Monday, August 22, 2011

Each one of us is a treasure house of wealth - 13h August 2011

Today is a full moon day and is also called Raksha Bandhan. What we call these days as the friendship day, people tie friendship bands, this is a new trend, but this is actually an old version changed into a new thing. Tying this Raksha Bandhan has been there for ages. Today the sisters tie to the brothers what is called as Rakhi on their hand saying,' I will protect you and you protect me'. The last full moon was Guru Poornima and this full moon is Raksha Bandhan. Like that every full moon is dedicated to some celebration. Main thing is you should celebrate life. That is important and in India there are so many celebrations. You finish one, you have to prepare for the other. And see these are the rainy days. In ancient time, people didn’t have much to do at home. In rainy days there is no harvest, nothing. When rain comes you are just sitting at home. Celebrate, make different types of food and sing and greet each other, wish each other good. It is a wonderful wonderful practice.
Q: Dearest Guruji, how to balance personal life and professional life?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Do you know how to ride a bicycle? How do you balance? Exactly! Don’t neglect your profession and don’t neglect taking time for yourself. See, you say the world does not change. Have you noticed if you are changing or you are not changing? You are changing, right? Just imagine the teachers who taught you the basic course. Suppose if they think,' In the world nobody is changing why should I teach?' If they had not taught anything to you, no pranayama, no meditation, no Sudarshan Kriya, what would have happened? Can you look back and see, before you took the basic course what was the state of your mind and where you are today? Do you notice that? How many of you find a change? See, so many of you changed because somebody did something, isn’t it? Someone took the time off for six days, two hours each day sat with you, took all your questions, taught you something, corrected you, so there is a shift. Change is happening in the world constantly. If you become a catalyst to that, that’s your good luck because being a catalyst for change brings happiness within you.
Q: How to tackle a person who has double standards?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: With compassion. You know, double standards are because they don’t know the wealth that they are carrying in themselves. Each one of us is a treasure house of wealth. Deep inside, you have the Divinity, the light, the peace, the joy, the love that you are seeking. And when you are not in touch with that you are trying to grab this little bit here, grab something from there, for what? Because you don’t realize that there is a great power deep within us. So, with such people you simply have to have compassion. By having double standards they are creating harm for themselves.
Q: Guruji, Viveka is the realization that everything has impermanent nature. Then why is it so wrong to let go your commitment?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, if your commitment is going to create problem and bring sorrow to many, then you should drop the commitment. Like a youth told me once, ' I have promised the commander of Lashkar that I will give my life to this organization, I will bring the word of God to anybody and do anything possible to spread this principle'. But when he became peaceful he realized that this is not the correct commitment he gave or he took. 'I don’t want to be involved in violence anymore. But what to do? I have promised on this holy book. What do you do?' I said,' No, let go of the commitment because you took the commitment in ignorance. So there is no point in honoring that commitment which you took in ignorance to engage in violence. Yes, If there is some other commitment you took being so foolish, which doesn’t create such harm to anybody, then you keep it. You weigh the pros and cons and then you follow. Another person says,' yes, I am committed in a marriage and now I have children, but that is an old commitment, I don’t want to do anything now'. You have two kids and now you say,' I don’t want any commitment, I want to get out of it', then there is no way. Your commitment now is to take care of the children. You can’t run away from that. Many people, after being married, after having kids, then they regret, oh I should have been single. I took a wrong commitment. You have no way now, you have to continue. But if you have taken a commitment I will be single and suddenly you change your mind, you want to get married, it is okay because dropping that commitment of yours, you are not harming anybody. So you have to think on those things. Weigh the pros and cons of a commitment.
Q: Dearest Guruji, despite God telling Adam and Eve not to have the forbidden fruit, they ate it. Is it because of that the world is suffering, please explain.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That too, it was the fruit of knowledge or wisdom, something like that. That was the wisdom fruit that they did not listen to. You know, suffering is because we don’t honor wisdom. Suffering in the world is because of lack of wisdom. If there is wisdom, there is no suffering. Life is bliss. Don’t put this sankalp, this intention in your mind that life is all suffering. As you sow, so shall you reap. If you sow, you think life is all suffering, then that’s what you are going to get back. We should understand the science of our consciousness, of our mind. Unfortunately, many people did not know this and they started putting this sort of principle into the mind that everything is suffering and I need suffering.You have to suffer in order to get salvation but this is not the correct understanding of reality. That is why there are so many different opinions. Though there is one Jesus Christ, today there are 72 different sects of Christianity - each claiming they are the real one. You know why? Because of wrong interpretation, nothing matched. We say God is omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, and then you say Satan. If God is everywhere, omnipotent, all powerful, how could Satan be there? Do you see what I am saying? The theologians are struggling to find an answer for this. They want to put Satan somewhere but they can’t, and if you put him, then you have to denounce the omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience of God. If god knew everything before, why wouldn’t he prevent it? These are the questions for which theologians have been hunting answers for a long time and the answers can be found in the Vedanta. That is why the Catholic Priest who came to India, he studied the Vedanta and he said, ‘Now I can understand the whole thing better.’ He was struggling and struggling to put together the pieces of the puzzles, it didn’t make any sense. So many scholars came and they practiced yoga, meditation, learned Vedanta and then understood that this is a different understanding, different insight into truth and reality.
Q: Dear Guruji, to teach the new generation youth awareness about farming what can I do? What is my role?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, there are YLTP programs happening and you join the team and start educating people. Education, educating people about farming, this is seva also.
Q: Dearest Guruji, In the past lots of people have done seva but the world has not changed. Why should I waste time doing seva?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Seva is something that is needed by other people. Suppose you are carrying a weight, heavy luggage, and you cannot carry anymore, then you look here and there, you want someone to help you, don’t you? See, we are all interdependent; everybody needs some help from somebody and doing that help without expecting anything in return is seva. Without seva nothing can happen on this planet, isn’t it? By seva don’t think you are changing the world. Seva you do, because you can’t but do it. It’s in your nature. If you are good, if you are loving, if you are happy, you can’t but do seva. And when you are unhappy, if you do seva, you become happy.
Q: Dearest Guruji, if the universe is a play and display of consciousness, why we should not have fun instead of spiritual practices like sadhana, seva and satsang?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: This is all fun, isn’t it? When you follow knowledge, fun follows you. If you follow fun, misery follows you.
Q: Dearest Guruji, you said let go of your concepts. How do you do this, please explain?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You want an answer for this question? I am not going to answer. Someone asked me how do I improve my patience, I told them I will tell you five years later.
Q: Guruji I get panic attacks and my mind chatters while I meditate even though I observe my breath, how to get over this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Ujjayi breath and relax.
Q: I do not follow Hinduism so I cannot understand and appreciate the rituals. Can I still grow in AOL?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Definitely! You know, some of the rituals are very ancient. On Monday all the ashrams do the pooja, you simply sit with your eyes closed in deep meditation. You feel the vibrations of the sound - that is all that needs to be done. Actually Hinduism is not a religion at all; it is just a way of life, the ancient way of life. Like Yoga is part of it, pranayama is part of it, meditation, chanting - these are all to enhance the life-force, life-energy and it is universal in its spirit. So you can follow your religion, no problem. You can be a Christian, you can be a Muslim, you can be Jewish or Parsi. Doesn’t matter whatever religion you follow. Religion is the rituals that are associated with your birth, your wedding, your cremation or that which people do after you are gone. But the spiritual practices are different, they are there to enliven the consciousness. That is so vital. It is important that people of the world, everywhere, become spiritual and grow spiritually and honor all the religions. You honor Christianity, honor Islam, honor Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Hindisum, honor everyone. And take good things, if there are good practices anywhere, that we should take into our life.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Satsang with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar - 14 August 2011

