33000 artists to perform in the World Culture Festival! Amazing!
Why you should also be there – https://aravindvenkatachalam.net/2016/02/03/why-you-should-be-in-new-delhi-this-march/
There I go – taking a hiatus again and this time it was only 6 months! I haven’t been into blogging for some time – maybe a writer’s block or something. But there is something that is to happen in New Delhi, INDIA this coming March which brings be to blog again. That is the World Culture Festival that is hosted by the Art of Living Foundation in New Delhi on March 11, 12 and 13th. I am going to be in New Delhi and I thought – wouldn’t it a good idea to let the know the world know why? And while doing that why not invite the whole world to it too?
| 3.5 Million people |
| Guinness Record for Largest stage ever |
| People from more than 15o countries |
| Former & Current Presidents of Countries |
| Business leaders from all over the World |
| Musicians and Dancers from across the Globe |
| Grandest Cultural Extravaganza in the WORLD |
| HISTORY to be MADE |
You getting the Picture?
Check out this Introduction to the World Culture Festival in New Delhi, INDIA this March 11- 13th.
The World Culture Festival is the largest interfaith gathering for peace! – Sri Sri
There have been many events which have changed the face of the earth through history. If you take a look at the last few decades, it has mostly been disasters, incidents of violence like gun shooting, political crisis, etc. There has not been any event on an international scale to celebrate peace, for love, for happiness. The World Culture Festival is JUST THAT.
This is a celebration of goodness. Good people from more than 15o countries are coming together to celebrate goodness, celebrate love, celebrate peace and celebrate humanity. In this time, where there are so much horror and violence are happening on our planet.
Good people, who are the majority in the world, do not make noise. This is a chance for good people to make noise. What better than all of us,good people, coming together to celebrate PEACE, LOVE, FREEDOM, HAPPINESS and LIFE. New Delhi in March 11-13th, 2016 is where meditation and celebration comes together to make a deafening noise for peace! An event to celebrate the diversity in cultures and unity in humanity.
What is the purpose of the World Culture Festival? In the words of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar himself-
1. To give a message to the world that the whole world is ONE Family.
2. That We can all co-exist with our differences together.
3. Opportunities for religious leaders, business leaders and many more to come together.
4. To let the world know that we care for the environment. We care for the rivers, mountains, plants, trees.
5. To encourage to traditional musicians and dancers. To give them a world platform to relish and enjoy that. This will be brought to the fore front.
6. That good people are there and are dynamic and active and care for LIFE.
Just Imagine 3.5 million chanting OM and meditating together. Regardless of whether you have learnt meditation or not, just being that space of so many meditating and chanting would be out of this world!
It is going to shift the consciousness of the whole world! Towards Peace and Love.
So what are you waiting for? The moment I heard that there is going a gathering of 3.5 million coming together to celebrate peace, I just knew that I cant miss this one! I booked my tickets straight away! More over, you might have an idea to visit INDIA some time in your life right?. What better time to visit INDIA than this March!
More information about the World Culture Festival here – http://www.artofliving.org/us-en/world-culture-festival
All information for booking your travel to New Delhi this March can be done through this website – IwillBeThere.us
Now there might be some of us who really really wants to be there but genuinely can not make it for various reasons. Well, if you are one of these good people – you can still be a PART of this historical event by making a donation. Here is my crowdrise link where you can donate.
DONATE to be part of WCF – http://tiny.cc/wcffund
Whats more – March 7th is Maha Shivaratri! The day when universal divine energy comes closer to the earth. What better place to be than in the spiritual land of INDIA.
Please take this as a personal invitation from me to come to New Delhi this March! It is going to be historic, fun and an experience like you never had before! I want to end with saying this – Chalo Delhi! (meaning – Lets Go to Delhi!) See you there!
P.S. : – Share this with your family and friends and invite them too!
UPDATE : Just got the news that the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi will inaugurate the WCF and President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, will be at the closing ceremony!
May 13th was my beloved Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s birthday! Found this article on the 10 interesting things that you have to know about him. Reposting it here. Enjoy!
