October 10, 2016

Are you right or loyal?

What prompted Vibhishana to join hands with Ram? Why did Bhishma fight for Duryodhana? History is full of incidents where, not just ordinary humans, people with great powers had to choose sides. It is the same story today and will be in the future. When Vibhishana joined sides with Ram, Ram asked Lakshman what would he have done if he was faced with a similar choice? It is a choice between righteousness and loyalty; each gives strength and also its own ending.

Reading various stories from the history makes you realize that the turn of events could have been very different if the leaders of different times had made a different choice. It is not an easy choice and one prays that they are never faced with an either-or choice. You pray that you are loyal to the right person!

You may be bound by your word of commitment, rules, traditions, personal interests that may force you to be loyal. You may be so committed to being right and correct, that sometimes you may go against yourself too.

So, when Lakshman was asked the question by Ram, he simply replied that he knew that Ram would always be right!

What would you do? In today's yuga (era), there is often no clear distinction of what is right. Something considered right by you can be considered wrong by the other side. There may be more than one side in this tussle, each one with their own views.

What do you stand for? Unquestioned loyalty or firm resolve to be right? Each gives strength and also has its own ending.

Are you loyal to righteousness or do you believe that being loyal itself is right? One thing for sure, there is no right answer :-)

All you can ask for is 'Vivek' (intellectual discretion) to distinguish the two and allow you to take appropriate actions - something that meditation and practices like Sudarshan Kriya can help achieve.

Image credits: yourstory.com and hindufaqs.com

September 24, 2015

The Miraculous Intutive Instinct

It’s been exactly one year and seven months now, since I first did my Happiness Program designed by Poojya Sri Sri Ravi Shankar founder of The Art Of Living. In this duration, I have seen and felt many benefits of the “Sudarshan Kriya”,a powerful breathing technique,taught in Happiness Program.It’s also so amazing to have a Living Master, guiding you through the ups and downs of life. Every day is a gift of the Divine, filled with bliss, so enchanting, so fruitful. My life has taken a 360 degree turn, a positive turn! Guruji helps me in my daily life, guiding me at every step, just like a father would lead his little one. I feel so blessed to have the Master in my life.

Below I have described a miraculous experience that got me stunned.

I am a professional, with tight work schedules, and am also actively involved with NGOs. Despite the tedious schedule, I enrolled to do my PostGraduate studies. This was a tough decision for me, as I knew it would be extremely demanding in terms of time and effort. But I decided to go ahead.

During the course of my studies, there were many assignments to be prepared and submitted by me. One such assignment got me into a real fix. I submitted a couple of drafts for the same, but for some reason, my lecturer was still not happy with my work, and not only that, she also commented in front of the entire class stating that I was totally out of topic! I could not figure what exactly my lecturer wanted, and all she told me when I asked for guidance was “This is a post – graduate paper, not under-graduate” and she gave me a book saying “I hope this will help you.” So I took the thick book and walked towards my car, in dejavu! God, time was running out on me, and I had a great deal of work commitments to complete that week. I did not know how I was going to manage everything.

The work pressure was getting at me.On reaching back home, I thought with a calm mind and reached the conclusion that there is no point in panicking,I had exactly 5 days to complete the assignment and I had to make the most of it.

That night, I sat to read the book. It was quite interesting, but it did not seem to answer my quest for the assignment.I read some other material as well, but didn’t really get anywhere. I had only 1 more day to go.To add to my agony,my brother suddenly had some health complications and had to be rushed to the hospital and was then admitted to the ICU. This was one of the most testing times of my life.I prayed to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Guruji in my mind saying “Gurudev, I know you are with me and with my brother too.” This was running like a Japa (Chanting) in my mind. After a few hours, things got stabilized, and the doctors told us that there was nothing to worry.I was more at peace on hearing this soothing piece of news.

By the time I returned home, it was late at night and the first thing that hit me was, “Oops! My assignment!” I was extremely nervous then, as I knew that if I don’t submit in the morning, I would fail the paper.In a helpless state,I ran to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji’s photo and said, “Gurudev, please help me. I’m not even sure what to ask you for, but please give me some idea,I need to get this assignment done by tomorrow morning”. After that, I had my shower and meditated for sometime.That gave me some calmness and a sudden urge to watch videos of Gurudev.
It was quite strange but I just went ahead and followed my instinct. The very first video that was displayed on the list that day was Guruji talking about the GM crop during one of the Satsangs. Someone asked to send a petition about brinjals, and Guruji explained about the fate of farmers who cultivated BT cotton, and the effects it has on the soil, and also about the many types of original rice breeds which were lost, which we may never bring back!

Suddenly everything made sense, the contents of the thick book, the title, the comments,everything made sense. My lecturer actually wanted me to think out of the box,about legality and morality, the difference between being legally right & morally right, about Corporate Social Responsibilities, about Business Ethics. And Gurudev’s video had explained it all.

Five hours passed, and I did not even realize, and my assignment was complete. It was already 6.00 am, just nice for me to get ready and drive to my University, which is about a 2 hour drive from home. All through my journey, I could not stop thanking Sri Sri! The moment I saw my lecturer, I briefly explained to her what I had written, and she smiled and said, “Finally!”

And guess what – 2 months later, when the results were released, I got the grades I wanted! Guruji! Thank You So Much! No words could express my gratitude. Nothing I do will express my gratitude enough, except to spread HIS message of Love & Peace to ALL!!!
Love You Gurudev! You are my Guru, my mentor, my best friend. What can I say when the DIVINE is present in my life, in the form of my ” Guruji “, holding my hand & guiding me in my journey back “HOME”!!!

