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.
It is Purnima (Full moon day) today, but it is very cloudy. This is how it is in life also. You are beautiful and pure just like a full moon, but that is not visible because of the clouds (here meaning inertia and negativity). When grace starts showering in life, all these clouds start to move away and disappear, and then the fully blossomed moon becomes visible.
In the same way, there is a veil (of ignorance) over knowledge. Just understand this: Whenever we are miserable, discontent, and restless, in those moments there is a veil or curtain over our vision, and we are facing away from the light (of knowledge). We are facing away from the light of God in such times, which is why we feel surrounded by darkness. At such times our shadow (of sorrow or misery) appears large and we feel afraid just by looking at it. Whenever we experience some fear in life, it is because of the shadow (of worry or misery) that we see. And we keep struggling and fighting against the shadow. So what do we need to do to overcome this? We need to simply turn towards the light; towards the Guru. The instant we turn to the light, in a matter of seconds the darkness around us disappears, and the shadow we were fighting with also vanishes.
It is said that one should consider the mind and the world as a part of the Divine. What happens when you see the entire world as a part of the Divine? The attachment that one has towards the world comes to an end. Your anger, and greed vanish, and the feverishness of your desires that grips you also comes to an end. This is experiential truth. It is not superficial talk. You should experience this for yourself in your life.
We often say that the mind is very fickle and restless. Why is it so? It is because the mind always seeks greater pleasure and more joy. It is always in pursuit of the highest joy. How can we get that joy? We often think that we can get such joy by being with a particular kind of company; or by getting some high post, etc. When a handful of people speak lofty praises about you, you tend to feel so elevated as if you are getting some great joy. This delusion or tendency of the mind (to find limited pleasure in objects and people) needs to be understood first.When you understand this, then at the same time you will also realize thatthe Divine is the greatest source of happiness. And then you realize that there is no distance between you and the Divine. There is total oneness and you feel that you and the Divine are the same, and the whole world is made up of the Divine. That’s it. This is the essence of everything. Just keep reminding yourself about this. When you realize this, all misery disappears.
(Note: The discourse was given in Hindi. Above is a translation of the orginal talk.)
Gurudev, what should I do so that everyone likes me?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
See, first just drop this want to be liked by everyone. As long as you are the favourite and beloved of the Divine, that is good enough. That’s it! How long can you go on pleasing everyone? Just have a deep sense of contentment from within; from your soul.
Walk towards the Divine. When you realize that the Divine loves and adores you so much, then you will not need anything else. It’s done.
Gurudev, why do we offer incense and a lamp to the Divine who has created such a fragrant creation and the mighty Sun?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
See, doing all this is just a play. Do not think too much about this. It is all done to create an atmosphere of sacredness and purity, that’s it. You do not need to burn incense or light a lamp to please God. When you are happy and content from within, God is pleased.