Dinesh and Bawa

Dinesh and Bawa


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The First Time

A start of something new today...

So far i have been studiously avoiding talking about my (our) experiences with Guruji... i think its time to start:

On Day 1 of my Art of Living part I (it was called Basic then, we later convinced Guruji that there was nothing Basic about it :) and so then it was renamed the Part I) course, even before i did the Pranayamas, there was a feeling of having come home... and i remember i went to my teacher, Rajshree, and very seriously asked her how does one become a teacher of this...

She laughingly told me, well, one completes this course first... Before i knew it, i was on my first overnight train journey (super exciting) to Bangalore for the Advance Course!! I was the only 20 something, everyone else was uncle and aunty, and everyone took turns in mothering and fathering me ...

We reached the Ashram at 1 am. Rajshree had filled up all the registration forms for us, and we were all quickly dispatched to our respective Kutirs after hot cups of tea (?) or ragi ... dont remember...

I dont think until then, i had ever slept that well... a Presence enveloped me as i fell into a deep, restful sleep and then woke up to melodious flute music being softly played outside our door (by Phillip)...

The day went by quite fast, and then it was time for Satsang... i had no idea what that meant... but we all had dinner and gathered together in the Meditation Hall (then just newly built) and some people started singing some bhajans... which as a devout Parsi, i totally rejected :)... I remember thinking, we dont do Bhajans!!!

I was sitting next to an old lady... she turned to me and asked is this your first time? and i said yes it is... and she said have you ever met Guruji before? and i said no... she smiled serenely and said Dont see Him with your eyes, see Him with your heart...

And then, something changed in the room, a figure clad in white floated in... You cannot say He walked or ran or jogged or anything other than floated in, He was walking on air... He playfully jumped onto the stage and sat in a small chair which had His yellow asan on it... and all sorts of things happened to me that i still cant explain... I guess it will be enough to say that, I knew i was home, that i was loved, that i had found what i was unconsciously looking for and that i simply felt incredibly good for no reason at all...

Then the satsang started in earnest and some truly melodious bhajans were being sung and the musician in me was swaying... and effortlessly and unthinkingly i was singing... and even at that very blissful time making mental notes of who i have to bring here to experience this...

Later, after a fairly painful and yet remarkably wonderful 5 days of the Adv course, Guruji met the group from Mumbai in His Kutir, and all i remember from that meeting is Him looking at all of us and then saying, one of you is going to become a really great teacher who will teach thousands of people... As He was saying this, His gaze roamed on the entire group and stopped at me for a few seconds as He completed the sentence... I like to think that He meant it was me :)

Jai Gurudeva!

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Carrot Salad - Seema Style

When i was visiting Poona the last time, i saw a hodge podge of grated carrots on the dining table which didn't look the least appetizing... while waiting for the other veggie that was being heated, i took an experimental bite of the carrot thingie and was totally taken aback by how extremely tasty it was! I quickly got Seema to teach me and here is the recipe:

You will need:

3 big carrots, grated
a handful of peanuts roasted and powdered (Just add a few drops of oil to a pan and saute the peanuts on a very low flame or simply bake them in an oven at 200, then put them in a mixie and whirrr to a coarse powder)
1 big tomato chopped to medium chunky size

Throughly mix all these things together

For the tadka:

Put some (2 tablespoonsish) oil in a pan and heat, add a slit green chilly (this is optional, i dont do it), a few (5-8) curry leaves, a teaspoon of whole jeera, a sprinkling of rai (mustard seeds), a pinch of turmeric and red chilly powder (the chilly powder is also optional, i dont add it), let everything crackle and pop for a bit (dont burn it)

and then put this whole tadka into the carrot mixture and mix it up... Serve with hot rotis or as a salad with dal and rice... Dont forget to add lots of love to it!

It tastes unbelievably good, and is one of the simplest things to make...

I am pretty sure you can add whatever you wish to it and it will still taste grand!

Maybe some boiled green peas, or cooked mushrooms, or add a bit of garlic to the tadka or ginger paste... use your imagination :)

Have it for Lunch or Dinner today!  

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Jokes and stuff...

Have been inundated with jokes...
have published all that came in this time :)
but lets make a deal:
I will publish a joke here only if i have not heard it before and i really like it from now on... ok?!
Same with other factoids and stuff that people send... just so it doesnt crowd up the blog needlessly
Jai Gurudeva!

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

QnA - 8

Is it really possible that one can perform exceedingly well in his work which he has been doing for most part of his life but has been only a mediocre. I know some people do miraculous after a realization. But I don't know of any example where an average guy does something extraordinary in his field of work. Is their a limit for these things. How do I know if its my limit. How to transcend a limit.

Yes, its very possible, and like you mentioned it happens pretty frequently. A limit is something you have decided. If you want to transcend a limit all you have to do is decide a new one ☺. Its completely in your hands. The guiding principle here is that ignorance of your capability will expand you. The only thing you need to know is that you don’t know what you are capable of doing! And that’s it!

It's difficult to face death.
Because then we lose everything we earned during our lifetime.
Why then we spend our lives in pursuing great career and earning the maximum wealth and all??
Why we suffer a lot during the life in the struggle if we ultimately die?
(?) am confused.

Deep questions! You are right, struggling to get stuff which will hardly be with you seems quite silly doesn’t it? That’s why Guruji says that we are on this planet to give… not take!
Makes sense now?
Suffering happens mainly because you focus so much on taking not on giving… Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional!
BTW, not doing anything is also doing, coz you are not DOING anything… so action must happen. Let the action be such that it is beneficial to maximum number of people. Learn to start taking care of your corner of the planet. If everyone doest that, soon our planet will be taken care of!
Hopelessly optimistic? Maybe, but do you see that it can happen?! You start, I have already started…

HI Bawa,
I used to masturbate before joining yes+ , then I understood my stupidity in being involved in masturbate , then I never again voluntarily involved in masturbation again , but in my dreams I get to see images of sex and my sperms get poured out (night fall), I feel extremely depressed after that and feel that instead of my firm cousiousness telling me that " I should not involve in masturbate" and of opinion that "I should not be disturbed with thoughts of sex" night fall happens at regular frequency , I left non-veg completely, started drinking more water, doing kriya regularly, but something is missing in my honest attempts to avoid night fall, I wanted to share this with you... and lessen my burden , and bawa please suggest what I need to do so that the night fall won't happen again...

Night fall is a normal thing and nothing to bother about and make a big deal of. Do some creative stuff, take up a hobby. Go exercise. Do lots of physical activity. Take cold water baths. And you will see that this reduces, and if it doesn’t… don’t bother. All in good time.
Here is a lil joke:
Doctor: Do you suffer from wet dreams?
Patient: No doctor, I quite enjoy them!!

bawa please give me your number , I want to talk to you...

its easiest to write mail to me… Khurshed@gmail.com
I have the habit of leaving my phone all over the place, you want to talk to me, write email. Please no forwards and stuff… if you don’t have the time to type it out, I don’t have the time to read it, and if I consistently get forwards from people, they end up on my ignore list… all their mail goes into junk mail…
Any questions you may have, please post on the www.yesplus.org website. I answer almost all of them. And before posting, it would be a great idea to see if I have already answered ☺…
And then, PLEASE implement into your life…

My name is divya shree(24), I am from lucknow,i am pursuing MSc biotechnology from Ghaziabad{(i am living in a hostel here)i am a first year student}. I used to go in satsang here at Seema Rajvanshi ma'am she guides me. I want to connect in yes+ people. that will be my age group. please help me. I want to do seva in art of living, and make you empowered as much as possible.
Your's sincerely

Talk to Shavina in Delhi. I am sure she will help you find your place. Her email is shavinaprakash@gmail.com

Bhaiya I love animals a lot and a pure vegetarian.But I feel sad when I see people eating nonveg or something like that.I want to ask you there are pooja-prarthana and festivals in Muslims and Hindus,in those people kill animals and they call it "bali".So what can we do for these animals.

Yes… its an utterly misguided and disgusting thing that these people do. It’s a misinterpretation of the scriptures. By animal sacrifice, the scriptures mean, giving up your own animalistic tendencies and becoming pure. Not killing some poor animal. What God would be happy seeing His own creation being mercilessly butchered in His name?!
Its again lack of proper education and unwillingness to embrace true spirituality. We all have quite a bit of work ahead of us…

bawa I done the YES!+ course in LPU jallandhar, I'm regularly completing my homework given by u & Dinesh sir, in starting I feel some tiredness but now I m feeling very fine and very energetic after doing the Sudarshan Kriya.
bawa I want to know some yoga and food to increase my memory and concentration,to excel in every field of life and 4 success.
pls. reply!!!!!!!!!!!!
one more thing ,your formula to gain confidence is very useful and I am now using it in class during presentations!!!!!!!!!!!!!
we all luv u & dinesh sir.
jai gurudev.

Just do all that you have been taught. Eat good vegetarian food and exercise… some physical activity: jogging, swimming, gyming, whatever… Go on the Utsav II course, we deal with focus and concentration in more detail on that course…

BAWA my brother says I have ego problem because I don't accept my mistakes. In my heart I know I have ego and I have surrendered it to GURUJI many times and prayed him to take it away but still it doesn't go. Also many people have told me that the first impression they get for me is that I have got much attitude but after they meet me and come to know me they find that I was not like this. How to get rid of this ego problem and first impression problem. I am doing my sadhana and seva daily.

Being more in Knowledge will help. Read and Listen to Guruji.

Attitude is fine. But your attitude should be an inclusive one instead of an exclusive one.

jaigurudev bau....
this is anshuman from YES!+ Ludhiana,punjab....i have heard a lot about u from Paulomi didi, Rishi bhaiya and all but never got a chance to meet u....this time during utsav at Jalandhar I planned to have a session with u but unfortunately I had an exam on the 2nd day of utsav so was unable to attend the 1st day and then after that I was nt allowed to join it as I missed out my 1st day but will meet u very soon as we all r coming fr yes++ in june to banglore ashram…...I have also sent u friend request at orkut but it is pending since last 2 months and I m hoping that one day u will accept me in ur friend list…hope the day will arrive soon…
bhaiya I have a question in my mind of which I m not getting an answer so I decided 2 write it to u…I don't understand that when a boy/girl falls in relationship with girl/boy respectively and just after 3-4 months of relation they have such a strong attraction or u can say strong relation that they value their companion even more than that of their parents with whom the r in relation since birth..how such a strong feeling is developed between them in such a short period that the parents fail to develop in so many years ?? secondly I want to ask u that how we can develop such a relationship with guru whose love us beyond everything on this planet?? thirdly I want 2 ask that how we can help others to develop such a relationship with guru??

hope u will reply soon....

Strong feelings can be developed instantly. This is not the forst time you are on this planet. Neither is it the first time you are meeting someone… maybe its all happened before in another body, and you are just continuing the story…
Relationship with Guru, is doing Sadhana, Seva and Satsang. And remembering that Guru doesn’t want anything from you. If He did, He wouldn’t be Guru ☺!
As for others, you don’t bother, Guruji is there to take care of them, like He takes care of you!

