About Art of Living, Art of Living Projects.

For most of us who have been privileged enough to have electricity in our homes and money in our pockets, this fact may be hard to stomach-In India about one lakh villages do not have access to electricity and in many more villages, economic difficulties render it unaffordable.

Among the many problems that lack of electricity brings with it, a crippling problem is poor availability of lights or no lights for children to study. Children may even be enrolled in schools, but if they do not have electricity, you know not much can happen with textbooks lying in the dark.

But the world’s largest volunteer-based organisation, The Art of Living has taken it upon itself to make sure, no child is left behind on the path of education because of this darkness.

The organisation is removing this darkness through its flagship Project Nanhi Kiran which was launched in November 2015 at the Art of Living International Center inspired by the founder of The Art of Living, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

As part of the project, Art of Living has provided about 1150 rechargeable solar study lights so far, of which 810 solar lights have been distributed in the remotest corners of Arunachal Pradesh(about 160 of them in Lohit District), 90 in Karnataka, 30 in Manipur, 140 in rural Bangalore near the Art of Living International Ashram.

The Art of Living through the Nanhi Kiran Project has also encouraged local entrepreneurship and youth empowerment. The organization identifies a local entrepreneur, develops a youth leader and looks for youth who want to work for this project along with wanting to be entrepreneurs. They are taught to repair these especially designed lights. He becomes the go-to person for these lights in the area. He makes a small commission on the repair as well as sales and distribution of the lights.   A part of the donation made in buying these lamps, also pays the salaries and commissions for these youth.

The cost of making each light is Rs.450 and this does not include the transportation and cost of paying those who make and repair these lights. So far the project has been funded by Sri Sri Rural Development Program. The project is looking to collaborate with companies and government agencies to bring this light to more lives.

The Art of Living is looking to reach out to ten thousand children through its Nanhi Kiran Project in the most isolated and neglected corners of the country.

The implementation of Nanhi Kiran Project, especially in the far flung areas of a state like Arunachal Pradesh, has not been without its share of challenges. The Art of Living has reached out to over 10 schools in Arunachal Pradesh that lack even the basic connectivity to the other areas of the state, apart from lack of electricity, transport and basic infrastructure.


From The Horse’s Mouth

The remoteness of the region and the problem of poor accessibility is hard to imagine unless, seen through one’s own eyes. “I was working in some project for Assam, and I received a call from Tezu district, AP, saying  the 60 lamps that we have sent across was waiting to be distributed,” shares Chaitanya Sangawar, Coordinator of Nanhi Kiran Project, “When I arrived there I went to a government school. The kids were from different ethnicities and economic backgrounds. They were very shy children. Some of them could not afford the light, because Rs.100 was a lot. So we collected Rs.50 from them. But, still some of the children could not afford the light. I noticed that many children did not even have slippers. We asked if there were more schools that needed help and they said, ‘Yes, but you have to go more deep to some villages, you have more than 100 students that need your support’. I was shocked, because I thought, if this is remote and this is how the people live their lives, what can be more remote than this, what kind of economic condition do they live in? The lights have to reach the children. We are planning to go to the region, but it is impossible for a regular person to go and work there. We need the help of the Indian Army, helicopters, trucks for the logistics of distribution.”



How can you help?

Anyone who is interested to buy the solar lights or support the Program can get in touch with Sri Sri Rural Development Program, in Bangalore. In order to make it feasible, the organization would need- a school with at least 100 students, the details of the school, number of the students, contact details and a local  distribution person from Art of Living  or someone that wishes to support this project.

Though it does not even cover the cost of making the lights, the students  need to pay  Rs,100. This amount is for the student, family, to value the light that he or she is buying.

Art of Living Stories, Art of Living Wisdom.

I recently had the great fortune of listening to Srimad Bhagavatam. The stories started with Matsya, Kurma, Vamana and so on avatars of Lord Vishnu. But as soon as we reached Krishna avatar there was a vibration of love spread all across the hall.


