Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bhagavatam : An Ocean of Devotion

Ved Vyasa once felt that even after blessing the humanity with the storehouse of knowledge, Mahabharata and the rules of conduct, the four vedas, he had not done enough.  He felt  that his work didn't grant him satisfaction.

Then sage Narada came to his rescue and told him that even though he was interested in the welfare of the world through his works, there was a drawback. Mahabharata talks about Dharma, righteousness in action and the vedas tells about Karma Yoga, the rules of conduct. But none has the 'Exclusive' praises of the Lord.

In all his works, the Lord was 'Incidentally' praised. There was no single-mindedness in his devotion.

Narada told him,  "the praises of Narayana even if they are sung out of tune, will assure man of the Grace of the Lord.The easiest path to the Lord is that of Bhakti. So sing the praises of Narayana. Let nothing come from the your lips except words of praise describing the glory of Narayana and you will find Peace. Unveil to the world the secret behind the avataras."

This is how Bhagavatam came into existence. And whats in it? be continued.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Using Nimbu Pani to control the Mind!!!

This time, We all felt really lucky to have Saleel Bhaiya in our weekly Saturday YES!+ follow up, who talked about “DESIRES”. Now, the knowledge in itself is so profound and when told by a teacher like him, in such a practical manner, gets understood easily.

Ref: Knowledge Sheet 135: You are pure Electricty, on Pg 177 in 'An Intimate Note to the Sincere Seeker' by H H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

Saleel bhaiya talked about the electric nature of desires for sensory pleasures- whenever a desire arises, one can feel an intense sensation inside. He gave an example which every youth can relate to – ice-creams!! J As by the power of electricity, trains, machines etc. can be moved, the inner electricity can pull the whole body! Just the thought of having ice-cream creates such a powerful pull. It can make the whole body move to the ice cream parlor!

All the distortions - Lust, greed, jealousy etc. are powerful because they are energies/electric in nature but the awareness that it is WE who are the source of that pure electricity can help you move desires deeper within (self)- towards everlasting bliss and pleasure.  The purity of the inner electricity can be maintained by devotion and dedication.

Remembering that you will die makes you alive now! When you know that you are going to die anytime, say tomorrow, then the mind automatically comes back to the present moment and since you feel have less time left, you think of doing things which you really want to do than day-dreaming. (This was the WoW moment, for me!)

At the end, we were given a “homework” - within next 24 hours, whatever 1 desire you have; do not fulfill it for you but for 3 others. Sounds easy? Nah! You’ve got to practically do it to find out the easiness.

Initially we took it lightly and the homework became more of a game – we asking few others what were there desire/s at that moment (as if we would fulfill them :-) ) and the person asked, on the verge of answering would suddenly realize the repercussions – how it would backfire and leave a hole in his pocket ;)

Since in Delhi the weather is humid these days, I suddenly had the “desire” to drink “Nimbu Pani”. Believe me, it’s a sheer bliss in hot weather! But..but..but..I remembered the homework and with a heavy heart I ordered 3 “Nimbu Pani”.

Now since I couldn’t have it, my longing for it was increasing, though it wasn’t making me sad. I could feel the taste, smell the lemon masala etc etc. The electric nature of the pleasure was erupting in me. Oh-la-la..And to top it all, the three highly ungrateful people added to my misery :relishing each sip, deliberately making comments of how good it was made by the vendor etc. etc.

We were in all 6 people standing and I asked the remaining 2 if they too would like to have it. Though the homework was for 3 people only, there’s no harm in doing it a little better for those brownie points ;-).

So now the whole gang was having Nimbu Pani except me. Initially I was thinking about having Nimbu Pani but slowly in the whole process of getting it for others, the craving pacified. Slowly the acceptance came and my mind came back to the present moment. I started enjoying the moment anyway and while they were drinking it, the attention shifted from nimbu Pani to other important matters.