Is art of living doing anything for trans genders?

Yes, we have been doing regular courses for them in the metros of India.

Jai Guru Dev, I'm Veena, I have done YES!+ course. I want to know why people say that YES!+ is a total money waste and some people say that is business.

People are entitled to their opinion. India being a democracy, everyone is entitled to their right to ignorance. When they want to get out of it, they can come to Art of Living!
And as far as Art of Living being a business is concerned, its true! Art of Living is in the business of doing Seva!  

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102 Reasons to Go Veggie!

There were many requests from people who wanted more on why veg?
i have a few favourite websites i goto and will post things from them too by and by, but below there is a very nice article which i got off:


I have reproduced it word for word... please read, get warned, and spread it around... not just to read, but have people completely stop eating meat and related stuff...

Here according to me is the zeroth reason:

0. Guruji once said, that for a person who eats non veg food, Samadhi is very difficult, and progress on the Spiritual Path is almost impossible!

Here are 101 more reasons to go green...


  1. Every year in the UK we feed our livestock enough food to feed 250,000,000 people while in the world 30,000,000 people die of starvation
  2. 20 vegetarians can live off the land required by one meat eater
  3. Every 3 seconds a child dies of starvation somewhere in the world
  4. If Americans reduced their meat consumption by 10% it would free 12,000,000 tons of grain - enough to feed 60,000,000 people (the population of Great Britain)
  5. If all Americans became vegetarian, it would free enough grain to feed 600,000,000 people (the population of India)
  6. Intensification in animal farming has displaced 1,000,000's of people from their traditional lands - eg. indigenous people in south & central america, native americans in north america & crofters in Great Britain - this is continuing today
  7. People displaced from their lands into cities succumb to dietary deficiency, diseases, parasites & opportunistic diseases
  8. In third world countries 1 in 10 babies die before their first birthday
  9. The UK imports �46,000,000 worth of grain from third world countries to feed our livestock
  10. Due to overgrazing 850,000,000 people live on land threatened by desertification & over 230,000,000 already live on land so severely desertified that they are unable to sustain their existence & face imminent starvation
  11. 1,000,000,000 people in the west gorging on meat & dairy leave 1,000,000,000 to waste away & 3,500,000,000 teeter on the brink


  12. If they continue to clear American forests to raise cattle at the present rate, in 50 years there will be none left
  13. 1 acre yields 165 lbs of beef or 20,000 lbs of potatoes
  14. 8/10 of cultivated land in the UK is used to grow food for animals (14,732,000 hectares)
  15. It takes 16lbs of high protein soya to produce 1 lb of beef
  16. Since 1945 in the UK we have lost 95% of flower meadows, 50% of ancient woodlands, 40% of heathlands, 50% of wet lands & 224,000 km of hedgerows all due to animal farming
  17. Pressure on land due to meat farming leads to soil erosion 6billion tons/year in the USA
  18. If everyone went vegetarian upto 90% of land used for animal farming could be taken out of production & used to replant woodlands, leisure activities etc.
  19. 25% of Central america's forests have been destroyed for cattle grazing since 1960
  20. Between 1966-1983 38% of the Amazon rain forest was destroyed for cattle grazing
  21. 90% of cattle ranches established on cleared forest land go bankrupt in less than 8 years as the land becomes barren due to nutrient loss & overgrazing
  22. Overgrazing by cattle is destroying the land & increasing desertification, nearly 430 million acres in the USA alone has suffered a 25-50% reduction in yield since first grazed
  23. An inch of topsoil takes 200-1000 years to develop - yet in the USA they have lost around 1/3 of their prime topsoil in 200 years (around 7 inches) due to animal farming
  24. Land will be lost due to rises in sea level due to global warming due to animal farming


  25. The destruction of the rainforest by cattle farmers is destroying the lungs of the planet & reducing the worlds capacity to replenish our oxygen supply
  26. The 1,300,000,000 cattle in the world emit 60,000,000 tons of methane per year (methane is a greenhouse gas & leads to global warming)
  27. Burning of forests, grasslands & agricultural waste associated with animal farming releases 50-100,000,000 tons of methane per year
  28. Combining these figures, 25% of methane emissions are due to animal farming (not including the billions of sheep, pigs & poultry so the real figure is much higher)
  29. Fertilizer used to grow crops to feed to animals releases nitrous oxide - thought to account for 6% of the greenhouse effect
  30. Fertilizer, weedkiller & pesticides sprayed on crops enter the atmosphere creating a noxious carcinogenic cocktail
  31. CFCs are released into the air from refrigeration units used to store decomposing flesh (meat), milk & butter - CFCs are destroy the ozone layer
  32. Ammonia from animal urine also pollutes the atmosphere
  33. CO2 is released by burning oil & petrol in lorries, ships, abattoirs, dairies, factories etc. associated with meat & dairy production
  34. Emissions from large chemical plants which produce fertilizer, weedkiller & other agricultural chemicals are also poisoning our air


  35. 25 gallons of water to produce 1lb of wheat & 2500 gallons to produce 1lb of meat
  36. UK farm animals produce 200,000,000 tonnes of slurry (liquid excrement) every year, the majority of which ends up in our rivers
  37. Bloody waste water from abattoirs ends up in our rivers
  38. In the USA every second humans produce 12,000 lbs of effluent while farmed animals produce 250,000 lbs
  39. Nitrates & pesticides used on crops grown to feed livestock end up in our rivers
  40. Meat & dairy farming uses 70 litres of water per day per animal in the UK or 159,250,000,000 litres per year in total
  41. The water used to produce 10 lbs of steak is equivalent to the average consumption of water for an entire household for an entire year
  42. Depletion of groundwater reserves to grow crops for animals & to supply abattoirs will lead to greater water shortages
  43. Aquafers (stores of underground water) in the San Joaquin valley in the USA are being drained at the rate of 500,000,000,000 gallons/year to produce meat
  44. 18% of all agricultural land in the world is irrigated & as global warming increases (partly due to animal farming) it will cost $200,000,000 to keep these systems going
  45. The water used to produce a 1000 lb beef steer is enough to float a Destroyer battleship
  46. The liquid waste from the various parts of the meat & dairy industry flow into the rivers & from there into the seas polluting them & encouraging huge algal blooms to grow


  47. To produce 1calorie of energy from meat takes 60 calories of petrol, whereas growing grains & legumes to directly feed people produces 20 calories for each calorie of fuel used ( thats 1200 times more efficient)
  48. Meat & dairy farming uses billions of gallons of oil to run tractors, fuel ships & lorries (to move animal feed & animals), pump billions of gallons of water to irrigate fields & run slaughterhouses, power refrigeration units to prevent the corpses from decomposing & to power sewage plants to clean up some of the pollution produced
  49. Cattle convert only 6% of their energy intake (mainly grains & soya) into flesh, the remaining 94% is wasted as heat, movement (which is why they keep many animals in very close confinement), hair, bones, faeces etc
  50. 1lb of beef takes 1 gallon of petrol to produce
  51. A family of four eating beef for a year uses enough petrol to run a car for 6 months (obviously depending on how far you drive!)
  52. If the full ecological cost of meat was passed onto the consumer - the price would be quadrupled (at least)
  53. The EC spends �100,000,000's to subsidise animal production resulting in lakes of unwanted milk & mountains of unwanted meat & butter. This money could be better spent encouraging organic fruit, vegetable & grain production
  54. In the USA in 1979 145,000,000 tons of crops were fed to cattle resulting in only 21million tons of animal bodies - the cost of the wasted crops was $20,000,000,000
  55. Between 1950 & 1985 grain production in Europe & the USA increased massively but 2/3 was fed to animals
  56. 70% of all grain is fed to animals
  57. Eating vast quantities of animal flesh, eggs, milk & butter is a luxury that most of the planet can not afford


  58. Fishing with drift (and other modern) nets weakens & destroys ecosystems by indiscriminately killing billions of sea creatures & disrupting the sea bed
  59. Fishermen's nets kill 10 times as many other animals as the fish they are hoping to catch
  60. Fish caught in nets die an agonising slow death of suffocation
  61. Each year 15,000,000,000 land animals are slaughtered for food & an unknown but much larger number of sea creatures (including 1000's of dolphins caught accidentally)
  62. Chickens are crammed into battery cages with upto 3 other birds, they are unable to even spread their wings & many can not even stand up
  63. Unwanted male chicks (because they can't lay eggs) are gassed or pulped while their sisters go to the battery sheds
  64. Chicks are debeaked without anaesthetic to prevent them injuring each other in the unnaturally confined conditions they are kept in - this is equivalent to having your fingernails pulled out without anaesthetic
  65. Modern farming methods using growth hormones & artificial lighting mean that many chickens out grow their bones, resulting in fractured & broken legs
  66. Sows are kept tethered in stalls 1.3 x 1 metre on concrete or slatted floors - they can not even turn around
  67. Poultry raised for meat are kept in windowless broiler sheds, with around 20-30,000 in each shed, they live in an area of 10-20 cm square - fighting due to overcrowding is common & like battery hens they commonly suffer from supperating bed sores
  68. Broilersheds are artificially lit 23 hours a day to produce rapid growth
  69. Animals travel between farms & to slaughter in overcrowded transporters with no food or water - resulting in stress, injuries & deaths - legal requirements are widely ignored
  70. 95% of poultry suffer injuries before being killed & 30% suffer broken bones
  71. Problems with stunning practices mean that many animals have their throats slit while still conscious (around 6% of cattle or 200,000 per year) & are then dipped in tanks of scalding water (to loosen feathers, bristles etc.) again while fully conscious
  72. 4000 animals die spurting their blood out every minute in a British slaughterhouse
  73. Calf leather comes from animals killed at just 2 weeks old
  74. Cows were fed on the ground up remains of other cows & sheep - the result is thought to be BSE (mad cow disease) in the USA cattle are fed partly on recycled plastic pellets
  75. Cows only give milk for 10 months after they have a calf - so they are routinely artificially inseminated (ie. mechanically raped) to keep them pregnant & milking - their calves are taken away (usually at 12 hours old) for meat or export to veal crates
  76. Cows would naturally live upto 20 years but are slaughtered after 5-7 years when their milk production begins to fall
  77. In the UK animals are killed by first being stunned with electricity or a captive bolt gun (ie. a bolt is fired into their heads) before having their throats slit & being plunged into boiling water - all this happens on a production line with the animals being hung upside down from a moving conveyor belt - this is factory farming
  78. "Animals are those unfortunate slaves & victims of the most brutal part of mankind" - John Stewart Mill (philosopher)
  79. Veal calves are confined in stalls in the dark, unable to move & are fed on pigs blood , chocolate & dried milk (we are drinking the rich fresh milk of their mothers)
  80. Cows naturally produce 5 litres of milk per day for their calves - under the intensified systems of modern farming they produce 25-40 litres per day - resulting in swollen & inflamed udders - at this rate they are soon worn out
  81. Large areas of land are under monoculture to grow crops to feed to animals - these areas are wildlife deserts supporting fewer & fewer species.


