Gita Sopanam


For last 2.5 years, every weekend I am attending Gita Sopanam classes, conducted by Samskrit Bharati. Today, let me share some glimpse about this course and some interesting facts, that I learned in the course. 

How it started. 

I came to know, about Samskrit Bharati long back. My late sister gave me its Girinagar, Bangalore address. Girinagar is very far. One day, I came to know about free evening spoken Samskrit classes, then weekend Gita Sopanam classes also announced. I just enrolled myself. 

Course Content

Gita Sopanam is a unique way to teach Samskrit. Samskrit Bharati designed this course, considering that many people have love and respect for Bhagavad Gita. Many people read it daily. They read just translation in their native language. How about teaching them Samskrit, so they can read and understand without need for translation. Dr. Viswas conceptualized this idea. Watch him, talking about Gita Sopanam course. Click here 1 Click here 2 The course divided in 4 parts. Each part is called Sopanam. Sopanam means step. So Gita Sopanam - 1 course is first step, or fist part. First 3 parts focus on grammar aspects. It is like teaching Gita using Samskrit and Samskrit using Gita. All the example, context is from Mahabharat epic and Bhagavad Gita. Gita Sopanam 4 is about Gita. We discussed grammar aspects of each Sloka / verse from Gita. We can understand Gita directly in Samskrit. Samskrit Bharati is not preaching about Gita. It is not discourse on Gita. Samskrit Bharati makes enable the people to read Gita. The organisation equipped the people with Samskrit knowledge, so let people themselves figure out what is written in Gita. 

In this process of Gita, the students introduced to great Hindu philosophy from Gita. The Students amazed with great capability of Samskrit language. Samskrit is such a rich language that one can convey many things with fewer words. The syllabus includes some inspirational incidents, some day to day life event like planning an event, some funny story like a story about Albert Einstein, some humor, some puzzles and some wisdom. 



Teaching Methodology 

The teachers make the course more interesting by some celebrations, some cultural activities, contest, Gita sloka chanting, Samskrit songs and what not. I never felt any burden of learning. It is learning with fun. I became student again. We all classmates are from different age-group, different profession and different mother tongues. Few things are common in us. Samskrit. Proud for Samskirt and proud for the great Indian culture. A desire to learn this scientific language and to keep it alive. Mutual respect in an informal learning environment. I had my last class yesterday. We just looked back and found, that we all are coming here for last 2.5 years. We did Gita Sopanam 1 from July 2011 to Dec 2011, Gita Sopanam 2 from Jan 2012 to Apr 2012, Gita Sopanam 3 from Jun 2012 to Dec 2012 and Gita Sopanam 4 from Jan 2013 to Dec 2013. We all enjoyed learning together.  

Text books

Now, let me share, during these 2.5 years some very touchy stories, wisdom, content from our text books. 

  • Gita Sopanam 1: A famous funny story. 10 friends went for a trip, crossed the river and counted themselves and found 9 only. The reason: No one count himself. Do not you think, many times we ignore ourselves? We are too busy to impress others. (page 194)

  • Gita Sopanam 2: CHATU - SLOKA. It is wit, wisdom. Not fully true, yet think over it."Many people think, dress is not important. It is only about our physical body. It is not deciding factor for eligibility for anything. However after SAMUDRA-MANTHAN event, the ocean married his daughter goddess Lakshmi to Lord Vishnu, as he wears the yellow DHOTI (PITAMBAR). The same ocean, gave poison to Lord Shiva, as he wears skin of tiger and snakes."  (page 107)

  • Gita Sopanam 2: "I am alone. I have no assistant. I am weak. I have no resources" The lion never worry, never think such way even in its dreams. (page 126)

  • Gita Sopanam 2: A group of birds are flying. One of them had food holding in his mouth. So every one chased him and the bird was flying with full speed. It just dropped the food and all birds stopped chasing and landed on ground to acquire the food item. The Ego is like food item. If you have ego then everyone fight with you. If you are natural, easy - going, cool then people cooperate with you.  (page 128)

  • Gita Sopanam 2: A long journey starts with single steps. Then continue with persistence. (page 168)

  • Gita Sopanam 3: Albert Einstein's story. He simplified his theory of relativity and with great enthusiasm he taught. The students responded with request to further simplify it. Einstein narrated a story. A handicapped man A say on shoulder of blind man B and both started bagging. Once A request B to go to a restaurant to have a cup of milk. B, being blind do not know what is milk, so A explained. 

