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.

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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.

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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

Art of Living Experiences.

Sudarshan Kriya experience of Shyama Sondhi, the first Art of Living teacher to venture in Kashmir, a lady and, a painter of repute-

I was comfortable in life – didn’t have anything to worry about. There was no particular prelude to my joining the Art of Living program. It was just an idle incidence, or so I thought…


Midway during the Sudarshan Kriya, I started feeling suffocated, tired and not up to breathing anymore. So I pushed myself up to escape through the door. But as I did so, there was a ruffle of whiteness beside me and I felt the meaningful touch of three fingers on my shoulder, followed by a silent whisper – “Don’t move… keep on breathing. You will be able to do it, I am helping you.” The feel of the touch lingered on. I felt the presence of a saintly figure giving me assurance. Then I was bathed in moonlight which was bright like sunshine. My breathing during the Sudarshan Kriya went on in its different rhythms. I let go of myself (it just happened).


Later on – much later, I heard somebody crying his heart out. There was such acute anguish and unexpressed pain in the crying that tears of compassion sprang to my eyes. The intensity of that outburst, that vulnerability and helplessness, was unbearable. I thought to myself that I would make friends with this person and give help by being around. There was a condensed loneliness in the whole affair of listening quietly to the heartbreaking crying of someone. When we were lying down after the Sudarshan kriya, I experienced an unusual sadness. An overwhelming emptiness engulfed me – how can anybody cry so much – how much hurt must be hidden inside!


When finally I opened my eyes, I found several pairs of eyes looking towards me. I felt awkward by the way other participants were taking care of me. I asked the person sitting next to me why I was being given so much attention. She told me, “You cried so much, why, what is wrong?”


Then the electric realisation dawned on me – “My God! It was me who was crying my heart out!” I was amazed how I felt that I was hearing the cries of someone else. The entire episode was vivid in my memory but as a witness. Then I looked around for the person who had stood next to me during the kriya but I couldn’t see the saintly presence in the room.


That night I slept like a new born child sleeps after its first bath. Sudarshan Kriya had stripped away long years of emotional blocks and tapped into my inner happiness. I was experiencing the boundless joy within. Me – humming, singing, dancing and trying to fly like a bird – the barriers were crossed. A new me had arisen. Physically my immune system improved. The chronic pain in my lower back which doctors could not cure for years, vanished instantly.


When I went to attend the Advanced Meditation Program at Rishikesh, I had the honour of meeting Sri Sri Ravi Shankar personally for the first time (I had not even seen his photograph till then).

I was dazed to see him because he was the one who had stood next to me during the difficult moments of my first kriya, keeping his hand on my shoulder. I was equally amazed at his remark – “So you have come!”

Courtesy – The Art of Healing

Art of Living Experiences.

The horror of living with a spouse addicted to alcohol is unimaginable.

My husband was an alcoholic. I say ‘was’ as now he is off drinks. I paid the price for this with the life of our only son who left us at the tender age of 10 in 2011. My husband had lost his job and had a labor case against his employer. With his only support being alcohol he eventually became an addict, turned paranoid and deluded. He saw things and people following him the family. While visiting a mall he picked up our only child and flung him down from the first floor of the mall and jumped down himself. I was watching in disbelief, as if detached from my body.

The mall was decorated for Christmas celebrations with white angels and fairies. There must have been real fairies and angels present as my son was leaving this Earth.  They must have all been there in millions to take him away, only I could not see them.

From the first floor of the mall I saw my son on the ground and my husband lying a little away from him. I came running down the escalator and when I went near my son there was already a big crowd around him. I was pulled away from my son and made to sit down. I called up my family in India and told them what had happened.

The ambulance came and took my son and husband away to the hospital. To help me go to the hospital one of my Art of Living friends came to the mall with his family. By the time I reached the hospital the entire Art of Living family from Bahrain was there.

My son was unconscious with a fracture on the head. My husband had a fractured leg and surprisingly he was conscious. I gave them healing through a technique learnt in the Art of Living blessing program.

Later my husband was taken into custody and put in a special security ward.

This was the horror I was facing and yet I remained totally detached and witnessed it all as a happening. Was that me? I wonder now!  How did I manage to stay centered and calm? I surprised the doctors and nurses as I refused to take any tranquilizers. It was as if a Divine force had taken over me.

I had become an Art of Living teacher just 3 months before this tragedy.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar my gurudev

My son came into my life with my Guru and soon after I became an Art of Living teacher, he left. He was my little guru, giving me all the knowledge points of Art of Living. My husband and son had a very loving relationship and it was the little one’s sacrifice that cured the dad of his addiction.

Like a concerned friend Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar telephoned me at the hospital and asked what happened. My husband was in police custody. I lost my son 4 days later when love of whole Bahrain was around me.  My husband did not know we had lost our child. He was not allowed to know as he was being assessed and interrogated.

The doctors expected me to be rolling on the floor, pull my hair, take a dagger and kill my husband. Nothing like that happened. Throughout my son’s passing away and his cremation it was the presence of the Guru that kept me in a sane, calm and centered state. People around me wondered, how is she managing to do this!

Art of Living Blog - Deaddiction day

I went to meet Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji soon after the incident and with his blessings made the decision to be with my husband. Do not see intention behind others mistakes- I knew he was not responsible for the act.  The knowledge given by Gurudev kept me centered and strong. I accepted the present moment as it is. I was not a football of others opinion who told me to leave my husband and let him go to jail. Opposite values are complementary, I was sure this had happened for a big reason. I kept hearing my son’s soul telling me “mom, I am leaving you as you have a lot of good work to do. I am setting you free, you don’t have to worry about my school, my eating and my extra curricular activities. Mom I will see you soon. I love you”.

My husband was acquitted of all charges and set free. It was a miracle in the legal history of this country. I KNEW WHOSE POWER WAS BEHIND IT.

It is now two and half years after the tragedy and I can say I AM HAPPY!! But for my Master and his wisdom I would not have been writing this today.

- Jayashree