Monday, April 23, 2018

An enchanting evening of Gaan and Dhyan at OK Mandapam

21st April 2018




The day marked events across the Nation to celebrate the avatara jayanthi of two spiritual titans Adi Shankaracharya (1230th Birth Anniversary) and Ramanujacharya (1001 birth anniversary) and our own Master (his star birthday)

It was fulfilling to see the large turnout from all age groups and sections of community from several Districts. They braved the scorching summer to reach the venue and were treated to the cool and gentle evening breeze.

It is said that when many meditate, energy multiplies exponentially. They could experience this phenomenon in full measure.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Guru, Super (Snow) Man


Weggis was the location chosen for the first overseas Advanced Meditation retreat in mid-nineties. When Gurudev told us about it, I was thrilled to my bones. It was the thick of winter too.
Swiss, the country with its numerous lakes, villages and the glorious Alpine peaks, not forgetting their cheese, chocolates, clocks, and snow everywhere flashed all over my eyes! 

The pride of Weggis namely Lake Lucerne and our venue was in proximity. The tranquillity of the beautiful lake and mountain panorama took my breath away. Mark Twain rightly named it the “loveliest place” he had ever visited. 

However “where is the snow” I asked myself. I thought the minute I landed in Switzerland, I would be immersed in soft white snow. Two days passed without a speck of snow! The climate was extremely mild and we only felt the presence of a warm down wind, providing clear views across Lake Lucerne. Every morning I would get up and rush to the window to see if I could catch a glimpse of the white fluffy snowfall. But it kept eluding. I was very disappointed and during the evening boat trip over the Lake, when the Master asked if I was enjoying myself, I said with my head down, “ Yes and No; I have not been able to see any snow at all!” With a twinkle in his eyes, he reacted with his usual Hmmmmm!

The next morning when I rushed to the window sceptically,was amazed to see before me a marvellous carpet of snow and snowflakes falling. I ran out of the room and woke up my friends shouting “It’s snowing, it’s snowing”. 

Hours later, the Master took all of us out. My joy knew no bounds when he showed us how to carve an angel in the snow. All day we spent outdoors, making snow man, snow balls and throwing snow over one another spurred by him. Those magical moments remain etched in my memory.

Courtesy - the travel diary of Chitra Madhavan:



Tuesday, March 20, 2018

In memory of Acharya Srimushnam Srimadh Andavan:

In memory of Acharya Srimushnam Srimadh Andavan:



He has left in the path of light to serve the divine couple in the abode of Vaikunta  forever. Salutations to his lotus-like holy feet.

Devotees  will fondly cherish his benevolence and soulful singing, impeccable medicinal knowledge and an unsurpassed authority on scriptures. 

We carry fond memories of Gurudev’s interaction with him at Kumbakonam amidst our Southern tour two decades back along with all our devotees. During his tenure, for nearly three decades, as the Pontiff of this great heritage institution, he took many new initiatives of social relevance.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Tiruppur - Swami Vivekananda Birthday celebrations



12th January 2018

“ Uttishthata Jagrata Prapya Varan Nibodhata -Arise, Awake and Stop not till the Goal is Reached.” 

This deeply stirring sloka from Katha Upanishad was popularized by Swami Vivekananda.Celebrations are held today nationwide every year to commemorate the birthday of the spiritual giant who personified the eternal energy of the youth and their restless quest for truth.
Vivekananda reminded us that all knowledge is in the human mind, yet covered, not discovered. When the covering is slowly taken off, the learning begins. The man, from whom the cover has entirely gone, is all knowing.

Youth in very large numbers were present. Theme: Values Education
.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Celebrating with a difference!





As the New Year dawned, people across different cities of the world took to streets to welcome the New Year with booming pyrotechnics, party-goers singing and dancing. The participants at the Silence retreat in Kanyakumari, amidst profound setting of the five elements, welcomed the dawn of 2018 differently - in Sunrise meditation, sacred chants and prayers for the universal well being.

An inspiring feedback from Sivakumarji,one of the sadhaks is reproduced below:

“I was one among participants at the AMP from 29th Dec 3017 to 01st Jan 2018 at  Kanyakumari, the holy tip of Indian sub-continent where Devi Bhagavathi is abode blessing the devotees in the confluence of Bay Of Bengal, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea.  Before embarking on his tour for the  famous Chicago address, Swami Vivekananda went into meditation on the rock few hundred metres inside the sea. 


