Wednesday, January 4, 2012
To experience the Divine you have to withdraw your mind
If you see the world, you will not be able to see the Divine.
If you want to experience the Divine, you have to withdraw your mind.
What does the world mean? Limited identifications, limited understanding about life and judging people based on external behavior.
We fail to see the ‘self’ within the person. For example, there are several colorful lights here. If you just see the lights, will you be able to see the electricity that flows through all these lights? Similarly, if you just see the external behavior of people, you will not be able to see that it is the same consciousness in everyone. So, if you want to experience Divinity, you have to turn your mind away from the external world. By turning the mind away, it doesn't mean that you have to run away and live in a forest.
Turn your mind inwards for a short while. You have to come out of the chaos and conflicts that are clogging your mind. This process is called meditation. Just for a short while, feel that the past, present and future is a dream. When you know that everything is changing, you will be able to get a glimpse of something that is not changing. Just as you feel fresh after a good sleep, spending a short while in meditation will bring energy and enthusiasm to your life. Worries will disappear.
Q: I am an anesthesiologist and I work with other surgeons. I have seen that they conduct hysterectomy on young women for money. This is a crime worse than female feticide. I have reported this matter but my friends discourage me saying that I should not get into this issue. I am not sure if I need to oppose this crime or play it safe.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You have to oppose this.
We have to fight against injustice. We have to fight against ignorance, superstition and blind beliefs.
Many people are under the illusion that they will get a good produce only if they use chemical fertilizers. We have to educate them to switch to organic and chemical-free farming. We have to fight against lack. Everybody must grow vegetables in their homes. We have to ensure that there is cleanliness and hygiene.
Q: I have so much anger that it is ruining my life. I learnt the Sudarshan Kriya 3 days ago. I remain calm for a few hours after the Kriya, but I don't know what happens after that. I fight with my husband unnecessarily. I feel like committing suicide.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Don't worry, continue your practice. Everything will be fine. The problem doesn't end after committing suicide. Whenever you get such thoughts, think that you have to take Guruji's permission before taking any such step.
Q: You have mentioned that Lord Krishna was full of joy. He was happy in all situations. However, in today's situation, I am not able to live like that.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You are able to follow this for some time at least, isn't it? There is a saying, ‘think like Krishna but follow the footsteps of Rama.’
If you follow whatever Lord Krishna did, you will get into trouble! Follow Lord Krishna's principles and Lord Rama's character. If you have any tension, just drop them here.
Happiness and contentment is our nature but it gets clouded by worries for a short while, similar to how clouds hide the sky.
Q: If the whole existence is one then do we have a joint account of karma?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, there are so many types of karma.
1. Collective karma
2. Karma of the time
3. Karma of a place
4. Karma of a family
5. Karma of an individual
There is individual karma, then you have family karma - what you call DNA. Then comes the karma of a region, state and country. Then there is karma of the time. During the time of World War II, all the people had similar karma and so all over the world there was war.
At another particular time there was recession everywhere.
There are different layers of karma.
That is why Lord Krishna said, ’Gahana Karmano Gatih’. You cannot fathom the depth of karma. Don't try to analyze karma. Just do your duty and move on. Keep moving ahead with love in your heart and with prayer in your heart.
Knowing that this is what it is, you move on beyond that. It is only knowledge which can take you beyond Karma. See, a plane crashed and everyone in the plane died. So all of them who had that karma landed up on the same plane. If one person had the karma to escape from that, he would just walk out of the plane.
A saint from Rishikesh shared with me that he was traveling in a bus with 50 other people. The bus fell into a river. Everyone died, except this saint and a baby. The child clung on to his neck and they escaped. He had the karma to fall into a river, but something saved them. You cannot understand the depth of karma, it is so vast.
Q: Guruji, when a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, what do we say to console them and what can we do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Tell them to do the 'Om Namah Shivaya' chanting.
If it is the second or third stage of cancer there should be no problem. Nowadays, so many things have become available here.
A soursop fruit performs the same function as chemotherapy without side-effects. We are getting some medicines made from it. Yoga, pranayama and Ayurveda will make a significant difference in this. So many people suffering from cancer have recovered after coming here.
Have faith in God.
Q: Guruji, please speak something about jaap and sankirtans.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When someone is in love with somebody, they keep repeating their beloved's name, this is called jaap. And when they sing their beloved's name, it is called sankirtan.
Everyone hums sometime or the other, whether in the shower or while doing some chores - that is sankirtan, when the song arises from the heart.
When someone's name keeps coming up in the heart, it is called jaap. It is good to do jaap, whether the mind is engaged or not; it has a flavor of its own.
Q: Guruji, sometimes it so happens that the values of the parents are radically different from those of the offspring. And even though the child is financially secure, because of the child's values, personal and family life gets ruined and in the process the parents' life also becomes difficult. What should be done in such a situation?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Just bring knowledge and awareness to people. Unless there is spiritual knowledge, this is what happens. They get entangled in the world, and with each other. They do not understand each other or themselves and put others into trouble as well as themselves. Therefore, bring people to the path of dharma.
It is extremely important for us to impart spiritual education to children. If we deprive them of this, and just remain stuck in the mundane issues of daily existence, life becomes dry and meaningless, and people get involved in fights.
So we need to bring about a radical change by bringing people to yoga and meditation.
They will definitely change but knowledge is the only way.
Q: Jai Guru Dev, why should one person after understanding the fact that happiness is just a state of mind choose to be a world famous scientist rather than being a sweeper in a local place?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Then one could ask why would someone become a sweeper rather than becoming a scientist?!
There are 2 different things, anyone who becomes famous does not just crave for fame but they do something good so they become famous. Like if you have a passion to paint and you do a very good painting, automatically you become famous. But if you want to paint only to become famous then you become a failure.
Anyone who does something creative or useful or invents something which is good for the society automatically becomes famous.
Q: Guruji, when people turn vegetarians they usually have vitamin B12 deficiency.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes vegetarians usually have B12 deficiency if they do not take yogurt and milk. Milk and milk products are a must for vegetarians in small quantities.
Q: Guruji, I wanted to ask you what is good and what is bad? And how do I know if the things that I am doing in life are good or bad?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is a very simple definition to know what is good and what is bad. 1. That which you do not want others to do to you is bad and that which you want others to do to you and you do to others is good. 2. That which gives you short term joy and long term unhappiness is bad. Anything which gives you long term happiness and short term problem is good.