Friday, December 30, 2011
Your questions will be answered even before you ask!
December 14, 2011
It is said in the Upanishads, ‘Ma Grudha Kasyasvid Dhanam’
There are two tendencies that are within us, one of taking and the other of giving.
What is worth noting is which value system we are imbibing in our children. If they are hesitant to take or ask, then that is a sign of good values. But if they are hesitant to give then there is something wrong there.
It is a good sign when people feel hesitation to put their hand out to take. But if people hesitate to extend their hands out to help then we need to change the direction of society.
Every person feels some hesitation to take from somebody or the other, especially if they have to take from relatives. When it comes to relatives, one would want to give more than take and this is a tendency that is naturally present in children. If the child is sattvic he always makes an effort to share his belongings with everyone. But if the child is rajasic then he tries to take things from everyone.
We have been raised with these values of giving and sharing. When it would come to asking for anything, there was so much hesitation. Even to ask my father there was so much hesitation. I never asked him for anything. Yes, that is extreme.
We have got to imbibe the value of giving and sharing in children; happiness in giving and sharing and hesitation to take. They should feel hesitation to put their hands out and ask. There are people who have enough yet they keep asking for more. This is very strange.
One Swamiji who has a very big dental college came to our Ashram. He said he urgently needed fifteen lakh rupees and he would return it within two weeks. I felt that since he needed it urgently for some work, maybe for some temple or something, we must give and so we gave him.
Six years passed by but he did not return the money.
I said, ‘Oh! This is the matter. Now, we will not leave him.’
I told him, ’Swamiji if you would have asked for donation, we would have given you as donation. But you asked for a loan. So, now you have to return.’ This I did because I don’t want a Swami to be called a cheater. As it is, there are few honest swamis in this world. And this swami needed to be taught a lesson.
I told my people don't give up. Knock at his door every day until he returns it. Why should he be excused? We spend lakhs and crores of rupees building homes for the poor but giving charity is one thing. If someone plays crooked with you, you need to catch them no matter how big that person is.
At the same time, no matter how a person is, we do not have to be disrespectful towards them. It is not good to disrespect any one. I asked my people to treat him with respect and request him to return the money in the same way as it was given to him, with as much respect and honour, but he refused. Finally, I had to speak to him. I spoke to him in a straight-forward manner. He felt very embarrassed and promised to return the money.
To ensure that another does not commit a mistake, or be driven to make a mistake, is also a sattvic quality. This quality must be present in all of us. A rajasic person will sit quietly and watch another commit a mistake and later will say, ‘see, he made a mistake.’
There used to be saint who would scold any person who came with a complaint to him about another person.
He would say, 'so you were waiting for him to make a mistake so that you could come and complain to me about him.'
I call this ‘Supervisor Mentality.’ We wait for someone to make a mistake; then we go and complain to the boss, so that we can be in the good books of the boss. The boss will think good of us, and punish the person making the mistake.
So to take advantage of someone's mistake is also an asuric (demonic) and tamasic quality. To guide or protect someone so that he does not make a mistake in the first place is a sattvic quality.
Your daughter-in-law makes a mistake and you go and complain to your son. Instead, before your daughter-in-law makes a mistake guide her so that she does not make the mistake - such is a sattvic mother-in-law! Even if a mistake is committed, not making her feel guilty is a sattvic quality.
Many people enjoy making others feel guilty. This happens a lot between husband and wife also. So I have heard and witnessed too.
'This is what you did to me! I am right and you are wrong!'
Distance develops in a relationship when you make the other feel guilty.
A Guru will never do this to his disciple, 'you are wrong; you are stupid, I am right. Learn from me.' He will never say this.
A Guru always takes the disciple to be part of him and leads by example.
'Come my dear, you are a part of me. Observe me and you will also grow and become great like me.' Setting an ideal for another to follow and not inducing guilt in them - this is a skill, an art.
Uplifting a person in the skilful manner is the job of a Guru. This is when both the Guru and disciple are of sattvic nature.
If the disciple is so thick-skinned that he is unable to take hints and does not follow clear-cut instructions, then some Gurus, out of compassion resort to anger. But even then there is no guarantee that it will work.
I have seen many times after shouting and yelling, finally the Guru changes his nature, whether the disciple changes or not. The disciple influences the Guru instead and the Guru remains tense all the time.
There is a saying in Telugu – A music teachers tells the students, 'I have lost my prestige by teaching you. You have learnt nothing, and I forgotten nothing.'
As per the rules, a teacher must forget all the knowledge after it has been taught to the students. Why? This is because whatever one has not forgotten becomes a bondage for the next lifetime. So the best is to learn and then forget it all. When to forget? Once you have taught it to someone you will have gained the right to forget.
Knowledge is considered to be like soap. There is nothing more purifying than knowledge. But if you hold on to knowledge, it will turn into ignorance and arrogance. That is why it is said to learn and forget.
So if the music that we have learnt remains imprinted in our mind, then it becomes a problem in the coming lifetimes.
Becoming hollow and empty, that is liberation. But when? Only after the disciple has learnt, then! Otherwise, that knowledge will be lost.
After gaining knowledge it should be imparted to someone, this is a rule.
A disciple gains respect when he is associated with his Guru. People generally say, this is the disciple of so and so Guru. And that is why the teacher loses respect when the students do not learn.
So, when there is an attitude to give and hesitation to take or to ask, then the direction of life has reached an elevated level. If there is hesitation to give and no shame in taking then that comparatively is of a lower level of existence. And there are some people who even go to the extent of pouncing, grabbing and seizing which is an even lower level of existence.
Now in this world there are all kinds of people and all sorts of things happen. So we must not hold anyone guilty. The important message of today is that we must set an example for others and not make them feel guilty.
