Jaya Jaya Durge Maa Bhajan by Bhanumathi Narasimhan

7 May

A beautiful Jaya Jaya Durge Maa bhajan in the melodious voice of Bhanumathi Narasimhan.

 

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What successful women do right!

20 Mar

As a woman on the path to success we expect to feel a sense of achievement when we see that we have reached the top, where we wanted to be. How does it look from there? Will the world and people around you look beautiful? Will the journey to the top be pleasant and memorable? For so many women whom I have met this journey has certainly not been easy. It is not always a journey of mutual support, upliftment and friendliness. Instead, you have to be careful about who is conspiring to push you down. There are many challenges, not just due to gender bias, but also due to an unhealthy competition and jealousy from other women themselves! This kind of journey can be very stressful and takes its toll on our body and mind.

Sri Sri says that one who manages all challenges that life gives is successful. However, what are the skills that we need to be able to do this and succeed?

  • Commitment – One failure can lead to another success later. We should not be deterred by failures.
  • Time – It is not sufficient to invest money to nurture or develop anything. We have to giveour personal time and attention.
  • Setting an Example – A successful woman doesn’t just show you the way; She walks the talk.
  • Team work – Make others feel involved – inspire participation and contribution.
  • Silence – Nurture quietude and calmness.
  • Reflection – Sit quietly at the end of the day, looking back at all the day’s activities, seeing where we made a difference. Reminding ourselves of the successes, it can inspire us to do more.

A woman has to balance her family, relationships, work, interests – all of these and more on the road to success. When you realize that you are multi-faceted, multi-dimensional, you can multi-task. This realization comes when you are in a calm and serene state of mind, which is achieved through meditation.

When you meditate, the task that took you four hours to complete earlier gets done in two hours. It is necessary that you give prime time to yourself, to relax yourself, to realize your potential to do better. Otherwise you limit your capabilities. When you meditate, you realize the expansion within you, that limitlessness within you.

The meditative woman is successful.Belongingness, commitment, connectedness  – all these qualities are a byproduct of meditation. Sri Sri often says, “success means strength, an unshakeable smile that nobody can take away and a courage that does not diminish. It does not mean having a big bank balance. There are some very rich people who do not have the strength of character. They don’t have a sense of belongingness or love. They are unable to appreciate the subtleness of life.”

True success is when it extends to both the material and inner realms. Are you enjoying the little things in your life? Have you lately observed the glistening dewdrops in the grass? The birds chirping, the sparrows drinking water, the blue jay feeding, the eagles circling overhead, the beautiful flowers, have you cleaned your window pane, have you watered the small little plants in your garden? Have you observed the lucky bamboo with two more leaves, enjoyed the design on your carpet and the craftsmanship – the beautiful colors, made a new salad dressing, experimented with your sandwich – this is the sign of a successful woman – living every moment to the fullest.

I have always believed that a woman is the heart of the family – she keeps everyone together. A woman is the heart of society – when you empower women to succeed, you are enabling society to prosper.

– Bhanumathi Narasimhan

The article source is from http://artofliving.org.

About Gayatri Mantra

1 Mar

 

gayatri mantra by bhanumathi narasimhan

 

‘Let my mind and the whole existence

be illumined and purified by your radiance’

Gayatri is the one who glides through the three states of consciousness joyfully, playfully, effortlessly and lightly, as though it were a song. When we ‘sing through’ something, it means it is not a burden for us. ‘Gayanti traayate iti gayatri’. The Gayatri mantra affects all the three states of consciousness, jagrut(waking), sushupt (deep sleep), swapna(dream) and the three layers of existence adhyatmik, adidhaivik and adibhautikTraya also refers to the taapatraya or the ailments(taapa) that adversely affect the body, mind and soul: the body by physical ailments, the mind by negativity and restlessness in the soul. The Gayatri Shakti (energy or field of vibration) enables one to transcend and be unaffected by the tapatraya’s.

The Gayatri mantra sharpens the intellect and brightens the memory. A new mirror reflects clearly, but over time, dust gathers and it needs cleaning. Similarly our mind becomes tainted with time, the company that we keep, the knowledge we receive and our latent tendencies. When we chant the Gayatri mantra, it is like deep cleansing, so that the mirror (the mind) reflects in a better way. Through the mantra, the inner glow is kindled, the inner plane is kept alive. One gains brilliance in both the inner and outer worlds.

The Gayatri mantra has 24 letters corresponding to the 24 vertebrae of the spine. The backbone is what provides support and stability to our body. Similarly, the Gayatri mantra brings stability in our intellect.

