Yesterday was the first day of the Yes!+ Winter break program. It was a perfect beginning, gently showing off a glimpse of what is in store for the 800 plus strong yes!+ graudates who have travelled from all over the world to be here to celebrate the New year a bit differently from the rest of the world.

Yesterday we had a perfect satsang in the ashram led by Vikram Hazra the great, and the latest upcoming singing star Ambarish.

Right from the second bhajan the satsang hit the roof. It was amazing to see the way Vikram conducts a bhajan. He is so creative, has his own distinct style of singing and gives every song he sings his own unique "Vikram touch". Conducting a satsang is not just about good singing but being sensitive about the kind of energy present in the environment and choosing bhajans accordingly and singing them accordingly.Only a few can manage this and out of that only a few can do it consistently.


According to me a Satsang is perfect when its a blend of power packed Shiva bhajans, Sublime devi bhajans, devotional Guru bhajans and blissfully joyful krishna bhajans. Of course with vikram around you also get a couple of meaningful and melodious English songs in between. A satsang has achieved its purpose when it leaves you joyful and at the same time longing for more.

We sang, danced, cried in gratitude and meditated.

Thanks to Vikram who has achieved excellence in the way he plays the guitar, sings and conducts a satsang.

Love
Rashmin.


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This is "jealousy". I do not like it (why?). I do not want to feel this way. This is what is life all about. Either I am craving or resisting.I really wonder, is feeling unpleasant the problem or not wanting to feel unpleasant the real problem.

If I go futher may be I can even question the basic assumption that a particular sensation that I experience is either pleasant or unpleasant. Why do I call a particular sensation pleasant and some other sensation as unpleasant? Why do I crave for a particular type of sensations and resist certain other types of sensations? Is it possible to go beyond this fundamental likes and dislikes? Is there something called a pleasant sensation or is it just my craving that makes it pleasant?

Questioning the basic assumptions can help us go beyond the duality,beyond the opposites.
I think so.do you?

JaiGurudev
Rashmin


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Remembering death is one of the laws of spirituality. As we remember death craving subsides and serenity dawns. There is a difference between knowing death as a fact and consciously reminding oneself of it.Remembrance of death immediately brings about a shift in awareness. Priorities change and things which seemed very important do not seem so and something that you thought was ok to postpone may seem like the most urgent and important thing to do!

Intelligent are those who learn from their own experience and wise are those who learn from others experience. “Tuesdays with Morrie “ is a beautiful book written by Mitch Albom, who has narrated his own entire experience about the time he spent with his favorite university teacher Morrie who knew that he is going to die in a few months.
The conversations they have had are full of wisdom and the relationship they share is really beautiful. I started reading this book as I boarded the flight back home to Bangalore from Oslo. I just couldn’t stop till I finished it.


Love
Rashmin.


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Once upon a time during one of the satsangs in one of our ashrams, one of our devotees, who was quite fed up eating the bland food was praying for something really tasty. By the end of the satsang he was pleasantly surprised to see one of the other devotees coming on the stage with a huge, delicious looking cake as it was his birthday.

As he was thinking that finally he would have something different and tasty to eat Guruji started wrapping the cake pieces in tissue papers and started throwing them in the audience. The audience was having a great time except this one guy who was singing with the satsang team on the stage and could do nothing more than watching flying cake pieces instantly disappear into people's mouths.

After a few minutes of this spectacular drama Guruji left and he noticed that there was still a lot of cake left which was generously been taken towards the audience for distribution.

Just for one moment there was a hesitation in his mind "Should I first go for the cake and then follow Guruji or...just forget the cake and follow Guruji". Fortunately for Him he decided to forget the cake and as soon as he sat down in Guruji's rooom the door knocked and there was someone with a cake to give it to him.

Three more people followed with cakes of different sizes just for this one devotee. He had more than he ever wanted to eat and then Guruji smiled and said,"You were hesitating, right? If you follow me all the cakes in the world will come to you!"

Again and again we need to let go of all our personal concerns (Cakes) and focus ourselves into Sadhna, Seva and satsang and as time passes we realize that the cakes are anyway on their way looking for us much more than we ever could even ask for.

Love
Rashmin


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This is a wake up call! We cannot anymore let a bunch of mindless, misguided lunatics ruthlessly walk over us. What are we doing about this? Constantly blaming the Govt, politicians and our security systems every time there is a disaster? When is the common man going to move his ass.

We need to ask ourselves. Each one of us (we are more than a billion!) needs to ask ourselves how am I going to contribute to create peace around me? How am I going to contribute to the society? and DO! for Gods sake DO something about it and stop blaming someone else and while doing so we need to chant the name of the lord and render the whole environment around us with vibrations of peace.

Get out there and plant trees, adopt at least one child every year and see through his/her education so that the same child does not become a terrorist. Every night as we sleep we need to ask ourselves what have I done today that I have the right to go to sleep.

We need to stop denying and condemning our own identity. We are a spiritual nation and our culture of Pranayama, satsang,chanting,service and meditation has to be kept alive. We need to uphold the spiritual values we represent otherwise all this temporary emotional outbursts will only speed up the journey towards disaster.

Time to Act responsibly and having an unshakable faith in our spiritual roots is the need of the hour.

Love
Rashmin


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lovely white!From my window in Skovde, Sweden.

Love
Rashmin


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Just finished a fantastic Yes!+ course in Oslo. I am quite blown away by the sincerity of the Scandinavians. Its a treat to watch these guys participate in every single process and the way they follow every single instruction. Honesty and sincerity are the two words that come to my mind.

