Art of Living Experiences, Art of Living Stories, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

Rehman and five others were waiting at the edge of the stage at the Vishalakshi Meditation Hall with huge cake boxes in their hands and a twinkle in their eyes. The cake was thick, deep brown oozing with chocolate in every corner. The white icing on the top struggling to make its presence felt ! I had just peeped into Ajit`s box.

Perhaps they were waiting for their rare moment of truth.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar seated on the chair had just announced “Anyone`s birthday, anniversary today?”. It was the closing moments of the daily Satsang (an evening of music, wisdom and meditation) public event that he has been conducting for over thirty five years every single day, no matter where he is.

Moreover, he makes it a point to ask this question at the end of every Satsang.

Hundreds of people had just imbibed the fabulous celebration of that evening and were dripping with joy, asking for more.

Just then Gurudev asked Ajit to come on to the stage. He ran with the cake and placed it in front of him beaming with a smile. He rose from the chair and walked forward gingerly towards the crowd that was beckoning him time and again.

He tip-toed slowly, in a graceful style that sent people into a rapture. His eyes had a cute mischief that a child springs on you.

I thought perhaps he is going to break into a great jig, a special one between the Master and his fans. The music and the famous `Sundaranana`  bhajan had reached a superb crescendo by then. He clicked his fingers to every rhyme and rhythm of that song.

Something was about to happen? It was a goose-bump moment.

He gestured to all the other birthday boys and girls to come on stage. I could see six cakes and Gurudev.

Suddenly he swirled the well-dressed knife and plunged it into Rehman`s cake and took out a nice big slice on his hand. I could clearly see strawberry was feeling lucky to be on his finger tips and Rehman went red blushing in the background.

People gasped. What was going to happen next ?

Gurudev swayed the cake to the music that had really hit a high note by now. His right hand swinging back and forth. People in the dozens lunged forward. Some with mouths wide open. Others trying to catch it.

Ecstasy, playfulness and laughter was running riot. All heaven broke loose!

Was this cake ready to fly ? It`s path and target unknown ?

Flew it did, in different directions. Making Gurudev`s way of celebrating legendary.

Do we have that quality of making an individual`s celebration collective and inclusive?

Today Saturday 13 May 2017. A million people will be asking a question at the end of the Satsang “Anyone`s birthday, anniversary today?”.



And who do you think will stand up ?


(A tribute by Brahmachari Vidyut Udiaver to Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on his 61st birthday)



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