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

It was August 2010. I attended a Long Sudarshan Kriya session in my college BITS Pilani. Post the Long Kriya, my teacher Venkatesh (Venki) mentioned about the Guru Puja course he attended recently and expressed his wish to chant it then. We all closed our eyes and then I heard something so melodious and powerful that I didn’t realize that I meditated for about 25 minutes without any effort. That small experience of nothingness really shook me from inside. Since then, I would always ask Venki to chant Guru Puja whenever we would get a chance and he would gleefully oblige.

 

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It were also these days when I started actively volunteering for Art of Living and slowly started shifting under the umbrella of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Volunteering for the Art of Living courses and witnessing participants from all walks of life effortlessly letting go of their layers; become natural and experience peace brought a lot of admiration and respect for Gurudev. The admiration for Gurudev slowly turned into love and as I started observing Gurudev closely. He was a simple man who walked the talk. It might seem simple to write this out but it is one of the toughest principles a mortal human can adopt into his or her lifestyle. To stick to one’s words and standing by them come what may and working for them be it sunshine or rain is no easy task. That striking authenticity and his unconditional love for people around him made me idolize him and love him in a way that I put him on a pedestal. This aspect is often regarded as “Bhakti” or devotion in India. Yes, I found my master. Sorry! My master found me.

Just like a tea picker goes around in the plantation and choice fully plucks tea leaves, a master goes around and chooses his disciples. Just like a jeweler puts an eye-lens and polishes diamonds, the Guru pulls you up from a pile of stones and polishes you to perfection. He is a veteran crafts-man at work. It is a blessing to have a Guru in your life and this is probably the best thing to have ever happened in my life.

 

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The more I embraced Gurudev, the more I came closer to the tradition of masters and the lineage of masters (Guru Pampara). Thanks to the reading habit I developed when I was very young, I had the chance to read countless stories about many masters who lived in flesh and blood which included – Adi Shankaracharya, Swami Vivekananda, Paramahamsa Yogananda, Shiridi Sai Baba, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Guru Nanak and so on. All the stories had one common thread in common. Wisdom! Wisdom which has been carefully preserved and passed on to the mortal beings over the generations pristine.

A little later, upon the advice of Gurudev I read the Bhagavad Gita – the epic dialogue between Lord Krishna and his pal Arjuna. It is often said that Bhagavad Gita has the answer for every question which has sprouted on this planet. I found Bhagavad Gita to be deeply reflective. Time and again, it reminded me the importance of Wisdom in one’s life and pat came the realization! I had a living master in my life. A master, who travelled 300 days a year, works for 20 hours a day lives out a modest apartment and is tirelessly works for this planet. He symbolizes Wisdom for me. He is the priceless wealth of all the Vedas and Upanishads together for me. He is the embodiment of the nectar of all the Shaastras and books of wisdom mankind has ever written. And another Aha moment happened! Words really fall short to describe this experience!

 

I would always think that there should be something to honor and express our gratitude to this master and the wisdom he has bestowed upon us. Like Thanksgiving day in US and Sankranti in India! During Navaratri 2012, I heard an announcement about Guru Puja course which on completion entitles one to chant the Guru Puja – a song which honors the lineage of masters who have walked the planet and have carefully preserved the knowledge and passed it onto the humans through generations. Another short course which follows this enables us to perform the Guru Puja – a short Puja which symbolises all the beautiful things the Divine does to us.

Traditional yet powerful, Guru Puja is one of the most exquisite experiences one can have.

How I learnt Guru Puja …

 

I wanted to register for the October 2012 batch of Guru Puja and couldn’t due to leave problems in office. I patiently waited for March 2013 and the leave problem sprung up again. Oh! Some more waiting! Longing does good as they say! Come October 2013 and the Guru Puja Phase-1 was announced again. This time, my manager then Bharathy Harish (also my senior at College BITS Pilani) gladly agreed! . Guru Puja course (both phases) are conducted by Bhanumathi Narasimhan or Bhanu Didi as we affectionately call her, who is the very own sister of Gurudev. Bhanu Maa has this undying smile on her face and is very loving & caring to everyone around her. I think she gets this quality from her brother. One of the most earliest memories with her is the her Satsang in Winter Break in 2009 with chartbuster bhajans in her melodious voice loaded with devotion which would put some of the most trained singers also to shame.

