Art of Living Review, Art of Living Wisdom, Movies to Watch.

Imagine having one of the worst days of your life – everything is going wrong, you are thoroughly annoyed with everything and everyone, and you can’t wait for this day to end. Now what if you wake up the next morning, and find out that you have to go through that same day all over again? And what if this would keep repeating itself…?

In the movie Groundhog Day, Phil Connors is a nasty, egocentric, sarcastic and selfish weatherman of a local TV station in Pittsburg who thinks he is Mr. Perfect. He doesn’t like his job, his colleagues, or most other people for that matter. As he puts it: people are morons. All he cares about is himself and his happiness. When he is sent to a small town called Punxsutawney to report a local tradition of a groundhog predicting how much longer the winter will last, there is only one thing on his mind: finishing the job and leaving that small town with its simple people as soon as possible.

It turns out to be one of the worst days of his life, and finally he is not even able to leave the town, due to an unexpected blizzard. When he wakes up the next morning, eager to go back to Pittsburg, he realizes that everything is the same as the day before – he is going through the same day all over again! The days that follow, he keeps reliving the same day over and over again… something that reminds one of the philosophy of Karma and Reincarnation! And there is more…

Groundhog Day teaches one The Art of Living

Initially Phil panics. He decides to go see a psychiatrist, who tells him: “This is an unusual problem Mr. Connors. I think we should meet again. How is tomorrow for you?” at which words Phil becomes even more depressed.

Getting drunk at a local pub, he wonders out loud: “I was in the Virgin Islands once. I met a girl; we ate lobster and drank piña coladas. At sunset we made love like sea otters. That was a pretty good day. Why couldn’t I get THAT day, over and over again?!” He then asks one of the local guys: “What would you do, if you are stuck in one place, and every day is exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered? What if there were no tomorrow?” The guy answers: “That would mean there would be no consequences, we could do whatever we wanted!” Suddenly Phil’s face clears up. “That’s true! We could do whatever we want!”

From this point onwards, Phil stops following the rules and does whatever he wants. It doesn’t matter if he ends up in jail or worse, as he again wakes up in his hotel on the same day. He gives in to all his fantasies, and starts learning from previous experiences, not making the same mistakes over and over again. Just like in the ancient scriptures, this story shows a mind, or soul, going through repetitive existence, experiencing the same world over and over again, and in the process exhausting all its karma or past impressions. Whatever desires, cravings and aversions are there, are all lived through and experienced until one becomes satisfied, contented, or simply realizes their impermanence. This happens when Phil realizes that he has fallen in love with Rita, a kind female producer from his TV network that came with him to Punxsutawney. He has now lost taste for any other enjoyments. A similar thing happens to a spiritual seeker who has found his Master, or Guru. Being the most attractive, the Master becomes a lightning rod for all the disciple’s longing – it is the last desire, the desire that removes the taste for all other desires. And finally, this last desire is also dropped, and one becomes free.

Using different approaches, Phil tries to get Rita to fall in love with him, but every time he ends up getting slapped in the face! Over time, he becomes desperate, because whatever he tries is not working. He becomes depressed and starts committing suicide in many different ways, trying to end this repetitive existence. But every morning he wakes up in the same hotel again on the same day.

When he realizes that there is nothing he can do to alter his situation, something changes. He starts becoming a nice and caring person, helping out wherever he can. He has dropped the one last desire! In the end he becomes a ‘perfect’ guy, available to help anyone at any time, humble and caring. That night, Rita stays with him to keep him company. Phil tells her: “No matter what happens tomorrow, or for the rest of my life, I’m happy now.” This is the final destination of a spiritual seeker: accepting one’s place in the bigger picture, without any personal needs, one starts serving the society and the world in whatever way one can, being totally dispassionate and fulfilled. And once this beautiful state of fullness dawns, one becomes free from the cycle of repetitive birth and death, Samsara.

Groundhog Day teaches one spiritual values

Source: www.gonewiththetwins.com

When Phil wakes up the next morning, he finds Rita is still there with him. Full of surprise, he tells her: “Do you know what today is? Today is tomorrow!” He is finally free. And then he asks her: “Is there anything I can do for you, today?”