It is amazing how every time we talk of Bhuvanasundara Sri Krishna, we experience an un-explainable intense love!


I hope you are not expecting an explanation for the question of what makes Krishna so lovable from this post! For I have none..




Rukmini in a letter written to him calls him,“Bhuvanasundara”, the most beautiful of all..And mind you she has Only heard about him..not even met him once! He has dark blue complexion, he has a huge fan following meaning he has many to give attention to, he is a so-called thief who loves to steal and eat & yet he is so much loved! Even the dispassionate iron hearts get pulled towards his magnetic form.


For me, Krishna paintings & idols are something which have managed to go even beyond the heart and touch my soul!


We are so used to keeping god at a distance..many pedestals above us. He is something to be respected & worshipped (that’s what our parents told us).




But with Krishna there is no distance.. He takes on all the roles for you. Naughty, trouble-maker, mischievous child with those big innocent eyes,best friend, perfect lover..perfect Sakha..amazing Guru! There is a connect with him which is not just because of obligation & respect but because of a sense of belonging completely to him..


There is a Shloka in Sanskrit which says that there is no difference between Guru, God & Self. We are ‘That’. It’s true! But Krishna is like that mirror which makes you see and feel the divinity & love inside of you! For we can see us in him so easily..He is a child who has refused to grow up & tell me who doesn’t love a child!


Sometimes I feel that the purpose of his birth was not to receive the love of Gokul, Vrindavan, Mathura & so many others..But to evoke that love that Bhakti in each one of those who witnessed & even just heard about his Leelas.. And it’s amazing how after more than 5000 years his name & leelas have the same effect!  🙂


Anjesh Thakur

Anjesh is an Art of Living teacher. Her blog www.bhuvanasundara.wordpress.com is a meeting place for all Krishna Lovers.


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

Year after year, through joy and pain, 

Gliding me through rain and shine, 

You make sure  I am baked and baked 

Like  gold put in fire twice ashine, 

I glow and glow  with love divine! 




Guru Purnima is a day to measure our progress on the path and express our gratefulness to the Guru Principle in the form of our Master. Yes, I have been doing it all these years. How much have I grown in knowledge? Where was I on this path the previous year and where am I today? What do I lack and what more should I do ? I have pondered over this ‘ intellectual’ inquiry. I have immersed myself in His words of wisdom till they became part of me. I have watched Him attend to me and thousand others with effortless ease and peel off layers of misery with just a glance or the  touch of a flower. I have been bewildered, amazed, awe-struck and teary eyed when multitude of  people throng Him and come back with a personal Guru Story. It is my incredible good fortune that I am participating and witness to this divine phenomenon that enraptures me every single moment.

He is simply there with ‘ Unconditional Love‘ for  the entire creation. To me, He is not Shiva or Krishna, Jesus or Allah or any other entity. He is He! And whatever He is, I am That!

It strikes me like lightening , all this knowledge, Sadhana,  Seva, Satsang is nothing but an excuse to bring us to the awakening  of the ultimate purpose of our life. Love! Of which He Himself is a living example if we have eyes to ‘see’. It feels like these 18 years have been an experience of one ‘long Sudarshan  Kriya’ , an action that has given me the vision of who I truly am.

I am Love!




The emancipating surrender of marjara reeti that comes after applying discrimination and valour of markata reeti simply allows me to be in my true nature, Love.

Oh, the ecstasy after agony! Not having to hold on to anything, not even knowledge, but to surrender oneself  to the power of love. I don’t shed tears of gratitude any more because i simply melt and lose my ‘little Self’. Drop becomes the ocean. So, who is there to shed tears?!

A jasmine bud goes through the pain of opening in order to spread fragrance.

A peacock opens feathers and dances to give joy to others.

A Master shows us by walking  His talk what it means to live by your true nature, just like a jasmine or a peacock.




This Guru Purnima marks my blossoming in Love, in gay abandon of everything else. A love that knows no compartments, no boundaries, no names, no definition, no other.




Celebrating Love,

Leela Ramesh