Monday, January 14, 2013
The Silence of Good People
Q: When I see this world of humans, I don't see a world which cares for me or anybody. There is goodness in them but largely they are driven by their weakness, greed and insecurity.
Looking at what people are doing to the Earth and to each other one cannot disagree. I am very willing to believe when you say that everything is made out of love, but sometimes I find it hard to sympathize with this world.
I think it is this disgust that flips the switch one day and makes people decide to become terrorists, or to start killing randomly, or rape someone innocent.
How do I continue to care for this world?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Any question can have only one correct answer. There cannot be two correct answers.
If this is a question, I would like you to keep looking for an answer.
But, instead of seeing this as a question, if you see it as a path, you can tread on it many a times. And every time, you will get a new answer.
Now, do not generalize! Don't think there is no love in people, there are no compassionate people on this planet – this is wrong. We cannot generalize that everyone is selfish. There are so many people who are serving the society selflessly. You cannot brand everyone as corrupt.
I want to tell you about one of our teachers who is an IAS officer in Gujarat.
This gentleman was offered 51 crores by an industrialist. All that he needed to do was put a signature and that is all to allot the land that they were already using.
He could have easily justified it by saying that, 'It is nothing out of the way, it is just a procedure', or he could say, 'I do not want these 51 crores for myself, I can give it to poor people.'
There are so many other justifications that can come into the mind. But this gentleman stood up and said, ‘No, I do not want it.’
In a government job, even if he continues to serve for three lifetimes, he cannot make 51 crores. It is not a small amount. But this man stood up and said, ‘No, I won't take it.' We still have people like that.
Unless and until people come to the spiritual path they will not become sensitive, or have a high degree of sensibility. Both sensitivity and sensibility can flourish only through meditation and knowledge.
That is why it is so important to bring this knowledge to every doorstep, to every school, to every heart. You should keep doing this.
As I said, the world is not bad because there are some bad people, it is the silence of good people.
I also would like to tell you that don't judge others. You never know.
Do you know yourself? Do you know when you are compassionate, or when you are harsh? You don't know!
Sometimes you are harsh with people, and you justify your being harsh. You say, 'They deserved it.' Don't you think so?
And sometimes when you are compassionate then also you justify your compassion, isn't it? So you don't know your own emotions and your own behavior, then why would you judge someone else, and why would you judge everybody?
‘The whole world is full of unkind, corrupt and bad people’, why do you think they are all bad people? No! That is not the case.
You need to relook your own statement.
Do you feel good about yourself? Do you think you are a good person?
You think that you are a good person, but ask all the others who have interacted with you about their opinion of you. It will completely vary from your own idea about yourself. How would you like someone else telling you that you are selfish?
Deep inside you do not think that you are selfish, but if someone else tells you that you are too selfish, or if they see negative tendencies in you, what do you tell them? ‘Hey look, I have good tendencies as well’. Don't you tell them that?
There is no human being who is devoid of good tendencies and a good heart.
Just remember this, there is no human being devoid of goodness. Sometimes it gets buried under stress and ignorance.
Even those people who committed that hideous crime on that woman, now they are saying, 'Please hang me, I made a blunder.'
They got into a cloud; their awareness was not there. They must be suffering now with terrible regret. So much of guilt and suffering.
That is why, when you expand your vision, you can't but have compassion, even for the culprits.
See, you have done some mistakes at times. How would you like it if someone holds on to your mistake all the time. How would you like that situation? Certainly not! You will certainly say, ‘Hey, come on, drop it and move on.' This is what you would say, isn't that so? So we must wake up to this reality!
It is all in your own eyes, how you view the world. If you think that everyone is a fraud then your behavior towards everybody will be rude and unpleasant, and you will be part of that.
This is why there is a saying - As is your vision so is the creation.
As you envisage, so the creation becomes - Yatha Drishti Tatha Shrishti.
Q: In the Mahabharata, why did an intelligent person like Bhishma choose to remain silent on sensitive issues and was ready to fight side-by-side with Duryodhana?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Why do you want me to talk about Mahabharata? Bhishma has already said what happened there. He feels so obliged.
Duryodhana was in high command and the good people got trapped into his high commanding (position). That is the problem.
There are good people but in the wrong party with a wrong party head. And there are wrong people with a good party head as well. What will you do? This is what is happening.
Every party is keen to give a ticket to a criminal element. Do you know why? They have a vote bank. The criminal people have money and muscle power, so you give them a ticket and they will get elected. And everything is just a game of numbers in this democracy.
So inevitably they go and get elected because the good people sit at home and say, ‘Who will go and vote and do all these things. Anyway everybody is corrupt and all parties are hopeless.’
