Sunday, September 6, 2009

Even a single step on the path will not go waste

India (Art of Living International Center, Bangalore), September 4:
Q. Millions walk on the spiritual path but very few reach the destination. Do I have any chances of being among the lucky few?
Sri Sri: This is nothing new. Lord Krishna says in the Bhagvad Geeta, that out of so many people in the world, very few walk on this path.
Just like so many candidates fight for the post of a Prime Minister but only one is finally elected. Similarly thousands wish to be IPS, IAS officers. However, it is better in this field (spirituality) as there is the possibility to reach the destination for everyone.
In the time of Buddha ten thousand reached Mukti (liberation). Today millions are doing sadhana (spiritual practices) and many will reach.
Some people go to the ocean to take in the cool breeze, some take out pearls and others remove oil from the ocean. Our patrata (competence) decides where we reach. Even a single step on the path will not go waste. It will only take you ahead.
Keep your vision centered on yourself and not on others. Ask yourself what you want and you will find that you want bliss, peace and love. Once you experience pain in love you would wish for liberation. Without peace and love, bliss is not complete. Bliss is our nature. There are no hurdles in reaching there. Don’t think whether you have any prospects of reaching there. If you want it, it will happen today or tomorrow.
Q. What is the secret behind the notion of ‘Judgment Day’ in Christianity?
Sri Sri: Christianity says a judgment day will come. At that time all those below the earth, the dead bodies will rise and be asked about their right and wrong deeds. According to which they will be sent to either heaven or hell.
The understanding changed from the original meaning due to time and various interpretations.
Today what is believed and discussed as 'Judgment Day' is not what it was originally. The place where Christianity and Islam were born had a scarcity of wood.
The land there had only stones and mountains. At that place burying was a better alternative. It was not expensive.
In India there was a lot of wood, so the tradition of burning the dead bodies began. Whereas in the land of Islam and Christianity, burning the dead was not possible. So according to the country and time people would do certain practices.
The interpretation people have maintained is that on the Judgment Day the dead would get up from their samadhi, but it is not that. In the Bible, it is said "Judge not and ye shall not be judged". Christ asks not to judge (criticize) and leave the judgment only on God and one day He will look into the judgment.
In India we have faith in Karma, which means you will have to reap the result of all your acts. Good deeds will bring joy and bad will bring misery. Similarly in Christianity they say not to judge and that everyone will have to bear their cross.
Q. Sometimes I find many vikaras (flaws) in myself and think that I don't deserve to be on the path. What can I do?
Sri Sri: Get rid of guilt. Till now you were suffering from guilt and weren’t even aware of it. Now that you are aware you can’t bear it. This makes you a seeker. So many have dropped their vikaras. Keep doing satsang, seva and get into the depths of meditation - it will rid you of the vikaras and the old impressions will be washed. If you were completely hopeless you wouldn’t even have got a chance to come here, on the path of satsang. You have done something good - direct your vision to the good as well.
Q. Is there anything beyond samadhi?
Sri Sri: Beyond Samadhi there is Bodh Matra Shuddh Chaitanya Satta (pure awareness and intelligence).
An awareness that is neither of the inside, nor the outside is developed. Not unconsciousness but one such pure consciousness. It makes no difference whether the eyes are opened or closed. It all seems alike.
Q. What is samadhi?
Sri Sri: When the mind is at ease and centered, that is a glimpse into samadhi. The experience you have when you lie down after the Sudarshan Kriya. When you feel – I don't know where I am but that I am.
Q. You have said that the form of every God is a painter's imagination. So how are mantra and japa related to them?
Sri Sri: In the Kamakshi temple in Kanchipuram, there is a beautiful idol. There you get the prasad (holy offering) but it is said that you will not reap the benefit of it till you offer it to Aroop Lakshmi (formless Goddess) which is located behind the temple. From there you receive another offering.
This has a very deep meaning. This is just a practice but it has the teachings of Vedanta.
You are directed to go from the form to the formless. You worship a form and then a Shaligram*. The mind is held with the form and then you move on to a round stone. When you leave even that, you move on to the mantra.
God is not in the sky somewhere but in vibration - it is our consciousness. So sitting in meditation is the best form of worship. In that even the mantras are surrendered. Mantra is also somewhat similar to form. This (process) is a stage.
Q. What is the scientific significance of Prasad?
Sri Sri: Prasad is that which when received makes the mind prasana (blissful). A saint from Karnataka has written that this time that we have got is prasad , our body, breath, mind, prana (life energy) and bhav (emotions), everything is prasad. Whatever we have got in this life is prasad. ‘That which I have spread is prasad and that with which I have covered myself is also prasad.’
*a spherical, usually black-coloured stone

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