Monday, May 03, 2010

My Birthday Wish

It's been almost a year since i have been living in the ashram. As the previous 're-post' says, deciding to move to the Isha Yoga Center has been one of my proudest decisions ever. Looking back however this decision seems to be quite rudimentary. In fact for anyone who has tasted this, I presume it must be. This impending anniversary of my stay in the ashram has made me look within and see whether I have been sincere about my goals and the direction in which I am leading my life. As much as the last year has been incredible (a more detailed post will follow), I feel sometimes I had been taking this ashram life for granted. On some rare occasions, to my horror, I have noticed my seeking and my sadhana were more feverish when I was hopelessly coding away in Microsoft. How easy it is to settle down..i have noticed. When I was in Seattle, one of the things that really drove me nuts was the possibility that one day when Sadhguru decides to leave us physically, that day i don't want my futile tears to be the only recourse. I feel if I don't make use of what he is offering when he is here and to shed a tear when he is gone, then that tear is a lie..A Bloddy lie. And i don't want to lie that lie. As I continue to soak in the overwhelming energy of this space, the possibility of what He is offering seems more and more real.And I hope i am conscious every day of why I am here and doing the things that i am doing.
The fact that i had to pay a high price for my decision in terms of family and social alienation is a boon as well. Every time i feel the pain that i am causing to people around me who are 'affected' by my decision, I get an opportunity to see if I am making use of that one decision that i took. And almost masochistically that simple introspection works. I wish I could write I have found what i have been looking for. But i cannot.
But what i can claim is the following:
1) I can most definitely state is that this last year has been very fruitful to me personally and also to people around me.
2) I cannot claim to the ultimate but i can claim that it is in the cusp of the ultimate that i have been basking.
3) I feel really blessed that I had the opportunity to be here in the presence of the master. Been able to live in a sangha and a lifestyle where everything has been looked at in such mind-numbing detail by Sadhguru himself.
4) Overall, I can also claim that I am doing the best thing that i think is needed for the world. What I have experienced as the ultimate is what i am dishing out everyday to the people whom i come in contact with. (That's why teachers training is such awesomeness!)

So that's about it! I have wanted to share this for so long..Am glad that it is finally out...
And before i leave, I have one request to all my friends and all my readers. My birthday is coming up in almost a month. In the years before i have relocated, i had the luck to be with people who thought I am as much as their own family and we had such great birthday parties. Personally birthdays don't mean anything to me but if it is about people acknowledging their friends and having fun, then i am in! This birthday I want to give the gift of education to someone. Why I am bringing this thing up in a supposedly introspective post? I feel this is directly related to whatever I have been saying. If there is a reason why I could dare to quit my job and be here, it is because i never had to worry about money. Somehow I had caught the bus to economic security. I know I would not be like this if i had to worry about my next meal. As Sadhguru mentioned sometime, it is indeed vulgar to talk about spirituality when there is a hungry mouth around.
And there are a lot of hungry mouths around where i am right now. I had the opportunity to visit the local Isha Vidhya school here in Sandhegoundampalayam more than once. I am touched by the work done by the volunteers there. Started as an educational initiative of Isha Foundation, Isha Vidhya aims to provide the children of economically disadvantaged families a fair chance in the global arena. The model is to set up schools in the each taluk which will serve the local rural children. Scholarships are provided by a network of Isha meditators around the world to the academically proficient children. I visited the schools here and it is quite overwhelming. The pedagogy is uniquely designed to impart English and computer skills to the children. I talked with some of the children and mind you almost all the children are from really rural background and it is amazing to watch the 8 and 9 year olds speak impeccable english and flaunt their computer skills...Perhaps the most beautiful aspect of this project is that it is set up as a way for people to express their inclusiveness. All the volunteers in the Isha Vidhya are people who have been touched by Sadhguru's message and as an expression of their spirituality, they are doing what they are doing. Case in point? The project leader of Isha Vidhya itself. Venkat was the archetypical  fortune 500 consultant in the US who relocated back to India to volunteer full-time. It is amazing to watch him explain how he had to get the first students of the first Isha Vidhya school to go home after their first day at school. Watching these people work, I have no mixed feelings about what i want this birthday. I want to sponsor a child's education for one year.
What this entails? 250$ or Rs.10,000.
To Learn more about Isha Vidhya:
Watch the videos here.
To Donate: I have created a facebook cause. You can donate with your credit card there or you can directly donate at the Isha Vidhya site. Both sites are safe for your credit card.


Anonymous said...

Anto, happy anniversary. May you bask every moment of your life in the Grace of Sadhguru. Will see you shortly at Ashram. Chakra

Prabhu said...

I'm very proud of you

Kannan said...

Dear Anto,
That was awesome read. Great initiative towards Isha vidhya. My experience of skipping a meal for Isha vidhya, made me realize, how small contribution from each one can make huge impact on the life of so many kids...
Hope to see you soon in hyderabad :)

Isha Vidhya "Skip A Meal" - Talk by Sadhguru

A.J.Anto said...

Thanks Deepak and Radha who contributed Rs 20K!
Dear Mr Deepak Kumaran & Radha

On Thu, May 6, 2010 at 11:58 PM, Deepak wrote:

This is our recurring renewal - but this year, you can consider this as your birthday gift :)

Unsettled and homeless - the way of the river.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Isha Vidhya Scholarships
Date: Thu, May 6, 2010 at 11:54 PM
Subject: Re: Donation to Isha Education - Transaction ID:IVD-1272706114-4565 -Renewal of scholarships for 2 children - 1.Ajitha S- SGP10003 & 2.Akash D - SGP10004
To: Deepak K T , "Radha.K.V.S"

Thank you very much for your donation of Rs.20,000/- dt.May 01st,
2010 by online towards renewal of scholarships for 2 children
-1.Ajitha S- SGP10003 & 2.Akash D - SGP10004 for the year 2010-11.

On completion of formalities, you will receive the renewal
notification for the children by September 2010. This is for your
kind information.

We highly appreciate your care and support for the children.

Thank you

Best Regards

Shanthi Murali
Isha Vidhya Scholarship Coordinator

Thangaraj said...

Here's Isha Vidhya's campaign page -

A.J.Anto said...

On Mon, May 31, 2010 at 1:23 PM, Jayaram Ranganathan wrote:
as fyi....taking cue from your b'day wish.

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Isha Vidhya Scholarships
To: Jayaram Ranganathan
Sent: Mon, May 10, 2010 10:28:39 PM
Subject: Re: Donation to Isha Education - Transaction ID:IVD-1273508992-3991

Dear Mr Jayaram Ranganathan

Thank you very much for your donation of Rs.10,000/- by online dt.10th May, 2010 towards sponsoring a child's education for the year 2010-11.

Admissions to our schools will get over by June 2010, after completion of processing and formalities, you will receive Notification mail with details and recent photograph of the child allotted to you by September 2010.

We highly appreciate your support for the needy children of Rural India.

Thank you


Shanthi Murali
Isha Vidhya Scholarship Coordinator

On Mon, May 10, 2010 at 10:01 PM, Isha Foundation wrote:
Dear Jayaram Ranganathan ,
We wish to express our heartfelt gratitude for your contribution of Rs. 10000 on May 10, 2010 to the activities of Isha Vidhya. We assure you that your love and support will go a long way in bringing about physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being in the world.

Your donation is tax deductible in India, we've attached a PDF copy of your eReceipt with this email. For any further information on your donation, please contact

Thanking You.

Yours Sincerely
Isha Vidhya