Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Faith is the central core of human existence. Faith sustains life and leads one through difficult times. Faith brings out hidden courage and potential in more ways than one.

There are three types of faith: Faith in oneself, faith in the world, and faith in the divine. All these faiths are connected. You must have all three faiths to be strong. This is a necessary and a sufficient condition to move ahead in life.

During the harvest season, the farmer separates husk from grain with a broad sieve. He stands on an elevated platform, holds the sieve and puts all his grains into it. He then proceeds to shake the sieve. If the particle that falls through the sieve is mere husk, it flies away and is lost. Meanwhile, the grains fall to the ground and stay put. Similarly, if your faith is shaken very quickly and too often, or if you lack faith in difficult times, then you are akin to the flying husk. One whose faith shakes when faced by catastrophes cannot smile through them. If you lack faith and if events frighten you, then you fly away like the husk, lost and anchorless. On the other hand, if you have faith that everything will be alright, you will find stability and everything will settle down.

When this knowledge "I am blessed" is established firmly in one's life, it is called faith. Once you realise that you are blessed, complaints disappear, as do grumblings and insecurities. Not everything in this world is hunky dory. However, if you are grounded in faith, then you will progress and maintain your equanimity in this world. The world is a celebration and you should be happy in life. All aspects of life involve ups and downs. However, one must ensure that happiness is always established in oneself and that things will change.

Faith leads to prayer, and prayer is a vital tool to improve your life. Prayer nurtures values such as integrity and honesty. Now, prayer happens in two situations or in a combination of situations. You pray when you feel grateful or when you feel utterly helpless. In either case, your prayers will be heard / answered. If you are not grateful or prayerful, you will be miserable.

Your faith and belief should be deep-rooted. The role of faith is even more visible in the materialistic world. Faith saves one from suicidal tendencies and helps people see beyond the obvious. When life is based on faith, one follows philosophy rather than getting caught up in revenge and hatred. If there is faith that everything will be all right, then everything will settle down.

Faith plays a big role in shaping one's life. Even those who say, "I don't believe in anything," have to believe in their words! The issue is where you place your faith. For an atheist, his faith in objects is obvious; his faith in people is fluid and his faith in the unseen power of creation is ambiguous. However, for a believer, his faith in the unseen power is supreme; his faith in people is inconsequential and objects do not matter in any way.

To have faith is to realise that God is protecting you. Faith is realising that you always get what you need. Faith is giving the divine a chance to act.  Courtesy - Star of Mysore

Thousands turn up for Shiva puja by Sri Sri

PATNA: Early Monday morning the city witnessed a grand 'Rudra Abhishek' puja as Art of Living (AoL) founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar joined his team of priests to offer obeisance to Lord Shiva at the veterinary college ground.

'Rudra Abhishek', which is believed to bestow prosperity, fulfilment and happiness in life, is religiously performed by the spiritual guru every Monday morning. "Guruji performs the puja wherever he is on Monday," said swami Rakesh of AoL.

Over 500 devotees had registered themselves for the puja, which was performed amid mesmerizing chants of hymns. Sri Sri administered 'sankalp' to them as they sought fulfilment of their wishes. After the puja, the spiritual guru gave blessings to each of these devotees. "The spirituality that permeated the air at the venue was so intense that it felt as if Lord Shiva had also arrived," Sri Sri was heard telling the devotees. Read More

Sri Sri Ravishankar urges people to vote for clean candidates in polls

Patna, Jan 23 (ANI): Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar has urged people to vote for only clean candidates in the upcoming assembly elections.

“I am not going during the election campaigning, but I am trying my best to build political awareness among the people. I am asking everyone who will vote that please select honest and clean candidates. Never elect people who ask for your vote in lieu of a bribe Ravishankar told media here.

The Election Commission had declared that voting in five states, including the most populous Uttar Pradesh would be held between January 28 and March 03.

Further appreciating Bihar’s development, Ravishankar said: “A lot has been done. But a lot also remains to be done. Biharis are very resilient. You have come here through many challenges. Don’t lose your resilience.”

He asked every devotee to contribute in keeping the city clean by giving just two hours of physical labour every month.