  82. Vegetarians have a 20% lower rate of mortality from all causes (ie. they live longer & don't get sick as often)
  83. Meat is full of traces of antibiotics, hormones, toxins produced by stress & pesticide residues that become concentrated from all the crops they have eaten
  84. Fish contain heavy metals & other pollutants -many of which originated on farms
  85. The world health organisation recommends a diet low in saturated fat, sugar, salt & with plenty of fibre - exactly what you get on a vegan/vegetarian diet
  86. Farmed animals contain upto 50% saturated fat in their bodies
  87. Vegetarians have 24% reduced risk of getting heart disease & Vegans a 57% reduction (heart disease is the biggest killer in the UK accounting for 50% of deaths)
  88. Obesity is rare in vegetarians, obesity is related to many diseases
  89. Vegans & vegetarians have lower blood pressure & cholesterol levels - high levels are associated with heart disease, strokes & kidney failure
  90. Vegetarians have a 50% reduced risk of dying of diabetes
  91. Vegetarians have a 40% reduced level of cancer than the general population thought to be because they have a higher intake of vitamins A,C & E
  92. Vegetarians have a reduced risk of developing gall & kidney stones
  93. 80% of food poisoning is due to infected meat (faeces, bacteria etc.) after all meat is decomposing flesh - most of the rest is due to salmonella in eggs
  94. Osteoporosis due to calcium loss from bones is mainly due to the sulphur content in meat & casein protein in milk that cause calcium to be lost in the urine - the countries with the highest meat & dairy consumption are those with the highest levels of brittle bones
  95. 50% of people do not have the enzyme to digest milk properly & milk allergy is related to asthma & eczema
  96. Meat eaters have double the rate of Alzheimers disease as Vegans & Vegetarians - some people also think that Parkinsons disease is also linked to meat eating
  97. Egg yolk is a dense concentration of saturated fat & the white is high in albumin protein associated with leaching calcium into your urine. Butter is 80% saturated fat, cream is 40% saturated fat & cheese is 25-40% saturated fat
  98. Meat eaters are two and a half times more likely to get bowel cancer than Vegetarians
  99. The cling film used to wrap meat in supermarkets & butchers contains chemicals linked to falling sperm counts in men
  100. Chinese people (living mainly on a vegetarian diet) consume 20% more calories than Americans but Americans are 20% fatter
  101. Of 2,100,000 deaths in the USA in 1987, 1,500,000 were related to diet (ie. meat & dairy)


If you've read this far, I hope that you are beginning to see that the Meat & Dairy industry is a major contributor to misery on this planet. It is destroying the health of people in rich countries, starving those in poor countries, it is torturing & killing billions of animals every year and in the meantime it is one of the major factors in the destruction of the environment - so what does the meat & dairy industry have to say in it's defence?

Well their only real point is usually "Meat is tasty" - fair enough a lot of people enjoy the taste of meat - but there are plenty of delicious alternatives (just consider the huge range of vegetarian dishes in Indian cooking - one of the oldest & most sophisticated cuisines in the world) and if you really crave meat & dairy, nowadays there are plenty of healthy non animal alternatives - just look in the supermarket & health food shop. So I hope you will agree it's pretty pathetic to consider all the evidence & then say "well I know you're right about the environment & health & the animals - but I just love my meat"

Books by John Robbins would be great to read for more on this subject...

Jai Gurudeva!




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Friday, April 25, 2008

Sardar Jokes!

Please dont stop sardar jokes... they are very good, and more than that they reflect on the very real sense of humour and tenacity and warm warmheartedness that these hardy people have in extraordinary proportions!
Very much like the Parsis, this is one community which knows how to laugh at itself and is so much richer for it...so keep the jokes coming, keep laughing, and making others laugh... but also educate while you are at it, and dont stop at laughing, learn from them too... and i think everyone will be able to live happily (and laughingly) ever after...
Jai Gurudeva !

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There have been requests for some "Knowledge" from me, tips on doing Seva, Sadhana and stuff like that...

You want Knowledge, read up all of what Guruji has written, listen to all His talks... then do it again and again...

Here is a tip for Seva and Sadhana: DO Seva, DO Sadhana, DO everyday

You want a thought for the day? pick a number between 1 and 7: call it X, then pick another number between 1 and 200: Call it Y... Open Knowledge Sheet Book number X to Page number Y (if Book X doesnt have Y pages, doesnt matter, open to last page of Book X) and READ! and IMPLEMENT!

and thats it! :)

Jai Gurudeva!

ps i will keep the qna flwing, if you guys keep on asking :)
pps Dinesh gets far more keep writing comments than i do... *veiled threat* :) :) :)  

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Punjabwich Chronicles

I am finally initiated into the blogging rite; after lots of coaxing and cajoling, warnings and threats, bribes and brickbats, mild protestations and wild insinuations, having my ego pricked or pumped, dropping hints and offering bargains (the last one by Natalie – “if you commence blogging, I will start my 8 minute Ab exercises which I had taught them in california).

I must say, it feels good though, being here, being back, going forward with you all…

Bawa with his superb Spiderwicky narration inspired me to post one on Punjabwich Chronicles. (wich in Punjabi language means ‘in’). Punjab truly is the land of the lions. All men put a Singh at the end of their name which means lion. Even the women are extremely strong (though they add a Kaur at the end of their names); you can’t but be strong if you have to make so many parathas (the best and healthiest Indian rotis on the planet) everyday and work in the fields. Farming is the primary occupation of the state and dancing comes a close second. Laughter comes under preoccupation.

We stayed at Prince’s (he is a guy, in Punjab they have names like that, montoo, prince, honey, silky, etc, their dogs are called rajesh and deepak) place. Now this guy has a heart of gold (24 carat). He and his sister Minie (well, you are not a punjabi if you don’t have a nickname), infact his entire family welcomed us and the rest of Jalandar in their farmhouse with the love and hospitality that is truly the hallmark of rural India. I felt like doing yoga at soon as I reached his house – I figured out soon it was ‘cos the ride to his house (thanks to the road) was like a proper pre-yoga warm up and loosening up of all joints. At his house, one had a choice of the pool outdoors or a pool table indoors. Avinash taught me tricks on the table and I was soon pocketing balls left, right and centre. In between volunteer meetings, Guru story sessions and paratha parties, Mr Ravishankar (imagine having that name!) taught us dance - some classical Indian and Bhangra (traditional Punjabi) with lots of humor and style. Raviji was mentioning a conversation in one of his dance classes where someone remarked Punjab having no culture. He said, “No, we have one. Its called agriculture. We agree with everyone’s culture”. Ha ha ha (3 minutes laugher). The Sardars(the Sikhs, I think it means commanders or warriors) are the butt of most jokes in India. They enjoy a special place in Indian joke-dom like the Irish, or the Jews, or the Germans, or the blondes... do elsewhere.

The Sikhs have contributed immensely to Indian ethos. They valiantly resisted the Mughal Invaders’ conversion drives and the subsequent genocide (done in millions; the Jewish holocaust or Spanish Inquisition pales in comparison). The Sikh gurus combined spirituality and the fighting spirit (to defend their country and faith). Avinash (a Kashmiri Pandit himself, one of the 3,50,000 Hindus driven out of their homes in Kashmir – one of the worst human rights violation in the world in modern times) mentioned that had it not been for the Sikh Gurus, the Kashmiri Pandits would not have existed today.

Shakti and Bhakti (Strength and devotion) runs thick in the Sikh blood. Seva-bhav (the spirit of service) is deeply ingrained in their consciousness. Many a times you see a Sikh getting out of his Mercedes and taking care of people’s shoes at the Gurudwara temple. Besides, the Sikh feed people in the thousand on festival days or holidays.

One saddening part is that because Punjab was the epicenter of the Agriculture revolution in India, its prosperity grew quickly. People ended up with pots of money and lots of time, not knowing what to do with it. So, many youngsters gravitated towards cigarettes, alcohol and drugs. Even today, it remains as a major problem. And the solution in sight seems to be a revival of spiritual values in the land. Thats where Art of Living steps right in, with the YES!+ and Utsav course. Our first Utsav in Jalandhar had close to 3000 young people in rapture.

Utsav Act I: Feel more alive. The tag line seemed redundant for Punjab, the youth embodied life. It didn’t take much to get them on their feet and into action. In Satsang, before the first word of the song escaped the tongue, they would be up and about, dancing. Nothing deterred them, not even the fact that at times we had not so good (read horrible) singers. Which made Bawa comment, these guys would dance to anything, they dont need music, just put an electric generator on...

The Golden Temple was a treat, to the mind and the soul. Bawa wrote all about that... We got treatment usually granted to saints. I truly felt like an ambassador of Guruji.

Overflowing with gratitude and contentment we moved on to Delhi and then to Mumbai...  

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Finished the Fulghum...

Well... i couldn't wait... didn't want to go slow anymore... so read in my usual breakneck speed... and it was a superb, satisfying little adventure with a man who loves to tell stories about the ordinary in a special extraordinary way...
Though he got a wrong idea about Sanyas (just a paragraph on it in one essay) and there may be a few things that he wrote which i dont agree with... it was a fun time!
His tales from the island of Crete are wonderful... some of them are laugh out loud funny, and the story the Meaning of Life (which is retold in this book) is as deeply moving and touching as it was the last time i read it... and i am so glad to see more of Dr. Alexandra Papaderos... I will leave you guys to read the book, without giving any of it away...

Thank You Mr. Fulghum... please do write more and more often...

Jai Gurudeva!

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An Inconvienient Truth

Its a movie about global warming. Its the movie that got Al Gore (the hero), the Nobel Peace Prize. Its thought provoking, scary and told with humour and sensitiviy... It offers few solutions, but does provide some hope...
It also fails to mention that eating Non Veg food, and the meat industry contributes to 27% of global warming (that's more pollution than all the vehicular traffic of the world put together) , coz Mr Gore himself is a meat eater, and that fact wouldnt have gone down well with the (decision making) people in the US and the Nobel Prize committee...

Its a well made film, that completely fails to give THE one solution that could really help our planet... unfortunate when politics, and personal ambitions are even in this time of crisis that the film so fantastically shows are put first...

Whoever is reading this, please know, that when you eat non veg food or just watch others eat non veg food and dont educate them, you are contributing to global warming and the rape of our planet...

You stop, and then gently educate and make others stop... for the sake of your health, the animals and our planet...

Jai Gurudeva !

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Robert Fulghum

I recently picked up a book called "What on Earth did I do?" by Robert Fulghum. I have read all his other books, the most notable being "All i really wanted to know i learned in Kindergarten"
All the books are simply small essays, almost never more than 4 pages long. He has a very wry wit, and a plethora of experiences of people of all sorts and places of all types... and he takes great pleasure in sharing it with us... Some of his stories are very funny, some extremely thought provoking and poignant... almost all without exception very interesting...
Here is an author for people to explore, who dont want to read "fat" books... though the book is fat... every little story in it is very thin, very enjoyable and hugely re readable...
It would be interesting to make Mr. Fulghum do an Art of Living course, take him to bangalore ashram and make him meet Guruji, and see what he writes about it...
Meanwhile, he has written maybe 7-8 books, and every one of them is quite superlative... i am about half way thru this latest one and though none of the essays in this one are laugh out loud funny, i am enjoying them and taking my time over them...
The trouble with books, especially good books, is that they take so long to write and just a few hours to read...
Happy Reading!