1.Ravi Shankar was named “Ravi” because his birth falls on a Sunday, and “Shankar” after the eighth-century Hindu saint, Adi Shankara, because it was also Shankara’s birthday that day
2.By the age of 4, he was able to recite verses from the Bhagavad Gita without even being taught the text. Ravi Shankar’s first teacher was Sudhakar Chaturvedi, an Indian Vedic Scholar and a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi
3.Ravi Shankar at the age of 25, went into ‘silence’ for 10 days and conceived a simple relaxation technique called Sudharshan Kriya, which is now being taught in 152 countries across the globe. As per studies conducted at Harvard, it was revealed that 70-80 percent of patients suffering from AIDS benefitted from SKY (Sudharshan Kriya)
4.He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore University. After completing his graduation, Shankar travelled with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi giving talks and arranging conferences on Vedic science, and setting up meditation and Ayurveda centres
5.In the year 1983, Shankar held the first Art of Living course in Europe, in Switzerland. In 1986, he travelled to Apple Valley, California in the US to conduct the first course to be held in North America
6.Ravi Shankar started keeping a beard only to look more mature. He explained, ‘Wherever I would go, people would feel disappointed after looking at a young boy sitting on a stage.’
7.Ravi Shankar calls himself the ambassador of LSD – (Laugh, Sing and Dance). Being one of the most magnetic personalities of the world, with an ever growing following that runs into millions, his message is simple: Make your smile cheap and your anger very expensive
8.His Art of Living foundation is now spread over 152 countries and is considered the world’s largest volunteer-based NGO.
9.He was always scolded by his mother, Amma, for bringing an empty suitcase after a travel because he would give away all his clothes to others
10.In the year 2009, Shankar was named by Forbes Magazine as the fifth most powerful leader in India.
Source : http://indiatoday.intoday.in/education/story/sri-sri-ravi-shankars-59th-birthday-10-interesting-facts/1/437746.html
The essence of a Guru in one’s life and the significance of Guru Poornima!
Na guror adhikam Na guror adhikam Na guror adhikam Na guror adhikam
Shiva shasanatah Shiva shasanatah Shiva shasanatah Shiva shasanatah
Shiva has declared that there is nobody beyond the guru. The concept of the master is time immemorial. It is an eternal principle. The master, the self, the mantra and the ishta (family deity) are the same energy. The more you come close to the master, the more evident this becomes for you.
What does it mean to come closer? The Guru is not just the body. You can feel the presence of the master even from miles away and you still you get the uplifted feeling. However, fortunate are those who can bask in his physical presence. Guru purnima is a wonderful opportunity to be in the presence of your master and to take his blessings on this auspicious day.
Every time, during guru purnima, you are reminded of…
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26 June is observed as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse. The Art of Living Foundation conducted a satsang with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at the Bangalore Ashram to discuss this issue. Below is the excerpt of the talk by him
Sri Sri: The nature of mind is to seek joy, seek ecstasy. Know that it cannot be found in the area of the five senses: taste, touch.
The craving continues to exist because it wants the highest. Mind belongs to the highest peace. In search of the higher ecstasy and satisfaction, one has gone into the trap of drugs.
If you look at the drug addicts. They will not exhibit any of these qualities: peace, contentment, joy. When you are addicted to drugs you look worn out and sick. This very well denotes that drugs only give an empty promise and they do not deliver.
There is a small story.There is a gentleman who prayed and asked God for a conch. Whatever you ask, Gods will give you. The gentleman’s neighbor got so jealous, he also went in search of a similar conch. He found one that will double whatever you ask for it. He feels that this conch is better that his neighbor’s conch.
He brought the conch home. He asked the conch for a bungalow. The conch said, “Why one, take two bungalows?” It would simply double whatever he asked for, but not deliver. All addictions of this planet promise joy, but they never deliver. Let’s take the simple addiction of smoking. Smoking does not bring any joy, but not smoking gives you pain, suffering, and problem. How to get over it?
