Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sejal Parmar Interview

Sejal Parmar Interview

Your Name?
Sejal Parmar

Where are you from?
I'm from Gujarat.

Since how many years have you been in YLTP?
Since 5 years in AOL & since 1 1/2 years in YLTP.

In which area do you work & what work do you do?
Basically, I'm from Bhavnagar but at present I'm staying & doing full time seva here. We start our work at 9.00 a.m. & finish at around 12.30 - 1.00a.m. We start on time but the time we complete is not fixed.The administrative dept. of the Gujarat YLTP office & all the projects of YLTP of whole of Gujarat are handled by me.The projects include Broom Project, Sewing Classes, Self-help Project, the Project for banning plastic bags & encouraging the use of cloth bags.
Besides that, we run a school in tribal area - Ved Vigyan Mahavidyalaya.

What's youe experience in YLTP? What was your inner eexperience when you did the course?
I joined AOL thr' the Basic Course.
Then I went for TTC-1.
Thereafter YLTP was organised in my home town Bhavnagar. A YLTP teacher, Ketakiji had come.
She worked hard moving around for one month but nothing happened. I came to know that this lady has come, is trying but in vain.
So I told her that I'll support her & we will have YLTP here.
That was the first time YLTP was organised in Bhavnagar District. We moved around for one month; travelled about 400 kms. gathering youth.
We could enrol 20 boys, that was the first time YLTP took place. I directly assisted that YLTP. I had never done the YLTP course. I didn't know the contents of the course.
I enjoyed so much! When a boy enters here, he is a mere villager & when he comes out as a leader form here. The kind who have no self-confidence, who cannot even speak & put their demands
to his own family come to YLTP.They are so naive when they come for the course, but when they come out they become leaders. We don't have to assign them any responsibility; they explore the seva activity in their village & take it up.
When I saw all this I realised that if you want to understand & work for Guruji's aim & purpose for which Guruji has come on this earth, it is YLTP.
I experienced; I've done all the courses - right from the Basic to TTC. After TTC I came to YLTP. Then I understood that it took all these Courses right from the Basic Course to Phase-1for me to feel Guruji's Grace; whereas in YLTP, people start experiencing Guru's Grace within just 8 days.
Then I realised that YLTP is the best bet to feel Guruji's Grace, understand Guruji's vision & to contribute to His work.
The Yuvacharyas are the invisible roots of the blossomed tree you see as the Art of Living.

When did the first YLTP take pllace in Gujarat?

In Gujarat the work is going on since last 8 to 9 years. Ever since Mr. Hiteshbhai has taken oer as the co-ordinator 2 years ago; the program has picked up very well.
It's not only about conducting YLTP & creating Yuvachryas; we also provide them with everything necessary in their personal lives.For example as a villgre he does not know English.
He can speak about Post Office but he stands near a Railway Station or a Post Office totally unaware because he doesn't know how to read.
They encounter many such challenges. For that we make them attend English classes every month in the Ashram free of charge.
Some of our devotees who are professors conduct these classes. Besides, we counsel them about how to come up in life & consider the challenges related thereto.
We dont talk about it directly with the Yuvacharyas else they will be tempted to come here for wrong reasons. We try to probe into their problems through other sources.
We do not want them to come here out of some greed that here we get all these things so let us join. We make him like a king! Besides we wish to retain their self-respect so that they can be proud of themselves.
We work for their economic development too. There are HR heads such as Nandaben & Mrudulaben who are associated with big companies in Gujarat.
They give talks to these Yuvacharyas on vocational guidance. We conduct a one-day workshop for all the Yuvacharyas so that they come & discover their potential.
After they have chosen their field of work we give thempractice in that particular area & see them through till their financial indepandence.

What is the secret of YLTP according to you? You say that it gives them personal development & social upliftment.

The secret is Guruji & Sudarshan Kriya. We have been watching a number of NGOs that are workiong since decades for the upliftment of society & youth.
A lot of work is being done in the name of development like making roads, contructing toilets, pucca houses, etc. Even after doing all this, if they do not know how to use it;
how can you call it development? In many villages constructed toilts are used to stack logs of wood & such due to lack of awareness.
This kind of awareness cannot be taught in school or by one-to-one talk.

It is only in Art of Living where there id Sudarshan Kriya, Padma Sadhana & Guruji's Grace which instills devotion in them. This devotion makes them assertive & as a result they turn to the right path.
The secret of Art of Living & YLTP is Sudarshan Kriya through which people's lives, mentality & even thoughts can be transformed.

What is your source of motivation since you are a full-time in YLTP.

