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.
Did you all realize that you meditated for 22 minutes? Could you feel the passage of time as you meditated? And did your mind wander away during this time? No, it did not wander even a bit. So you need to learn the skill and the art of making the mind calm and steady. Once you know this skill of taming the mind, then you will be happy and joyful at all times.
Lord Krishna has said, 'Mana-eva manushyanam karanam bandha-mokshayoh. Bandhaya vishayasango muktyai-nirvishayam manah'. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says that one’s mind is one’s own worst enemy, and also one’s own best friend. The mind alone is the sole cause of bondage and also the source of one’s liberation (from worldly delusion and attachment).
Have this unshakable faith that the creator of the world loves you very dearly. Believe that 'God is in me, and I in Him'. This single faith alone can take you to great heights.
There are seven levels of existence. Today I will add an eighth one to the list – the environment. The eight levels of existence are: the environment, the (physical) body, the breath, the mind, the intellect, the memory, the ego and the self.
Is your mind here at this moment? Are you all here? Are you listening attentively to what I am saying? Or is your mind wandering somewhere else? Your mind must be present here, right now. The faculty that helps you hear, see, taste, smell and touch is the mind. Then comes the Intellect. The intellect is the faculty that helps us decide whether something we hear is nice or not; whether something we taste is to our liking or not. Then come the memory or Chitta. It is that faculty that helps us remember all that we perceive and understand through our senses and the intellect. Events leave their impressions on theChitta. Then comes the ego, and finally the soul or the self. If we gain a little deeper understanding of these seven faculties of our existence, then it can bring about a great transformation in our lives. And this is what The Art of Living is all about. When you gain this knowledge about the levels of your existence, then you start blossoming with joy from within.
Just ask yourself this question, 'Whatever you do in life, what is the purpose behind that? Why do you do what you do?' It is to be happy, isn’t it so? We do everything to be happy, but are we truly happy? If you ask young children whether they are happy now or not, they will answer, 'Once I finish school and go to college, then I will be happy. Then my parents will not be behind me'. When they join college, they feel that they will be happy once they get a good job. When they get a job, then they feel that they will be happy once they get married and settle down with a partner. Then after some time, they feel that once they have children then they will be happy. But then once they have their children, they worry about their education, and feel that once their children get admitted to a good school, they will be happy. Then after a few years, they feel that once their children finish their education and settle down, they will be happy. But by that time, their own life begins to come to an end. We tirelessly run around our entire life in search of happiness, but we never find it. It is like preparing a bed to sleep on, but by the time we finish spreading the bed sheet and the pillows, it is morning already. We end up getting no time to sleep and rest. This is what we should not allow to happen.
Spirituality is that which takes you deeper within yourself and also enables you to bring peace and happiness to others around us.
Our life is very important. In this very life we can attain That through which everything in this creation has manifested and is in motion. It is important that we recognize that one supreme power which is making everything happen in this world. Once you realize that, then no one will be able to wipe away your smile, nor shake that deep love within you.
Two things are most important for life to run smoothly. The first is Love. Would you be able to live if everyone around you told you that they do not love you? No! We want that everyone should love us. But then you must also ask yourself that how many people have you loved unconditionally? You know, at the time of death, only two questions will be before us: how much love have we shared, and how much knowledge have we gained in our lifetime? We often do the exact opposite of this. We are more inclined to get love from others (rather than giving), and we stay stuck in giving knowledge to others rather than receiving. True spirituality is that knowledge which maintains an unshakable happiness in you, and which helps bring happiness to others around us by your very presence. Spirituality is that which takes you deeper within yourself and also enables you to bring peace and happiness to others around us. Life is so dry and juice-less without spirituality. A life that is dry is the surest way of sinking into negativity. We tend to get angry quickly and more often, we get stuck in cravings and aversions, we feel disturbed. The root cause of all this is having a dry and juice-less life. So how can we make our life juicier? There are two ways: 1. Deep faith and 2. Deep rest Have this unshakable faith that the creator of the world loves you very dearly. Believe that 'God is in me, and I in Him'. This single faith alone can take you to great heights. God’s love is 1000 times more intense than the love of your parents towards you. You may call that supreme power by any name that you like, you can call it Mother Divine, Lord Shiva, or God, etc. It does not matter. God loves you very dearly all the same. So this faith you must have. Just do this once and see how your life changes. Then whatever you wish for will start to happen. Have this faith in your heart and just relax and repose within yourself.
So first you must have faith in God. Then have faith in the fact that there are many good and noble people in the society. There are some people who have gone astray, but the number of good people is far greater even today. Have faith in the goodness of the people around you. Then you must have faith in yourself. It is very important to have faith in yourself. And along with that faith, you must also rest – and this rest can only come through meditation. We just meditated now. It was good, isn’t it? So you all must meditate and learn a few pranayamas. Then you will have no reason whatsoever to be sad or dejected in life.