A:"Milk is White colored drink". 
B: "I drink water, so I know what is drink, but what is white?" 
A: "It is like color of feather of Swan"
B:" Feather I know, but what is Swan?"
A: "It is a bird whose neck is curved"
B: "I hear daily birds sing in the morning. I have neck. but what is curved?"
A just hold B's hand, make it curved and explained him this is curved, not straight. 
B: "Oh now, I know this is milk"

Einstein concluded, "my dear disciples, I cannot simplify further." (page 47)

  • Gita Sopanam 3: The famous incident of sage Vyas. The sage Vyas even after eating a lot, he was observing a fast.  He ate with Bhraman consciousness. He offered all his action to the lord. So the river Yamuna gave way to Gopis. (page 101)

  • Gita Sopanam 3: Importance of Satsang, presence of the divine people, Guru, Mahatma is much more compare to power, money, strength, height etc. A nice story about dialogues among all the fingers+thumb. You can watch it here. (Page 113)

  • Gita Sopanam 3: Rameshwar has different meaning. As per Lord Rama, 'Rameshwar is lord of Rama'. As per Lord Shiva, 'Rameshwar is the one, whose lord is Rama'. As per Bhrama, Rameshwar means 'Lord Rama is the God.' (page 119)

  • Gita Sopanam 3: After Mahabharat Arjun and Krishna both were roaming around different cities. In one city A, all people were very bad and all misbehaved with Arjun and Krishna. Yet, Lord Krishna blessed that city A. Another City B, all welcomed and offer all kinds of comfort, food, shelter, hospitality to Arjun and Krishna. Yet, Lord Krishan cursed the city B with all kinds of natural calamity. Lord Krishna explained reason to Arjuna, that if people of city B spread across the globe then whole world can become beautiful place to leave. People of city A, should remain there only, they should not be spread. (page 140)

  • Gita Sopanam 1 or 2: There was a great sage. When he meditate, he meditate so deeply and become still, so surrounding birds feels, he is dead and they sit on his shoulders and play. By seeing that, few youngsters requested the sage to catch few birds for them. The sage agreed. He mediated. However, that days, his meditation was not so deep. Somehow, the birds realize that, it is dangerous to sit on the shoulder of the sage. 

  • Gita Sopanam 1 or 2: People give so much importance to behavior, dos and don'ts compare to knowledge and philosophy. If a Bhraman declares that tomorrow is Ekadashi, so everyone should observe fast, people happily observe fast. If the same Bhraman declares that "TVAM BHRAM ASHI" "AHAM BHRAM ASHMI" etc. People doubt it. 

  • Gita Sopanam 4: The whole book is grammar explanation of Gita, the lord Krishan's message to the world, with opinion from great scholars like Ramanujacharya and Madhavacharya. 


Conclusion 

So, yes I enjoyed this course. Last 2.5 years VASOOL. i strongly recommend everyone to attend it. Samskrit Bharati is an International non-profit making NGO. You can find out nearest center (Gita-Kendra) and enroll yourself. These may be free class or with very nominal fee. How strange it is. 

Many of us proud to be Hindu, supporters of BJP, RSS, ShivSena, Narendra Modi and with great proud for our Vaidic culture, heritage etc. There is nothing wrong in it. However, more important is regular reading Gita. We often visit Facebook to know, updates and messages from friends. Gita is message from the God. How often we read it? Bath is necessary for cleanliness of body. Gita-Study is necessary for cleanliness of mind. 

I wish, let's all be proud of human being. Let's study this wonderful book Shrimad Bhagavad Gita. Gita does not belong only to Hindu religion. It is a universal truth. Let's study this wonderful, scientific, sweet language Samskrita. Samskrit is no where related to Hindu or any religion. It is just a language. The best language. 


p.s. I got these 2 scanned pages about some error correction etc for Gita Sopanam - 1 book. Just for ready reference for the readers. 


