Archive | October, 2012

Vow To Save Girl Child – Urges Bhanumathi Narasimhan

24 Oct

Save girl child by Bhanumathi Narasimhan

Bhanumathi Narasimhan, (Director, Women & Child Welfare Programmes, The Art of Living Foundation) urges each one to meet the challenges of female foeticide and domestic violence. She emphasises education in human values as the solution to tackle these problems.

As a part of all the projects, Madhurya (www.madhurya.com)  is one such initiative which works to revive the ancient Indian art and crafts, which include tanjore paintings, heritage furniture,  handwoven sarees, temple jewellery etc. The proceeds of the profit from Madhurya Creations goes for the 422 free schools run by Art of Living Foundation.

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Navaratri Celebrations

17 Oct

Navaratri celebrations By Bhanumathi Narasimhan

Navratri is traditionally celebrated in honor of Devi, the Divine Mother. The Divine Mother is symbolic  of energy, a manifestation of the Divine itself. Each day of Navratri we honor specific qualities of divinity with different homas and with different intentions.It is this energy, which helps God to proceed with the work of creation, preservation and destruction.

Navaratri celebration is divided into sets of three days to adore different aspects of the supreme goddess. On the first three days, the Mother is invoked as powerful force called Durga in order to destroy all our vices and defects. The next three days, the Mother is adored as a giver of spiritual wealth, Lakshmi, who is considered to have the power of bestowing on her devotees with the wealth. The final set of three days is spent in worshiping the mother as the goddess of wisdom and knowledge, Saraswati. In order have all-round success in life, we need the blessings of all three aspects of the divine mother; hence, the worship for nine nights.

H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, th founder of the Art of Living foundation explains something more on Navaratri.

By Bhanumathi Narasimhan

Women leaders can globalize spirituality

15 Oct

A woman has a great role to play in society: especially since she is peace loving. She can be a strong peacemaker; at home, in the community, in society and in the world.

 A woman by nature is multi-talented and multi-faceted. If she is well educated and well informed locally as well as globally, she can make the required positive change. All of us share our achievements and challenges. This certainly helps to broaden our vision and understanding of where and how we can contribute on the world stage. We can carry forth this inspiration to our respective countries to share among our people.

As leaders, there are many who look up to us to bring about a positive transformation.

We are very fortunate as educated women to hold so many uplifting and challenging positions all over the world contributing towards a positive change.  It is our prerogative to provide opportunities for other women and girl children in society who are deprived of the same due to lack of education.  We must educate the girl child and empower every woman

We have all seen that a woman is truly empowered when she has inner strength, peace of mind and Self confidence. These qualities, which are the greatest force of transformation, are the gift of Spirituality.
Human values, compassion, caring – all these are also part of Spirituality. We, as women leaders, can globalize spirituality and take this message of human values, compassion and caring to every corner of the world. We can work together to bring a smile on the face of every woman. This would surely help to make the world a harmonious and peaceful place to live in.

Video

My experience with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar – Bhanumathi Narasimhan

11 Oct

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of The Art of Living Foundation, inspires thousands of people across the world. He plays many roles for many people – as a humanitarian ambassador, spiritual leader or a meditation teacher, as well as a peace advocate. And I feel very grateful to be his sister.I have shared some of my experiences with him in the video.

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Three Aspects of Beauty By Bhanumati Narsimhan

4 Oct

Aspects of Beauty by Bhanumati Narasimhan

There are 3 aspects of beauty – Aishwarya, Madhurya and Saundarya

Aishwarya is Lakshmi or wealth and lordship. (see knowledge sheet on aishwarya and madhurya) . One may seem to have lordship through fear or power due to position but they are not pleasant. Lordship that comes out of love and respect has a different dimension to it. It is a true wealth in the relationship.

Madhuryais sweetness – Sweetness in thought, word and action. It is our nature to be ‘madhur’ and in a pleasant state of mind. When we are stress-free and centered that sweetness comes to you. When we are pleasant, we create the same atmosphere around us. Others also feel relaxed, comfortable and ‘at home’ in our company even if they had come with a disturbed mind. This refinement of consciousness has the capacity to enhance one’s life and beauty.

