Art of Living Experiences.

Guru Purnima – The day of the devotee to express gratitude, love and respect to the Guru and also to review our life and measure the spiritual growth from one Guru Purnima to another.

How to express the inexpressible?! That is the question. However, I go with the ‘spontaneous flow of powerful feelings’ and offer my gratitude to Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji on this auspicious day of Guru Purnima.

From a very young age, I have been aware of an unseen loving hand holding me and carrying me in my most difficult times. I have been witness to things just working out in an unimaginably miraculous way during impossible times! I realized early in life that if one has ‘Daivabala’ (Gods Grace) no harm can come to us if we have purity of heart.

I lost my younger brother, who was my pillar of support, in 1998. I found it hard to reconcile. Life was unfair. I started composing sad poems questioning God and drifted into depression. Romantic and patriotic poems which were hitherto my forte took a back seat.

Soon, Gurudev came into my life. One of my friends told me about our Art of Living basic course as it was then called. On the same day, my husband was also told about the course in his office. We thought it was no coincidence. We attended the program together. During ‘Eye Gazing’ process, tears flowed from my eyes. There was no difference between one person and another. My brother was in each and every pair of eyes I gazed into. I had bought a one way ticket to the Art of Living!

The tears would flow every morning after the Sudarshan Kriya. I would ask my brother silently, “Why did you leave this beautiful world?” and then console him saying “Don’t worry about anything. All will be taken care of. You just relax”. One night he appeared in my dream looking so peaceful and healthy, wearing pure white Kurta pyjama, which I have never seen him wearing in real life, and said, “If you keep grieving for me constantly, how can I relax?” I realized I was disturbing him and decided not to bring him to my realm of existence. I knew he was happy.

Rest is history. My husband and I have made seva our priority in life.


Guru Purnima special

I cannot say I have always had good time after the Art of Living. But, because of tough times I have been able to appreciate joy in totality.

I have not become any richer, materialistically speaking, nor have I become famous or powerful in a worldly sense. But I have also realized the peace and freedom one can enjoy when one is not famous or powerful.


I am aware of the indestructible power one gets when one takes responsibility.
I am able to differentiate between my ‘wants’ and ‘needs’. I feel secure in the knowledge that I will be given what is needed at the right time.

I don’t feel the need to prove anything to anybody. I educate and drop and move on.

Because I am moving from ‘ What about me’ to ‘ What about others’ I am fearless. Yes, Gurudev has made me fearless.

I have learnt to value love above everything else seeing Him shower unconditional love.
I feel I am loved uniquely by my Master, more than my parents have ever loved me!
Thank you Gurudev, for making my life an eternal celebration.

On this Guru Purnima, I offer my every breath to work for Your vision, and wait patiently and in love for the day to meet myself!

I promise.


.Jai Guru Dev!

Art of Living Wisdom, Uncategorized.

I feel I am very fortunate to have been born with the music karma. I can remember my teenage afternoons listening to the Vividh Bharti on the transistor glued to my ear as everyone else in the family took the afternoon siesta. If I liked a new song, a fast motion activity of grabbing pen & paper to jot down the lyrics was sure to follow.

Decades later, when I returned after meeting my spiriutal Master Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji for the first time in my first Advanced Meditation Program with Him in 1994; I discovered something very profound within me.

Tere jalwe ab mujhe har soo nazar aane lage,
kash ye bhi ho, ke mujh men tu nazar aane lage…

As this ghazal played on my tape, I was amazed to find that as I am singing along, I am dedicating the words to the divine. The days that followed, saw me listening to Chitra Roy ji’s bhajans with goose bumps & uncontrollable tears of gratitude & a surge of emotions I couldn’t name. At the end of it, I would be completely still, hollow & empty. On a lighter note, if at all I attain salvation; it is going to be through ‘naad’! Later, I read in the book, Narad Bhakti Sutra by Guru Dev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar that when devotion dawns in you, even a film song becomes an expression of love to the Divine.