Education Resources


Today something again about education. Let me share some very useful websites. They are under different sections like. 


  1. For Parents
  2. For School going kids
    1. Mobile Apps
    2. Linux Distributions
    3. Wikipedia
    4. Samskrit / Sanskrit
    5. English
    6. Maths
  3. For College goind youngsters
    1. Computer Science
    2. Wireless
    3. Web-Technology 
  4. PhD
  5. Government Job
  6. For Everybody
  7. Other Initiatives


For parents 


http://gujmom.com/


www.parentree.in


Books: 

Discovery of the Child by Maria Montessori


Secret of Childhood by Maria Montessori


For Kids 


E-Vidyalaya : Learn anything anywhere http://evidyalay.net/

http://kidinfovideo.blogspot.in/

https://kalite.learningequality.org/

http://pi.worldpossible.org/

General Knowledge http://www.ducksters.com/

The best free cultural & educational media on the web 
http://www.openculture.com/ 

Animated and live cartoon videos in multiple languages (1)  AppuSeries  (2) AppuSeries Gujarati


Children Rhymes 



SuccessCDs Education

http://www.youtube.com/user/successcds1/videos

BookBox: A book for every child in his/her language 

https://www.youtube.com/user/bookboxinc/videos

http://www.youtube.com/user/languagereef/videos 

Science Practical 

http://www.youtube.com/user/arvindguptatoys 

Khan Academy 

https://www.khanacademy.org/ 


All Textbooks from Gujarat board
http://gujarat-education.gov.in/textbook/textbook/index.htm

Gyan Circle 

http://www.gyancircle.com/ 

the scale of universe 

http://htwins.net/scale2/?bordercolor=white

Best Education site 

http://www.divyabhaskar.co.in/article/HNL-best-adducation-site-for-student-2622300.html

Smart Board 

http://smarttech.com/smartboard

Learning Zone by Landmap http://www.landmap.ac.uk/index.php/Learning-Materials/Learning-Zone-Introduction/Learning-Zone-Introduction


Quiz http://quizlet.com/

Learning Materials

http://www.fis.uni-bonn.de/node/92

NASA Develop National Programme

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_DEVELOP_National_Program
http://develop.larc.nasa.gov/index.html

Comics

http://www.scribd.com/collections/2300329/Creative-Commons-Originals

Mobile Apps


https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fornris.abcguru

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mango.alphabetwriting


Pocket School: Exploring mobile technology 


http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0738059307001137 


http://www.actapress.com/Abstract.aspx?paperId=22543


Educational Linux Distributions 


Edubuntu http://www.edubuntu.org/ 


One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OS_images 


Qimo 4 Kids http://www.qimo4kids.com/


KnoSciences http://knosciences.tuxfamily.org/doku.php?id=knosciences:welcome 


openSUSE:Education-Li-f-e

http://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Education-Li-f-e 

Debian Edu / Skolelinux https://wiki.debian.org/DebianEdu 


User Student : Linux for learners http://www.uberstudent.org/ 


Wikipedia


Wikipedia for Schools


Offline Wikipedia Kiwix

Samskrit / Sanskrit 


Story Videos:  http://www.youtube.com/user/bookboxinc/videos?sort=dd&flow=list&view=0&page=8 


http://www.youtube.com/user/bookboxinc/videos?sort=dd&flow=list&view=0&page=9 


Sanskrit Stories http://samskritpromotion.in/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=65&Itemid=80   


Resources: 


http://sanskritforums.tk/index.php 


http://layers7.blogspot.in/2012/11/sanskrit.html 


Hindu Mythology 


English


English language test http://www.ielts.org/default.aspx


Kannada

http://www.vidyamruth.com/index.php?r=site/index


Learn Languages: http://mylanguages.org/index.php

Maths


Animations http://imgur.com/a/VTMUq#0


Educational Portal http://education.wolfram.com/ 


Maths articles http://www.businessinsider.com/controversial-math-problems-markov-chain-cantor-coin-flip-2013-5?IR=T 


