Jan 1

2010

Please Copy this onto Notepad (Textedit on a mac), press Ctrl + H (or cmnd + F on a mac), enter 6 in the find box and underscore _ in the replace box and then click the replace all button… and see what happens :)


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Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa n dinesh

Dec 31

Getting Back to Bangalore

I had gone to Trichi for a conference and realized that i had no reservations on the train to get back to Bangalore… Bawa was adamant that i not travel unreserved and ordered me to fly back the next day…

Turned out to be the 4:00 am flight from Trichi to Bangalore via Chennai. More 4:00 am Karma.

Next morning, as I was confidently (and slightly groggily) walking into the airport. the security officer at Trichi asked me for my photo id. I searched my bag once and again and then once again. (its funny how you check the same places again with a secret hope that the second time, what you are looking for may have miraculously managed to manifest itself)… So while thinking and praying to Guruji, and putting on my most winsome smile, I showed my visiting card to the officer and explained that I was invited for this conference, etc and thankfully he, with minimum fuss allowed me in.

I walked in thinking I would have to do a repeat performance to the guy at the check in counter. But no, as I showed him my visiting card, HE flashed his most charming smile and enthusiastically exclaimed “Art of Living”, I have also done the course. The morning miracle at last!

As I was walking away from the counter, I thought Trichi is done, how will I manage Chennai (where I have to change airports) and the security will be much more tighter than in a small town like Trichi…

As I was waiting for the flight, my eyes fell on the free copies of the Hindu newspaper lying around. I picked it up and as I was browsing through it, I saw on page 2, a familiar face, mine J

The caption read Dinesh Ghodke, Director WAYE, lighting a candle at the Science and Spirituality conference. WOW! Morning potential-miracle-number-2!

Soon I was entering the domestic terminal at Chennai, the CISF security officer asked me for my photo id. I showed my visiting card, it didn’t work, so I removed the newspaper showed him the photo, my name and the date of the newspaper. He couldn’t help but smile and said if the airlines people agree, its ok. If you get the boarding pass, come and show me.

So I went to the boarding counter, and showed them my utterly original photo id and everybody behind the counter had huge smiles… As I walked to my plane, I did a thumbs up sign to the security officer, and also to my very own personal Security Officer, who silently and invisibly makes everything flawlessly fall into place…

Jai Gurudev!

love

dinesh

Dec 30

New Year’s Eve with Guruji!!

He is at Bad Antogast, the German Ashram. You are not exactly there :)

But we have this thing called the internet…

A free Live webcast from the German Ashram: The New Year’s Eve celebrations with Guruji has been organised…

oneworld.artofliving.eu

Time: UTC 19:00, CET 20:00, IST: 00:30 onwards

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa (n dinesh)

Dec 29

This Time, Last Year…

Dinesh had written out a very cool story about his trip to Trichi last year … winter break time and somehow, it never made it to the blog… Here it is :)

Around the same time last year, I went to Triruchirapalli (say it 5 times in a row, its quite a tongue twister).

Since I love to travel by train, this time, I chose that option as the mode of transport to Trichi. JD dropped me to the train station. At the platform at 6 and 3 quarters, I saw a sugarcane juicewalla. Checked my pocket, my bag, and realized I was carrying no money whatsoever. Not a rupee. That was an aha moment! Realized only Art of Living people can do that. Move around with the ultimate security that they will be taken care of.

10 seconds later I meet two Art of Living teachers who had come to drop their uncle. They were looking for someone to help their uncle with a back problem to board the train, since they had to leave in a hurry. Of course, I offered to help. By the time the train arrived I had talked Mr Uncle into doing the advance course, got him seated, and had my sugarcane juice! Soon I was on the train as it chugged on into the night.

One of my favorite fantasies is getting up at 4:00 am everyday. In the warm comfort of my bed and my room, and the Bangalore cold it is challenging, but on the train it was an emergency. So managed to wake up fresh at 4:00 am at Trichi.

I had been invited to give the inaugural address at the All India conference of Science and Spiritual Quest which was to begin at 9:30 am. Reached NITT at 5:00 am, had a choice to sleep or meditate. Meditation chose me. So I did Sukshma Yoga, Sudarshan Kriya, Padmasadhana, Sahaj, Om Namah Shivaya and Guru Pooja… I had plenty of time before the conference. Best use of spare time I know of…

At the conference, I said how in our land, the saints themselves were the scientists. The greatest of theorems and innovations were thanks to the saints. They knew the limitation of the senses and hence instead of exploring the creation through instruments, they did it by reaching out with their minds and consciousness, through meditation. If the Nobel prizes were given in those days, the Rishis would have bagged them all. In India science and spirituality always went hand in hand.

I quoted Guruji saying that “Science and technology is making our world into a global village and spirituality is making it into a family, one world family.”

