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Sri Sri and the most wonderful job in the world


Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was an exceptionally precocious adolescent, who showed a keen interest for the spiritual world early in life. He completed his degree in science and Vedic literature by 17. He was young, but already felt that a special destiny awaited him: “At 17, I felt the whole world was my family. I had that strong aspiration that people celebrate life and live in harmony, specially where there was conflict,” he recalls today.

But there were obstacles. His mother’s relatives would berate her: “What has happened to your son? He talks philosophy, he does not behave like a normal person…. You better find him a job and get him married quickly.” Sri Sri would also spend hours performing elaborate pujas, an art he had mastered very young. So again, people would tell his mother: “Don’t allow your son to do so much puja, he may go mad and crazy. He will not study properly.” Sri Sri recalls that every time he would sit for meditation, his mother would hurry him up saying: “Not yet over? You are taking too long. Come on. Study.” The young Ravi Shankar would somehow escape sports classes, come home and do something else. Then his mother would scold him again: “Why did you come so early? Go and play football.” But the young Ravi aspired to bigger things; he would look at his feet and think: “These feet cannot kick anybody, let alone a ball,” and refuse to go.

To please his mother, he even went for an interview with a bank. But as it turned out, he interviewed the interviewers instead of the other way around! They asked him what he was doing. When they found out that he taught meditation, they got so interested that they wanted to know more. Sri Sri sat down and showed them a simple meditation technique! He was selected and sent a round-trip ticket to New Delhi. He never went.

But shortly thereafter, he met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, whose Transcendental Meditation (TM) was already known the world over. Maharishi was at that time conducting Veda and science conferences all over India and bringing scientists and Vedic scholars together on a single platform.

Sri Sri was very young, but Maharishi recognised his abilities and put him to work. He was thus sent to various places to give talks on the Vedas and science. But he had a problem: “I looked so young,” he smiles, “that people did not take me seriously.” Thus, he started growing a beard, “to look a little mature”.

He thought at that time that he had the most wonderful job in the world: Maharishi would send Ravi Shankar to represent him at various maths (monasteries) and ashrams—including the Ordaining Ceremony of Guru Mai Chidvilasanand by her Guru Baba Muktanand. “I went to Ganeshpuri (located near Mumbai) with two truckloads of sweets!” he recollects. Baba Muktanand received him and the group of pandits accompanying him very warmly.

Later, Maharishi dispatched Sri Sri to different European countries to  expound on the Vedas and science. At that time, he thought that to work tirelessly to set up Veda, science and ayurveda, the ancient and unique Indian medical system, was a pioneering job. Indeed, all his life, Sri Sri would keep his commitment to ayurveda, later establishing an ayurvedic college in his headquarters in Bangalore, from where hundreds of doctors graduate every year. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar also became one of the best-known spiritual leaders of India, and founded the Art of Living movement, whose volunteers make it the second largest NGO of the world after the Red Cross. LikeOutlook, Sri Sri thought big and made it big!

Source : OutLook India 

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Art of Living News

 

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Art of Living and Punjab govt tie up to fight drug addiction


The Punjab Government will soon launch a joint venture with the Art of Living Foundation — a non-Government organisation — for helping the Punjabis to get rid of drug addiction in the State.

With the debate over gravity of drug menace in Punjab gaining momentum, the state government will launch a programme with the Foundation in Amritsar on the pilot basis, and make an attempt to take out the Punjabis from the clutches of the deadly drug menace.

Under the programme, 11 teams will cover the nine constituencies of Amritsar parliamentary segment by going house to house, and doing door to door survey of the entire area.

“The programme will be launched in Amritsar as a pilot project between November 15 and 20 under which nine constituencies will be covered by 11 teams of the Art of Living Foundation. The programme is expected to go for around four to six months during which house to house survey will be conducted,” said Chief Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Navjot Kaur Sidhu.

She added, “All the houses in the area will be thoroughly covered and the families will be asked if there are any drug addicts and they want to get rid of it.”

Sidhu informed that the Foundation has courses and programmes for drug rehabilitation, which are running across 157 nations. “These courses will be absolutely free. And under this, the various activities like yoga, pranayam, various kriyas, satsang will be done and psychiatrists will also be there for any kind of counseling,” said she.

The teams will train the medical officers, and the leaders will also be appointed among the participants who are active in learning to run the programme at later stages.

She maintained that the programme will not only be carried out with the assistance of health department but also the Police department which will work in tandem with us. “We will also visit the sensitive areas like that of Maqboolpura where drug problem is very serious. For such areas, police will be with us. As 11 teams are coming for nine constituencies, the extra ones will focus on such sensitive areas,” said Sidhu.

Maqboolpura village in Amritsar is known for drug addicts, deaths related to drugs, widows and orphans of drug addicts and poverty caused by most employable males getting hooked to drugs — indicating the severity of the drug menace. It is also known as a village with no men — which is also true to some extent.

“If they are taking drugs, we will provide them with sterlised needles to save them from HIV or Hepatitis, we will also provide them medicines that are alternative to the drugs and then those medicines will also be available with the Medical Officers and educate the addicts to take that, free of cost, instead of drugs,” she said, adding that the funding of this programme would come from the funds by the MNCs, or from her or her MP husband Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder of the Art of Living, is also expected to be the part of the programme and may visit the state at the concluding ceremony. “He has given clear instructions that the teams will not come back till all the houses are covered,” she said adding that she would ensure that he visit the state for the programme.

Source: Daily Pioneer

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2012 in Art of Living News

 
 
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