The Candid Eye

March 14, 2012

Sri Sri in Pakistan: I’m ready to hold talks with Taliban

Filed under: Art of Living,Hinduism,India,Islam,Pakistan,Spirituality,Yoga — Abhay @ 10:48 PM
Tags: ,

From Rediff.

Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Tuesday offered to hold talks with the Taliban to usher in peace in the region, saying it would help foster understanding among people with divergent views.

“I am ready to go and talk to the Taliban. I want to talk to them, understand them and give them my opinion. So we can definitely make a difference. We should try it again and again even if we have to try it 100 times,” Ravi Shankar said during an interaction with the public and media in Islamabad.

Responding to a question on what leaders could do to usher in peace in the region, the spiritual guru said, “Most of the trouble is created by rhetoric” and people should instead work for a future filled with hope.

“People find importance in creating such dangerous situations. They should stop and give more hope to people,” he said.

Ravi Shankar, currently on a three-day private visit to Pakistan, inaugurated a centre for his Art of Living movement at Bani Gala on the outskirts of Islamabad.

He also met with a group of Muslim clerics and some political leaders.

Answering questions from the media and the public, Ravi Shankar said decision-makers should be “calm and collective” while tackling serious issues.

Life becomes worth living, he said, when people are able to be of help to others.

“When decision-makers are in high tension or angry, they will project the same thing in their decisions. They should do some meditation and relax, especially when they have to make a serious decision that will impact a lot of people,” he said.

He said he was happy to see the enthusiasm with which the Pakistani people had welcomed him.

Highlighting the transformation in Pakistan, Ravi Shankar said, “On my last visit, I was surrounded by security personnel and holed up in the hotel. On this visit, I interacted more with people and met the youth at Forman Christian College (in Lahore)”.

“It was amazing to see the enthusiasm, inquisitiveness and willingness to know,” he said.

Though some “government people” in India had asked him not to visit Pakistan, he had decided to go ahead with his trip, he added.

Ravi Shankar identified corruption as one of the biggest problems confronting countries around the world, including Pakistan.

“The civil society should rise up and say no to corruption. Law and legislation alone won’t solve the problem, it can happen only if there is spiritual transformation,” he remarked.

He also called for inter-faith harmony and “allowing diversity to exist”.

Pakistan could earn revenues by promoting and developing tourist sites like Taxila that could attract Buddhist and Hindu visitors, he said.

“Love, peace, tolerance” is what Pakistani students shouted for when asked by visiting spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar what he should speak about. Ravi Shankar regaled the audience at the famous Forman Christian College in Lahore as he spoke about love, religion and answered number of questions.

“You better find another one from about seven billion living souls in the world. Move ahead,” was Ravi Shankar’s advice to a Pakistani student who sought his view on him being unable to forget his ex-girlfriend.

The answer led to a round of thunderous applause from the audience in Lahore.

Hundreds of students accorded a warm welcome to Ravi Shankar, who began a three-day private visit to Pakistan with an address at the college in Lahore.

The hall was jam-packed an hour before the arrival of Shankar as both students and teachers were eager to listen to him.

“I am glad to see your enthusiasm. You can do wonders in life with this energy. Do not lose this enthusiasm,” Shankar said after walking onto the stage.

He asked the students what they wanted him to speak about and the hall echoed with shouts of “Love, peace, tolerance”.

Shankar involved the students in demonstrations to make them understand the power of truth. “You tell a lie and lose power over yourself,” he said.

He told them how to control anger and mood swings and to concentrate on studies.

A student asked Shankar to comment on the “worshipping of idols”, as it is a common belief in Pakistan that Hindus worship hundreds of gods.

“Like Allah has 99 names, there are over 1,000 idols but God is not in them. God is one. Hindus also worship one God,” Ravi Shankar explained, drawing applause from senior members of the faculty.

Ravi Shankar asked the audience to make space in their lives for meditation, yoga and breathing techniques and see how this would bring about a change.Referring to India-Pakistan relations, Ravi Shankar cited the example of France, Germany and Britain living in peace after centuries of enmity and questioned why the South Asian neighbours could not do the same.