Thank God His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has given us a shortcut to save us so much of trouble: the Art of Living Course and Sudarshan Kriya! 😉

Do let us know if you also enjoyed watching Groundhog Day and what else you discovered in this movie! And stay tuned for more movie reviews in the upcoming weeks… 🙂

About Art of Living, Art of Living Projects, Yoga and Meditation.

Rajaque Rahman, a Practising Muslim talks about how blinkered interpretation of what’s permitted and forbidden in Islam is making the Muslim world hesitant to take advantage of universal healers like yoga and meditation.

Even as I was persuading a group of Muslim elders in Itanagar — the capital city of eastern-most Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh — to give yoga, pranayama and similar ancient Indian techniques a try for a healthy and happy living, the group went serene with the azan for the Jumah (Friday congregational prayer ) from the neighbourhood mosque. As I followed them to the mosque, I noticed the gentleman who was the most vocal and orthodox during the discussion was heading in the opposite direction. When I queried why he wasn’t coming to the prayer, I was flabbergasted by his innocent but distorted logic. “I can’t go to the mosque as I have to pass through shops that slaughter and sell meat of swine to reach there. You know, Islam strictly prohibits swine meat. I would rather miss the prayer than commit haram by going near swine meat,” he reasoned.

Though I knew Islam prohibits eating swine meat, I never imagined somebody would ever interpret that prohibition in such a myopic way. When I pondered over it, I realised this type of blinkered interpretation of what’s permitted and forbidden in Islam is what is making the Muslim world hesitant to take advantage of universal healers like yoga and meditation.

Art of Living Course participants in war-affected areas in Middle East

People from war zones in an Art of Living meditation

Like the old man, orthodox Muslims fear the practice of yoga will erode their faith in Allah and Islam. As the Quran and Hadith (Prophet Muhammad’s teachings) have nothing specific that will make practise of yoga haram (forbidden), they based their judgement on their own concocted fear that supposedly ‘Hindu’ elements of yoga would destroy the faith of a Muslim.

As a Muslim who has been practising yoga for over a decade and has experienced the depth of yoga at the physical and spiritual levels, I felt the best way to allay the fear is to look at the Hindu philosophy on yoga and see how and where it contradicts the tenets of Islam. For this, I wouldn’t settle for anything less authentic than Maharishi Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder of the Art of Living has given an extensive and lucid commentary on the yoga sutras.

Yoga simply means uniting with the Self. The Yoga Sutras starts by calling itself an enunciation in union. And a self-imposed discipline to attain that union is yoga. Is striving for such a union with the Self against Islam? Definitely not, for Prophet Mohammed has said, “He who knows his own Self knows his Lord.” So anything done in pursuit of knowing the Lord cannot be termed as forbidden in Islam. Instead, it will count as a meritorious act of honouring and following the Prophet. So yoga as a spiritual pursuit is very much permissible in Islam. Dara Shikoh, eldest son of the Mughal Emperor of India, Shah Jahan is known for his Persian translations of the Yoga Vashishta and the Bhagavad Gita.

The best explanation of why yoga is not just a permissible, but also a desirable act for Muslims is to be found in the second sutra of the Yoga Sutras. “Yogas Chitta Vritti Nirodhah.” It means yoga is stopping all the modulations of the mind. Ceasing all the outward activities of the mind and reposing in Allah is the ultimate goal of Islam. So any act done to reach such a state cannot be un-Islamic.

People in Iraq learning yoga and meditation through The Art of Living

Iraqis get solace in yoga and meditation

In fact, it represents the highest form of ibaadat (prayer). Prophet Mohammed said, “I have a time with God to which even Gabriel, who is pure spirit, is not admitted.” Hence, the soul of prayer is a complete absorption, a state without room for any outward thoughts which is also the ultimate purpose of yoga. So doing yoga asanas with the sole intention of attaining a thoughtless state so that one can connect with Allah wouldn’t make one a bad Muslim.
This leaves only one ground for orthodox mullahs to frown at yoga: that yoga stems from polytheist beliefs of Hinduism. But when yoga means union, how can it be linked to polytheist beliefs? In fact, yoga takes one away from polytheism and leads to Advaita, which is in perfect agreement with the Islamic doctrine of tauhid (oneness of God).

