Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Longing itself is God
January 11, 2012
Satsang means to stay with the truth. That is known as Sadhana also.
What is satsang? In our life what is the truth at this present time - this needs to be observed. What is the truth? Truth is ‘I am’.
The body exists and the breath is moving. Observe your body and breath. Observe the mind. What is the truth? Many thoughts are coming in to the mind and going away. Coming and going, rising and then quieting down, this is the tendency of the mind. In the intellect, some argument or reasoning is going on.
What were the decisions in life? What was the outcome of it? What was learnt and what was inferred? Pondering on these things is satsang.
Just doing bhajans is not satsang. Doing bhajans is also satsang, but not that alone. Sit and ponder, 'In my life, what truths have I discovered? What are my weaknesses and what are my strengths?'
Observe how the weaknesses are reducing and the strength is increasing. This is sadhana and this is the satsang you have to be in.
Your vivek (discrimination) is awakening; it was less previously, now it is one percent more! So there is progress in life. Whether slowly or quickly, it is happening.
When your focus is on the world, you will not see God. And when God is visible, the world becomes invisible. You can only see one of the two.
Instead of beholding the world 24 hours, if one can contemplate God even for 24 minutes, it brings so much solace and comfort. Whatever you do in life, for at least twenty four minutes in twenty four hours, if you sit quietly and think, 'This world is nothing; I want nothing from it. I have no expectations of this world' - just this thought draws the mind inward.
The mind will not withdraw inward as long as we desire position, prestige and wealth or appreciation from someone. For as long as one desires something, there is feverishness.
Even for a little while if we say, 'I want nothing from this world', then at that time vivek (discrimination) awakens and the mind becomes happy and peaceful.
This is indicative of the vision of God: ‘Prasanta-Manasam Hy Enam Yoginam Sukham Uttamam Upaiti Santa-Rajasam Brahma-Bhutam Akalmasam.'
Bramha consciousness, where there is no impurity, ignorance, confusion - such awareness, for a little while arises in our experience.
So while you are here for three or four days, do not hold on to worldly matters, attachments and aversions in your mind. If they come, don't be concerned. When they come, just surrender them. Just know that they have come in order to go away. Knowing this, and keeping ourselves detached from it all, we have to repose within.
If we sit with this awareness, maybe not once, or twice or thrice but after a little while the mind will quiet down.
Q: Guruji, truth exists, then why is there need for its authentication?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Demanding proof is a characteristic of the mind. Feelings do not ask for proof, the mind does. To satisfy and quiet the mind, proof is needed. But just holding on to it is also an obstacle. That is why in the tendencies of the mind pramana (proof), viparyaya (wrong knowledge), vikalpa (fantasy), nidra (sleep), smritayah (memory), all of these are considered tendencies, and one has to detach from these. Their restraint is yoga.
You cannot eliminate proof. For as long as the intellect is there, it will demand proof. And there is no need to eliminate it. Just be aware of it and move on.
'Yoga buddhi paratattva sah', the Self or God element is beyond intellect.
Q: Guruji, Muslim leaders in MP have raised a fatwa against Surya Namaskar. Can you comment on this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Perhaps they think the sun is different from God or Allah. That is not so.
Namaskar means what? To give thanks. It should be interpreted this way.
Give thanks to the sun and to the earth. Everything in nature, from grass to the sun is beneficial to life. We express gratitude to whatever is beneficial to life. You do not have to regard the sun as God. Nevertheless, sun is that power which supports everything, and the creator of the sun is the same God. We say the invention of this telephone or mobile phone has brought a lot of comfort to us. When we thank the phone, we are not expressing gratitude to an inanimate object, but the person who invented it.
That is why we say, 'Sarva deva namsakaram Keshavam prati- gacchati' No matter whom you thank, all gratitude reaches the one and only God. This is the thing.
Surya Namaskar is a set of asanas to be done at the time of sunrise, this improves circulation of blood throughout the body, health is maintained, and one remains disease-free. So there are numerous benefits of Surya Namaskar - for heart, liver, intestine, stomach, chest, throat, legs. From head to toe, every part of the body is greatly benefitted by Surya Namaskar.
So many Muslims have derived immense benefit by doing Surya Namaskar. All over the world people are doing Surya Namaskar and improving their health. Their vision is improving. So I do not consider it fair to keep the Muslim community deprived of it. That which improves one's health and well-being, preventing anyone in society from practicing it is not appropriate.
One should understand that there is only one God in the world, there is no two. When there aren't two, these are merely different ways of worshiping Him. Even if you do not consider it a form of prayer, take it merely as a physical exercise, and I do not believe that it would be blasphemy.
Q: Guruji, if we are experiencing the fruits of our karma of previous lifetimes in this life, then when will we attain the fruits of karma of this lifetime?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That is not how it is! The outcome of some of our actions is experienced in this life as well.
