Sep 27

The Washing Machine

For 7 years, every week Guruji (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar) used to send out a page of Knowledge to be read out and discussed at the satsangs happening all over the world. He used to call it the Knowledge fax … This was before email became popular enough for everyone to use :)

Every week we waited eagerly for what Guruji would say through these Knowledge Sheets, many times we would be with Him while He dictated them out and we compiled them. The atmosphere would always be full of wisdom coupled with big doses of mirth. And the Knowledge sheets themselves are always profound, sometimes quite funny…

Dinesh and i decided to do a commentary on them, reliving those precious moments spent with Guruji, reading them out for you and peppering them with stories and examples of how this Knowledge from Him has come alive for us in our lives.

Re reading them now, after so many years of Sadhana, Seva and Satsang has made us realise just how beautiful and precious these words from Him are … We are thoroughly enjoying ourselves making these videos, we know you will love watching them too.

Knowledge sheet no. 28

Watch on youtube

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa n dinesh

Sep 23

Fever – Epilogue

One night when Bawa was staying in the hospital, he woke up thirsty in the middle of the night. One thing for Bawa that lies on that razor line between preference and boundary (basically he hates to hate it, but he does anyways) is coconut water. And another thing he doesn’t like is to drink warm water. Since that day he was brainwashed to drink warm water, he took hot water from the thermos and added some water from the mineral water bottle. Groggy eyed that he was, compounded with dim lights, he didn’t realize it was coconut water in the mineral bottle. So what he finally gulped was hot coconut water! It was so disgusting that he immediately went to sleep thinking it was nothing but a nightmare with a bad taste.

One day Dr. Muralimohan who was part of GOD (Gang of Doctors) and also their leader was going out for a few days. I had been wanting to show him our article that had appeared in the Go Air Magazine so that he would get to know us and the work we were doing. A few days later when he came back and he tells me, I saw some familiar faces, you and your other colleague in the magazine on my flight. Good work you are doing… It’s quite cool, how these coincidences (?!) happen :)

Today GOD came to visit me utterly exited, like small children who have just found the sweets they thought someone else had eaten up. They had found the bug from the blood culture tests!

The very offending Salmonella Paratyphii had been caught!

It was Salmonella Para Typhii. Dr. Muralimohan had been right all along. Now they could stop throwing darts in the dark and actually do a concentrated attack on this offending colony of germs that had decided to take up residence inside me! A few new medicines were introduced, along with a shot to rule out malaria as well (i had been shivering remember?)

The temperature started to stabilize at around 99, we started counting the days to discharge.

Feeling better after a long time...

As the medicines worked on me, all my counts started to inch their way back to normal. The platelets rose, the WBCs stabilized, my liver which had become a trifle enlarged shrank to its normal healthy size and i started to look forward to the day when i could leave the hospital…

On Day 12, I took an early shower, dressed up in non-hospital clothes with tilak on my forehead, projecting subliminal messages to GOD to give me leave to go back home. GOD agreed and after a long day of completing various formalities, I could finally leave. There is nothing quite like the heady smell of fresh air and i inhaled deeply as I walked to the car and got bundled in there. how nice it was to sit in a car and be driven. And how much infinitely nicer it was to sleep that night in my own snug bed at the Ashram…

Many people stayed with me at the hospital.

Ms Emergency aka Dr Sangeeta (4 ft something and 40kgs) who had taken emergency leave from her emergency clinic for couple of emergency nights. Any moan or sound from me in the night would be responded instantaneously by Sangeeta being right beside me. Devang who would be on the bed adjoining mine would tell her everything is ok and with the same lightning alacrity she would go back into deep sleep in 2 seconds. (In Africa, I was told that the Masai warriors train themselves to go from a state of deep sleep to battle readiness in 3 seconds). I am sure they have a lot to learn from Ms emergency.

Devang would arrive at midnight, and be fresh as a daisy till five in the morning. He may be watching some movie of something. To the smallest of my needs, he was ever vigilant like Legolas in the jungle. But come sunrise, and he transformed into a Kumbhakarana, his sleep untouched, unaffected by the nurses, doctors, cleaning women or the 11 O’clock sun. We had many a laughter sessions instigated by him and on him.

Dr Seema, her contribution was invaluable. She knew how to skillfully maneuver through my stubbornness and my fever induced idiosyncrasies. With a no nonsense attitude, yet sweet like her homeopathic medicines, she would ensure that I eat, drink, sleep and do necessary exercise on time. She would even award me stars for good behavior. One day i got 4 of them! :)

Neetha and Gokul and Rajiv were ever ready for anything and everything (with Cars). They must have gained a hell of a lot of Kar-ma points.

