Significance of Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on the day on which Lord Ganesha is believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees. Ganesha, the elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati, is worshipped as the supreme god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. Though it is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the symbolism behind the festival is much deeper.

Ganesh is described as Ajam Nirvikalpam Niraakaaramekam. This means that Ganesh is never born. He is Ajam (unborn), he is Niraakaar (formless) and he is Nirvikalpa (attributeless). Ganesh symbolises the consciousness which is omnipresent. Ganesh is the same energy which is the reason for this universe, from which everything is manifested and it’s the same energy in which the whole world will be dissolved. Ganesh is not somewhere outside of us, but the very centre of our life. But this is very subtle knowledge. Not everybody can perceive the formless without the form. Our ancient Rishis and Munis knew this; so they created the form for the benefit and understanding of people at all levels. Those who can’t experience of the formless, over a period of sustained experience of manifested form reach the formless Brahman.

Thus, the form serves as the starting point and gradually the formless consciousness begins to manifest. Ganesh Chaturthi marks a unique art of reaching formless Paramatma called Lord Ganesh by repeated worship of the manifest form of Ganesha. We pray to Ganesh in our consciousness to come out and sit in the idol for us for a while so that we can play with him. And after the puja, we again pray asking him to go back to where he comes from; that’s our consciousness. While he is in the idol, we offer back whatever God has given us through the puja of the idol.

The ritual of immersing (visaran) the idols after few days of worship reinforces the understanding that God is not in the idol, it’s inside us. So experiencing the omnipresent in the form and deriving joy out of the form is the essence of the Ganesha Chaturthi festival. Therefore, install the idol, worship it with infinite love, meditate and experience Lord Ganesha from within. This is the symbolic essence of Ganesh Chaturti festival, to awaken the Ganesha tatva which is masked inside us.

– H.H. Sri Sri Ravishankar


Call from the heart

I had not met Guruji for past few months and things had now happened that by hook or by crook, I wanted to meet Him. I wanted to go to Ashram during Ashtavakra, but somehow, I could not manage to go there. Now I had come to Jharkhand just 15 days before and it was coming in my mind, when I will meet Him? For the last one month I had called Guruji from my heart and everyday in Kriya, meditation or otherwise also, I just prayed to Him that I want to meet you Guruji. I cried a lot in this period to meet him.

This is my all time experience that whenever I had remembered him from my heart and wanted to meet him so eagerly, I don’t know how but he was in front of me. Suddenly someone would tell me that Guruji is coming to Delhi (since I am basicaly from New Delhi). Now also, there was no chance or indication of Guruji coming to Jharkhand. But suddenly one day, I got this amazing news that Guruji is coming to Bokaro. I was in Ranchi and it has been just 15 days that I came here. I could not believe on my ears. My Master is coming. I felt so greatful to him that since I could not go to Bangalore to meet him, he is himself coming to meet me. By this incident my belief in him got more stronger, whenver I called him so intensely, he is always there for me.

In Bokaro also, by the grace of my Master, I was staying in the same BOKARO NIWAS where Guruji was staying and the whole night I could not sleep, thinking feeling greatful that me and my Master was staying in same place. The other day, Guruji was to visit CHAS JAIL, Bokaro and to address the inmates there. I was so fortunate again that the jail cordinator of Jharkhand told me to join the satsang group. Although I sing but never in a huge satsang and that too in front of Guruji. But by Guruji’s grace I was in front row (just by the side of Guruji). I don’t know, how I managed to do the satsang and when Guruji came, He saw me and smiled at me. I can’t express that moment in words. He said me everything by his smile. Again, when he was going back from Bokaro, we were meeting him and when he came, I just folded my hands and to my amazement Guruji also folded his hands and greeted me with his eyes and smiled again. I knew what he was saying. For last few months, I was crying to meet him and He told me everything and given his message to me by his eyes and smile. Now I feel every call from the heart is heard.

Ritu Chopra
New Delhi

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Remove the reins

You’re caught up in life and moving every moment towards the grave. Yet, you cannot see the reality which is so obvious. Why? This is because four reins pull you backwards. These are  – Sukha (happiness, pleasure), dukha (sorrow), logic and feverishness, The desire for more; wanting more and more. We burn with desire and this burning does not allow you to relax into the peace of your being.

