December 26, 2011
Either you can see God or you can see the world. You can’t see both. You have to choose one.
If you want to see God, I’ll show you right away: Stop seeing the differences. Stop seeing the world.
We are like in a hologram. One light beam makes the hologram. It appears to be an object but it is not an object, it is just light’s play and display. This whole universe is a play and display of light which appears to be different. There is nothing but God on this planet.
If you sit in a movie show, whatever you see on the screen is just light passing through, that’s all. Light is passing through a running film and appears to be different things, different people and different incidents. Like this, the whole world is a play and display of one consciousness. There is no matter and there is no energy. There is no you, there is no me, there is no this, there is no that. It is all just One.
In the Bible it says, ’Be still and know that I am God.’
It is the mind that sees the differences. The intellect perceives the differences. Transcend the intellect and be still. There is only one thing.
You can’t say One, because to say One, you need to have two. If you say something is complete, then you have to be outside of it and say it is complete. The ancient people were so brilliant that you would be amazed. They said, non-dual, there is no two.
To say One is wrong. Only two can say it is One. That there is no two is the best way to express it. That is what is called advaita (non-dual) but dvaita means dual. This is like the pure science, like the quantum physics. You can experience, you can know it, but in practical life, you have to come one step down. You have to acknowledge the duality, the multiplicity in the creation.
The table, chair, roof, door, is all made up of wood here and that is a fact. But you can’t use the chair for a door and a door for a chair. From that level, you have to operate in duality.
So the Periodic Table in chemistry is also true and Quantum physics is also true. Both talk about the same matter.
Q: Where did Hanuman and his kind disappear to? Were they monkeys or what were they? How could a superior species of apes just disappear?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You should talk to an anthropologist. They’ll give you the history. The world is all changes. Things keep changing. The only constant thing about the world is that everything is changing.
Q: Dear Guruji, can you give us some tips on how to feel your presence more in our daily lives?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Just be still. Even for a minute or half a minute.
Q: Dear Guruji, what is your sadhana every day? Do you run into the same issues as us like too many thoughts, anxiety, or do you live your natural state all the time?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is a code of conduct for a teacher not to share their experience.
Do you know why? Because the student will start to think, ‘how come I am not having this? I want to have it.’
This wanting to have, this questioning oneself will go on. The best thing is to just be with your experience. Step by step you will always progress and a time comes when everything is meditation.
Q: What to do with my money? Can you give me some advice?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You are living in a world which is complex. In some way or another, you are dependent on something in the world. You cannot insulate yourself so totally.
Now see, Germany changed its currency from the Deutsche Mark to the Euro. You could not say, ‘no, I don’t want to get into the Euro, I want to keep the same Deutsche Mark with me.’
You could not say that and if you would have done that, you would be a big fool.
So there is no total isolation or insulation from what is happening in the world.
You can be smart, and not greedy. Often people who are greedy, they end up in trouble. They see these advertisements that say, ‘Just invest your money and you will get 200% returns out of it.’ You don’t scientifically think why they would give you 200%. You get caught in the cloud of that, ‘oh they are going to give me tremendous money.’
At that moment when you are so feverish, no wisdom enters your head. You think it is so real, and you invest and you lose all the money. I have seen so many people do that and have heard many people lose all their wealth just out of greed.
So we should be intelligent enough to see where it is good to invest. I can’t tell you all that. It is against ethics. You invest wherever you find it is safe.
Q: Dear Guruji, I cannot let go. What to do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Just hold on!
Breathe in and hold on! See how long you can hold on for. There is no choice!
Can you stop your age? No! You can’t say, ’I’ll become 49 after next year.’ You cannot say that.
‘Though I’m turning 49 this year, I’ll hold on until next year. I will think about it, whether I should be 50 or not.’
Can you choose to change your date of birth? No! If you do it, it is not true.
You can do it in a passport, but it is not legal, it is not right. You were born on a particular day and that is it.
Q: I always search for being loved. How to know that I am loved and that I am worth being loved?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: My dear, I have said so many times, you are love!
Don’t look for love but give love. When you start giving, it comes back multiplied many more times to you.
Q: Dear Guruji, my father died recently. My mother is alone, frail, disoriented with no goal in life. What can I do to help her?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Knowledge will help!
Speak with her about Knowledge. Sit with her and read some of the knowledge.
Read the Scriptures, some stories or Yoga Vasistha.
More than that, just you being around itself is uplifting. Time is a great healer. In fact, time is the only greatest healer.
Q: Beloved Guruji, you say that karma cannot be changed. Only grace can change karmic bondage. What is grace and what action can bring grace?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: All actions that are evolutionary and all that supports life. Selfless dedicated service.
Not that I do some service and think what do I get in return? No, that is not called service. Seva is an act done without wishing for something in return. This act is very important. Seva purifies our karma.
There is a proverb in India, ’a spoonful of ghee (clarified butter) on the rice purifies the rice.’
