Monday, May 30, 2011

Ashram a University for LIFE studies...

A lot of people ask me " Oh... so you stay at Ashram "... and the very next question is... " So you are not going to get married... People staying at such places don't get married right ? "...  " Ohh... you must be getting up really early and meditating the whole day ! "... " Oh... how do you manage your finances and needs ? " ... " Ohh.. What do you do the whole day ? "... Its almost as if I'm an animal of a rare species in the zoo... 

Well... The ashram is nothing like that... I thought of writing this post to so that people can appreciate the ashram a little better... How I see the ashram is like a University... A university where the subject of study is 'LIFE'... Like 'Professors' in a university, Swamijis or experienced Teachers share their experience to teach new people at the ashram... Equivalent of classes are 'Art of living programs'...  Ashramites are like PhD students doing their own research with the assistance of mentors...  Sometimes 'Visiting profs' or Guru's or swami's of other 'maths'/ organizations come and share their experience as well... 


My own body and mind is my laboratory... The whole day I conduct experiments by doing normal 'seva' activities, which for me at the moment is working with the 'Events Team' of the ashram... Events team as the name suggests is responsible for all the programs and events that happen at the Ashram right from planning, scheduling, inviting people to executing the event/program and taking their feedback and suggestions and then incorporating them in the next event/program... And in this whole process acquiring all the material finances for me and the Ashram as a whole... Material amenities and finances are essential and are definitely required to sustain life and one surely has to do something to get them... However, usually many people just get caught up in just acquiring these amenities ! The 'work' done here is more than enough not just to sustain me, but also many more at the Ashram. All this is the 'work' part or the 'running the experiment' part... Like in any experiment we first conduct the experiment and then take observations that is the 'Satsang' part... Where we all sit together, sing together, listen to knowledge, meditate and see how the spoken knowledge was applied or not applied in the day's experiment... Meditation and reading knowledge is like the self study part or the 'swadhyaye'...


As I spend more and more time at the ashram I have started to feel more and more aware of things both inside and outside... By becoming more aware outside I mean... becoming more sensitive to people and situations outside... For example... These, days very often I start seeing how the person in front is feeling,  thinking or going to say... Just a few days ago a friend of mine (also an ashramite) came to me and said... You know what... Looking at his face I simply knew what he was going to talk about and told him... He was just taken by surprise ( actually he was going to talk about something very different )! I knew the broad topic but not the nitty-gritties... These kind of things have slowly started to increase... Or sometimes I just get to know what is going to happen or who is calling on the phone or  if someone is remembering me etc... 

By becoming more aware inside I mean... becoming more sensitive to my own body, thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions... As one spends more and more time observing this, one starts seeing how much more there is to it ! As a simple example... If we just observe which nostril do we breathe from predominantly at a particular time, a lot of things can be revealed... Or what is the breathing pattern when we are angry, greedy, jealous or in some other state of mind can help us get out of it... Or a keen observation of food intake can simply tell us what food is right and what food has what effect... For example, I simply fast for a day in a fortnight... That whole day I observe the hunger and what effect it has on the system... How, I tend to become angry more easily when hungry, how my thoughts start changing when I'm angry etc... also, there is such a big difference in the way I feel for the next whole week after that !  

The longer one spends here, the more aware and more knowledge ( both about inside and outside ) one starts to get... After some time, one starts going outside this 'university' ( Ashram ) and starts to give 'guest lectures/public talks' ( knowledge talks/ pada yatras/ Art of living courses/ Satsangs ) to share with the world one's experience of 'LIFE'...


 All this is just a small glimpse of all that happens and that is possible here... Actually come to think of it all this can be done anywhere in the world and all the time... The difference is that this place is more conducive and ideal for this type of 'research' for beginners... A place where the energy levels are so high because thousands of people have meditated here over so many years... Where all the people have the same goal ( consciously or subconsciously ) but completely different behavior, culture, family background, habits, language, age-group and sex... A perfect example of harmony in diversity... Where else can one find so many saintly people together in one place... The food and the climate ideally suited to go within with more ease... And most important of all... This is the place where Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ( whom we can call the most knowledgeable in the research of 'LIFE' ) spends his maximum time in a year !



11 comments:

Amit said...

mast hai!! :)

priyanka said...

said with so much grace....lovely..love u guruji!!

Nirman said...

does make me want to spend more time in the ashram..

saurabh said...

vishala

deep thoughts indeed...deeper is ur practice to achieve it..

Prateek Neema said...

Hey Vishal,

I have observed one very beautiful thing happening to you in past few years, specially during my recent visit at our Aashram.
I could see feverishness in you has gone down to a negligible level, which is only possible with this all these experiments with self called 'Sawdhaya' in a wonderful laboratory of life and of-course with grace.

I wish and pray that you may rise high on your path and go deeper within.

mayank said...

awesome ... so next college for me will be ashram :):) n doing Phd on life :):) so cool :):)

Babita said...

Well Penned and expressed !!

Krishna Manda said...

Hi Vishal

It was very nice reading your experiences and daily seva.

Best Regards
Krishna

Rahul Garg said...

Bhaiya, you didn't answered all questions that you put in the beginning. How do you manage your finances and needs and more precisely your responsibility towards your parents. MARRIAGE!!

beautiful_life said...

it was great reading it VIshal....
Nicely written... Jaigurudev )

beautiful_life said...

JGD! Vishal...
Again an awesome post... Ive just come back from Ashram.. and its so nostalgic to read ur post :)

"By becoming more aware inside I mean,becoming more sensitive to my own body, thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions"

Blessings to you!