Let me give you an example: if you soak moong daal, the sprouts appear within two to three days. If you sow groundnut; it takes three to four months for it to bear peanuts. However, if you plant a coconut tree, it will take three to four years to bear fruit, and if a mango tree is planted, it will take even longer. In the same way, some karma bear fruit immediately - if you place your hand in fire, it will get burnt immediately, not tomorrow. But if you plant a pomegranate tree in the field, it will take time to yield fruit. So some karma bear fruit instantly, whereas some karma yields after some time.
For instance if someone wants to set up a factory, it takes them God knows how many years. Nowadays, getting the license itself takes so much time. You set up a factory and ten licenses will be needed. In between, one has to bribe so many people.
People like us, who refuse to give bribes, would have to wait twenty years to obtain a license. So a person who sets up the factory with so much effort, his children reap the fruits of his labor. In his lifetime he cannot make ends meet.
All the good and honest businessmen, their businesses have rarely been established instantly. Many businesses take many decades to establish. Ten, twenty, fifty years later, one reaps the fruits of one's labors.
Q: Guruji, is it true that the relationship of a wife and husband lasts seven lifetimes? If this is true, I want moksha in this lifetime itself because in seven lifetimes I will become too frustrated!
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: My dear, how do you know if this isn't the seventh one already! It might also be the sixth or the first. Just pray!
Ask your wife also how she is faring. You are so frustrated, so ask your partner how frustrated or happy she is. It is impossible for one to be frustrated and the other one to be happy. Both get frustrated. Whatever it is, just celebrate.
Q: Guruji, you are God. Do you also do Kriya?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Sometimes! If I have to teach someone, I should at least remember it!
Q: Guruji, when you cognized the Sudarshan Kriya, who was the very first person you bestowed the experience upon?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, the very first time, there were quite a few people, approximately fifty or so. All of them came and experienced it.
Q: Guruji, my mind is in a dilemma and it is restless. When the eyes want to see you, then you have us close our eyes for meditation. Before coming here, you put us into silence and before we break our silence, you are leaving. Think of us Guruji, the mind is deeply pained.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Longing itself is God. It is good to be in longing. And this longing is such that it has no solution. It never fades. This thirst is such that it can never be quenched.
Q: Guruji, did your mother scold you? Please teach me how to control my temper. I really lose my temper at my mother very often.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, my mother used to scold me a lot! Do one thing. Everyday go and bow down in front of your mother. If you get angry at her one day, you will have to do pranaam the following day anyway. If you touch your mother's feet everyday and seek her blessings, each day's anger will dissolve the very same day.
Q: Guruji, ever since I began dedicating more time to the Art of Living, it seems like my wife has developed an intense jealousy towards it. What is the solution?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know how to ride a bicycle? In the same way drive the vehicle of life! Maintain a balance in life: Do what you like to do, but also do what others like to do.'
Q: Guruji, can you please explain Yoga Vasistha as you explain Ashtavakra Geeta? Many times, it is hard to understand some parts of what I am reading.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, you have to keep reading it. You will not be able to understand Yoga Vasistha in one reading. As your awareness increases, you will begin to understand more and more. So you have to read it continuously, keep at it. By reading it repeatedly, new ideas begin to blossom.
Q: It is said that winners stand alone. Is it really winning if you stand alone at the top?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: First of all, take this concept of top and bottom out of your mind. Every place is unique. If someone has kept you on the top then it is the efforts of all those who are at the bottom. They are the basis.
In a building, the top floor is not as important as the ground floor. If the basement is strong then we can raise any number of floors. So, if you happen to be on the top, be totally humble. That humility needs to be there, only then you are on the top. The more you go up, the more humble you become. Humility is the sign of success. And when there is humility then there are no obstacles. Everything keeps on happening naturally.
Q: I often wonder why God has made us so complicated. Firstly we are given mind that wanders and then we tame it. Why not bestow us with a tamed mind.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Why are you are so lazy that you don't want to do anything?
Nature wants you to do something, take some responsibility.
This is like asking, ‘Why you are making a jigsaw puzzle? Just get it readymade, fixed all at once.’
The jigsaw puzzle is for you to play with, fix and make something out of it. Life is like that. It's a game, a play. And the mind is the biggest game player.
Q: Guruji, you have told us how to be in a relationship. Please tell us how to come out of the relationship.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You have already come out of it! When you want to come out of it, it is already gone, it's already done! Isn't it?
Main thing is to relate yourself to the universe, to the Divinity. If you have a relationship with the Divine, you have a relationship with everyone. Then the question of establishing or breaking a relationship with anyone does not arise. In attempting to break also, one may get stuck badly. The more the mind tries to break away the more it gets pulled towards the relationship, and experiences pain.