There are three things that you do to get over addictions:
1. Fear of disease: If doctor says, if you take one more peg of alcohol you will be dead.
2. Greed. If someone tempts you for something bigger. If you stop your addiction for a month you will get a million rupees.
3. Love for something higher. I would prefer love over fear and greed. Love can elevate your body-mind complex and stop the craving.
4. Having a bigger addiction. Something that can intoxicate you. This is love for the creator, love for God. A higher ecstasy that you can find through meditation, pranayama, devotional dance.
They can all give you such an ecstasy which can snap you out of addictions. Sudarshan Kriya and Shakti Kriya are techniques that can help people find the happiness that they are seeking. We are seeking happiness here and there. But the source of happiness is right here: within. This can help people find what they have been looking for all their life. We need to be more aggressive in our approach to make people understand and get people out of their addictions. Once people do this, they know. I could get the peace. That is here in a permanent basis. The benefits of meditation are many: health is at its optimum and your mind is calm and serene, you r heart is full of love for everyone. You exuberate all this. We become self-reliant and we become strong. That inspires many around you. It is that conch that really delivers and not just promises you. We need to take the techniques of yoga and mediation to every house. Spirituality, though it may appear to be a little strenuous, but on a permanent basis delivers what you have been looking for in addictions all your life.
Q: The family of drug users goes through a very difficult period. What is your message for them?
Sri Sri: I would tell them that you should take a pledge from the kids and put them on the spiritual track. For example, in homes where they have vegetarian food, they bring that feeling against consuming non-veg food. If kids have already started consuming drugs, we have to bring them back. We have to deal with patience and with sensitivity and take them to de-addiction camps again and again. The company that the child keeps also matters. Today, drugs has become a business. You need to work not just with your kids but all the kids in your neighborhood.
Q: Rajindra Kumar from Punjab: Will we, addicts, remain a question or will we ever be solved?
Sri Sri: You have not come as a question. Know that you have received the answer.
Q: There are many celebrities who are addicted to drugs.
Sri Sri: The so-called celebrities are such bad role models to follow. In fact, they are not role models at all. They may be successful in acting, but they are failures in life. And people need to realize this. You can only watch them on the screen. If you know them personally, you will know what kind of people they are. They do not know about spirituality; they never got connected to the life that is there in them. But I would tell the celebrities to acknowledge their weakness and warn the population not to emulate them and let people know that they are suffering. We welcome all those who are under the influence these intoxicants. Keep your profession aside and come here to meditate. I am not pointing fingers at you. I understand your situation. There are millions out there who adore you. Be a true role model to all of them. Money and fame is not everything. A pure heart is.
Q: Dr. Navjot Sidhu, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Health & Family Welfare, Punjab asks, ” How can we encourage people to offer employment benefits to de-addicted youth?”
Sri Sri: We have to talk to people and convince them. Don’t be prejudiced against them (drug addicts). We must help to remove the prejudice in the society.
Q: Are there any specific yoga asanas for de-addiction?
Sri Sri: All these asanas are good. It depends on the age and flexibility (of the person). Pranayama is a must. Kriya is a must.
Q: Dr Anju Dhawan, Professor at the National Drug Dependence Treatment Center, AIIMS: There are sudden factors that can protect people from going towards drug abuse, building the inner strength through meditative practices can play a very important role. What can Art of Living do in this regard?
Sri Sri: We will ask teachers to go to their doorstep. Usually we teach meditation to those who want to learn. Here we have to walk that extra mile and make them sit and meditate. It is a big task. It is like trying to feed a child who does not want to eat. But a good mother does it. A teacher plays the role of a mother. With a little bit of insistence you should be successful.
Q: Satyavir Nowlakka, Delhi Police, Crime Branch: Many people in the police department are addicts and they do not realize that they are in a mess. How do we talk to them and help them come out of their addictions?
Sri Sri: I say that they should be teetotalers. Because it is good for the health. The Armed Forces and Police, their health is the most important and you are supplying them something that is not good for their health.
Q: People who take drugs often struggle with craving and repeated relapse in spite of treatment efforts. Guruji, please guide how should they handle this difficult situation?
