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.
Turn every question into wonder, "Wow!" Wonder is the preface for yoga. Yoga does not just mean exercise, it is the union with the universe.
The preface of yoga is wonder or 'wow'. Any time you say, "Wow", the mind stops. Nature has provided you with so many opportunities in life to get into a state of 'wow', either through beauty or through shock. This is called Chakit Mudra. Chakit Mudra means: (Gurudev demonstrates an expression of utter dismay, with a 'Ha' sound, taking a sharp breath inwards).
Can you do that? (Asking the audience to make the same expression) Do it with a jerk, making the 'Ha' sound, and then wait, stay still and see what happens. (Audience makes the 'Ha' sound). Do you notice that a stir comes when you're really in shock and surprise? Your jaws should drop, you eyes should become big. Come on, do it and stay still. And then close your eyes, you will slip into the infinity.
Why does the most beautiful music and most beautiful forms of art come from sadness and longing?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Life has all the moods, only one mood will not help. In India they are called navarasa, which means the nine beautiful emotions. In that, fear is also one of the emotions. If you happen to see the Indian classical dance called Bharatanatyam, it includes all the nine emotions (delight, laughter, sorrow, anger, heroism, fear, disgust, wonder and peace).
Also, we must study how Bharatanatyam and osteopathy are connected. I am sure there is some relation, because the first thing that they teach you in Bharatanatyam is to move your neck. Your neck should move back and forth very nicely. And the second is the movement of the eyes. So eye movement, neck movement, hand movement, finger movement, all these movements are taught in Bharatanatyam, and also in osteopathy. In osteopathy, you are told to move your hands in a certain way, which relate to the spine.
In Bali also, they teach you to move the little finger in the Balinese dance. In this dance, it is very important to keep the index finger and middle finger together and then move the other two fingers, which are difficult to move. Trying to move the little finger and the ring finger independently, it takes some effort. It's a little tough.
You know, there are meridians in the body (a set of pathways in the body along which vital energy is said to flow). In the Balinese dance, this is very important. The dancer moves her fingers continuously for one hour or two hours, through-out the show. If you move your fingers for five minutes, they start aching, but they have to do this for one to two hours, along with eyes movements. With these movements, the different meridians in the body get activated. It happens through the dance. It's all so fascinating.
In your palm, each of your fingers is connected to some planet. The thumb is connected to Mars. Mars stays alone.
Index finger is connected to Jupiter (Jupiter shows the path, it is the teacher). When you want to show something, you show using the index finger, this is Jupiter. The middle finger is connected to Saturn; Saturn is the servant. The ring finger is connected to the Sun; the Sun is the king. And who owns the jewels? The king, and so you put rings only on the ring finger. That's why it's called the ring finger. And the Sun or a king cannot stay alone, you have to have the servant with him. The President of every country has a bodyguard who is taller, fairer and well built because he has to support the President. That's why it's difficult to separate the middle finger and the ring finger.
The little finger is connected to Mercury. So when you do chin mudra, what is happening? The index finger (Jupiter) and the thumb (Mars) are coming together, that is wisdom and power.
Why is the thumb Mars? It is because whenever you win, what do you do? You put your thumbs up. Thumbs up is a sign of victory. When you lose what do you do? You put your thumbs down. So these gestures are so inbuilt in us.
Similarly, different planets affect different parts of your body. Your teeth are connected to Saturn. Your eyes are connected to the Sun, your cheeks are connected to Venus, forehead to Mercury, nose to Jupiter. I mean this as the connection of microcosm with the macrocosm. It is so fascinating!
I understand that whatever a person faces is related to some past life karma. But when the person is good in the current life, why should he or she face all those old painful karmas?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Just understand, you cooked food in the morning. By afternoon, you had forgotten that you cooked the food and found the food very spicy. Then you can't say, "Oh, I put spice in the morning, why is it spicy now?"
You ask this question only when you are in trouble. If you have invested your money and now it is giving you lot of benefit, you don’t ask, "Why is this happening. Why am I getting my money now?" You invested and the interest is coming now.
You sowed a mango seed and today it is giving you so many mangoes. You planted a coconut tree and it is giving you one coconut everyday now. You don’t ask why is it giving coconuts now? You planted some vegetables, and you will enjoy them when they grow. That time, why don’t you ask, "Why is God not in the present moment, and why is he giving me the beans I sowed three months back?"
Come on, wake up. Children are not born in one day. It takes nine months for a child to be formed. So time is part of this Universal phenomena. In fact, phenomenon cannot happen outside the dimension of time and space, and any phenomenon is karma.
How to become free from concepts and expectations?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Come on, what concepts? Throw them out. The universe has given you so much to be surprised about, so much to cherish. As I said in the New Year Message, remember that you are sitting on the bank of a river and watching all that is going on in it, passing by. What's passing by? Some garbage is passing by, some dirt is passing by, logs are passing by, ships are passing by, some flowers are passing by. Never mind whatever is passing by, you are just witnessing all that goes by.
I have absolutely no will power or discipline. Even though I'm trying very hard, I can't develop it. What can I do about it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
You say you don't have will power, who is saying that? If you don't have will power, you wouldn't even have come here.
Every thought that you act upon indicates you have some will power. A thought comes to your mind, "I want to get up and go to the next room", and you do it, that indicates will power. It is impossible to have no will power. Yes, certain things may not be happening because your mind is used to some habit or some temptation, and then you feel, "I don't have will power". No, as long as you have a will, there is power.