Thursday, March 15, 2012
Peace is the first step to equip yourself to face problems
March 04, 2012
Q: What are the different types of Yagya and what is the importance of Yagya in one’s life? Which Yagya is the best?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Dhyan Yagya, Japa Yagya, Dravya Yagya - all these are called Yagya.
So among all these, Dhyan Yagya is best – meditation and group meditation.
Then Gyan Yagya – sitting and listening to knowledge.
Then Japa Yagya – ‘Yagyanaam Japayagyosmi’, Krishna also said Japa Yagya (chanting the name of the Divine) is very good.
And what does Yagya do? It purifies one’s mind, body and environment.
Q: Guruji, my other spiritual friends say that I have not received diksha (initiation) and until I receive that, my journey will not be complete.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Once you did Sudarshan Kriya for the first time know that you already received diksha. And if you have done Sahaj Samadhi, then you have received mantra diksha also.
Q: Guruji, what happens to you in meditation and what should happen to me when I meditate?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: This is the problem. When you read about what happened to someone else in meditation then you sit and expect the same to happen to you and so you will never have meditation. Just sit and do nothing.
Q: Is it necessary to match horoscopes before getting married? Isn’t it enough if two hearts match?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, it is enough. But if you have some doubt, then match the horoscope. If the horoscope doesn’t match and if you have faith in horoscopes, then what will happen is whenever any small things goes wrong the mind will say, ‘We never matched’
People after being together for 40 years say they never matched each other.
I have asked, ‘Then how could you live for forty years together?’
They say that their thoughts did not match for even one day and there was no compatibility at any level.
So, life is like that. Life is a compromise; an adjustment. Somewhere you have to give and take.
Also in horoscopes it is said that there is always a possible remedy. Suppose, something does not match then if you do this upaya (remedy) – like a certain japa (chanting) or charity, then a resolution will happen.
So there is a remedy.
Q: Guruji, please give me some tips for becoming a monk or a swami. Do I need to do something or it just happens?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If you want to become a swami just come to the Ashram, stay here for sometime and learn, read and meditate. Dedicate your life for the service of the country and it will be done.
Ashrams are there, and you don’t have to worry about electricity bills or taxes. Ashram takes care of these.
Swamis can just come and sit and do their sadhana (spiritual practices).
Q: Guruji, I get completely exhausted when I meet a lot of people in my day, but when I see you working round the clock meeting thousands of people every day, you don’t seem to be tired. What is the secret?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I have put all my secrets together as the Art of living Part 1 course, Part 2 course, Ashtavakra Gita and everything else.
Q: Dear Guruji, time is a very important factor in success. It should happen at the right time to be fruitful. Do we have the inner ability to ascertain when the right time for something is? If so, how?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes. If you want to start any job, first sit quiet and become calm and listen to your inner intuition. Then just start the work.
Q: Guruji, you said that one should have strength, skill, devotion and liberation. Please explain the role of each.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: First you feel free. With freedom comes love.
If you feel that you are restricted and bound then you won’t feel the dedication or love.
So first you should feel freedom from within. Inner freedom brings love and dedication. With that comes the strength and with strength also comes yukti (skill).
Q: What is Maya? Does this Maya need to be embraced or does it need to be questioned? Why is it so difficult to comprehend?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Maya means that which appears but when you try to catch it, it doesn’t get into your hand. That is why it is Maya.
Something appears and you go to catch it and you can’t catch it. That is how everything in the world is. You see something so beautiful and you try to possess it. The moment you possess it, you find the beauty is gone. It is no longer where you thought it was.
Many things in life are like that. You think happiness is there and you chase after that and when you get there, it is not there.
One of the former Prime Ministers of India had a farmhouse around 35 kilometers outside Delhi. He invited me to come there on one of the Sundays, so I went there.
In the farmhouse he told me, ‘Guruji, in last 26 years, my only aim was to become a Prime Minister. Now after becoming a Prime Minister I feel, what a foolish thing I asked for! Before, I could happily sleep outside on a cot and enjoy nature, but now see how many guards are sitting all around. I have lost all my freedom. I can’t just go wherever I want. Now I am a prisoner in my own home.’
He said, ‘I can’t go and sit or sleep outside. Guards are standing all around. And now I feel it is all futile. I did everything possible that should be done or should not be done to occupy this chair and now I see it is all so futile.’
I said, ‘You are so lucky you got this realization. Many would not even get this realization and die without this realization.’