Just because something has its roots in Hinduism, it doesn’t become forbidden for Muslims. If it were so, many arts, languages, foods and cultural practices with roots in other religions, would also be forbidden to Muslims. So, when we can accept foods and music from other cultures, why not the wisdom to unite with the Self?

Ashtavakra Gita.

Thousands of years ago there was a king named Janaka. He had attained the highest position in a peaceful and prosperous society, with a vast knowledge of life. But even then he was restless and wanted to know more. One day an enlightened Master named Ashtavakra arrived at Janaka’s court. What unfolded, says H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, was “the most unique conversation that has ever taken place on this planet.” The text of this interaction has been passed down for centuries as the Ashtavakra Gita.

The Ashtavakra Gita occurring in the Vana Parva of Mahabharata, is a profound enquiry into the nature of the Self and reality.  To avoid any wrong understanding  by the unprepared minds, it is traditionally recommended that  Ashtavakra Gita be pursued by only those who have practiced meditation and are already on the  spiritual path.

 

Chapter 1 (Instruction on Self Realization)

Chapter 2 (Joy of Self Realization)

Chapter 3 (Test of Self Realization)

Chapter 4 (Glorification of Self Realization)

Chapter 5 (Four ways to dissolve)

Chapter 6 (The higher knowledge)

Chapter 7 (Nature of Self Realisation)

Chapter 8 (Bondage and Liberation)

Chapter 9 (Detachment)

Chapter 10 (Quietutde)

Chapter 11 (Wisdom)

Chapter 12 (Abiding in the Self)

Chapter 13 (Happiness)

Chapter 14 (Tranquility)

Chapter 15 (Knowledge of the Self)

Chapter 16 (Special Instruction)

Chapter 17 (The True Knower)

Chapter 18 (Peace)

Chapter 19 (Repose in the Self)

Chapter 20 (Liberation in Life)

 

Shiv Sutras.

  1. Everyone of us has experienced happiness sometimes in past. The Nature of mind is to hold on to Negative things keeping Positive things aside. And the Art of moving ahead with positive things has been described in “Shiv Sutras”
  2. The first sutra is . That with which every particle of universe is made up of is called “Consciousness”. If we want to have “Self-Realization” then we will have to become aware about “the power of consciousness”.
  3.  A person who is awake also has consciousness and a person who is sleeping also has consciousness but difference between both of them is the consciousness is “awakened in the person who is awake”.
  4. Every particle of this Universe has “Consciousness” in it but it is awakened somewhere whereas somewhere it’s in idle state. Knowing this person can attain Self-realization.
  5. All these gymnastics of Sadhana – Kriya – Yagyas is to awake the consciousness in you.
  6. Next sutra is . We understand or grasp knowledge through “Words”. But sometimes the collective form of knowledge or words itself takes form of Ego and disturbs us so that time what shall we do?
  7. If there is anything that is bothering you then it cannot be a single “Word” it would be a “Sentence”.
  8. Then it is said that from “Sentence” you break up “Words” one by one and focus on them.
  9. That is where power of “Chanting” comes.”
  10. When we move from “Sentence” to “Words” and focus on our energy plexus in body then mind calms down.
  11. Next sutra is . Our mind and body has opposite perspectives. The body becomes sturdy when you do gymnastics or effort whereas mind becomes strong when you relax more and more.
  12. We usually say “Let it happen at God’s Will” but this is not true. We will have to make the EFFORT and then RELAX.
  13. When we give our 100% in to any work we are doing then the (rest) happens automatically which gives you a glimpse of “Samadhi”. Here the effort could be “Worldly” or “Spiritual” anything.
  14. When you are unhappy do some effort, do some Sadhana, Seva and Satsang.
  15. Next Sutra is .
    There are three kinds of state: “Awake state”, “Dreaming state”, “Sleeping state”. The state in which we are neither Awake nor Sleeping or Dreaming is called Turiyavastha or a state of “Highest Samadhi”. That is called “Shiva Consciousness”.
  16. Thus Shiva cannot be found in “Kailash” it is in-between state of all other three states.

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Shiv Sutras.

