Art of Living Stories, Art of Living Wisdom, Others.

Sharing this truly wonderful story sent to me by an Art of Living volunteer on e-mail:

On 13th April 1971 Shri Sadhan Chandra Mistry, aged 35 years a vegetable vendor in the obscure village of Hanspukur, District South 24-Parganas, West Bengal, died of a very common and minor ailment, only because he could not get access to any medical attention whatsoever.

He left behind his illiterate wife Subhasini (23 years then) with two sons and two daughters four to eight years in age. Naturally, the family plunged into utter poverty and Subhasini was forced out of her home within one month of her husband’s death, to sell vegetables in that hamlet market. That day, while she sat under the scorching sun selling vegetables and worrying about her children, she took a vow that one day she will build a hospital in that very village so that no poor villager would die for want of medical attention.

Her fellow vendors and every person who heard of her vow laughed and made fun of her. How can she build a hospital, they jeered, when she cannot even mend her own thatched hut? She had to feed a family of five and marry two daughters. The village elders concluded her vow was all humbug and pure day dreaming out of having lost her mind.

However, day in and out, Subhasini continued selling vegetables silently and looked after her children never allowing the fire in her frail body to douse even for a moment. After persevering for twenty full years, ultimately she could start a clinic at her home for poor people. She managed to coax a doctor into coming to her village every week. And week after week, while tens of poor patients got medical attention from this lone clinic in the region, Subhasini became the most popular household name in her village. Now her fellow vendors and all others started respecting her. That was enough of a support for her.

In the meantime, her children grew up. The two daughters were married off. The eldest son chose to be a labourer in the farm. Her other son, the youngest of the lot, Ajoy Mistry was chosen by Subhasini to carry on her mission. He successfully completed his secondary education and passed the All India Medical Entrance Test. Aided by the German Scholarship, he joined Calcutta Medical College where he completed his medical course. He worked hard as he studied, ran around from friends to well wishers to any person/organization he had access and managed to raise Rs.50,000 for his mothers mission.

In 1993, Ajoy Mistry authored the trust deed of Humanity Trust with his mother Subhasini Mistry as the co-founder trustee. On 5th February 1995, the foundation stone for the Hospital was laid and on 9th March 1996, the Humanity Hospital was inaugurated and opened to public. The Hospital is a testimony of the will and spirit of a woman who defied social norms and a long series of obstacles to establish the first hospital in her backward village. Within one year, the trust could raise ten times the initial money to complete the first structure of the hospital. Soon, more donations followed and today, Subhasini Mistry can say with pride that she has fulfilled her pledge made to her husband two and half decades earlier.

Humanity Hospital is certified and registered as a Hospital under the West Bengal Clinical Establishment Act. of 1950, managed by Humanity Trust formed on 4th March 1993. In the year 2000, Subhasini Mistry and Ajoy Mistry were honoured and named as the prestigious Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary International, in appreciation of their service to humanity and poor people in particular. Today, despite the financial crunch to meet recurring expenses, the Hospital provides best services to poor and underprivileged sections of the society.

Subhasini Mistry still sells vegetables in Kolkata market to sustain her family.

Art of Living Wisdom, Yoga and Meditation.

When I decided to do the Art of Living course more than  ten years back, I wasn’t looking for any spectacular transformation/miracle to happen overnight. And it didn’t.

But what did happen was the continuous practice or Sadhana and the gradual transformation – in all aspects of life – mental, physical, emotional and spiritual.

Having attended numerous “Personality Development & Public Speaking” workshops, I was obviously cynical about how different this Art of living course would be – after all they also promised same things – confidence, self-motivation, stress management, pep talks(knowledge), etc.

