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.
I am very happy to be with all of you this evening!
So what shall we do now? Let’s do something different today, shall we? Let’s not discuss stress relief, relationships, peace and all the usual topics. Let’s think of something bigger and something beyond. Are you ready for this?
What I want to tell you today, I can’t only tell you in words. That’s my difficulty. Life has a new and much bigger dimension that what we think. Eating, sleeping, talking to people, being happy one day and unhappy on another day, going out, etc., is all nothing. There is much more to life. There is a mystic aspect to life.
Do you know who you are? I tell you, you have no idea. We have to keep aside all our identities and take a look at life. You are consciousness; scintillating, sparkling light. Just for a moment, think you are nothing but fire, you are a glow attached to the body. A whole new perspective comes up in you. And you find everybody here is nothing but light, and that light is part of you.
The goal of the human race is to find a peace that can never be shaken, a joy that can never diminish, and a love that can never die.
See, in our body, there are millions of cells. Many are being born every day and many are dying. But in some sense, those cells don’t know you. Like that, the light that you are is what is enveloping the whole planet, but you don’t see this. When you begin to see this, that is the first step towards another dimension (that we can peep into). When you see that you are light, and when you peep into that other dimension – you find that there is no death of anything. You find that all those people who lived in the past, your relatives, friends are all there. And those who are going to come back into the body, they are also there. It is like people who are exiting the periphery and people who are getting into the periphery. You know, when you are in a traffic jam, you see people coming in and you see people going out. It is like that!
Whatever events that happen in life, we generally think ‘Oh, this person is responsible for this’, or ‘That person is responsible for this’. This is all an illusion. It is true in one sense, but on a higher plane, it is all very different.
See, there are two levels of understanding. One is where I can say – everything is wood, the ceiling, the flooring, the doors, the chairs are all wood (and they are all the same). On another level, the door is not the ceiling, the ceiling is not the floor, and the floor is not the pillar (they are not the same). So I want you to look further – from thinking the floor is different, the ceiling is different, the door is different, to, it is all wood. This is the second step.
The first step is, you are light. The second step is, it is all made up of one substance.
Whenever an incident has happened, you made new friends, or friends became enemies, or enemies became friends; hasn’t this happened to you?
How many of you have had this experience, that you had only done good for your friend, but for no reason, your friend became your enemy? (Many in the audience raise their hands). The reverse of this situation is also true. Someone who you didn’t like, or who was your enemy, suddenly became very helpful towards you. And another situation is, you got help from someone whom you didn’t even know.
All these happenings, of friends becoming enemies and enemies becoming friends operate from a different law, and that is the law of karma. So instead of holding that person responsible, look up and realize that it is karma that made people react like that. When you realize this, your mind becomes peaceful, and then you are able to look at something beyond the apparent cause.
For every incident or event, you find a cause. If you are late, it is because of so and so reason. If have succeeded, it is because of so and so reason. And if there is failure, then too it is because of so and so reason. If you are a little knowledgeable, you will look at all this and laugh because all these apparent causes are not the real cause. If you go a little beyond, that cause is also an effect, and there is another cause. And if you explore every cause of an effect on this planet, it will lead you to another cause, and the ultimate cause leads you to that point where you are the light. And once you realize this, I tell you, you get so happy, so satisfied, so complete and feel so invincible. Nothing whatsoever can shake you, tempt you, disturb you or make you unhappy. This what is what the human race is looking for.
Move ahead with the confidence that I will get what I want. Challenges come in everyone’s life, but just move on and see, everything will fall into place.
The goal of the human race is to find a peace that can never be shaken, a joy that can never diminish, and a love that can never die. Isn’t this what everyone wants? This is what is spirituality. Every human seeking spirituality is because they want these three things, but they are looking for it where it is not to be found.
If you go and look for clothes in a restaurant, you will only find napkins. You have to go to Champs Elysse to look for clothes, and not to a restaurant. Can you go to a restaurant and ask for shoes? No! I can’t go to a shoe shop and ask for croissants. So we are looking for things where they are not.
I am not saying that you should renounce the world, leave everything and run to the Himalayas. Do whatever you are doing, and be successful. Do your business, have a family – do all that, but do not miss something that is your birthright (spirituality).
In fact, when your awareness is expanded (through spirituality) and when you have a higher goal (which includes service to society), you will find all the small things (desires) happen effortlessly. So it is not worth worrying about what you are worrying for. This is the summary. What do you say?
Give me all your worries. It is useless worrying about somebody, worrying about your job, or worrying about this and that. By worrying you are not going to get anything. Move ahead with the confidence that I will get what I want in my life. Challenges come in everyone’s life, but just move on and see, everything will fall into place.
Yesterday, making this program possible was a challenge; do you know this? Yesterday, we came to know that the hall where the program is to happen is flooded, and so they have closed down the hall. But the organizers did not have even a minute of doubt on whether they would get another hall, or what they would do… they did not worry.
And I too told them, “You will get a better place in the same area”. And we got this place, and we are all here.
So challenges come to everybody, but we must know that we have a higher power with us, and so we can get what we want, and we can do what we want, and whatever happens, happens for our highest good.
Challenges come, losses happen; things happen the way you don’t want them to happen, but ultimately, it makes you stronger, it uplifts your spirit and you become much wiser.
Love or reason?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Both are part of life. You should not choose between them. It is like asking someone ‘Should I watch or listen to television?’ You have to do both.
When you do business, do it with reason. When you relate to people don’t do it as business, do it with love. If you do business with your heart and live your life with your head, it will be a disaster.
How to go beyond physical suffering?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
When you sleep, you go beyond the body and beyond pain. But if you meditate, you can consciously go beyond pain.
What is the way of life of Art of Living?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Art of Living is to live life with wisdom and with a broad vision. The Art of living is to create a violence-free society, disease-free body, confusion-free mind, inhibition-free intellect, trauma-free memory and sorrow-free soul.
Do you represent religion?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
I represent spirituality which is the essence of all religions. I represent humanism which is the essence of all religions. I represent love and wisdom which is the goal of all religions, and I represent multi-religious dialogue and multi-cultural festivals. I feel at home wherever I go. Not once I have felt homesick or I felt I belong to only this place or this culture. I always feel the whole world is my family and everyone is part of me.