Right now I am back in Sweden for two "small" yes!+ courses and guess what, its been snowing here. The last course participants prayed for it so that I could experience "real snowy winter" before I leave. Its minus 10 and wherever you look you see sparkling white snow.

Photos in the next post.

Love
Rashmin


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One of the greatest virtue of a seeker is tolerating ignorance. I have been traveling and meeting all sorts of people for quite some time now. Sometimes I meet people and it seems as if they are just waiting to be told about the Art of Living and also there are others who are like dumbness personified.

Its been a challenging task to save the mind when confronted with such people. In one of the courses I had a participant who left during the Sudarshan Kriya because she did not want to be late for an appointment with a dentist! One of the guys asked me that if everybody goes veg we would have chickens all over the place in the world. HE felt that we should eat chickens in order to save the world from a chicken population explosion! So I asked him, what about crows? He went into a deep silence and may be he is still contemplating about it and getting nightmares about a world full of crows darkening the whole planet.

Yesterday when I was taking a shower I got this wonderful thought.

"The ignorance of the ignorant glorifies the wisdom of the wise".

The reason I really appreciate Guruji 's wisdom is not just because of HIM but its actually because of all the other ignorant people in the world. So thanks to all that ignorance in the world which is the very reason why we have been privileged by the divine presence of Guruji and we can appreciate it at the same time.

Once Guruji said that the greatest gift of Art of Living to this planet is the point Opposite values are complimentary. So the next time you are faced with some stubborn ignorance just smile and remember .....

Love
Rashmin


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Yet Again I was blown off with His intensity.This is absolutely intense Unconditional Love for the whole of humanity. Even if you have seen this video already, see it again.



What an Inspiration HE is!

JaiGurudev
Rashmin


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I do not wish to trade anything for what I already have. Every time I look into myself I see so many desires lingering on and I tell you I would definitely not be ready to give away something like the Sudarshan Kriya even if I was guaranteed that all those desires would get fulfilled in a moment.

This actually means that Whatever I want is less than what I already have and yet I keep wanting it.. why? What is it that I want? Every desire fulfilled would create a tingling pleasant sensation somewhere in the body for some time and then what? Is Life only about fulfilling desires? Can life be something more than craving for pleasant sensations? Pleasant sensations have been experienced a thousand times. DO they intensify my ignorance or saturate me?

what in me experiences? Who is the experiencer? what is the nature of that something that is experiencing the experience? If there is something that stays untouched how does it anyway matter what I experience? How does it matter whether any desire gets fulfilled or not?

If its True that I am "that" then however "this" is, how much does it matter? What is this whole drama of craving and resisting?

Looks like this So Ham leads to so what?!

Love
Rashmin.


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A fantastic Yes course with 26 young and talented music students from the Asker music school in Oslo. An hour before the course ended I had to leave for Brussels for the World Youth Forum. Apart form the Yes!+ course (its named A new dimension to leadership) these 54 bright particpants from around 15 countries are getting a wonderful opportunity to listen to prominent leaders in all spheres of society to consider ways and means of strengthening human values and ethics in business.

The talks so far were really brilliant. The Q&A sessions are really intense and of course we are all rocking with the yes!+ course with Vesna from Croatia and Ajay from Holland. The entire atmosphere is quite charged up because with a help of a few professionals these participants which are divided into three groups are going to write and compose a WYF theme song, make a 7 minute film and prepare a speech, all of these to be presented this Friday from 17:00 to 17:45 at the European parliament in the presence of Guruji.

As I am thoroughly enjoying teaching the Yes!+ here and I am impatiently waiting for My Master to arrive the day after tomorrow.

Love
Rashmin


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Small little momentary pleasures hold us back. We miss something. Its the pleasure that binds us, not the pain.

The pleasure hungry mind just goes on and on with the same old patterns. I am tired of this now. The mind is very sneaky and sticky. It sneaks out and sticks to something, trying hard to squeeze out some juice from something apparently juicy.It hopelessly fails every single time and yet it goes on and on.

The funniest part is that the mind keeps on fooling itself all the time and yet we are stuck to it, so bothered and feverish in anticipation of a so called pleasant experience!

Vasistha says, "Foolishness invites sorrow. Foolishness is bondage. O holy one! One who is bound thinks he is free in his foolishness! Though all that exists in the three worlds is but the self, to one who is firmly established in foolishness all that is but the expansion of foolishness".

Its high time that I just sit back and laugh..silently.

Love
Rashmin


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Just finished the first round of courses and also a fun residential Intro talk training session with a few Scandinavian teachers and volunteers. It all happened in Wendelsberg high school in the outskirts of Gotenburg city in a grand wooden castle. Really beautiful place with a lake next to it.

Everything became more fantastic with our orgnizer Jack ( part1 teacher) always available to get things fixed for any of us, however busy he used to be and Yogesh the official chef. My god! he is just too good. People loved his Indian food.

Quite a few of these guys are coming for the winter break in India.





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Refreshing! Difficult to decide who is more cuter the panda or the elephant (Horton). I felt Horton was a bit over animated but it gets more than compensated with the uniqueness of the script. A big Huge elephant coming in contact with a parallel Universe that exist inside a speck on a flower!




Panda is worth seeing just for the panda..funny,innocent and a nice message put across in a very beautiful way. Amazing characterization. Really light and really entertaining.

Love
Rashmin


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I got this beautiful mail and could not resist putting it over here. Its worth seeing again and again.

When we see our own life in the context of space and time all the tiny little botherations just fall of.

Just have a look at this



Thats a huge planet we live in right?



oops...not that big!







THIS IS A HUBBLE TELESCOPE ULTRA DEEP FIELD INFRARED VIEW OF COUNTLESS

'ENTIRE' GALAXIES BILLIONS OF LIGHT-YEARS AWAY.




