Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Satsang with Students at SSRVM Bangalore

We had the oppurtunity and good fortune to be invited by the principal of SSRVM in Vidyaranyapura, Bangalore to conduct a Satsang for the Children there. I knew from the beginning that it would be a rocking experience.

First  Impression
First of all, having seen the Sri Sri Bal Mandirs, I did not expect SSRVM  to be so huge and Majestic. The SSRVM compound and building was nothing short of an international school. It was one of the most professionally managed schools and yet the human touch could be felt in every nook and corner. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had inaugurated and blessed the school some time back and the Principal there Mamata ji told us a story about his visit.

When Guruji came
This is a story when Guruji had come to the school. 
Guruji came to the school and entered the classroom which was in the ground floor and right near the entrance. As soon as he entered, he asked the Principal "This is classroom for which standard students ?"
" For Kindergarten ( K.G. ) Students "
"Oh, But the windows you have put are so high, how will the children see outside ? Do one thing, lower the windows height and put a slide from which they can slide outside to the playground."

The child who never grew up !

The Satsang

As soon as we entered the hall filled with a couple of hundred children, I could feel the vibrating and pulsating energy in the atmosphere. It was a feeling that makes you float in the air without any reason. The kids were super excited to see my Guitar and they were not shy to show their admiration openly. Sometimes with embarassing consequences :)
Right from the first line of "Ganesh Om.... Ganesh Om..." the kids joined in. And How ! They were all very familiar with the Bhajan and with all inhibitions shed (which they anyhow don't have  any ) started singing and shouting at the top of their voices. The result was nothing short of what happens during Navaratri Homas in the Ashram.
We all floated in the Satva. Drifted into a wonderful land of devotion, joy and gratitude. With all the bubbles of joy all around us, the Satsang was clearly one of the best that I have attended.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The power of Sankalpas.

Desires keep arising in us. We hardly have any control over them. Just when we start feeling a bit hungry, a desire to indulge the taste buds arises. No sooner that we have eaten a full meal, a desire to have some dessert arises. The dessert is emptied and a desire to watch some TV arises... and so on and so forth. If we observe with great attention then our life is nothing but a great flow of desires arising and our running behind fulfilling it, thinking that at the end of the fulfillment of the desire is that elusive Bliss that we are searching for. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says "Desires fulfilled or unfulfilled, leaves us empty handed." How many times in our life, a fulfillment of a desire has given us great satisfaction ? Desire simply implies that we are looking for joy in the future and not "Right Now!".

Power of  Sankalpas
"Sankalpa" is a Sanskrit word which means "Thought, intention, or will directed toward a specific outcome". 

Someone asked Guruji : ( September 1 2010 )

Q.What is the importance of sankalpa (intention) and how to strengthen it? Does the world move on sankalpa?
A. The mind is full of sankalpa and vikalpa (imagination, fancy). Each work gets done through sankalpa. Even the act of moving our arm is preceded by the sankalpa in the mind. If twenty sankalpas arise in the mind then nothing gets done. When the mind is peaceful and restful then our sankalpa is powerful. 

The sankalpa of a weak mind is weak and that of strong mind is strong. 
We can make our mind strong by sadhana (spiritual practices) and knowledge. Then the sankalpa will also be strong. The wise makes one sankalpa in fifty days whereas the ignorant makes fifty in a day.

The more Sadhana, Seva and Satsang we do, the more fulfilled we feel. Hasn't it happened that after an Advanced course or a refreshing meditation or a meeting with Guruji we have felt "I don't need anything, I'm just so full of joy and love right now" The frequency with which this happens is a measurement of how much our mind is in the present moment. This means less Sankalpas per day and each of our Sankalpas become very powerful and greater chance of fulfillment. If more and more we feel that " All I want, I already have !" then more will come our way.

The Yogis and Rishis of Yore  lived in this state of Gratitude (in varying degrees) and fulfillment so they had the power of not only fulfilling their own wishes  but also of others by granting a boon. This is very scientific and experiential truth. We can all do our own experiments with this. Modern scientists and thinkers are realising the importance  of this and coming up with books and movies ( e.g. The Secret ). 

The one word which really will see to it whether your Sankalpa will materialise or not is " INTENSITY " .The more badly you want something, the quicker you'll get it.

A holy man was meditating by a river when a young man interrupted him.

“I have looked for God everywhere and I didn't find him. Can you show God to me ?"

The holy man jumped up, grabbed him by the scruff of his neck, dragged him into the river, and plunged his head under water. After holding him there for a minute, with him kicking and struggling to free himself, the holy man finally pulled him up out of the river. The young man coughed up water and gasped to get his breath. 
When he eventually quieted down, the holy man spoke. “Tell me, what did you want most of all when you were under water.” 
“Air!” answered the man. 
“Very well,” said the holy man. “When you want God as badly as you want the air, then you'll find him ! ”

What time do you do your Sadhana? - Poll Results

Ever since I started this feature of conducting a poll on the sidebar of this blog, the response has been amazing. Thank you all who vote on the polls.