I remember, as a gawky rebellious teenager enrolling for theArt of Livingcourse – my parents were very very hopeful – they thought finally I was going to sober down.. Did I ? Well, that’s for another post 😉

But when I came back from the course that evening, I vividly remember that I was floating somewhere. My parents had this doubtful look on their face – “err…”  😉

Most of you would recall your 1st experience of The Sudarshan Kriya – that powerful breathing technique which works on your 7 levels of existence.. It was addictive, mind-blowing (literally!), epitome of peace experienced. I was not sure which ‘Aandhi’ had hit me but I was smiling ear to ear J I knew my life had changed.

And what remained with me was this “experience” – of The Sudarshan Kriya. What brought me back again and again to the various higher level courses was also just just that – “the experience”.

I realized this was it!

Reminds of Buddha’s four easy steps to enlightenment:

Kayanupassana, Vednanupassana, Chittanupassana and Dhammanupassana.

Observe the body, the sensations, the flow of mind and nature of truth.

Buddha’s disciples were intellectual prosperous people. (no, am not making any comparisons here 😉

That’s why he never spoke about topics like – ‘God’, ‘where does the Atman go after death’, ‘beginning of the universe’ & such subjects. He kept it simple and at the experiential level.

The above four steps towards ‘Nirvana’ come as one’s own experience – through Sadhana.

He is stressing on the personal experience. When we move beyond the intellectual understanding of things , into the “experiential” understanding, a whole new world opens up.

All the “Personality Development Workshops” had told me to overcome lethargy, be confident and not to get angry. But nobody had ever told me, HOW?

Having crossed 84 lakh births and finally taken a human form, I firmly believe it would be a waste if you cannot experience the Sudarshan Kriya in your lifetime J

In glory of my Gurudev, HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji, who is the grace behind the experience.

Guru of Joy!!!

The author – Deepika also blogs at http://dimpsdawns.blogspot.com She would like to know all your experiences – of the 1st Sudarshan Kriya J Don’t forget to leave the comment.

Art of Living Stories, Art of Living Wisdom, Others.

We were pleasantly surprised to find many people at the Art of Living Ashram looking forward to Sri Krishna Janmashtami Celebrations. Krishna Janmashtami, also called Gokulashtami, celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna. Many educated urban Indians, we knew, thought of Janmashtami as just another holiday for indulging in good food and putting their feet up.

But here the story was different. Probbaly, because of the gusto and fullness with which the celebrations are held in the presence of Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji. From Makhan Mishri and Chappan Bhog to rocking Krishna bhajans and beautiful decorations, the festivities make one feels so complete and fulfilled. Well, Krishna himself is supposed to be a “Purna Avatara,” complete in all aspects!

As Sri Sri says, “You see from any angle, there is a totality in Krishna’s personality. This indicates that your innermost has these qualities just like a ray of sun which has all colours. Janmashtami is the day when you enliven the cosmic vision of Krishna in your own consciousness, once again. Letting your true nature manifest in your day-to-day life is the real secret of Krishna’s birthday”

Seeing Krishna reverentially and fondly as a complete incarnation of Divinity is deep rooted in the Indian tradition. How about taking a look at Sri Krishna as a historical figure?

HISTORIC KRISHNA

The practice of Sri Krishna’s birthday being celebrated year after year for 5000 years, confirms that he is a historical figure. This year we celebrate 5124th birthday of Sri Krishna.

Krishna’s birthday is called by different names such as Janmashtami, Sri Krishna Jayanthi, Gokulashtami and the likes, since Krishna was born on the 8th day of the increasing phase of the moon, which in the Indian Calendar System is called Ashtami. The word Ashtami is etymologically similar to Octa in Greek, from which comes the word ‘eight’ in English.

Janmashtami: Since Krishna was born on the day, which was the 8th phase of the moon (Ashtami) and Janma means “birth”, the day when He was born is called Janamashtami.

Gokulashtami: As Krishna’s birth was celebrated first in Gokul, Vrindavan, the day is also called Gokulashtami. The word Gokula means, “place of cows”, Go meaning “cow”, and Kul meaning “lineage”. Gokula is the place of the lineage of people who nurtured cows. Even though Krishna was born in Mathura, His father was in chains along with His mother in prison, where they could not celebrate His birth. They sent him away to safer place, away from His maternal uncle, the vile Kamsa. So, His birth was first celebrated in Gokula, Vrindavan and this day is also called Gokulashtami.