“Both countries can make progress and overcome poverty if we are united. We need to wipe away every tear…I have a dream in my life and that is about a world free of violence, anxiety and corruption,” he said.

In response to a question, he said no religion is responsible for terrorism. “What we need to do is teach a child about 10 religions. He would develop understanding about them, leading towards tolerance”.

He added, “A person who thinks he will go to heaven and the rest to hell, in fact creates hell for the rest”.After he concluded his speech, students rushed up to the spiritual leader to take photographs with him.Shankar arrived in Lahore on Monday via the Wagah land border crossing. He visited the historic Badshahi Mosque and held some private meetings with followers of his Art of Living movement.

He will travel to Islamabad tomorrow and open a new Art of Living centre.From the federal capital, he will travel to the southern port city of Karachi, from where he will leave for India on March 14.

 

Ravi Shankar in city: ‘A happy mind is never attracted to terrorism’

Filed under: India,Islam,Jihad,Message,Pakistan,Sri Sri Ravishankar,Terrorism,Yoga — Abhay @ 10:17 PM

 

In a file photograph taken on March 13, 2012, Indian spiritual guru and Art of Living Foundation leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (C) arrives to inaugurate the Foundation Center in Bani Gala, the outskirts of Islamabad. — AFP

LAHORE: Indian spiritual leader and Art of Living founder Sri Ravi Shankar on Monday delivered a lecture and held talks with students and academicians at the Sinclair Hall of the Forman Christian College (FCC) University.

Talking about his foundation, the peace and goodwill ambassador elaborated how his organization worked to preach happiness through stress elimination to the people, adding that only disgruntled people became tools of terrorists while a happy mind was never attracted to terrorism.

He stressed the need of bringing people of Pakistan and India closer, saying that it was easy to bridge differences since people spoke the same language in the neighbouring countries.

“If France and Germany, once arch-rivals, can put aside their differences in the larger interest of people of both the countries, why can’t India and Pakistan work together for the cause of the people,” he said.

Shankar has been invited by Art of Living (Pakistan Chapter) on a three-day peace mission during which he will hold talks with business leaders, academicians, spiritual leaders, student organizations and opinion leaders as part of his efforts to strengthen collaborative efforts between the two countries.

Earlier, on his three-day peace mission to Pakistan Shankar entered Lahore via Wagha border. He later visited Badshahi Mosque and a Gurdwara. He will also visit Islamabad and Karachi. – APP

 

From Dawn

July 12, 2011

The World Culture Festival

Filed under: Art of Living,Europe,Festivals,India,Music,Spirituality,Yoga — Abhay @ 12:41 PM
Tags:

 

 

 

    smile …its free

 



































 

August 15, 2010

Happy Independence !!

Filed under: Art of Living,Bharat Gyan,India,Yoga — Abhay @ 1:01 PM
Tags:

Happy Independence to all Indians and all good wishers of India!! :)

Enjoy the freedom and breathe easy. And recall all those who breathed their last for this moment.

Don’t celebrate only this day today, but every moment of freedom in this country.

May this be the moment of freedom for the entire mankind too, from misery, poverty, ignorance and illness, as India is the stronghold of spirituality and epitome of harmony in diversity.

May all those be free, who want to be.
Bharat Mata ki Jay !!
Vande Mataram!
Vande Mataram!
Sujalam suphalam,
malayaja shitalam,
Shasyashyamalam, Mataram!
Shubhrajyotsna pulakitayaminim,
Phullakusumita drumadala shobhinim,
Suhasinim, sumadhura bhashinim,
Sukhadam, varadam, Mataram!
Saptakotikantha kalakala ninada karale
Dvisaptakoti bhujair dhrita-khara karavale
Abala kena ma eta bale
Bahubala dharinim, namami tarinim,
Ripudalavarinim Mataram!
Tumi vidya, tumi dharma,
Tumi hridi, tumi marma,
Tvam hi pranah sharire!
Bahute tumi ma shakti,
Hridaye tumi ma bhakti,
Tomarayipratima gari mandire mandire!
Tvam hi Durga dashapraharana dharini,
Kamala, Kamaladalaviharini,
Vani,
vidyadayini namami tvam,

