Friday, March 1, 2013
Tips To Improve Your Relationship With Your Mother-in-law
What we see is only one tenth of what is.
The subtle creation governs the gross creation. The subtle creation is only full of vibrations. It is the subtle that rules the gross, and all information is embedded in the subtle.
This is so fascinating - the space contains all information and energy.
We say that the Sun is a source of energy, but the space around the Sun has a million times more energy, and is so much more powerful.
There are three types of space:
1. The outer space
2. The inner space of the mind in which thoughts and emotions move, and
3. A space beyond these two; a space which is still
So you have a power house inside of you. You are a walking power house.
Q: Please give me some tips to improve my relationship with my mother-in-law.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Listen, you have a different scale for your mother and a different scale for your mother-in-law. Now why do you do that?
When your mother used to scold you, it never really touched you. You are thick skinned when your mother shouts at you or scolds you. But when your mother-in-law scolds you, it shakes you very deeply, isn't it?
How many of you have this experience? Come on, tell me! Some of you are shy to raise your hands.
See, we have two standards, one for our mother and one for our mother-in-law. If you have the same standard for your mother-in-law as you have for your mother then the problem will be gone.
The second tip is, just don't argue with her. Win her over with love. Whatever she may say, if you say, 'Yes', what will happen to you? Arguments and misunderstandings happen when both sides cooperate to fight. If the one side does not cooperate to fight, there will be no arguments.
If your mother in law says, 'It is very hot', you say, 'Yes mother-in-law, it is.'
If she says, 'Day is night and night is day', say, 'Yes mother-in-law, you are right. I totally agree with you.'
Flow with her for some time and then you will see that you can win her over.
So, win her over with love and agreement.
See, when you agree, how can someone fight with you. Become soft from inside. This is the skill.
So you first try this and then you tell me.
This problem between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law is an ancient, eternal problem I would say.
In the ashram, there is a general rule, that you can bring your problems here, but you cannot take them back with you.
So one lady stood up and said, 'Then can I leave my mother-in-law here.'
I said, 'Let me ask your mother-in-law first, what is her problem.'
Getting rid of people and things is not the answer, but dealing with them with skill is the answer. And silence is the mother of all skills - silencing this chattering mind with a few minutes of deep meditation. Then you will see that everything changes.
Q: Gurudev, I have a boss who is manipulative, unethical, and very difficult to work with. I am a dedicated employee but I am not able to work with my boss, what should I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Again I tell you, it is all about vibes.
Have you noticed, for no reason, you feel aversion towards some people, and for no reason you feel pulled towards some people. It is our vibes that speak, it is our vibes that changes the minds of people. It is through vibes that thoughts and emotions change. So you be strong.
Also, the tougher the boss the more skilful you can become. It bring out skills in you which you did not see before.
It is very easy to be direct, but to be able to have skill and convey what you really want to convey is more appreciable. So you can develop those skills.
Silence can bring skill in communication.
Every person who gets angry, has some justification for their anger. They think that they are correct. Do you see what I am saying?
Behind anger is the demand for justice, and intolerance for injustice. So anger is good, it is essential, but only to wake you up. After that the anger needs to be given a direction of creativity, otherwise the same anger can burn you.
It is good to have a stove at home. One should have fire in the house, but the house should not be on fire.
Last Sunday, I was in Delhi, and we had around a 100,000 youths in Ramlila Maidan. I said, 'I am happy that finally all the youth of the country stood up against a crime. There is so much anger in the people of Delhi, but this anger should be channelized in a proper direction.'
Do you see what I am saying? Anger is essential, one needs to stand up against injustice, but that anger needs to be directed skilfully, otherwise it will create chaos.
Q: Dear Gurudev, is having a Guru mandatory to experience the state of enlightenment?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Is it necessary for you to ask this question and for me to answer? You have asked the question, now if I answer, then we are caught! Got it?
If you ask a question and you think I know the answer, then I am already a Guru and you are already a student.
Some people say, 'I am not a Guru', and some others say, 'I am not a student'. This is like saying, 'I am not a doctor but I will anyway give you some medicine.' Or someone saying, 'I am not a patient, but I want some medicine.' Both these statements have no meaning.
See, some guidance is needed. Guru is not a person, it is wisdom, it is a light, it is an energy, it is love; all of it combined. Something as abstract as spirituality needs a little guidance.
When your mind is very still, you can get all the guidance. But when the mind is not still, it is good to take guidance from one whose mind is absolutely still.
Q: Gurudev, you have mentioned 16 qualities in Lord Krishna. Do I also have all these 16 qualities somewhere in me? If yes, how do I bring them out?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, everybody has all these 16 qualities, and the more centred you are, the more passionate and compassionate you are, the more they will manifest.
Q: Gurudev, India today has two parts, one is Rural India and the other is Urban India. How to bring a balance between these two?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Rural India has its unique qualities that needs to be preserved, and the self-esteem of the people needs to be kept intact. Usually the self-esteem of the rural people go down and they want to emulate what the urban youth do, which is not necessary at all.
You have to give them their dignity, and tell them that the way they dress, and the food they eat is all okay. They can adopt whatever healthy practices they want to.
I have been to some of the tribal areas in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, and surprisingly you will see that they keep their village absolutely clean. There is no garbage dump anywhere.
In these tribal regions, they don't have electricity, but they have kept their little villages so clean. Every home is kept so clean. You will not find gutters here and there, none of that.
It is like the forest. If you see, the forest is so clean. You will not find dead bodies in the forest, even though so many animals die. Somehow nature keeps a balance.