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The Spiderwick Chronicles

A superb, scenic, old , old house in some of the most beautiful countryside of the US, with autumn colours in the woods make the setting for this really nice fantasy, adventure movie...
Add 3 children, a screamy, brave older sister, 2 boys who are twins and maybe 12ish with very different attitudes (one guy fights with sister, the other just walks away... Why didnt you help me??? ... sorry i dont do conflict!)
A struggling mother of the 3 who is obviously recovering from a useless husband who left her, and so is nicely out of the way most of the time... AND
a house brownie who turns into a small monster when angry, but can be made to cool down with honey, some funny, ferocious goblins, a hobgoblin who loves to eat birds, a griffin, a book of secrets that should not be opened, an evil, evil ogre who wants it...
Shake well...
Stir in some really tender scenes with mom and kids
season with cool fights between good kids and bad goblins
garnish with a lot of comic moments...
Serve in an ice cold auditorium in the middle of summer!!

You simply cant resist it... I loved the movie and so did all who came with us... and after all those special effects, you walk away with the feeling that maybe, it is just possible that maybe fairies do exist... all you need is a hobgoblin to spit in your eyes (ewww...) to make you see them!!  

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Multiplying Milkshakes

Can be 4 separate milkshakes as well (see earlier post on milkshake):

Apple + Cinnamon or
Banana + Walnuts + Vanilla or
Vanilla + Cinnamon or
Apple + Vanilla tastes fantastic as well :)

You may as well try apple + Banana (add very little banana to keep the flavour of banana from overpowering the delicate taste of apple)

Lots of Dates + Raisins + Walnuts + Vanilla makes a great shake as well... you guys get the idea? Keep adding and subtracting and you will see your range of milkshakes multiply!! Good maths huh?! :)  

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Granma's Recipe (modified!)

My Granny used to make this. I was just a runt of a boy at that time and dont really know all that used to go into this amazingly tasty meal she would make, but from what my taste buds can recollect and a few notes from my mom’s cooking diary, here is a recipe based on what we would eat at those awesome joint family parties every year. She used to use chicken or meat, i know better than that, so i use Soya Chunks instead.

You will need:
5-7 cloves
7-8 cardamom
5-7 pieces of cinnamon
2 Tablespoons of dhania-jeera powder
salt to taste
1 Packet Nutrella Nuggets (Soya Chunks)
1 liter of Dahi
200 ml Coconut milk
5-6 medium potatoes
3 medium carrots
a handful (or a bit more) of green peas
1 full coconut (desiccated)
some ghee (totally depends on you how much you want to use)

Grind into a powder: 5-7 cloves, 7-8 cardamom, 5-7 big pieces of cinnamon
Cook a packet of Nutrella Nuggets (Soya Chunks), and squeeze them dry. To cook soya chunks just dunk them in boiling water for 10-15 minutes or so. Remember to add a bit of salt...
In a fairly large vessel, empty a whole packet (1 liter) of dahi, 200 ml of the coconut milk and add the ground spices, 2 tablespoons or so of ground dhania-jeera powder and some salt to taste. Mix well. Add the squeezed dry and cooked soya nuggets to the dahi marinade.
Cut into medium chunks 5 medium potatoes and 3 medium carrots, poke the chunks of potatoes and carrots with a fork a few times and add to the dahi marinade. Let it stand for 30 minutes or so, the longer the better.
Boil a handful of green peas (more if you like green peas), don’t let them turn dull, keep them nice and green until just cooked.
Meanwhile, desiccate a full coconut, and then put some ghee (the ghee used can be as little as 1 tablespoon full, you can add more depending on how rich you want to make the dish) in a hot tawa (girdle), and on a low fire roast the coconut in the ghee, until it starts to give off that yummy smell and browns a bit. Keep stirring, you don’t want to burn it.
Now in a pressure cooker, add the veggies with the dahi marinade and the roasted coconut. You may add some ghee to this if it makes you feel good.
Pressure Cook for 3-5 whistles and then simmer for about 10 minutes
Wait till the cooker has cooled, and open it... add the boiled green peas, garnish with finely chopped coriander or parsley and serve piping hot with brown or multigrain bread or hot rotis. The breads soak up the gravy really well. Please eat with your hands, don’t use spoons and forks and stuff while tucking into this delicacy :)
If you have the time and the patience and the inclination and have to cook this for hoards of people, instead of pressure cooking put everything in a bit pot and cook over a slow fire for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally (see to it that it doesnt stick and get burnt at the bottom, though personally i used to love that burned bit) or until done :)
I have observed that it tastes even better the next day, so cooking this in the afternoon and reheating it and serving it for dinner really brings out all the tastes... Remember to add the garnish just before serving. Wilted Coriander looks terrible!  

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Monday, April 21, 2008

A Milkshake

You will need:

3 nice ripe bananas
1 ripe apple
A Handful of walnuts
1 tablespoon of Vanilla essence (This may vary depending on the type you use, it needs to have a hint of vanilla... thats all)
A Little bit of Cinnamon Powder
Milk which has been chilled (Put it in the fridge for atleast 2-3 hours), use about 1 liter of milk, adjust for the kind of thickness you want in the shake

Wash and cut the apple into small pieces, peel and cut bananas into small chunks.
Put into a mixie. Add the walnuts, Vanilla Essence (If you are still having sugar, you can substitute this with a scoop of Vanilla ice cream, use Natural's or any one which has the nice french Vanilla flavour, if you live in Delhi, get the ice cream from Big Chill), chilled milk... and whirrrrrr away... to a nice smooth liquid.
Pour into a nice tall glass and just sprinkle a dash of cinnmon powder on the surface.
Serve chilled, drink immidiately!

Jai Gurudeva!

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Shivaratri: a trail of miracles...

Let me do the Sri Ganesha on this blog with our account of Shivaratri. After a fabulous PDS (Pranayam Dhyan Shibir) in Mumbai with Guruji which was full of meditations, miracles and early mornings, we felt a nagging sensation in our heart that we did not have enough. (He mentions somewhere it being a sign of love and Seva – a feeling of ‘not enough’). So we decided to join the caravan onto to Surat for Shivaratri.
The noon before Shivaratri, on the way from Dadar to Bandra station to catch our train, we took a divine detour so as to say goodbye to Guruji in Ghatkopar. As we went to his place, he was giving a video byte to Zee TV. As we were already running late, I gestured to him with palms going round and round indicating ‘railway’ and lip-synched Surat. He acknowledged with a raise of his eyebrows and an impish smile (everything reveals itself in good time). We somehow caught the train in the nick of time, rather the train stopped and caught up with us and took us to Surat… but that’s a story I will leave for another posting☺
For us, Surat is synonymous with Jigish. Bawa’s tryst with this city goes back to 1994 when he would conduct Basic courses at an unbawa hour of 4am with Jigish assisting. Foreseeing Jigish’s 3 bedroom small house would expand magically to accommodate 56 people during the shivaratri festival, we opted eventually to move to Jyotika and Bharti’s house. That house, like most of Gujarat has mastered feeding to an art-form.
People say shivaratri was blissfully divine. For Prasanna and me, it was chaotically divine. We were supposed to give a live commentary on TV of the puja proceedings. The presence of the Governor, accompanied by his paranoid security, sealed off our location settings. Then Sanskar TV’s bit of video and lot of audio decided to give up on us. So we ended up doing ‘Nishkaam Karma’ – fruitless effort, not to mention we had rollicking fun in the bargain.
Towards the end of the puja, we just dropped everything (read surrendered), and settled down to meditate. The bhajans started, and their tempo kept ascending until at it pinnacle, Guruji went into a soumya Tandav (Shiva’s Dance). The moment it begins, truly the entire universe comes to a stand still, the whole body is flushed with a million volts of energy, every cell in it is alive with sublime sacredness, and the very soul resonates with vibrant silence. In that very instant you know, you have done boundless benevolence to be there or have been showered with unconditional blessings to be physically present there.
He conducted ‘Hara Hara’ meditation with the invocation mudra and invited the divinity to settle here and now with all of us.
What Guruji said was…
The amazing journey from duality to devotion and devotion to oneness is shivaratri. For Love and Devotion there needs to be two, duality is needed… but Devotion when intensified leads to the Knowledge that there is only one!
The ancients texts asks us to become one with shiva and then worship him. So we do puja after enlivening the Shiva Tatva in every cell of our body. Shiva is the embodiment of innocence and we sit for puja with that innocence and fullness.
Shiva is worshiped with flowers and thorns. He accepts both. We too surrender both our positive and negative qualities. We offer ‘good’ qualities so we are not afflicted by its ego, and the ‘bad’ qualities with which we start identifying ourself.
Neelkanth and Bhadra – Shiva’s throat turned blue when he drank the dreaded poison signifying that we too have the power to take on negativity and transform it into benevolence. Offer all the anger, hatred and self-deprecating qualities. Shiva will only give something good and beneficial in return.
Shiva is also fury personified – he shows anger towards injustice and wrongdoing. It is a crime even to tolerate injustice. In that sense Shiva is complete.
At the onset of puja, we take a sankalpa for peace, prosperity, success and happiness for all those present in particular and for the whole world in general. It is a beautiful process of taking sankalpa by bringing into our consciousness the vastness of space and time and collapsing that into the here and now. A sankalpa taken in this charged, full-of-feeling atmosphere bears fruit easily.
Usually people go to places of worship with lots of demands and wishes, but people usually come to Guruji full of gratitude… no demands here, people are content and fulfilled already… That’s the specialty of Art of Living. And that’s what makes a Pooja with Guruji so much more potent and powerful!
Shiva is also the lord of the 5 elements (Bhootnath) - earth, water, air, fire and space. Honoring the elements is true worship of Shiva. In today’s age, people are most concerned about the environment. Being sensitive to the environment has been tradition of India since time immemorial. We respect the earth – before digging for a construction site, we do Puja. We worship the rivers and mountains… Infact puja itself done with all the 5 elements - flowers, water, rice, fire, fragrance everything is used. Awakening of the principles of these elements in us is puja.
The next day we did the Rudram again at 4:30 am and divinity seemed to talk hold of the very air and infuse it with sparkling joy.
The PDS started with Pankaj conducting Yoga gracefully, enthusiastically and with laughter and lightness. Guruji would lead meditations 30-35 minutes and they never seemed more than 5-10 minutes. People in hundreds experienced healing from illnesses, pains and sufferings. The sharing by participants brought out how Joy and good luck increased dramatically for countless many.
The arrangements were pretty smooth and things seemed to move with clockwork precision with hardly any friction. Rishi Vidyadharji seemed to be behind this organizational miracle. There were 26 teams altogether for Guruji’s visit and the man-in-charge Rishiji has absolutely zero conflict with anyone. That’s the power of Sattva. He would do Gurupooja everyday and meditate with everyone together. Guruji later on said that Karmaphal ki siddhi hoti hai sattva se. Aur sattva aata hai silence aur sadhana se. (Any action bears fruit only with Sattva. And this Sattva comes only through silence and meditation).
There was also an advance course being attended by 3000+ people being conducted by Rishiji…
Guruji sparkled with humour and Wisdom during the Youth Meet, and answered questions while playing random notes on a synth that was on stage… The notes somehow sounded fantastic…  

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A Big Family

Bansal (Ramnik) told me this one while we were in Jalandhar... can't resist posting it here:

A guy was talking to a friend saying that he was part of a really big family! He had 25 brothers and sisters!!!
The friend asked didnt the Family Planning people ever visit?
"They did, but went away thinking our house was a school!!!"