You neither want to stay nor leave.
In leaving one feels as though some comfort is being lost, and in staying, the pain gets too intense and it is hard to stay on. So it is better to secure a relationship with the One. This way, relationships with everyone else is automatically established.
Q: Guruji, you say that we have come into this world together many times and then parted; just that we have forgotten, but you remember. In parting, have you not felt pain?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Where do I part from you? Otherwise how could you belong to me? Here no one is an outsider. There is no other but me and me alone.
Q: Guruji, what do I do when I am with close friends who keep on blaming others. They say it is sharing and caring, but I don’t want to listen to them anymore. What to do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Listen to them with ear plugs on. They want to say it because they feel lighter, so let them do it. You don’t take it all in. That is important.
Q: Guruji, you love everyone. Then why do I feel that you love me the most?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That's a secret. Don't tell anyone! It is true, but it is not meant to be shared with everyone! The absolute truth!
Q: Guruji, I am in love with a girl who wants me to prove my love to her by asking for expensive gifts. You had said that love is absolutely free, but this one turned out to be extremely expensive for me!
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Come child, just learn the lesson! What love and friendship is, you will learn within a few days, as you grow older.
Maybe she is testing you to see how much you can sacrifice. Love does demand sacrifice. So maybe she wants to see how miserly or generous you are.
The true lover can never be greedy. A lover is joyful, peaceful, and generous. But that does not imply that you squander all you have. Use your discrimination.
Q: Guruji, is there consciousness within me?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You are asking and you are hearing also whatever I said. If there was no consciousness within you how would you have asked the question? How would you have seen, heard or understood? That which is listening from within you, comprehending, witnessing, experiencing everything, is chitta.
The main powerhouse of the mind, intellect, memory, ego, body, prana; that stream of energy - that itself is consciousness. So the truth is that which is.
You exist, right? This building exists? This building is truth. But it does not seem that these pillars can hear what is being spoken, so the building lacks consciousness.
Although we cannot say that, a little bit is present in everything; it is present in stones also. But in you consciousness is more obvious. In trees it is less evident although trees and plants also hear. But in you that consciousness is greater.
When that consciousness transforms into bliss, it is Paramatma.
In the universe there is only truth. Within consciousness, the universe and life both exist. And in God, truth, consciousness and bliss, all three are present. And joy is hidden within us. Through practice (sadhana) that joys sprouts.
So God is asleep within you, hidden inside - awaken Him.
This is what is ‘Jaagaran’. Awaken the mother, the Goddess sitting inside you, awaken Her!
Shivji is sitting inside, awaken Him. Sri Hari is sitting inside, awaken Him.
Q: Guruji, on the path of spirituality which approach is preferable between Vairagya (dispassion) and Josh (zeal/passion)?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Both are necessary. That is why Lord Krishna first aroused zeal in Arjun by saying, ‘Look, what will people say? They will say, 'He is such a coward.’ What is the point in living a life of humiliation; it would be better to die.’
Then he said, 'Is it proper for a Kshatriya to be sitting around like this? On the one hand you are crying and shivering and on the other, you talk like a highly learned person. Does anyone shiver while talking about dharma?'
Lord Krishna further said, 'What kind of a person are you? I considered you brave and daring (shoorveer). And you are behaving like this? You are saying you do not want all this!'
With these taunts, Lord Krishna awakens the passion and fire in Arjun.
Then Lord Krishna goes on to say, ‘All this is nothing. 'Anityam asukham lokam' - this world is impermanent, it doesn't stay. Everything is headed towards destruction. So do not repose any expectations in this world.’
Saying all this Lord Krishna gently brought Arjun into dispassion.
He awakened passion as well as dispassion, and then said, 'Now go and fight.' What a great and fitting attitude he inspired in Arjun. In zeal there is passion to work - combining it with dispassion, the path he prescribed is unique and amazing!
Q: Guruji, those who have found their guru in this birth, if for any reason they are unable to attain mukti, are they able to find their guru in the next life time or do they have to wander aimlessly?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: No, no! Arjun asked this very same question, 'What if I am unable to walk this path of yoga in this lifetime?'
So Krishna answered, ‘Nahi Kalyana Krit Kaschit Durgatim Taata Gachchati’ - One who performs noble acts will never go down, will never be miserable in this world or the next.
You will always ascend to higher planes of existence. You will be born in a noble or wealthy household, and on account of the memory of your past deeds, you will resume from where you had left off. So do not worry. Your Kriya and sadhana will never go to waste.
Q: Guruji, in dreams, I had seen heaven, and used to think that after leaving this earth I would go to heaven. But I did not expect to find heaven on this very earth until I came to the ashram.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Absolutely right! Just be content. This is even better than heaven. They say there is no love in heaven, though everything else is present. Here love and knowledge both are present.