Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Atma shakti (power of the Self) is much more powerful than any shapes and forms
August 31, 2011
Q: Jai Gurudev, is wonder only when one has faith or does wonder increase faith? How is it correlated?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See whenever you see anything surprising it causes you to wonder. When so many surprising things are happening every day the wonder disappears. You think okay this is just ordinary. Is it not? When something which rarely happens takes place, then it creates a sense of wonder. In the same way, by observing the various wonderful happenings that are taking place in the world and absorbing the wonderful sights and scenes of the world, if a sense of wonder comes about, that wonder createsYoga.
Q: That means wonder will increase faith?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, it must be happening to you. So it is happening to you already. In devotion to God there are three things: Stuti (praise), upasana (being connected) and prathana (prayer).Praising the qualities of God, meaning viewing the wonderful creation of God and being wonderstruck by it. To realize the presence of a creator and say, 'what a wonderful creation you have created oh Lord!', and then praising the qualities of the creator that is stuti (praise). Just because you praise don't think you are persuading God to grant you some favors. It is to hope that by praising, those qualities would come to you. Now see the boys who love cricket, they will also be cheering. Later on they will also become players, is it not? Will they be sitting simply in front of a cricket bat? They will be smart, is it not? They will also play. Similarly whatever qualities of God we praise it will come to us. Suppose we praise God as mother, then motherly qualities will come to us; suppose we praise valor and strength, then that will come to us. Do you understand? This way, whatever qualities of God we praise, at least a little bit of them we will acquire. Whoever praises someone as being generous can never be a miser? Then praise him for being patient, and then you will also acquire patience. You say, 'see what a patient person he is', then that patience we will also acquire; a little bit of that patience, is it not! When you say my grandmother and grandfather were very patient people, won't you also get that quality of being patient? That is why when we are praising the qualities; those qualities will come to us. This is Stuti (praise) Upasana means to create a near or a close relationship. To think God is mine. See if you think it is public property, do you develop love if God belongs to everyone. See, the bus stand belongs to everyone; do you ever feel that the bus stand belongs to you? No. But if you think that this is our house, inside my house, this is my room then your attachment to that will be more, is it not? Assume that in your house there are 5 rooms and all the rooms have been painted well except your room. How will you feel then? You will feel dejected, is it not? If you are painting the house, you will insist on doing your room first. Why? Because you feel that room belongs to you. The same way, a close relationship is to be developed with God. To develop a close connection with God, through mother, through father, through Guru, through your favorite Godhead (idol, name, and symbol) is called upasana. Now prathana (prayer); what is prayer? It is a request to God to help you out in something in which you are deficient in. Make up the things in which I am deficient in. Then yes I am thankful to whatever you have given me so far, this is prayer.
Q: Why are there so many Gods with us?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: God is one but the names are many, forms are many. Shiva -Shakti both are one. Ardhanarishwara, Both are one. Hari hara is not two it is just one. Half isHara and the other half is Hari. Half woman and half man: ardhanaarishwara. Everything is one, God is one but names are many. There is only one God 'Bhagavanta'.
Q: (A member of the audience asked and question and it was audible)
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The horse was not being scarified. Do you know what Ashwa means? Shwa means for yesterday and tomorrow. Ashwa means atma which means self purification. So what were they doing for self purification? They used to let loose a chosen horse free to roam about and whatever ground he walked on was considered purified. Therefore it is nowhere mentioned that the horse used in the Ashwamehda Yagna was sacrificed. All this was imagination of people.
Q: Guruji in Ramayana the monkeys in battalion did they have tails?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Whether the monkeys had tails or not we will leave it to the researchers to find out. Now there are many monkeys without tails. The monkeys without tails are plentiful
Q: Can you have wonder without faith?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes you can have wonder without faith. But faith will come into your mind by itself.
Q: Many countries are engaged in wars. How to stop this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: How to stop the wars between countries? As we develop the feeling to stop the wars it will stop. This feeling should come not only to us but also to the neighbors in the countries who are fighting. This has come to a little extent. Formerly this feeling never came. Formerly they promoted torture and killing. Now that itself has come back on them. See what happened, I will tell a story. Two brothers were living in neighboring houses. The younger brother was very angry with his elder brother. So the younger brother consulted someone to find ways to trouble the elder brother. That fellow told him bring a dog to his house. Now the dog would not do anything, he would only bark people passing by here and there. And because the dog realized that the neighbor was his master's older brother, he would not even bark at him. So the younger brother got even angrier because the dog was not giving any trouble to the elder brother. So he asked his friend what to do. His friend told him to give an injection to the dog to make him crazy and delirious and then he will go and bite his brother. Only when the dog is mad, will he trouble other people. So the younger brother gave him medicine and made him mad. The dog which is mad does not realize who the younger brother is and who the older brother is. So he first bit the older brother and then began to bite the younger one also. This is exactly what is happening to our neighbors. They did it for us, but it is hurting them now.
Q: Should animals be sacrificed in the name of God?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Definitely not! Animals should never be sacrificed in the name of God. This must be stopped immediately. None of the scriptures say that animals should be sacrificed. This is superstition. The human being wants to eat chicken so he thinks of killing an animal in the name of God to eat it as Prasad. He will call it as Prasad and eat it. In none of our scriptures torture of life has been prescribed. There is not a speck of evidence to indicate torture to life and killing. Have you understood? No one has the right to torture life. People torture the chicken and think, what does it matter it is only a chicken. One who cannot give life has no right to take life.
Q: The saying “The way to heaven is only 3 palm lengths long” what is the meaning of this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Only three palm lengths to heaven means heaven is not far. Let us try a little bit, heaven is not far away, it is near here itself. From the head to the nose and to the heart it is only 3 palm length. Head connected to the heart is heaven but if the heart gets into the head then it is confusion