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.
Today is World Environmental Day. You know, environment is not just the plants, trees and mountains. We are also part of the environment. Caring for each other and seeing that we are all happy is also part of the environment. Don’t you agree? Yes!
If you see, all over the world in the Aboriginal areas where the tribal people are¬ living, or looking after the forests and animals, they do not pollute the environment.
Do you know, when we are stressed and unhappy, we tend to pollute the environment much more. If you just sit with a person who is angry, upset or negative for 10 minutes, when you walk away from them, you also carry a little bit of their frustrations with you. When you spend a little time with those who are happy, for example with little kids, and when you move away from there, you carry their joy.
Today, the topic being happiness, I feel that it is perfectly timed because it coincides with the World Environmental Day! We not only physically pollute the environment but we mentally, emotionally and spiritually also pollute the environment. Our minds are so sensitive that it can catch on to the thought waves and vibrations of others around us. Happiness is the unpolluted vibrations that come from within us.
We are all born happy, every child is born happy and we emit the happiness, but in the course of growing up, education and dealing with people all around, somewhere we lose the purity and serenity that we were all born with. We need to get back to our true nature which is innocence, which is simplicity, which is honesty, and then we are caring for the environment. And how can we do that? First of all, we need to get rid of stress, we need to get rid of mistrust towards with each other and start bringing a sense of celebration to our lives.
We convey more through our vibrations, than through our words. Each one of us emits vibrations and these vibrations get polluted when we are stressed, angry, upset and frustrated. The way to purity our presence and our vibrations is through meditation. It brings the transformation from negative vibes to positive vibes, from hatred to love, from frustration to confidence, from despair to hope and from ignorance to intuition. Don’t you want this? Everyone wants this.
Every husband and wife wants to be intuitive; they want to know what the other is doing when they are not with them. Every business man wants to be intuitive, so that they know where they can invest. For a research scientist intuition is absolutely essential, and I don’t have to say how important intuition is to a politician. They suffer a great deal when they do not have any intuition.
Similarly, innovation is essential to maintain any business. Innovation is essential to maintain and grow any business. Meditation, provides, energy, intuition, innovation and enthusiasm. Who does not want to meditate then. Not only this, it can create a better atmosphere around you.
Another way to purify our vibrations is by taking part in art and culture. Being part of art and dance is good. Not just sitting and watching for some time, but being a part of it for some time. Participate! Do not worry about your steps, whether you can put the steps correctly or gracefully or not.
The next way is to reach out to the people who are in need and serve them. These three things will help you. Not thinking 'What about me, where will I go?' Think, 'What can I do, how can I help? How can I contribute'. These intentions can change our vibes and they can keep us much happier.
How to get rid of hatred ?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Put yourself in the shoes of the person you hate. A youth came to me once and said, "I hate my uncle, I cannot stand him".
I said, "Okay, you can continue to hate him, but before that, just for half an hour, behave and act like your uncle". So for half an hour he acted like his uncle and suddenly he came and said, "You know Gurudev, I feel different now". So, put yourself in the shoe of the person whom you hate.
Secondly, why do you hate the person? Is it for what they are doing? If they are doing horrible things, either they are ignorant or they are stressed. By hating them, can you change them? People make mistakes and you hate them? Why do you hate them, because they make some mistakes? By hating a person who makes mistakes, can you correct them? No, you cannot correct them when you hate them. Do you want them to be corrected? Yes. So what is the way? Not hating them but by educating them. This is necessary.
People like ISIS, they hate everybody and people hate them. By hating we cannot change them and they cannot change us. They also do not know this. Their idea is to change everybody. We hate them because they are doing such heinous crimes. But by hating will they change? No. Not hating them but educating them.
The young children need to be educated before they get into this kind of mind set. That’s why, harmony in diversity should be part of the education. We need to educate the mind because all crime begins here in the upper chamber. To educate somebody you need to have compassion.
See, in your life, you come across many people who think differently, and you want them to change, and by you wanting them to change they do not change. When you say what you are doing is hurting me, so please do not hurt me, they do not change so easily. But when you tell them what you do hurts you, so you should change, that will be much more effective. So love can transform the world, compassion can change the world and this is our experience.
Can you teach us how we can drop our ego effectively?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Why do you want to drop it? Just keep it in the pocket and do not show it to everyone. Show it only when it is necessary because it is very expensive. You do not show very expensive things to everybody around. Yes! Do not try to get rid of it for God’s sake. The antidote of ego is just being natural. I know ego is bothering and it burdensome, and it brings sadness to you -- the way out is to be natural.