Saturday, July 26, 2008

Love Moves the World :)

A pair of pigeons perched right across my kitchen window. Had to take a hasty shot so my neighbors did not think I was taking pictures of their home !

Jai Guru Dev,

Science Exposes ...

Photo Credits :

I read this recent MSNBC article stating that the mystery of the Aurora Borealis had finally been solved. Which had me thinking about a beautiful knowledge by Guruji .

Beauty has three levels: indication, expression and exposure. Spirituality indicates, art expresses, and science exposes.

Sri Sri Ravishankar

I remembered back when my dad gave me a beautiful book as a kid - don't remember the name - but it was about nature's mysteries. I vividly remember seeing a picture of the Northern Lights as the Aurora Borealis are also called and going Aah Wow ! I did not digest any more information about the lights but something within me certainly lit up.

Somehow when I recently read the above mentioned article, the same WOW did not emerge. An excerpt :

Angelopoulos and his team used the THEMIS probes to monitor the energy levels in Earth's magnetic field. In February of this year, the spacecraft spotted substorms originating in the tail of the magnetosphere that streams out away from the sun. As energy levels in the magnetic field lines built up, they drew ever closer to one another until they reconnected, setting off a storm, researchers said.

For the last three decades, researchers were undecided on whether the substorms stemmed from magnetic field lines reconnecting, or originated much closer to Earth where they were triggered by explosive instability.

"Our data show clearly and for the first time that magnetic reconnection is the trigger," said Angelopoulos.

The research is detailed in the July 24 online edition of the journal Science.

First discovered in the 19th century, magnetic substorms are recurring energy bursts stemming from the release of charged particles — collected from the sun's solar wind — in the Earth's magnetic field. The high-energy particles zoom down the Earth's magnetic field lines until they collide with the planet's upper atmosphere to create dazzling, shifting colors in the aurora borealis.

Despite being scientifically trained, somehow the above explanation left me cold and not in the same state of wonder that I experienced as a child .

I wonder - is it really necessary to rip apart every phenomenon and lay bare its inner workings ? Its the same feeling one gets when one opens the hood of a car or a computer and peeks at the inner parts. Somehow the handsome Merc / Macbook Pro do not feel the same again - at least to me !

Certainly that is the purpose of science but then what larger purpose does it really serve ? I believe something beautiful such as the borealis should serve as a way for someone to go "Wow - just look at that" , wonder about the beautiful hand that created it or simply take them to silence .

I guess it has to do with one's state of seeking at a point in life. When intensely intellectual, a scientific explanation serves the purpose. As the seeking deepens, such explanations cease to satisfy . An acknowledgment arises that all (or anything ?) cannot be explained. The more we seek to explain, the more the mystery deepens.

What the Bleep Do We Know ! :)

Jai Guru Dev,

References :

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sanson Ki Mala Me

Amol Shende and Seema Ramchandani...... Just Listen .

AOL PUNE Amol Shen...

(Courtesy : )

Jai Gurudev,

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tales of Two Pictures

I'll admit it - I am a big fan of Guruji's pictures . Even though HE says in the Bhakti Sutras - "Do you really need a picture to remember me ?", I can't resist having his picture everywhere - in my wallet, in the puja room, on the counters ...almost everywhere. Here are a couple of my favorite pics and the accompanying stories.


Picture I is a framed photo presented to me by N and S when they briefly stayed with me during Guru Poornima in the Bay Area 2006. I was in silence during the Part II course and had a strong longing for a nice framed picture of Guruji . Unfortunately the Divine Shop at the course had none.
I returned home that evening and - in silence - N and S hand me this beautiful framed picture of Guruji.


Picture II was brought to me by a Divine Shop coordinator in Pune . I had requested him to get me another picture altogether. During the Part I course I was taking then, I saw Picture II and fell in love with it. So much bliss, joy and love flows spontaneously from it. The coordinator called me as I returned from Part I and said he was bringing the picture I had asked for. He arrived and after we exchanged pleasantries, I asked to see the picture.

Lo and Behold , it was Picture II - the one I longed for during the course. I asked him how he got this one and his explanation was simple - I could not find the one you asked me for and instead got this one along.

Wow - The Power Of Longing & Intention !!!

Jai Guru Dev,

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Body Breath Mind

Just saw this on esatsang.....

Honoring body is YOGA. Honoring breath is PRANAYAM. Honoring mind is MEDITATION.

Sri Sri Ravishankar

I just restarted Padmasadhana about a week ago ! Feels G O O D after reading this !

Curious about Padmasadhana ? Do the DSN course .

Jai Guru Dev,

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Guruji performing Guru Pooja - Guru Poornima 2008

NOTE : It appears the owner of the video of Guruji performing Guru Pooja has taken it down from youtube. Sorry :(

Wonderful Video of Guruji performing Guru Pooja at Guru Poornima 2008 at Santa Clara, CA .

and here once again Bala Gopala :)

Jai Guru Dev,

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Guru Poornima 2008 Satsang Pune

Pune had a rocking Guru Poornima satsang a day earlier on July 17th at Ganesh Kala Krida Rangamanch with Amol Shende and group.

The evening started with Guru Pooja after which Amol and his troupe started satsang.

I've heard Amol before (his album Trikaal is well known in Art Of Living circles), but this was the first time hearing him live. Boy was he amazing or what ? Last night he had the audience clapping, dancing, meditating all at once.

He sang totally rocking satsang numbers - Narayana Hari Om, Ishwar Guru (from his latest album - Vasudevaya), Shiva Om Shiva Namah Shivaya ...several others I cant readily recall since I was mostly meditating through it all . My favorite was "Gurudeva Guru Om....Namah Shivaya". It was amazing how he took a bhajan usually sung slowly and rendered it with such gusto that the audience was on its feet ......!!!!

