Thursday, July 30, 2009

Art of Living brings the warring tribes of NC Hills together

Haflong, Assam, India: A Youth Training Leadership Programme (YLTP) was organized by the Art of Living Foundation for the members of the warring Dimasa and Zeme Naga Tribes. At the end of the programme, the participants belonging to the two tribes took an oath to stop violence with immediate effect and bring peace to the region.
YLTP coordinator Nanda Sarma said: “The purpose of the programme is to bring peace between the two communities.” Along with meditation techniques, the youths of both the communities were taught leadership and communication skills in the training programme.
The programme was organized keeping the changes, that were seen in the mental situation of the violence-hit people, in mind.

Sri Sri University Bill passed in Orissa assembly

BHUBANESWAR: Ravi Shankar’s Sri Sri University Bill 2009 was passed in the Orissa Assembly today. The varsity would be set up on 185 acre of land at Naraj in Cuttack district.
The Sri Sri University bill along with Vedanta University Bill and ICFAI Bill was introduced in the house by the Higher Education Minister, Devi Prasad Mishar on Saturday. Around Rs 350 crore would be spent in the establishment of the Sri Sri varsity that will be completed in five to seven years. The institution would accomodate around 15,000 students and 1,500 faculty members. The educational institution would be built by Ravi Shankar Vidyamandir Trust.
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Times of India

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lankan Tamils displaced by war find peace in Sri Sri’s programmes

Hundreds of thousands of war displaced Sri Lankan Tamils, helped by the Art of Living Foundation, observed Aadi Amavasya on July 21 with prayers, meditations, breathing techniques, satsang and pujas to pay tribute to the departed souls of their kith and kin.
The programme was aired live by the Sri Lankan Tamil channels.

Aadi Amavasya is the day that Tamil Hindus the world over observe remembrance of all the departed souls through special pujas and rituals. For the war displaced Sri Lankan Tamils, the day is particularly poignant, as they struggle to cope with the tragic loss of their near and ones in the three-decade long bitter war between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Government of Sri Lanka.

This year, they had a unique opportunity to let-go off their deep- seated grief, anxiety and stress on Aadi Amavaysa. A team of dedicated Art of Living teachers helped the internally displaced Tamils in the camps of Vavuniya, Batticoloa and Trincomalee express their heartfelt emotions for their loved ones. Women wailed for their family members who have either gone missing or killed in action during the war. Survivors huddled and consoled each other finding solace, peace and a definite direction in the Art of Living’s breathing techniques and healing satsangs organised at the camps. At the conclusion of the program me several participants came forward to express their gratitude to His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for specially sending his team of teachers to help them relieve their sad and miserable past and look forward to a new life.

Currently over 2, 75,000 Tamils displaced after the war are housed in various camps in Vavuniya District of Northern Sri Lanka. Over 10,000 persons participated in the camps in Batticoloa and Trincomalee.

For over five years His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder of The Art of Living has been organising a series of programmes and initiatives directed at bringing peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka.

Currently in a post-conflict scenario in Sri Lanka, Sri Sri`s healing initiative titled `Uniting hearts and minds` is being delivered to the internally displaced Tamils in the camps.. Cooked food, rice grains, milk powder, medicines, clothes and other essential items have been distributed to the displaced.

(Photos and Message from Shri.K.K.Ganeshji - Senior Faculty - Art of Living.)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Saving the world, one breath at a time

MANILA, Philippines - When Vikram Hazra decided to leave his lucrative job in India to become a teacher for the Art of Living courses, his parents were apparently, and understandably, perplexed. It didn’t help any when he also told them that what he wanted to do was to go around the world and teach people how to, well, breathe. To breathe.

“What can be more important than breathing?” Hazra, who is also a Mumbai-based concert artist and musician, asked around 30 participants at an Art of Living Part 1 class held recently in Makati City.Read More

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Oriya Boy got 5th Prize at International Painting Competition organised by UN

Bhubaneswar: Binayak Pujari, a class 10th student of Ryan International School, Kandivli, Mumbai has got the 5th prize at the 18th International Children's painting competetion on environment organised by United Nations Environment Programme, Asia Pacific Region. On 21st July,09 at Mumbai Binayak received the certificate signed by the UN Director for Asia Pacific along with a prize & few books on environment.

Bainayak has won several award on painting at Delhi & Mumbai for his school. He also represent his school in basketball and is a very good key board player. Apart from Art, Music & sports, he is good in his study. Binayak is a member of Sri Sri Ravishankar's the art of living youth wing and practice his sudarshan kriya regularly. Read More

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Parents learn to know their kids at Art of Living session

KOLKATA: More than a hundred parents came with the intention to get some ideas about transforming their errant kids. But at the end of the Art of

Living workshop called Know your child', they returned with the conviction that they had never looked at the world as a child looks at it and have been wrong in handling their child.