You know why? This is because if you eat rice just like that it digests very fast and becomes sugar very quickly. Many people who eat rice like that, they become diabetic.
A cardiologist told me, anytime you take cereals; you should have a little bit of fat with it. A spoon of ghee on top of it slows down the digestion. It becomes complex carbohydrates and helps to balance the sugar level in the body and that helps a healthy heart function.
That is why the ancient people had said this, ‘a spoon of ghee purifies the rice.’
Knowledge purifies the intellect. How many of you experienced that knowledge purifies the intellect? All the anger, cravings, aversions about other people, everything disappears.
Music purifies the emotions.
Charity purifies money that you earn. At least three to four percent of what you earn should be given away in charity. If all that we earn we spend on ourselves, it is not considered pure money or good money. Charity purifies the money and then you can enjoy the rest of the money. Otherwise the rest of the money just goes in hospitals and other things.
Prayer purifies the heart.
Meditation purifies the soul.
Ayurveda, triphala purifies the body and cleanses the bowels. We keep stuffing food into our system all the time, but once in a while we need to purge the system.
Four or five tablets taken at night before going to bed, in the morning your stomach is all clean.
So Ayurveda, yoga, pranayama and exercise purifies the body. Pranayama purifies the whole system, the body mind complex. That is why after Sudarshan Kriya you feel so clean. It cleanses you of all the karma, it brings that clarity.
Q: Dearest Guruji, Does the soul have to reincarnate again and again until all desires and karma is cleared? What is the way out of this cycle of birth and death? Is enlightenment the only way?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Correct! The only way to quench the thirst is to drink something. The only way to satisfy hunger is to eat something. In the same way, the only way to get out of this cycle is enlightenment or meditation. Total satisfaction!
Q: Q: Why do people underestimate talent considering a previous mistake?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You have answered your own question. You have talent, but when you have made a mistake, they are apprehensive because each mistake can cost a lot to a company or to a person. So, you will have to reassure them that a mistake will not happen and you will use your talents very well. People don’t want to take so much risk these days.
Q: Guruji, is there a right way to follow in the path of knowledge? What do we do about the thoughts and impressions that nag our mind about people who are important in our lives?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Don’t worry about the past, however the past has been. In the present believe in your innocence. You are innocent in the present moment. The mistakes in the past are due to your ignorance. But the fact in the present moment is you are innocent.
Q: Is it worthwhile studying astrology? Will we ever know enough?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Astrology is a science. But in some way, it is a lost science. The complete knowledge is not available, so whatever knowledge they have is 70 to 80 percent. They are able to predict something about it.
But there is one clause astrologers always give. There is a bigger power hiding behind, a higher power, which can overrule all of this. Because that superior power, that super power is independent and that is the Divinity, the Divine grace. The Divine grace can change anything at any time.
Q: How to stop my wife from talking in a bad way to me without any reason?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Well, that is a challenge! If she is talking bad about you without reason, you tell her you will give her a reason!
Q: In Ashtavakra Gita, you mention that life is formed from three things: seeds, eggs and space. How is life formed from space?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Everything comes in space, stays in space and dissolves in space. You must study space. Then you will see that nothing other than space exists. Everything is formed in space.
Q: Dear Guruji, I feel that I have made many mistakes in the past three years and I need to suffer the consequences and I am afraid. Is there anything I can do to alleviate these consequences?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You being on the right path now itself is reducing the consequences. And your acceptance about the consequence itself is a relief. It puts you back on a higher pedestal.
Q: Dear Guruji, I’ve worked hard for three years but my supervisor killed my career without thinking. Now I am jobless and have lost my vision of life. How to deal with negative emotions about my boss?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Listen, no point in sitting and brooding over the past. Wake up! With full energy, move forward.
If you have lost one job, so what?! A million other jobs are there in the world. You can take another one. Never mind if you get paid a little bit less in this job and you got more there, move on!
Life is worth much more than sitting and brooding and wasting your energy and your time on what has happened in the past. It might have been because of your own mistakes in the present or it could be that you were unable to see your mistake in the past. That could be because of a past life, but never mind. There is no point in analyzing the past now. We need to look forward and just move on.
Don’t lose your enthusiasm for whatsoever reason.
Q: A few days ago you were talking about sattva, that water is the best transmitter. Is there a way to measure the sattva energy level?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There should be some way to measure the energy levels.
One of our Art of Living teachers is also a scientist. He developed a device for measuring the energy vibrations. He would measure on a person before and after meditation and he would find that their aura has increased by a certain amount of distance. So it is very interesting.
Q: Dear Guruji, when the body is physically hurt then one dies and the spirit leaves the body. Is the spirit so loosely associated with the body? Can the spirit move without getting hurt?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Spirit doesn’t get hurt. It moves on.
You can’t hurt a space. You can’t hurt air. The subtler you go in creation; there is nothing that can hurt there. You can’t divide it. It’s simply amazing.