January 12, 2011

The Immortal U....

This was my third consecutive year-end when I have not been on YES!+ Winter Break. A night before we were to leave for winter break on 24th december two years ago, one phone call changed the course of my life. That is a seperate story which would come up on the blog in time, or as a book by this year end released at Winter Break 2011 if the story finds an end. For now, I talk about the year end that just passed by. With no winter-break at the ashram for me, the next best option was the 2.5 days teacher's advance course happening at Vanasthali in Punjab. I had my seat reserved by sending an sms to Raman Agarwal,STC for Punjab. The course was scheduled to begin on 29th Dec and was to be conducted by Sejal. The dates later were shifted to 26th for reasons unknown to me at that time. I was fine with both the dates so it didnt matter much that the dates were changed suddenly.

Vanathali is near Ludhiana on Khanna road. By the time I reached the place it was 730 in the night and the satsang had begun. We were a batch of 22 teachers on the course. Our course teacher Tanuja arrived a few minutes later and joined us at the satsang. After the satsang we went back, had our dinner and checked into our rooms. The course was to begin with a yoga session at 7 am next morning.

Done with the talking processes, our silence began with a hollow-empty meditation before lunch. The second night at the place was in total silence other than the satsang singing in the night. The third and final night though in silence had the bonn-fire planned !! 

By the evening we started gathering broken dry branches as well as wood. We had the pyre ready for satsang. Some local volunteers from Khanna, Mandi Gobindgarh and Nabha joined us in the celebration. In the middle of the satsang Prayag who was in the area teaching courses arrived too. With the fire full-on,  gachchak and revadis distributed abundantly we were all lost in the ecstasy of the evening - dancing and singing. Towards the end Tanu maa began with a 'Jai Jai Jai Jai ....." bhajan. Prayag and I joined in leading it along with Tanu maa. This was the last bhajan before we moved in the hall to watch the knowledge video.

Prayag joined us for the session. He was now Swami Prayag. Since the silence was still on, there was no talking that we did other than a smiling glance we shared as we sat next to each other at the back of the hall.

As the talk got over, I was the first one to walk out of the hall. For some reason there was no light in the passage from the hall to the exit door. As I reached the door, I just turned back to look at Prayag walking out. He shined in his all white attire and his presence ans gait reminded me of Guruji at that moment. He walked free. He has always had a jumpy cheerful walk.This time it was silent....

The next morning on 29th Dec, meditation session began with usual yoga session followed by breakfast and then the final session of the day. After a hollow-empty, we came out of the silence speaking the first words that came to our minds. Tanuja ma said she has to leave urgently and that we all shall chant 'Om nama shivaya' for 15 minutes. While others closed their eyes and started with the chant, I sensed something different. I walked up to her who stood in the passage next to Saurav, the volunteer from Amritsar who was assisting on the course. He said, "Prayag is no more".

It took a minute for the thing to sink in. Tanu ma was leaving for Nabha immediately where Prayag's mortal remains were. What was to be done with the advance course participants. Tanu ma told me to reveal the news to the advance course. 

As I got the teachers out of the chanting, I shared the news with them all. On person asked , "How?". I had no response to this question. I did not even want to know at that time "How". It sounded irrelevant. He was no more. He was NO MORE. How did it matter how.

We drove in cars to Nabha. As I walked in I saw his body covered till the face lying in the hall. My naval felt a pinch inwards, a momentary pain of immense loss as i joined everyone chanting Om Nama Shivaya.

I had no courage to see his face. Only when a few more people came in and they wanted to see his face did I also opt to see it. That one moment was a sight which is imprinted in my mind like engraving on stone. He didn't at all look like he was not alive. His face looked like that of a 15 year young boy in deep meditation. The glow and freshness on his face was seemed like a super-natural phenomena. His hair falling back from the head made the face even more clear. I had seen so many dead ones, this is the first time I felt someone is not dead. This is the first time I saw a face which looked like it was in deep meditation. This is the first time I felt death was nothing more than changing clothes. This is the first time there was no sadness but total emptiness. This is the first time death became so unpredictable, so real and life unreal...
As I was writing it I was reliving the moment. I am blank again. I need a break. Will finish writing about the funeral in the next one...

