In the recent past quite a few surprises have come my way. A few pleasant and a few unpleasant. I shall not bore you with the latter ones. So let me share with you one of my simple, sober and special moments from the recent past.
To begin with i can finally say i have an "anniversary" to celebrate. (No wait, my first one would be my Arangetram. So technically this would be my second one)
I first got introduced to him sometime in the mid of July this year. I had just heard a few things and seen some of his pictures. Nothing so great that i actually wanted to meet him. It was 15th of July, 2009 when for the first time i met 2 of his best men, Dinesh dada and Bawa. I had never heard of them nor had i seen them before unlike him. But an inexplicable charm pulled me towards them. These two brilliant men i am talking about are the teachers of the YES+, an Art of Living course and 'his' disciples. His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
I attended my first Yes+ course from the 15th to 20th July, 2009. I was one of the lucky few (a few included 200 others:P ) to have got introduced to the Art of Living by the BEST and the most radiant teachers, Bau and Dinesh dada. You develop an interest in a particular subject only if you are taught right. And i was definitely on the right track :)
I wont go into the course details because i dont want to spoil the first experience you'll have with AOL. Just as a preview the course is jam packed with suryanamaskars, yoga, a LOT of GAMES, a couple of competitions, visuals- some of which are real eye openers, lot of scribbling on the walls, breathing techniques and most importantly the Sudarshan Kriya. Where ever in the world you are sitting and reading this just drop in a comment as to where you are located and i will help you out with the nearest AOL teacher in your vicinity. A few things are experienced the best if you do them for no particular reason at all. Yes+ is one such event. Just do it.
This is one of the best places to meet total strangers and make friends with them. I am a very practical person. I dont really fall for anything quite easily. When for the first time Piyush Bhaiyya gave an intro talk about the course i saw no reason for not doing it. Financing it wasn't a problem nor was time. Not that i had all the time and sitting home doing nothing. I had my articleship training going on but leaving from work half n hour early was all that i had to do to attend the Yes+ course. (Well ofcourse to compensate i reached office an hour early in the morning)
The Guru Pooja by Anjana di and the Satsang by Piyush bhaiyya who's voice is totally mesmerising preceded the intro talk held at Swati's place. At the end of the talk i had a few volunteers literally nagging me to fill up the form. I took my own good time (the practical me) before i put my pen on to the paper. And two days later there i was, among 200 others like me who had no clue as to what was instore for them in the next 6 days, screening the crowd for a familiar face.
The next 6 days were fun filled, knowledge packed and totally practical. And there was more to it. MUCH MORE. The sunday upgrade that followed was a rollercoster ride. And just two days after that i was packing my bags to fly to the Banglore Ashram to do my Yes++ which is the Yes+ Advance course. (no we went by train but we were literally on a high so it was more like 'flying')
At AOL we say that doing a Yes+ is like getting a visa but doing a Yes++ is literally flying. But all i knew before heading towards Banglore was that Dinesh dada was going to be my Yes++ teacher as well. That was just enough a reason to board that train. The YES++ is a four full days course best experienced if done at the ashram. Its totally different to what Yes+ is. Something even more difficult to put in words. Yet again i would say Just Do It.
No one was sure if Guruji would be physically present at the ashram around that time. To our delight on the very first day of our arrival it was like having a personal date with him along with almost thousand other people at the evening satsang in the Vishalakshi Mandap. This man has got something. The innocence on his face, the depth in his eyes, his elegance, the naughtiness, his style, quite everthing. The next few days that followed were bliss.
How much ever you talk about Guruji, Bau and Dinesh dada its always less. So i wont say anything at all. To tell you the truth i dont have the right words to describe these wonderful men. So let me just leave it at this. Experience it to realise that its simply the best.
PS: And talking abt the "anniversary", 15th of July henceforth would be my AOL anniversary ;)
PSS: Arangetram means ascending the stage for the very first time by the Bharatnatyam artist after getting trained for 7 years in field of dance.