Anyway, he didn’t stay on the Prime Minister Post for too long also.
That is why it is called Maya.
Q: Guruji, all the scriptures proclaim that the appearance of this world is the handiwork of Maya. But Vedanta says it is of ignorance. How can the two statements be reconciled?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There are two meaning for Maya.
First of all, Maya means that which you cannot catch.
There is another meaning for Maya – that which could be measured.
The English word ‘measure’ comes from ‘miyate’. ‘Miya’ means to measure. So this entire creation can be measured. That is why it is called Maya.
What cannot be measured is truth, love, beauty. You can’t say I have three kilos of love or two ounces of beauty or ten kilos of truth. You can’t measure them. So this is the immeasurable, i.e., Non-Maya.
The Divine is that which cannot be measured. The Self cannot be measured. Consciousness cannot be measured. But what could be measured is matter and that is what is Maya.
Now, ignorance is in the perception. You thinking that the Sun is setting is ignorance, because the Sun is not setting. It is the Earth that is rotating.
Earth is rotating – this is knowledge. The perception that Sun is setting and Earth is not rotating is ignorance.
Different people think differently and so it seems that they are all different people. This is one level of understanding. But the ultimate truth is – it is one consciousness which is in everybody. This is knowledge.
If you turn back and see most of your judgments, you will find they were all erroneous.
How many of you have had this experience?
You had a judgment and a little later you thought, ‘Oh no, that is not the case.’
You thought something else than what it was. This is what ‘agyan’ (ignorance) is. Most of the times what you think will happen doesn’t happen at all.
If you tape all these election exit poll forecasts, with all these people and all that they say. Two days later, after counting, when you rewind and watch it all again, you will feel, ‘My God! So many man hours are wasted in ignorance.’
Someone with any intuition would say – it is this person who is going to win. But all the speculation which goes on in all the channels between the election and the results and the hours and hours of discussion, you will find it to be utter ignorance.
Because you really don’t know that is why you are just speculating, guessing and giving your own theories. It is so funny!
Q: Guruji, I am obsessed with sex and such kind of activities for a long period. I am not able to focus on anything. I want to come out of it but cannot. If I stop myself, I really feel suffocated and suppressed.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If you engage yourself in some creative work, then sex will not bother you so much. If you have nothing to do, you are not focused on achieving something, or doing some creative work, or having a goal or some dedication in life, then naturally the only other outlet for your energy is sex. That will bother you day and night. You will go and see all the pornographic websites and lose your sleep.
One youth was telling me that he keeps watching such things and he doesn’t get sleep at all. He has lost sleep. This is what will happen.
The best way to channel your energy is to engage yourself.
Just remember your school or college days during the exam period, your sex urge was the least because you had something to achieve. Day and night you are just memorizing or reading the books and you had no time for anything else. In the exam period sex did not cross your mind. But when you are so free, what will happen? You are in your youth!
There are four options:
First, engage yourself in some creative work. Second, watch your food. If you are eating too much and all that food has become energy, then it needs an outlet, and if you are not doing any exercise, or yoga, or pranayama, then definitely sex urge will come.
Third, if there is hormone imbalance, then obsessions can come up because of too much of hormones.
Fourth, it is just a matter of age. Wait for some years and it will all disappear. You are bothered by sex between the age of 15 years to around 40 or 45 years. But if you are bothered even beyond that, if you are 60 and you say, ‘I am obsessed with sex’, then there is something seriously wrong. You need medical care.
So, take care of all of these. If you are just in your teens, or twenties or thirties, may be this is just a passing phase, and just the age factor.
Q: Guruji, my family uses a lot of bad words in their speech. How important is refinement in speech? Does it have any good or bad effect, or is it just to sound cultured?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Well, you have realized it and you don’t use it. If your parents are using bad words, what to do? You can’t change them overnight.
So, you stop using it and see that your children don’t listen to those sorts of words.
As the sattva in a person increases, the speech automatically gets refined. It is related to the sattva level in our body. Whether you call it culture or habit, this is the fact.
Q: Guruji, you ask us to live in the present moment, then what is the importance of the past and the future in a seekers’ sadhana?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, live in the present. Past and future are inherent in the present. Everything is available in the present only. Lessons from Past will be effortlessly available to you and whatever we need to do in future, that intuition will happen spontaneously as well.