Since then, I have been dedicating countless songs to the Divine just like so many of us. The song that I have chosen to write about stunned me when I heard it first! To me, this piece of art is heart wrenching, full of love, longing & gratitude. That is the way my heart listened to it. This phenomenal song has happened to the lyricist, the composers, the singer & TO ME!!!

It’s – Abhi mujh men kahin baki thodi-si hai zindagi from the movie Agnipath by Sonu Nigam.

This song emerges from the heart when the devotee finally gets to have a sight of the Divine after going through an elongated longing till the ultimate point of end.

Abhi Mujh Mein Kahin, Baaki Thodi Si Hai Zindagi
Jagi Dhadkan Nayi, Jaana Zinda Hoon Main Toh Abhi

The time stops. Nothing exists except the vast present moment. It says,

Kuch Aisi Lagan Iss Lamhe Mein Hai
Yeh Lamha Kahaan Tha Mera…

That ‘lamha’ as in that ‘moment’ is so full, so perfectly perfect with all the chaos around! And we simply don’t know what to do when He appears. There is ecstasy, there are tears of love, a desire to reach out to Him, hug Him, talk to Him!!! That boundless joy is expressed so well in these lines –

<strongAb Hai Saamne, Isse Chhoo Loon Zara
Marr Jaaun Ya Jee Loon Zara
Khushiyaan Choom Loon
Ya Ro Loon Zara
Marr JaaunYa Jee Loon Zara

 Guru Purnima - gratitude

The divine becomes synonymous with the present moment, which is vast, full of love & compassion. Healing from age old wounds, that is what happens in presence of the Master!  A glance gives so much solace to the heart & soul as if the self, burning in scorching heat gets a cool shelter from a shady tree. That is what the first stanza of this immensely mellifluous song is all about.

Dhoop Mein Jalte Hue Tann Ko, Chhaya Pedh Ki Mil Gayi
Roothe Bacche Ki Hansi Jaise, Phuslaane Se Phir Khil Gayi
Kuch Aisa Hi Ab Dil Ko Mehsoos Ho Raha Hai
Barson Ke Puraane Zakhmon Pe Marham Laga Sa Hai
Kuch Aisa Rehem, Iss Lamhe Mein Hai…

The second verse of the song perfectly depicts our state of mind before the Art of Living Happiness Program. Those who have graduated with the Program know that it is all about handling our minds with help of the breath in a technique called Sudarshan Kriya. We often give the example of the kite & the thread to explain the mechanism of mind & breath respectively. Our skill to handle the thread makes the kite go up in the air. Without being aware about the direction in which the life was going before meeting the Master; one is stuck with the daily events of life. After meeting HIM, all the other bondages – ‘bandhan’ fall off. The vision becomes larger & instead of being entangled in the events of life, focus is shifted to the concern for the mankind, the universe!

Dor se tooti patang jaisi, thi ye zindagani meri
Aaj ho kal ho mera naa ho
Har din thi kahani meri
Ek bandhan naya peechhe se abb mujhko bulaaye
Aanewaley kalki kyun fikar mujhko satajaaye
Ek aisi chubhan iss lamhe me hai…

The sweet pain of longing is worth yearning for. It gives you the most precious gift – Infinite Joy of Gratitude.

Art of Living Wisdom.

“A Guru does not simply stuff you with knowledge, but kindles life force in you; a Guru invokes intelligence in you,” these lines by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar stand absolutely true for each one of us. We consider Guru Purnima to be a day of the Master, but in reality; it is a day of the disciple. The Master-DiscipGuru Purnima Sri Sri Ravi Shankar-1le relationship has been a part of the Indian culture since time immemorial.

The relationship between Krishna and Arjuna, Vashistha and Rama are examples of the Guru-Shishya (Master-Disciple) relationship.

