Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Just as I was flipping through Celebrating Silence to write the previous post, I read another post on celebration by Gurudev. The lines which struck me really hard were these :

A poor man celebrates New Year once a year. A rich man celebrates each day. But the richest man celebrates every moment.

How rich are you ? Do you celebrate once a year ? Once a month ? Every day ? If you celebrate every moment, you are the Lord of Creation.

Sri Sri Ravishankar
Weggis, Switzerland
December 27 1995

2008 has been a trying year for us. And all this year, on each festival that we celebrated with such gaiety in the past - Ganesh Chaturti, Gokul Ashtami, Diwali, Navarathri, my mind would go to my problems and dwell on how our home had lost its happiness since we were unable to celebrate as before.

And now this knowledge ! Funny - I've read it so many times before but it hits me so hard on New Years Eve. Something beautiful to ponder on : Am I poor / rich / the richest ?

Certainly I will aspire to be the richest this coming New Year. Thanks Guruji !

Jai Guru Dev,

True Celebration

Let time celebrate your presence. People usually make a wish for the New Year, but this year make no wish. Let the New Year celebrate you. If the New Year wants to bring you nicer things, just let it.

Usually you are lost in celebration. When you let time celebrate you, you are a witness amidst celebration.

The New Year is fortunate because you are living at this time. When you are living for the sake of the world, the world is fortunate. You are not living for yourself, but for the world. Whatever the world needs or wants, you are here for that.

Sri Sri Ravishankar
Lake Lucerne, Switzerland
January 1 1997

(Excerpt from Celebrating Silence) .

A Happy and Peaceful New Year to all my blog readers. May the New Year bring you joy, peace and more opportunities to move towards your Self.

Jai Guru Dev,

Monday, December 29, 2008

Bare Necessities

Been watching the 1967 Disney classic - The Jungle Book with my little niece lately and there is this song I just love - The Bare Necessities .

These are my favorite lines as they take me back to what Guruji says about needs and desires and how the Divine takes care of all our needs.

Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
Old Mother Nature's recipes
That brings the bare necessities of life


The bare necessities of life will come to you
They'll come to you!


And don't spend your time lookin' around
For something you want that can't be found
When you find out you can live without it
And go along not thinkin' about it
I'll tell you something true

The bare necessities of life will come to you

Jai Guru Dev,

Friday, December 26, 2008

This Moment

Little One You woke and cried for Mom
And I came instead
You accepted me and lay your little head on my chest
The tears ebbed and your eyes closed

Dare I move for fear of waking you
Dare I breathe for fear of disturbing your gentle breathing
For those brief moments we breathe as one

Am I your Mom/Dad/Uncle/Friend
Beyond Names and Relations is this moment of ours
All your tantrums are forgiven right now

This very moment - A Tear Contentment Bliss Love Peace Eternity

Jai Guru Dev,

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Being Spiritual

As 2008 winds down, time for some soul searching and perspective. Undoubtedly 2008 has been the most challenging year of my adult life. A crisis that started in Jan this year continues to be the mainstay of all my activities and decisions.

It also marks the lowest point in my participation in Art Of Living activities for the last 7+ years in terms of taking courses or volunteering. The total and complete preoccupation with my situation has made it impossible for me to do any justice to either of the above.

Which led me ponder - Am I being spiritual enough ?

Or rather - What is being spiritual ? For long I have equated my spirituality with the regularity of my daily sadhana, regular long kriyas, satsangs, taking more courses and of course seva. I have been quite regular - or rather life has been very gracious in allowing me to be regular with the first two - without which I have no idea how I would have made it thus far.

It took me a while to get the significance of regular Part II courses - unfortunately I managed to do only 2 of these before life caught up. Satsang - I was just getting to realize the importance of being regular. Seva - a touch and go for me most of the time, but something I did whenever I could. Being with Guruji - 2005 and 2006 offered me so many opportunities to meet Guruji that I was beginning to get used to it .

And then 2007 happened.

Once the nectar has been tasted, staying away from it is P A I N F U L. This has been my direct experience in the last year of not being able to participate more actively in AOL satsangs, courses and seva.

But then what does Part I teach us ? Accept situations as they are !
And why ? Because these situations are going to come in life. What is the point of this knowledge if I cant apply it when it matters the most ?

At some level I have come to realize that one reason I loved participating in the aforementioned activities was the social interaction it offered. Am I missing my Spiritual hang outs :) ?

Another realization for me is that it is super hard to completely give of myself. I have imagined doing this for a loved one, but now being faced with it, I realize I have come up short - quite short.

Perhaps this is the lesson Guruji is teaching me - to accept the situation and be with it completely and not see it as different than any of the other things I would rather be doing right now .

On the positive side I am able to see I am deeper than what I thought I was, more dispassionate, less attracted to pleasure and closer in my heart to Guruji.

Sometimes Being Spiritual is just Being .

Jai Guru Dev,

Friday, December 19, 2008

Who Am I ?

Where do you work ?

A common refrain that inevitably follows the initial customary "Hi/Hello", in the professional world. I've have asked and been asked this question a few hundred times in my life. There was a time when I took pride in this question. Immediately I would blurt out "I work as XYZ for ABZ co" and wait for that look or sigh of admiration from the fellow conversationalist. My biggest fear was being unemployed and the most stressful times were the times of layoffs - a frequent phenomenon in my company in the 2000 - 2005 period in the Bay Area. I prided myself on my work and didn't think much of life outside of it . Constant comparisons with the progress of my friends, colleagues and college mates was my mind's primary occupation.