August 14, 2011

Q: Guruji, I have done YES plus course. I am visiting the ashram after two years and have been here for the last couple of days and do not feel like leaving ever. How do I strike a balance between my responsibilities at home and my desire to remain here?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Do both, you have to take care of your domestic responsibilities and your commitment here.
Q: Guruji, I have come to the ashram for the very first time, and love it. I feel as though you have brought me here. In our day-to-day life we come across good and bad things and sometimes tend to deviate from the path. I meditate, and perform yogic practices daily. When I am in solitude, I find it easy to stay centered and maintain saatvik (purity) qualities. My question on behalf of everyone is, how do we maintain this purity in the face of the positive and negative influences we are exposed to in the world?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The awareness of this will bring it about. Keep meditating, do Sudarshan Kriya, attend satsangs and stay in the company of good people; it will happen.
Q: What is the difference between Guru and Sadguru?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Just that ‘Sadh’ is prefixed to Guru. It makes no difference. It is just a name and both are one and the same.
Q: In The Bhagwad it is written that there are 4 steps in the practice of Dharma: Truth (Satya), Discipline (Tapah), Purity, Compassion. As a supervisor in-charge in the Department of Agriculture I often find myself unable to practice compassion towards my subordinates as I am pressured from above to improve efficiency and productivity.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: One can feel compassion towards one who is miserable, not one who is arrogant, or commits wrong-doings. Such a person is dealt with strictness without compromising one’s integrity. Of the four qualities: friendliness, compassion, mudita (happiness), indifference: all one can do is to practice indifference towards one’s higher-ups.