"The most important thing is allowing a child to be comfortable with himself or herself in a child-friendly environment so that he or she can develop into a happy adulthood with a sense of belonging," said Muralidhar Koteshwar, one of the trustees of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Vidyamandir (SSRSV) Trust.Read More

Pilot study indicates Sudarshan Kriya is effective against depression & psychosis

Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY), a modern breathing technique rooted in the ancient yogic tradition, is showing promising results as an adjunct therapy for depression, panic attack disorder and general anxiety.

In a pilot study conducted at the Department of Neurosciences, Fatebenefratelli Hospital (FH) in Milan, an innovative therapy based on the application of SKY to patients affected by depression, generalized anxiety and panic attacks yielded the following results after the first six months:

· Average reduction of 60% in the rate of depression (according to the standard tests)
· Average reduction of 40% in the rate of psychosis (according to the standard tests)
· Significant improvement in the cognitive functions, which became evident in clinical interviews
· Effect of SKY on the parasympathetic tone as evidenced by correlation between cardiological data and respiratory parameters (RSA)Read More

Stress relieving programmes soon for internally displaced Tamils in Lanka

RAMANATHAPURAM: The Art of Living Foundation would soon begin stress relieving programmes for the internally displaced Tamils of Vavuniya in Sri Lanka, said Sri Sathyojadha of the Foundation.

Speaking to reporters here on Saturday after inaugurating a three-day Health & Happiness programme, he said the Foundation was working towards the sustainable stress free life for the humankind worldwide.Read More

Friday, July 17, 2009

Guruji at the Kerala Convention Held in Ontario

ONTARIO, CA - The Organization of Hindu Malayalees (OHM) in Los Angeles hosted the 5th Biennial four day Convention at the Double Tree Hotel here, starting July 10 and ending on the morning of July 13. Hundreds of Hindu Keralites descended on the city in a sign of unity for an event labeled as the best of all held thus far by many of the speakers who had attended previous such gatherings in other cities of the country. What heartened organizers was the huge turnout from not only the US, but Canada, Mexico and India, at a time when the world continues to struggle to recover from the economic meltdown.

The greatest show of numbers was on July 11 when followers thronged to hear one of India’s leading spiritual leaders today, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Unity and cultural identity was front and center at the public darshan he gave. Lauding the Keralite gathering, he said that it was deserving of commendation as the strength of a community made the entire society strong. He said it was often believed that to be secular one had to forfeit one’s identity, but in reality one could be a good member of the community, a good U.S. citizen and a caring world citizen. He said it was imperative that groups come together not out of fear of being marginalized but with the aim of love of humanity and progress. He exhorted all to remember the meaning of Vasudeva Kutumbakam.

The spiritual leader took several questions from the audience who packed the hall. In his endearing and intelligent manner, he alternately answered, had a quick repartee, encouraged and dismissed queries put to him. God, he said was not to be understood and sought, for the simple reason, god is always with you. He urged all to stop worrying and live in the now. The examples he gave to enumerate his points were simple and clear for all. Read More

Thursday, July 16, 2009

How to take a breather

WASHINGTON—About 200 people are sitting on yoga mats in a Washington hotel ballroom trying to learn how to do something they already do about 21,600 times a day: breathe.

This “automatic breathing” they’ve been doing all their lives? No good. So they’re learning to breathe deeply from their diaphragms and hoping that benefits—such as stress reduction, better sleep and increased mental focus—will follow.Read More

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Guru Purnima Special

The Guru principle is so vital in life. The first guru is Dakshinamurthy, the embodiment of infinity woven so skillfully in the finite that the finite and infinite co-exist. There is an element of the guru in every human being. That wisdom in each one has to be invoked and awakened.
When this element is awakened, misery in life disappears. It is the medicine for misery; the wealth of all knowledge.
Gurave sarva lokanaam – the Divine Consciousness is the leading light of the whole world-of all the worlds.
Bishaje bhava roginaam – It is the medicine for the ills of society, of life, of misery. It removes all misery.
Nidhaya sarva vidyanaam Sri Dakshinamurthaye namaha – I take refuge in this Consciousness which is in my heart!
The word guru is used today to mean expertise – like an expert in business management. Guru means enormous, the biggest. Of course, expertise is a part of it. There is perfection in everything. There is that depth.
In our consciousness, wisdom comes to life when the guru tattva comes to life. When we have no desires of our own, then the guru tattva dawns in our life. Do you ever wish to do something for someone without expecting anything from them? Then you have played the role of the guru. The mother is the first guru. Then there are the teachers – the veena teacher and so on. The Satguru gives you knowledge of the truth, the ultimate reality, spiritual knowledge.
On Guru Purnima, one must reflect, “Where was I before I got this knowledge? Where am I now?” When you see the contrast of where you were without this knowledge, then gratitude wells up.
This full moon is also called Vyasa Purnima. Vyasa categorized the entire lore of wisdom into the 4 vedas, the Upanishads, the upavedas, the 27 smritis, 27 upasmritis – a huge lore of knowledge pertaining to every aspect of life from ayurveda to architecture to alchemy to medicine. This full moon is named after him.
This day we remember the contribution of all those who have been on this planet for the wellbeing of the human race. We remember what they have done. We see the contrast (brought about by spiritual knowledge) in our lives and feel grateful.
How fortunate you are to perceive the infinity within you - in this finite framework of the body-mind complex. The body and mind are finite but the expression of the spirit is infinity.
For the Seeker, the New Year is from Guru Purnima to Guru Purnima. When it is half way for the rest of the world, we celebrate one whole year on the spiritual path. One year towards the Divine manifestation in our life. One year towards feeling the oneness and seeing the world through the eyes of the guru. That is the guiding star for us. Let me do that which a guru, a wise person would have done in this situation. A wise person would never react. He would respond. You will learn by putting yourself in that position (of the guru or wise person) again and again - by attempting infinite patience, immense intelligence, complete compassion and unblemished joy.
Nobody knows when the tradition started. Billions of years before, on this earth, so many sages and rishis have been there and so many in the future too. We thank all those in the past, present and the future for the continuation of wisdom on this dear planet. Without wisdom it is not living, only existing. Life begins with wisdom.
This Guru Purnima think about all the blessings that you have received and feel grateful. Everyone sing and let go and be immersed in the inner bliss. (From What Sri Sri said today: July

