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Guided Meditation for Relaxation by Gurudev

20 Mar

Guided meditation by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The sound to silence meditation helps in cleaning all the clutter accumulated in mind and takes you from all hustle bustle to pleasant joyful silence.

Check out more Guided Meditation by Sri Sri.

What is the contribution of Guru in our Lives

14 Feb

Meera was a princess. One day, When she was a young girl, she was looking out of the window, and she saw a wedding procession. The mother pointed out the bride and the groom to Meera. The child asked her who her groom will be and her mother playfully pointed to the beautiful idol of Krishna and said, ” He is the one for you!” Meera takes this to heart and Krishna becomes her best friend, soulmate and companion.

A few years later, an unexpected turn of events takes place. Meera’s sister’s hand is promised to two different kings by the brother and the father. To prevent the impending war between the three kingdoms Meera’s sister powders and swallows a diamond from a ring which her father gives her and sacrifices her life to stop the war. The Bhoja king, admiring the courage of the young princess asks for Meera’s hand in marriage for his younger brother in her sister’s place. The king obliges and Meera is married off in a daze. She tells her husband that you are my king but Krishna is my Lord.

In her innocent way, she brings major transformation in the kingdom. When they were about to sacrifice a goat as part of a custom to welcome the new bride, she very confidently proclaims that the divine does not accept such sacrifices and violence of any kind. She emphasizes that it is the duty of man to protect and preserve nature. She makes an offering of sweet kheer instead. While the rest of the family is shocked, the Bhoja raja admires her innocence, courage and compassion and changes the custom.

aisi-laagi-lagan-meera-ho-gai-magan-anup-jalota

She had carried the Krishna idol whom she always considered as her Lord with her. Even though married, in her mind she was married to Krishna. The King’s sister is unable to understand the depth of her devotion and thinks that she is neglecting her duties towards the King because of the ‘other man’ in her life. At her behest, the Krishna idol was thrown into a well and Meera feels it immediately in her heart. The sister-in-law tells her that now your husband is your God ( pathi hi parmeshwar hai) and Meera replies saying, “God is my husband!” ( Parameshwar hi mera pathi hai).

Though raised as a queen, she does not mind the physical hardship or discomfort as she leaves the kingdom and goes in search of the divine. She meets several saints in the process. She spent time in their company, learnt from them. The company of the wise is essential to nurture and nourish devotion. When she came to Sant Raidas, he asks, “who are you?” She says, ” I am Meera.” ” where am I if Meera is there? And where is Meera if only I am there?” Replies the Saint. In a flash she realized that there is no two, that there is no separation from her Lord. You can never find your Lord in duality.

A guru is necessary even to uplift our devotion and bring freedom. Meera’s devotion was focused outwards on an idol. Only with the grace of her guru, she recognized that the divinity, her Krishna, is within her. You keep searching for the divinity outside till you meet your guru who turns everything around and puts you on the inward journey where you are not separate from the divine. This is the biggest gift from the guru. Raidas was a cobbler turned into a Saint. The Guru can come to you in any form. That is why the guru is a tattva, a principle, and not just the physical form. The guru principle is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. When you are connected to the Master, then you can feel his presence always with you, wherever you are, whatever you do. This connection uplifts you and is the indication of the presence of the Master within you. Whenever Gurudev goes to anyone’s house and they tell him, “please don’t go”, he says, ” I only come, I never go.” Even if you have not met him physically for years, just thinking of him, you feel his presence even thousands of miles away.

With a devotion that had ripened and matured, wherever she went, Meera’s voice evoked the depth of love and longing in all who heard her songs. It is said that even King Akbar came to her in disguise to hear her bhajans. However, as he was considered an enemy of their kingdom, Mira was imprisoned, forced to drink poison, yet nothing touched her. When she was freed, she went straight to the sanctum of the Krishna temple where she merged in a flash of light. Only the tanpura and her dupatta(stole) remained. There was no trace of her body. This extraordinary life is not possible if you are caught in the mundane.

Often people think that aggression is strength. But Meera showed how you can move through the toughest situations without losing the softness. Meera’s devotion is exemplary. Faith is the essence of devotion. Her devotion made her soft. Her faith was her strength. She never doubted that she will be united with her Lord.