Then there is Dr Hema, our YES!+ teacher and pillar of Bangalore. She is also the Annapoorneshwari. She and her house is blessed with an inexhaustible source of food. A visit to her house is a gastronomic delight!

Back in the ashram, Tanu and Rupal (Bawa would chef in at times) cooked food for everyone with the utmost love, care, sincerity, and 10x chanting of mantras. If you eat and spontaneously end up spouting mantras, know you have been eating Tanu’s food.

Now I am back home, breathing the fresh cool ashram air, spiked with high prana. It should not take me long to get my energy levels back to kicking football or tickling Rashmin or pulling JD’s dhotis :)

I was well and truly overwhelmed at how many people did prayers and chanting for my good health. I am sure I recovered so fast because of all the wonderful good wishes all of you sent my way… Thank you so very much!

Jai Gurudev!

love

dinesh

Sep 20

Overcoming Events

For 7 years, every week Guruji (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar) used to send out a page of Knowledge to be read out and discussed at the satsangs happening all over the world. He used to call it the Knowledge fax … This was before email became popular enough for everyone to use :)

Every week we waited eagerly for what Guruji would say through these Knowledge Sheets, many times we would be with Him while He dictated them out and we compiled them. The atmosphere would always be full of wisdom coupled with big doses of mirth. And the Knowledge sheets themselves are always profound, sometimes quite funny…

Dinesh and i decided to do a commentary on them, reliving those precious moments spent with Guruji, reading them out for you and peppering them with stories and examples of how this Knowledge from Him has come alive for us in our lives.

Re reading them now, after so many years of Sadhana, Seva and Satsang has made us realise just how beautiful and precious these words from Him are … We are thoroughly enjoying ourselves making these videos, we know you will love watching them too.

Knowledge sheet no. 27

Watch on youtube

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa n dinesh

Sep 17

God’s 5 Jobs

Q. In a video Guruji says God has 5 Jobs

1)Creation
2)Maintenance
3)Dissolution
4)Blessing
5)Hiding

HIDING!! Hiding???

A. Ya, so He cant be blamed by various indignant  species as He does the other 4! :)

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

Sep 16

Knowledge from a Fever

A lot of Knowledge got reinforced again and again. Pain is inevitable, so is the gain. I felt I gained quite a bit of wisdom.

I deeply realized the complementariness of opposite values. The fever made me appreciate the value of good health and energy. One walk around the floor would leave me drained and I felt grateful for a millions things that I usually take for granted. I realized what a charmed life I live and the blessings I have, to be an instrument of such beautiful and liberating knowledge, a source of joy inducing techniques and a fountain of love.

Acceptance – after a while acceptance is a non-issue, it happens without choice. You simply have to accept that people are doing the best they can for you, however much you don’t like it. Now that I have recovered I am so grateful to Seema and Bau for force-feeding me, when I didn’t want to eat a single thing. The fever and the drugs totally took away my appetite. In retrospect I can see how important it was to eat then. I am so glad i did :)

Don’t be a football was a tough one. Great opinions were offered with paramount  love. So I slept one night with 4 fresh cut onions stuck on a fork placed in glasses. It looked pretty artistic if you manage to vacuum shut your nose. The next day I had onion flavored everything, from toothpaste to water, to medicines to food and of course the breath.

Another opinion led me to have a guava leaf concoction and since my family had prepared me for this day with neem leaf and bitter gourd juice, I drank it by simply fading my smile a bit and not actually wiping it off. Then I was very charmingly offered payapa leaf potion, which quickly wiped off whatever was left of my smile and made me conclude that only a worm would have come up all these recipes; to leave the fruit and go for the leaf.

Ugh!

Live in the present moment – I always taught it’s the coolest place to be in. But presently it was very hot. But I don’t mind hot, so it was cool. But the throbbing  headaches which came as a package deal with the fever were truly terrible. But Thank God for ujjayi breath, adi mudra, Om Namah Shivaya (and crocin of course).

Pain and suffering usually go together. However, Guruji had remarked that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. Ill health can be a matter of wrong choices, but happiness is a matter of choice. Ill health and happiness is a perfectly workable partnership.

