Friday, 10 March 2017

Hari no Marag che shura no, nahi Kayar nu kaam jo - the path of Divinity is for the Brave...

Ever since I was a little kid, I have heard this Gujarati Proverb - Hari no Marag Che Shurano, Nahi Kayar Nu Kam jo...translation can match somewhere near to, "The Path of Divinity is for the brave, Cowards can not walk on it."

Although I understood the meaning of this sentence very well, somehow I was unable to get the gist of it, the essence of it coz it was not in my experience. Now when I look back and see, how my life has experienced this one sentence in all its essence in the last few years, I can not thank the divinity enough.

When you start walking on the path of Yoga, the path of divinity, the path of Love, all of a sudden you realise, there are obstacles. You feel, arrrre... where do they come from? It was never there in my life before! I started practicing Sudarshan Kriya and Sri Sri Yoga that I had learnt and in 7 months, I got severe cold and sinus issues which I did not have before. I thought, why am I having so many obstacles which were not there so far? But it was there only for 6 months or so, afterwards, it was all gone and none of the common ailments of headache, cold, fever, sinus returned ever since. I was wondering, what is it? The best example to explain this phenomenon can be the following.

'There is a bucket of water with mud settled at the bottom. The water will look very clean coz all the mud is settled in the bottom. However, the water is not clean. It is full of mud. When you want to get that mud out, you churn the water to filter it, all of a sudden you realise that the water is muddy. You feel, where is this mud coming from? My water was looking so clean! It is the mud within water only, which was not visible to your eyes coz it was all settled at the base of the bucket. But once you remove it, the turbulent muddy water again becomes crystal clear. This time it does not have any mud at the base and hence, no possibility of it becoming muddy until you pour some mud from outside.' 

The same way, you might feel your life is all so going very well and you are completely healthy and happy. There might be some mud at the base, some stresses in your system which you might not have recognized so far, which might be coming to surface occasionally which you would not have realised. It is getting collected to reveal itself later on as some chronic illness, sudden acute condition of chronically accumulated stresses. The moment you start doing your practices, it churns your system. You feel some ailments, some discomforts, some mood swings, may be weird stuff with your body and mind. But, if you can pass through them all being firm with your practices, then you have lived the life of that of the Shura in Hari no marag che shurano...  It is the time when you hold onto your practices, your faith on the practices, your Guru, your Self. Be consistent and keep on doing your practices. One fine day, when the backlog of stresses will be cleared from your system, you will start feeling the clarity of the water, the clarity in your being. Your practices of Yoga, Pranayama, Meditation, Kriya is what is your saviour. 

Many a times when you sit for meditation, especially in your initial days of learning it, you find all the thoughts of the world coming to you. It is because we have never practiced keeping our eyes closed and just letting go with awareness. It is also because the file, which is storing impressions, is too big in our system. So, the moment you are doing something to clear it, it will all come up on the surface. At that time, do not give up. Hold on to your practices. Smile through all the obstacles that life offers to you and know that at the end, it is all going to be your GAME. Once, the backlog is cleared, you will see clarity. It might take a day, a week, a month, a year or may be a few of years for your backlog to get cleaned. Just keep on practicing your meditations and keep on walking on the path of divinity. One fine day, you will realise that thoughts do not bother you at all. Nothing whatsoever can shake you at all. You are in the world but yet, so untouched by all its colours. 

For this to happen, you need to be brave. Brave enough to keep on holding onto your practices. Knowledge will make you rich but the knowledge (at the level of experience) can only get established in your system through practices. 

I wish you all the best for your journey. May you achieve the highest. 

Jai Guru Dev ! 

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Are you a seeker on the path of Yoga?

As a seeker, as a sadhak, this question has arose in my mind many a times. Who is a true yogi? Is he the one whose mind is in the present moment or the one who is centered and eqanimous in all conditions or the one who is skillful in every action! Or is someone who experiences all these states of mind at different times but can not stick to any one for a long time?

One of the definitions of Yoga that I learnt is, Yogaha Karmashu Kaushalam - skill in action is Yoga. Have my practices helped me being more skillful? Has it helped me being a better human being? Has it helped me cope up with my day to day challenges of life without getting swayed? If it has made me even one percent better in all of these, then I would say yes, I am on the path of yoga. I am a seeker. Being skillful does not mean you need to drag someone down. Being skillful means you do not let your inner being get affected with whatever events are being created outside. Events come and go. They are in future and they become past. They do not stay forever. Do you give it a chance to stay forever in your mind? If yes, then you need to give more quality time to your practices so that you can change this harmful tendency of your mind. When the event is happening in the present moment, do you just go through it with your 100%? If yes, then you are skillful. If you just BE in that moment, respond to the need of that moment, then your job is done. Do you have the ability to let go of the events and any associated harmful emotions/thoughts from your mind once they are finished? if yes, then you are a seeker on the path of yoga, you are skillful. You do not have to be skillful overnight. But do you see improvement in your abilities to deal with people in your day to day life? Do you see improvement in your perception, observation and expression in the world around you? If yes, then you are on the path of yoga. You are on the right track. 

