About Art of Living, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, The World Culture Festival, World Culture Festival.

“Celebration is the nature of the spirit. Any celebration has to be spiritual. Celebration without spirituality does not have any depth. Silence gives depth to celebration”

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These are the words of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the humanitarian leader whose single motto is to put a smile on every face. Striving tirelessly to help people eliminate stress from their system using the simple yet powerful technique, Sudarshan Kriya,

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar simply and effortlessly makes us aware of our  true nature of peace and joy.  Practice of Yoga, pranayama, meditation and Art of Living principles to apply in day to day life, complemented by Seva and Satsang has truly made life a celebration for millions of people around the world. “Peace is our birthright. Neither at home nor at school have we learnt how to handle negative emotions” says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Emotions are linked with the pattern of breath. When we change the pattern in a particular way, we can handle our emotions better. What a simple way to bring positivity in one’s life. The change begins with the individual. When each individual is transformed, the whole society, the whole world is transformed! It is as simple as that. Millions are already transformed but many more are yet to get a calling.

World Culture Festival is a calling for every citizen of the world to come together and celebrate ones birth as a human being on this planet earth. It is said we have to go through 86 lakh lifetimes as lower organisms before we earn the merit to be born in human form! To be born as a contemporary to global peace ambassador Sri Sri Ravishankar is the icing on the cake. We could have been born 50 years before or after His lifetime. We would have missed this golden opportunity to walk the same ground that He is walking now. Instead of reading about Sri  Sri Ravi Shankar in history books, we have the privilege of being the historians to chronicle the joyful colours of human life painted by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar  on the canvas of world map.

For all of us, the fortunate ones,  associated with the Guru principle called Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Sadhana, SEVA and Satsang have become a way of life! I for one, cannot stop wondering ‘ How did I ever live before the phenomenon called The Art of Living came into my life!’

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In my 17 years into Art of Living , I have seen the magnetic drawing power of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar with wonder struck eyes! I continue to be in awe of Him although He looks quite unaware of the magnitude of His power. His power is nothing but love, simply love, unconditional and non judgemental love. Globetrotting to spread love, peace and joy, lending a helping hand for trauma relief, a new light of hope to prisoners, bringing to the fore the value of farmers, instilling human values in children, guiding principles for good governance, giving solace to every living soul, be it humans, animals, birds, plants,  Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has been an oasis for the thirsty travelers on this journey called life.

To the question” Why World Culture Festival“, His answer is very simple. “I have been meeting people in pockets in different parts of the world, , so I thought why not get everyone in one place and celebrate”. If we are wise, we will be able to see beyond such simple remark. Mysterious are the ways of the divine. It is my conviction that a huge transformation for the better is in store for us after World Culture Festival. Many of us experienced miracles after Silver Jubilee celebration in Feb 2006. Health, relationships, finances and other problematic areas in people’s life got sorted out like magic just by being a volunteer for the event or even just by participating in the celebrations.

10 years later, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is hosting a much bigger celebration with more profound benefits. Remember He has said “Everyone will benefit by attending World Culture Festival”. Time to set aside ‘Ifs and Buts’ and march with conviction ‘ Come what may, #IWillBeThere ‘ to Delhi.

On a lighter note, lot of amusement is assured!

For three days you will witness ‘ Comedy of errors’ created by ‘ God’s plenty’, that is us!

Confusion, consternation, culminating in contentment. The triumph of human spirit against all challenges. You will discover the hidden strength in your personality being a part of 3 .5 million pilgrims who have weathered various challenges to spend the most precious three days of their life.

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Yes, this is a pilgrimage. A pilgrimage to the shrine of love, peace and joy!

Let’s experience the pure bliss of meditating together on this global platform and pray for the whole world.

Let’s have one personal desire and one for the common good. When the time is right ,our faith will manifest what we have prayed for.

We have a duty towards future generation. That is to undo the harms done unwittingly and create a better world filled with human values.

Motley of human procession that gives enough fodder for you to ruminate for several years. Variety of characters with a single agenda but diverse ways! Just imagine the stories of World Culture Festival that you come carrying back with you. You will turn a historian with a quiver full of interesting anecdotes to recount to those less fortunate ones who missed it all!  Ten years later, when Sri Sri Ravi Shankar hosts an even bigger extravaganza of spiritual Olympiad, you will say with utter glee to all Freshers, ” Hey, I was there, done that” .

To conclude, I would say, all of us will be playing the role of Lord Rama’s monkeys in treta Yug that helped build bridge to vanquish evil. In Kaliyug, without waging a war, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is choosing a path of peace to overcome the evil in the hearts of human beings by bringing to our awareness ‘peace is our nature’.  I would not miss the opportunity to lay a brick to this bridge. Neither should you!

Let’s sing, dance, laugh and meditate with the world on March 11, 12 and 13 in Delhi.

I remember a poem from Nobel Prize winning book, Geetanjali, by Rabindranath Tagore which is apt to quote here.

“I have had my invitation to this worlds festival, and thus my life is blessed. My eyes have seen and my ears have heard. It was my part in this feast to play upon my instrument, and I have done all I could”

 

Leela Ramesh

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, The World Culture Festival, World Culture Festival.

If you thought that only people had desires and wishes to fulfil. Get ready for a reality check. Preparations and rehearsals to one of the biggest cultural events of the world is quietly unfolding at the grounds opposite Mayur Vihar Metro station in New Delhi, India.

The very best of artists, directors and managers of sound, light, wind, water and earth are putting their best foot forward to stage the World Culture Festival 2016 presented by The Art of Living in New Delhi from March 11th-13th  

This festival marks the organization`s 35 years of service to humanity inspired by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Themed to cherish and promote the values of unity and diversity, this event is set to redefine the idea of a festival.