 

Guru Puja Phase 1

 

Every day in Guru Puja Phase-1, we would arrive in the Visalakshi Mantap and chanted and practised the verses of Guru Puja repeating after Bhanu Maa multiple times. The chanting sessions would often be sandwiched between these beautiful stories and very own stories of Gurudev. The icing on the cake would be the Guru Puja every afternoon Bhanu Maa would perform. 2 minutes into the Puja and finish! I would slip into meditation and would probably open my eyes after 30 minutes. Going beyond time! It was an astronomical explosion of Sattva! Post lunch, there would be more chanting sessions followed by Satsang and then later more stories post Dinner after which would retire to our rooms. The chanting sessions were so intoxicating. We could feel that electric energy and the deep cleansing inside us erasing our slate clean. The Guru Puja Phase-1 ended only so that we could come back after 6 months for our Phase-2 which would qualify us as Guru Puja Pandits and allow us to perform the powerful Guru Puja. The next 6 months, I would chant the Guru Puja everyday and I would notice how handy it would be to calm the mind and relax. And of course, it was a beautiful way to feel grateful

 

Guru Puja Phase 2

 

Came February 2014, the Guru Puja Phase-2 arrived and coincided with Valentines Day! Ya I was spending time with my Valentine – my Gurudev. I performed my first Guru Puja. Tears of gratitude rolled out helplessly. After 3 days of learning to perform the Guru Puja again with Bhanu Maa herself along with some many more amazing stories. Every time we had a chance we would perform a Puja because the ending of the Puja would have Bhajans by Bhanu Maa and it would be an excuse for all of us to make her sing. It was a thick waft of divine energy all around us to perform the Guru Puja collectively multiple times a day. Another burst of energy clubbed with so many memories with friends around! One memorable course ended! Another course began – a course of taking positivity to people by performing Guru Pujas.

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Since then, I have performed Guru Puja every time I was blessed with an opportunity by the Divine in my house, at houses of my friends and other volunteers of Art of Living. Guru Puja is a ceremonial Puja at every occasion in my house – birthday, anniversary, celebration, festival and also times when you would feel low and need some real inspiration and energy. And I can see in live how people around me would relax and rejoice in themselves during the Guru Puja.

It is my personal recommendation to everyone reading this to experience Guru Puja to learn to chant Guru Puja. It is a lifetime experience to share this experience with many millions around our beautiful planet. Those moments of Guru Puja are precious! They are intimate sprinkled with love, joy, peace and unparalleled happiness. And a splendid opportunity to thank the Master in our lives

 

You can also listen & perform Guru Puja with Bhanu Didi Live from her Facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/Bhanumathi.Narasimhan/  on 9th July , 2016 7:00 Pm on-wards IST

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Sri Sri Gurucharana Kamalebhyo Namaha!

Jai Guru Dev!

Surya Tej Borra

About Art of Living, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Yoga and Meditation.

Yoga is an ancient Spiritual practice which has benefited mankind immensely. Many yogis have brought the attention of the world towards Yoga. From a long time now, many yoga institutions have been formed and millions of people have taken up the practice on various levels in nearly every country of the world. Appealing to everyone, Yoga has been very popular world over.

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The International Yoga Day is a recognition of this ancient spiritual practice. Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji initiated and Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji voiced for implementation of International Yoga Day. Thus, the draft resolution establishing the International Day of Yoga was proposed by India and endorsed by a record 175 member states. The proposal was introduced by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji in his address during the opening of the 69th session of the General Assembly and recognising its universal appeal, on 11th December 2014, the United Nations proclaimed 21st June as International Yoga Day.

 

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Last year, on this same day (i.e. 21st June) the iconic Times Square turned into Yoga Square when about 30,000 yoga enthusiasts joined in with Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji to perform the ancient spiritual practice and celebrate the first UN International Yoga Day.

