I was going through a very rough patch in my life. I’d just lost my father to cancer and my relationship with my boyfriend was also ending. I was in bad shape, really bad shape. I wasn’t sleeping well and I felt reluctant to get out of bed every morning. I went to my doctor and became one of the millions dependent on anti-depressants.
This was my existence until the summer of 1999. A friend of mine had taken this “Art of Living” course and he insisted that I do it too. After months of pestering, I decided that I would take the course only to see what sort of cult he had gotten himself into. I decided that my last act as his friend would be to see what sort of de-programming he would need.
The first session of the program we learned a strange thing called, “Pranayama.” It was more than foreign to me, but it seemed harmless enough so I participated. That night when I got home, I slept better than I had in at least ten years. So I decided to show up for the next session.
Then we did this breathing technique called Sudarshan Kriya. I found it very difficult to do. I peeked at what was going on around in the room, basically minding everyone else’s business. But even though I had my eyes open most of the time, not keeping the rhythm, I still felt really good afterwards. Someone made some funny noise in the room and that was it. We laughed for what seemed like an hour. That afternoon I did many things in which I had not done in years. I felt energised as well as a sense of peacefulness I had never felt before. Most importantly I slept the deepest I had in years.
Next day we again did the Sudarshan Kriya. But this time I decided that I would keep my eyes closed and see what happens. It seemed so much easier this time. I felt extraordinarily different when I opened my eyes. I noticed the sky through the open window, and it was as if it were the very first time I had seen the sky in my life! Then I looked around the room and for the first time, made real eye contact with anyone in I don’t know how long. Their eyes were so bright, so beautiful. I felt like I just fell in love with each and every one of them.
Shortly after practising the Sudarshan Kriya I was able to stop taking anti-depressants. This was just the beginning. From that very moment in which I opened my eyes after the second Sudarshan Kriya, I realised that the entire fabric of my life had changed and I began LIVING again!!! Smiles returned to my face. Kindness and warmth began to radiate from my heart to others. My entire life began to transform from one of bitterness and sadness to one of richness and beauty. I began experiencing more beauty and love than I had ever experienced before. The purpose of my life became clear and a contentment I had never known came.
I have no words to accurately capture the magnitude of the gratitude I feel for Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
Bang On the Door by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
“BANG on the Door”, as the name suggests is actually a bang on the door to your trapped inner soul! A Bang so loud, yet so soft and loving that you can’t help opening up to welcome all that the book has to offer.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, known for his compassion and wisdom, delivers the most complex and deep knowledge with an amazing simplicity and wit. The book is a collection of short talks by Sri Sri during his tour to the United States in 1989-1990.
As I started on this journey with a gentle knock by Sri Sri, I realized how the profound knowledge in the book strikes a chord not only in a spiritual seeker like myself, but also resonates with everyone looking for freedom from self created bondages. The truth in its purest form reflected in each word and no attempt is needed to read between the lines.
“BANG on the Door” decodes the fine intricacies of the interplay of religion and spirituality we face in daily life. It takes you through the emotional roller coaster, prompts you to question and then answer your own mind. Gently flowing from Love, to intelligence, to innocence..it takes you through the dilemmas you could have faced through various stages of your life. It rids you of the complexities of the outer world that have kept you away from yourself- from your home.
Fear, Dispassion, Rejection, Acceptance; Bang on the door proved to be an encyclopedia to silent the turmoil my mind was going through. It brought me back to my tiny humble abode; my soul! For its size, the book is an ocean of wisdom locked in your palms. I simply had to peep in, and it has possessed me face on to stay with me thereafter. Each time I lose the moment, I know where to go back to seize it again.
For all those who are thinking of knocking on the door to your soul, may the force be with you friends! The loud noises outside need to be shut with a Bang! And this book can be your Game changer!
Quoting what Sri Sri says in the book, “You are locked out of your own house. Bang on your inner Door. Right now you are on the doorsteps. Do not delay a moment. All wealth is within you. When your inner door opens, there is Love, just Love…..don’t move an inch’.”
~ Anamika Khosla
KNOW YOUR CHILD - The Art of Raising Children
Know your child is one of the many Sri Sri Ravi Shankar books that brings to light profound wisdom in simple words. The book is divided into 15 lessons with one lesson leading to the next in a lucid way. Reading this book is like reliving our journey from childhood to present times. All along we are gently pushed to look within as parents, teachers and mentors and evolve rapidly in our role of raising children into fine human beings
Know your Child by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar begins with “the concept of Saraswati, the Goddess of Learning who holds a musical instrument, a book and a rosary. The book symbolizes nourishing of the left brain which deals with science and the musical instrument denotes the development of the right brain which deals with art and the rosary symbolizes the meditative aspect…the three make education complete.”
The role of teachers as extensions of parents in school is very crucial to the development of little angels and the book serves as an authoritarian guide on the subject. Teacher and parents are the most intimate and powerful role models for a child and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar provides most practical answers to often asked questions.
The present system of education tires the child. A good education instills self esteem and creativity in a child. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar calls for a broad-minded education that can culture the mind to be free from the angst of the past and worries of the future. Such a mind can develop to its full capacity to digest and understand knowledge. The author suggests revolutionary yet simple steps to make a more intelligent and loving classroom where the strong children support the weakest, where laughter serves as a tool to overcome challenges.
The book gives a peep into the wisdom of progressive cultures where friendliness as a virtue is awarded. The Canadian example brings home the truth that being gregarious is important and children should be groomed to be friendly. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar writes that a child should make a new friend everyday. This helps them to have a sense of belongingness with all.
As a reader I was reminded of a select few in school who could sing, dance and talk with every body. And how we yearned to be like them! This book offers deep insights into these qualities and how effortlessly they can be inculcated to create a beautiful world with more smiles, laughter and nurturing.
The role of a teacher is applauded in this book and they are encouraged to be ‘Karma Yogis’ who love the job they do. As Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says, “a king is honored in his own country whereas an educationist is honored everywhere.”
In Know Your Child, Sri Sri poses tough questions like, “Why is the drop out rate so high,” that compel the reader to look within and take responsibility in his/her capacity as a parent, teacher or mentor. The compelling narrative reminds us that it’s not just the corporates, NGOs, or the government, but each one of us can be a game changer in creating a better tomorrow for the next generation.