GuruJi's discourse on my Birthday :-)

2nd Nov , this year was the birthday I felt most meaningful during my stay in Bangalore so far... and all thanks to my visit to Art Of Living...and the coincidence that Sri Sri was present...

...I remember complaining just couple of days back that GuruJi wont be present (according to his official schedule) at Bangalore ..and just like last 22 years even this year I wud miss meeting him on my Birthday...and Vijay AnandJi (senior teacher with AOL) calmed me saying," he is always present in you...dont be sad..." ...and lo!as if in answer to my longing, he was present that evening at Satsang...

I had the privilege to perform his aarti, and offer him roses, and a garland of flowers... and then the satsang proceeded with his discourses, after which when he asked Birthday and Anniversary audience to gather at stage...I was one among them ! :-) much to my amusement , the guy sitting next to me says, "Its not my birthday , its my Shahrukh's birthday, so I come to GuruJi to seek blessings for Shahrukh " ..such associativity and such innocence, I cud only smile... when I did GuruJi's aarti second time, he smiled, and realised its my birthday, and the most gentle words graced me, "Aaj Tumhara Birthday hai ?" I realised in an instant, all those moments when he noticed me, on previous visits to Ashram, he was aware of my presence, all those moments when he gazed upon me with deep eyes, as though piercing my soul, he knew who I was, but pretended to overlook me the next moment as if I didnt even exist...and today he gave me that meaningful 'I know you very well, beneath those layers of 22 years' look, he looked happy that its my Birthday....and then he took a garland and garlanded me too !!!
Dear friends when your very beloved (friend/family/someone you adore and also respect) garlands you, its as if he/she ties you in a knot of unconditional love and protection, and only a person who has experienced it, can feel what I felt...and I love him as much as I respect him...I respect him, because he is my Guru, and I also love him because He is Hari Sundar Nand Mukunda personified in the Guru of joy, innocence and love...such is my Guru. He came into my life when I was reeling from a 2 and half year old depression, and in just 2 days into the 6-day course my 2-year old depression had dissolved, and I discovered my true of extreme joy , and uncontrollable happiness and love.

I fondly remember some words from his discourse that evening(2-Nov-07) which I found very valuable:

He spoke of Yog , and described it as a means of overcoming inertia and unwanted traits in body and mind:

Yog sey chitta-vritti ka nirog hota hai. Yog ke do saadhan hai : "Abhyas" aur "Vairagya" (Yoga eliminates the unwanted inertia and disease of body, by means of "practice" and "dispassion")
Abhyas: Drishti se "Drishtha" key swaroop mey sthith ho jaaney ki kalaa abhyaas hai . Abhyas se "Vartamaan" mey sthith ho jaana hi yog hai. (The technique of moving away from the scenery , and estabilishing oneself as the "seer", is practice. Yog is shifting one's thoughts into, and estabilishing one's mind in, the "present moment", through practice.)

"Satkar" sey abhyas karey.(Practice whould happen out of pure mind, not out of desire or unwillingness) That is the difference between Yog and exercise. In exercise, one neednot put one's heart into it, but in yog one must put one's heart into commitment.

Nowadays it is easier to adopt bad habits, and to be depressed or to be angry quickly, BECAUSE we have come far away form our true selves, and our true self is one of love.

On Vairagya(dispassion):
Greed arises in one through one's senses (we hear about/see/taste something, and thus become greedy for it). And the more the greed , the more unstable is the mind.
The more the greed for objects, and for lust, the More a person gets self-consumed. The only way out is by dispassion, and a longing for Truth, Seva and for Divine Love.

(On a personal note, my perspective of Divine love is, first as a human being we seek love among our sexual urges, and keep on gratifying it, to no end,...then later when we taste a pinch of Divine Longing, that is when shift happens, and then for a period of time, the mind and heart oscillates between the physical urge and divine urge, and the final realisation is in diverting the sexual urges towards a more higher and meaningful love, that is Divine Love. As Sri Sri says in Narada Bhakthi Sutra "One moment of samadhi is equivalent to one thousand times of sex.")

All crimes in this world are a result of greed gone 'out of control'. Another way to feel the dispassion is to long for the Supreme, because when you long for the Supreme treasure 'inside' you, everything else 'outside' loses appeal.

Question: GuruJi, I have attended the Corporate training techniques at Ashram last few days, and this has enormously benefited my intellect, sense of thinking and shifted my awareness on priorities. There are so many systematic techniques and scientific technologies involved in the courses. Then why was "Art Of Living" named so, and why not "Science Of Living" ?

SriSri: In this world, there are very few people who appreciate science, and even fewer who have the spirit of inquiry...hence not everyone would see the appeal in it. But art appeals to everybody. Music and art is prevalent universally throughout mankind. Inclination among simple people in villages/cities towards science is low.
Therefore I thought ART OF LIVING would make more sense and reach out to more people who 'really need science'.

Sri Sri on crimes: Today, the way out of crimes in this world is to honor life.

Question: What is truth ?

SriSri: You want a simple answer…yes? Truth is that , which is not false (laughter among all) What is false? That which is affected by time and space. This was the definition given by the great saint Adi Shankara. He says, 'that which is not affected by space and time is truth'.

When you are dreaming, you have a nightmare. Tha is limited to a few minutes(time). And the moment yu wake up, it becomes false.

Question (I asked :)): GuruJi how shall I wake up, in this lifetime, before this lifetime flows past ?

GuruJi(looking deep into my eyes): Are you dreaming? (Gaurav: I feel I am dreaming when I am with you GuruJi)
If you are dreaming, how can you know that you are dreaming? (few people laugh, others smile). That means you are already awake. (GuruJi smiles meaningfully at me)

Question: GuruJi how should one handle transitions in life ?

GuruJi: With patience, perseverance. If it is a sudden transition it comes as a shock and we feel unable to handle it. Then the transition controls you. But if the transition is slow and foreseen, then use patience and perseverance. And remember nothing lasts, everything must perish, and change from one form to another. So you needn't worry much.

Question: GuruJi vartamaan mey rehney ki itni aadat ban gayi, kal kya sikhaya hai , woh bhool gaye hai. (I am so used to living in the "present" , that, what you taught yesterday, I have forgotten)

GuruJi: Lekin kal aapki pariksha hone wali hai.(but tomorrow is your test)(Sri Sri smiles very meaningfully). Vartamaan mey rehney sey smriti shakti badh jati hai.(Staying in the present, sharpens your intellect and memory)

On religion and spirituality: Religion has become devoid of spirituality. That is why it has become a source of conflict. Religion has become a tool for self-empowerment. That is why, one must emphasize on spirituality...because spirituality is where all religions converge. { WOW !}

Question: GuruJi Can abhyaas (practice) and vairagya (dispassion) be attained by self-effort or through Guru's grace?

GuruJi: Abhyaas, one must make the effort oneself. And Vairagya...dispassion leads to Wakefulness..wakefulness is awakening of the reality.
Just as seeing and listening to a television is stimultaneous, the same way, 'grace helps you to be centred in vairagya', and vairagya brings wakefulness.

(He winks at all , clicks his fingers, and closes the session.)