You gave me life – Poem by Rajita Kulkarni

Every time you looked at me
Every time you blessed me
Every moment I thought of you
You gave me life

Everytime you believed in me
Everytime you trusted me
With every loving gesture of yours
You gave me life

You nurtured my being
You freed my soul
You gave purpose to my birth
You gave me life

The instances have been many
When I faltered & you lifted me
Your attention made me special
You gave me life

You know me more than i do myself
You make the world notice me
Without you, I am nothing,coz
You gave me life

Then the actual moment
When you stood between death and me
With all your compassion and love
You gave me a new life

I don’t know why
I don’t know how
For a bigger meaning & a higher goal ?
You have given me a grand new life

Rajita Kulkarni

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April 15, 2009 at 2:58 pm 1 comment

Part II Course Meditation …

The Part II course meditations end with a variety of chants…I stumbled across one of them. The magical one, of course remains to be Asangoham. Enjoy

part_ii_course_chant

April 7, 2009 at 4:02 pm Leave a comment

Rajshree Patel Shares her Experience with Gurudev

This experience is shared by Rajshree Patel  (  Senior Faculty -Art of Living Foundation)

sun_and_moon

Have you ever witnessed or experienced a religious festival in India?

Such festivals are, to say the least, frenzied events. I somehow procured an invitation to attend the Navaratri (literally means `nine nights’) celebrations, which honours the nine aspects of the Mother Divine, at the Bangalore ashram. There it was, and continues to be, a celebrations, which honours the nine aspects of the Mother Divine, at the Bangalore Ashram. There it was, and continues to be, a celebration of silence amidst chaos. The atmosphere was simply electrifying. In spite of huge crowds, there was this incredible energy and serenity that I had never felt before.

After the festivities, we were sitting in a group with Bhanudidi, when she remarked: `This is the first Navaratri without Amma.’ I suddenly realized it had been a year since she had passed away. Bhanudidi continued talking about Amma’s last days: `I found her behaviour odd. It was strange that a strong-willed woman like her, who had always been in charge of everything, seemed to be turning over all responsibility. Maybe she was preparing me to take care of the house,children and family. However, she performed all the yagnas fully.’ The day after Navaratri, she was hospitalized.

Rajshree continues:

When Amma (Guruji’s mom) breathed her last in 2000, Sri Sri was at Varanasi. There were about 8000 people whom he had to address the very day he lost the person dearest to him. I was with him that day and saw the depth of his silence, serenity and patience in attending to everybody in those difficult moments. Yet the smile did not fade. To the devotees who were with Guruji at the time, and knew of his attachment to Amma, it was
a lesson in equanimity.

Rajshree Patel recalls: `I always knew he loved his mother very dearly, but I did not realize the depth of his love until after she had passed away. At the International Millennium Course in Italy, a month or so after the death of his mother, I discovered yet another dimension to Sri Sri. One the one hand everyone is the same to him, his love is impersonal and yet, I was learning, it was deeply personal. We were sitting in an assembly of 1500 to 2000 people. Someone in the front row was holding a magazine with Amma’s photo it it. Sri Sri, with a certain depth in his voice, was speaking of the importance of gratitude in life.

After a brief pause Sri Sri  said:
“There was a woman in my life who loved me more than herself.: Everyone sat up. He gestured to the magazine and added: “She was my mother.” A tear of deep love and gratitude for her rolled down his face, and I suddenly felt a total connectedness to him and started crying uncontrollably. And for the first time in all the years that I knew him, I saw the deepest personal love possible, free of attachment and demands, yet full of gratitude.’