Sometimes I do feel exhausted or fed up & feel like quitting. This is due to some problems like when in spite of we putting in a lot of energy; people do not understand or accept.
Then we surrender it to Guruji & feel that is is not we who are holding AOL & YLTP, but there is an unseen power which binds us to itself & that is one & only Guru Shakti.
Guruji is my idol. He says - "Whenever we get something, we should make it better before we leave it." These words had quite an impact on me. I thought I've got this Universe,
let me contribute something to it to make it better. I left my Govt. job to perform full-time seva here. Before, on waking I used to ask myself - why have I come on this earth, why have I taken birth. But today when we sleep, we are satisfied that we have brought transformation in someone's life.

Can you remember any example regarding someone's transformation?

Yes there are many.There is a lady, Madhuben from Kukawati with physically challenged limbs. We met her yesterday. She attended YLTP 4 years back.
Naswadi Taluka was handed over to me to develop. I suggested to meet the existing Yuvacharyas & find out about their opinions, achievements & future plans.
While travellingthrough different villages,I met this woman, Madhuben. She was elated to see me as a representative of Guruji after 4 years. I saw her family's condition
& felt like doing something for them.Then we thought of starting a financial development project here. Today she is a full time Yuvacharya, travelling villages, conducting Nav Chetna Shibir.
Some time ago her family had to take care of her. Today she looks after the whole village.The whole village seeks her advice before beginning anything. She got employment ..............
There are 30 women & 5 men who work under her, resulting into employment for 35 people. They propose to start '0' Budget Farming in her village. This is a story of a big transformation.
I am glad that I was the instrument for it.

Translated & Transcribed By Preity Thomas

Friday, February 5, 2010

GURUJI’S INTERVIEW ON NDTV India 60 Minutes Verdict

GURUJI’S INTERVIEW ON NDTV India 60 Minutes Verdict


Interviewer: Sri Sri Ravishankar, if I can begin with you. You began the Art of Living 25 years ago. But do you find that in recent years that the problems that people bring to you are changing, have they been brought on by the lifestyle? How has stress affected their lives of those who come to you?

Sri Sri Ravishankar: Yeah, you know, there are various different kinds of problems that people face, where there is no telephone they are stressed and where there is telephone there is stress too. (Chuckles) So conflict whether it is in the society of within oneself is prevalent all over the world today.

Interviewer: Do you think that the conflict is caused by the way we live?

Sri Sri Ravishankar: Yeah, absolutely. It is obvious because we don’t take time for ourselves. Because we don’t see life from a broader perspective, broader vision. So we get stressed over small things, you know.

Interviewer: Dr.Prabhakaran, you have actually done a study on this. Study funded by WHO and by the AIIMS. Did the findings actually startle you? In that study, it says that 80% of the heart disease is caused by stress.

Dr. Prabhakaran:
(Cardiology Professor at AIIMS): The findings of the study of course startled us because the risk factor levels for cardio vascular diseases that is heart attacks and strokes are pretty high because this was the study of a very young population with an average age of 40 years and many of then had the several of the risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and tobacco smoking. The most important factor I think is related to the life style. I wouldn’t call it stress. Life style changes related to urbanization such as high saturated fat consumption, consumption of cigarette and low levels of physical activities. In fact, this is one of the most important factors for high level of heart disease related risk factors.

Interviewer: But then how would you define stress? It is this kind of almost metaphor for life style today. What actually is stress? How can you medically relate it to physical illnesses?

Dr.Prabhakaran: Stress can arise in various forms. Most people think that stress is related to excessive working or excessive activity. That is not really stress. Stress is much more complex. For example, your boss may be working for more that 18 hours, be may not be stressed. But you may be stressed because you may not have any control over your time. That’s all stress is all about. Second form of stress is called as suppressed hostility, that is you hate somebody but unable to do anything. These are two main types of stresses that can increase your risk for heart disease and third of course is depression.

Interviewer: Right, Dr. Prabhakaran. Joining me in this studio right now is somebody who has actually lived what we are talking about. Why did you choose to opt out of this rat race, as advertisement is one of the irregular jobs where everybody seems to be like stressed like television perhaps? Did you find it actually affecting your health?

Ganesh Eashwar:
(Former Advt executive): No, I don’t think it was stress at work that bothered me as much. It was possible to adjust to it. I think Sri Sri Ravishankar talked about how we live is the reason behind our problems. I think it is how we handle life is the real problem. Stress is something that is going to hit us. Stress from job, stress for your families, from any where. You need to handle it and that’s what most of us aren’t trained for, whether we are MBA or anyone. MBA teaches us how to succeed, it doesn’t teach us how handle failure and that is the major problem and that are where we all get grounded into this stress factor.

