Posts Tagged ‘Ravishankar’

On the spiritual path there are three factors: Buddha – the Master or the presence of the Enlightened, Sangha – the commune or the group and Dharma – your true nature. Life blossoms naturally when there is a balance between these three.

The Buddha or Master is a doorway. When you are out in the street in hot sun or if you are stuck in rain and thunder, you feel the need for a shelter or a doorway.

Have you noticed that then the doorway is so inviting and charming? It is more joyful than anything else in the world? Similarly, the closer you go to the master, the more charm, more newness and more love you feel. Nothing in the world could give that peace, joy and pleasure. You will never be tired of the Enlightened. It’s like a depth without a bottom. This is a sign that you have come to the Master.

Once you come to the doorway and enter the door, the world looks so much more beautiful; it is a place filled with love, joy, co-operation, compassion and all virtues. Looking through the doorway there is no fear. From inside your home, you can look at the thunder, you can look at the storm and the bright sun too; yet be relaxed as you are in the shelter. Such a sense of security, fullness and joy comes. That is the purpose of having a Master.

The second factor is Sangha, the group. The group is very charming from a distance, but the closer you get, it brings out all the unwanted elements from within you. If you think a group is very good or very bad then that means you are not yet completely with the group. When you are totally part of that group, you will find that some bickering will come up. But you are the one who makes the group – so if you are good, your group will also be good.

Sangha has a reverse nature to Buddha. Buddha makes your mind one-pointed; Sangha, because it is of so many people, can scatter your mind, fragment it. Once you are used to it, it loses its charm. This is the nature of Sangha.

Still it is very supportive. If it were repulsive all the time, then nobody would be part of the Sangha. Do not crave or be averse. Often you crave for Buddha and are averse to the Sangha, and you try to change; but Sangha or Buddha, you are not going to change.

The main purpose is to come to the centre deep within you, which means to find your Dharma. This is the third factor. What is Dharma? The Dharma is to be in the middle. Not going to the extremes is your nature.

Your nature is to be in balance,to smile from the depth of your heart, to accept this entire existence totally as it is. Knowing that this moment is what has been offered to me, and that is how I take it. A sense of deep acceptance for this moment, for every moment, is Dharma.

(H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is the founder of the Art of Living)


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1.      When the head is stuck, life is stuck.

2.      What is luck? You are lucky when you feel a) I do not need anything  b) What can I do for others?

3.      Gana (Music),  Dhyana (Meditation) and Gnana (wisdom) are important. Gnana is like a soap. Even if you have paid a price, you have to wash it away. You cannot keep it for ever. Karma gets burnt only with Gnana.

4.      There are 2 types of dance Rudra Thandavam and Ananda Thandavam.Ananda Thandavam is from the heart.

5.      You can contribute to the place when you meditate. A strong sadhak makes a difference to the place. A weak sadhak gains from the  place. And both  are OK.

6.      When you do pranayama before Puja, your sankalpa gains strength.

7.      The best gift is the ‘knowledge of the Truth’.  No special effort is required for this. The ignorance just  needs to be destroyed. Then          automatically ‘Truth’ is seen.

8.      The pilgrimage is the best way to integrate the nation.

9.      The life that is of no use to others is not a LIFE at all.

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Nice article from Kashiji’s blog .   http://www.kashikar.net/

What does the Art of Living offer, which is not present in traditional spirituality?
Guruji :Who says the Art of Living is not traditional. It is also traditional. The tradition itself says combine the old and the new; it stands for new leaves and old roots. And we are moving with the traditions. Perhaps, some traditions forgot the newness and some the oldness, the ancient aspect of it. The Art of Living combines ancient and the modern.

Acharya Suryapada (Chayanna) had this to say about tradition with reference to sadhaks.Its not a verbatim quote ..When a sadhak is doing some sadhana, the tradition of the masters guides him (or her). When the sadhak then passes on to the next birth, he eventually finds a guru from the tradition – or rather, the guru finds the disciple. And the sadhana starts from where it was left off from the previous lifetime. The sadhak thus does not waste his time repeating the learnings from the previous life.

Thus the knowledge which comes directly from the tradition is so precious. And having a master like Guruji is the most amazing thing to have ever happened.When I think of how I came into this path, I always feel two things.

One, that I was always destined for something like this. This is what I felt in my depths of my heart. Somehow I knew I was not just here to do the same things.

Two, I was so much of a  ‘normal’ person that I would never have come upon this path. Yet it was the guru that plucked me up from my mundance existence and brought out the light of spirituality in my life.

I end with a quote from the Guru ashtakam of Adi Shankaracharya:

Sareeram suroopam thadha va kalathram,
Yasacharu chithram dhanam meru thulyam,
Gurorangri padme manaschenna lagnam,
Thatha kim Thatha Kim, Thatha kim Thatha kim.

Even if you have a handsome appearance, a beautiful wife,
Great fame and mountain like money,
If your mind is not at the Guru’s feet,
What is the use? What is the use? What is the use? What is the use?

