Art of Living – H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

“We identify ourselves as somebody – I belong to this religion, this culture, his tradition, but we forget the basic identity that we are human beings. When that stands first and foremost, all other identities follow behind that. Then, I think that we can achive what we are really looking for.”

The Breath is the link between the Body, Mind and Spirit. When the mind is free of fear, guilt and anger, and is more centred, then it can heal the system of any ailment. The consciousness that creates the body also has the power to heal. Pure consciousness is pure love and love is the highest power on earth.” – H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

I did the Art of Living (AOL) Basic – 5 days work-shop in August 2000. Very uncanny incident that preceeded this was that I had bought a book on Silva Mind Control – and I had started practicing what was being said in that book. I had always been interested in miracles and things of the unknown.

While reading Silva, I was staying with my sister in Salt lake (also doing my Post Graduation in Public Relations) , when my sister’s closest friend & neighbour Swati (sathi) Chakraborty suggested this Workshop that was going to be held in her house.

Now I had read way back in 1992 Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, that Pranayama cleanses the nadies and only then the Kundalini Shakti arises and one reaches one’s spiritual heights ! So me and my sister readily agreed and Kirti Bhai came to address some 30 of us seated in Sathi’s Drawing Room.

We were then told the fees for Basic ie. Rs. 800/- per head. It came to us as a shock actually but then Kirti Bhai explained that people do not value things they get for free and moreover its a kind of Guru Dakshina and utilised in some cause – like Relief Funds, visiting villages etc. so it sounded convincing and we agreed.

For the first two days, Kirti Bhai spoke to us about the ways of this world and that first we must look in our own selves and mend ourselves then try to mend others..etc.Then we did the Pranayama where Sri Ravi Shankar’s cassette was played with “So-ham” chanting – it continued for some 45 minutes and when it got over …well I thoought I have become crippled for LIFE !!- Kirti Bhai went on instructing us on lying down and relaxing – I could not even move – I had kept my eyes tightly shut – out of fear actually …as Kirti Bhai had told us that it might be fatal if we open our eyes in the middle – anyways after about 15 minutes I became normal.

We were taught other things as well – praying to all the Directions with their respective Deities, respecting own Parents & ancestors etc.

We were asked to practice Kriya at home – taking about 45 minutes – everyday for 60 consecutive days.

The meditational steps and imaginations that were being said was quite similar to Silva’s Method of Mind Control …like spreading love world wide..Universe Wide…

I did it.


Kriya Incidents :

One day after finishing Kriya, I lied down and was semi asleep – half awake – I felt that a man wearing boots (shoes) walked in my room (I stay upstairs alone and my room is locked from inside all the time ) and the man opened a Brief case – took out a scalpel and made a kind of incision on my Sahasrara region ! I kept my eyes tightly shut – as i was afraid of what was happening !

Another day I open my eyes and saw a pink lotus floating above my head – it gradually vanished in thin air.

One day I saw – with my eyes closed – as if my eye-lids were TV screen – I am in a huge green meadow and surrounded by very tall trees…I quickly opened my eyes….as it frightened me. It had happened before also..a different scene though…where I had seen that I am among huge lions!!

Later I did Level II under Kishore Da – We were silent for 4 days.

One thing that was uncanny was the moment I used to enter the hall, my head started aching and throbbing like as if my brain will just pop out of my skull ! I told this to Kishore da but he said that it will be okay !

He taught some mudras to us where he showed us different mudras with the fingers – I asked him for he significance of each mudra – he said that he will tell later after he finishes the mudra teaching session. But as soon as the session finished, some TV Interviewers came in with camera, light and action and we all enact the Brhastika and Pranayama – it was the last day so everyone started dancing and singing and I just sat in the corner of the room.

We were also made to wash utensils saying that it awakens the selflessness in us. To this I even heard comments where one Lady was saying that “Maid servants are therefore the most selfless creatures on earth “!

This time I had paid Rs. 1000/-. I had taken leave without prior which my boss at CMC was pretty perturbed ! – After seeing his attitude I too was pretty perturbed ! Here people go for outings, sight seeing etc. and I had just gone for spiritual pursuit – but it was seen as an irresponsibility on my part !!

I had then decided to leave CMC. That was in March 2001. I decided to leave CMC and join Arena Multimedia Kankurgachi to learn web designing as “Web Designing” was ruling the IT / designing world at that point of time.

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5 thoughts on “Art of Living – H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

  1. Sai Nellore

    Hi Aparna,

    Good Morning! I just read this article on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Ji. I am not sure if you are still a follower or practitioner of Sudarshan Kriya; I too went to one of their basic 2-day courses in Hyderabad a few years ago on the insistence of a friend. The teacher was very good and kept us engaged brilliantly. I did have problems with the Kriya itself, even during the guided session in that huge hall.

    My question to you is very basic and even a little mischievous. Would you care to answer me? I understand that Ravi Shankar does a lot of good in our society and I believe him to be a decent man; but why does he resort to impeccably colouring his hair? I understand that he never ever appears in public without his jet-black mane, beard and mustache! He has an elaborate make-up routine, after completion of which he will meet visitors/devotees.. not before!

    When I coloured my own hair for a few months 3-4 years ago, honestly I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. I just felt like it was just not me! Though I looked younger, I felt I was in some ways “misleading” people. I immediately stopped colouring my hair and I am quite happy to be myself, graying and balding. This is not a condition I would have preferred (given a choice), but I have to accept what nature threw at me. This is all the more interesting because my father, who is 76, has a full head of (white) hair and my younger brother (settled in the US) had gone in for hair transplant. He also colours his hair.

    A spiritual man of Ravi Shankar’s stature should not be resorting to this silly hair colouring routine! Do you agree?


    1. admin

      I guess in this world..where people believe that ‘beauty is only skin deep’ – he resorts to ‘looking good’ for his fans….devotees…..who knows! As far as I am concerned, after having done both level I and II – I did not feel spiritually enlightened…nor spiritually exhilarated – so I left it…and tried Reiki.

      1. Sai Nellore

        One of our family friends, also a Bengali by the name Santanu Maitra did a Reiki session with me in a group a few years ago. His sister, based in Kolkata would help people over the phone… I guess it was a Remote Reiki?? Haven’t done it lately.

      2. hi attended your 1st cousre in coimbatore along with my wife and daughter but have not been in touch after that happy to have seen you on the net .

  2. I have gone through Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas and never has it been metnoined anywhere that Mahadev smoked marijuana. This type of method to meditate is used by People who want mental peace the easy way. It is wrong. The great Shankara didn’t need to resort to such ways to feel connected to the cosmos. As for somrus, I believe it means the juice of moon (Ravan, makes a mention of it while dieing).

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