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

How does one express the inexpressible?! Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has already stated in Ashtavakra Gita that the ‘ entire life is a futile exercise to express the inexpressible’. Yet, here I am longing to unleash the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.

 

On this auspicious day of Durgashtami, I settled myself in Yagyashala, ready to dissolve in the chantings, puja and bhajans of the Shatha Chandi Homa, the culmination of moving through trigunas.  A week of passing through tamas (inertia) and rajas (restlessness) by soaking in daily pujas and satsang, I could distinctly feel the lightness, softness and joy surfacing my being. By the time Jago Jago Maa was sung, my throat got choked with gratitude for the millionth time!

 

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A bit overwhelmed, I walked to the kitchen for Prasad. My ecstatic husband was sharing his experience but I was only half heeding. Mind was totally inward. Oh, the blissful state! Nothing existed but Shakti.

 

Evening Satsang saw everyone tapping their feet to the mesmerizing bhajans.

 

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It is not the rajasik dancing of the world of maya. Dancing with oneself, with the divine, totally lost to the outside world is real. Enraptured devotees swaying their arms up, with a contented smile, to the bhajan ‘Hari sundara nand mukunda’ resembled the newly installed ‘Dancing Fountains’ in the Gurupaduka vanam. I did not want the bhajan to end.

 

Then He spoke!

 

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“When you dance out of love, the divine dances with you. But when you dance behind your desires, you suffer hunger and thirst. It tires you. So, make your desires bigger.”

 

On the day of Durgashtami, everyone should dance. Mother Divine will be pleased.

 

The entire exercise of navaratri rituals was to awaken the energy of the Mother divine in each one of you.

 

Looking majestic in His attire and inimitable twinkle in the eye, Gurudev stood up and started to sway which sent a new surge of energy in the body of the inebriate devotees. His exit to the car did not put a break to the flow of the body of the devotees, scintillating with divine energy.

 

The dancing fountains of joy danced their way to their destinations humming ‘Hari Sundara nand mukunda’ with the satsang singers.

 

The desire to go deeper is becoming more pronounced and I wait ‘patiently and in love’ for Navaratri 2017.

 

Jai Gurudev

 

Leela Ramesh

Art of Living Experiences, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

26 September 2016 will go down in history as a memorable day for many peace-loving people around the world, especially those in Colombia (Latin America). It was that moment when the longest war in the world came to an end with the signing of a peace agreement between the Government of Colombia and the FARC rebels. And Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, humanitarian and spiritual leader from India, one of the Master architects of that conflict resolution played a creative role in bringing peace to that nation.

On that evening, a few of us wished to partake of that celebration in Bengaluru (India), when Vegetarian Fried Ice Cream took the centre stage of our table. I could n`t hide my sweet tooth any longer and reached out for a piece. Deep fried and crispy attracts any Asian`s attention. In this part of the world, our thirst for the deep fried is very well known. Be it human values, wisdom, celebration or news. It`s a near 100%.

 

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As I lobbed that fried ball into my mouth and broke through the deep fried outer, the cool cool Vanilla ice cream that was hidden inside simply melted into my mind.

At this moment I recollected a unique meeting with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar about ten years ago. We were a motley crowd of twenty people sitting in that simple room in his Art of Living headquarters eagerly awaiting his arrival. Gentle breeze swept through us as we were waiting to catch a glimpse and soak in his radiant energy which a billion people seek every year.

He walked into the room fragrant with silence and settled in the sofa that quickly got enveloped with his white robes. He then gestured to us with his hands indicating “What`s happening” ? A cherubic smile and that famous twinkle in his eyes accompanied that graceful gesture. The silence in the room deepened. Even the rustling leaves in the adjoining garden came to a standstill. “What is he going to say?” slowly took hold of my mind.

He then said “ Sometimes people get so stuck with certain fixed concepts and ideas…. hardens them so much… that they just can`t see another point of view. It sometimes takes months and even years for such people to break-free and recognize the wisdom that liberates”.

My jaws dropped as I did see myself in a similar situation a few weeks earlier in that summer of 2006.

Today, I believe that perhaps the warring parties in Colombia had had their first taste of Fried Ice Cream. They finally dared to break through that crisp hard outer that was keeping them away from the cool, inner peace. This was their moment of truth. They Recognized Wisdom towards Freedom. That there exists a certain wisdom beyond their hard-held stated positions for several years. It is here that the Eastern culture and tradition, values and cherishes the role of a Guru (Spiritual Master) to help people to recognize wisdom.

This week, the President of Colombia and leaders of the FARC rebels thanked Sri Sri Ravi Shankar recalling his support and wisdom as the highest contribution to the peace process in their country. It is a well known fact that several governments and peacemakers across the world tried their best over the last fifty years to bring a closure to the deadly conflict, but to no avail.

 

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During the last two years of conflict resolution initiatives in that country, it is said that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar spoke little to bring the actors in the theatre of war in Colombia to a peace-making path. Instead, it was his inner peace, natural sincerity, gentleness and reverence for all of life that `spoke without speaking`.

This I felt was the perfect Recipe to Conflict, as I relished a second helping of Fried Ice Cream celebrating that night of 26 September 2016.

 

Art of Living Experiences, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

Your mind says “Do this”, but `You` want to do something else. You  absolutely positively want a particular thing, but your mind coaxes you to choose another. Society wants it to be “like this”. But you want it to be otherwise. Dad wanted you to become an engineer, but you chose to strum the guitar! You said “Celibacy”; parents said “Better get married”. Government wants to push that law through but Opposition wants it the other way.

A divided mind stares at us every now and then. As an individual, family, society or nation. Call it confusion or conflict. From a Monday morning to the weekend beginning.

This is exactly where you need to know about Spiritual Master Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Meditation and Mediation. Several thousand worldwide do his Happiness programs and reach out for his wisdom to bring a closure to their issues of stress and a divided mind.

Simply put, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has helped people mediate and dissolve issues between their very own self and mind (read: confusion, conflicts) through meditation to instil individual peace.

 

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A Master of meditation. And a Master mediator.

If you thought he `s just a peaceful man. I invite you to look further. He`s a man of peace too. There may be a million peaceful people, but it takes a man of peace to commit and share a peaceful intention, time, energy and wisdom to usefully benefit individuals and nations.

Here I wish to spotlight his incredible mediation and measurable efforts towards a definite closure of the world`s longest war in Colombia (northwest South America).

This is the measure of a man of peace.

That beautiful country and the whole world will celebrate this month- end when the warring factions ink an agreement to sink their differences for lasting peace.

An idea that has quickly caught the imagination of people today, is the way Sri Sri Ravi Shankar lends expression to world peace. Unconditionally sharing his inner peace to the outer world of men and matters, pride and prejudice, confusion and conflict, mind and melancholy.

This sunny Sunday morning I took to writing on this amazing facet of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar because I was a witness to his consistent peace-building and reconciliation initiatives while I was on secondment voluntary service in Colombo, Sri Lanka (Asia). That pretty island – nation was also in a civil war for 30 years that concluded in 2009.

I recollect the enormous time, compassion, spiritual energy and wisdom that he brought to engage the civil society and the actors in the Sri Lankan theatre of war towards peace and prosperity.

In my understanding a key hallmark of his peace initiatives (both individual and worldwide) is that it goes beyond boundaries, transcending tried and tested concepts, beyond the tangible. Mainstreaming meditation and bringing it to the common man, he has rightly enlarged the footprints of peace.

From Colombo to Colombia. The spiritual Master, Meditation and Mediation were the only passengers to peace.

 

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Jai Gurudev !

Vidyut Udiaver