Art of Living Wisdom.

Hearty Congratulations to our space scientists for a perfect lift off of Mangalyan, the mission to Mars. Planet Mars is known as Mangal in Samskrt and Indian languages. Hence, the name Mangalyan for this mission, Ayana meaning “travel to”. Mars lies beyond earth from the sun at the center of the Solar System.

Art of Living Blog. Mars

In Indian thought, Mars is referred to as Mangal, meaning “auspicious”.


Among the weekdays, Tuesday is referred to as Mangalvar in Samskrt, after the planet Mars. It is significant to note that the Mangalayan Mission was launched on Mangalvar, a Tuesday.

Mars – The Greek God of War

In Greek astronomy, Mars is referred to as “the planet of war”, “the God of war”, because of its red nature.

Art of Living blog.Greek God of War

Roman God of Agriculture

In the Roman civilization, Mars was looked upon as a God of Agriculture. This has been brought forth in legends, paintings and coins.

 art of living blog.Roman god of agri

The March to Mars Link

Interestingly, the month March is connected with Mars and derives its name from the planet. The name March comes from the Latin word “Martius”, the first month of the Roman calendar. It was named after Mars. The month Maritus was the beginning of the season for farming in Rome.  For, the sun on its northward journey brought warmth for agriculture to happen in Europe, after harsh winter. It was the month of the festival in honour of Mars, the god of agriculture.

Other Names of Mars

The Iron Link

Planet Mangal is also referred to as Lohitang in Samskrt, meaning “that which is rich in iron deposits”, loha.

Blood in Ayurveda is also described as lohini, meaning “that which is rich in iron”.

 art of living blog . iron deposits

In Greek legends too, blood is called “Haem”, from which comes the word “Haemoglobin” in blood.

 art of living blog.mars

We thus see an intrinsic connect between Lohitang, Mars and Lohini, iron and blood, a connect that has been brought out in various legends and the practice of venerating Mars as the divinity for surgeries, wars and other such professions involving use of iron / steel equipment.

Mars is also known as Angaraka, meaning “that which is red in colour”.

art of living blog.mars

Son of Earth

In some context, it is referred to as Bhumi Putra, meaning “Son of Bhumi”. For this, there is a legend on how Mars took form from Earth and was nurtured and brought up by Bhumi, Mother Earth.

These terms are available in astronomical texts of the land.

Names of Mars

A Dry Planet

There are speculations and postulates in the scientific community that there was water once upon a time on Mars but that it has dried up.  This tallies with the ancient Indian names for Mars which mean dried up surface.

Mars and Antares

The star Antares in the Scorpio constellation gets its name because it was called Anti Mars, the rival to Mars as from the earth, it visually looked similar to Mars in brightness and colour for ancient European astronomers. Whereas in Indian astronomy, Antares is called as Jyeshtha, the big brother, for, it is the largest star in our Milky Way Galaxy.

Art of Living blog. Mars - Antares

Mangala in Music

Shama Shastry was one among the trinity of Carnatic musicians who formed the basis of the music system of this land.

Art of Living blog.Shama Shastry

Art of Living blog.Carnatic trinityHe lived about 200 years ago. Among his compositions, is the famous, “Navagraha Keerthana”. In this, he speaks of various qualities, characteristics, gunas of Mars. The lyrics are not from an astrological perspective, but are to be viewed from the perspective of the qualities that this planet exhibits.

Imagery of Mars

Vahana, Vehicle

The Vahana, vehicle of Mangal is Ram, the male goat. It is interesting to note that a similar Ram is shown for Aries, the first zodiac constellation. There is an Indian astronomical connect between Aries & Mars.

Art of Living blog.vahana

Art of Living blog.Ram

Shula and Trishula, Difference

The implement of Mangal is a Shula. Shula is something akin to a spear. When the same Shula has 3 pointed heads, it is called Trishula, the weapon of Shiva. In the case of Mangal, it is Shula, a spear.

Art of Living Blog.Trishula shula

Mangala’s Consort

In Indian legends when one is expressed as a consort, it is certainly not for a limited understanding of a wife, spouse. The term has certain qualities, characteristics that  the notion of consort brings in.

In this case of Mangal, the consort is Jwalini, jwala meaning “fire”, and here as Jwalini, a female form of fire is brought forth.

Art of Living blog.Mars

What could this mean astronomically in the case of Mars?” is something for us to dwell more into as we study the scientific aspects that Mangal and Jwalini stand for.

We have sent Mangalyan to probe Mars physically. At the same time we also have the advantage of our ancients’ thoughts to probe into and leap frog into a deeper understanding of Mars and the skies.

D.K.Hari and D.K.Hema Hari, Founders, Bharath Gyan

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Art of Living Experiences.

