The Candid Eye

October 23, 2010

Kanakapura to China

Forget the kung fu hustle, it’s now time for China to learn some disciplines in yoga. Yes, the Art Of Living is going to China and founder Sri Sri Ravishankar will open its first ashram in the country this Sunday during his maiden visit.

The Beijing ashram, constructed on a 165–acre land, will have rooms and dormitories that can accommodate up to 150 people. It also houses a three-storey meditation centre.

HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

China will be the fifth country in the world to have an ashram set up by the AOL International Centre (AOLIC). Germany, Canada, Russia, Poland and USA have ashrams, the biggest one being in Canada.

Why an ashram in China? AOLIC spokesperson Karthik Krishna gives the answer: Hundreds of foreigners visit the AOL ashram on Kanakapura Road in Bangalore every year— many of them are Chinese who felt a need for a similar ashram in their country.

There are also plans to open a therapy centre in the Beijing ashram in due course.

Sunday’s inauguration will be followed by a satsang which will be co-organised by the state-run Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.

AoL teachers from Bangalore provided yoga training to over two dozen Chinese teachers from Shanghai and Beijing for the Beijing ashram.

Source : DNA

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October 15, 2010

His Holiness Sri Sri Ravishankar invited by China!!

Godless China has invited Art of Living (AOL) founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, for a religious leaders’ meeting and a satsang near Beijing later this month. This would be the spiritual leader’s first China visit.

Sources said state-run China Overseas Friendship Association (COFA) is organising the event on October 24 and 25 and around 400 people from across the country are expected to attend the satsang. They said Beijing gave its go ahead for the event to promote bilateral ties with India and that the invitation is the first of its kind to any Indian religious figure.

HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

“We expect senior businessmen, show business celebrities, medical, educational experts and even psychiatrists to attend the event,” said Tang Qiyu, who would host the event at his ashram-like resort for yoga and meditation on the outskirts of the capital. Sources said Tang’s efforts made the invitation for the spiritual leader possible.

Tang, a businessman, has invested over $15 million in the resort that offers yoga training facilities. The businessman developed the resort and dedicated it to Sri Sri after meeting him in Bangalore last year.

“There is some change in the Chinese government’s attitude towards spirituality. Swami Amolji, a teacher from AOL’s Bangalore ashram, recently attended a government-sponsored yoga conference in Beijing,” Tang said.

During his Beijing visit, Amolji said he found a strong inclination among the Chinese towards spiritualism. Apart from Amolji, several AOL teachers from Bangalore have visited and trained over two dozen Chinese spiritual teachers in Shanghai and Beijing in the last two years.

From TOI

May 2, 2010

The space within

Filed under: Art of Living,Sri Sri Ravishankar — thecandideye @ 6:00 AM
Tags: , , ,

A beautiful article on human mind and its nature by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravishankar.

You cannot measure the amount of energy inside an atom. Similarly, you cannot measure the full potential of a human being. The nature of a human being is quite similar to that of an atom. The core of an atom is positive. The negatively charged particles are only on the periphery of the atom. Similarly, the negativity of a person is not their true nature; it is just on the periphery. One is said to be “centered” when he or she is calm, steady and pleasant.

How do we know whether the knowledge that we have is correct or not? Even 10,000 years ago, people knew that Jupiter had 63 moons. They used the subjective way of knowing things — by intuition and quieting the mind. When the mind becomes calm (it is like being in a state of deep rest though one is totally alert), then an intention is taken. With that intention comes intuition, knowledge as well as inspiration. Using this method, ancient sages derived knowledge about the universe and developed mathematical techniques that are valid today. Age-old calendars can still tell exactly what time an eclipse will happen. Ancient societies in the East knew that the sun is at the center of the solar system and planets move around it. They used the method of intuitive awareness in which one feels that every cell in his body is fully alive now, and the mind is quiet. You call that Samadhi.

HH Sri Sri Ravishankar

If we take out some time — say two or three days in a year — to keep silence and simply observe our own thoughts and emotions, then we get a sense of what quietness means. Freedom from the jugglery of thoughts is the basis of intuition. And, intuition is part of innovation.

