Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Life is a journey where you turn question in to wonder

Aukland, New Zealand
5 April 2010

Life comes to us like a gift, a very charming gift, but we seldom open it.
It’s all about opening ourselves and being open. Life is a gift wrapped in golden paper which is waiting for each one of us to unwrap it.
So how are we all today?
We need to be in an informal atmosphere to know something about ourselves and some deep wisdom. Formal atmosphere is not conducive for knowledge. So why not take a moment to greet the person next to you, greet them and say whatever. Hi.. How are you..I belong to you…
Now I have a question for you. Did you really greet the person sitting next to you, or did you do it as a formality! Most of the time we exchange pleasantries, we really don’t mean it. Isn't it so? Most of our pleasantries and conversation to the people are on superficial level. It’s almost like air hostess telling you ‘have a nice day’!
The same words that come to you from your grandmother carry some energy, some vibrations, and some presence. Life becomes so dry and world become so un-charming if we relate ourselves with everybody around us with very superficial level of Hi or Hello all the time. In the coming decade the biggest challenge in the world will be mental depression. Belongingness can create better atmosphere and environment around us. It is on us to create that environment.
Feeling at home, wherever and with whomsoever you are, is what I would call true evolution of human beings. For that, we need to take a look within ourselves. Just a glance within ourselves to know what is it that is bothering us, and restraining our capacity to connect with everyone around us.
You know a baby smiles 400 times a day, a teenager only smiles 17 times, and an adult hardly smiles. We don’t smile from our hearts, what is wrong with us? It is the stress and the tension that we carry on. Can’t we all dream of a world which is free from stress and violence? Are you willing to dream with me this time? Can we have a stress free society and stress free ourselves? First we need to have a dream, a vision and then work towards realizing it.
(Rest of Sri Sri’s words before the beginning of question answer session will be in the next post)
Q: I see lots of people around me and I do not know why they have come here. Even I am sitting here and I have no clue why I am here. Is it because of some hollowness within me?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: This is more of a wonder then a question. I leave that wonder with you. Life should be full of wonders and it’s good to wonder.
Every wonder is nothing but a question which is not looking for an answer. Life is a journey where you turn question in to wonder.
Q: Does spirituality necessarily lead to inner peace and happiness?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Definitely spirituality is for peace. Peace, happiness, Joy and compassion - all these virtues are qualities of the spirit. There is not a single person on this planet who is not a spiritual seeker. You know why? Because everybody is seeking peace, love and happiness, and this is what spirit is.
In India we say Satyam Shivam Sundaram. Satyam - truth, Shivam - Divine, and Sundaram - beauty. The divine is beauty, and the divine is the truth. So wherever you see beauty, behind that there is a consciousness from which the whole universe is coming into existence.
Have you heard of String theory in physics? If you study quantum physics you will find as if you are studying Vedanta – an ancient wisdom. The two are exactly the same.
Q: What made God alive? When did you start believing in God? Have you seen God? What does God look like?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: This same question was asked 10,000 years ago by a little boy of 8-9 years old to his father.
The boy to his father: What is God and how does God Look like?
His father takes him by hand and brings him out of his house, and asked him what was there at the place of their house before it was built.
The boy said ‘Space’.
Father: Where is the house built?
Boy: space.
Father: What will exist and what will remain when this house will demolish?
Boy: space.
Father: That is God.
God is not a person sitting somewhere. It is so depicted in paintings only. God is love, God is the space in which everything exists, from which everything has come into existence, and in which everything dissolves. God is the space, joy, and love, which is all pervading. The space around you is not the dead space. It is filled with energy and intelligence. That energy and intelligence is divinity. It is everywhere –your inside as well as your outside.
Most of the native cultures of the world have the same concept. They say God is in the mountains, in the rivers, in the flowers, in the trees, in the animals, and in the human beings. God is love. You can feel it but cannot see it. You can experience that enormous energy when you go deep in meditation.
Q: His Holiness, how can I concentrate in spite of my workload? At times, I get so upset and disturbed with customers’ complaints, esp. with those which are totally untrue.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Complaints are opinions. Listen to them carefully, and if there is something good in it then you can take that. If it is just a biased opinion, smile at them. That’s my policy. You can take something on board. I suggest you should take criticism with open mind, and also give criticism with open mind. You should never be shy about criticism.
What is great is, when you can smile at complaints. That means you have achieved something.
Q: Does man create wealth for security, or insecurity?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Wealth is the means, but if it becomes a goal in itself, then it leads to insecurity.
Q: How can you learn to make clear and honest judgments? Why do enlightened beings still retain a personality after enlightenment?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Personality is the one that people perceive. The whole journey of life is from being somebody to becoming nobody, and from being nobody to be a part of everybody. If someone is stuck with the idea of personality, there is less scope for them to grow.
Everything is changing. People change, their ideas change. Let us acknowledge this basic fact. So, if you have judged, then even your judgment can change.
Q: How does one develop intuitive powers while making a decision?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Intuitive power is like a gut feeling, and to get clear intuitive power you must mediate. Without meditation your intuition will be vague, it won’t be intuition at all.

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