Thanks to Kekuji for sharing this

April 2, 2009 at 3:00 am 10 comments

Indian cricket can benefit from Art of Living

Interview With Swami Sadyojathah on Rediff.com
swami_with_srilanka_cricket_team

The Lahore attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team was yet another reminder of the growing threat of terrorism in today’s world. You could call it ‘Munich Olympics attack re-visited’, though in Lahore, fortunately, the Sri Lankan players escaped with just minor injuries.
Even weeks later the cricketers were still reeling from the aftermath of the attack. That’s when Sri Lanka president Mahinda Rajapaksa decided summon the expertise of Art of Living teacher Swami Sadyojathah.
Sadyojathah, who is at the Art of Living International Ashram in Bangalore under the tutelage of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, conducted a four-day trauma relief programme for the cricketers.
In a detailed conversation with Chief Sports Correspondent Harish Kotian, Swami Sadyojathah talks about the programme he undertook with the players and the secret to healthy living.
Can you describe the course you put the Sri Lankan cricket team through?
The Art of Living foundation got an invitation from the Institute of Sports Medicine Sri Lanka on behalf of his Excellency the President of Sri Lanka [Mahinda Rajapaksa] to conduct the trauma relief programme for the Sri Lankan cricketers, who went to Lahore. Based on that I went there and had an eight-hour workshop spread over four days; the entire Sri Lankan team, except the two players who were in hospital, underwent the programme. They all enjoyed it; they felt it was a good break for them to move ahead.
When you met the players, did you feel that they will still in a state of shock? Were they still suffering from that trauma?
In fact, many people and the media were asking me about the trauma that they were going through. But, interestingly, in our style of Art of Living we conduct the same programme. We don’t sit and just make them talk about the trauma. That is because they have spoken a lot about the trauma in the media and that was happening for nearly two weeks.
So, the four days that we spent together, I didn’t ask them anything about Lahore and they didn’t tell me also. It was like past is past and finished. It was about how to bring your mind to the present and move ahead. They had the belief as well and they wanted to do something as a team.
They felt this course was a good break for them. For the first time after the Lahore attack the whole team was in the same room, sitting for two hours everyday and learning the breathing techniques.
Did anyone approach you personally during the four-day course asking for help to overcome the shock?
No. We didn’t have that session. They all, as a team, underwent the process. Some people did come to me, but all of them wanted to learn more about the yoga and breathing techniques.
Would you say they have got over the episode and are ready for life and returning to playing cricket?
Yes, definitely! They had already started going to the ground and practicing cricket. They believe they don’t want to get stuck in the past and want to move ahead in life.
Did you meet the two cricketers, Thilan Samaraweera and Tharanga Paranavitana, who were hospitalised after sustaining bullet injuries?
Yes, I did meet them. In fact, before the course started, the Institute of Sports Medicine wanted me to meet them, so I visited them in the hospital. Since they were not able to do the course they said they will do it as soon as they can.
Many of the cricketers have come out in the open and praised the Sudarshan Kriya breathing technique. Can you give us a brief on it?The Sudarshan Kriya is a very beautiful breathing technique that his Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has given to this world. It is a very simple and, at the same time, very powerful breathing technique. In fact, by this breathing technique, what happens is that the toxins get released from each and every cell of the body in a short span of time. Once you learn the breathing technique in the Art of Living programme you will know how to practice it everyday just for 10-15 minutes.
So you just got to do it for say around 10 minutes of breathing in 24 hours any time of the day wherever you are as simple as that. It has a very deep profound effect on the body and mind and gives deep relaxation. So once body and mind gets totally relaxed you become more dynamic and you will be able to do much more in a short time in a more effective way.
This Sudarshan Kriya is so powerful that once they start doing it as part of their everyday follow up sessions, the past will not affect them at all.
So you mean to say breathing techniques can you help over come mental trauma?
Yes, most definitely. In our day-to-day life we are experiencing that our breath pattern and emotions are connected. For example, if you are very happy, inhalation is prominent; if you notice it is deep inhalation, like you are enjoying the fragrance of a flower. When you are sad, exhalation is prominent, like sometimes you say a deep sigh. And when you are angry you can notice fast breathing.
So it is very clear that breath pattern and our emotions are connected. But, as of now, it is one-way traffic or a one-way street, like when you have different emotions you have different breath patterns.
But you have to make it a two-way street where using different breath patterns you can handle the mind and emotions.
Will you go back again and help the Sri Lankan cricket team if needed?In fact it came from them only that they would like to have Sudarshan Kriya as part of their recovery programme after every match. They have a recovery day after a game where they do other processes; so they want Sudarshan Kriya as a part of that and they are also keen to do follow-up sessions, whichever part of the world they are. The Art of Living is present throughout the world so it easy for them also.
Do you also follow cricket or some other sports?
Yes, if I get time I do watch.
Don’t you think the Indian cricket team could also benefit using this breathing technique?
Yes; in fact everyone should do it. The quality of your action depends on the state of your mind. If your mind is calm, centred, balanced, happy or joyful your action will be like that; but if your mind is frustrated, irritated or stressed then your action will be according to that. So the whole theme is to make the mind calm or focused, because that what everyone needs, especially the players.
I am sure the Indian cricket team will also benefit from this programme and they are most welcome if they want to do it.
The Art of Living course is meant for mental conditioning, but can it also bring relief from physical pain?
You should see the full definition of health. His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has given this definition of health in which he says you have to see health in seven dimensions that is body, breath, mind, intellect, memory, ego and self.
These are the seven layers of existence. We all know health as disease-free body, but it is not just that. It is a combination of disease-free body, quiver-free breath, confusion-free mind, inhibition-free intellect, trauma-free memory, ego that includes all, and sorrow-free soul.
So only when all these seven layers of existence are taken into account only then you can say that you are healthy. So these breathing techniques and the other programmes that we do cater to each layer of existence; it is holistic.
You have also helped tragedy-struck people in other parts of Sri Lanka, mainly during the tsunami in 2005. Can you give details on that?Wherever our help is required, our volunteers go there. We have done work is Kosovo also after the war, then in Lebanon and Iraq. In fact, in Iraq we have local Iraqis who conduct Sudarshan Kriya programmes and we also have Iraqi Art of Living teachers.
His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has also visited Iraq twice and we trained the youth there; it is a ongoing process.
And during the tsunami, immediately after the tragedy struck, I went to Sri Lanka. The first week after the tsunami I visited Jafna. Already it was affected by war for the past 20-25 years and on top of that the tsunami happened. It was in a very bad state. That is when I took the volunteers and teachers from India and other countries to start the work there.