Listening to the wisdom, reading Knowledge helps a lot. However, if it stays only at the level of the intellect then it can be dangerous. The only way to get established in the Wisdom, in the Knowledge is through practices. You need to follow your sadhana, your practices regularly, every single day. 

What does your practices (sadhana) involve? Make a note for yourself. Remember, you need to give a quality time for your sadhana. Coz, result is always proportional to the quality time you spent with yourself.

For me, my sadhana involves 
A prayer of Thankfulness to the tradition of all the great Masters,
A bhajan which invokes the path of divine love - bhakti: Bhakti Yoga, 
Physical postural practice of Yoga - Hatha Yoga,
Sudarshan Kriya - Kriya Yoga,
Sahaj Samadhi Meditation - Dhyana Yoga.
Not to forget Karma Yoga - the path of selfless action; and Gyan Yoga - the path of Wisdom (Knowledge); which is an ongoing act throughout the week. 

The Art of Living Yoga that I practice has all the different types of yoga, i.e. Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, Raja Yoga, Dhyan Yoga, Gnyan Yoga, Hatha Yoga. And therefore, to me, it is a full practice. I thank Art of Living Yoga practices for awakening the sincere seeker within me. 

Click HERE to read more about the ART OF LIVING YOGA 

If this article has helped you in anyways, please leave your comment.

Love and regards,

Saturday, 30 August 2014

YOGA - How you see it?

I think after working for an authentic Yoga Studio for more than 6 months now, which offers all kinds of Yoga starting from Hatha and Power to Sri Sri Yoga; I have now started understanding the mind set of the people coming here.

I have mainly come across two types of people here.

One, who really understands what is Yoga. As Yogasara Upanishad says, 'that which brings your mind in the present moment is Yoga', any physical yoga asana practice should lead you to a deeper level of your existence. It should be able to leave you with enormous joy and peace, since it brings your mind in the present moment. This present moment is the source of energy, enthusiasm, love, peace, bliss, contentment, life. Physical fitness, flexibility in the body, stress-free mind, relaxed yet focused mind are all by-products of continuing with your practices. Yoga postures is only one path of yoga and it is just the beginning. A deep and rejuvenating meditation (where your mind is in the present moment - you are fathoming that depth of the present moment) is the end.

Another type, come to the Yoga Studio, do not understand what Yoga is. They are just driven by either the fashion world where their friends are also doing yoga, or they are fed up with tiring and strenuous Gym exercises and they want something mild. Although they struggle to cope up with a simplest of yoga pose like a boat pose, they want something "challenging". This amuses me a lot.

As a Sri Sri Yoga practitioner, what I would like to share with you guys is, beware of the tendency of your mind when you are going to do any Yoga practices in a studio. Your mind might compare it with a gym exercise. You need to remind yourself again and again what is your goal? Why do you want to do yoga? If you are not sure about it, please consult a yoga practitioner and get to know it first. Once you know your goal then make Yoga your daily routine. Once learnt properly, under the guidance of certified instructors - who are regular practitioners - it can be done easily at home. It will leave you with a freshness in your body-mind complex.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Sri Sri Ravi ShankarDoubt, within a limit, is a sign of intelligence. Beyond a limit, it is a disease. If you have self-doubt, then you can’t do anything. Doubt can clog your intellect like a disease. Also, if you keep on doubting everybody around you, you can’t do business. Business depends on trust. Administration depends on trust. See, if you have a collection in a hotel of Rs. 10,000, you have to send somebody with the money to the bank to deposit it. If you have doubt that the person will run away with the money, then you can’t move an inch in the society. Again, a sincere doubt is good, to awaken you towards knowledge. But beyond limit, it can cause heartaches and drag you backwards. Life should be like when you are in a car; where the windshield is big, you have a side mirror, and a little mirror to see the back. Just imagine if your windshield is as small as the rear mirror, and the rear mirror is as big as your windshield, then you are only seeing the past. You can’t move anywhere. So, you need to know a little bit about the past. Sometimes, you need to look into the rear mirror, and sometimes, you have to look in the side mirror. The windshield is your present, the vision of where you want to go.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Ashram Life...

There was an urge to experience the Ashram life. When I heard that the people whom I started admiring in my AOL journey in the beginning, the senior teachers, have all spent some time in the Ashram as an Ashramite, I wanted to experience that life. I just kept on praying to Guruji that I was bored of my the then job in London and I wanted to do something meaningful, where every moment of my life can be used in the best possible way. What can be better than contributing in my Guru's vision of making Stress Free, Violence Free world ? 

