Feb 13

Gowri and a Viral Fever

When I went to Chennai in the first week of February, Gowrishankar (Gowri) came to receive me at the airport and as we were driving home didn’t seem to be completely alright. He had a vague feeling of being a little unwell, like the beginnings of a flu. There didn’t seem anything to be worried about at all, nothing that a good night of sleep wouldn’t fix.

Then at night, a fever started and around 5 am spiked at 104.5. It was accompanied by a little bit of shivering and a terrible pounding headache. He was burning hot to touch and just slightly delirious because of the fever and the headache. I started to give him Cranio Sacral Therapy (CST) and felt something was wrong in the tummy. He said he had no pooed for 2 days.

First, I let Gurudev know and asked for His blessings.

I called a few of my doctor friends who knew about CST and spoke to them about what I felt. They prescribed an anti biotic that would work on the stomach called Taxim-O, and crocin for the fever, along with an antacid. If the fever didn’t go down, they asked me to get him to a hospital and have tests done. The medicines bought the fever down just a notch to 103 for a few hours before it went back to 104.5.

We went to the OPD of a hospital near by and the usual long list of tests was prescribed. I was repeatedly told by the staff to leave the room while they were doing their “procedures”, which I repeatedly ignored, firmly maintaining that I was not leaving the room. I really wish hospitals wouldn’t do this. To keep a person in obvious pain and trauma alone with strangers could be so utterly fearful and can only add to the trauma of the person. Besides I knew what medication he was already on. This they didn’t even bother to ask, I volunteered the information that was hurriedly written down.

The doctor there was sure that it was a severe upper respiratory tract infection and was insistent that we admit him. I was equally insistent that we will not admit him because I knew there was nothing wrong in the chest, it was the tummy – but I had no way to convey this to the doctor. They put him on a paracetemol intravenous infusion. While putting the needle in, I was again asked to leave. I didn’t. They had to poke him twice before they managed to get it right. It was done in a hurry and it really pained him. When will these “health practitioners” learn to treat people and not bodies?!

A chest x-ray turned out to be exactly what I expected. Completely normal!

They wanted to keep him “under observation” for two days. I asked what they wanted to observe and assured them that if there was anything even remotely untoward, I would bring him back right away. The paracetemol infusion had got his fever down to 103. They said they cannot let him go with such a high fever. There are so many bugs floating around in a hospital, and a person who is anyways weakened will surely catch some infection while “under observation”. Later I found out that there is actually a term for this. Its called nosocomial infection. There was no logic in letting him stay there. Somehow, I managed to get him away from there.

Once we were home, there was still a very sick Gowri to take care of. His fever was 103. He had a tremendous headache and his joints were aching like crazy.

Adeno-Associated virus

His brother came to visit and was hinting that we admit him. Even Gowri was saying that he wanted to get admitted. By then, I was pretty exhausted and I needed help. I called in Spandan who fortunately was in Chennai and I asked Ankita to fly down from Calcutta right away, just in case we had to actually admit him into a hospital.

Spandan came and started CST and worked on him for about an hour. He broke into a sweat, but in a little while, his fever was back. We did some acupressure on him as well which again helped reduce the fever for some time.

I was talking to Kapil and Ankita many times, and they were trying to decide what to do. The paracetemol was obviously not working. We were giving him Dolo 650. Later I found out that many times this particular drug can be fake. Be very aware if anyone asks you to take it. Better to have a simple crocin. The two of them decided to give him brufen.

The brufen seemed to work. His fever was down to around 101. His headache was still very bad. Kapil took a cue from me and asked me to give him a strong laxative. A laxative later, Gowri pooed for the first time in 2 days and felt much better. His headache was dramatically reduced and the look of relief on his face was priceless. The headache was still there, it was still bad, but it seemed more bearable. Somehow we made it through the night. Lot of CST, lots of love and major amounts of prayer.

