Apr 5

In Chennai

one word: Hot!!

its an absolute mystery to me how people can choose to live here… i wouldnt buy a house here… i would expect to be PAID to live here

But Raji aunty (Harish’s and Kavi’s mother) makes it all worthwhile by cooking up an avalanche of the most delicious dosas!!

i finished reading 2 books today… have been reading one for some time now, its called the Unwaba Revelations by samit basu… its the third part of his gameworld trilogy, and while the other 2 were absolutely fantastic (The simoqin Prophecies and The Manticore’s Secret), this one drags along… one big fantasy was after another interspresed with a few extremely funny and ingineous pages! I would keep reading to get to those parts… a very disappointing book, given the author’s earlier work… its a good read in the toliet or a long boring journey, but not much else…

The other is called Garlic and Saphires bu Ruth Reischl who used to be the New York Times food critic… utterly delicious and almost unputdownable for any person who enjoys food and some great humour… the only big problem i had with this book was that she talks about alsmot only non veggie restaurants and almost all the superb recipes in the book are non veg… will see how to convert some of them to veggie versions and post them here after cooking and tasting them for all of you :)… A throughly enjoyable read, i would recomend it quite wholeheartedly…

Cheers to the people who designed and made the Air Conditioner!!

Jai Gurudeva!
love
bawa

Apr 3

Criticism

Someone had asked me how to stay enthusiastic while doing things when many people or the people you care about criticize you often… Here is what i had written to that person

Firstly, know that when you are criticized, it means you are doing something. If you are just sitting around doing nothing, no one will criticize you. They might ignore you or scold you, but they can’t criticize you

Secondly, because you are doing something, it means there are flaws. As Guruji says, there is no action that doesn’t have flaws. Some flaws are apparent and some are not. Forget about us, people even criticize Guruji!!

Thirdly, if there are flaws, feel good that you are coming to know about them, otherwise they may not go away.

And fourthly, yes, it’s tough to be able to take criticism and still not lose your enthusiasm. The best way is to invite criticism and then play with it

Life’s a game, not to be taken too seriously… Relax, Smile and Breathe!!

Jai Gurudeva!
love
bawa

Apr 3

Tomato Basil Soup

One more soup :)… i really love this one, its very quick to make and quite hearty… usually have just the soup with some bread and its a full meal for me…

10-15 red juicy big tomatoes pureed
10-16 leaves of fresh basil
Olive oil (extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil gives the best flavour)
Butter 1 inch cube
Salt to taste
1 carrot chopped up into very small cubes
1 small bunch of spinach roughly chopped
some fresh cream (optional)
Braggs Seasoning (optional) 2 -4 squirts depending on taste

Heat the olive oil and butter in a pan. Add salt and Braggs.
Add the basil leaves and let them crackle a bit.
Add the tomato puree and cook until done, you will see a bit of oil formation and the mixture will be bubbling away quite merrily. You may need to add water or vegetable stock depending on the consistency you want, i usually dont and leave it to be quite thick and hearty.
Just before serving add the carrots and boil, the carrots should not get cooked completely. They should remain slightly crunchy. Add spinach at the very end, it gets cooked in less than 1 minute.

Serve immediately!! It goes brilliantly with toasted multi grain or wheat bread.
A small dollop of fresh cream gives it a really rich look. If you are doing garlic, just 1 small clove of garlic chopped finely can also be added right at the start to the olive oil and butter and allowed to brown a bit before adding the basil leaves… it gives an entirely different, subtle flavour to the soup.

Apr 3

Pesto!!

