Saturday, December 20, 2008

Taj Mahal

I have been to this beautiful place couple of times and as every one finds, I have found it to be a beautiful and monumental place. Now everyone knows that it was built by Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz and thus is a monument of love. Yes it is but there is more to it than that.

Some days back I was watching a program on Nat Geo where they were showcasing Indian history and they mentioned that there was a mystic aspect to the Taj Mahal as well which most of the people don't know, the whole design of the main building along with the parks on the two sides and water in the middle have a deeper meaning. Also it was mentioned that Taj was a communion of Hindu and Muslim unity where more than the religion itslef the core of both the religions was given priority.

And while sitting there with Taj behind you and Yamuna flowing in the front you can experience that silence and depth.

The photography inside tomb is not permitted but before I had realised that I had taken one snap which covered some part of mystisism.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Catching the train & knowledge

Being in Bangalore it is not unusual to get caught up in traffic jams and lose ones cool but I had been lucky enough to have not faced this situation because of close proximity of my house and office. But now on a working day I had to catch the train from railway station at 7:15pm, being fully aware of the traffic scenario I left my office at 5:15 reached home at 5:30 so I thought I should busy some fruits and snacks for the journey and as the shop was just 1km away so I thought I should be back by 5:45 and then will take an auto and leave. But while coming back after buying the stuff just 500m from my house there was a traffic jam and it was not moving, we remained stand still for 10-15mins, so the first knowledge point dawned accept the situation ... I cant do anything so relax and pray !

Now I reached my residence but power supply was gone, keeping acceptance still with me I picked up the bag and rushed to find an autorickshaw and surprise surprise there are 5-6 waiting and no one willing to come to the railway station and it was 6:15 now. So one more prayer and one fellow came and agreed to go for a hefty 150 which I negotiated to 120 :) which was good considering the situation I was in, it was a good deal for both of us. Now this fellow started going through all the short cuts he knew plus which I had found out during my stay in Bangalore.
Now I was feeling confident that we should be on time and aha ... there was one more surprise, at a small turning a big bus had decided to not make any further movement and that resulted in others being forced not to move and now this situation started slowly to have its bad influence on my mind, why is this happening ? why did the bus have to die down at this position at this time ? so on.
Suddenly knowledge dawned "What is the worse thing which can happen now, I will miss the train and would not be able to go home, but I can take a flight tomorrow, yes it will cost more money and there will be change in plan but what is more important the state of my mind or that extra money which I would have to spend ? And pat came the reply "My mind is more important" and hence I became relaxed. And then the miracles started happening, the bus decided to move, the traffic lights decided to give us a green welcome and roads became wide enough to let us move freely. We had covered just 4km in first 20 mins and we covered 8kms in next 20( after my mind had relaxed). I reached station happily at 7pm bought some more eatables, called some of my friends and sat on my seat smiling and feeling grateful for reaching on time and more importantly keeping my mind at peace.

When I am with you, how can anything touch you? Come on be brave !

This is a heart touching experience shared by our friends from Mumbai who survived the Taj Hotel massacre.

"Dearest Ones

Jai Gurudev

There are no words to describe what we are going through after our miraculous escape after 12 hours in captivity at the Taj.

There is still a sense of daze & shock, there is fear ( after the continous sounds last 60 hours of grenades and gun firing) even the sound of a spoon falling is alarming, anger & rage at the total breakdown of security and the system , but above all, there is a huge huge huge huge sense of gratitude.

Gratitude to Guruji for giving us another life. As more is being revealed, 4 terrorists were in the kitchen of the chambers , just about 10 feet from the room we were in.They killed the chefs there. There was nothing stopping them from just turning left and come our way. It was almost like some indescribable force was between them and us. Knowledge of living in the present moment and present moment is inevitable was never never before a living reality for us. When they evacuated us after 12 hours, there was blood ,broken glass pieces, grenade remnants all strewn across the corridor outside our room. That's how close they came.

