Saturday, July 31, 2010

Questioning mind stops when true happiness dawns

10 June 2010
Bangalore Ashram, India
Q: Effect of one life’s karma is carried on to another lifetimes. How do we understand this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You sow a coconut tree two years back and it has grown today. Same way, until the impression of your previous done karma is there on your mind, that karma manages to exist. That impression can only be erased through meditation, pranayama and service. You are freed from that karma when the impression is erased. All this is there on the mind only. Karma is nothing but an impression on the mind. When you wake up and see that mind is a part of you and it is your mind, but you are not your mind, and you have an untouched existence which is much greater than your mind, then all karma automatically dissolves.
Q: You said that violence ceases to exist around ones who are fully established in non – violence. Does that mean Lord Krishna was not fully established in violence for a huge war took place in his presence?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The secret behind this is existence of different circumstances. One is individual karma and one is collective karma. One is karma done for the sake of whole world. When sin and injustice reached its peak, He had to take a step. It is like different dosage of medicine is given under different circumstances. For a minor headache, the dose is different. And it is different for a severe headache.
Gahana karmo gati – The movement of karma is very deep and not easily comprehensible.
Q: I had so many questions in mind before meeting you. But now, all the questions have vanished. I know that you are incarnation of Lord Shiva. Am I right?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Let us leave at least one question in your mind.
When happiness dawns, all questions automatically dissolve.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Connection is a matter of heart, explanation is a matter of mind

6 June 2010,
Bangalore Ashram, India
Q: You say that we are all connected. But I feel more strongly connected to you than others. I am sure this is the experience of many of us present here. Can you please explain about that?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: What is it that you want me to explain? Connection is a matter of heart. Explanation and understanding is a matter of mind.
Q: Some of my colleagues talk ill of the ‘Art of Living’. I don’t like this but I ignore them. Can you please guide what should I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: What is it that they can talk bad of us? There is nothing. That is all their imagination. You keep on doing what you can. They will also realize. This had also happened with so many saints in the past. Some people liked them and got benefited after getting the knowledge, and some others didn’t like them. How does it matter?
We are teaching. One thing that some people say is why the ‘Art of Living’ courses are paid. ‘Art of living’ is an education. Do you think education should be free? Will people value free education the same way? If education should be free, then all education like medical, engineering, journalism should also be free. If all others are not, why should spiritual education be free? There was concept of Dakshina in the past also. Unless you give dakshina, your education is never complete. And we do so much work in society with the money left after course expenses.
Also this shows how much more work we need to do to improve the society.
Q: What are effects of Past life karma on the present life? I feel I have done sins in past.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Don’t waste your energy thinking too much on past life karmas. Use your energy to come out of the present problems.
Om Namah Shivaye’ mantra, pranayama, Satsang..– All these take care of your previous karmas. Surrender all your sins and move further in life.
Q: Guruji, I am not able to concentrate for my mind is very flickering and playful. What should I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Let the mind go wherever it wants to go.
Q: I lose my temper easily while doing day to day activities, especially if somebody talks bad. What should I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Keep your mind calm. But if somebody talks bad, be alert. Reply if needed, but without disturbing your mind. Service, Satsang and sadhana help you keep your mind cool and calm. And know that – Satyamev jayate (Truth always wins). You should not be bothered about events. Keep your mind cool, and continue with this policy.

Monday, July 19, 2010

God is the power due of which everything happens.

