Sri Sri Ravi Shankar lovingly called as Guruji, the founder of Art of Living Foundation through which He relieves the stress at individual levels, thus reducing violence, sufferings and conflicts and spreading the love, harmony, peace throughout the world in various societies.
You know, the real luck in life is that you have an opportunity in life to think bigger than the mundane. You should think about something big, rather than just think about eating, drinking, and other trivial things.
To be able to think something big, or to have the company of people who encourage and inspire you to think big – that itself is a great blessing and good fortune. You should never lose out on that.
How many people here feel that there has been a total transformation in your lives? (Many in the audience raise hands).
Knowledge alone has the power to uplift you in this way. Nothing else can help you do this. If there is no knowledge in your life, you will simply keep running from one end to another. Without knowledge, you will get tired stumbling from one thing to another, and you will keep getting miserable each step of the way.
Being in knowledge and being in Satsang is the only way to save yourself from misery and suffering. You should go deep into this. Whenever you can, take a few minutes out of your schedule for yourself and just sit quietly and meditate.
Until you taste the nectar of knowledge, you really don't know what you are missing in life. But when you get deeply intoxicated with knowledge, everything else just fades away in comparison. Is it not so?
Compared to knowledge, every other intoxication just pales in comparison. Such is the strength and depth of knowledge.
When we grow in knowledge, then even Nature listens to our wishes. It surely does. Nobody will go back empty handed from the Ashram. But when you ask for something, ask as per your capacity to receive what you desire. Do not just superficially ask for anything. When you truly wish for something with all your heart, you will surely get it.
If you hold a small bowl in your hands but keep asking for ten litres of milk, how is it possible?
Whatever you want in life, you should accordingly increase your capacity (or deservingness) to be able to receive it also. Your mind should have expanded in the same way.
Gurudev, it is said that creativity is born out of silence. But many creative works also arises out of deep despair and anguish. Please explain this.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:Yes, that is also right. Temporarily for a moment or so, there can be anguish or despair, and creativity comes out of that. But if the despair and anguish continues, then nothing comes out of it. If despair and anguish alone were the reason for creativity, then places like Afghanistan, Lebanon and Sudan where there is so much despair, such places would have been very creative by now. No such thing has happened though. You should all remember one thing. Do not think of yourself as insects. You are all great, and you are connected to the Creator of the whole world. Just walk ahead in life with full enthusiasm, and with the faith that the Creator of this creation belongs to you. Once you have this strong enthusiasm in life, I tell you, no one will ever be able to shake you in life. You get so upset over small and trivial events in life. You start crying for trivial happenings, and become afraid for such small things. You are spoiling your own life by doing this. Just have deep faith, and remember that the Creator of the world belongs to you. 'I will surely get whatever I need, and my life will be wonderful. There is no second choice to this at all!’ This is the kind of courage with which you must walk in life. This is the Sankalpa (firm resolve) and the prayer that you should have. Nothing else is needed in life. Don’t behave like a beggar, always saying, ‘I want this kind of success; I want that kind of fame and money’. It is all useless. Feel that deep connection with the Divine. At all times, remind yourself that 'I am connected with the Divine at all times. I do not know what God is, or where He is, but I have a deep and unshakeable connection with Him, and that is all I know, and that is all that matters!' Just have total faith in this. This is like a fish which has that total and utter faith that 'I am in the water (here signifying being surrounded by the Divine)’. You must just believe that ‘Regardless of the play of events, I have a deep connection with God’. Now, you have never seen or understood God, but the Guru is seen, and he is available to you. This is why the Master is like the door to the Divine. When you have this complete faith that ‘My connection to the Divine is strong and unshakeable’ then you receive so many siddhis (extraordinary abilities) in life, by way of unshakeable devotion. Then you shall get whatever it is that you desire, and whatever you wish will happen. A plane ticket that was earlier out of your reach suddenly becomes available to you. If you want the pouring rain to stop, it will stop. How many of you have experienced this? (Many in the audience raise their hands). I know that there are four people who have come here who were not able to book their flight tickets a few months ago (because of no availability), but they got the tickets just a few days ago. (Sri