 The serene natural setting of  the  Kendra facing the sea and  Rock Memorial in immediate vicinity provided the right setting for participants from all age groups. They were fortunate enough to receive guided  meditation on all the four days.  Arunji explained divinity of the place - coastal belt, where Lord Rama went into meditation towards Sun God for victory in war with Ravana, chanting Aditya Hrudayam gifted to him by Sage Agasthya. What a privileged souls we are to receive the New Year Sun with Sun Rise Meditation.As vehicles are not allowed beyond a point, we enjoyed the pre dawn walk  with natural sea breeze at the confluence of all three seas with a  bonus of  tens of Peacocks flocking around in midst of a semi forest. Our lungs filled with natural and pure oxygen!

Post Sun Rise Meditation, the course was followed by Sadhanas, Meditations, fun filled activities .Evenings filled with nature walk at the venue including Ramayana pictorial depictions, Gurudev’s knowledge videos. Arunji presented distilled essence of Yoga Vashista knowledge.  His simple explanation of Self effort, Karma and freewill reached all the participants.”

The holy retreat ended on New Year Day with well attended Divine Satsang by Arunji at nearby Thanumalaya  Temple at Suchindram, Thanks to AOL Nagercoil team for all the arrangements.


Pranams to Arunji and Gurudev!🙏

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

"Vishamakkara Kannan"

Krishna's childhood revisited by Arunji in this delightful rendition of "Vishamakkara Kannan" - 

Krishna  bringing cheer all around with all his innocence, establishing righteousness with his naughty disposition, making him the fondest of  devotees.
Krishnam vande jagatgurum.




Sunday, November 26, 2017

Conference on Parapsychology

24 Nov 2017


Was invited to address the event at the Jain University. For long, the scientific community in the West has not been open-minded, rather sceptical, towards Para normal, on grounds that it lacked scientific credentials. However emergence of quantum physics, contemporary findings of physicists, testimonies of neurosurgeons like Dr. Eben Alexander (Proof of Heaven) have to a great extent lifted such reservations.

This field, however, has a niche in the Indian context thanks to the time honoured dictum ‘Vismaya yoga bhumika’ that one must be astonished in order to get into yoga!. In simple terms, when we feel the 'wow' in astonishment, we stay connected with the spirit that we are! The guided meditation that followed was enjoyed by those present.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Erode Satsang

22 November 2017



Visited Erode after a hiatus to lead a satsang in an artistic setting as seen in the backdrop! The city, once a quiet agri-textile hub and the largest source of turmeric, has today emerged a major producer of hand-loom and knitwear. 


Was curious to learn how it came to be called Erode. Here are two versions!  In the first version, the name is traced to ‘Iru- Odai ‘meaning two streams. The second version to the phrase "Eera Odu" meaning wet skull. Perhaps in reference to the popular legend revolving around Daksha, his daughter Dakshayini and her consort Shiva. When on one occasion, she saw her husband being belittled by her own father, she went into a deep state of trance and self immolated. When Shiva came to know about her end, he went into a rage. In the apocalypse that followed, the skulls were strewn over river Cauvery, one of the four rivers flowing in the area; the others being Amravati, Noyyal and Bhavani.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Addressing wellness aficionados :

18 November 2017
Bangalore





An engrossed audience received  the presentation well. The core message was that wellness matters as everything we do and every emotion we feel, relates to our well-being. Crucial and pragmatic therefore for everyone to achieve optimal wellness to help subdue stress, reduce the risk of illness and facilitate healthy social interactions

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Harikatha

Bangalore: 8th November 2017


Harikatha is a composite art form composed of storytelling, poetry and music. Literally refers to Stories of Hari-Narayana. By sowing seeds of devotion, it aims to impart truth and righteousness in the minds of people and show them the path of liberation. This traditional fine art requires mastery of varied skills, music, dance, drama, knowledge of languages, Puranas, Itihasas, the Vedas, Sastras & granthas.

Was invited to render a bouquet of sacred hymns and bhajans at the finale of Harikatha on Sri Krishna Katha Amrutham. Seen in pic with Kalyanpuram Sri Aaraavamudachari. Interestingly he chose to relinquish his prestigious official position in IBM to dedicate himself to divine service and to adorn the mantle of a Harikatha exponent!


Sunday, November 5, 2017

In praise of Annakoot:

4 -11-2017


Last evening was at a ceremony of Annakoot. The name refers to a mountain of food; some fifty-six food items - chappan bhog, prepared afresh and offered to the deities. It has been part of our Sampradaya for ages. It relates to the incident described in Bhagavat Puran when Lord Krishna lifted Govardhan Hill to provide villagers of Brindavan shelter from torrential rains. Metaphorically how God will protect all devotees who take singular refuge in Him.



Returning home read news from the Capital that a team led by a celebrity chef, set a world record when they cooked 918 kg of khichdi at the World Food India event. Thankfully NGOs and Gurudwaras take over distribution of mega khichdi among orphans and 60,000 other people. The effort may gain recognition from Guinness but cannot perhaps take away the scale and pride of Annakoot of yore!