Saturday, November 5, 2011
‘The intuitive knowledge is beyond intellect’
October 13, 2011
There are three type of knowledge or information we get. One is through the five senses. You see and you get some knowledge, you listen and you get knowledge, you smell and you get information, through taste you get information, and through touch. The five senses bring you some knowledge, isn’t it? Most of our knowledge is gained by these five senses. Now this is one type of knowledge.
The second is through the intellect. The knowledge gained through intellect is superior to knowledge gained through the senses. Science is knowledge gained through intellect. See, what all you see from your eyes is the sun is setting, but what you learn through science is sun doesn’t set. It is the earth which revolves. You have not seen earth revolving through any of the five senses, but through intellect you understand that the earth is revolving and that it is revolving around the sun. This is the intellectual knowledge through intellect which is superior to the senses. Like in a beaker of water you keep a pen, what do you see? The pen is bent. That is the perception, but the intellect says no it is not bent it is an optical illusion. This is the knowledge through intellect.
Now these two levels of knowledge is much inferior to a third level of knowledge. That is intuitive knowledge. That is knowledge from the spirit that comes from silence. It cannot be verified by the senses or the intellect. Knowledge which comes beyond these two is another level of knowledge. So life begins when we tap into that level of knowledge. (Guruji laughs)
Till that time it is existence.
Now how would you tap into this level of knowledge? The level of knowledge which is not through the senses, nor through the intellect, is the question. For that you have to let go of the knowledge of the senses and the intellect and relax. The moment you let go then what you gain through senses, the cravings and aversions they stop. All of our cravings and aversions are about the five sensory perceptions. It cannot be anything beyond that. Are you with me?
For some time you say, ‘now I don’t want to see anything, I don’t want to hear anything, I don’t want to smell anything, I don’t want to taste anything, I don’t want to touch or know anything; I’m just going to be.’ Then intellectual concepts, judgments, decisions, to all that you say, ‘I don’t even need to know anything, I don’t care for anything.’
Letting go of concepts is the second step. How this should be? How that should not be? Things should be like this and things should be like that and blah blah blah and blah blah blah… all these intellectual perceptions.
Or am I doing the right thing? Am I on the right path? Am I on the right track? Should I go on and blah, blah, blah… All these things you drop it and then silence begins and when silence begins then the knowledge from the third level dawns and that knowledge is called Ritambhara knowledge. The true knowledge that comes from beyond the intellect and that is the intuitive knowledge.
Everyone has got this ability and you have experienced in your life this gut feeling, knowledge from somewhere, which you cannot really make out what it is. How many of you have ever experienced? See everybody. Somewhere you feel this is the right thing to do and something happens in your tummy. And that knowledge comes up at that time but then we don’t honor it. Many times we stick onto the intellect or sensory perceptions.
Sometimes your intellect says this is wrong what I am doing, but you don’t listen to the intellect you keep doing the wrong things. How many of you have this experience? What you do? You stick on to the sensory and ignore the intellectual knowledge. And then what happens? You sometimes go beyond your intellect. Your intellect is saying something but your inner gut feeling is saying something else. And you’re feeling says no, there is something different, something more. And we ignore that and we stick onto the intellect. That’s how many times your judgments have found to be a failure.
How many of you feel your judgments have been wrong? But sometimes, beyond your judgments you have seen and you have taken a step and have been happy about it. In spite of your intellect saying ‘no’, something says ‘yes’. Something else triggers and that is what happens when there is faith and that’s when the faith comes up you know. Sometimes your mind says no I want to quit doing all this spiritual practices, I don’t care for that, I don’t care for hopes. Many people do this, try to quit but something deep inside, the impressions, samskaras, some good karma, they just make you keep going and then you are back on track. And then you are happy. You feel, ‘good thing I didn’t do it, I didn’t walk on my impulse.’ How many of you have this experience? I’m sure. Those are the moments when something beyond your intellect has taken over and worked.
