Art and Science of Understanding Myself
It had been a tiring, stressful week at work. Meetings, deadlines and deliverables had left me fatigued – physically and mentally. As I drove towards the venue for a two-day spiritual retreat organised by Mahagathe foundation, I had conflicting thoughts in my mind. Do I really need to attend this two-day program on self-actualisation? There are so many things to do over the weekend. I need to catch up on sleep too. I remembered the motivational model that I had learnt as a part of my MBA curriculum - Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, ranging from basic physiological needs to social and esteem needs. At the top of the pyramid lay “self-actualisation”, a desire to become everything one can become. Back then I had found it an esoteric concept. “Let me fulfill the needs at the lower level first. Let me get rich first. Then I would think about self-actualisation”, I had said to myself. More than self-actualisation, it was my urge to learn meditation that had made me enroll for the two-day programme.
The retreat started on a Friday evening in the presence of our venerable Mahamuni, Sritha Mahagatha, introducing “SAY” to all participants. This was followed by prayers, chanting and meditation. By the time I opened my eyes after the session, I had started to feel lighter already and so had other participants. Such was the power of Gurudev’s presence around us.
Over the course of the next two days, Gurudev combined the ancient wisdom of the Vedas with tools and techniques of modern psychology that helped me in understanding the essence of “Self-actualisation,” at a deeper, metaphysical level. Days were packed with sessions that included a blend of theoretical concepts and practical techniques. What I particularly liked were the deep dive sessions to gain awareness of your own Self, and in that process, learn new concepts and unlearn the irrelevant ones. These sessions were interspersed with meditative tips and techniques that I had personally never experienced before. One of these was Samatha Kriya, an extraordinary technique to bring back one pointed awareness and unwavering attention in a matter of few seconds. Combining the power of the breath with hatha Yoga, Samatha Kriya harmonises the body and mind instantly.
Yet, the uniqueness of the two-day retreat lies in “Dhyanbari” meditation, a unique practice with its roots in ancient Hinduism, taught by the Master himself. Focusing predominantly on the seven chakras ranging from Muladhara to Sahasrara chakra, this powerful practice is designed to awaken the different chakras in our body. As I chanted and meditated in the presence of Gurudev, I experienced energy (kundalini) rising within my body, from the base of my spine to my forehead. It was a unique, indescribable experience. The constant chatter that surrounded me had transcended into a deeper silence.
It has been a year since I attended SAY as a participant. I practise Dhyanbari mediation every day in the morning and it keeps me going through the day. SAY has helped me in different ways. I feel less stressed and fatigued at work. On the personal front, it has helped me heal and overcome the anxiety that I had been experiencing because of a recent surgery. It has made me a more relaxed person. Most importantly, SAY has also helped me understand Self-actualisation. Self-actualisation is not for the poor or the rich. It is not even a goal to be reached. It is the fundamental tendency of every organism to actualise its whole potential. And who would not want to achieve that?
In the course of the last one year, I have also been involved in other programms that Mahagathe Foundation offers. This includes the Bala Chetana programme designed specifically for children in the age group of 11 to 17 years and introduces them to Sanatana Dharma in a fun filled, interactive environment. Children spend a day with facilitators trained by Gurudev and are introduced to concepts like God, prayer and religion through engaging activities like dumb charades and treasure hunt. The programme also introduces some simple yoga techniques that the children can practise at their homes.
Apart from the flagship programmes of SAY and Bala Chetana that are currently offered in Bengaluru and Hyderabad, Mahagathe Foundation also offers volunteering opportunities in Bengaluru and Nepal to serve different sections of society. Under the Adhyaya programme that intends to provide basic education to children of the poor and underprivileged, Mahagathe foundation is sponsoring wages of four additional teachers at schools for underprivileged children in Rupandehi district of Nepal. These schools are located in close vicinity of Mahagathe Ashram situated in Sisahaniya village - a small hamlet around 18 kilometers from Butwal, the provincial capital and around 18 kilometers from Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha.
To know more about our activities, to participate and to volunteer and donate, you can visit the website of Mahagathe foundation at http://www.mahagathe.org/.
Samatha. Aum Mahagathe Sohum.
Airports Authority of India Corporate Communications Directorate
AAI declares 55 AAI airports as ‘Single-use-plastic-free’
New Delhi, 3rd September 2019: The Hon’ble PM of India, during his Independence Day speech, had urged fellow citizens to avoid using plastic bags and rid themselves of the habit of using single-use plastic bags by 2nd October 2019. Proactively acting on the Hon’ble PM’s clarion call and as per the directives issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to beat plastic pollution, 35 AAI Airports, namely, Agartala, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bagdogra, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Calicut, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Dehradun, Goa, Guwahati, Imphal, Indore, Jaipur, Jammu, Kolkata, Lucknow, Madurai, Mangalore, Patna, Port Blair, Pune, Raipur, Ranchi, Srinagar, Tiruchirappalli, Tirupati, Trivandrum, Udaipur, Vadodara, Varanasi, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam have been declared ‘Single-Use-Plastic-Free Airport Terminals’ in Phase I.
As part of the initiative towards environment protection, a commitment was made by the AAI for making 20 additional AAI Airports as ‘Single-Use-Plastic-Free Airport Terminals’ within 100 days after formation of the new Government. Accordingly, on the basis of a third-party assessment carried out by the Quality Council of India, 20 more AAI Airports namely Allahabad, Aurangabad, Belgaum, Bhuj, Dibrugarh, Dimapur, Gaya, Gorakhpur, Jabalpur, Jamnagar, Jodhpur, Jorhat, Kangra, Khajuraho, Leh, Rajahmundry, Rajkot, Silchar, Surat and Tuticorin have been declared ‘Single-Use-Plastic-Free Airport Terminals’ on 30th August 2019 in Phase II.
Various steps have been undertaken by the AAI to eliminate the single-use plastic items at passenger
terminals and city side of AAI airports. These steps include banning of single-use plastic items like straws, plastic cutlery, plastic plates, etc.
The AAI is also enhancing its waste management systems and is promoting the use of eco-friendly sustainable alternatives like the use of biodegradable garbage bags in the garbage bins and the installation of plastic bottle crushing machines at airports. AAI airports have also started various awareness campaigns for sensitising all stakeholders, especially passengers, towards the cause and to obtain engagement and cooperation from all of them.
For making environmental conservation an ingrained organisational mission, the AAI has formulated an Environment Policy which envisages its commitment for the reduction of greenhouse gases and sustainable development by implementing cost-effective carbon mitigation action to conserve the environment and reduce the adverse impact on society, community, and ecosystem, thus contributing to national sustainable development goals.
As a part of this policy, AAI is conscious and committed to sensitising all employees and stakeholders to fulfil their environmental obligation by reducing their carbon footprint. In ensuring the successful implementation of dissuading the usage of single-use plastic items, AAI, along with various stakeholders, has been carrying out internal audits of its airports.
Issued by the Corporate Communications Directorate
For details please contact: GM (CC) 011-24622787, Press Release No. 24/ 2019-20
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