Now just have have a look at that one thought thats been bothering you. How big is that? How big is our life? and How big is our God?

Keep life in perspective..Be happy!

Love
Rashmin


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Just finished a nice little cozy Yes!+ course in Skovde and now I am off to Gotenburg for another Yes!+ starting day after.

Love
Rashmin.


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Whenever I watched Hindi movies where the pot bellied corrupt politician was one of the villian I quite unconsciously thought "Yes, these are the guys responsible for the present state of affairs - dishonest, corrupt politicians". But think about it. Are you sure? saying that gives us the license to passively accept things the way they are and move on continuing with the blame game. Lets have a peek into our own lives and our own minds. Lets first search for the seed of corruption in our own self otherwise how would it manifest in society. If you can see it around its because its in you!

A few days back someone told me about how his Indian friend finds it difficult to buy the bus ticket here in Scandinavia. For more than a month now I have been traveling in local buses, trams and trains and not a single time the ticket has been checked. Since there is also no conductor it seems that this guy gets tempted to save money being quite assured that for a few days he is here, he will not be checked.In fact he feels quite pointless buying a ticket when you know that its not going to be checked.

Dont you think in this very mentality lies the seed of corruption. Because when he does that he travels and someone else pays for it. Is nt that what we call corruption? But he is thrilled and I am sure He would go back and proudly tell his friends about his extraordinary smartness and they would be thrilled too.

If the seed is in us waiting to sprout, all that it needs is an opportunity and look how it clings on and thrives at the slightest opportunity. Lets leave alone the politicians and stop this blame game because they are anyway a part of the same society. We elect them and that is why its we who need to take responsibility.

Love
Rashmin


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Everyone breathes and everyone wants to be happy. There is nothing more common and universal than these two things on this planet. I just finished my 2nd course here in Malmo, Sweden. As of now we could manage only small courses.

10 in Malmo for part 1 and 7 in Oslo for yes!+. Today I am starting the third course (YES!+) course in Skovde High school in Sweden with another 10 people but I am quite sure these numbers will at least double the next month.

A broad vision, good intention and persistent efforts are all that it takes to bring about a transformation. In this effort of spreading the knowledge I realised that we need to carry intense joy in our hearts and continuously drop expectations as and when they arise because "Expectations reduce Joy".

A happy presence gets all work done. Even if it may seem to go slow but a happy ending is guaranteed.

One more pic of my first course in Oslo.




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If you are one of those late goers. Read this. It may help.

1. When you enter the bathroom while you are already running behind time, DO NOT SING.Just take a bath and get out of there.

2. If You wake up listening to your alarm at 6:00 and decide to sleep exactly for another 5 mts ,when you wake up again its likely that the time is 7:30.

3. DO not think about replanning your schedule when you are still in bed and finding it incredibly difficult to get out of it. It would be rather better to think of a new excuse for being late and continue sleeping.

4. Forget about discovering new short cuts to reach the place where you have to go. Even DO Not ask people who claim to know all the roads. you will only get confused.

5. Every time you press the snooze button the chances that you are going to be late get multiplied.

6. In the night before you sleep let go of all the doership that you carry for the work you did all throughout the day. The more you think about how hard you have worked till late night the more are the chances of you getting late the next morning.

7. Watching TV in the morning is a SIN. Watching TV at other times is just foolishness.

8. When a babe/dude you just met a few days back calls you in the morning, DO NOT convince yourself of the importance of the conversation even when you know that you are just plain flirting.

9. "oops I need to iron my clothes" this realization generally happens at the last moment when you dont have any other things to drop and compensate.

10. Before you sleep the last night and you are calculating the things you need to do the next morning, so that you will reach on time, keep aside 6 minutes for "searching".

11. BE ON TIME.


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"Chess is in its essence a game, in its form an art,and in its execution a science"(Baron Tassilo)


There are people who hate chess and there are people who are obsessed. The former wonder how can anyone love something like chess and the ones who are obsessed are too obsessed to think about anything else.

"There must have been a time when men were demigods,or they could not have invented Chess"(Gustav Schenk)

"We don't really know how the game was invented, though there are suspicions. As soon as we discover the culprits, we'll let you know".

Most of them are like me somewhere in between. I learned the game when I was four and I started beating people around me and later on played competitive chess for 7 years. These 7 years I experienced all the emotions in their extreme.Intense frustration after squandering a completely won position, Absolute joy of discovering the most original winning moves, Ecstasy of winning a tournament and reading your name in the newspaper for the first time. Egoistic satisfaction of ruthlessly beating someone doubly rated and utter humiliation at the hands of someone who has just started going to school.

Playing chess I understood a lot about myself. Chess can reveal a lot about you and its quite possible for someone who understands the game to know his basic nature, attitude and the way one thinks.

"The way he plays Chess demonstrates a man's whole nature"(Stanley Ellin)

Logical, scientific, organised way of thinking and yet being creative is the greatest ability one can learn from this game. Its amazing to see how disorganised is our thinking and how much it is governed by baseless emotions that cause impatience resulting into disastrous choices of moves.

Amongst other things, what Chess has given me is patience and a lot of it for which I would always be grateful to this wonderful game.

"You sit at the board and suddenly your heart leaps. Your hand trembles to pick up the piece and move it. But what chess teaches you (often the hard way) is that you must sit there calmly and think about whether thats really a good idea and whether there are other better ideas."




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As I write this we are just 15 mts away from knowing who is this years Noble peace prize winner. Its really a weird feeling bothering about a so called prestigious award. May be if I was not in Oslo, Norway I would not have been so concerned about this. I am just a few minutes away from the Peace prize Auditorium.