In those couple of weeks, I must have been poked so many times for blood, i have lost count. My IV entry points were changed 5 times. My life was becoming a numbers game. Everyday, I had to fill a chart of the water volume I had and how much i peed. Then fever levels were monitored at least 10 times a day and 5-6 times in the night. Blood pressure and pulse was checked 4 times (I thought it should be checked for the people staying with me). Blood and Urine culture test was done. Blood tests were done twice daily. The whole conversation would rotate around there numbers! Is the temperature less than 101, how much did you pee, what’s the platelets count, what’s the WBC and so on… Everyone around me became like they were bit by an OCD bug (Obesssive Compulsive Disorder) about numbers, even I felt like that at times. I would wake up in the middle of the night and ask, “what’s my temperature?”  :)

Seema would give me stars for being a good boy :)

Sometime in the middle I went in a phase where my sense of smell was enhanced a million times. The hospital dispenser soap smell bugged me no end. Then a lotion to reduce inflammation after they around the IV was awarded the world’s worst smelling thing (though Dr Seema begged to differ and said ‘blood smells worse’). Then, if I would see food lying in the dustbin, it would irritate me. Most of the times, I didn’t want to eat anything. “Don’t even talk about food”. I went into a phase of don’t want to see anything red or yellow in my food (this was really difficult for Bawa and the cooks to comply with, nevertheless, they did a brilliant job). On top of all this, one day, I was made to drink almost a litre of water and then they took me for a long drive on a wheel chair for sonography. I was doing driving motions which some of the security guards found very amusing. I kept looking around trying to see the screen and make sure there was no baby inside (remember all those mood swings?!).

The nurses were simple Malayali girls who would do their work diligently, whether it was blood sucking or sponging me (sometimes the fever would not come down, even after a paracetemol and i had to be sponged for the body to cool down). They would talk very little. So Bawa once asked whether there are any good eating joints around. And this nurse went on for about 10 minutes explaining every food place in the vicinity. That’s the power of food, it can make the silent ones talk, the lame ones walk. Its almost like Grace…

Gazing...

When I got a little bored of the ceiling’s intricate philosophical whiteness stretching to infinity on all thousand sides, I would entertain myself looking out of the window. I would see the tress with each and every leaf joyfully dancing to the breeze, soft light of the sunset or the sunrise, happy cows grazing blissfully oblivious to the cares of the world, small children standing in the lines for the school assembly and a lone eagle far away gliding on the air currents. There is abundance of joy and beauty ever present in nature for us to partake of, any moment.

More next week…

Jai Gurudev!

love

dinesh

Sep 13

All are searching for the Sweets

For 7 years, every week Guruji (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar) used to send out a page of Knowledge to be read out and discussed at the satsangs happening all over the world. He used to call it the Knowledge fax … This was before email became popular enough for everyone to use :)

Every week we waited eagerly for what Guruji would say through these Knowledge Sheets, many times we would be with Him while He dictated them out and we compiled them. The atmosphere would always be full of wisdom coupled with big doses of mirth. And the Knowledge sheets themselves are always profound, sometimes quite funny…

Dinesh and i decided to do a commentary on them, reliving those precious moments spent with Guruji, reading them out for you and peppering them with stories and examples of how this Knowledge from Him has come alive for us in our lives.

Re reading them now, after so many years of Sadhana, Seva and Satsang has made us realise just how beautiful and precious these words from Him are … We are thoroughly enjoying ourselves making these videos, we know you will love watching them too.

Knowledge sheet no. 26

Watch on youtube

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa n dinesh

Sep 9

Fever and Me

Narayana Hrudyalaya turned out to be a group of many multi specialty hospitals in one compound sharing many common services. They took me to a beautiful, white building called the Mazumdar-Shaw Cancer Centre, which is part of the complex. Besides cancer it is also a multi specialty hospital, treating a variety of diseases and has some of the best doctors in Bangalore as consultants there.

A heady smell of coffee overwhelmed the usual hospital smell as we entered the imposing lobby. Though Bau and me don’t drink coffee at all, it was somehow a far more comforting smell than disinfectant.

Bau immediately liked the place. He had been concerned that it would have been dull and depressing. But he approved of the place and Bau’s intuition is invariably impeccable. Turned out to be a very good hospital and a very good decision.

Mazumdar-Shaw Cancer Center (Bangalore), my home for 12 days...

One of the senior consultants there Dr. Muralimohan treated me. Just a look at him and his demeanor inspired confidence. He asked me a few questions taking my history, then felt around my stomach area among other places, said that my spleen was a bit enlarged, concluded that my fever was enteric (typhoid) utterly ignoring all the negative results of the blood tests.

My platelet counts had been steadily dropping and had gone way below normal. This suggested that it was dengue, but Dr. Muralimohan decided on typhoid and prescribed among other stuff, a broad spectrum antibiotic with a particular emphasis on enteric fever. He gave us the option of going back and doing my treatment at the ashram, but Bau again firmly decided that we would stay in the hospital.