“Many cities have done it successfully. You should follow suit,” he said. (ANI)  Read More

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ravishankar praises Nitish, Modi for development in Bihar

Patna, Jan 22 (PTI) Spiritual 'Guru' Sri Sri Ravishankar today lavished praise on Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his Deputy Sushil Kumar Modi for improved law and order situation and development in Bihar, but said much more was needed to be done in this direction. "I am glad that the people of Bihar move around freely without any fear," he said at a function at the Veterinary College in Sheikhpura locality. Singling out Kumar and Modi for their works "in ushering in development and improved law and order situation in Bihar," Ravishankar said the duo should continue to do the good works as much more was needed to be done to take the backward state among the frontline of the developed ones. Ravishankar appealed to the people to neither accept bribe or give it to anybody to weed out the virus. The spiritual guru also disapproved violence by the naxalites "for whatsoever objective" and appealed to the ultras to join the mainstream for their own good and that of the society, he said and referred to the landmine blast by the Naxalites in Jharkhand's Garhwa district yesterday. "The naxalites are misguided youths of our own society who have taken to the path of violence in pursuance of their ideology for social change, but they are wrong if they think that they could achieve their goal through arms," he said. Ravishankar said three Maoists had consented to surrender before him today, but could not do so finally without stating the reasons. Read More

Keep Patna clean, Sri Sri exhorts devotees

PATNA: Naxals are brave people and are doing 'tapasya' in jungle. They are fighting to make India free of inequality and poverty, Art of Living (AoL) founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said here on Sunday. 

"Like you, I also want India to be free from poverty, corruption, casteism and disparity. But I do not support your (read Maoist) ways to achieve these goals. Your ways are wrong," Sri Sri said at the satsang organized by AOL at the veterinary college ground here on Sunday. The satsang titled "Ashirwad" was attended by thousands of devotees.

Appreciating Bihar's development, Sri Sri said: "A lot has been done. But a lot also remains to be done. Biharis are very resilient. You have come here through many challenges. Don't lose your resilience." He also made the devotees to take a pledge to keep the city clean. 

He asked every devotee to contribute in keeping the city clean by giving just two hours of physical labour every month. "Many cities have done it successfully. You should follow suit," the devotees were told.  Read More

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sri Sri's ashram opens at Bodh Gaya

GAYA: With the performance of the Rudrabhishekh rituals, the Bodh Gaya ashram of Sri Sri Ravishankar, the Art of Living (AoL) founder, was off to a splendid start on Saturday evening. The rituals comprising hymns and bhajans were performed in the presence of a sizeable number of Sri Sri Ravishankar's followers, including nearly 200 foreign devotees - mostly Chinese and Japanese. AoL's European followers were also present.

The ashram at village Shekhwara near Bodh Gaya off NH-82 is spread over 13 acres of land with facilities for meditation and stay in a serene ambience. The centre is likely to attract visitors from different parts of the world as Sri Sri Ravishankar has followers in over 150 countries across the world. Besides spiritual programmes, Sri Sri Ravishankar's Bodh Gaya ashram will also focus on social services, including development of leadership qualities among youths, programme to save girl child and other training programmes.  Read More

Sri Sri refuses to join Anna's poll campaign

GAYA: Refusing to join the Anna Hazare-Ramdev combine's campaign in the five poll-bound states, Art of Living (AoL) founder Sri Sri Ravishankar proposed to work with the Maoists, provided the rebels shun violence as gun was not the answer to any problem.

The AOL founder said he sympathized with the cause for which extremists were fighting, but disapproved the means adopted by them to achieve an otherwise laudable goal. He was interacting with the media at the Dalmia dharmshala here on Friday evening.