Sri Sri: There should be constant touch for a few years at least. They should come for follow-up.
This is a question that was asked in the satsang with Sri Sri in the Bangalore ashram. Enjoy!
Q: What are the three types of dhrutis that Lord Krishna mentions in the 18th chapter of Gita?
Sri Sri: Dhruti means that which upholds or sustains life. For many people, the mind goes hay wire, They cannot even sustain or tolerate a small insult. A little bit of imperfection they cannot tolerate. Sattvic dhruti is that which sustains the mind, life energy, and activities of the senses. That which helps you to be steadfast in your yoga. Not like one day you do yoga and next you go for bhoga. Not like that. That which upholds your senses, your life is sattvic dhruti. Rajasic dhruti is of the type when I get results then I will deliver. This sort of mindset where your enthusiasm is related to some little reward is rajasic dhruti. It could be related to Dharma or it may not be related. Any work that is taken with the intention of getting results, such as fasting to achieve some results. What is God going to get is you fast?
Tamasic dhruti is one who sleeps a lot. That is most important for them. Nothing else. Very fearful. You look at their face, they are always down, depressed.
If you cannot get married, you are upset. You get married, you are upset. This is tamasic dhruti. Always regretful. That should not have happened. I should have had like that. After 40 years of marriage, they think they should have married someone else. And arrogance. And one is unable to get of this negativity in the mind. Some people try to get out of it, but they are not able to get out of it. Lazy people, who can sleep anywhere, any time. In Kerela, I heard about a person that he can sleep at the dining table while he eats. Once I stayed at such a person’s home. That person’s servant, told me that my Master falls asleep while talking! Doctor said lets do a scan. A few years ago, the CT Scan was a new machine. He went for the scan. The doctors were wondering why is the machine making so much noise. He slept in the scanning machine and was snoring!
This happens when you do not have any aim in life. Often Ashrams are the base for lazy people. But we do not have this issue. In Ashrams, there is a issue about how to keep people busy. If you keep doing some activity, then you will not get lazy.
One who is lazy, gets scared easily. Then behind fear, comes negative thoughts such as who will cremate me when I die, who will take care of me when I grow old. Some one will complete the cremation rights. Man is mad. If you do not want to leave the madness, then be mad for that which has made all these things not for the things made by Him. Then after this comes vishaad: they think about what happened many years ago and get upset. People will reach Mumbai from Bangalore, and then they will continue to say we should have booked another ticket. Vishaad has become a habit. A person who is enthusiastic and happy, they will not go into vishaad.
Then comes ego. People are in vishaad, often walk with arrogance. Have you seen the people who lost the elections? A wrestler falls and then he says there is no mud on my mustache, where have I fallen? One who cannot come out from a negative mindset.
Now we have to see what type of dhruti we have: sattvic, rajasic, tamasic.
How to get out of this?
Do seva, sadhana, satsang.
Tamas gets converted to Rajasic and then to Sattva.
If you are surrounded by Tamasic people then you will have more of that type of dhruti. Often kids say, throughout my life, no one has done anything for me. The way you behave in front of kids affects kids also. If you are in Tamo guna or rajas guna, then kids catch on to it very fast. Similarly, when four people get together, and one person says something negative and everyone else contributes negativity, then after half an hour when people go home they are so tired.
How to transform from Tamasic dhruti?
This path: Seva, Sadhana, satsang, right company.
Like dhrutis, doers are also of three types. Sattvic doer is happy whether work happens or not.
Rajasic doer is happy if work gets done and unhappy when the work does not get done.
Tamasic doer is one who does not know what they have to do. And they are in vishaad.
Here is a must read article from Devdutt on the ultimate question of life – Why? or Ka?
Prana – one of the most misconstrued and misunderstood word in spirituality. A simple google search on prana comes back with its meaning as “breath, considered as a life-giving force”. Breath is only one aspect of prana and it makes sense for beings which breath. How about inanimate objects which dont breath? Do they have prana? Yogis have proved that one can stop breathing for long periods of time and yet continue to live.
