1) Ensure that you have good food, especially organic food – It is important that you have the right type and the right amount of food.

2) Pay attention to your health – A little bit of exercise, yoga and some meditation will help maintain good health.

3) Relationships – This is something that disturbs everybody, and there are many questions about it. I have three pieces of advice, one for men, one for women and one for both.

First, for women – never step on the ego of a man. A man should not be pressurized to prove himself at home.
Second secret is for men – don’t step on the emotions of women.
Third, advice for both – do not question the other’s love for you. Don’t keep asking, “Do you really love me” or say, “You don’t love me!” This sort of complaining, demanding for love is not good. Demand destroys love, in you and in the other person too.
I want each one of you to be magnanimous; come from a space of, “I’m here for you!” Just imagine, when both say these words, there is so much harmony. When both want to grab, there is disharmony. When we move from the joy of getting to the joy of giving, we have matured in life, and this is a sign of success.

4) Devote some time to knowledge and meditation.

5) Enroll yourself in a silent retreat. I would like you to take a minimum of four days in a year to go deep into silence, and discover the enormous wealth that we have all been bestowed with. We have Advanced courses from time to time; just imagine, all of us sitting together for 4 days, meditating, learning more about our self, it will make such a big difference. It’s like getting your battery fully charged. You learn about your soul, about who you really are, and why we have come to this planet. What is the purpose of life; is it simply eating, sleeping, gossiping and dying one day or is there something more? We can discover all these things if we take a little time out for our self.

Definitely, a silent retreat once or twice a year can be very good. Then, you will see that nobody can take the smile away from you, nobody can disturb you as you become so strong from within. And many more avenues, dimensions within you open up.

~ Gurudev


What is Sudarshan Kriya?

The Sudarshan Kriya, a powerful rhythmic breathing technique that facilitates physical, mental, emotional and social well-being is an integral part of Art of Living programmes.
It is preceded by Ujjayi Pranayam or long and deep breaths with constriction at the base of throat and Bhastrika or fast and forceful breaths through the nose along with arm movements.
It is today universally acclaimed for its effectiveness in eliminating stress and bringing one completely into the present moment.
As H. H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar puts it, the Sudarshan Kriya came to him like an inspiration to bridge the gap between the worlds of inner silence and outer expression of life.
Nature is replete with various rhythms and cycles – day follows night, night follows day, seasons come and go. Similarly, there are biological rhythms to our bodies, minds and emotions. When these rhythms are in sync, we feel a sense of harmony and well-being. When stress or illness throws them out of order, we experience discomfort and discontent and feel upset and unhappy.
‘Su’ means proper, ‘darshan’ means vision, and ‘Kriya’ is a purifying practice. The Sudarshan Kriya is therefore a purifying practice, whereby one receives a proper vision of one’s true self. This unique breathing practice is a potent energizer.
Every cell becomes fully oxygenated and flooded with new life, bringing a sense of joy in the moment. And when we feel good about ourselves, love flows naturally in all our relationships with others.
The rhythmic breathing pattern of Sudarshan Kriya harmonizes the rhythms of the body and emotions and brings them in tune with the rhythms of nature. The breath connects the body and mind. Just as emotions affect our patterns of breathing, we can bring about changes in our mental and behavioral patterns by altering the rhythms of our breath. It flushes our anger, anxiety and worry; leaving the mind completely relaxed and energized.

“I was already teaching meditation and yoga. But I felt there was something that was lacking. Though people do their spiritual practices, their life is in a sort of a compartment. They do their prayers, meditation and spiritual practices but when they come out in life, they are very different people. So, I was thinking how we can bridge this gap – between inner silence and outer expression of life. During a period of silence, the Sudarshan Kriya came like an inspiration. After I came out of the silence, I started teaching whatever i knew and people had great experiences.”
“After kriya, many people feel so pure and so clear, so complete, because the consciousness, which was stuck in the matter, material, which is foreign to itself, got released from that and came back to its home.That is the sense of purity, feeling of purity.”
“We need to do a cleansing process within ourselves. In sleep we get rid of fatigue, but the deeper stresses remain in our body. Sudarshan Kriya cleanses the system from the inside. The breath has a great secret to offer.”
“Sudarshan Kriya is a breathing technique Combined with meditation.
See there is a rhythm in the nature, right? In the same way, there is a rhythm in the body. We have Physiological rhythm. Morning you have nature’s call, then you get hungry, then you feel sleepy. There is a particular bio rhythm we call. There’s a “chandasva”, what we call “chandha”. There is a rhythm in the mind also. Thought Pattern. And there is a rhythm in the emotional pattern. If you observe in one year, A particular time of the year, You feel differently. Anger, Interest or enthusiasm. They all come in certain patterns in life, in our spirit inside. Sudarshan kriya is harmonizing all these rhythms. So it brings that rhythm and takes about 6 days to learn, 2 hours each day.”