Namami Kamalam, amalam, atulam,
Sujalam, suphalam, Mataram,
Vande Mataram!
Shyamalam, saralam, susmitam, bhushitam,
Dharanim, bharanim, Mataram!
Vande Mataram!
***************************
Mother, I bow to thee!
Rich with thy hurrying streams,
bright with orchard gleams,
Cool with thy winds of delight,
Dark fields waving Mother of might,
Mother free.
Glory of moonlight dreams,
Over thy branches and lordly streams,
Clad in thy blossoming trees,
Mother, giver of ease
Laughing low and sweet!
Mother I kiss thy feet,
Speaker sweet and low!
Mother, to thee I bow.
Who hath said thou art weak in thy lands
When the sword flesh out in the seventy million hands
And seventy million voices roar
Thy dreadful name from shore to shore?
With many strengths who art mighty and stored,
To thee I call Mother and Lord!
Though who savest, arise and save!
To her I cry who ever her foeman drove
Back from plain and Sea
And shook herself free.
Thou art wisdom, thou art law,
Thou art heart, our soul, our breath
Though art love divine, the awe
In our hearts that conquers death.
Thine the strength that nerves the arm,
Thine the beauty, thine the charm.
Every image made divine
In our temples is but thine.
Thou art Durga, Lady and Queen,
With her hands that strike and her
swords of sheen,
Thou art Lakshmi lotus-throned,
And the Muse a hundred-toned,
Pure and perfect without peer,
Mother lend thine ear,
Rich with thy hurrying streams,
Bright with thy orchard gleems,
Dark of hue O candid-fair
In thy soul, with jewelled hair
And thy glorious smile divine,
Lovilest of all earthly lands,
Showering wealth from well-stored hands!
Mother, mother mine!
Mother sweet, I bow to thee,
Mother great and free
Translation by Shree Aurobindo

June 19, 2010

The art of healing

The art of healing

SUHEL SETH, Jun 8, 2010, 03.43pm IST

I was in Chandigarh watching television on May 30 when the news of an assassination attempt on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar flashed across all screens and then began, in typical Indian fashion, the analysis of this near-fatal event without an iota of accuracy or on the basis of an informed decision. I have to confess, while I am neither a member of the Art of Living Foundation nor have I ever done a course, I have, for many years admired the manner in which Sri Sri has galvanized millions of people across the world to believe in a simple set of values: all of which revolve around human character and happiness. I wanted to call him and check how he was but in the interim, I was disappointed at the positions that everyone began taking. It was no rocket science to understand the silence of the state Government of Karnataka: no one in their right minds would have wanted to say anything on the subject when they were preparing to host their first Global Investor’s meet barely four days later. But it was P Chidambaram who surprised me the most and this was a very different Chidambaram. Not the one I had seen address the press admirably early in the morning of February 14, 2010 when the German Bakery in Pune had been the target of a vicious bomb attack the night before. At that time, Chidambaram was measured and was clear that he would offer a view only after thorough investigations were done.

But this time round, when the attack on Sri Sri took place, Chidambaram alluded to some dangerous theories; one that Sri Sri was not the real target and second that this could have been an inner-ashram feud. Yes, comments made without even a whiff of an investigation: made perhaps in passing but ones that, in hindsight have proven to be more damning than Chidambaram can imagine. This then triggered off a wave of theories: something that only we in India are brilliant at: commenting on things that are in circulation but have no roots.

I finally called up Sri Sri to enquire about his well-being and he was more amused than angered. He was more concerned about his assailant and anguished at the allegations that were circulating. But not once did I hint even a dash of anger or for that matter frustration. He talked about the calmness at the ashram and the happiness quotient therein. He talked about forgiveness and moving on and then said, he couldn’t understand why things were being said when there was no truth in them. This article will hopefully help him understand an India that is not so calm and not so happy. This is an attempt to awaken Sri Sri from the oasis of peace he resides in and fosters. And something that reflects on the general malaise that has come about in our society.