Asked whether he would be joining Team Anna and Baba Ramdev in their campaign in the five poll-bound states, Sri Sri Ravishankar categorically said that he would not. However, he would like the voters to come out in full strength and vote for better candidates in these elections. On whether he approved the manner in which Baba Ramdev escaped from the Ramlila ground, he said that he was not interested in specifics and his broad concern was elimination of corruption. Read More

Ravishankar urges Maoists to renounce violence

Aurangabad (Bihar), Jan 21 (PTI) Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar today appealed to Maoists to renounce violence and join the mainstream for their own well being and that of the society. "There can be no solution to problems through violence ... an atmosphere of peace and brotherhood can indeed help change the society for the better," he said at a discourse at Madanpur village. Ravishankar asked the people to lead a simple life and renounce Western style of life for their mental and physical well being and emphasized on regular yoga and meditation in their day-to-day life. Read More

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sri Sri Ravishankar not to campaign on corruption issues in poll-bound states

GAYA (Bihar): Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar said he would not campaign against any political parties on corruption issues in the five poll-bound states. 

"I will not campaign against any political party on the corruption issues in the five poll-bound states. It is the job of the political parties to campaign in the polls and not for us to do so," he told reporters after presiding over a spiritual programme here yesterday. 

Ravishankar, however, said that he would support the anti-corruption movement by the people. 

The spiritual guru and Art of Living founder also trashed Congress leader Digvijay Singh's reported remarks branding him a Sangh Parivar sympathiser on the basis of the former being seen with RSS leaders in a photograph. 

"It may be his views that anybody being seen with the RSS leaders could be their man," Ravishankar said.
Read More

Sri Sri to organise camp for Maoists

Sri Sri hails good governance in state

GAYA: Art of Living (AOL) founder Sri Sri Ravishankar on Friday evening praised the state government and said the present situation is better than the one prevailing a few years back.

Visiting Gaya after a gap of nearly 12 years, he said with all-round peace and prosperity, Bihar is a changed place now. During his previous visit, he was cautioned against moving out openly. But now there is peace and order everywhere in the state.

Addressing his followers at Gaya Gandhi Maidan, he exhorted them to take a vow neither to give nor take bribe. He favoured collective action against the corrupt. Read More

Ravishankar asks people to stop taking liquor

Gaya (Bihar), Jan 20 (PTI) Spiritual guru and founder of the Art of Living Foundation Sri Sri Ravishankar today asked people to refrain from consuming liquor and foods produced by the use of chemicals and fertilisers. Talking to disciples at Gandhi Maidan in Gaya district, he appealed them to refrain from consumption of foods produced by the use of chemicals and fertilisers to remain free from ailments and tension. He also asked people to refrain from consumption of liquor and said that alcohol is a major source of strife and tension in the society. Ravishankar further expressed concern with liquor consumption, which has increased substantially in recent times, and said that it is bound to adversely affect development of the country. The spiritual guru identified corruption as yet another bane of India and asked people not to accumulate wealth through ill-gotten means. He asked the people, including government servants present at his sermon, to take pledge to refrain from corruption and related activities for the well being of themselves and their families. The spiritual guru also lauded the law and order situation in Bihar and said that the conduct of religious and spiritual programmes is a simple affair now as compared to the days of earlier times. Read More

Friday, January 20, 2012

Education in South Africa

FORTE HIGH SCHOOL in Soweto, the sprawling black township outside Johannesburg, was once one of South Africa’s notoriously ill-equipped and poorly performing schools. Five years ago it had no running water, no functioning library, no computers and no sports ground. Designed for 800 pupils, it had to cater for 1,300. Only half those who reached the final year matriculated, gaining the most basic certificate for finishing school. But thanks to philanthropists “adopting” it, Forte has turned itself around. Last year it achieved an 80% pass rate, and half of its matric candidates qualified for university.

Among them was Albert Dove, a black student living with his unemployed, disabled father and poor enough to qualify for free school lunches. He got six distinctions in his exams, including 100% in physical science. Every weekend and throughout the holidays he attended extra maths and science classes at a centre in Soweto run by an international charity.

Much of his success, he said, is thanks to a school-feeding scheme set up by the Art of Living Foundation, an international outfit. “I have enough food in my stomach,” he explained. “I will not go out and steal from other children or go and gamble in the streets. I will not go out looking for a girlfriend or boyfriend to give me money for food…I will not smoke drugs to keep away the stress of having no food at home.” He wants to study nanotechnology but must first find funds. A university science course costs around 30,000 rand ($3,740) a year, excluding board and keep.  Read More

Rock & Run Satsang sets pace for ‘Run Powai Run’

It was a cool and pleasant evening at Glen Podium in Hiranandani that the ‘Art of Living’ (AOL) had come to perform with its quintessential AOL teacher and program director Vikram Hazra’s bhajans reverberating the air of Powai with positive vibes.