The purpose and utility of identity

The universe is a multilayered existence; there are many levels: there are the molecular, the atomic and the subatomic levels. So also the human The purpose, utility and futility of identity (Getty Images) consciousness: though one, yet, it is many.
An eight-year-old child in India was always given the Brahma Gyan first, before any other knowledge. The first upadesha or formal advice given during the Upanayanam or holy thread ceremony is called Brahmopadesha, where the highest identity of oneself is revealed as a secret. In this ceremony, the guru, father and mother whisper in the ear of the child: "You are THAT!" And then all the varnashrama dharmas, or lesser identities are taught and the duties are promulgated. Read More

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Why We Connect Easily To A Living Master- By Smt. Bhanumathi Narasimhan

The guru is an embodiment of wisdom, and love. In Sanskrit, the word for gravity is gurutvakarshan. The earth holds on to us with the force of gravity. Without this attraction or love, we would not have a base. Similarly, gurutva is the basis of our life. The guru is the guiding light who removes the darkness of ignorance and shows the path to wonderment.

One day, while Lord Shiva was performing a puja, his consort Parvati sees him bowing his head in reverence. Seeing this, she asks: You are the Supreme Consciousness, the substratum of entire Creation . Who is it that you bow down to Shiva replied: Dear Parvati, for the benefit of all humanity, I will answer your question . It is to the allpervading guru tatva that I bow down to. In the many beautiful verses that followed called the Guru Gita, 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 are in an elevated state. Our sorrows diminish, joy wells up, there is contentment , knowledge is nourished and protected, and talent blossoms. 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 and Pure Consciousness. The guru is a tatva an omnipresent , omniscient, omnipotent principle.

Establishing connection with this tatva is a source of great strength. We know we have forefathers, great-grandparents and so on. Yet we feel most attached and connected to our parents or grandparents because they are with us. Similarly, we have many gurus in our tradition , but when we come in the presence of a living master, the connection is established immediately . The entire knowledge from time immemorial is made available to us.

Guru Purnima is a time to feel grateful. The more grateful we are, the more grace flows into our lives. On Guru Purnima , we remember all the masters who were, who are and who will be in the future. We feel gratitude towards the master who moves us from a 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. Guru Purnima is a special day of the
devotee as well. When a 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 masters presence is one that is unlimited, vast, infinite and all-inclusive . The presence of the master in ones
life brings fulfilment in 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 with respect and gratitude.

The writer is director, women and child welfare programmes, the Art of
Living Foundation. Today is Guru Purnima.( Source THE SPEAKING TREE : Times of India (Jul 7 2009 edition, Page 16)

Gurupurnima 2009

For a seeker, Gurupoornima is a day to review one's progress on the spiritual path and renew one's determination and focus on the goal. It is also a day to honour the tradition of Guru's and Acharyas who have made us recognize this ancient wisdom and helped bridge the gap between this wisdom and one’s own life. Reverence to the Guru simply means honouring your innermost nature.

Our "Pranaams" to the lotus feet of our Guruji.

Empowering the youth

CHENNAI: From July 8 to July 12, Chennai will receive the first youth empowerment workshop provided by the Art of Living and W.A.Y.E. (World Alliance of Youth Empowerment).

This workshop is designed to bring a diverse audience, especially amongst those engaged in the expressive arts and provide guidance throughout the process, particularly using the methods brought by Art of Living’s founder: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. This workshop has the advantage of being funded by NGOs and not being under the radar of traditional educational policies according to volunteers of the Art of Living.
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