The results are not very surprising. Out of the 65 people who voted on the poll, only 50% do their Sadhana in the morning.
23% do not have any fixed timing. Hmm.....
And we have 3 really early risers who do Sadhana at Brahma Muhurta between 3 am to 6 am.

P.S : Do vote on the new Poll on the Sidebar.
If you would like to conduct a Poll on a particular question, leave a comment below, if it is noteworthy, I may run the Poll.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A memorable Satsang at Hubli. An unforgettable travel

Just came back y'day from Hubli after being a part of a wonderful Satsang there. Hubli is a town in the northern part of Karnataka approximately around 8 hrs by train from Bangalore. Me, Pankaj and Saket left from Bangalore on Saturday and Apurva and Sanket had made all the wonderful arrangements there in Hubli for our comfortable stay and khana-peena. Roma and her family were wonderful hosts( just like any Art of Living family would be ).

The best part ( ummmm... may not be the best but certainly "unforgettable") was the travel. We boarded the Auto from my house to the station only to find that the Auto meter runs faster than Chetak of Maharana Pratap and when we reached the station just barely in time to catch the train, fate caught us in between the desire to hang on to righteousness of not paying the fare which was almost the double amount and the desire to just pay and board the train. A very unruly mob of about 20-30 auto drivers shouting at us at the top of their hoarse drones to pay up solved the dilemma. We paid the money and got into the wrong compartment of the train to discover that we had forgotten the ticket in the house itself.
Anger of being forced to pay double meter of Auto, getting into wrong compartment , no ticket in the hands and a moving train made sure that we were reminded that "Present moment is inevitable" and "Accept the situation as it is and take action".
Fortunately, the booking was done online so we just had to pay up Rs. 50 and be done with it.
Reached Hubli at 11 am the next day.

The 2nd Yes+ course in Hubli had just ended ( Apurva had managed to enthuse the young dynamos with the awesome energy typical of a Yes+ course). Many were there who were attending a Satsang for the first time but I could see it from their eyes that they were grateful for the knowledge the got and later on joined full-on to  shake a leg or two with the volunteers. We also did a short meditation.

Saket, Me with the guitar and Pankaj on the Tabla

Sanketh, Apurva (the organisers) and Me with a Strawberry.

The unforgettable part was the travel back to Bangalore. Taking our own sweet time to have the Post Satsang dinner , we soon realised that there was no bus seats available ( yes, our faith was strong enough  not to book the tickets till the last moment). After furiously approaching every Private Travels for 5 tickets to Bangalore, we finally managed to get it. The 5 seats on the last of a below Average KSRTC bus would be our home for what appeared to me as Eternity.  

We left at 11 pm, at 2 pm I woke up to find that there was a deafening silence all around, the bus was not moving and so were the other vehicles, everyone was fast asleep including the driver. After a furious attempt to catch a few kannada words from two people talking outside, I came to know that there was and accident some 2-3 miles ahead of us and the traffic would not move unitl 5 hours. It happened exactly like that. For 5 hours we were there. The Bus, motionless and still as an Ancient Relic provided as much leg space as that provided to the unlucky chickens at KFC poultry. And for those of you who have not travelled in Indian Buses for long hours, let me tell you that leg space is least of the problems. The concept of a loo is virtually non-existent. If you are lucky, you'll find by some furious searching, a small sign saying "TOILET" pointing to a dingy room with a hole in it. 

As it is evident from the description above, it is the perfect set-up for practising the Art of Living course points. All of it. And some more. We reached Bangalore at 3 pm after 16 hours in the Bus.

But as I sit here in the comfort of my room, all that uncomfort seems so unimportant and most often very funny. I can laugh over it. But the joy of sharing some moments of meditation and knowledge of the Guru with others makes it all worthwile. 

Auguste Renoir was a famous painter. Renoir was confined to his home during the last decade of his life. Renoir, almost paralyzed by arthritis, continued to paint in spite of his infirmities. One day a friend of his watched the elder painter working in his studio, fighting torturous pain with each brush stroke, he blurted out: “Auguste, why do you continue to paint when you are in such agony?”
Renoir answered simply: “The pain passes but the Beauty remains”

Jai Gurudev,

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Attitude of Gratitude. Devotees pour out..

Gratitude is the king of emotions. It is the one feeling which makes an individual blossom and brings peace and prosperity in our lives. Guruji says " Angels long for the tear of a devotee. Moments of intense gratitude are the moments that you have really lived your life".
So bidding goodbye to 2010, I decided to do a experiment : I put up a photo in Facebook which read :

And the response was phenomenal. Nearly 50 people commented expressing their gratitude. I want to share these comments with you.

The last comment very much sums it up. If you did not get a chance to express your comment... you can do so in the comments below....
Lets continue our Attitude of Gratitude.!
Jai Gurudev.