The event was a precursor to set pace for the 8th Jan, Sunday ‘Run Powai Run’, a mega event meant to be a charity fund-raiser for the Rotary Powai Lakers. A hundred plus registered on the spot for the Run at the satsang event. It was an evening of music that combined the beat and rhythm of a modern concert with the spirituality of a satsang. Vikram Hazra had both the young and old on his side as he belted out his bhajans over guitar. A handful of youngsters found it a befitting occasion to swing to the rock satsang amidst the gathering.

The Glen podium was packed with more than 600 people raptly listening to the bhajans and the spiritual discourse by Vikram. The audience actively participated humming and clapping along with the AOL teacher. It was heartening to see that the urban breed of Indians find time to participate in such gatherings.

Deepak Daryanani, an office bearer of Lakers told, “We have already got 2000 people who have registered for the Run. A handful of celebrities too have committed to join the run. Vikram Hazra too has assured to join the run.” It is expected that some 3000 people would participate in the run. It shall be a landmark event for Powai and the organisers have meticulously planned the logistics for event to be a grand success. The Lakers have roped in a good number of sponsors rallying with their cause.

Ravi Jashnani, of Lakers informed that, “Sachiin Joshi, a resident of Hiranandani Powai and entrepreneur turned actor (Aaazan fame) will kick off the Run. Some of the other celebrities mainly Bollywood and serial actors like: Memo Chakroborty, Vaishali Desai, Meeta Vashisht, Smilie Suri, Tara Sharma, Aparna Bajpayee, Karanveer Borha are expected to attend the event as participants.”

Vikram could be a promising executive. He has the jargon, the appearance, the confidence and all the gizmos that go with that image. He jet-sets across the globe and counts Rhea Pillai amongst his friends. He is certainly a man on the move, but he is in the business of saving souls, especially young ones. He is just back in Mumbai on the 4th Jan from Hong Kong after a mentoring program for AOL teachers.

You wouldn't think so if you saw him with his Mac laptop, several mobile phones and trendy watch. He wears his kurta-pyjama with elegant ease and listens to the avant-garde music of Bill Frisell and Ottmar Liebert as well as enjoys Dhrupad immensely. Maybe, why this program director with the international Art of Living Foundation goes down so well with young blood all across the globe. News Courtesy

Thursday, January 19, 2012

200 ex-militants to get spiritual training

The Assam police has embarked upon an ambitious plan of sending 200 former militants for spiritual, behavioural and vocational rehabilitation training at the Art of Living in Bengaluru.
Disclosing that the institute of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar would not only be imparting training to them in technical skills, authoritative security sources told this newspaper that these ex-militants, who laid down arms in past few years, would be given complete rehabilitation.
“The training programme is aimed at to stress elimination, bringing inner peace, sensitivity and making them socially responsible citizens,” security sources said adding that alongside, the ex-rebels would be exposed to Vocational Skill Development Training programme to impart technical training in computers, mobile-repair and other electrical equipment.
Pointing out that there have been instances of surrendered militants taking to arms again, security sources said that the Art of Living and its sister organisation, International Association for Human Values had conducted a 90-day intensive spiritual and vocational rehabilitation programme for more than 100 Manipuri militants also.
security sources said that a number of Ulfa rebels have expressed their willingness to start cooperative movements.  Read More

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Smt. Bhanumathi Narasimhan

Bhanumathi Narasimhan has played a key role in The Art of Living, since its inception. Founded in 1981 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, The Art of Living is a non-profit, educational and humanitarian NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) engaged in stress-management and service initiatives. The organization operates globally in 151 countries.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, her brother and guide, has been a constant source of support and direction for her. Bhanumathi has been instrumental in instituting the "Care for- Children" program, which provides education for underprivileged rural children, free of cost. The first school to be supported by this program started in 1981 with 30 children in rural Bangalore. Now, 30 years later, there are 175 schools in 19 states of India educating over 24,500 children. She is especially focused on education for girls and empowerment of women.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Creative impulse

It is very important for us to probe into the source of thought. Often we are called great thinkers, but what is a thought? Where does it originate? Is there any way that we can improve the thought process? What is the source of creativity?