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QnA - 7

Preeti from Singapore collates and sends me all the questions you guys ask... it was her birthday and so maybe she got to ride in Guruji's car (she made the date and walnut cake for her birthday for Guruji, He and everyone else loved it btw :)), here is first part of her mail to me... Happy Birthday Preeti!

Dear Bau
Batch 7 - a bit late sorry - just back from chasing Guruji upto Jakarta.
Had a fantastic time and the most wonderful traffic jam experience ever.
The 5 min distance between Shangrila and Ritz Carlton was covered in something like half an hour and I was in Guruji's car !!!
:) :) :)

Q. My Dear Bawa Bhaiya,

I did my first yes plus advance in bangalore with You and Dinesh Bhaiya recently in December. i want to ask three questions:

1.lazyness is my biggest enemy, how to get rid of it ?

2.when is next yes plus advance in bangalore for coming vacations and how one can know bout upcoming courses and events in Ashram ? I feel that this site does not provides up to date information. guide me please !

3.I am doing B.Tech in Electronics and Communication from Thapar University, Patiala(Punjab). I have decided to devote my whole life for spreading the message of "Love 'n' Joy" in entire world.. as Full Time Yes Plus and Corporate Teacher. So please tell me what are the eligibility requirements for the same ?

I will be waiting for your wonderful(as usual) replies !

A. Simply start doing stuff now! not next week, not tomorrow, not in an hour... right now start.. and that’s it! Do your Sadhana, Seva and Satsang regularly. And finally keep a close watch on what you are eating... no non veg, smoking, alcohol, also cut down or completely stop white flour (maida) and white sugar... this will help you physically come out of laziness.. Definitely exercise, jog, swim, goto a gym whatever. Do all this starting now! :)
We are working on the site to make it better and better... Web dev team, please take note, make schedules etc more visible and up to date pease :)
First complete a few (min 4-6) Adv courses, a DSN and a Sahaj Course. Listen to Knowledge talks by Guruji, the Patanjali Yoga Sutras, The Narada Bhakti Sutras and the Ashtavakra Gita talks, read on on the Knowledge sheet books... Organize and assist on LOTS of YES!+ courses... and then come for the Teacher’s training program in Bangalore Ashram... Hope to see you and many others become really good teachers very soon!!!

Q. I plan a lot of things but have difficulty in doing them.
How can i be more committed to my plans?

A. Stop so much planning, start more doing... start this now :)

Q. Hi, I want to know that what WAYE is doing for unprivileged, orphan, handicapped, left alone elders and lots of indian dying due to malnutrition or unavailable treatment. If WAYE is really doing these significant work then i will be very happy to join u and help u in this noble work.

A. WAYE’s mission statement is “To prevent mainstream young people from going marginalized and inspire them into societal reform of their choice”
WAYE is not a “me too” NGO who basically targets the poor and the underprivileged, and gets funding from various sources to complete “projects”. There are thousands of organisations that take care of these marginalized people, none to take care of normal people. That’s why normal people become marginalized in the first place! WAYE seeks to and has had great success in preventing people from becoming marginalized (stopped them from becoming alcoholics, smokers or drug addicts, protected them from HIV, educated them about female feticide, the list goes on...)
WAYE and YES!+ are for normal people who want more from life. Who would like to contribute more to the planet...
Art of Living as an organization really takes care of almost all aspects of Social Service there are: from taking care of orphaned children (we have almost a 100 from kashmir and meghalaya in the bangalore ashram), to women empowerment, to chemical free farming, to disaster relief, to slum rehab, drugs rehab, rain water harvesting, planting trees, mediating in war torn areas, prison rehab courses... please visit the www.artofliving.org for more details on the Seva projects that Art of Living does...
It's alos interesting to note how people say, if Art of Living is "really" doing things... it's so easy to doubt good things isn't it? :) It would be nice to start watching the intellect as well a bit... what say? :)
In any case, You are welcome to join :)

Q. Jai gurudev,
I am Giridhar Kodakalla, who did basic,yes+ and dsn courses in chennai with Kavitha madam and Atika madam.
I was really unhappy to know that DSN happened last week when i was out of chennai.
I know that AOL group is into so many programs to help society and for education for children. But there is one thing which i would like to know whether AOL is taking care of -Food and care for Infant Orphans.

When my 8 months old son Sai Sujit cries for food, we have 3 people trying to feed him. Sometimes he might need little bit more milk and he starts crying when we take out the milk bottle. Being his parent, i try my best to work quickly to fill the milk bottle. Once he finishes his dinner/lunch, we would be relaxed as the kid starts playing again.

When i see him crying, i really feel sorry for so many poor infants (may be orphans) who don't have any one to serve food or who might have some guardians to serve food, but they might not be able to serve them the required food/milk.

Is there anything we can do to feed these infants?
There is only one reason why i posted it here. If Art of Living decides to support any noble cause, i know, there are millions of people across the world who would think and work to make it happen.

Thanks for opportunity to post a question.

Glad to be associated with YES+ and AOL.

A. One major thing that can be done is changing our own food habits and the food habits of people around us. PLEASE go vegetarian. STOP eating meat of all sorts right now. 800 million people are dying from hunger and hunger related diseases every year and the number keeps growing... but only 10% of the population of the USA needs to go veg to be able to feed all these people... They are not doing it... will you?!

Q. Hi, I come from a broken family with lots of issues and lately have started feeling disillusioned, what can i do?

A. Do your Sudershan Kriya everyday. Get involved in some Seva activities in your area. Go and swing in Satsang :)
Think more about others... You have a broken family, millions dont even know what is family... learn to count your blessings...

Q. I am from IIT delhi and did the YES!+ under you in march, 2006. One day you told us that hindu mythology gives beautiful messages if interpreted correctly. You even gave a couple of examples (ganesh-shiva incident and something about radha-krishna). I have a special bond with Krishna and really love his personality.
The other day i was discussing mahabharata with one of my friends. he commented upon how krishna had behaved un-sportingly and used deceit to defeat the kauravs. He further said that thus krishna didn't set a good example wrt dharma, unlike rama. I was unable to give him a satisfactory answer, though i am convinced that there is some good hidden teaching in krishna's actions.
please help.

A. Krishna was an avatar. It requires great depth to even begin to understand His actions. Please read the entire Bhagwatam and you will see that what He did was perfect! There is too much to say on this topic and frankly it requires study and sincerity. Don't bother about convincing your friend... If he had enough curiosity, he would study more and comment less :) And you can continue to love Krishna, Bhakti rules! :)

Q. Recently i have done YES++ at bangalore ashram. I am finding that my interest towards the materialistic things, opp. sex, money and even in the studies is decreasing. my parents are getting freaky and have also started prohibiting me for my participation in AOL activities. what to do ,please help me.

A. Hello!! Please do not blame Art of Living or YES!+ for loosing interest in “materialistic” things... have you perhaps considered that you are being a bit lazy? and are using “Knowledge” to cover that up?
Guruji has never ever aught us not to act in the world... coz doing no action is also action!
Meditate, get Shakti and get out there and do Seva... and excel in whatever it is that you are doing in life!

Q. Bawa i have done the yes+ course held in LPU Jalandhar.
I want to know whether I have to give up non-veg food forever to fully utilise the Sudarshan Kriya? Will it harm my body or its vibrations ?

A. Yes. Like i mentioned above and like i have repeatedly talked about in all the courses i teach, STOP EATING NON VEG FOOD! DO IT NOW!!
And as you go deeper in the Knowledge and in Seva and Sadhana, answers to all those other questions of yours will come to you... for now, know one thing: You are on this planet to give...

Q. bawa please ask guruji to talk to me...

A. write a mail to Him yourself. His email id is guruji@artofliving.org
and you can talk to Him whenever you are meditating... and He does talk back to you. You only need to learn how to listen.... and the answer to how do i learn to listen is: Sadhana, Seva, Satsng and Silence (Adv courses)

Q. These days i am just whiling away all my time Bau..
No 100% in anything.. Be it work/seva/sadhana..
I have suddenly become super lazy and i dont feel like doing anything..
Feel very wierd! what to do?

and also at work place i am finding it very difficult to cope up.. in terms of grasping new stuff etc.. most of the times whatever is said in meetings is a bouncer.. and i take too much time to understand small little things.. my response time was never soooo bad bau!
i have become verrrry inefficient! what to do???

A. Read the answer above on laziness... check your diet please! Stop Sugar and maida...

Q. hi Bawu! how r u ?im frm nagpur n im now vounteer too.n im very happy.u know bawu,i talk to u daily .u r good frnd of mine,whenever i see ur face it makes me happy n smilie.love u bawu too much.i have a problem n waana discuss with u,help me out........
My parents are having a problem with AOL. They think that AOL is the HINDU dominated foundation.last day of ustav at nagpur,u had given two free passes to take the persons whom u want,so i had give it to my parents.but when SATSANG started,they were not happy... they heard the name of lord ganesha n shiva..... frm that time they had this impression.we r BUDHIST...
now pls help me how to convince my parents.waiting for your reply Bawu.say hi, to dinesh bhaiya too.

A. The Dalai Lama Himself has visited the Bangalore Ashram and is one of the founder members of the IAHV which is a sister organisation of Art of Living. If He has no problems, why should your parents?!
Tell them to stop being so narrow in their outlook. That Wisdom and Knowledge from anywhere should be taken and appreciated...

Q. hi bau how r u?? how is dinesh bhaiyya?? i'm in my engeneering 1st yr n have done the yes!+ n the adv course as well recently n am regular with my kriya n other practices. i'm happy with myself but i often imagine things like "if i do this then people will acknowledge me n praise me". i understand that its my ego thats working but how do i control it??

A. Doesn’t matter if you like a bit of praise... i like it too :)
infact Devas are said to be “Stuti Priya”, meaning they love Praise :)... so dont think its ego, think its the Divinity in you :)
in time, even that ned for praise will go... you dont have to do anything about it ok ? :)

Made a really tasty lunch today using an old forgotten recipe from by darling Grand mother... got to write it out and post it... you guys will see it soon :)

Jai Gurudeva!

