Thursday, July 23, 2009

Everything that goes on is auspicious

I am not from Mumbai. I had never been to Mumbai but I just love the city. The whole city of Mumbai is in floods now. And its not just this year, but every year when the monsoon hits India in the month of July, Mumbai is drowned. Whether it is a chaiwallah's (tea selling vendor's) shop on the road side or the posh bungalows of some of highest tax paying actors like Amitabh Bachchan, everything is flooded with rain water. Not just Mumbai, every place in India it is the same.

But life goes on in India... When I was going through some of these news articles, its just too amazing to see people having a cup of tea with their pants rolled up till their knees and sitting in a coffeeshop with rain water till their knees. Its just too amazing to see the spirit of people pulling bicycles with one hand and holding their sandals in the other; to see people hanging on to the holding rails of the crowded subarban railway trains of Mumbai and the train cutting through flooded railway tracks.

Whether it is rain or terrorism or earthquake, cities like Mumbai have shown that - life just goes on.

Yeah, many people might be cribbing about the poor infrastructure, hygiene etc. etc. but there are many more people who just take life as it comes. That is the beauty.

When we went for Varanasi trip with Swamiji, we were all waiting for train from Bhubaneswar to Kolkata at Bhubaneswar station. The train was delay by about two hours. We all (300 of us) sat down on the railway platform. Swamiji also happily settled down on platform with a turban on his head and asked us, "How many of you are irritated with delay and this waiting?" He paused for a while and said, "Even if you are irritated, nothing can be done. Just relax and enjoy."

Swamiji says, "We can always see things in two ways. One: we can see what is wrong, how things can go wrong and always be engulfed in fear and worry. Second: we can see everything that is happening as auspicious and just flow with whatever is there in this moment."

Our fears arise because of our expectations and fantasies about what is really there in this moment. Those people in Mumbai can feel terrible about the whole thing by seeing how their expectations and fantasies are not being met. Or, they can be just flowing with what they have right now.

Living life by the moment and strongly believing what is happening is auspicious is the best possible option that any of us has. In fact our fears due to our fantasies and expectations always creates a thread of negativity constantly running in us. If we see in our lives, even if something good (according to our definition) happens, the first thought that comes is that of fear as to how long will this happiness last. It is not about gratitude or pure joy; its about fear. That negativity in turn attracts negative events in our lives. This becomes a vicious cycle.

It need not be as big as our homes getting flooded. It can be as simple as some issue at office or home. We have the right to decide: do I want to get worried and scared, or shall I just see what really is there and work on it. The choice is ours. Enjoy this video

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Gift of Vedic Lifestyle

Swami Vivekananda in one of his speeches once said "I am one of the proudest men ever born , but let me tell you frankly .It is not for myself , but on account of my ancestry .The more I have studied the past , the more I have looked back , more and more this pride come to me , and it has given me the strength and courage of conviction ,raised me from the dust of the earth , and set me working out that great plan laid out by those great ancestors of ours."

The Vedic culture that many Indians take for granted sometimes is one of the most precious gifts we are born with, as Indians. We simply take for granted the spiritual atmosphere we are brought up with. The chants that reverberate in many Indian homes, traditional sarees worn by the elderly ladies in the house, the kolam on freshly watered front
yards (designs made with flour), the fresh mango leaves that are used for decorating the entrances, the prayer alters/rooms dedicated for prayers, the evening bhajans that are played during sunset.... we take all this for granted.

It's not just taking it for granted, many so-called "modern" youth even dislike
all this, in the name of blind belief or "too traditional!". Probably it's because the modern minds do not understand the science behind all this or probably because the western comforts seem too luring in front of these traditional rituals.

It is however interesting that the
west is now slowly openly acknowledging the ancient Vedic wisdom. When a bunch of US guys started selling bottles of energised water in the brand name H2OM (more about H2OM here), then the word is all awed by it, including media and impactful channels like Time. In the link above, you can even see a list of celebrities posing with the bottles of H2OM water. They even have different bottles for energising different "Chakras". This is based on the scientific studies by Dr. Masuro Emoto on the effect of chants and other emotions on samples of water.

Now, if we sit back and see - the Kumbha Melas
(the largest gathering of humanity on Planet Earth that can be captured by satellite images) have been happening from thousads of years based on the same concept of water being energised by the vibrations and energy of many spiritual masters meeting on the banks of the holy rivers. Infact this is why rivers like Ganga, although polluted externally are still considered "holy" and daily prayers are offered to them.

Swamiji is restoring this lost spirit of the Vedic lifestyle back into the world. He says "Bharat (India) is not just a geographical piece of land, but a lifestyle. So all those leading this lifestyle are Indians". True to His words, He is giving an opportunity for people from various countries and backgrounds an opportunity to experience and live this beautiful Vedic lifestyle that is slipping away from our hands. In His recent stunning program Life Bliss Engineering (LBE), one can see young pariticpants from world over enthusiastically participating in a range of activities starting from Vedic rituals, Sanskrit chanting, Vedic Astrology, Yoga to learning how to wear the Vedic costume of saree/dhoti, making flower garlands for deities, putting kolam etc. They are taught not just the science behind each of them, but are made to experience these truths in the energy field of living enlightened master. They are not mere rituals but techniques for enligthenment.

When we visited the Bidadi Ashram for Guru Purnima, we could see the faces of the LBE participants glowing and radiant, soaked in bliss. If you get a chance to attend the next LBE, please don't miss it. More details about the LBE program here: