Saturday, January 29, 2011

Know that no mistake can be corrected with anger; Only with awareness can anything be corrected

Bangalore, India, Jan 4, 2011:
Q: When we do seva (service), especially us youth, how do we balance seva, studies and family?
Sri Sri : How do you ride a bicycle? Do you allow yourself to fall on one side? When you are more towards one side, you just balance. But one strong conviction should be there – I will do seva, I will do studies, I will take care of my family and respect the elders as well. These are not opposites but complementary. When you do seva, you get power and achieve merit, and that gives you good fortune. So, spirituality brings strength. Through meditation, you will progress in the world.
This conviction, ‘I will be able to do all’, works miracles.
If you find any doubt, just know that it is temporary. The most important thing is to develop a strong personality. Going to college, stuffing your head with information and just passing the exam, no! How much strength and humility have you gained? Are you blossoming into a complete person? It is important to check this. Enthusiasm with awareness! Seva brings out the skill in you that will again make a difference in how you relate to all types of people. Softness and depth will come to you. With enthusiasm, there will be awareness. All can be threaded on a string.
Q. It is said that God likes innocent people and luck supports the innocent. What should I to do to be innocent?
Sri Sri: To be innocent, drop cunningness. Innocence is naturally present in everyone. You just need to blossom it. And how do you do that? Just be in meditation. ‘I am nothing – Akinchan, I don’t want anything, and all are my very own; I accept all and all accept me.’ When you know that everybody is accepting you, you move ahead with naturalness. When you think people are not accepting you the way you are, then you think of doing something to gain acceptance and you start becoming unnatural.
Q: I keep on asking the Divine for something or the other all the time. I don’t like this sometimes.
Sri Sri: When you get something after asking, your faith gets developed. And then even without asking you get what you need.
Q: Self-effort is required for enlightenment. But then you said effortlessness is the key. There is a paradox. So, what is the way?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Both. To get into your train, you need to put effort, you take your luggage and go to the right platform. But once you are on the train, you put your luggage aside and relax.
Q: Some dreams don’t come true in spite of putting efforts. What should one do?
Sri Sri: You keep putting your effort. There is a proverb ’Try and try again and at last you will succeed.’ So, perhaps you don’t succeed the first time or second time. Yet if your intention is strong, it will happen.
Q: How does one develop a sense of surrender?
Sri Sri: Just assume that it is there. Don’t put effort . Surrender is there – simply assume this and move on.
Q: I have been told since childhood that eating non – vegetarian is like committing a sin because we are killing helpless animals. Is it so?
Sri Sri: Don’t think those who eat non – vegetarian are sinful. It is only that tamsic tendencies are encouraged when one eats non – vegetarian. That won’t be good for them, for the world and for society. My dear, don’t make your stomach a graveyard.
Q: Can knowledge exist without faith or they are correlated?
Sri Sri: Faith and knowledge are correlated. Because when there is knowledge, there is faith. And where there is faith, there is knowledge. So you have faith and that is why you are asking. You have faith that I will answer it and you will take my answer. So, knowledge and faith are all connected.
Q: Is someone’s destiny fixed or can it change as well?
Sri Sri: A part of destiny is fixed, and certain things can change.
Q: It is difficult to control anger. What should one do so that I don’t get angry?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: First, anger is to be tamed. Know this: when the mind is so joyful and contented, when you are in meditation and leave room for imperfections and mistakes, you don’t get angry in the first place. Know that no mistake can be corrected with anger. Only with awareness can anything be corrected.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Truth, infinity, wisdom & God are four facets of knowledge

Bangalore, India, Jan. 3:
Q: If a person thinks he is good for nothing in whatever he does, how should he move ahead in life?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Just be here for a little while and know that God doesn’t create garbage. Everyone who is created on this planet is good for something.
Q: What is greater – moksha or love and gratitude?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Love and gratitude cannot happen without some degree of freedom within. Moksha is freedom. They go hand in hand. To the degree of freedom that you experience, to that degree you feel gratitude
Q. From the time, the Universe has been created, there have been souls. I wonder are they increasing or do they remain the same? I don’t understand the mathematics of souls.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There are lot many species which are getting extinct too! Lots of snakes, scorpions, sparrows, butterflies… They could have come as humans.
Q: Please throw some light on the last shloka of the tenth chapter of the Bhagwad Geeta?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Lord Krishna says to Arjuna, “Whatever you are seeing in this world, that is all a little part of Me. Wherever you see any merit, that comes from Me only. Any intelligence that you see in anyone, that is Me only. Any valor that you see in anyone, that is Me only. The whole world reflects in a little part of Me.
Q: Many people say that Lord Hanuman still exists in Himalayas? Is it true?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know, the Universe is all wave function. There is nothing solid here. If you see some quantum physicist, you will find that they say that whatever appears to be there is really not there. In the subtle, all energies are there. Lord Hanuman is not a person sitting somewhere. In life force itself, there is the consciousness of Hanuman.
Q: Is self-realization a journey or a goal? If we reach somewhere, do we come to know we have reached somewhere, or we have to continue walking.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, It is both. In one way it is a journey also and in another way it is the last destination. When you are so content that you feel you need nothing. There are no needs left, and we feel so complete. Such contentment dawns that you feel so complete! When you have such a smile that never fades and this happens so effortlessly.
Q: How do protect oneself from the negativity of others?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Om Namah Shivaya chanting! Jai Gurudev will also do.
Q: What is the difference between the mind and the soul?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Mind is thoughts and soul is in which everything happens.
Q: Why does one marry? What is the secret of a successful marriage?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: A successful marriage is when both are happy. Then the children will also be happy. You choose! Choice is yours and blessings are mine. This is something that you don’t choose with your head. If something clicks in the future, make a choice.
Q: What is the description of knowledge?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Knowledge is not information. That which is awareness is knowledge. The container that contains information is called wisdom, and not the content. That in which all information happens is knowledge. The consciousness – that is only the knowledge.
Satyam Gyanam Anantam Brahma – there are four designations of Brahma - Truth, infinity, wisdom and God. These are the four facets of knowledge. It is all one. Relative knowledge is information and pure knowledge is that which is absolute.
Q: What is the purpose of my life? Why have I taken birth on this planet?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The way you are smiling right now, to bring that smile on the faces of others as well

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Liberation is total peace; a peace which is unshakeable

Germany, December 27, 2010.

