Friday, August 28, 2009

Humor and Wisdom !

Q : Would you please encourage our husbands wash utensils and cut vegetables even at home just as they did here during the advance course? (Followed by loud cheering from all the women in the course).

Guruji : yes yes definitely. But then it would be nice if you too maintained silence at home just the way you did in the advance course. (Followed by loud cheering by all the men in the course)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ganesha is the formless divinity - By Guruji

Ganesha is the formless divinity - encapsulated in a magnificent form, for the benefit of the devotee. Gan means group. The universe is a group of atoms and different energies. This universe would be in chaos if there was no supreme law governing these diverse groups of entities. The Lord of all these groups of atoms and energies is Ganesha. He is the supreme consciousness that pervades all & brings order in this universe.

The essence of Ganesha is brought out beautifully by Adi Shankara. Though Ganesha is worshiped as the elephant-headed God, the form (swaroop) is just to bring out the formless (parabrahma roopa). He is ‘Ajam Nirvikalpam Niraakaaramekam’. This means Ganesha is Ajam (unborn), he is Nirvikalpa (attributeless), he is Niraakaar (formless) and he symbolizes the consciousness which is omnipresent. Ganesha is the same energy which is the reason for this universe, from which everything manifests and into which everything will dissolve.

We are all familiar with the story on how Ganesha became the elephant-headed God. Shiva and Parvati had been celebrating and Parvati becomes dirty. When she realizes this, she removes the dirt from her body, creates a boy out of it and asks him to keep guard while she bathed. When Shiva returned, the boy could not recognise him and obstructed his passage. So Shiva chopped off the boy’s head and entered. Parvati was shocked. She explained that the boy was their son and pleaded with Shiva to save him at all costs. Shiva then instructed his helpers to go and get the head of someone who was sleeping with the head pointing to the north. The helpers then got the head of an elephant, which Shiva affixed to the boy’s torso and Ganesha was born!

Does this story sound strange? Why should Parvati have dirt on her body? Didn’t the all-knowing Shiva recognise His own son? Was Shiva, the epitome of peace, so short-tempered that he cut off the head of his own son? And why an elephant head on Ganesha? There is a deeper meaning to all these.

Parvati is symbolic of festive energy. Her becoming dirty signifies that celebration can easily become Rajasik or feverish and can take you away from your center. Dirt is symbolic of ignorance and Shiva is symbolic of the Supreme Innocence, Peace and Knowledge. So when Ganesha obstructs the path of Shiva, this means that ignorance, which is an attribute of the head, does not recognise knowledge. Then knowledge has to overcome ignorance. This is the symbolism behind Shiva chopping off the boy’s head.And why the elephant head? Elephant represents both gyan shakti and karma shakti. The principle qualities of the elephant are wisdom and effortlessness. The enormous head of the elephant signifies Wisdom and Knowledge. Elephants don't walk around obstacles, neither do they stop at them. They just remove them and keep walking straight on – signifying effortlessness. So, when we worship Lord Ganesha these elephant qualities within us are kindled and we take on these qualities.

Ganesha's big belly represents generosity and total acceptance. Ganesha’s upraised hand, depicting protection, means, “Fear not - I am with you,” and his lowered hand, palm facing outwards means - unending giving as well as an invitation to bow down – symbolic of the fact that we will all dissolve into earth one day. Ganesha also has a single tusk which signifies one-pointedness. Even the implements Ganesha wields are symbolic. He carries in his hands, the ‘Ankusa’ (signifies awakening) and the ‘Paasa’ (signifies control). With awakening, a lot of energy is released, which without proper control, can go haywire.

And why does Ganesha, the elephant-headed God travel on something as small as a mouse? Isn’t that so incongruous? Again there is symbolism that runs deeps. The mouse snips and nibbles away at ropes that bind. The mouse, which gradually nibbles away, is like the mantra which can cut through sheaths and sheaths of ignorance, leading to the ultimate knowledge represented by Ganesha.