In our normal lives, we are bombarded with so many thoughts and stimuli that attention and retention is simply not there. Today’s children have problems like attention deficiency disorder and so on. They seem to have lost the ability to focus on simple tasks. When you become quiet in your mind, it is not as if you lose your intellect. In fact, the intellect becomes very sharp and the attention span increases. The first outcome of mediation or any self-development technique should be to increase our perceptual ability, which in turn, should help us in expressing ourselves better.

One aspect is getting rid of stress, the other is seeing that stress doesn’t enter our system. For the latter, we need a change in our attitude towards things happening around us. We can bear the heat — with a sense of humor, a sense of ease, and with confidence. One needs to create barricades so that tension does not enter the mind. But it’s impossible not to have tension; it might slip in through some other way. Just learn to take it easy. The ease with which you are able to handle your environment, or the situation around you, is what I would call being able to utilize your full potential. When you are in touch with your full potential, nothing or nobody can shake you. You will have the smile and the confidence.

Attaining a spiritual mindset is simply recognizing that there is life everywhere, that there is spirit everywhere. I do not see a division between what’s spiritual, and what’s material. The finest aspect of matter is spirit. The gross aspect of spirit is matter. It is like body and mind. You see through the eyes, but actually the eyes are the means through which the mind sees. The mind is the spirit. The whole world is combination of spirit and matter. Therefore spiritual practices too are not something that are any different from you being spirited and being happy and compassionate and being in love.

Atom Quantum

The way of prayer is to be in amazement — looking at the cosmos and saying wow, how many planets! How many stars! How big is this Universe! Your consciousness expands, and this is meditation. The creation and the creator are not separate. The creator and the creation are one and the same. The creation is formed out of the creator, just like dance comes out of the dancer. I usually say we must have the 3C’s in our lives — cosmology, commitment and compassion. These three things make life beautiful.

Billions of years have passed since existence began on earth. Compared to it, the span of human life — 80 years or 100 years — is nothing! In this vast space, where are we?

Seeing yourself in the context of the big creation shifts you to a different level of consciousness. As per one of the scriptures in the ancient Vedic tradition of India, there are almost 112 ways of realizing consciousness. One of them is to observe the sky on a clear day, and let go, and relax. Wherever the mind goes, it makes an assumption and becomes quieter, as it assumes that space. And in that quiet state of mind, an intention fructifies very fast.

A calm and clear state of mind also has capacity to heal and to elevate itself. It is full of joy, ease and love. You can look at your entire past as a dream. Just remember all the activities you did in the morning after waking up. Isn’t it all like a dream? All of those activities are now an impression in your memory — and a dream is also just an impression. See your whole past as a dream. In future, in the next 10-20 years, you will be doing many things, they will all pass like a dream. Knowing this and being aware of it, the space within us starts to open up and we start experiencing heightened awareness. You start seeing another dimension of life. Just wake up!

March 19, 2010

1000+ lives impacted through the ‘Model Village Development Project’

Shivaji Nagar is among a group of 40 villages located at about 20 km from Pune on the Pune-Bengaluru highway. Through their geographic proximity, the inhabitants of these villages have cultural and societal commonalities, as well as share some facilities for health and education. A majority of the inhabitants of these villages depend on agriculture as their sole source of income.

To enable the progress of the community there is a need to facilitate sustainable development on an infrastructural level, economically empower the youth and women of the villages and improve the quality of life of the inhabitants of the villages.

Art of Living Ashram - Bangalore

Sterlite is partnering with The Art of Living Foundation, in a project that spans 5 years to develop a Model Village that involves a 5H implementation – developing homes, building of facilities to promote hygiene, undertaking health awareness initiatives, instilling human values and facilitating harmony within the Model Village. Says Pravin Agrawal, Director – Sterlite Technologies, “Our objective is to give back to society in such a way that needs of the weaker sections are responded to and improvements made in the quality of their lives. All the projects we partner with, address the fundamental domains of environment, health and education.”

Since the initiation of the project in October 2009 Sterlite, The Art of Living Foundation and the youth of the villages worked cohesively and several schemes have already been successfully initiated:

Breath Water Sound Workshops

Village cleanliness campaign

Tree plantation drive

Empowerment of women through vocational training

Training program in Youth Leadership

Keeping in focus the aspects of safety and environment protection, a unique initiative was also undertaken at Shivaji Nagar, an electricity deprived village. The Art of Living Foundation worked in collaboration with Project Dharma to source and to facilitate the most suitable solar lighting solution for Shivaji Nagar. These solar lamps provided an eco-friendly, safe and convenient alternative to kerosene lamps.

