I, as ‘The Common Man’ from India, would like to share with you all, my views on the response or reactions, as are generally triggered by the Ayodhya and other related issues, and, hope that these convictions are in sync with a majority of ‘The Masses’ .
Be it any issue on apparent grounds political religious or social righteousness, it is not only the people and the parties concerned who are affected by it; it is also the common man, many a time.
He or she is affected by the currents and cross-currents of action and reaction on such issues – while travelling in a train or a bus , unaware of that fact that after a few hours our families might wail and cry over our dead bodies ; while walking along the road or driving and suddenly being stopped and assaulted and the vehicle burnt to ashes.
And, unfortunately, it is ,many a time, a few from this class of ‘the common man, who does harm to one of ‘his or her kind’, by allowing himself or herself to be ‘swept away’ by elements that may use the common man as an instrument for…. national welfare..for communal harmony..for vested interests? I don’t know…but I wonder!
Most of these issues may be socio-religious-political issues, a newly coined term I thought of, though it doesn’t sound good – be it because of the water dispute between two states, or, be it the dispute on a place of worship between two communities, who is harmed the most? Many a common man is injured and some even lose their lives.
Harm being done to each other by the individuals or parties concerned is something predictable – for they have involved themselves in it.
How many such instances, such as the above, can I quote, that we, from the Defence Services, have experienced? So we are thankfully very adaptive to all life-situations, and, we don’t have any barriers of nation, religion, caste, gender etc. in our minds. Army life has broadened our vision – for, we have seen the best and the worst, I think. I welcome the Ayodhya Issue , as ‘the common man’ on the hope and prayer that It would put an end to any unnecessary loss of peace and harmony in the life of the common man; on the hope and prayer that it doesn’t end up as ‘a vicious circle’ as sometimes it does, by the extreme reactions of a few. I hope and pray that we, as ‘the voice of the common man’ stand united to respect the Supreme Court’s verdict on Ayodhya and continue to live , as we are meant to, as a secular people – ‘Hindu-Muslim Bhai Bhai’ not just as our Nation’s Image to project before all, but in the true sense – and, that is only possible if it is done ‘at the grassroots level of the common man’. I live in an environment where I live with kith and kin, friends and acquaintances, neighbours, colleagues , from all countries, all religions, both genders – and we celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi and Id together, though I may not eat meat when I feast with them, but may take Phirni or sweet sevai or whatever it is called; or may eat a Christmas cake but not a roasted turkey – still we are friends! May sense and sensitivity prevail in the common man . May the common man not be swept away by cross-currents that may pull him in all directions. Jai Sree Ram! Insha Allah – May the Forms and Names guide us towards ‘THE ONE’.
BUT, what about the common man who has nothing to do with it – I mean, not the issue, but this internecine way of settling issues as may create more unrest, , and may even lead to violation of human values and human rights and possible loss of lives. I, as the common man, live a simple life. My world is very small . Yes – it is a small world of small joys and sorrows, small successes and failures. I, as the common man’ have my own battles to fight in my daily life for survival – battles for daily bread, battles for the security and comfort of my family, battles of good relationship with my family, my kith and kin, friends and acquaintances, neighbours , my boss and my colleagues – they are all those who make my life worth living, with their love and support . And, I , as from the Defence background ( he is also the common man, and only when he helps to make roads through rough mountainous terrain; when he risks his life to save a few victims of accident floods, earthquakes, is he hailed as a hero and then forgotten about!!) . I remember and am grateful for all those times when a doctor came as a Godsend and saved a soldier at the war front; when a blood donor saved my friend’s husband from sure death; when an officer and his family took care of me and my friend and our families when we were in a separated family quarters and our husbands in a field area . There were friends,well-wishers, saviours and Godsends of all FAITHS, out there, who were with us through ‘thick and thin’ in all those tender moments of life.
We, in India, are on the ‘threshold’ of a ‘paradigm shift’ from traditionalist conservatism to liberal conservatism.
In the process, many of such traditional beliefs and practices that give a ‘stench’ of blind superstition and bias vis-a-vis caste, religion, gender (male chauvinistic bias) and an unscientific approach, are falling apart, slowly but surely, to give way to a strong multi-cultural edifice of all-inclusive values, standing on lofty and sturdy pillars of scientific temperament, and built on a strong foundation of spirituality, that serves as a ‘bridle’ to such customs and practices, which undermine basic human values – the ‘highest unwritten law’for all ages, all races, all societies, all religions, all nations, all humanity.
This stage of transition in the evolution of our culture can create an upheaval – a face of ‘Self-destructive’ cross-currents of apparently opposite values co-existing – for survival of one over the other.
Inevitably, ‘the old’ has to give way to ‘the new’, sooner or later, to survive with it, or else, to become extinct. So, the sooner the better.
This phase, though may be apparently destructive, may not be actually so. For, the end result will be a symbiotic fusion of the best of the old and the new social, religious and cultural values.
It marks a ‘Spiritual Awakening’ in the ‘Mass Consciousness’ – ‘ the ‘Kindly Light’ lit by the ‘ever-effulgent Torch of Wisdom’ held together by Our Ancient Sages and Enlightened Masters – those who have dropped their mortal bodies, as well as ‘the living legends’, to show us the way to live together in a country with many FAITHS, many cultures from all over the world, many customs, BUT as One Entity – All-in-One – Unity in Diversity – Nature’s Way – as ‘ONE NATION’.