When we started Art of Living, in the very beginning I could see that there are a millions of people going to come on this. I was just 22 or 23, something like that; just out of my teens. I said, ‘no I don’t want to start’. My intellect would say ‘no, so what? Someone else will come and do all this and take care of everybody’. I had no ambition, no desire to start any movement at all. I was happy, I’m happy now also, but I thought why would I take some headache, I don’t want to. I was a little shy also but my intellect was always saying ‘oh no’. But then everything kept happening because when the TM movement was there and they very much wanted me to be there. And they were all very friendly with me. So it was difficult for me to say no to my friends, and then all the elders there, and everybody so, I was sort of attached. I said no, I don’t want to start the Art of Living; fought and fought.
I had everything, I didn’t need anything. I had no lack and I have everything. I was flying around in helicopters in those days also. I had seen all the wealth I could see those days. And if I have to start something from the scratch, the intellect was saying ‘no’. But something beyond that was saying ‘yes’. So I was in the railway station, it was in Hubli somewhere. There were two trains going, one to south and one to north. If I take the train to south that means I will not start this. In the same way, I was in the platform and on one side was this train and on another side the other train. I had tickets for both. (Laughter) I had committed for a program in north. If I go there north then it’s for sure that I’ll continue in the Art of Living. Start this whole thing. That was the most confusing time, conflicting time for me to get on to this train or that train. Then I jumped into the train which went to the north and let go of everything of the past; for no apparent gain. It’s not that I never thought what I will gain from this, no. In fact I thought, you are not gaining anything you are collecting more problems, trouble. There you could just be like a prince, very comfortable, somebody does everything for you.
Why I’m saying this? This is the levels of knowledge, the intuitive knowledge which is beyond intellect. Everyone who knew me those days thought I am gone mad, crazy. Here I’m going to be put as a successor or heir to a huge organization, empire. Everything was there, and I am just washing it all off and getting on to something which has no form, no idea. Not even an organization was there, nothing was there. Only I had 200 kids to take care of and a school which would go with me. I had no money; nothing, no resource, I had never worked and I had no skills. And people say these days it is difficult to take care of two children in a house. Those days India was undergoing a lot of crisis too. Many types of crisis and here I land up with 200 kids or 250 kids to feed and to educate; all these responsibilities. Intellectually it was completely insane even to think about it for anyone who has some sense. But there was another knowledge, which I totally honored and depended upon and I took the step. Do you see what I’m saying? (clapping) Otherwise there was no way we would have a Montreal ashram or I would be sitting with you and talking to you.
This possibility is not there at all. So this is the third level of knowledge, that gut feeling, or intuitive knowledge. Now, many times, with your emotions, with your own cravings and aversion you can think, ‘oh this is my gut feeling, this is my knowledge’, no! This is called maya; yogmaya, don’t get into that. When can you honor the knowledge of the spirit or the soul? It is when you are absolutely still. Got it? So in the beginning it works for others, it doesn’t work for you because with you always there are some cravings, some aversions. Some cravings, some aversions and so you may get confused. So these hollow and empty meditations you do are all are very, very useful in getting to that level of knowledge, which is beyond the senses and beyond the intellect. Now how can you explain this to anybody? That’s big trouble, very difficult to tell somebody, ‘oh there is one level that’s beyond your logic’. If you say that they will think you are crazy or denying intellect but it’s neither. Neither are you crazy nor do you deny the intellect. You go simply one step beyond and recognize something beautiful. This is the area where the entire cosmos works. All the knowledge in the cosmos is present there. Every invention has happened from this area.
The initial intuitive invention comes from that. Then intellect plays on it and develops it further. Every one of those great music or poetry has come from that area; every one of them! So one practical benefit from this is you now understand your intellect is judgmental and you don’t depend on it too much. Got it? One of the steps is you see, ‘oh yes my mind, it goes on saying something or the other and I don’t care, I don’t mind that’. You don’t get swept into these mind games. You become a witness to them all. Have you noticed it’s already happening with you? At home when there is some argument, or among the friends there is some argument, something happens. Sometimes you take one step back and say, ‘oh come on, I have seen many of this. It’s not going to let this affect me.’ How many of you have started noticing this happening to you? There is a gradual progression for that. It’s happening in everyone’s life. Just this awareness, it will happen even faster. It will happen faster, just awareness about it. Good!
