Dec 25

Ivan’s Bali – I

A Christmas Day treat for everyone… from the crazy mind of our darling Ivan:

Merry Christmas everybody…

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

I don’t know – the things we do for our Guru!  Sarah & I recently staggered back to Sydney after a gruelling couple of weeks on some island in the Indian Ocean, Bali I think its called.

It had been promoted as a Teachers Refresher Meeting, (TRM) but how you’re supposed to get refreshed in 32 degrees of tropical sun is a mystery to me.  Its true the turquoise ocean, several swimming pools and a cooling sea breeze helped prevent my generous body from spontaneously combusting, not to mention the seriously efficient hotel air con, but I still felt climatically challenged as I sipped my coconut smoothies by the pool.

But all was not too hellish.  You know how Guruji often reminds us that the real bliss lies within, by asking us “How long can you look at a beautiful view?  How long can your taste buds taste delicious food?  Your senses all have limits.”  Well I was determined to reach the end of mine, to see what lay beyond.

You know it’s always a wonder to observe the transformation Guruji brings about.  Walking around the hotel the day before He arrived, it looked like any other busy, international, 5 star hotel.  It was hosting some blah looking seminars, another organisation was having a conference there, the lobby was full of random people who wouldn’t know a pranayama from a banana and most of them smoking as so many in Indonesia still do.  I wondered why we brought Guruji to such ‘unholy’ places.

However the next day, when Guruji arrived, the transformation was awesome.  It may as well have been the Ashram.  The dull, grey faces of the people attending the various events before had been replaced by the shining, joyful, exuberant faces of devotees about to bask in the Divine presence of their beloved Guruji.  He floated into the hotel lobby on a wave of love and for the next 5 days the whole sprawling complex was transformed into a sacred place; in fact the whole island was suffused with the magic and Grace of His presence.

However the daily routine was merciless.  There we were, up at the crack of dawn, crawling like sleepy turtles onto the white sandy beach for morning yoga with the ever effervescent Meggan, before breakfasting in the ocean view marquee.  There we faced the stress of deciding which of the 12 exotic breakfast choices to have each day, before some nail-biting table tennis games, ultimate beach frisbee, followed by 90 minute massages which left hardly enough time for a dip in the ocean before having to rush to get the lift to the tenth floor.  There, with panoramic views of the cloudless blue sky, sparkling sea and palm fringed Bali coastline, we set about some serious refreshment.

Bawa and Dinesh had arrived with Guruji, as had Bhanudidi, so on the first morning we had been treated to the sight of our beloved Bawa strolling into the first session of TRM like a spiritual Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca.

Game on!  Bawa was in cracking form and taking no prisoners.  We were going to be seriously refreshed, from the inside out, and back again.  All morning we were crying with laughter, beside ourselves with excitement in the heady atmosphere of Tropical Art of Living, drunk on Bawa bliss, thinking life can’t get any better.  Then Guruji appeared…

Part II tomorrow…

Dec 24

Bali

was hot

and very pretty…

I didn’t get much time to go anywhere coz Guruji surprised me by making me facilitate the Asia Pacific TRM (Teacher’s Refresher Meet) and so mostly i saw the inside of the very beautiful Hotel we were staying in 🙂

The night before the TRM, Guruji casually mentions to me, you help with the TRM… i was happy, and i got up pretty late in the morning and was doing a long lazy Padmasadhana, when there was frantic knocking on my door… grumblingly i opened it and there were 3 people insisting that i come and start the TRM… I said i am not supposed to do that, go ask Guruji… They said Guruji is in the spa, and wont be out for another 3 hours!

And so there i was on the stage with all the teachers, suddenly in the role of a TRM teacher 🙂

We had quite a blast, Guruji came and visited us pretty often and every afternoon we had mind blowing meditations with Him… and every night dinesh and i got to spend a lot of time with Him… (btw, dinesh taught the adv course there)

I did get the time to go to the spa 2-3 times, and got myself a lovely conditioner massage for my head and an excruciatingly painful, yet deeply relaxing acupressure massage on my feet…

We had many rocking sessions on the TRM and even one super fun session on the beach too! can’t tell you what we did, for that u have to become a teacher and come for a TRM 🙂

The food was extremely tasty, but horribly spicy… and by the time a week was done, i was craving for food from my lovely kitchen in the ashram 🙂

On the last day, we all went to a beautiful temple with Guruji, where they had done the yagya last time… and all too soon it was time to leave…

The Indonesian people treated all of us like royalty… the courses and the trip were perfectly planned and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves! 🙂

Dinesh and i did have a fantastic time there, but not like what everyone else does… we didn’t go to the beach, we didn’t go shopping, we didn’t do para gliding or snorkeling… what we did do was spend a LOT of time with Guruji… and that’s what made this lovely holiday absolutely perfect!

