Aug 31

A Gopi Story – I

Sage Durvasa had come to Vrindavan and was very hungry. The gopis joyfully made all kinds of delicious food for the great Sage. There were different types of rice, many types of vegetables, savouries, rotis, papads, sweets of many, many varieties, steaming hot food, cold, cold food, and everything in between… Food enough for more than a few hundred people!!

Carrying all this, they made their way to where the Sage was, and found Him on the other side of the Jamuna River waiting for them, and the food. There was no bridge for miles and the river was in spate. And the Sage was impatiently waiting…

They ran to Krishna Kanhaiya, and told Him the story. We have all this food, the Sage is waiting for it on the other side of the river… and this particular Sage was well known for His quick temper. HELP!!

Krishna smiled at them and said, go to the river and bow down to Jamuna maaiya (Mother) and tell her this… We have all this food for Sage Durvasa and He is hungry. We need your help o maaiya. Please help us. If Krishna has never told a lie, has never done any sort of mischief, has never broken anyone’s heart, then please O Jamuna let us pass. The gopis look at each other in bewilderment, each remembering Krishna’s long list of escapades… and look imploringly at Krishna for some other more feasible solution, but he had already gone…

Very hesitatingly, they go to the banks of the river and bow down and pray to Jamuna maaiya… And say the words Krishna has told them to say… And wonder of wonders…. The river magically splits apart and there is a clean pathway straight to the waiting hungry Sage. The gopis are relieved and quickly cross over to the other side.

With great devotion and love they feed the Sage. He eats and eats and eats and eats… If one would ask Him if He wanted more, He would say don’t ask, just put whatever you have in the plate! All the rotis and vegetables, all the different types of rice and fried stuff, all the sweets, hot and cold… every single thing that they had cooked; all is consumed with gusto by the Sage. At last when all the food is over, the Sage leans back, rubs his tummy, gives a few satisfied contented burps and is about to go to sleep…

One of the gopis suddenly realizes that the river is in full spate again. The Sage is about to go to sleep. No one knew when He would awake after that colossal meal. And they had to get back home. So, very timidly, the gopis ask the Sage, how to get back to the other shore. He sleepily tells them, go back the same way you came…

Next part on Thursday … How do the Gopis get back home? and what’s the secret here?

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

Aug 27

Shiksha

This is a very strange word. It means education. But it also means punishment. Education today for almost anyone still studying more or less means punishment J. Did the ancients foresee the state of education in our country in the 21st century? And so decide that Shiksha should mean both education and punishment?

There is a better explanation…

People who are tired do wrong or bad actions. Circumstances, situations, other people can tire a person out. When the energy is low, this is when a tired person will do something unacceptable. Wrong education can also drain a person of all sensibilities and compel him into doing wrongful actions.

Hence a wrong doer is given shiksha. Shiksha was a chance given to a tired beaten person to relax and reenergize. Jail was a place to rest and recoup. The hope was that once a person has got back his energy and his sensibilities, he would become a responsible citizen and once again take his part in building society. So giving shiksha to a person meant giving him an education. An education in righteousness.

And so Shiksha came to mean both, to educate and to punish.

We used to live in Enlightened times. It should be quite easy to get back to them… Spirituality is the magic formula!

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

Aug 25

Ganapati

Guruji talked about Ganapati in a very different way the other day during Satsang. The Universe is made up of groups of atoms called Ganas. And specific groups behave in specific ways. The groups of atoms that make gold for example somehow remember at all times that they are gold… They don’t suddenly turn into rice. The groups of atoms that are wood remember at all times to be wood. And so on.

There is an unseen force that binds these atoms together to be what they are supposed to be. A sweeping power that holds things together in the way they should be. This force is represented by Lord Ganesha. He is called Ganapati. The Lord of the Ganas. The Lord Ganesha’s elephant head symbolically personifies the vastness of this terrific force.

To console His wife after chopping off the head of the child she had created (click to read the long crazy story), Lord Shiva asks His ganas to go and bring Him the head of any one sleeping with their head to the North. In the entire world there was only one elephant sleeping that way. And so Lord Shiva’s ganas chopped off it’s head and got it to make the head for Lord Ganesha.

Our Bangalore Ashram Ganu :)

Our Bangalore Ashram Ganu 🙂

The Sanskrit word for North is Uttara. Another meaning of Uttara is answer. Uttara also means the future. So Lord Ganesha has the head, which is has limitless vision and has all the answers!

BTW, the story also says that you should never sleep with your head to the North. The ancients knew that the magnetic field should cut through the body (east west) for a deeper more restful sleep. So there is a not so subtle message here to never sleep with your head to the North J

I remember a Knowledge sheet about Lord Ganesha as the Lord of the Ganas… find it and read it.