Our ancient Rishis were so deeply intelligent that they chose to express Divinity in terms of symbols rather than words, since words change over time, but symbols remain unchanged. Let us keep these deep symbolisms in mind as we experience the omnipresent in the form of the elephant God, yet be fully aware that Ganesha is very much within us. This is the wisdom we should carry as we celebrate Ganesh Chaturti.

Sri Sri

(Message from Shri. Arunji)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Signature Campaign for granting citizenship to Sri Lankan Tamils

Guruji,during HIS recent tour of Tamil Nadu,urged all of us to help the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils living in camps in various parts of Tamil Nadu. There are many camps across our state and more than 1.2 lakh people live in these camps under very strict observation and time clauses. Some of them have been on these camps for years! Guruji suggested that we launch a signature campaign and request the State government to take up the cause of these refugees by granting them citizenship status.

To implement this effectively, we would like volunteers to kindly come forward, from all districts of Tamil Nadu to co ordinate this campaign and get maximum support for this cause. We have the format under which signatures need to be collected. Its important to plan this and effectively take it forward.

Therefore, all those of you who are interested in volunteering for this campaign, please get in touch with Mr.Ravichandran who will be co-ordinating this project
(Mobile ; 9444904644 / e.mail : )

Click here to download specimen form

Guruji Chidambaram Temple

(Video Courtesy Sri.Srini Hyderabad)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

"Ayurveda can effectively counter Swine Flu": Sri Sri

"India has a wealth of knowledge from Ayurveda to counter swine flu". In addition, our mind also plays an important role in our immunity. Whenever we panic and have fear, our immunity level goes down. Practices like pranayama and meditation play a vital role in reducing panic / fear and keeping ourselves calm.Read More

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Shri.T.N. Seshan on Guruji -

I have met quite a few eminent personalities from all walks of life but His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is among the few people I have the highest regard and esteem for. I have been enormously attracted by his simplicity, his love for humanity and his tireless efforts in promoting world peace. He goes right to the middle of the problem wherever and pours balm on the souls that are affected. I am impressed with his sincerity of vision and compassion.

I first met Sri Sri several years ago, when he came to address one of the management schools in Pune, with which I was associated. We had invited him to come to the school and he had kindly agreed to. He spoke for some time and at the end, instead of taking questions from the students, he began asking questions to the students, provoking them to contemplate on the basic realities of human truth. This is how I first came to know him.

I remember that he asked me to come and see him at the Art of Living International Centre (the ashram) in Bangalore. However, I could not go for several weeks and months.

In 2006, when he was visiting Madras for the Art of Living’s Silver Jubilee celebrations, I went to see him at his place of residence. He was very nice. Among other topics, he asked me how things were politically and how they were shaping up in the country. At the end of our meeting, I asked him if I could work with or for him. He then once again, invited me to visit the Art of Living International centre for a couple of days to get an insight into the activities of the foundation. I could then decide what I wanted to do. I visited the Ashram after 15-20 days where I spent two days familiarizing myself with the various things happening there in terms of their humanitarian as well as educational projects. Sri Sri had then just come back from Orissa after signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chief Minister for setting up a Sri Sri university in Bhubaneshwar. When I met him finally I told him that I thought that the Sri Sri University is perhaps the best place where I could be of some use. He has made me President designate of the university. That’s how it happened!

The Art of Living Foundation covers a fantastically wide sweep of activities ranging from education and health, rural development, conflict resolution to disaster and trauma relief etc. The Sudarshan Kriya™, a powerful rhythmic breathing technique that I’ve learned from there is a very, very simple way of keeping you healthy all the time. I am not a very religious person but I have benefited greatly by doing the Sudarshan Kriya everyday. I’ve been doing it very regularly ever since I learnt it from one of his trainers. It makes you feel more healthy and lively each day. It gives me much more energy. For a man of 76 years, I am very energetic.