Visulisation function : http://functions.wolfram.com/visualizations.html 


Limit: http://betterexplained.com/articles/an-intuitive-introduction-to-limits/ 


http://www.wolframalpha.com/ 


http://www.calculatorsoup.com/ 


http://staff.argyll.epsb.ca/jreed/math7/strand1/1203.htm 



Vedic Maths : http://vedicmaths.artofliving.org/ 


For college going youngsters


MIT http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/index.htm  http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm


Computer science



100 Free Online Courses On Computer Science
http://www.efytimes.com/e1/creativenews.asp?edid=140050

Computer Science Open Educational Resources (OER) Portal 

http://iiscs.wssu.edu/drupal/csoer

Computer Science http://www.bottomupcs.com/ 

http://www.efytimes.com/e1/fullnews.asp?edid=119715

National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning

http://nptel.iitm.ac.in/  https://www.youtube.com/iit

http://linuxcommando.blogspot.com


Programming Languages:



Linux
http://efytimes.com/e1/fullnews.asp?edid=115095

Plural Sight

Android Development - Tutorial

http://www.skilledup.com/

Many useful training resources about Linux etc http://free-electrons.com/

Object Oriented Design Patterns http://www.oodesign.com/

Wireless


3G and LTE 


http://5june77.blogspot.in/ 

http://www.in2eps.com/index.html

http://www.sharetechnote.com/


Wired and Wireless http://wired-n-wireless.blogspot.in/


Web-Technologies, Microsoft etc 


http://www.microsoftpdc.com/WhatsHappening/Downloadable-Sessions-Available-Now 


http://www.amazedsaint.com


http://www.webappers.com/


http://www.tutslist.com/ 




Ph.D.

Unmesha Research Institute of Indology 

http://unmesha.com/


For Scientists. Ph.D. students: http://www.researchgate.net

For Everybody: 

udacity: Learn Think Do 

https://www.udacity.com/

TED Talks
http://www.ted.com/talks 

edsurge.com

edx.org

coursera.org

generalassemb.ly

baeo.org

edweek.org

nces.ed.gov

greatschools.org

stand.org


crpe.org

WikiPedia http://www.wikipedia.org


Find Tutors, Tuitions and Institutes in India : http://www.thinkvidya.com/


a very good website to understand maths, programming etc


Useful Information http://www.gujinfo.com/

computer learning in Gujarati http://www.cybersafar.com/

Science and Technology

blogs.smithsonianmag.com/smartnews

blogs.scientificamerican.com

onearth.org

scienceseeker.org

lastwordonnothing.com

scilogs.com

pandasthumb.org

realclimate.org

incubator.rockefeller.edu

blogs.plos.org

doublexscience.org

australianscience.com.au

guardian.co.uk/science

grist.org

scq.ubc.ca

lifeslittlemysteries.com

allthingsd.com

techcrunch.com


mashable.com

http://www.efytimes.com/e1/fullnews.asp?edid=130991

Other Initiatives


Google cloud Platform 

http://googlecloudplatform.blogspot.in/2013/08/khan-academy-runs-on-google-cloud-platform.html 

Khan academy on Raspberry Pi 

http://pi.mujica.org/

VSAT-Enabled Mobile e-Learning Terminals (MeLT) Project in the State of Gujarat https://sites.google.com/site/meltprojectgujarat/

Intel 
http://zeenews.india.com/business/news/technology/intel-india-unveils-plan-to-groom-innovators_761381.html

CISCO CEED http://www.efytimes.com/e1/61494/fullnews.htm 



Alcatel-Lucent http://opinion.myjoyonline.com/pages/feature/201110/74806.php 


NSN and Deutsche Telecom 

http://www.ttkn.com/technology/deutsche-telekom-nokia-siemens-networks-give-wings-to-e-learning-10685.html/

Akshara- Learn As You Play 

http://creativeroots.org/2011/01/akshara-learn-as-you-play/ 

Personalize College 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/bruceupbin/2011/11/01/pearson-knewton-team-up-to-personalize-college/

Pratham Infotech Foundation http://www.pif.org.in/ 


Samsung and Fingerprint team up to create safe mobile apps network for kids


Be the Change A very good blog with many article related to education. 


