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India's 7 Great Strengths–by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar


The uniqueness of India is that it has survived the test of time in which many civilisations have perished. The idea of a One World Family (Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam) mooted through its philosophy is ancient yet relevant to the modern times. Liberal, progressive and all-inclusive are the hallmark of this beautiful country.

One wonders how India has not only withstood centuries of invasion and plunder, but also continues to survive onslaughts in today’s times from serious issues like corruption and Naxalism.

Against the global trend of disintegration India has stood as a united nation despite so many religions, languages, ethnic groups, caste equations.

India’s strength can be grouped into 7 Areas:

  2. From ancient days, mathematics and science have been given utmost prominence in India.Though the world failed to recognise India as the mother of mathematics, the youth of India still carry its genius in their DNA.They are good in information technology and given an opportunity they excel in innovation.

  4. India offers a variety of tourism -- from spiritual tourism to eco tourism; from the ancient monuments of Khajuraho to the vibrant temples of Tamil Nadu; from the back waters of Kerala to the ski slopes of Himachal.
    India has the great beaches of Puri and Goa and the glorious architecture of Hampi ruins and so much more.This wide variety of tourist attractions has not been developed to its optimum. Lack of infrastructure is one of the biggest blocks for growth of tourism in India.

  5. FOOD
  6. The variety of food in India is unparalleled.A few years ago, Art of Living had hosted a vegetarian food festival called Annam Brahma and our volunteers prepared 5,600 vegetarian food items -- seven tons of different types of food!And there are likely to be many more varieties of food that are little known even to all Indians across the subcontinent.

  7. MUSIC
  8. Traditional music and dance in India has had a higher purpose, that of connecting with one’s higher Self.Here we have such a rich variety of dance and music which hasn’t been promoted adequately.

  10. Indian garments and jewelry have always been in great demand all over the world for their originality, craftsmanship, quality and variety.

  12. Modern medicine, with all its technology, has not succeeded in providing total health care because treating just the physical body is not sufficient.Ayurveda is a complete system of medicine that treats the whole body-mind complex.This time-tested, holistic system of medicine is fast becoming the main medical system of the future.

  14. And the most important of all is its spirituality, without which India would have become like the Balkan states a long time ago.India is more known for its yoga and spirituality world-wide.

Great spiritual leaders like Adi Shankara, Buddha, Mahavir, Nanak, Kabir, Meera and Ramakrishna Paramahansa have kept the spiritual flame burning lit by the sages of yore.

The richness and vastness of Indian scriptures is simply beyond comprehension.
The patience exhibited by the Indian people to accommodate diverse viewpoints is a fine example for nations to exist in harmony.

Having said this, a lot needs to be done to promote spirituality, which has real solutions to many of the ills of today

~ Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Ji

Vedic Wisdom program at the Art of Living International Center, Bangalore

Upanayanam is traditionally seen as getting a new birth in the spiritual world towards the higher knowledge of the Self.
Experience the sacredness through Vedic Wisdom program for the very first time for Indian nationals at the Art of Living International Center.
Date: 11 Dec 2016 - 7 Jan 2017...
Eligibility: 1 Part II program
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Vedic wisdom bangalore

Landscape Ideas 2

garden landscape idea river boat

A traditional rowing boat in a garden could be a lovely garden seat with a cup of coffee, a book to read and a few cushions!

The boat in this picture makes for an intriguing garden landscape feature at Krishna Kuteer, The Ayurveda Panchakarma and Spa center at The Art of Living International Center at Bangalore, India. The boat is made of solid wood and was probably used as a boat itself some time ago.

What is the significance of the Varna (classification system of the society)?

Varna System in society Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Q: What is the significance of the Varna (classification system of the society)? When all the saints have asked us to go beyond the classifications then from where did it originate?

#SriSri: Varna is a classification system within the society. It is an order of classification for education and application of that education. There are different classes within a society. Now, you want to take a medical branch after passing school, you want to become an engineer, lawyer or doctor – the order of these occupations is Varna. It is not according to the birth, but according to the occupation. This happens irrespective of the fact whether you want it or not. In every country, there are groups according to the respective trades or occupations. And it will always be there. There is a different group for the businessmen, different for the intellectuals, different for the professors, different groups for the writers. Similarly there is a different group for the soldiers; there is a defense ministry, where only matters related to this are discussed. So, in this way there will be the division of society on the basis of the occupation. And it is rightly so; the classification of society on the basis of the occupation. Why? In this manner, there would be skill enhancement, specialization and progress. This is why lord Krishna has said – “catur-varnyam maya srstam, guna-karma-vibhagasah”. That is- the division is on the basis the Guna (Quality) and the Karma(Work). The lord has created this system. And it is present throughout the world; this is not just India;. So, just know that the Varna is not according to the birth, it is according to the occupation. This can change too. A soldier does not have to remain soldier through his life; he can anytime choose to become a professor too. A teacher can anytime choose to become a soldier or even a trader.

Q: What is the significance of a Jyotirlinga?

Jyotirlinga in India Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Art of Living

Q: What is the significance of a Jyotirlinga?

#SriSri: ‘Jyoti’ means flame. The consciousness of a saint is like a flame. In the older days, wherever the saints stayed, they established these Jyotirlingas. They asked people to come there and meditate. If you see, the form of god is like a light and like a stone. He is the light within us. To make people aware of this the Jyotirlingas were established. People would go there, sit, pray and meditate – then they would discover their being. These places were called ‘Jyotirlingas’ because it is where people realized that they are the form of 'Jyoti' within. To identify these places, they called it Linga. What is a Linga? It means to identify. It is a marker. When a child is born, how do you identify whether it is a boy or a girl? You identify it by looking at the genitals. They give the sign of the gender. That’s why the genitals are also called the ‘Lingas’. Linga means the sign. Like ‘Gau’ means cow, thought and movement. How has the name for the cow been given as ‘Gau’? That is because the cow moves. Knowledge, movement, thoughts & liberation - these four are the root of ‘Gau’.Similarly, Linga means the identification. The genitals are the identifiers of the Gender. Similarly, the Shivalinga is the identification that there is God in the world. It is the identification for the God. You place a stone there; by looking at the stone you would remember the god which is in the form a flame; that which is omnipresent. These places were called Jyotirlingas, because there were saints present at the places. In the presence of Saints in the satsang – people would meditate and would find their light within. The Flame doesn’t refer to the flame of a lamp - but that we are ourselves are light. This is how the song – ‘Shivoham, Shivoham’ originated.
Then, these were spread throughout India for the people who could not travel from the North to the South or from the East to the West. In every corner of the country these 12 Jyotirlingas were created. From the Himalayas to Rameshwaram; from Vadiyanathdham to Gujrat these were established. This means at all these places the saints were present and they would help people in identifying the ‘Jyoti’. This is the significance of Jyotirlinga.

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