Sri Krishna Jayanthi : Krishna’s birthday is also called Sri Krishna Jayanthi.
Why is it called a Jayanthi? Some aspects in astronomy continue to remain mysteries. Ancient Indian astronomers seem to have fixed certain nomenclature for certain configurations, besides the names of the stars.

The lunar phases occurring at certain stars seem to have been accorded special names. For example,

  • Those that occur at Punarvasu star is prefixed with Jaya. Jaya Mahadwadasi is the Dwadasi, 12th phase of moon, during Shukla Paksha, bright fortnight and when the moon is found at the Punarvasu star in Gemini constellation.
  • Similarly, Jayanthi is prefixed when the moon is at the Rohini star, Aldeberan in Taurus.
  • Nasini is prefixed when the moon is seen at the Pushya star in Gemini constellation.
  • Vijaya is prefixed when the moon is seen at the Sravana star in the Aquarius constellation.

Since on the night of Krishna’s birth, the moon was at Rohini star, a Jayanthi configuration, the day has come to be called “Sri Krishna Jayanthi.” From then on the word Jayanthi, has also come to mean “celebrations”. Over time, every birthday celebration has come to be called a Jayanthi and today we have,

  • Buddha Jayanthi
  • Mahaveer Jayanthi
  • Shankara Jayanthi
  • Shivaji Jayanthi
  • Gandhi Jayanthi
  • Ambedkar Jayanthi and so on…..

 Jayanthi has become popular because of her association with Krishna!

Krishna’s exact birth date

From the unique star configuration described in the Puranic texts and searching for the same back in time, using the planetarium software, one can date the star position when Krishna was born in the prison at Mathura.  The date of His birth in the modern calendar works out to 27st July 3112 BCE.

Krishna’s birth chart

Krishna was born in 3112 BCE. This year is 2012 CE. The difference between 3112 BCE and 2012 CE is 5124 years. So, this year we are celebrating the 5124th birthday of Krishna.

A few Learnings

Every year, Janmashtami reminds us to celebrate the historical, the divine and the adorable Krishna along with all the knowledge that He gave us through his life and the Bhagavad Gita.

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji says, “Krishna was so attractive and mesmerizing. There are so many stories to indicate that the Divine is extremely attractive. This is so that the little attractions that the mind hankers after are freed and that is why he is called Mohana. The Taste of love hooks you on to the infinity, to the Divinity and intoxicates you. That with the knowledge brings stability in life”

Krishna always stands with a perfect balance — with one foot firmly on the ground, the other foot crossed over, as though it is touching, but not really touching. Life is about balance. Through his life Sri Krishna showed how to balance materialism and spirituality. He ruled the country, advised as minister and so on… and He gave the highest knowledge to Arjuna and Uddhava. Hence the most authentic way of celebrating Janamashtami is knowing that you have to play a dual role — of being a responsible human being on the planet and at the same time to realize that you are above all events, the untouched Brahman.This could perhaps be the secret of Krishna’s ever present smile even though his life was filled with troubles of many kinds.

Imbibing a bit of avadhoot and a bit of activism in your life is the real significance of celebrating Janamashtami.

On the auspicious occasion of Sri Krishna’s birthday, let us renew our commitment to imbibe these noble virtue of Krishna in our everyday lives. Happy Janmashtami to you and your near and dear ones.

D.K. Hari and D. K. Hema Hari are authors, research collators and founders of Bharath Gyan. They may be contacted through bharathgyan@gmail.com . Follow Bharath Gyan on Twitter@bharathgyan and join on FaceBook at www.facebook.com/Bharathgyan

About Art of Living, Art of Living Review, Art of Living Stories, Art of Living Wisdom.