5 June 2010,
Bangalore Ashram, India
Q: Why God?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Why not God? Why would you ask this question if there was no God. What will you say if a wave questions the existence of God? A wave exists because of the presence of ocean. Because of whose presence you are standing, you think, you listen, you understand, you breathe – that only is God. Who is God? God is not sitting somewhere up in the sky. God is the power due of which everything happens.
(The person still holds on to his question)
Ok! Do one thing. Drop all your concepts of God. First, find out who you are? Who is asking this question? If you find out that, the purpose is solved.
I will tell you a story. Once a man went to Lord Buddha and asked, “I don’t believe in God, Why God?
Lord Buddha said, “Ok! You are right”. The man went back happily. A second man came and said, “I believe in God”, to which Lord Buddha again said, “Ok, You are right”. That man also went back happily. Then, a third man came who very humbly requested, “Please answer this question. Some people say that there is no God. When I listen to their logic, I get convinced. But when I listen to saints, I feel that God exists. Now, I am in confusion. I am not able to understand whether God exists or not. I have not experienced God. Please, you tell me.” Then Lord Buddha said to that person that he was at the right place and he should stay there. He continued to say that he didn’t have any preconceived notions of God in his mind, and they would together find out if God is there or not. Perturbed mind can never go close to God. Also no knowledge sprouts up in a perturbed mind, and whatever knowledge sprouts up in such a state of mind is also wrong. So, I say let’s be calm. You have come to the right place. Drop your concepts of God. Sit with your eyes closed and find out who you are. Are you this body? Are you this mind? Are you your thoughts? ‘I am something beyond my thoughts also’ – When you experience this, the truth will automatically dawn.
Q: How do I know whether I will get enlightened or not?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Your doubt is always something about which is positive. We doubt in the honesty of a person. We doubt in the truth of a statement in which someone expresses love for us. We immediately believe if someone says, “I hate you”. How does one know if he/she has achieved knowledge or not? First, such a doubt arises. And its solution follows it. When your mind gets calm, you feel happy, such a fragrance comes from you, and love flows from you. Sometimes it happens gradually, and you don’t realize it. Then all of a sudden you find out that nothing can disturb you, you are happy and peaceful, and you are untouched by any events happening around you. This understanding gradually dawns in you. It can also happen suddenly. But it is good if it happens gradually.
Q: Can I get married if I get enlightened. My parents are insisting me to get married. Will I be able to make my wife happy after enlightenment?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is better to get enlightened together!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The will to silence the mind itself pays in many ways

Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Q: How can I free myself from fears that seem to have settled into me years ago? I know they are irrational and just in my head. Yet here they come up over and over again. They are distracting and feel binding to me!
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Meditate! Sit quietly and meditate, or listen to some chanting music. All this will help. Meditation, some pranayama, kriya, some excercises, ujjayi breath are very good for fears. Don’t think that fear is somewhere deep inside you. It is an erroneous notion of Psychology that fear and guilt are deep down. I tell you, deep down there is only a lot of joy; a lot of bliss. And in that centre – no fear, no guilt, no anger, no lust can touch you. Deep down you are wonderful. So never think you have all these anxieties. Those who say that there is something wrong deep down are blind. It is all there just on the surface. If they call that deep, then I will suggest to go deeper. In the centre of your being, you are a fountain of joy. Saying, “Oh! My Mind! Deep down there is anxiety!”is ignorance; a wrong idea and concept. The moment you accept these words as truth, it starts becoming more difficult to get over those emotions. They become more permanent there. Do you see that?
Q: Guruji, how do I silence my mind?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The will to silence itself pays in many ways. Meditation and Sudarshan Kriya helps, too.
Q: Is there any maximum limit to how much we can meditate?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Just do as much is necessary. There is no need to do too much. Meditation is like taking a bath. To wash the mind, you need meditation. And once the mind is clean, you will be well.
Q: Why do I lose concentration when I meditate?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Concentration is not meditation. Meditation is de-concentration. It is letting go. Meditation calms the mind. It feels good. But in our daily life we have to handle paying bills, parking tickets and other mundane things. How can we do this with the same calm mind without getting irritated or perturbed?
You take shower in the morning to clean your body. After that you do all the daily activities. You don’t have to keep on taking a shower throughout the day. It is like that. You meditate and calm your mind, then go on with other activities. It is not easy to keep yourself undisturbed but it will happen if you keep doing the practices regularly. Then keeping yourself calm will become easy.
Q: What should I do with the conflict in my mind?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The moment you realize that there is so much conflict in your mind, your eyes open. Satsang and pranayamas can put an end to it.
Q: Guruji, how can I focus, have a vision and still be in the present moment?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Do not think that having a vision is contradictory to living in the present moment. You can have a vision and be in the present moment. Being totally in the present moment can give you a better vision and focus for the future.
Q: How can we overcome fear of death?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: By doing meditation.
Q: I have fallen because of such a big ego. What can I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Never mind! If you have recognized that you have fallen, you will rise higher. That is good enough. You have recognized that your ego has been the hindrance. But now don’t fight your ego. Just keep it in your pocket. Let it be there. Don’t try to do anything with it. Say, “I like it” and let it be there. If you don’t like it, give it to me, but then, I would like you to keep it with you. You know our effort in trying to erase our ego becomes another big problem. You have enough other problems to solve anyway.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's words after the attack