Satsang with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar- 12 August 2011

August 12, 2011

Q: Guruji, I want You to be with me always. What should I do for that?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Just know I am with you. Do Sadhana, Seva, Satsang - that you don’t leave or forget. Do your duty, meditate, do your duty.
Q: What is the difference between Dharana and Sankalpa?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Dharana is keeping your mind on a specific thought, like what we do in the beginning of meditation. Like what we do in Yoga Nidra, we take our mind to different parts of the body. Similarly, we keep the attention on the breath or the top of the head, somewhere. This is called Dharana

Friday, August 19, 2011

You don’t need to bring me any gift, you are a gift yourself!

August 05, 2011

Q: Dearest Guruji, what is the way to be able to feel, love and revere the Guru in the form as well as in the formless?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know, you cannot force love on yourself. Love is spontaneous, it just happens, just relax! You can’t try to love someone or try not to love someone. It is just a spontaneous happening. And remember love is not just an emotion, love is our existence.
Q: When I was in the doubt mode I could ask you any question Guruji. But after I have started having faith in you asking or rather confronting you with my questions have become very difficult. As fear and respect come my way. How to tackle the situation?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Just be natural, ask any question you want to ask. All questions are anyways foolish. I don’t mind and I know you don’t mind as long as the answers are not foolish. And from here I cannot give you foolish answers for sure. This is just an intellectual stimulation, that’s all. Questions and answers are what? Intellectual stimulation. Music is what? Emotional stimulation and silence is what? Stimulation of the spirit, of the soul. So we need all these in our life. And exercise is physical stimulation. And you do yoga, exercise. Seva is stimulation of activity. You do an action without expecting anything in return is seva. Stimulation of activity is through seva. So you need all that - physical stimulation through exercise; intellectual stimulation by knowledge, discussion; emotional stimulation through music and the stimulation of spirit through silent meditation.
Q: Dear Guruji, what are the characteristics or features of longing with dispassion?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Where dispassion is not dry and where longing does not turn into anger or hatred. You know if you have only longing, the longing can turn into anger or hatred. And if you have only dispassion, the dispassion will become so dull and boring and can even get into depression. So longing and dispassion together makes it so interesting, so complete, so juicy, so alive.
Q: Dear Guruji, can we call intention as unmanifested Karma? If it is still karma it should create bondage. Please explain the relation of intention, karma and bondages created by them.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, the karma which is done not for gain but for a larger good, in the larger interest of the society, which is good for mankind, does not become karma. That’s why that type of karma is called Yagna. So 'nyatra loko 'yam karma-bandhana’, other karmas are bondage. But karmas done for the betterment of society or service of God does not become karma, they are called Yagna.
Q: Dear Guruji, how can I cultivate more humility and acceptance? I am known for being arrogant, rude and short tempered.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You in the right place. Do the silence program couple of times. Two, three silence courses will melt you down. And don’t judge yourself too much. Sometimes we judge ourselves too much. Either we judge others and get angry at others or you judge yourself and get upset about yourself. It is best not to do this; these two acts appear to be different but are the same. Either we blame others or we blame our self. Self blame is as bad as blaming someone else. That is what this knowledge is all about. It takes you from the blame culture to a joy culture. You are happy, you make others happy. And when you are happy, anyone who comes into contact with you, they are happy too. Have you noticed some people in your office are very enthusiastic? They say, ‘hey, come on, let’s go’, ‘hey come on, let’s do this’, ‘hey, this will happen’. Very positive, enthusiastic and even if there are problems, they say, ‘okay, let’s manage it’, they crack jokes. And there are others who in the best of situations are upset, angry. They say, ‘all has gone well, but what will happen from this? One day it will all be finished, then what?’ At least this one day, whatever you are doing, why don’t you be happy? ‘It’s all a one day show, then what?’ This type of pathetic pessimism is not life supporting. Nor does it support anyone around you. Sign of life is not depression, sign of life is celebration, is upliftment. You should bear this in mind. Whenever you tend to do that, whenever you tend to go in the negative cycle, immediately remember,' oh Guruji has said that, let me switch my mode. Like in your cell phone, you switch modes, from cell phone mode to sms mode or phone mode or email mode. Like that you should be able to switch and you have the ability to do that.
Q: Dear Guruji, what kind of people do you like to keep near you? Can I become one among them?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, yes. I like to keep all types of people. All collections are with me. World collection of all specimens, one from every fish. I like variety you know, so you are welcome.
Q: Dearest Guruji, I am extremely shy and rigid because of my very strict upbringing. How can I become more expressive and loving?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Okay, you want to really change? You start right away. First of all you remove this label that you have put on your head.' I am shy and rigid', who said you are shy and rigid? Come on, you don’t know yourself, accept it. If you think you are shy and rigid, your own thought is making it a reality. You are sowing the seeds - I am shy, I am rigid. So the seed you have sown will make you become that. So, right now, from today, you admit you don’t know your mind, you don’t know yourself. You were shy and rigid in the past, but no longer, not this moment. You must take this step. Remove this label that you have put, ‘shy’ and ‘rigid’. Leave it label-less for some time and see what happens.
Q: Dear Guruji, I am stuck in-between wordly things and the Divine. The longing does not let me focus on my work but I have to work to fill my family’s stomach. Please guide.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Look, don’t think they are in contradiction. You have to work. At the same time, you can spend some time for yourself. Twenty minutes to yourself. When you are driving, listen to some knowledge. There are so many knowledge sheets, CDs. Listen to some bhajans and when you come back home after work, sit and meditate for a little while. You leading a normal worldly life in no way contradicts your spiritual progress. You can do both together. See here. So many people drive all the way from the city with all the traffic. How much time it takes? 2 hours. They drive all the way, one and a half hours after their work and sit and then they go back another one and a half hours. So when you want to do, you don’t have to do it every day. Some of you do it every day. You come once, two or three times a week for satsang because satsang is also an addiction, just addicts you. You feel so good, isn’t it? How many of you feel so good? How many of you feel when you enter the ashram you energy level changes? They all have that experience.
Q: Guruji, it is true that God is present every moment but why do we feel sometime separation or duality?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That’s a game!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Satsang with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar 3 August 2011