Some books have a longlasting impact on us. ’29 gifts’ is one such book.I read the book almost six months back and was deeply moved by the autobiographical account of the author.29 Gifts shows how a simple, daily practice of altruism can dramatically alter your outlook on the world and make you a master of the Art of Living.

At age thirty-three, Cami Walker was burdened by an intensified struggle with multiple sclerosis, a chronic neurological disease that left her depressed and she was barely able to walk.This happened just a month after her marriage.Then she received an uncommon “prescription” from South African healer Mbali Creazzo: Give away 29 gifts in 29 days.“By giving,” Mbali told her, “you are focusing on what you have to offer others, inviting more abundance into your life.”

29 Gifts is the insightful story of the author’s life change as she embraces and reflects on the naturally reciprocal process of giving. The gifts were simple—a phone call, spare change, a Kleenex. Yet the acts were transformative. By Day 29, not only had Walker’s health and happiness improved, but she had created a worldwide giving movement.

By the time I finished reading the book, I signed up for the 29 Days Giving Challenge and have been on the giving journey since then.It’s great to be a part of this wonderful community and have met some amazing people there: Deb,Lois,Ann,Michelle…It’s inspiring to read the amazing stories about the power of giving.This small community is working towards reviving the giving spirit in the world.

I had written the following post on my personal blog some time back…Am sharing this here as a tribute to Cami Walker- a living inspiration for people suffering from multiple sclerosis.

Random Acts of Kindness

What this world needs is a new kind of army – the army of the kind.  ~Cleveland Amory

What is it that brightens up your day when you are feeling a little low ? A gentle smile , a kind word or a friendly hug ? You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you. Imagine how beautiful the world would be if everyone is kind to others.

Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns. Giving begins the receiving process.Whatever you want in your life,give it to others.If you want joy then give joy to others.If you want happiness,spread happiness wherever you go.If you want love, give love. You will see how abundance increases in every aspect of your life if only you learn to be kind and generous.

A random act of kindness is a gift that costs nothing but is always appreciated.And the giver too receives the return gift of joy and happiness and a sense of fullfilment.So how to get started ?

Here I have listed a few ideas.Put them into practice and also create your own:

  1. Smile Today, give a stranger one of your smiles.  It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.
  2. A word of appreciation Sometimes all we need is a little appreciation. At the same time, let us not forget to appreciate others around us.
  3. Hugs There’s something in a simple hug That always warms the heart, It welcomes us back home And makes it easier to part…. ~Johnny Ray Ryder, Jr., “A Simple Hug”
  4. Donate old clothes or toys to a charity or an orphanage
  5. Feed the hungry While eating out or when you see someone hungry,don’t forget to share a slice with the less fortunate.
  6. Flower power A bunch of flowers is the sweetest gift that can be given on all occasions.Try the flower power by giving out rose buds to strangers.
  7. Volunteer for a cause Find a cause that interests you and be a volunteer by devoting some hours from your busy schedule.
  8. Spend time with the elderly The elderly have so much to offer, not the least of which is valuable life experience. Visit old age home or spend time with the elders of your family.They will love it  and this is certainly a time well spent.
  9. Kindness to animals Feed a stray animal or keep an earthern bowl filled with water outside for the birds.
  10. Online donations You can donate online for some NGO. There are so many organisations who are doing amazing work for different causes and they are constantly in need of money to support them.
  11. Thank You Cards Put your creativity to use ,make some beautiful thank you cards at home and send them to the ones who have helped you in the past.
  12. Books Gift a book to a friend or donate your old books to a library or old textbooks of your child to someone needy.
  13. Be anonymous Send someone a small gift anonymously.
  14. Surprise treat Treat a friend to the movies for no reason or pay for the drinks on the next table at a café or buy chocolates to a kid in the departmental store.
  15. Domestic chores Help your mother in the kitchen or walk your friend’s dog.
  16. Cleanliness drive Pick up some rubbish in the road which would otherwise be lying around.
  17. Giving up Give up your seat for someone, not just an elderly person.Give another driver your parking spot.Let someone jump the queue at the bank or ticket counter.
  18. Stretch your hand first Stretch the hand of friendship to someone new or if you have fallen out with an old friend, be the first to set things right.
  19. Sharing your talents If you are good at cooking,painting,dancing,public speaking or any other creative form then you can teach it to others for free.
  20. Drop boxes We find donation boxes placed at departmental stores or hospitals etc.Make sure to put in some change in the drop box.