Jai Gurudev...

November 14, 2010

Happeningz on 9-Nov. The DAY!!

When krishna was on the planet the gopis and Gopas were the luckiest ones to have spend most precious time with HIM in utter devotion ! Unexpected and unusual incidents were a common routine in the lives of these heart-stolen devotees. Sri Sri's Punjab visit is full of such beautiful moments that relive the lives of such devotees completely drenched in love.

Chandigarh had the hoardings inviting the whole city to an evening of joy and blessings in His Holiness Sri Sri's presence about 9 days before the scheduled 9-november visit. The whole city woke up to a most pleasing and unusual sight of Guruji's pictures at every roundabout, a first ever for the city! YES!+ youngsters who were handling the publicity for Gurujis visit went shop to shop and house to house warmly inviting every citizen to the historic event to be. Yet another unusual happening for the city !
Various permissions for the event got approved in a totally unexpected manner making the event organising a soothing breeze.

Finally the Day arrived when God reached the city beautiful - 9 Nov 2010 !!
The evening mahasatsang was kept at Kalagram, largest possible venue keeping in mind parking requirements and location. All roads leading to single venue managed to get even Guruji stuck in traffic jam !! Wanting not to miss even a moment of the Guru the spaced out devotees parked their cars wherever they found land ! While a 50000 strong crowd blissfully sat mesmerised in the satsang, about 3500 vehicles got challaned for parking. The traffic policeman needed a massage to his hands from making all those challans. He must have been instructed by someone at senior level to create unwanted chaos in this divine event. But to the utter failure of this slimy plan the devotees were least perturbed choosing to let the challans be cut rather than missing a minute of the divine moments with Guruji !
The devotion- berserk uncontrollable crowd threw away professional bodyguards who looked like solid walls,flat on the ground beating dust near stage in their craziness to get closer to the master !! Finally the these guys found a real use to their profession leaving in them huge scope for improvement!
Many dropped and lost their mobiles disconnecting themselves from the maddening world in their quest for the Highest possible connection of their life with the Guru of joy ! At a sastang in a devotee's house, a old uncle ended up sitting in a child’s lap while he plonked into the sofa ecstatically looking  at Guruji and not at his landing place. Many anties forgot their husbands running after Guruji while the uncles went confused searching their wives. Devotees forming a chain to protect Guruji were hand held by Guruji Himself to safe them from falling. Who is protecting whom ! The night satsang and volunteer teachers meeting with Guruji saw people pressing into the people infront leaving no breathing space only bhakti space ! Guruji jumped over the wall to dash into his car as the exit was blocked with devotees.
Since Guruji was state guest, the police jeep was provided by administration to escort His vehicle. The escort vehicle was often left  away from His car by the speeding devotee cars that managed to escort Guruji's car !!

Amidst all divine chaos, Guruji was at his most compassionate and sensitive best , as always, taking care of every heart, body and soul ! At MCM DAV He was escorted by a bodyguard from chandigarh police. At the venue, the guest of honor seats next to Guruji were still vacant. A senior teacher of Art of Living was summoned to occupy that seat. Guruji asked the senior teacher to sit on his designated seat and instead offered the standing security guard to sit next to Him.

One YES!+ boy had his whole car covered with Gurujis visit stickers. On being caught by the traffic police, the beaming boy gifted entry passes to the traffic police man who was left with no choice but to beam back and wave a go ahead to the boy.
For those eight hours the city had been transformed into a fully charged light house, glowing with divine energy!! O what a day it was !!!


October 27, 2010

Guruji Visits Chandigarh !!!!! SEVA Activities

Jai Gurudeva !!!!