One of the yummiest pestos i know how to make, i usually have a small batch always ready in the fridge for a quickie gourmet meal

2 cups fresh basil leaves packed
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts
Optional: 1-3 cloves of garlic finely crushed and 1/4th cup grated cheese (preferably parmesan)

Whirrr the leaves in small batches in a mixie until well chopped, add the nuts to the leaf mixture (and all the garlic if you are adding the garlic) and whirrr again… add half the cheese and blend while slowly adding the olive oil, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container, you can now add the rest of the cheese and anything else that may be left and finish the blending into a delicious thick smooth paste… i find that adding a pinch of salt makes it tastier too…

It keeps well in a fridge for about 10 days and for much longer if frozen

Next time you stir fry some veggies, dont add any indian spices, just aute the veggies until cooked and then add a generous spoonful of the pesto (to about 1/2 kg to 3/4 kg of veggies) and watch how the bland dish magically transforms into something really special… vary the amount of pesto according to your taste… serve with toasted bread

This pesto can be stirred through a cooked mixture of noodles and veggies for a surprizingly tasty meal…

Finally, toasted bread with butter and pesto spread tastes heavenly!

Will leave it to you to figure out other uses of the pesto…

PS Thanks a lot to Bharat Bhayya who keeps me supplied with the freshest of Basil leaves from his organic garden in the ashram… btw, Basil plants are remarkably easy to grow, and 5 pots lasted me over 5 months of almost daily continuous use!

Apr 3

April 2nd

Guruji came just for a few minutes to Satsang yesterday night… and He didnt say anything… watched a short little dance by some girls, and waved to everyone and glided out…
However, His silence and His love was profound and is still with me… i always wonder how He does it… even when He does nothing, He does everything
He left for Germany and met all of us who were there, and we were all feeling so blessed and loved and tender and warm as His car almost seemed to float out from the drive way and disappear into the night…

Chennai is at 65+ registrations!! Congratulations to all of you working out there

Apr 2

Satsang on April 1st 2008

Yesterday night’s Satsang was short and sweet…
Guruji has started a “new” way to meditate… NO i am not going to give it away here… you will just have to wait… and learn it when someone who knows how to teach it is where you are, or you are where they are
Ofcourse it was awesome
Knowledge was about Satsang:
Satsang is not just sitting and singing, it has four flavours:
1. Karma Satsang, when people get together and do Seva
2. Gaan Satsang, when people sing together
3. Gyan Satsang is when Knowledge is discussed in a group and
4. Moun Satsang is when many people meditate together

He also added that the fourth is perhaps the most important of all, but that all others also need to be done!

I am very proud of the YES!+ team in Mumbai in particular who are really doing all four, they participate in the Clean Up! Mumbai project and do hard work on the streets making them clean… after 4 weeks of it, now people have started to notice them and appreciate them… They are daring to dream of a clean Mumbai city, and i am sure with their dedication it will happen much sooner than most of them think
They then sing together, watch some Knowledge of Guruji and then do their Sadhana together… They are really rocking and totally enjoying themselves! many other cities in the world could learn from their example

Jai Gurudeva!
love
bawa

PS Chennai has organised a YES!+ DSN in just a few hours!! Kavi called me yesterday afternoon and said she wanted a DSN to happen in Chennai… i told her that the only free dates i had were from this thursday… she jumped at the challenge and by evening had 41 fully paid up confirmed registrations! She was in Bangalore while all this happened They are gunning for 100+… anyone wants to do a YES!+ DSN should land up in Chennai tomorrow evening before 4:00 pm… we may even start the course on friday evening… for more details call up +91-9884473469

Bonus Knowledge:

Question: Guruji what is Shanti(peace)?
Guruji: We must make you sit in a closed small room and play loudspeaker 24 hrs. And not some good music, some heavy loud music you dont like. Then after 24 hrs, when we switch it off, for sure you will come to know what is Shanti!!