Prana level (Life force energy) and Sudarshan Kriya
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There are ten types of Prana (the subtle life force energy). Of these, there are five major and five minor kinds of Prana. Today let me just talk about the five major types of Prana.
The first major type of Prana is called Prana which arises from your navel upwards to the top of the head.
Then there is another type of Prana that goes downwards from the navel, and it is called Apana.
When the Prana level is too high, you cannot sleep; you can get insomnia and you feel very jittery. However, if the Apana level is too high, you feel so dull that you do not even want to get off the bed. Have you had this experience? Sometimes you feel so heavy, gross, and dull. This is due to the imbalance of Apana.
The third type of Prana is Samana which is present as the digestive fire in the digestive system, i.e., in the stomach. It is the agni or the fire that helps digest the food.
Samana is that which helps indigestion, and it also helps other bodily systems. It helps in balancing the system.
Then there is Udana Vayu or Udana Prana which is somewhere near the heart region and is responsible for emotions.
In Sudarshan Kriya, people cry or they laugh, and you find that all these emotions well up. This is due to the Udana Vayu. So this Udana Vayu is responsible for all the emotions.
Then the fifth type of Prana called Vyana which is responsible for all the movement in the body. It is spread all over the body.
In Sudarshan Kriya, you feel some tingling, some energy all over the body. Have you all experienced this?
What happens in Sudarshan Kriya is, all the five Pranas get balanced, and that is why you cry, or you laugh, and you feel a tingling all over the body. That is the specialty of Sudarshan Kriya.
You also tend to feel very hungry after the Kriya, is it not so?
So, these five Prana in the body run our lives.
If Samana is imbalanced, then it gives rise to digestive problems, and you cannot digest the food properly, or you may experience nausea. All this happens because of an imbalance of the Samana Prana.
When Udana Prana is stuck, you feel an emotional block that also affects your thinking and your mind.
When the Vyana which is all over the body is imbalanced, then you have joint pain, or movement trouble, and either you become too jittery and restless, or you may feel like you do not want to do anything.
Moving around anywhere in such a state gives discomfort and creates restlessness in the body. All this is caused by the Vyana imbalance.
After Sudarshan Kriya, you would have noticed that all these imbalances go away. Has this not happened to all of you?
All earlier discomfort in the movements of the body, or its circulation, or some pains due to Vyana imbalance, all disappeared after Sudarshan Kriya.

Yoga Day : From stress to stretch to strengthen the nation (Hindi)

हम केवल शरीर या मन नहीं हो सकते क्योंकि अगर ऐसा होता तो शायद हममें और मशिन में कोई फर्क नहीं होता| इस बात को हम धर्म से न जोड़े और खुद चिंतन करें तो हमें यह अनुभव होता है कि कुछ तो है जो हमारे शरीर और मन को नियंत्रित है जो एक “शक्ति” या “चेतना” या “आत्मा” है|

Yoga – योग ! 5000 वर्ष पुराना ज्ञान एवं गूढ़ विज्ञान जिसे आज पूरी दुनिया ने माना है| हमारे देश की ऋषि परंपरा योग को आज विश्व भी अपना रहा है। यही वो विज्ञान या संस्कृति है जिसके कारण भारत को विश्वगुरु कहा जाता है| ये कहना अतिश्योक्ति न होगा कि, योग हमारे लिये हर तरह से आवश्यक है। यह हमारे शारीरिक, मानसिक और आत्मिक स्वास्थ्य के लिये लाभदायक है। योग के माध्यम से आत्मिक संतुष्टि, शांति और ऊर्जावान चेतना की अनुभूति प्राप्त होती है, जिससे हमारा जीवन तनाव मुक्त तथा हर दिन सकारात्मक ऊर्जा के साथ आगे बढता है।

आधुनिक युग में योग का महत्व बढ़ गया है। इसके बढ़ने का कारण व्यस्तता और मन की व्यग्रता है।
आधुनिक मनुष्य को आज योग की ज्यादा आवश्यकता है, जबकि मन और शरीर अत्यधिक तनाव, वायु प्रदूषण तथा भागमभाग के जीवन से रोगग्रस्त हो चला है। योग केवल रोगों को दूर करने की प्रक्रिया नहीं है| योग का आशय शरीर के समस्त रोगों को दूर कर, मस्तिष्क को तनाव मुक्त कर, मन को पवित्र बनाकर, आत्मा का ईश्वर से सम्बन्ध स्थापित करना है|

शरीर का मन पर और मन का शरीर पर प्रभाव पड़ता है| इसलिए योग ही एकमात्र ऐसी सम्पूर्ण पद्धति है जो मनुष्य को शारीरिक, मानसिक और आध्यात्मिक रूप से शक्तिशाली बनाती है| जीवन की समस्याओं में हम उलझे रहते है जिसके कारण धीरे धीरे हमारा स्वंय पर नियन्त्रण नहीं रहता लेकिन योग एक ऐसा साधन जिससे हमारा मन और शरीर पर सम्पूर्ण नियंत्रण होने लगता है| और सबसे बड़ी बात यह है “योग” मनुष्य को आत्म संतुष्टि प्रदान करता है|

अनेक सकारात्मक ऊर्जा  के लिये योग का गीता में भी विशेष स्थान है। भगवद्गीता के अनुसार –
“सिद्दध्यसिद्दध्यो समोभूत्वा समत्वंयोग उच्चते |”
अर्थात् दुःख-सुख, लाभ-अलाभ, शत्रु-मित्र, शीत और उष्ण आदि द्वन्दों में सर्वत्र समभाव रखना योग है। कर्म की कुशलता के लिए योग ही आज के जीवन का सहारा बन सकता है|

How do we Balance Seva, Studies and Family ?

Question: When we do seva (service), especially  youth, how do we balance seva, studies and family?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: How do you ride a bicycle? Do you allow yourself to fall on one
side? When you are more towards one side,  you just balance. But one strong conviction
should be there – I will do seva, I will do studies, I will take care of my family and
respect the elders as well. These are not opposites but complementary. When you do
seva, you get power and achieve merit, and that gives you good fortune. So, spirituality
brings strength. Through meditation, you will progress in the world.
This conviction, ‘I will be able to do all’, works miracles.

If you find any doubt, just know that it is temporary. The most important thing is to
develop a strong personality. Going to college, stuffing your head with information
and just passing the exam, no! How much strength and humility have you gained? Are
you blossoming into a complete person? It is important to check this. Enthusiasm with
awareness! Seva brings out the skill in you that will again make a difference in how you relate
to all types of people. Softness and depth will come to you. With enthusiasm, there will be
awareness. All can be threaded on a string.