Ofcourse you know that Guruji visits Chandigarh on 9th November !!!!!!!!

All seva team details are below. But today we need to put up visit-posters in shops, distribute event passes and send people for YES!+ begining today. Read details below.

As of today we have following seva teams:

1. Event Publicity (Mainly Outdoor)

2. Event Funds Collection
         a) Direct Donation to the organisation for the event
         b) Sponsorships for different publicity material
         c) advertisement in Souvenir Magazine being printed for this Historic visit of Guruji.
3. Venue

4. YES!+ and Other Art of Living Courses


1. EVENT PUBLICITY (Mainly Outdoor)
    As of now this includes all kind of publicity that you see outdoors in the form of banners, posters, fliers, passes, stickers, etc. The activities include
    a) Designing & developing the Print material
        Skills Required: Artistic Sense for Design, Photoshop/CorelDraw for Development, Grasp on      readibility of fonts.
    b) Printing the material at the printing press
        Seva activity: Taking the softcopy of the print material to printer ( main is in sector 38), Getting the material print job started. Collecting the material from the press. The process for stuff like stickers and posters can be more complicated. Getting it back to Distribution Centre from where the material is distributed to the seva team
    c) Distributing the material to seva team
        As the name suggests this involves distributing the print material to all who want to display or distribute it further. Anuj who is handling this seva at 276/Second floor, sector 15A, Chandigarh can be contacted at 9023815820 / 9779133305
    d) Putting the banners in different locations in Chandigarh, panchkula, mohali. Already about 300 banners sized 5 feet * 3 feet have been put up at different temples and other locations in tricity. If you have more locations where lot of people can see them we can get you more of the 5*3 banners printed.
    e) Distributing passes to your friends/neighbours/collegues/ and everyone you would like to :-). please collect as many passes as you need from Anuj.
    f) Putting up Car/scooter stickers. They will be ready. When they are ready it will be updated here. Already we have some posters which can also be put up in the cars.
    g) Putting the posters in shops in your sectors. Now this activity needs to be done on a big scale. Please collect these posters from anuj again.

As all of us are aware, an event of this scale requires huge funds. As of now our devotees have pitched in with contributions with which our publicity material is getting ready. We are generating these funds in four ways predominantly.

          1. Direct donations by devotees: Any amount of contribution big or small is welcome from you. Please contact Nirmalji our finance facilitator for chandigarh 9988535582 for this. All donations are collected with a reciept issued to you against those donations. As far as I know all donations are through cheque only. I would urge all of you to make a contribution, even if it is small. Boond boond se ghat bharta hei.

          2.  Souvenir Advertisements by devotees / business people. Again another way is that we are printing a classy souvenir that will be distributed to Who's Who is chandigarh and punjab. For all details contact Pranav at 9357511252. Again I would urge you all to get atleast one souvenir ad for the event.

          3. Sponsorships for event by big business houses: This means logos of the sponsors on our publicity material. This is handled by many people but you can get in touch with Sanjay ji at 9876499777 if you have any contacts who would be ready to sponsor.
          4. Complementary Goods and services: Some of you can give us stuff complimentary as you are in that business. Like someone gave us the passes printed complimentary. Again contact the respective teams for what you can contribute.

3.   VENUE
Our venue is Kalagram on panchkula chandigarh road for Gurujis event. Contact person will be updated.
This activity will require work towards the end.

4. YES!+ and Other courses
We have a YES!+ starting today 27th october at C.C.E.T , sector 26, Chandigarh for everyone in tricity. I would be teaching it. This might be the last one before Guruji's visit. So get as many youth as you can to experience it before Guruji's visit. Contact Dr. Nishi at 9872669032 or Dr. Meenakshi at 9815617939.
You may also contact YES!+ Team numbers 8146959595, 9915770555. btw we also have a GCG-11 exclusive YES!+ starting today for the GCG hostelers. Contact the same team for this course also.