Ivan was there and he has (as usual) done a brilliant write up about the whole Bali experience… and yes it involves chappals… watch out for it 🙂

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

ps sorry for not writing more often… but things have been very hectic, and somehow no internet in delhi again!

Dec 18

Happy Birthday Perviz!!

December 18th! I dare not forget… Today is my sister’s birthday!

The consequences could be dire 🙂

I remember a few years ago, she had made birthday gift lists… 3 or 4 things she wanted and depending on people’s financial capabilities she gave them out, telling people to get stuff for her ONLY on the lists … I asked her but what about being surprised by your birthday gift? She said she would be surprised because she didn’t know which of the 3-4 things on the lists people would actually get for her!! 🙂

She would always complain that i would only give her gifts for her birthday which actually i wanted… so one birthday i gave her “The complete works of William Shakespeare” … even i didn’t want that! 🙂

My baby sister is now mom to 3 lovely kids!! And as you can see from the photo above, it doesn’t show at all!

Many more Birthdays… much love 🙂

Happy Birthday!!

Jai Gurudeva!

love

khurshed

Dec 10

QnA – 19

Q: I’m really troubled. I’ve done the UTSAV with You at Mumbai. Since day 1 of UTSAV, I’ve been having really disturbing dreams. And it has been happening everyday since then. Sleep is supposed to be a source of energy, but it has started draining me of all my energy. All my dreams manifest a fear of some or the other sort. I’ve been  doing my kriya daily with a happy state of mind, and didn’t want to give my dreams much significance and thought as they are merely dreams. But now I’ve started wondering if I’m doing my kriya the wrong way or are they intuitions of some sort?

A: A few bad dreams here and there you should not even bother about… Also, sometimes bad dreams are Guruji’s way of helping you get rid of some bad karma, you “experience” it in your dreams, so you don’t need to go through it in your “real life”, and this can be considered a very big blessing… but, if dreams like this are consistently happening, and you are regularly doing your sadhana, you should check your diet… too much onion, garlic, chili or sugar in your diet can play havoc with your mind and give you terrible dreams 🙂
Also check the direction in which you are sleeping… experiment and see which direction works for you… East-west is best according to many people…

Whatever the case, don’t give any significance to any of your dreams… pray to Guruji and chant some Om Namah Shivaya everyday. Keep Guruji’s photo in your room where you sleep.
You will soon be sleeping really well 🙂
Happy Dreams!

Q: love u both,
I did course recently with you in Pune, asked you to tell about suicide, if you remember, Bawa I’m really stuck cause of this girl in my life,
I’m committed to a girl from last 7 years, and then advance course happened at Bangalore. There I met another girl, she was chain smoker, alcoholic, I accepted as she is and kept telling her about quitting, she liked me and started loving me….. now she doesn’t drink at all and smokes only 2 or 3 cigarettes a day.. but now she wants to marry me,(I can’t, cause of her my relations with my Girl are getting stretched) and if I won’t then she’ll commit suicide, she suffers from tachycardia and low BP, can’t mention to her parents because they are also heart patients, I got her treated with best doctors, gave her more than I could, cause I have great faith in Guruji, I know he would solve my problem, I’m doing it for last 1 year….., she dreams Guruji almost alternate day. what should I do….????

A: Decide who you want to get married to… and stick to that one… and let Guruji take care of the other!
Q:. I have done my basic, advance and dsn… and just become an architect… I’ve been doing my sewa and kriya constantly…and got a call for my ttc phase 1…

But the problem lies that I have a boyfriend who does not like me moving on this path… he’s done his basic and dsn but does not do the kriya… we’ve been together from childhood and plan marriage.. but he feels his and my path are different if I practice all this…he has his family problems and thinks that he shall solve them first and then do something for the society..whereas I feel everything goes hand in hand..I’m planning my higher studies abroad next year..
plz help what shall i do??