It’s been 5 years since the gory attack of 26/11 unfolded in Mumbai. The attack was meticulously planned by the enemies of the Nation. Places which suffered the most were Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Leopold Cafe, Taj Mahal Hotel, Oberoi Trident, Nariman House. Police officers and NSG launched massive campaigns to secure the sites and flush out the enemy. I would not jog you further through the details of the event as most of it was run live on news channels for 100 hours.

who is honeybee

The investigations of the attack remain open-ended with many significant questions unanswered. Things were almost in the cold baggage until a new book called ‘The Siege: The Attack on the Taj’ was released few weeks before the fifth anniversary of 26/11 attack. Authors of the book, Adrian Levy and Cathy have revealed some unknown facts. Some of the news websites have now started publishing excerpts from the book. This book re-affirms the fact that the extent of revelation in the whole 26/11 episode is far lesser than whats remain hidden between the maze of Intelligence agencies files and transcripts.

sri sri in arunachal
When 26/11 terrorist attack happened in Mumbai i was in Itanagar. Almost a week later  Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji visited capital of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar. An Advanced Meditation course was happening around that time. Addressing the participants on 5th December, Sri Sri spoke with his usual conviction. He said it is impossible to carry out an attack of such a magnitude without ground support. He added that there were at least 10 collaborators working in tandem with Pakistani terrorists of 26/11(The new book calls these collaborators ‘rats’). In his message, he asked the political leaders to not merely blame other nations for the attacks, but also attend to the problem of home-grown terrorism without which such acts are not possible. The striking fact of the whole statement was that it was made way before the whole investigation began. Mumbai was coming to terms with the aftermath of the attack.

Next day Sri Sri reached Mumbai to lead a multi-faith prayer for lost lives and to heal people who were still under the trauma of gun shots and an unprecedented blood bath on the streets of Mumbai. In the meantime, Art of Living had launched a full blown trauma relief program to heal the wounds of Mumbaikars who were finding it difficult to sleep, work and get on with daily life.

Sri Sri cut short his programs abroad to bring support to Mumbai  under his guidance. The Art of Living initiated trauma relief workshops and counseling especially for people living in the areas that were under the siege including employees of the Oberoi-Trident hotels.

Sri Sri’s remarks of ‘ten internal hands working in tandem’ were different from the normal Pakistan bashing that arises in media. I was finding it tough to believe that there was any local support to the dastardly act. Though the Mumbai police chief initially said that there was local support to the attack, the commission set up by the Government of India never investigated along these lines.

In the subsequent investigations, news about local leaders supporting the act started trickling down. All details of this can be googled with some effort. Truth has strange ways of coming out in open. After 5 years of the heinous act now there is a book on the subject by two authors. The book is named ‘The Siege: The Attack On The Taj’. The amount of information that they have unearthed contains more information than the various dossiers which India sent to Pakistan.

26-11-art of living
Significant thing is that the two authors, through their elaborate research, have established what Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said just a week after the 26/11 attack. The book claims that there were 10 local collaborators on ground who were assisting Azmal Kasab and his 9 friends from across the border. The book ‘The Siege: The Attack On The Taj’ is definitely going to be an interesting read.

Truth is trickling down after years of deception and obfuscation by vested interests. Perhaps justice will be delivered to 26/11 martyrs when ‘Honeybee’ (ISI agent in Indian Govt) will be found and prosecuted.

Once again  Sri Sri  has amazed me through his prescience and foresight on various national and international issues.

Note: The blog is updated with inputs from Anisha Jalan. Its been 5 year since the event and author is grateful to Anisha for furnishing the right chronology of events.

Art of Living Experiences.

It was August  2006. As instructed by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, I was living in a relief camp on the outskirts of a small village in the Bastar region of Chattisgarh state of India. I was engaged in trauma relief work in naxal-hit areas. The nearest telephone was 20 kms away. One day I received a message that I was to accompany Sri Sri in Mongolia on a three-day visit. Within hours I boarded a bus going to state capital Raipur and then another to the nearest well-connected city Nagpur. After two nights of traveling in three buses, one truck and an autorickshaw I was on a flight to Delhi to ensure that my passport is delivered in time for my visa application.

sri sri in mongolia

Why was Gurudev taking me with him? Was I to take Art of Living courses in Mongolia? My mind was racing with many questions. Soon I realized that I was part of his entourage. He was being awarded Mongolia’s Highest National Award “The Pole Star”. WOW.. On the flight to Mongolia, Sri Sri called me to sit beside Him. I was to take notes and attend to the mail; there was this huge heap of files to be taken care of. As a child I used to read how when the Prime Minister travels, his files travel with him so he can deal with them in the flight. Here I was seeing up close how our World Leader manages his huge movement, without wasting a single minute.

