Launching a book is an extremely special moment for an author. Launching “Soul Sojourn,” a collection of spiritual thoughts of 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. Once we enter 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 amphitheatre where Gurudev comes to address thousands of devotees waiting to listen and experience wisdom from Vedas and Shastras in terms of simple and crisp examples that one can relate with one’s life and thought process.
At Vishalakahi, there was a special area with seating arrangement for authors of Soul Sojourn and their family and friends. Founder of Spark, Ms. Sahana Sundar gave away gifts to her team for presenting to Gurudev. Our hearts beats rose as we all had a look at our book. All authors were meeting each other for the first time which made it full of energy and excitement. The books were wrapped and adorned with a beautiful package to be inaugurated by Gurudev.
We had a fabulous time clicking group pictures and capturing moments in motion. Soon we could witness a crowd of people gathering like honey bees no sooner Gurudev approached his throne beautifully adorned in center of the amphitheater.
The book launch took 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 on to add to the beauty of the evening. One could see myriad of birds chirping around. It was wonderful!
His voice sounded as pure melody which has the power to take us to trance. Following are the teachings he gave away which include answers to some questions by audience.
- Discipline leads to comfort and chaos brings bliss. A balanced path needs to be followed to stay calm and rational.
2. Emphasis on Water conservation: Water is critical to life. 70% of our body consists of water. Water is called “Apta” means “dear one” in Sanskrit.
3. Water has memory. It attracts energy of emotions from its surroundings. Ancient saints used water to spill boon or bane. It carries feelings. It is used for sprinkling on auspicious occasions.
4. Accompanied with feelings, the energized water becomes “Teertha” also known as sacred places which become sacred with sacred waters.
5. In past, only flowers were allowed to put in water and rice grains for feeding fishes but now a days, people throw garbage and plastics and have made water bodies as dump yards.
6. People should avoid use of chemicals and detergents which ultimately spoil water. Using Ayurvedic products makes us work in harmony with nature.
7. Since skin is our largest organ which is exposed to water every day, protecting the purity of water becomes more important.
8. 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 natural glow.
9. People must do personal examination. Best thing is to focus on self and stop judging others. When someone has inferiority complex, he/she becomes arrogant. Only heightened levels of awareness gives you confidence.
10. Knowing people through “Light” is called “Jyotish” which means one light recognizing the other. In subtle moment of judging others, we behave arrogant.
11. “Tatkaleen nyaye shastra” is an ancient research study which deals with near time incidents giving rise to new beliefs. For example, crow sitting on a tree, the moment fruits were about to fall. People start thinking that the fruit fell because the crow sat on the tree and becomes symbolic of the incident. A humorous example from Indian traditional family beliefs, son-in-law coming to his in-laws family suddenly finds the door getting banged on his face. He feels that he is not welcome and just leaves without a clarification and misinterprets the incident to his wife which leads to chaos in the family. Actually, because of” tatkaleen” incident, the door banged because of high wind which was misinterpreted.
12. 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, Guru Dev took everyone through a guided meditation and 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 all the authors’ team to come for blessings. Gurudev opened the laces of the book and held it in his hands up to show it to audience. Live video footage was being taken and photographs were taken by all. We all touched thy feet and Gurudev adorned each one of us with red and golden coloured “Art of Living” stole. We all held a copy in our hands and clicked group pictures with him. Some of us clicked selfies as well. Founder Sahanna Sundar kept talking about the book and how she brought all authors together across the nation to contribute and make this dream a reality. She acknowledged the efforts of each the team members and motivated all of us with her kind gestures and words of appreciation. It was a “Moment of Change” for all of us as we felt our sense of being at the next level.
The Soul Sojourn launch was followed by a brief show around of the ashram and then the “prasad” at a very big hall. The dining experience was soulful with each bite of food served with so much love and affection. It was not only a joy ride but bliss in totality.
The ashram had made superb arrangements for stay and show around of meditation halls and information about courses.
I cherish each moment spent there with Founder Sahana Sundar, Editor in Chief Ms. Aparna Dedhia, my sister and co-author Manju Chandra and extend my best wishes to all other fellow authors BS Ranganath, Dharmesh Shah, Swamini Aaradhananandaji, Gina lexis, C T Joshi, Milind Kher, Vishal Kale, Nitusmita, Aparna Dedhia, Dr. Neeta Bheda, Deepthi Musley, Raina Tondon, Dr. Vishwanath Dixit, Jigna Tanna, Pratibha Badurkar, Bharti Gidhar, Ashi Kalim, Rohit, Gayatri Maane, NIshita Krishnaswamy, Srijita Bhatnagar, Rajat Soni, Shreyansh Dixit, Dr Sujata Singhi and Bharti Naik. Looking forward to our next release on Relationships.
Thank you, Sahana Sundar for giving us this opportunity to be blessed by the Self Realized Master Sri Sir Ravishanker.