Q: Dear Guruji, I notice that during meditation my mind wanders a lot and many irrelevant and absurd thoughts come and go. What do I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If thoughts are coming, never mind, you know. When you realize, you again come back, observe the breath and just sit, that’s it. Some irrelevant, absurd thoughts come and go, it’s all part of stress release, hmm? You may get some brilliant thoughts or some very bad thoughts, don’t judge at that time, we don’t need to get excited, just relax. After meditation if you have some brilliant thoughts you may write it down, you may get some poems, some ideas, creativity may come. That’s all fine, ok? So, just relax, hmm? Some people get ideas, some people can see some visions, some colors, some experience: some may smell some fragrance, or feel something – any of the 5 senses, I would say even the sixth sense, can just get activated during meditation, and it’s good. With all the hollow and empty meditation what’s happening is that the nervous system is getting clearer, purer and so it’s reflecting the inner realm, hmm?
Q: Guruji, I usually compare myself with others and it does not let me enjoy the work or seva I do. I usually feel I am less than others, what should I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I think if you have to compare you should compare with yourself: how you were yesterday, day before, two years back – that’s healthy. Compare with yourself. See you’ve moved. You will always find you are moving when you compare with yourself, okay? Comparing with others, not about your personality, but in the work, is okay. If someone has done better, then you feel inspired to do better than them. It’s okay. You don’t have to keep your eyes shut. You know if you see somebody has done better than you in business you put your target so you do better than them. This is okay to do, that’s what you should do. Comparison should inspire you, not put you down. First of all accept you don’t know who you are, you have no idea who you are. You’re not self- realized, remember this! If you have that feeling, “Oh, I’m so bad, I’m like this, I’m like…” you have no idea who you are. You have infinite potential inside you. You can do ten times better than anybody else, better than what you’re doing right now, hmm? So Comparison should only inspire you, not pull you down. If you think you know about yourself, and you feel you are weak and think you don’t have ability then it pulls you down but when you know there’s infinite potential inside you, you don’t know who you are, then the comparison will only inspire you to do better work.
Q: How much should one sleep? Is it good to sleep again if you wake up at 4 AM? I would gladly do my program at that time of the day but I can’t. How do I make myself do it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know, take good sleep. You don’t have to wake up at 4 o’clock and do practice, no. You do it when you’re complete with your sleep. Whenever you have complete sleep and you wake up, then you do it, okay? Don’t strain yourself. Our rule is what? Not to torture yourself or strain yourself, hmm? Your inner connection can only happen when you are relaxed, not if you’re tense.
Q: Dearest Guruji, is it possible for me to become a member of your team in any way? I am translating now for Russian. I speak Russian, Spanish and English. I would gladly work for any project full time. Thank you.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, you talk to Lars later on. See what you want to do. You can do something. Yes, why not!
Q: Dearest Guruji, may I give u a big hug?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes…but flying ones (laughter from audience)!
Q: Could you explain what liberation is? How do we attain it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Liberation simply means freedom. Then you can say, ‘I want nothing for myself, I’m complete.’ Liberation is when you have accepted the whole creation the way it is, you’ve accepted people the way they are. Liberation is total peace; a peace which is unshakeable. And this sort of peace dawns when there is forgiveness, compassion, naturalness. You know if you assume you’re somebody then you can’t, if you are intelligent or stupid you have no liberation. You are neither intelligent nor stupid, neither rich, nor poor – if you think – ‘Oh, I’m a very poor guy or poor lady,’ no way you can get it! I am nothing! That sense of lightness, easiness, is what liberation is. A simple taste of it everyone has got, you know when? When your exams were over! The day you finished your exams when you were a child you came back home and threw those books on the sofa and just sat, relaxed! How did it feel? G R E A T, huh? That’s all!
Q: May we sit down in meditation after Sudarshan Kriya or is it better to lie down only?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Ya, you can sit in meditation, no problem.
Q: What can I do to lose fear of being able to achieve my dreams? I usually lose confidence and clarity and get lots of doubts about my capacity or abilities. How do I do it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I have no experience of this. Let me think how you can do it…You know when you achieve success, if that is your goal - to achieve your dream - you should be ready to face some obstacles on the path. And you know that every obstacle is only bringing out more skills out of you, it will not deter you from your goal but will only bring in whatever is needed to fulfill your dream. Do you get what I’m saying? The obstacles that come on the path are only to bring in more skills and it won’t deter or de-track you from your goal.
Q: I have resolved to stop overeating many, many times. I failed repeatedly. Mind wins, I suffer. How do I solve this habit step by step?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Take longer time to eat…longer time. You know, usually people who overeat, they eat so fast. They stuff things so fast, but if you keep the food in your mouth, chew it longer, just feel the food in your mouth , you will see you will consume half of what you usually consume, yes?
Q: Dear Guruji, thanks to you to people are feeling better and the world is getting better. How can we make politicians understand that a peaceful world is better? Why is there so much hate, murders, drugs dealers, arms, wars? What can we do? What would you forbid if you were the world’s president?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Thank God! I don’t intend to be, I don’t want to be. Why, you don’t like me having a big smile? You know these are the questions that u need to keep with you. You know an answer can be used only once, but the question which appears like a path can be tread on many a time. These questions you keep asking time and again you will get different answers and implement them at those times.
Q: What can I do to make the world a better place? How can I help people? How can there be less or no corruption in the world? How can there be more compassion and less crime, stress free, violence – free society?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: These questions should arise in you, and you will find answers from time to time and act on them, yes? Many a times alone you cannot do it, but together you can do it. Many of you joined together can always achieve this.
Q: We know we have to follow our heart but why is it difficult sometimes when our rational side is stronger, and we think it is correct whereas the emotion is weaker and sometimes more crazy. Thank you for sharing time with us.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know in work don’t use your emotions - in work use your intellect. But with your family and friends don’t use your intellect so much, use your emotions. If you mix it up, you are in trouble! You know, with your wife and children if you are relating them with your intellect and doing business with your emotion you had it! You know at home you have to be more with the value of heart. When you do service you do it with your heart, right? But when you’re doing your work you don’t have to be an emotional thing. Just use your rational mind.
Q: Before the course when I was at home my mind would jump from job, gym, party, plan, and here the mind jumps from breakfast to lunch to dinner (laughter from audience). Why can’t my mind slow down?