While I was busy discussing something, suddenly a friend who’d finished his drink came and handed me a BIG glass of Nimbu Pani! “It’s for you; we’ve all had; now you should also have”. I, in a determined tone, said no. I wanted to do my homework really well (though the desire had reduced, I wouldn’t have minded a glass!;)

But they all very lovingly said that the homework is over and that it isn’t I who’d asked but they who‘ve got it willingly.

After little bit of friendly tussle, I finally agreed and had it! The first 2 sips were heavenly! It was a BIG glass (almost double of what they had), the first few sips quenched my thirst and as the drink came till the bottom, I no longer wanted to have it!.

I had an intrinsic learning in the whole process:

·         Once you work for others and keep your desires aside, it automatically gets fulfilled! (Of course, the expectation shouldn’t be there :-) )

·         It’s the longing for the desire that is more pleasurable, once fulfilled the charm is lost.

·         No matter whether your desire is fulfilled or not, staying happy is in your hands and not directly proportional to it ;)

You learn something every day if you pay attention – Anonymous 

Loved writing this, feels grateful for bei ng given the opportunity to write on your blog bhaiya.
Jai Gurudev
Swati Gupta

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Handling MINDS: A Conversation

In the second week of April, I had an interaction with YES!+ participants on the last day of their course.
I thought of sharing one of the conversations on the blog.

Student : I had watched the silver jubilee celebration of 'The Art of Living'  few years back. But i felt it was too much wastage of money. The money could have been used elsewhere effectively. Don't you think so?

Me : You know how many people came to attend that event? 2.5million. They meditated together and only God knows how many people were healed. Had they been told that they have to come and meditate together. How many would have come? Very few. That's why they were told that there's a big Celebration and actually there was :-) So many people came to know about Art of Living through this event. And so many lives got transformed.

Student : But why so much spending? It was un-necessary
Me : Why are you wearing that watch?  
Student : To check time
Me : Don't you have a mobile phone? 
Student : Yes
Me : Its a waste of money. 
Student : But its just worth 500.
Me : In our ashram, 15days of food, shelter and education of a child is taken care in Rs. 500.

Student : Ok, I accept it that I am wrong. But then he's (Guruji) wrong too.
Me : Look, my point is not proving that you are wrong. I just want to tell you that your perspective to look at things is not correct right now. Being a student, you should be open-minded and you should see things from all the perspectives. This attitude will take you way ahead. It is like you are holding a coin with one face towards you and the other face towards the other person and you are firm in your belief that the coin has only one face. You have to broaden your vision and you have to look at the coin from all dimensions..

Student : Right, but why Art of Living has to publicize so much about the courses?
Me : How many ads, how many hoardings did you see for this course?
Student : None
Me : How did you come to know about it?
Student : Word of mouth 
Me : Coke industry sells pesticides. If they can publicize, promote something so harmful, why not us? We are anyways bringing a positive change in everybody's life. It is said, "the milkman has to go door to door to sell milk; but the guy who wants to sell alcohol just opens a bar and people come to him. For good things to spread, effort is needed. Do whatever it takes to change somebody's life, to bring a smile on somebody's face.

So as a teacher, it was an experience of handling the other person's mind. This can only be done when your mind itself is well handled ;-)

In any conversation, the first thing which needs to be done is making the other person receptive enough for the conversation. Then educating him if he is missing out on something. And the last thing is ignoring if he is not open to receive the knowledge :-). This ensures that you will be at peace.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

Jai Gurudev

Monday, May 16, 2011

"SaagaR me ek LehaR Uthi TerE NaaM Ki" :)

In your presence, all my problems just seem to vanish and automatically a smile appears on my face. Your warmth and love makes me feel that I am the most special person on this earth.
You have inspired me to give my 100% in basketball and I am very thankful to you for that.
I love your sense of humor, your acting, singing and the way you talk to people.
You are a true inspiration bhaiya. I would love to imbibe all these qualities from you and become a better person in life.
- Chinmayee, Delhi