August 03, 2011

Q: Guruji, did Gopis ever meditate when Krishna was there?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Did Gopis meditate? Whether they meditated or they did not meditate, how does it matter? It is an old story. But meditation has to be second to life; walking, talking, sitting, doing, everything you are in a state of meditation. Krishna did meditate, every morning, in his routine, he used to wake up at 4 o’ clock sit for one hour and meditate. And then he would honor the scholars, and then 8’o clock he would take a round of the city, meet the general public and then in the evening he would celebrate in his style (with mischief).
Q: Can dispassion and longing go together?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: They have to go together, that is wisdom. Longing is one side and dispassion is the other side. Where there is no dispassion, longing can turn into bitterness. If there is only dispassion, then there is no juice and we need some juice in life, some thrill, some fun. And spirituality is full of juice; full of thrill, enthusiasm, joy. Unfortunately spirituality is perceived as such a dull, boring, serious thing - it is never like that. The Divine is full of juice. It is juicy, and spirituality is so juicy. So anyone who has gone close to the Divinity, to the source has always become very juicy, not dry.
Q: How can we realize the whole word is a game of the mind?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Oh! You have not realized that? Tell me, how many times your judgments have proved to be wrong? Many times? nearly 80% of the time all your judgments have been wrong; 90%? (Answer – 70% to 80%). Whenever you have a judgment about somebody then you found yourself wrong, right? So that has taught you it is all maya, right? Your mind teaches you that it is all maya. You sit and you have some fear, you have apprehensions, you imagine things and suddenly you find all that is all wrong. It is all the making up of your own mind. At that moment, ‘Oh ya this mind is maya’, and that is what is the play. Just look at your own mind, you look at somebody, you judge something and then your find out it is not true. All these wrong perceptions, understanding, concepts, wrong ideas and judgments are good enough to tell you your mind is an illusion.
Q: What role does Karma play in our life?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Everything is karma my dear! You’re asking a question it is karma; karma means action. And to listen to your question - that is my karma. But then, to answer it or not is my choice and your karma, got it? Everything is karma.

Friday, August 12, 2011

'The best is , 'I have to do it, I will do it.'