Presence of the Master – Guru Purnima Special

10 Jul

Na guror adhikam Na guror adhikam Na guror adhikam Na guror adhikam

Shiva shasanatah Shiva shasanatah Shiva shasanatah Shiva shasanatah

 

Shiva has declared that there is nobody beyond the guru. The concept of the master is time immemorial. It is an eternal principle. The master, the self, the mantra and the ishta (family deity) are the same energy. The more you come close to the master, the more evident this becomes for you.

 

What does it mean to come closer? The Guru is not just the body. You can feel the presence of the master even from miles away and you still you get the uplifted feeling. However, fortunate are those who can bask in his physical presence. Guru purnima is a wonderful opportunity to be in the presence of your master and to take his blessings on this auspicious day.

 

Every time, during guru purnima, you are reminded of your devotion, your fullness and how you can be useful to people around you. Difficulties in life are the grounding factor. Some of the seemingly difficult situations can be the time to introspect. You are in a situation to really re-think. It is the time to polish, refuel and again you can take off. Renewing your bond with the wisdom is guru purnima. Having a master in your life, you are grounded and confident.The master is always glorified because he is such a psychological strength and security in one’s life. The master is the absolute comfort in our life.

 

The Guru always makes your life full. There is a sense of fulfillment, contentment. Guru purnima is celebrated recognizing that our life is full like the moon in the presence of the Master. It is enriched, total and pleasant. You feel so cared for in the master’s presence. The heart blossoms and the head stops worrying.

 

The guru connects you to your higher self. That is why you feel elevated and happy for no reason in his presence. Meditation in the master’s presence is very uplifting. When you are in his physical presence sattva (purity) is predominant. As a result of this we get deep experiences in meditation. We tend to rejoice naturally. The heart is filled with joy and gratitude and you experience the magic of divine love and bliss.

 

Perfection is the ability to experience the divine love within you. Everything is not material. There are some things you can only experience, you cannot explain. The sense of belonging ness, connectedness, a quality of consciousness with access to higher dimensions – the physical presence of the Master gives you these mystical experiences.

 

The expanded consciousness cannot be understood by the limited realm of the intellect. It is mystical – beyond grasp, you can feel it, but you can’t explain it. All the beautiful experiences in our life are mystic – love, reverence, beauty, gratitude,innocence – can’t be measured. They capture the heart and are beyond the intellect. Living fully the mystery of life is mysticism and this is possible only in the presence of the enlightened master.

 

During Guru purnima, It is like recharging your energy. So many devotees with gratefulness – it is a mystical atmosphere. It feels like this is the experience of a lifetime! To live such a life feels worthy. I have experienced this so many times and each time I feel, this is it, and I am waiting for the next one as well! Life is a joy – magical and mystical in the presence of the master.

Talk on Management by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

19 Feb

Let’s move from formality to informality. Let’s start the discussion on Work Culture on an informal basis. What do you say? I don’t like to hide behind the podium. I think podiums were designed in the olden times when people used to shiver when they had to address an audience or a gathering. The podium used to help them hide their nervousness.

When you are at peace in life and you can create such an ease in your atmosphere, work culture will become better. How do you create such an ease, an informal atmosphere is what as managers you all have to think about. When you walk in & out of the office you always get a Salaam or a Pranam or a Namaste, Sat Sri Akal but do you read behind these greetings, is it genuine or is it superficial and most of these pleasantries that we exchange saying thank you, thank you very much or you did a good job andwelcome have a nice day….. all these come from a superficial level. It’s like the greeting that you get from an airhostess when you leave the plane…. They say “ Have a nice day”… they don’t mean it and the entire work environment is filled with such superficial, sometimes even hypocritical greetings… How can youexpect such environment to produce results which you are looking for? You know when the President of the World Bank met me, he asked me, “What is the secret of your success?” How can you have so much work done with so little money. I said it is not just money that does the job. Something more . It is the freedom in your work place. Just in one year’s time 3000 volunteers could adopt 21,000 villages in India the 5H programs and that also with less than 2 crore of rupees. It is something that nobody could believe but it happened. They could do the roads, they could provide proper drinking water and many things. It is the dedication, the inspiration that comes out. The difference between motivation and inspiration we should know. We can motivate somebody giving them a few hundred rupees but that motivation is short lived. It will stay for 2-3 months, again they want a raise. But if someone isn’t inspired from within, forget about having a good work culture. Work culture will need either inspiration or emergency deadlines and fear psychosis. If fear psychosis is created in people it works for sometime but it is not a healthy thing to do and many of our set ups run more on fear psychosis.