30 May 2010,
Bangalore Ashram, India
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar told devotees not to worry as he is safe.
In the company of those who practice meditation and yoga, any kind of animosity is dissolved. Meditation and Sadhna is the only way to finish the animosity in the world today. This evening, a terrorist entered the Ashram. He fired a shot but it didn’t cause much harm to anyone. His heart also got transformed after coming in this field of spiritual energy. The effect of divine energy is such that it transforms all the negative tendencies in the mind. He also dropped his wish to cause much harm. Whatever has been said in Yogasutras,Tat sanidho vair tyaga, is very true – One gets free from the feeling of animosity in the company of truth, in the company of those who practice meditation. So, this message of yoga and meditation is to be taken in every house across the country. Such an incident also happened when we were to celebrate silver jubilee. Some people tried to threaten us, and asked us not to do any function. But our conviction was so strong, and I knew that the function would surely take place.
Some naxalites are coming to Ashram in few days. They expressed their wish to meet me. They will sit with us and participate in the satsang, any negative feeling they may have will be transformed, and they will blossom like flowers. So, I welcome all those who are involved in any kind of violent actions. Transformation happens in this divine energy.
People often ask me about the need of publicity and spreading this knowledge, to which I say it is not possible to have a peaceful society unless this knowledge reaches everybody. I don't need anything for me. But it is necessary to bring peace in the society. That is why it is so necessary for each one of us to work for welfare of the society. If each one takes responsibility to bring spread this knowledge, how beautiful this society will be. Isn’t it? So, move ahead knowing that you have a shield of divine energy which is protecting you.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A purified intellect has strong faith

May 28 2010
Q : My heartiest gratitude to you. Who are you Gurudev?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar : First, you know yourself. Why are you putting your effort in knowing me? You don’t know who you are. First, know that how many times have you come in this world? When you know yourself, it will be very easy to know me.
Q : Sometimes, I feel that you are with me and watching me all the time. At some other times I feel that I am not connected. I feel distracted during those times. I am unable to do sadhana also in such times. A lot of thoughts come in the mind. What should I do then?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar : you have given answer in the question itself. Nature of devotion is such that you feel longing in its absence. Once you get a glimpse of devotion, then its absence causes perturbation in mind. It is not that devotion is absent there but you feel as if it is not there, and you feel restless with this feeling. If we look in the light of knowledge, Shri Narada has said in Bhakti Sutras that the very indication of devotion is that you experience bliss in its presence and its absence makes you restless. This shows that you have devotion, and consider yourself as lucky when you experience such restlessness in mind. You feel absence of devotion only for some time. Devotion is anyway always there, it never dies, but you may feel that it has decreased. This is natural. This happens only to those who have a very good luck. Otherwise, inert person doesn’t feel any devotion. Mind of such a person is tormented with worries.
Q: How can we strengthen the faith?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar : Your very thought to strengthen the faith strengthens it. Move ahead assuming that your faith is very strong. When your intellect is purified, faith automatically gets strong. We should have a pure diet in order to purify the intellect. So, pay attention on your food. If you eat food thinking all sort of negative things in the world, that also affects the intellect. Many times people get time to converse only during meals, and they discuss about topics like diseases while preparing and eating the food. This is very wrong, and we need to get rid of this habit. You become what you eat. The type of food you take governs your mind. And again your mind has a direct impact on your body. That is why you should eat food with a happy state of mind. If we are very excited, we cannot swallow food with ease. Also if we are restless, we end up eating more food. So, it is important to have food with awareness.
Q : Whenever I see you, tears start to roll down the eyes. I feel as if I know you since ages. Is it true?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar : You are doubting your own experience. Then it is surely true. We doubt the positive, and not the negative. We doubt somebody’s honesty. Nobody has ever doubted dishonesty of a person. Same way, if somebody asks you if you are happy, you say, “I don’t know whether I am happy or not”. But we are so sure of our depression. We doubt in the existence of God. We never doubt in the existence of this changeable and mortal world. Evolved scientists understand that there is a question mark on the apparently looking reality.
Q : You told that God can be experienced in a state of effortlessness. What does it mean to be effortless?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar : Being effortless does not mean stop eating, drinking or doing other work. This has a deeper meaning. Keep on doing all your work, and while doing your work, know inside you that you are doing nothing. In the beginning, you sit for some time and experience that you are doing nothing. Then you will start experiencing that even you are doing but there is a field in you which is not doing anything. Ancient sages had beautifully explained this. There are two birds sitting on the same tree. One is eating and the other is only witnessing this. In the above context, it is the free bird which is being discussed, the bird which is effortlessly witnessing. Pay attention to that also. The two birds are friends. They live together. One is always witnessing and other is involved in all the work. Effortlessness does not mean sitting idle. Lord Sri Krishna said in Geeta that you cannot be without doing any action even for a second. Keep on doing your karma and at the same time be the witness of your karma. This is very deep knowledge. After the session a book was released – Understanding Shiva. While launching the book Sri Sri Ravi Shankar told that the book also included a scientific perspective of all pervading Shiva tattva.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Everybody has independence of karma as well as effects of previous karma in his/her life