Sri Sri is amongst the foremost spiritual master of today. He does not restrict himself to spiritual work alone. Sudarshan Kriya has been recognised by United Nation and major companies like Google use it as a tool to train their employees. Today’s generation is being led by materialism and consumerism, it is important to nurture the soul too. Sri Sri does exactly this and his simplistic approach appeals to all.

Jai Gurudev,

July 01, 2015

Towards A Healthy Life


Being in the software industry, I used to work late hours, eat lot of junk food, have meals at irregular timings and would not even do any kind of physical activity or exercise. On the contrary, I used to feel that nothing would happen to me at such a young age, and thus I would keep procrastinating the idea of living a healthy and fit life, in spite of knowing that my father and wife were already facing health issues. Putting a brave front, I would try and move forward.
But my health was deteriorating significantly. I used to get frequent headaches. I would wake up early in the morning with severe headaches. Then one fine day, I reluctantly went to the doctor, only to be told that I had high blood pressure. At that time, I was not aware of the reasons for high blood pressure and its long term impacts. I was asked to take BP medicines for a few weeks and then called for a review. While it looked to have settled, the doctor advised me to continue with the medicines.

Upon research, I found out as to how deadly BP can be, and its long term impact with medicine. Taking BP medicines also has side effects in the long term. I cursed myself for being so ignorant of the health problems arising due to irregular food and work habits. I realized that I had to accept the situation first. On doing so, I then focused on finding a solution to this health problem, and started some physical activity. It was very difficult to continue due to motivational issues. I started some Yoga but then discontinued in between. Somehow I wasn’t able to regularize my schedule. I was finding the entire process very tough. After 2 years of medication, I decided to give myself one last chance of getting back to shape and worked very hard. I became energetic, lost good amount of weight and started to feel healthy. However the BP was still an issue, and I continued on medication.

After 5 years of using BP medicines, in the year 2008, I came to know about the SudharshanKriya and did the AOL course. The first Kriya session was an amazing experience! I instantly fell in love with it and became very curious about it. I started reading books about Guruji, listening to His knowledge tapes, bhajans(devotional songs) etc. The knowledge tapes were just so amazing, and they made me realize as to how little I knew about life and the way of leading a happy life! The course truly transformed me from within.
The doctors reviewed my BP on regular visits, and the dosage came down significantly but couldn’t be avoided completely. In 2009, I did my DSN course and learnt the Padmasadhana , its series of Yoga postures. This particular technique swept me off my feet, as I felt very happy and energetic, yet calm and empty, after each session of Padmasadhana. I continued the Padmasadhana religiously! I also prayed to Sri Sri, all these years, to help me get out of this health condition, and I also pledged to lead a healthy life.
In the year 2010, my BP came to normal levels. Doctors were surprised at this, and told me that I no longer needed medication. Till date, all regular check-ups continue to show my BP as normal. This was truly a big miracle for me, as health is wealth. It is one of the many instances where Guruji helped me. Sri Sri takes care of each one of us in His own way!
Thank you, Gurudev
Ardent Devotee

I got back my health with spirituality and regular parnayam. It sounds unbelievable. In today’s age of advanced medicine and ultramodern diagnosis systems some of you may dismiss it as tall claims but I am a living testimony of how disease can be transformed with little effort. Modern medicines may surely heal the body but to heal the soul we have to turn to our own ancient system of healing.
I am a software professional with a typical life style of late work hours, eating untimely meals and meals consisting of fast food, junk and unhealthy snacks. Being young and energetic I threw caution to wind and never bothered to balance my hectic life with sensible living and healthy eating. I thought I had all the time in the world to take care of myself, but now it is time to enjoy and have fun after all I am still young. I ignored the niggling aches and pains, until I started to wake up frequently in the night with splitting headache.  A visit to the doctor became necessary. I was diagnosed having high Blood Pressure. Reluctantly, I accepted the reality and started taking the prescribed medications. This led my quest for a better lifestyle and I sincerely changed my routine to include exercise and yoga. After the initial energy my enthusiasm waned a bit I found some excuse to avoid exercising. Soon this fell by the way side. My BP continued to be a problem.

After five years of struggling and yo-yo regimes I came across program advertising about SudarshanKriya, a breathing technique that has positive effects on the mind and body conducted by Art of Living Foundation. Curious to know more I did the course of Art of Living and experienced it for the first time. This became the turning point in my life. The happiness that I felt from within motivated me to know more about Art of Living and its founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. I went through the books published by the foundation, listen to their soulful music and I discovered what I was missing in life. We go about doing mundane activities, getting caught in the routine and meaningless activities and somewhere forget the real purpose and meaning of life. Sri Sri  knowledge sessions have given me a new direction to life, I do not claim to be an authority of spirituality but speaking for myself I know that I am self-assured now and a sense of calmness has enveloped me that gives me a quiet confidence that eventually events will take care of itself. Most of the time we get stuck in emotions and reactions that we spend our whole life focussing on things that give us pain than count our blessings but these knowledge sessions are so insightful and Sri Sri’s thoughts on various facets of life gives much needed clarity.

So what has all this to do with my BP? Well the sum effect of all these practises was that my BP was gradually coming down and so was the medication. In 2009 I did the DSN course where we were taught the padmasadhana which is a series of simple asanas. I practised these postures regularly and stated feeling more lively and energetic. Eventually on one of the visit to the doctor I got the best news after years, that my BP is normal and I do not have to continue with the medicine any more. Health is wealth and as Ayurveda says make food your medicine got my health back and in turn gained true knowledge about life and its events. I believe that Sri Sri’s grace and SudarshanKriya have been the guiding factor for the transformation of my life. I wish that everyone gets an opportunity to experience the magic of SudarshanKriya at least once in their life time. As the limitless ocean the divine’s grace is endless and unfathomable. ..It can only be experienced.