Everyone there loved it :)

Everything was smooth sailing until I got to the train station that night and realized that for coming back to Bangalore my ticket was not confirmed on the train… Bawa totally refused to let me travel unreserved… And i had to be back in Bangalore the very next day… The Winter Break started then…

So how did I get back to Bangalore? … Read that on Thursday :)

Jai Gurudev!

love

Dinesh

ps Really dont have time to put the photos in, will do that later …

Dec 24

Some Fantastic Statements…

… made by Guruji in the last few days:

Your yes and no are based only on your perspective of the situation that moment. Wisdom is that which gives you a universal perspective. A good teacher is one who can see other people’s perspectives.

If you think you are bad, you will behave badly. If you think you are part of something great, something big you will behave sweetly.

Q. Why do we always say “I am That” and not “I am This”?

A. Only when you are out of sleep, can you say i was sleeping… or when you are out of meditation, can you say i was meditating… “That” is the beautiful, serene bliss of the Self, which you experience when you meditate… which you can talk about only when you are not meditating… so you say, “I am That”

Science is logical, systematic understanding of what is… to quench the thirst. Art is appreciating beauty. Yoga is both. It’s the exquisite art of appreciating Life and it’s the perfect science.

Blame is what you call the criticism that you cannot accept

Intuition reduces the risk of failure in innovation. Meditation increases your intuition.

That which you cannot confront nor avoid is Truth

That which you cannot hide or fully express is Love

That which you cannot reject or possess is Beauty

This is Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram… This is God!

My most favourite of all He said just before leaving the Ashram…

I will see you all next year! :)

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

bells

ps A Superfantastic, Merry Christmas to everyone!!!

Dec 21

The Middle Wife

Baljinder sent me this one, it was too good … for your reading pleasure, complete and unabridged! :)

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

By a Second Grade Teacher

I’ve been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids myself, but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second grade classroom a few years back.

When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it in to school and talk about it, they’re welcome.

Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater.

She holds up a snapshot of an infant. ‘This is Luke, my baby brother, and I’m going to tell you about his birthday.’

‘First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mom’s stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord.’

She’s standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I’m trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The kids are watching her in amazement.

‘Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mom starts saying and going, ‘Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh!’ Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans.
‘She walked around the house for, like an hour, ‘Oh, oh, oh!’ (Now this kid is doing
a hysterical duck walk and groaning.)

‘My Dad called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn’t have a sign on the car like the Domino’s man. They got my Mom to lie down in bed like this.’ (Then Erica lies down with her back against the wall.)

‘And then, pop! My Mom had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!’ (This kid has her legs spread with her little hands miming water flowing away. It was too much!)

‘Then the middle wife starts saying ‘push, push,’ and ‘breathe, breathe. They started counting, but never even got past ten.
Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff that they all said it was from Mom’s play-center, (placenta) so there must be a lot of toys inside there. When he got out, the middle wife spanked him for crawling up in there.’

Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat. I’m sure I applauded the loudest. Ever since then, when it’s show-and-tell day, I bring my camcorder, just in case another ‘Middle Wife’ comes along.

Dec 17

The Next Morning…

… i wake up and there was no one there. No one. Just a few birds hopped about. Everyone had gone off to the Bhoomi Pooja. I had woken up late (it was 6:45 am … and that was late!).

So lets practice a bit of Knowledge i thought… Accept situations as they are, and take action… So i thought, ok, what can i do now? I could take a bath, so i did… in freezing cold water, a Rs 1.5 crore villa should have hot water i thought… finished bath, and went into Guruji’s room. Did some scavenging there for the people in Hyderabad and Chennai and got a box of chocolates and another of dry fruits.

Then went and sat on the bed and thought, ok Guruji, if You want me to come to where You are… do something… i had not even breathed out as i thought that thought and a lady walks in… She had forgotten her Silver glass that she had got for Guruji… i got my lift to the Pooja place :)

It was still cool, but the sun was definitely going to make his presence felt in the next half hour or so… The pooja got over, Guruji had a lovely smile on His face… He inaugurated the foundation of the meditation hall to be over there… and drove off to have breakfast, but not before being shown yet other places on this huge campus… We tailed Him, found where He was and went and had Puri Bhaji for breakfast in the house where He was…

Then we left for this temple-on-a-hill, 700 steps to go up and no lift/escalator or helicopter… I was shuddering to think of that tortuous climb in the middle of the afternoon … and promptly went to sleep in the car as we drove yet another hour to reach the temple to conserve my energy :)

The Temple on the Hill

The Temple on the Hill

Many people must have shuddered at the very same same thought i was having and fortunately Guruji might have heard it and decided to visit another temple-at-the-bottom-of-the-hill and not the one-at-the-top… i was pretty ecstatic that i wouldn’t have to climb :)

