Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Don't speak sweet lies and unpleasant truth
Remember these three aspects - naturalness, simplicity and belongingness.
I have travelled to so many countries and met thousands of people but I have never felt that anyone is a stranger and does not belong to me.
When we do not feel that someone is a stranger then they too will not look at us as a stanger. When will someone feel the belongingness? When we feel belongingness with them. Everyone is our own and no one is a stranger - this is the first mantra.
Second, whatever is inside is also outside. Just open up your heart and be natural.
Next is living a simple life. Living with the confidence that we will anyway get whatever is needed, that is simplicity. Right or wrong, I am what I am.
If we live like this, naturally, then there will not be any fear. Then there will be no doubts or blocks in life. This is the important mantra of Art of Living.
Now this does not mean that because you are natural and simple, you go to your office and tell your boss, 'you are stupid'. Don't do that! Use your brains a little. ‘Guruji says be sincere and natural’; so you go to a funeral, and say, 'I don't feel anything. Why are you crying, let us celebrate!'
I heard one gentleman went home after completing his Advanced Course, lifted his wife in his arms and happily went around the house. The wife asked, 'what happened today? Has Guruji said love your wife?’ Then this gentleman said, ‘no, no, Guruji said, carry your burden and botheration joyfully.'
Q: Dear Guruji, what is your message for the New Year? What should all the sadhaks focus on for the coming year?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: A better world!
Our service should be focused on a better world and a better society.
And in personal life, have a strong conviction and faith that all is well and good is going to happen.
According to the Vedic calendar, you much have heard that this is the last year of the Mayan calendar and Doomsday is going to come. There are many movies about the World coming to an end. I am telling you nothing is going to happen and the world will continue.
According to Vedic Calendar, from March 2012, this year is called ‘Nanda’.
‘Nanda’ means happiness; the year of happiness.
First comes happiness and the year that follows is called Victory.
You will be happy and victorious, so do not worry.
Resolve to do some good work in society and spread knowledge. You will see by end of next year more and more people will turn to spirituality.
All those engaged in terrorism will be cornered and people who are in violence, their strength will be reduced. It will happen and you are a part of that happening.
Q: Guruji, you have said that spirituality is the technology of consciousness. That sounds really fantastic. I shall be grateful if you can elaborate on this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Definition of technology is a system or a method based on laws of nature which would bring comfort to people. Aero plane is a technology based on the laws of nature. Telephone is system developed based on laws of nature to bring comfort to people.
Spirituality is also the same thing. It is based on laws of nature to bring inner comfort; absolute comfort.
I will say spirituality is A.C., which is ‘Absolute Comfort’.
Q: Guruji, I am a head of company in the corporate sector. Unfortunately my department heads are at logger heads with each other. Please give some tips to manage so many departments effectively?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is an open secret. Put them all into an APEX program. You know our Art of living APEX program has a slogan that says, ‘Get into the team and let out the steam.’
More than 1000 companies around the world have done and are doing this program.
Q: Dearest Guruji, I am a YES student. My school syllabus is very vast. I do not manage to retain much on the exam day. Can you suggest what to do to increase the capacity of my mind?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Relax! Listen to music. Do something creative.
A few minutes of silence and a nature walk will help. Observing the nature is good.
Q: Why do we chant ‘Om’ three times?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Om is made of 3 syllables ‘Aa’, ‘Uu’, ‘M’. That is why we chant 3 times.
You can say that it is for the lower body, middle body and upper body, like we do three stage pranayama.
If we do it 4 times, even then you will ask me why 4 times? If you want you can do it 4 times. Whenever you choose a number there need not be any reason for it.
You want to do it 5 times, you can do it.
Q: Guruji, everything is fine with women, except that they tend to experience more jealousy when compared to men. Why is that?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I also do not know why it happens.
I don't want to generalize in this manner. Nowadays, there is a lot of jealousy among men also, and many women are able to handle many situations very even mindedly, and are able to let-go easily. May be it is because women are more emotional and since jealousy is an emotion, they experience more of this.
On the other hand men are generally more intellect centric and and therefore experience this emotion a little less. But this is not necessarily the rule.
You must be reading in the newspapers daily. What all horrific crimes boys do out of jealousy.
Q: Dear Guruji, how to be diplomatic in a corporate culture where there is no value for point blank truth?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Listen, sometimes you think you are speaking the truth but many times you are being harsh. You do not have to be harsh while saying the truth.
Have you noticed, people who are very rude, they ascertaining that what they are saying is truth and it is true, that is why they are rude.
People are disliked for their rudeness and not for the truth. You can separate these two things.
There is an old Sanskrit couplet which says, ‘do not speak sweet lies and do not speak unpleasant truth.’
This is the ancient dharma.
You can be firm and sweet. You do not need to be rough, rude and agitated to be firm.
You do not need to go round and round to be sweet. That is not necessary, just talk straight and sweet.
Q: Guruji, the botherations that I put in the basket, would they be sorted out while I am here, or will they come back to me after going home?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Wait and watch!