A:  What you feel is right… If your boyfriend cannot respect your chosen path, and if this relationship is keeping you away from spirituality, then the best thing to do is end it and end it quickly… and wait for some boy who will cherish what you do and support you and be part of the spirituality thats so healthy and necessary for any relationship to truly blossom…
Thinking only about yourself and your immediate family all the time can be ruinous and you don’t want to be with such a selfish person… For some people, this has been a life long habit, so for a time you may need to be patient with them and gently, yet insistently  educate them, but, if that doesn’t work, simply move on…

Q: One question has been rising up in my head for some days… (just a question making me think–not my case )… After marriage, is not having children LACK of blessing? or is it that couples without children just feel sad?

just a question!! making me wonder..

A: Could be lack of sex (at the right time! :))… seriously though, to have blessed children you need to have merit, which comes thru doing Seva… Many couples who had been “trying” for a long time, managed to conceive when both of them engaged in community work and Seva, along with their Sadhana…
According to me, having children is pretty easy, bringing them up the right way, now thats a different story :)…

Q: My name is Shreyas.V.Korad. I’m doin my diploma in Comp Engg..I’m from Pune I did my YES Course around 3-4 months back…..it had an tremendous impact on me..I wanted to know if I can be more into it…. whether I can be a teacher or be an assistant. I want to be connected to it every single minute..Just couldn’t do my Yes+ because of age problems..I’ll be turning 18 this month..I want to do Seva…Sorry for asking you such a childish question.. I think I can’t open myself more..I just need an answer for this..and I know that I’m dead serious about it..!!

A: You are absolutely welcome to volunteer any of your talents… Art of Living would be proud to welcome you on the team…
Just jump aboard and make yourself useful!… and do the YES!+ course as soon as you are eligible!

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

Dec 9

Happy Birthday Dad!

Sunday was dad’s birthday. We invited everyone over to Ashram for an old fashioned parsi family celebration and what fun we had! Gauri and Hema cooked dal and rice, and i cooked patia and we fried mock fish (soya fillet)… and made a brand new dessert which was astonishingly good… (recipe coming soon!)… yummy!!

Guruji came a day earlier than He had planned and dad got to meet Him as well. Guruji said ok bring the cake lets cut it, and dad and mom said they didn’t have a cake, so Guruji just lifted some paper and there was a cake underneath!! and they cut the cake and had loads of fun with Him…

Dad (and mom) worked all their lives so we could have the best of things … and once they retired, they have been working even harder for Guruji… Dad always tells Guruji, Keep giving me more work otherwise i will grow old!! Dad spearheads the entire SSRVM project, and mom teaches courses as much as she can and is extremely busy being a full time Grand ma to my sisters 3 children!

Whenever we used to tell dad, you are growing old… he would retort back taro baap budho (it looses a lot in translation, but it means your pop is old!) and he never did manage to grow old, neither did mom! The energy that these two beings have is astounding and they just keep getting younger and younger setting standards of excellence in living showing us with their own lives, how to live effectively and proactively … and have a huge amount of fun in the bargain!

And dad (and mom), just to let you know, the two of you have been the best parents any one could ever ask for!! Here is to many many more Birthdays… and love and peace and joy!

Happy Birthday!

Jai Gurudeva!

love

khurshed

Dec 6

Burnt Garlic and Roasted Pumpkin Soup

This one happened completely by mistake …

We were in Singapore a few days back, and i wanted to cook some quickie soup for everyone… I left the garlic in the pan a little longer than i should have (was playing World of Warcraft and got involved in a messy fight :)) and was too lazy to redo, so said Jai Gurudeva! and just went ahead with the recipe i had in mind, and it tasted sooooo yummy, i thought i just HAD toshare it with all of you …

Take a nice medium sized orange pumpkin peel and wash and deseed it, cut 3/4th of it into small to medium sized chunks, and  finely dice the other 1/4th

Finely chop 2-3 cloves of garlic

Wash and roughly chop fresh basil leaves

Rub a small quantity of butter on the bigger pieces of the pumpkin, and bake at high heat for about 20 minutes, if you want a slightly burnt flavour, you can bake them a little longer…

Put a generous amount of olive oil in a thick based saucepan, when hot add the finely chopped garlic pieces, reduce heat and let the garlic cook (here is where i went and completed a quest on World of Warcraft :)) until golden brown, then add the basil leaves and let them crackle and pop for a bit.

Add the baked pumpkin pieces, turn on the heat and cook until absolutely soft and tender. Add some water if required and then whirrr into a thick paste. Put it back on the heat, add salt to taste. Add water until you get the consistency you want in your soup… i love my soup thick and hearty!

Now add the remaining pieces of pumpkin into the mixture and cook for a bit.

