I was sent for courses to Israel on 4th Oct’07. It was a 9-week stay- scheduled to finish on 15th Dec’07.
All went well – till I received a call from my sister (based in Singapore) that my father (he is 72 yrs old) is very ill. A tumor with the width of 5.5cms had been discovered behind his right ear-Just where the spinal cord begins-touching the brain. Unfortunately – the tumor was discovered only after it started bleeding. My brother (who was in Bombay at that time with my father) approached doctors in Lilavati Hospital, Jaslok & Nair Hospital. Doctors refused to touch the case because of my father’s age & the tumors proximity to the brain. They all said we were wasting our time &
money & should take my dad back home.
This is the point of time when I received the call to come back immediately. I had just one week of my stay in Israel left with 2 courses planned in the same week. For one of the courses stay permits had been obtained form the Government of Israel to allow Women from Palestine (Suffering from cancer) to come & stay in a Hospital in East Jerusalem & do the Part 1 Course. There was No way the course could have been postponed.
My elder sister & my mother flew down form Singapore & my sister told me ” If u want to see daddy alive for the last time.. Come back”. Obviously, The first thing I did was to write a mail to Guruji & ask for permission to come back & asked TC desk to arrange another teacher.
I waited 12 hrs before receiving a reply form Guruji. In the meanwhile I had blocked another ticket & kept my packed bag ready.
When I received Guruji’s reply, It was not a clear yes. He said “Its Luckshmi’s choice. If she wants to come back she can do so. If she wants to stay, let her finish the two courses & then come back”. When I heard the reply for a moment I couldn’t believe my ears.. How can Guruji give me a choice at a point of time like this? But after just a couple of seconds I had decided.. If Guruji leaves it to me, so be it. I WILL NOT GO BACK. It’s HIS responsibility to take care of my father. He says, “You do my work, I will do yours”. There is nothing I can do even by going back. AND I stayed.
The news spread fast & When the participants of my earlier 7 courses in Jerusalem heard about this, many of them came for my course in the evening with candles & placed it in front of Guruji’s picture praying for my fathers good health. I couldn’t stop crying.
The next day, my family found one doctor in Bombay hospital who was ready to do the operation for removal of the tumor. The doctor was very clear. There was only 2% to 3% chance of the operation being successful. 98% chance that even after the operation my father will not live a normal life. WE TOOK THE 2% chance. The next day, I was in Israel taking 2 courses back to back & here in India my father underwent a 8 hour long operation.
THE OPERATION WAS SUCCESSFUL. The tumor was completed removed. The recovery has been absolutely unbelievable. He is back home & today 1 month after the operation, not only is he alright (No paralysis as the doctors anticipated) , he has started walking & eating ON HIS OWN. His speech is a little blurred but every time I talk to him he says “of course I have to recover fast. I should be able to walk so I can go & meet Guruji”.
Last night when I told Guruji about this………. HE SIMPLY SMILED.
And I remembered his usual Words ” Mai Apni duty theek se de raha hu na….” (I do my duty properly always, isn’t it?) I couldn’t stop the tears in my eyes from flowing….
Sound and Silence
The purpose of sound is to lead us to silence. In the Art of Living, music is a very profound and powerful tool for healing, relaxation and celebration. The universal appeal of AOL’s music has cut across barriers of race and language, inspiring an enthusiastic response among young and old alike. The participatory nature of our music allows the stressful mind to unwind in a very short time, and for the alert mind to experience its own strength and depth. At the end of a busy day, a session of satsang — community singing, knowledge and meditation — refreshes the mind and soothes the fatigued body.
Finally, a new beginning!
The last month heralded the beginning of my 10th year in the art of living. It was around this time that I become aware of HIS grace in my life – not that it didn’t exist before. That’s when A stood up for awareness – awareness of all the good things in life and how to enhance it and awareness of all the not so good things in life and how to vanquish them. The Art of Living arrived. It came, saw and conquered me 100% -didn’t even leave an atom to myself, to call it my very own. It became everybody’s. But it was a fair exchange, cos’ the whole world became mine too. What has the art of living really done to me?! It had taken my life
|Work filled play||Play filled work|
|Hurry hurry||Haaaaaaari haaaaaaari|
|small mind & big ego||Big mind and small ego|
|Sleep drink defecate||laugh sing dance meditate|
|Escaping from reality||Escaping to reality|
|Tamas Rajas & sattva||Sattva rajas & tamas|
|3 piece suit||3 peace salute (om Shanti Shanti Shanti)|
|One Jai Gurudev||Another Jai Gurudev|
AOL brought a new love in my life, which reminds me of a ancient tale… Once upon a long long time, in a place far far away, there was a Charming prince called Val: Valiant, strong, mighty, loyal and faithful, devoted and .. And Tine was a tiny little simple flower girl who loved to laugh and was innocent and playful and had a perennial naughty twinkle of mischief in her sparkling eyes. Destiny free willed itself to let these two meet and cupid did his part of the game and a budding romance Flowered which only grew with time. They were complete each by themselves and yet when together, they created magic and complemented each other perfectly.