We checked in (do you do that in hospitals or only in hotels?) and we got a room on the third floor. Number 308. PD who had accompanied us informed us that it was the same room that Pitaji, Guruji’s father had been in a while ago, and that Guruji had Himself visited the place. The room had good energy by hospital standards was spacious and uncluttered. We did a Guru Pooja and soon I was tucked into bed. I was exhausted. The morning drive, the waiting for the doctor and the room had tired me out more than I could have imagined.

I was put on an IV drip, the saline and the antibiotic would be administered through it. I wore the hospital shirt, but refused to wear the hospital pyjamas. My white pyjamas felt much better than the dizzily blue stripped ones that the hospital provided.

Bau, JD, Devang, Dr. Hema (she is a dentist, does that count?!), Dr. Sangeeta, Dr. PD, Dr. Seema, Rajeev, Neeta, Gokul and many others, all took turns in being with me. Sometimes they would all be there together, and as I got better, I would look forward to hearing their hushed cacophony. Hospital ceilings are not too entertaining, and that was all i got to look at for 11 long days and nights.

My routine was set. Every morning about 6-7 doctors would do their daily visit, see the charts and prescribe some course of medicines till next day. We would gingerly look forward to GOD’s (Gang of Doctor’s) visit and his verdict. All day long, all I had to do was, go horizontal and sleep. I was so drugged in a couple of days, that even if I tried to meditate, I would only end up in deep sleep.

During Kriya, first I started going to sleep in the 3rd round of breathing, then 1st round, then bhastrika, then 2nd stage pranayama and finally just the thought of doing kriya would make me go to sleep. For 20 years I had hardly any antibiotics entering my system, but here in the hospital, I was simply getting used to a drugged state of existence (also remembered how ill-health is one of the nine impediments for Meditation). Of course I would keep chanting as much as I could and thinking of Guruji…

In the nights, the nurses would come and take my temperature every hour. Life had become a series hot fevers and pounding headaches, punctuated by paracetemols and artificial sweating. I didn’t know what i preferred more, the fever or the utter discomfort of having sweated and feeling sticky and dirty, and too weak to get up and take a bath. A nurse would come early morning 3:00 am, to poke me and take blood for the series of blood tests they were doing.

I was being pumped with antibiotics (you can imagine a big pump with motor), which lead to diarrhea, so then they gave some anti-antibiotics to counter it. Bawa named them uncle biotics.

I overheard a comment that fever can make a patient delusional. So next time I went to the toilet, I wanted to prove a point to myself. I urinated in a flask (I had to monitor the output), checked the volume, rinsed it properly, put the toilet seat down, washed my hands and as I was coming out I was feeling smug about having all my senses under control, no delusion at all and some part of my ego swelled … until PD quietly went in and flushed the toilet. Ooops! I had forgotten to do that. My ego also got flushed.

While we are on the topic, in India, for urination, we say I want to do number one (or show the little finger) and for defecation (I am using polite scientific terminology), we say number two. In Ayurveda, the little finger from where we start counting, represents the water element. And the ring finger (number 2) represents the earth element. The more I get to know about our day to day symbolisms and behaviours, I realize the ancients were actually ultra modern in the sense of being practical and scientific.

Once when they were discussing me, PD mentioned how there are multiple orgasms running in my blood. All was well till he corrected himself, “they were actually multiple organisms”. That’s when everyone erupted into multiple expressions of laughter. Laughter was one characteristic of our room that made it feel like any Art of Living house.

Lucille Ball is potent medicine! :)

I would watch some of Guruji’s Knowledge videos, along with the Lucy shows. Guruji and Lucy put together turned out to be very potent medicine. I also saw the entire Back to the Future trilogy in bits and pieces through my 12 day stay at the Hospital.

Meanwhile a plethora of tests were done on me. I even had sonography done and chest X-rays taken, but there was simply nothing of note that was wrong with me. Just the fever. Bau joked that they would end up curing me before they had managed to diagnose me…

to be continued …

Jai Gurudev!

love

dinesh

Sep 6

How to Maintain Intimacy

For 7 years, every week Guruji (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar) used to send out a page of Knowledge to be read out and discussed at the satsangs happening all over the world. He used to call it the Knowledge fax … This was before email became popular enough for everyone to use :)

Every week we waited eagerly for what Guruji would say through these Knowledge Sheets, many times we would be with Him while He dictated them out and we compiled them. The atmosphere would always be full of wisdom coupled with big doses of mirth. And the Knowledge sheets themselves are always profound, sometimes quite funny…

Dinesh and i decided to do a commentary on them, reliving those precious moments spent with Guruji, reading them out for you and peppering them with stories and examples of how this Knowledge from Him has come alive for us in our lives.