 

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We all know yoga is the key to happy life, it brings an equilibrium between mind & body and has never been alien to us. It’s a way of our life. We have been doing it since we were a baby! The word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word “Yuj” which means “to unite or integrate”.

 

As I sat remembering the last years’ events of International Day of Yoga, the pictures of various countries & people participating in the Yoga day celebrations all over the world, I realised that this event not only brought more awareness about Yoga among people far and wide but also brought together many nationalities together to celebrate the way of life. People, irrespective of country, community, language, gender came together to celebrate The International Day of Yoga! In true sense Yoga united everyone.

 

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Thus this day started a new practice of celebrating Yoga! It has become an occasion where people get together celebrate & be grateful for this age old practice that has been benefiting generations after generations.

On 21st June 2016, second anniversary of the International Yoga Day, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji will inaugurate the International Day of Yoga at the European Parliament. He will be the Chief Guest and lead MEPs and staff through a guided meditation, when for the first time the Parliament’s Yehudi Menuhin Hall will turn into a big Yoga Space. Join us for Live webcast on www.artofliving.org/webcast from 03:45 pm IST onwards.

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As Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji says, the Sun Never sets on Yoga. How true! And now I can see the Sun rising and Yoga uniting everyone world over.

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

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar whom we fondly call as Gurudev was returning to the German Ashram from Caracas, Venezuela. However, due to unavailability of a direct flight to Frankfurt, he landed in Paris before going to the Ashram.
Sri Sri In Paris
It was a surprise visit for all Parisians. It also happened to be Gurudev’s birthday according to the Hindu calendar. So a surprise Satsang with a cake was planned in the hotel where he was staying. At around 6 pm, about 150 people had gathered, who had about 1 hour notice to reach the venue. It was a beautiful, intimate Satsang and birthday party. One of the volunteers asked Gurudev, “How did this plan for Paris come up?”. It seemed like a very mundane question.
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Here’s what Gurudev said: “There are plans at many levels. There is a Room plan, what colour to paint the walls, where to keep the flower vase? Then there is a House plan, Street plan, City plan, Country plan and so on at various levels of detail. The biggest plan is that we are all here at the same time, one in Saudi Arabia, one in Germany, one in Bangalore….but we are all here now. When and where we meet is the next level of planning. Often what we think is planned is not the real plan and what we don’t plan for, is the plan!
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Few months back, I went on an unplanned trip to Himachal Pradesh in India. I had gone to inaugurate a power plant and was supposed to return to Delhi by helicopter. Somehow, the helicopter had a problem, some valve was not okay. After trying three times to start it, the pilot said he did not want to take a risk anymore. So we decided to proceed by car. On the way, we stopped at a residence where there were close to 500 people waiting to meet me. There was an 80 year old lady in that house who shared that she really wanted to come and see me but could not because her health did not permit it. She was so grateful and happy that I came to her house. We then went to another house for lunch. There was a 3 year old child in that house who had been saying since 3 months back that Gurudev is coming to our house in March. Nobody paid attention to her but I was there in that house on the 2nd of March! So, looks like perhaps this was the plan :)”
At this point a lady in the satsang in Paris shared,” Gurudev, Even I had a dream yesterday that I was sitting with you and sharing a meal!” Gurudev had just given her a piece of cake to eat 🙂
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Best part in this Guru story is : I was lucky one to be with Gurudev on this trip and He inaugurated my power plant and the 3 year old child is none other than my younger daughter.
Rajiv Batra

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

I am a reader. Not an ordinary one let me warn you. I absorb my books, till they are ready to give up on me.

I got into spirituality at a young age, but I never believed in reading books on the subject. To me spirituality was a personal experience. You cannot read through knowledge. You listen, understand, live, experience and then eventually if you agree with it, you imbibe it.

One of my spiritual teachers recommended this book to me, Celebrating Silence by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, shortly after I had come to realize my spiritual path and calling. But, I did not really want to read it, because I simply “knew” what it was about! Was’nt I already living each day in the same knowledge? It was only recommended to me to further illuminate that concept.

