Monday, August 22, 2011
Each one of us is a treasure house of wealth - 13h August 2011
Today is a full moon day and is also called Raksha Bandhan. What we call these days as the friendship day, people tie friendship bands, this is a new trend, but this is actually an old version changed into a new thing. Tying this Raksha Bandhan has been there for ages. Today the sisters tie to the brothers what is called as Rakhi on their hand saying,' I will protect you and you protect me'. The last full moon was Guru Poornima and this full moon is Raksha Bandhan. Like that every full moon is dedicated to some celebration. Main thing is you should celebrate life. That is important and in India there are so many celebrations. You finish one, you have to prepare for the other. And see these are the rainy days. In ancient time, people didn’t have much to do at home. In rainy days there is no harvest, nothing. When rain comes you are just sitting at home. Celebrate, make different types of food and sing and greet each other, wish each other good. It is a wonderful wonderful practice.
Q: Dearest Guruji, how to balance personal life and professional life?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Do you know how to ride a bicycle? How do you balance? Exactly! Don’t neglect your profession and don’t neglect taking time for yourself. See, you say the world does not change. Have you noticed if you are changing or you are not changing? You are changing, right? Just imagine the teachers who taught you the basic course. Suppose if they think,' In the world nobody is changing why should I teach?' If they had not taught anything to you, no pranayama, no meditation, no Sudarshan Kriya, what would have happened? Can you look back and see, before you took the basic course what was the state of your mind and where you are today? Do you notice that? How many of you find a change? See, so many of you changed because somebody did something, isn’t it? Someone took the time off for six days, two hours each day sat with you, took all your questions, taught you something, corrected you, so there is a shift. Change is happening in the world constantly. If you become a catalyst to that, that’s your good luck because being a catalyst for change brings happiness within you.
Q: How to tackle a person who has double standards?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: With compassion. You know, double standards are because they don’t know the wealth that they are carrying in themselves. Each one of us is a treasure house of wealth. Deep inside, you have the Divinity, the light, the peace, the joy, the love that you are seeking. And when you are not in touch with that you are trying to grab this little bit here, grab something from there, for what? Because you don’t realize that there is a great power deep within us. So, with such people you simply have to have compassion. By having double standards they are creating harm for themselves.
Q: Guruji, Viveka is the realization that everything has impermanent nature. Then why is it so wrong to let go your commitment?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, if your commitment is going to create problem and bring sorrow to many, then you should drop the commitment. Like a youth told me once, ' I have promised the commander of Lashkar that I will give my life to this organization, I will bring the word of God to anybody and do anything possible to spread this principle'. But when he became peaceful he realized that this is not the correct commitment he gave or he took. 'I don’t want to be involved in violence anymore. But what to do? I have promised on this holy book. What do you do?' I said,' No, let go of the commitment because you took the commitment in ignorance. So there is no point in honoring that commitment which you took in ignorance to engage in violence. Yes, If there is some other commitment you took being so foolish, which doesn’t create such harm to anybody, then you keep it. You weigh the pros and cons and then you follow. Another person says,' yes, I am committed in a marriage and now I have children, but that is an old commitment, I don’t want to do anything now'. You have two kids and now you say,' I don’t want any commitment, I want to get out of it', then there is no way. Your commitment now is to take care of the children. You can’t run away from that. Many people, after being married, after having kids, then they regret, oh I should have been single. I took a wrong commitment. You have no way now, you have to continue. But if you have taken a commitment I will be single and suddenly you change your mind, you want to get married, it is okay because dropping that commitment of yours, you are not harming anybody. So you have to think on those things. Weigh the pros and cons of a commitment.