After God created this planet He made plant, tree, bird, animal and man And then He came down from Heaven And lived with man for sometime!
He lived like any one of his own creation! But the thought of Heaven filled Him with nostalgia! He felt something was missing that He had in heaven! Yes! The snow-white flower that grew in His Garden!
So He brought down one of its kind And planted it in His Royal Gardens on Earth! And He looked at it and smiled and clapped in glee He had the ‘feel’ of His Original Abode whenever He saw it!
The Lord went about this planet Yes! He went around it – curious and exultant at his own Creation! And wherever He went He Filled Love, Peace and Bliss in every heart! And He forgot all about the Flower He had brought down!
But the Flower took its roots on the ‘alien’ soil And it gave blossoms but yet to be seen! It called for the Lord in its ‘is Consciousness’ but a call yet to be heard! It spread its Fragrance but yet to be smelt! As as the Lord passed by it bowed it head humbly in reverence but yet to to touched! Nectar oozed out of its pollen but yet to be tasted!
Then the Lord came on a golden dawn to rest in His Earthly Abode As He.passed by he saw the Flower and it blushed in virgin bashfulness! The soft murder of its petals became music in His Heart and His Flute! Its ethereal fragrance drove Him into ecstasy and He danced in glee!
He bent down and touched the bowed head of the Flower And the Flower fell at His feet and the Nectar washed them clean! Yes! It washed them clean of the ‘dust’ gathered from his ‘rambles’ on Earth He picked up the flower and wore it near His Heart!
The Flower blossomed and swayed in ecstatic abandon! It withered every night but to blossom again anew the next dawn! How fortunate is the Flower That the Lord Himself came down to Earth to fulfil its purpose!!
Were the above born so? Or, were they made by circumstances? What must be their thoughts, feelings and emotions? Do these thoughts, words and actions invade the mind first, which stealthily lodges itself in the levels of feelings and emotions, to putrefy the latter, and thereby create a pain-body covered by a false, make-believe ego-shell that gives a false sense of security? Aren’t these, then, a result of constant and consistent suppression – self-created or otherwise – over a period of time , caused by a reaction to external agents of individuals, that must have created an environment together – one such as created by pain-bodies of individuals coming together , and creating collective ‘toxic’ pain-body or harmful mass-consciousness ?
How does this work? It misinterprets, misleads, judges, labels, and reinforces these by more thoughts, words and actions ,of opposition to, and, fight against, crime – coming not from the level of ‘being’, but from the level of the mindsets of individual pain-bodies that react and recreate collective pain bodies , which further pollute the inner environment of more and more individuals and thereby more and more societies – to the point of ‘no return’ of a terrorist or criminal to a normal mentally-balanced human being! How unfortunate! May there be a most hyper-sensitive, a most loving, and most lovable, ‘human being’ hiding in these so-called pests of society – who are not able to live in their true nature but continue to play ‘roles’ as predestined for them, not by the ‘Power Unknown’ but by the circumstances and situations created around them by this collective toxic environment? Is punishment the answer to checking all crimes, and, each and every time? Are are criminals to be weighed as such on the ‘same scale’, or, can punitive or redemptive measures be ‘customised’? Isn’t punishment the ‘last resort’ after all else is tried and proved futile – for redemption and rehabilitation of such victims – by giving them a chance to live in our midst without reinforcement of social stigma, without fear, without guilt, by those around? O Lord! Is man evil by nature?
I don’t believe so, but for exceptions of evil forces that may be lurking and manifesting as perpetrators of unpardonable and the most sinful of crimes in society -such as suicide, ( can’t punish them!), murder, women and child molestation rape , inhuman, beastly physical and mental and emotional torture.
We may not be able to redeem those who have gone this far – for drastic punitive measures are necessarily to be taken for such crimes, punishment that will make a similar mindset think a thousand times before even committing such crimes in his or her thoughts. NO MERCY HERE! DRASTIC STRICT IMMEDIATE PUNISHMENT!Good riddance to bad rubbish!
What can we do for those who are yet to reach that extreme mindset? We cannot do anything for them – I mean we may be able to punish them and redeem them temporarily. It is only by spiritual healing that their mindsets can be checked from further fall to ‘bottomless pits’ of sin and hell. Only the Enlightened Masters, the spiritual leaders of our country can do it and I am sure they are all doing their bit. I know that Art of Living conducts ‘PRISON SMART’ programmes for criminals in jails and also has been working towards checking terrorism. Others also must be doing it. But I don’t know about the programmes. We, as the common man – what can we do? Of course we can make a difference – but not directly – but indirectly – by prevention .
Yes! We can prevent ourselves and our society from becoming instruments, consciously or unconsciously so, in the making of criminals and terrorists. How?
