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Art of Living to attempt breaking Guinness record in cooking

The Art of Living Foundation (ALF), founded by spiritual Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Maharaj, would be attempting to break Guinness Book world record by cooking highest number of vegetarian food items by an organisation using community kitchens on November 2.

“We at the ALF believe just like prayer helps us connect spiritually with the Supreme being, food is also one of the mediums to connect to God,” Rishi Nityapragya of the foundation told reporters.

“Devotees of Guruji (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar) would be attempting to prepare 5000 vegetarian food items, totalling around five tonnes, using over 250 community kitchens here on November 2,” Nityapragya said.

“The present Guinness record is of 4600 food items, and we would be attempting to break it in the presence of Guruji himself who will bless the people during the event which we call Annan Brahm or annakoot,” he added.

The unique thing about this big kitchen would be that all the ingredients used for cooking shall be organic, chemical free and the preparation would be based of ayurvedic principles.

As many as 1.25 lakh people from across the country are expected to participate in the event.

These people are not professional, but common persons from all walks of life, Nityapragya said.

Nityapragya further said devotees would prepare specialities according to their regional affiliation.

The food items prepared would be distributed by Guruji as Prashad to nearly 25 thousand underprivileged children in the city, he added.

Nityapragya said that this was an occasion after nearly six years that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was visiting Gujarat and would be staying for nearly a week.

During his visit to the state, he would also be conducting puja in Rajkot and Vadodara, besides conducting a mega course on Art of Living.

Nityapragya said that according to Guruji, India has seven unique things whose diversity and richness were unparallelled in the world which include music, dance, food, tourism, attire, Yoga and ayurveda.

Source:- DNA.



Date with a Sage

About 100 YES!+ members had an outstanding evening with * Rishi Vidyadhar ji* in Ashram, this Sunday…

Like a bath near the origin of Ganges, we got soaked in fresh, rejuvenating and sparkling knowledge, that was so freely flowing from Rishi ji. Here are few snippets:

People should not have fear of your anger, they should only have fear of losing your love. Your love should be so unconditional that someone would think before doing something, that this act should not make me lose his/her love for me.

Four modulations of mind:

1. not being in present moment:- leads to problems related to stomach…!

2. getting bored:- this is at the intellectual level. —>>> This leads to problems related to heart, chest.

there are four ways people can get together:- I. common likes II. common enemies or complaints III. common ambitions IV. coming together in knowledge, for knowledge. only the fourth way will keep two people together… even if there is some problem, it will go away with the knowledge. with commitment and dedication, if you can surpass the boredom, then you attain love. otherwise its just common likes. Sadhana consolidates the boredom. continuing Sadhana, you surpass the boredom.

3. holding on to something negative.—->>this leads to problems related to neck. ten compliments and one insult, what does your mind chew on to!?

4. the likes and dislikes of the mind. it leads to problems related to face, head. What you dislike now, you used to like it sometime back. and what you like now, you may dislike it later. all your feelings change in 2 and a quarter days! You can’t be happy or sad all the time. Like Moon causes tides on the ocean, we being 75% water, it causes high and low feelings… and if you observe, you feel High on full moon and low on new moon! the moon goes round the earth in 28 days, and there are 12 constellations. 28/12 is 2 days and five hours. in that time, your moods change. and if you meditate, these changing moods won’t affect you at all !

How to become a good leader!?

Ans: Make leaders.

Leader is not someone with great qualities, but who can bring out the best qualities in all.

There are exactly ten negative qualities:

Those who love perfection get angry

Those who love past get hatred

Those who love something become greedy

Those who love fantasy get lust

Those who love their appearance more than it should be loved, become jealous Those who love status get arrogant

Those who love the result of action get fear

Those who love some people get attachment

and two more!

Those who love to serve, get devotion. The ten negatives are not our nature. The human nature is to be generous, happy, loving, grateful, full of awareness and being in bliss. And that is what happens when we do the Sudarshan Kriya.

Parents are at least 20 years elder to us. So they have much more experience of life than we have. Also of course they have gone through the phases of life that we are going through. So we need to listen to them and obey their wishes.

One who doesn’t learn from his mistake is a fool. One who learns from his own mistakes is a intellectual person. One who learns from the mistakes of others is wise. A Mistake is a happening, not an intentional action. When some person A is doing something that hurts you or is wrong, go and tell that to person A directly, not to tell it to B. When you tell it to person B, it is a complaint. When you tell it to A, it is a responsible action. When you tell it to A directly, in 99 percent of cases A will change. if you tell B and B tells that to A, then A will in fact get more angry and situation doesn’t change.

If we don’t learn from the words of the Sages, the Time will teach us, our own experience will teach us! There is no difference between Time and God. Kalay Tasmai Namah.