Q: Guruji, please speak about the knowledge in Yoga Vasistha. Whenever I read it, I get confused. Please resolve this confusion.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You are asking me to do something that is not my job.
My job is to create more confusion. Every time you get confused, you move one step higher.
So creating confusion is my job and coming out of it is your exercise. If Yoga Vasishta is doing the same job, then it is very good!
Q: Guruji, before the war Arjuna felt that after killing the Kauravas he will be happy. But his mindset changed after reaching the battlefield. Similarly, in satsang we nod our heads in affirmation, but when time comes to apply the knowledge points, it feels very difficult.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I tell you, take this one sutra – ‘Whatever is easiest and effortless for me I will do only that.’
There is nothing easier in life than the knowledge sutras.
What appears to be difficult is actually easy and what appears to be easy is actually difficult. Just know this!
Q: Guruji, please tell us about Hindu Gods and their vahanas (vehicles). What is the real meaning behind these vehicles?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is definitely some meaning to it.
When this Vishalakshi Mantap was built, we never thought of keeping ‘Nandi’ (the bull) in front.
One gentleman came and said, ‘Guruji, one of my relatives in America wanted to build a temple there but now he is no more. So we ordered this Nandi and Nataraja statues, we are not able to keep them in our home because it is so big. Could you please keep it here?’
So he kept the Nandi in front and Nataraji sat here on the stage.
Then what happened is there was a satsang in Mumbai where there were swans. Someone got the swans from Mumbai and kept it here.
Next, somebody brought a Garuda (Eagle). It is a one ton Garuda brought from Indonesia by ship.
I never planned this; these vahanas came on their own.
In the Guru Peetha, all the three vahanas (vehicles) of Brahma (Swan), Vishnu (Eagle) and Shiva (Bull) came and sat here on their own and in perfect sequence.
These vehicles are just symbols. The actual meaning behind the different vahanas is that each animal or bird brings with it specific type of cosmic rays or bio electrical energy to Earth.
For example, a lion will bring a particular type of energy with it; a crow would bring its own unique energy with it. Like that a cow, swan, etc., would bring its own bio electrical energy.
That is why it is said that even if one species of animals or birds become extinct, then the Earth cannot function. Scientists say this and this is true.
Our ancient Rishis have also said the same thing, that each angel or Devta descend in the form of an invisible energy on a particular type of being. It sounds scientific too.
Q: Guruji, 5000 years ago, you chose a chariot as your vehicle. Now, this time you have chosen Innova as your vehicle.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I was thinking I am sitting in your heart, but you are making me sit in an Innova.
I like to sit on that aasan (seat) which is in everyone’s heart.
Q: Guruji, today I have come here to seek peace of mind, but I am also feeling guilty for running away from the problems. So what exactly is peace of mind? Is it running away from problems or facing the problem?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, even to solve problems, first you need to have peace of mind. So, when you have come here to have peace of mind don’t feel guilty that you are running away from the problems.
If you have to face a problem, there will be no choice. You will have to face it. Got it?
But when you are so tired and incapable of handling the problems, then there is no point in just facing it. First you have to equip yourself.
So peace is the first step to equip yourself to face problems. Once you find the peace and the inner strength, then you can face any problem.
It won’t even appear as a problem.
Q: When people ask you a question at satsang, do you answer the question for that particular person or for all in general?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Both!
You are getting your answers, right?
Whatever answer I gave you, you got your answer, and it has also given some answer to others who are in a similar situation.
Q: Is it possible for the world to become free of evil? I have heard that even when the creation happened, there were Rakshasas or demons. Today I see we have to live with both the opposites – evil and good; darkness and light.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Correct!
I also heard that one lady from some spiritual organization saying, ‘Oh, that soul was very pure in Satyuga and eventually it became less pure, and in Kaliyuga it became impure.’ This is complete non-sense. It is not like that.
In Satyuga also there were Rakshasas (demons) like Hiranyaksha, Hiranyakashipu and the Avtaras had to come four times to get rid of them from the Earth.
So, it is not that Rakshasas are there only in Kaliyuga and Dwaparayuga. These are all wrong concepts and completely wrong understanding. I wonder how they say these sorts of things, that the soul is coming down and this is happening and that is happening.
Atma (soul) is not a red dot that comes down. Atma is like space – ever pure, ever free, and untouched by anything.
These Aasuri Shakti (evil powers) and Daivi Shakti (Divine powers) have been there all the time.