The individual and the family being the unit of any society or nation, we just need to take the necessary steps to keep our minds clean along with our bodies, by spiritual practices . These can start from the age of 8 years. We can integrate these practices in educational institutions for our children. Then we have spiritual techniques such as yoga and meditation which are not exclusive to any FAITH or culture, and especially the Sudarshan Kriya. All of us need to invest our time and money for learning these and practising these regularly for half an hour everyday. Sudarshan Kriya needs to be integrated as a mandatory part of training at the entry level into the political system, corporate sector, medical services,Science, Technology & Research institutes, IITs, Management and other institutes, universities, Research centres etc. And, about half an hour needs to be given for practice in all the above – it is a wise investment – for, in the long run, it will undoubtedly show greater returns in terms of profits, teambuilding and teamworking( inspite of internal struggles, which may happen in families too, but for a common cause – WE BECOME ONE) , personality development and related life-skills, happier individuals, happier homes, happier societies and happier nations. It is not BLIND FAITH or FALSE SPIRITUAL COMMERCE & PROPAGANDA, as it may be interpreted as or labelled .
Regular practice of Sudarshan Kriya can work through individual pain-bodies to weaken the collective pain-body, and heal one and all, to cleanse the environment,and preserve it as such, by continued practice as a matter of greatest priority. Miracles don’t actually happen overnight. These are brought about by a turn of luck, that is just a turn of circumstances brought about by constant, consistent, persistent, faithful, sustained, effort. In the long run, – there will be considerably less number of crimes or hardly any, no terrorism, no punishment other than for redemption, except, of course, exceptions. This is one of my dreams for tomorrow’s nation and the world, at large! The benchmarks for a progressive society, nation, humanity.
Idealistic? Impractical? Tall philosophy – is it? May be! But I WONDER ! And, leave it to all those leaders of our country and the world, who are keeping a constant vigil and putting in great collective constant, consistent effort to check crime and terrorism and to uproot it from society – to give my convictions of Sudarshan Kriya as a solution to preventing the making of terrorists, ‘a fleeting thought’ at least. We propose and work for it! God disposes! May the Power Unknown guide us, protect us and, show us the way! “ We are the ONE! We are HIS Children!”
Shocking headlines catch your eye every other day through the Media about the environmental pollution levels in India . But, lately, a lot of awareness has been created and a lot of work is being done by the power-wielders who are not just the political ones (given they may be at the executive level),the environmentalists, the spiritual organisations, the social workers, and the common man. But are the results encouragingly fast enough? Is it all not taking too much time? Why? Once we get a clearer picture of this, how it can be checked sooner and more efficaciously will come into picture, at least for the common man like me. What do we do when we read about pollution? We talk about it in our social and professional circles; we take out processions/rallies in protest; we play the blame-game throwing the ball in one another’s court – beyond that – WHAT? As the common man I can talk about myself. Is it that only when I experience the effect of pollution of any of/all kinds such as of air/water/food on my health or on the health of any of my near and dear ones by symptoms of chronic /allergic breathing problems, skin allergies, heart/lung/kidney malfunctioning, thyroid and the like, that I may ‘wake up’ to do something about it rather than just accepting it passively in a ‘safe’ and ‘escapist’ mindset. I wonder – Won’t it be too late by then? Oh! When will a time come when we don’t have to pay to get fresh air by going to a park, a health resort or an ashram? When will the time come when we don’t have to wear masks , not in respect of the belief of not to harm the environment, but to check the influx of carbon monoxide into our lungs and ultimately out entire system? When will the time come when it will not just be the privilege of the financially strong alone to get daily fresh air/water/food by buying or taking on rent villas/apartments/row houses in exclusive ‘green areas’ where, all that Nature gives in abundance for free to one and all,are transplanted or transported – all flora and fauna as to create ‘ a miniature artificially-natural environment’. When will the time come when organic food products are taken off the shelves of the market as exclusive commodities affordable only by the ‘haves’ or the conscious middle class who know its worth and don’t mind paying any price for purity?When will the time come when the Quality Control , given it is working towards its goal, becomes more efficacious in giving 100% purity of all edibles for everyone? When will the time come,when the rules and regulations and procedures to buy or sell land and to build offices/residential complex etc. in it, are supportive of environment preservation – such as – whether trees need to be cut, if so, whether they are being replanted somewhere, whether other trees which may have roots spread far and wide under the ground around the building will be affected by it? What is the best that can be done? When will the time come when there will be no debris of building material dust, toxic plastic, and other waste lying around in building sites, on the pavements or the middle of the road, in public places, beside and even floating on the lakes ? When will the time come when I, the common man, stop throwing harmful plastic out of my car, on the pavement, in the park when I go out or take my children out to the park or the movie? When will the time come when potable water is available for all, including those who consume water directly from the wells or pumped from borewells – in which case, maximum minerals may be there , but mixed with …?( I don’t know), as they can’t afford to buy an RO filter or may not have a home to instal it in,OR, may be, they don’t mind spending their money on a TV or a bike but don’t have the awareness of the harm that can be done by consuming toxic stuff? It is high time I, as the common man, and the others, be they power-wielders or other leaders or groups, stop the ‘blame-game’ – the ‘escapist’s weapon’ to shirk responsibility and say “ the onus is solely on that individual, that party, that organisation, the political leaders of that locality/village/town/city!