According to Ankit Agarwal, co-founder, Project Dharma ‘We are proud to be associated with this great initiative of Art of Living and Sterlite Technologies, and are committed to providing livelihood creation and innovative solutions to villages across India’ Future schemes at Shivaji Nagar also include the development of public sanitation facilities and enhancement of education under the 5H implementation. The intrinsic involvement of the youth of the villages in the execution of the project has been a noteworthy aspect of the implementation methodology. This has helped create a sense of self-pride within the community, instilled human values and facilitated communal harmony within the villages.

To date, more than 1000 inhabitants of these villages have been benefited by the Model Village Development Project.

Source: Webnewswire

March 10, 2010

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar flays Husain for nude painting

Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Monday expressed surprise over the “hue and cry” over painter MF Husain’s move to give up Indian citizenship and chided him for painting Indian gods in the nude.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

“While India has a policy of free expression, one cannot accept blatant insult to the heroes of its land. It is the intention behind a man’s creativity which is questionable,” Ravi Shankar said in a statement.

“In one of Husain’s paintings of Mahatma Gandhi, Karl Marx, Albert Einstein and Hitler, he painted only Hitler nude and said that his way of humiliating a person is to paint him nude.

“No one has ever sculpted Rama and Sita as nude. Creative expression is always welcome. No country has been as liberal as India… Any nude woman could have been painted by him but calling the women Sita, Lakshmi (and) Saraswati shows his perversion and hatred.

“Will MF Husain show the same creativity and the same spirit with Islamic heroes and would he, then, be able retain his Qatari citizenship?

Double standards, bias and hatred do not go well with men of excellence.”

Source: HT

March 8, 2010

Support for Husain giving up Indian citizenship unfortunate

Calling the support for M F Husain on the issue of his giving up Indian citizenship as “unfortunate”, spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar said one cannot accept blatant insult to the heroes of its land.

MF Hussain

“It’s unfortunate that there is much hue and cry about M F Husain giving up Indian citizenship. While India has a policy of free expression, one cannot accept blatant insult to heroes of its land,” he said in a statement here.

Ravishankar said it was the intention behind one’s creativity which is questionable.

“Will M F Husian show the same creativity and the same spirit with Islamic heroes and would he, then, be able to retain his Qatari citizenship?” he asked.

He also said one fails to understand why there should be different criteria for Slaman Rushdie and Taslima Nasreen on the one hand and Husain on the other.

Source: TOI

February 6, 2010

Introducing Bt Brinjal in India a sin: Sri Sri Ravishankar

Source: Zee News

Taking a tough stand at Government’s bid to introduce genetically modified Bt Brinjal in India, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar on Thursday said it would be a sin to bring in the crop here.

“It will be sin to introduce Bt Brinjal until it is proved that it is not harmful to health,” he told Zee News on being asked his opinion on the issue which had Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh touring India to build a consensus.

Bt Brinjal

“That the minister is touring India is good…he should decide that the crop will not be introduced,” he said.The founder of the Art of Living was announcing a campaign to clean up River Yamuna.

The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), India’s biotech regulator, had last year approved the commercial release of Bt Brinjal.But Ramesh decided to conduct public hearings after a member of the committee alleged all necessary tests were not carried out before taking the decision. The public consultations are being held in Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Nagpur, Ahmedabad and Chandigarh.

Demanding that the government reverse its decision, farmers, scientists and NGOs have staged angry demonstrations and disrupted public hearings organised by the environment ministry on the issue in the past few days.“Studies in countries like Germany, France, US etc have concluded that Bt is dangerous for consumption. It is banned in many countries. Why are we in such a hurry to introduce it India,” Sri Sri wondered.

“Many of our own scientists including Swaminathan have opposed Bt crop. I am trying to educate farmers about the issue. I addressed thousands of farmers in Jalgaon in Maharashtra about it,” he added.When pointed out that population would increase to grow and such innovation could be a solution to food crisis, he said population could not be taken care of by giving it harmful food substance.

Sri Sri also said the system of not conserving our own seeds and crops by bringing in artificial food varieties was “very sad.”He emphasised that media, NGOs and citizens should stand up against this step of the government.

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