Thursday, March 18, 2010

My first course in Germany

As I stepped out of the wood-and-hay clad meditation hall in our Vasad ashram in Gujarat, I was still in the 'hangover' of the intoxicating Guru puja chant by Bhanu didi, my being was graced by the sight of my Guru looking invitingly at me and walking, as though gliding like a cloud. With a welcoming smile he said, "Saleel, tujhe pata hai main tujhe Germany bhej raha hun."

There was such a personal touch in that statement. I was delighted.

Two and a half months in Germany were quite challenging. It taught me acceptance and patience. My daily reading of Yoga Vasishtha helped me a lot. I am grateful to Vikram Hazra for having recommended my name to Guruji. And I had a wonderful time with Vikram in Germany.

This is the first course I taught which was organised by Christoff Glaser. It was conducted in our beautiful ashram in Bad Antogast. The below pic was taken when the entire batch went for a walk in the Black Forest in the Alps, which is where our ashram is located, very close to the Swiss border.

March 2005, YES course for 18 to 30 year olds. There was no YES!+ at that time.
(YES!+ was designed and first conducted in Mumbai from 28 June to 4th July 2005. Start Date is Rajesh Jagasia's birthday and end date is US Independence day)

Jai Gurudev

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Desire v/s Longing

Just a couple of days ago, I got an sms from Hemant (our light hearted, jovial and dynamic YES!+ teacher from Nagpur) in which he asked me a question:

What is the difference between longing and desire?

It set me thinking for a few moments and so I did not immediately reply and subsequently forgot about it.

In my YES!+ courses I take great pride in introducing to my students, Guruji's precision and succinctness in giving knowledge when I read out his words in the knowledge sheet about difference between love and lust and the students not only just love it, their concepts of love taken largely from Bollywood actually get thrashed like a dynamite blasts a mine and clarity dawns.

Here I am making a modest attempt, by Guruji's grace, let me know if it helps to bring some clarity:

  • Desire is for some end result; longing doesn't seek a completion.
  • Desire for something arises when we see or hear about it, it comes from the senses; longing springs from love which is beyond the senses.
  • Desire is for some pleasure, comfort, convenience; longing cares for neither.
  • Desire seeks fulfillment, longing seeks merger.
  • Desire may mature into an intention or ambition; longing makes the love more mature.
  • A desire leads to more desires; longing keeps you focussed.
  • In desire you want more and more, you want to grow, you want to become bigger; in longing you let go and dissolve.
    • Desire, while yet unfulfilled, may lead to 'feverishness to fulfill'; longing leads to surrender.
    • Desire, when fulfilled, gives short term pleasure or joy, longing when fulfilled restricts the growth of love.
    • Desire, if unfulfilled, leads to frustration; longing if unfulfilled transforms into unconditional love.
    • Desire makes you rigid and insensitive; longing makes you delicate and sensitive.
    • Too many desires can give rise to intestinal disorders; longing gives rise to heart aches - am afraid, not heart attacks!
    • Wanting to achieve what you desire challenges the ego; the more you long, the more it dissolves your ego.
    • The discomfort in desire takes away the joy of the present moment; the pain in longing sweetens the present moment.
    • In desire there is a hankering for some joy in the future; in longing you enjoy the pain (caused by separation) in the present moment.
    • You have a choice whether to drop the desire or harbour it; in longing you are choiceless and helpless.
    • Desire is the cry of the mind; longing is the yearning of the soul.
    • Fulfillment of your desire can boost your ego; fulfillment of your longing makes you grateful.
    • With a desire in your mind, meditation can't happen; with longing in your heart prayer happens.

    • Meditation helps to loosen the grip of desire on the mind; longing gets ripened and refined with meditation.
    • In desire you can become 'pagal'; in longing you become a 'deewaanaa'.
    • In desire you become a slave or fan of the person you desire; in longing you become a sevak or devotee.
    By writing this post, I have fulfilled my desire of answering Hemant's question; on reading this post I am sure he will long for more;-).

    Friday, March 12, 2010

    My first DSN

    September 1999. It was the first time I was attending a DSN course. Rashmin, Rajesh Jagasia, Harshal and a few of our common friends we all were on it. I think it was the first one in Mumbai. Arunaji from Gujarat was our teacher. The intensity was increasing as each day progressed. I had decided I will be repeating this course at the earliest, to be able to assimilate its intensity.

    One of the partcipants took permission to go to his house for a while and come back. We all were surprised at his courage to even ask for a break in DSN course!? He looked very happy after he returned. The course got over and he shared his experience.

    "I went home to see if my mother was alright. She had just got discharged from the hospital after a serious illness and nobody was at home. To my surprise she scolded me for taking a break from the course and said, "A man in white robes and long hair and beard came and gave me medicines. I am fine. You focus on your course, come on go asap." " There were tears in his eyes as he narrated this.

    The power of the grace is infinite. And the Guru's grace is with us every moment. By the end of the course I too had realised that nothing is impossible. "I am the power!"

    Next month I repeated the DSN with BAWA!!! An interesting story about that DSN I can tell you only sitting with you face to face, bcoz its kind of a secret ;-)

    Well, 10 years later I conducted a DSN in Delhi - Oct 2009. Here is an interesting video snapshot:

    Jai Gurudev

    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    Mesmerising moments in the mystical DEVbhoomi - RISHIKESH

    It was 1st March, the day of Holi, we were driving from Delhi to Rishikesh.
    The waters of Ganga on either sides of the highway, sounds of manjiras (cymbals), fading sound of one arti getting drowned into another, chants of Om Namaha Shivaya, Har Har Mahadeo, Jai Mata Di, gentle traces of incense, hoardings and photos of various saints, munis, gurus, people wrapped in saffron, white, yellow; faces decorated with chandan, kumkum, ad hearts adorned with devotion; the piousness of Har-ki-Paudhi, Haridwar endearingly welcomes you to begin with and then absorbs you in itself. One cant but feel the purity and sacredness of this place.

    We had the news that Guruji had arrived in the Art of Living Kumbh Mela Camp and the Rudrapuja had already begun. With hurried steps we walked towards the enclosure and as we entered this was our first glimpse of the Master:

    Very content with having clicked the above snap I closed my eyes to meditate. The pandal was resonating with the rudrapuja chants by a few north indian pandits. I must admit, that since so used to our ashram puja, it took me a while to glide into meditation.

    Even as the bhajans were being sung and Guruji was performing the last few rituals, Ramdevji entered and went straight up on stage with great zeal with gulal and other colors not only in his hand but all over him! What happened on stage is an exciting rocking story in itself. More about that in the next post ;-)

    In the evening Guruji performed the Ganga arti at Har-ki-Paudhi

    There were easily more than 5000 people. Lots of people who were there sat wherever they found place to take a glimpse of compassion incarnate Sri Sri.

    Dudham Samarpayami...

    After this all of us left for Rishikesh. Rishikesh has, not only the piousness of Hardiwar, but is pregnant with a distilled silence which beckons you to dive into that vast ocean of stillness within yourself, where the hills seem like gods and goddesses waiting to shower blessings upon you and the waters of the ganges appear to be carrying the nectar from Lord Shiva himself, where the winds bring sattva and the gentle breeze on the river banks overwhelms you with its soothing touch which reminds one of the love one feels when the divine glances of Guruji glide onto you with a twinkle of mischief in the eyes that seem to saying in a subtle but affirmatively reassuring tone, "I am in you as you, you are in me as me; I belong to you and you to me, so just be and know that you are loved, thats BEloved."