Being strong and sensitive, being tender and loving and yet being firm, being mighty and being humble. To make a long story short, they are living happily ever after. The world celebrates their romance as the Val ‘n Tine’s Day.
Guruji says the mechanics of love start with an infatuation. Many a times when we look back we think of a person and feel, “my god, how was I ever attracted to THIS person”. Well, you can blame it on the angels. And what is at work in this process of infatuation is more than the history of the person or their geography. Its more than mathematics (calculating how much he earns or adding up his gifts). It is more than simple plain chemistry, it is, lets call it metaphysics that’s at work. More than the matter, it’s the spirit that matters most. And that infatuation leads to Loooooooonging and that leads to love and that love when matures becomes Devotion. How many of us can really say ‘I am devoted to my beloved’. If your beloved is the divine then its so natural to say so. Its easy in a divine romance. Love sets things in motion (nowadays lots in eMotion). Gurudev says, love is not an emotion; it is your very existence. It’s the love that makes the world go around – at an inclination of 23 and a half. It’s the love of The earth that makes us grounded. We are made by love, we are made of love and we are made for love! Everything is love anyway. Our hate is love turned sour, jealousy if love turned bitter, our fears are love standing upside down, greed is love gone overboard, over attachment is love gone sticky, lust is love gone gross (lust is just 2% love and love has 2% lust).
But I still wonder who came first, longing or love. Love makes you long your loved one or is it the longing that leads to love of the longed one. Speilberg solved the age old mystery of who came first, the chicken or the egg. It was the chicken of course (‘cos the Chicken could Run). Or some say it was the chicken because God couldn’t have laid eggs. Anyway.. Guruji says we all have an in-built deep-rooted longing for a love that’s so big, so infinite, so beautiful, so blissful, so divine, so like the Guru.. So longing (Radha) comes first and then comes Love (Krishna). Hence Radha is older than Krishna. So it goes Radhe Govind, Radhe Govind, Radhe Govind; the longing leads to love which leads to more longing which leads to more love until you BECOME the beloved. There remains no difference. Devotee becomes God. Till a time comes as that, my highest identity remains that I am part of the divine, a part of Him. Which part? I would like to be His heart. Your choice?!
What is God?
Sunday, January 15, 2006 21:34 IST
Aeons ago, in a hermitage lived a rishi. His own son was the foremost among his disciples. One day, the boy asked him, “What is God?” The master replied, “Food is God.” It meant that the boy must study food and all things corporeal to understand the true nature of matter. Years passed as his observation deepened, and he concluded that there was more to God than matter.
Once more he approached his father, “What is Brahman?” The sage replied, “Prana (the life force) is Brahman.” So this time he plunged into an intense study of prana and pranayama. Years later his old query got the response, “Mind is Brahman.” This time he explored mind and consciousness through meditation. “Intelligence is Brahman” was the next message. Time to plumb the depths of intuitive perception and self-knowledge.
Finally, the master zeroed in on “Bliss is Brahman.” When the ripened seeker delved into the experience of bliss, he dissolved in it. The ecstasy of divine realisation became his very being, and he was enlightened.
This Upanishdic story underlines the basic premise of Hinduism, the realisation of the Self and of the unity of all creation through knowledge, discipline, intuition, experience and devotion. In our culture, a student is encouraged to trust his own experience and sharpen his intuitive perception.
Through the ages, the self-realised souls have sung out in bliss and danced in ecstasy, showering love all around. The icing on this cake has been their focus on social reconstruction; from Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to Sri Ramakrishna, Vivekananda to Sri Aurobindo, the sages have embodied selfless service and love, and sought to mould generations of young minds through their message.
The gurus sought to inspire their disciples by giving them not just ideals but a genuine experience of their true nature. These beacons of humanity shine bright as ever today, and hold out a ray of hope for a generation that is constantly starved of idols and ideals.
Logic ceased… and THE LARGEST COURSE IN MICHIGAN BEGAN!