There was the usual explosion of Rajas in and around the temple as the embodiment of Sattwa walked in :)… Things were calm and quiet and serene at the temple and then He comes and at least outwardly, everything became instantly chaotic, people running, shouting, dancing, singing, loosing their shoes, their minds, their hearts … He walking in coolly, taking Darshan, giving Darshan almost utterly oblivious to the flotsam and jetsam of activity surrounding Him…

Soon, it was time for Him to go… He sat in the waiting car, i managed to get Him to see me and told Him i was off to Hyderabad thru Chennai… He nodded, smiled and i felt the familiar tingling of His Blessings course through my body as His window rolled up and the car drove away…

Then we walked to our car and went to Chennai… Had a nice lunch at the trident Hotel near the airport, and i went off to Hyderabad…

So here was my travel itinerary:

Bangalore – Swarnabhoomi (outskirts of Chennai): Helicopter

By car, each drive at least 45 minutes:

Swarnabhoomi sightseeing

Swarnabhoomi to Tapovan for Lunch

Tapovan to Great Lakes Management Institute (for talk)

Great Lakes Management Institute to Swarnabhoomi (for Satsang)

Swarnabhoomi to Tapovan (for dinner and the night)

Tapovan to Swarnabhoomi (for Bhoomi Pooja)

Swarnabhoomi sightseeing and Breakfast

Swarnabhoomi to Temple-on-the-hill (1 hour)

Temple-on-the-hill to Chennai (2 hours)

Chennai to Hyderabad

It is now Friday night, i went for the DSN starting session

Saturday morning, Sahaj initiations

Saturday night back to Chennai from Hyderabad

Sunday TEDx Chennai (When i get the video, i will put it up… meanwhile check out their site)

Sunday night Chennai to Hyderabad

Monday winding up the courses in Hyderabad

Tuesday morning Hyderabad to Bangalore

i was soooo pooped by the time i got to ashram … just a few days of this… Guruji does it almost all the time, what a pace He has set for Himself…

Once one of the teachers asked him, Guruji can you please keep me with You all the time? … Guruji replied only if you want to die really early :)

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

Dec 14

Night in Swarnabhoomi

Q. Guruji, You had asked us earlier that we should innovate, but whenever we do that there is a high risk/rate of failure… How do we avoid or minimize this?

I was thinking maybe Guruji will say all failures are stepping stones to success, that a failure just means that this is not the way to do it, and that one should move through failure calmly and sensibly…

He said to minimize, even eliminate failure while innovating, develop your intuition! And how to do that? Meditate, learn Pranayama, do Yoga…

And suddenly Guruji was gliding out of the hall, Vinod tailing Him… i stayed back to talk to the students and the other speakers. Turned out that they had loved my talk and of course were bowled over by Guruji and almost everyone was telling me to get a course organized at Great Lakes… But there was this guy Kiruba Shankar, who was the moderator, who is also head of wikipedia India and an organiser for TEDx… who offered me a slot to talk at TEDx Chennai. But i had courses starting in Hyderabad the next day, so i politely declined… though i would have loved to go there…

Then there was the tamil Satsang and back to Tapovan and a terrific dinner, almost a reprise of that superb lunch… Guruji had His dinner and then was talking to various people, very relaxed and chilled out, He also had a quickie interview with Kiruba…

Soon one by one people started to leave… When i had a moment with Guruji alone, i told Him about Kiruba and his invitation to me to TED and that i had said no to it because of my courses in Hyderabad… Guruji very simply said no, no, you should go to TED… Tell Kiruba that you will come there and speak! It was almost midnight, i somehow traced Kiruba’s number called him over… He was staying some place quite close, we went over broad details… and i had just become a speaker at TEDx Chennai!

Then me and Guruji watched the Brahma Naad and the Silver Jubilee videos late into the night, and He was telling me some nice juicy stories about various people who were involved in both events… No i am not going to tell :)

Too soon, He stretched out on His bed and told me to go sleep… and i did…

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

Dec 10

Day at Swarnabhoomi

So we followed Guruji’s car as He was taken around the 1000 acre property by its owner Mr. G R K Reddy. I am sure there must have been a running commentary in Guruji’s car, we just followed from one dusty place to another with the semblance of a few buildings coming up… I had to admit though, the place other than where the construction was happening was very pretty … There were places where we would drive on a road that would have been submerged in the sea during the rains …

After about 45 minutes of some pretty pointless driving around (at least according to me), we drove for another half an hour or so, to another lovely property, full of ready made villas (Rs 1 crore and upwards) called tapovan. I was staying in the room across Guruji’s along with Vinod. It was almost 12 noon when we reached here and Guruji was of course meeting more people… I was quite hungry and went off to find food… yummy yummy yummy food, wonderfully authentic south Indian food, sambhar, rasam, rice, dahi vada, ghee, 3 or 4 different types of veggies with unpronounceable names… served on a banana leaf… i ate and ate and ate utterly oblivious to the fact that i had to goto that management institute to give a talk in the next hour…