The Gayatri Shakti is the energy field which is a culmination of three energies: Tejas (radiance), Yashas (victory) andVarchas (brilliance). When you chant the Gayatri mantra, these energies manifest in you and you also gain the power to bless. These same energies are transmitted to the one receiving the blessings also.

Tejasvi Bhuyasau – May you be radiant

Varchaswi Bhuyasau – May you be brilliant

Yashasvi Bhuyasau – May you be victorious

All seeds have the potential to become a tree. Some are cognised and are available to us like the bija mantras. Some are fully expressed, where the fruit is also expressed, like the Gayatri mantra. A seed contains all the development of a sprawling tree. Similarly, these syllables of the Gayatri mantra contain within a nutshell all the possibilities of creation.

Before thought becomes a word, it is a subtle vibration, unexpressed, beyond the cognition of the mind. When the mind is unable to cognise, it dissolves and moves into the meditative space. This is how mantras enable one to transcend the mind and move into meditation. It is not necessary to understand the meaning of the mantras to experience its benefits. For e.g, even the sounds of laughter or crying can cause a shift in our consciousness. Similarly, the energy field created by the sound vibrations of the mantras elevate our consciousness and allow us to be established in that serene, pure, infinite state of our Being.

In the Vedic tradition, a child is first initiated to the highest knowledge – the Gayatri mantra. After that, all other forms of education are given. It is said in the scriptures that women are also eligible to learn the vedas and chant the Gayatrimantra. The ideal time to chant is the the transitory hours of dawn and dusk. The times when the sun has set but it is neither dark nor light and when the night has passed and the day is yet to begin. In these moments, the mind also enters an altered state of consciousness. The moments belong neither to the previous state nor the next. It is the right time to be focussed on the Self instead of being caught up in changes or movement. In these hours, the mind can easily be confused and slip into inertia, lethargy, negativity and so on or be elevated and move into a meditative state radiating positivity. Chanting the Gayatri mantra rejuvenates the mind and maintains it in an elevated and energized state.

Energizing from the source of radiance – that is the Gayatri mantra. The scintillating lively energy – that is the Gayatri Shakti.

Spirituality competes with Super glue: Bhanumathi Narasimhan ; TOI

7 Feb

Bhanumati Narsimhan interview times of india

Bhanumathi Narasimhan, director of  The Art of Living’s women and child welfare programmes, the Art of Living (AOL) founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s sister. She’s the woman behind the 175-odd rural schools run by the volunteer-based humanitarian NGO.

What’s more dear to you – religion or spirituality? 

Spirituality (smiles). It leads to the wholesome development of an individual and touches the deepest core of your being. It’s all-inclusive, it encompasses religion and more. Spirituality unites at a time when religion is still dividing humanity.

Lakhs around the world look at your brother, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, as a man of God, if not some sort of modern avatar. What do you see him as?

It is not a question of seeing; having experienced his divinity throughout my life, I fully agree with the lakhs of people who believe the same.

How often do you pray, and are your prayers answered?

Prayer is natural. When the heart is touched, prayer happens. I don’t count my prayers, and the blessings are in plenty.

Which gender is blessed with greater potential to seek spirituality?

Spirituality transcends gender. It is not about being a man or a woman. Science says that every person is made up of the feminine and masculine. You can identify yourself with one or another and be partial. But in spirituality, you rise above gender. When you meditate, you are not man or woman. You drop labels.

Rock satsangs are a big part of the AOL atmosphere. What’s music got to do with spirituality?

When the heart melts, music dawns, dance happens. Music is an essential part of the flowering of human potential. It brings refinement in our evolution. It is a significant part of spiritual growth. In the space of music, questions disappear, wonderment dawns.

The publicity AOL receives, the fees charged ( 1,500 for a basic course) and the hard-sell have lent it the image of an elite spiritual tuition class. What would you say in defence? 

Spiritual practices free us from stress, bring enthusiasm, peace and joy. These are no longer luxuries. They are necessities. When a person benefits from something, they like to talk about it. So it is natural that AOL receives publicity. Further, the value that people attach to something is unfortunately measured in how much they pay for it. The fees then help a person stay committed to the practice. But once the benefits are experienced, perspectives change. The fees from our courses support our projects in rural areas. So indirectly, participants benefit from the merit of contributing to the betterment of society.

 

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.

Interview with Bhanumathi Narasimhan

18 Jan

Bhanumathi Narasimhan (Bhanu Didi) is the director of Art of Living’s Women and Child Welfare programmes.  In an interview with rediff.com‘s  Vicky Nanjappa, Bhanu Didi speaks about the violence against women.