Ekal USA

e-Vidyalay


Today, I am happy to introduce you to our project e-Vidyalay. Vidyalay means school. Like mail become e-mail, commerce become e-commerce, now Vidyalay is e-Vidyalay. 

It was started by Mrs. Hiral Shah, with intention to provide quality video content with each textbook for school going students. She started this project as one woman army. She created 300+ quality videos for school going students. She got full support from her family and friends from across the globe. Even YouTube (Google) appreciated and acknowledged her work in the field of education. Slowly more and more people joined. 



In today's era of Internet, students are exposed to vast ocean of information. However, there was a lack of quality videos for school going students. The e-Viydalay  fills this gap. E-Vidyalay is an NGO with in education domain. This project is not only about video content creation. It is not limited only to school syllabus. It is dedicated for overall development of a kid. It is not just an additional tool like reference book to get more marks in exam. It covers vast scope, like value education and ethics, inspirational life stories of great people, innovation and creativity, Hobby, Songs, Stories, Yoga Technique for better study etc. The NGO targets even those students in rural area who may not have access to Internet. It targets all the students including under-privileged kids. 


I proud to be part of such noble cause. I invite you to join our volunteer team. If not, at least spread the good words about this good work. Here is the link. http://evidyalay.net/ 


Yogiji Maharaj


Jai Swaminarayan

Today 5th June 2013. Today is YogiJayanti - Birthday of Param Pujya Yogiji Maharaj. He was the fourth spiritual successor to the lord Swaminarayan. So let's have a look to some live paintings of Yogiji Maharaj.

This slide show contains photograph from Yogi Smruti Mandir (temple) Gondal. Gondal was very dear to Yogiji Maharaj. After passing away in January 1971 in Bombay, his material body was transported to Gondal and his last rites performed here. At this spot, a marble shrine with a marle image of Yogiji Maharaj has been erected. Known as Yogi Smruti Mandir, a museum has also been set up, wherein the life of Yogiji Maharaj is depicted through an exhibition and his personal belongings preserved.

Let's visit this place through below slide slow, on your own blog ' Express YourSelf ! '





IMS and SIP


I wish you liked the earlier mindmaps about IPSec and ANDSF. Today let me share two more mindmaps related to telecom domain. IMS : IP Multimedia Subsystem is again became buzzword due to VoLTE: Voice over LTE. SIP is key protocol to realize IMS and VoIP: Voice over IP. Here, let me share my understanding about SIP and IMS both. 







ANDSF


I found mindmap is very useful technique to express the connected topics/thoughts. I prepared few mindmaps to comprehend some of the complex wireless / telecom / datacom technologies. I already shared one such mindmap about IPSec protocol. Today, let me share my understanding about ANDSF. 

ANDSF is important features to support mobility in heterogeneous network. The network informs, the UE about presence of surrounding networks. So UE does not require to scan it. Network also informs the UE about preferred and restricted networks. UE can also share the data flow among multiple network. UE will considers not only input from ANDSF, but also the surrounding network condition, received signal strength, congestion in network, user preference etc. Have a look to this mindmap about ANDSF and some more such mindmap on technical topics are in the pipeline. So stay tuned to this blog. Express YourSelf !

Stumbling into Infinity



Stumbling into Infinity. An ordinary man in the sphere of enlightenment. This is a spiritual auto-biography of Michael Fischman. This article is not a book review,as one can find many review comments, that confirmed this book is excellent, and must read. As per Amazon.com :

Michael Fischman’s fascinating and personal memoir takes us into the compassionate and mysterious world of an enlightened seer. It is a compelling narrative that blends remarkable experiences with an inner struggle and search for meaning.

He visited Bangalore, to promote the book. I am fortunate enough to attend one such book promo event, at Phoenix Market City, Whitefield on 19th Feb 2013. So, specially for the readers of this blog 'Express YourSelf !' I have captured the essence of our interaction with Michael Fischman. Enjoy MAADI !!


