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….

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