For all other courses please contact our Art of Living centre number 0172-2727272. Would update more numbers later but this is the easiest to remember and so was handy in my memory.

Have a Great Time doing Seva !!!
Jai Gurudeva!

September 11, 2010

Illayaraja - How to name it. Music I loved & would keep listening to

Jai Gurudeva!

As I was updating my FB profile, the question 'music you like' reminded me of my most listened piece of music ever. It is Illayaraja's 'How to name it', immortal violin music, I would listen to it in the liby or my room on my walkman. Those of you in the ipod generation who dont know what a walkman is, it used to be the latest music gadget that allowed you to listen to music while walking!! The mode of music storage was audio tapes called cassettes! I dont know who gave it to me first or where did I listen to first time. I think it was Myla.
I ended up searching on the net for the link, have downloaded it and now its playing on my Mac !!!
Music has strong memories. I am pulled back to 153/H5 IITB days !!!. My room had a beautiful tree outside the window. Study time meant Illayaraja  'How to name it'!!

Here is one of the songs from 'How to name it' form youtube.

Jai Gurudeva!

August 13, 2010

Monsoon Special YES!+ for students of Punjabi Univ Patiala

The course with about 200 participants was on roll from right from the beginning. The volunteers had publicized it as a monsoon special course and the rain gods obliged!! Showers welcomed beginning of the course and then it became a regular feature during course hours daily. Sunday, as the session was about to end, it started pouring heavily. A slight hint of rain dance and next moment the whole group was in the venue grounds dancing, playing, splashing in the rain!!! These students have now started working for the next big course scheduled from 27-30 August in Patiala city!!

Jai Gurudeva!

May 4, 2010

Back to blogging

Its been almost 1.5 years since I have done any regular blogging other than a few posts here and there. Starting off once again. Lets me see if I can sustain it this time:) 2009 was the most testing year in my life so far. I guess the only one, life had been on a roll otherwise. I lived a different life in this one year. It was longer than a lifetime. But it has left me rock solid strong. And ofcourse has given me a deeper understanding of life and everything.

September 19, 2009

Navratris in Chandigarh !!

Navratris, The nine nights and days  belong to mother divine. The whole time since infinity and till infinity belongs to mother divine.  But navratris are considered ( and ARE) the most auspicious and powerful time of the year. Its the time for meditation, seva, silence and celebration.

September 2, 2008

YES!+ in Chandigarh from 10 Sep ! The last at current fee !

Dear All,
Jai Gurudeva!
After the grand success of the last course, volunteers are again totally charged up, working for the next course! This course again is constrained by the venue size. The venue will accomodate no more than 200 people. You dont want to miss out on your friends or enemies doing this course! Do your bit once again. Earn seva points. You know anytime you get someone to do the course you have opened up a pipeline of good karma accumulated thru royalty earned everytime that person does Sudarshan kriya, goes for advance course, applies knowledge point or if you are supper lucky, he/she becomes an Art of Living teacher! You have no idea who will end up going how far! So send people for the course. No excuse is good enough for anyone to miss or postpone the course. Everything else one is doing on the planet is so very temporary. What you do and get on the course is not only for this lifetime, but all the lifetimes to come. You have to have this firm conviction about this extremely precious knowledge! So go out and make people lucky! 7 days of the course fulfills the individual's purpose for being on the planet as a human being this lifetime. And we never know who is going to last how long. ( No one comes fitted with Amaron batteries. And even they die out :-)) !
contact smriti 9876577183/ Mehak 9815491475 for registrations!
With increases in hall rents and other costs, the course fee for YES!+ courses increases to Rs 3000 all over the country after navratris. People will be able to register at Rs 2000 , 2 weeks prior to the course date. Rs 1500 will be gone.
Course dates: 10-16 Sep, 2008
Timings: 5 pm to 9:30 pm everday. Sunday Full day. 9 am to 9 pm.
Venue: Saint Kabir School, Sector 26, Chandigarh (To be confirmed).
Registrations on the last 2 days i.e. 9/10 Sep will be strictly at Rs 2500. So all the volunteers if you are holding any registrations please submit them with the Registrations collections co-ordinator for this course i.e. Smriti. We want to use the last 2 days working on the venue and all arrangements for the participants getting the best experience rather than running around collecting registrations. Registrations on the spot will be taken at Rs 6000 only as per YES!+ guidelines.