Television has made many of us instant commentators: silence is no longer a virtue nor is smiling away your troubles: you are either seen as guilty or as one who has something to hide. So Sri Sri should have never been silent or for that matter happy that his followers, one of whom was shot, were alive and more importantly happy. He should have given a dozen television interviews and made it to the front pages and prime time headlines: that would have kept him in currency not for peace but for violence: exactly what the terrorists and now the Maoists feed off.

But before we march into the next crisis, let’s pause and think what all of this has really done: it has created an impression of an inner feud which doesn’t exist; it has made Sri Sri come across as publicity-hungry which he clearly isn’t: he was as well-known before May 30; but the damage it has done is considerable: we have almost, without unsettling Sri Sri, created a level of cynicism and anguish amongst his followers in this country’s rule of law; in our ability to forget and forgive and most importantly to move on. With all the utterances around, we have confused and confounded some very happy people living in that ashram and who are helping the poor and the distraught. So while we may serve the cause of TRPs and individual one upmanship, have we really addressed the larger malaise of unhappiness and anger? Of desolateness and isolation? Of social stigmatization and separatism?

I genuinelybelieve we have many lessons to learn. Our media today is playing into the hands of vulgar sensationalism and our politicians are falling into this trap. We as a nation think it to be hip and cool if we knock the good that our fellow country-men are engaged in. We love to pull the ones that are doing good down with a ferocity that is seeped in negativism. Rather than praise the good work, we invest emotions mired in cynicism and disbelief. Are we increasingly becoming a nation that is suspicious and bitter? Or will we allow ourselves to be happy and optimistic. Many a time, each one of us that has the option to speak in public or write in newspapers want the easy way out. Criticism and not critique are the birthmarks of this India. But then this is a downward spiral. It will make us even more miserable than we need to be. It will make us despondent when we don’t need to be and more than anything else, our very attitude will deter people from pursuing the path of good and nobleness. Sri Sri runs the Art of Living program. But given what one sees around, there is a crying need for us to invest in an Art of Healing program. We need to placate and please; we need to progress and prosper and not be bitter and banal about every thing good around us. Perhaps May 30 was a lesson which we need to learn from; a signal to every Indian to be proud and not picky about everything good about our own people; our own values and our own culture. It is easy to cast stones at everything but very difficult to pick up the pieces of shattered souls. The time to stop this is now. The time to move on is now.Sri Sri has the ability to move on and he will; the happiness quotient will not see any dip or turbulence except that we will make every human being question his own integrity and his own belief system, the next time he wants to say what he really feels. Sri Sri was happy when I spoke to him. No words of rancour or remorse. But then, he is evolved. What if he wasn’t? Do we want soap operas in this country every time a tragedy occurs or do we actually have it in ourselves to let our silence heal us: from within and comprehensively?

June 17, 2010

If you are a Swami and a victim, remain silent!

If you are a Swami and a victim, remain silent!

- by Swami Sadyojathah, Jun 10, 2010, 01.50pm
I think 30 years of selfless service has not attracted the eye of our media as much as a bullet. Ironically, the victim had to justify why the bullet was found close to him!

A Swami is expected to remain silent irrespective of the seriousness of offence against him whereas strong voices of support are heard for terrorists and anti-social elements. Corrupt officials are not condemned and the society’s silence implies it is fine with them.

‘Swami’, a title much revered in India in the past only raises eyebrows in suspicion now. Swamis and Sadhus were respected for dedicating and sacrificing their lives for society and now they are being condemned. This shows the unfortunate deterioration of the Indian culture. Is it not a systematic psychological warfare against Swamis?

We also see a section of the media in our country jumping to hasty conclusions especially in matters concerning swamis and spirituality.

‘You have the right to remain silent…’ is usually a warning given to a suspected criminal under arrest. However, paradoxically if you are a Swami or a Guru, you are advised to remain silent even if you are a victim. In spite of being a victim, you are perceived to have done something wrong. The overwhelming undercurrent of prejudice against Hindu swamis and Gurus cannot be underlined enough.

