Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Rajita Kulkarni Bagga Art of Living Experience

Art of Living Teacher, Apex Teacher, TLEX Teacher

I am born in an illustrious family. My paternal grandmother had a very deep knowledge of our ancient scriptures and was very spiritual. All her four brothers have made milestone contributions to the Indian economic, scientific , cultural and social landscape. My entire extended family of uncles, aunts ,cousins are doctors, engineers, doctorates in niche subjects, architects, serving in the Indian armed forces at senior positions like air vice marshal and  brigadier general ,civil servants, industrialists, scientists & social entrepreneurs. My parents themselves were representative of the emerging intellectual middle class of a free India and professionals with the Indian Government.  From a very young age, the values of hard work, excellence, innovation, contribution to the society, appreciation of our rich heritage & spirituality were inculcated in me. 

Meeting with Sri Sri Ravishankar

I was a conscientious and hardworking student.  It may feel strange but even as a child I knew that I was born for a purpose different than normal kids! I had the best of everything, but there was a sense of thirst, a certain quest for life. I used to actually feel a funny pit in my stomach all the time- a remembrance that I need to put my life to a bigger use.  

I graduated a top of the class student, with many academic laurels. As a young 21 year old MBA , I joined Citibank as a Assistant Manager. Life was exciting, with new found confidence, independence, exposure to the best minds in the industry and lot of fun. Yet there was that pit in the stomach reminding me of my real goal !!  In 1993 by mere chance ,a family friend of ours invited us to a satsang with his Guruji- Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji. I went for the satsang and that was the beginning of the most miraculous phase of my life. Little did I know how my life would start getting gradually and effortlessly steered in a direction to serve a higher purpose! 

Art of Living course experience 

I took the Art of Living course soon thereafter.  It was a fantastic experience. I felt my whole being was glowing with a new found radiance ! In a amazing turn of events , I got married almost immediately and my husband also took the course.  Within a month of this, we got a chance to visit the Art of Living International  Headquarters in Bangalore to participate in the Advance level course (Art of Silence course). The day we arrived in the ashram, the most amazing thing happened! I realized that I did not have the pit in my stomach anymore!  I couldn’t believe it.  That’s it. I knew I had reached home!

Almost miraculously we both got transferred from Mumbai ( where we were living) to Bangalore within a week of finishing the Art of Silence course (Advanced course) ! There began my journey with this most amazing organization called the Art of Living Foundation, with its luminous teachers & selfless volunteers. All spread across around the world in more than 150 countries. A true global family. I had heard of the  term “ the world is your oyster”, it became a real life experience for me with my Art of Living world family.

Professional Excellence and Spiritual progress

I continued to prosper and progress as a banker, getting promoted from one role to the next and at the same time taking joyous strides along the path of spirituality.

For the past decade and a half of my association with Art of Living, I have seen Guruji  work tirelessly  day after day, to make this world  a stress free & violence free place . I have seen him travel from town to town and country to country sharing his message of love and peace, teaching people  how to live happy & healthy lives and giving hope of a better tomorrow to the world
Whether it’s the corporate world or simple village folk, youth or children, prisoners or terminally ill patients, the thought leaders of society or first generation literates, the Art of Living Foundation has a solution for every person and any national challenge.

I have been personally a part of the symposiums held by the Ethics in Business Leadership  International Association for Human Values ( a sister organization of the Art of Living Foundation) at the European Parliament for the past six years. I have seen how senior policy makers, corporate CEOs, parliamentarians and bureaucrats ,inspired by Sri Sri's vision and knowledge have taken steps to integrate ethical governance in their fields.

I have also had the honour of working with one of the largest free schools that the foundation runs on the outskirts of Bangalore. One of the over 100 free schools that it runs in India, this school in the past two and half decades has brought free education to more than 25,000 children. 80 % of these children have been first generation literates in their families and are today employed in government jobs etc. This is a lasting contribution towards building a strong future for our nation.

My own life has beautifully unfolded to me, revealing many untapped qualities and limitless potential. There is a sense of oneness with the world, a sense of universal brotherhood that I feel. I don’t feel a stranger in any part of the world and feel perfectly at home in any situation with any kind of people. I have become fearless and have a great joy and enthusiasm in anything I do. I see myself giving more, loving more and living more.  All this has only happened because of the incredible breathing techniques that  I have been practicing ,Gurujis  precious knowledge and the unconditional love that I have got from the entire Art of Living family .Over these past years, me and my husband  Ajay Bagga, rose to a great positions of seniority in our professional fields winning many awards for excellence & gaining considerable recognition as an experts in our fields.

Art of Living Foundation - building a better world

Today I am a certified instructor of the Art of Living Part 1 course, the Achieving Personal Excellence ( APEX) workshop , The TLEX ( Transformational Leadership for Excellence( TLEX) workshop and Sahaj Samadhi (Art of Meditation) course.  I am deeply associated with the many service projects of the foundation, serve on its boards and feel humbled to witness, how one individuals desire to leave a better world for our future generations, is transforming the living reality of millions of people around the world.

If it was not for Sri Sri, thousands of children wouldn’t have had education, conflict ridden places wouldn’t have had peace, disaster hit people wouldn’t have got relief and rehabilitation and millions of people around the world wouldn’t have know a better ,happier ,stress free way to live life.

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