But, like I always say, My books find me, they choose me, “Celebrating Silence” just came to me, and I couldn’t ignore reading it any more. Once I started on this marvellous journey of celebrating the moments I spent with the book…there was no looking back. Each moment was euphoric!

Celebrating Silence is not only a compilation of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s knowledge, it is an answer to dilemmas of each living soul, whether spiritual or not. The book opened knots and strains in my mind, slowly, one after the other, and elated my soul to a journey of bliss. So many questions, unanswered, unattended to, were silenced. Like the name suggests, I was celebrating my journey with it, in totality, I complete silence.

It could be categorized as a modern “self-help book” for those who do not connect to spirituality. The insights Sri Sri Ravi Shankar shares about how we can naturally transform our lives if we are open to it and accept it, comes as a stark contradiction to traditional self help approaches that suggest we must do more to experience change in our lives.

For spiritual souls like me, it is a meditative experience. Many a times, as you read you would want to just close your eyes, and be with the knowledge. It disconnected me with the noise outside, and connected me to my inner silence, and the beauty of it. I looked forward to coming back to it. There were times when I felt, this knowledge is not really for me, but I just don’t want to let the words surpass me. I just went with the trust that, simply “planting the seeds” will enable them to sprout when the time is right for them to unfold. And believe you me, I was so right! The knowledge points come to me when I need them, or I go back to them seeking solutions whenever I want to.

Celebrating Silence, tends to support, encourage, and gives insight, to pursue real transformation with faith. If everybody in the world could fully live what Sri Sri Ravi Shankar teaches in just the first half of this book, our world would be a far more developed, compassionate, and transformed place.

I sincerely wish that everybody who has a passion for personal transformation, spiritual or non, reads this book. I also recognize that this is a book that I will read again and again over the years, and always get something new out of it to take me deeper and further into my silent soulful celebration!

Celebrating Silence

 

In service

Anamika Khosla

 

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

Before, am judged for taking sides, let me make it clear, that I am here-taking up your mind space, not to offend my professional fraternity (the media) nor to defend my personal loyalties (The Art of Living).

It has been few weeks since The World Culture Festival in Delhi drew to a close. Like everything else, time has eaten up this event too. The media however, has found numerous headlines from the event. They’ve tweeted vociferously and ensured that the event reached every home of the country. The portfolio of NGO’s and work they claim to do as well as the urgent need to clean and revive a dying Yamuna river was the talk at every breakfast table. From a third person perspective, it is fun to read leading newspapers report extremely opposite views about the same event, from the very same location. And am so grateful I wasn’t in that uncomfortable situation that Ayurvati & Parvateshwar were in – having to choose between their job & their Lord (Oath of the Vayuputras- remember).

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6 years as a journalist, 4 years into Corporate communications, many continents travelled, many events attended I must admit- all the chaos besides – the event per se was magnificent. It was jaw dropping to watch 37000 artists on a 50 feet high floating stage, 7 acre in width, complete with special effect lights. Performers from world over, bringing with them, sights and sounds of their cultures, costumes, musical instruments, dances and good wishes. What a dramatic & impressive platform it was!

 

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The audiences were enthused. They had travelled to Delhi from far and wide; walked into a huge event venue and made their way to the earmarked enclosures. Ever since the names of delegates and globetrotting celebrities who were going to attend the event had been made public, I knew there would be a stampede, I’ve seen it at every event I’ve attended; people clamouring for an autograph and now a selfie! What I saw here was mind boggling, a crowd so well-behaved, more so when an entire galaxy of stars have descended. No one broke out of the enclosures, no one yelled or screamed, everyone just sang and danced together and hollered for encores of course!