Ankita arrived the next morning and took charge. Fresh juice, fruits, vitamin C and a regimen of drinking water was put into place. His fever was still at 102-103. Around afternoon, he pooed again, but the fever didn’t abate. It was then that Ankita decided to give him CST. Using this fantastic technique, she managed to bring the fever down to 100, in just 45 minutes. Of course he had had a brufen earlier, but I strongly feel that the CST which is a fabulous adjunct boosted the effect of the drug.

After that, he started to recover, slowly but surely, and every hour, Gowri looked better to me. Through this, all his blood reports came in and showed normal, except definitely indicating a viral infection. No malaria, no typhoid.

He seemed to be getting to normal and then his Dengue report came in. He tested positive. His platelet count had dropped to around 80,000 from 1,50,000. He also developed a classic Dengue rash on the 6th day.

Extremely yucky raw papaya leaf juice few times a day for 2 days got his platelets back to a healthy 1,45,000 in 2 days. For his rash we gently applied some nice coconut oil mixed with a little bit of powdered camphor. CST sessions continued. The rash flared up for a day and had almost vanished by the time I left Chennai. What should have stayed till the 14th day went in 3 days.

After Ankita’s CST session, there was no fever at all. He feels tired all the time and his body aches but other than looking like he has had a really tough work out in the gym, everything has settled down nicely. Last I saw him, he was back on his phone, talking and messaging to the mystery people he is always talking and messaging to. Things are back to normal. More or less. Gowri has been incredibly lucky!

So what worked?

Gurudev’s blessings, CST, a strong(!) laxative, CST, Brufen, Accupressure, CST, Taxim-O, CST, coconut oil mixed with powdered camphor, CST… and love! :)

Jai Gurudeva!

Love

Bawa

PS Anyone can learn Cranio Sacral Therapy (CST). Sri Sri University will be  offering the first Government recognised certificate program for learning CST. The first (July) batch is full, apply now for the next batch starting in November.

Jan 29

20 Years

20 years ago, at 6:00 pm, Dinesh walked into my life, when he came for a course that I was teaching at IIT Bombay. Thank God he never left. He sat to my right smiling and in the break just before Pranayamas, came to me and said, “ What should I do to be able to teach this course?”

A few years earlier, I had asked the same question from my teacher, Rajshree, at the exact same time. She had laughed at me and said, “First you complete the course!”.

I said the same thing to Dinesh.

It’s been 2 wonderful decades of me and him being with each other and having the love of all of you.

Dinesh and me

Thank you my boonkie ping for being with me…

And thank you Gurudev for letting me have Dinesh in my life and inspiring both of us onto the glorious path of Sadhana, Seva and Satsang and aiming to become the best we could be!

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

Jan 10

What is Stillness?

According to Ayurveda, the three doshas are basically the manifestations of the interactions of the five elements air, water, fire, earth and ether or space. Good health is simply balancing all the elements.

5 elements

It is interesting to note that the four elements air, water, fire and earth exist in space. That space is all pervading. Everything is in space, happens in space, yet space is not affected by any thing. Space participates 100% in the Dance of Creation, yet is 100% detached. I feel this is exactly the stillness that bio dynamics talks about.

Stillness simply IS!.

Everything, everywhere and everywhen (refer to Interstellar :)) happens out of stillness. An intention of motion, an intention to incarnate, creates the universe, you and me. We are born of and return to Stillness.

Here are a few instances when stillness has become obvious for me.

During the Silver jubilee celebrations of the Art of Living, Gurudev conducted a short meditation. There were close to two and a half million people assembled there. At one point during the meditation, Gurudev made all of us chant Om.

Think about it. The sound of half the population of New Zealand chanting Om together. The Silence after, can only be described as Stillness. It was as if the entire Creation had paused for a few minutes. An ethereal, indescribable peace settled around us all. Nothing moved. That for me was Stillness.

