Tanu Ma and Rishjii, this is a really old photo , if anyone has any recent one please share
Tanuja Limaye is a Senior International Teacher with the Art of Living Foundation. She travels worldwide teaching people of all backgrounds, cultures and religions how to effectively manage their mind and emotions, eliminate stress, live in harmony amid diversity and bring greater peace and joy into their lives.
Over the past ten years with Art of Living Foundation, Limaye has taught extensively in Europe, the Mid East, Japan, Southern Africa, Canada and the United States. Her specialities include training and inspiring Art of living teachers and teaching advanced level Art of Living course designed to help participants remove self-imposed limitations, realize their full potential and offer their talents in service to the world.
Limaye spoke to Lokvani about her life as an Art of Living teacher.
How did you get introduced to Art of Living?
I grew up in Baroda in a very religious home. I had a very happy childhood but was always a little rebellious. Despite the religious atmosphere at home and may be because of it, as I became a teenager I was fairly anti-temple and very skeptical about gurus.
Even though I faced no obvious problems or issues I always felt that something was missing. There was a vacuum which I did not understand. I took an Art of Living course on a whim because my friend wanted to attend it and needed someone to go with her. That was my introduction to Art of Living and it changed my life for ever.
Even though you were skeptical about gurus, you not only accepted Sri Sri Ravishankar as your guru but also decided to become an Art of Living teacher. How did that transformation happen?
As is the case with most people, after my first course I changed though I could not see it immediately. My parents noticed the change. I was not very irritable and in fact stopped losing my temper completely. This was very contrary to my nature. I used to get headaches often and right after the course this problem went away.
I still was a very unlikely candidate to become a teacher. By sheer chance of fate I attended the advanced course offered by Guruji. It was difficult for me to stay with the course, and in fact thought about quitting it and going home after the first day As the course progressed I changed. I became calm and I began to live in the present moment without worrying about the future. That was a wonderful experience. After that I decided that this was my calling and I wanted to be a teacher. I also met my husband at that retreat.
How did your parents react when you told them of your resolve?
They were shocked at first. They were happy that I had transformed but this was not what they had in mind for me. Later in life my father suffered from high blood pressure and diabetes. His doctor , who is a big believer in our techniques asked my father to take the course with me! The course helped my father and he became very supportive of my decision.
What was the greatest benefit of becoming a teacher?
As a teacher you become very confident and the you are able to easily relate to people. I feel connected to so many people and such a feeling of belonging is wonderful
I, who was not comfortable talking to people was able to connect with 300-400 people at a time. I was able to call random people and talk them into doing the course and watch them gain peace and happiness. Bringing peace to people is an amazing experience.
One of my special experiences was establishing the Nairobi center. I was in South Africa when Guruji called and said I should do something in Nairobi. The next thing I knew I was in Nairobi Someone had given me a contact number of an Indian family in Nairobi. I called them and made their home my base. I was able to organize a course within the next three days and later a center was established. That is the power of Art of Living.
I have traveled all over the world. I have worked in Japan where it is not respectful to look people in the eye and yet I was able to work with them. When I was in Poland I had to work through an interpreter. Somehow nothing seems to be an impediment and by the grace of Guruji, things just work out.
What is the goal of the Art of Living foundation?
The goal is to let every individual realize their potential. To live life fully and freely is an art, requiring skill, intuition, creativity, and knowledge. Art of Living, through its many innovative programs, brings these values to our society by strengthening the individual.
We do this by offering programs that eliminate stress, create a sense of belonging, restore human values, and encourage people from all backgrounds, religions, and cultural traditions to come together in celebration and service.
Service or Seva is at the core. The amount of charitable work undertaken by the organization is tremendous and I feel happy to be part of this.
You are married to another Art of Living teacher. Based on your experience what would you say is the secret of a happy marriage?
The secret to a happy marriage is the ability of the couple to jointly focus on something purposeful rather than just on each other. If you are working to make a positive difference in the world you can never be unhappy.
One should also understand each other well. Guruji says that every woman should realize that every man has an ego and she should accomodate it. Every man should realize that every woman has an emotion and he should accomodate that That will lead to happiness in married life.
What is your hope for the future?
The future is wonderful , but I do not focus on it. I like to live in the present and savour every moment and ask everyone else to do the same.
Thankyou for your time.
Source :Ranjani Saigal 08/25/2005 Lokvani