You may add a dash of cheese or cream to make the soup richer and give it some colour…

Pour into bowls, garnish with some fresh basil leaves and serve piping hot accompanied by toasted wholewheat bread and butter…

This is a very filling soup and can be a full meal if its accompanied by a nice green salad…

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

Dec 5

Virus Alert

Some people have been saying that somehow a trojan virus has sneaked onto our blog and may start making its presence felt on your computers… We are doing all we can to get rid of it…

All of us at the Ashram now use a mac and so these uglies don’t even show up on our systems 🙂 and we had no clue until some of our readers pointed it out… so if you are still using (ugh) Windows, please make sure your anti virus is alive and kicking 🙂

Will let you know when the blog is safe again… shouldn’t take too long, but who knows 🙂

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa (& dinesh)

Dec 5

2 Movie Reviews

Recently saw 2 movies, one really very good and the other so bad, i gave away the DVD 🙂

A bridge to Terabithia started off really well, and continued for the first 45 minutes to be a throughly entertaining romp with two teenagers, Jess (boy) and Leslie (girl) creating this fantasy world in which they imagine a “dark master” and fight his minions to alternatively protect their cookies or to find Jess’s father’s green house keys which had been lost…

Nothing goes wrong in their enchanted world… they can run faster than speeding bullets, fall off a huge tree and be caught by a friendly troll, sprout a darth vader like hand to stave off attacks from decidedly unfriendly squirrels and so on… They even manage to find the weak spot of a ferocious jungle troll (their dog tickles it between its toes) and so manage to defeat it and befriend it!

This is their world every evening when they return from school… in school, things are not so easy for the duo… the usual american public school system where they are bullied by their seniors, etc… nothing really new shown here, though they do manage to get back at one of the bullies through a fairly cruel practical joke… And then leslie even manages to make friends with this bully and things were proceeding to an extremely satisfactory ending and resolution…

When out of the blue the movie takes a very abrupt turn and kills off the girl leslie… Jess goes off for a day at the museum in the city with a favourite teacher from school and doesn’t invite leslie to go along with them… When he comes back in the evening, she is dead! She dies trying to swing over a stream which according to me would be just about impossible considering that the stream was hardly broad and the fact that a few minutes ago in the movie Jess falls off this really tall tree and is caught by the friendly troll…

And the last half an hour are about Jess adjusting to his loss… and feeling guilty about not having invited leslie to the museum, and blaming himself for her death, etc, etc

So, a perfectly good movie is ruined by bringing into it an utterly unnecessary “poignant twist” which simply doesn’t work, and spoils the movie completely to the point of being unwatchable, especially for people like me who love happy endings 🙂

Final verdict: Of course you could find all sorts of interpretations to this movie and try to feel good about having wasted 2 hours of your life over it, but since i have already told you all about it, spend that 2 hours you would have used to see this movie doing some Seva…. everyone, including yourself will be happier! 🙂

The Fantasticks was the other movie i watched, and what a lovely movie it was!

All About 2 fathers who live in farms side by side deep in the american countryside, who are always fighting with each other… They have a family feud going on for years, but this feud is actually a farce, because what they really want is their respective children to fall in love and get married… As one dad says to the other: If your daughter brings home a boy, and you say “NO” to her, pretty soon, you will have a son-in-law!

The kids are nicely in love and things are getting on brilliantly, and now the fathers scheme on how to end the feud and go for the “happily ever after” and engage the services of a traveling carnival rogue (who is dashing and cavalier) to “kidnap” the daughter and have the son “save” her, and so using that as an excuse, end the feud…

Everything works perfectly, except that the kids find out… are outraged that their father could do this, and break up…
The rest of the movie works on bringing the two families back together… It’s an all out musical, with foot tapping songs and brilliantly executed dances… The music will stay with you long after the movie ends, and you might just find yourself humming one of the tunes from the movie while taking a bath or driving your car 🙂

Verdict: watch it… you will love the tender endearing story, the rambunctious dancing, the villain who is actually the hero and the wonderful music that weaves its merry way through it all and brilliantly holds everything together!

Jai Gurudeva!
love
bawa

Dec 3

Letter from a mouse thats learning to roar!

I got this in the mail today and i couldn’t resist putting it here… Enjoy!

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

Dear Mr. Prime minister

I am a typical mouse from Mumbai. In the local train compartment which has capacity of 100 persons, I travel with 500 more mouse. Mouse at least squeak but we don’t even do that.

Today I heard your speech. In which you said ‘NO BODY WOULD BE SPARED’.