What was amazing for me was that the silence and celebration were happening simultaneously. Satsang for me has always been deeper than any meditation be it leading , singing along or just closing my eyes .

"Singing helps to bring serenity. Singing is simply merging into the sound, floating on its waves with a sense of contentment and meditativeness"

Sri Sri Ravishankar

I for sure was floating in an ocean of contentment yesterday. The pain of not being with Gurudev in Santa Clara for Guru Poornima was gone. He is with me always, yesterday I was with him too ....

Jai Guru Dev,

UPDATE : Courtesy Flame (comments below) we have a video of Amol singing Ishwar Guru at the Mumbai Guru Poornima Satsang .

Monday, July 7, 2008

Sri Sri rocks New Jersey

Guruji was in New Jersey on the 4th of July weekend teaching a special Health and Happiness course to 1500 participants there. Some highlights :

1. Inaugurated by the Mayor of New Jersey.

2. Guruji was honored by the Mayor of New Jersey, Jun Choi for his wonderful work in the city of New Jersey and the world.

3. The New Jersey General Assembly passed a resolution "to acknowledge that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has been furthering the best of human instincts, traits and characteristics...; for promoting sustainable growth in poor rural communities...; for Art of Living which assists at-risk youth in turning away from gang violence, drugs and alcohol toward a life of greater generosity and service...".

4. According to a teacher who assisted on the course, the participants - mostly new to Art Of Living, went from barely acknowledging his presence on he first day to sending HIM off by loud clapping and crowding the stage on the following days. Live satsang was held with Guruji on all days and the knowledge that flowed was very deep.

Pictures and more here :

What a way to spend the Independance Day Weekend ! I'll bet the participants never felt more free and happy than in the presence on Guruji !!

There is still time to sign up for the Bay Area Health and Happiness course, July 15th - 17th .

Jai Guru Dev,

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Oh god, hear their prayer

This story from really touched my heart. I think this represents the soul of Real India, the one that places God over money even under dire circumstances. This is what India really brings to the world - humanity, spirituality - beyond everything else - even IT.

Source :

You think India is on the march -- that lifestyles have changed dramatically, and the standard of living has improved tremendously. Well if you thought this is how the real India lives, then read on.

In a small village near Haveri in northern Karnataka, Kattigere Thimappa and his wife toil day after day on a small patch of land so that they can make two meals a day. The meal is ragi roti with onions -- they eat this every day.

Haveri is 375 kilometres from the IT capital, Bangalore, and the lives here are in stark contrast.

Kattigere is 27, he has two acres of land and a family of four to support. The land is of little consolation as the monsoon has played havoc with his hopes. With no water source anywhere close to the field, he is entirely dependent on the mercy of the rain gods. The last two years have been a disaster -- the previous years the rains had failed and this year, excess rainfall destroyed the cotton crop.

Dejected that he could not depend on his land, he started working as a coolie at the local bus stand. Somakka, his wife, went to work at a construction site and with them went their two children.

"Manjunath is four-years-old and goes with his father, while I take Anita, the two-year-old along. There is nobody to take care of them," she says.

They earn around Rs 75 a day if they get work and spend all the money on food and some other basic necessities.

"The last time I bought a sari for my wife was a year back. I cannot afford to buy it for another year I think," says Kattigere, "The crops have failed due to heavy rains and the grant promised by the government has not come as yet."

Every morning, the couple set out for work by 7 and return by 6 pm. After that, till darkness falls they work in their field along with the children. Although there is not much work in the field at the moment, they ensure it is kept clean because neglecting it will worsen it.

With an annual income of Rs 8,000, this family has no special days -- time is spent toiling just to be able to subsist.

They hope for a better life, but find their hopes dry as their land. They dream of watching television which they say they have never done so far, and they want to send their children to school.

"We want them to be able to study and are hoping that out condition improves next year so that we can send Manjunath to school," says Somakka.

The last time they had a good meal was around five months ago when Somakka's employer, a construction worker gave her some extra money when work was completed on the building. "It sure was a joyous occasion at our house," she says.

The couple knows no other life apart from their work. Their only pleasure is their children and whatever free time they get is spent playing with them. "I really hope we can give them both a better life. It is not about hard work, it's that our destiny depends on the rain gods. If the rains are good, we are good or else we have to settle for the worst," says Kattigere.

In their misery they never forget one thing -- to pray to god for a good monsoon. They say that is the only hope for a better life.

Vicky Nanjappa responds to those who want to help Kattigere Thimappa:

When Mr Thimappa was informed that readers wanted to help him, he said he was very touched by their thoughtfulness. He, however, declined to accept any monetary help because he said the government was going to give a grant for cotton farmers, which was his legal right and could not be denied to him.

He did ask for one thing, though -- he asked well wishers to pray to the rain gods for a good monsoon.

Jai Guru Dev,

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Health and Happiness with Sri Sri Ravishankar - Santa Clara, CA - July 15th - 17th

UPDATE : A previous version of this post said the course was ending on Guru Poornima day. This is wrong, Guru Poornima is on July 18th (the course ends on 17th) and the celebrations and satsang are open to all (registration required) .

Sri Sri Ravishankar will be in Santa Clara, Bay Area, CA July 15th - 17th teaching a wonderful course titled "Health and Happiness" .

Here is why you should attend:

1. Learn some amazing yoga, praanayams, meditation and listen to some soul-stirring knowledge.

2. Taught directly by Sri Sri Ravishankar - a world renowned spiritual leader and founder of the Art Of Living Foundation.

3. Convenient timings in the evenings.

4. Meet hundreds of other folks interested in yoga, meditation and spirituality.

Only a few spots are left over as of this writing !!!

Register here :