I first came to know of this Guruji after reading an article about him and his organization, “Art of Living” in a newspaper article on April 27, 2007. The article was so captivating that I decided to stick the paper cutting on the wall of my room. He was the Guru who said that a baby smiles 4000 times a day, an adolescent 17 times a day and an adult hardly. Even a simple phone call could change the mood of a person. He said that we should make our smile cheaper and our anger expensive, meaning smile often and frown none. I was quite keen to know more about had not the chance, and my work situation did not permit me to participate when he was here in 2010. Now, here he was again, and I told my friend rain or shine, I’m making it this time.
The visit this time was themed “Blessings” and drew a packed crowd of almost 10 000 people at Juru, Butterworth on Saturday, 31st March, 2012. The program was scheduled to begin at 7.30 pm only commenced with the arrival of the dignitaries at 7.40 pm. There was a welcoming speech made by the Penang Deputy Chief Minister, Prof. Ramasamy who thanked the Guruji for being here and his contributions. This was then followed by Cultural dances by various ethnicities which totaled about 6 renditions comprising of Chinese Lunar dance, Indian classical dance, Malay Inang, etc. At sharp 8.30 pm the organizers of the event took a minute to honor the Earth Day by switching the main lights with only dimmer and only the centre stage was bright. The dignitaries and the Guru too participated by holding lights and the crowd was waving the neon stick in response. They were probably members of the “Art of Living”.
At this point, I noticed that the nearby crowd started to chit chat, probably anxiety as they were anxious to hear the Guru’s speech. Nevertheless, I noticed the abundance of volunteer corps from the society walking about everywhere. The spirit of volunteerism was seen and the mannerisms of the devotees were indicated that they had put the Guru’s words in practice and indeed were commendable.
At 8.40 pm, ahh… and finally, the most awaited speech by the Guruji Sri Sri Ravi Shanker commenced. He spots a benevolent smile and speaks lovingly with a smile. Every sentence he uttered was interjected with a Chinese Mandarin translation. After a few sentences, he got up from the speech and he started to walk. The clicks of cameras were continuous and a number of patrons were seen capturing video with their phone gadgets. Shortly, he returned to his seat. As he spoke, he narrated that his speech will be mixture of English, a little bit of Chinese and Tamil. I was a little bit surprised if he actually could speak Tamil, or maybe at best, one or two words were my guess. Then, he asked in Tamil, “How is everyone doing?” which was returned with a roaring, “(We are) fine”. That surprised me as I did not realize that there were so many Indians amongst the crowd. (The Guruji did request the local members; mostly Chinese that he wanted to see more Indian participation this time around. I must admit that they did a good job in bringing the required numbers to the talk.) There was a wide smile from the Guruji upon hearing the response. HH Sri Sri then illustrated in tamil that GOD or in Tamil language “Kadavul” literally comprise of two words “Kadal” (sea) and “vul” inside. He said that the God does not recide above the clouds but deep within the hearts of every man. One needs to search within as deep as a sea within the heart and can attain immense peace from within.
Then, there the Guruji invited everyone to participate in meditation that lasted for 24 minutes. I felt an immense peace within me upon the meditation, the experience I had was inexplicable. I decided to check the big guy seated next to me how he felt to which he described that at one point, he felt as he was floating in mid air. In fact, he even told me that he has never done meditation before and was thrilled with this new found experience.
I’d like to share some of the jewels which are called the “7 mantras for 2012 from Guruji”.
1. Reflect on your life in relation to the Cosmos. This will drop the smallness in you and you will be able to live fully.
2. Remind yourself of the highest Goal in Life. You are not here to grumble/complain. You are here for something bigger.
3. Serve! Engage yourself in community service to whatever extent you can.
4. Have faith and trust that the Divine loves you dearly and is taking care of you.
5. As we flip the calendar, we also need to flip our mind too. Do not fill future dates with past events. Learn and move on.
6. Smile more! True sign of prosperity is an unconditional smile on your face.
7. Nurture yourself with soft music, prayer and silence. Meditation, Pranayama and Yoga rejuvenates, gives depth and stability
On the whole, the trip I made was worth it and if he is coming again, I would not like to miss it. I am going to end the account here as I feel it is getting lengthy. The speech concluded at sharp 9.30 pm with HH Sri Sri’s parting words, “please give me all your worries and go back home happy, I want all your worries, give them to me”. On that night, I actually felt so light and for the first time in two weeks, I slept well. As he was leaving, the crowd was swarming to get a closer look of the Guru and the cameras clicked continuously once again. I had some free vegetarian food served by the devotees before leaving the place.
SWAMIJI'S UPCOMING VISIT:
THEMED: WAVES OF HAPPINESS
Date: 28th March 2015
Time: 7.00pm - 9.30pm
Venue: Batu Kawan Stadium, Penang
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