Another time we had gone for a hike up a mountain in Ireland. There were many of us and we were a boisterous bunch. Huffing, puffing, laughing and joking, we made our way up the trails, pausing here and there to catch our breath and take a few photos of the phenomenal natural beauty around us.

A few of us managed to go a little faster and were waiting on the edge of a deep green copse, which further lead into a forest. I really wanted to pee, and I went into the copse to relieve myself. After emptying my bladder, I was going back to the trail, when I felt a tug to explore the forest and go deeper in.

Meanwhile the others had caught up and decided to have a picnic and had opened all the food and there was much yelling and joking and laughter coming to me through the trees. I went just a little deeper into the woods, maybe a few feet and very suddenly there was a hush in the air.

There was no reason why the sounds of my friends had dwindled so dramatically. I felt drawn in and went further and a sense of calmness and contentment settled over me. I feel goose bumps even now as I remember it and write about it. There were old, old trees around me. I felt loved, welcomed and at utter peace with myself and everything around me. There was an age old Silence there. I wanted to sit there and meditate, not leave at all. It felt as if I had gone deep inside me and found that elusive wonder that everyone is looking for manifested outside, there in that forest. This was “Stillness”.

Woods

I went back out to the party and took two more of my more sensitive friends to the Stillness in the Woods. It was as wondrous for them as it was for me. It seemed to all of us as if some ancient spirit of calmness had made His home there and shared His tranquility with all those fortunate enough to find Him. The sudden hush, the greenness, the beauty, the love all came together perfectly in those moments. We were gifted Stillness that day.

One more time was a concert at the St. Chapelle in Paris. It was a lovely evening and we had decided to attend a classical music concert at the St. Chapelle. It was beautiful old baroque music. Written by the great masters in the 1500s. It was a small chamber orchestra and the lead violinist played like an Angel. He was a virtuoso and gave life to the music in ways I couldn’t have imagined. At the end of one of the pieces, the beauty and the Silence was so profound that no one even clapped so that that fragile spell the orchestra had weaved for us not be broken. That was Stillness.

Concert at St. Chapelle

Silent Night sung with devotion by a skilled choir brings about Stillness.

Chanting Om often brings me to the fringes of Stillness.

Meditation almost always leads to Stillness.

Sudarshan Kriya is Gurudev’s gift of Stillness to the world. For everyone to experience even if it is just for a few moments the awesome majesty of the substratum of Creation.

One of the reasons I love Cranio Sacral Therapy (CST) is that the therapy itself can bring about Stillness in the person being treated as well as the person who is treating.

I have given around 70 odd CST sessions so far and I have experienced Stillness a few times. This one stands out.

I was giving CST to a mother with a very spirited child who bounced all over the room while the treatment was going on. When the mother went into Stillness, the entire room seemed to go silent and the frisky little one, suddenly became quiet.

The mother’s breath was a gentle murmur and mine too was hardly there.

It seemed like we were floating on a bed of light. There were a few minutes of utter calm and then she stirred. Much later, when she opened her eyes, they were shining and she knew something special had happened that day.

Stillness is special! :)

May everyone have many, many moments of Stillness in 2015 and beyond.

A very, very Happy New Year to everyone!! (It’s a little belated, because I wanted to get this post just right and make it really special for all of you)

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

 

 

Dec 29

Weeweechu

Pedro and Rosita are gazing at the beautiful full moon. Extreme romance is in the air.

Pedro turns to her and huskily says, “Hey mamacita, let’s do weeweechu…”

full-moon

“Oh no, not now, let’s look at this gorgeous moon!!”, says Rosita.

“Oh c’mon baby, I love you soooooo much… let’s you and I do weeweechu, it’s the perfect time”, Pedro whispers into her ear.

“But I wanna just hold your hand and watch the moon!” replies Rosita.

“Pllllleeeeaaaasssseeeee corazoncito, just once, my little calabaza, do weeweechu with me.”

Rosita looks at Pedro. Deep into his eyes. “Ok, one time, we’ll do weeweechu.”