Q: Dearest Guruji, despite God telling Adam and Eve not to have the forbidden fruit, they ate it. Is it because of that the world is suffering, please explain.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That too, it was the fruit of knowledge or wisdom, something like that. That was the wisdom fruit that they did not listen to. You know, suffering is because we don’t honor wisdom. Suffering in the world is because of lack of wisdom. If there is wisdom, there is no suffering. Life is bliss. Don’t put this sankalp, this intention in your mind that life is all suffering. As you sow, so shall you reap. If you sow, you think life is all suffering, then that’s what you are going to get back. We should understand the science of our consciousness, of our mind. Unfortunately, many people did not know this and they started putting this sort of principle into the mind that everything is suffering and I need suffering.You have to suffer in order to get salvation but this is not the correct understanding of reality. That is why there are so many different opinions. Though there is one Jesus Christ, today there are 72 different sects of Christianity - each claiming they are the real one. You know why? Because of wrong interpretation, nothing matched. We say God is omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, and then you say Satan. If God is everywhere, omnipotent, all powerful, how could Satan be there? Do you see what I am saying? The theologians are struggling to find an answer for this. They want to put Satan somewhere but they can’t, and if you put him, then you have to denounce the omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience of God. If god knew everything before, why wouldn’t he prevent it? These are the questions for which theologians have been hunting answers for a long time and the answers can be found in the Vedanta. That is why the Catholic Priest who came to India, he studied the Vedanta and he said, ‘Now I can understand the whole thing better.’ He was struggling and struggling to put together the pieces of the puzzles, it didn’t make any sense. So many scholars came and they practiced yoga, meditation, learned Vedanta and then understood that this is a different understanding, different insight into truth and reality.
Q: Dear Guruji, to teach the new generation youth awareness about farming what can I do? What is my role?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, there are YLTP programs happening and you join the team and start educating people. Education, educating people about farming, this is seva also.
Q: Dearest Guruji, In the past lots of people have done seva but the world has not changed. Why should I waste time doing seva?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Seva is something that is needed by other people. Suppose you are carrying a weight, heavy luggage, and you cannot carry anymore, then you look here and there, you want someone to help you, don’t you? See, we are all interdependent; everybody needs some help from somebody and doing that help without expecting anything in return is seva. Without seva nothing can happen on this planet, isn’t it? By seva don’t think you are changing the world. Seva you do, because you can’t but do it. It’s in your nature. If you are good, if you are loving, if you are happy, you can’t but do seva. And when you are unhappy, if you do seva, you become happy.
Q: Dearest Guruji, if the universe is a play and display of consciousness, why we should not have fun instead of spiritual practices like sadhana, seva and satsang?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: This is all fun, isn’t it? When you follow knowledge, fun follows you. If you follow fun, misery follows you.
Q: Dearest Guruji, you said let go of your concepts. How do you do this, please explain?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You want an answer for this question? I am not going to answer. Someone asked me how do I improve my patience, I told them I will tell you five years later.
Q: Guruji I get panic attacks and my mind chatters while I meditate even though I observe my breath, how to get over this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Ujjayi breath and relax.
Q: I do not follow Hinduism so I cannot understand and appreciate the rituals. Can I still grow in AOL?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Definitely! You know, some of the rituals are very ancient. On Monday all the ashrams do the pooja, you simply sit with your eyes closed in deep meditation. You feel the vibrations of the sound - that is all that needs to be done. Actually Hinduism is not a religion at all; it is just a way of life, the ancient way of life. Like Yoga is part of it, pranayama is part of it, meditation, chanting - these are all to enhance the life-force, life-energy and it is universal in its spirit. So you can follow your religion, no problem. You can be a Christian, you can be a Muslim, you can be Jewish or Parsi. Doesn’t matter whatever religion you follow. Religion is the rituals that are associated with your birth, your wedding, your cremation or that which people do after you are gone. But the spiritual practices are different, they are there to enliven the consciousness. That is so vital. It is important that people of the world, everywhere, become spiritual and grow spiritually and honor all the religions. You honor Christianity, honor Islam, honor Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Hindisum, honor everyone. And take good things, if there are good practices anywhere, that we should take into our life.