Friday, November 4, 2011

I don’t insist you do morning sadhana only.Whenever it is possible you do it!

October 22, 2011

Q: What are you doing when you are on a holiday?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: This is exactly what I am doing. There is no holiday for me. Every day is a holy day.
Q: I work in a place that is full of anger. People are always thinking about money. This is bad energy and it attacks me. How can I overcome this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If you find that some people are angry and places are disturbing, know that you have a purpose to do. You have to bring that positive energy. Don’t run away from it. Be calm, be centered and see people are angry and agitated over nothing because they don’t know the way to relax, to go deep inside, yes. Don’t worry, nobody can shake you. If you feel you are a little bit disturbed, it is just outside, superficial and it will be alright. Or you can also sing, Om Namah Shivaya.
Q: Why often people don’t respect me. Is it because of my energy? What should I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Don’t worry about it! You know we think people don’t respect us. In fact people have no time to think about you. Everybody is so busy - okay! In our mind if I think, oh nobody respects me then I am nurturing that sort of energy and it does start happening. From your side you should know people will respect you and if they don’t, so what? ‘I don’t mind if they don’t respect me’, go with this attitude and you will see things are different, okay!
Q: Guruji, I can’t let go of things which I think need to be done and give it to somebody else until I break down. I am trying to control everything but it is not helping things go better. How to get rid of it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See you want to give responsibilities to others, it is good. And you wanting to give itself it will start happening. Accept imperfection a little bit. A little bit of imperfection is okay. You think only I can do everything better, the other person cannot do, then you take everything and you simply collapse, isn’t it! That is the problem, right? Okay there is a little imperfection, never mind. So give a little bit of space and know things are happening anyway. The world existed before you were born and it will continue to exist after you are dead and gone. And things will be alright. Broaden you vision about yourself, about life and you will find a lot of difference and changes happening.
Q: How to stop my mind and how to relax? Can you please advice?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You read this book, ‘Intimate Note to a Sincere Seeker’. I have given a number of techniques, methods. Listen to music, then the mind stops. Take a cold shower, water is pouring and then the mind stops. Watch the sunset or sunrise or just gaze at the sky and the mind stops. On many occasions it does, yes! Doing Bhastrika and Sudarshan Kriya what happens? The mind slows down. Too many thoughts are when the Pitta is our system is high - then also this happens you know. Or if the bowel movement is not okay then also it happens. We will have Shank Prakshalana here sometime. It is a technique where you drink a lot of water and cleanse your bowel, intestine and then also the mind calms down, that also helps. Or do a lot of exercise, get on the treadmill and work out. When you do a lot of exercise and when you start sweating, then also the mind calms down. So there are so many options.
Q: Could you please remind me why it is important to do the morning sadhana? I really need motivation.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I will give you so much motivation and so many ideas that it is good for this and this and this, but then when you are lethargic then you say, oh I know it is all good but… You pull the blanket on and then you go to sleep. That is why I don’t insist you do morning sadhana only. Whenever it is possible you do it. And if you take a vow to doing it for short periods of time then the thing is on track. Okay I am going to do it for ten days from tomorrow; one week sadhana. Then you pray and say if I do sadhana for fifteen days let my job be done. I should get my job done and so I should do fifteen days of sadhana. Then when you do it you will see, the fifteen days for which you had taken a determination to do sadhana, you will do it. But if you say forever let me do it, sometimes you don’t even do it the next day. So it is good to do it for a short spell of time you know. That is a way to cultivate the habit, number one. Three things help you to break the bad habits and cultivate good habits, you what are they? Love, fear and greed. If someone tells you, if you do your meditation, your exercises for one whole month, you will get so much luck that you will get a million dollars; you will not miss even a day. I will get that much luck to get one million dollars; why do sadhana for one month, I will do it for two months. You will say this. Greed will help you to continue a practice or break off a bad habit. Someone tells you, if you stop smoking for forty days then you will get a lottery of one million euro. You will not miss even one day of those forty days, you will do it for even sixty days, isn’t it. Greed can help to motivate you. In the ancient days they knew this that is why they did different techniques and Poojas and all that and in the end of all that you get the fruit of it. What will happen if you do it? Phalashruti, the fruit of it. They would say, if you do this then you will get this and this; you children will be happy, you will become prosperous, your health will become better and if you are not