Sunday, October 30, 2011

Reaching Heights

I had never imagined life moving like Rajdhani Express suddenly, till it was standing on the platform. Got lucky to get an offer to be the PR & Communication Executive of a guy who co-ordinates all the YES!+ activities of Delhi NCR, Maharashtra, Germany and various parts of India…from taking YES!+, YES!+ DSN courses, workshops, etc to training the teachers for making the best use of their potential for enlightening millions of lives...Mr. Saleel Pulekar, Faculty Art of living...i wonder…what did I do to deserve such big responsibility?

Resigned from the job I was doing in Noida the very next day, booked my tickets for Mumbai…life was not the same anymore…

Each and every moment became exciting, unpredictable and adventurous. N I was getting amazed more and more…

The Surat trip at Diwali gave me the exposure which I never got In my life!! Being with the directors of YES!+, the founders of WAYE…Khurshed Batliwala and Dinesh Ghodke ..oooohhh!! Bawa’s cooking and his presence…Dinesh Bhaiya’s smile and caring attitude, and the way they walked, the way they talk, the attention they pay to each and every detail, took my heart away. Blend of simplicity with centeredness , being the same with the rich & poor, in crowd or with a handful people, commendable…made me learn so much in an unspoken manner.

It was a three star accommodation where I got my stay…quoting it as somebody’s house would be an understatement. A big Mansion with a beautiful Garden in the front, lovely interiors with all luxuries. Huge kitchen where 15 people can do bhastrika easily…a fridge carrying souvenir from places all across the globe… and what to say about the comfortable oval bath tub..a place to sit and pamper yourself, and I use to ponder…how these rich guys maintain the good looks all day!

Dressed up and went to meet Guruji in one of the Jazz standing outside, understanding what the rich feels and how they function on the way..

Guruji just came in his full vigour and walked the Ramp showering his blessings which gave me goosebumps sitting on the VIP sofa. With a blessed feeling of contentment of having a Guru who knows whats the best of best for you I closed my eyes.

The night was as comfortable as being under a cozy blanket on a chilly winter morning.

Morning, after attending the pds, where the master was emphasizing on the importance ayurveda and Geeta..of providing vocational training to villagers, etc went to Dumus..a big farmhouse of a devotee with Bawa and Dinesh Bhaiya, WAYE team, where I experienced being in the home theatre for the first time ever. Having Bhajiya’s in the farmhouse!!

So much happening in so less time, it made me wonder, what could have been better than this?? If perfection is to be defined it has to be this…The blend of guru with dev…

Thank you so much Guruji…

Jai gurudev.


Friday, October 28, 2011


Heart upside down???????? then join yes+….……. creativity conducive to promote such a workshop…….neways the day  started with some beautiful energetic songs….….. participants were cracking jokes and so were asked to share it with everybody to grab their attention.
It was the day of their first  SUDARSHAN KRIYA which was an integral part......... it had almost consumed 50% market share in terms of my mind space regarding what it actually is…they claim that you really have to try and do it before you can realize what is so different..Some critics claim it is the immensely good PR department behind it that helps them to promote Sudarshan kriya to the whole world. And Pupils from every guru and adepts of every form of meditation make the same claims as to how the encounter with the person or meditation changed their lives.

Meditation has become very crucial for all of us to beat stress and  continue with our rat race but how can we do that….hmmmm may be by concentration OR learning it the yes+ way relating with nature, its beauty, different rythms in nature and how everything is moving with it….

Initially even I was’nt   in favour of them boasting so much about it but the positivity was volatile when I entered again……….if one takes a close look one could see their faces glowing with big smiles on their faces.
Continuing with the process there was a Q & Answer round … was didactic…… though I always try to keep inquisitors at bay but the way teachers answered all ques showed how brilliantly they were aimed at making the knowledge drain down in their mind because the kind of examples that were given helped each one of them to relate and retain the knowledge properly……

Benjamin franklin once said that “energy and persistence conquer all things”………and as it is all of us are full of energy but one question that arises is - do we actually use it for the right purpose or in right direction????