Since the last 3 weeks that I am here I feel HE getting this award would really help the speeding up of our AOL work in the west (I am teaching a course with 7 people, the smallest course I ever taught). The world at least will look into what has been happening on this planet with the grace and love of Guruji and what they have been missing all these years. Otherwise its kind of funny to even imagine anybody judging about the work of an enlightened Master and awarding him the Peace prize and we getting really excited over it!

I will be back after 10 mts...

oops.. not again.

Former Finnish president M Ahittasari gets it for his conflict resolution work in Iraq, kosovo and Indonesia. So what does this mean? may be this just means that get on and move your ass. The blessing and grace of the master are more than enough and nothing else is practically "needed" to further the cause.

I get back to work and so do you.

JaiGurudev
Rashmin


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You may be sitting close but you may be galaxies apart. Actually there are no break ups. Break up is just a realisation that you were never together. You may be smiling, laughing and joking around but there may be loads of suppressed negativity hiding beneath. Our minds have an extraordinary capacity to resist/suppress. While resistance is absolutely necessary, only with acceptance or letting go, one can ever experience the real thing. Even before letting go you first need the courage to confront it. Spirituality is the path of the courageous.

The last two days I had a few talks in Sweden. I had an interesting observation in Sweden. I met three Indians! Pallavi and Rasika from Dombivili and Manoj from ulhasnagar. Pallavi and Rasika have already taken the Yes!+ course. I met them for the first time except for Pallavi whom I had a brief meeting before she left India.

All the three are having a absolutely fantastic time. So it was not that they were frustrated/bored like most of the Indians living/working abroad and neither were they really desperate to hang out with Indians just because they are missing India. I was amazed at the speed. The speed at which the connection happened and the speed at which breakfast, lunch, dinner, short visit, long stay, please come now and other such invitations started pouring in from all sides. The Innocence and excitement in the eyes..said it all, breaking through all the artificial barriers of formality and directly connecting with the heart.

Amidst the mechanical "thank yous, I am sorry, you are welcome" and other such crap I could suddenly feel vibes of absolute authenticity and a deep sense of caring and sharing. Everyone wants to share but if the desire is not that intense, concerns of ones own comfort or welfare stops one from doing so. Most of us have mastered the art of saying " I dont have time".When I do not bother so much about my own welfare or convenience only then can I share.

India is a true representation of "Sharing". India is the spirit of the whole world, its life and its Heart beat. We have a huge responsibility. We definitely need to learn a lot from all parts of the world but we also need to live what "WE" really are so that the whole world gets inspired and learns from us the true essence of spirituality, the meaning of humanness and its very purpose of self realisation.

Love
Rashmin


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"We need to first find peace within ourselves and only then can we make others peaceful". How amazingly simple to understand and how incredibly difficult to implement.

Its past 12. I cant sleep. Since the past few days all that I see around is people work, smoke, drink, and eat cows, goats, chicken,turkeys and fish, sleep, wake up and continue completely oblivious of the fact they are directly responsible for ruthlessly destroying the environment. This is what most humans do on this planet? Its said that if all the insects in the world get wiped out, in another 50 years life on the planet would cease to exist. If all the Humans/morons from this planet are wiped out, in another 50 years all other life forms would flourish!

What the hell are we up to?

I am totally amazed at my Guru. Being so intensely concerned about the welfare of every single being and also the future of the whole world how does he manage to smile every moment of his life. Especially when people who are aware and experienced also are so completely caught up in absolutely mundane activities that they cannot see beyond the tip of their nose! Even they are welcomed , accepted, Loved and respected by this ever flowing fountain of compassion called Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. I cannot even wonder at HIM. Words fail me.

Love you Guruji..

Love
Rashmin.


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Either you seek pleasure or come to me - Sri Sri RaviShankar.

These words really shook me and even more when HE once personally looked straight into my eyes and said "tu free ho ja" ( you become free). Though he said this in response to a personal query, it has really made a deep impression on my mind. It was a blessing as well as an order.

Since then life changed. Here is something I have been thinking of late.

What comes after the Peak?..... Its the free fall, down into the valley, a little further down from where you started. Its makes you feel like a dumb ass completely fooled yet again by the lure of getting at the peak. Either through some kind of emotional gratification; wanting to be loved and respected or through the five senses the mind is constantly seeking a peak experience. Have you observed this? Its amazing to watch its consistency.

A few moments of pleasure is what binds us. Bondage is painful. I heard a beautiful tip given by Guruji. He said " To every craving there is a beginning, middle and the end. When the craving arises and you remember the end, it elevates your awareness to a higher level and then that which seems uncontrollable to resist, does not seem so".

Otherwise life is just a series of "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.... thud!!!!" all along and then you come back and continue! Remembering the fall brings peace and serenity.

Guurji says things in such a simple way but we need to be really aware because every word he speaks, he is directing us towards the highest state of consciousness.

Love
Rashmin


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Have you observed time pass? Time is ticking away. Every moment I am coming closer and closer to the end. The inevitable end. What will then matter and what will not?

All the subtle and gross desires, all aversions, intense or mild, joy, sadness, frustration, success, failure, beauty, love, compassion, jealousy, anger, lust, greed and all of it put together seem utterly insignificant and meaningless when you think of "TIME" which just swallows every pleasant and unpleasant experience and moves on..... Unstoppable and Impregnable.

NOTHING can pass the test of TIME.
And if there is something that can, that would be the only thing worth Experiencing!

Love
Rashmin

PS: This post is the result of me watching a video called "Time" on youtube, a talk given by His Holiness Sri Sri RaviShankar.