Utterly satiated, i went back to my room and slept. Someone woke me up, i went and freshened up in a daze, somehow managed to stumble into a car and went back to sleep for the next 40 minutes as we drove through more beautiful countryside to the Great Lakes Management College. We were just in time for our talk… There were two other speakers besides me and Vinod and they talked somethings about carrier and management and other boring (at least according to me) stuff, then it was my turn…

I talked about Spirituality, meditation and some other nice stuff… If they ever send me the video i will post it and you can see for yourself… it was a pretty good talk, after which Vinod got up and talked some more and lead us all into a nice peaceful meditation… Then Guruji appeared and wowed everyone with His sheer presence and some superb answers…

pic-1

Q. Guruji, You had asked us earlier that we should innovate, but whenever we do that there is a high risk/rate of failure… How do we avoid or minimize this?

I was thinking maybe Guruji will say all failures are stepping stones to success, that a failure just means that this is not the way to do it, and that one should move through failure calmly and sensibly…

Guess what Guruji replied …

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

ps after that there was a very nice Satsang where this guy called “guitar” Prasanna played hard core carnatic music on an electric guitar and Guruji must have said some amazing stuff coz everyone was laughing and nodding… but i didn’t get much of it coz it was all in tamil… but there was also something that happened before that, will tell you in the next post :)

Dec 7

Chennai Interlude

Someone had to speak at some management institute in Chennai. I didn’t want to go, so it was decided that Dinesh will… He is such a sweetheart, he uncomplainingly does the stuff that i don’t want to do:) … Then, his aussie visa came through and he had to leave for Melbourne in just 2 days… And so, i got stuck with that talk in Chennai.

Then the day before we were supposed to go to Chennai, i found out that Vinod was also going to be talking there and we were a prelude to Guruji! I started to look out for a nice camera… It was sounding better and better… then I was told, that both Vinod and I will be flying to Chennai with Guruji (wow!) and that the flying was going to happen in an hour and a half helicopter ride!!! (wow*100!!). Of course i had no idea what the topic would be, and i didn’t really care… I would say something, HE would take care of it, that it was good :) My hunt for a camera began in earnest, dinesh had taken our camera to Melbourne.

Early the next morning, i finally found a nice enough camera (devang’s, after rejecting a super high end one, which you had to squint into to take a photo) and went over to Guruji’s rooms and pretty soon we heard the chopper’s noise as it landed just behind the Tripura building. Everyone hurried over to the chopper, vinod was already in it by the time i got there, and i got in next to him, and then Guruji flashed me a big smile as He agilely jumped in and strapped up. I had been up in a helicopter before with Guruji, but it was a much bigger one than this one and that had been good fun… this one looked small and old and it was vibrating even when it was on the ground…

The pilot pulled some lever and released a handbrake kind of a thing and the rotors started spinning faster and faster, making a loud noise which only got louder as we gently took off… It was like going up in an extremely noisy lift, we veered to the right and then headed east (i know coz i saw the compass)

It was very loud in there, like a factory in full production. There were some scary looking bright orange ear plugs which i didnt have the courage to put on. The whole contraption was vibrating and it had its little windows open thankfully so some cold air could come in. Conversation was impossible in the din and Guruji and i were communicating with a series of very funny hand gestures which after 3 minutes we gave up on.

No idea at all where this is...

No idea at all where this is...

We were flying at the height of some tall building … about 10000 feet or so and the Karnataka countryside was spread under us and it was all very beautiful, and i clicked four photos after which the battery in the camera died :) but with the vibrating and the noise the scenery quickly lost its charm… And soon the ride became one long clamorous roaring loud noise which i was fervently wishing would stop as soon as possible… Even Guruji sitting next to me was not enough to make me wish for the trip to be longer :)

This Helicopter was indeed an infernal thing, a machine from hell. And the one thing i was grateful for was that i wouldn’t be flying back in it tomorrow … The minutes crept by, Guruji sat and finished reading and commenting on His emails. Then sat back and meditated… Vinod was asleep … Both of them appeared superhuman feats to me. Sleeping or meditating in a factory furnace were acts of heroism :)

I just counted the minutes repeating to myself accept thing as they are … Until finally, the copter started to circle and land at this place called Swarnabhoomi which is about 2 hours drive away from Chennai…

Guruji got out and was immediately inundated by devotees and quickly whisked off in some car, somewhere… I got out from the chopper and the full blast of Chennai heat hit me … I had been with Him enough times to know not to panic and know that there would be some transportation for me too … but even then i had a slight lurch in my stomach as i saw His car whizz away … then someone was at my arm, helping me with my laptop bag and taking me to a waiting thankfully gloriously air conditioned car…

more later …

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

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