Interviewer: I think that is quest for answer. Sri Sri Ravishankar, while so many people are now looking at alternative techniques, they are looking at new age spiritual Gurus, they are looking at yoga, they are looking at meditation, what advise would you give people who come to you wanting answers, answer to urbanization or new life style as it were.

Sri Sri Ravishankar: You know, there are two ways to combat stress. One is reduce your work load which is not being possible these days. It is not practical because the work load is increasing every day thought the technology has advanced but our work has not reduced. The other option is to increase your energy level. How can you increase your energy level? That you need to see. I would say that there are four sources. The first is food, proper food, proper diet, second is right amount of sleep, 6 to 8 hours of sleep not more or less and then the third I would say is the breathing exercises. You know. Through breath our Prana can be regulated. So when the Prana, the life force energy is increased or enhanced you are able to work for May more hours without getting stressed. Stress is a phenomenon that happens either emotional or physical but we need to learn the methods how to get over them, get rid of them from our system. For this meditation is the fourth source of energy which would immensely benefit people. It has been happening that way. A little bit of Pranayama, Kriya and Meditation a person is able to smile again. The whole attitude and life style change happens quite naturally.

Interviewer: A sound advice. So you obviously draw 1000 and 100s of followers to the Art of Living. But tell me how you would answer critics that say that very often spiritual Gurus all these alternative therapies capitalize stress syndrome. What would your response to critics who say that?

Sri Sri Ravishankar: Pardon, capitalize what?

Interviewer: Many critics would say that spiritual gurus, new age gurus like I said that often capitalize on people’s weakness by giving advice which is basically just common sense?

Sri Sri Ravishankar: I mean people are allowed to have their own opinions. (Chuckles). Everybody doesn’t need to agree with everyone else. Whatever is useful for people and they will all learn it and it will catch on to the people. So what is wrong in people learning the techniques or going to counseling or taking advises from people who know in that field. You don’t ask that when it comes to hospitals or doctors or tax consultants. There are many such avenues in society, they continue to help people. But it is a prejudice you know against a Guru, spiritual leader that has been a block for some people. That’s not just in India, but world over. 20 0r 25 years ago there was so much more prejudice but today that prejudice is going down actually.

Interviewer: It is a nice word: The Spiritual Consultant:. It is different. I think it is important aspect in everyone’s life. Dr. Prabhakaran, is that something you find the traditional version of medicine is actually insufficient to deal with the kind of problems people come with to you nowadays?

Dr. Prabhakaran: I think the traditional systems of medicine or whatever are complimentary to what we say. All we are suggesting is that you have a proper life style, increase your physical activities, that is do some walking, participate in some non-competitive sports, take the right kind of food. That’s what they also say. The problem arises when the traditional; systems of medicines say that everything can be cured and we can cure a particular kind of disease and a chronic disease like heart disease within tow or three weeks which is where the problem arises. If we go hand in hand then these should be no problem. People should take our advise and also follow the lifestyle advises given by the Spiritual Guru or the traditionalists as you put it across.

Interviewer: Thank you so much Spiritual and physical consultants. Ganesh, you have been lucky. You managed to opt out what many would say is the rat race. What would you say to those who have no chouse but to stay in and one of the SMS we got is, it says: People actually choose stress. If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen.”

Ganesh: Actually all stress is man made. There are three causes for it. You could have the inability to control the actions of others is one reason, the inability to manage your own expectations, or the inability to live up to the promises you have made to others or yourself. These are the causative factors what Dr.Prabhakaran was talking about was treating the results of stress which leads to heart attacks and a whole lot of others. If you can control the stress itself now for that there are simple ways. As Sri Sri Ravishankar was saying there are other simpler ways which we all of us in the corporate life would find it easy. Take a paper and a pen and put down what is the best case scenario and what is the worst case scenario and somewhere in between you have to accept. The minute you see it in that light a whole lot of tension goes off. You don’t pass it on to others. You don’t add it to others. Therefore it becomes a lot more meaningful. And the only thing I would like to add we talked about is urban stress. It is not urban stress. It is human stress where ever we are. We also pass it to plants and tress and other things around us. If we can cut that, will be a great thing for all of us.

Interviewer: Sri Sri Ravishankar, final words from you Sir to all our viewers, to all your followers are what would you say is the way out today?

Sri Sri Ravishankar: See your life with a broader vision, what is that you actually want in your life. What is the aim of life, what is the purpose of life and just be happy, you see. Take every challenge that comes in your life with such an ease you see. See that self confidence in yourself or trust in the Divine, the Lord of creation who helps you, take you in a long way. And Dr.Prabhakaran has mentioned we need to have a holistic approach. I wouldn’t say that everything can be cured just by doing some exercises. You need to take a holistic approach and prevention is far better than cure. So take care of your health mental, physical, emotional and spiritual.