The day was full of different games, fun and masti intended to bring out their potential to the fullest......because if you give your best  all the time, somehow things will work out in the end…everybody running, banging into  each other…I was wondering why is this athletic training being given here…
but still they were laughing and enjoying like anything….it was as if somebody had switched on the ‘lets be kids again’ button in them… ……..

I wanted to have some personal interactions with the teacher but he was never left alone...not even during the breaks.

Apart from his efficiency  the most amazing part was that after every 5 min the teachers would crack some joke with use of aphorisms and instigate laughter so that the attention of the students remain intact……. taking names and aptly using the mike was commendable…even the volunteers were very committed in taking care of everything sincerely  except for the puddles on the way, no lights on the entrance or should I first say that there was no proper entrance……excellence in mediocrity was taken very seriously I guess………newayz the protracted smiles on their faces was just perfect to end  the second day of  yes+ saying-- Yeh Experience Scintillating tha.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

DCE YES!+ Day 1

I bumped into a freelance journalist at the Siri Fort Auditorium when I had been there to attend a talk by H H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. I invited her to write about YES!+ events. Here is her first cover story.


Day 1
A very beautiful pandal with open roof, greenery all around and a pleasant weather . All this was very impressive to start with. As soon as I entered, the first thing that grabbed my attention was this big photograph of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji with a garland on it. Participants were gazing at his picture with an inquisitive mind. Batting my eyelids and wondering, I just went and sat at the back. 

Looking at the male female ratio of the workshop I really thought that may be it was because girls there were sensible enough not to go for all such things. Looking at different posters there I came across one which claimed that “ the all new most endangered species that is the stress free yes+ youth” which was funny and interesting.

Two men wearing kurta pyjama, smiling in a strange way, serenity on their face and a white teeka on forehead. The environment was all white and calm. In a very affable manner they introduced themselves Saleel Pulekar and Rohit Ranjan (another teacher with very attractive hair). 

The session started with getting familiar with everybody. Huh…looking at their expressions I could make out that whenever they came across anybody they wondered that ‘talking to you is definitely not on my priority list’ but since they were there to learn something new, they were all for it……… then some rules were introduced.

I was told that a little self knowledge goes a long way, on YES+ you get a lot. 

To begin with it is generally said that Listening is a skill as it requires a lot of practice…..but what a paradox it was looking at some participants sitting there as red flag listeners- the one who just shut there power of listening because they feel they know everything.

Then comes …. MIND - which actually just lingers either in the past or in the future. Saleel sir gave a very good example to make them understand that ‘quality of your life depends on your state of mind’…….it was very vivid.

Moving on…they were introduced to a new breathing technique and pranayam. For me breathing only meant one thing just inhaling horrible pollution inside and exhaling out anger and obviously with some involvement of oxygen and CO2

Next a process took place in which all of them had to discuss about the challenges they face in life, their dreams and aspirations. many of them floundered during the process but very enthusiastically they shared their wishes expecting them to be fulfilled as we all know that angels despite there casual silence do exist.……during this process It was as if I and a few of them had schizophrenia for a while. 

The knowledge session included a lot of things that have been heard or read somewhere before. .and Sitting with the future engineers of our country , interacting with them made me realize that they were doubting a lot things just because its not simply denial but some of us are a bit selective about the reality we accept…………………

I would summarise the day 1 of YES+ as - 'Yeh experience subtle tha'.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A course that put the ship of my life on course

Doctrines, dogmas, concepts, conventions, patterns are an integral part of the psyche of a set of people who work for an organization, whether commercial or otherwise. Art of Living is no exception. It has taken me 14 years to realize that a spiritual 'Organization' has nothing to do with 'Spirituality'. However ironical and absurd it may sound, its a hard learned fact.

