Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram - by Ignacio Escribano

I confess to have lived each day to the fullest with profound intensity: fervent joys, border suicide depressions, exquisite mundane pleasures, physical, mental or spiritual pains which at that time became nightmares (thank God, I would learn later on about the meaning of “Everything Changes”).

Through the years, and as autumn leaves, who knows how many trips around the world, conversations with people of all ages, race, color, beliefs, sex, religion have been condemned to remembrance; a sun going down in Patagonia, a never-ending kiss under the sullen sky in Boston, the submarine life in the South China Sea, a warm hug of infinite love in Bangalore…

It’s amazing how a lifetime can be reduced to ashes in one instant, to absolutely nothing!

* * *

Since I was a child, with a pain in my soul for feeling like a foreigner even in my hometown, I gave in to the path and distances travelling through innumerable places: Argentina, first; later the whole world.

My career as a medical doctor (I graduated in Medicine from Buenos Aires University when I was 24 years old) brought me face to face with disease, desolation and death at a very young age. In those times I dreamed with dedicating myself to Psychiatry once I had finished my residency in Internal Medicine. I felt I knew human suffering from very close and that I could, as a war veteran in those hidden paths of the soul, lend a helping hand to those who needed it the most. But utterly disappointed with the health system, after two years from graduation, I decided to step aside and get away from medical practice without hesitating or even looking back.

Not long after giving up my career I started dedicating myself to journalism and writing; noble and generous crafts that took me to extend the geography of the world I had known until then. And that also invited me to discover a mosaic of countless characters, many of them highly interesting, full of enriching and gripping stories.

With the written word I managed to reach people’s heart -life is a come and go, a round trip, its clear-, as with singing and the guitar.

Music, that insatiable lover I met in my late childhood, a passion that has never diminished, has been in the darkest days and nights of my life, the last drop of oxygen, the most vital breath and the ultimate reason to continue living.

* * *

In my 41 years of existence I have not ever met anyone like Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

I remember it was the beginning of 2001, and that I had been plunged into a sea of confusion for various months: I was sad, I couldn’t find comfort and I felt abandoned; absolutely alone in the planet. My eyes could not see all the abundance I had; or any of the things that the nature were giving me at each instant.

Today I can say that there is not worse sensation than feeling ungrateful with life itself.

In that past period -in which I felt so much void in my soul- I worked as a free-lance writer for a few graphic, radio and television media. I remember receiving calls to cover different events or subjects, including travelling to dream places as a reporter. But I couldn’t cope with it; I just couldn’t find the strength to do it. Nothing motivated me anymore.

“I am sad, I can’t write”, I would tell the editors on the phone. Slowly, my few savings would get smaller and smaller.

Finally, in the beginnings of April 2001 I got a call from an editor of La Nacion newspaper, the most prestigious daily of Buenos Aires, offering me to interview “a spiritual and humanitarian leader from India”.

“Yes, I accept, I will interview him”, I said immediately, without knowing why I agreed, and even less, how that meeting would change the direction of my life radically for ever.

* * *

Meeting Guruji (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar) has been the most precious gift I have received in my life. It would be in vain to try and pour in these lines the gratitude I feel for having found him. Or for him having found me, if it is that there is, when all is said and done, such thing as “you and me”.

What I for sure can assert today is that I feel truly blessed.

It makes me laugh now to think that ten years back I didn’t even imagine that one day I’d have a spiritual master... and from India! And not even that I would get to feel filled with infinite love and devotion towards him.

But life, Thank God, surprises us in every step...

I came to this world, like everyone else, without any form of instruction as to how to live.

Guruji’s spiritual guidance not only has saved my life from falling in the deep gaps of the path -and its even very likely that without him I would have ended up taking my life- but has also helped me mature, be stronger, understand that life is a celebration, cultivate my talents more and more (I´m currently recording my third music album), give myself to others without expecting anything in return, feel useful in this world, walk with less weight, feel happy without a reason, have come closer to my parents whom I love so much, live moments of indescribable appeasement, harmony and happiness, not to give up, move from the mind towards the heart...

There simply aren’t enough examples or words to enumerate all the changes that I’ve seen along these years in my own biography as in so many other souls.

When I started teaching Art of Living courses I finally felt that I had founded what I most longed as a doctor: become an instrument to bring back smiles to faces and to cure the most profound wounds of the hearts.

* * *

Since I met Guruji I have followed his solid work from close, which points, among many other things, to elevate the human values and to eradicate stress in society.