If you have put it for the sake of putting, you have not really dropped the botherations then you may take it back with you.
Q: Guruji, how to handle emotions? Even when doing sadhna and seva, sometimes negative emotions come up and disturb me a lot. I am unable to find a solution.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Have you notice that it is already much lesser than before?
(Answer: Yes, substantiality less, around 60%)
That is a good thing. Does it give you hope that it will become lesser and lesser as you continue?
That is your answer!
Q: Why is it that in our religion, fasting and other compulsory rituals are for women only and not for men? Like Karva Chauth fast that women observe for their husbands and other fasts that mothers observe for their sons. Men do not have to wear Mangal Sutra or wear sindoor? So is our religion also gender biased?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is not so!
Probably men made the rules and so they imposed many on women. Actually women are at home and they have a lot of free time and so they take on all these rituals by themselves.
What has happened is that the men don’t follow all the rules and rituals. Women keep all the rituals religiously because she is more sentimental and she is the binding force at home between everybody. So she cares for the welfare of everyone.
But men who go out and work, in ancient days they also had Ekadashi fast. It is all common to everybody. Men are also supposed to do, though sometimes they don't do it.
Even men are supposed to wear tilak, and married men are supposed to wear two sacred threads. So in this country men and women both have to follow certain rituals.
In fact women have one step higher honor in this country. Like we first say Radhe and then Shyam, first Sita and then Ram, Gauri and then Shankar. Women were honored much more from ancient times.
So men and women are equal; rather women are kept one step higher than men in this country.
You know there is what is called ‘Sthreedhan’ in ancient India. In the whole continent, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore, men would keep a certain amount of money with women at home and nobody would touch that money. That was called ‘Sthreedhan’. That is the money that she would grow at home.
Women were respected more than anything else. Like female feticide is a very wrong thing that is happening in this country now. In a country where women were given the most respect.
It is said, the most sinful act is killing a cow.
If you kill 100 cows, it is equivalent to killing one scholar; killing 100 scholars is equivalent to killing one saint, and if you butcher 100 saints it is equivalent to harming one girl child.
What does this mean? Killing 1 lakh cows is equivalent to harming one girl child.
So, this way, women were always kept at a very high position.
Q: Guruji, I have read in one of your book, ‘God Loves Fun’, that we should not try to possess what we love. Does that also mean that we should not marry the one we love? Is marriage also possession?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I never said that! Choice is yours and blessing is mine.
Whether before marriage or after marriage, if you are too possessive then the other person will run away.
Trying to control somebody, possess somebody may not be a very intelligent idea.
Q: Q: Please save me Guruji. I lied (it is a long story) and came for the Advanced Course and now my boss has found out that I am at the Ashram. What should I do to save myself from the wrath of my bosses?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If you have taken a sick leave or if you have said, ‘I am sick’, you can justify it.
Sickness is not only physical but it can be mental and spiritual as well, because many times people are spiritually sick.
Whenever you are not happy, that means you are sick.
Tell them there is an Ayurvedic clinic. Go and take your Nadi Pariksha tomorrow morning.
You can say you have come to balance your imbalances or else how can you work in your workplace? You have to be balanced, mentally, physically and emotionally.
Q: Guruji, if what we see and hear is not the truth and yet our mind experiences life and the world only through our senses. So if 99.9% of all our actions are based on wrong view, what is the use of partaking in any actions?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Even that action is also not real.
Whatever action you do is also not real. If everything is not real then not just your thought but your action is also unreal.
Q: My son earns handsomely and I am retired. But every month I take a certain amount of his money without his knowledge and use it for welfare of the society. I am pained by my action, because it makes me think that I am robbing and will this become a habit in me? I do not know why I do it but I cannot stop myself.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Do not identify it as theft.
If you are doing some good work, negotiate with him that you want to contribute some amount for the welfare of the society and do it within limits.
If he does not listen then don’t worry.
When you are living together in one house then you do not have to say, this is his money or my money. The money belongs to everyone.
You have built the house in which both of you are living and you do not take rent from him for living in the house, right?
You are doing a noble act by helping poor children. See how much joy you are bringing to the helpless children. So you do not have to feel sorry about it.
If one is robbing to consume alcohol or indulge in such acts then that is not a correct thing to do.
Q: Guruji, I am not able to accept myself as I am. When I see someone else, I feel that other is better than me and that makes me feel low. How do I handle this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See Life from a bigger picture.
There are so many people who are better than you today. And there are millions more who will come and who will be better than you. What are you going to do?
Why do you compare?
God loves everybody and you are loved. Just remember this much. Everybody has their own style, their own fate and you will get what you need to get.
Just by talent you will be successful, is not the criteria, it does not happen that way.
If you look around, people who are absolutely not qualified to take up even a clerical job have become billionaires. So there is something called luck and luck will come your way.
Wake up to this reality and stop comparing yourself with anybody and know that you are good. If your heart is clean then you are beautiful and if you are beautiful everything comes your way.