When we landed at Changis Khan Airport in Ulaanbaatar, it was 1 AM local time. The temperature outside was 6-7 degree and even at this odd hour thousands were waiting to welcome their Sri Sri in biting cold.

art of living blog.Sri Sri in Mongolia

The crowds were so excited that it almost took Gurudev an hour to reach his car. Ultimately the police escorts provided by the Mongolian Government had to intervene so that Sri Sri could get into the car. I had always assumed that the devotion we Indians have towards Gurudev can never be matched. But this was proved wrong during my travel with Sri Sri in Mongolia.

 DAY 1 at Mongolia

There was more to come, more than 500 people on the Advanced Mediation Course were waiting for Sri Sri. I had heard that when he went to Ludhiana in 2002, the ladies of the town wouldn’t let Masters’ feet touch the ground. They had put their head scarf (chunnis) on the ground in his Honour. I actually saw this happen in in Delhi in Markanda Hall in 2005. I thought things like this could happen only in India. I was proved wrong. In Mongolia, it felt as if they wanted every particle of their being to be touched by His Grace. At every step that the Master took, they had put their scarfs for him to bless by the touch of his feet.

Sri Sri with Mayor of ulan baatar

Later, Gurudev had a meeting with the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar, where important discussions took place, between Gurudev and the Mayor. The Mayor sought Gurudev’s help for the Mongolian youth with the problem of drug addiction. Sri Sri offered all help and even proposed the setting up of a drug rehabilitation center. In the evening the Indian Ambassador hosted Gurudev at his residence where Gurudev interacted with the local Indian community.

blog--Sri Sri -live kriya in Momngolia

This was followed by a grand satsang in a stadium, which was packed to capacity. Due to the overwhelming response to the satsang program, another satsang was announced on the spot for the next evening as well. By the end of the day the media team that was accompanying us from India was totally exhausted and was wondering how we keep pace with Gurudev. I told them that we are with Him only for a couple of days, imagine how he manages the same pace for 365 days, year after year.

Sri Sri in Mongolia - dalai lama

DAY 2 at Mongolia

It began with a meeting with Dalai Lama who was also visiting Mongolia. In this meeting the Dalai Lama expressed concern how people were being converted to other religions. Gurudev shared his concern. After this meeting our cavalcade of cars was speeding to the biggest Stadium of Mongolia where over 20,000 people had gathered to experience live Sudarshan Kriya with Sri Sri. blog-Sri Sri in Mongolia - satsang3

The President of Mongolia had also wanted to attend but for some reasons of protocol he could not attend and sent his advisors instead. The eyes of the Indian media literally popped out, so many people… and this is not India. This is Mongolia with a population of 2.5 million and almost half of them have done the course. Most of the members of Parliament have also done the course. This was followed by a state lunch hosted by the health minister of Mongolia and after lunch our cavalcade drove to the Mongolian Parliament for the award ceremony.

Sri Sri in Mongolia - pole star

People were waiting restlessly outside while the President of Mongolia bestowed the highest civilian Honour of Mongolia, “The Pole  Star” award to Sri Sri. As Gurudev stepped out of the parliament building many were overwhelmed with tears and Gurudev was covered with flowers all over him. From here the cavalcade sped to a meeting with the business leaders of Mongolia. Later the media asked Guruji that Changis Khan created a huge empire with the Sword and shed a lot of blood and you have come with a message of peace and love, so what do you have to say to it.

Sri Sri in Mongolia.artoflivingsblog

This is what Sri Sri said (not verbatim): “What was created with a sword did not last, it has shrunk, what is being created with LOVE will LAST”

In the evening, we were keen to be on the satsang, which had been announced at the last moment due to the overwhelming response of the previous days satsang. Here the crowds were so many, that though Gurudev wanted to meet everyone personally, he had to bless four people, who went into the crowd and blessed everyone. Though many felt cured and healed that night, two miracles were recorded, where two ladies who could not walk started walking after being blessed by Gurudev.

art of living blog.sri sri in mongolia

DAY 3 at Mongolia

Sri Sri met all the local teachers and organizers. Everybody was crashing in for this last chance to be with Gurudev before he left for India. This included the entire Hotel staff where we were staying and the police escort! In fact the hotel authorities had to close the hotel gates to keep the crowds in check. On the way to the airport Sri Sri had a meeting with the former President of Mongolia and soon, before we knew we were on the flight to India.

Sri Sri in Mongolia.artoflivingsblog

The warmth and sense of belonging of the people of Mongolia stirred me deeply. I felt as if this was my country and I was happy that Gurudev came here. Guess what my media friends later said about Sri Sri …“If your Gurudev had not gone into spirituality, He would have made an excellent diplomat”… I thought these guys don’t know he is excellent at whatever he does….

Samir Jolly