married you will find a good husband or wife. They used to give all these temptations so that you do the practice which is good for you. Now the second this is fear. This is of course used in many countries. If you don’t do this you will go to hell and you are really scared. If you don’t stop drinking alcohol, you liver is going to collapse, you are going to die. Or if you don’t stop smoking you are going to get some big disease. When doctor says this then you will not do that. The doctor has said alcohol is very bad for my health, I should not do it. In many religions people say, you should not do anything else or you will go to hell. If you do yoga you will go to hell and you think, oh my God then I don’t want to do yoga. Fear stops people from doing good and doing bad. And third is love. Someone who you love a lot, or someone who loves you a lot and you also love them, if they tell you, look you should come with me to do a silence program, a course, you will not say no. You will say okay. If someone who loves you very much if they tell you, ‘meditation with me’ or if they tell you, ‘you should not smoke’, then for their sake you will stop. So love, fear and greed can stop you from bad habits and make you do some good things. I would prefer love rather than fear and greed, yes! The religions in the east used greed, the religion in the west have used fear to promote. In the east they have used greed, the common man is told you will get liberation if take a dip in the Ganga and all that. And here in the west and fire or hell and all that fear. In the west they have been promoting this faith and believe system. I would prefer only love, not fear, not greed. But if it works sometime you do it, doesn’t matter.
Q: Dear Guruji, tell us please about a secret
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If I tell you then there is no secret. The secret is I belong to you, you belong to me, from ages. We are here, we will meet again.
Q: I find it difficult to be myself, joyful, cheerful with new people and groups. How can I increase my self-confidence and what can I do to make it easier to be myself?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I have the other problem. I feel so connected to everybody I don’t feel anybody as new to me. Anybody whom I meet I feel I know this person already. What to do?! I don’t find anybody new at all. In the last fifty six years I have travelled around the world and I have not met one new person. I have met millions of people, anybody I see I feel so connected, I feel so joyful, I feel happy. You have the opposite problem. Now what I will tell you, don’t worry what they think about you. I don’t worry what others think about me at all. They can think whatever they want to think. Thoughts are what, they are just some ideas that come and go away. Like clouds they come and they go. Why do you worry what they think about you? You agree to be like a clown. At the most what, a new person will think you are a clown. You are stupid. You be ready, yes I am stupid, I am a clown, so what! What can they do?! What can they do? Why do you worry what they think about you? Even if they think bad about you, will it stay? If you are genuinely happy, if you are genuinely good, they will change their opinion when you are genuinely good. Know that I am genuinely good, I am being myself, never mind what they think about me, so what! I just walk and greet everyone, ‘Hi’. Sometimes they don’t smile but never mind you keep smiling. And then they wonder and start smiling, you know. Some twenty years ago or so I was in Switzerland. Suddenly one day we were just waiting for something. I don’t know for what, I don’t remember now, this was in Lucent. It was night time and a little cold and so people were coming in the bus and were going and everyone was so serious. Nobody was smiling. Then I said to some people who were with me, there were just four or five of them, ‘you know just go and shake hands and make them all smile.’ I wondered why they are not smiling. I could not understand why. They have everything, they are comfortable, they have good fur coats, they have gloves, they should be happy! Then I had this project where people went and gave roses to strangers saying, ‘I belong to you’, or just smiling at them. We had a project, ‘Smile Europe’. And we just went around collecting smiles; just smile! Friendliness you know, we used to call ourselves friends of the people of the world. Connect to everybody in the world. First of all connect to yourself. When you go deep in yourself and let go of all the anxiety and know that you are loved by the universe you get inner strength. The universe loves you, air loves you, space loves you, the sun and moon love you. So you are surrounded by that energy of love and you’ll just melt in meditation and that is what gives that inner strength; so solid, child like again. Free from inhibitions, free from worries, being natural! All these wonderful qualities just blossom in you because they are already there. You have put a big stone on the beautiful flower that you are, the stone of stress and ignorance and so it is suffocating. You simply have to lift that up, what do you say? Yes! See one thing is for sure, everyone is going to die! We are all going to die. One day we will all be gone, horizontal under the ground. As long as we are, we are just bickering for this and hankering for that. Why not we wake up and see. Be calm, life is short. Who am I? What is this world all about? These questions, these ponderings can bring that inner strength. You may not get 100% answers, you may not get all the answers but at least it can give that inner strength which is absolutely necessary, yes!
