Thursday, January 24, 2013
Mind - Friend or Enemy?
Q: How to overcome the mind which bothers me?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That is its nature.
Do you know you are bigger than the mind? Wake up. Let the mind be there.
Q: Gurudev, how do I recognize my soul mate?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: First you should recognize your soul and then your soul mate.
You don’t know yourself, you don’t know who you are. You don’t know anything about yourself. You don’t know your mind; your own mind drives you crazy.
One minute it wants something and the next minute it wants something else. The mind keeps changing its mind all the time, and it gets caught up.
That is why in the Bhagavad Gita, there is a saying, 'Your own mind is responsible for your bondage and for your liberation,' there is nothing else.
Your own mind, if it acts like your friend, it also acts like your enemy.
If your mind is trained well through Sadhana (spiritual practices), it befriends you, and it helps you. Otherwise your own mind behaves like an enemy. Isn't this so true? It is so true!
I want to tell you an incident that happened last week, just before I came here.
In front of the Ashram we have a signboard of the Ashram. It so happened that a particular political party, their people came and put their posters on that signboard, just to create mischief.
They put big posters because there was a birthday party of the head of that political party. So our security people and others, naturally they pulled it down because people coming to the ashram couldn't see the signboard and didn't know where to go.
Now, the local leader of the party got very wild and he started screaming and threatening one of our teachers saying , I’m going to bring a lot of people and we will have a demonstration. And in front of that we will do hunger strike', and these very angry exchange of words happened. And our security people also said, 'Yes, you come. Let us see, we are also very strong.'
So, when I was driving to the city for another program, my secretary told me this story. I told him, 'Call this local leader and talk to him.'
So my secretary called him and told him, 'Gurudev has just come, he wants you to take a basket full of fruits, a garland and a shawl for the person who has a birthday, and give him blessings from Gurudev', and he agreed.
Then he asked, 'Why did they pull out our posters?'
My secretary played innocent and said, 'Oh, you had some difficulty, is it so?! Why didn't you tell me? You should have informed me. Gurudev has just come, he was on a tour. He heard there was a birthday party and he wants to send blessing. So you go and take these things to your leader and give him blessings.'
The whole situation got defused and he felt very empowered. So now he could go to his boss with a garland and blessings from me, and he also got access to his superior in the party.
All the big drama he was going to create ended with one phone call. He could go to the boss of his party with pride and say, 'Gurudev has sent me to give you a garland.'
So, he felt empowered and our people felt relieved.
See, when you know how you can defuse conflicts, it is easy.
All that it cost was a phone call. But not every trick works everywhere. In different places you have to work differently. Sometime you have to take a tough stand, put your foot down and say no. Sometimes you have to be diplomatic and skillful.
Always there will be people who try to create mischief, you need to have skill to handle all those situations.
The ancient people said that there are four ways to deal with any situation - Sama, Dana, Bheda and Danda.
1. Sama means with dialogue, with persuasion, with some discussion and communication
2. Dana means forgiving. 'Never mind, everybody makes mistakes', and so you give them a chance
3. Bheda means being indifferent. Being a little tough and making a point
4. Danda mean taking a stick, which is the last resort
Usually we use the last two ways in beginning itself. We don’t go with the harmonious path. You must first take the harmonious path, and then give a chance, and then discriminate, and finally, if nothing works, Danda, which is take a stick.
These are called the four skillful ways of handling any situation.
Q: Gurudev, you have said that we shouldn't give explanations to people. But if we have something on our heart that is heavy and feel the need to talk about it, then what to do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is no one rule for it, sometime you want to speak and become calm and sometimes speaking doesn't help in any way.
Wake up and see, the whole world is like a dream. All those thoughts have gone, the behavior of people will disappear. Some people act good and some act bad, but everyone is going to die, and the world will be finished.
This set of people will all go away. Then new people will come and they will all die. Then another set of people will come, they will fight among themselves, they will hug, love, kiss, do everything, and they will all die.
Seven billion people on the planet today and all these seven billion people will all die. It is only a matter of a few years. In another hundred years, do you think the same people will be here? Not one person who is here today will be alive. And two hundred years later, even the grandchildren will not be there.
See, the world is like a river, there is fresh water flowing every moment in this river. What is it that you are so bothered about?
If you want to leave something behind, it should be some knowledge that would help someone; that would be useful to someone. Not what he said, what she said, and what do you think about so-and-so situation. Come on, this is all nonsense! Throw them out of the window. It has no meaning.
Hours together you waste in explaining, why you felt the way you were feeling and how and why others are feeling the way they are feeling.
Do you know, when the time changes, the mind also changes. There is a beautiful science about this. You can also get a clue from the astrological chart, how the mind is connected with time.
Sometime, we will start a course on the connection between mind, time and the planets. See, I don’t want to say astrology because it has been misused and misinterpreted so many times. It is a one of the most disorganized science today.
No doubt astrology is a science but it has been distorted so much that you can’t even see what the original is.
There are twelve constellations and nine planets according to Vedic astrology.
It is said that when Jupiter transits in the eighth place from the time you are born, it has an impact on your mind.
Similarly, when Saturn transits the eighth place, it makes your emotions go topsy-turvy.