I have no right to consume water/food/air that keeps me and my near and dear ones healthy if I can’t contribute a wee bit by keeping, at least, my surroundings pollution-free , by joining hands with others in that vicinity , without bias of my caste/my religion/my community/my gender/my spiritual organisation/my party etc.
What can one man/one party/one group /one organisation/one community do and how much, as an ‘exclusive’ entity?
What can anyone of us do? We just vote for and choose our leaders and then sit back and relax in passive acceptance but active blame-game.
Even if a common man like me wants to do something about it, beyond rallies and posts on FB/Twitter/Speaking Tree, by joining hands with others in my locality and taking proactive and active steps in his or her locality, hardly anyone comes forward. It is appreciated by many but it ends with that. We propagate environment consciousness in schools, offices, social and political functions, but put a FULL STOP by the ‘safe’ comment ‘ You or I can’t do anything. The leaders/he alone/that party alone can do it .Don’t be foolhardy, or you may be put behind bars.’
SO- many a common man wants to do it – BUT something holds him or her back – what is it – the ‘FEAR’ factor? Fear of who/what? Food for thought! This needs to be ‘weeded out’ from the mind of the common man. Even I might have had it to a certain degree till recently – for, I have started voicing my views on common issues of our country, our people, our roads, our environment, our lives, our health – only recently. I am a senior citizen and it took me so many years to come out of my mind-created shell of fear and do what I can do and how much I can do .
But I was not responsible for this shell of fear. I was also a victim of circumstances from childhood to this age..a build-up of dos and don’ts that had been reinforcing itself at every age and stage by the external environment -communal, political, social, or whatever .So we are not to blame ourselves nor can be blamed. Actually it is a stage of evolution. These external barriers are just instruments and not causes of the fear syndrome. The cause is the human mind reacting to circumstances and building up a mental fortress to survive in the latter. I was lucky to be rid of this fear factor thanks to the regular practice of the Sudarshan Kriya and meditation, which have shown the real me to myself, at last.
I hope and pray that many like me wake up – better late than never. What is the charm in living selfishly, just for oneself and one’s near and dear ones, finding peace and solace in one’s turn of luck, and, feeling grateful and celebrating festivals, birthdays and anniversaries, going to parties, shutting off pollution by building and living in glass-houses and with air-purifiers and RO filters ( so am I living, too), and using vacuum-cleaners and hiring services for further cleaning, but all the time taking medicines for any /all types of , mostly, psycho-somatic illnesses such as allergies, BP, diabetes, cancer, heart disease/lever/kidney malfunction, thyroid?
ARE WE NOT PROGRESSING ONE STEP AT A TIME BUT REGRESSING BY LEAPS AND BOUNDS?
FOOD FOR THOUGHT & DRASTIC COLLECTIVE ACTION OF – POLITICIANS/ENVIRONMENTALISTS,SOCIAL WORKERS/EDUCATIONISTS/DOCTORS/BUILDERS/REALESTATE AGENTS/CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTORS/SPIRITUAL ORGANIZATIONS/LAW-MAKERS & JUDICIARY & THE COMMON MAN – to stand united – AS ONE IDENTITY – WITH ONE COMMON GOAL & MANY HANDS – OUR NATION; OUR IMAGE , OUR HEALTH,WEALTH & PROSPERITY,OUR PROGRESS, OUR LEGACY TO OUR CHILDREN /GRANDCHILDREN/GREATGRANDCHILDREN!
Before we think of settling in MARS, which is likely to happen with the advancement of science and technology, let us think of saving OUR EARTH< OUR PEOPLE for otherwise, there will be hardly any population – not by proactive measures taken successfully by some once-upon-a-time overly populated country, but, by unnatural calamities, by the wrath of NATURE.
A PRAYER TO MY MASTER ( can’t say ‘our’ here!), all preceptor-leaders and volunteers of all spiritual organisations, all power-welders of panchayats/towns/cities/states/the nation,all environmentalists , PLEASE LEAD US, INSPIRE US, GUIDE US, (TWITTER/FB/ST are not used by many, especially those at the lowest socio-economic level) . IF we can work together with all our leaders who can make a difference within their power of jurisdiction, we can work together and go a long way in keeping our surroundings pollution-free, taking proactive steps to educate the illiterate and the ignorant as well as the well-educated and the irresponsible , insensitive and selfish, to drive it in into our minds as well as of others, that if we don’t give pure air, water and food to all, our grandchildren may also not get it, even if they may be multi-millionaires,, for these won’t be available at all.
I am a ‘sailor’ out at ‘sea’ – all alone, on my sailboat. If I were to judge myself, I would say I am a ‘seasoned sailor’, but, still an aficionado at it, as I have never taken sailing for granted, nor has my passion for it reduced even a wee little bit. Hence, on this solo adventure at sea , I am all eager – to brave the storms , if any, that may come, while out at sea; to confront any ‘lurking’ dangers in the unfathomable, yet unexplored and unconquered realms, as may be, in the ‘deep’ . I am ‘all set’ to cross the seas to the other side – to an unknown destination, with the ‘Power of the Unknown’ as my sole shipmate, friend, guide and philosopher. I have come a long, long way from my land. I have travelled leagues and leagues on this sailboat of mine. I once even got ‘swept away’ in a storm and was stranded on a deserted ‘island’, for a few days. But my sailboat had survived the storm and I set out again on my Nature-intervened voyage towards my destination. My lifeboat is as good as new, for, it is strong and sturdy, to float with or against strong currents of inevitable storms. For, this boat of mine has been ‘redone’ and made as good as new by the ‘Invisible power hands of GRACE’. There are three ‘masts’ in my boat – the ‘masts’ of Seva, Sadhna and Satsang,, which stand strong as pillars of support and add power to the ‘sails’ of ‘Sudarshan Kriya’ rhythms, which propel the boat, and keep it moving with the tide.