Thought is nothing but an impulse of energy and intelligence. That impulse of energy and intelligence, for it to arise and a correct thought to come, you need 16 impulses to meet at a point in the cerebral cortex at a certain speed. In that short interval of time, all the 16 impulses in the cerebral cortex, when they meet, is what we call a correct thought. What do we do about it? We need to train our brain, our mind.

There is always dialogue going on in your own mind. We all have a filter in our mind through which we listen and we accept only what we already know. Something which doesn’t already fall within our belief system, we straightaway filter out. This tendency in the mind to take things which it already knows and reject that which it doesn’t know, is one of the main blocks of creativity. Read More

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sri Sri urges Kashmiri Pandit community to return to Valley

PUNE: Art of living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Saturday urged members of the Kashmiri Pandit community to go back to Kashmir and start a new chapter to reclaim their identity. 

He was addressing the inaugural session of the first Kashmiri Pandit Youth Conference via video-conferencing. 

Organised by Youth 4 Panun Kashmir (Y4PK), under the aegis of Panun Kashmir, the conference was attended by members from the Kashmiri Pandit community. The two-day conference aims to discuss various social, cultural and political issues pertaining to them and to recognise and applaud the people who have made a difference to the community. 

Speaking from Germany, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar urged the community to go back to Kashmir, buy land and property to establish educational institutions to preserve their cultural heritage and save their identity. He also appealed to the Kashmiri Pandit youth to volunteer during the Amarnath Yatra and help the pilgrims, to bring together and serve their community better. Read More

School feeding scheme motivated Albert

Albert lives with his disabled father, older brother and sister in Dobsonville, but money is tight.

“My big brother and sister are working - that’s where we’re getting our income from, and also from my dad’s pension. But the income isn’t enough for me to have lunch money.”

The Art of Living Foundation, a humanitarian and educational NGO, runs the school feeding scheme, which sustains 100 to 300 pupils like Albert every school day.

But Albert didn’t only enjoy the meals, he volunteered in the kitchen, too.

“I’m very passionate about helping people. When I started volunteering, I was alone. But then my friends joined me and we all liked doing it.”

“We’re so proud of Albert and proud of all the kids,” says Aneshree Naidoo. He volunteers as project co-ordinator for the Youth Village project, an outreach initiative of Art of Living’s sister organisation, the International Association for Human Values.

All eight matrics the project supports have passed.

“The situations some of these kids are in - they are so hungry for knowledge. It’s the simple things they need. We managed to get uniforms for them, open a computer lab and run the feeding scheme.”  Read More

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Yoga is a study of life, of your inner faculties, your body, breath, mind, intellect, memory and ego. It does not mean just physical asanas. It is the complete knowledge including meditation, pranayama and asanas.

The first use of yoga is that it frees you from misery and sorrow. In some form or the other we are unhappy from childhood. You don't get food or milk in time, you start crying. As you grow older you cry for a toy and then, as you grow a little older, you cry for a partner. After that you cry for power, money, position. Throughout life, there is something you always want. And when you don't know how to have it, you cry.

Yoga is essential because it improves skill. Yoga is skill in action. In the Bhagawad Gita, Krishna says to Arjuna that you need to be skillful and only through yoga you can attain those skills, to manage or run a country or an empire.

Yoga also improves your perception. Perception is essential for an administrator or ruler, because a ruler has to have eyes and ears all over. That means he has to understand every subject. In the ancient days, it was said a king should know 64 different trades, including how to steal because then you know the mentality of a thief.

Life is all about human interactions. How you understand the other person and how you express yourself to other persons are affected by you, getting in touch with yourself. You can't trust your own mind because the mind changes all the time. Our opinions change. Turn back and see how many times you have been proved wrong by your own judgement. Hence, yoga is necessary to improve our perceptions.

Therefore, to attain your basic needs and to administer society you need yoga. And to know about life, to explore into the secrets of the universe you also need yoga. It is like wherever you want to go, you need a vehicle and there needs to be a road. And yoga is the path.