Re reading them now, after so many years of Sadhana, Seva and Satsang has made us realise just how beautiful and precious these words from Him are … We are thoroughly enjoying ourselves making these videos, we know you will love watching them too.

Knowledge sheet no. 25

Watch on youtube

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa n dinesh

Sep 2

Fever – The Prelude

Bau was at his hilarious and mesmerizing best at the Guru Poornima Satsang in Mumbai and the next day at the crack of dawn we were on the picturesque train ride to Pune with most eye catching greenery and scintillating waterfalls. One of  the world’s first train routes and it is quite interesting to note that even 150 years ago it used to take roughly 3 hours to make this journey.

On the train itself I felt some feverishness coming up; the bodily kind. So I chose to sit in my seat more than stand at the door pointing at the gorgeous waterfalls. By the time we reached Anagha’s beautiful farmhouse in Pune’s back of beyond, I was quite toasty and just became hotter and hotter (!). Since Dr Seema the friendly neighborhood homeopath was around, we started with homeopathy. After a few phone calls to friendly not-so-neighboring Ayurveds, Ayurveda joined in. After another day of no cooling off, we invited paracetemols to the fight with my fever, only we used the syrup, not the tablet… This had always worked in the past and was the ultimate in my arsenal against a fever.

To compound the fever, I also had a bout of constipation. Constipation according to Bawa is the height of possessiveness. I asked Seema, “Where does the body store 3 days of food?! Seema explained to me how big the Large Intestines are. And it is only when enough roughage and fibre is consumed in the food, it triggers bowel movement. So I started eating more fruits with fibre, I did some sukhsma vyayama ‘shoulder pumping’ (guaranteed to clear any constipation, only later I remembered it is used to prevent it). But nothing happened. And nothing continued to happen. Just fever and no shi … errr… mettabolic bodily waste.

As usual we tried everything and then entered Bawa, the veteran of most common health conditions. He called for his recipe – a bottle of coke! Before I could finish even half of it nature called… at last!

The Ultimate cure for Extreme Possessiveness!

Coke (or Pepsi) is part of many ayurvedic doctors’ manuals whose lives Bawa has touched.

After an enchanting evening concert of Bhakti, the next day we flew back to Bangalore ashram, straight into Vishwamitra (our home at the Ashram). My fever still stuck to me like a limpet. Many doctors came prescribed many things for me to eat and do. Dr Nisha (chief ayurvedic doc at ashram), Dr Priyadarshan (we call him PD, CST – Craino Sacral Therapy exponent and our ashram allopath), Dr Giri Prasad (Martial Arts black belt and ayurvedic doc, still can’t figure out if he can break bones better or mend them better), Dr Seema Thanedar (advance course teacher who travelled 20hrs in a bus at a 2hr notice to come and take care of me) and Dr. Pinkita (another brilliant ayurved).

All blood tests that we did for various types of fever were negative. No typhoid, no dengue, no malaria. Yet the fever resolutely refused to leave me.

I was in two states everyday. One was Shiv Chaitanya (while meditating :) ) and the other was Shiver Chaitanya. I had started getting the shivers to go with my fever. The fever resolutely and steadily climbed from 100-101 to a steady 102, until one fateful Monday morning it hit 104.

Bawa then utterly overruled me and unyieldingly decided that we needed to get me to a hospital. We were toying with going to Apollo Hospital, but a phone call with Arvind decided us to go to Narayana Hrudayalaya. Name sounded much better than Apollo to begin with… I took my crocin, then we waited for about an hour for my fever to subside a bit and then they bundled me into a car and we quickly drove off to the hospital…

More next week …

Jai Gurudev!

love

dinesh

Aug 30

Who are You?

For 7 years, every week Guruji (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar) used to send out a page of Knowledge to be read out and discussed at the satsangs happening all over the world. He used to call it the Knowledge fax … This was before email became popular enough for everyone to use :)

Every week we waited eagerly for what Guruji would say through these Knowledge Sheets, many times we would be with Him while He dictated them out and we compiled them. The atmosphere would always be full of wisdom coupled with big doses of mirth. And the Knowledge sheets themselves are always profound, sometimes quite funny…

Dinesh and i decided to do a commentary on them, reliving those precious moments spent with Guruji, reading them out for you and peppering them with stories and examples of how this Knowledge from Him has come alive for us in our lives.

Re reading them now, after so many years of Sadhana, Seva and Satsang has made us realise just how beautiful and precious these words from Him are … We are thoroughly enjoying ourselves making these videos, we know you will love watching them too.

Knowledge sheet no. 24

Watch Part 1 on youtube
Watch Part 2 on youtube

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa n dinesh

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