I have a ‘gut feeling’ that the shore of the unknown destination is not far now. Well, on second thoughts, is it really the gut feeling, which is almost always right, or, is it the seasoned sailor’s ‘paradigm mindset’ that makes me feel so? I wonder!
I may miss my familiar land and my people; I may miss my shipmates, who are not with me in this voyage.
But when the call from within comes, there is no going back. The boat, the mast and the sails, all, together, manoeuvre the boat , towards its predestined shores.
I want to let my shipmates and the people of my land know that, when we sailed together on some expeditions, we might have had ‘rough weather’ , and, like any sailor might catch on the ‘roughness’ and unprecedented nature of the storms he may have to brave, I must also have been rough and capricious, sometimes, during our voyages together at sea. I don’t bode any ill will or evil in my heart . I hope my shipmates of yore will forgive me for any such harm I might have done to them, unintentionally, mostly, but, may be , intentionally, a few times. These voyages together have surely made us all the braver, the humbler, and the richer for it . Now that I look back, I find it was all were part of the preparation to take the next voyage for all of us.
Only good memories remain with me now, every moment. I hope it is the same experience for my shipmates and the people of my land.
Hopefully, I will continue to sail on the same boat, which, I am sure will be my sailboat for every expedition I may take, and, for as long as I sail out at sea. I hope that all of you make sure your boat, your masts and sail are all intact, else, please get then redone – you may like to get it done in the same place where I got it done and by the same ‘GRACE’. Of course, if you are sure your boat is as strong and sturdy as can be ( no comparisons) well and good.
So we look back just to learn and be more efficacious in our future expeditions, whether each by himself or herself or together, by being proactive and move ahead joyfully, gratefully, singing the merry sailors’ song while steering the ship, while braving dangers, all the way. Our song will resound in the roar of the waves, in the flow of the tides, in the throat of the seagull , to be carried by the winds to our native land, to our other shipmates, as memories to cherish, and , as ‘the dauntless eternal spirit of the sailor’ to be passed on from one to another, and to another, to make it a wonderful journey. In fact, I hope our song would be a lesson to learn for others on the voyage and those yet to start to make it smoother, with less traumatic experience of the ‘storm’ in their boats ( the storm may blow outside ) and more enjoyable for all. I am EXPECTANT, EXULTANT. But I am in no undue haste to reach across, nor am I tired and sick of the sea. At the same time, my eyes open wide with wonder when I think of new lands to explore, new people to meet and live with, new shipmates as well as many old ones, may be, to sail with, and, one more anecdote to add to my history of expeditions to new lands, to leave behind, as a sailor’s journal to my sailor mates, and all my people in my native land,
Now, when I stand at the deck and gaze at the vast expanse of the sea, its different moods and the tides that rise and ebb in it, at the life-force that is vibrant in it, with lifeforms that it sustains as many flora and fauna, with wealth such as mother-of-pearl and corals embedded in its rock-bottom , I wonder at the beautiful balance of Nature that happens in it, with resources for survival for all that live in it – creation, preservation and destruction, happening, Nature’s Way. How mysterious and mystical – just like my voyages, so also, may be, the voyages of other sailors like me.
Now, every moment the boat is anew, the masts are anew, the sails are anew. No ‘wear and tear’ of the sails, no rust and moss in the boat, no leakages or holes in the boat, no broken masts – all in good shape.
The journey continues………..
“Born Voyage’ to all who have set sail with me on their sailboats and also to Myself! Godspeed!
The other day I happened to be called by someone ‘ a fan’ of my Beloved Master His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. It amused me to hear it , but at the same time, kindled my ‘spirit of enquiry’ about ‘who is a ‘FAN’ of someone? So here follow my reflections on the same:
Well, as we all know, the title ‘FAN’ given to someone, can mean anything, for there are many meanings of ‘Fan’ and some of them mean exactly opposite to what the others mean.
Let me explain. The simplest meaning of the word ‘FAN’ is a fervent follower, or admirer . In this sense, I may be, but I don’t judge myself and it doesn’t matter to me, anyway.
Well, if, to be a fan is to run after the one who one is a fan of, for an autograph, or, if, it is to feel incomplete without seeing the form everyday, either in person or through the media, or audio-visuals, I am not a Fan.
I see Guruji once or twice in a year as one among the hundreds who throng for his darshan. I also see Him from far away, mostly on the projectors, when I go during one of the days of Navratri. But still I feel complete though I am not too much into obsessively watching his videos, reading his books, or, learning his words of wisdom, by rote. For, all the former can create a concept, it can touch one intellectually, but experientially, it can be only by doing regular practice of Sudarshan kriya and meditation. Nothing can be a substitute for it .- not even seeing Guruji in physical form everyday can be a substitute for the Sudarshan Kriya, according to me.