Mar 29

Curious Lives

Another book i am reading right now… Curious Lives by Richard Bach
quite nice, the second story in it i really liked a lot… though no where near the absolute genius of his other books that i feel everyone must read:

Johnathan Livingston Seagull
Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah
A Bridge across Forever
One

His writing is surreal, vivid, joyful, funny, poignant… makes you feel fresh
The other books that he has written, somehow i have not enjoyed so much…
Happy Reading!
Jai Gurudeva!
love
bawa

Mar 29

QnA – 4

Q. Hi……… I am gay and can’t tell this to anyone. I am 27 and still virgin. Kindly tell how to get out of this conflict.

First off there is nothing wrong with being a virgin… it means you are careful and dont abuse or disrespect your body!
An aunt of mine used to say,”instead of having sex at once, have it at last!”
There is nothing wrong about being gay… first get that… then slowly you can talk about it to people who you are close to, you may be surprized that they may have just the person for you:)
Gay people like “normal” people also want a mate in life… Do talk to a few people you know and trust… take that leap…
Best of Luck…
Jai Gurudeva!

Q. i just attended my first YES!+ course which was held in nagpur,it was a gr8 experience,never felt the magic of breathing before….last week….ur talk was really enlightening….i wanted to talk to you there in person,cud not get that oppurtunity,maybe next time….

i’ve this small problem,which is spoiling my relations with others,too…this girl,she was my girlfriend before,and we went out for some 8 months,and then as parents started interfering it was best that we break up…,so we did tht…and later after 4 days she goes out with my best friend,oh…tht was bad,i cud not believe it at first….thn i thought both of them were cheap and it would be best to ignore her,as i wont meet her agn in my lyf……fine…tht was whn i was in school in 11th and 12th….,

now i’m in college….and it happened tht my frend is doin medicine in coimbatore,and she….this female is in my college,my branch,my class…..oh i never wanted this….to happen…..

why only she,….ok….i took it in the right spirit and i thought tht i would jst be friends with her….,told her to 4get whatever happened in the past and 4get it….,went on like tht for sometime…bt behind my back she was back biting me,she was telling all her friends here,tht..we did not go out…and all tht bull shit….clear back biting and ppl believe whn a woman says something…(bt i learned never to trust a woman)…,at the same time i was losing my friends bcoz of her,my image was going down becoz of her…wht shld i do,….

whn we had our dept gathering in college,obviously i took pics in my phone….and later on the last day….whn we had our dj nite,seniors wanted to rag me….in b/w she comes and asks for my phone,i did not say no…after seniors had their fun on me…i was feeling bad,…and whn i get my phone bak…i find tht most of the pics were deleted…i asked her y did she delete the pics,she says i don’t need any of my pics in ur phone…wowee,i thought we were friends..,tht bitch….i made it a point tht she and my relation will never get close agn….i tried after tht max not to interact with her…

almost for a whole semester we never interacted and wht was happening the friends who were together with,started going away from me….bcoz of her…they preffered her..more…,i did not giv shit abt tht….

wht happened actually is tht,bcoz of her,…i’ve lost my image,friends.. in college…whre in the beginning i was known….and popular….,very good to people…now …..its jst the opposite,….

….is there a solution to this….

You know if there are people who would rather listen to slander and gossip and believe that… its far far better you are away from such people, and that those people are not your friends… who would want such friends anyways?!
Get involved in Art of Living Seva… Do your Sadhana regularly and go for Satsang and you will find many many people who are much better than those people who you are missing so much to become good friends with!

Q. hi bawa i am from baroda , i am 21 years old. i met you in surat…bawa as we discussed over there… you clearly told to leave the 6000 rs. per month job and start study further or start your business(travel agency). … you also said that start studying along with your job..
so bawa if i want to study further than i should go with what MBA finance or marketing… in market, specially gujarat and maharastra market ..should i study with finamce or marketting or any other streem… i can make my self with all the things… but i want to mold my self in such a way.. so that i can earn good money.. and should i continue doing working or i should go further with full time study….

Its your life… you have to take these decisions… and face the consequences… Neither me nor Guruji is here to live your life for you… Can definitely guide you or point you in the direction of someone who can guide you… (which i did in Surat) but please do not ask me questions like this… they are for you to answer!

Q. I attended the last day of Utsav,Nagpur today and i Really felt relaxed when i returned home.
I wanted to ask you one question…
I had a fight with my best friend some days ago,and the topic was that i donot advice her when she is wrong.
I’m kind of person who dont like to interfere in other’s personal matter though that person matters for me the most.
So am i really doing wrong or should i be the way i am?

