As we were listening, an influx of love grew within us.
He touched thousands present there for those sixty minutes, My Guru…Sri Sri.
It was January 13. I woke up early, did my Kriya, picked Vernika from Symbiosis and rushed to MIT for the second day of the first-ever Bhartiya Chhatra Sansad (Parliament of Council Leaders). For me, it was not about attending the student parliament; I mean who wants to hear Sharad Pawar and co. speaking (Ok, APJ Abdul Kalam, Narayan Murthy and Kapil Sibal were exceptions in their own right), it was about seeing and listening to “him” speak.
Early in the morning, as I was on my Kinetic, on my way to Vernika’s hostel, I could feel some sort of indifferent but extremely powerful energy. Was it the Guruji coming to town or the excitement to see him, I still do not know. But it sure felt like I was swimming with the wind, getting close to my destination without knowing what it really was.
We were about 36 of us who were volunteering for YES!+ for the event; and yes, we reached MIT on time to set up stuff. After listening to APJ Abdul Kalam, who still appears and sounds to be the most deserving candidate for the post of the Indian President, it was time!
Guruji had reached MIT and minor Sudarshan Kriya started in my body.
I and Aakash Baid had somehow sneaked in to the auditorium without a pass, only to get kicked out just before Guruji’s talk. So, we were looking for “alternatives.”
All the security guards, all of a sudden started to seem as though they were major snobs, not letting us in.
As we continued with our efforts, we heard a roar from the crowd sitting inside the auditorium.
So, we rushed and entered the auditorium door and guess what… Magic, whatever! The guards didn’t stop us only.
After hearing two dynamic speakers speak, it was “the moment.”
Guruji was to speak on the topic “India v/s Bharat.”
To introduce Guruji, the guy hosting the event says, “And now, we would like to welcome, Sri Sri Sri Ravishankar.” I thought to myself, extra respect, additional “Sri” Jai Gurudev J
He started with a Shlokha, which I didn’t understand. Maybe because I was lost!
I was feeling overly grateful for everything, thereby, losing count of whatever he was speaking.
All I remember is Guruji saying, “I wish parliamentary members thought from heart and not through mind. Then we would not have to wait for 20 years to see a Super India”.
And once again, minor Sudarshan Kriya started to happen.
As I got back to my normal senses, Guruji was speaking about the name of the months being an Indian invention. Months like November have “ember” which in Sanskrit means “cloud.” So, September means, the seventh cloud, like wise. He also introduced us to an interesting piece of knowledge – why is March called March? March means a month to start, thus, called as “March.” He added that some of the countries of the Middle East tend to celebrate New Year on March 21, this being the prime reason. Staying on months, he said, January 12, January 13 and Pune have a strong relation with him in his dictionary as on these dates for the last six times in his calendar he has been in Pune.
As he said this, I prompted, Antarnaad!
Ok, it was more than a prompt; it was kinda loud, so much that everyone around me started to look at me with super weird expressions.
He soon was speaking on an average Indian. He said, “The best quality of an Indian is that an Indian is very strong – Even if he wants to walk alone, he can and achieve whatever he ever wished for. But an Indian ‘s worst quality is a ‘Chalta hai attitude’ that is imbibed in him” He urged all the students to learn different qualities from all over the world like team-work from Japan, precision and perfection from Germany, etiquettes and decency from Britain, marketing skills from the US, duplication from China.
One of the most inspiring things that he said was, “I do not want to talk about GDP but GDH i.e. Gross Domestic Happiness as our roots are very important. Don’t give up on your smile. Do everything happily as anger causes destruction. Even if you want to hit anyone, do it with a smile.” And then he laughed. Wow, that was some moment.
He spoke a lot of other things as I continued to experience these minor Sudarshan Kriya fits. So, it was too difficult to collect everything.
Before I could realize, it was time for Q&A with Guruji.
A girl stepped up and asked Guruji, “How do we attain internal awareness?” Now, none of us, including Guruji understood the question. Or maybe, Guruji, might have understood the question but wanted it to be understood by others, so asked the girl to translate and ask the question in Hindi. As it turned out, she didn’t know the English word for Mukti and so was calling it “internal awareness.”
Guruji smiled and replied, “Even something as small as solving a minor problem gives you Mukti.” He added, “Translation into Hindi and asking what you wanted to ask, gave you you Mukti ki nahi?”
Wow, that was that!
Soon, there were questions related to flushing out emotional garbage, being upset and being happy. Guruji replied with calm, ease and a smile ever so erect, “Spiritual knowledge helps you overcome an upset frame of mind and helps you to get back on track. And ones who are happy, it helps them to increase their happiness.”
Now, Himanshu Nagarkar, teacher from Pune, had made us aware that we as volunteers need to tell as many people as we could about the Art of Living and YES!+.
He carried on answering questions and occasionally slipped in Art of Living.
Believe me, it was not us, it was Guruji who told people about the course and I don’t know if it reads right to you but in his own way he gave people an Art of Living intro talk and what an intro talk it was. Such was the impact of the talk that people started to come to us in order to express their desire to do the course.
I mean, we did nothing at all, still we had hundreds who all of a sudden wanted to do YES!+
Guruji soon left. Although, I couldn’t meet him but I grateful to him that he made me listen to his talk and see him.
The day continued and we carried on volunteering. This time it was different. With Krishna Sood on the guitar and vocals, Shashank, Preeti didi, and Manasi didi on the vocals, we played, we sang, we attracted people and got thousands singing with us. Even I did vocals for a couple of songs (College Days comes to mind). It was so much of fun.
The people who would come, I would tell them, “We are YES!+ people. Look at the difference between others and us. Other stalls are so Thakela, ours is rocking! We rock!” And people would go, “But why?” and I would say, “Because we enjoy”
Normal volunteering, telling people about the course
One of the guys who was singing with us
In fact, I got people who were volunteering for different organizations at different stalls to sing with us. It was a party.
It was a super experience with super people and a super guru, who took everyone’s breath away in those sixty minutes.
Jai Gurudev J