 You have helped me find out what I want in my life.I have learned a lot from you. But these two are my 'Special' learnings. Never do anything to escape from the situation rather face it. Follow your passion and more than following your passion, follow that thing which is made for you. For me, you are a friend, mentor, Guru. I love you. Thanks for being there darling. :)
- Arjun, Delhi
Bhaiya, you are so generous in sharing the knowledge you have. Very down to earth.
You not only spread Guruji's knowledge but also believe in the empowerment of all the volunteers and teachers on this path.  I have learned a lot of things from each and every action of yours..
Carrying that great amount of energy and enthusiasm all the time, to be able to Smile in all sorts of situations, how not to be a football of others as well as our own opinions but on top of everything I learned how to have faith in the Guru and His Knowledge. :)
May you continue to make people around you happier n happier.. :))
- Advait Deshpande, Auranagabad

Saleel words for you. :)
I am lucky that I got you as my teacher, Guru. For me, you are my first Guruji. You are the only and only person who gave compliment to my smile and I was like out of this world. :D You have made my life more beautiful and colorful. Aapse jab bhi milti hu duniya ki sari khushiyan paas aa jati hai. :)
You very special for me. May you get all the happiness in his life.
Happy Birthday Bhaiya :)
- Komal, Delhi

I feel so grateful how you have been guiding me in every aspect of my life. You are one person who acknowledges and supports my 'out of box' ideas :P..One thing which I can never forget is how you just said yes when I asked you for the Vrindavan trip. You rock Bhaiya!! :)
- Bharat, Delhi

Bhaiya, you are simply the best.Days spent with u were the and will always be the best days of my life. Your one smile takes away all my problems. Your presence is like an Aura. You have given a new meaning to my life. The thing which I admire about you the most is 'Your true dedication towards the Divine and your immense care for everyone'. :)
Lots of love,
- Simran, Delhi

Saleel Bhaiya and Me.. Feels like we have spent lives together. You were my first D.S.N. teacher, an instrument in bringing out the Lion in this mouse. Though we haven't spoken with each other much, but I can feel that you know everything about me. You taught me to Love everyone and I Love you for this. The best part of Art of Living I have met so far. In fact, I see you as a volunteer making many teachers out of volunteers.Wish you love and happiness on your birthday :)
- Aditya, Mumbai

I just wish to add a line which saleel bhaiya said to me , " Abhaav aur
Prabhaav mein Swabhaav mein antar nahi aana chahiye"

Thats what I've learnt and still learning from him :) :)
- Swati Gupta, Delhi

When you suddenly ping me and write on chatbox , 'tu kaisa hai?', transcendence from mind to heart happens spontaneously! Then I wonder for the next 5 minutes how to reply back! Bhaiya you are the only person I have ever proposed except my mommy n sister :) Love you bhaiya (doing it again!!).. I am too lucky for having known you!!! Thank you Guruji for that. Happy b'day Bhaiya!!! Keep blessing us!!!
- Nihar, Delhi

 Saleel Bhaiya.. Just one word for you. You are "Love!!"
- Hemul, Delhi

Even the combination of a million words from the 26 letters can't describe who and what Saleel bhaiya is for me.. Ladder to the Guru. Embodiment of Love, radiating immense peace and warmth.. even more than the lap of the mother does!! Touch as deep and velvety soft as that of the Master. One smile and I am back to the source.. Deeply, madly, highly Grateful to have a gifted Mother's presence in my life... :)
- Suvidha, Delhi

I have learned to live joyfully, morally from you and I feel the harmony in every moment of my life since you came in my life. Whenever I feel miserable, I remember your smile and suddenly I get the confidence to face any problem. Just like an umbrella can't stop the rain but gives us the confidence to stand in the rain, you, my mentor have played such a role in my life.
Wish you many many happiest and glorious moments ahead. Happy birthday dada...... :)
Jeyashree Ramanujan, Akola

For me, you are not a are presence, His presence :).. Your being there in my life reminds me of the Love, Knowledge I have been blessed with and not to forget, the Unlimited Grace !! :) In your presence, the 'Real' empowerment happens :D. Awareness shoots up, talents come up and so much more ;).. You don't make volunteers. You make Devotees :) Readily available like a Mother, you are. Your level of belongingness and the sense of sharing inspires me.. You are living the master's words :)
- Anjesh, Delhi