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

MTNL Nightmare

Am in Mumbai right now... and can you imagine?!! There is no working internet connection!! I cannot believe this would happen!
Our Dadar House has been disconnected coz of some network failure, and where i am staying at Vishwas's house MTNL refuses to even accept an application form! They have a 4 month back log... and today we found out when we went to MTNL to get reconnected in Dadar, that they dont have any unlimited download plans at all!! Welll... they do, they charge Rs 20,000 per month for it... What a rip off!!
I think more of us should be writing to MTNL and whoever the concerned ministers etc are against this utterly preposterous pricings!! Add to that, their utter incompetence when it comes to fixing problems (their technical people have not even heard about a mac!), their people wanting a bribe almost every step of the way (I refuse to pay ofcourse), the interminable waits on their so called helpline... i dont think its worth it... Oh yes! and when they say unlimited, they mean unlimited hours!!! How utterly archaic!

After repeated experiences with MTNL internet services, on a scale of 0 to 10 i would rate them -6!!

Grow up MTNL!

End of Rant  

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

How much?

Dad sent me this mail and i thought i have to share it with all of you!

Hi Everybody, Over the weekend, I filled up my car's fuel tank, and I thought fuel has become really expensive after the recent price hike. But then I compared it with other common liquids and did some quick calculations, and I felt a little better.

To know why, see the results below – you'll be surprised at how outrageous some other prices are !

Diesel (regular) in Mumbai : Rs.36.08 per litre
Petrol (speed) in Mumbai : Rs.52 per litre
Coca Cola 330 ml can : Rs.20 = Rs.61 per litre
Dettol antiseptic 100 ml Rs.20 = Rs.200 per litre
Radiator coolant 500 ml Rs.160 = Rs.320 per litre
Pantene conditioner 400 ml Rs..165 = Rs.413 per litre
Medicinal mouthwash like Listerine 100 ml Rs.45 = Rs. 450 per litre
Red Bull 150 ml can : Rs.75 = Rs.500 per litre
Corex cough syrup 100 ml Rs.57 = Rs. 570 per litre
Evian water 500 ml Rs. 330 = Rs. 660 per litre
Rs. 500 for a litre of WATER???!!! And the buyers don't even know the source (Evian spelled backwards is Naive.)
Kores whiteout 15 ml Rs. 15 = Rs. 1000 per litre
Cup of coffee at any decent business hotel 150 ml Rs. 175 = Rs. 1167 per litre
Old Spice after shave lotion 100 ml Rs. 175 = Rs. 1750 per litre
Pure almond oil 25 ml Rs. 68 = Rs. 2720 per litre

And this is the REAL KICKER...
HP deskjet colour ink cartridge 21 ml Rs.1900 = Rs. 90476 per litre!!!
Now you know why computer printers are so cheap ? So they have you hooked for the ink ! So, the next time you're at the pump, don't curse our honorable Petroleum minister – just be glad your car doesn't run on cough syrup, after shave, coffee, or God forbid, printer ink.

Start Investing now! Things are expensive and your income needs to keep way ahead of your expenses :)  

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I have developed a new workshop called “Financial Literacy”. We had a 2 hour stint yesterday night in Delhi for about 50 people, the second time i ran this workshop, the first was in Mumbai. Everyone loved it!

So that’s the third one that i now teach which is a non Art of Living Workshop. The first two are Mathemagic (2 hours of hard core maths made fun) and Understanding the Classics (4 hours of really beautiful music from the great masters of music from the west)...  

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The Big Chill

A visit to Delhi is incomplete for me unless we go eat at the restaurant called “The Big Chill”. Very good food, and for those of you who eat chocolate and sugar, unbelievably tasty deserts.
We had an extended 2 hour lunch there. Started with Hummus and Pitta Bread. I must say that my hummus is tastier! :) Then went onto some leafy salads with sun dried tomatoes which were excellent. Then a fairly good tomato basil soup. A huge Baked potato topped with cheese and mushrooms, the skin of the potato is crunchy and tasty...
Then we had Cannelloni which was cooked to perfection, along with Lasagna which was very nice. The penne with mushrooms could have been much better... We also ordered pizzas (4 cheese and al funghi) which were strictly ok, i had just a bite from them, they don’t serve whole wheat pizza, so i was not too interested... and then i abandoned my no sugar dictat for some really super delicious deserts.
Shavina had a Mississippi Mud Pie, which is basically chocolate with more chocolate topped with chocolate, floating in chocolate and has some more chocolate stuffed in if there is any place... a chocoholics dream come true... i just looked at it, didn't eat any :) I dont think Shavina would really have cared to share it :)
We ordered Blueberry and Strawberry Cheese cake which were excellent, and a banana and vanilla thick shake, which was even better, but everything paled into insignificance to the mighty Banoffe Pie. Biscuit crusts, layered with cooked banana, gooey sticky super tasty caramelized toffee, and topped with some thick cream, sprinkled with shavings of dark chocolate (which i carefully removed). If there is ever a reason to eat sugar, this is it!:)
i had four mouth wateringly delicious spoonfuls of it!
We were a group of 14 people i think, Vishwas and Meghana had a flight to catch so they left a bit early, but Jogi joined us and i think more than made up for both of them... The bill was a little less than Rs 5000. The portions are generous and the service is pretty good. The ambience is very nice, All over the walls there are posters of movies and old pepsi and coke ads, the chairs are comfy. The music which can be loud and blaring and pretty intrusive... but seriously, other than the pizzas and the mushroom penne which were disappointing, the rest of the food was superb. A very satisfying and enjoyable afternoon out.
I am back to eating no sugar at all... in fact i didn’t have any dinner either :)
On a side note, after that sugar shot, i felt quite drowsy and can feel the acidity in my stomach... Sugar once or twice a year is fine, but not more than that for me for sure!

Flavours is another fantastic eating joint in Delhi, owned and run by an italian, they serve whole whet pizza too, and are just slightly more expensive than The Big Chill. They have maintained their quality over the years, though i wouldn’t eat any deserts there :)... The soup, salad, bakes and pizzas there are fantastic!

Jai Gurudeva!

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Amritsar and The Golden Temple

Shavina was teaching a course in Amritsar and so we decided, that instead of going to Delhi from Jalandhar, we would goto Amritsar and spend a few hours there and come back to Delhi with her by train.
We left Jalandhar at noon and went through the very beautiful Punjab country side. There are fields full of wheat, swaying in the wind, getting ready for the harvest... It was the first day of the month of Baisakh, called Baisakhi... the herald of the coming of Spring, of Harvest time, and throughout the road, there were many, many people celebrating, dressed in vivid colours, cooking on the roadside and giving out food in gratitude to whoever stopped to eat.
Dinesh and Vishu wanted to goto the Wagah border. Thats the border between India and Pakistan. Did you know that Amritsar in India and Lahore in Pakistan are almost twin cities? There is hardly a distance of about 50-60 kms between them... I was not keen on going there at all :) and only wanted to visit the Golden temple, the seat of the Sikhs in Amritsar... and so, events arranged themselves so we could only go there :)
We reached early afternoon to Anish’s home in Nanak University, where we had a bit of a lunch. Neetu, his wife had made very interesting nibbles: a generous chunk of very mildly spiced paneer, with a small chunk of pineapple and half a juicy strawberry, on toothpicks. Looked very festive and tasted delicious!
Then we had a Knowledge session with the volunteers and some of shavina’s brand new YES+ graduates... It was very nice... Dinesh has taken notes and i am sure he intends to post about that very soon! But i will tell two things here:
Give a motivational speech to the volunteers.
I said,”Next...”, and everyone laughed... Then i said that’s what volunteers should keep saying... Next, Next... ok this is done, now what?!
and another question was define Devinity (spelt wrongly) in one sentence. So i promptly replied,” Devinity is a spelling mistake!”
Rest of it i will leave for dinesh (his email is dineshg@artofliving.org please do write to him and post on the blog also asking him to start posting! i think a few pressure tactics are needed now:))
Then after that session, there was just enough time, either to goto the border, or goto the Golden Temple... it was obvious where we chose to go! The Golden Temple...
On the way we passed the Khalsa College. The building is magnificent and graceful. Bansal commented anyone studying here would really not like to graduate! Its supposed to be more than 300 years old and its a huge red brick palace with lovely domes and minarets, straight out of a fantasy novel set in ancient India... There were some Temple officials waiting for us, so we didnt have time to explore this really pretty place, and just took a round of it and drove on to the Temple itself...
We reached the very imposing white structure in just a few minutes drive from the University. There were loads and loads of people... in colourful turbans, and vivid Salwaars, almost everyone was in a great mood, smiling, laughing and super disciplined!
We were met my the Temple Officials and were taken inside by them through a short cut to be able to avoid some of the rush. You have to cover you head in the Temple, i donot know the significance of this, and forgot to ask... even Parsis cover their head in the Fire Temple. As you enter you wash your feet in a trough of water... and pass through massive gates, and there on the lake you see it. It looks awesome! And as soon as you enter, you can feel the energy of the place, pulsating and vibrant!
The Akal Takt, the political seat of the Sikhs is also here and its built at an angle to the Temple, to show that though its in the hallowed grounds of the Temple, politics and religion dont mix.
The Lake is supposed to have healing properties, especially for the skin, and its very very deep, and really really clean. big fat goldfish and catfish swim in it. There is a place where you can take a dip which is cordoned off by rails. The water is sweet and cold and inviting. We didn’t take a dip, but went in all the way to the Knees and listened to the Chanting from the Guru Granth Shahib, The holy book of the Sikhs, which is also considered their (last) Guru. The entire walkways around the lake and the walkway to the temple itself is made of white and black granite and marble. With beautiful designs. And amazingly, even with the thousands of people who had come to visit on this very holy Baisakhi day, it was spotlessly clean! We went on to the Temple and as we got closer, i could feel the intense devotion of people in the air. When you enter the temple (its quite small), there was a group of people sitting on either side of the Guru Granth Sahib, some listening with rapt attention, others lost in devotion and meditation... and One Sardarji, who may be the equivalent of the High Priest there reading it, chanting it, with a beatific smile on his lips. He had deep, soulful eyes and the whitest, fluffiest beard i had ever seen. He embodied devotion... There was a kind of hush around him, as well as an air of celebration...
We did our pranams there and moved out of the sanctum to goto the first floor of the temple where a huge Granth Sahib was being read by another person. This one though was hand written, and had quite an aura about it. Then we went to the terrace and had a lovely view of the entire campus. The white imposing welcoming structure of the gates to the Temple, the walkway, the gently rippling lake, all lit up festively for the Baisakhi Celebrations.
They have huge kitchens in the temple where a Langar (communal getting together and eating) happens everyday... very tasty food. Our guide informed us that today more than 10,000 Kgs of rice had been consumed!
We left the main temple premises via the walkway on the water and then did a parikrama (walking around) of it. On the way, we passed the Samadhi of Deepji Sahib. He was a fierce soldier, and he had only one wish, that he would like to die at the feet of his Guru. He was fighting 27 Kms away from the Temple, the place where we were standing, and he was beheaded. Legend or History says that his devotion to his Guru and his wish was so strong that he rode the 27 Kms, holding his head in his hand, and came to where his Guru was, and died at his feet!!
The sikhs have been a very brave people, and repeatedly they have protected India and Indian interests. In fact when the muslim kings went on rampant conversion drives, the Hindu priests had gone to the then Guru of the sikhs to help them. He did. He was killed by auranzeb (a monster to rival the most notorious dictators of history, its quite strange how we in India have actually named a road after him, he was responsible for killing more hindus and sikhs and others (in millions) who refused to convert to islam, than a few European dictators put together) gruesomely, and his young son was entombed while still alive. A huge Salute to the Sikh community, to have such open hearts, such humour and such commitment to India!
We posed for a few photos, one is attached :)
And then, too soon it was time to leave... We were given gifts, a beautiful photo of the Temple and some books about Sikhism, which i still have to read up. Will post about that once i do... Btw, if i got a few details wrong, please forgive me, but i was so caught up in the waves of devotion and gratitude that permeated the Temple premises, that maybe i didn’t remember everything and the above is only what my impressions were... may not be totally accurate :)
My quest for the shoes finally ended in Amritsar. I must tell you, there is a Reebok shop opposite Khalsa College and we went there to see if they had the shoes i wanted. They didn’t. I asked the owner if he could find out if some of the other Reebok branches in Amritsar had the shoes i wanted. He called and said no they didn’t. I had a feeling he was lying... turned out he was! I was pretty amazed at his behaviour. All over the rest of the country, the people in the shops have always obliged by calling other branches and giving accurate information... in any case, we went to the shop on Lawrence road, and finally found a pair of shoes that i liked and that fit! :)
If you are ever in Amritsar, do visit the Golden Temple. Give yourself at least 2-3 hours over there... We didn’t have time to meditate or do Kriya... There was too much rush, but shavina says when you go there on other days, its not so crowded and you can easily get a corner to meditate...
As we left the Temple, there was a superb display of fireworks, bringing a perfectly beautiful evening to a grand close...
The train we took to Delhi was coincidentally called “The Golden Temple Mail”...