Twitter town hall with sri sri

To achieve deadlines the insecurity has to drop rather than the motivation. The third thing that we need to attend to is the mind set. In the mind set. I think there are 2 levels. One is the labour union mind & the other, the authoritarian mind. The labour union mind is always pointing the fingers at the others and authoritarian mind also does the same thing. They say,“Only I can do it, nobody else can do this”. Do you see this happening. I am better, nobody can do anything, they are all useless, they can’t do any job. In this country, we are very good at delegating jobs from ancient times. Though God is one, we divided the God, creator, manager & transformer- Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh, we divided them in three different allocation of jobs and all important portfolios were allotted to women. Finance ministry – Lakshmi, Education ministry- Saraswati, Defence – Durga, all are taken. We need to learn how to delegate and that can only happen when you step out of the authorotarian mind. Authoritarian mind finds everybody wrong….. only I am right, I can do better.

Nobody can do as well as I can do so one does not take responsibility for making others work. This is on the level of the manager…. They don’t trust anybody. Authoritarian mind does not trust anybody. If you do not trust anybody how can you motivate someone to do work , inspire them to do work . “Isn’t this the problem with you all, tell me, isn’t this the problem in your setup?”

The second type of problem is the labor union mindset that the manager is not good, or the senior is not good, he doesn’t let me function. “Are you all here 100 percent?” If your mind is in the present moment it will stop complaining. Your complaining is a product of your unconsciousmind.

It is very important to dream also but there has to be a fine balance between practicality & dreams. What we mortally feel is impossible, you give these tasks, and you see it will happens and it happens because of your Atmik Shakti, with your Sankalpa Shakti. What you call Sankalpa is your determination. You know I had announced I would go to Pakistan couple of weeks  ago 10 days ago but till the last day I had no visa and everybody whom our people talked to, everybody discouraged….. It’s not good, don’t go now.. and just in a matter of couple of days, we got the visa….. because I was bend on it. The day I was supposed to fly, till 19th I had no visa , till 4’0 clock I had no visa and the last minute they found out I had an Israeli stamp on my visa. There is a policy in Islamabad, they do not give you a visa if your passport has an Israeli stamp on it. So we wondered what’s going to happen because there in Islamabad, in Karachi they had arranged a big programme, lots of people, thousands of people were going to come and I thought what’s going to happen? But it happened, I just said I got to go…….. and 4 o’clock we get the visa 6 o’clock I take the flight and go. And in Pakistan, the Pakistani High Commissioner and we were in the same place where the SAARC meeting was going on. He said, “Who gave you the visa?”

The human mind says “Only we are functioning, I am in charge of everything” – but there is something else that works, something else that works. Against all odds, you can move ahead and do what you want to do. You just have to have the faith with you. You know, yesterday only there was another incident. We had a satsang in Ambala yesterday evening in the big ground. The morning it rained till 2 or 3 o’clock in the afternoon. The organizer and all of them had the faith that if we had an evening satsang, the rain will stop. And with that conviction, it will happen – “there was no rain, there was sunshine and a great satsang happened. Not once – It has happened, over and over, again and again. It has happened. The nature supports you when you have the conviction. This country lacked for so long & it was Guru Gobind Singh Ji who gave back the culture to us. The entire country is so indebted to Guru Gobind Singh Ji, who told us to work like a warrior. It is the warriorness in your which us needed to achieve anything not just living in your own comfort zone. Unfortunately our corporate culture is clogged with that comfort zone and we like to live in our own comfort zone and not be adventurous. We do not want to stretch ourselves a little more than we think we can. We need to inspire people to push them a little forward and to make them do what they can do.

Are you all here still ? So, we need to get out of this authoritarian mind and this labour union mind. Labour union mind – which thinks I can’t do anything because so and so is incharge. It is this so and so which is responsible for me not doing my work. When somebody asks someone, “Why did you go wrong?” They will pass the buck and say, “ Because of that person, because of someone else” – and not take total responsibility. We need to teach our persons to take total responsibility and dignity of work- whatever the work is……

— Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

twitter town hall with sri sri

There is the opportunity to ask you questions to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar during the Twitter Town hall with Sri Sri event on 23rd February 2014 at 10PM IST.