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The discipline of the performers was truly exemplary: no matter how electrifying the energy, or how hard the hail storm, not one moved from their place and ensured that the performances went on as scheduled. The moment that stole my heart was right at beginning on Day 1. It rained, some say nature played spoil sport. Some others say that the Gods showered their blessings. I only saw the determination, grit and enthusiasm of the performers. Over a 1000 Dhangari Dhol performers from Kolhapur danced in bliss as the chants of ‘Jai Jai Ram Krishna Hari’ reverberated in the air. Drenched, on a wet stage, 1700 Kathak performers exhibited impeccable footwork as the audiences applauded and demanded an encore.

 

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Beyond it all, stood the man who was the inspiration for so many people gathered at the venue, the person responsible for an event of this scale to be imagined and executed. I saw Gurudev (as He is fondly called) Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji standing on a raised dais, beside Indian Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi ji, waving to the audiences and performers. Beyond the rousing welcome He received, I saw Him standing drenched and soaked to the bone, smiling and welcoming audiences and dignitaries alike. Here was someone who walked the talk. The devotees, audiences, artists, performers, organisers were drenched in the rains, how could He not show solidarity with them. And before someone decides to troll me just because Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was drenched and expressing solidarity with the others at this event, let me clarify that this is not just one instance. I am sure that the devotees have more to share. I am just sharing what I saw and experienced.

 

 

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Of course, walking the venue was not easy. But given the size of the event, it was never going to be simple. Even lesser was finding parking or getting to the venue. But then, right from simple wedding celebrations to Bollywood performances, we in India have almost always had a problem with venue, parking, people management. For the scale of the free for all event (3.75 million people), we’ve had no stampede, just a few cases of pick pocketing or lost and found FIRs, no accidents, no brawl, I think it is beyond just commendable. The volunteers who’ve stood in rain and shine deserve their credit and does the inspiration behind it all.

 

Shwetal Rai

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

When I think about my time at the World Culture Festival in Delhi, and savor the memories, the feeling that stands out, is the feeling of AWE and WONDER and PEACE. What I experienced was nothing less than magic!

 

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The magic, which drew millions from all over the world, from all religions, from all strata, from all walks of life. The magic of the magnificently huge, beautiful 7 acre stage that stood just on plates.  It was the magic of commitment and tireless work of the volunteer organizers who made an event on the scale of Olympics possible in India. It was the magic of over 36000 musicians, dancers, singers happily performing on the grand stage, rain or shine!

 

Singers

 

It was delightful to be in the ocean of beautiful people. I’ve never been in large crowds without witnessing tension & tempers, except for Art of Living events. I’ve been to dozens of Art Of Living events over the last 4 years or so, and without exception they showcase best human behaviour. World Culture Festival was the largest event I ever attended in my life, and I felt like I was out on a picnic with my family, more than ever before.

 

Family

 

Now, imagine this scene where we put together millions of people, add some cold rain and long but slow walks through little mud & slush, and you might expect little impatience, elbowing, maybe a bit of stress, temper or frayed nerves. However, what I actually witnessed was the polar opposite, where people were gliding along like swans with poise as if they were in the lap of luxury and enjoy the whole show!

If you are watching something on TV keenly, and people keep popping up in your view continuously for 4 hours, you’re likely to lose your temper isn’t it? Not so at the World Culture Festival! There was so much positive energy. The viewers were politely asking the obstructors and that too without losing patience! There was a divine hand guiding and guarding this event for sure. On the inaugural day, just as the event began, we had rainfall as well as little winds.

Most of us did not carry umbrellas, so we were drenched but then, I saw many people dancing, and some meditating and some even said what an auspicious blessing to have “Amrut Varsha”.  Within sometime of cold shower, the sun broke out of the clouds, rain stopped, and there was a beautiful rainbow across the stage! May be it was Nature’s contribution to decorate the stage!!!

 

Polish Amrut varsha

 

It was a moving and beautiful moment, and I was grateful.

And in the midst of it all, I was moved to see a young couple from abroad, carrying a baby girl, who was probably no more than 2 months old. The baby is certainly blessed to be in the middle of overflowing divine grace!