Bangalore Ashram, India
27 May 2010
Q: If whatever we do is in search of happiness, then why is there so much pain and misery in the world?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is a story of Mullah Nasurudin. His wife was pregnant and the time of delivery had come. But the baby was not coming out. When doctor told this to Mullah Nasurudin, he ran to the market, bought a toy, and kept that toy in front of her wife. He said, “After all this is my child, so he will surely come out with greed”. Whole our life we keep on running behind things with the hope of getting something. We keep on looking for some kind of profit. How would such person experience happiness? Neither does a greedy person get happiness nor does a person who is bombarded with too many desires. The one who relaxes in his consciousness is happy. One, who is centered, experiences the true happiness. I am not saying there is no happiness in the outer world, but the happiness you get when you go within is incomparable.
The world is running in search of happiness. The body gets baked, the mind gets baked, the intellect gets deluded but still we keep on getting stuck in the same repetitive cycle. When you meet Guru, you come to know that you are the source of happiness. Then the mind calms down, and you realize that you are the one in whose search you kept on running here and there.
Q: There has been life for so many centuries on this planet. I wish to know why is it that some creatures live a prosperous and extravagant life, and yet there are some creatures who do not even have enough to eat? What is the basis on which a creature gets birth?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: This is one of the five secrets – the secret of birth. Nature has been very kind that birth has been kept as a secret. Otherwise, you would be living a miserable life remembering all previous incidents that happened in the past lives. But a time will come in your life when your mind would be completely established in the present moment, memory would awake, and you will remember what you were and who you were in your previous births. It is alright if it does not happen with some people.
The whole world is made up of cause and effect. If somebody is rich, that has a reason. If somebody is poor, that also has a reason. But does that mean we don’t have any independence of Karma? You definitely have freedom. We have been given discrimination. So, we do have freedom of karma, and also we are bearing fruits of past actions also. It is like you get some capital from someone. Now, it is up to you what do you want to do with it. A poor man can become rich, and a rich can become poor. There are all possibilities. Your karma decided where you were born. But it depends on you where do you want to reach.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Truth is never afraid of doubt

26 May 2010,
Bangalore Ashram, India
Q: Are you really enlightened? I won’t go from here if you don’t give me a direct answer.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Every question is not answered on the spot. Once a couple went to a Master and expressed their wish to ask two questions. The Master said, “You will get your answers if you do service for two years”. The more precious is the question, more effort is to be done to get the answer. I will give answer to your question, but I will also put a condition if you are putting a condition.
Q: How does one know whom to trust and whom not to especially, after Swami Nityananda incident?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Trust in yourself. Have faith in your choice of actions and the path you would be following. If you don’t trust yourself, how can you trust the Master? It is enough to have faith in yourself.
A Master or a Guru does not remove the doubt, but He creates more doubt. The more you burn in the fire of doubt, the more strong you come out to be. Truth is never afraid of doubt, and truth can never hide.
There have been so many saints in ancient India like Vishavamitra, Valmiki, Gautum, and you will deprive yourself of knowledge if you start doubting all of them.
If you put your attention on the real and authentic, you would doubt the fake. But if all your attention is on the fake, you would start doubting the authentic also.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Wish to repent for wrong done is an indication of matured intellect

25 May 2010,
Bangalore Ashram, India
Q: I have done many sins in my life. Am I a right candidate for this sacred path? I want to repent for my wrong deeds.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Your very wish to repent has solved the purpose. This wish to repent is an indication that your intellect is getting matured. Otherwise, you would not have been aware of your wrong actions. Something wrong has happened through you and you want to repent for that, this means you are out of it in the present. The wish to repent arises only in the matured intellect. You are innocent in the present moment. Don’t live in the past, but take this sankalpa (Resolution) that you don’t have to do this in future.
One with deluded intellect supports even his/her wrong actions. Know that the one who does a mistake and supports it is lacking in maturity of intellect.
Some people do repentance with guilt. That also doesn’t solve the purpose. That is why Master/Disciple tradition exists. Master would guide the disciple to do something to be free from the guilt. Or if you simply tell the Master that some mistake has happened through you, then also you come out of the guilt. Even if you tell this to yourself in your mind that you have done some mistake, the mind calms down. Why does a mistake happen? Because of ignorance. When you have lighted the lamp of this knowledge inside you, you become free in the present.