Prana is much more than breath. It is the that universal energy or force present behind any thing. The blink of our eye, splitting of the atoms or splitting of meteors. Thousands of years ago the rishis fathomed the inherent quality of creation in this existence and they called it prana. Even a stone has a subtle level of prana in it for it to exist. Every object is floating in this vast sea of prana and receiving everything from it. (It is very easy to correlate prana to the higgs boson but I am not sure if they are the same. Maybe yes.) The yogis have been working with prana in their body to attain higher level consciousness. Everyone is born with a certain quantum of prana, but the quantity and quality change continuously, as one goes through life. There are 49 types of prana in the human body out of which 10 are considered important. Out of the 10, 5 of them are more important and more pervasive than all(more on them later). Positive thoughts, higher feelings and yogic practices generate higher levels of prana. The quantum of prana is influenced by the quality of the elements to which one is exposed and which one ingests in the course of life. Food and state of mind are two most important factors that affect the prana levels.
Food determines the quality of prana in a big way. The Bhagavad Gita refers to the quality of prana in different foods by categorizing them as sattwic, rajasic and tamasic. What type of food one eats determines his state of mind for the next few days. There was a very interesting experiment that was conducted by André Simonéton in France for establishing the pranic value of food. He used a simple pendulum on a piece of string, similar to that used by water diviners for dowsing, for this purpose. The subtle radiations emitted by organic matter affect the motion of a pendulum, causing it to swing and spin. By measuring the distance of a pendulum’s arc, and the speed of its spin, Simoneton was able to measure specific wavelengths, which indicate the intrinsic vitality and relative freshness of different foods. He published his research in Radiation des Ailments, Ondes Humaines, et Santé.
On the basis of his findings, Simonéton divided food into four general classes. On a scale of zero to 10,000 angstroms, he found the basic human wavelength to be about 6.5 thousand. Foods that have wavelengths between this and 10,000 angstroms, he regarded as those of the highest quality.
In this first class are fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, ocean fish and shellfish. He found that food with a vital radiance of 8,000 to 10,000 angstroms caused the pendulum to rotate at the amazing speed of 4-500 revolutions per minute over a radius of 80 millimetres. Those between 6,000 and 8,000 angstroms spin at 3-400 revolutions per minute over a radius of 60 millimetre.
In the next class, with radiations 6.5 thousand to 3,000 angstroms are eggs, peanut oil, wine, boiled vegetables, cane sugar and cooked fish.
The third category, with very weak radiations below 3,000 angstroms, is comprised of cooked meats, sausages, coffee, tea, chocolate, jams, processed cheeses and white bread.
The fourth category exhibits practically no life force and includes margarine, conserves, alcoholic spirits, refined white sugar and bleached flour. Meats, pasteurized milk and overcooked vegetables, which have a value of less than 2,000, are too low in energy to cause the pendulum to revolve at all.
We can see that meat and most of non veg food come under the fourth category where they had lesser than 2000 angstroms. That is why a vegetarian diet is considered to be better than a non-veg diet due to the amount of prana in them. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says
Your food is not just food: it is you. What you eat, you become.
There was this knowledge sheet on food by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar saying that the meat of the animal still carries the impressions and habits of the animal in it. When we eat it many of our attitudes are affected by it and if we are sensitive then we can notice the changes. Because of the heaviness of non-veg food, it take longer to digest it and introduces many toxins into our system by staying in the body for longer periods of time. It also becomes difficult to meditate since the food is heavier. Just eating right will have most of out ailments and diseases go away. Changing the way we eat will go a long way towards living right.
With Genetically Modified food coming out now, even the vegetarian food is becoming polluted. They are causing many serious situations and bad impact on the environment. It has caused many bad things from spoiling the soil of the lands to the suicide of so many farmers in India. So please avoid GM foods and share this message with your friends too.
Hope this post gave you information on prana and how eating the right food rises your prana levels. Maybe also gave you a reason to turn vegetarian :).
PS . Look out for my posts on more about prana and its differnet types and functions soon!