December 24, 2011The whole world is one family, so it is necessary that we live with naturalness and simplicity; only then life blossoms.
This is what kids do. However, as we grow up, we tend to lose that. We create a wall between us. We bring formalities between us and forget our naturalness.
What is most important in the world is innocence along with intelligence. The innocence of an ignorant person has no value. Similarly the crookedness of an intelligent person has no value. What is most valuable is innocence and intelligence. Innocence and intelligence should go together.
In children there is innocence, naturalness, and ease. Together with that, intelligence should be sharpened, and our education system should be this way.
This is what I call spirituality - that which keeps the spirit uplifted. Not that spirit which one takes and experiences a temporary high! The inner spirit - keeping your spirit alive with enthusiasm, with innocence, with naturalness - this is spirituality.
In Hindi, they say 'Bhole bhaav mile raghurayi' - one who lacks innocence can never find Ram. So, maintain your innocence. How to maintain innocence? Know that God is One for everyone and be natural with everyone.
Parama atma means what - that which is present everywhere; that which is omnipresent. So, will it not be present within us? If it is not present within me, it is not Parama atma. And if it is forever, then it exists in the present also. It is not that it was present previously and will appear again in the future.
Parama atma is always there, and therefore is here right this very moment. Resting with this knowledge is meditation - Parama atma is here, in the present, within me. If you rest with this thought, all the restlessness in the mind will quiet down. Once the mind is silenced, Boom! A radiance will be experienced.
This is what everyone had been in search of. For how many lifetimes we had been in search of this, and then one realizes, 'I am THAT!' Aham brahmasmi. 'Tat tvam asi' - 'You are THAT which you are in search of.'
Q: Guruji, as school going students, how can we participate in the anti-corruption campaign?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Tell your parents about it.
And you also take an oath, 'I will not be with corruption.'
We want to see a radiant India where there is no corruption. When there is belongingness, corruption automatically disappears. When everyone is child-like and innocent, corruption will definitely be eradicated.
Q: Guruji, how do we bring back the trust in the press which has been lost?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Put yourself in their shoes. Suppose someone loses trust in you for some wrong or mistake you did and if they hold it against you all the time, would you like it?
I want to give you an example. Nine out of ten diamonds are made in Surat (a city in Gujarat, India). The entire industry is run by people who have not studied beyond High School, but are brilliant businessmen! That doesn't mean you should stop studying!
Remember, when you get less marks, you should know there are other avenues as well - you can become a great sportsperson. If you didn't get good marks once, so what? You will get it the next time.
If you don’t get it for the third or fourth time, become a big sportsman, or a big shot, but never, ever commit suicide. It is a wrong thing.
God has given you this body, this precious gift. We should not destroy it. You must all promise me this!
We should do some breathing, some meditation, some pranayama; this will give you inner strength.
ART Excel, YES+ course and all these courses are there only to help you to cope up with your stress. There is so much demand from your peers, from your school, from parents and when you think about your future you feel insecure. That is why all these courses have been designed.
They help you gain inner strength to move forward with a smile.
Q: Guruji, were you mischievous during your childhood days?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, very much! I was very mischievous.
When I was a kid, I emptied my father's brief case and stuffed all the toys into it. When he went to office and opened the briefcase during the board meeting, all the toys popped up. He was very embarrassed. But I did it only once.
Q: Guruji, my best friend fell in love with my girlfriend. Now they both are together. I am feeling lost. Can you help me?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Remember, there is a proverb, 'whatever is yours will always come back to you.’
If it is not yours, you just move on and look for something which is yours.
Q: Guruji, I feel lazy to study. How can I quickly get out of this laziness?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Do you feel lazy when you want to go to play? No!
So when you feel lazy, play a little game and then come back and study.
Q: Guruji, I want to become an Art of Living teacher, but my parents are not allowing me to do so
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That is because they may think you may not complete your studies or do anything else. Do well in your studies and then become an Art of Living teacher.
Q: Guruji, when somebody blames me, they take away my negative energy. If this is true, why is it that I feel low or I feel very bad at the moment?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know, somebody is talking negative about you, they are dumping garbage. You should not hold your gunny bag and catch it. When somebody is dumping garbage, you simply move away from there. Don't take it in.
If they say something negative about you, there are two reasons: one is, either they are doing it out of jealousy, or they are doing it because they love you very much. They are good friends with you and want the best for you, so they show your negative points or your weak points.
So if they say something negative, either you thank them because they took the guts and said it, which others normally don't want to say to you.
If someone criticizes you, they gathered the courage to do so, and they put their friendship at risk to criticize you. So thank them. And if they are just saying it out of jealousy, just forget about them and move on with a smile.
Q: Guruji, I am in the ninth standard. Many of my friends are into smoking and drinking and they force me to do so too, but I know it is not correct. But if I don't do it, I feel left out.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, never mind being left out in those things which they all will regret later on! You stand out with principles.