Keep doing the random acts of kindness.Don’t think what difference it will make.Just remember that no matter how big or small, every act of kindness makes a difference!

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

“To be beautiful is to be yourself”

“If you need be accepted by others, you have to accept yourself”

Does looks matter? This is a question that we all face at some point in time. When our priorities change in life, often looks take a back seat and by the time we again consider it important, it is beyond repair!

For your information ,. I am 36 years with two children … With every baby, I gained about 4kgs forever … I never bothered really until it crossed beyond what was acceptable to myself

Not that I m fat … a little overweight! But that indeed did affect my self esteem!

Life is a garden of flowers with thorns & fragrance

It was the time I have achieved some control over my mind through Art of Living. Yet my looks continued to dominate my body. Whoever says size does not matter? When the size has to do your own body, it does matter!!

At some point in time I started trying to get back my previous body! I tried a lot of things to get it back.. But phew, nothing worked!

One day Art Of Living announced Yogathon…. with a challenge to do 108 Surya Namaskaar… Well, I can be obstinate when I am convinced of something. I readily took up the challenge!

I started with 75 Surya Namaskaars and gradually increased the numbers. Now I am doing complete 108 rounds! As a result … My belly fat has disappeared!! I feel light …. I feel as if I am flying …

I don’t have to write here about my weight … But the change that made in me…what I am today, I was not yesterday!

The Beautiful Me – Inner and Outer Beauty Personified

Yeah… You just read it, SIZE DOESMATTER!! When it comes to your looks and your

self-esteem! (Size Matters – humorous spoof was published earlier on this blog)

Along with Surya namaskaar, I been doing very regular with Sudarshan Kriya too… Together, they were causing some changes in me!

I remember in my early days of Art of Living, I was told by so many people that everything will be the same and yet, something will change! I always wondered, ‘Arey Bhai what will change?’

Well, I followed the Patanjali Yoga sutras … Kept doing the kriya and finally I have started looking beautiful …Naah I am not complimenting myself.. But its men & women of all ages keep saying so …

Well, and I believe so! I started loving myself! To love one’s own self is the first thing we must do…. Yes, of course without encouraging our ego!

It boosted my morale… I knew that now all what I do is not perfect … I do make mistakes … But for me. my health, my body, my spirit must remain positive and nothing should bother me….

I kept that smile…sometimes even faked when there was none .. I haven’t hurt myself or cried for so many years now! And yes I am still emotional and compassionate.

To cut it short, Surya Namaskaar takes care of body, Sudarshan Kriya takes care of soul …. When both combines it makes you a beautiful soul in a beautiful body … That’s what others see … and you feel wanted and valuable, FINALLY !

The Surya Namskar Lady a they call me after the event

I am a living example that there’s something inside you which changes with Art of Living…and when you are happy about yourself, it shows up the BEAUTIFUL YOU to the world 🙂

About Art of Living, Art of Living Review, Art of Living Wisdom, Yoga and Meditation.

Can anyone attain liberation without Nadhopasana ?? – Sings the muscial Saint Swami Thyagaraja (One of Trinity in South Indian Carnatic Music)

The word Nadhopasana, coming from Sanskrit lanuage, is made up of two words Naadha –and Upasana.

Upasana means sitting near or being with. Naadha Upasana means being with the Naadham.