Move on from looking good to feeling good. Make choice based on what makes you feel good, rather than what makes you look good.

He told a nice joke in Hindi, with all special accents: A wife told her husband… “Hello, please get me a new Saree.” Husband replied, “but I have already got you 200 Sarees.” Wife said, “But all those have been seen by my kitti party friends!” Husband said,”ok, then instead of buying new sarees every week, it will be less costly to change the locality!”

Walk like an elephant, full of peace and strength. And, if needed, Roar like a Lion, and everyone else will listen to you… Sadhana Seva Satsang and Self Knowledge make you feel good. Surrender Smile and Silence are for preserving that feel good state. Practicing these 7 gives you 8th S: Sri Sri. ūüôā The entire creation is inexpressible. That inexpressible has become expressible in the form of Sadguru. Loving the Sadguru you will love the entire creation. If you don’t love the Sadguru, forget about love.

These are just a few of the words he spoke. However, Behind the talk was his charming, eloquent, peaceful, playful presence, which made us stay glued to him for long time! His Gestures, quotes and jokes were simply amazing! Looking forward for the next Date!

Importance of organic farming

We had a gracious presence of Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish from Kairo, Egypt, in Vishalakshi Mandap yesterday. Dr. Abouleish is winner of the Right Livelihood Award, often called as alternative nobel prize, for his 21st century business model which combines commercial success with social and cultural development.

In a documentary on the project, he explained how, in from the dessert a green township can be established. Looking at dessert, he says, it is not just  a pile of sand, it has organisms in it, it can be cultivated for generating crops and trees. 

Using compost fertilizers, organic farming and water from deep wells, he and his team on the SEKEM project created a green township out of a dessert place. He says, we need to give the land in the better form to our next generation, by cultivating it. It has given employment to over 2000 local people.

Sekem has integrated lots of environment friendly, culture preserving values. Every creature in the nature is given importance and revered, as it plays its own role in the ecology of the system.  They have 50% female employees, unlike other organizations in that area. Their meetings start with a musical instrumental piece. They have side projects based on garments exports. In a way to cultivate holistic education of children, they have the tradition of shaking hand with each child as he/she enters the classroom, facilitating looking into the eyes of the child, and breaking any inhibitions between the child and the teacher. Starting from a barren land, Dr. Abouleish has developed the Sekem project with an excellent spirit of entrepreneurship.

We experience more than what we can grasp

It was our honor to have with us in the Vishalakshi Mandap, Prof. Hans Peter Durr from Munich, Germany. Winner of the Right Livelihood Award, often called as alternative nobel prize, Prof. Hans Peter Durr has studied the physics of matter for 50 years. A brief about him can be found here. A Physicist and an Environmentalist, he has also contributed a lot for World Peace.

World vs. Reality

His talk was an interesting tour in various aspects of Physics, Mind, Logic and existential reality. He said that in science, objectivity is given more importance, leaving aside the subject, or the seer who is perceiving the object. This disconnection causes one to get an incomplete picture of the world. He quoted an equation

world = wirklichseit = Potentiality 

from potentiality the matter, energy manifest. 

He gave a simple example:- how does a mobile phone work? We say, our phone sends a signal, and it goes everywhere, including my friend in Paris. however, how does a signal travel? There is no such medium as ether, and its the nothingness in the form of fields that wiggles.

In a similar analogy, when one studies minute details inside of atom, and then inside of nucleus, and then inside of protons and neutrons, one finds that its just energy that is wiggling in the space, and no such solid matter thing existing there!

You see what you want to see

His talk was filled with diagrams and pictorial descriptions, some of which is popular ones presented here:-

What do you see in this picture?


Is it a young girl or a old woman?

Actually both, it depends on the way you look at it!

Similarly, if two friends go for a nature walk, they would notice and remember different things. From this we can infer that we see what we already know or recognize in mind. Our vision is not only limited by only a fraction of electromagnetic spectrum that we see, but also a bias of the mind that perceives the same object. In fact, a part of the biology of eye causes a blind spot in the image, still, the brain interprets the signals in such a way that the  blind spot is not seen. So in a way our mind sees more than what eyes show us also.