How strange that a culprit can walk away, but the victim is doubted, questioned, harassed and expected to prove his innocence! The Indian Constitution holds that you are innocent until proven guilty, but a swami is necessarily guilty until proven innocent.

This has been the way of the world, which has always demanded from the living legends to prove their innocence. Be it Kabir or Jesus or even Mahatma Gandhi who was called a fraud a number of times. The degradation of society is measured by its attitude towards its spiritual leaders. Is it not Kaliyuga where the onus is on the victim to prove that he is not guilty?

Usually a victim is encouraged to speak up. But if you are a swami, you are counseled to forever hold your peace, even if you are surrounded by white lies.

The other thing isthat it does not pay off in the worldly sense to keep calm and live in knowledge because the gap between the real world and a meditator’s world is far too much. A layman may not understand the world of yogis, where they remain poised, calm and there is not an iota of worry or concern in their expression, even in extenuating circumstances. This is baffling to the common man or in this case of gun shot the investigating cops.

Recently, I was at a function in Vigyan Bhavan in Delhi, where I observed the sheer reluctance of people in interacting with a Swami in saffron robes sitting in the front row of the audience. This was immediately after the scandals of some so-called swamis had hit the headlines in the media. Nobody wanted to look at him, let alone talk to him, as if he were an untouchable. It was appalling to see the prejudice against Hindu swamis. In a way it was beneficial to the swami because he need not care what the world thinks of him, but for an onlooker it looked odd how people were overtly prejudiced.

In Bollywood, in the last 15 to 20 years, since Dawood Ibrahim ostensibly started funding the film industry, a man with a tilak or in saffron robes has been systematically depicted as a villain or part of villain’s team. This portrayal has only added a mass prejudice and overwhelming bias against the swamis of India.

The two main allegations against swamis are sex and money. A true swami will never fall prey to fleeting attractions of sensual pleasures. Without adequate investigation, this kind of blanket generalization is unfortunate and highly deplorable. Every spiritual organization is supposed to do charity and one cannot do charity with an empty bowl. There is no point in taking charity and doing charity. Earning money is not a crime but doing so in a wrong way definitely is.

The idea that all spiritual education should be free, or the notion that spiritual training was free in ancient India is a fallacy. Spirituality is also an education and all education needs to be paid for. Those who know their history know that people in Vedic times had to “invest” far more to get a spiritual education than we do today!
The concept of ”Dakshina” is from the ancient Vedic times.

The vow of poverty is a concept alien to our land. Here, the primordial Guru, Lord Narayana is wedded to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Material progress goes hand in hand with spiritual growth. There are some pseudo intellectuals and historians who argue that only Ramana Maharishi and Mahatma Gandhi were genuine. They praise only the dead and abuse the living. One historian while condemning the appearance of spiritual masters in media went to the extent of saying that Sri Aurobindo never appeared on television, forgetting that there was no television at that time in the first place! Going by the fact that Sri Aurobindo had used the print media so well, I am sure he would have done the same with television had it existed then.

Another much-misplaced conception is that a true spiritual person should remain poor and that Gandhi never associated with the rich. They conveniently forget that Mahatma Gandhi has lived and died in Birla House, one of the most affluent people of that time.

Of course, every field will have people who are not genuine. However, that doesn’t warrant every one being painted with the same brush. It is as foolish as saying that because you unearthed a quack one day, we
should shun all doctors.

It was Pandit Nehru who said in the assembly debates, “If I was asked what is the greatest treasure which India possesses and what is her finest heritage, I would answer unhesitatingly—it is the Sanskrit language and literature, and all that it contains. This is a magnificent inheritance, and so long as this endures and influences
the life of our people, so long the basic genius of India will continue”.

It was Babasaheb Ambedkar who had proposed Sanskrit as the first language of India and who had great reverence for sadhus of this country, Kabir being his most favorite. It was Mahatma Gandhi who would read the Bhagawat Gita every day and meditate and do satsang with people from all religions.

