Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Happiness depends only on your mind
Bangalore ashram, Jan. 17:
Q: When everybody is sleeping, Guruji is awake. Don’t you face any problem because of that?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is a watchman in front of the house when you sleep. For someone with big problems, small problems don’t bother them. Yogis are not bothered about what people normally worry about. For yogis, anything is possible.
Q: Where should I go to have bhakti (devotion)?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Bhakti – preeti – you don’t have to go anywhere to reach bhakti. With smarana (remembrance), you can do anything. Wherever you are, you can have bhakti. Can anyone stop you? While walking, eating, you can be devoted.
Q: The Art of Living has given me so much, I also want to contribute, serve? How can I do that?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You can come and serve in the Ashram anytime.
(The person then tells Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I’m very happy to have food with many people, with no differences between people and so much togetherness.)
Q: Guruji, my past disturbs me a lot. What should I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Let bygones be bygones. Forget even forgiving. Even to forgive you have to remember. Think it as a dream. Does anybody analyze a dream? Like that you have to let go of your past. One devotee astrologer said one day, “I got my leg fractured. I slept at night and dreamt of fighting with a tiger. I kicked the wall and got a fracture. The tiger was in my dream, I should have kicked in the dream.” Don’t stop for any obstacles, keep walking on.
Q: Wherever I go, I find unhappiness. Where do I go and what to do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Antarmukhi (going within). Outside is a bazaar, a market. In the city market, below the bridge, people will be sleeping! You can learn from them. They can sleep in the middle of the bazaar. You can also meditate and be calm. Come here otherwise. You get peace. There might be 20 bad problems yet there are 100 good things. The mind is still stuck with 20 bad problems.
Q: I could not follow the instructions on the meditation CD.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Do not try to listen to me in meditation, whatever happens, let it happen. Do it like you listen to advice. Listen in one ear and let it come out from the other! It’s enough if you simply sit.
Q: In society, everyone is living peacefully. Yet some people create disturbances. What should we do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Sometimes you have to, sometimes no. Asprushate (caste division) doesn’t help anyone. Don’t keep hatred towards anybody. In there is a dead snake and you keep beating it, your hand will get hurt. Yet, in some places, the stick is necessary. Don’t have dvesha (aversion) for it.
Q: I follow the principle of whatever you resist will persist. Yet, I find myself resisting some things.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The rule for the body and mind is different. What you resist persists in the mind, not so in the body.
Q: What is the definition for life? How to lead a happy life?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That is what Art of Living is all about. Life is beyond definition. Much more than whatever you can capture or define. It is so vast, so big, it can’t be encapsulated in a few words. When defining life you are limiting the scope of life. Happiness is a factor that we have to consciously pursue. Unconsciously we all are happy, but somewhere in the pursuit of happiness we get stuck and miss the goal. That is what spirituality is all about - bringing that one smile.
Once you are able to see the light, you see the entire past as a dream, move on. Wake up and see the present, you will find happiness is there, unconditional happiness. Then you are happy and not dependant on others for your happiness. Happiness depends only on your mind. When the mind is free of past impressions and future cravings, happiness is there.
Q. God in his infinite wisdom made the world the way it is, I don’t understand why should I not eat meat? I am a born non–vegetarian and I am not able to leave non-veg.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Ok. What is it that makes you crave for non-vegetarian? (The lady answered smell and taste). What brings the smell and taste to the food is spices. Ok, forget all about taste and smell and spirituality. You know, what is the latest finding of non–vegetarian food? One kg of meat is equivalent to the meals of 400 people. If only 10 percent of the world population become vegetarians, the problem of global warming will be reduced.
On this count we have to save the planet. We will have to reduce the consumption of non-vegetarian food. For the sake of the planet, so that everybody gets food, for that we must be concerned. God has given us the sense to care for others and planet also! You have eaten enough, so consume a little less so that others who have nothing to eat can have a little at least, so that more and more people gets something to eat.
We are consuming 40 -50 percent more than we produce. Plant trees, be vegetarian, it’s part of being spiritual. Spirituality is not only meditation. India had 400 cows for every 1,000 people when we got independence. Now we have less than 100 cows per 1,000 people. In 20 years, there will be only 20 cows per 1,000 people. Children will not get the basic staple diet like milk, yogurt, ghee. We have to protect the animals, and save the planet.
Q: Guruji, man is always fighting. Will there ever be a world free of violence and which is all peace?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, that is what we should dream and work for. The whole world is one family. One world family is our ancient calling – Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.