Q: How to be free from fear?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Don’t try to be free from it, meditate and it will go by itself. Commitment and meditation, and you will see it spontaneously happening. Fear is nothing but love standing upside down. It is just love upside down. So you cannot get rid of fear, the energy that is fear becomes compassion and love spontaneously.
Q: Helping others is natural. Sometimes people come to me for help, should I apply a criteria whom to help and whom not to?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes! You should see whom to help and whom you should not help. Sometimes people can emotionally blackmail you asking for help and take advantage of you. You don’t have to agree on that. When you want to help, it should be separate from your emotional outburst. If you think that whatever help that you are doing really helps the person, only then you help. Suppose someone has to go to a doctor and take treatment and the person says, ‘no please help me to get out of this hospital, I don’t want to take treatment here’, and you help him, are you really helping him? No, you are not because that person has to get treatment. Someone in the mental hospital says get me out of here. Patients in the mental hospital are not always gone, sometimes they are sane. They talk also sane, so sometime they may tell you I want to get out of here and you help them, what will happen. Worst! See children, sometimes they don’t want to go to school. They say get me out of the boarding school. If you go by their wish, will they be able to complete their education? Impossible, right! So you need to distinguish between what is right help and which help would make a person go in the wrong path. This we must realize. What do you say? Isn’t it!
Q: Sometimes it is difficult to get people, especially the youth to do the Yes+ course. How can we get more people to do the course?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know I don’t know. I have no idea. But whomsoever did it know how wonderful the experience is, isn’t it. It is very difficult to put into words that inner experience which is so beautiful, so personal. I understand your desire, ‘oh I experienced this and I want everyone else to do it. I became free, everyone else should become free.’ This inner calling will be there. As long as it is there, you find ways; tell them in whatever way. Don’t talk too much. When we explain too much things go bad. We simply have to say very little, ‘you know this course is fantastic, come and do it’, and that’s it. Okay! There is a saying in Sanskrit, when you start explaining a thing you are distorting the thing. When you explain something put into words too much, especially your feelings, you have distorted it. If you have love for someone, don’t go on telling it ten times, ‘oh I love you, I love you, I love you’, no! Just one look from you and the love oozes out from your whole body. A person can feel the vibration. A baby, children, they don’t keep saying, ‘oh I love you, I love you’. Someone who is mature will say okay, what next! I am not saying it is bad to do that, but the better way is to show your love in action rather than in words too much. There is a big challenge between the east and west. In the east, people never say to each other, ‘I love you.’ And in the west, in America if you see, all the time people say, ‘oh I love you, I love you.’ I feel it should be somewhere in the middle path. Maybe Europe is the best example. You should express a little bit and conceal a little bit. It is like a seed you know. If you bury the seed too deep in the soil it will never sprout. That is what happened all over the east; Korea, Japana, India, China. People never say to each other I love you; very little. They don’t express their feelings so much. So at the same time if you keep talking to your beloved, ‘honey, honey, honey’, all the time, honey this, honey that and then you become diabetic. And then you don’t want to look at the honey at all. I don’t know how many honeys have become rejections in the world, yes! So many divorces have happened because too much of honey, honey, honey. Too much of expression of love also makes it weaker. So somewhere your feeling for someone should come up in the action and a little bit in words too. A little bit in expression too. What do you say? Good idea?!
Q: Could you tell me how to choose between two roads. I am in a very difficult time of my life and I don’t know what to do.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Don’t worry, I am with you. Give me all your problems and keep smiling and I tell you all will be well. Little time it may take but be strong in your faith, in your connection, things will move. This morning we did hollow and empty meditation, tomorrow again you will do it and you will understand more about it and you will feel the effect of it on the body, okay.

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