When we did come out and escaped another round of fresh firing at us as we were walking outside the Taj, the 1st call just that moment we got was from Guruji confirming that we were out and safe. It was almost as though He had escorted us out ! I was so shaken , I could barely stand let alone speak and He said to me, "When I am with you, how can anything touch you.come on be brave . Kya darti hai, main hun na "

Throughout the night, Bhanudidi kept calling and smsing us , giving us courage and encouragement. Giving us the confidence that we would be out surely. It seemed surreal then, but she kept telling me to be bold and support others. It was like being scooped in a blanket of grace and love. In every Part 2 course, I have learnt to sleep with a blanket of grace. Believe me, I can tell you with certainity that it was ON us that night

Through the night all of you kept calling us ,smsing us and telling us how much you are praying for us . Our parents,brothers ,sisters,sisters in law, little nephews and nieces from UK.......your voices gave us life & kept us going.

We were giving healing to the bullet hit, teaching deep breathing to some young boys with us to calm them down, teachimg mudras to control bladders to the old, all the while literally hanging on to each other ,holding hands tight and continuously chanting jai gurudev. My tongue continues to move in that chant in a almost pavlovian way even now

Even after we came out, all of you kept calling and supporting us. Hearing the concern and love in your voice was deeply humbling and moving for us. Anna kept refocusing my attention by talking about designing the Mandir for our new home to asking what I cooked ! Each one of you has kept reassuring us . This love is our only true treasure

I have no idea what we have done to deserve all this outpour of your love, concern,good wishes. We are just so grateful to you. It is the strength of your sadhana and sankalpa that rescued 100 of us that fateful thursday morning. As you know only about 8 people have come out alive from the taj after that

Many many people we know, top lawyers,bankers ,leading business heads have not been as lucky as us. They were victims of indiscriminate firing. Dalus son Shaan and daughter Shivanis 4 friends have losts either both or one set of parents.3 of our friends were stuck in Trident and rescued only yesterday morning after 36 hours and are in deep trauma

Writing this is a cathartic experience for me.
Going through this, a jolting wake up call to appreciate the value of every living moment of life, the indispensiblity of spreading knowledge URGENTLY, and above all deeply appreciating the love that surrounds us

We remain in Gratitude to you all FOREVER . Lifetimes will not suffice us to repay this love

Apart from our anniversary, Ajay and I now share a birthday too.Nov 27th

Love from the deepest depths of our heart
Rajita & Ajay"

Thursday, November 27, 2008

India Burning ....Who cares ?

This is not Diwali or any other festival where fire is being lit. This is Taj Hotel burning in Mumbai. Not only this whole mumbai is burning, India is burning. But who cares, India has been burning for last 2 decades under terrorism but who cares.
People come and visit our Parliament house with guns and grenades, they come and visit our religious places and hotels with machine guns and bombs. But we are so welcoming that we dont do anything.
If this current attack had happened on US, those responsible would have been taken to task but our ministers and authorities are busy giving useless explanation to media.
This is high time all of us rise together and fight for the integrity and safety of our country and our people.
Let us leave old dogmas and useless values, let's bring out the valor which has been lying dormant within us and care for our nation. Let us show the world that we can accept everything but now it is time for active acceptance were we become the change agents. Let's care.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mind & Meditation

Focus sharpens the mind and relaxation expands the mind. An expanded mind without sharpness cannot bring holistic development. At the same time, a sharp mind without expansion causes, anger and frustration.

The balance of a focused mind and an expanded consciousness brings perfection. Sudarshan Kriya and the Advanced Course techniques aim at developing that is sharp and unbounded. Seva and commitment play a major role in this, as does the food you eat and your attitude in daily life.

Expanded consciousness is peace and joy. Focused consciousness is love and creativity. A point of focused individual is individual self. When every atom of the expanded consciousness becomes sharp and focused, that is the awakening of the Divinity.

Monday, October 27, 2008

October update !

