Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Love never questions the presence

Bangalore, (India), May 18 (Monday) 7: 50 pm:
“Every graduation, you are reminded of your duty. May the world become more prosperous, violence-free, and peaceful,” said His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar as he was conferred with a doctorate from the Bangalore University at satsang this evening.
As the Vice-Chancellor of the university read out the citation, he highlighted Sri Sri’s work as a peace negotiator, and counselor, as well as all the work done as a social activist.
“I accept this doctorate with all humility,” said Sri Sri. “Vidya da darthi vinayam – Knowledge brings humility. I would urge all to remember what you need to do for society - social responsibilities, as well as personal responsibilities.
”Earlier during the satsang, Sri Sri answered many questions asked by the audience.
Q. Why do some people love others so much, knowing that they have nothing to get from them?Sri Sri: There are two types of joys – one joy is that from getting, another joy is giving. That’s a more mature joy. When grandfathers and grandmothers come to meet their grandchildren, they are not waiting for some gifts. They just want to be with them. With children, it’s the other way around – children wait for their uncles and aunts to get gifts. So the joy in giving is more mature than the joy in getting.
(A child from the audience shouts out - Happy b’day, Guruji! {It was Sri Sri’s birthday on May 13}.)
Q. How to feel, and experience the presence of the Divine all the time?
Sri Sri: Now you’re in Bangalore? So do you have to think all day that you’re in Bangalore? No, you know you’re in Bangalore, and you take it for granted. You don’t wake up and think – ‘Oh, I’m in Bangalore’. You don’t keep reminding yourself while eating, isn’t it? Take it in the same way – the presence of the Divine is with you. You know, a child never asks a mother everyday: ‘Mummy, do you really love me?’ and it doesn’t say ‘Mummy, I really love you.’ You take it for granted. Love never questions the presence. Never question love, never question the presence. It is there – you have to assume that it is there.Kuch maan ke chalo, kuch jaan ke chalo (Accept some things, and know some things).
Q. How relevant is the caste system in India? Do they help preserve tradition, and culture?
Sri Sri: No, no, you don’t have to worry about the caste system.There is only one jati (caste), and that is manushya jati (humankind). (Audience claps)
Q. How to reduce attachment?
Sri Sri: Why are you so bothered about attachment? Because it gives you pain, suffering. Small attachments always bring you pain. If the attachment is bigger, wider, and deeper, it always uplifts the spirit.
Q.: Why are there so many religions?
Sri Sri: Unless there are opposites, you cannot know even know this - that there are differences. So many religions are there, so that you can learn how to live in peace. If you don’t know disturbances - you will never know peace. You know that opposite values are … (Audience says: “Complementary”)
Q. What is the difference between sankalpa (intention), and desire?
Sri Sri: Desire is that which gives you anger, and upsets you. Sankalpa is having an intention. That is it! It works. Desires mean it has to happen now. In sankalpa you say, ‘Let it happen whenever it has to.’
Q.: What is puja, and prayer? What is the significance of Rudra puja? During puja, is it better to watch or meditate?
Sri Sri: Meditation! What is happening outside, is not important. With your eyes closed, you must feel that when the water is being poured on the shiva lingam, you too are getting an abhishekam (sacred cleansing) of chanting. Just sit, and get immersed in the chanting.
Q. Why does God hide from us?
Sri Sri: God has five aspects, and one of them is hiding.The aspects are: Shrishti (creation), Stithi (maintenance), Anugraha (grace), Laya (dissolution), Tirodhana. Tirodhana – means hiding. So God is in you, he is hiding too. God is everywhere, and is hiding.
Q. Who controls God?
Sri Sri: If someone controls God, he cannot be God. The one who cannot be controlled is God.
Q. How is it possible that you give the answers to all questions so quickly?
Sri Sri: Very naturally, and easily.
Q.: Sages say that only chanting Hari’s (God) name can give salvation. Then, why are yoga, and meditation required?
Sri Sri: Even to repeat a name, you need to have a certain presence of mind. Yoga gives that presence of mind. When the body is strong, and mind is focused, only then will repetition of any mantra give the required result.
Q.: Why chant the shanti mantra three times after meditation? Does it have a different significance each time?
Sri Sri: No, no. It means ‘Inner peace, peace in the world, peace in the soul.
Q. How can someone with a family life achieve spiritual growth?
Sri Sri: Family life is not contrary to spiritual practices. If you go deep into spiritual practices, then your relationships with people, with your children become better.
Q.: What is silence? How is it celebrated?
Sri Sri: (He smiles at the audience, and doesn’t say anything. After a few seconds, the audience begins to applaud.)
Q: Is a Christian God more powerful and caring than a Hindu God?
Sri Sri: God is only one. If people say that, ‘My God is better than your God’, then they are wrong. Just turn your face away.
Q.: What is the use of being born? Everyone dies anyways.
Sri Sri: There are many such questions. Why are there two eyes in the same place? Why not front, and behind? Why does everything have a lid, but not your ears? We can then see who is listening, and who is not. (Laughter)When we ask ‘why’, it is associated with misery. We never ask ‘why’ when we are happy. Understand why we are asking the question ‘why’! Wonder and question – they are opposite in nature, and also in the same realm. Wonder is a question, but not looking for an answer, or asked from inquisitiveness – when you really want to know.When a question turns into a wonder – life becomes WONDERful.
Q.: When a mother denies love, and tells her child that he is an unwanted one, what should the child do?
Sri Sri: You should know that the mother is saying this out of too much love. If the mother says ‘Get lost!’, and you really get lost, then she would be more worried than you. If a mother is saying this– know that she is just very stressed, and that she needs your care and help.

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