On the ground. Right there now.The Sound system experts and engineers are busy mixing their talent to meet the challenge of delivering the best of music, chants and songs that will flow out from the several thousand maestros, musicians and singers scheduled to perform so that you get to hear that rhyme and rhythm. Perfectly.

Perhaps the huge speakers and mikes are jostling with each other in their storage boxes now, waiting to break free and be an instrument of peace for you, to safely and brilliantly deliver the scores of musical notes, pitch, aria, voices and rhythm. Because this music is surely going to touch your heart ! Music from various cultures and traditions of the world.

In it`s vibrant continuing service initiative of river rejuvenation, Art of Living volunteers in Delhi who first spearheaded the `Clean Yamuna` river campaign are working hard and diligently to keep the river clean and alive with several awareness initiatives and environment-friendly solutions. The Yamuna flows through the city of Delhi.

This is one whopping event that has got a mammoth team working on the ground now, coordinating with the compassionate earth to embrace a 7 acre long stage, the largest ever stage, almost the size of six football fields, that will see over 25,000 artists perform for the Festival. Loads of iron, wood, sand and stone must be competing hard among themselves to be a part of this stage that will go into the Guinness World Records. There is competition in the brick and mortar world too.

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To light up the world`s largest stage and put all the 25,000 plus artists in the limelight, is perhaps a light – technician’s nightmare, delight or first time in the world opportunity. Whichever way one sees it, huge plans are afoot to set up light towers that the world has never seen before.

The eye of every camera, sophisticated or otherwise is perhaps waiting to catch this spectacular event in all its hues, colours and tones. Frame by frame. Moment  – to – moment. The best directors of film and photography are working out their details now to capture the event in its full glory. Even my smartphone camera wishes to do that.

And 3.5 million pairs of grateful eyes are going to catch the awesome World Culture Festival. LIVE. An eye to cherish and support a noble initiative of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for world peace and unity.

Be amazed. Lights. Camera and Action have their justifiable goals and wishes too.

About Art of Living, Art of Living Experiences, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Sudarshan Kriya, The World Culture Festival, World Culture Festival.

It was almost 18 years ago that I chanced upon a poster with the mesmeric face of a spiritual master on it. Despite my self-censure about following a ‘Guru’, I was drawn to it and the very next day found myself, almost magically, enrolled in the basic course (now called the Happiness Program), which was to change my life forever. Initially, I had a lot of reservations about ‘following the herd’, about being looked upon as someone in need or trouble, about being perceived as un-intellectual. Friends and relatives often asked me, “How could you?” Self-doubt cropped up often, but my experience was so enriching that I knew I was on the right path. This is my journey:

  • The Sudarshan Kriya enlivened every cell of my body, waking me up from a stupor of several years.
  • It opened pathways in my heart and soul, making way for a fountain of love.
  • I started feeling a great connect with everyone around me, a heart-warming sense of belonging.
  • I didn’t have to make an effort to smile; nor did I feel alienated when with strangers.
  • I started paying close attention to my body and breath.
  • I became more aware of my words, actions, thoughts and feelings
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  • While my worries didn’t vanish overnight, there was a feeling of being looked after, cared for, slivers of hope that told me all would be well.
  • There was a sense of homecoming, of having found that elusive something we all yearn for.
  • The electric energy that coursed through my body often took me by surprise. Even at the end of the day, I was raring to go.
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  • Doors opened far more easily and I could manage the most difficult tasks by putting in my 100%.
  • My outlook began to change from, “Why me?” to “Why not me?” when challenges cropped up.
  • While earlier I would wallow in self-pity and focus on the problem, the Art of Living guided me to look for solutions.
  • Often, I used to be hurt by people’s remarks and jibes. Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar taught me to take such volleys in my stride.
  • Instead of deriding people for their strange or hurtful behaviour, I began to ask “Why?” That made me empathetic.
  • I felt compassion rising within me at the most unexpected moments.
  • I rediscovered the joy in random acts of kindness.
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  • It became easier to take the initiative when faced with a situation, where leading a group was imperative.
  • I experienced a feeling of expansion, of knots being untied within me.
  • I found myself drawn to nature, to birds and trees, to the blue expanse above me, to the sun, the moon and the stars.
  • Gratitude welled up in me for the life I had, for the breath I had taken for granted.
  • I began to count my blessings.
  • Even at work, I felt an enhanced sense of creativity, could hone my skills with ease and move in the right direction with a sense of responsibility.
  • I began to delegate work and to understand the power of teamwork.
  • My habit of ruminating upon the past was replaced by living in the present moment.
  • Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s guidance enabled me to focus completely on the task in hand, with amazing results.
  • I marvelled in the fact that I could remember names and facts better and that my memory was sharper than ever.
  • Instead of trying to change people and situations, I began changing my outlook and attitude towards them.
  • I harnessed my breath to calm myself down when faced with stressful situations. “So Hum, So what?” Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s words rang in my ears.
  • I became more careful in using resources, and in preserving them.
  • The Art of Living taught me to go within, to places I hadn’t visited before. I established a connection with my Self.
  • It acquainted me with the power of silence and the refurbishing capacity of a few minutes of meditation.
  • Deep within, I felt a sense of calm, a stillness that strengthened my core.
  • I stopped feeling scattered or going on spiritual shopping expeditions. My restlessness was mitigated and a solid sense of security cocooned me.
  • The journey has been most joyful. The Art of Living as given me Physical fitness, Mental Peace and Emotional Tranquillity. What more does one want from life?

Jai Gurudev!

Archana Pai Kulkarni