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 so happened once, a lady went to a Guru and said, "I have two questions". The Guru said, "Okay, ask me".
The lady asked, "Why did God make this world? Why couldn't he just be happy with the way it was? And having created it, why did he make it so miserable?"
The Guru said, "I have only one answer for this! He created this world for me, and he made it miserable so that I don't get caught up in it".
When we are ignorant of our true nature, we become miserable. The relevance of the Guru is to bring you back to your true self.
When your mind is miserable, you try to look for the cause of the misery. And then you see that the cause of your unhappiness (or happiness) is a situation, or a person, or an attitude, isn't it? This is the cycle of ignorance, and this is how it goes on — the cause of unhappiness (or happiness) is: a situation, an attitude or a person.
We want to immediately find a cause of our misery because unanswered questions is an irritant in the mind. So we want to find a cause for our unhappiness and hang on to something. Just look into your mind and observe, this is happening all the time. And when you find the cause of your unhappiness, you immediately want to eliminate that cause, or correct it, or do something about it. Does this make sense to you?
You are unhappy, you think that it is because the other person did this and now you want to correct them or do something about it. No! That is not the cause. The cause of all causes is something else. Those people and those situations were just postmen, or the laptop which got you a bad email. If you get a bad email, you don't throw the laptop, or change your password. Changing your password is not going to help in any way. The true cause is ignorance; ignorance of your true nature. When we are ignorant of our true nature, we become miserable. The relevance of the Guru is to bring you back to your true self. That's why it is said, 'Tatvamasyaadilaksham', the goal of the Guru is to give you that idea that 'You are THAT'.
Now what is THAT? THAT is: Brahmanandam parama sukhadam kevalam jnanmurtim, dvandvathitam gaganasadrisham tatvamsyadi lakshyam. Ekam nityam vimalamachalam sarvadhee sakshibhutam, bhavatitam trigunarahitam sad gurum tam namami. Brahmanandam - the greatest bliss; the abundance of bliss for which our heart, our soul and our mind yearns all the time. Parama Sukhadam - infinite happiness. Happiness which transcends all words and all worlds. Kevalam jnanmurtim - it is just pure knowledge. Ekam nityam vimalamachalam - the one thing that you can eternally depend on. Sarvadhee sakshibhutam - it is a witness to all types of mindsets and all types of thoughts. It is a witness to everything. Bhavatitam - it is beyond the three gunas; beyond the three states of consciousness (waking, dreaming & sleeping), and yet being with all the three gunas (sattva, rajas, tamas) -trigunarahitam sad gurum tam namami. This is the self, the being; this is wisdom, and this is the Guru Principle.
For a particular situation you think that 'this' is the cause, but when you go a little deeper, you will find that the cause is not there, it is somewhere else. The cause keeps jumping.
Our identification of our self with the limited thought patterns, emotional patterns, or any limitation for that matter, is the cause. And so instead of latching on to the cause of sorrow (as some event, attitude or person), you say it is because of my forgetfulness of my real identification, of who I am.
So what did the Guru say? He said, "God made the world so miserable so that I don't get caught up in it". If this world was more joyful, you would never look for something higher, you would never look for something different. When you get so caught up in small things, then the Divinity tells you, "Hey, wake up and see who you are!"
What is the meaning of life? This questions seldom arises in people's minds. When this question comes up, then something else has happened. A spark has come into our life. Something higher and something more beautiful starts happening.
You know, there are two types of masters in the tradition.
1. Those who would give you boons, "Okay, what is it that you want? Some little thing here and there? Okay, have it, but rise above it". Granting boons, giving blessings, and getting you out of the maya (illusion or ignorance).
2. The other type of masters are a little different. They are very tough. If you want something, that's it, you will never have it. If you say that you want to go to Italy, finished, you will never be able to go to Italy. They will see to it that you drop your desires, you drop your passion and everything that you cling on to, and then you will rise above it.
The previous generation of masters used to do that. They would make you realize, "Hey, my dear, you are much more than your mind, why are you so caught up in this little mind all the time".
Attaching the cause of our misery to this, this, and this, makes it concrete. This is ignorance. If you go a little deeper into something that you find as the cause, you will find that the cause is not there but it is a little further down. Have you noticed this? (Many in the audience raise their hands)
For a particular situation you think that 'this' is the cause, but when you go a little deeper, you will find that the cause is not there but it is somewhere else. So the cause keeps jumping. And believing that is the real cause makes our ignorance more concrete.
The knowledge of the Self burns karma, which means, it brings you to the real cause (cause of causes), which is the being. And the being is all pervading, it is in every particle of the creation.
So when the whole universe is so complex, every event is complex, mind is even more complex, to get over this they brought this principle of Karma. And there is a lot about Karma — there is good karma and bad karma. And the karma that you do, you take the responsibility onto yourself, instead of blaming it on an event, situations, or people.
Now, how do you get out of karma? That is where knowledge come in. The knowledge of the Self burns karma, which means, it brings you to the real cause (cause of causes), which is the being. And the being is all pervading, it is in every particle of the creation. Knowledge raises you above the name and form, and gets you onto this pedestal of the reality of true existence. That is the very solid ground; the ultimate ground. So the cause of all causes is the Guru Principle.
Enough for today! This itself is a lot. You can slowly digest this.
So on Guru Purnima day, think about all the good things that you have received in your life. All the good things have given you vastness. All the stupid and miserable things that have happened to you have given you depth and made you realize your strength over it. So for anything that has happened, or not happened, feel grateful, thankful and happy about it.