That is why so much culture is attached to religion. Otherwise it is very dry. The grandeur of churches for example takes you to a space of wonderment. The intricate beauty of temples also does the same. Its beauty creates sweetness in the mind and any word or action that comes from such a state is also of a pleasing and joyous nature.

Saundarya is the beauty that comes from inner strength. Some people may not be very beautiful but they are very attractive. They have a certain inner strength in them that makes them truly attractive. That is Saundarya. How does one bring out this inner strength? That is through meditation and spirituality. The blossoming of our true self and potential happens effortlessly through spirituality.

The mind is attracted to that which is beautiful. The mind likes to follow. But the goal is towards the self, the source of divinity within us. When we move towards this source, we cannot return empty handed. The Self is the true leader. The Self has complete lordship (aishwarya), is full of sweetness (madhurya) and is the source of all inner beauty and strength (Saundarya). So when we go towards the Self – the guru puts us on the path – we can become true leaders.

The Secret of Mantra Chanting

1 Oct

Mantras – Sound vibrations that permeate every cell of your being and allow your mind to dissolve and repose. But what are they? What do they mean? Where did they come from? There are so many questions surrounding these ancient syllables. Speaking about Mantras is the revelation of ancient secrets that have been kept sacred from several ages, secrets that continue to benefit humanity irrespective of its circumstances.

What are Mantras?
Mantras are impulses or rhythms of the consciousness. They create vibrations in the spirit. Their effects, influence, method and mode of working are all a mystery.

In Sanskrit, it is said, Manana trayate iti mantra.Mantra is that which saves you from repetitiveness. A repetitive thought is a worry. Mantras help to free you from your worries. Often we wonder why we chant some sounds without understanding their meanings? Can something beyond our understanding help us?

The meaning of every mantra is infinity. It is a sound vibration beyond the cognition of the mind. When the mind is unable to cognize, it simply dissolves and moves into a meditative space.

How Mantras affect the mind?
The mantra is like a seed. Every seed has the potential to become a tree. Similarly, these sound vibrations contain all the possibilities of creation. Some mantras are in the seed form, called the bija mantras. Others are fully expressed, i.e, the fruit of the mantra is also expressed, such as the Gayatri mantra.

Mantras are a secret. That which is kept a secret alerts the sub-conscious mind. The mantras work at the level of the consciousness. When we want a seed to sprout, it needs to be sown into the soil, hidden, a secret. If it is simply thrown around, birds may eat them up. We can read and learn about mantras and their uses from books and the internet but that will only satisfy the intellect and not translate into experience.

Mantra and Meditation
When we chant the mantras, or listen to them, we get purity of mind and word. This prepares us for meditation. As a result of the sound vibrations, different patterns of the mind re-arrange themselves to become tranquil. Agitation is reduced, helping us to turn inward. For instance, when we laugh, our happiness increases. When we cry, the heaviness of our sorrow is released. Just the sounds of laughter and crying have helped. Mantras act in a similar manner. Repetition of the Mantras creates a psychological or mental response that is very deep and beyond the realm of words or expression. It can only be experienced. Speech falls short as it cannot go beyond the expression level into the experiential level.

When the mind is calm and centered, it can turn inward. Only a mind turned inward can experience the vastness and beauty of the Divine consciousness. When our focus is outward on the objects of the senses, our mind is scattered and racing behind one craving or another. Physical senses seek to know all about the external universe. Meditation is the tool for inner exploration.

Antarmukhi Sada Sukhi – one whose mind is turned inward is ever in bliss. Mantras are the tools which allow the mind to dissolve and repose in the Self.

Why should we repose in the Self? How is this going to help in our day-today life?

When the river is calm, the reflection is clearer. When the mind is calm, there is greater clarity in the field of expression. Our sense of observation, perception and expression improve. As a result we are able to communicate effectively and clearly.

Most of our problems or misunderstandings arise because of a lack of proper communication. When our mind is free from agitation, the way we interact and communicate is so much more pleasant and effective. Our efforts are not hindered by rifts caused due to communication gaps. This leads to a lot of positivity in our outlook and progress in life.

Mantras are as subtle as the air which creates ripples in the water as it gently moves over it. Air is all-pervading and at the same time affects specific regions. The field of the mantras is also such. It is all –pervading and also creates an impact on the one who is practicing.

Bhanumathi Narasimhan

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