PINKY PATIL, B.A, B.Ed, aged 29 years and a resident of district Bidar, was lazy and stubborn. But as days passed by she felt the need to change her character. She did the Art of Living Part 1 course which transformed her attitude and she developed interest in social service.
After undergoing the Youth Leadership Program she began conducting Breath-Water-Sound workshops (also known as Nav Chetna Shibirs) in various villages in Karnataka. She facilitated the building of 25 homes for the poor people in Shimoga district. She has set an excellent example of resourcefulness by generating funds for these homes on her own through local resources. Pinky has conducted several Breath Water Sound workshops in 30 villages in Bijapur district alone.
With the help of the Panchayat members she facilitated bus services in villages that lacked basic transportation facilities. She has also initiated construction of roads and planting of 40,000 saplings. In agreement with the District Health Officer, the children were granted lifelong free medical aid as a preventive measure against the presence of high fluoride content in water that affected 25 people causing them to become deaf and dumb. She inspired 2000 youth to undergo the YLTP and take responsibility for village development. She further arranged distribution of clothes for 600 school children. She has also organized several Art of Living courses for MLAs who are now giving full support for the Village Development Programs.
Yogesh Vijay Shailar
In August 2005 Guruji made me an Art of Living teacher. Since then I am working as a full-time teacher. We are conducting YLTP courses in Nasik district. While organizing YLTP courses, I have analyzed that people in the rural area move towards negativity due to lack of confidence and knowledge. In all the areas where I have worked, I could see behavioral change in the people.
In Maharashtra there is a tehsil (district) called Devla. Sharad Aherao, a resident of this area for 35 years, used to consume alcohol from 6:00 in the morning till night. He used to work for two or three days in a month. He did not even pay attention to his family. His whole family was getting disturbed because of this and there was no happiness in their lives. He did the YLTP course in 2006; this knowledge brought an incredible change in him. Since then he has never touched alcohol.
Now Sharad volunteers for The Art of Living and he got many other people like him to do the course. He did not have a house of his own, and it was not even possible to have one with his drinking habits. But as soon as he gave up drinking, he could concentrate on his work and got his house constructed in less than two years. He gives all the credit for this to YLTP and Guruji.
I was a shy person before doing the YLTP course. Now, when I go to villages to conduct courses, I address thousands of people confidently. The vision for YLTP is to conduct courses and bring people in knowledge. Also to work on the 5H program in this area.
Sindiswa is an absolute pillar of strength, running the program together with Zukiswa Mafani, another power house from the Eastern Cape. The Eastern Cape team have taught Breath-Water-Sound to their communities i.e. Msobomvo, Tshali, Jonini villages and provided the necessary support for up and coming Breath-Water-Sound teachers.
Ricardo and Xolani, have also joined their team and after a recent visit, it is clear that the Breath-Water-Sound program is providing direction for the local youth, keeping them away from the overwelming amount of taverns in their small villages, and giving them responsibilty, in taking care of their villages. They have done all of this, without any resources. Transport is really expensive – getting from one village to the other could cost up to R 100.00 return – still they are a force to be reckoned with and serve as such role models in their commitment to re-enliven the age of the principle of Ubuntu, in the rural areas.
I have been recently elected as mayor of Sakriya Nagar, Bilaspur, Chhatisgarh in MP. I was told of this YLTP program and that it makes one tough. I thought at that time that, when so many good and well-statured people are doing this course, why shouldn’t I, though I am a very small insignificant person, also do this.
There is a saying in Chhatisgarh that, ‘First tie the harvest in your own field then tie the harvest for others.’ I was unable to understand how I could help other people, but I was also told by my teacher Arjit Bhaiya, that if we do regular Sadhana (spiritual practices) in our life then we would definitely progress.
We were given a target of 3 months that we should do the sadhana regularly for three months and we’ll see a positive change in our life. I did these practices regularly and in just one month I could see a significant change in my situation. In just one month the attitude of my friends, family and relatives towards me changed so drastically that I myself couldn’t understand what was happening to me. My economic situation started improving, my father every year used to get sick, but in my house just by my doing Sadhana (spiritual practices) .others seeing me.today my mother and father have also done the basic course. After getting associated with The Art of Living when Spiritual practices entered my life, I completed my BA then I did my LLB(Law). I then felt that there has been a huge change in me and Guruji has fulfilled all my desires and now I must do something for the society. I just had one thought in my mind that I should do something for the society, and as soon as this thought came there were election to be held in the Nagar Panchayat (5 member governing body of the town). There was a meeting of the locals in which was selecting the people with good thoughts and intentions who could do something for the society, amongst 20 other people my name also came up. “That Ravi Meher can do something good for the society”.
Bharatiya Janta Party which is a very big national party of this country gave me a ticket to represent them and contest elections from my constituency. With the help of Guruji’s Grace and with the help of my fellow Youth Leaders Brothers today I am the Mayor of Sakriya Nagar Panchayat. I sincerely thank Guruji and The Art of Living who picked up a Road Side Hawker and Turned Him into a King, Polished him (me) like a diamond. I would like to tell the youth only one thing that if you get attached to a spiritual practice and attached to a Sadguru you will definitely become a Real Star, like me who used to polish shoes on the roadside have become the most influential man- the mayor in the very same city. I would request you all to join The Art of Living and with Guruji’s grace bring about a progress (change) in yourself, bring about a progress (change) in your family, progress (change) in your village (town/city), progress (change) in your state, bring about progress in the whole country and in the whole world spread Guruji’s message of “One World One Family”.
Kumari Manvati Marabi
When we go to villages to organize Breath-Water-Sound (also known as Nav Chetna Shibirs in India), we meet the Sarpanch (village governing head), Sachiv (village head), and the Kotwal (police). Then we collect the villagers in the community hall for the five-day course in which they are also taught Ram Dhyan.
Practicing this technique daily keeps one healthy and away from ailments – I have a wonderful experience of this. My Aunt was paralyzed and could not walk since nine months. I took her to the course even though she was not willing to do it. Now she can walk slowly with the help of a stick. I was very happy to see that I shared the knowledge that I received from Guruji and it benefited her. I want this knowledge to reach everyone.
Padmakar Sadashiv Kulkarni
I am into The Art of Living since seven years. I am a businessman and also a YLTP teacher since 2006. I always had this intention that having come to this world, I should definitely do some service. Doing service we should make our life an expression of joy.
In Ahmednagar district this work started in 2004, and we have around 1000 Yuvacharyas and Sevacharyas in Maharashtra. We work together in different villages. We work to create awareness about organic farming, organize cleanliness drives etc. in these villages. Government agencies also come forward to join hands with us at times.
In one of the villages our Yuvacharyas have done a great job. The whole village has done Breath-Water-Sound workshop and The Art of Living Part 1 Course. There is a person, whose life is totally transformed. He used to be an addict and now he is a totally changed person, living a happy life. Another person was not keeping good health and was spending Rs.100 per day on medicines. Now after doing the Art of Living Part 1 Course and practicing Sudarshan Kriya every day, he doesn’t have to spend even one rupee on medicines.
Many villages have been transformed. Many people have got connected to The Art of Living through organic farming as well. YLTP plans to get everyone into The Art of Living and make a better society. I gained confidence and knowledge, which made life extremely beautiful.