Google+ Hangout with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

24 Jan

 

A unique dialogue between Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and leaders from around the world on creating a stress free and violence free society.  First online global meet of concerned citizens for stress free violence free society from across 60 countries.

Join Google+ Hangout with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on 26th January 2013 at 8:00PM IST, 10:00am GST, 3.00pm GMT.

Theme : What can we do to make a stress free and violence free society? 

To register visit : Hangout with Sri Sri 

Visit http://www.youtube.com/artoflivingtv and +Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to post your questions.

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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Presence of the Master – By Bhanumathi Narasimhan

27 Sep

Who is a Guru? Why do I need a Guru? How do I recognize a Guru? Do I have to search for my Guru, or will my Guru find me? What is the relationship between a Guru, and a disciple?

These are some often-asked questions by any seeker on the path. There are many who can give answers but only a Guru can transform questions into wonder. Only the Master can take you to that space of wonderment where there is no duality.

Spirituality is an inward journey from the outer world of names, and forms to the subtle inner Self. The physical body is gross, and limited. The breath is subtle. The mind is subtler. The intellect is even more; the ego, furthermore. The Self is the subtlest. To the infinite depths of our beautiful being – it is the Master who guides us, and takes us on this journey step by step.

The Guru is an embodiment of wisdom, and love. In Sanskrit, the word for gravity is Gurutwakarshan. The earth holds us towards itself by the force of gravity. Without this attraction or love, we would not have a base, or a foundation. Similarly, Gurutva is the basis of our life. The Guru is the guiding light – removing the darkness of ignorance.

Bhanumathi Narasimhan with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

A Teacher can give knowledge, but the Master brings a heightened awareness.

A Teacher can give information but the Master awakens intelligence.

There is an ancient story. One day, while Lord Shiva was performing a puja, Parvati sees him bowing down. Seeing this, she asks, “You are the Supreme Consciousness, and substratum of this entire creation. Who is it that you bow down to?”

Shiva replies, “Dear Parvati, for the benefit of all humanity, I will answer your question. It is to the all-pervading Guru tatva that I bow down.” In the many beautiful verses that followed called the Guru Gita, Lord Shiva explains the Guru Principle, and says how fortunate one is to have a Living Master in his life.

The Guru in the physical form is called pratyaksh. In the presence of the Master, our enthusiasm, and spirit is in an elevated state – sorrows diminish, joy wells up, there is contentment, knowledge is nourished and protected, and talents blossom.

India honors a tradition of Masters who have protected, and given this knowledge to us, generation after generation, according to the need of the age and time.

When a drop feels connected to the ocean, it feels the strength of the ocean. When we are connected to this tradition, we feel the strength, and protection of all the Masters.

All these Masters are an expression of the same Infinite, Undivided, Supreme, Pure Consciousness.

The Guru is a tatva – an omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent principle. Establishing connection with this tatva is the source of greatest strength. We know we have forefathers, great grand parents and so on. Yet we feel most attached and connected to our father, or grandfather because they are with us. Similarly, we have many Gurus in our tradition, but when we come in the presence of our Living Master, the connection is established immediately. The entire knowledge from time immemorial is made available to us.

Gurupurnima is a time to feel grateful. The more grateful we are, the more grace flows in our lives. On Gurupurnima, we remember all the Masters who were, who are and who will be in future. We feel gratitude towards the Master who moves us from the limited understanding and pride of ‘I know everything” to “I am everything.”

A disciple seeks knowledge. A devotee seeks nothing. A devotee is soaked in love, and devotion. Gurupurnima is the day of the devotee. When the river meets the ocean, the river no longer remains a river. It becomes the ocean. It is the same when the devotee meets the Divine. Only Divinity remains. The individual ‘I’ dissolves in the One Divinity.

When we look at the world through the eyes of the Master, the world will look so much more beautiful – a place filled with love, joy, compassion, and virtues.

The Master is a presence that is unlimited, vast, infinite, and all-inclusive. The presence of the Master in one’s life brings fulfillment to all other relationships.

To that One, Eternal, Pure, Unbounded, Embodiment of Knowledge and Absolute Bliss,

To the Lotus feet of My Master, I bow down.

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