‘FAN’ is also used to refer to fanatics, bigots, extremists , separatists, which, according to me, mean that, you follow someone exclusively i.e. to negate all and other spiritual leaders as unworthy of following . In this sense, I am not. For I believe in and respect the teachings of many other Enlightened Masters of the Past and the Present.
There may be many roads to the Abode of God, but you need to use only one road at a time, and, you don’t keep changing your road time and again, unless, is is called for , which will be, when that road comes to ‘a dead end’. Mine has not – so far – so I started on this road, which, I was led to, by the ‘Unknown Powers’.
I am walking along the road; my focus is only on the next step and I am not so tired( in fact, not tired at all!) as to feel that I have walked a long way, and, to doubt that , may be, it doesn’t lead anywhere, may be, a dead end! In fact every step that I take makes me stronger within and rejuvenates me; so I feel every step is just the first step! This mindset of following any one set of teachings but respecting all that one is drawn to from ‘within’ – brings a simile to my mind. To the seeker who has a living or otherwise Guru, the latter is to him or her just like the mother who bore you in her womb for nine months and gave birth to you, but you can see, feel, and experience the mother in many other women as well. I practise the Sudarshan Kriya regularly and follow My Master’s techniques just as Arjuna had his gaze fixed on the center of the pupil of the fish’s eye before taking aim with his arrow. I see and experience my Guru in all those I believe in and respect, and, vice versa. I am aware that there may be more forms, living and of the Past , and more paths that lead to the same destination ( i.e. Communing with the Self, to find oneself, so that one may understand what one truly wants in this lifetime and work towards it?) So, in this sense, I am not a fan.
Now, without getting embroiled in polemics on the meanings and interpretations of ‘FAN’, without labelling myself as ‘ I am’ and ‘I am not’, I would like to share with you all about why I follow My Master. This is also just my understanding; I cannot be sure of it – only the ‘unknown Powers’ know it.
Long before my Guru came into my life, I had started searching ( unconsciously first, later consciously)for ‘something’ more lasting than the mind-stuff of joys and sorrows, pleasure and pain in life and relationships. I had already been rooted in this quest, by the Powers Unknown. But I would like to attribute some part of it to my parents – it is a legacy from them, for, they were spiritually-tuned. Mom believed in all forms of Hindu Gods and Goddesses and different kinds of worship as had come down through generations before her. She also loved going to temples.
It was unquestioned belief – I won’t call it ‘blind’. My father believed in Vedic Science and hence used to teach us, and chant himself, Vedic hymns .He performed all those rites as per Shashtras. He believed in all those forms of God as depicted through the Holy books, but, he was never very keen on going to temples or doing too much ritualistic worship other than what he learnt from the Vedic scholars. He was, in spirit, more like Swami Vivekananda. He used to read all the volumes of Swami Vivekananda, and so, I also used to read them. Appa also used to be a subscriber for the Bhavan’s Journal, which I used to enjoy reading. Thus my parents stood by each other to inculcate the cultural values in us. So we used to chant shlokas everyday. At a very early age, I learnt the Vishnu Sahasranama, the Shyamala Dandakam and other shlokas from my parents. My dad was a member of the Swatantra party. So Rajaji Thaathaa (Sri C.Rajagopalachari) used to visit us often and during his visits, he used to stay with us for a day or two. Encouraged by appa, we used to chant Sitarama Stotram, Bhaja Govindam etc. for Rajaji Thaathaa. I must have been about ten years old then.Dad used to quote Rajaji Thaathaa, who told him, when he came after dad had lost all his wealth, “ When money is in plenty, friends are in twenty. When your purse is empty, there is not one in twenty.” My parents set me off on this path in this lifetime, by the kind of ‘cultural roots’ and the environment they gave me.
But Time brings all sort of changes in minds and relationships. My parents were going through great turmoil in their lives during my early teens. I started feeling insecure and ‘lost’. My conscious search for spiritual guidance started then, I think. It was during this phase of my life that my maternal grandfather came into picture as the next in line to be my Guru. I used to sit with him and read for him all those books of Sri Ramana Maharshi, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Babuji ( Sri Ramachandraji of Sahaj Marg) of Shahjahanpur. I loved listening to Him when he retold the parables of Sri Ramakrishna; afterwards I read them , too.
Along with this deep-rooted experience of Hindu culture, I had my own personal experience of other forms that were not a part of my parents’ life. The form of Jesus , that of the Prophet, that of the Buddha, that of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, that of Sri Guru Nanak Dev – all have appealed to me.
I used to feel the ‘Presence’ of an unknown Power that pulled me when I used to see Lord Jesus or when I used to sit in the prayer-meetings in the schools that I worked in. While walking to my school as a teenager, I used to come to a ‘standstill’ mentally, for a fraction of a second if I happened to hear the Namaz. It used to touch me ‘deep within’. I have felt a ‘tug’ in my heart and in my soul whenever I have heard the Qawalis of Ajmer Shariff, the Shabad kirtans,and, the songs of Jesus sung by the school choir.’