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"The very purpose of such variety in creation is to bring you back to your self, to come to know that you are beautiful - that you are beauty..... Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

The fall season as they call it, is a time when nature reveals its true colours! you can see the trees in all the different shades of green, yellow, orange, red and pink blending with each other and forming such incredibly beautiful scenery that for a moment, mind stops and your heart goes Wow!!!

Enjoy the pics

All ready to fall...



Fallen.



Look at this one below..bright yellow in the midst of all the dark green



This tree next to our home is green above and red below!



Here is our dear Dinesh Ghodke "experiencing" the fall.



Inspite of all this its amazing that atheists do exist on this planet!

Love
Rashmin


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Its really mysterious how some of the good things go completely unnoticed. Peaceful warrior is a really meaningful and inspirational movie based on a true story of a gymnast (Dan Millman) who meets with a dreadful bike accident shattering one of his bone into 17 pieces and yet makes a stunning come back into the professional circuit surpassing all expectations of his friends and coach.

One of the major factors that contributes to his success is his meeting with a old, mysterious (enlightened?) man in a service station who attracts his attention by showing a few miracles and then in the most unique way trains him to live in the present moment! The first interaction that they have starts with the old man asking him, "are you happy"?

When I say its a must see I myself have no idea how? The film was released in 2006 and its DVD is not available in most of the shops in Mumbai (Please check and let me know if you get it) Nobody has even heard about it. Quite surprising.

The conversations between the old man and the gymnast are mind blowing. The movie kept all of us hooked till the last moment and it ends with his first comeback performance on the rings. I can just keep watching that last scene may be a hundred times.

One of my favorites dialogue of the movie is "the one who are the hardest to love are the ones who need it the most"

Love ( I am pretty easy)
Rashmin


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Thank you so much for all your suggestions for the name of the talk. Guruji says that technology is making the globe shrink into a village and its the turn of spirituality to convert it into a family. As I am practically alone here organising the course its great to see how our AOL family members are so keen to spread the knowledge. No wonder we are the fastest growing NGO in the world.

Since now I have a big team working with me I would like to give all of you the latest updates. I took all your suggestions and had a discussion with a few local people here about the name and what I should speak in those 2 mts. We had a nice laughing session. In the beginning all of us were serious and then the jokes started. A few funny suggestions for the names and the talk..

1. Experience the superman in you!... suggested by gauri ( over skype. she is in India)
2. The only path to heaven ... your nose!
3. Come ..breathe ..change your life and die.

and many more.

Anyway, after talking to these people I realised that anything even remotely flowery or philosophical would not work. People here are extremely rational and academic. Scientific research and proofs interest them a lot. So ultimately I just settled for "Power of Breath" (very boring it sounds . I know) Along with that is attached the "Science of breath" pamphlet. There is a gap of two hours between lectures so in that time I go around the campus and talk to people The talk is going to happen tomorrow at 4:15.

I had just 3 people confirmed for the course and guess what! All the 3 have backed out. So we are back to where we started. I have taken this up as a challenge and every failure is only increasing my enthusiasm! I am going to be doing this till the last minute before the course starts.... Joyfully! remembering what Guruji once said "No work done with a good intention ever goes waste"

Love
Rashmin


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Hello everyone! wherever you are I need your brains to work for me a bit. So that I can really crack this university of Oslo and give a lot of people a taste of ................. ( fill in the blank)

I would just paste here what Raghvan commented on my previous post

Jai Guru Dev Rashmin ! When we tried to organize intro talks at my univ in US, we were" greeted with empty rooms for weeks on end. Then we started organizing free yoga/meditation sessions. These "buzzwords" seemed to work really well and we got many students by word of mouth . We would do some yoga, followed by the "Gift Of Silence" meditation after which the students would be really ready to hear about the course.
Thank you Raghav.

From all of you I need a name for the one hour session I will do here. Here Yoga is not yet such a "in thing" as in the US may be. (not too sure). But I want a nice cool name that will make them want to come to get refreshed and rejuvenated... like having a sip of energy..or something on those lines.

Send your suggestions by 12:00 in the afternoon and ask a lot more of our volunteers and teachers also to find a name for this.

I am waiting....

Love
Rashmin


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"What you say sounds really interesting but I am afraid I need to check my calender. I am really busy for the next few weeks may be till December. You may send a mail and I will discuss in the committee meeting happening in Nov 1st week. Any way thanks for calling. Wish you good luck.bye" This is how most of my conversations end after I have said what we generally say about our courses.

Everybody here lives as per plans that are made well in advance. Nobody is allowed to sneak in and interfere. So all my attempts of organising an Introductory lecture in the classroom or in any of the students organisations (there are 250) of the Oslo University have failed. Home intro talks?.. not yet fixed.

Every place holds its challenge as far as spreading this beautiful knowledge of the Art of Living is concerned. Every place that we go is an opportunity to "unlearn". As I like to say we are on a path where we need to keep refining and redefining what we call "being 100%".

In this super huge campus there are 30 thousand students. Its a strange feeling. I am here with something so precious but there hardly seems to be any way letting them know it! We have booked a small seminar room every wednesdays and fridays for an hour for the Intro talk. I am allowed to enter a class and with the lecturers permission talk for 2 mts max to invite people for the talk. This seems to be the only option left. Lets see what happens next...

Love
Rashmin


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Thats our home in Oslo. Beautiful is nt it? Guruji also stayed in the same house when he was here. People here are very different. Not so expressive as we Indians are. But it was amazing to see that same Guru madness when HE was around. Chasing him in cars and that same desperation to be with him and get in his car.

