Tag Archives: Sri Sri Ravi shankar

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.

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.


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.


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

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.

Tantras: by Bhanumathi Narasimhan

27 Sep

Bhanumati Narasimhan

Tantras are techniques, skillful ways of handling the mind. It is skill in action. The tantric methods make use of yantras and mantras which together help a seeker to transcend the body consciousness and be established in the space of the Self. Tantras make use of these yantras and mantras with a specific purpose to heal or create harmony at the physical, emotional and spiritual levels. This is the real purpose.

However tantra has been understood as a negative term. This is what happens when one tries to use the techniques with a selfish or harmful intention. It requires a mature intellect and pure heart to wield these techniques in their full capacity for the benefit of humanity.

The study of tantras is like an applied science for the mind. It is a higher psychology which involves moving through the body to the higher Self. It helps till the ego level. Only mantras can transcend the ego level to the level of the Self.  Because we are in the body, we need to take care of the body. Tantras can cleanse the body and mind of any vikarasor distortions. When used for general well-being, it has curative effects for psychiatric ailments, fear psychosis and so on. One can exercise power on the mind through the tantras.

Tantra is a research field. Real tantric scholars are a few. It is like holding a PhD. A doctorate is not awarded for individual benefit. There is value in it only when the study is beneficial for humanity. It is the same with tantras. In fact, if it used with a narrow-minded motive, then there are side-effects. Any seeming benefits are also short-lived. A child cannot attempt a PhD.

Similarly, if one attempts the tantras without being qualified and without the proper guidance and expertise, it can instead create illusions in the mind which in Sanskrit is refered to as Yoga maya. Further, failure in the attempts can lead to depression. Even among the mature beings, not all need to do PhD. The path of tantras has to be treaded very carefully. It is bound by cause and effect and the laws of karma. In research, learning happens to a great extent through trial and error. Even in this process, if any harm comes to anyone, the research scholar will reap the consequences.

Tantras give access to the ancestors. They enable travel in time, both forward and backward. If the tantras are available in the hands of an immature or selfish person, using it for short-term benefits, it can take a destructive nature. That is why it was guarded as a secret. In this creation, it is difficult to categorize anyone as a good or bad person. Transformation is continuous. That is why the gurus would study the disciples and only the eligible student is given this field of knowledge.

The Guru knows when our intellect is mature and heart is pure. The Guru knows when we are ready to receive this knowledge such that it can be of use to the society. Only a lit candle can light another. That is why it is important that we receive this knowledge from the Master. Otherwise, we can find many yantras and mantras and their tantras in the books and even on the internet but it may not help us in any way. Instead it could be harmful if not used correctly.

This skill involves a fine balance between intelligence and innocence. Without innocence, intelligence can cross over and become manipulative. It is like balancing on a razor’s edge. Tantras are like double-edged swords. You can remove the tumor with it but if you are not careful, you can hurt the limb. In the hands of a child, it is not of much use. Instead it can be dangerous. But in the hands of a surgeon, it is life-saving. The knife in itself has no value. Following any extreme can be harmful to oneself and to others. That is why the supervision of the guru is essential. The guru teaches you to be skillful in action. He guides you to be intelligent without losing your innocence. He shows you how to follow the middle path.

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