Complete and full!!

18 05 2011

It was about four years ago when I first saw the man who was about to change my life!!

I sat in an audience of a few thousand in not-so-hot sun and unlike others I wasn’t so much looking forward to seeing Him. What I wanted was a patch of cloud to shade me from the sun. People were singing a bhajan which I didn’t know then but now is my favorite bhajan.

Radhe Radhe, radhe Radhe,

Radha Manas chandrama

Its a bhajan about intense longing and how the mind keeps changing like the phases of the moon when you are in love.

So anyway, people are singing and suddenly He walks up there and shouts “RAAADHEEEYYYYYYYY!!!!” with intense longing. And then a lovable, “Radhe!!” with His trademark mischivious smile.  He went on to talk at length as how krishna is love and Radha is longing. How you need longing for love to exist and yet strangely enough, love cannot stand distance. What He spoke was awesome but I was bothered by the sun.

And suddenly, out of nowhere, a big patch of cloud hid the mean ol’ sun behind it, much to the loud cheers. He looked at the audience and I could feel Him looking at me, an intense gaze, with his naughty smile and sais, “Hmmm, Hum apna kaam kar rahe hai na theek se!

Well, of course, like any other sensible person, I acknowledged it as a coincidence. The next four years went by with many ups and downs. He made me soak in His knowledge. He made me laugh, appreciate life and people around me. Made me cry too. Salty tears of misery flowed and became sweet tears of gratitude. Life became a celebration.

His gaze

But there was this one thing that bothered me. That intense gaze of His. That gaze had continued for a long time and then stopped. He had stopped looking at me. I tried many things to attract His attention but He just didn’t look.

Until yesterday. Yesterday I was at His satsang again. It was as usual beautiful. It was also one of my last few satsangs in Bangalore which considerably reduces the chance of seeing Him. And suddenly the bhajan started.

Radha Manas Chandrama.

And He looked at me. The same gaze. Intense gaze. Intense and yet beautiful. For almost 20 seconds. I din’t know but I was crying. The look said it all.

I am there for you. How could you even think that I could ignore you? I am you.

May be He had just made me long for His love by pretending to ignore me. I now know that He wasn’t ignoring me because I was still being taken care of. It was just that He wanted me to know that I might not get to see Him physically but He will always be there.

I was full. I was complete. I could feel my self. And like He says so often, I am not a seeker anymore. I have found.

I promise




Earth Hour @ IISc

28 03 2009

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I have come to believe this and I’m sure many of you will agree. Things mostly work if they happen spontaneously; more the planning lesser the chances of things working fine. This one happened just like that.

28th march, 8:30 – 9:31 PM (local time), is celebrated as “Earth Hour” throughout the world. What you (the whole world) do is this – you simply switch off all the lights around you. It starts off from Australia and New Zealand and goes around the earth longitudinally. Imagine watching the earth from space; regions getting blacked-out, one after the other. Must be fun for those damn Martians watching.

Oh, the cause by the way is to make everybody aware of this new mad cow disease, “Global Warming”. It simpler than that actually. It’s just to let people know that they should switch off their lights and other electrical appliances when not in use. So this was the back-ground for an exciting evening ahead.

At lunch, a few of us sat nibbling at the food when somebody just mentioned casually about the earth hour. It was more than enough for the satsangis to spring into action. Within minutes a plan (spontaneous plan) had been unfurled. The mess-authorities had been spoken to. Word was spread in other messes. Posters were made.People went out and got candles…

(Why candles? Switch off lights and burn the carbon emitting candles? Boy that’s stupid.)

OK! Here’s why. Google a bit and you will notice that carbon emission is 31% lesser for candles than tube-lights and that too if we are talking about same light-intensity. Period.

The whole thing is also meant to be more of an awareness. People should know what’s killing the earth. And thirdly, let’s not make it too inconvenient for skeptical people around.

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At 8:15, we (the AoLites in IISc) were armed with candles. They were lit and were arranged in a wonderful ratio of 1candle per table. That done, the lights were turned off and so were the fans.

What followed next was a big round of applause and cheers from almost all the people. It was a success. We then had nice dinner – full of laughter and jokes. It was a nice feeling to have done something rather than just sit and talk about doing something. The dinner seemed extra special and extra tasty.

When it’s IISc, expect lots of people to criticize you. And if they know that you are from Art of Living, expect being ridiculed and laughed at. All that happened. There were attempts by some pseudo-intellectuals to switch on the lights. That was dealt with. However, nobody seemed to have the guts to talk openly or argue with us. Off they went to some remote place, switched on the lights to smoke their coffin nails – the cigarettes. (I wonder though, why one needs light to smoke a cigarette. Perhaps they are scared of putting it in their nose. Whatever, may God bless them.)

At 9:30 the lights went on. We collected the candles and walked back happy. Feels so good. Tomorrow morning – So-Ham time.





Spirituality of the Geniuses

11 11 2008

The Indian Institute of Science or IISc as it is lovingly called is as you know THE Premier Research Institute of the country and by country I of course mean India. Unlike the IITs, which were 7 on the last count, the country has just one IISc which goes to show the “whats-the-word” about it. (Some word which means something like “awesomeness”{if that’s the word}).moto_0037

The students here, including me, the author of this post, are said to be the scientific cream of the country. Now, despite my unlimited modesty, I cannot deny that this place is a place of scientific geniuses. And mark my words, I said “scientific” geniuses. And a constantly analyzing and a questioning mind is sometimes too much when you take up “spirituality”.