 

Couple With Kid

 

There must have been thousands of volunteers working hard behind the scenes to make this grand event possible. I thank them for this wonderful experience. The ones I had a direct interaction with were those who organized the stay and transportation for many of us. I salute them for that. I truly felt as a member of one big family, they made special arrangement to ensure our breakfast and dinner was available without fail, and took care to contact each one of us to ensure that no one was left behind.

Behind everything that happened, behind every volunteer, behind every experience, behind all the magic, behind all the goodwill is the unmistakable hand and Grace of Divine.

 

Gurudev at WCF

 

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has been constantly teaching and inspiring the world to make everyday a celebration. The World Culture Festival was just a way to show us an example of celebration, and he specially showed us that challenges will be part of life and despite that, we can still joyfully celebrate together as one humanity.

 

Jai Gurudev

Tej Arora

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

The Dhangar (Dhangad) are a herding caste of people primarily located in the Indian state of Maharashtra. The Dhangri Dhol is the Drum of the shepherd clan in Maharashtra. The Drums also come out during their New Year known as the Gudi Padva.

About 1100 Dhangaris beat their drums during the World Culture Festival. The Co-ordinators & the Dholwadaks from various locations who had come to the World Culture Festival share with us their experiences

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The Dhangari Dhol program became part of World Culture Festival at the express behest of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Himself ! I was fortunate to lead the project and our entire team was single-minded driven by Gurudev’s wish to have the resplendent colours of saffron, yellow and whites playing the traditional Dhangari Dhol of Maharashtra in praise of Lord Vitthal Birdev (Shiva-Narayana). We were honoured to be given the privilege of inaugurating the World Culture Festival with the Dhol program too.
The sight of the 1100 Dhol artists performing despite the rain and welcoming the rainbow was touching to the heart. It was indeed a daunting task to get all these 1100 artists to practice together in Kolhapur for weeks before World Culture Festival, arrange their travel, attire, stay and food arrangements in Delhi and keep them in good humour during the World Culture Festival. But with Gurudev’s abundant grace, everything happened perfectly and beautifully without any hitch. The Gobind Sadan Gurudwara in Delhi hosted the artists for all the 3 days and provided sumptuous food. The Indian Railways sanctioned a special train for Dhangari Dhol artists from Kolhapur to Delhi and back. All this is pure grace.
We were amazed to know a few days before the World Culture Festival that the “Bhaknuk” (leader of the Dhangari community who makes future predictions) had predicted a year ago that Dhangari Dhol artists shall carry their saffron flags to Delhi lead by a great Guru. We knew we were part of a historic and extraordinary happening : something which Gurudev had planned Himself.
Our 7-members core team comprising of Mansing, Vinayak, Shekhar, Prashant, Dimple, Vijay Hakay and myself were like the Saptasura of music which worked in symphony composed by the Master conductor Gurudev Himself.  My heart is overwhelmed with joy and gratitude to Gurudev for giving me this wonderful opportunity to be HIS instrument and make it happen. Jai Gurudev ! “
-Rajashree Patil

 

When the world culture festival was announced, the mind could not perceive the magnanimity of this historic event.  I was a part of the coordination of Dangari Dhol performance of 1100 artists from a simple background known as Dhangars – the shepherd community of Maharashtra.  They are very simple, innocent, and devoted villagers.

We had so many challenges bringing 1100 people together and I wonder how Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji managed to pull off an event of 36,000 plus artists on one stage! What really moved me was in spite of the heavy rains on the first day of the event, no one budged from their seats, neither the artists nor the audience. The artists gave overwhelming performances with such zeal that it almost seemed like the rain was a part of their performance.

What left me dumb stricken was that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar also stood there fully drenched.  We were almost a group of 2000 people from Kolhapur who attended the World Culture Festival.  My inbox is full of messages thanking me for inspiring them to be a part of this spectacular event.

— Dimple Gajwani, Co-ordinator- Dhangari Dhol, Kolhapur

 

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It was a dream-come-true to be a part of the World Culture Event. We have never thought that we could fulfill such a big task. This was only possible by Gurudev’s grace and blessings. It was a big and tough challenge to take such illiterate, innocent shepherd community to a big city like Delhi and make them perform at such a big global platform with the help of my 100 colleagues. I feel very proud and happy to be a part of such a “Bhooto Na Bhavishati” kind of an event.