I am an admirer of all good men and women, all leaders of human thought whether it is Sai Baba in Puttaparuthi or Amma in Kerala. In the case of Sri Sri, I was attracted by the broad band of his activities for human welfare including all the work that is being done by the Art of Living with regard to education particularly in the rural areas. I have studied in great detail his involvement in resolving human conflict and alleviating human suffering in strife torn areas such as Afghanistan, Kashmir, Iran, Iraq and Sri Lanka. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar - may His tribe increase!

T.N. Seshan is former Chief Election Commissioner of India
Extract from

Read More

From war-zone to Art of Living's tranquility

Bengaluru: A group of 35-odd people from various Islamic nations are seeking a different kind of IT in India'''s information technology capital Bengaluru. They have come all the way to write a programme of 'Inner Transformation' -- for themselves and for the people back home.

The members of the motley group, including nationals from Morocco, Palestine, Iraq and Pakistan, are currently undergoing training at the Art of Living International Centre in the city, to become AOL instructors.Read More

'Creating awareness on preserving environment need of hour'

Porayar (TN): Awareness should be created on preservation of the environment to check the rampant pollution the world over, Art of Living guru Sri Sri Ravishankar has said.

"The only way to check environmental pollution is to spread awareness. Many people do not take interest to find what is changing in their surrounding. It is our duty to remind them about protecting the environment," he said to a news agency at Aanaikoil village near here in Nagapattinam District yesterday. Read more

Take recourse to spiritual route

SALEM: Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has asked people to take the spiritual route to relieve stress and lead a peaceful life.

He was speaking at the Maha Sath Sangh held on Government Arts College premises here on Sunday evening.

He said people were not allotting sufficient time for their spiritual growth because of the pressures in the fast changing and competitive world. This had led to a lot of problems including increase in violence. People should practice meditation.

He expressed concern over the degradation of environment. Read More

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

• Sri Ravi Shankar demands immigrant status for SL Tamils

New Delhi, Aug 4 (PTI) Art of Living exponent Sri Sri Ravi Shankar today said that the 1.25 lakh Sri Lankan Tamils living as refugees in the country should be given immigrant status like their counterparts in Europe and America."Sri Lankan Tamils living in Europe and America have jobs, businesses, have a home and are well off, while those living in Tamil Nadu since 1983 are still languishing in the camps are refugees. They should be integrated into the country," he said in a statement.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who kicked off his one-week long Tamil Nadu tour yesterday from Kancheepuram, said that this would be a "human" gesture to give hope and opportunity.He also said that one cannot turn a blind eye to the sufferings of Sri Lankan Tamils in Tamil Nadu when refugees from Bangladesh and Nepal have been enjoying these benefits. (Courtesy Press Trust of India)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Spiritual re-awakening tour by Sri Sri Ravishankar

Spiritual Master and the Art of Living Founder, His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar commences a week-long tour of Tamil Nadu on August 3, 2009 with temple visits, tour of the Pancha Maha Bhootha Sthalas, prayers and satsangs.
Three hundred Art of Living devotees will accompany Sri Sri on his this tour aimed at reviving ancient Indian value systems and traditions. Read More

Yoga lessons for jail inmates

Jamshedpur, July 31: Inmates of Ghagidih jail will now train for a healthy mind and healthy body every morning.
Buoyed by their performance in the matricu-lation and intermediate examinations and their keen interest in teacher’s training programme, the Ghagidih jail authorities have planned a way to keep the “reformed boys” fit by organising yoga sessions.
The jail authorities have finalised the deal with Bokaro-based branch of Patanjali Yogpeeth, the institute of Baba Ramdev. The sessions, which will be for two months, is scheduled to start later this month. Prisoners will be imparted training in primary and advanced courses.
“We want the inmates to get every kind of training so that they can lead a reformed life and get a foothold in the mainstream. They need to change their psychology and these are some ways to help them think positively,” said jailer Chandrashekhar Prasad Suman.
Meditation and spiritual classes by members of Art of Living Foundation of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar are already being held in the jail. Read More