THE ART OF LIVINGLIVING Unveiling of the Murugan Mandala Vaatika garden tradition that has a profound effect on the environment and people. An ancient The first ever Murugan Mandala Vaatika at the Art of Living International Center in Bangalore will be unveiled on 11th September, 2021 in the presence of global spiritual master and founder of The Art of Living, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The unveiling ceremony will also be attended by Dr. Rajendra Prasad, VC, University of Agriculture Sciences and Dr. BNS Murthy, Director, Center Institute of Horticulture along with other dignitaries. Gurudev would bless the ceremony by planting 6 plants of the Murugan Mandala Vaatika. The Sri Sri Institute of Agricultural Sciences and Technology Trust (SSIAST) which has trained over 22 lakh farmers in natural farming and has pioneered indigenous seed banks has added another first to its list of achievements by reviving the lost art of garden systems known as Mandala Vaatika which is a science in itself. The Art of Living has researched original Sanskrit texts, consulted Vedic scholars and Quantum physicists for several years under the guidance of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to revive the lost science and authentic knowledge of the Mandala Vaatika. Based on the science of sound vibrations(Naad), geometric patterns(Cymatics), plants and the unique frequencies generated by different plants, the Mandala Vaatika becomes a medium for one to experience the effect of the combination of the above three elements thereby allowing one to access different dimensions of consciousness through these, It has the same basis as the theory of modern quantum physics which details how frequencies and vibrations combine to create the physical world around us. The Mandala Vaatika comprises different geometric patterns or Mandalas and contains specific plants for each Mandalas. For eg., the Siddhivinayaka Mandala Vaatika has 21 plants which include Dhruva grass, Dhatura, Beal, Mango leaf etc, while the Varamahalakshmi Mandala chrysanthemum, Murugan Mandala Vaatika has 6 and so on. These plants when planted in a set sequence within the geometric pattern of the Mandala, create an environment of harmony and enhance one’s experience of peace and well being. Vaatika has 8 flowers including jasmine and The pandemic has taught us how meditation and being with nature improves one’s mental well-being and boosts immunity and resilience to face difficult situations. This science has come at an opportune time and can be used to get a profound understanding of our relationship with ourselves, with the environment and with the world around us. According to DrPrabhakarRao, curator and trainer of the Mandala Vaatika program, “Though the name is derived from ancient Vedic scriptures, the principle behind it is universal, and resonates with all ancient cultures from Asia, South America, Middle eastern Arabesque, Christianity and Judaism.” Mandala Vaatika is curated to cater to people of various interests, backgrounds and professions. It satisfies the intellectual probing of scientists, curiosity of individuals wanting to explore different dimensions of life, garden enthusiasts interested in plants and their energies and students, professionals or homemakers interested in either geometry, drawing or meditation. Though called Vaatika, this art can be learnt and practised on paper, made physically in a small balcony or terrace space or enlarged to fit into larger spaces too. The Murugan Mandala Vaatika in The Art of Living premises is a captivating structure with a beautiful pattern of six stars (representing Shanmukha) with lotus petals made of graníte with space in between for the plants. One can sit at the periphery of the Vaatíka and experience calmness. The whole pattern resembles a beautiful rangoli made of stone. The effort of the team is to take this almost forgotten knowledge to the masses and make such Mandala Vaatikas in open spaces, parks, temples, communities and homes. The last exploration of Murugan Mandala Vaatika was done by a Saint named BhogarSiddar from Tamilnadu. Now, nearly 2000 years later, The Art of Living is reviving this ancient tradition. Open for all, this Vaatika is a unique added attraction while visiting the Ashram.
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