In the same way, the tribal people and tribal areas, where literacy is almost zero, they have that sense of protecting the environment and cleanliness, which urban people need to learn.
Of course we have many schools in these tribal areas, where more than 30,000 kids are studying. These schools are in such remote areas where you can only go by walk; there are no roads there. And these rural people have such a vibrancy in them, a certain joy which is really worth noticing.
Q: How can I be both soft and humble, and authoritative at the same time?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You want to do it? You can do it!
You don't have to be aggressive in order to be strong, and you don't have to be wiggly-wiggly or weak in order to be soft.
We think they are opposite qualities and we can only have one of them; no! I would say, you can have both. You have be sensible and sensitive.
Often people who are sensitive are not sensible, and those who are very sensible are not sensitive. But you have the great ability of combining both, sensibility and sensitivity. That is the skill and meditation is the answer. Meditate!
Q: What is the reason for 108 beads in a rosary? Is there any significance to this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There are 12 constellations and nine planets according to Indian astrology. Nine planets moving in the 12 constellations can bring about 108 different types of changes.
So the 108 beads are to nullify any malefic effects of any changes.
Q: In a country like India, especially Mumbai where I live, there is so much inequality that I feel embarrassed and guilty for what I have. Yet I have the ambition to earn money and live well. How to reconcile these two things?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Engage yourself in some service activity or another. It is good that something pricks you. That itself will motivate you to do something good for the society. And earmark 2% or 3% of what you earn, because if we use all of what we earn only on ourselves, then that is not good. We will definitely feel uncomfortable. So we must earmark 10% or 5%, whatever you can for social causes, and go and help the children, and the people in the slums.
There is so much activity happening at Dharavi, you can be part of that.
When you see these young children grow up educated, you will feel immense satisfaction.
You don't need to feel guilty about having a comfortable home, and a good car.
Q: How to compete in a business world which is so corrupt and when the corrupt have a clear edge over all your deals?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is difficult for a single person to fight against corruption, that too for a business man. For a monk it is easy, because a monk has nothing to lose, but for a business man it is difficult and that is why you need the civil society. When the civil society gets together in a group, they can act against corruption easily.
I will tell you an example. It so happened that in Ahmednagar in Maharashtra, there was a road only on paper, but in reality there was no road. So 50 of our Art of Living youths got together and they went to the Mayor's office. The first thing they did was smile at the Mayor. All of them smilingly sat in front of the Mayor and said, 'Madam, please tell us, when will this road be made? Please give us the date. Until you tell us the date we are not going to go from here.'
The Mayor got shaken, and she said, 'Yes it will be done', and in twenty four hours the road got done.
Similarly, in Hyderabad, some young entrepreneurs who were making a factory needed a license for their factory, and every inspector they went to were asking for bribe. Now these people said, 'Look, we have taken a pledge that we will not give or take any bribe. You can tell us to come here fifty times and we will come, but please be sure that we will not give even one rupee of bribe.'
Looking at this conviction of the youth, they granted all the ten licenses that they needed. Everyone else in that industrial park was surprised. They said, 'We have been trying for two years to get these licenses and we could not get it, how did these three young boys get all the licenses done?'
So once we have the conviction, we can change the system, we can make a difference. As youth, you must have this conviction in your mind, 'I can make a change.' If you think, 'The world is corrupt and it is never going to change, and nothing can ever change', then your own thought, and your own vibration will bring these kind of situations around you. So you need to come up with an idealistic dream, and then you will find things do happen.
Again I am telling you, it is difficult to fight corruption alone. You have work in a group to fight against corruption.
Q: Sometimes years of effort results in failure. What to do in such circumstances?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Just keep moving ahead. Every failure is a lesson to be learned.
Meditate. A few minutes of deep meditation will connect you with the ocean of intuition deep within you.
For every decision, it is essential that you are in touch with that inner source of intuition, then you will seldom go wrong.
Q: Dear Master, I recently heard you mention that, 'You own mind is responsible for your bondage and your liberation.' I am confused, how is the mind responsible for liberation? Don't I have to go beyond the mind?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, the cause of bondage is the mind, isn't it? It is the disturbances in the mind which takes away the peace from you. Whenever you are happy and peaceful, your mind is in touch with your being. When you are disturbed because of thoughts and emotions, then you are unable to see the peace which is always there.
Q: Gurudev, how can I live in this world without any fear; fear of loss, fear of death, fear of failure and fear of the known and the unknown?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Fear is love standing upside down.
If there is love, then there is no fear, and if there is fear then there is no love.
See, fear, love and hatred are all made up of the same energy. When there is hatred in a person, he is not afraid of anything.
When there is deep love in a person, then also there is no fear. It is one energy that manifests in these three forms - love, hatred and fear.
On 2 February 2013, I visited Tihar jail, and I inaugurated the opening of a skills training centre, a canteen and a hospital by The Art of Living. The amount of reform that has taken place over there is really touching. It is worth seeing how these people who were rude criminals have changed. They have started to enjoy music, painting, and learning new things.
So I told them, use the restaurant and the skills training centres but don't use the hospital.
The health of a society is indicated by the empty beds in the hospitals and the empty cells in the prisons. Today, the prison that has a capacity of only 6000 people has 12000 people. So we need to work outside prisons as well to ensure that people do not go in there. This can happen when we bring a wave of human values and a sense of belongingness.
These people in the prisons are beautiful people, but they had no fear when they committed the crime because hatred took over them.
That is why, if people engage themselves in doing service activities, and practising ujjayi breath and meditation, then the same energy which one experiences as fear, anxiety and tension, flips over and becomes love and compassion for all.