When logic ceased…. the course began!
THE TORNADO BEHIND THE LARGEST COURSES IN THE WORLD IS BACK… THIS TIME, HE HIT MICHIGAN. ANAND RAJENDRAN IS HERE!
March 4, 2008. A cold wintry day in Michigan. A snow storm raged and driving speed averaged 25 miles per hour. The street outside looked lonely, even the street lights were off. A group of us sat, despondent, outside a beautifully
decorated room. We had a course scheduled to start for Anand Rajendran and our sankalpa was 108, a huge leap for a city whose claim to fame had been sporadic courses numbering an average of 7-10.
All those introductory talks, all those days and nights spent flyering,chanting ‘Om Naham Shivaya’, talking to people… and yet, the night before, the counter showed 78 registrations. And as if that was not enough, now the snow storm! Who drives in Michigan in a snow storm?! Would we be the city to have the lowest registrations on Anandji’s trip? Yet, a tiny little voice inside said, “Don’t worry. Jai Guru Dev. Guruji knows!”
THEN IT HAPPENED! People who we had never seen before started showing up. We looked on in disbelief as Arathi came up to us, excited, “Guys!!! We have 109 registrations!!”
Our jaws dropped! In just over TWELVE HOURS, registration had gone from 76 to 109!!!
How? Why? When? No one knows. People braved the snow to come from places that were an hour’s drive away! All we know is that the course began on Tuesday and MICHIGAN IS ROCKING with THE LARGEST COURSE IN MICHIGAN WITH THE DYNAMIC ANAND RAJENDRAN!
If there is ONE lesson I would say I have learned it is this – when it comes to the path, when it comes to Gurudev’s work, logic is best kept out of the window. Faith, when accompanied by dedication and hard work, is UNBEATABLE.
Hmm…looking back, what would we have done differently… we would have put our target at 3000!! Why ask for less when we can have the best?!
Deepa Karthik, Mar 6, 2008 11:39 AM
“There are many dreams in my life….
all around ‘I, me, my, mine…….’ Apart from momentary joy and occasional satisfaction, they bring me habitual frustration, feverishness and anxiety most of the time. After in touch with Guruji’s knowledge, there is a substantial change in the contents of my dreams which expand the small ‘I’ to a bigger ‘I’ and I feel much more free and relax than before. Now, I have embarked on the journey and I like to offer help to those who needs the knowledge and direction!”
We all must be reading the
as instructed by Guruji. Every time one reads it one goes deeper into its meaning. Take the case of how Arjuna addresses Krishna. In the Gita there are forty different names used by Arjuna to call upon Krishna. Each of these names describes an attribute or quality. The different epithets used by Arjuna are not just there for the sake of variety but are meaningful to the context. This is one of the enriching features which make the study of Gita a deeply fulfilling exercise rather than it being a mere pursuit of a dry philosophical treatise.
We see a gradual shift in Arjuna’s position as Krishna provides him guidance, reflected in the tone and demeanor of his address. For example, his first call to Krishna in the text is but a command given by a warrior to his charioteer. Arjuna says: “O Achyuta, place my chariot in between the two armies.” ( 1.21)
Here Arjuna addresses Krishna as “Achyuta,” which means “one who never falls from his position.” This implies that Krishna, even though he is the supreme lord, has out of affection for his devotee Arjuna reduced himself to the status of a charioteer. However this in no way compromises his supreme position.
Obeying Arjuna’s command, Krishna drove the chariot in between the two armies. We all know what happened next. Seeing his near and dear ones arrayed opposite him, ready to lay down their lives, Arjuna was awash with a flood of sentimentality, leading to emotional exhaustion, and he found his heart sinking to never before depths of turmoil. With his limbs shaking, Arjuna said: “O Madhusudana, I do not wish to kill these my relatives, even though they may kill me.”(Bhagavad Gita 1.35)
The epithet Madhusudana means the slayer of the demon named “Madhu.” It refers to the annihilation of this villain by the lord just before the creation of this world. The word “madhu” in its turn means ‘honey,’ and thus the demon Madhu represents attachment (raaga) to this world, which seems sweet to us. Hereby, Arjuna reminds Krishna that just as he had killed the demon of attachment before, similarly should he do so in the present circumstances.
Next Arjuna queries: “O Madhava, how can we be happy by killing our own relatives?” (1.36)
“Ma” means and “dhava” means husband. Thus the perplexed Arjuna wants to point out that since Krishna is the lord of the goddess of fortune, he should point out the way which would save their (Arjuna’s) clan from the impending misfortune.