When Jupiter is in the eighth place, you lose all your wisdom. But that is only for eleven months, and in these eleven months, it is only for three months that it makes you so miserable. Unless and until you are in deep spiritual knowledge or enlightened, this will definitely affect your mind.
But if you know, 'These are the three months that are going to be a little difficult on my mind and emotions', then you will not take decisions, or do thing in those months.
Similarly, every two and a half days, the mood of the mind changes.
If you are miserable, it won't exceed two and half days. There will be a break and then it may come again.
Like this, the cosmos has an influence on the mind.
What can protect you from this influence is satsang, meditation, chanting. All this is like putting on an armour.
An arrow was coming, but you have an armor, so it didn't really hit you.
So, singing and chanting 'Om Namah Shivaya' so many times makes an armour around you and protects you from being affected by all these crazy things.
We do Yagnas in the Bangalore Ashram for the welfare of the whole world and for all of our devotees. There is a small Yagna done six times every month, and during Navratri we do a big one to bring peace, prosperity and protection to the world and all our devotees.
These are the ways of the ancient people. We will have more knowledge and courses on this in the future.
Q: Where do the thoughts come from?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: This thought came to you just now? Where did this thought come from? It came in you, so why don’t you sit and see, where it is coming from?
The moment you sit and think what is the origin of thought the mind goes blank. That indicates from where thoughts are coming.
You are the source from where thoughts, ideas and emotions come – that inner space.
It is like someone asking, 'Where do the clouds come from?'
Clouds are just hovering in the sky. In the same way, in our inner sky, there are three akashas – one is the outer space, the second is the inner space where thoughts and emotion come, and there is the third space which is a witness. Where there is nothing, just bliss.
Q: How to get a faith that never shakes?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If it is true faith, let it shake.
Truth will never go, and if the faith is with the truth, let it shake. It will never get lost.
In fact, you should doubt as much as possible.
You can say, 'Don’t doubt', only when a thing is not a genuine thing.
If it is genuine gold, I tell you, go on scratching as much as possible. But if it is just rolled in gold, or gold polish, then you say, 'Don’t scratch too much because it will disappear.'
With true gold, any amount of scratching will not make it go away.
Doubt is simply lack of energy. When you are high in energy, where is the doubt?
Doubt comes when the energy is low. True faith is that which you shake a hundred times and it still stays on. That is true faith, and it will remain.
Q: You said we come to the Ashram and regenerate - why is the world not an Ashram?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: To me the world is my Ashram.
But when you come in a physical place, or in an Ashram where there is always meditation happening, that place holds those vibrations.
See in your home, there is a place for dining, a place for resting, and a place for garbage. Like that, in the world, there is a place for everything.
I would love everyone of you to make your home an Ashram. And what is an Ashram? It is a place where there is wisdom and where there is love. It is a place where anybody who comes is welcomed and given some food so that they can come and relax.
If you can create such a power then the whole world is an Ashram. In fact, when you go and be with nature in the forest or in the woods, it is all an Ashram only.
I say that every tree in the world is in my own garden; in my own ashram. This is the fact, but sometimes when you feel that this is not helping, that you need a place where you can go and energize yourself, then you come here (Ashram).
It will be very obvious for you to feel the energy here. Just like in your home, you can be anywhere, but if you want to feel the aroma of food, you have to walk into the kitchen. You can eat anywhere, but in kitchen or dining area, the aroma is there.
Q: Does the soul have an aim?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, the soul definitely has an aim, to become one with the super-soul. The small mind's aim is to become one with the big mind.
Every wave wants to wash the shore and become one with the ocean, which it already is!
Q: What is time?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The distance between two events.
What is distance, if you ask me, it is the space between two objects.
Q: How to go back to the source?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Just by being quiet, unlearning and unwinding you will get back to the source.
Q: Can you tell us about Kali Yuga.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There are four Yugas; time is divided into four aspects.
1. Satya Yuga, when there is a lot of positivity
2. Treta Yuga, when the positivity goes a little down
3. Dvapara Yuga, when the positivity goes a little more down, and
4. Kali Yuga, when positivity goes down even more
This is what is said about Kali Yuga. But I tell you, within Kali Yuga there is Satya Yuga.
The days when you feel happy, know that you are in Satya Yuga. And when you are totally miserable, you are in Kali Yuga.
In that sense, within the big Kali Yuga also, there are good times.
Q: You said truth is contradictory. Can you give us an easy way to understand this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Milk is good and milk is bad.
Milk is good if you drink one glass, bad if you drink two litres. Got it?!
If you come to Bad Antogast from Freudenstadt, you have to go straight down and turn to your right. But from Oppenau, you have to go straight and turn left.
Both instructions are true, but they are contradictory.
Truth is spherical, it is not linear. When anything is spherical there are multiple ways to get to that.
Q: Is India on the verge of becoming the country it was 2,000 years ago?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If the politicians let it happen, it will.
The politicians have become a problem in Italy, in India, and in Greece. It is the politicians who are driving the country towards bankruptcy.
Each country has enough resources and good people. There is dynamism, but corruption is taking the nations to a primitive, medieval era.