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Art of Living Navrati decoded


Did you count the divine audience? We have heard Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar talk about this! Many have even captured them in their picture frames. Some try to explain it as a scientific phenomenon. Some even call it a “blue-star” syndrome. Some more even take the liberty of ignorance to dismiss it as a superstition.

Yet the phenomenon of “angels” or divine energies being spotted during various spiritual activities blessed by Sri Sri continues to intrigue those who seek to know the real truth about this creation. It is impossible to dismiss this intriguing phenomenon of angels, after finding out what a Naadi Expert decoded just after this year’s Navratri celebrations at the Art of Living Ashram in Bangalore.

Naadi is an ancient science that decodes the past, present and future of an individual as foreseen by sages in ancient time and recorded in palm leaves. There are very few experts who have the knowledge to decode the inscriptions.

I wish modern science could testify this 7000 year old Akashic records and corroborate the revelation of all devas, devis and sages assembling at the Art of Living ashram in Bangalore for the Navratri celebrations!After the Chandi Homa, the Naadi Expert checked the palm leaves and decoded the following conversation between Kaushik Muni and one of his disciples.

Astonished by seeing that all sages, saptarishis, devas and devis including Bramha, Vishnu and Mahesh were present in Art of Living Ashram for all the nine days of Navratri, the disciple asked Kaushik Muni to throw light on it. Hear it from the horses’ mouth:

Disciple: All of you are sitting here for all the nine days. Are you not responsible for rest of the world? Don’t you have to go anywhere else to fulfill your responsibilities? There are places with famines and floods which need your attention, but you all are happily sitting here.

Kaushik Muni: We go everywhere, but here the yagnas have been done for all of humanity and without any selfish motive and without any deceit in the heart. The poojas here have been done for the benefit of whole world. That is why we come here.

Disciple: If someone does a small puja with same devotion, will you go there also?

Kaushik Muni: Even if it was a small yagna, we would have come here because it was done with selfless motive for benefit of whole world. So we would have come to bless so that it reaches the whole world.

Disciple: But you were not even invited here?

Kaushik Muni: But we were welcomed nicely and taken very good care of.  Also, here the pundits don’t do the yagnas as a profession, but with a pure heart. The fruits of yagna have reached even those who are not here physically but have remembered Gurudev, They have all been blessed. Many calamities have been averted; the hearts of people with violent and negative tendencies have been transformed.

Listening to this fascinating conversation etched on thaliyola (palm leaves) 7000 years ago with iron nails in Vatteluttu, the ancient Tamil script, it becomes official and absolute truth that not just millions of mortals across the globe, but even subtle beings called variously as angels, devas, devis and sages are also drawn to purity and authenticity of Sri Sri’s spirituality.

How often we have seen the unseen hands of divinity playing out in our lives. Surely, we don’t need to be told about it by a Nadi expert. Yet, it’s nice to know even the divine comes running where we go!

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Music, Navratri & Sri Sri


Music, to put in a gross way, is a group of musical notes of different frequencies or pitch arranged in a particular pattern and rhythm. However, this gross description is incomplete as it is limited only to the subjective aspect of music. In reality, music is a means of finding the Self.

The purpose of music is to transport the listener (and the musician) beyond the mechanical sound of the notes to the inner silence, another realm of one’s being. That’s why music is also known as nadyoga. Through music one can attain the transcendental. It is an important aspect of life like bhakti, gnana and karma. A nadayogi focuses on nada as the absolute brahman of which this entire creation springs out.

The finest aspect of music comes alive every year during the annual Navratri celebrations with Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at the Art of Living International Centre in Bangalore.

The evening before the day of Maha Chandi Homa a musical bliss dawns when Sri Sri plays Veena, the instrument of Goddess Saraswati. It is an out-of-the-world experience by itself. One can literally feel that the strings in one’s heart are being played that resonates throughout one’s life. Sri Sri’s Veena rendering is followed by the offerings of devotees in the form of dance, music (instrumental and vocal), Vedas, ancient scriptures,stotras in praise of the Mother Divine!

It’s not just a divine rendition of Veena, but elevating music as a form of worship. Goddess Sarawati is worshipped on the last three days of Navratri as the sattvic expression of Devi, known to bring self knowledge.

The Goddess, who is worshiped as the deity of music, is depicted to have a veena, the symbol of music, in one hand and a book, the symbol of knowledge, in the other. Knowledge is the subject of the left brain. Knowledge is not complete without music, which is the subject of the right brain. Music balances knowledge. For the journey of life to be complete, both music and knowledge are essential.

During the sacred Navratri celebrations at Bangalore Ashram, music is intricately intertwined with the invocation and worship of Shakti – the pure energy.