So, all you teachers, uplift people when you are imparting knowledge. There will be some people who will need a little scolding.
Today, a lady who had come to seek blessings looked upset. I scolded her and she started smiling. So sometimes it is needed to scold people. Everything has been given and yet we sit and cry over small matters concerning the daughter-in-law, son, grandchildren and so on.
For how long will you cry like this? Wake up! It is impossible to find complete happiness in the world. Happiness is always accompanied by some problems or the other, here and there. Have the courage and wake up!
Sometimes to wake people up a little scolding is needed.
Children are shy by nature.
When I was young if we had any visitor at home I used to run away. I was very shy to do my pooja in front of others; I would feel so conscious of someone watching me. Doing pooja when I was alone felt very comfortable.
Every child has some degree of hesitation already present; it just needs to be channelized in the right direction. Like there should be hesitation to lie. If we practice it then it will automatically be imbibed by our children.
Q: Guruji, please talk about Guru and disciple.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: A unique flavor of love is the Guru-disciple relationship. If there is no love then there is neither Guru nor disciple. No one can come in between the two and nor is there any space for jealousy or anger. Upanishad is when disciple sits close to the Guru.
Where there is no Guru and disciple there is no world, and what the world needs is the Guru and disciple. Knowledge is what happens when the Guru and disciple sit together.
Q: Guruji, there are so many Upanishads. Out of them which is the most important one?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Out of the 108 Upanishads, the first eleven are considered extremely significant; and among those eleven, Ishavasya Upanishad - which says ‘Everything is God’; everything is soaking with the Divinity. Experience this Divinity, do not harbor any hatred, resentment or greed and live for a hundred years happily in joyful service.
Q: It is said that the soul will always guide us on the path of truth. How do we hear the voice of the soul?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The voice of the soul can be heard in deep meditation. When you are in deep rest and the inner voice that comes which gives you peace and comfort is the voice of the soul.
Peace is the nature of the soul. Whenever you receive any happiness, it is from the soul and not from this world.
We think that happiness has come from an object but happiness actually comes from within.
Like when a dog keeps chewing on a bone his mouth starts bleeding and he thinks the bone is very juicy. It is not the bone that is juicy. Lord Krishna has beautifully said in the Bhagavad Gita, ‘Anityam Asukham Lokam Imam Prapyam Bhajsamah’. This world is transient and there is no pleasure in it, after attaining it, look towards me. Dissolve in me, chant my name; only then will the mind be at peace.
Q: Guruji, for psychosomatic diseases which meditation is good?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Sudarshan Kriya and Pancha Kosha or Sahaj Samadhi meditation is good.
You are holding that question for so long. ‘Somehow, I have to ask this question.’
Asking questions also becomes a compulsion. Unless you say it out you feel restless.
When you come to the Guru, shed all your questions. You will get the answers to your questions effortlessly even before asking. This is the highest level of conversation.
There was a question in your mind or the question came and disappeared but what knowledge you had to receive you got.
And beyond this also is when there is no concern for knowledge. You are contented just sitting here and the mind is happy.
This is how the Gopis were. When Udava went to give knowledge to the Gopis, they said, 'what knowledge are you giving us? Is everything okay there in Dwarka? We are happy with knowing this much. We have no need for any more knowledge.' But this is one step beyond. Now you don't think, 'I don't need any knowledge.' That will not work. Knowledge has its place; it is also necessary.
Karma has its own place; that too is necessary and interest in society is also necessary; it also has its own place. There should be concern for everyone; that too is important.
This is the art of living - take everything along; social responsibility, integrity, sadhana, satsang, everything.
Q: Guruji, you have shared all the types of meditation with us. If you share the ‘hollow and empty’ meditation with us as well, it will be like icing on the cake. Jai Guru Dev!
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Cake without icing also tastes good, so eat cake without icing.
Sit for the advance course and do the ‘hollow and empty’ meditation.
Q: Guruji, in Kerala 40 lakh people are worried about Mullaperiyar dam. Similarly in Tamil Nadu also, people want water from the same Mullaperiyar dam. Because of the threat of the earthquakes and heavy rain people are worried.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I haven’t had the time to study this issue. I want to study it deeply.
Mullaperiyar is not a new dam; it has been there for such a long time. Suddenly, at this time, in this season, why has this come up? I want to go into the details of it before I make any comment.
For the welfare of the people if scientists from Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the central scientists sit across the table and see how we they can find a solution if there is a serious issue, then the executives can easily resolve this matter.
What I would appeal to people of both Tamil Nadu and Kerala is do not engage in any violence or hatred between the people. At this time of the year there are many pilgrimages and a lot of people from Tamil Nadu are going to Kerala and many people from Kerala go to Tamil Nadu to visit temples. These pilgrimages are uniting people and there is national integration happening by these pilgrimages. At this time burning Malayali shops in Tamil Nadu or throwing stones at vehicles from Tamil Nadu in Kerala is totally unacceptable. So I appeal to people from both states to not engage in panic, rumours, activities or demonstrations which would bring any form of violence or disturbance or loss of property to anyone. I request the intellectuals, the geologist, and the scientists to sit together and find a solution. Whether a new dam has to be created, the old dam has to be strengthened or whatever needs to be done, can be done. There is no need to panic about the situation.
Q: Guruji, what is knowledge? Is knowledge only that which is read, written or heard or is it the intelligence within?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Our consciousness itself is the embodiment of knowledge. This desire to know that arose in your mind - the one who desires is the embodiment of knowledge.
The knower is the embodiment of knowing.
Q: Guruji, what is Karma? How can we attain salvation from our previous karmas?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You attain salvation from knowledge and not from Karma. Karma has its own laws and it goes on. Do good deeds.