Do you think women’s rights have improved in India?

It has definitely taken on a positive note. Now, women have woken up and are trying to revive our ancient culture where women were treated as devis and kumari poojas (honouring the girl child as a form of the Mother Divine). Many organisations have raised a voice against female foeticide, asserting the fact that the girl child is a boon, and not a bane to society.

Of course, a lot more needs to be done in this regard. But definitely it is a clear beginning and will take shape in reviving our traditional culture of honoring women.

What is Art of Living doing for womens’ rights?

As an outcome of the previous two conferences, many awareness camps about women’s rights were conducted. Spiritual leaders from across India pledged to spread awareness on the malpractice of female foeticide at a conference organised by AOL. We encourage the education of the girl child through 86 free tribal and rural schools.

I feel that whatever counselling you do is not enough. Measures like education and empowerment are more effective. We have an organisation called VISTA (Value Integrated Services to All), which focuses on rural development and women empowerment. Through empowerment projects, we encourage women to play an active role in social development.Empowerment according to me is not only economic independence; it also is instilling confidence and spiritual values.

There is much talk on discontinuing pub culture. What are your views on this?

Pub culture is new to me. Our generation had a different upbringing. I would say, this is Western culture and is not natural to us.

Whether it is a boy or a girl, drinking is not welcome. Nowadays youth are stressed because of environmental and peer pressure. This is escapism under the garb of relaxation and happiness.

Youth resort to such modes of escapism and later become their slaves. Youth love to be free. They don’t understand that habits like drinking and smoking are addictions which result in bondage.

The only answer to this situation is proper spiritual education where you get higher pleasure through meditation. By adopting spiritual knowledge, you can control your mind. It helps you recognise your own power and makes you realise that external pleasures cannot give you inner joy.

You can be cool, be popular and have a healthy lifestyle as well. I am sure that present day youth are intelligent enough to opt for a healthy lifestyle of vegetarianism, yoga and meditation.

There is talk about moral policing. Do you think outfits like the Shri Ram Sene have the right to don the role of a moral policeman?

When we are responsible, we don’t need moral policing. A responsible citizen will never allow himself to be policed. Moral policing can be argued as concern for youth. Yet, this concern must be expressed in a compassionate manner, by educating them.

Violence is not the answer. A wrong act can never be corrected through violent behaviour. Only love can bring in transformation. Every human being is divine. We have no right over another’s life or lifestyle.

I would appeal to elders to respect youth and treat them as equals.

Yoga is considered to be an anushasan (discipline). When one follows proper yoga of the body and mind, self-discipline is inculcated. Yoga can open the doors of self-transformation. This is my belief and my experience.

What should be the role of parents?

Our tradition says: Prapte tu Shodhashe varshe, Putram mitram, Vada charet (Once a child is 16 years, treat him/her as a friend).

Be a friend to your child. Advise them. Keep a close watch on them. Take an interest in their lives. That’s how you can become a part of their lives.

 

Shivoham Shivoham bhajan by Bhanumathis Narasimhan & its meaning

27 Dec

“Shivoham” means “I am Shiva”. Shiva is the pure unbounded all-pervading consciousness (the transcendental self, the Absolute). Here is an explanation of “Shivoham” bhajan.

”Shiva” here means that innocent, blissful, splendid, golden, beautiful.
“Shivoham” — I am Shiva. Splendid, the most innocent.
“Shiva Swarupoham” — my nature is Shiva. My form is Shiva. I am made up of a substance that is Shiva — innermost me.

“Nityoham” — I am ever present. I am always there. Body dies, disappears, but I am there.
“Nityoham Shuddhoham” — I am ever pure. Nothing can touch me. All these things come and go, but they cannot touch me, they cannot do anything to me.
“Buddhoham” — I am always enlightened.
“Shivoham Shivoham Shiva Swarupoham. Nityoham” — I am eternal. There is no end to me.

“Advaita Ananda Rupam Arupam. Shivoham Shivoham Shiva Swarupoham” — There is no two. It is me in all the forms, all over. It is me. My breath is flowing everywhere. I am the formless though I am inside a form. My spirit has no form. Though I am formless, I move in forms, in all forms in the whole world.

“Brahmoham Brahmoham Brahma Swarupoham” — I am the Brahman, the totality, the all.
“Chidoham Chidoham” — I am the consciousness. I am lively. I am full of life. I am pure energy and pure consciousness.”
~~ Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

 

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