The Upanishads have indicated that there are 5 signs of being with a Master; knowledge flows, sorrow diminishes, joy wells up for no reason, talents come up, shortage disappears and one experiences abundance in life. When a Guru enters your life, seeking stops and blossoming begins. That is why it is said, ‘Na GurorAdhikam, Na GurorAdhikam, Na GurorAdhikam’, there is nothing greater than a Guru, because a Guru is an embodiment of all that is greatest. An Acharya gives Shiksha, meaning knowledge, but a Guru gives Deeksha, meaning the pinnacle of awareness. A Guru does not only give information but raises intelligence.

Guru Purnima Sri Sri Ravi Shankar - 3

Life is incomplete without spiritual knowledge and spiritual knowledge is incomplete without a living example that walks the talk. The full moon of the month of July is celebrated to recognize all those who have walked the path of knowledge and have inspired others to do so, in the past, present and future. The day of Guru Purnima is dedicated to the masters and teachers who have contributed to the peace, prosperity and happiness of our planet.

As Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says, “It is the day, when the disciple wakes up in his fullness and in the wakefulness; he can’t be, but grateful. The purpose of Guru Purnima celebrations is to review how much one has evolved on the spiritual path in the previous year and to renew one’s progress, determination and focus on the goal.”

A story in the puranas says that, the Lord of the Universe had a son and he wanted to send his son to school. So, the little boy went to school and the teacher started teaching him the alphabets. The child said, “Teach me the highest first!” The teacher was baffled.He said, “I can teach you only alphabets, I am a nursery school teacher.” The little boy was persistent, he said, “No, teach me the highest first!” The teacher took the boy back to his father, Shiva and said, “I can’t teach your son. He knows more than me. He wants to learn the highest first, I myself do not know.” Shiva, who is considered to be the first Guru, looked at the little boy and said, “If you know, then teach me, tell me the highest. What is the meaning of Om?” The boy said, “I know the meaning.” Shiva said, “Then tell me.” The boy replied, “I can’t tell you like this, you have to put me in the place of a Guru. If you put me on a pedestal of a Guru, only then I can tell you.”Shiva lifted the boy and put him on his shoulder. The little boy whispered in Shiva’s ear, “Om means love, you are love, I am love. All that exists is love.”

The symbolism of this story is that, the Guru principle – Guru Tattva, is child-like; innocent, delicate and intelligent. It is humble yet dignified, royal yet modest. If there is water in a well, you need to pull it up to have a bath; similarly,to receive knowledge you need to uplift the Guru Tattva. Spiritual practices uplift the Guru Tattva. Honoring the Guru Tattva is very important in life. When you honor it, it is honoring oneself. Guru, self and God are synonymous. Guru Purnima is a celebration of the Guru Tattva.

Guru Purnima Sri Sri Ravi Shankar-2

There is an old proverb, “Guru Bina Gati Nahi” meaning, there is no progress without a Guru. As beautifully expressed by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar , “The Master is a doorway. When you enter the door of the master, you come home. When you are lost on the street, there is rain, thunder and storm; you need shelter. You look around and find the doorway of the Master. Once you enter this door, you look at the world from a different perspective. You can still hear the thunder and see the rain, but is no longer disturbs you. There is warmth and security inside this door. Enter the master’s door, come home!”

Guru Purnima twitter

We, The Art of Living family celebrate this day globally, honoring our Guru, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who has shown us this path of Love, Wisdom, Compassion and Peace. On this auspicious day we express our Gratitude to the “Guru” (Master) who has brought “Purnata” (Completeness/Fullness) to our lives with this Grace.

We invite you to join us in celebrating and expressing your gratitude to the Divine for all the abundance in your life! Express your Gratitude to your Master with #ThankYouSriSri on Twitter and FaceBook on the 12th June!

Guru Purnima webcast

Join Sri Sri Ravi Shankar via Live Webcast from The Art of Living Retreat Centre, Boone, North Carolina, on 12th of June, 2014 at 7:30PM IST. Link:

Contributed By: Ms.Vidhi Thaker