‘Existence is a fact but living is an art,’ said Rishi Vidhyadhar when I met him at the The Art of Living Center, Jakarta, last week. With his flowing salt and pepper beard, twinkling eyes and smiling face, dressed all in white, he is the epitome of a spiritual guru.
Rishi Vidhyadhar in the universal quest for wealth, health and happiness, has been a successful businessman, aerobics instructor, interior designer and Ayurveda. The first breath he took with awareness at the Art of Living course in 1998, gave him his life’s mission. As he puts it, ‘The feeling of Emptiness gave way to a sense of completeness and fullness the moment I experienced the Sudarshan Kriya‘, the profound breathing technique gifted to the world by Sri Sri RaviShankar. He found ‘the fountain of inner pace and joy. A sense of fulfillment 24×7 – sense of – and is it and I don’t want anything further’ says Rishi ‘Wealth is essential but is useless without health and happiness.’
The Power of Now with Rishi Vidhyadhar
He found the practice of Sudarshan Kriya transformative and ‘When you find something wonderful, we want to share.’ So began Rishi Vidhyadhar’s journey to teach this amazing technique to bring the fountain of happiness within reach to thousands of people, as a faculty member at Art Of Living organization, founded by Sri Sri with centers in 155 countries around the world.
The Sudarshan Kriya is a breathing exercise based on rhythmic breathing that anybody can learn through a course at AOL. As Rishi Vidhyadahar said ‘You only value something if you contribute something to attain it. In this modern day, the most precious thing is time. It only takes 3 hours a day, for 3 days to learn this technique. In just 9 hours, we learn something so natural and easy, which brings you the profound knowledge of being in the present.’
Every emotion is defined through a different breathing pattern. Anger and fear leads to rapid and shallow breathing, whereas calm and peace leads to deep and long breathing. He used the beautiful and visual analogy of a kite and its string to describe the relationship between the mind and the breath. So when the string is short, the kite falters and is unstable, whereas when the string is long the kite can soar high ‘just like the mind – composed, centered and creative. The world is a beautiful place.’
This breathing practice allows us to be in ‘total awareness’ or being in the present and thereby plugging into the power of now. He explained that most of us are always living in the past, which is ‘dead’ and worrying about the future which merely ‘an imagination of the future in the past,’ and leads to stress.
Rishi Vidhyadhar defined stress ‘as the difference between imagination and reality.’ And further explained that stress needs to be eliminated, not managed. The only way to eliminate this difference between imagination and reality is to be present and accept reality as it is. ‘The self inside us has the power to accept anything and everything if you can get into touch with it. It requires courage to accept reality.’