Friday, November 26, 2010

Mamta Kailkhura - Art of Living Experience

Since a young age, life and God presented a constant puzzle to me. Nowhere God to be found and the purpose of life seemed hidden. I voraciously devoured all great literary works, biographies of stalwarts, philosophies of Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo, Mahatma Gandhi, Nietzche, etc.  While the intellect delighted in the temporary pleasures of books, life remained empty of meaning and purpose. Soon after finishing my studies in social sciences, I joined India’s top media house and made quick progress in career. Yet I was bothered by the inner urge to find the real purpose of life.

Sudarshan Kriya Experience

As if it was a divine intervention, an elderly Reiki master advised me to join the Art of Living classes. I immediately signed up for the course. Though I started with lots of doubts, I was totally bowled over by the Sudarshan Kriya and the knowledge sutras. I felt very pure and clean from inside.

The course rekindled my faith in the goodness of life. The cynicism born out of harsh experiences of life was replaced by faith that it is possible to live the values of love, sharing, compassion, honesty and selfless service.  Something very deep in me was touched, filling me with a joy and bliss I had never experienced before.  All the questions about life and its purpose disappeared; At last I had found what I was looking for since so many years.

I met Sri Sri in a darshan line on the last day of the course. I was struck by his utter simplicity, beauty and innocence. A week later, when I met the Reiki master she remarked that my aura was unusually clean and bright compared to other people who came to see her. She enquired whether I had done anything new. I told her that I had just finished the Art of Living Course. She said that was the reason for such a remarkable change in me.

Very soon I became a frequent visitor to the Art of Living International Center on the outskirts of Bangalore, waiting eagerly for the days when Sri Sri would be there. He would take questions from the audience and impart deep wisdom so simply. Sitting in his presence, listening to simple words of profound wisdom, my spirits would stay uplifted for days together. His words would ring in the heart with such force that all the bookish knowledge now seemed dry. Sitting in the presence of an enlightened master, my real learning had started. The only regret was that it came so late, at 23!

Very soon, I finished the Art of Living Advanced Courses and was inspired by the service activities of Art of Living foundation. The win-win formula of spiritual practices for oneself and seva (service) for others appealed to me so much that within a year of doing the Art of Living Course I became a full time resident volunteer at the Art of Living Bangalore Ashram.

Art of Living  Healing Experiences

A disturbed childhood had made me very wary of being among people. I had developed a habit of stammering and throwing violent tantrums. While unending sessions with my psychologist and speech therapist weren’t very useful, Sudarshan Kriya and service at the ashram worked like magic. In the loving care of Gurudev, I soon developed more confidence and got rid of stammering. I now frequently address crowds at different fora and receive many compliments for being a good speaker. The credit goes to Sri Sri.
For years, I had been carrying stones in the gall bladder, due to which I had to be careful about my diet. While, my liver and digestive system had improved considerably after doing the Art of Living course, the stones still showed up during ultrasound scanning. Though the stones were not troubling me, my doctor insisted that I undergo a surgery so that liver is not affected.  When I shared this with Sri Sri, he simply patted on my head and said everything will be alright. Two days later, the doctor, who was all set to do the surgery, was surprised to find no stones in the ultrasound report.

Countless times, I have seen Sri Sri downplaying miraculous healings that happen around him. This is contrary to the trend I have seen in faith healers who advertise healings in dramatic way to draw huge crowds.  

Sri Sri - Love, Patience and Service

The more I see Sri Sri, the more I wonder as to how it is possible for a human frame to express such unconditional love, patience and undying spirit of service. He seems equally available to all irrespective of rights and wrongs, titles and positions. I am grateful to Gurudev for radically transforming the quality of my life. Life is now enriched with a deeper joy and beauty and a sense of belonging with whole humanity.

I am a witness not only to the turnaround in my life but also in the lives of many others. In the prison workshops that I have conducted in remote parts of India, I have seen hardened criminals wake up to the human values dormant in them, thankful for the break from their violent and disoriented past.  I have seen the gratitude in the eyes of weary and tired border security personnel after Art of Living teachers and volunteers reached out to them to give them deep rest at physical, mental and emotional level. A group of militant youth from Kashmir shared with me how after meeting Sri Sri they don’t want to pursue the path of violence any longer. I am witness to countless such experiences.
I am convinced that our planet can really become violence free if this wave of love and service started by Sri Sri is taken to every corner of the world.

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