The event started with formalities. Shushil Kumar Ahuja of Phoenix mall offered a flower bouquet to Michael and Shyamalaji, and expressed his readiness to offer the venue for more such events. Shyamalaji introduced the author and Art of Living. She is with Art of Living for more than a decade now. Michael is her teacher, mentor and very dear friend. She was happy and was got honored by sharing the same stage with her teacher. On behalf of Whitefield Art of Living volunteers and teachers, Venki (a senior Art of Living teacher) presented memento to Michael. Venki is one of the few early Indians who read his book 'Stubmling into Infinity', from US. 




Many of us already know Michael or 'My-Key'. Quite few of us have read the book. Almost all of us had experienced Sudarshan Kriya by attending Art of Living basic course. 
So Michael freely used those knowledge points, while talking with us. He started with informal "Hi". 

He did course in 1988, when there was only one Art of Living teacher, Guruji Sri Sri Ravishankar himself. He repeated the course, he attended silence retreat, then 3 days Teachers Training course. When Guruji conducted course, Michael recorded everything, to memorize later. Once he got invitation from Mangalore Management Association (MMA), to deliver two hours talk. He asked for Guruji's guidance to choose a talk, that he can memorize and deliver at MMA. Guruji lovingly guided him, "just talk for 10 minutes to build context and then question answer session." So let people listen to as per their choice of topics. It worked. It was a wonderful session and Michael could answer all the questions. 

Since that time, he has not changed his style. So his 10 minutes speech is over and floor is open for question answers. Venki broke the ice by asking the first question. 

1. The process to dive into Infinity: "Surrender. Surrender also means, accepting of every moment. Generally we try to change the moment. We judge, we compare the moment with desires in our mind. We separate the moment from the reality and get into conflict with the moment. If we just accept it, such a expansion happens. Sri Sri Ravishankar is great devotee, so He is great master too. "

2. Being western, accepting eastern philosophy: "There is no difference at all. All over the world, people are pretty much the same. Their desires are same: prosperity, health, happiness, family's success and happiness. Here, you desired Dhosa-Sambhar, there people desire good sandwiches to eat. There are only minor differences. 

A teacher should not take position, that I am teaching something to somebody.  A teacher should just share his experience. An Art of Living teacher guides, share and uplift lives of people. If a teacher talks / tells you something then your ego, dogma, concepts, 'I know better than you' etc will be obstacles. Teaching is so dry, but sharing is celebration. My mentor Guruji never talks down to people. He is only sharing. He is same at every location." 

3. Outer world v/s Inner world: Michael just draw our attention to 50 % off sale in 
Phoenix mall. When he visited Bangalore, in 1991 there was no concept of sale, even malls were not there. "The world has evolved and changed a lot. Life is getting faster. As we evolve as human species, we got more and more stimuli from external sources. 

  • Now everything has more visual impact like colorful advertising sign boards, new colors on SARIs, HD 3D movies, laptop screens. 
  • On Audio front technology has advanced from gramophone records to audio cassettes to digital CDs and MP3s. 
  • Now, we have food from all over the world. 
  • Same for fragrances
Thus, the world is not only stealing/capturing our mind, but also keeping the so busy. We do shopping, even though we do not need, just because of sale. You just lost yourself completely in this world. 

There is something more charming, more stimulating, more exciting and more vibrant than world. I found it. Many of you found it. Guruji is so charming. He brings you back to center, to yourself, so you do not lost yourself in outer world." 

4. East and West: "India, is extremely spiritual country. The spirituality is very much embedded into Indians. Yes, there is a paradigm shift and Indians are attracted towards western culture, however it is not obstetrical for spiritual progress. Weather east or west, everyone is searching for meaning, love and peace. Yoga and singing Bhajans are very popular in US, nowadays." 

5. Ordinary day in life: "It is same like yours normal day. I also wake, brush my teeth, wash my face, do Sadhana, have breakfast like any ordinary person." 

