An endeavour to bind communities together

The DSN project at Banda took up the responsibility of creating a prosperous, peaceful Banda town with the help of all communities. The project undertaken was that Imams and Mahants will plant trees together. Working for similar goals unites people.

The turnout was more than we expected. Representations of both communities, the Mahants, Pandit Ji , Imams and Kazi joined us for a unique tree plantation drive. 50 trees of varieties ranging from neem, pipal were planted, a symbol of peace for future generations too.

And then last week the Durga Immersion and Moharram had fallen on the same day and the cooperation here at Banda in UP will wet even a non believers eyes. When the Durga procession passed through the Moharram Celebration, the loud speakers were reduced and similar genuine gesture was done by the Muslim community, recognising each other’s unique way of prayer and both processions proceeded. Of course there were the alcoholic elements who wanted some violence to take advantage but thanks to the ever vigilant and active DM, Suresh Kumar who had identified them before. Both processions had a great peaceful finish.

Gurujis precious knowledge and the seva projects can bind anyone together in the world. Both communities acting together for a similar noble cause. As Gurudev says “Religion can keep the wall, keep people divided but spirituality always Unites. ” Banda is a living example of this now .

India is a great example of harmonious living and caring.




From the eyes of the Master

See the world from the eyes of the Master all the time. In every situation that you face, you will think, “If this situation comes in front of the Master, how would he handle it?” or “How would she handle it?” “If this complication comes in front of the Master, how would he take it?” “If someone blames the Master like this, how would he handle it?”

The world looks much more beautiful; not a nasty place. But a place filled with love, filled with joy, cooperation, compassion, and all virtues. The world is much more fun.

You will look at the world without any fear. You will be in all relationships with everybody without any fear. Because there is shelter.


The subtle energy – Shiva!

The first Monday of Shravan Month, the crops are harvested and the rains are good and India used to immerse herself in the devotion of the unknown with the Shravan poojas.
Gurudev talks about this subtle energy which manifests everywhere and ways to log onto it .

This entire universe is made up of the five elements , the Pancha Mahabhootas : Prithvi , Agni, Jala, Vayu and Akasha. Shiva represents the manifestation of the Pancha Mahabhootas. Shiva is present in each and every bit of this universe. It is said even a blade of grass doesn’t move to the wind without the permission of Shiva.

The entire world invokes the energy of Shiva in many forms. People do Pooja and Abhishekam. Some people sing and dance in his name. While some people meditate!

Shiva is an experience. An eternal truth. One who is not affected by three Gunas – Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.


Meditation 2.0

The LA Art of Living is a bunch of super active group of people doing great service to humanity. The crowning glory of the LA chapter is Art of Living center with its architectural signature for the stylist city. The semicircular arch shaped dome is a breakaway architecture monument from its local designs and can be sighted from far and wide.

The event they had organised with Guruji in May was named Meditation 2.0. It sure was an upgrade with regards to their organising skills, the orchestra of the bhajans and the enthusiasm of the volunteers. The event was a sold out and there was so much demand that Guruji agreed to do 4 events and all remained houseful.

Guru Ji was at His best in the event, the knowledge, the humor, the life changing answers and the deep meditations. I got to attend all the events and it was a treat for the soul. It was the first event on Friday when this incident happened which I wanted to share with all of you.

The elegant and beautiful Poonam opened the event in her mellifluous voice and lead us into the video of Gurudev. The grand hall was choc a bloc, and the satsang had reached a pitch with a crowd of 900 people immersed in it and curiously waiting for Gurudev to enter. With Uncle John on his guitar, singing Narayan and full participation from the audience, Gurudev just arrived. I have had a chance to be on stage a couple of times and have always seen with his entry what also barges in are, the sparkling smiles, the tears of joy and the fulfilment of hearts.

Guruji spoke on the 3 components of life. Time had stopped with this deep knowledge.
The latecomers were still arriving, with no place to sit, standing yet glued to the knowledge that was being showered. With so many people standing, Guruji took a brief break and asked everyone to create some space next to them or move forward so all could be accommodated. While all this movement was happening, he brought the best knowledge from the incident.