Aasuri Shakti has to be under the feet of Daivi Shakti, then that is a better age. But if Aasuri Shakti is on the top of Daivi Shakti, then it is misery.
So, there will always be some bad element in the society. But their number will be either less or more, that depends on the health of the society.
However big and nice a house is, there will be a dustbin in the house. And the dustbin will be in a corner and all the garbage will be put in that dustbin, and it will be covered. Otherwise the whole house will look like a garbage can.
This is the difference. Either you have a garbage can in the house which is well managed or there is garbage all over the house, everywhere, and only one clean spot will be there somewhere in the house. That is how Daivi Shakti and Aasuri Shakti always will continue to exist on the planet.
Sometimes this will dominate and sometimes that will dominate.
Q: In this social life everyday with lots of boundaries, limitations and problems, I am unable to concentrate. Can you please advise me on how to concentrate and be focused towards the goal of my life?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: So, you have the desire to concentrate. This itself is good, you are already focused. You are aware that you want to be focused and you are aware you are getting distracted, that means you are focused. Don’t doubt that, okay?!
And to increase that focus, what you are doing is the perfect thing – meditation, pranayama and satsang. Already the focus keeps coming.
Also observe what is distracting you too much. You are watching too many movies, isn’t it?!
That’s what you do, right?
(Ans – Yes)
When you watch too many movies the mind is bombarded with so many impressions and so the mind feels so confused. It becomes like a habit to watch movies. So cut down on movies for one week.
When you come back so tired from work, take a good sleep.
Q: What is the purpose of an action? How do we know that we have given our hundred percent to an action? Whenever I think of a past action it always seems that I can do it better.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That is very good! That means you are recognizing your potential which is much more. You are in a very good position, so don’t worry.
There is no action without a purpose. When you are acting, you already know the purpose of an action.
Q: Guruji, if you wish to do business, and if you are told that your horoscope is not supporting that, but you believe in yourself, what to do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Go to another astrologer!
If everybody says the same thing, then it is better to take up a job because then the mind will say, ‘See everybody said that business is no good for me.’
Q: Guruji, I love to do seva by spreading knowledge to other people and bringing other youths to the Yes+ program, but my parents are not happy with me going out for the entire day. Sometimes it gets late when I reach home. Please guide how to handle this situation.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If it happens every day that you reach very late, naturally they would like to spend some time with you. Balance seva and your duty at home. Do what is needed at home also.
You know how to balance, right? Yes! Then do it.
Q: How did God originate?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: First you tell me, where is the starting point of a tennis ball? Is there any beginning point? No!
Similarly God is Anadi (without a beginning) and Ananta (endless).
Q: Guruji, why are there different customs in different religions?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Listen! Why should there not be? Why should everything be the same? God loves variety. He doesn’t want you to eat only potatoes. Otherwise he would have made only one vegetable in the world – potatoes. Variety is nature.
Q: Guruji, you have said that we should neither give nor take bribe. In 2009, my husband passed away while traveling in a train. Rs. 4 lakh was sanctioned as compensation. However, the lawyer said that he would get the job done quickly if we give a bribe of Rs. 25,000. Otherwise, it would go to the High Court and take another two years.
What should we do about this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Tell them that if they do the job without taking bribe, it is good. Otherwise, we will report this to the Lokayukta. Decide firmly that you will not pay bribe. These people will not be able to continue such acts for long.
Take five to six people with you.
Recently, in Ahmednagar, the road in front of our centers needed to be asphalted. However, the authorities just recorded that the work was completed without actually doing it and they swindled the money. So, about thirty of our youths sat in front of the Mayor’s office and said that neither will we leave this place nor will we allow the Mayor to leave this place till the road is repaired. All the authorities were shocked. The road was repaired the very next day!
Q :From the same person) A few people also suggested that we initially agree to pay the bribe but put a condition that we will give it after the job is done. Once the job is done, we can say that we will not pay you anything now. Can we follow this suggestion?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, you could use such tactics too!
Q: Last August, I lost all the gold that I had. I am not able to concentrate. This haunts me, especially during Kriya.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Something had to happen, it has happened. Our body will also be taken away one day. Know this and be peaceful.
What is gone is gone. What can be done about it?
The British took away 900 shiploads of Gold from our country. Hundred crore people couldn’t do anything about it. They looted the country like this. Think from a bigger perspective.
Even now our country is being looted.