August 02, 2011

Did you think about the plans, about what we thought we should do? Did you get many ideas? This is taking responsibility. You should not say,' Guruji You did not tell me that ideas should be put in the basket, You only said that whoever comes, write their name'. No, not like that. You think for yourself; this work needs to be done and for that what you need to do. You think and do like that.
Doing with your own initiative is the best and having been told to do and then doing is mediocre. And even after having being told, not doing is the worst situation. So, today, you judge which category you fall into. The best is, ' I have to do it, I will do it 100%. I will think about it, how I can do it'. Owning that, owning it as your project, is the best.

Q: What is the significance of Garuda Purana after death?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Garuda Purana is all about the life after death. How the soul goes, where, what and all that. There is only certain time when you are supposed to hear that, (the few days after the soul leaves the body) listen to it so you know where the departed soul goes and what happened to them. There are a lot of things in Garuda Purana.
Q: Dear Guruji, what is Shodasha Samskara?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Shodasha Samskara! Shodasha means 16. There are 16 Samskaras which make human life. In a man or a woman’s life, there are 16 ceremonies or rituals that would impact the life. So what are they? It starts from Garbhadhana, it starts with conception. There is a way to conceive, conception is the first one. There is a whole Samskara about conception - how a man and woman should get together, what time, when, to conceive a baby. This knowledge has been kept a secret. If you want a girl how to conceive, on which day conception should happen, if you want a boy…when etc.That is about conception - Garbhadhana Samskara. It is done with certain mantras and ceremonies. This is almost not in so much use. They usually do it on the wedding day itself - chant some of the mantras and finish as though the whole ritual is over. And the fifth month there is a ceremony called Pumsavana and then eighth month, Seemanta - a ceremony is done on the eighth month. And the lady is given all that she wants, all her desires are fulfilled. Whatever she wants is gifted to her telling her you are bearing a new universe inside of you and making her happy. So these are three Samskaras - Garbhadhana, Pumsavana, Seemanta. The fourth Samskara is the naming ceremony. Before eleven days after the birth, the naming ceremony is done. The father, mother choose a name and they put a little honey into the tongue of the child and in the right ear they pronounce the name of the child. Naming ceremony is the fourth one. And then the first time to remove the hair, it happens between first and third year, Chaula. Chaula means removing the first hair. When they remove the hair then they also pierce the ears. You know ear lobe is where all the nerve endings are there so they pierce the ears. Scientifically the ear lobes seems to bring more awareness, more intelligence; Chaula. Then between eighth and eleventh year they do Upanayana Samskara where the child is taken to the school first. From childhood to adolescence, before they go, they are told you have these responsibilities in your life to perform - this, this, this you have to do. And then The Gaythri Mantra is given to them. Brahma Upadesha means ‘You are that’, ‘Thou are that’, this upadesha is given. This is the next. After Upanayana, a person studies, goes to school and stays in the Gurukul with the teacher, the Guru. After he finishes his education, then there is Samaavartana. Samaavartana means finishing the education and getting into the work life and then wedding, marriage. Like that the samskaras go on till the death ceremony, the last ceremony, Antiyeshti Samskara. All these samskaras are part of life. Ancient people had mantras for all that.
Q: What is the importance of Gayathri Mantra?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Om is the essence of the whole creation. Om is the greatest mantra in which everything is there. And then Om expanded and became Gayathri. Gayathri mantra is the essence of the Vedas. It is said there is no mantra greater than Gayathri. Gayathri Mantra says,' let all my sins be gone and Divinity dawn in my consciousness. Let the Divine inspire, bring the intuition into me'. This is the short explanation, there is a long explanation for it but this is enough for now.
Q: In majority of India, only the intellectuals know about Ashtavakra Geeta whereas everyone knows about Bhagwad Geeta. Why is it so?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is true. Ashtavakra Geeta is for ‘Post-graduates’! It is not as easy to understand. The knowledge was given to a King. To understand it requires time. One can begin with Bhagwad Geeta. In it, everyone can find something meaningful. Whereas Ashtavakra Geeta was given to a King, Bhagwad Geeta was given to a despondent youth. This is the difference. The common man in society is depressed and is not in awareness. Ashtavakra Geeta was given to King Janaka when he was prepared to dive more deeply into the knowledge of truth and illusion. Very few have that spirit of inquiry, like you all! don’t believe that anyone sitting here is sad, is there? The audience responds enthusiastically, 'No'!! Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, no one in satsang can be depressed! I said Bhagavad Gita was taught to a youth who was upset, who was sad, but Ashtavakra Gita was given to one who has a spirit of inquiry, who has a quest for truth. So it is a little high, it is a little different. So Bhagavad Gita caters to everybody throughout, even for the upset, or the one who is sad or miserable. To one who wants some meaning in life and to one who wants to gain something in life - for everybody it is there.
Q: Guruji, what is the significance of the twelve Jyotirlings of lord Shiva? Is it necessary to visit them?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: These pilgrimages are intended to bring people together, and unite the country from Kashmir to Rameshvaram, from Kaamaakhya to Somnath. Shiva does not reside only in temples. He dwells in our hearts. Wherever you are, call out to Him and He will appear