Interviewer: Not to leave that out. Thank you all very much, Sri Sri Ravishankar, Dr. Prabhakaran, Ganesh Eashwar for joining me. Be happy, perhaps the simple solution to what is taking many of us in our cities. Let us just look at SMS poll, the way you have voted:
Verdict: Stress and the city: Is urban stress killing us softly”
Thanks so much for voting on the debate.

Transcribed By Lakshmi Ravishankar



How do we build a new life in Haiti? How do we heal the entire population's trauma? How we we feed the millions of people? How do we repair a land that was already, ravaged by the deforestation. How do we ensure that Haiti will not for ever depend on foreign aid? We empower nation to do it. We empower Haitians to heal their own people, to revive their own land, to build their own future. As one world family we create a power of a nation. Since October 2007 the International Association for Human Values (IAHV) has developed 350 youth leaders in 5 cities. IAHV has 27 years of experience in over 40 countries developing youth leaders with tools to handle their own stress and take personal responsibilities for their communities. In light of the January 12th earthquake we are taking it to the next level. "Most Haitians have hidden talents. They don't develop their talents because they think they are inferior. But it is not true at all. One should develop the qualities of the self. One should work." Over the course of 6 months we are training a youth corp of 50 Haitians, young adults who will serve Haiti for 2 years. The youth corp will be trained to heal their own communities of trauma. They will be trained to develop sustainable systems to provide food, water, sanitation and safe buildings for their communities. "There is a lot of stress. Now with this program it helps people let go of stress to relax. Here in Haiti peope are discouraged. We bring the energy that people can have confidence in themselves. For me in teaching others this program we are Haitians first. In the past, I thought that it is from the outside that things are going to come. From the program we learnt that it is Haitians that are going to change Haiti. We are working to change things." The youth corp would become instructors of IAHV"s trauma relief program. After the training each youth corp member woule provide trauma relief to 100 people per week totalling 500,000 for the entire youth corp after 2 years. The youth corp would teach in implementing sustainable systems for food, water, security, sanitation and safe building constructions. They wull be trained and mentored by experts from aroudn Haiti and around the world. After the training they will travel to IDP camps and villages teaching as they develop. " I work helping street children, helping people who don't have means to succeed in life. That's my biggest passion. I feel totally proud when the kids say, "Jackson, how are you?" I'm good.That's my biggest pride."
Support and Nouvelle Vie Youth Corps, Support and new life for Haiti.

Transcribed By Lakshmi Ravishankar

Monday, February 1, 2010

Senior Art of Living Faculty Vinod Kumar Menon's Direct to Heart Points Part 1 & 2

Senior Art of Living Faculty Vinod Kumar Menon's Direct to Heart Points
To Watch the Video
Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRdqQQUDsM0

Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMeTHiA14V0

Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRdqQQUDsM0
Over a period of time as we mature we start probing and wondering in the next level where do I need to graduate to what is further than where Iam today. Ourselves leads to a word called 'Spirit" and the science and understanding and the sdudy of spirit is called spirituality. As and when we start indulging in an activity it could leave impressions and the impressions will further drive us to indulge in the same thing repeatedly to such a point that it becomes an addiction, a pattern of behaviour or habit. Now we need relaxation from such habits and patterns and addictions. We need to cut off and learn to shut off and meditation is one tool to be able to do that. That's why a Guru is essential.It is very important to learn things in a formal, bonafide format with the prescribed syllabus and curricullum and the Guru has this kind of methodology of imparting the techniques of self development. The ability in problem solving in human relationship for me is a very important part of success. Now how to do that and the interesting part is that is where I need to have a spiritual referral, self referral with immense stamina to apply my mind to the process of relating to a conflict, empathizing with the conflict. And as such I need some key how to get connected to my self referral and that is where the Guru can give me those keys. He can guide you through where you are in your own level in your pursuit of your spiritual progress. Important point is that you must have a Guru.

Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMeTHiA14V0

The senses by which we live, our sight, our touch, our sense of hearing, taste and smell are all limited. Because of such erroneous understanding and perceptions our perspectives becomes limited and thereby we experience pain, indulgences in activities of our daily routine. Now we need a dimension to keep resourcing fuel, to keep energising us. And we need a solution, we need a boost of enthusiasm, energy, creativity, innovation. Now where do we get this from? We need to connect, connect to the source of enthusiasm, source of energy and then we need a tool to make this transition and that I call the smart power. That is Yoga, Pranayama, Breathing techniques, Meditation techniques, understanding the scritures. So this is what we are looking at spirituality. And this is possible. A spiritual pursuit is only progress. There is no regression at all.

Transcribed By Lakshmi Ravishankar
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