He said, “This is what life is all about: keep shifting your position. Don’t be stuck somewhere. Make room and space for others. It is all about creating space. Create space for events, people and things to happen as they unfold because every event and every person you come across in your life, is contributing to your life in some unimaginable way.”

The difference was largely visible in the crowd, everyone was seated in no time. The upgrades had happened in actions, intentions and the being. We are version 2.0 now.


Salad time!!


Katalina’s 15 year old made this salad for me and it was delicious. I tried it here at Minneapolis with online help from her and it was really yummy.

For the dressing : Add some drops of lemon juice to 1 tbsp of Olive oil, spray in Dijon mustard salt pepper and also some Parmesan cheese.

Add the dressing to the baby spinach, some nuts ( I used salted almonds but the walnut candies taste more delicious), dried cranberries and some feta cheese. Ready to be eaten now.

When we face the mirror

Navratri is a festival celebrated in Ashram with the ancient Vedic chants in traditional glory. It was the Navratri of 2013 when this incident happened and the meaning to this incident may have deeply transformed lives of those present . Thought of sharing this with all of you today.

Navratri, the auspicious festival of 9 nights in reverence of Goddess Amba , decorates and lights up the ashram with silence courses, salivating food, shining smiles, Sattva and sacredness. The presence of Guruji and the reverberating Sublime, absolute Shakti through Him fills the atmosphere of creation. The homas pay obeisance to the nine forms of Devi. The atmosphere is so silent that one can drop into meditation at the drop of a pin.

On the 8th day which is Ashtami, all forms in creation are worshipped, the herbs, flowers, birds and animals, signifying that the divinity resides in every cell of creation, inside and outside. It is animal worship and sacrifice of animalistic tendencies, NOT vice versa.

For this our Majestic and beautiful Indraani, the female elephant was summoned in the Navratri Pandal.
The majestic Indrani entered with a humble yet ponderous walk. The Elephants mark their territory with tusks to identify that a conspecific is present. The human imaginations has been awestruck with elephants and so was our cameraman. The cameras showed her in all glory on the big LED screen. The moment she entered, she saw herself on the Big screen and gave a loud growling sound. Never we had seen Indraani this way. The editor was quick to understand and switched the shots with something else and all was fine and happy again.

All this had happened in fractions of seconds and most was forgotten, until Guruji got the most brilliant knowledge from it in the satsang on Ashtami. HE said “Indraani saw herself but could not identify itself. Similarly, you also have not recognised the pure infinite Self that you are. Drop all other labels and know that your Being is Infinite consciousness “.

Guruji turned this simple incident into life’s greatest insights.
Thank you Indraani.


A walk, down the memory lane!


This is an old picture which I saw today being circulated in some groups. Penning down the experience of the walk with Guruji in Radha Kunj at Ashram. It was few years back though it seems like yesterday.

Guruji’s steps were steady yet soft and I was trying to catch up. There were scores of people on the way, everyone was greeted in a unique way and thankfully there was no rush, no chaos and He had His space to transit.

Midway abruptly ,He stopped to strangely inspect one sandalwood tree. And the tree had become a sudden attention grabber of hundreds now. This VIT(Very Important tree) stood amongst the hundreds of clusters of sandalwood trees that the ashram hosts. The tree had gained instant stardom as Gurudev stared at it. After a long glance He said the tree had been cut high above in one of its thick branches.

A discussion ensued on how one tree had an axe cut and at that elevation. There were many strange answers but my mind unplugged from the discussion, it was still caught up in what had just happened. A buzzing crowd of devotees, Guruji walking rapidly and greeting, blessing each one In a unique way, listening to an array of deep life problems , and yet He had time for the branch of a tree. But how did He come to know this agony of the tree?

I was Reminded of an incident in the old Meditation Hall when Guruji had lovingly watered a plant in the middle of an electrifying satsang , narrating later that it’s cry for water was fulfilled. And when someone has once asked Him ‘Why do you ignore me?’, rapt answer that Guruji gave ‘I cannot ignore a blade of grass , you are a human being’

Nobody in pain, need and help is ignored , all voices are heard and surely attended to. The diagnostics of grace are a mystery ,help arrives in the form of people, knowledge , miracles, the time of the operation completes when one is baked and equipped from inside, ready to take the challenges of the complex world.