Pedro grabs his guitar, strikes a chord, and they both sing…

“Weeweechu a Merry Christmas,

Weeweechu a Merry Christmas,

Weeweechu a Merry Christmas…

and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!”

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa n dinesh

Dec 21

A Quick Note on Grace

Q. How do Grace and Seva make things work? Shouldn’t commitment and hard work also be taken into account? I am a big believer of commitment and perseverance. For example, if I have done a lot of Seva, which is supposed to make Grace flow in my life but if I do not study much, how can the Grace get me great grades on my exams?

There are people who say they are super committed but do not do much (Art of Living or otherwise), and simply rely on Grace to make things work for them. Are they wise?

I know these are painful questions. Will it be all right for you to answer these questions of mine? I am not many years old in Art of Living, thus this whole idea of Seva, Sadhna and Satsang is very slowly getting seeped into my system. Thank you.

A. Grace is all about making the impossible possible… Only after through your perseverance and hard work you have already achieved the possible.

Grace is about going to a level you can’t even dream of.

waterfall

Sadhana, Seva and Satsang are definitely not going to help you clear that exam if you have not studied. They will, however, definitely help you crack that exam beyond your expectations if you have been sincere with your work.
When commitment is not coupled with action, it is no commitment. It’s just a lot of hot air, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

These are by no means painful questions, but they are painfully learned answers when Grace is misunderstood or used as an excuse for laziness.

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

Nov 26

Interstellar

I don’t like Chris Nolan’s movies. There, I have said that out, however blasphemous it may sound to many, many people reading this. I didn’t like the Batman series – too dark and dismal for me and I felt that Superman was made into an unnecessarily psychotic, depressed and slightly confused person – Hardly the Hero I have always thought him to be. Inception was for me strictly ok types.

When I heard about Interstellar, at first I decided not to watch it. Dinesh, Abhi and others went and watched it and said I might like it… And so one afternoon Gowri and I went and saw it.

What a movie it is!! It is one of those rare gems of movies that come along once in a decade or so. It unfolds itself at a grand leisurely pace – slowly, surely and masterfully. There is no hurry at all and yet the pace can become quite frenetic. A movie for the discerning viewer and the junta all at once.

Interstellar

It’s a movie that leaves you relaxed, sitting back in your seat, and on it’s edge with excitement at the same time!

At it’s core, it’s a simple love story. Father and daughter. Circumstances drag them apart. Will they meet again? And, if yes, how will that meeting be? Given wormholes, time dilation, quantum mechanics and the imminent end of life on Earth as we know it – the answers at the end are complicated but ultimately satisfying. There is a lot of science in the movie and overwhelmingly difficult ideas are explained in the simplest of ways – What would the 4th dimension be like? Why is a wormhole spherical?

There are many nods to classic sci-fi films – Close Encounters, Contact and 2001 – A Space Odyssey were the ones I caught. The special effects are outstanding. Everything seems so very real. I later learned that very little green screen was used in the movie and it shows. This movie misses a perfect 10 from me only because of the music. It’s good but not great. Everything else is absolutely flawless. This movie is going to sweep the Oscars and for all the right reasons!

There are moments of utter exhilaration and abject disappointment and to me as audience both felt fantastic. I wouldn’t watch this movie in a big group. I would watch it with just one or two really close friends. It leaves you teary eyed, contemplative and smiling at it’s end… and wishing it went on for just a little longer. I am so glad I watched it with Gowri.

I hope it kindles interest in outer space again and the governments of the world restart their space programs in a much bigger way.

Interstellar is not a movie, it’s an experience.

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

Nov 13

What’s the Purpose of my Life?

I am asked this question on almost all courses I teach and as usual it popped up in the DSN Dinesh and I were teaching in Delhi.

