Grace & Knowledge of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in my life

My journey as a spiritual seeker


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Republic Day at #srisrihangout and Volunteer for a Better India

26th January. The Republic Day of India. The day the Indian Constitution was promulgated. In 1950.

The founders of the constitution envisioned a country that upholds justice, equality and fraternity

63 years down the line – what does Republic Day mean to me, and you, my fellow Indian ?

For many many years – it used to mean, for me, a day off from school or work, a morning spent in front of the TV – watching the Indian armed forces’ parade at India Gate in Delhi, the capital. With a sense of wonder and pride, we watched contingents of the army, navy and air forces march down “Rajpath” (the royal road ?) – with the majestic Rashtrapathi Bhavan (President’s house) in the backdrop. A heavy debate usually ensued as to which regiment had the best marchpast, which state had the best tableau and so on and so forth.

The final flypast of the fighter planes send shivers down one’s spine and singing the National Anthem at the end of it brings tears to my eyes. As the Indian tri-color of a multitude of balloons unleashed and soared ever higher into the sky – the saffron of sacrifice, the white of peace and the green of prosperity merged into the blue of the infinity, our spirits also soared high – with a sense of freedom and crucially, of hope.

It made me feel proud to be an Indian. It made me feel protected. It made me feel strong with fraternal love for my fellow Indians – rich, poor, dark, fair, Bengali, Kashmiri.

After all these years – the republic day program hasn’t changed much. The march past, tableaus, flypast and balloons. But the emotions have. They have become very mixed.

Instead of debating about which marchpast was the best, I find myself wondering about the future of the country. It feels meaningless to be protected at the borders, from invasion by our enemies, when I feel vulnerable to the unknown assailant, who might be walking the road or riding a bus with me – either with a bomb or with less than fraternal intention. As I pay taxes I wonder about whether the money will be used for the betterment of civic services.

I look back and think – over the years the country has seen women heads of state – both a prime minister and a president. And several state chief ministers. It has seen some fiery female police officers. And now almost every contingent at Republic Day parade has women officers leading from the front.

But still the average woman on the road does not feel safe.

And it is another story of mistrust as I look at the ranks of the politicians and so called leaders of the country. I do not find a single person whom I can look up to as a true leader. They fail to evoke any sense of trust or hope in me.

I do not want to write about what has gone wrong with my country – it has been written about ad nauseum.

I still had tears in my eyes today singing the national anthem. But those were tears of despair. To the unseen power of the universe I prayed – I want to feel proud to be an Indian again. Please show me how. I want to make a difference, even if it is a drop in the ocean – I still want to do my part. But please show me how to first defeat the demons of fear and despair in my own heart.

And a voice within me said – wake up, shake up, dust off the grime and shame. You can make a difference – and so can each and every person out there. A collective consciousness of positive intentions and actions can overpower the handful of negatives. We hear about all these crimes in the news – but I want to question each and every person reading my blog – how many rapists, molesters, murderers, terrorists and corrupt politicians do each one of you know in real life – like personally – in your circle of family or friends ?

I am sure only a handful of you will say – I do. It is a handful of miscreants who create so much noise, so much impact with their misdeeds. And it is the good people – who are the vast majority – who keep quiet. It is time for the good people to make such a bang that all those evil noises that shake our consciousness – are forever silenced.

And that is why I, on this Republic Day , will not let the sense of patriotism die after watching the parades. I am going to take a concrete step. I am going to volunteer for a better India at www.vfabi.org

And I am not going to a Republic Day luncheon party to hobnob and socialize with diplomats today, but I am going to a google+ hangout with His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar  at #srisrihangout.

And I am going to ask Him all those questions today that I cannot hope to get answers from anyone else – from any of the so called leaders of our country. Because He has answered all the questions I have ever asked Him and inspired me to change for the better and break all those barriers that I had to my personal growth.

I am going to ask Him now to show me the path to change my country. And the world.

Are you ?