— Prashant Patil, Co-ordinator, Kasaba Bawada

 

By Gurudev’s grace, we got a chance to show our talent to perform Dhangar Dhol at such a grand event so we are very thankful to Art of Living Foundation. We came to experience how true is the concept of Vasudhaiva Kudumbakam came to know about art and culture of 155 countries. Through this event, Gurudev has given our 1000 Dhangari Dhol performers to perform for the world peace. We were truly amazed to be a part of such a huge and grand event. Gurudev has done this job to bring simple people like us on this global platform. Once again, we are very much thankful to Gurudev and the whole Art of Living Foundation.

— Biru Oma Pujari, Dholwadak

 

Gurudev has given us such a global platform to our Dhangar Community and we are very thankful. We are highly amazed to experience this event.  Even in our seven generations, we have not experienced such a grand event. We are very honoured to be a part of such a huge and grand event of this World Culture Festival. We and even our next generations will always feel very proud and honoured for it.

–Agnu Lavate, Dholwadak, Ichalkaranji

 

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

The Queen of the string instruments – The Veena, is all set to reign the country on March 19th 2016. In a spectacular initiative to mark the closing ceremony of the World Culture Festival (New Delhi, March 11th-13th), an estimated 2,000 Veena musicians are all set to shower grand musical notes at the Naadotsav program to be held at the Art of Living`s International Centre in Bengaluru, India.

 

The sound of the Veena is known to positively help the cardiovascular system while promoting a sense of gratitude, compassion and sacrifice.

 

This rare event to be held in the presence of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar founder of the Art of Living, is also expected to see a mammoth crowd of over 1.5 lakh people attending the event.   Veena enthusiasts from India and around the world have marked their calendars to witness the event in all its glory. All the participating maestros and reputed artists are drawn from all over India, while most of them are from the five south Indian States of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra and Telangana.

 

Soulful renditions by the 2,000 artists promise to be one of the best evening`s under the stars. What more can one say when the Queen of the string instrument reigns? All her citizens, aficionado’s, subjects, well-wishers and ministers simply melt, tugged at their heartstrings. That`s the beauty and grace of the Veena.

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Jai Gurudev

Vidyut Udiaver

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

The World Culture Festival 2016 is a celebration of the Art of Living’s 35 years of service to humanity. The festival will bring together people from different cultures, nations, and faiths as a one world family in a resounding message of peace. 

But there are few known & unknown facts about this cultural extravaganza called the World Culture Festival.