I think we should have read this a couple of days ago, we could have told the cook to make the food a little less tasty! Never mind, never mind, you have recognized this, at least. The mind is jumping – it’s already coming to a halt. You know those of u doing advance Course (The Silence Course) for the first time, you would have noticed for the first few days, for the first few sittings you can’t even figure out where the tip of the nose is! Or whether the nose is hollow and empty or you don’t even feel any part of the body. Does it happen to you? Your mind doesn’t stop, it keeps racing…but this is normal. Even if you get 20% in the first silence program, it’s a great achievement, I tell you! First Advance Course, because you’ve never been silent except, while you’re sleeping! Some aren’t even silent when they’re sleeping! We never experience this. We never had a chance to have the mind turn inward. It’s like you’re racing the car in the autobahn and you put the break - it takes some time for the car to stop. It doesn’t stop immediately. In the same way, it takes a little while. It may take… not for everybody it may take, mostly it takes a little time. You will see that from yesterday today was better– today was good, no? Today’s meditation was a little better? How many of you felt better today, huh? See, already it’s better, two days into silence, tomorrow it get’s deeper and when it gets really good then it’s time to leave. So, you got it! It’s good to do a couple of advance courses once in 6 months or once in 4 – 5 months. Then the mind gets trained to switch modes, you know? It’s easy to switch modes in silence and get into that creative field within you, or be dynamic.
Q: What are the most sacred, most divine qualities of marriage? Is there a mantra for a happy marriage?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I have no experience… to give you ideas, but whatever I infer I can share with you. In marriage you should consider the other person as your own part, part - like your arm, like your body. It’s two bodies, one mind, one soul. So, whatever your spouse desires, you make it your own desire, that’s it. Your spouse’s taste, consider it as your own taste. See, you have many, different tastes, right? Sometimes you like this, sometimes you like that. When the conflict arises? When your tastes start moving apart. You should start saying your taste is my taste; your pleasure is my pleasure. I am here for you, rather than, what can you do for me? When we start ‘What can you do for me?’ then both become unhappy, yes? But when you say, ‘What can I do for you? I’m here for you.’ This is the only mantra. Happy marriages are what? ‘I’m here for you, come what may, happy times or unhappy times!’ See in life sometimes there are disappointments, sometimes there is success. In either case, ‘I’m with you.’ This is one thing. The second thing is, if one is upset, the other should not get upset at the same time. Choose a different time to get upset. Know that ‘Oh, my spouse is upset! Okay.’ Give him or her the time to be upset. Don’t question ‘Why are you so upset?’If someone is upset, the other gets angry and expects them not to be upset. This is a big mistake! Someone is upset, leave them that space. You know many of us don’t even know how to receive love! See, someone comes and keeps telling you, ‘Oh, I love you, I love you so much, I love you!!!’ Suddenly you go, ‘Wow, what do I say now!? How do I react?’ You get into a corner; you don’t know how to react. You don’t know what to say, so that person who kept saying, ‘I love you, I love you, I love you!!!’, suddenly finds you are not responding, then starts accusing you, ‘See, look, you’re so cold!’ ‘See you don’t know how to love. You never said you love me!’ and blah, blah, blah…Demand – demand destroys love. Never demand love from your spouse. Take it for granted they love you, but that’s it, finished, you know! So when we start demanding and policing our spouse, we get into a mess, right! So that is important and the rest you can have tomorrow when you are out of silence and we can have a conversation. So, many of you can come out with your own experiences and add more to this. What do you say, good idea?
Q: Guruji, The Art of Living has changed hundreds of thousands of us in Latin America. We have such gratitude for you! We now want the world to feel the way we feel: love, service, happiness, gratitude and celebration. Mucho gracias. Miracalindo! My heart is happy, can I hug you?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Flying hugs!
Q: I want to thank you for everything you gave me, but most of all to the world. We’re blessed that you’re here for us!
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Thank you.
Q: How can I reach my full potential? I have so many thoughts on business, seva, relationships. How do I know which one to pursue? Is it important to try to find my purpose in life?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, yes, yes! You can do that very comfortably (laughter from audience).
Q: What do you think of the muscular strength training? Is it possible to extend the breath by lengthening and holding time or by making the acceleration longer?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, long acceleration is always good, you know, but it takes a little time to train yourself. Muscle testing – I’ll tell you something about it tomorrow maybe. Ask me when you’re out of silence. I will show you something – how your muscles can tell you what you need, what you don’t need. They speak the truth. Do you know about it? How many of you know muscle testing here? Okay, okay, ah, you already learnt last time! Hmm, okay! Tomorrow or day after or one of these days I’ll tell you then you can test yourself – what suits you, what your body says. You know, every muscle in your body speaks the truth, amazing discovery! Wait for it tomorrow (Guruji whispers), tomorrow huh (with a twinkle in his eyes)?!
Q: What does one do when knowledge becomes a barrier and turns to arrogance and jealousy? How does one free from this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Be like a child, unassuming, knowing the more you know there is so much more to be known. Knowing only leads to awareness that you do not know so much more. That brings humility. Do you see what I’m saying?
Q: If the core of our existence is full of love, innocence, perfection, how can a person be so mean and kill his or her whole family? It is hard for me to understand.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know you should go and talk to the people in the prison who have committed these heinous crimes. You’ll find these people are nice people. Why even talk about them, talk about yourself! You know sometimes you’ve been so nasty. Have you been nasty? Have you been angry? Have you been upset? Afterwards you see – ‘Oh, why did I do this?’ Do you regret? In the same way these people – they did a crime, they did commit something they were totally unaware of, and then they started realizing. That’s why spiritual education is so important, because this education doesn’t allow you to commit such heinous crimes! They never had an opportunity to have access to this knowledge, to meditation, to breathing. That is why they did all that.
Q: When will you come to Russia again?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I was just there this year!
Q: Please give me some technique to lessen the ego.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You’re asking about yourself or someone else? For God’s sake don’t do anything with your ego! Just let it be. If you find you have a big ego, don’t try to get it out of yourself. Let it be. You know, trying to meddle with your ego becomes a bigger problem. Then you say, “Look, I erased my ego!” “Nobody could do this!” Understand that? You know it’s so difficult to get rid of the ego. It’s like saying – ‘I’m the most humble person in the world! You can’t find anyone with more humility than me!’ Does it make any sense? So if you find there is any ego, let it be like that happily, huh? Don’t try to meddle or get rid of it. Just smile, yes! You know ego is stiffness. When you’re at home, you relax. When you feel ease, then ego is not there. The antidote for ego is just being natural. Or one day if you want to act crazy or foolish, it might help you a little bit, because your greatest fear is what others will think. Give everyone freedom to think whatever they want to think, right? Then you’ll find you’re so much at ease, at peace with yourself.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Move from one perfection to another