Q: Can I fast for karva chauth? I will drink water and eat fruits.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Okay, fine you can do that. Tomorrow, those who are doing karva chauth you can fast no problem. Drink water at least that is necessary. For some people, day after tomorrow is a festival in India where women fast day on the 15th yes. They fast the whole day and eat only in the evening after they see the moon. So I mean they eat in the night. Whole day they fast for the well being of their sweethearts. Yes, good luck and long life of their husbands. Women do this.
Q: What happens after enlightenment? Is it going to take me away from you? I haven’t experienced enlightenment but I have seen you experienced your presence, don’t want to go away from you.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, yes, yes, just don’t worry. Enlightenment will make you very natural and be what you are, yes!
Q: How can I increase my will power? I am listening to knowledge and doing sadhna. Anything else, please advice.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Will power, just relax! You know it’s lethargy that makes you feel I don’t have will power, isn’t it? You everyday decide, yes I’m going to wake up at 6am and do my pranayama and in the morning you say, ‘oh it’s so cold, I’ll do it from tomorrow or tonight.’ It’s just because your system is tired, your mind is tired, body is tired and you eat the wrong things. Now I give you some idea even to do that you will be so lethargic, why I should give an idea. At some time you get fed up and you jump out of your own bed and start doing exercise. So I feel that is better than giving you any advice, you be as lazy as much as you can afford. One day you’re sure to get fed up about being lazy. It can’t go on forever, got it? Anything else said will be another burden and you will feel guiltier. You are lazy and someone says ‘hey there is a fire’, and then how the fear of fire can take away all the laziness. Urgency takes away laziness. Or some knot in your heart gets opened, love comes welling up inside of you, then also laziness disappears. You are passionate about somebody or something, how you have no laziness then, you are suddenly awakened. So either through love or fear or through greed you can overcome laziness. I don’t know the fourth thing, if you have any idea you tell me. So if you are in deep love with something, laziness doesn’t come to you. In lack of these three things, you will procrastinate, that’s how it is. So if you procrastinate, fear will come sometime. Then out of fear you will start functioning. Or greed can come but I prefer being in love more than these two things. So that’s why there is a tradition of promising someone who you love very much. You promise them something and you will see you follow it through. Say, you have promised your brother that you will pick him up or your niece that you’re going to meet her at the airport. Even though you feel so lazy in the morning to get up, you will just get up and run and go and greet them in the airport, even if it is in the middle of the night. These days I have found a plane to go to India that reaches there in the morning at 9:30 you know. Bombay I don’t go at all; in Delhi when I go in the middle of the night the flight lands at midnight. By the time I come out it is 1:30am and there’s a huge crowd waiting at 2am at the middle of the night; elderly people, nursing mothers with babies. I just said my god why did you come?! In just 2 minutes they’ll see me getting in the car, that’s it. And in the airport it causes so much of a ruckus, so many people at the airport. Now I found a flight that reaches there 9:30am so I don’t feel so uncomfortable. I feel uncomfortable because they’re all standing there. An elderly couple, who are in their 80’s are standing there every time I go. If one night is disturbed like that, they must have such several nights where their sleep cycle is broken. Like this there are so many people, three to four thousand people. I have stopped going to Mumbai because one day it took me two and a half hours to get out of the airport, giving darshan to everyone in line there saying come, come, come. And the securities were paranoid; the police had a headache, and of all those granite benches and tables at the new airport were all broken. Our organization had to pay some $30,000 bucks for damaging the airport with our own crowd. Yes, they broke the outside, chairs were broken, granite slabs were broken, and doors were broken. So I have said I will not land in Mumbai. This was in the middle of the night at 2 o’clock. Why I’m saying this? When there is love there is no lethargy.
Q: If the ultimate truth is that everything is consciousness why focus on any other knowledge? Shouldn’t this truth be enough?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: And consciousness is everything. When everything is consciousness every level of knowledge has its significance. And this don’t misuse and mis-quote. Knowledge at every level has its importance.