Along the way came the Part I course, Ashtavakra, Yoga Vasishta, Part II , satsangs, seva. And slowly the belief began to solidify that I was indeed being taken care of. A larger perspective to life began to emerge and a life outside of work, promotions, stock options, office politics, 11 pm coffee breaks began to take shape. Spirituality and my other passion - going back to the academic world - began to take precedence and the feverishness and attachment with my job slowly began to drop.

Today I am jobless (yes - and no I don't feel like a smaller person because of it) and am comfortable seeing it as a phase of life just like the time I was employed. Life is indeed an interesting journey - When I had a job, I lived in constant fear of losing it. Now I have no idea if and when I will get back to work on the same terms as before and I am at peace. Happy I am to have dropped this one strong identification.

My association with the Art Of Living and Guruji are clearly what I value the most. I don't miss work but I do miss the satsangs, courses, being with Guruji a LOT .

Life indeed is a spiritual journey. I play many roles that of a student, professional, family member, friend, colleague. These roles sustain me in a society that demands that one play these roles and accords me a social status based on my degree of success in these roles.

But the most important relationship - that of me with mySelf - independent of what society thinks or says - is what matters in the end.

Jai Gurudev,

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thank You

Thank you Pain
For you make me realize pleasure is temporary

Thank you Suffering
For you teach me this world is only you

Thank you Uncertainty
For you make me realize everything is changing

Thank you Confusion
For you teach me there is another way

Thank you Torture
For you make me realize I am not just this body

Thank you Failure
For you make me realize you are but a milestone

Thank you Desire
For you make me realize you are but an empty bowl

Thank you Lust
For you teach me what is really love

Thank you Friendship
For making me realize there is only ONE real friend

Thank you Sleeplessness
For you teach me I was asleep

Thank you Troubled Times
For you center and focus me on the real GOAL

Thank you Guruji
For the knowledge and grace to realize the above

Jai Guru Dev,

Friday, December 5, 2008

Seattle Vigil For Mumbai Victims

Several other Indian organizations partnered with Art Of Living and held a candle light vigil for the Mumbai victims at the Red Square on the University Of Washington (UW) campus in Seattle.

Words of wisdom from the local AOL teacher - David Longenecke.

Go AOL Seattle ! Go Huskies !

Jai Guru Dev,

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sri Sri Ravishankar in Mumbai

UPDATE : For those that missed the broadcast on Sanskar TV - here is a web link that some kindred soul put up. Watch it while it is still up there.

Join us in our quest to create a peaceful, stress-free society.

What : Sri Sri will conduct a special prayer, pranayama and meditation session for all Mumbaikars

Where : Priyadarshini Park & Sports Complex, Nepean Sea Road

When : Dec. 6 at 6:30 pm.

Have Burning Questions ? Click here

The Art of Living Foundation is conducting trauma care and counseling sessions, following the recent terror attacks in Mumbai.

Helpline numbers: +91-9821620948, +91-9967477004, +91-9820612152

Jai Guru Dev,

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


This post is somewhat on the lines of my earlier post Long Term Investing, but i've been reflecting a lot about what my association with the Art Of Living, daily practice of the Sudarshan Kriya and Guruji have meant to me over the last 7 1/2 odd years and was inspired to write this.

We all buy insurance for various things in life. Home insurance to protect ourselves if god-forbid a catastrophe like a fire should happen. Life insurance to make sure our loved ones have financial security if something were to happen to us. We insure our vehicles such as cars, bikes to ensure that an accident does not leave us with hefty bills.

All this to protect what ? Items that we hold dear to our happiness and peace of mind ? We pay a premium now so that we are protected in the event of an unforeseen event that we don't know about and in fact don't want to have happen to us at any time. Ironically there is an aspect of spirituality here too. We insure to protect something, while knowing at the same time that it won't last forever. Implicitly we acknowledge that nothing will be safe forever.

And life is quite unforeseen isn't it ? As I have experienced too. Life is full of surprises. People get sick - extremely sick at times. Accidents happen. Jobs are lost. I have personally had to use health and auto insurance.

But the greatest insurance to me through life's travails has been my spirituality. Through tough times, traumatic times, unforeseen challenges, physical and mental pain, disappointments - the only thing that had steadfastly stood by my side is my sadhana, satsang, knowledge and the grace of the Guru. The ability to keep my mind sane through tough challenges and keep the faith strong - even smile sometimes through problems - has been the most precious thing to me in the last few years.

I've been reading the papers and often read news of young, highly qualified professionals/ students committing suicide for various reasons - job stress, family problems, a failed love affair, loneliness - and it pains me. Not just because a promising life was cut short, but because he/she did not have the tools and techniques to handle the agony that the situation in life was presenting. Looking around me, i see that it is the need of the moment - a way to handle our stresses and challenges without giving up,or collapsing, or destroying our health - and facing life with equanimity and smilingly.

Now as I face the most challenging (so far) phase of my adult life, I am glad I bought insurance many years ago - the Art Of Living course. It serves me each day, each moment, when I need it - unfailingly. It helps me manage this complex beast called the MIND and calm it down - no matter what. It helps me dispose off the garbage accumulated during the day and be free.

This to me is the REAL Life Insurance. I am grateful for the grace of the Guru that brought me to this precious knowledge when I most needed it. And it is my duty now to reach out to others so they may have these most precious tools when they need it too.

Are you insured ?

Jai Guru Dev,