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.
How does one know if something is coming from one’s head or heart?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
The heart is stronger than the head. Anything that comes from the heart comes with passion; anything that comes from the head comes with ambition. Sometimes, both together, can bring up your feelings, emotions and thoughts.
Do business with your head, and live life with your heart, both are needed. Don’t relate with your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend or friends only with the head. At the same time, there is no point in being too emotional, too wiggly-wiggly.
Don’t keep on questioning the past, asking people, ‘Why did you do this in the past?’ When you love somebody, never question their love for you! ‘Do you really love me?’ Never ask this! Just imagine, if someone is asking you every day, ‘Do you really love me?’ You will say, ‘My God! How am I going to prove to this lady or this boy that I really love them?’ Don’t put the burden of proof of love on anybody’s head. This is the way you destroy love. When you demand love, you destroy love. Instead, you should be more grateful. If you find someone loves you less, you should ask him, ‘Why do you love me so much?’
You should always feel that you are not worthy of the love that you receive; think that the love you receive is much more than what you deserve. If you come from this space of humility, then you will behave with magnanimity and dignity in all your dealings. You won’t chew on the past, you will live in the present moment, you will honor other people’s opinions, you will understand other’s predicaments; that magnanimity will come from within. If you keep this in mind (that I don’t deserve this love), you will not demand love. And when you don’t demand love in your life, it keeps on increasing.
When you demand love, you destroy love. Even if someone has a lot of love for you, they feel fed up. Just imagine if someone is complaining to you every day, questioning you, policing you all the time, doubting your intention; how many of you will feel suffocated? (Many in the audience raise their hands).
It is totally suffocating. The suffocation will show up in your behavior, and your relationships will get strained and suffer.
In all relationships, whether it is your parents, children, siblings, spouse, friends, families, neighbors; what is most important is your understanding of your emotions, your mind, your ability to be stable, and your own ability to see things from a broader perspective. And that is spirituality.
Spirituality is that which gives you a broader perspective in life; it gives you strength and stability; it gives you a vision and a mission in life.
If you don’t have a vision or a mission in your life, then you feel like a person roaming around without a goal, you have nowhere to go; you simply keep on going around in circles, and then you feel depressed. This is what is happening in today’s society.
Any achievement does not bring about happiness in people’s lives. Even though you have achieved material comforts, family, friends, in spite of all that, there is an emptiness that haunts you. And this haunting emptiness is so painful. To fill that emptiness, people take all sorts of addiction. Okay, you intoxicate yourself, you forget about this world for a few moments, but when you wake up, you are back to square one, the same place or even worse. This is because the intoxication drains you of your energy, and you then have low prana. And with low prana, what comes to mind is the feeling of life being meaningless, you feel, ‘Let me end it here’.
We need to reverse this feeling by being in knowledge. Listen to Ashtavakra Gita, do some Pranayama, Shakti Kriya, Sudarshan Kriya. Millions around the world have found solace, how come you will not find it? You will definitely find it!
My daughter has married a boy from another religion. My wife holds me responsible for this, since it was my idea to send her for further studies. How is this my fault, what position do I take and how do I get out of all this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Everyone has to get out of here, some day. Until one leaves, keep smiling, keep good relations and give love to everyone. Make everyone happy.
Tell your daughter not to leave her religion. She should continue to have faith in her religion and also have respect for the other religion. Explain to her that she should sit with her mother and respect her too.
Pujas, especially Durga puja have a lot of significance for Bengalis. Tell her to come home especially for puja holidays. Lay that down as a condition for her. Many times, when people get married into other religions, they are told to drop their own religions and not celebrate their festivals or follow their rituals; then there is a breakdown in the relationship between both the families. Tell your daughter to celebrate their festival too, and come home for her own celebrations.
Daughters should be able to have their say. Daughters should not live like slaves. In love, there is co-partnering, not slavery or bondage.
Dear Gurudev, yesterday you said that Shiva is formless, but we have heard stories of Shiva and Parvati in their physical form.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
It is not their physical form, it is the subtle form. In the subtle dimension there are many manifestations.
It is one energy; that energy becomes light and in light there are different colors. Yet all these colors are only light and light simply means energy.
Understand it like this. There is electricity which is energy, and it is unmanifest. You can’t see it, you can’t touch it, you can’t experience it; nobody can. Yet, when it becomes light, you can experience it.
In the same way, it is one parabrahma (divinity), manifested as Shiva and Shakti, and then there is dialogue. These are all subtle phenomena. Simply remember this: all in one and one in all.
Dear Gurudev, is astrology always true?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Astrology is a road map only. What you are sitting here for, meditation and spirituality, is one step higher than astrology. Spirituality has the power to bestow and grant wishes. Astrology only predicts what might happen, not what will happen.