You crave for pleasure and you’re afraid of sorrow. You’re obsessed with feverishness of desire and you’re greedy for some achievement. Relax. Even when you are capable and strong, you must know that there is a power that takes care of you. It is so compassionate, it is with you and will always help you. If we just understand this, the insecurity and fear in the mind goes away. Great relaxation, confidence and trust come. When we were incapable, we were taken care of, and if we become incapable, we will be taken care of. All that is needed in life will just happen.

Have this conviction that there is a universal power that is inside of me, outside of me, and everywhere in the universe. All the diverse creation is because of this power and that power cares for me. There are the only two things that make life more fruitful- how much love have you given? And how much knowledge have you taken? Ultimately, happiness cannot be bought by money. You may earn millions of dollars, but you will have to leave it here. But what you can take with you is knowledge. What gets imprinted in the consciousness is knowledge. Knowledge is not what you read in a book, but it is awareness.

The world is running in search of happiness. The body gets baked, the mind gets baked, the intellect gets deluded but still we keep on getting stuck in the same repetitive cycle. Just turn inwards and you come to know that you are the source of happiness.

Your inner self is the source of all wealth, happiness and joy. One who relaxes in his consciousness experiences the true happiness. Then the mind calms down, and you realise that you are the one in whose search you have restlessly been running after.

Health benefits of Guava

  1. Guava is a rich souce of dietary fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Vitamin E. It also contains folic acid, potassium, manganese and copper.
  2. Guava is a laxative fruit. Being a rich souce of dietary fiber, it helps to cure constipation.
  3. Guava is packed with vitamins and minerals that help to keep the skin healthy, fresh and wrinkle free.
  4. Guava contains the powerful antioxidant Vitamin C to boost the immune system. It plays a vital role and helps in cancer prevention and anti-aging.
  5. Magnesium in guavas helps to relax the nerves and muscles in the body.
  6. Potassium in guavas helps to regulate the blood pressure by reversing the role of sodium in unbalancing the normal blood pressure.
  7. Guava is rich in Vitamin C which helps to prevent the viral infections like cold and cough. It also effectively helps in treating scurvy.
  8. Guava has very good astringent properties. It helps in treating gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea or dysentery.
  9. Vitamin A and the fiber content in guava helps to protect the colon mucous membrane.
  10. Guava is a cholesterol free fruit. It satisfies and keeps the stomach free from hunger for a long time. It assists in weight reduction and helps to control diabetes.

Guava is also a great fruit to juice with. It can take the edge off of dark green vegetables/leaves and make for a naturally sweeter energy drink.

Source: Rishimukh – The Art of Living Monthly Magazine

Car in Whirlpool of faith

I’m practicing my DSN follow-up at RTCC, Indira Nagar, Bangalore. I normally drive my 2 wheeler for the early morning follow-up since I can zip thru 9kms in 15mins. On 23rd april, I was woken up by a heavy thunderstorm which was much stronger than the previous night down pour. It was already 5:30am and I wished to reach the RTCC Centre about 9kms away from my Residence. When I looked out of my apartment balcony, I could feel the intensity of rainfall and the water logging around my Building.

Finally, I managed to drive my maruti esteem, a low ground clearance car into the outer ring road. Then I realized that the road was completely jammed with cars, buses and lorries. Waiting for water logged cars and buses to be cleared from the railway underpass near Marthahalli. I managed to Squeeze through the jammed cars and reach the entry point of underpass when I was shocked to find even a BMTC Bus broken down in the water pool. The Car in front of me was an alto and he was also stuck in the Water pool. Now, that I have decided to drive through this Route, I just looked at Guruji’s Portrait in my car’s dashboard and prayed that I’ve to clear this wave pool to reach the centre for the follow-up session. My car was splashed up to the bonnet and side window panes with the waves from other moving heavy trucks and was about to get chocked. I somehow managed to keep myself cool and restart the engine and kept my faith and managed to cross the water logged underpass when so many other tall and sturdier vehicles were chocked and broken down.