Have a very happy 10 days with Lord Ganesha in your homes and before the Visarjan remember to invite Him back into your heart.

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

ps Here are links to some of the posts i wrote in 2008 on Lord Ganesha I, Lord Ganesha II, Lord Ganesha III

Aug 20

A Precious Skill

All action comes from the seed “It’s not ok”.

Whenever you do anything, you do it because somewhere, there is an “It’s not ok”. For example, I am writing this article because “It’s not ok” that there is nothing new on the blog for all of you to read. You are reading it because “It’s not ok” that you don’t read it 🙂. We exercise because “It’s not ok” to be out of shape. We eat because “It’s not ok” that we are hungry…

For any action to happen somewhere there needs to be an “It’s not ok”. This spurs us to do.

"It's not Ok" spurs us into doing stuff...

However, if you want to rest, you have to make everything ok. “It’s not ok” will never allow you to rest. If you need to sleep, you have to accept everything exactly the way it is, only then sleep will come. If you want to meditate, you have to agree that for the time being, everything is ok. Only then can you dive deep into meditation. Only then can you rest.

As soon as you wake up, or you are out of meditation, then you have to go back to “It’s not ok”. Only then will you act. Only then can you act. Whenever you have to act, you have to accept that “It’s not ok” the way things are. At this time, you cannot say everything is alright.

Everything is Alright allows us to Rest

"Everything is Alright" allows us to Rest

When you are deeply involved in a project, then that seed of “It’s not ok” will not allow you to rest. Without rest it becomes really tough to sustain peak performance, and so the skill to switch to “Everything is alright” when you need to rest becomes vital.

The ability to effortlessly shift gears from “It’s not ok” when you need to act to “Everything is alright” when you want to meditate and rest is precious and rare. It needs to be learned and practiced into an art form.

In fact this is precisely what the Art of Living is!

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

Aug 17

Winter Break 2009

Guruji gave us the dates for Winter Break 2009 just last night… Here they are:

December 26th 2009 to January 4th 2010

Reporting on December 25th or 26th anytime before 11:00 pm

Dec 28th 2009 to Jan 1st 2010: The Advance Course (YES!++)

Jan 1st to Jan 3rd: Sahaj Samadhi Meditation

Jan 4th: Rudra Pooja and departure

We will also run the YES!+ DSN from Jan 7th to 10th in Bangalore City (accommodation will be provided at the ashram if needed for people doing the DSN, there will however be some charge for this)

If you have any other queries for the Winter Break 2009 just write to wb2009@yesplus.org with all your questions. The course donations will be announced in a few days…

Also for this Winter Break, we are having something new:

Jan 2nd and 3rd: A Youth Festival (We need a name, so please send in ideas) … People from all over are welcome to come for the festival, regardless of whether they have done the course or not. There may be very limited accommodation on the ashram for these people, so they may need to arrange their own. There will be music, dance, drama and sports competitions. Details to be finalized, as well as many, many workshops from resume writing and how to give good job interviews to learning how to make earthen pots. Of course there will be lots and lots of (vegetarian) food 🙂

We want many ideas from all of you. Please write to wb2009@yesplus.org with subject festival for the Jan 2nd and 3rd event.

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

Aug 15

Janmashtami 2009

Janmashtami is the night Lord Krishna took a physical form.

If you have still not read the Bhagavad Geeta, start right away. The Highest Knowledge in all its Glory is here… Don’t read any commentary on it. Simply read the translation or the original Sanskrit (if you understand sanskrit). This is one of Lord Krishna’s greatest gifts to us. Read one chapter a day. Never more.

Have a great weekend!

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

ps looking back i saw that i have written some really nice posts about Lord Krishna. Here they are:

Janmashtami

Krishna!

Radha

A Divine Romance

Krishna and Kaaliya Pt I

Krishna and Kaaliya Pt II

Aug 14

Peaceful Warrior

I had heard a lot about this movie, so finally saw it last night … and it was really nice!

A cocky, brilliant American gymnast Dan (I get straight A’s, my dad has tons of money, i am going to be selected to represent America for the Olympics, and i don’t sleep alone unless i absolutely have to) goes to a Gas Station to have his bike refuelled, meets an enigmatic old man there who does something that he cannot explain  … no i am not going to tell, watch the movie 🙂

 Dan

Dan...