Sri looks at the crowd for the four people who were unable to get their flight tickets). Raise your hands (the four devotees in the audience raise their hands). Just see! They were all very tense earlier, when they had not got their tickets. But they were able to book it and have reached here safely. So it is not a difficult thing to get what you desire. There is nothing great in asking for small trivial things in life. You should ask for something big in life. Whenever you ask, ask for something big and the best for yourself (from the Divine). There are so many people in the world who are so miserable, I tell you. Despite many people having a lot of money, there is no happiness on their faces. Despite having fame and prestige, there is no enthusiasm in their lives. So, all these (money, fame, power, etc.) are useless. If you want juice in your life, there is only way: make that strong and unshakeable bond with the Divine. Then you realize that your whole life is such a blessing, that everything in life is such a blessing. Your breath is a blessing, and your mind is also a blessing. When you accept everything in life as a blessing, then you will have abundance in life, and then you will get what you want, even before asking for it. How many of you have had this experience, that even before your wanting something, it has arrived at your doorstep? (Many raise hands in the audience) That’s it! This is the sign of knowledge. The sign of being in wisdom, is having this firm belief, that before you need anything, it is already there, right at your doorstep. There is no use of getting something after struggling for it all your life. Getting something that you wanted after praying a lot, or getting it late, or not at the right time, is no good.
If you get something the moment you ask for it, then that is good. And the best is, when you get something without even having to ask for it. It is like getting water even before the thirst for it has arisen in you. That is Siddhavastha (having the ability to manifest wishes effortlessly). This shows that you are a Sharanagati (one who has surrendered totally to the Divine). That deep feeling of faith is what you should have. That is why Lord Krishna has said, ‘Come take total refuge in Me, and I shall liberate you from all your sins’.
If there is some misery or suffering in someone’s life, it is because of sin (wrong deeds). If there is no sin, there can be no misery or suffering.
One suffers because they have done some wrong deed sometime earlier. And there is only one way to be free of this, and that is to surrender everything to the Divine.
Just know that there is someone or some power that is there to look after you all the time. So simply surrender all your problems. Have that faith that the Divine will take care of everything.
When a small child gets himself dirty in the mud, he comes to the mother, and shows her how his hands and feet are all dirty, because he knows she will take care. Children who are one or two years old cannot take a bath themselves, so they come to the mother.
Even if they need their diaper to be changed, it is the mother who has to do it, isn’t it so? You know why the child does this? It is because the child knows that there is someone who loves it very dearly, and who will take care of it at all times.
In the same way, we too should have this deep faith that there is someone who loves us totally and will take care of everything for us. Then we can be free of all our worries and difficulties.
If you have experienced this feeling even one, you will simply walk ahead in life with your head held high, and full enthusiasm. You will walk just like a lion and not like some small insect. You will no longer cry over your problems thinking ‘Oh, I do not have this, I do not have that’. You will find that everything you desire will simply fall at your feet.
This feeling is not born out of arrogance. If you have this feeling, it means that you become so natural and blossom so totally from within. Your heart and mind have become open and full of joy, and you carry a sense of centeredness with yourself at all times. So you should walk like a King and be the perfect servant. Be supple and sensitive, but also be strong (from within). Often people who are very sensitive are also very weak. They get so affected by what others say. They keep weeping over what others think, or say about them. That is not how you should be. Be strong from within, and know that you can do what you want to do. You can overcome the hurdles that come in life, because you know are not alone, there is someone to take care of you. This confidence has to come from within.
Actually, it is already there. You already have that.
I would suggest you to read Yoga Vashishtha (a sacred scripture narrating the enlightening dialogue between Lord Rama and Sage Vashishtha). There are many audio recordings for it also. It is in both English and Hindi. So just sit back and listen to it. Whenever your mind is troubled because of something, just sit back and listen to Yoga Vashishtha. All your troubles will vanish in a matter of a few minutes. That is why it is said in the Bhagavad Gita, 'Na hi jnanena sadrusham pavitram iha vidyate. Tat svayam yoga-samsiddhah kalenatmani vindati'. (4.38)
There is nothing that can purify the mind as knowledge.