In spite of my ailing car’s health, I managed to swim through the whirlpool and reach the center to attend my weekly long kriya. I feel car was not in logged water but in the whirlpool of faith that’s why it could swim through.

Aravind M.
Bangalore India.

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The most precious thing in the world

Now I am going to ask you a very serious question:
Do you really greet a person or treat it as a formality?

See, on a day to day basis, we greet people, we exchange pleasantries. It is all on a very formal level. Isn’t it so?

When someone brings a glass of water, we say, ‘Thank you so much.’
That ‘so much’ has no meaning.
If you are in the Sahara desert, and you are really very thirsty and someone brings you a glass of water and you say, ‘Thank you so much’, it is authentic.
So, in life, when we deal only on a superficial level all the time and when we lack the depth, then life feels very dry and meaningless.
We must to shift to another level, of authenticity, sincerity, and a genuine connection from heart to heart. That is what I call spirituality.
Spirituality is when you relate from the authenticity of your existence.
As children we were all doing that.

Do you remember when you were a baby, the whole planet, the whole universe was so alive. The moon was talking, the trees were talking and the animals were talking. There was a natural conversation between you and the entire universe. Do you remember?
Have you seen the children in cartoons? Even trees talk to them. It is a different world.

Now the question is, can we still maintain that innocence and at the same time reach the height of intelligence? 
I say, ‘Yes, we can. 
Intelligence and innocence together is the most precious thing in the world.
There are people who are intelligent and crooked, and it is easy to be innocent and ignorant. But what is really preferred is the education that can bring intelligence yet maintain the innocence.

So, now that we are at home and feeling absolutely informal, what topic do you want me to speak on tonight?

(Audience: Love; Birth; Forgiveness; Relationship; Decisions; God; Corruption and peace; Compassion; Anger; Fear; Capitalism; Hope; Patience. )

You want me to talk on patience? I will do it next year. And then…

Tell me, does it really matter on what topic we speak on tonight?
You know, we convey more through our presence than our words. Isn’t that so?
Does it really matter what we speak?

The world is all just vibrations.
If you talk to your physicist, he will say the whole universe is nothing but a wave function. Each one of us are nothing but waves.
If you are in touch with your centre, the waves are positive. If you are not in touch with your centre and have gotten caught up, then your waves become negative.

Peace, love, compassion, all these are our true waves; our real waves without distortion. They are the positive vibrations that come from us.
When you get angry, upset, negative, what do you do? You need to change that into positive. But nobody has taught us how to do this, neither at home nor at school. Isn’t it so? Grandmother must have told us, ‘Go to the corner and count ten’, that is it. Counting ten or hundred does not help these days.

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A Fall That Became A Blessing

It all started with a fall.

Sunita, carrying her four month new daughter Drishya, was walking down the moss filled stony path leading to the road when she suddenly slipped. She fell with the little girl in her hand, and both injured their head-a bit severely. Right next to the place of their fall were few people who saw it. They rushed to the mother and daughter and after the essential first aid they took them to the nearest doctor- 13kms away. “Ridiculous!” said one of the men, “we need a hospital here, at least a primary medical center, it can save many lives.” The other men agreed. They were all ‘yuvacharyas’ of the YLTP.

In the beginning of 2012, a Primary Health Center was set up in Sunita and Drishya’s Kannavam, a tribal area in the district of Kannoor, Kerala. It was a collaborated initiative of YLTP Kerala and Kannoor Medical College, and the building was given to them by the Tribal Department. The health center lies in the center of Kannavam, in the midst of lush green. A misty water fall adds to the panorama. Filled with coconut, rubber, jackfruit and mango trees, this tropical tribal village is beautiful, a glimpse of why it is called ‘God’s own country.’ I was sure going to have an enriching experience.

The place was buzzing with people. Women with their children, men with their mothers, kids from a nearby tribal school in their blue uniforms, young, old and the ones in the middle—all present, to get themselves checked. Doctors and medical students scurrying with boxes of medicine, yuvacharyas passing chairs, water and tea and giving tokens with numbers for check up—the place looked nothing like a primary medical center, it looked more like a fair of some sort.

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