Bangalore, India, Dec.

Q: Can you tell us how the time of the day and night affect our body and mind?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You have a mind and the mind passes through time. Why don’t you observe it! You have different moods in the morning, different moods in the afternoon, and different moods in the evening and night. Isn’t so?
There is alertness and wakefulness at sunrise. I don’t think anybody likes to listen to romantic songs at dawn, dusk or afternoon. Unless you are newly married or just fallen in love!
In the morning, the mind is in a state of knowledge, alertness and wakefulness.
It is action-oriented in the afternoon and in the evening, the mind is in a state of relaxation.
One who wants to be unhappy can be unhappy the whole time, and one who wants to be happy can be happy throughout the day. A fool will be unhappy all the time and the intelligent one will be happy in spite of changing moods. In the same way, seasons also affect the mind.
Definitely, the mind and time have a very unique relationship. If you have transcended the mind, there is happiness throughout. An eternal calmness and serenity dawns.
Q: Why should we deepen our roots if in the next life time we are going to be born in a different religion or culture?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: This is for now! Deepening your roots means getting well grounded. That’s it. It is not about any particular religion or culture. Deepen your roots means - be grounded and stable.
Q: The only mistake I make is that I keep on making mistakes. What should I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is alright to make a mistake. Making a mistake is a part of life. Sometimes a mistake happens; it happens. Fine! Accept it and move ahead. The pain of making the same mistake again and again itself is good enough to take you out of the same mistake. The pain and pinch of suffering will make you come out of that. But never justify your mistake.
Q: Life is so complex. How to stay simple like you?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Don’t recognize complexity. Keep your sight on the One. In Sanskrit it is said, “Antarmukhi sada sukhi”. If your mind is turned inwards, it will always be happy. What is complex? People’s mind! They are bothered about their complexity, why should you be bothered about the same? People are complex, and they will come down. Have patience and compassion.
Q: Why is my mind so restless during lunar eclipse?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is a remedy to all celestial phenomena! You know what? ‘Om Namah Shivaye’. The vibrations of the mantra create an armor around us and protect and energize the whole body – mind complex.
Q: Whenever I see a good looking girl, I find myself in love. Is that love or infatuation?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Well, time will tell you! First, find out whether they are in love with you or not. If that matches, it is a different story. If it doesn’t match, that is a different story altogether. Either case, you will become mature. But don’t keep falling in love. Rise in love! In love, you don't expect anything in return. If you want something in return, don’t call it love. Then that’s need. In a relationship there is a need, but there is no need in love. Love is your very nature. If it sounds too philosophical for now, just keep it in the background and relax. One day you will understand, when your heart breaks or when you realize you expected something too much, something will pop up from the background of the mind and try to save you.
Q: If God is in all, why do natural calamities like tsunamis or earthquakes exist?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Suppose there is only a hero in a film and there is no villain! When there are all kinds of thrill, only then the movie works. If it would have been just a hero or heroin, they get married and live together, that’s it! How would the film be? This is all a play, a drama. So, all kinds of things keep happening.