She is right, if she is your best friend, its only right that you interfere gently and tell her that what she is doing is wrong… and then let her take her own decisions and still stand by her as her friend with whatever she has decided… but to not tell her and allow her to make a mistake is simply being a little cruel and selfish! at least thats my opinion:)

Mar 26

QnA – 3

Q. I have a son. I am taking care of my family very well . I would love to do more seva to the society.Myself and my husband are AOL devotees, and we do volunteer work also. Either of us take care our son, another will go for AOL Seva.
Should we restrict ourself to only family or can we come out of the family and do seva to every one?
One of our teacher said that , leaving husband to clean ,wash and taking care of the son is not at all good .I was really disturbed by her words, in this case should i restrict myself doing seva to the family alone and not come out of the family.

Please help me out .

You are very lucky that you have a husband who is so cooperative and takes care of your son while you do some Seva. Definitely do not neglect your child while doing Seva. At the same time its completely between you and your husband how you manage, and that teacher had no right to comment at all… Maybe she was just jealous :)… And for sure needs to do a few adv courses
I am so happy that even though you have a child and a very young one at that, you take time out to do Seva for others… You and your husband are doing the perfectly right thing and let no one tell you otherwise! More people have to redefine family like you have done to include more and more people!!
More families need to follow your example and very soon our planet will be a better place to live in!

Q. i want to do some thing for ” Garbage to gold ” in the rural areas. but i am not able to get right direction and right people to discuss my ideas.

Talk to rohit and shilpa in Mumbai they will put you in touch with the “right” people… drrohitsab@gmail.com is their email id.

Q. why we are doing seva in the tribal areas although we know that after their economical condition is improved there is also problems like developed farmers have in the punjab etc.
what is our aim and what is our limit?

Our aim is Vasudeva Kutumbakam… Creating a one world family!
Seva needs to be done everywhere, not just in tribal areas or rural areas… there are extremely under privileged people staying even in New York and LA… Under privileged spiritually! Everyone needs help… And everyone who can help, should!!

Q. Bawa, I am from VIT University, Vellore,TN,India.My college management are too adamant about their descision to not to let any courses like YES!+ in the campus.I will still do my best to convince them.

Don’t worry about your college being against YES!+ … Don’t convince your management, convince your friends to come and do the course!

Q. I am reading about smoking these days in detail, and getting shocking facts,which i want to convey to students here, who smoke and fall in its trap. i want to give the exact details of how bad it is for us, so that they think ten times even before trying their first cigarette.Suggest me some good ideas, of how to effectively reach the students in the best way.Helping the students already caught in smoking would be my 2nd step.

And as far as smoking is concerned, make a nice presentation about it, and show it to everyone. Your job is to educate, you do just that… If people dont want to listen, thats their problem, not yours…
If anyone wants to give up smoking, just get them to a YES!+ course… Even if they have to travel from Vellore to say Bangalore or Delhi or Mumbai for it, make them travel and maybe you also come with them… They will easily be able to quit after the course.

Q. A lot of my close friends have given me a feedback that i don’t make my presence felt. all these people believe that I’m not loud enough though i have the right ideas. i feel a problem with going ahead with my ideas without anyone to support, i feel the need of a friend who would discuss with me about my ideas and develop it and encourage me to go ahead. And i haven’t found that person yet. So how do i handle this situation without any special friend. i have always felt the need of a friend who takes me seriously and be really dedicated to our friendship.

There are many people around you who qualify for this… question is do you qualify to be a special friend for someone else? As soon as you do, you will not have one or two but dozens of very special people in your life!
How to qualify? Sadhana, Seva, Satsang… and thinking and doing more for others!
Get involved in Seva! Help organise a YES!+ or an Utsav course and see what happens. Drop this “What about me” attitude and you will be fine!