Ask Sri Sri questions at #srisrihangout If you have google+ account -> plus.google.com/+SriSriRaviShankar; If you don’t have google+ account, watch him answer questions at http://youtube.com/artoflivingtv

Jai Hind and May the Peace be with you..


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My ship through all superstorms of life !

The only thing certain is uncertainty – that is what I could say about my life right now.. as a consultant – I do not know where my next destination will be.. I work for 3-4 months at a time in one place.. travel back home on weekends.. sometimes I work from home, sometimes from the hotel (like when I happened to be in NYC and DC during the weekend that the superstorm Sandy hit that part of the world).. When my 3-4 month contracts near the end, there is always the uncertainty – will the client extend the contract, will I continue in my comfort zone, or will I have to travel to another city and start afresh.. will I be able to meet my husband this week.. or will he be in another city by the time I get back home..

The most unreal question in such a situation is “what are your plans?” – the loaded question that many people hurl at me (especially when I am back home in India – actually meaning to find out every conceivable fact about my life which is of no consequence to theirs – whether we are planning to be in the USA or come back, when are we buying a house, or more importantly – WHERE are we buying a house, when are we starting a family and many other oh-so-very important questions like that..)

I tend to ask them back – “plan for when ? I can tell you my plan till tomorrow, but that might change too.. ”

To which they stare incredulously..

As if they know whether they will even be alive the next day to find out.. God forbid !

Really – can any one of us say with certainty whether we will be alive tomorrow ? Did the people who lost their lives in 9/11 know what was coming up when they left their house that morning ? Yet we worry about the future, not only ours, but other people’s too 🙂

We live in an age of uncertainty – more than ever before in the history of humanity..

We do not know what destruction mother nature is going to lash on us – not able to cope with the completely unabashed abuse of the environment by us humans..

It worries me more that there are going to be more superstorms like Sandy – rather than where I will be next month..

It worries me when I see people oblivious of the damage they are causing to the environment..

It worries me that so many people are not living their full potential because they are caught up in the events, experiences and notions inside their little head..

Now I know what my Master meant when He said “If you have to worry – worry about big things like- what is going to happen to this earth”

Where is the time to worry about my mundane and insignificant existence ?

And why should I – when I know that the Divine is taking care of me ?

With a lot of uncertainty in my head yesterday, I had opened the page “What Sri Sri said today” – and the post of October 22, 2012 popped up http://www.artofliving.org/us-en/what-sri-sri-said-today felt like – He simply was talking to me “Know that you are loved very dearly.. You can be upto the nose in water – but know that you will not be allowed to sink”..

Such is the connection with the Master – the Satguru – even 1000s of miles away in time and place – He hears your questions, and answers them.. The knowledge never fails you.. like the “brahmastra” (the great weapon) – the knowledge comes to you when you need it.

And time and again in life – I have seen that.. holding on to the last bit of “doer”-ship – I have struggled to stay afloat.. and when I let go and surrender – then I am taken to the shore.. on a much more majestic “ship..” by the Divine..

Standing at a juncture in my life haunted by questions to which I have no answer – I just remember what the master says “You can deal with the uncertainty of the world when you are established in the certainty of the consciousness”

When many of my friends wonder how I deal with so much uncertainty – I simply smile and let them wonder, what the secret is 🙂 it is being in unconditional love, with the Divine.. and knowing that you are being taken care of 🙂


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Journal of a seeker..

I started this blog to talk about my journey as a spiritual seeker.. every day realizations of grace in my life, and knowledge of the infinite, that makes every rough situation in my life livable and every mundane situation joyous, every celebration an expression of gratitude, and every moment in life a celebration..

What all of this sums up to – is having a living Master who opens your eyes to all the possibilities that life holds.. and who loves you unconditionally.. If I were google, I would be feeling lucky – because my search for that unconditional love ended when I ran into Sri Sri Ravi Shankar – who is nothing but the embodiment of pure love..

This blog is a humble attempt to share all those incredible moments in my life that are experiences of that unconditional love..