Q: Why did you pick this place as your ashram? Someone had told me Arjuna meditated here many years back, is this true? What’s the story?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Well, any place I pick you will ask the same question. Why did you pick this place? You just pick it, that’s it. The gentlemen who was working on this land and making the roads and keeping this place, he also didn’t know why he was doing all this, you know. When he sold it to us he was happy that what he had done for so many years is used for some very good purpose. Well, it’s a nice place and when we all sit and meditate the vibrations even becomes higher, very nice. Isn’t it? I was talking on Ashtavakara in India, before that I was here in Montreal also. Then I said, ‘one year I am not going to come out of India but when I come back, we should have our ashram here.’ Then there was Ganesh, and Janice they went around looking for it and then they found this place. And when I came back they said we have found a place Guruji and have made all arrangements. Several people bought one plot and then we could get the whole land. Then Janice and Ganesh said you should come to Montreal and I said okay I will come. So when we came we had just some tents here. In fact we stayed in Florabelle and came here to do the course. And then I said, ‘no, I should stay here.’ Then just Andrew and a couple others, they built that cabin; what’s it called? Sumeru cabin. A little cabin, I use to stay there. We had no water, we had nothing but then everything happened. We were walking around and we said yes in this area we should have a meditation hall. And it took quite a while to manifest that. But now we should use this more, even when I’m not here. You don’t say okay Guruji comes only then, no! You all should come here and bring your friends. We should put better use of this place.
Q: Can you please talk about how some marriages are made in heaven? Can two souls who’ve met in previous lives unite in their next lives as husband and wife?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Oh! Know that if everything is going well, it is a match made in heaven (laughter). If things are not working the way you wanted then it’s a matter of serious concern. It could have been made somewhere else, (laughter) certainly not in heaven.
Q: Dear Guruji, all the masters in the holy tradition dress in orange. You dress in white and sit on an orange asana. Can you explain this? Why?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Not all. One who does not wear clothes is also there (laughter). So, yes white has all the colors in it so… okay, done! Usually the tradition is if you put on saffron you’re not supposed to go out of India, cross the ocean. But today many don’t follow that. It’s only a few people who follow that particular tradition. You can’t cross the ocean. Today they’re all doing it, everybody is and that is good in a way. These rules were made once upon a time when there was only ship. And they had to go in ship and they could not take bath every day. They cannot do their meditation in the ship. Small boats were there, not even ships. And the boat would sail and take so many days. Anyone who would go on the boat when they come back they had to do some cleansing and all that. In the scriptures that is what was written. So they said no, you shouldn’t go on the on the boat. Today it is not the thing. It is a home, it is a city inside the ship. So, those are irrelevant for today. This is what you have to see you know. Certain rules which are written, you should not just go literally on it. Same in Judaism, it is said the day of silence is Saturday, Sabbath, means don’t do anything, rest. Seven days you work, one day you don’t do anything. You just relax, rest, prayer, meditation because deeper rest you take better qualified you become. The quality of life improves; quality of your mind and consciousness improves. So for all this reason they said you should rest well one day. God rested for a day so you are also made in the image of god so you also should rest one day, Sabbath. But that is not what is happening. You should not work means you should not press the button in the lift suppose you are staying in hotel. 20 floors on Sabbath day, you cannot press the button you simply go on the elevator and it stops on every floor and it goes up to your 20th floor. I was in Jerusalem this Sabbath day, nobody presses any button in the lift and it stops like a passenger local train at every floor. I said you cannot sign also? On Sabbath you cannot sign also, you cannot touch a pen. These are all obsolete rules. But you are still so busy and engaged. You are talking, and talking and talking and arguing and fighting also on Sabbath day but you cannot sign or press a button. It’s absurd! This is where wisdom is needed. You need to look into that common sense. We must induce common sense in all religious practices as well, it is important. Many times in the name of religion you shut off your common sense. How many of you experience this thing happening? It’s unfortunate; we need to changes these things but it will happen, people are more understanding.
Q: Dear Guruji, does the devotion to a person to a guru get carried on to his next life? And does an enlightened soul also have devotion to his guru? If not then I don’t desire enlightenment.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, devotion is your nature it won’t leave you. Devotion is abiding in your own nature. So like sweetness cannot leave sugar, the coolness cannot leave ice, the nature to flow does not leave water right! You can’t call it water and it does not flow. Similarly devotion is there in your nature; don’t worry about it, okay.