I would like to remind you that fourteen years has passed since serial bomb blast in Mumbai took place. Dawood was the main conspirator. Till today he is not caught. All our bollywood actors, our builders, our Gutka king meets him but your Government can not catch him. Reason is simple; all your ministers are hand in glove with him. If any attempt is made to catch him everybody will be exposed. Your statement ‘NOBODY WOULD BE SPARED’ is nothing but a cruel joke on this unfortunate people of India.

Enough is enough. As such after seeing terrorist attack carried out by about a dozen young boys I realize that if same thing continues days are not away when terrorist will attack by air, destroy our nuclear reactor and there will be one more Hiroshima.

We the people are left with only one mantra. Womb to Bomb to Tomb. You promised Mumbaikar Shanghai what you have given us is Jalianwala Baug.

Today only your home minister resigned. What took you so long to kick out this joker? Only reason was that he was loyal to Gandhi family. Loyalty to Gandhi family is more important than blood of innocent people, isn’t it?

I am born and bought up in Mumbai for last fifty eight years. Believe me corruption in Maharashtra is worse than that in Bihar. Look at all the politician, Sharad Pawar, Chagan Bhujbal, Narayan Rane, Bal Thackray, Gopinath Munde, Raj Thackray, Vilasrao Deshmukh all are rolling in money.

Vilasrao Deshmukh is one of the worst Chief minister I have seen. His only business is to increase the FSI every other day, make money and send it to Delhi so Congress can fight next election. Now the clown has found new way and will increase FSI for fisherman so they can build concrete house right on sea shore. Next time terrorist can comfortably live in those house,  enjoy the beauty of sea and then attack the Mumbai at their will.

Recently I had to purchase house in Mumbai. I met about two dozen builders.

Everybody wanted about 30% in black. A common person like me knows this and with all your intelligent agency & CBI you and your finance minister are not aware of it. Where all the black money goes? To the underworld isn’t it? Our politicians take help of these goondas to vacate people by force. I myself was victim of it. If you have time please come to me, I will tell you everything.

If this has been land of fools, idiots then I would not have ever cared to write you this letter. Just see the tragedy, on one side we are reaching moon, people are so intelligent and on other side you politician has converted nectar into deadly poison. I am everything Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Schedule caste, OBC, Muslim OBC, Christian Schedule caste, Creamy Schedule caste only what I am not is INDIAN. You politician have raped every part of mother India by your policy of divide and rule.

Take example of former president Abdul Kalam. Such a intelligent person, such a fine human being. You politician didn’t even spare him.  Your party along with opposition joined the hands, because politician feels they are supreme and there is no place for good person.

Dear Mr Prime minister you are one of the most intelligent person, most learned person. Just wake up, be a real SARDAR!!

First and foremost expose all selfish politician. Ask Swiss bank to give name of all Indian account holder. Give reins of CBI to independent agency. Let them find wolf among us. There will be political upheaval but that will better than dance of death which we are witnessing every day.  Just give us ambient where we can work honestly and without fear. Let there be rule of law.

Everything else will be taken care of.

Choice is yours Mr. Prime Minister. Do you want to be lead by one person or you want to lead the nation of 100 Crore people?

Prakash B. Bajaj
Chandralok ‘A” Wing, Flat No 104
97 Nepean Sea Road
Mumbai 400 036

Dec 3

Prasanna speaks out! :)

Was facing the same types of questions in the course. Had a discussion with one of my friends who had seen Guruji addressing the muslim fraternity in hyderabad. He asked what is the use of sri sri having dialogue with these people, its pointless. I realized he was extremly closed, so i first asked him are you willing to travel and find out for yourself if the artofliving course techniques work or not. He was not prepared to do that, so then i told him ok atleast do you have a solution for terrorism and the courage to implement the solution. He told me yes he had, i asked him when will he implement it, He replied he will once he settles down in life… i asked him when that would be.. he replied once his problems gets over… ohhhh…..I told him till then u pray that another terrorist attack doesnt happen… oopss… sorry too late already one more in assam.
Bao i think worse than terrorists, corrupt politicians are these INTELLECTUAL IDIOTS who do nothing but sit on their butt and make judgements. Neither will they do anything nor will they join people who have the solution, worse they sit and pass judgements. Its unfortunate that majority of such people are youth… who come from premier institutes of the country. A humble request to all those who read the posts, do not be an intellectual idiot….If you want to do something for the country go ahead and do it, find out how to do it and if you do not know what to do then atleast join those people who have the solution…

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