The time gap between what you want and when you get it, makes all the difference. The luckiest one is where no want arises. That is the yogi. Even before you want something, it is already there. You are not thirsty, but there is already water. The next level of luck is — you want it and you have it, without much time gap. You know you want to build a hall and you do it. Between your want and the manifestation there is little time gap. And the third level is when you want something for a long time, and then you get it, after toiling a lot, putting all your effort in it.

So yoga takes you from being the most unlucky to the most lucky. Where, even before a desire has arisen in you, it is already there, already manifest.

There is a proverb that says "you wanted peanuts, but you got it, after you lost all your teeth." Just by wanting, things don't happen. It is by relaxing, by reposing in the being, in the self that whatever is essential simply comes.

Yoga is the art of doing nothing, of being in a total calm and serene state of mind. It brings a balance of body, mind and spirit and releases all pain, suffering and misery. If you are a seeker of any kind, spiritual or material, you need meditation. It is essential, to be in touch with the supreme being deep within one self.

Self is like the magnetic field which is every where like the air. Bringing the mind to the self is the whole exercise. Whenever the mind is resting, it is with the self. So self is the recharger, the energiser.

Every day in your sleep you are with the self. But that you do unconsciously. Consciously experiencing the self or being in the self, is meditation. And when you come out of meditation, you feel that freshness, everything looks bright, there is enthusiasm, there is joy there is love. All these qualities start manifesting in life spontaneously and naturally. That is what is called siddhi or the perfection. Courtesy Star of Mysore

Antidote to terrorism

The Bhagwad Gita encourages reasoning while terrorists are blind to any reasoning. The Russians need to study the mind of a terrorist as much as they need to study the Gita before calling it a terrorist scripture, says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

Terrorists are cowards. Whenever terror has struck in any part of the world, we have heard people say it is an act of cowardice. A coward runs away from action but harbours all negative feelings and does it surreptitiously.

This is exactly what happened to Arjuna. Arjuna was angry, upset and sad and wanted to run away. In the Bhagwad Gita, Krishna says, 'Don't be a coward'. Hence the Gita is an antidote to terrorism. Krishna says bravery is the way: Face the war when it is inevitable and do your duty.

A terrorist is stuck in his identity; he hides it, has no rationale and inflicts pain. Whereas the Bhagwad Gita helps you transcend your identity. It encourages reason and infuses wisdom. Therefore, it could be called the antidote to terrorism. Read More

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Faith can offer support in tough economic times

Zankar Desai, state coordinator, Art of Living Foundation With all the economic downturn that we have had in the last few years, it's very important to prepare for the worst. So, as an average Joe, what can we do? We don't have control over global financial disasters. Well, there are things beyond our control. Let's not worry about a nation's stand on certain economic policy and let's focus on what we could do.

First of all, we all need to be little bit more disciplined in our lives. We all love freedom and don't want to be disciplined. Although freedom and disciplined may sound opposite in nature, they are complementary. Being disciplined in our habits and actions brings freedom in the long run. As one of the spiritual seekers and a state coordinator for the Art of Living Foundation, I would strongly recommend everyone to do the following things, which are just common sense in my opinion, irrespective of your faith belief: Read More

Wired faith

Whoever said that you gotta have faith must have foreseen the coming of Social Network. For, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, today, spread the word faster than the apostles, messengers and guides of yore.

Ask 22-year-old Nandakishore, a Sri Sri Ravishankar follower, engineering grad and online marketing professional, and he will tell you fifty per cent of the members of Art of Living — founded by his guru — are young people, very active in social networks.

According to Nandakishore, the media is widely used to propagate the satsangs, interviews and teachings of the Guruji. Read More

City boy first runner up in International mental maths

SURAT: Dhariya Tulsiani, a class VI student of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Vidya Mandir, was the first runner up in International Abacus and Mental Arithmetic Competition held in Malaysia this December. More than 2,500 children from 50 countries participated in the event.

Dhairya was declared state national and international champion in mental maths this year in different competitions and was declared Champion of Champions in state-level competition in Vadodara . tnn