Art of Living Experiences, Art of Living Projects.

India is slowly coming to terms with the government`s move to demonetize its 500 and 1000 rupee notes in a massive effort to curb black money, corruption and terrorism. While this move has been hailed by many as a rightful masterstroke by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the rush for new currency notes and smaller denominations has been creating a near-chaos on the streets.

Long queues at banks and ATM`s across India is a familiar sight. Bankers are stressed while the serpentine queues outside are distressed. When someone thought that it was a nightmare on Indian streets. This weekend the scenario was changing for the better.

Thousands of volunteers of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar`s Art of Living have spread into the streets of India to comfort, care and help people at banks and ATM`s.

 

 

 

“A wave of goodness has gone viral” said Anjesh Thakur as she was busy distributing water and biscuits to a five hundred people long queue outside a bank in rural Bangalore.

Similar moments of volunteerism are happening in various parts of India where selfless and inspired people are helping and cheering-up those waiting for their turn to touch, feel and use the new currency notes.

In Kerala, a massive wave of inspired volunteerism sparked by Art of Living volunteers is galloping at a rapid pace. The towns of Kasargod, Kozhikode, Pathanamthita, Thrissur, Trivandrum are seeing people being helped in many ways – filling out forms, music for the bored and reassurances for the panicking citizens.

The famous Kerala banana chips and tea is also making its rounds to anxious people waiting in the scorching sun. Senior citizens and the physically challenged are being given much attention as volunteers chat with them and take them ahead of the line to special counters set up by the banks.

A bank manager in Nasik, Maharashtra is reported to have profusely thanked Art of Living volunteers saying “Without your support we would have landed in hospital”. Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar are also seeing the goodness go viral.

Banks around the country are working round-the-clock to ensure that people receive smaller denominations and the new currency notes. A tall order indeed for a nation of a billion people with 2,00,000 ATM`s and several thousand bank branches.

 

 

Care for You. Care for Queue.  This seems to be the password of goodness that`s gone viral this weekend. Inspiring all those volunteers sweating it out. For India. 

Art of Living Wisdom, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

A group of frogs was travelling through the woods, and two of them fell into a deep pit. When the other frogs saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs that they were as good as dead. The two frogs ignored the comments and continued to jump out of the pit with all their might.

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The other frogs repeatedly kept telling the two frogs to stop trying, that they were as good as dead. One of the frogs resigned itself to its fate, fell down and died.

The other frog did not give up. He continued to jump as high as he could. Once again, the other frogs yelled at him to get out of the struggle and succumb. But, he jumped even harder and finally made it! When he got out, the other frogs asked, “Did you not hear us?” The frog explained to them that he was deaf. On the contrary, he thought they were encouraging him, the entire time.

 

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This story teaches two lessons:

1. There is power of life and death in the tongue. An encouraging word to someone who is down can lift them up and help them make it in life.

2. A destructive word to someone who is down can kill them.

 

Be careful about what you say. Speak ‘LIFE’ to those who cross your path. The power of words is sometimes hard to understand! An encouraging word can go a long way. Never speak words that tend to rob the spirit of those who going through difficult times. Special is the individual who will take the time to encourage others!

 

Many times Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has spoken about how powerful our words can be. In this video he talks about how our words have immense power and how we should be sensitive to those around us.

 

Do share with us how someone’s words have made a positive impact in your lives!

Art of Living Experiences, Art of Living Stories.

My birthdays have assumed a totally new dimension after the advent of my Master Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in my humble life. Days before the D -day, mind starts celebrating in anticipation of being in the presence of my Guru.

 

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I become a little child of Kindergarten and look up to Him with shining eyes and declare’ Guruji, its my birthday!’ Totally participating in my childlike enthusiasm, He says ‘Oh ho’ and places something in my hand as prasad that means a world to me. A lotus, a string of jasmine, a saree or a scarf, a sweet or a fruit, anything that passes from His divine hands to mine acquires a special meaning. I know it is not just the object He has placed in my hands. It contains infinity.

This birthday on 14 Oct was way beyond my wildest imagination. Lingering in the euphoria of Navaratri celebrations that had concluded two days ago,I looked forward eagerly to be in His presence. After Rudrabhishek and Devi puja I went to the backside of Yagyashala for His Darshan.   He was playing and feeding bananas to the Ashram elephant while the elephant respectfully accepted Prasad. A sight we all love to watch! In between He glanced at me a couple of times to my utter delight.

Then a stream of people went up to Him and He kept blessing them with flowers and shawls that His designated sevaks handed Him. When my turn came, the sevaks had run out of flowers. I eyed His huge garland that was put on Him after Puja. My Guruji thought for a split of a second, removed the garland from His neck and put it on me. I do not or cannot express my state of mind at the moment I felt the garland on me, which was on Him just a second before. I leave it to the readers.

 

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The intensity of an intention and the purity in it translates into appropriate action by the Master. I experienced the power of intention and the connection.

On my birthday, every year, I distribute notebooks to students as I honour knowledge above everything else. I believe youngsters are the architects of our future world. Only though proper knowledge they can chisel out a better world.

However, I could not distribute the notebooks in the morning. I said to myself that I would surely find our Veda boys in satsang where I can happily give away the books.

My husband was quite flustered that I did not go to a school in the morning to complete my yearly ritual. I sat through satsang with the faith Gurudev would create situation for me and a band of Veda boys would for sure receive books from me.

Satsang was mesmerizing with full moon and dancing fountains adding lustre to the soulful bhajans. Rishiji sang my favourite; Tum gagan ke chandrama ho’. I had heard this song from him for the first time in 1999 when he visited Abu dhabi for DSN. I learnt to link all romantic bollywood old numbers to the divine from him..To hear it again after 17 years with more depth in his voice simply transported me to another level where there was fullness of emptiness, or is it vice versa?!

Then it happened! I watched a line of Veda boys marching towards Gurudev and I knew my prayers had reached Him. At the end of  satsang, I stood at the gate and gifted each Veda boy a notebook with a smile and Jai Gurudev! What a Master would not do for a devotee? Faith and grace go hand in hand.

Gurudev was calling out for people with birthdays and anniversaries to stand up and greet each other. Some had made their way to the stage for His blessings. Ankush Dada who was sitting beside me suggested ‘You could have gone too’. I smiled and said “I am content. No more desires left to be fulfilled”.

The way back home was filled with music and dance reverberating throughout my being. The full moon smiled at me as though it represented our Gurudev and I hummed ‘Tum gagan ke chandrama ….’

Still in euphoria….