I had the same challenge when I was in college. Everybody around me was smoking and some really macho guys surrounded me one day and asked me, 'you must smoke.'
I just stared at them and said, 'no!'
I was the youngest in my class. Everyone else was older than me. I said, 'I will not do it!' They just looked at me baffled and then left.
So you will become a hero if you say in front of them, 'no way! I won't do it.'
They started liking my company very much later on.
'Yes, here is somebody who has strong resolve.' Show your strong resolve for something that you believe in. These are the things which we must believe and acknowledge.
'I am not going to do anything which is bad, which is injurious to my life and to the society.'
Will you all take the promise now, today? 'We will not touch any of those drugs, alcohol or cigarettes.' Can you promise me?
Q: Guruji, what is the purpose of human life? What must one do to achieve moksha (liberation)?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You will get moksha, don't worry! Once the desire for moksha arises in our mind, it will definitely be attained.
Q: Guruji, we have heard so many stories about you. Can you show us some miracles?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: How many of you have experienced miracles in your life? Raise your hands. See! Everybody has experienced miracles. I hardly find any hand which is not raised.
Life itself is a miracle. Honor it!
Love is the greatest miracle.
The more love you give in your life, you will find miracles are abundant in your life.
Q: Guruji, I want to know whether I should become a drummer, singer or a scientist. What should I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: ou know you can do all three. You can practice your drum as an extra-curricular activity and as a hobby you can sing. You can become a scientist too.
All three can go together. There is no either-or.
At this age, there is no choice. As kids you should not choose. Develop as many talents as you can.
Q: Guruji, will meditation help in studies?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Meditation will definitely help in studies, because it calms your mind, improves circulation and energizes your whole system. Concentration is a byproduct of meditation.
You can't directly achieve concentration, but if you meditate for a few minutes, your mind will be very focused, concentration happens to you.
Q: Guruji, when I study in the class, my friends disturb me. What can I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Do one thing. You disturb them even more, and then, when they are disturbed, you can sit and study.
Q: Guruji, please speak a little about natural and organic food and how it is important for kids.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Someone just brought corn grown organically, with two cobs on a stalk. Usually there is only one corn on each stalk. This corn has been grown by organic, natural farming. The crops are also good and organic food is very good for you.
It is a benefit to the farmers and is good for our health. Otherwise, they use so many chemicals to raise the crops and then we complain of stomach ache and back ache. How many people suffer from lower and upper back pain and knee pain? Do you know why it is so? It is because of excess urea used in the production of food.
The food that is produced using inorganic chemical fertilizers, causes pain in the joints, back, head, stomach; from head to toe.
Q: Guruji, sometimes parents don't agree on something which is correct. How should we convince them?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You have all the tricks. When you have to go on a school trip and your parents say no, how do you gauge your father's mood and tell him, 'Oh, I don't want to go, but all my friends won't go, if I don't.'
Talking in this manner, you manage to convince him. Do you not get your way by gauging their mood? You know many tricks!
Q: Guruji, I love a boy from another religion. His parents are okay with it, but my parents are strongly opposing it. What should I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Take some time to decide. There is no point in angering and upsetting your parents. Best is when there is harmony; doesn't matter what religion, but harmony is very important. Later on, you should not regret, 'Oh, I subjected my parents to so much suffering and sadness.'
After causing so much sadness, even if you get married, your mind will never be reconciled.
Then everyone will remain unhappy. So it is best to seek everybody's consent.
Q: Guruji, how can I be the same as you are?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You grow up and still be a child and you should always consider everyone as a part of you, everyone as your friend. Make one new friend every day. Make as many friends as you can, and have no enmity with anybody. You should not hate anybody or cause any harm to anyone.
Q: Guruji, I always worry what others will say about me and that is why I can't concentrate on my studies. What can I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Look, you should give them freedom to say whatever they want to say. Stand up with courage and say, 'come on, you think whatever you want to think about me.’
If they think you are a donkey or a dog, tell them, 'Yes! That is what I am.'
Come on my dear, be bold! If they think you are a fool, so what?
Q: uruji, I lost my father four years back, and since then I am unable to concentrate on academics. What should I do to improve academically, so that I can make him proud of me?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Do YES course. Don't worry. Your father's blessing is with you. Move on.
All the youth here, I want you to move forward. Let us create a bright future for India.
In foreign countries what they do is, they take a sabbatical - take one year off from studies or work and work for the country or on any other project.
I want that some of you, in fact I would prefer all of you to come forward for one year. We should go from village to village and visit the slums of Mumbai, (we are running a school in Dharavi) and take on responsibility, there is a lot we can do. We will be able to bring all the suicides to a stop. We can be of use to the society.
All of you who wish to volunteer should register. Make our country proud; make our country really strong. I want to see a society where there is no corruption, no injustice, no violence and no stress.
A society where humanity flourishes and love is visible everywhere.
I want all of you to become volunteers, and see a corruption-free society, violence-free society. Let's all join hands.