Monday, October 17, 2011

When you feel at a stage there is no point in doing any seva, mind is not even interested in doing sadhana, a sense of dryness has come in life, that’s when you pray.

September 26, 2011

God is invisible and is untouched by any karma. Though he lives in every human being, in every embodied living being, in their heart, he is not afflicted by the karma. How? Like the space; in the space clouds come, smoke come and they go but the space itself cannot be touched. Space itself remains untouched, unblemished. Like that inside us the divinity remains pure forever, unblemished, untouched by whatever actions or inactions we do.
There are four ashrams in life. You have to act in all these ashrams.
As young students, the first ashram, means first phase of life you gain education.
Second phase of life is a householder’s life wherein you take care of responsibilities. You do good action and you grow your family and you also help others.
The third phase in life is sharing whatever experiences you have gained, sharing with others. You know by engaging in social work. Stop thinking only about ‘me’, ‘my children’, but caring for all the people, Talking, thinking about everybody.
And then the last stage is ‘sanyaas’ (retirement). The fourth stage in life is where you are quite elderly. At that time you simply bless and you just enjoy the bliss; you remain content in life. ‘Sanyaas’ means to be totally centred; ‘nyaas’ means being centred and ‘sanyaas’ means right centeredness. Where you say, ’I want nothing for myself and I am here for everybody.’ So these are four stages in life.