So, to me, it has always been an experience of the Formless which led me to the Forms and the teachings thereof, which were gifted to me, as if, by reinforcement of my personal experience, by the Power Supreme. May be, because, I always used to talk to my God i.e. my innermost Self, and tell him that I would like to experience Him,for, I don’t believe anyone can every know or understand God. This was , may be, a result of all that that I came across, in life – that most of us preach God and go to temples, do worship etc., but hardly any of us are able to translate it into life and relationships to qualify life, which is the goal of all spirituality, according to me. We cannot qualify what is beyond life – that is ‘the unknown’ for us; but we can qualify our life , for, how we live in different life-situations, is under our control. – to be like the lotus in the pond.
Apart from all the above, one of my aunts, and so also, my husband’s sister-in-law and one of my husband’s sisters, and a few of my cousins and very close friends, have been role-models for me in the sense of how they have been examples of how to live happily in all life-situations , how to adapt oneself to a new family after marriage, how to manage all the new relationships and accept all pluses and minuses and move ahead, taking it all as a ‘package’.
So who has not been my Guru – I wonder!
My husband and my kids have been teachers of life for me in many ways . I am their FAN for sure.
There have been many of them, and they have all led me to my Guru, whose techniques of Sudarshan Kriya , Sahaj and other meditations I was formally initiated into, thorough his preceptors.
So am I a fan of His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar? I don’t know. May be, anyone labelling me as one, may know why he or she says so.
YES! I HAVE BEEN INCREDIBLY INEFFABLY MIRACULOUSLY HEALED BY SUDARSHAN KRIYA AND SAHAJ AND OTHER TECHNIQUES I LEARNT AND HAVE BEEN PRACTISING REGULARLY. IT TOOK ME ALMOST TWENTY THREE YEARS UNDER THE ART OF LIVING – TO REACH THIS MOMENT ON THE SPIRITUAL PATH . It is, still, a miracle. For, only I and I alone, and the Guru, who represents God for me, know how life would have been, otherwise. May be, I would not have been alive, today, if not for My Master.
Thus, I can say I am a FAN in the sense that I wonder at His Power of Love to be accessible to each and everyone of his devotees/believers/followers/f- ans or whatever, in every moment of a devotee’s life.
If we have a problem that we cannot solve, a worry ,anxiety and depression that gives sleepless nights, we waver in FAITH and are assailed by disillusionment, doubts, despair, negativities, and, all that affect physical and mental health . But, in every ‘season’ of the devotee’s mind-journey, the Master is present, be it in love, be it in hatred, anger, jealousy, doubt, confusion, guilt, fear and all that that mar progress on the path – through it all – He is there with us – sometimes leading, sometimes walking by our side, sometimes patting, sometimes chiding, sometimes behind , and sometimes carrying us in His arms ….” Something like that – I don’t remember the exact words.
He is, HERE & NOW , with me and with millions of other ‘fans’ of His who may see Him only once in a year or once in this lifetime, but, who can feel His Presence and experience His Grace every day, every moment, every fraction of a second. This is sure to be an experience – but, may be, only of those ‘fans’ who have been initiated into Sudarshan Kripa through the preceptors, and, who practise it, with Meditation, everyday.
Gratitude to my parents , my maternal grandfather, , my aunt, my husband’s sister-in-law,and all those kith and kin, who have been instrumental in creating life-situations that have led me to this moment.
Gratitude to all those Spiritual Masters who have paved the way and led me to My Master of lifetimes – His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
I am WONDERSTRUCK at this fact that millions of youth are inspired by Him, and , I have no doubt, by the other Enlightened Masters, as well.
I am WONDERSTRUCK at how all these Masters as have been torch bearers for me, as well, in life, are able to reach out to millions and millions of seekers, across the globe, without being there in Form.
They are available in ‘spirit’, which is all-inclusive – doesn’t sift and seive – except to know who truly is CRYING for spiritual Guidance. They are available to ALL – every moment a seeker calls from the ‘heart centre’ – No queues, no enclosures, no barriers, no stampedes, no tickets for darshan –Wow! Aren’t all these Spiritual Masters the greatest legacy handed down to us by our ancestors?
So, Am I a “FAN’ of SRI SRI? I don’t know nor do I want to know. I just wonder!
Mind the mind that controls man It makes him ‘dance to its tunes’ It makes life a puppet-show Where it is the puppeteer And man is the ‘puppet on a string’!
A string pulled here, a string pulled there And then to and fro, or up and down All because of the capricious mind Mind the mind that controls man!
A kind word, a flattering comment It laps it up as a hungry kitten does milk! A harsh rebuff, pungent criticism Works like poison to a man without control over his mind!
He becomes ‘easy prey’ to it Gets deluded to withdraw into a make-believe shell Or reacts in cynical pugnacity As would only harm him and others!
A man who has no control over his mind Is happy, peaceful and contented As long as he gets all that he desires So his joy and peace all just seasonal1
But fate takes its own course in life As some ‘power unknown’ directs this voyage of life When man falls out of favour with Mistress Fortune He forsakes Faith and Hope and sinks into despair!
Is Man guilty of ruining his life? Nay! Never! Its but human to err or ‘miss the train’! He is just a victim of his mind When this dawns on him, he ‘wakes up’!