You look like baby Ganesha . Your presence exudes warm and comforting Love . Truly the cutest,the wisest and the most Pious teacher for us.
When I think of you, I get reminded of a  free ,warm air balloon flying in deep ecstasy and in the secret company of the air around it  in the sky Above
Hope you get more divine every moment :)
- Neha Bhagat, Delhi

Bhaiya you have been and you are an inspiration every minute. I have learned a lot from you! You carry such amazing Guru energy. Its a pleasure to be in your presence. The time spent with you has been amazing. I am so grateful to have u in my life. It is so much fun sharing knowledge, guru stories with you!! You are my inspiring ANGEL!!
Love u loads!!....
yours "makhan"..."kiddo"
(Madhvi, Delhi)

" When you can see the whole world through the eyes of the Master, it is a sign that you have come to the Master..!"

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sri Sri as I know Him :-)

This incident happened about a few years back when Guruji was in Narayana Hall, the old side of Art of Living Bangalore ashram, conducting a session for teachers, just after the Navratri Celebrations. All doors and windows had been closed while the session was going on and it was all jam packed inside.

Suddenly a lady who was late for the session and couldn't manage to get inside called out to Guruji and said "Guruji, andar walo ko bahar bhejo mujhe andar aana hai.."

Guruji with a wink in his eyes replied, "Main bhi to tumse kabse yahi keh raha hun."

When you are Hollow and Empty, you give a chance to the Divine to fill you up.

Fill you up with? With beauty and bliss!!

Jgd :-)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Shyam mila de...Radhe Radhe :)

We have a very famous bhajan in The Art of Living. "Nikunj me biraaje Ghanshyam Radhe Radhe", a song from the KRISHNA album.

The lyrics of this song give such wonderful knowledge. The song says,
"Nikunj me biraaje Ghanshyam Radhe Radhe,
 Ghanshyam Radhe Radhe tu Shyam se mila de,
 Radhe Radhe, Shyam mila de,
 Shyam mila de, Radhe Radhe"

The 'Best' way to get to the man is through his girlfriend/wife. So, if you want to meet Krishna go through Radha or become Radha.
So who is this Radha? What is this Radha? Where is this Radha? Can I get her phone no. or atleast her email id? Can I add her as a friend on facebook?  :-)

Ok. Ok. Relax! Don't Panic. Whatever is happening to you right now is 'DHARA'.
The mind is pulled by the five senses. The eyes want to see. The ears want to hear. The nose wants to smell. The tongue wants to taste. The skin wants to touch. This mind flowing outwards is DHARA. And RADHA is the reverse, the mind flowing inwards.


Only when you go inwards, you will come back to the source and you will find Eternal Bliss.

"Yahi Sadhna hai - Drishya se Drishta ki ore aana."

Jai Gurudev :-)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Metamorphosis - From God to Human to X...Y...Z to Human to God!!

It is said “Bachche bhagwan ka roop hain”. Every child is Divine. So we are born as God but as we start observing ‘Human beings’, we start becoming more and more human. The element of Divinity starts getting lost and more and more of the human aspect creeps in.

But we don’t stop there. The seeds of corruption, greed, lies, competition are sowed in us by our very own dear PARENTS and they ensure that the seed is watered, manured and fertilized. They tell us to be first in the class, to eat the entire tiffin  and keep all good things with us without sharing. When someone else starts getting more than us, we are taught to be jealous.

And this is how we are demoted further from Human beings to ‘Rats’. We enter the vicious 'RAT-RACE'.

On one hand we say, these are my friends and on the other hand, we compete with them, we pull them down.
As we grow up, we become ‘DOGS’. We join some company as Employees. We do ‘NAUKRI’. Like a dog has a master and the leftover food is given to him, the Employer earns something and the leftover is given to the employee as ‘Salary’ ;-)

People celebrate, throw parties on getting their first 'JOB'. Some idiots who get placed through campus are happier because they became dogs earlier than the others.