The soul is eternal. This world is ever changing, different changes keep on happening. Knowing this, just relax. Be of service. Where ever there is a need, be ready to jump in that. Service is our very nature and we cannot live without it. Service should not be like a heavy weight, but just like a flower petal – easy and natural.
Q: In spite of spiritual inclination, some melodramatic tragedies keep on happening. Why is this so?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Tragedy is tragedy when you are affected. There is no explanation for some phenomenon. Why accidents happen, why do people die? It is these moments when you say “Why me?” You know, the ‘Why’ in the mind is associated with misery and the ‘How’ is associated with wonder and joy.
When the question, ‘Why this problem only with me?’ arises in mind or it arises in some other’s mind, better don’t say anything. Just be! No explanation, no reasoning of that will suffix. You simply have to leave those questions for those moments. Time will take you across. Time will make you sail from that situation. Our tendency is to answer them or console them, but smile or a moment of silence will be better. No explanation. No reasoning, no theories will ever do anything. That is what I feel.
Q: Bethlehem is the birthplace of Jesus. But why is there so much violence where Jesus himself was born?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: This is something very interesting. The place had violence before Jesus and it has violence after Jesus as well. This is something to be wondered about. This place has continuously seen bloodshed violence. Why? There is no answer. At least, I don’t know any answer. But if you see history, even before Moses and after Moses, the whole region of the middle East and Egypt suffered a lot, and have been suffering continuously. Knowledge is most needed in that region.
Q: There have been trend of ear piercing and nose piercing. But nowadays people have been into piercing all over the body. Is it alright?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Ear piercing appears to be scientific, because all the nerves that create awareness in the brain end in the ear lobe. So, ancient people used to do so to create more attention. But I don’t know about the other piercings!
Q: What is the golden rule of a happy married life?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Well, I am not qualified to say anything, but let me think. Why don’t you sit with those who are happily married? What I have heard is:
Before marriage: a couple is mad for each other.
During marriage: They are made for each other.
And then: They are mad at each other.
After while: They are mad because of each other.
Somebody has formulated this!
One thing I know, marriage is an institution of patience, sacrifice, caring for each other and sharing. If one is upset, other should keep quiet and wait for his/her turn to get upset. If both together get upset at the same time, then there is a problem! But in front of kids, one should better be civilized.
Q: Human beings will always be imperfect, then how does one see Godliness in a human?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Who says human beings are always imperfect? Inside human beings, there is Godliness. Wake that Godliness up. Move from one perfection to another and not from imperfection to imperfection.
Either you can see fault with everything, like milk gets spoilt and becomes curd and then butter. You can see first milk gets spoilt and becomes curd, and then curd gets spoilt and becomes butter. You can talk about only imperfections, or you can see progress from perfection to perfection.

Monday, January 17, 2011

You are a Christmas Tree

25th December 2010
Each one of you is a special gift on the planet! You are the Christmas tree.
The Christmas tree is pointing upwards and its branches grow on all sides, and we all have that capacity to blossom to the fullest of the human potential. At the time of year when no tree bears anything, the Christmas tree has many gifts to offer and it is evergreen throughout the year. A Christmas tree bears the gifts and the lights not for itself, but for all. The gifts you are carrying in your life are for others. You offer the gift of service to anyone one in need, and you will wonder how your needs are being taken care of!

Friday, January 14, 2011

A few one-liners with Sri Sri

Sri Sri : What topic you want me to talk about?

A person in the audience says, “Fear”
Sri Sri : Fear is love, upside down!

A person in the audience says, “Love"
Sri Sri : Love! That is what you are!

A person in the audience says, “Longing”
Sri Sri : A prelude to love!

A person in the audience says, “Loss”
Sri Sri : You can say that every loss is a prelude to a bigger gain.

A person in the audience says, “Faith.”
Sri Sri : To understand faith, you must know doubt.

A person in the audience says, “Grace.”
Sri Sri : Grace comes with gratitude.

If you feel grateful, then something comes up in your life - and that is grace.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Good News!!

Jaigurudev Dear Ones!!

Sri Sri (Guruji) will be visting Mumbai from 13 - 15 Jan 2011, there will be MahaKriya, Maha Satsangs, Devi Puja & Mantra Yagna , Knowledge Sessions!!

on 14 Jan, 2011 at 9 am IST In Mantra Yagna thousands of people will chant 'Om Namah Shivay' Mantra for 11 minutes for World Peace and Prosperity


Join in for the LIVE Webcast of Mantra Yagna on  http://www.artofliving.org/satsang

Inform ALL and let everyone be a part of this Chanting for World Peace and Prosperity!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

God is a lively and loving consciousness deep inside each one of us!

Orissa, (Sri Sri University site) December 16:
The youth of India have inherited this great country. I want the youth to take responsibility for the society. We want a corruption-free society. The second goal is that we need an intoxication-free society, otherwise we can never progress. Youth are the only hope. It’s very necessary that you (the youth) take this step right away!
Focus on studies, work and knowledge, and leave the rest to the Divine. I am so happy to see such an enthusiastic youth group coming from this part of the world. You should know, we have The Art of Living throughout the world today. You go to the South Pole, tip of Argentina, and you will find The Art of Living. You go towards the North Pole, you will find The Art of Living there. You have a family which is spread across the whole globe, and each one of you is a very important member of the family. We have such a big family, and we have a responsibility too, to work for a happy and celebrative society, a society which is free from violence, and a society which is spiritually uplifted. I want each one of you to multiply 100 times, reach out to schools and colleges and make life a celebration.
And be assured that your needs will be taken care of. You do for the Society what Society needs, and leave the rest on me. You will see, your needs will naturally start getting fulfilled. Whatever you wish, will happen.