April 1, 2009 at 3:24 pm Leave a comment

If you are not happy…

“If you are not happy, upset, sad:

1. Know: Everything is changing. It is impermanent. It’s a passing phenomenon. Have conviction about this.

2. You have the capacity to face it. You are much more powerful than a situation or problem that is in front of you.

3. Look at those who have greater problems than you. People in Sri Lanka, people in Iraq, even here in inner city areas – see what crisis or problem they have. And do something for them. When you start doing something, then your problem will appear like nothing, miniscule. Your problem will get solved…because it appears like nothing big.

4. Know: You have always been helped. Haven’t you been helped? Look back and see…Have that faith: I will get help. I will move through it. Nature will take care. God will take care… It will be handled.

5. See: In this whole cosmos, everything is nothing. Every particle is nothing. I am nothing, we are nothing, this is all nothing. A few moments of that awareness that everything is nothing brings enormous strength and courage in you. And love… See when you are angry, you say ‘I give up.’ When that comes from knowledge, the ‘I give up’…intense prayer happens: I can’t handle this. I give up.”

March 23, 2009 at 2:35 pm 6 comments

Yes We Can – CLP ( Community Leadership Program)

Did you know about the Yes We Can – Community Leadership Program currently underway at Art of Living Center in Germany ?

Visit here to follow what 122 Participants from all over Europe are up to. Learn more on their vision to create of a world free of wars in our time.

We can all support this wonderful initiative.. Yes We can ! Yes We Will !!!

http://66.7.199.212/~yeswecan/donate.html

March 16, 2009 at 1:06 pm Leave a comment

Gurupurnima with Gurudev in Chicago July 2-7 2009

GuruPurnima2009_Chicago

GuruPurnima2009_Chicago

March 13, 2009 at 4:42 pm Leave a comment

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