we can bring the ancient wisdom to everyone? The ancient wisdom is anyways being carried along, how we can further it in our lifetime so that eternal flow continues for eternity, is what we need to think. We need to put our energy in this direction.

“The one who surrenders takes the side of God”

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….”

Seeing the world from the eyes of the Master

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.

Finding the “switch”

Last evening in the satsang, Guruji took the mike and struggled a bit to switch it on and while someone rushed in to help him, he switched it on and said “It is all about finding the switch“. Reminded me of this event from a Satsang way back in 2006:

Last evening in satsang at Ashram, a lady stood up to share her experience, as she was fiddling with the mike trying to turn it on, Guruji remarked that he had already turned it on before passing it on to her and she immediately responded saying “Guruji, you have turned my life on”! So very apt! Those seven words are applicable to millions of us who have been fortunate to be a part of the Art of Living family!

And for those who have watched Guruji’s talk on Ashtavakra Gita, do you recall him saying “The switch is right inside, all we need to do is to turn it on”?

For me, this beautiful journey to find “the switch” still continues…..a journey that is so beautiful, precious and invaluable…..walking the path with the Master himself……..what does one say except that all of us are so very blessed and fortunate……

Last evening Meena and I were sitting right at the back in VM and chatting with someone (something that we never do in a Satsang) while waiting for Guruji to come in. He came a little late and and after the customary start, tells “some of you were not participating in the Satsang, especially at the back, you are chit chatting…, you should not do that…” Oops!! How does he know?

Today is Ugadi, so dear readers, a very happy new year to all of you!!

If you are in Bangalore, do join us at the Ashram to soak in the divine chants of Rudra Puja in Master’s presence at 10AM today and celebrate the begining of a new year!! If you can’t make it today, don’t despair, do make it on Sunday at 11.00AM for long kriya in Guruji’ presence!!

Shelter from the changing times

Way back when I was a kid, we had a night long Ram-Katha at home, I do not have vivid memories, but all I do remember is that someone with a very melodious voice, accompanied by his team with various musical instruments, sang the Ramayan at my home…I still remember the indescribable feeling of peace and space from that night…..that was my first experience of Satsang.

And then the next time that feeling of joy, happiness and bliss came back  was when I attended the Satsang in the part 2 course – it was unlike anything that I had experienced before – the beautiful bhajans, the music, the dance and the profound silence inbetween….it was then that Meena and I decided to bring the Satsang home….that Sankalpa was enough. Soon things fell into place  and now for almost 8 years we have a regular Satsang at home every Friday evening.

To the extent possible, we re-arrange all our priorities and make sure that the Satsang happens, but then there are a few times, when either we are travelling or for some reasons out of our control that the Satsang does not happen. When that happens, we can feel – how should I describe it – a sense of loss. To the extent possible we make it a point to attend as many Satsangs as possible, wherever we are.

For the last few weeks I have been missing the Satsangs, and this week I was in Pune and had the opportunity to attend a very intimate Satsang at Chaitrali and Om’s residence. It was so beautiful, blissfull and so very rejenuvating.  

Guruji says “Satsang is the shelter from changing time and its harsh influence on life. Satsang is the nest in which you can find repose.”  So very true!