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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


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.


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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