The boundary between living and non-living

There is a natural direction for non-living objects to function, it is from order to disorder. E.g. more and more disordered situations are more likely, than an ordered structure, in the non-living material world. A cup of coffee can naturally get broken, but broken pieces of such a cup don’t naturally re-join to form the cup. Considering this, he asked, how, from a chemical soup of materials 3.5 billion years ago on the earth, did the human civilization manifest to its current form? It is a highly ordered and complex system. He pointed out that this is where, when we start to understand the living beings, that science finds its limitation, since it has disconnected the objects in world from the seer of these objects.¬†

Infinite  existence

Coming back to the study of atom, he said that first atom was thought to be indivisible smallest part of matter. Then it was recognized that it is in fact consisting of nucleus and electrons revolving around it. Further, it was found out, that the electrons cannot travel around the nucleus like the planets travel round the Sun, as it would all collapse in the nucleus if they do so. So the Quantum Physics was discovered, which tells only the probability of finding an electron in a certain region of space, not a localized pin-pointed position. The maximum probability surfaces within which an electron can be found, are shown in variety of shapes:-



These surfaces are only indicative of maximum occupation, but there is also a probability that it may not be within these surfaces. The probability curve extends throughout the space:-

fig3-5It attains maximum in the most probable region, but then it has a tail, though small in magnitude, nevertheless non-zero, extending till infinity…! Implying that these probabilities of different matter particles extend till infinity, have presence till infinity, and overlap on each other, giving non-separable co-existence, and¬†interdependence.

From Science to Spirituality

Thus the creator and its creation are inseparable. 

How can fluttering of a butterfly in one place cause a tornado in some other place? Its possible that like in rain, where most of water vapor condenses when a small part of it starts condensing, it just needs a trigger to get an entire cloud to get transformed into rain. To illustrate this, he showed an example of a pen hanging downwards, would just rotate around its mean position, if slightly disturbed. However, if the same pen was standing upside down, it would fall on a slightest disturbance- and such forces exist- even the gravitational pull of the person next to the pen. So such a situation, which is unstable cannot be sustained for long. Unless, it can be dynamically balanced by another unstable situation :- like a person balancing on both feet in a walk, even though any one feet is not enough for good balance. 

The dynamical stability is the key, and in social context it means cooperation of different individuals, who are unique in their own way. 

Related Articles:-

Vinod’s blog Part 1 and Part 2¬†

Manish’s blog here.¬†

Glued to a Historian !

Ever since I came across this fantastic study of Indian history, , I was waiting to meet Dr. D. K. Hari. And today I had a privilege to attend his talk arranged by Hindi Samiti and YES!+ Team at IISc !

He and his team have studied and compiled literature and evidences on 64 topics ranging from ancient civilization, art and science to Ganga- a man made river and Vimana shastra. And upon the request of organizers he spoke on the debated topic of historicity of Rama.I was pleased to see the new use of Astronomical information – for dating the events in the history. The Huge variety of combinations of positions of planets and stars gives rise to uniqueness in the way they are placed in the sky, as observed from a particular location. Such an observation is unlikely to repeat to its fullest agreement.

Further question answer session was even more interesting. I got to know that Indian Government led by Jawaharlal Nehru had appointed a committee for setting up a calender ¬†that would be scientifically correct, under the leadership of great Indian Astrophysicist Meghnath Saha. He and his team studied 7300 different dating systems in India alone, and came up with a universal way of keeping track of time, which involved a correction for “precession of equinoxes”, a minute but important correction of one day in 72 years, which is also noted in the ancient scriptures.

He clearly segregated the scriptures between puranas- moral stories, and Itihasa-the history. Mahabharata and Ramayana are Itihasa. Even many versions of Ramayana are not itihasa, they are Kavya- poetic, glorified versions. So we need to refer to original scripts to get the correct historical details.

Further came the only historical monument of the time of Rama that is still present Рthe Rama Setu between India and Srilanka. He presented the details about the construction, its location and many more facts about the Setu, including the families that preserved it for centuries, keeping it a walking bridge till CE 1400. After the Tsunami in 15th century, the bridge got depilated and could not be used for further travel. He presented the travelogues of historicians from all over the world who used that bridge till then.

He was so polite and humble in his presentations and findings, and quoted Gautam Budhha that none of his presentations should be taken as conclusive and invited the youth to come and verify and explore further details.

A Scientist from Germany is going to come to Ashram tomorrow (friday) and present his studies on Dark Matter, Dark Energy. We would have a great glimpse of a western scientific investigation coinciding with ancient Indian observations and studies.

Looking forward for more such illuminating events! Cheers to IISc team…!

Living the Mystery of Life

We had a Sunday Session for those who have done YES!+, and recollecting and practising our learnings. We also saw a great video talk by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravishankar. Its titled Living the Mystery of Life. Worth a buy.

He explains how deep is the mystery of life, and how knowledge is expanding our awareness of our ignorance! The purpose of words is to bring silence…

The beauty of Sri Sri’s talks is the way he mixes the wisdom with humor and makes available the secrets of enlightenment to the novice and common man through daily life examples and stories!

It left us wondering about life, and laughing out loud !

Time to go Veg…

Meet your Meat. Caution: Video not for weak hearts.  Face the reality and become a vegetarian, unless you already are.

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