Q: What is it that I should do in the future?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Whatever you did in the past which was not to be done, don’t do it in future as well.
Do something that brings a smile on your face and that of others.
Q: What is my existence?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The same question you would have to ask yourself again and again. Until you don’t get the answer, don’t leave the question. We will keep pushing you to get the answer. It’s a very precious question!
Q: When I do something good, even then my parents sometimes don’t let me do that. How to go ahead in such a situation?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Take this as an opportunity to bring out that skillfulness in you. It is like if cloth has been tangled in a bush, you need certain skill to gradually remove it from there. You don’t run, but patiently deal with them with your skill. Have such a skillful conversation that they get agree to whatever right you say.
Q: What is spirituality?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Being able to feel a connection with everybody is spirituality. The skill to feel connected with everybody and to know the Truth is spirituality.
Like this flower is matter. But from a scientific perspective, this flower is made up of molecules, the molecules are further made up of atoms, atoms of sub atomic particles and those further are made up of only wave function. In quantum physics, they say this is only the wave function. Similarly, to understand the Source and Base of the whole world is spirituality. Intuitively knowing the DNA of the flower is spirituality.
Q: Is education all about passing examination and getting good marks. Is it not about something more?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: What do you think?
(The person replies) I think it is because of our parents’ attitude that we think so.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, but you should also study. Any way, you have to flow with the system. Though, examination is not the only thing. If you fail also, then never mind. That doesn’t mean you should take some stupid steps. That is no good. At the same time, you should attend to your exams. Education is very important.
Q: When can I be like the Divine?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You are already now.
Q: What is the most important thing in a student’s life?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: A career is important, and along with that the development of the overall personality is very important. Both go hand in hand. Some are only into career, and some are only into personality development and no career. Lacking in any one, you won’t feel that satisfaction. So, take both along
Qualification as well as personality development. And qualification not only for certification but for gaining knowledge, and then that lightness of heart and smile that comes from the depth of your heart should be there, and a multi talented personality. Most of all, you have to come across as a nice person.
Nice doesn’t mean being goody goody, but being strong. Of course, your soft words have effect, but be strong at the same time. That is what happens in the DSN (program). It makes you so strong and unshakable from within.
Q: What should be one’s main motive in a student’s life?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The main motive is in life. But students are time bound. Main motive in life should be to see a better nation, a better world. When you have love for your nation, achievement also happens.
Q: I feel sad and sometimes outraged looking at the corruption around. When will we have a Divine society to live in? What should be done?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When people like you will collectively move ahead, then definitely it will happen. But if corruption goes on increasing like this only, then forget about that, it will not happen in 2060 as well. There is no end to it. That is why, only now is the time. There is corruption in bureaucracy, there is corruption in media, there is corruption in the entertainment industry, and only a wave of spirituality can cure this.
You know some of our children wanted a license for a factory, and they refused to pay any bribe. They said that they follow spirituality, and they are not going to pay any bribe. They confidently agreed to come back ten, 30, 50 times if needed, but they got the license the very next morning. If people of the society will be on the right path, then officers will automatically start following you. If society is corrupt, the officers are also corrupt, then that becomes an accepted norm. When you make your mind strong, when you take this conviction to be not corrupt, people also change.
Q: How to have focus while studying?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Do at least something. Sometimes a little pain is also good. Like if you cannot walk, but when you participate in a marathon, you put in your 100 percent. Isn’t it? Like if you are thrown in an ocean, until you don’t find the shore, you continue swimming. Would you leave in between even if you are tired? So, even if you don’t feel like doing, it is boring, take it as a challenge, “I will somehow finish this subject”. Even if you don’t know swimming, you get to learn that in water.
Q: (A boy discussed some personal problem) I find it difficult to have that sense of belongingness with everybody. What do I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Having a sense of belongingness doesn’t mean to flow emotionally. Use your intelligence. Do only that what you can do. What you cannot do, nobody will expect that from you also.
Q: How to change the system? Sometimes I feel very outraged and I don’t get to understand how to stand up against that. Please guide.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, you are right. That is why we all have to work together. We can achieve a lot when we do something together. When you know, there are so many people with you, you get that confidence. Come up with your ideas. Float your ideas. Those who have interest in spirituality, those who have human values should run the country. When some mean people get into power,then it creates problem for the whole nation. We will have to choose the right people. There should be an independent agency. The agency where they can check any corruption, an agency that is independent of the government so that it can also check corruption at the government level as well. The path is long, and you will all have to work for it. The path is long, lots to do, and I am confident that you people can do it. Then nobody will be able to practice corruption.
Q: I was once told that Yogis do not meet with the God, have you ever met with God?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: First tell me, who is God according to you? Somebody sitting up in the heaven! No! God is that from which nothing can escape. When the mind is totally relaxed, it merges in the Divine, it relaxes in the Divine. The whole point is to relax the mind in that soothing consciousness. When the wave is on the surface, it is a wave. But when it identifies itself with the depth of the ocean, it becomes the ocean.
God is love and it is inside each one of us.
Q: How does one experience that blissful divinity with in?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Meditation, Seva/Service and Satsang.
Q: Is it ok to ask God helping us in exams, to get us through the examination? Does it happen?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Whatever you need to wish, you can do that, and it gets fulfilled. God is a very lively and loving consciousness. That is why, desires get fulfilled.
Q: Do the ones who have died, feel something? Is there anything after death?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, it happens for some time. At least the effect of worldly memories remain up to one year, and then it fades away slowly in next two – three years.
Q: Does everybody need a Guru?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Do you need an answer? If yes, then yes. If some people do not feel the need, then also it is alright. When you ask a question, and somebody gives an answer, the one who gives you the answer anyway plays the role of the Guru. You need medicine, and you go to a doctor. The one, who gives you medicine, becomes a doctor. Similarly who gives the answer, you accept him as your Guru.
Q: Why do I feel de-motivated sometimes?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Because you are into so much of television and newspaper reading. So, you need such company which motivates you. In wrong company, one feels de-motivated. You should take it as a challenge – I won’t be de-motivated come what may.
Q: What is the difference between spirit and the Universal consciousness or God?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Like an atom is inside the molecule, one that is subtle than the spirit is God. The connection is even more subtle than that between a molecule and atom. According to ancient science, if you bisect one hair vertically into 100 parts, and you take one out of those, you further bisect in 100 parts and then take one out of those. And even repeating the same process, what you get is a molecule. Even much, much smaller than that is an atom. Even subtler than that is ego and that which is more subtle than that also is the mahatattva/grand element. The one whose ego has been totally dissolved, he is called Mahatama.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