The whole atmosphere was vibrant with love and joy. Its amazing to see how people just keep smiling for no apparent reason in his presence. There is so much noise and yet so much silence.

After he left 5 people rushed to his room and started jumping on the bed on which he slept. They had actually washed the entire house before his arrival and everything was extremely well organised.

As I write sitting in the room you see below I cant believe I am in the same place. It so completely different.
This is the room where 50 people almost all the time sat with him and laughed with him and had delicious Indian food!



Right now I am all alone and really really missing HIM..

Love
Rashmin


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Sorry for that hibernation. I am back and I have yet again made the resolution of writing regularly. For all those who have been waiting " thank you for being so patient". Finally I am quite settled here now in oslo, Norway, the richest and the most expensive country in the world.

Anyway I would first like all of you to know how I landed here. On the 26th of Aug I got a call from Vasanthi saying that GURUJI has asked me to go to Iceland. He said "Rashmin will go to Iceland and ice them". This obviously made me happy but the very next thought that came to my mind was that I have not yet renewed my passport which had expired in the month of july. My destination later on changed to Norway and sweden but I paid a very high price for procrastination and being disorganised in life. My motto in life was " ab kare so aaj, aaj kare so kal, kal kare so parso, aisi bhi kya jaldi hai jab jeena hai barso". I have devotedly followed this principle in life and for the first time I faced a consequence that I would remember forever.

I MISSED FLYING WITH HIM ON THE 8TH MORNING TO GERMANY AND a chance to SPEND AROUND 4 DAYS WITH HIM IN GERMANY AND NORWAY' because I had not bothered to renew my passport!

Nevertheless I gave my 100% to get my passport on time so that i could fly with HIM. But it was too late. I had to make a few trips to the passport office, visa office and also the post office. Unfortunate are those who have to spend a portion of their life in the above mentioned places all in a span of one week with a irresistable temptation of flying with GOD hanging in front of the eyes all throughout. The whole week was horrible. I like to call it "gyan ki agni pariksha".

Finally I caught the flight on the 13th morning to oslo via frankfurt so that I could spend atleast one day with him. I had to shop, pack, learn how to cook and everything as usual was in a mess.

I was allowed to carry 20 kgs in the flight. I had 24 kgs. They charge 30 euros per extra kg. I had carried spices which contain chilli powder which is not allowed to be carried in the hand baggage. Last but not the least I had packed my german invitation letter in the check in baggage so I had nothing to show to the german security (passport control) so that they allow me to catch my flight to oslo where Guruji had already reached.

The check in guy looked at me and said " its 24 kgs .. but its ok I am allowing you as an exception" The guy at the security check said " actually you cant take this in your hand baggage but its ok I am considering you as an exception!"and finally the german security held me for 20 mts gave me disgusting looks and finally just stamped my ticket and said " go".

Because of my own stupidity I missed the flight with HIM but he was all the way with me.

I would keep all of you posted on whats happening in my life here since my arrival. Keep reading...

Love
Rashmin


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Its amazing. Guruji speaks on something as profound as the Bhagvad Gita and after a few minutes in the same satsang dances on “Jiya Dhadak dhadak”!

The following two questions illustrate the real essence of Gurudev! Playfulness and depth. He can instigate roars of laughter with his amazing sense of humour and in the next few moments say something that makes your heart go wow! And you get it right “in” because that’s exactly what you needed at that point of time.

Just read this and you will know what I mean..

Q : Would you please encourage our husbands wash utensils and cut vegetables even at home just as they did here during the advance course? (Followed by loud cheering from all the women in the course).

Guruji : yes yes definitely. But then it would be nice if you too maintained silence at home just the way you did in the advance course. (Followed by loud cheering by all the men in the course)

Q : I miss you very much. Do you miss me?

Guruji : When I am in your mind its only me who exist. But when I am not in your mind “I” miss you very much. I long for you.

Love
Rashmin


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This one was really mind blowing. I felt so greatful for having Guruji in my life because only a satguru can so beautifully unlock the real meaning of the sutras propounded in the scriptures.

Here it is..
Krishna tells Arjuna that your enemies are your cravings and aversions. But know that these cravings house themselves between the senses and the sense objects. So just recognize them but do not get involved in them.

Guruji explained that if we think that cravings are our enemies and they are within us than that would never allow us to meditate and move closer within. So Krishna says know that they lie between the senses and the sense objects (that exist outside in the world). With this understanding you do not feel the need to try to get rid of them nor you get yourself involved. Just recognize and relax!

This saved a lot of trouble for me..

Love
Rashmin


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I was returning back home from an Introductory talk in a college. I was standing in a bus singing and humming. Till then I had never composed a bhajan nor did I intend to. After a few minutes I started "la la loing" something really melodious. It was something completely new and " fresh". Sounded very nice. I was sure I would forget it after I reach home so I recorded the tune in my mobile phone.

This is how "Hari Narayana" One of Guruji's favourite bhajans got composed. Imagine my utter excitement when I was sitting in a satsang and HE grabbed the mike and started singing "Hari narayan..narayana" in his typical style! Moreover I was listening to that bhajan in a satsang for the first time.

More than a year has passed and it still seems to be Guruji's favourite. Every time I used to hear HIM sing I felt great but the last time something different happened. As the whole of vishalakshi Mantap was immersed in the song along with Guruji I started feeeling very strongly... "this is not mine. Its just happened through me"

The very next day when HE was speaking on the Bhagvad Gita he told us the meaning of " Nirmama" which means "not me". He said, "All the misery one experiences in life is because of two things. Its either a "want" or the feeeling of "me". When someone abuses you, what is said is not disturbing but the fact that its being said to "ME" is the cause of pain." He further explained that when you do something genius or out of this world you will never think as if you have done it. You will always feel that it just happened through you."