He becomes the ‘witness’ to the vagaries of his mind And then slowly dispassion sets in And no more is he a slave of his mind For he has befriended it!
Now joy or sorrow, pain or pleasure Heaven or hell, doubt or FAITH Whatever is he a witness to Just moves on as waves in the mind!
Be it pain, be it pleasure, Be it joy, be it sorrow Be it praise or be it insult Nothing stays in the mind for too long !
Friends are blessings Enemies as some swear to be. Of Man, are blessings too Joys are blessings Sorrows are blessings – in disguise!
‘’LIFE’ is a festival and celebration every day As moment-to-moment life and death happen Every moment mind dies and is born anew To enrich life and relationships To be tools for progress ‘on the path’!
O Lord! Thank You for this Moment Which bears the next in its ‘womb’ Out of it will be born a new life. Life is only in ‘The Present Moment’ always.
All else is synonymous with death Death is not that which is of the body The former is just an ‘optical illusion’ Yes!! A misinterpreted view of the fallacious mind Which corrects itself at the predestined moment!
Yes! That moment of the ‘Dawn of Grace’ When the mind just dissolves in itself To ‘rise’ like the ‘Phoenix’ from its ashes And be one with the ‘witness consciousness’
Real Death is in those moments in life When the embodied soul is in mental turmoil And gets lost in the ‘dark tunnel’of doubts and despair And keeps ‘trudging’ along in fear of a ‘dead end’!
But today or tomorrow, this lifetime or the next He will see the ‘light’ at the end of the tunnel For God loves man and he tests him But only to make him strong. To climb up to and be cradled in ‘His Lap”for ever!
Thank you Lord! For this human mind! For this experience of Death and Rebirth of the mind! The latter would not be possible without the former Isn’t this human mind the greatest of blessings Albeit, in disguise, of the Lord!
Ssshhhh! Ssshhhh! Ssshhhh! Everything is so QUIET! It is the lull after the ‘storm’ OR so it must appear to be For the flora and fauna in my neighbourhood!
Yes! Earth, Air, Water and sky must be polluted
These must be in silent strife with man
For turning Nature’s Balance topsy turvy
And causing harm to other forms of Creation – inanimate or animate!
Oh! Guilty mind but welcome thought
That its all over for now!
Celebration of festival by me and others like me
But at the expense of the environment!
Cheep! Cheep! Cheep! Happily chirped the bird on the tree Woof! Woof! Woof! Yelped the puppy as he played around!
And as I watched as a few ducks waddling by on the pond
Unmindful of a few dead fish floating by
It sparked ‘the spirit of enquiry’ within me
And I fell into a reverie !
Had I a previous birth and what was I born as? I travelled back in time To ‘live’ some moments in an ‘enlightening’ consciousness Yes! I lived, thought and felt as a the flora and fauna!
Monkey or man I must have been in my previous birth
If I had been a monkey being man’s predecessor
Did he make me captive
To work for him in a circus to entertain man and man-child alike?
If I had been a tree before Did I do Nature’s work as a source of sustenance to all Creation Did I not give air shelter and shade to man And did he axe me down and encroach on my space in the planet?
If I had been a a fish
Did I swallow man’s bait – hook, line and sinker
To make him richer
By satisfied palate or by a fatter wallet?
If I had been a shark
Was I a peace-loving one
Or did I kill many men in revenge
Yes! In revenge for encroaching on my territory for adventure
And for killing many a sibling of mine!
If I had been a camel
Did he take me out of my habitat
And give me ‘hell’ in alien soil
Away from my home and sore in body, mind and soul
Just to add some more gold coins at my expense?
If I had been a chicken or a crab or some delicacy to man’s taste buds Did he boil me, grill me, roast me or bake me And did he relish me as soup Or as midday meal or supper?
If I had been been a wild animal
Did he come into our jungle with guns and traps
And did he kill me and take my skin
To make profits or to beautify his living room wall?
If I had been a parrot or a lovebird
Did he claim that he loved me so…
And did he confine me in a cage
To feast his eyes on or to show off to his friends?
If I had been a dog
Did he really love me as a family member as he claims
Or did he keep me chained round-the-clock
And give me everything but true love?
If I had been unfortunate to be one of those
That fed on garbage thrown by man
Did I meet with a premature end
By consuming toxic waste with food thrown by man?
‘Dd…..rrr….ing….. Dd…..rrr….ing….went the school bell I got up with a startle and walked across the mango-grove as if in a daze It gives me the shivers When I think of what will be my self-created destiny in times to come!
As I walked my way back home
I made a vow to myself and to all Creation
That I will live and fight my way for survival and sustenance
But will not cause harm to tree, fish, bird animal or man for my selfish pursuits!
Oh! All Creation – tree fish bird and animal
Survive Nature’s Way
But It’s only Man who harms all his siblings of the Cosmos
Not for survival or sustenance like the others, but for his selfish pursuits!
O Lord! No wonder Nature reacts in ways unprecedented
For Man doesn’t honour its Laws
Hence do landslides, earthquakes and psunamis happen from time to time
As ‘unnatural disasters’ – a reaction to man’s ruthlessness!