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.
(Music, Meditation and Wisdom with Sri Sri at the event 'Meditation 2.0 - Go Deeper', was conducted at the Art of Living Los Angeles Center on the 8-9 May 2015. Below is the transcript of what Sri Sri said:)
Life has three components:
2. Awareness and
If at all you become miserable, it is because of any one of these three, or the lack of it. Lack of love in life causes misery. Fear of losing love causes misery. And craving for it causes misery.
When there is lack of awareness, you make mistakes. You are driving and you miss the exit. How did you miss the exit? It was because you were not aware or alert. Lack of awareness is a cause of misery.
If you have digested the knowledge of 'who you are and what this universe is all about', then it is impossible to not be a loving person.
The third thing is lack of knowledge. These three things cause misery. And it is yoga and meditation which enhances these three things in our lives. It enhances knowledge, it enhances awareness and it brings forth love which makes you feel at home. If there is any one thing on this planet that can alleviate your loneliness, I tell you, it is meditation.
Some of us are more bent towards knowledge, some of us are more towards love, and some of us are more towards alertness. But meditation combines all three: love, knowledge and awareness. And if we catch hold of any one of it and master it, then the other two also come along.
If you have digested the knowledge of 'who you are and what this universe is all about', then it is impossible to not be a loving person. You will find that the greatest scientists are great lovers too.
Recently, they have released one of the letters of Albert Einstein to his daughter. How many of you have seen that letter? They were not supposed to release it for 50 or so years. Now they have released it. And he said that love is the greatest power on this planet.
Knowledge about the universe makes you fall in love, or I would rather say, rise in love with the creative force or power of the universe.
Similar is the case if you have practiced awareness. This is the Buddhist way. The Buddhist way is not knowledge, it is awareness. Just empty yourself. Become empty and not stuffed with information. Be alert and aware. Practice total awareness. It is called Zen. Zen is nothing but a distorted form of dhyan (meditation). When dhyan traveled further east it became Zen. They are not two different things, they are the same. By the time it traveled in those days on horse-backs or on foot, it underwent some changes in pronunciation.
(Sri Sri directs some people to shift so that some more people could be accommodated.)
This is what life is all about: keep shifting your position. Don’t be stuck somewhere. Make room and space for others. It is all about creating space. Create space for events, people and things to happen as they unfold because every event and every person you come across in your life, is contributing to your life in some unimaginable way.
It is yoga and meditation which enhances love, knowledge and awareness in our lives.
I remember having heard a story. A thief came to a saint and said, “I know that you are a very nice person, but do not tell me to abstain from stealing. I am a kleptomaniac. Other than this, I will follow everything else'.
The saint just smiled and said, “Oh, is that the case? But, I want to tell you how to steal'.
The saint then says, 'Steal with total alertness. You should be very conscious of your hands and very conscious of your movement. Steal with 100% awareness. Can you do this for me?”
The thief said, “That is simple. Anyways, I am alert about the policeman watching or anyone else watching".
10 days passed and this man came to the saint and said, “You have robbed me of my profession. Tell me, what do I do now? I have to do something different. Whenever I tried to steal something consciously, I couldn’t do it. My hand would not go. I came back empty handed. Now I am doomed. My profession is gone. I have no livelihood.”
Awareness and lack of it causes all mistakes in our life. Similarly, love or lack of it causes all misery in our life. There is one common point or meeting point of all three and that is meditation.