6. Purpose of life: "All of us have two different purposes in our life. Inner one and outer one. 

  • In the outer world, we always try to express our individuality. We contribute for betterment of this planet, we love people, we serve people, we put our 100% for any given task. However we all are same at core. It is like snowflake, they look alike but if we see under microscope, then each one is very different. We run around and confused, till our mind is calm down and settled. With calm mind, you can fulfill your purpose. the divine and force-of-nature will move you in certain way that you will be expression of divinity itself. 
  • All of us have same inner purpose: wake up and find out, who we are. To experience of divinity not just at intellectual level, but experience it very deeply. I think, we all are moving towards that with our own way. So if we compare ourselves with others either spiritually or materialistically, then that creates a such big mess." 

7. Social Services : Someone from the audience raised concern about irreversible changes and the damaged already happen, even we have evolved technology and positive initiative like 'Volunteers for better India'. Michael responded : "The world is moving towards positive direction, closer towards lights, wisdom. Learning from mistake makes us stronger. This is not a terrible time, rather this is an exciting time. The consciousness is waking up. Many people want to do service and they are joining hands together. Sri Sri Ravishankar is catalysis for change and transformation by many service projects across the globe." 

8. Special incidents in Ashram: Michael narrated an incident of 1992. If you get chance sometime, you should directly listen from him only. 

9. Meditation and regular Sadhana: It was surprising to know that many of us have learnt Sahaj Samadhi Meditation, yet few of us are practicing regularly twice in a day. Michael emphasized a lot about regular Sadhana on this path of knowledge. "The Art of Living is about 4 S. Sadhana, Seva (Service), Satsang and Smile. Sadhana brings deep experience within, that is essential for transformation. Without regular Sadhana then The Art of Living is just a social club, where we together all just laugh, smile, enjoy and celebrate. The Art of Living is much more than just a platform for social gathering. He shared his experiences to encourage us for dedicated regular Sadhana." He was regular in Sadhana, twice a day, at busy life of NewYork, California and Los Angeles. 

10. Convince friend for Art of Living course: He discourage people to do men hunting for Art of Living course. "One should not irritate others like sales men. One should leave friends and people alone. Give them space. Just relax. Everyone has its own time, so no need to become aggressive. This is not like JIHAD." He advised the person to become example for his friend and inspire him to do the course by being more calm, alert, loving, caring, more patience, and living in present moment.

11. Law of Karma: He expressed his personal opinion that, "if one has  personal identification and mental association with someone/something then he needs to experience Karma. Sometimes, Karmas are at very very subtle level, that we are unaware." Michael observed Guruji under microscope for last 25 years and concluded that He never identified Himself with anything. "He is running so many service projects. Sometimes we as volunteers are so excited by our role, planning and contribution towards a service project. However for Guruji, all projects are just same." I added to that, Guruji's response to a question. "Guruji what do you do in your free time?" Guruji replied with smile, "I do everything in free time only" How much detach He is ! Micheal added about Guruji "It is amazing, how he managed so people, so many meetings about service projects, kitchen, housing, blessings, IT and He just offer something to everybody. How do you feel, if all the time, people are just staring at you. Like you are some animal in zoo. He does not need space for himself. He is space, that is why he can do that "

Michael continued about Karma theory. "We used to associate ourselves with job, children, spouse, nationality, gender, profession, likes, dislikes etc. We just project out our inner self to the world. More we do Sadhana, more we go deep in meditation and more we experience the expansion, then shift in mind happens. I am just the pure consciousness. I am much greater than this outer world, that knowledge comes by listening to Guruji. Guruji has spoken everything in video recordings on Ashtavakra Gita, Narad Bhakti Sutra, Patanjali Yoga sutra and many knowledge talks. You need to integrate that knowledge in our deep level of experience, otherwise you are just fooling yourself and you create another identity of knowledge for yourself.

Few sentences in Hindi: 

  1. "Ab Kyaa Ho Raha Hai? अब क्या हो रहा है? " What is happening now? 
  2. "Aur Kyaa? और क्या ?" What else?
  3. "Koi Baat Nahi. कोई बात नहीं ।" Doesn't matter or fair enough. If you live this expression in your life on daily basis, you will be always joyful. 