The Old man (This is not a gas station, it’s a Service station. There is nothing higher in life than to Serve!) at the station is quirky, eccentric… and an expert on the mind. He is Erudition personified. Dan has found a private Guru. He goes through all the usual doubts. What do you get out of this? Are you part of some cult?  Are you some kind of hypnotist or magician? etc … Lines that we in Art of Living have heard so many times 🙂

and the Old Man

...and the Old Man

But, Dan cannot deny what he has seen. Nor the experiences the old man gives him every time he almost wants to quit… And slowly he starts to learn. And his gymnastics performance shoot through the roof…

But, the Old man remains a riddle, an enigma Dan cannot fathom.

Then something else happens that completely changes Dan’s outlook and attitude towards life…

It’s a fantastic movie. Of course there is some superb gymnastics on display, along with very nice music. But it’s so much more… Touching, tender and full of Life and Wisdom. Tastefully sprinkled with a few great laughs.

And perhaps the closest a movie has come to teaching the Art of Living course points! I especially loved the walk up the mountain towards the end 🙂

Please watch it. And it’s even better when watched in a group. Also don’t see the trailer and read anything else about it other than what i have written. Watch this movie without knowing anything about what its about, and let its charms unfold at it’s own pace…

BTW, it’s based on a true story.

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

Aug 9

Karjat to Khandala

or Bombay to Poona at this time of the year is enchantingly wondrous… torrents of rain, rolling wispy clouds creating a magical mist, fresh, fresh air, lush grassy mountain sides with that fresh, new bright, happy green and achingly beautiful gushing waterfalls… some of them splashing right into your face as you stand at the train door…

You wish that the train would stall… that you could jump out and bathe in this delicious treat Mother Nature lays out for us every year …

A few photos…

If you have not done this glorious trip yet this year, go now, before the rains stop…

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

Aug 3

God’s Own Country

If your body is a cell phone, then your phone number, which is unique is your jivatma, your Self.

Guruji was in top form yesternight and this was one of the sentences He said. The satsang was out in the open with the grand Vishalakshi Mantap providing a backdrop. There is a Teachers Training Course going on with 900+ participating and Guruji was giving some beautiful Knowledge which is as usual tinged with practicality and some uproarious humour.

Someone asked whats the difference between happiness and satisfaction. To begin with Guruji laughed it off. Then He continued by saying that it is possible to be happy and not satisfied…

Even before Sudarshan Kriya came to me (Guruji), I was totally ‘mast’ (blissful), but somehow there seemed to be a small hitch to being satisfied, because I knew that there was something that i had to do for the World. Once Sudarshan Kriya and the Art of Living came, there was total satisfaction, and happiness and Bliss was anyways there.

So for satisfaction do things for others, do Seva, contribute … to be happy, meditate.

In Kerela, the King would always have the title of ‘das’, meaning servant. The monthly reports were traditionally read in temples to the presiding Deity. The King would rule on God’s behalf. This was to make sure that the “doingness”, the ego would be eliminated.

What a person without the feverishness “to do” can achieve is incomparable. So the tradition of reading the reports in temples came about. To remind the King that he only rules by proxy. That the Kingdom actually belongs to God and so that the King can get out of “doingness” and become really effective.

And that is why Kerela is called God’s Own Country!

To read up more, and what exactly Guruji said in His own words head over to the Wisdom Blog (it is the first link in our blogroll). Most days, whatever He says, is carefully transcribed and uploaded there… Make it a habit to visit everyday 🙂 and stay in touch with what He said today!

Jai Gurudeva!
love
bawa

PS The YES!+ Adv course at the Ashram has ended, 150+ very lucky souls got to do it… Guruji was supposed to go some place, but He cancelled and stayed back, so we all had Him for Satsang every evening of the course! 🙂

Jul 30

I have sinned

An Italian teenager enters the confessional. “Bless me Father, for I have sinned. I have been with a loose girl.”

The priest asks, “Is that you, little Joey Pagano?”

“Yes, Father, it is.”

“And who was the girl you were with?”

“I can’t tell you, Father, I don’t want to ruin her reputation.”

“Well, Joey, I’m sure to find out her name sooner or later so you may as well tell me now. Was it Tina Minetti?”

“I cannot say.”

“Was it Teresa Mazzarelli?”

“I’ll never tell.”

“Was it Nina Capelli?”

“I’m sorry, but I cannot name her.”

“Was it Cathy Piriano?”

“My lips are sealed.”

“Was it Rosa DiAngelo, then?”

“Please, Father, I cannot tell you.”

The priest sighs in frustration. “You’re very tight lipped, and I admire that. But you’ve sinned and have to atone… You cannot be an altar boy now for six months. Now you go and behave yourself.”

Joey walks back to his pew, and his friend Franco slides over and whispers, “What’d you get?”

A six months vacation and five good leads!!!

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

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