The ancient scriptures say, ‘Shruti is the mother, and laya is the father of music.’ Shruti is translated as pitch and laya is translated as rhythm. But they are much more than pitch and rhythm.

Shruti and laya are not separate. They merge into each other and have to remain indivisible throughout for music to exist. Laya, the rhythm, is in the soul of the universe. Everything in this creation changes, and this change follows a very precise rhythm. The universe itself revolves in a rhythm.

Laya is the attribute of music that is beyond the tangible rhythm of the music. Laya means to let go, to unite. Laya is complete cessation. It is the merger of all the different rhythms at the levels of one’s body, senses, mind, intellect, memory and ego to the one consciousness, the non-dual brahman. It is through this laya that the notes in the music are absorbed into the ‘swara’.

Music ‘happens’ when swara takes over! There the music, the musician and the listener, if any, with all the instruments cease to exist as individual entities, and dissolve into the one brahman, the nada!Swara is subtler than and far beyond the subjective sensation of the musical notes. Swara translates the subjective ‘anubhava’ to the objective ‘anubhooti’.

‘Swa-ra’ in Sanskrit means, ‘that which illumines itself’. It cannot be obtained through mere practice or penance, nor can one be trained to get it. It has to dawn by itself! And when it dawns in the musician, it shines forth itself through his music.

It is the swara and not just the technical correctness of the pitch or the quality of tones or the voice of the musician that makes music transcend and transport one to its destination.The sound that is beyond the finest vibration, the seed form of all the sounds is the state of absolute stillness, the nada, which can only be attained, not perceived through the physical ears.

Posted by Dr Manikantan Menon; Dr Mani promotes ‘Holistic well-being’ thru a blend of Ayurveda, Music and Indian Spiritual Knowledge & Yogic Practices

 
 

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All are Mother’s forms


Many years ago, I read this wonderful story in a Chinmaya Mission book.

Once, when Vinayaka was very young, he went out to play. Finding no one around, except a cat, he tried to play with her. But the cat seemed in no mood to play. Vinayaka tried to coax her by caressing her and offering her food, but she would only run away from him. After many futile attempts in getting her to play with him, Vinayaka lost patience. In a fit of rage, he hit her so hard that she fell a few yards away and  was bruised badly. Finally, Vinayaka thought that it was a waste of time and ran inside to his mother.

When he went inside his mother’s chamber, he was aghast at what he saw! Ma Parvati had bruises all over her body. Vinayaka was so sad at seeing his beloved mother in this condition that he started weeping. Ma Parvati drew him close and calmed him down. Vinayaka, crying desperately, asked: “Ma! What happened? Who did this to you?? Just tell me the name!!” Ma replied compassionately: “Darling, who can dare to hurt me? I can burn anyone to ashes by just one look. It was you who did this to me and hence, I didn’t oppose. I love you very much, my son!”

Vinayaka was baffled! How can this be? Still sobbing, he said: “What are you saying, Ma? How can I even think of hurting you? So much so that I did not even come near you all morning!” To this, Ma Parvati, with the shine back on her beautiful face, replied: “I know dear that you love me so much and wouldn’t think of hurting me. But in the morning, didn’t you hit the poor cat who didn’t want to play with you?

From now on, know that, everything and everyone that you see is my own manifestation. Whatever you say and do finally comes to me!!”

Vinayaka was stunned. Although young, he was very sharp. Ma Parvati didn’t have to say anything more. Vinayaka apologized to her. He had realized that ‘All are Mother’s forms’. 🙂

The non-dual Brahman expresses itself as ‘Purusha’ and ‘Prakruti’. Prakruti is the manifested creation and that is what we call ‘Divine Mother’. The entire creation is One being! Everything and everyone is a part of the Divine Mother.

Durga, Kali, Saraswati, Lakshmi are all different aspects of the Divine Mother. She loves variety and intends that we enjoy the diversity rather than be fanatics! The knowledge of the divine mother puts to rest the inferior tendencies of the mind like greed and jealousy. We stop abusing food, wealth, power, natural resources, even our own bodies, because everything is a form of the Divine Mother.

Navratri, for me, is the time to adore and pamper the Divine Mother. And in turn, get pampered! 🙂 It is the time to relax and enjoy the beauty around and inside us.

As our beloved Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is in silence at our Art of Living Banglore Ashram, let us take time off to remember this gift of knowledge and abundance that we have received by His grace.

Jai Guru Deva!

PS: This time of the year, it is Fall season here in Utah and the Divine Mother is busy flaunting her sense of fashion. 🙂

Fall colors in the mountains of Utah, USA.

 

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