  • Over 35,000 artists will showcase different art forms through 66 performances.
  • The World’s largest symphony with 8,500 musicians with 50 musical instruments, nine compositions will be led by Chitra Roy, a name synonymous with excellence in music.
  • Enacting the palanquin procession from the Vari, these 600 Mridangam players will add rhythm to the chanting of the various hyms sung and played during the Vari.
  • Under the choreographic direction of Padma Vibhushan Pt Birju Maharaj, the living legend of Kathak, 1700 dancers will present to you the sounds of nature.
  • Patricia Sosa, the famous Argentine singer; and the members of the So What Project! Who conduct ‘Yoga Rave’, with more than 500 musicians gracing the stage dressed in colourful ponchos, playing drums and guitar.
  • 1500 Garba dancers will leave you applauding for more.
  • The 1250 Mohinis will perform Mohiniattam
  • A storm of 60 Kathakali dancers, known for their large and elaborate makeup and costumes, will take to the stage and enact a story from the Legend of King Mahabali.
  • The 200+ drummers will help you unite with the rhythm of life, helping you connect with Mother Earth.
  • 1250 dancers will present before you Dashavatar, a famous piece of Odissi Dance on the ten
    incarnations of Vishnu.
  • The 370 performers before you will dance to the Samala beat – a rhythm expressing celebration with a touch of romance. This is a dance from Sikkim and Darjeeling
  • 1150 Dhangars beat their drums as they echos the Mother Nature.
  • The team of 150 artists will present Brahmastra that features an episode from the Ramakien,
    the Thai epic adapted from the Indian epic Ramayana
  • Naadswaram is a classical instrument; while listening to these 50 charmers; the rhythm will draw you into the exotic strains of !
  • 1150 Bhangra dancers dancing to Dhol (Drums), Alghoza (a pair of woodwind instruments), and Girdha will get your prana flowing.
  • 1150 Panthi dancers will perform before you to carry you away into devotion with their unique steps and rhythms.
  • The 300 vibrant, soulful, Russian dancers warm up the stage!
  • 60 Kiwis will lend their voices in a chorus to a song that speaks on the importance of self-reflection, that we are essentially one spirit experiencing human birth.
  • 75 dancers will bring to you a combination from Bali and Batavia dance
  • 125 Mongolians do the Biyelgee– the dance movements which symbolically express aspects of Mongolian herders’ everyday lifestyle
  • Kathak rangayan : Under the choreography of Padma Vibhushan Pt Birju Maharaj, 1700 dancers will present sound of nature.
  • Bharatnatyam : Oldest, most traditional classical dance style 1700 dancers describing Shiva and praising Guru!
  • The performance by 138 artists from Japan is a wonderful combination depicting acrobats and cheerleading.
  • Latin fire for peace! Mix of traditional latin folk rhythms from Native aboriginal chants to Afro Latin music by Ignacio Escribano, Particia Sosa, Yoga rave and more than 500 musicians playing drums n guitar!
dhangri

 

See You There !!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Delhi has 22 drains carrying 2500 million litres of waste and polluted water into Yamuna river daily. One of the drains popularly known as Bara Pullah drain emanates near Ashoka Hotel and flows through Lakshmi Bai Nagar, Defence Colony, Lajpat Nagar, Kale Khan, Bara Pullah and merges into Yamuna River. All these drains emit deadly gases and foul smell.

With the blessing of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji, a project to clean Bara Pullah drain was undertaken in October’15 through Ecozyme; (an Enzyme). Awareness was created among the Art of Living volunteers, public and in schools/colleges and method of preparation was explained to them. It is totally organic and prepared with brown sugar, kitchen green waste and water over a period of three months. By Feb’16, The Art of Living volunteers and other enthusiasts prepared about 15,000 litres of Ecozyme. One litre can clean 1,000 litres of waste water, so it is expected that 15,000 litres of Ecozyme will clean 1.5 crores litres of waste water in Bara Pullah drain.

Pouring of Ecozyme commenced on Feb. 16, 2016 near Bara Pullah. Daily data is as under

 

table

 

Pouring Enzyme dated Feb. 16, 2016(60 ltrs)

Pouring Enzyme dated Feb. 16, 2016 (60 ltrs)

Pouring Enzyme dated Feb. 18, 2016(500 ltrs)

Pouring Enzyme dated Feb.18, 2016 (500 ltrs)

Experience 

After 6 days of pouring Ecozyme into the drain, foul smell has started reducing in the drain. As soon as Ecozyme is poured, bubbles start coming out in the drain. It is the reaction with heavy metals and chemicals and decomposing process.

Secondly, the workers constructing floating bridge on Yamuna near World Culture Festival venue; which is about one km down the stream from the pouring point felt that there was lesser foul smell and they could sleep in better air.

Thirdly, amazing experience was that birds / ducks have started coming to that area. Cattles who dared not to enter any drain in Delhi have started entering Barapullah drain. The pictures shown here are taken on March 2. They show a bird enjoying sitting over a buffalo. It happened when these birds/ducks sought fish or insects in the water as their food. In fact fish/insects will appear only when polluted water is getting cleaner.

Full view of Barapullah Drain with bridge over it (Dated March 2, 2016)

Full view of Barapullah Drain with bridge over it (Dated March 2, 2016)

Slide4

Bird enjoying sitting over buffalo in the drain (Dated March 2, 2016)

Jai Gurudev !

More Detailed Report here