Here is my answer:

Have you ever had a really good lunch on a Sunday afternoon? There was all this delicious food and you overate. And then after the meal is over, all you want is a nice comfy bed? When you get on that bed, what do you do? Because you have overeaten so much, sleep doesn’t come, but you manage to daydream sweet nothings… Right?

Look at Lord Narayana here. He is surrounded by goodies, someone is pressing his feet and he is on a beautiful ocean… seems like He just had his lunch and by the looks of it, He has eaten a tad too much! :)

What do you think He is doing?

Lord Narayana Daydreaming

He is daydreaming of course! And you and me, we are in that dream. We are figments of God’s imagination after a superb Sunday meal!

So, do the characters in your daydreams have any purpose? No. Isn’t it?

Similarly, we the characters in His daydream, you think we have any purpose? Not really!

But now that we know we are His daydream, our purpose is… to make His dream interesting!! :)

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

PS Don’t overdo it and wake Him up! :)

Oct 21

Thoughts on Vertebrae

I have been taking CST for years and it has made a huge difference to me. Right from the time I had my back issues to in the last few years, when my health had been a little delicate, the CST touch always used to rejuvenate me and make me feel great.

Sri Sri University is poised to be the first government recognised educational institution in the whole of Asia to offer a Master’s program in Osteopathy. Cranio Sacral Therapy is a subset and a fairly refined version of Osteopathy and I found out that even non doctors can learn it. So Dinesh and I decided to take the plunge and learn this fantastic therapy. BTW, you cannot learn it from Sri Sri University unless you are a doctor or equivalent. Basically, to be really effective you need to know anatomy and physiology really well.

As homework for my next session, I had to draw out the vertebrae of the spine and write out my thoughts about them … Being the sincere student that I am, I finished everything more than 10 days before the due date and was happy enough with my work, to actually share it with all of you!

Read on…

After staring at the entire spine and the individual vertebrae for quite some time, I cannot help but think about the entire system like some sort of a giant zipper that holds everything in place!

The cervical vertebrae are small and delicate and their shape seems to allow all the stuff the neck is supposed to be doing – ability to rotate the head left, right, up and down seems to be primary function. They have so brilliantly adapted themselves to the space constraints that are intrinsically in the neck region.

5th Cervical

As we proceed down the spine, the thoracic vertebrae flare out creating a fabulous skeleton (pun intended) for the back and the chest. They are not carved out for much movement, more to create shape and give a solid backbone (pun intended again!) to all the life suport systems in the body.

6th Thorasic

The lumbar vertebrae are more solid. They have to give support to the abdominal organs in the front of the body as well as give suppleness to the body to be able to bend down as well as backwards… So that people like Dinesh can show off how flexible they are! Suryanamaskars happen really well when these vertebrae are doing good.

Lumbar Lateral

The sacrum – It is leaf shaped or heart shaped depending on whether you think of yourself as an environmentalist or a romantic. It seems to become a solid base for the rest of the spine holding and grounding the structure, and amazingly is made to fit comfortably into the palm of a hand. Coincidence? Perhaps the Creator had thought about Cranio Sacral Therapy…

Sacrum Anterior

The coccyx, seems to be some sort of an after thought… if we had a tail, it would start from there. Thankfully we don’t, otherwise we would need to learn the names of so many more bones! When the coccyx is aligned properly somehow at least in my body, I feel a sense of balance and ease. It seems to be the zip of the zipper, the one you would pull to make everything come apart.

sacrum and coccyx lateral

An interesting thing happened while I was drawing the bones… Suddenly I feel much more aware about my own spine. This was a fun exercise!

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

Oct 14

Delhi Tales – I

We are coming to Delhi in a few days time.

 

I learned a lesson in cross cultural management the first time I went to Delhi. I still remember I flew there on Rajshree’s ticket. This was before security checks and photo ids. When the world was a simpler, safer place.

 

After teaching 2 or 3 courses in Delhi, I found people shunning me, giving me a royal cold shoulder which was quite shocking to me, because I was (and still am) a very warm person who vibes pretty well with all sorts of people.