When you are confused, just relax. Intuition works in relaxation

Q: If one faces failure in some task again and again, should I continue to do the same, or should I drop that?
Sri Sri : There is one proverb in India, “Task gets accomplished with the Sattva, and not with the material”. So, in order to get something done, sattogun should rise. And what does one do to increase Sattogun? With right food, right conduct, and relaxing your mind for some time - This is first. Secondly, even if you face failure in spite of that, sattogun doesn’t let your enthusiasm to shatter, and when that driving force is still there, you don’t even think of dropping. Like if gambler wins once, he develops that taste to win. And then he continues to play again and again with the wish to win, and even when some failure is encountered, he doesn't even think of dropping in between. Even during some failure, that strong conviction of achieving some good is there, and this conviction will be there when you have that dedication for the task. Like, with enthusiasm in action and peace in heart, people kept fighting for freedom for two centuries.
The ones who were fighting for freedom, they didn't get any money, they didn’t steal anything, but did they leave the drive?
And third factor, look for the reason of failure. Every failure is a step towards success. One reason can be some weakness in oneself or some weak point in the system, arrangements. Self weakness – like someone is not able to present the work properly. E.g. if you go for interview, and say some words here and there, then interviewer develops a doubt if you would be able to do that or not. So, one doesn't get job because of one’s weakness. To get rid of one’s weakness, enhance your abilities.
Each failure is a step towards success, so analyze what did you learn out of this? Did you flow with the emotions? You didn't consult those who are already into that profession? You didn't trust them, or you didn’t keep faithful people with you. All these reasons could be there. So, to get rid of any weakness, enhance your ability, and go into the depth of knowledge of the field in which you wish to move ahead.
Second is to amend the system or arrangements. Now, this is not in hands of a single person. Like if corruption is to be checked, can you fight alone? Be with the group. Awaken that intelligence in people for that. Get people to move ahead with you. "Sanghe Shakti Kaliyuge"
In kalyuga, the power is in the team. People say that it is the peak of kalyuga, and it is as if truth has taken a backseat. If you feel like that, then work in a team. Take some people along and then see if the task gets accomplished or not. To enhance capability, you would have to do something yourself, go within yourself. Be in the world to get more people along, and be with yourself to gain abilities. Taking along both the fields, you will definitely get success in your tasks. If you have given all your trials, put in your 100 percent and if, even then, you didn't get success, then it is OK. Take some other work in your hands. But don’t run away if you face failure for the first or second time.
Q : What should we do to always be happy?
Sri Sri : First be more and more happy and then if some moments of unpleasantness creep in life- accept them. Don’t get upset because you were upset sometimes in the past, and then you will always be happy.
Q: There is a big threat to Us our lives from some people who have their own concepts for which they are ready to die and kill other people. What should we do and how should we deal with such people?
Sri Sri : Ya, we need to deal with them with patience and will have to educate them. It is not an easy task but perhaps we should do it by inviting them and when one among them joins to spread peace, it would be easy.
Q: When people adopt violence for surviving, how to deal with it?
Sri Sri : It is quiet natural to go towards violence for survival – it is a natural instinct. But, if self confidence and vision is instilled in such a person, then you will find that the person walks with a vision in self
confidence without the fear of survival problem. I have spoken about all these in a book called “Celebrating Silence”. You can read that if you wish to.
Q: Should we follow Bhagat Singh or Mahatma Gandhi?
Sri Sri : Bhagat Singh was also supporter of non - violence. But they were encountered with one such situation, that they had to take such steps. Follow Sri Guru Gobind Singh, be a Saint – Sipahi. Have peace of saint in heart and strength of warrior in action. That is why Sri Krishan told Arjuna to be a Yogi and then fight
Q: What is the crux of Life?
Sri Sri : What is the crux of life? At least, first you start exploring within for that adventure! What should I tell you beforehand? The whole life is in search of some juice, some happiness. Where you feel happiness, solaced, be at peace there, relax there. And you get that joy when you look within. Meditation is such a joy! When the tiredness cracks away, you get that relaxation, that joy you are looking for.
Q: What should one do when one is faced with conflicting choices?
Sri Sri : Every confusion is a sign of growth, every time a pattern is broken. In such case, just relax. In relaxation your intuition works. Rely on it.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mahasatsang with Sri Sri at Vellore

December 11, 2010
Sri Sri:
Om Namah pranavarthaya.
Shuddha gnanaika moortaye
Nirmalaaya prashantaaya
Dakshinamurtaye Namah

Q: What is spirituality?
Sri Sri: Spirituality just means knowing that it is one consciousness. One world family - this thought came from India.One side there is slum, the other side is scam. We have to remove slums. For that first we need to remove alcoholism. Nearly 60 percent of a poor man’s income goes in alcohol.
Q: How does Yoga help one in life?
Sri Sri: Yoga increases our qualifications - Yog brings 'yogyata (Talents)'. Whatever we think that starts to happen.People have started recognizing this secret all over the world. Even in china, where they don't believe in God, they have asked us to start spreading the knowledge of yoga.
Krishna says, “Do your duty. I will take care of your sins. You just surrender. If you surrender then it’s my responsibility to take care of your sins. Don't worry. That's what I also say. Just come and participate in meditation, yoga and Satsang, you will not have any worries in life. Just meditate and believe that you have left your sins here.
Human beings have responsibilities and needs. If needs are more and responsibilities are less, that is not a rich life. Meditation and yoga makes our body and mind active, our life rich. We have to have a quality life, a joyful life.
If our life is not joyous, there is no way we can take care of others. That's why we should use Yoga, Ayurveda and Siddha techniques.
I have a dream - everyone should have a proper house to live in.
The second is that caste conflicts should be erased. We should increase the love between human beings. We have forgotten these practices, and it is time to renew these.
Let us meditate now!
(22 minutes of meditation passes away in less than 2 minutes!)
We meditated for 22 minutes. Did you notice the time passing by?
You should learn this, become teachers and take this knowledge to every village.
If you have any worries, you have to leave it here; That’s the rule of Satsang, you cannot take your worries back. You can go only after you drop them here.
How many of you are ready to do some Seva?