Q: Guruji, please tell us about the significance of the nine nights of Navaratri. What can we do to get a better spiritual experience during Navaratri?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: ‘Ratri’ word means that which gives you deep rest. Deep rest or relief from three things or three tapas. ‘Tapas’ means three types of fire, three botheration, the physical, the subtle and the causal. The three type of botheration are aadi bhautik, the worldly botheration. Aadi daivi, the divine one and then botheration of the soul. All these three botherations are relieved by a deep rest. So it is a time of prayer and rejuvenation. You know, a child is born in nine months. It takes nine month for a child to get formed and be born. So these nine days are like coming out of mother’s womb once again, having a new birth. First three days are dedicated to tamo guna, inertia. The second three days to rajo guna and the last three days, sato guna. The three gunas that we all possess, sattva, rajas and tamas and gaining victory over all the gunas and being centred and celebrating life. The final day is called the victory day, Vijayadashmi. So for all nine days, ten days we virtually do meditation which is the best way to celebrate. People usually fast and pray, and then feast in the end. Fasting always goes with the feasting. I won’t recommend all of you to fast without any food at all. You can have limited or eat less. Suppose if you are eating one whole meal you can cut down to half or quarter, like that, and don’t keep munching all day. Usually people have the habit of popping munchies the whole day, now and then, here and there. So don’t do that and don’t indulge in any other sensory activities of any other senses; giving deep rest to all the five senses. No touching, no watching movies, not going for fragrances and all that. Not listening to music all the time with the, what is that, ipod?! As soon as we wake up we turn the radio on or put on the ipod and put the ear phones. Even when we are jogging we are listening to sound. So the mind is constantly bombarded; bombarded by sound, by music. These are the days when you don’t bombard your system with so much music. There will be chanting here for some time. You know the last couple of days when there will be ‘yagyas’, of course you can just sit and bask in the chanting. Take bath in the, what is called ‘mantra-snaana’; means bathing in the mantras. The mantras are being chanted; you just sit in meditation and bathe in that vibration, that is good. Everyday there will be little bit time, an hour or so of mantra chanting. Other than that it is good to refrain from over-eating, over-listening to music, or watching television or any type of activity which stimulates your system. It’s a time to calm them down. Yes, and on the last day, of course, you end up in celebrations. You get emotionally charged, spiritually charged, intellectually uplifted. It’s time for getting all these things done.
Q: Guruji, what does a seeker do when he sees no meaning in sadhana or seva?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When you feel at a stage there is no point in doing any seva, mind is not even interested in doing sadhana and a sense of dryness has come in life, that’s when you pray, ’please take me out of this dryness.’ You know, pray to the divine, ‘please, I want my life to be juicy, not so dry, depressing and boring. I surrender; I drop my whole being to you.’ This inner cry, an intense cry to the divine will make all the difference. Everybody wants some juicy thing in their life. Just imagine when you have a beloved, how you act. There is so much enthusiasm; there is a feeling of belovedness. That love is what is missing when you feel so dry and completely uninterested; life is uninteresting. At this time have faith and with courage just move on. It is just a passing phase. Usually you call it, ‘the dark night of the soul’. The soul goes through such a turbulent time sometimes. Not necessary everybody needs to. At this time continue doing what you are doing.
Q: Guruji, please explain the significance of Ganesh Visarjan.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See divinity is all over the place, in every particle of creation. But sometime a devotee wants to play with the divine. So from the mud he makes a form. Ganesh is formless, but we would like to play with him in a form. So we make a form and invoke him telling ‘Ganapati, though you are everywhere I would like to offer my gratitude to you by offering sweets, by offering all that you offer to me; flowers, fruits. You take sun and moon around me and I take a little camphor around you. So all that you gave me, I offer back to you.’ With this intense feeling pooja is done. Thanksgiving is done expressing one’s gratitude to Ganapati. And in the end say, ‘you have come from my heart and you will get back into my heart.’ Like that, saying that, Ganapati, the idol you leave it in the ocean or in the water, from where you took it. The Visarjan is for you to understand that Ganapati is not just in the idol. He has come from your heart into the idol. The prana has come there and then the prana gets back into you after fulfilling your desires. Putting forth your desires in front of Ganapati you then say, ‘Ganapati you are back in my heart.’ Then you leave that idol in the water.
Q: Guruji what is the meaning of Divya?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Meaning of Divya? You already said it by mistake, ‘Divine’!
Q: (A member of the audience asked a question and it was inaudible)
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: While doing seva an obstacle comes, consider every obstacle as a means to bring out some skill/ability in you. Every obstacle is a way to bring out your skills. It also shows how much your commitment is. In spite of all the obstacles if you keep doing seva, one would say ‘wow!’
Q: Guruji, most of the time I am fickle-minded and find it difficult to stick to any decision that I make. I’m aware of this weakness. Kindly guide me in how to overcome this.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: First of all remove that label from your head, ‘I am all the time fickle-minded.’ Who said that? If you are over-ambitious then you become fickle-minded. Just relax! Whatever is yours will come to you. When you are over ambitiousness and want to do a hundred things it makes you uncomfortable.
Q: (A member of the audience asked a question and it was inaudible)
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Why are you asking this question? Yes, it is the same thing. We give meaning to words. Sadguru is one who takes us towards truth. Now you can have a guru for veena or violin. You can have a guru for football also. One who teaches you karate can also be called a guru. One who teaches music what will you call them? Guru. In this manner you have many gurus. One who takes you into spiritual knowledge is known as ‘Sadguru.’ These words are not necessary, whether you say ‘Gurudev’, ‘Guru’, ‘Guruji’, ‘Sadguru’, whatever you say it is the feeling behind it that is important. I go one step further to say, ‘let love be love, do not give it a name.’ Relationships have limits, but what is one’s relationship to one self? The relationship with the soul is absolute. If you feel so then let it remain so; isn’t that a good idea? There is also a song, what is it? (Audience sings). Yes, ‘don’t accuse it of being a relationship. Let love be love, don’t give it a name.’ However, it is said in our country, in our scriptures, that a mother’s love is ten times more than a father, and a Guru’s love is a hundred times more than a mother. All these measurements are there, but I would say consider it beyond all this. If something was felt in the heart, a spark arose, let it remain as such, why name it?
Q: Guruji, is there a secret relationship between enlightened masters and Physics? You have studied quantum physics, and Sri Bramhanand Saraswati also graduated in Physics from Allahabad University. Is there a connection between studying Physics and the chance of enlightenment?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Listen; are you a student of Physics? If you are that is great! If not, don’t be sorry! Students of Arts can also get enlightened, no problem. Yes, Lord Krishna also says that first gain knowledge of the elements. Meaning we never considered physical sciences and spiritual knowledge separate. The one merges into the other. What is the knowledge of the elements? How many elements are there? There are five elements; earth, water, air, fire, ether. Then mind, intellect, ego. All these are counted among the principal elements. As you gain deeper knowledge of these elements, you arrive at the knowledge of the soul. This is a very good thing. It is only now that people have started talking about Quantam Physics. The fact that this entire universe is made up of a single element has been mentioned in India long ago by Adi Shankar and also in the Vedas before him. If you read Yoga Vassistha, it would seem as though you were reading Physics. So, modern science is completely related to ancient knowledge.
Q: (A member of the audience asked a question and it was inaudible)
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Give it here. You come and give it to me. Why do you want to handle it? We will handle it with care for you. If you want we will return it back to you also. You just leave it here, dump it here. After all, why does an ashram exist, why is there a guru? So that you may dump all your pain, suffering and anxiety; so that you may leave it all behind, isn’t that so?
Q: (A member of the audience asked a question and it was inaudible)
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: But I don’t want you to live like a bird. I want that you should be like a lion. Okay that you came here as a bird, but leave like a lion, and there is a lot of work to be done in this world.
Q: (A member of the audience asked a question and it was inaudible)
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: What, you are stuck in the past? Where did you get stuck? So I will answer it in the future. Wait for the future. If you want to get out of the past, then look at the future. I will say that I will answer in four months, so you keep waiting for four months. Do you get it? Now get stuck in the future for a little while.
Q: (A member of the audience asked a question and it was inaudible)
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The heartbeat increases before exams? It is nothing. Take deep ujjayi breaths in and release and say ‘Jai Guru Dev’. Everything will be alright. Is that true or not? How many of you get all what you want; things happen? Very good!
Q: (A member of the audience asked a question and it was inaudible)
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Did you like seeing the Guru in your dream? You liked it very much, right! Good! See I find it easier to hug in a dream, so I hug everyone in dreams! Are you happy? So much change has come about in you since then, so much has been erased. All unwanted things have been erased.

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