The father of our nation is a saint. The architect of the Indian constitution, our first Prime Minister and countless others have sung praises of the spiritual knowledge of our saints. Then, I do believe, a sensitive and responsible Indian should take a proactive role in reinstating these values and arrest the prejudice drive against the swamis and saints of this holy land.

(The author is director, international affairs, The Art Of Living)

April 10, 2010

Ayurveda cooking new buzz in moms kitchen

Ayurveda cooking new buzz in moms kitchen

The Forgotten Ajwain Is Getting A New Lease Of Life As Antacid

Nandita Sengupta | TNN

New Delhi: Its back to the spice route in more ways than one. Taking grandmas gharelu nuskhe (home remedies) to a grander level, ayurvedic cooking – all about the right mix of spices and foods is the new buzz in the kitchen.
Cooking the ayurveda way is sheer chemistry: Food properties, what type goes with which spice, how to snap the time, temperature and mix right and mapping all this to a persons constituency . Its about rediscovering basic principles, says 27-year-old Kaushani Desai, a Mumbai SNDT Food & Nutrition graduate, now ayurveda cooking instructor with Art of Living.
Wrong combinations counter foods good properties while right combinations nullify the bad ones, says Desai. For instance, adding methi to pumpkin can kill its tendency to trigger acidity. Fruit-milk combines are a complete nono , replace cheese with grated mix of potato, nutpowder and salt; replace meat with a combination of root foods like potato, jimikand and sweet potato: for the same satisfaction are some quick tips.
Eating opposite to your nature is key, says Desai. So, a hot, light and dry diet is for those on the heavy and oily side. Desai also sees the time a person has for cooking and whats available (you cant have a grocery in your kitchen) to prescribe the balance.
With wrong cooking techniques, the healthiest diet wont yield any result. Recent convert 45-year-old Sangeeta Anand, for instance, always believed she ate right. A persistent back problem troubled despite a diet of of fruits and nuts. I had to sort out what was going wrong with me, she says. Healthier for having switched to holistic eating , she says, I never realised that my simple milk-tea and rusk in the morning were bad. Milk-tea takes a day to digest while the soda bicarb in rusk triggers acidity, says Anand.
She was comfortable with cheesy stuff, instant noodles and the like, says Shatakshi Chaudhry, 32, but everyday pains nagged. She never believed the way she cooked or when she ate would be as important as what she ate. Its about using spices intelligently, she says. Having once gone into the kitchen with newfound zeal, she says she needed no special diet. Her aches and pains disappeared. I’m not overeating or craving the wrong food, she says.
Realising the need for people to snack, Smita Naram started Swadshakti in Mumbai’s Malad an ayurveda restaurant , one of a handful. But with growing interest in holistic eating, more restaurants are on the cards.
Modern-day nutrition paradigm is fundamentally flawed, says Desai. It categorises people on the basis of their disease. So all diabetics are clubbed together , as are heart patients. But thats not how it is in real life. Ayurveda works on the principle that every individual is unique in how he/ she responds to food. Thats realistic, she says.
Finally, the acid test for any cook is to have boys sampling the wares. My sons loved it, says Tripta Dhawan, of tawa-fried cutlets coated in magaz , a powdered mix of melon, pumpkin, cucumber and sunflower seeds. Her kitchen now is an ayurvedic lab of sorts.

Busting Ayurveda Myths

Its banal |

No, its not karela juice and lauki. Its all foods and spices normally used. Funda is to cook right food at right time with right spices

Takes hours, kitchen has to be rejigged |

Same spices, same foods, only cooking techniques change

Individual body types/doshas of kapha (earth & water), pitta (fire) and vatta (air) cant be catered to |

Ayurveda a holistic approach, a balancing act. A meal caters to all

Spice Route

Cardamom, cumin, ginger, cinnamon are good for all

Vatta |

Go for cloves, mustard seed, small quantities of black pepper

Pitta |

Go for fennel, ground ginger, spirulina, coriander, dill, parsley, mint, cardamom, anise, basil

Kapha |

Go for dill, clove, basil, sage, curry, parsley, oregano, pippali, black pepper, ajwain, fenugreek, cayenne





Next Page »

The Rubric Theme. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.