Ya it has been almost a month when I posted but have not got much time. Only two things have been happening during the month of october - office and ashram.
I came to Bangalore because of my job here in IBM and stayed back here because of Art of Living. So both are interlinked :-)

Was celebrating and blissing out during Navratri, then some more visits to Ashram here and there along with regular office and now we have Diwali.
We are all working for a mega Sahaj Samadhi with Chhayanna from November 1st in Koramangala so just a small post so that October month opens the account.

Also Ujju prepared a wonderful poster for the same so posting that as well .. will post in detail after 3rd November. Till then Have a safe and environment friendly Diwali. Best Wishes to all.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Navaratri Is Celebration Of The Universe

The festival of Navaratri is celebrated with prayers and gaiety in the beginning of autumn and spring. This period is a time for self-referral and getting back to the source. During this time of transformation, Nature sheds the old and gets rejuvenated.

Vedanta says, matter reverts to its original form to recreate itself again and again. The creation is cyclical, not linear; everything is recycled by nature in a continuous process of rejuvenation. The human mind, however, lags behind in this routine cycle of creation. Navaratri is a festival to enable us to take the mind back to its source.

The seeker finds the true source through fasting, prayer, silence and meditation. Night is called ratri because it brings rejuvenation. It gives relief at the three levels of our existence — physical, subtle and causal. While fasting detoxifies the body, silence purifies speech and brings rest to the chattering mind, and meditation takes you deep into your own being.

The inward journey nullifies our negative karmas. Navaratri is a celebration of the spirit or prana which alone can destroy Mahishasura, inertia; Shumbha-Nishumbha, pride and shame and Madhu-Kaitabh, extreme forms of craving and aversion. They are opposites, yet complementary. Inertia, deeply ingrained negativities and obsessions, Raktabeejasura; unreasonable logic, Chanda-Munda and blurred vision, Dhoomralochan can be overcome only by raising the level of prana and shakti, the life-force energy.

The nine days of Navaratri are also an opportunity to rejoice in the three primordial qualities that make up the universe. Though our life is governed by the three gunas, we seldom recognise and reflect on them. The first three days of Navaratri are tamo guna, the second three of rajo guna and the last three of sattva guna. Our consciousness sails through the tamo and rajo gunas and blossoms in the sattva guna in the last three days. Whenever sattva dominates life, victory follows. The essence of this knowledge is honoured by celebrating the tenth day as Vijaya Dashami.

The three primordial gunas are considered as the feminine force of the universe. By worshipping the Mother Divine during Navaratri, we harmonise the three gunas and elevate sattva in the atmosphere.

Navaratri is celebrated as the victory of good over evil. From the Vedantic point of view, the victory is of absolute reality over apparent duality. In the words of Ashtavakra, it is the poor wave which tries to keep its identity separate from the ocean, but to no avail.

Though the microcosm is well within the macrocosm, its perceived separateness is the cause of conflict. For a gyani or a wise person, entire creation comes alive and he recognises life in everything in the same way children see life in everything. The Mother Divine or pure consciousness pervades all forms and has all names. Recognising the one divinity in every form and every name is the celebration of Navaratri. Hence, special pujas honouring all aspects of life and nature are performed during the last three days.

Kali is the most horrific manifestation of Nature. Nature symbolises beauty, yet it has a horrific form too. Acknowledging the duality brings a total acceptance in the mind and puts the mind at ease.

The Mother Divine is recognised not just as the brilliance of intellect buddhi, but also the confusion, bhranti; she is not just abundance, Lakshmi, she is also hunger, shudha and thirst, trishna. Realising this aspect of the Mother Divine in entire Creation leads one to a deep state of samadhi. This gives an answer to the age-old theological struggle of the Occident. Through wisdom, devotion and nishkama karma, one can attain advaita siddhi or perfection in the non-dual consciousness.
- Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

This was posted in The Speaking Tree in Times of India today.