This is centenary year for IISc and thanks to Guruji and all the volunteers, IISc suddenly has a big gang of Art-of-living-ians. We are roughly 30-40 people now. That’s excluding the people who have done the course but do not do their regular kriya. Anyway, Guruji has often said that science and spirituality do not clash. And I agree. (Who am I to disagree with him anyway?). But then, in IISc, things are funny. They aren’t normal. Rashmin, who has taught most of us, would testify. And although science and spirituality do not clash, the minds of us IIScians go out of the way to contradict these things. Anyway, so be it.

Before throwing stones on other people’s glass houses, its always better to get stoned and not leave your own glass house unbroken for others to break it. (I know I am making a mistake somewhere, that’s not how this proverb is). How did I get into art of living? I don’t know. Last thing I remember before I heard “So HAM” was that I wanted to go to Andaman Nicobar and stay there alone. Needless to say, AoL has changed my life.

Whereas science wants experience first and then it believes, spirituality demands belief first and then come the experiences. Now that causes the conflict. How can I accept something I don’t know about? Anyway, on a closer look, the patterns reverse. When one does a scientific experiment, he isn’t sure of the results but it’s done nevertheless, while when one hears the benefits of spiritual practices from thousands of people that constitutes as a statistical truth. And well, for me, one day I realized: How come I believe in electrons when I haven’t seen one? Isn’t that faith too? Don’t I just believe in them because I can feel their effect? So shouldn’t I believe in Guruji because of all the happiness He has made me “feel”? I guess that was one hell of an enlightenment for me.

But to think of it, it’s still my logical mind at work.

AoL in IISc is fun. We have mid-night satsangs every Saturday where we read some pages from the Bhagwadgita. We also have regular Sunday long kriya in the campus. That reminds me. So there is this guy. Let’s not take names ok. So I tell him, hey come to Sunday for the long kriya. This is how our conversation went.

Me: Hey come for the long kriya on Sunday

Guy: no, it’s ok. I do the long kriya in the room itself.

Me: what!! Long kriya in the room? How?

GUY: Well, it’s so simple…instead of 20-40-40, I do it 40-80-80.

Talk about using your brains.

The narad bhakti sutra and patanjali yog sutras have been fun and the discussions have been amazingly amazing. Everyone wanting to put in some logic so that just for their own sake, science doesn’t come in the way. It’s funny.

This one happened during the course. Rashmin was taking a guided meditation. At the end of it a tiny little girl (TLG) comes to me and says:

TLG: My eyes were open during the meditation and rashmin kept signaling me to close them. I did not heheh

Me: But why?

TLG: I knew all that already. Attention to feet and awareness about feelings and all.

Man, we are geniuses.

Another one:

Another nice little boy (NLB) who had recently done the course…

NLB: Why do my fingers hurt during the kriya?

Teacher: You are becoming purer, that’s why.

NLB: You mean I am impure now?

Ya, IIscians need logic.

Then a fellow writes in a common email: I will not recommend art of living to anyone because you guys are pseudo-scientific. Mr. Ravi calls himself a God and you believe in him. I cannot accept this hypocrisy.

Talk about being naive and he shocks you further.

It could be because I am not doing my daily kriya but I did not find any use of art of living. I know what meditation is.

Ya well, he is in knowledge alright, albeit a wrong one. God bless him.

Then there are people who believe that we get commissions for registering people and there are these people here who feel that their life got ruined after they did the kriya. Of course, they aren’t people who do their regular kriya. Others are embarrassed to come for the follow-ups because their friends tease them….yup footballs of others opinions exist despite the chunks of grey matter. God bless them too.

Anyway, that’s how things stand at the moment. We have this well-knit family. We eat together, watch movies together, sing together and listen to knowledge together. When we sit in the mess, non-aol people seem to get attracted to our group too. It could be the loud laughters or it could be the glow of happiness on our faces. Then we’ve also done 108 surya namaskars for more than one time. Not just that, our consciousness is so inter-woven that we actually have same thoughts at the same times, although currently these thoughts are restricted to visits to corner-house or bun-world. Still, its one hell of a start. We have learnt our lessons. Different people, different backgrounds are accepted. Not just that, they accept the group too.

It’s all nice. There are times when somebody strays out of knowledge and he is then brought back in. It’s just like a family. In fact it is a family. The scientists and spiritualists together. Isn’t that what guruji wants?

Let me end this with a personal quote:

“You know you are in knowledge when people start running away from you for the fear of an Art of Living intro-talk and you end up laughing about it.”





100 days of Sudarshan Kriya

10 11 2008

skSudarshan kriya is a unique breathing technique developed by my beloved Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. It basically involves breathing in and out in a certain rhythm and has tremendous benefits.

Basically the kriya and other pranayams need to be done daily and if possible in the morning. But human beings and especially me are lazy. Despite knowing that it’s good and needs to be done everyday, invariably a day comes when I manage to miss it.

Hence, I have decided, that starting November 10th, I will do the kriya for 100 days without missing a single day – come what may.

Hence the chart below. It will help me keep a track of the way I have been doing the kriya. Others too may join in if they wish to.