Archive for February, 2011

Love

by Gayathri Uchila
I was recently reading a book on Rumi, a Persian mystical saint whose poems are profound, deep and are soaked in Divine Love and longing.

“Both light and shadow
are the dance of Love.
Love has no cause;
it is the astrolabe of God’s secrets.
Lover and Loving are inseparable
and timeless.
Every moment is made glorious
by the light of Love.”

I was wonder-stuck once again by the mystery of love, by its power, by its manifestations in different forms and the oneness and universality of it. Love is such a natural, powerful and timeless force present everywhere! One simply has to be open to receive it. Nature displays love every moment generously which can melt away any heart. The sunrise, the full moon, glittery stars, birds singing, the blooming of flowers and their fragrance, cool breeze, the change of seasons with all the splendid colors and all the endless beauty in the world.

It is amazing to see how nature selflessly bestows its priceless gifts in infinite ways reminding us of its love every moment! And yet often we forget to smile back and be grateful for the precious everyday miracles.

What is everyone searching for? What does life culminate in? What is the purpose of life? What is the rush in the world all about? Isn’t it all about Love? Isn’t Love our final destination? Life has sprung from Love, moves in Love and culminates in Love… And yet its so easy to drift away from our true nature and get caught up in negative feelings. We live our lives as though it will go on forever forgetting the fragility of its nature, it may end at any moment without giving a clue!

Our ancient sages and saints understood very well the nature of the mind and so gave us wisdom and knowledge to remind us of our true nature which is love and to take us back home. One such beautiful text called “Narada Bhakti Sutras”, Aphorisms on Love was given by Sage Narada. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has given a very inspiring discourse on this sublime and timeless wisdom which is easy to understand by anyone.

What is that love which is devoid of imperfection? What is that love which contains all other love? He says that love which has no imperfection and encompasses all other love is Divine Love, Devotion is the pinnacle of love. Having attained that immortal love human life becomes perfect and complete and leads us to the true home.

It seems once Lord Krishna had a severe headache and no medicine seemed to cure his pain. Krishna said his disease would be cured only with the dust from a true devotee’s feet. None of his devotees came forward fearing that if the dust from their feet touched Krishna’s forehead, who is the Divine himself, it would bring disaster and make them suffer in hell! But Radha, a great devotee, heard about Krishna’s pain and at once rushed to give the dust from her feet saying that that there is no pain greater than seeing her beloved Krishna in pain. Such was the devotion of Radha for Krishna. It is said that Radha’s world was only Krishna, he was her center. “Krishna” means the most “attractive”. It is the divinity that is the most attractive; the energy that pulls everything to it. Krishna is the formless center which is everywhere. The name Radha when read reverse reads as “Dhara” meaning flow, the flow of longing… Longing is the other face of Love. It is this intense longing which when kindled melts the ego, brings prayerfulness and takes one to the experience of Bliss or the Truth.

Also, Sri Sri says Love is not just an emotion its our very existence, we are made up of a substance called Love. There is not a single person on this planet whose heart is empty. Every heart at its depth is full with love. One has to simply relax and know that it is already there. All the negative emotions like hatred, jealousy, anger are nothing but distortions of love that come up due to stress and lack of awareness. It is possible to rise above all these negative tendencies by doing spiritual practices, by the presence of a Guru in one’s life and by the fire of awareness.

I am reminded of one of Rumi’s quote “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” I am grateful to my Guru for giving me the precious knowledge that I am able to share here. May the Love residing in every heart expand and overflow and make this world a beautiful one.

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Dancers at the India Republic Day celebrations

The Art of Living Jersey City group organized a celebration for India’s Republic Day on Jan 29, 2011. There was singing and dancing and celebration of India’s rich culture and intellectual heritage. The event started with a beautiful rendition of “Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera” from the movie Swadesh by Divya. This was followed by a hip-hop performance presented by Karishma Bhambani called “Pseudo-American Desi”.

The evening included performances by Noah Damer’s Dance Group to the Bollywood hits of “Dhol Bajne Laga”, “Chori Chori”, “Tera Hone Laga Hoon” and by Art of Living volunteers to the Bollywood hits of “Jai Ho”,” Morni Baga Ma”, “Desi Girl” and “Vande Mataram”. Sarini Ettigi performed Bharatnatyam on a clay pot (also known as Perani Natyam). Hameer Ruparel had the audience dancing to the tunes of “Kuhu Kuhu Bole” and “Rang De Basanti Chola”, while Divya took the audience down the memory lane through her rendition of “Aage Bhi Jaane Na Tu”. The evening ended with the crowd of over 350 being led into a 20 minute interactive bhangra session by the fabulous and energetic dancers from NYC Bhangra group.

Assemblyman Chivukula and Amit Haryani, Art of Living teacher

The event was attended by Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula, who in his speech appreciated the work of the Art of Living Foundation in spreading the message of peace and love. He congratulated Art of Living for its service initiatives to help the poor and needy. Assemblyman Chivukula presented a Proclamation from New Jersey General Assembly announcing January 29, 2011 as the 62nd Republic Day Celebrations hosted by Art of Living.

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