Friday, December 25, 2009
Devotion is the zenith of Love
Bangalore ashram, Dec. 14, 2009:
A lady shared a beautiful experience today in satsang. She had lost her son at the age of 14 yrs in an accident 10 months ago. Her son had done the ‘Art Excel course’ a few months before he passed away. The boy’s last words before he passed away were “don’t cry, nothing is going to happen to me Amma (mother), don’t cry”.
As the lady recounted her son’s last words, she said - “Thank you so much Guruji, for giving these children such wonderful knowledge that makes them so strong.”
Q: Guruji, I read somewhere that after death, if you end up in hell, then you are fried in a pan. I felt afraid after reading that. Please explain.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Don’t worry. When you are established in the Self while you are here(in this planet), only then no fear is left. That was a way adopted by our ancestors for making people follow the right path and do good karma. It was said you will suffer a lot after death if you do wrong deeds to set people on the right path. If you follow the wrong path, then wrong karma will follow. To some extent, this karma can be changed. If you can’t change karma at all, than there is no use in doing Sadhana. Do your Sadhana and meditation.
Q: How much freedom is to be given or restrictions are to be put on teenagers?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You have forgotten because you have crossed that stage and you don’t remember what turmoil they are going through. There are so many hormonal changes taking place in their body. Shake hands with them and gently guide them through this.
Teenage feverishness is only for few years. Not only physical but mental and emotional turbulence is so high in them. After the age of three, children begin to experience all these emotions like jealousy, possessiveness and these continue till teenage. Some people don’t come out of teenage at all. Mental turbulence is huge for them.
Teenage is a tough time. It needs great patience to deal with teenage children. So with great patience, like a friend and philosopher, give them some space and at the same time put your foot down and say ‘No’. Don’t be too loose at that time.
Q: Guruji, what is the difference between devotion and love?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Devotion is the zenith of Love. ‘Saa tvasmin panama prema rupa’ - Embodiment of supreme love for the divine is devotion. You can’t posses God. In routine love affairs, you love someone and you expect the same in return. You can’t claim a right on God. Love for that infinite consciousness is devotion.
Sage Narad says, ‘Yoga chitta vritti nirodha’ meaning ‘Yoga means silencing the tendencies of your mind.’ ‘Tadha drustu swarupe avastanam’ which means ‘Yoga is the skill of being established in the Seer from the scene’ - To go within and be established in the seer. With this notion, meditation starts to happen. Then Samadhi follows. Your mind is totally calm. For a moment you experience that complete nothingness, emptiness.
Q: What is the meaning of ‘Pradakshina’ (circumambulation)?
Sri Sri: ‘Pradakshina’ means going around. ‘Dakshina’ means that which is done with skill. The English word ‘dexterous’ has come from the Sanskrit word ‘Daksha’. ‘Dexterous’ means skillful. ‘Pradakshina’ means ‘in a very special way, being skillful’, a very skillful movement, that which is gained with skill, merit which you have gained skillfully. ‘Pra’ is to go around. ‘Pradakshina’ is qualifying by going around skillfully.
There are three layers when you go inside a temple according to the temple architecture. The first layer is herbal gardens, full of trees and plants. The direction in which the tree is to be planted comes under temple architecture. All plantations are done according to the directions and wind flow. There are medicinal herbs, flowers and trees in this outer layer and when you pass through this layer, you breathe in those herbal fragrances that cure emotional and physical problems, and body imbalances. It used to be around one kilometer long and while passing through it, your whole body circulation is improved. Essential fragrances and oils needed by the body are absorbed especially those of the Ashvat (peepal) tree. It is the only tree which emits oxygen all the 24 hours. All other trees emit oxygen half the time and carbon dioxide rest of the time. The tree helps a person to overcome many problems, especially infertility.
‘Pradakshina’ is not done for the sake of the divine or some other purpose but for health benefits.
Then there is a second circle in which statues of many men and women are kept. One was asked, in earlier days, to sit and meditate there for a while.
This way first circle makes you physically fit, vatta-pitta-kapha balances happens by inhaling the air. The second circle frees your mind from all fantasies. Then finally you move on to central part - ‘sanctum sanctorum’ - where you sit with your eyes closed and experience the nothingness.
Q: I don’t know what is good for me and what is bad?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Drop that which gives you short term happiness and long term suffering. Just keep this in the back of your mind.