By practicing Nirmama we would effortessly let the divine permeate in every aspect of our life.

Love
RAshmin


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A Yes!+ advance course in Rishikesh would not be complete without river rafting in the Ganga on the last day.

The stillness of the huge mountains on one side silently witnessing the soft caresses of the ever flowing water of the holy ganga keeps your mind captivated throughout the exciting journey. Wherever you look you see beauty and as you are engrossed in admiration and have already started planning your next visit you wonder where is the noise coming from? Yes!..one more rapid ! A rapid means nothing but basically water misbehaving. Its a place where the river tries its best to pull you out of the raft and makes your adventure a bit more adventurous.

Just as in life we have a Guru, in the raft you have a guide, who keeps directing you so that you make best use of the oar in your hand to stay inside the raft while the rapid lasts. Actually its the guide who does most of the job but somehow you feel you too are contributing a lot ( 'Gyanees" who are reading this are welcome to draw " meaningful" analogies)

Its fun .. its exciting. something really really worth experiencing.

The day ends with the guide parking the raft at a spot where the water has calmed down. You are introduced to the traditional "Jumping point". A small cliff with a rock protruding out. One is supposed to climb up and jump into the super cool water, that too with a life jacket. Your mind goes " whats the big deal"?

Well .. things are quite different when you get there. From the edge of that rock ganga suddenly stops looking holy.. the stillness of the mountains scares you. You feel all alone. Why the hell am I standing at the edge of a cliff jumping into a flowing river GOD knows how deep. I can swim .. I am wearing a life jacket too ... so what?! what if the life jacket decides to desert me while I am in mid air? I jump, I go down into the water and what if I just stay there a bit longer? Actually I think i should not jump. I mean I want to But I should not..may be later .. let this guy go first..

All sorts of rubbish went on my mind when i stood there and then I heard a few shouts " common jump its just water.. whats wrong with you". I told myself "I am not going back .. no way" I took off and then all the laws of physics obediently followed its own course and I was back on the shore. The trauma was over. The adventure was complete and there was a huge relief.

The rest of the time I entertained myself watching other people standing up there and getting scared of virtually " Nothing".

Every time in life when a decision needs to be taken I have a choice either to Jump in or to succumb to my own baseless fears. The more I give in to the fear the more indecisive I become forcing me to step back. Its then when I hear a voice saying "Jump in, you fool! whats wrong with you?"



Every time I have listened to this voice I have learnt something valuable in life.

Love
Rashmin

PS: I hope you find the analogy "meaningful".


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What if i am nothing but just a part of someone else's dream? and what would happen if that someone wakes up? what if I suddenly wake up to see a whole new world and realise that all that I am experiencing right now "was" just a dream and what if this continues... infinitely.

Since I was a child such weird thoughts would always cross my mind leaving me scared or confused or both. I am sure most of us some time or the other doubt the reality of what we experience.

In one of the satsangs in the ashram Guruji spoke about dreams. (I would not be able to quote HIM verbatim). He said ,"Look at your whole past as a dream. At this moment dont you feel everything you have done and experienced in the past is like a dream? and whatever time you are going to be here, may be another 30 -40 years would also seem like a dream once you have lived through. Your whole life is nothing but a long dream. Whatever you are experiencing right now will seem like a dream just after a few moments. When you realise this you live every moment of your life with such great enthusiasm."

Someone rightly said "One who looks outside, dreams. One who looks inside, awakens!"

Love
Rashmin


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Say "So'ham, So'ham" whatever comes. Tell yourself this even in eating, walking, suffering. Tell the mind this incessantly—that what we see never existed, that there is only "I". Flash--the dream will break! Think day and night, this universe is zero, only God is. Have intense desire to get free.

I was quite young when fortunately a book of his quotes found its way into my life. I was greatly influenced. My impressionable mind used to get completely blown away every time i read about His Power packed words. He had depth, dynamism, Intensity, clarity, straight forwardness and something so powerful that i used to almost get hypnotized reading about Him . He entered my thoughts, my dreams and awakened the spiritual curiosity in me. I thought about Him, dream t about him and as i grew up the same curiosity turned into longing. I consciously started looking for a platform through which i could do service because I was convinced that life without service is meaningless.

I was searching for something spiritual and as I heard about the Art of Living course I pounced on it … my prayer was answered..

Some of my favourite quotes...

Truth, purity and unselfishness—wherever these are present, there is no power below or above the sun to crush the possessor thereof. Equipped with these, one individual is able to face the whole universe in opposition.

They alone live who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive.

Soft-brained people, weak-minded, chicken-hearted, cannot find the truth. One has to be free, and as broad as the sky.

Stick to God! Who cares what comes to the body or to anything else! Through the terrors of evil, say—my God, my love! Through the pangs of death, say—my God, my love! Through all the evils under the sun, say my God, my love!

Love
Rashmin






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Here is something that comes straight from a typical bollywood blockbuster. A reel life scene experienced in real life!

One day before the chennai Utsav started something so miraculous happened that reminded me of what Bawa once said," When you spread knowledge, nature will bend to serve (save) you".

One of the active volunteers (Anil…. He is 6ft 6 inches and weighs 90 kgs) was driving his bike on a fly over and a bus dashed him from behind. He flew from his bike and he collided on the railing. He toppled over and fell.... on the other side... 8 ft down on the busy road below. It was amazing to hear the story from Anil himself as we were sitting in the Fruit Shop at Greams road. At this point we were too excited to know what happened next since it was obvious that a miracle had saved him.