Jai Gurudeva!  

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Monday, April 14, 2008

QnA - 6 (v short for a change)

Q. Gurudev's vision is one world family... but what to do when in your won family, there is a lot of strife, tension, jealousy, etc, and it seems as if things will never be alright... How do i handle this?

All families have some problem or the other, and typically while you are in the problem, its going to feel as if its been there forever... and will go on forever... but remember circumstances and people do change over time, and something that you thought was a big problem may be trivial over time... and may even teach you new skills, and bring out new talents in you...

Practicing Art of Living techniques and Knowledge doesnt eliminate problems from our lives, it simply gives us efficient ways to cope with them... We, through our actions (which are now much more dynamic and effective) manage to handle the problems in our lives... of course Guruji's Grace does bring us that unseen, unfelt good luck and great timing... but thats another story :)

So Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam or a One World Family is possible, and we can all make it happen, even if there are problems in our own family... we just need to expand the definition of family :)... and in my personal experience i have seen, when i take on bigger challenges, bigger problems, then the ones i have pale into insignificance and almost manage to solve themselves :)

There was another question about a person having trouble doing Kriya in a small room with lots of people... for that person, i would say dont worry, some people have very low tolerance for this type of physical conditions, and you leaving before the Kriya starts is absolutely fine... Do find a bigger hall, or a better ventilated place for all the people there, they will surely thank you for it :)

There was also a question about viewing the TV episodes if you are outside India... i really dont know if its possible, i think ETV is a subscription channel... but we do have people taping the programs and should soon have a DVD/VCD with all the episodes which you could get for yourself :)

Jai Gurudeva!

ps Sonia, you said there was a poem you sent about Curious Lives and i didnt publish it, and so you were scared to comment more... you could have thought about the possibility that i didnt recieve the poem :)... btw, if its bad, i wont publish it :) :) :)!!  

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

TV Schedule

Some time ago, during the YES!+ Winter break last year, dinesh and i recorded some talks (episodes) for ETV... They are going to be aired... here is the schedule:

The Art of Living Special episodes in Yuva Bharat

12- April Study for knowledge

19-April Social Responsibility

26-April Energy Management

03-May Youth & Spirituality

10-May Leadership & Team-building

17-May Self-management

24-May Stress management

31-May Communication & Creativity

07-june Q&A special

Channel Name Telecast Time
ETV- Bangla 9.30a.m
ETV-M.P. 9.30a.m
ETV-U.P. 9.30a.m
ETV-Bihar 9.30a.m
ETV-Rajasthan 9.30a.m
ETV-2 (Telugu) 10.30a.m
ETV-Oriya 10.30a.m
ETV-Gujarati 9.30a.m
ETV-Kannada 8.00a.m
ETV-Marathi 10.05a.m
ETV-Urdu 10.30a.m

Do watch and post here about how you liked them :)

Also wirte to ETV about the programs ...

Jai Gurudeva!

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QnA - 5

Q. I was to meet my friend and when she told me her cousin was going to be coming too i cancelled out cos her cousin was my classmate in school and i don’t much like him. I guess she told him and he sent me a very very vulgar message in yahoo.
I cant get it out of my head. Its keeps haunting me over and over..
How do i cope?
And also how do you know so much?!!

Vulgarity of any sort should simply be ignored, it shows an immature, unsophisticated consciousness... take it as spam and just forget about it and feel good that you didn’t go to meet your friend!
Move on... relax and smile :)
Jai Gurudeva!

ps i know so much, coz i have a terrific sense of curiosity and i love to learn more and more about many many things :)... And I love teaching things to others about all I know, so the knowledge stays with me fresh...

Q. Until now, till I did YES!+, I have been quite a shy person. Probably I would have never asked you this question before. I am well educated, have been a studious person through my life, did MTech from IIT Delhi and now working in a good company.
See, I like this girl, but I don't know her name or any other information about her. We did Seva together in the ashram during the advance course but as the silence was broken she had to leave and I never ever got a chance to talk to her…another reason was, that I was a bit shy. I just want to talk to her and find more about her and keep in touch. I don't have any lust or any bad feelings about her but just wish toto talk her. What should I do?

Do another Adv course! And another and another, she is bound to come back for one :) and next time if you like someone on a course, open your mouth and go and introduce yourself and exchange info :)... Just observe how throughout your life, this shyness of yours has cost you so much. I would say drop it! You have much to say to the world...

Q. Good afternoon sir, i m doing my b-tech (2nd yr) from nit-trichy. but am not at all interested in my core subject or getting into any software company. so its no point wasting 2 more years for this degree, and i have no reason why i should go for an mba.
i have never attended ny aol course, but am very sure that i m very interested in such things (spiritual n all n serving others) and i do believe in them......
Now, i want to know bout having a future in it. i mean means of living as a volunteer with some monthly income. actually money is no great deal 4 me but i will have to send something to my parents. i am in no hurry. its ok if i dont earn anything for 2-3 yrs(full service without income). i m ready to devote all my time to aol. i m ready to do seva n serve all day as my payment 4 aol courses, coz i dont think my parents will pay 4 it. unless i assure them of my future security,they wont allow me to chuck my college n go for aol n all...and i m quite sure tat this is d only way i can b happy in my life....
i want to b a part of ur institution....n only u can help me find some way......
waiting 4 ur reply very eargerly.......thanks a lot......

Hi varun and Jai Gurudeva!
First off, please do a YES!+ course... You say you are “interested”, well then go ahead and do something about it! If you feel your parents will not give you money to do the course, earn it! Please dont ask me how... Use your intelligence and skills... There is always the market research bureaus, thats how I used to earn money during the time I was studying... That and giving tuitions...
Next, giving up something simply because you dont ”like” it, is an attitude of a loser. There are going to be plenty of things in life that you may not like, but that you have comitted to do! Its your job to see to it that you finish what you have started. Guruji had beautifully put it, Move from success to success, not from failure to failure! However uninterested you are in the degreee you have chosen to do, first finish it before starting anything else. You also say you want to give up your degree, my friend, how can you give something you dont have?! Cmon finish it off... While you are doing it, you can organise YES!+ courses in your campus... Get into some hobbies, whatever, but see to it that you have completed what you started.
Do not join AOL to earn money. If you want to earn money there are millions of other options available. At the same time, if you are working with AOL, you will be taken care of financially... I like to put it this way, your needs will be taken care of, and maybe some of your greeds :)
According to me, AOL can be a viable career option, if your intention is to be happy, make others around you happy and not bother too much about finances... In time, money does come...

Q: When ever I tell my friends(who haven't yet done YES!+) about the seva activities happening in AOL, and ask for their contributions, they ask me how do I trust this organization ? And they reason out that in every NGO, lot of money gets wasted in the middle tracks and what reaches the needy is not even 40 %... I believe the money will reach the right people at right time in AOL. How do I make them believe ?

Take them to the places where Seva is happening. Our school in the slums of Dharavi and other places, villages where stuff has been put into place... Bring them to our Bangalore Ashram school and let them interact with the children studying there, Take them to jail courses and let them see for themselves what happens. Also, note that AOL is not liable to do Seva with the money collected on the courses. Thats the money we have earned! Its not a donation.
But Guruji is truly a philanthropist and so a huge percentage of even this money is ploughed back into society for reform where it is needed.
Finally, understand that there are a few people who will see flaws and defects everywhere... They have corrupted minds :) and there is just nothing you can do about it, other than bring them on a course and pray :)

Q:I am single and not married, working in a software company. I used to see gals who are very bad in behavior. I have seen gals who get engaged with one guy and have physical contacts with some other guys even after their engagement. I am very afraid that the gal whom I might get married to will also be of same character. Please help me to overcome this.

Not all women (or men) are like that. Also, once a woman (or man) is in a steady relationship, she may completely change her ways... Get out of this mind set that all women (and men) are unfaithful. Some definitely are, but most are not. Do be careful in selecting the one you want to get married, and treat her as she has a great character. Dont already assume she is not nice, simply because you know many women who are “bad”... Whoever you are going to get married to, make her do the YES!+ course and the Adv course :) and treat her with respect, not with doubt...

Q:The youth in the north east region of our country are in total strife. There is communal and spiritual discord. And the fact remains that there are many who want to be different and who want to make a difference. If i were to initiate action in the north east with your help do you think we could make it happen...?