I feel extremely lucky for having shared so many moments with him: talks about the most profound issues, private and painful, to have laughed at his side like two old friends.

Once more, I can’t find the words to describe the magnitude of his knowledge, of his patience, of his immeasurable love, of his commitment with life itself...

Days ago I was surprised to read a blog dedicated entirely to the defamation of his person and Art of Living. Astonished, I dove myself in those slanderous posts, written, many of them, with great prose and astuteness, but not necessarily well intentioned.

The fact that someone could have expressed so violently and sarcastically against Guruji produced me immense pain, for he is the most pure, compassionate and kind person that my heart has known. It urged me to protect him and defend The Art of Living, the foundation that he, with so much love and dedication, has built for our own growth, and through where he has given life back to many other lives, including my own.

Without giving up, I understood that the least I could do about this was to honestly share my own experience and personal story, and feel, for those who anonymously defame, the compassion enclosed in the fragment of a poem, which reads: “I see the wounded dove, and the hunter hurts me”.

* * *

But let’s go back to the beginning of this story, to my first encounter with Guruji, in that interview for La Nación.

I recall that what struck me the most on that Buenos Aires autumn noon was his lightness and, at the same time, his presence: for the first time I was in front of someone that, mysteriously, seemed both to be there and not to.

As we went further in our talk, his wisdom, depth and simplicity, his brilliant sense of humor and his intellectual wit and sharpness became more and more evident.

I can also remember that towards the end of the interview I asked him about God.

“God?”, he echoed, in a soft voice, looking at me with his child-prophet eyes.

“Yes -I replied-, God”.

And immediately, he answered in a whisper: “Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram”.

Today, ten years later, I find that those three words -truth, benevolence and beauty - appear too small, scarce, when vainly trying to portray the infinite greatness of the life and work of my beloved master, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.


  1. Anonymity is the mask of cowards, for those who need to use their dirty tricks to destroy the good, true and beautiful life. It's another way of claiming the violence, but no less harmful. May spread terror, fear, doubt, but they cannot fight the peace of mind of so many followers of Guruji.
    Nacho: Thanks for sharing with us, your unique and wonderful experience of life! Jai Gurudev.
    Verónica Prieto Astigarraga.

  2. "Iba a cambiar el rumbo de mi vida radicalmente"
    "el regalo más precioso que he recibido en mi vida"
    "la gratitud que siento por haberlo encontrado"
    "me siento verdaderamente bendecido".
    "lleno de infinito amor y devoción hacia El"
    "entender que la vida es una celebración"
    "cultivar mi talento más y más"
    "pasar de la mente hacia el corazón"
    "convertirse en un instrumento para traer sonrisas a los rostros y curar las heridas más profundas de los corazones"
    "Me siento muy afortunado"
    "mi amado maestro, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar"
    Comparto en un todo... creo que es la experiencia de muchos! Jai Guru Dev!
    Fernanda Ivanoff

  3. Thanks Ignacio,
    You moved very deeply.
    You spoke humble, soft but strong!!!
    Satyam, shivam sundaram.
    mery from cordoba

  4. Thanks Ignacio,
    You moved deeply!!!
    You spoke humble, soft an strong!!!
    Satyam, Shivam, sundaram.
    Mery de cordoba

  5. Thanks for sharing your experince...
    As guruji always said there is always doubt about good things and offcourse there will be devil destraction to the right intentions. We can just ignore them :)

    Lots of luv

  6. Jai Guru Dev -- thanks for sharing this lovely writeup !! I had tears of joy in my eyes... I know for a fact that NOTHING can touch gurudev or AOL.. They both are destined to transform this world -- If what he has accomplished in the 1st 25 years is great - these 25 years have laid the foundation for an exponential growth and reverberation all over the world in the next 25 years.. The virtuous cycle will only grow by leaps and bounds!! JGD

  7. Nice post!
    You may also read the below mentioned post for understanding and appreciating the....
    URL: http://awara32.blogspot.com/2010/08/meaning-of-satyam-shivam-sundaram.html

    SATYAM SHIVAM SUNDARAM is the way Hindus describe Lord Shiv with respect and devotions. However one must understand the exact and practical meaning of the word or phrase so that life could become more meaningful and enjoyable

  8. very happy that I read this post, Jaigurudev!

  9. Jai Gurudev, i am indeed happy that I read this post, awesome....

  10. Lovely! thanks for sharing. Jai Gurudev.


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