 

Later when Gurudev came there, He told me that many, many people had complained to Him that I was utterly rude!

 

He assured them that I came from a very good family and that I would never be rude to anyone… They insisted, to the point of asking Him to remove me from Delhi. Then He asked them, what exactly was the problem. They still went on saying in typical Delhi style, no, no … we would rather not talk about it. He is rude, especially to older people. Everyone on his courses have complained about it. After much cajoling, it finally came out – I used “tum”(you in hindi typically used to address young people) to address everyone, not “aap” (you in Hindi, used to address older people or when you want to show respect).

 

He roared with laughter and said, oh that’s all?! He said, Bawa comes from Bombay and on top of that a parsi family. They don’t use aap in Bombay, it’s almost an insult. Aap in Bombay means you are old. In Bombay they would use aap only for a really elderly person. He said woh to mujhe bhi tum bolta hai (He refers to me also using tum).

 

In Delhi, they use aap to address even a 2 year old child. No wonder they were so angry. I learned to say aap, and things became much better.

Lodhi garden sketch

There are more Delhi stories, but we will save those for another time…

 

Dinesh and I will be in Delhi from 27th October to 4th November and here is our schedule:

 

I> 27th October: An interactive session with teachers and volunteers on the lawns of 8, Padmini Enclave, Hauz Khas from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

 

II> Effectiveness Workshop (limited seats, just 60 people):

 

28th October and 3rd November: 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm

30th October 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm with a short break for dinner

1st November 7:30 am to 12:30 pm

3rd November: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

 

Venue not yet fixed, but will be in and around Hauz Khas

 

III> Divya Samaj ka Nirman (DSN): October 31st, November 1st, 2nd and 3rd reporting at 6:00 pm on October 31st at Sarvoday Enclave Hauz Khas.

 

IV> Sahaj Smadhi Meditation: October 29th, 30th and 31st around Hauz Khas from 7:00 am to 9:00 am on all days. Limited seats, just 60 people.

 

V> Satsang for Sri Sri University from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at TOK, Noida.

 

VI> Career Fundaes and Educational opportunities at Sri Sri University – a talk in West Delhi, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm Community Centre, Paschim Vihar.

 

For more details about any of the above programs please contact:

Mahika – s.mahika13@gmail.com , Lokesh – lokesh007@gmail.com or Dr. Poonam Guila – drpoonamguila@gmail.com

 

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

Sep 30

Navaratri 2014

It’s always the same. And it’s always different. This year seems to be more different than same.

Gurudev is not speaking any Knowledge at all. This year it’s all about sit back and experience. No one is saying anything much on the mike. It’s just the chants of the Poojas.

On Dinesh’s birthday, Gurudev gave him a gift for all of us. Just 2 sentences of Knowledge. A little bit to tickle the intellect. Dinesh shared the Knowledge with such Power and Grace.

Dinesh said:

1. Don’t fight with the mind. Just let it be. Your fight is only with your mind.
2. Drop the mind, intellect and ego outside with your shoes, so you can experience the Beauty and Bliss of the Shiva Tattwa within you!

Navaratri

When Rajshree heard it, she said, that’s already a contradiction! :)

How can you drop the mind without fighting a bit with it?!

Virat said thank God I don’t think like Rajshree! :)

What do you think?!

Today as part of the Poojas, Gurudev played the Veena. It’s just so beautiful to watch and listen to Him play …

Gurudev and the Veena

Tomorrow is Chandi Homa. The grand finale to the Poojas of Navaratri. The invocation and praise of the Mother Divine.

It’s a nuclear explosion of Sattwa…

A very very Happy Navaratri to everyone…

Shanti Rustu, Pushti Rustu, Tushti Rustu in advance!!

BTW, for those in the know, Dinesh and I finally found the tree!! :)

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa n dinesh

PS Just a week before Dinesh’s birthday, I had my 45th Birthday :)

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