Definitely... Things have been looking up now in the NE of India. There have been 3 YES!+ courses so far and many more will happen. Deepak Sharma is our teacher who is in charge of bringing about a miracle over there... Do contact him, his email id is d_s@email.com

Q: I am a 'fresher' in this world of AOL...and like everyone else even I am so inspired by you and especially by your speech. Its difficult to match the amount of knowledge that u have, but i surely want to have a vocab like yours. I am good in talking but i fall short of words...can u please suggest me how to get over this.
I have recently incorporated the AOL in my life and i can already see the difference n hope to make some contributions too.
Now that I am about to enter this world with my engineering just getting completed, I am a bit confused about AOL, Infosys, MBA n wht not...
I just dont wnt to get disconnected with AOL but at the same time worried about carrer. I know guruji will d der behind me..
Also all my good wishes to your mom. I hope she gets alright soon.
It was nice to write to u for the 1st time.
If u found it a bit boring....Just accept people as they are :)

Hi Rishab... Jai Gurudeva! And no, your question was not the least bit boring :), and i do accept people and emails as they are!!
and thanks for your wishes to my mom. She is still not completely alright, keeps going up and down, but these days it much more up than down, so I am pretty sure she will be absolutely fine soon! (She has already started sending her crazy SMSes to everyone she knows, thats a great sign:))
Being confused about what to do is perfectly natural... If you ask me, get the job while you decide what to do...
Come and meet up with me or any YES!+ teacher and talk about it... Like I said earlier, Art of Living and teaching YES!+ can be considered as a very viable career option... We do need many young and dynamic people to take Guruji’s special message for the youth all across the planet. So if you like being happy and making others happy and travelling all over... And not worrying too much about finances, believe me the money will come, then becoming an Art of Living teacher is perhaps the most satisfying and fulfilling job in the world! :)
You touch so many lives... So many smile because of you, so many are healed through you... It is a really wonderful and meaningful way of living. Dont get me wrong, there are challenges and problems, and its not all roses, but in the end, I personally would not do anything else :)

Q:I wanted to ask you about the Latest world summit held to anticipate different views given by Scientists in various countries. They have given very frightening declaration regarding the consequences of the Global Warming. Is it really happening?

Yes, It is really happening, and many people because of the immensity of the problem choose to just ignore it or shiver about it. You dont make that mistake. Take it up, and start talking very loudly about it wherever you go. Its our planet. We do need to fight for it!
More people learn to meditate and regularly practice meditation will automatically help them take responsible, intelligent action, instead of the thoughtless environmental rape that they are propogating... I had read in a journal recently, that 27% of global warming happens because people eat non veg food! Thats something we can all cut out. Its more than all the pollution caused by all the vehicles and airplanes all over the world!
So some of the solutions to this mega problem are fairly basic... And something each person can right away implement, if they only cared enough... And I am very proud that Art of Living is actually showing people a better lifestyle, than simply making a movie about it and ignoring the most important cause of global warming in it :)

Q: i m feeling very alone nowadays....i dont have a single person by whom i can spend time when i m bored.....does this life need a companion to go along.???......i keep feeling as though i m being let out by my mates.....a sense of being alone in this world constantly surrounds me.....i keep feeling as though this life is very dull....i m uselesss fellow....as though i m missing a lot of fun....

For sure this is going to happen, when all you can think is only about yourself... Poor me, poor me. Cmon, stop this! Get out of your shell and take a deep breath and get interested in life! Do some Seva, go on an Adv course at Bangalore Ashram, attend some swinging Satsangs, take up a new hobby, and maybe find some new mates! :)

Q. Bau I recently did the UTSAV ACT II with you and Dinesh bhaiya in Mumbai. First of all thank u sooo much for all those wonderful moments. Well I used to come there for the course on my bike due to which I missed a chance to have the cake n soup which u prepared, fortunately my friend did get a chance to have it n he was with full of praises which made me feel all the more jealous, Bawa when will i get a chance to meet u in person and have food with u (something which u have prepared)??? n Dinesh bhaiya man, he's too good.. Please do convey my special thanks n regards to him also...... Really looking forward to meet u both. One small question why is it that whenever I feel like asking u somethin' I go blank? (kaan mei batana kissi ko nahi bolunga)...jgd

You can come and hang out with us... But be warned that you will suddenly find yourself neck deep in some work or the other. Both Dinesh and me are extremely busy making a difference in people’s lives wherever we go and having loads of fun in the bargain :)
Going blank when you are in the vicinity of any person who meditates regularly is normal... For years I couldnt ask Guruji anything meaningful, then I started writing out the questions on paper before going to see Him... That worked until I started loosing the paper... :)

Q: I have done my first yes plus @ varanasi last sept. I have a problem - whenever any body approaches me for any work, though I know that I will not be able to complete that work I still take commitments ....(and as being a medical students more n more ppls approach me with their works:)... now the problem arises when even from deep inside I wanted to help all of them ...it all just results into UNMET COMMITMENTS .... n that gives a guilt feeling ..... how to get out of all this???

Very simple. Learn to say NO once in a while. Another way is to learn to increase your capacity to do stuff. Sudershan Kriya, Meditation, Pranayama, Satsang and Seva do just this!

Q: Bavuu!!!!!
Distress here in chennai..My very close friend Shiva has a younger brother...Swami. Swami is mentally imbalanced..has fits of anger..and delusions and breaks stuff at home. He even beat up his mother when Shiva was not at home. Shiva and swami had lost their dad some time back. Shiva is married and is even more distressed in not being able to do anything about his brother's behavior. Psychiatric treatments of no avail..they even took him to Kerala for mystic treatment. Those people have "diagnosed" him to be possessed.
P.S. both of them haven't done the basic course.
Please help

Really dont know what to say, other than beware of quacks... And maybe bring them to Bangalore Ashram for some treatment. A good homeopath or Ayurvedic doctor could also help a lot... Make all the people in the family do the course. Chanting Om Namah Shivaya may also help... And finally tell them to pray that things sort themselves out...

Jai Gurudev Bawa!!!!!!
Bawa we are all eagerly awaiting for utsav1 which will take place in mumbai from 24th!!
oh baau i cant explain it feels so great to see our friends getting into this amazing, superbly fantabulous "roller coaster"ride for he first time which they would be enjoying throughout their life thereafter! i have pulled in 7 of my friends in just one day to do the course!and i ll get as many as possible!! i dont coax them i literally force them(ofcourse in a friendly manner :)) to get themselves enrolled for the course) lol
its simply feels wow to gift someone such a miracously beautiful experience and make them aware tht an outstandingly amazing loving and caring Guru is always behind them!
on the other hand clean up mumbai is in full swing!! its so damn fun and cultivates a sense of responsibility to work for society n mother earth and by he end of tht day brings tremendous satisfaction!
bawa it feels great to read ur blog everyday!
do keep posting everyday!
jai gurudev! (let the victory of the big mind prevail forever!! :) )

Thats not really any question, but its written so well, and reflects so accurately what a lot people who do Utsav feel, that I felt it should be included here :)
Jai Gurudeva! May many many people come to this superb Knowledge through all of you... I mean all of us! :)

Q. I was working in company it was life insurance company since december 2005. There is lot of politics which was being played with me I mean I am being tortured mentally mostly. I have won all rewards and recognitions of the company but they still want more business. Since 28th march 2008 Iam not going to office. I feel suffocated there. I had given my resignation to them but they did not accepted it. What should be my next step how to react to them am very confused now. our office timing are rubbish it starts at 8 in morning and ends at 12 or 1 in night with standing Cextending for 2 hr regularly. I am not even getting leave to do course. so at end of day I feel very tired and depressed. I am eager to do seva but because of our office timing not being able to manage it.. we have very untimely meetings and we are tracked every hour. where we are what we do? Even calls go to customer asking if we have visited them or not?
i had happen to attend your session at nasik during pds and i am almost fixed to start a business in financial consulting but still i need your guidance as this is first time am thinking of business and need guruji's blessing we are starting business in name of mudra.
but please do guide me how to solve my office problem.
the impact of office work has increased lot of personal problem in my life.
now as am not going to office am also volunteering for utsav nasik may course

Just quit! Dont bother to go to such a place. Talk to rashmin (rpulekar@rediffmail,.com) about alternative sources of income. Believe me there are plenty! :)

Q. Bawu, I am looking forward this as an opportunity for me to communicate the thoughts in my mind. Please read through.

Bawu, Inspite you being a great inspiration for me and the respect I have for you, there is a factor fear in me towards you. This fear factor pulls me back from raising any question in your presence and clearing my doubts.

The fear may be started because initially I did not have complete faith in the activities of the World which I belong to now, i.e. Art of Living. In the earlier days of my involvement in the activities of Art of Living, an incident occurred in which I sensed that you were aware of these negative thoughts in me. Now in spite me having full faith, the guilt has remained within me in the form of fear. I am sure when you were able to recognize the negative thoughts in me, you will also be able to bring me out of this situation.

Dont bother about feeling negative or fearful or whatever... Relax, take a deep breath, smile and you are fine! :) :) :)

Q. Bawu, here is another issue which I am facing at my work place. There is a small conflicting idea between my Manager and me. Wherein I am not satisfied with what my manager is offering for me (Process), as I feel there is not much scope. This offer was also rejected by one of my colleague who is a new joiner (I don't know if this is ego). At the same time my manager is ready to offer what I am looking for keeping in consideration that my colleague (new joiner) accepts his offer.

I am in a perplexed state, between my manager, my colleague and my aspirations. Should I go ahead and accept the offer given?

Bawu, advice me.

You have to decide. Only you can decide anyways. Do you see that even if i give an answer, you have to make up your mind about taking it or not... so only you can decide :) Also know that there are lot of alternative ways of earning money... Maybe I should start up a blog on that :)... Meanwhile do talk to rashmin about it. His email is rpulekar@rediffmail.com

Q: I have a strong intention of helping my friends and other people, but hardly have any influence over them which makes any advice of mine to them useless. Till my high school I used to be the kind of guy who is silent, sitting in a corner totally cut off, helping my friends who are weak in studies, hoping they would progress and knowing that it is best to share knowledge.Should I give advice or knowledge which has helped me in solving a problem without being asked for, though I know that it is most likely to be ignored?

Start being a bit more assertive... Take leadership is some Seva project like organising a course... You will see people will start to take you seriously when they see that you are a “doer” not just a “talker”

Q. I'm from Punjab, was moved to Nottingham in UK for my LLM since then missing my AOL family. I realize that AOL will not only bring me back to my family but the youth here need it as well.

Nottingham is a city full of youths from different countries, as there are 4 universities so, there are number of youth here doing their graduation and post grad..........
Why not give your magic to them. so, they all get do well away from their home and lead a stress free life.........

Looking fwd for your reply

Please talk to Dr. Kapil Mathur (kaps108@yahoo.com) in London for courses in Nottingham. Get a big enough group and maybe me and/or dinesh will come there to teach it... London is one of my favourite cities in the world :)

Q. Which Olive oil should I use in my cooking? There are so many types, I get confused about which to buy...

Look out for Extra Virgin, Cold Pressed Olive Oil. It's is my favourite...
Any Brand is fine, i look for which bottle will go best with my kitchen decor :)

You can also buy a bottle and put some basil leaves in it. Leave to stand for more than a month. and you will be surprized at the taste. You can replace basil leaves with red chillies, fresh rosemary, a mixture of fresh herbs... whatever for a very different flavour to your Olive Oil.

Finally, do drizzle a little bit of olive oil on salad (even our simple indian kachumber is fine) and on pizza for a very different taste...

Experiment with different types, they do have different tastes, sometimes quite subtle, sometimes very obvious...  

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