YES!+ DSN in Chandigarh !!

So you should all be ready to begin the new year after diwali with a BIG blast of YES!+ DSN in Chandigarh! The course starts on 31st Oct and ends on 3 Nov. Now, only a 108 super lucky YES!+ graduates will get to do this course. First 54 people to register will not be interviewed. By the time you read this, you might have a very slight chance to be in first 54 if you are lucky. Last night we made a list of 43 volunteers who have not yet done DSN. The remaining will be selected after an interview. Recommendations by teachers/YES!+ volunteers, seva activities involved in, number of advance courses done, number of people enrolled for the YES!+ courses will be some of the criteria for selection. But don't rule out your possibility of getting selected even if you have just finished your YES!+ and are totally new to Art of Living and WAYE. You commitment to your personal sadhana ( sudarshan kriya), future commitment to taking responsibility for social transformation, your personal growth and involvement in YES!+ activities can also get you in. Those of you who are even faintly interested in becoming YES!+ teachers should put in all their best to get selected! 
And what a DSN does to you, if you dont know find out for yourself. You might be interviewed on this! And who will be teaching the DSN, again find out for yourself! All I can say is you will want to do it at any cost!
People who have already done the DSN and want to do it again will have to register with full course fee and undergo the interview to get selected. Your interview will be conducted only after you have completed registration formalities.
Registerations on first come first served basis only till seats last. so register now. no last minute cry babies wanting to get in will be entertained! You can call/sms 9914293433 to register.
Jai Gururudeva!

August 30, 2008

More about the Thapar course

A vast majority of the students on the course were 1st year freshers! Also there were 8 students from Government Medical College and a few from other colleges. GMC students will now be pioneering YES!+ organising at their college. This would spread to other medical colleges in the state as well. This course was the first time that Thapar volunteers had a venue outside the campus. And the venue was split into two halls and two corridors for 200 people. During surya namaskars and sudarshan kriya, repeating students and volunteers used to occupy one of the corridors. And new students used to settle themselves in the other three regions in turns ! All of them were into total masti right from day one! At the same time they all were very sharp and picked up all the learnings effortlessly.  On the 5th day of the course I went to the 1st year batch hostel and we played a YES!+ game past midnight! a very typical engineering college hostel environment. The night after the course we ( I and some of the volunteers) also watched one of the episodes of Planet Earth, a set of 5 DVDs on the planet made by BBC. Planet Earth is awesome. Its a must watch. a 6-Star for sure!!! We watched it using a projector in my guest room 1 of H-hostel! You must watch it on a big screen using a powerful projector and not merely on your laptop!
Yesterday I came back to chandigarh. I will be spending the week in the city at P.U.

August 22, 2008

Thapar is Rocking!!! Biggest YES!+ in Punjab so far!

The course at Patiala started yesterday with a total of 188 participants and 13 volunteers!! . That makes it a 200+ course!. The crowd is 95% Thapar engineering college with 8 youth from the medical college. They had a great time yesterday! They dont have a choice but to have a great time. They are all very bright and their teacher is the brilliant :-)!!!

I will post more on this course little later.

now its time to get ready for the course!


YES!+ Patiala 21st - 27th August, 2008. Group Photos

Here are group photos of the YES!+ at Patiala. Group captains please note down the image number of your picture in the sequence here. Email me the name, mobile , and email id of the group members in the sequence as they appear in the photo from left to right.




August 21, 2008

Back from the Teachers refresher meet! Be a teacher!