Naadha is the primodial vibration that controls the entire Universe. In every sound that we hear, we can observe a certain Naadha. In the rotation of the Earth, the Naadha associated is called as the Omkara Pranava (The AUM). This sound Aum has been used in all religions. We can not claim that Aum belong only to the Hindus. The Christians, Jews, Parsis as well as Muslims use different dimensions of this very same Aum.

Similarly, the expansion and contraction of this Universe has an associated Naadha. Even our inner most self has a Naadha associated with it.

In the year 2010, at Pune, The Art Of Living Foundation had organized an event named “AntarNaad” which means Inner Naadha. At Chennai, in the year 2011, Naadha Vaibhavam (meaning Celebration of Naadha) was organized by Art of Living. Way back in 2008, a thousand Sitarists & string musicians played on one platform for the first time in the world, in the Brahm Naad concert for world peace. The superlative performance held in New Delhi brought Art of Living in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Why is Naadha very important

This question will dawn on many of the minds of who are reading this. There are basically seven Swarams (notes) in Indian music. These seven swaras are associated with the seven chakras (Energy Centers) of our body. Similarly, each energy center has a syllable associated with it. Hence, when we associate ourselves with Naadhopasana, these seven energy centers of our body get tuned leading to greater spiriutal and material well being.

During the soul-stirring symphony AntarNaad, Poojya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (can be followed on @SriSriSpeaks on Twitter) explained that, each of the seven swaras is associated with a particular animal. Namely, Sa – Peacock, Ri – Rishab (Bull), Ga- Goat, Ma – Gounch Pakshi , Pa – Kokila , Da – Horse, Ni – Elephant. Gurudev added that, only human beings have the capability to sound all the seven swaras.

Even if you are not able to sing or play instruments, its advisable to listen to good music. A great quality of the Naadha is that even if you do not play or sing yourself, listening to the music produces the same effect. Thus all the seven chakras get tuned, leading to a meditative mood. Deep meditation releases stress from the body and mind, and makes us more calm, joyful and focused.  Poojya Gurudev hence, has made Satsangs an integral part of the Art of Living. It is my understanding that Naadhopasana happens in satsangs and that is why we feel so expanded and uplifted during and after satsangs.

If we start giving more time to satsangs, we can easily attain more sattva and Nadhopasana will start happening naturally within us.

Aravind Soundararajan

About Art of Living, Art of Living Experiences, Art of Living Stories.

The 250 calm faces, deeply immersed in meditation, belie the fact that everyone in this group belonged to armed militancy that has claimed thousands of lives in the North East of India.  An amazing transformation is unfolding currently at the Art of Living International Centre in Bangalore where over 250 surrendered militants from Assam, belonging to various outfits, are undergoing a month-long rehabilitation training programme.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar with former ultras in rehabilitation training at Art of Living International Centre

“It’s a new life for me. I find a lot of enthusiasm and determination to lead a new life,” these simple words coming straight from the heart of Shyamanta Handique, 45, met with instant applause and nods of approval from the group of former insurgents during an exclusive session with Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji at the Art of Living International Centre, Bangalore. The words echoed the sentiments of almost everyone present.

Former insurgent groups from Assam receiving arms training in jungles of Myanmar and Bhutan

The quick and definite transformation of these men, whose major expression of life was laced with violence, into higher versions of themselves — happy, sensitive, respectful and responsible has been quite dramatic. Surely, the group hadn’t anticipated this kind of turnaround when the government sent them to Art of Living Ashram for a training. A senior intelligence officer, assigned to keep a tab on the trainees, was so touched by the change in former rebels that he has decided to join the Art of Living after retiring from paid service in two years and further this work of inner transformation.

A majority of the former rebels had been baptized into guerrilla warfare in the Kachin jungles  of Myanmar and Bhutan. A couple of them received their training in China. The former militants now feel comfortable dropping the guns and explore non-violent ways of resolving the problems of life.

So what is the secret of transformation? Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living explains, “Most rebels are good human beings with a lot of dedication and commitment for the country. If they could do a little bit of understanding of spirituality, they could do what others cannot.”

