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.
My goodness, look at all the decoration that has been done! I think you all get bored looking at me, so you want to look at something more. This decoration is for all of you to look at and enjoy; it is not for me, your smile is good enough for me.
Cooking is an art, presenting it is also an art, arranging flowers is an art; appreciating life is an art; appreciating the world is an art! We need to honor and respect the world with its diversity; this is the need of the hour today. If people honor diversity, there will be no violence in the world.
We must just grab any excuse to celebrate life -- celebrate life, for anything, it doesn’t matter. What happens when there is celebration? Energy levels rise and all the baggage that we carry from the past in our head drops away.
What happens when there is celebration?Energy levels rise and all the baggage that we carry from the past in our head drops away.
Celebrating is not just cutting cakes, bringing balloons, lighting fire crackers or opening champagne bottles, that is not celebration. Celebration is when your spirit wakes up from inside, it is when you are totally in the present moment, at peace and in love -- that state is what celebration really is, and what comes out of it is creativity.
In the world, a million occasions or chances come to pull your enthusiasm down. This is what happens; you talk to somebody, they try to put your enthusiasm down. You pick up the newspaper and read, there is something that puts your enthusiasm down on every page. How many of you agree with this? You switch on the television, and crime is always big news, and you wonder where is the world heading, where are we going, what is happening? When you keep reading negative news only, you can’t celebrate, your spirit goes down, and doubts come up. It is here that we need to uplift our prana, our life energy. When prana becomes higher, then depression vanishes. When it becomes even higher, you feel good and enthusiastic. And when prana is at its peak, then there is celebration.
Once, someone in Washington was going around saying that he is working for world peace. He was a single person, standing at the Washington monument with a plank that said, "I am working for world peace, join me". Hardly anyone joined him. Someone asked him, "Do you really believe you can bring peace to the world when there is so much violence happening around the world. Do you think you can influence the world?" He said, "I don’t want the world to influence me, that is why I am saying world peace! I am not bothered about whether I will be able to influence the world or not, but I don’t want the world to influence me. I stand for peace, and I want peace in the world". This is what we must bear in mind; if your enthusiasm and spirit is high, don’t let it be put down by any person, circumstance or situation. In life, ups and downs come, not every day is the same! Once you determine that nothing whatsoever can put down your enthusiasm or dampen your spirit, then you will see that’s how things will move.
For just one month, just try these two things:
1. Be determined - come what may, whatever the wife, or husband, or spouse says, I am not going to lose my smile. If he says, "You are looking too fat", I am going to give him a big, fat smile!" Your determination works!
2. Speak with conviction - Often, we try to convince people that something is good, yet it doesn’t work. We tell people that breathing exercises and meditation are good, eating healthy food is good, but they don’t do it. People know some things are bad, like smoking, drinking, worrying, still they can’t give that up! Even having known that something is good, they are unable to do it; knowing something is bad, they are unable to give up. If this is the situation, then your convincing somebody doesn’t seem to make much of a difference, isn’t it? So I would not convince anyone to do anything, it is better you don’t convince them, but your conviction works!
Singing is not only through the lips, our heart should sing, the song is of harmony. When you feel harmony within you, life becomes a song.
I want to share an incident with you. Several years ago, there was an expo in India, and The Art of Living also had a stall. There were these two gentlemen who were going around all the stalls, and they came and enquired about our program too. It was already late, around 9 pm. The person at our stall was quite tired and about to windup. He responded saying, "Look, I have no idea, I don’t know, you also don’t know. Just sign up and do it!" These two gentlemen felt that there must be something really good in this program. At all the other stalls, people spent so much time trying to convince them, and they didn’t sign up. But at our stall, they did sign-up. I am not saying that you should tell everyone that 'I don’t know anything and you don’t know anything, so let’s do it'. If a doctor gives you medicine and tells you, ‘Well, you can try this; maybe it will work, maybe not.’ Then you may also take it or not! But when the doctor says, ‘This will definitely work’, you just take it. That is the conviction. When you get that conviction, the impossible becomes possible.