Arjuna then questions: “Purshottama, what is the Supreme Reality?” (8.1)
Purshottama means the “Supreme Person,” obviously he is the only one who can grant the knowledge of the Supreme Reality.
The lord then instructs Arjuna that the Supreme Reality is none other than himself, who pervades each and every aspect of the manifested existence. This prompts Arjuna to say: “O Keshava, I totally believe whatever you have told me as true. Neither the gods, nor the demons, O Bhagvan, can understand you.” (10.14)
Here there are two modes of addressing Krishna: Keshava and Bhagvan, both of which are loaded with spiritual and contextual relevance. According to Adi Shankaracharya, the word Keshava is made up of the following:
1). “K” meaning
2). “A” meaning .
3). “Ish” meaning
4). “Va” meaning form (vapu in Sanskrit)..
Therefore, by calling upon god as Keshava, Arjuna communicates his realization of the fact that it is the ‘One Supreme Reality’ which takes all these forms.
The epithet Bhagvan too signifies Krishna’s supremely abundant status, since “Bhagvan” is a technical term indicating ‘One who possesses the six kinds of splendours (shad-aishvarya) ‘, namely:
a). Complete Prosperity
c). Yasha (fame)
d). Shri (fortune)
e). Jnana (Knowledge)
f). Vairagya (Detachment)
In the next verse, Arjuna refers to Krishna with no less than five names, expressing his wonder and reverence:
“O Supreme Person (Purushottama) , Origin of all beings (Bhuta-bhavan) , Lord of all beings (Bhutesh), God of all gods (Deva-deva) and Ruler of the world (Jagatpati).” (10.15)
However, Arjuna is not satisfied with the lord’s abstract formulation, and asks Krishna to expand his discourse with easily understandable examples:
“O Janardana, my thirst for your nectar-like speech is not quenched. Therefore, kindly describe again your attributes in detail.” (10.18)
The name Janardana is composed of two parts – ‘jana’ meaning the veil of ignorance (avidya) and ‘ardana’ meaning the one who annihilates it.
Krishna then proceeds to explain in detail, with examples taken from the physical world, that the whole manifested existence is but his manifestation. This forms the majority of the eleventh chapter of the .
In the next chapter, Arjuna requests Krishna to show him this Form encompassing the entire world (Vishva Rupa), after seeing which Arjuna says: “O Lord of the universe (Vishveshvara) , O Form (Vishva Rupa), I see in you no beginning, middle or end.” (11.16)
Then very aptly does he call Krishna by the name Vishnu, meaning all-pervading: “O all-reaching Vishnu, with your gaping mouths and glowing eyes you touch the skies.” (11.24)
The sky represents the highest point the human eyes can reach, and with his senses thus stretched to the limit, Arjuna becomes terrified and asks Krishna to come back to his usual soothing form. Now at last, having understood the true nature of Krishna does Arjuna acknowledge him as ‘Hrishikesha’ , meaning ‘master of the senses.’ “O Master of the senses, the world delights upon hearing your glory.” (11.36)
Krishna as Hrishikesha is the “director” of the senses, who now controls the reins of Arjuna’s senses, unlike the first instance above when Arjuna “orders” Krishna to take his chariot between the two armies.
Arjuna now apologizes for having addressed Krishna as a friend rather than venerating him like the god that he truly was: “For addressing you familiarly as ‘O Krishna”, O Yadava, O Comrade (sakha), and regarding you merely as a friend, unknowing of this greatness of yours, O Achyuta, O Immeasurable One, I ask for your forgiveness.” (11.41-42)
Arjuna was very fond of the name ‘Krishna.’ He has used this epithet no less than nine times in the Gita, more than any other. The name ‘Yadava’ indicates that Krishna belonged to the Yadava clan, and Krishna and Arjuna were related to each other as first cousins. Thus Arjuna is reminding Krishna that it was only because they were brothers that he had taken the liberties to address him as above. However, the immeasurable (aprameya) greatness of Krishna makes sure that Arjuna’s liberties did not at all affect his exalted status, thus is Krishna (Achyuta), “one who never falls from his position.”
The ‘nameless’ has a thousand names and it is through these names that the ‘nameless’ is to be realized. Just as the forms of the divine are unlimited, so are its attributes, excellencies, glories and the names that express them. All things, all persons, all phenomena, identifiable by their names, are in fact manifestations of the Supreme. Each name signifies an excellence. The purpose of meditating on the god’s forms, names and lilaas is to get rid of our obsession with the name-and-form world.