  1. The amount of inertia in Child is very less than the one who is Scholar. A Scholar is more inert than Child and the reason is we are slowly-slowly moving from an experience to information.
  2. A child smiles approx 400 times a day, whereas an adult smiles only 70 times a day and a aged person doesn’t smile at all.
  3. Celebration – Love – Happiness and Creativity are the signs of Consciousness.
  4. And the one who is stubborn (or inert) lacks Consciousness.
  5. Thus it is said It is the knowledge that makes you free and it is the same knowledge that binds you.
  6. If you say “I know everything” then you have not known anything. You are not free then. You are bound by knowledge.
  7. The Inertia dawns when you say “I know everything” and you become like Stone (not ready to accept anything) and Consciousness dawns when you are “ready to gain knowledge” because you remain more aware at that time.
  8. That’s why we should just smile when someone ask “Have u seen God?”. Because you cannot see god. The Shakti with which you are trying to see God is itself God.
  9. Next Sutra is . When you are not proud of the knowledge that you know; Consciousness awakens. That knowledge makes you free.
  10. Next Sutra is . Wake up and see. All the bodies that took birth from different cunt are all made up of one Consciousness. Its all ONE.
  11. If you want to understand that “Our Consciousness is different from this Inert body” then first of all you will have to understand what body is. Thus in Yoga Nidra we take our attention to each and every part of body and thus we come to know that mind and body are not the same.
  12. The making of our body is nothing but the Art born out of five senses. With just one drop of sperm and egg the whole body is formed and it is nothing but an art of five senses.
  13. A Stone cannot give respect to anyone similarly an Inert person cannot show respect to anyone. Only a person in whom consciousness is awaken can be humble. And when we become humble to everyone for which all belongs to us we become free.
  14. Knowing this we become free from the bondage of knowledge.

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Shiv Sutras.

  1. – We often hear or say “If it is God’s will, it will happen”. But have you noticed? We usually say this when we are not enthusiastic in any work we want to do.
  2. Many say “We will do Sadhana, when Guruji will want us to do but We don’t say “If it is God’s will that I should eat food, it will happen” nor we say “If it is God’s will that I should see movie, it will happen”, but we often say in work that we are not enthusiastic to do.
  3. Somewhere if we win we say “I have won” and when we fail we say “it could be God’s will” such people are called one who only love to stay in their comfort zone.
  4. We misuse this beautiful sentence and apply it to our own comfort zone.
  5. There is a saying ; Saint Mulka has said this to some other relation and we took this up and messed up everything.
  6. Whatever effort you do 100% physically and by being mentally with it is itself called Shiva.
  7. If you are considering Lord as Dourer then you are not Sufferer as well. If you say “It was Lord who made thief to steal” then it will be the “Lord who will suffer in Jail”; then where does the thief come in between.
  8.  – Whatever task you want to carry just complete it out. Thinking on it again and again will end up nowhere.
  9. The work which you want to complete, complete it and the work which you want to leave, leave it and relax. That’s it.
  10. The will to do in you is itself  Shiva.
  11. Krishna says to Arjuna means “Having an equal mind in happiness-sorrow; gain-loss; victory-defeat; engage in battle and thereby you will not incur sin”.
  12. Knowing that everything is happening by itself you become observer. The digestion process in you is happening or you are doing it? It’s happening, right. So knowing this that everything happens at God’s will; You become ” (witness)” of it.
  13. But at the same time Never remain inactive. First Work and then Relax.
  14. . You become God’s messenger by carrying out some noble work.
  15. You don’t make luck if you don’t work; similarly by just doing work you also don’t make luck. You need skill at the same time. A smart work is always appreciable than hard work.
  16. Many people ask me “Guruji, why do good people suffer and bad people enjoy”. I tell them “Good people never suffer, if they suffer then its because lack of skill in them”.
  17. You don’t need skill to become unhappy? Do you? No. But you need skill to become happy. Thus it is said means Become aware and skilful for the unhappiness that may come up in future.

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Shiv Sutras.