So its not just religious conversion or sex change which is happening in the world today, rather inter-species conversion is also happening where in humans are being converted to rats then to dogs and further to horses. Like the horse,  the eyes are side blinded so that it doesn’t get distracted and does ONLY what its Master wants it to do. 

It is trained, told, groomed to walk and see just one road which leads not to his success but to the Master’s success. This is how the mind becomes one-track and thinking becomes monotonous. Because all others are walking straight, I should also not look around. Many-a-times, we don’t even know why we are walking.

So, the first thing a rat needs to do is ask “Why am I in this rat race?”
The first thing a dog needs to do is ask  “Why am I being a slave?”
The first thing a horse needs to do is ask  “Do I really wish to walk this path? Why am I not removing these side blinds? Why am I not looking around?”

What is it that I actually want in my life? Why am I doing what I am doing? What I am getting out of it, is it the thing I really want?

Then gradually, we can become human beings.

And the journey doesn’t end there. With a Spiritual master in your life, you get elevated from being merely 'Human' to being 'Divine'. Through the Grace of the Master, one can recognize his true nature.

“Enlightenment is not a Learning process but its an UN-learning process. From being Somebody to Nobody and then to being Everybody” ~ Sri Sri

Jai Gurudev :-)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

YES!+ Delhi's Trip to Vrindavan with Saleel Bhaiya :)

The Vrindavan trip had something special about it. The way it got organized and the way things unfolded without any plan whatsoever, was wonderful to witness.

Here is how Anjesh has described it.

All of a sudden at 9 in the night, we, the 'Super-Enthusiastic' YES!+ volunteers planned a trip to Vrindavan the very next morning at 6. Bharat and Swati Gupta took the charge of organising the entire trip and they did an outstanding job. There were in all, 18 bright smiles (Neha, Bharat, Swati, Anjesh, Sonal, Mukul, Varun, Sanjana, Simran, Vrinda, Yajur, Tripra, Sajida, Richa, name a few) and 1 brightest smile (Saleel bhaiya's) going in a cute little mini-bus. And another bright smile(Sanampreet) was following  on a bike. We started playing Antakshri to begin with...Saleel bhaiya found it more noisy than musical and asked us to play Dumb-cherades and then the game was taken to levels unheard of. That is, we played Shabdakshri, guessing the tune, singing one song's words in other song's tune. And it was real Fun!!

We were all having a great time until the driver told us that the tyre had got punctured. We were already late considering the fact that the Baanke Bihari mandir closes darshan at 12noon. But after happily accepting the situation we got down at a dhaba. There was this 'KooL' bamboo lounge where we regained our energies after some photo sessions :D

Journey resumed.We took a single auto for the mandir and 16 of us sat IN it and 2 sat ON it ;-).

We reached Baanke Bihari mandir but it was already 12:30pm. So we could not get Darshan of the deity and had to satisfy ourselves with the experience of Krishna inside us. The entire environment inside the mandir was so pure and meditative. Saleel bhaiya started the satsang with a vey beautiful Krishna bhajan and even more beautiful Krishna bhajans followed..People started singing along. After 15 - 20 minutes of meditative satsang, we went for a Lassi Treat :)
Lassi with lots of kesar, I had never tasted before. It was super-duper duper-super tasty ;)

After the mini treat and lunch and wandering in the galiya where Krishna spent his childhood, we boarded our cute little mini-bus for Dilli :)
While returning back we had this exclusive 'Expression Photoshoot' where in everybody was supposed to make the specified expression for the click.

Battisi :D



And yes..hats off to Sanampreet who managed the entire trip to Vrindavan on his bike :)

After returning, I was wondering that though we did not get the darshan it still did not matter to us ;) because the journey we made wasn't for any goal or destination.

As Guruji says, "The Goal is in the moment. The Goal is where you are!!"

Love u Bhaiya.

Jai Gurudev
Anjesh :)