The commitment was palpable, when a few of them shared with Sri Sri that they have renewed commitment for the betterment of their people after training at the Ashram. To quote one of them, “Earlier we were lions. Now we are bigger lions!” Realizing that vested interests used them by putting guns on their shoulders, they vowed to continue working for the betterment of Assamese people not through bullets but through the ballot!  22- year-old Ratul Boras said that he would join politics, win the hearts of people and bring about a development in his district. Amarendra had similar plans. Sri Sri blessed them saying Art of Living would provide full support to such self less endeavors.In the past, he has commended such youth for their strong commitment, which needs to be channelised appropriately to bring about a positive change in society.

It is remarkable that in a few weeks of the training, that ends of August 4th, the youth are ready to return to the mainstream society and are clear about what they want to do. Many of them, who own land back home, want to practise organic farming and dairy farming. A few are looking forward to further training and become yoga teachers to spread the inner peace they have experienced for the first time in their own life. As part of rehab training the group was taught yoga, pranayams, Sudarshan Kriya, meditations, various life skills and vocational training in mushroom cultivation, paper products and electrical maintenance.

Surrendered militants sell paper products made by them at Art of Living International Centre

Former Ulfa members Maqbool Hussain and Monuj Roy have made a common promise, “We will change our society for the better.” Well they have already started walking the talk. In a heart rending gesture, the group of surrendered militants donated the proceeds from their first sale of paper products to the victims of the current riots in Assam.

“The condition of our life and that of our state Assam, would have been better off had we received this kind of training and met Guruji 30 years ago, ” the group shared. Well as they say, better late than never. Once begun is half done!

Our very best wishes to the new members of the Art of Living family to start a new life back home in Assam 🙂

Art of Living Stories, Art of Living Wisdom.

Spiritual knowledge can keep your mind peaceful

My son just got back from his exams and there was a nice little story for his language comprehension section. He gave this paper to me (quite unusual and asked me to read the passage – which was a lovely story). It was such a conincidence that the currently active topic appears in the question paper. The theme – why it is better to forgive than nurse hatred within.

He wanted to know what could be the morals… So please keep posting the moral of the story (He can learn 🙂 and he already thanks everyone in advance.

Here is the unadulterated version as it appeared in the question paper.

A kindergarten teacher has decided to let her class play a game. The teacher told each child in the class to bring along a plastic bag containing a few potatoes. Each potato will be given a name of a person that the Child hates, so the number of potatoes that a child will put in his/her plastic bag will depend on the number of people he/she hates.

So when the day came, every child brought some potatoes with the name of the people he/she hated. Some had 2 potatoes; some 3 while some up to 5 potatoes.

The teacher then told the children to carry with them the potatoes in the plastic bag wherever they go (even to the toilet) for 1 week.

Days after days passed by, and the children started to complain due to the unpleasant smell let out by the rotten potatoes. Besides, those having 5 potatoes also had to carry heavier bags.

After 1 week, the children were relieved because the game had finally ended.

The teacher asked: ‘How did you feel while carrying the potatoes with you for 1 week?’ The children let out their frustrations and started complaining of the trouble that they had to go through having to carry the heavy and smelly potatoes wherever they go.

Then the teacher told them the hidden meaning behind the game. The teacher said: ‘This is exactly the situation when you carry your hatred for somebody inside your heart. The stench of hatred will contaminate your heart and you will carry it with you wherever you go. If you cannot tolerate the smell of rotten potatoes for just 1 week, can you imagine what is it like to have the stench of hatred in your heart for your lifetime???’

Apart from some basic story related questions, the last question was “What are the learning from this story?”

Based on listening to  Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar during various Art of Living Satsangs and my learnings from the same, My answer to him:

Learnings :

It is better to forgive and love for our own good (rather than carry the stench)

Destiny decides who comes across into our lives and our actions decide who stay on in our lives (Fate vs Heart)