This is amazing life. Every moment I spend here, I feel is the best moment. He has given me this opportunity to serve the humanity in the best possible way. When someone comes here with a heavy heart and stays for a while, the environment here, the energy here just does the miracle... I love to see them when they are leaving. Their faces start glowing. They go with such a light heart and a big smile on their face. Isn't it the most meaningful way of living life? As such I have not done anything. I have just been here. That is all. Everything is happening by its own. However, I am the one who gets the credit. and that is the beauty of my Guruji. He makes me feel so special at every moment. He just keeps on showering His love in His special ways. I am just wondering if at all if I can ever mention in words, what it means to me!

Guys, whenever in life you feel that your day is not going the way you want it to go, just do something for a little betterment of others and you will see how beautifully your day would go. That would lighten your heart and the joy of giving will lighten your world...

Sunday, 8 April 2012

10 Commandments.... the last part...

7. Better the world around you

Life runs on commitment. If you observe every small thing or big thing in life, they go with certain commitment. Greater the commitment you take, greater the power you gain to fulfill that commitment. Greater the commitment, easier things are. Smaller the commitment, suffocating it is for you. Smaller commitments suffocates you because you have more capacity, but you are stuck in a small hole! Usually we think we should have resource and then we will commit. Greater the commitment you take, greater the resources will come to you automatically. Whatever you are committed to, brings you strength. If you are committed to your family then your family supports you, if you are committed to society, you enjoy the support of society. Commitment will always bring comfort in the long run. Make a commitment to make this world a better place to live. 

8. Dream the impossible.

Unless you have a dream, you cannot realize it. Every invention has come out of a dream. Dream the impossible. Know that you are born in this world to do something wonderful and unique; don’t let this opportunity pass by. Give yourself the freedom to dream and think big. Have the courage and determination to achieve those dreams that are dear to you.

At any given point of time, our mind is either angry or sad about the past or anxious about the future. Whatever actions you do in this state of mind, you regret after some time. This is how you get caught up in the same old cycle. Does it mean that you should not plan your future? No! you should plan your short and long term goals. Then and only then, life gets a channel, a direction to flow. When the mind is totally in the present, the right planning happens. Not only should you plan your goals, but plan the means and methods to work towards them. Do not make a list of all the things you want to achieve. Select few things that really matters.

9. Don’t kill others’ enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is the nature of life. We often have a tendency to put cold water on other’s enthusiasm. Reverse this tendency. Take every opportunity to praise others and support their enthusiasm. If you put down other’s enthusiasm, the same may happen to you. As you sow, so shall you reap. Someone without enthusiasm is like a corpse. How would you like to see yourself? Happy and bubbling with enthusiasm or dull and difficult to please? But as you mature the enthusiasm curve declines. Become one whose enthusiasm never dies.

10. Be a student, always

Know that you are a student forever. Do not under estimate anybody. Knowledge may come to you from any corner. Remember the ancient saying  “let knowledge flow to me from all sides”. Each occasion teaches you and each person teaches you. The world is your teacher.  

Friday, 6 April 2012

10 Commandments... Contd...

4. Nurture your emotions

A person without emotions is like wood without any juice. You need to make your life interesting to draw people to you. This will happen when you nurture yourself with music, prayer and service. The way to expand from individual to universal consciousness n to overcome personal misery is to share universal misery! The way to expand personal joy is to share universal joy. Ask yourself what can you do for the world? When you show kindness, your true nature comes into play. Do some random acts of kindness without expecting anything out of it. You don’t have to plan your acts of kindness. Just do something spontaneously. When you do random acts of kindness, you come in touch with your true nature.

5. Drop your prejudices

Learn to communicate effectively with everyone. Communicating without prejudice is vital for success. If you are faced with someone who knows more than you, be like a child and keep your ears and eyes open for learning. If you are faced with someone who knows less than you, be humble and strive to make them as good as or better than you. This new year make up with someone with whom you are not in good terms. Drop all your prejudices against gender, religion, caste and class as they do not allow you to mingle with everyone around you. Break that barrier. There are good people and bad people in every community, religion and every section of society. Don’t be prejudiced against them. When you overcome prejudice, you will be very natural, and your quality of life will improve.

6. Allow rooms for mistakes

Don’t be feverish for perfection. If you are too much of a perfectionist, you are bound to be an angry person. The world appears imperfect on the surface but, underneath, all is perfect. Perfection hides; imperfection shows off. The wise will not stay on the surface but will probe into the depth.
To correct mistakes you need authority and love. Authority without love is stifling. Love without authority is shallow. When you allow room for mistakes, you can be both authoritative and sweet. Also don’t make a mistake by pointing out mistakes!