Updated: Dec 21, 2019
By Sparkian Sulekha Chandra
Contributing Author for Spark Igniting Minds
Launching a book is an extremely special moment for an author. Launching “Soul Sojourn,” a collection of spiritual thoughts shared by various authors across the nation was a mesmerizing experience for the Founder of Spark – Ms. Sahana Sunder, Chief Editor Ms. Aparna Dedhia and all contributory authors. Spark is on a mission to become the largest writing community in India. Both of them tirelessly communicated with the entire editorial team for making “Soul Sojourn” possible with a grand opening success.
The book was launched by Sri Sri Ravishanker at his Art of Living ashram at Bangalore. Being there was a life-changing experience. Once we enter the ashram, the ambiance and beauty of traditional Indian structures and gardens full of blossoms take our mind to a different dimension. We remember to live only in the “Moment of Now”.
The vastness of bliss belittles the worries and trifles of life as we advance towards Vishalakshi, the amphitheater where Gurudev comes to address thousands of devotees, who are waiting to listen and experience wisdom from Vedas and Shastras in terms of simple and crisp examples that one can relate to one’s life and thought process.
At Vishalakahi, there was a special area with seating arrangements for authors of Soul Sojourn and their families and friends. The founder of Spark, Ms. Sahana Sundar gave away gifts to her team to be presented to Gurudev. Our heartbeats rose as we all had a look at our book. All authors were meeting each other for the first time which made it an energetic and exciting experience. The books were wrapped and adorned with beautiful wrappers and kept as packages to be inaugurated by Gurudev.
We had a fabulous time clicking group pictures and capturing moments in motion. No sooner did Gurudev approach his beautifully adorned throne in the center of the amphitheater than people started gathering like honey bees. Soon there was a crowd around us.
The book launch was going to take place after his teachings and interaction with devotees. Everyone gathered at around 6:30 pm. Gurudev came by 7 pm when it was dusk and lights were switched on. They added to the beauty of the evening. One could see a myriad of birds chirping around. It was wonderful!
His voice sounded like a pure melody which has the power to take us into a trance. Following are the teachings he gave away which include answers to some questions by the audience.
Discipline leads to comfort and chaos brings bliss. A balanced path needs to be followed to stay calm and rational.
Emphasis on Water conservation: Water is critical to life. 70% of our body consists of water. Water is called “Apta” in Sanskrit which means “dear one”.
Water has memory. It attracts the energy of emotions from its surroundings. Ancient saints used water to spell a boon or bane. It carries feelings. It is used for sprinkling on auspicious occasions.
Accompanied by feelings, the energized water becomes “Teertha” also known as sacred places that become sacred with sacred waters.
In the past, flowers were allowed to be put in water, and rice grains for feeding fishes. Nothing else! But nowadays, people throw garbage and plastic and have turned water bodies into dump yards.
People should avoid the use of chemicals and detergents which ultimately spoil the water. Using Ayurvedic products makes us work in harmony with nature.
Since skin is our largest organ that is exposed to water every day, protecting the purity of water becomes more important.
We must come back to nature. Use vegetable oil. Tips for skin: use the mix of Olive oil and Kashmiri Kesar for infection free skin with a natural glow.
People must do a personal examination. The best thing is to focus on self and stop judging others. When someone has an inferiority complex, he/she becomes arrogant. Only heightened levels of awareness give you confidence.
Knowing people through “Light” is called “Jyotish” which means one light recognizing the other. In a subtle moment of judging others, we behave arrogantly.
“Tatkaleen nyaye shastra” is an ancient research study that deals with near time incidents giving rise to new beliefs. For example, a crow sitting on a tree at the moment when fruits were about to fall. People start thinking that the fruit fell because the crow sat on the tree and it becomes symbolic of the incident. A humorous example from Indian traditional family beliefs is when the son-in-law comes to his in-law's family suddenly finds the door being banged on his face. He feels that he is not welcome and just leaves without clarification and misinterprets the incident to his wife which leads to chaos in the family. Actually, because of "tatkaleen” incident, probably the door banged because of winds that were misinterpreted.
· When we say that “Wise men are awake when others sleep and vice versa,” it means that wise men stay relaxed when others worry because they let their rational mind think of solutions and not focus on problems.
After giving away beautiful teachings, Gurudev took everyone through guided meditation; and the chanting of “Om” by so many people was a vibratory experience.
By around 7:30 pm, one of the Ashram devotees announced about our book launch and invited the authors’ team to come for blessings. Gurudev opened the ribbons and the wrappers of the book and held it in his hands up to show it to the audience. Live video footage and photographs were taken by all.
We all touched the feet and Gurudev adorned each