Here is what happened. As he took off from the bridge and was fast descending down towards mother earth a fast moving open truck carrying “HAY” was passing by. He fell exactly inside it.. His fall was cushioned!! JaiGurudev!


Love
Rashmin


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As I stepped in a school in Mumbai to teach my first Art Excel course I thought I am subjecting myself to be lovingly slaughtered by a bunch of 60 young little monsters. I was scared… obviously. Till then I was very much used to the basic courses that consisted of mostly sane, usually educated, (semi) civilized human beings.

I was not used to seeing course participants running in and around the course hall without any specific purpose. For the first time I had to face people complaining to me about getting pinched, punched, tickled, teased, hair pulled, kicked and other such creative activities being performed at irritatingly regular intervals. Even then I was quite used to giving intro talks but not on the first day of a course to a participant who is crying because his Mom has forced him into the course and feels that she has completely screwed up his precious vacation time.

I gave a break because “I” needed one.

On the last day of the course all the kids had put up a small program to be performed at the parents meet. With minimum assistance it was great to see the Focus and a sense of responsibility they showed to handle the entire show. The most shy kid was roaming about the stage as if its his bedroom, the most mischievous were the most responsible, the rebels were surprisingly co operating and everything had suddenly turned downside up!

We also had a satsang and a meditation (for the parents) at the end of the program. I was quite surprised to see all the 60 kids in absolute silence meditating for almost 20 minutes without opening their eyes!



Only because there was no drastic miraculous experience I failed to notice the unseen hand that was ultimately working even in that utter chaos. As the course ended the parents were happy, volunteers ecstatic and the children were in bliss.

Love
Rashmin


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Imagine 127 children from all over the country let loose in a 150 acre ashram and all that you have to do is to gather them together and make them do suryanamaskar, pranayama and meditation!

I was quite sympathetically listening to Ankush Bansal, the Art Excel teacher, as he was telling me about his utter helplessness to get anything going with these 127 little monsters absolutely not willing to listen to any instructions. But then he suddenly got a fantastic idea. On the pretext of disclosing a top secret he somehow managed to gather all the children at one place. He told them that if they do their pranayam and kriya with total sincerity they would be allowed to go the sumeru mantap (one of my favourite place in the ashram) and ask for a wish and all their wishes would be fulfilled.



This was obviously quite appealing to all of them and they did what they were told. As they were enthusiastically climbing up the hill to go to the sumeru Mantap. Ankush was fervently praying to Guruji. He also had one wish... please Guruji fulfill all their wishes.

In a few hours time all the children came back with exciting stories. One child desperately wanted to speak to her mom and her mom called back her friend and talked to her. Another child wanted to eat an Ice cream but they were not allowed to go to the canteen till the duration of the course. As she was coming back from the sumeru Mantap she saw an aunty who had an Ice cream in her hands and guess what?!

One child asked from a hug from Guruji and thats exeactly what he got after the evening satsang.

within a few hours every wish was fulfilled! the Art excel course was a big hit and the teacher could maintain his sanity till the end of the course.


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This was the time when i was studying for my final exam in my first year of junior college in R A podar college, mumbai. Since that was the year i had taken up to playing chess full time ( my parents told me " do what you want but see to to it that you dont flunk) I used to hardly study. I needed 36 marks in marathi to get my total to 105 so that i get promoted to the next year. I had even forgotten how the marathi text book looked. Because of my utter carelessness i studied some other subject instead of marathi which i realised an hour before the final exam.

This was the first time I was facing a major crisis situation in life. "jaiGurudevs" had not yet entered my life. I was quite shattered. In that one hour i met 2 types of people . The first category of people who were asking questions like ," why dint you see the time table properly?" added with expressions that would make me feel like an helpless ass. The other category was of people who were finding a way out but couldnt think of and then just gave up

A few minutes later a very dear friend of mine, Abhay happened to see me. He asked what happened. After i told him He just smiled and first made me realize that there is no problem in the first place. I told him that i was thinking of studying for 3 hours and and then writing the paper for the last one hour. He again smiled and told me that 45 mins was enough time to comfortably pass in the subject. His composure and confidence relaxed my mind which was already visualizing the horrific drama that would happen at home if i lost a year because of such a stupid mistake.

He just open the index of the book and in just 15 mins narrated the stories of almost all the chapters and then gave me the gist of all the poetries in another 10 mins. He told me to remember the names of the characters so that i know the chapter from which the question is asked.
In the last 10 mins he asked me to revise the whole thing. For the first time( and also the last time) in my life I revised before an exam.

I just filled up the answer sheets with whatever i had gathered in those 45 mins and of course with a lot of my own imagination.

I always remember this incident as a lesson in acceptance followed by action.

I scored exactly 36. I passed.

Love
Rashmin


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HI! I am Rashmin, also known as little pu. I teach Art of living courses. I am happy because i have no choice and as you keep reading this blog you will know more about me. There are thousands of reasons why I have created this blog. I would not like to tell all of them right now in my first post precisely because of two reasons. 1. Would be too long. 2. I dont know any of them.

When you have a Guru Like Sri Sri Ravishankar life is always happening; full of exciting stories and thrilling experiences. Its like living in a fantasy world of almost complete uncertainty. Every new thing that starts happening in life almost always has to take you through a maddening roller coaster and then miraculously culminates into the most incredibly happy ending you ever imagined. Sometimes it just takes time to realise that the way it ended was the best for you. By now i am quite used to the happy endings and have really started enjoying the roller coasters.

This is the place where you will read about the roller coasters and of course also the happy endings. Wow! i got the first reason. 999 to go. Happy reading.

Love
Rashmin


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