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Wonderful sutra from Gurudev. It amazes me that every line Gurudev speaks can be quoted as a Sutra. Anywhere , any context , every word and every line He speaks has a purpose and a meaning. Either its  profound with some inner meaning or its a practical tip to lead a better , smarter life. I am not try to exaggerate here beacause of my love and devotion for Him , maybe this is the case with all Enlightened Beings , but am sure of this phenomenon with Guruji. Am looking forward to meet him on his star Birthday on May 9th and have fun.

“Life gives you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness”

Ponder over this line and make it part of you , it will give us immense strength to face and handle any situation in life and “Accept people, things and situations as they are”.

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There’s no word called ‘God’ in yoga’ Bhakti Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Karma Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Mantra Yoga… the list goes on and on. For most Indians (and for many in the West as well), the practice of yoga has almost become a way of life. A healthier life.Yet, two churches in Britain have banned a group from conducting yoga classes, terming the ancient practice as ‘un-Christian’ and a ‘sham’.

Even though the practice did originate in India centuries ago (the word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’ which means to ‘unite’, the union being that of the individual with the Universal Spirit, or God), does that make it more Hindu in ideology?

In other words, does it make it ‘un-Christian’?

Yoga is about attaining a blissful state of being. Agree that it was invented by a Hindu, but that was by default. Just because electricity was discovered by a Christian, is it wrong for a Hindu to use it? For that matter, why are we eating burgers when our indigenous food is the vada-pav? This entire controversy questions the so-called ‘liberal’ mind of the 21st century,yoga is a process, not a dogma. Which is why yoga has not become a religion or a cult, despite its popularity.

It is unfortunate that even in the 21st century, superstition still prevails in some churches. This reminds me of an imam who issued a fatwa against TV, saying that Satan has entered television. Practices such as yoga which promote health and happiness can never be against any true religion. Yoga has been diluted by many and marketed as a mere physical exercise.

To restrict yoga to a particular religion is limited thinking. Yoga goes beyond boundaries, it is followed all over the world. It belongs to the whole world that is the kind of broad vision the practice of yoga gives. Everybody leads a stressful life today, whether one is a Hindu, Muslim or Christian. The benefits of yoga affect everyone.

My interpretation based on a 4SEP07 TOI report

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Question: Guruji can I ask you a simple question? What is the truth?

Guruji: (Laughter!!) Can I give you a simple answer to that? That, which is not false, is the truth. And what is false? That, which is affected by time and space. There has been this absolutely mind boggling definition given by the great “Adishankaracharya”. It is like this, If I say, “it is raining now”. Will this sentence be true tomorrow? Will this sentence hold good day after? No! Again when you are dreaming, You are dreaming something and you feel that whatever is happening in the dream is true!! Like I heard about this scientist who dreamt all night of fighting with a lion and woke up with a broken leg,
because he was kicking the wall all night!!(Laughter!!) I am explaining it a little long and elaborate though the question was simple! (laughter!!)
Shankaracharya said, “Trikalabhaditam yat satyam”. That which is not affected by the time and space is the truth.

Question: Guruji how does one wake up before this life gets over?

Guruji: Are you awake now?

Devotee: No.

Guruji: You are not awake now? That means you are awake. If you are lying down with your eyes closed and not sleeping then you will know that a question is
asked and you will answer. That’s exactly you are doing right now!

Question: Everywhere we go the only topic of discussion is global warming! How
do we react to it? What is that we need to do to combat it?

Guruji: It’s true. We need to think about our actions related to pollutions etc. But I tell you often people make it exaggerating. Do you remember how the
situation was during 1999 end of   December? So much we heard!! All the computers will shut down! Everything will clash! There will be famine!! People got scared and were buying large quantities! So many things! In India it was much less, but I tell you in the US and other countries, it was horrible! Some people hype up and take advantage of the insecure mind of the common people! Similarly AIDS is another issue. There are some reports which say that 50 crore people are suffering in this country!! (Laughter!!) Unbelievable figures!! There are 100 crore people in this country and out of that 50 crores are
suffering AIDS?!?! Is that something you can digest? I tell you there are several crores of money the NGO’s and the govt. is getting from the foreign financial institutions. Where are the money going? There is this place called Vidharva, an NGO collected huge fund by saying that everyone in that village has AIDS!! Thankfully the villagers in that village were very strong. They chased those people out! I tell you India is in a much better position.

Question: Guruji, how to handle transition in life?

Guruji: With patience and perseverance. There are two things that can happen.

First , When there is a quick transition, you are too shocked. In that case anyway you don’t handle the situation, the situation handles you!
The second thing is when the transition period is slow, even then ifvyou look at it the situation is actually handling you! Take it easy and move through it!

Question: Guruji I am forgetting what I learnt yesterday since I am too much in the present moment! What should I do? How should I write exams?

Guruji: (Laughter!!) But the more you are in the moment the more your intellect gets sharpened! You know while I walk several people talk to me. There are some people who think that oh Guruji did not listen to me! I often point it to them and tell them you are telling this to me for the third time! I can also tell the places where you told me the ather two times!!

Nov 2nd 2007 : Bangalore

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