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Roadmaps to joy!

If culture and dharma is still alive in India today, the credit for that goes to Guru Gobind Singh Ji–Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Ji on Guru Govind Singh Ji and Sikh Gurus

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If culture and dharma is still alive in India today, the credit for that goes to Guru Gobind Singhji. All 10 Gurus have done a lot for India and it’s citizens, they shown the path. Indian land will always be indebted to Guru Gobind Singh Ji because of the way he has brought a change in this country. The saints sadhus mahatmas of this country would stay in their own mathas or temples, they would remain stuck in their pujas and rituals, many would not care for the society. And the people who would work for the society who were warriors, they were far away from Dharma. There was no sign of sainthood in them. So Guru Gobind Singh ji said that be a saint in the mind, have sweetness in behaviour and have warrior-like courage in your arms. So he raised his voice for Saint Soldier. And he became the greatest saint warrior. Saint soldier is being compassionate and not being fearful, not being actionless, not just sitting and accepting everything saying ‘oh everything is being done by God.’ Where there is requirement to stand and protect dharma one should stand up.

So this great call, which was very much required for the nation, was given by Guru Gobind Singh ji. And he was a big devotee of Goddess Chandi too. He would do Chandi homa, puja of the mother divine, every time before going to war. And he brought into light the honour for the tradition of masters, the importance of Guru tatva in life. And he also said that if there is no living Master then one is to consider the Granth(Holy book) as the Master. Knowledge is Guru. There is no difference between knowledge and Guru. Granth means knowledge. When the knowledge becomes a part of one’s life then that is Guru. If the knowledge is not lived then how can one be Guru? There is no difference between knowledge and Guru so there is no difference between Granth and Guru.. This is what he said and on the other hand, be a saint soldier.

7 Spiritual cities of India

7 Spiritual cities of India, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Q: Please tell us about the seven spiritual cities in India and their relationship with chakras in the body.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes. Seven cities in India correspond to seven centres or chakras in our body: ‘Ayodhya Mathura Maya Kashi Kanchi Avantika Puri Dwarakavati caiva saptaide moksha dayika’ Maya or Haridwar 1 corresponds to the mooladhar chakra situated at the base of the spine. When the jadata or lethargy goes and enthusiasm begins, you commence your journey. Haridwar, the starting point, is the door to the house of the Divine.
Kanchi 2 corresponds to the swadhisthana chakra situated behind the genitals, as the presiding deity here is Kamakshi, the goddess of kama or desire.
Ayodhya 3 corresponds to the third chakra, the manipura, situated in the navel region, where joy, generosity, greed and jealousy manifest. All these emotions are connected to Ayodhya. It was the jealousy and greed of Kaikeyi that made Rama take vanavas. Ayodhya is also known for the generosity of Rama. The joy of Rama's return to Ayodhya is celebrated as Diwali. Joy, generosity, greed and jealousy meet in the nabhi pradesh, Ayodhya. Ayodhya also means where there is no fight, where it cannot hurt.
Mathura 4 is anahata, the heart chakra. The heart is associated with three emotions: Love, fear and hatred. Mathura symbolises the love and devotion of the gopis for Krishna, as well as of the fear and hatred of Kansa, all matters of the heart.
Avantika, also called Ujjain 5, is related to the vishuddha or the throat chakra. Ujjain is the city of art and literature. Poet Kalidas hailed from Ujjain. It is also the city of Vikramaditya, of grief and glory. We feel gratitude in the throat region - we get choked. Kashi 6 represents the ajna chakra situated between the eyebrows. Kashi has always been the seat of knowledge. That's why the ajna chakra is also called gyana chakshu, the third eye. Kashi is the city of pundits and scholars.
Dwaraka 7 represents the sahasrara, the crown chakra on top of the head. Dwarka literally means: ÒWhere is the door?Ó The door is irrelevant if there are no walls. Infinity has no walls. Krishna left his body in Dwarka. Sahasrara also means thousand avenues. It means the pathless path. The path to liberation begins at Haridwar and culminates at Dwarka.
The soul is called Purusha. Pura means a town. Purusha means one who lives in the town. The Purusha is unbound and infinite. But the Purusha experiences bondage with all the negative emotions. Positive feelings with knowledge are liberating. Positive feelings without knowledge create negative emotions that are stifling, hence one experiences bondage. When you observe the prana moving through different centres associated with sensations, the negative feelings cease to exist and one is liberated from bondage.
The seven sacred rivers are the Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati, Godavari, Narmada, Sindhu and Kaveri. Together with the seven sacred cities, they are linked to the seven sacred spots within you.

Haridwar, Kanchi, Ayodhya, Mathura, Ujjain, Kashi and Dwarka

First day of Navratri - Devi Shailaputri

Shailaputri

The first among the Navadurgas is Shailaputri. Shaila means stone, and putri means daughter. Praying to this aspect of Mother Divine brings strength (like a stone). It brings commitment. When the mind is wavering, chanting the name of this Devi Shailaputri helps the mind to be centered and committed. It gives us strength, courage, and composure.

Read more at http://www.artofliving.org/navratri/navdurga

What is the difference between a student, a disciple and a devotee?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar- Student-Disciple-Devotee

Sri Sri: These are three different levels, primary, higher secondary and college. A student only wants to take some knowledge and leave. A disciple goes one step further and forms a relationship, he is connected with the heart and mind. And a devotee, well he controls God himself, he makes God is servant! If one is a master he is a devotee, if he wants to do seva, he is a disciple and if he wants to simply takes something and go then he is a student.

Celebrating 4 decades of Spic Macay with Padmashree Dr Kiran Seth

Padma Shri Dr Kiran Seth, 66, was studying in the US when he had an epiphany during a Brooklyn concert by dhrupad maestros Ustad Aminuddin Dagar and Ustad Fariduddin Dagar. When he came back to India and started teaching mechanical engineering at IIT Delhi, he realized most of his students were cut off from any form of Indian classical music. This inspired him to start a small organization called SPIC MACAY in 1977, to expose young people to India's vast cultural heritage. The organization grew and grew, and is today the largest voluntary non-governmental body of its kind. It organizes more than 5,000 concerts each year and has a presence in 800 Indian cities and towns. It is estimated to have impacted more than 3 million students from schools and colleges, many of whom credit SPIC MACAY with giving them their first taste of classical music.

The disharmony outside is a direct reflection of the disharmony within a large majority of the population. Bringing in art and other aspects of Indian and world culture into our lives can make all the difference.

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