There is a village in Maharashtra - Kathewadi where everyone gets together to do Satsang. There are no locks on the houses. It has become an ideal village! Now 188 other villages are inspired to become like that. Villages in Tamil Nadu should also walk towards this. I am sure you can do this. If possible, you visit this place.
Our work is happening in 36,200 villages.
We should adopt more villages in Tamil Nadu.
When you sleep, make one wish and then surrender that wish also.
How many of your wishes are being fulfilled since you started meditating?

If you can win your mind, you can win the whole world! For this, meditation is necessary. Purpose of human life is to know who you are! This is spirituality.

There can be no appreciation for good forces if there are no bad forces. It is presence of villain which makes Hero a Hero. So, life is just a game.
Q: If God is everywhere, why there is evil?
Sri Sri: If there is no evil, how can we recognize good?
Q: How do I listen to everybody?
Sri Sri: With patience!
Q: Is Growth in technology blessing or curse?
Sri Sri: Technology is a blessing. How we use it can make it a curse.
Q: What is difference between God, Guru and me?
Sri Sri: Let's talk of the common thread. The same Divine is in me and in the whole universe. There is no place which is not permeated by the divine. In Sanskrit,
Ishwaro gurur atmeti murti bheda vibhagine,
There is no difference between Guru, Divine and me. What is common in all three is what I am!
Q: What is surrender?
Sri Sri: A child playing a game goes to its mother and plays or cries. That is surrender. The state of mind of the child is surrender. Another way to look at it is if there is something that we can't handle any more, we give up to the higher power. That is surrender.
Q: Why is there so much sorrow in the world?
Sri Sri: Even with so much sorrow we are not able to let go in this world. How we would be able to let go if it was only full of joy. So, surrender in sorrow, do service in joy.
Q: Please talk about karma.
Sri Sri: Some karma we have to experience, and some we can change. E.g. when we cook some sweet, if there is too much sweet, we add some rava, if it is less we can add sweetening agent. But once you have put the rava on the fire, you can't turn it back. In the same way, some karma can be changed, some can’t.
Q: We worry about future and cry about the past. How can we change the pattern?
Sri Sri: Take past as a lesson, and see what you can do in the future. That is why we should take past as destiny and future as free will, that is intelligence.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Any person you meet is only your reflection

December 10, 2010 Bangalore Ashram

Q: I feel life is a like puppet show. So, what is the use or objective of doing anything?
Sri Sri: If an alien comes to this planet and watches football or cricket match, you know how will he react? Shocked!
One leather ball and 22 people after it!
It won’t make any sense to the Alien, and he would say just give them all one. Thousands of people watch and get crazy. People are wasting so much time and money, there seems to be no purpose.So a rational mind cannot understand a game. A rational mind always wants a purpose, some tangible result. Today, unfortunately, games have become wars and wars are like games! I am not giving you any answer. The answer for this should sprout in your mind. See what is the purpose of everything? If everything appears meaningless then congratulations to you! You have started on the path. This is the first sign of intelligence, of waking up. Otherwise we can keep doing same things all our life. It is very good question. Just feel lucky that this question has sprouted in you.
Q: How do I get over of what people think about me?
Sri Sri: When mind is outward and is stuck in an outside event or incident, you have to retrieve it back. That's what you have to do. Either something good happens or bad, it stays in mind for some time, produces an impression in your consciousness. But nothing stays for long and it vanishes by time. Sign of waking up is that you don't hold on to it for long. Sadhana, meditation is the greatest tool for that.
Q: What is the relation of Sadhana and our life?
Sri Sri: The whole life is Sadhana. Doing Pooja, little rituals and Kriya are important but one should also celebrate whole life as sadhana.
Q: I always compare myself with others. I often compare my love and respect for you with others. What should I do?
Sri Sri: You don't have to compare yourself with anybody. Your love is unique. Let love remain love, don't give it any name. The love that is defined by a relationship is limited. You start with this but go ahead and dive deep in a love that is beyond relationships. That is the objective, the goal. The love that is beyond relationships, that is true love only.
Q: I first time saw you yesterday, but I didn't feel you are a stranger?
Sri Sri: I have never felt, meeting anyone, as if I am meeting a stranger. The way your feelings are, you perceive the same. Any person you meet is only your reflection.
(The lights went off suddenly... And someone commented 'Guruji, please don't run away')
Guruji replied 'maybe it is a signal to meditate'

In this world there is no other. This is the mantra of knowledge. There is no one who doesn't belong to me. This is the mantra of love. All our bodies are like shells floating in the ocean of consciousness. This is the truth. Shell has no life; its life is in the water. Where is the life of the fish? In the fish or the water! The body of the fish is just exhibiting the life, but the life is in the water. This is called karan shareer, causal body.

Q: Why do we feel jealous? How do one deal with jealousy?
Sri Sri: Because we don't realize that it is all going to end. Meditate and see life from a bigger context. If you still feel jealous, then just observe the sensations and it will pass