Friday, December 18, 2009

Sanyas is getting established in the Self

Bangalore ashram, Dec. 11:

Q: Out of two options available to do Seva or to be in Satsang with you, I chose Satsang but now my consciousness is pricking me. What should one chose?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If you have a responsibility to do seva, then you come to satsang so that when you are tired of doing seva, you can energize yourself.
Q: I am academically good but not successful in my career. I am not able to support my family financially. I feel I am unworthy. Please help.
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Breath it out if you feel you are unworthy. Meditate and don’t be hard on yourself.
Q: What is dispassion? Do you have to be a sanyasi to experience dispassion?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Dispassion starts happening naturally. When you grow up, your mind doesn’t get stuck to small things like you were so much attached to lollypop when you were small, yet when you reached school or college that attachment naturally dropped. Similarly, with toys or even friends. When you grow up, you still have friends but you rise above that entanglement. Similar is the case with mother and child. Naturally entanglement starts leaving you. If dispassion doesn’t happen then you experience sorrow. We get into the cycle of sorrow thinking – ‘Oh, I did so much. I did so much for my kids and see what they are doing now.’ What responsibility I was supposed to do, I have fulfilled. There is no restriction on others’, your children’s feelings. We can’t ask anybody to express feelings forcefully. Feelings naturally arise in anybody’s heart whatever those feelings are. Feelings don’t ask for permission before arising. But if you live in knowledge then negative feelings are almost negligible. Also positive feelings exist not as craving but love.
People say knowledgeable is one who kills one’s feelings. No, it’s not like that. Sadbhav, saintly feelings continue to exist. Lord Krishna also said in the Bhagwad Geeta ‘One who is not tied to me - the Consciousness, Higher Self - neither has intellect nor feelings. Without feelings and intellect, there is no question of peace or happiness.
Transforming craving and aversion into love is dispassion.
Lord Shankaracharya also said there is no happiness in world which can’t be received through dispassion. Dispassion doesn’t mean going to forests. It has been so wrongly interpreted. Bliss and happiness are there in dispassion.
Like the lotus resides in water but still remains free from getting wet, in the same way while living in society one is not to let society enter one’s mind. Birds fly above you that’s ok, but don’t let them build a nest in your head.
Sanyas (an ascetic) is getting established in the Self. One who is unshaken by anything is a sanyasi. Sanyas is 100 percent dispassion and 100 percent bliss and has no demand. It’s very good if sanyas happens after the fourth ashram, the vanaprasth ashram. So much satisfaction in the mind that ‘Nobody is my own’ and ‘Nobody is the other’, or ‘Everybody is my very own’, or even ‘this body is not mine’ is the state of sanyas. Total happiness in mind is sanyas. Leaving clothes and going to forests is not sanyas.
Q: Should we follow the character and play of Gods?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is a story in each character. One should follow the character of God like Sri Rama’s character but the play of Lord Krishna is not to be followed. Play of God is not comprehensible.
Do as what Sri Rama did but do as what Sri Krishna said and not did. If you follow Lord Krishna’s play and do all that He did, you will end up in a jail, then you reach your birth place. (Audience laughs) When you listen to Lord’s play, your heart becomes joyful. Everything is Lord’s play only.
They say cats are fiercer than tiger. I am relating this to women. Women nowadays are not open to accept men’s opinion. I am concerned about the male species.
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You mean we should start men empowering seminar. (Laughter). Perhaps!!
Q: What can be done for peace between Israel and Palestine?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: We all have to work for it. When all of us work together to bring people together, to forget the past and make people live in the present, we will have the bond tied very soon. The Art of Living has already started quite a few programs in Palestine. But if only the government spends one percent of the military budget on educating people, in inter-faith and inter-cultural celebrations and attend to building this gap, all these conflicts will be resolved. NGOs can do limited work.
Perhaps the narrow vision of politicians is making them thrive on conflicts. Unless our politicians become spiritual like Mahatama Gandhi, our world doesn’t have a bright future.
Q: Guruji, how to handle the shattered mind of a person after the untimely death of a closed one?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: A shattered mind will give them strength because the departed soul will give power. You know, we should stop pitying people as well as ourselves. No self pity or pitying others should be there. You only have to know that nature gives you power. The Divine is with you and is giving you power to withstand pain.
Q: Do you see any golden age coming up?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: In the world, good is going up. There is always dawn happening somewhere in the world and there is dawn 24 hours on this planet. There is always dusk happening somewhere in the world and there is dusk 24 hours on this planet.
Q: Guruji, please comment on this: act don’t react.
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is very simple. When you react, what happens? You regret afterwards. Reaction happens through an emotional upsurge. When someone says something you don’t like, your emotions swell up. Anything you do in an emotionally disturbed state, you repent afterwards. When emotions are on peak, the intellect goes in background.
Your actions are from the intellect and your reactions are from emotions.
Q: I feel more connected to people here in Art of Living but I feel a disconnect from people in my office or even at home. I feel weak that way.
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Why do you think you are weak? Wake up and see you have all the strength. You should do the DSN (Divya Samaj ka Nirman- one of the Art of Living programs which helps an individual to move beyond one’s barriers and limitations.). There is no outside, no other at all. The Art of Living teaches you that the whole world is your family.
The ashram is your home, of course people are rosy here but everywhere you can’t expect the same atmosphere. You may have to face hard criticism in the office. You have reach meditation to people. But what is the first principle of Art of Living? Accept people and situations as they are. If you don’t learn the very first principle, you can’t say you are doing the Art of Living.
Q: Once you said you exist in more than one places at a time. Please elaborate that.
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is one element in each one of us. There is one Divinity in everyone.
Q: What karma gives you liberation from the cycle of birth and death?
H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You are at the right place.
Q: Guruji, if souls are immortal does that mean there are finite number of souls on the planet?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Have you seen that signboard for advertisements? So many lights are there on it but not all are lit at one time. At some time some patterns of lights are there on board and at some other time some other patterns. Same is with the souls. It all depends on what souls are exhibited at one time.
Q: Out of meditation and prayer which is preferable?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Meditation is a better form of prayer. In prayer you are asking for something. Meditation is saying, ‘I am ready to listen’. Just imagine if somebody only keeps on asking and is not ready to listen to you. Don’t you get frustrated? In the same way, God also gets frustrated but when you sit for meditation, and ready to listen to him, He bestows all the favors to you.
Q: What is Kundalini shakti?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: We talk about it in the advance course. There are seven chakras in the body. When energy finds its way through these seven chakras, different emotions rise. When energy fully expresses itself through these seven chakras, then such perfection is attained that your desire gets fulfilled even before it arises.
Q: I dropped alcohol after Art of Living course. If I meet my old friends who still engage in these sorts of habits will they extract my positive energy?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Don’t worry. As long as you remain firm in knowledge, and Sadhana - you can help them come out of all sorts of negative habits.

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