The answers got clearer ….the walk remains memorable, and the star tree still has a sliced branch but stands tall, beautiful and happy.

Shake off the Stress! How?

Happiness is a state we all are born with. In every child we see it and it resonates hard into us by being with children. When we were all born with it, where did it diminish? Or was it meant only for childhood ?

When you take a long drive with your window panes open, some dust particles stick to the body, and you know that a shower can wash away all that, and that gives you the power to indulge in more long drives.

On the mind scale, we start identifying with the dust since we don’t know the techniques to shake off the stress from the system. A meditation, Sudarshan KRIYA does that magic for you. It isolates stress and keeps your identification in You. You gain the power to be with people, spice it up here and there and yet de-stress.

When the stress dissolves, happiness, energy, clarity in mind and a pure heart are nothing but You, yourself. And when you are fully stressed, happiness looks far away in either the dreamy future or the distant past. And then we take the support of crutches, as in people, past events to find that eluding happiness, not knowing how to unwrap the gift.

The Guru makes you independent, gives you freedom from these disabilities and since He is so wise, He turns the charm inside, just where you failed to look, ever.

Agreeing to disagreements

Disagreements Pop up in every environment, office, home, shopkeepers and also with auto rickshaw-wallas. They produce a venom like emotion which binds the mind for a long time and creates a veil of ignorance of dislike for the person.

Disagreements in love are actually beneficial, sometimes. Since it brings out your priorities, whether you stand for the stand that you took or the person you love. When love wins, its victory for both.

Disagreements at office and other places brings out the incisive skill in you to convince colleagues about your ideas and also precipitates clarity in your thoughts. The more skilful you are the easier to handle the degree of disagreements and vice versa.

Finally, do you agree that your ideas few years back don’t match with your ideas today? You actually disagree with yourself now!! As Guruji says, “The ‘someone’ you have a disagreement with -is just a photocopy of your old or the new self.”
More the sincere ideas, merrier the planet, since life evolves with it. Do you agree or at least agree to disagree ?

The essence of Guru Poornima

One matchstick can light a room which has been in darkness for decades. The veil of ignorance in which the mind is imprisoned and now totally enjoying in this pattern of being in the impurity, gets highly awakened with one glance of a Guru. This awakening is called devotion and the master is the light. The mind which was separate now is serene, the world from being different now looks divine, and life uplifts from a state of affliction to amazement.

The knowledge has been very ancient. But there was always a gap between listening to the knowledge and living the knowledge. The Guru bridges this gap. The spontaneous integration of knowledge happens in ones life when a human being becomes a devotee.
Opportunities arise to overlap knowledge into everyday activity. When you clinch these opportunities, knowledge starts becoming part of your nature. Implementing knowledge becomes part of your inseparable self. And when you don’t recognize all these chances, you blame, relent, complain and cry.

The Guru Poornima is a day to introspect how much you received and be be utterly grateful on this full moon day. In spite of the mountains, valleys, craters the presence of the moon cools the atmosphere and provides the much needed rest in the form of sleep. Life may have problems but the Guru equips you with the tools to live it effectively and never allows you to fall. Once He had said, “You may have an illusion of falling but you won’t fall.”

Just like in a garden filled with fragrant flowers the aroma catches on you, the Guru Poornima showers the attributes of the guru on oneself.

Be there, Not to be missed for anything under the moon.


The infinite possibilities

In the realm of the Universe there are infinite possibilities which exist. Leaves grow, perish, become manure for the same source which once hosted them, and new leaves are born. So much happening everywhere , all the time.

There are many possibilities in ones own life too. Sometimes things work, and sometimes it doesn’t. How to protect oneself from all these possibilities ?

The answer lies in knowing that there are possibilities. All these events just touches you on the periphery. When you close yourself to possibilities , you resist them and then the impact is deep within. In the realm of the mind the more No, the more it glues itself to it.

An agreement to the infinite possibilities makes you bigger and allows you space and wisdom to handle them.

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