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.
There are two types of people in the world:
One type are called Bhaav-pradhan: They are those who are driven purely by their feelings (meaning those who give great importance to their feelings).
The second type is called Gyaan-pradhan: They are those who are driven by fact and logic, and act on the basis of knowledge (meaning those who go by facts and knowledge and base their actions on reason and knowledge).
You have to nurture both the head and the heart. You have to combine them together to move ahead in life. This is how you can bring fullness to your life.
Some people’s feelings are very strong, and they are very emotional about everything around them. On the other hand, some people are natural thinkers. They think, weigh the pros and cons of everything and then act in a particular situation. Both (feelings and knowledge) of these are very important aspects of a person’s life, and both are necessary.
If you only rely on your feelings and not knowledge, you soon get misled and get carried away by them. On the other hand, if you only think and act without any regard to your feelings, then your life loses enthusiasm and becomes so dry. There is no juice left in your life then.
So you have to nurture both the head (the seat of logic, intellect and knowledge) and the heart (the centre of feelings and emotions). You have to combine them together to move ahead in life. This is how you can bring fullness to your life.
The main point to attend to is this: some people rely more heavily on the intellect and logic, while some are driven more strongly by their feelings and emotions. If you approach people who are driven by their feelings, and speak to them about surrendering and love; all this will appeal to them very greatly.
But if you go to a scientist (referring to being an intellectual, driven by fact and logic) and talk to him about love, surrender, etc., he will not be able to understand. He will say that there is some emotional or chemical imbalance in your mind!
The scientist will say that your endocrine glands are over-active and secreting too many endomorphine hormones.
So people like this are driven purely by knowledge and intellect, rather than feelings. They perceive everything through the lens of knowledge. Yet even they are essentially devoted to the same Tattva (referring to the one pure Consciousness).
A scientist will tell you that everything in this world is made up of one thing only. It is all composed of one and only one element, or principle. It is that same one principle that has manifest into so many diverse forms in creation.
To understand this, we can take the simple example of a banana. Do you know how many varieties of bananas exist in the world today? In South India, you even get red bananas. Have you ever seen a red banana?
Then we also have green bananas which are small in size. They are called Elaichi Bananas (Elaichi meaning cardamom in Hindi; here used to indicate the small size of this particular variety of bananas).
Now, they are essentially all bananas only. But each has a different size, color and flavor. The same goes for apples as well. You can find so much varieties in apples. There are yellow apples, green apples, red apples, etc. The apples you find in Shimla are so different from the ones you find in Kashmir (in terms of colour and flavour).
So you can see so much diversity in flowers, fruits and vegetables around you. The same is the case with human beings also.
There are so many different kinds of people. No two persons are alike. Every person is unique and different from the other, and they have different behaviours, feelings and emotions. In the same way, they all possess different kinds of knowledge and different thoughts also.
Some people’s feelings are very strong, and they are very emotional about everything around them. On the other hand, some people are natural thinkers. They think, weigh the pros and cons of everything and then act in a particular situation.
Both of these are very important aspects of a person’s life, and both are necessary.
Lord Krishna says, 'Jnana-yajnena cha-apy anye yajanto mam upasate. Ekatvena prthaktvena bahudha visvato-mukham'. (9.15)
Everything you see around you is a play of diversity of this one Consciousness only. This you should know and believe firmly. You should honor this diversity. You can prepare so many kinds of dishes from the same flour. From the same flour, you can make bread, Naan (a special type of Indian bread),Samosa (an Indian savory snack) and alsoHalwa (a common Indian sweet preparation).
In the same way, there is only one God whom different people worship in different ways.There is only one Truth, and one Divinity; it is only the ways of worship that are different among different people. Now if we start expecting that everyone should behave and work like us, then that would be very wrong.
You know, there is so much terrorism in the world today because some people think, ‘Everyone should follow my way; everyone should work and behave like me. What I say and do is right, everything else is wrong’.
People who say this are the ones who spread fear and terrorism in the world today. And they do this out of ignorance. This is why we need a Gyaan Yajna today (literally meaning to spread knowledge to more and more people and dispel ignorance and negativity).
(Note: The discourse was given in Hindi. Above is a translation of the original talk.)