So there is a sense of apathy and they don't go and exercise their franchise. That is the reason.
I tell you, good people should form a vote bank, then no party will give ticket to people with criminal records or corrupt politicians. They will all look for people who have an attitude to serve.
Q: Gurudev, there is so much anger in people because of the incident in Delhi. Is it right to demand for capital punishment for this? Do most people become righteous in fear?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, there are many people who have gotten capital punishment but it has not been given to them.
Even the terrorists who are in jail, who have committed heinous crimes, have been given capital punishment, but enforcement is not happening.
Even the one that was done for Kasab, 31 crores was spent on him and then they gave him the capital punishment. Spending 31 crores on a terrorist!
Just imagine how many villages could have been developed in 31 crores? How many roads and how many homes would have gotten light and electricity.
Just the law alone will not suffice, we need to bring a social change and a change in the mindset of our rulers and lawmakers; enforcement has to happen for that.
Q: I am in a relationship with a person who is too calculative about his actions. He is scared of getting attached as he believes that it might affect his spiritual growth. Is this right?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Don't ask someone to prove their love for you. That is when all these things come.
If we show too much love to somebody they do not know how to handle it or how to respond to it, isn't it? People get confused.
There are many people who do not know how to receive love, forget giving love. That is why I tell you, don't get caught up in all of this. Just relax and be happy, and just take it for granted that I love everybody, and everybody loves me.
Then whatever needs to be expressed will simply be expressed. It will happen naturally.
When someone is saying, ‘I am scared of attachment’, that means somewhere they are attached. So don't take what people say at face value. People may say anything, but in reality it may be something else.
See, when you understand a person beyond his words that is when a real relationship builds up. But if you hang on to the words of a person then you are at a very superficial level; on a very surface level and then it does not work for long.
Your relationship should go beyond words, and beyond the feeling level, i.e., emotions, because words also change and emotions also change. Then it becomes a real good and committed relationship. Whatever may be the relationship, a friendship or a marriage, it becomes very solid when you see beyond emotions.
When you accept every flavor of emotion and every strain of thoughts or words, then you move into a platform which is not shaky and which doesn't break.
Q: Gurudev, is taking a divorce a hindrance on the spiritual path? I am very upset with my life since I got married.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, give your hundred percent. If your marriage works that is good. If it doesn't work, if both of you are miserable and there is not even an iota of joy there, then there is no point in hanging onto such a state of misery. Then amicably both of you should tell each other, ‘You have your way and we will still be friends’.
As I said, don't take a decision with any up-surging emotion. From a calm and collected mind think and see what you want.
Q: It is said that we come to earth only to experience love and there is no love in heaven. Then why does everyone want to go to heaven?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That is because they don't know love. They are hankering for love but they have not experienced love. Once they have a taste of Divine love, then they will find this immense satisfaction.
In the Narada Bhakti Sutra, Narada has said, 'Tripto Bhavati', one become so contented once they experience Divine love.
Q: Dear Gurudev, yesterday you had said, ‘Fight with equanimity’. How do we do that?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You just have to have that intention and it will start happening. When you are fighting for a cause and not because of hatred towards somebody then your brain and your mind will be alert.
When people are angry and hateful, their brain doesn't work; or it works in the wrong direction.
Q: I have given my M.Tech exams. It is super competitive. What if I don't get into a college that I like? My life will be ruined. Can I still be a success in life if I don't get into a good college?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Absolutely! I tell you, don't put all your success into one small incident, or one small happening in life.
You can be really successful even if failure comes in one aspect of your life.
Q: Gurudev I am able to learn and absorb new subjects, but my enthusiasm fizzles out halfway. As a result I have become a jack of all trades and a master of none. How do I become a master of all like you?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Keep going nonstop. Keep putting your effort.
Life is a combination of both, effort and effortlessness. Be totally effortless for sometime everyday at least - that is what is meditation, and then put hundred percent effort. It is like deep rest and dynamic activity.
Now, if you don't take rest then you activity cannot be dynamic.
If you don't have dispassion in you then you can't really be totally passionate either. So, life is the combination of these opposites - passion and dispassion; effortlessness and hundred percent effort.
Q: The Moon circles around the Earth, the Earth circles around the Sun, some circle around money and power. Now I find myself circling around you. What is the significance of these circles?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Now that you have found out what you're doing, you only explain what is its significance and why do you do it?
I think it is because of the attraction that the Earth has for the Sun that it is going around the Sun, and the moon has for us and so it is going around the Earth.
Q: How should a disciple be with the Guru so that he can understand the Guru completely and receive the knowledge from the Guru?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: By being natural (sahajta). You should be with a guru the same way as you are with your close ones; i.e. with naturalness.