White dresses, chandan on the forehead, untimely meditations, plastic smiles, flaunting miraculous experiences, unwarranted sweetness in speech, exaggerated expressions of devotion (bhav), saying 'Yes' without proper thought and commitment, etc had become my lifestyle. Its a Maya (illusion) created by the  utterly misguided and ill-mentored volunteers.

Then 'Bawa' happened to 2001!

Masks started shedding and concepts started crumbling. Ideologies loosened their grip on my intellect and the sweet samskaras started getting washed away as though in a stormy river with detergent in it. Doctrines and dogmas were sent tumbling downhill.

It was all happening step by step, layer by layer, petal by petal, day by day I was experiencing a steady, though sometimes exponential, transformation.

I am resisting very strongly now, the waves of praises surging in my heart for Bawa, as all those golden memories of spending time with him since 2001 are flashing, some vividly and some vaguely. I am sure they will erupt on my blog like a volcano of words packed with emotion and impregnated with knowledge, very soon.

Right now I wanted to tell you guys that the YES!+ course was a high point, a steep uphill-cum-downhill transition, on this path of transformation. 28 June to 04 July, 2005.

It brought my focus back to my body making me realize the importance of health, stamina and fitness. It accelerated the above mentioned transformation at the levels of mind, intellect and memory. And it did not stop there. It, first punctured and then fine tuned, my ego.

When Lord Buddha destroyed the ego of the scholarly disciples of his time, they got enlightened. They got established in the next and last level of their existence - the SELF. The enlightenment for me was, 'there was so little implementation of the knowledge I had got used to talking about in the courses I was teaching.' Too much of Shravan and Manan and hardly any Nidhi-dhyasa was being practiced.

A very significant and mandatory switch had got initiated. I had been brutally exposed to the grass roots reality of life. A re-union with my spirit had happened.

It was an abundantly practical and yet a profoundly spiritual experience.
Saleel, the Art of Living teacher had got back his dearest closest beloved... Saleel.......... just Saleel!!!

Thank you Bawa-n-Dinesh, thank you YES!+.

My Guru keeps giving me 'Zarurat se jyada and Samay se pehle'.

Gratefully yours.

Jai Gurudev

Monday, October 10, 2011

Some things just stay with you...

We grew with his voice, Jagjit Singh. My heart skipped a beat when I read about his demise. Feels like I have lost something, am actually sad.

The immortal 'Hoto se choo lo tum' was on the lips of every kid in my school. I still remember watching that song in 'Chitrahaar', the serial on the B&W TV in my house. His reverberating voice in 'Tumko dekha to ye khayal aaya' would instantly create a typical 'Jagjit romance' atmosphere.

Though I have always carried his impression as a melancholy singer, thanks to his first-love-in-music Ghazals, and sometimes even made fun of him by calling his voice depressive; one had to admit his outright supremacy amongst the contemporary singers of his genre, when one had heard 'Kagaz ki Kashti' and 'Main nashe me hun' and 'Tum itna jo muskura rahe ho' and 'Hazaron Khwaishe'.

One of my friends commented, his throat had a built-in amplifier and echo system. :-)

Some things are so much integrated in our lifestyles and ingrained in our consciousness that we notice them when they are taken away from us. I remember I used to spend hours in the balcony of my house, practicing a few of his songs, attempting to sing like him. I am sure it has done a lot of fine tuning to the frequency equalizer of my larynx.

In the last decade (if I am not mistaken), his contribution to the the Bhajan genre through 'He Ram, He Ram' and 'Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare' has been indispensable.

So, though, I will not say, 'mujhako lauta do bachpan ka saawan', because my Guru has taught me to live in the present, this post definitely is a tribute to a Maestro of one of his kind, Jagjit sahab, Tussi great ho, Tofa kabool karo!

May his soul rest in peace and move ahead towards its merger with the Infinite.

Gratitude and Pranams from a fan, an admirer and a student.

Jai GuruDev