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”.


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!





Dec 29


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…”


“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!


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.


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!



Nov 26


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.


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!



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!



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!



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!



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!


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!


bawa n dinesh

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

Sep 27

What to do during Navaratri?

The ultra super best thing to do is come on over to Bangalore Ashram and be part of the Navaratri celebrations here. There is absolutely nothing quite like it. Gurudev in silence is some ethereal, exquisite Being. Words cannot possibly convey what I feel as He seemingly floats in and out of the Poojas every evening.

Gurudev at Aarti

The air seems to somehow come alive. Meditation is deeper, smiles are broader.

If you cannot make it here for whatever reason, still come! 🙂

A pathetic alternative is www.artofliving.org/navaratri … Watch what’s happening online. It’s better than nothing 🙂

The best thing to do is a silence program. The first few days when Gurudev is in silence, sit on an adv course and do some hollow and empty meditations.

If this is not feasible, then take things a little easy at least for the first 5-6 days. Eat less. Have more fruits and juices. Slow down.

Do Yoga. Meditate more. Sit on satsangs. Sing, chant, go inwards to the celebration that is happening in your own core.

After the 5th day, it’s time to really soak in the Sattwa and prepare for the grand celebration coming up. Little more outwards now. Start eating food, dance in the evening to the infectious garba. Decide what you are going to wear on the Ashtami (8th day).

The 10th day, Vijayadashami is day for all out celebrations… Have a party! Go for a long drive… Go wild!

I have written many posts about Navaratri and various significance of whatever happens in these days. They are on this blog. Read them up! 🙂

Have a great time going inwards and outwards…

Jai Gurudeva!



Sep 17

The Hundred Foot Journey

Absolutely fantastic movie. Useless book.

Do yourself a favour, Watch the movie, don’t read the book.

It’s magic in the kitchen when the spices of India flirt with haute french cuisine. Sparks fly and the heat is on.

A muslim family who passionately run a restaurant in Mumbai are victims of a riot. They loose everything and flee to Europe to begin anew. While driving around the continent looking for the perfect place to settle down in, their car breaks down in the most inconvenient place possible. A beautiful little french hamlet with a Michelin star restaurant. But Indians are Indians and Michelin star or not, the family decides to give the extremely hoity toity neighbour a run for her money…

And then things get complicated, and soooooo much fun!


Om Puri as papa – Mr. Kadam head of the Indian family is at his ferocious best as a crusty old man with a heart of gold. Helen Mirren, the snooty owner and chef extraordinaire of the french restaurant, plays her role to perfection. She makes an omlette in the movie… It’s like watching a ballet perfectly executed. Sheer Brilliance.

Manish Dayal as the son Hassan, and the star acts with understated elegance, exuding charm and passion for anything culinary and Charlotte Le Bon as Marguerite who sparks his passion into a fire…

Amazingly A.R. Rahman’s music is fabulous and spot on. Though I am sure he sneaked in bits of Mozart here and there … Just like Hassan sneaks in some Indian masalas into a 200 year old cooking tradition!

Very rarely does a movie get everything right. I felt this is one of those rare ones
you can see again and again. Catch it in a theatre if you can! 🙂

Jai Gurudeva!



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