    1. We usually think that ‘When all my desires will get fulfill, I will be Happy’. But this is not true. Those whose desires get fulfilled go more into depression. Thus we see rich are more depressed than poor.
    2. People whose desire doesn’t get fulfilled don’t go more into depression because they keep themselves engaging into some work.
    3. Thus in developed countries like Europe out of 10 children, 3 children consult Psychologist.
    4. – When you become aware of the fact that ‘Even if all your desire will get fulfilled you won’t attain that endless happiness’ then you bloom up into endless joy. Because desire keeps arising continuously. If you fulfill one desire another will pop-up immediately.
    5. Next Sutra is . This has two meanings:
      i) When you see mountain, then mountain becomes scenery for you and you become the one who is observing. But again we feel that our body who is watching ‘Drishya’ is ‘Drishta, is it true ? No. It is the mind who is watching mountain and not even body. Suppose your mind is somewhere else do you hear what other person is saying ? No.  Thus Mind becomes ‘Drishta’ and not body. That’s why in Yoga Nidra we take our attention to each and every part of body seeing our body as ‘Drishya’ and our mind as ‘Drishta’. This is first step to dive within. To become .
      **Sorrow comes when you become one with ‘Drishya’. That’s why many a times fans who are watching movie become one with scenes so much that they throw eggs and tomatoes if hero doesn’t win in fight with villain.
      **The life should be a perfect combination of  emotions and intelligence. The person who are more emotional will never think and person who is more intelligent will not have a drop of emotionality in them. Both are incomplete.**If you want to become happy . See your body as Drishya.
      **Have you noticed if you look into past and observe all those thoughts that occurred in you before 10 years you will feel that most of them are garbage and useless to you now. And you will thank god for it didn’t happen. The thoughts in you keep floating. It has no meaning at all.
      ii) Another reason is you consider even ‘Drishya’ as your own body. Suppose if air in environment gets polluted, will you be able to breathe? So we should consider Nature as part of our own body. You should respect to Nature as much as you respect your body. Universe has beautiful meaning ‘Shwa’ means ‘That moment which passed’ and ‘Vi’ means ‘Not’. So the moment which has not passed away which is still lively and which is THE PRESENT is called Universe.

 

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Shiv Sutras.

  1. You are part of Nature as well as Nature is part of you. The whole Nature is our body. The vegetables which we see today will become our body tomorrow and thus mind. So Nature is also our body. Do not differentiate between Nature and Body. They are one. Next Sutra is  means we should embrace our mind into our heart. Then you will see the world as yours. You can witness the world in two ways 1) from mind 2) from heart. When you witness world from mind you see things as object but when you see it from heart; respect for that object comes from within and world becomes lively to you.
  2. Often in Army, Soldiers are instructed to see enemy as object, so that they can attack easily. If they will see them as human then they will become emotional.
  3. Now what is benefit of seeing world through your heart? Then it is said  . The purest Consciousness in you dawns. Violence only happens where there is no sense of belongingness. But when you see everything from heart then you see God residing in them too.
  4. Especially in India we call Nature as ‘Mother Nature”. Even we see Himalayan Mountains and Ocean as ‘Himalaya Raja & Samudra Raja’
  5. Next Sutra is . When we see everything as part of us then we become free from beastly nature. Those animal elements don’t override us. A consciousness which is purest of all dawns in us. The consciousness which is purest of all also dominates. Thus you would have noticed small kids at home do dominate because they are purest of all.

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Shiv Sutras.

  1. Next sutra is – Intellect is divided into three parts:
    *Tark (logical): is responsible for Science hence when logic changes scientific estimation changes too. For example :- Science has said that usage of pesticides in farms can help destroy pests but then again another logic came up that usage of pesticides can also destroy crop. Thus when logic changes scientific estimation changes too.
    *Kutark (ill-argumentation): will only give rise to ignorance. Here you may win through words but you may not win the actual situation. Kutark is filled of useless arguments.
    *Bitark (illogical): is something which is inexpressible. When you go on asking a question ‘Who am I?’ and when you receive answer but not in words then it is called Bitark. When somebody is snoring that itself describes that person is sleeping. If a person can answer ‘yes he is sleeping’ then he is not sleeping in real. So that which can be understood in silence is bitark.
  2. The logic that doesn’t catch up in words is called bitark.
  3. Bitark is to experience and not to express. Hence it is said you change tark into bitark and not into kutark.

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