12. Adapting Art of Living as being a person from US and a Jewish: "It is not a big transition, so I have not done any adjustment. We do only those things, that we like to do. I have not done any big sacrifice. I like to teach Art of Living courses, so I am doing it. This summer I will celebrate my 25th Guru-Purnima festival with Guruji. These 25 years went just a like a day passes. I have not done any cultural adjustment. Yes I am Jewish. I have great respect for my traditions, value, religion and culture. Yes, I see myself as American, but I feel very much at home, here in India. Because of Guruji, I have feeling of belongingness wherever I go. Every country and every culture has something unique to offer. "



Meditation 

Then we had short guided meditation. Before that we had thumb yoga. :) Use our thumb to switched off / silent our mobile phone. Michael commented in his unique humorous style. "In ancient time, when sages perform Ygana or any religious rituals, that time devils used to come to disturb them. In present time, the two biggest sources of devils are Samsung and Apple :) ". He introduced mediation as art of doing nothing. He claimed himself as expert of doing nothing. In school days, college days teachers / professors used to tell him, "Michael you have done nothing !" In corporate world, his boss used to tell him the same. :) We all enjoyed meditation. 

13. More time with Guruji: He wished the person, for getting more time to spend with Guruji. He suggested to take more responsibility and to be involved in big SEVA service projects, that needs Guruji's attention. Off course, if one does SEVA with selfish motive then it does not remain as SEVA, however it is good only if anyone involve to SEVA service project with aim of spending more time with Guruji. 

14: Any unaccomplished goal or desire: "No. All desires are fulfilled. Yes, I wanted to visit Maha Kumbh Mela, that too, I visited recently. 

Is it so important to fulfill your desire? Once, your one desire is fulfilled, new desire will arise and it will get hold of your mind. Then it is same, weather your current desire gets fulfilled or not. Desire creates lot of stress in your mind. All the time, your mind says, I will be happy, only when I get this thing. The present moment is so perfect in itself.  You just observe pattern of your mind, as witness. You can realize with retrospection, that 
  • I am getting frustrated over the same thing all the time. 
  • I am doing same mistake, again and again. 
  • I feel insecure about same type of changes when they happened. 
  • My mind is keep on chattering. 
  • It oscillates between past tense and future tense. 
The transformation can only happens through greater awareness and expanded consciousness. So Sadhana is very critical. Without Sadhana, The Art of Living is just a personal development course. Are you aware that you are here, right now? Are you aware, there is space between two thoughts? 

Ultimately, you only have to go through patterns of your mind to overcome them, with knowledge and technique. A Guru can only help you. However, there cannot be instant fix that, yes now onward there will be no pattern. You should be honest to yourself, to understand your patterns and obstacles. You are only responsible for your feelings and your experiences. You should observe that,  'what is blocking me, to experience the divine?' We all are playing a role of a seeker on the path of knowledge. 

Once you know your mind, you understand the human condition, you get inner strength, empathy so, you can empower others also to overcome their mind's patterns. Once you realize, then a true surrender will happen. It does not matter at all, to whom you surrender. There is only one divine element."


He talked further about Guruji. Sri Sri Ravishankar's mind is like leaser beam. So sharp and focus! He is embodiment of awareness. 


15. Writing a book Michael summarize by sharing his experience about writing this book. He was not good at writing since schooling. So writing this book took long time for him. Once, he finishes it, he realize that yes, he can do anything in life. Any idea is put in your mind by divine only. The book 'Stumbling into Infinity' is all about his experiences with Guruji. He was told to write this book. He had various experiences over this path, that he shared with Guruji. Guruji instructed him, 'Write them down. Those experiences are not for you. They are give to you so you inspire other people.' 


At the end, we had book releasing formality with Venki. He informally suggested audience, before going back to stage: "After my speech, you all are supposed to clap" :)

I am also ending this blog post here by suggesting you all readers. "After reading my blog, you all are supposed to share and comment on it." :) 


Declaimer: Please note, this article is not verbatim of Michael Fischman's speech. I have put my best effort to put his thought in my own words, to share essence with you all. I may have done unintended mistake while understanding his speech, so this article may not completely represent his thoughts. Please let me know, if any mistake by me, due to my incomplete or incorrect interpretation.