Q. I want to know how to identify my life/future between a lot of choices.. whats the purpose.. of my life!

Purpose of life is to Give!
Rest you figure out

Jai Gurudeva!
love
bawa

Mar 26

QnA – 2

Q. Why is it taking you so long to come back to New Zealand?

Hmmm… New Zealand would be nice to go back to for sure, but dont u think it would be nicer for all of you to come to India?! YES!+ Winter Break will be last week of December… See that u are there with bindi and anyone else who cares to come!

Q. Why is it that we lack self confidence, and have a low self esteem?… however, when a person is confident, and has a high self esteem, they appear as egotistical (or at least we perceive them as being so).how is it possible to be half – half…. to have confidence in ourselves, and to not be/seem as though we have a big ego?

Lack of confidence and low self esteem happen when you regularly do not fulfill commitments that you have made to yourself and others… When you are ruled more by your feelings… So simply seeing to it that you do what you said you would do, will bring a tremendous boost in your confidence levels and your self esteem, and other people’s comments will not bother you, or even if they do, not for any considerable time.

There is a vast difference between a person who has confidence and self esteem and someone who simply has a big ego… An ego is that which separates, a confident person will be able to win people over and take everyone with him… Infact usually an egotistical person is a person who has almost no confidence or self esteem and tries to cover that up with being arrogant!

Do your Sadhana, Seva and Satsang and come on a few Adv courses a year and you will find that you start to become what you want to become a confident, wonderful human being!

Q. Is it right to trap a cockroach in a container, and suffocate it to death? – slow death, but that way, it prevents them from spreading their eggs, were we to squash them)… are we still liberating them?

According to me, better to squash it and clean up…

Q. I am a volunteer for YES!+, and due to family conditions i get depressed a lot, doing the course has helped me a lot but still my problem exists and it affects my health and becomes a hindrance when i try to concentrate while doing Kriya… Please help.

Depression happens when you think too much “What about me?”
Do your Sadhana, Seva and Satsang… Consciously think and do more for others and you will find that your depression will quickly vanish!
Also DONT concentrate while doing Kriya, just do it effortlessly and easily, and do Kriya everyday, be very regular with it. Whatever thoughts that may come do not resist… finally, check your diet… see that you are eating good healthy veggie food at proper time and that u are drinking plenty of water… other than that, just relax and smile and you will be fine!

Q. Jai Gurudev Bau…Is ORGAN DONATION justifiable spiritually???Isnt it better if you donate your body organs to someone in need then bury it in the ground???Does it affect your spiritual growth or harm the recipient soul???

Really no idea about this, but when the intention is clean and you wish to help, I don’t think that it could harm either the person who is donating or the person who is receiving

Q. Its like this. I feel in aol lots of politics happen in each centre and i actually get discouraged. why not we youngsters do seva at villages? we need to bridge the gap between rural youth n urban youth. I feel after coming to aol I get hurt more and demotivated especially here when staying away from my family.
Please Help…jgd bawa

Lets take this one thing at a time:
We do Seva because we love Guruji and we want to spread His precious Knowledge to the world… Guruji doesnt exclude anyone, and do some troublemakers may crop up time and again… If this stops you from doing Seva, it means that these people, and their actions and opinions matter to you MORE than your love for Guruji or your commitment to spread His Knowledge… Is that really true?
Here is where all our course points can be experienced in action!
And yes, if you wish to do Seva in villages you are welcome to join the YLTP team but do remember that there may be politics there as well :)…
As far as staying away from family is concerned, just redefine “family”, and you will never be away from them!
Soooo accept the problem, and take intelligent, appropriate action and do remember to relax and smile…

Q. In life many a times, we know that somethings are not good for us..! but still we go ahead and do it.,..! when we all know that we have to work hard & smart to become successful, why is it that only a few actually follow the path and get there??

Laziness? Compromising long term pleasure for short term apparent joy? Plain vanilla stupidity?
Cmon, buck yourself up and get to work and get where you want to be… Anything is possible with hard/smart work… And dont worry Guruji will provide the good luck… Thats whats called Grace!
Jai Gurudeva!
love
bawa

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