Jai Gurudeva!!
It was a quick week at bangalore for Teachers refresher meet on the ashram. It was just half the teachers as the TRM for teachers working in the southern indian states will be held seperately. VM was paaaccckked!! This is just the beginning. Guruji had once said He wants a teacher for every postal pin code in India. Thats around 33000 teachers! Going by that we are about 5000 now and quite a few generations of teachers are yet to come. Generations seperated by when they do their TTCs!
The last TRM had Guruji's physical presence in most of the sessions. This time He was doing the job thru Swami Pragyapada! And we used to have 100 teacher TRMs just a few years ago! Given that more than 70% of India and a large part of the world is in the YES!+ age group, lots more YES!+ teachers are needed to cover the whole globe. AS of now we are just 2 generations of YES!+ teachers. The first ones are handpicked by Bawa from among Part-1 teachers. The 2nd generation is the first ever YES!+ TTC that happened on the ashram! These 100 odd teachers should be starting to teach soon. A few have already started. Every year there shall be a YES!+ TTC somewhere on the globe! Most likely Bangalore ashram ! We would like to reach a target of stationing one teacher at each institute of the world! You guys would be lucky to choose YES!+ teaching as a career option. Its going to be a big hit in the years to come. It already is! Like Infosys was a big hit even when it was just about 100 people strong. just that not many knew about it. Today with 100000 people in the company the whole world knows.
Typically you spend 2 years and lots of your parents money slogging to get into an enginnering college,  medical or an MBA college. You have to think of training yourself to be a teacher also on these lines. You should be ready to set a plan of atleast 2 years of intelligent consistent dedicated effort. Just like people take a drop for an year to slog for CAT, with no guarantees of getting in anywhere, you should be ready to take out an year if you wish to be on the fast lane to be a teacher. And then dont sit idle. Work atleast 12 hours in a day! Learn new skills, put yourself in difficult situations, be ready to experiment with your life, do unconventional things, take responsibility. Strengthen yourself in the areas you are weak at by taking up challenges.

all the best!!

lots of love

August 20, 2008

The Sky of our planet from a plane!

Here are two pics of the sky on my flight from delhi to bangalore!!..when you see this you want to jump out and play on the cotton :-)...

The vast infinite sky merging into nothingness!

layers of clouds hanging in the air!


August 19, 2008

Moments on the August course captured in my camera!

While the earlier post was fotos of different groups on the course, this one is moments captured during the course at various occasions!
While playing Fire in the mountain!

The gang @ Rock Garden !
Some of the volunteers!
Cleaning full swing at Rock Garden !
 The joy of dancing together !!
Waiting for satvik lunch !

finally the wait is over!

Ecstasy at display!

Dance dance dance !

Bale Bale !

Full focus! Collage making in progress...

Handling with care. The collage making continues...

Creators. One of the collages.

Fruit Chat! yumm...

Singh is Sweetheart!

Smiles going miles !

The last session. Experiences being penned!
Thats it for now!
I am reminded of the moments spent with you all as I finish posting these two sets of pictures. The journey ends in about 15 minutes and the train halts at Sirhind for about 3 minutes! So I rush now!
See you all!
lots of love
Jai Gurudeva!
ps:- All my students please enter your data at  http://yespluschd.youthunited.in
Please do it NOW!! And post your comments .  Bye!

The Freedom Batch at Chandigarh 6 Aug to 12 Aug. Some of the pics!

I am on my way from delhi to patiala! in shatabadi. There is a power plug on every seat! And with the reliance datacard catching the signal almost everywhere, i'm net connected virtually everywhere in india!:-)
So here are the pics from the course. Enjoy after a long wait !!!
Below are various groups. Its not all of them as a few groups missed out coming over and getting their foto clicked! or rather i missed out shooting them.
Above are a little more than half of the groups. If the missing groups send me their fotos I'll put them up on the blog!

The remaining pics are in the second post.