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….

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

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.

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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.”

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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..

 

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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).

 

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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! 

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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Celebrating Love,

Leela Ramesh

Art of Living Wisdom, Others.

 Presenting before you a story with a very important moral: Dharma!

Many times in order to impart many valuable lessons to kids and older generation, stories have proven to be very instrumental ! 

 

Dharma and the missing protractor

 

One day, little Raju came home crying, his shirt torn and dirty. Immediately, his mother Meera rushed to console him.

“What is the matter, my child?” she asked. Sobbing inconsolably, Raju said, “Amma, Rohit punched me in school and tore my shirt.”

“Did you do something to make him angry?” Meera asked Raju.

“Well…” mumbled Raju, “Me and some friends were having fun with him. I took his protractor away from him yesterday without his knowledge, so he hit me today.”

 

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“Did anything happen to Rohit because of your ‘joke’?” asked Meera.

Raju nodded. “Rohit’s sister consoled me today after he punched me. She said that he discovered the missing protractor only late at night and so couldn’t complete his Mathematics homework. Since shops were closed by the time Rohit discovered the missing protractor, he couldn’t buy a new one. Because of this, the teacher punished him in school.”

“Well, he had a right to be angry with you, didn’t he?” asked Meera. Seeing fresh tears in her son’s eyes, she added, “Of course, he had no right to hit you!”

“But, Amma, I just took the protractor from Rohit as a joke! I had no idea that he would be punished because of a simple joke,” said Raju.

Meera felt that this was a good time to teach Raju about dharma. She briefly told him the story about Dharmaputra, the eldest of the Pandavas, and how he had to spend time in the forest after losing a game of dice.

“Lord Dharma, who is also called Yama, wanted to test his son Dharmaputra. That is why he came as a Yaksha and decided to question Dharmaputra.”

“I know that story. Grandma told it to me. She said it is called the Yaksha Prashna. Dharmaputra answered all the questions correctly, didn’t he, Amma? I wish that I too can answer all questions that my teacher asks me!”

Meera smiled. “My dear child, anybody who is clever can answer such questions. No, the real test for Dharmaputra was the final question. When all the questions were answered, Dharma told his son that he would let one of his brothers live. Before I tell you Dharmaputra’s answer, let me ask you, my son, if you were Dharmaputra, whom would you have chosen among your brothers?”

Raju was a clever boy. He knew all about the Pandavas and said, “Amma, I would have asked for Arjuna to be brought back to life. He was the bravest of warriors and he deserved to live.”

Meera nodded. “Yes, Raju, there is logic in what you say. But Dharmaputra said that his father, Pandu, had two wives, and he himself was the son of Kunti. So, he felt that, in the interests of dharma, which upholds equality, one of the sons of Madri, Pandu’s second wife, should live. So, he chose Nakula.”

“But Arjuna lived, didn’t he, Amma? Grandma told me about the Bhagawad Gita and how Lord Krishna told Arjuna that he had to fight.”

Meera said, “Pleased with his son, Yama bought back all the slain brothers to life. When you grow older, you can read about the Bhagavat Gita. But know this now and forever-always uphold dharma, or you will pay the price.

Dharma protects when protected. You, in a small way, broke dharma by stealing Rohit’s protractor. No doubt, it was a joke, but you caused pain and anguish to Rohit. As a result, you had to experience pain when he punched you.”

“But I was sorry for what I did! I prayed to Lord Krishna and told Him that I was sorry, but still Rohit hit me! Why didn’t Krishna protect me, Amma? Grandma told me that Lord Krishna is God. Is it not Krishna’s job to protect me?” asked Raju.

“My son, God is impartial and if He doesn’t punish the wicked, then He is partial to somebody. That is why the only safe way is not to harm anybody. God can guide you and teach you how not to harm others. But if you disobey Him and cause pain to others, He will have to punish you.”

“You mean that I should not cause any harm to people at all if I don’t want to face problems?” asked Raju.

“Yes,” said Meera. “In fact, dharma can be described in one line-if you do not want something to happen to you, do not do it to anybody else.”

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