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Satyam Param Dhimahi

August 01, 2011

What you read now in the Bhagavad Gita (16th chapter), the good qualities, the divine qualities, we are all born with. We have it in us. The negative qualities are only on the circumference. They are super imposed on our goodness. So, Lord Krishna says that you have all the good qualities in you. You are born with it and the negative qualities are only super imposed and you can get rid of it. First identify it and get rid of them, that’s it!
And He discussed what are the Aasuri Sampathi (demonaic qualities), arrogance, you know all those, all those negatives qualities; feeling nobody loves me and all that stuff. Complaining all the time, this sort of negative tendencies are only super imposed. It’s not your quality and so you can get rid of them. So, what do we do? We say Satyam Param Dhimahi; in this intellect may Divinity dawn. You all start chanting classes and say Satyam Param Dhimahi. Let Truth and Divinity dawn in my intellect, in my consciousness.

What we can do for the country and what we can do to bring this knowledge in the world. Think on these two lines. How can we spread more of this knowledge. What do you say? (All answer ‘YES’). How many of you think we should think on this? Okay then give me ideas and suggestions. Let’s do a brain storming session. Storm is too small, we should say brain tsunami.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Atma shakti (power of the Self) is much more powerful than any shapes and forms

July 31, 2011
Q: Jai Gurudev! Is meditating in a pyramid any different from meditating in other places?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: A pyramid is an external environment. But it is not like only in a pyramid you will have great meditation, no! Even in a dome you can have good meditation and in the open sky you can have even better meditation. So your atma shakti (power of the Self) is much more powerful than any shapes and forms. You know, shapes and forms are a limited sphere of influence but more than that is the sound of the mantra. The mantra influences several times more than shapes and forms and more than the mantra is the silent presence. So all this is effective only when there is meditation.
Q: How do I avoid negative thoughts?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Negative thoughts, why do you want to avoid them? Let them come and they go. Avoiding means you are trying to hold on to them. If they come say,'Oh you have come, hi, bye bye', and they go.
Q: (A member of the audience asked this question. It was inaudible.)
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Friends make fun of you being in spirituality? Yes, you smile at that and say, 'What a great thing you are missing you don’t know'. Tell them,'Anyways you are going to follow this; it is only a matter of time', you tell them. 'In five years you will come for this knowledge. And we are pioneers you know', tell them,' I am a pioneer in everything, we first taste and whatever we leave behind you take it'. If anyone makes fun of you, you keep smiling, don’t lose your smile. Tell them wait, wait, it is only a matter of years; you will be doing the same thing. Tell them they are used to eating the leftovers; tell them, 'I am enjoying the good meal now'.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Divine Loves Diversity

July 30, 2011

Q: Guruji you give a lot of knowledge, a lot of sessions of knowledge. Sometimes I understand, sometimes it goes above my head. What should I do so that my receptivity to knowledge is increased.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, keep listening and some one day you will say,' ahh that is what Guruji was saying'. Three levels are there, one is Shravana – Listening, Manana – Dwelling on it again and again and then Nidhidhyasa – when it becomes your own, that knowledge become part of you.
Q: Inspite of knowing that I am hollow and empty and knowing the causes of misery, mind still gets stuck in objects and people. You know it just comes like a storm and just goes. At this age especially with girls it happens for me so what do I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Gets stuck with objects and persons but how was the meditation now, tell me? (Ans - Awesome Guruji). Awesome! The mind got free from those things? (Ans – Yes). So, like that, keep doing. From time to time these sorts of things come and they go. You don’t try to chase them out. If they come, okay, let it be. Our law is what? Principle is let it be.
Q: When my wrong deeds hurt somebody, how do I handle this situation?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Okay, if your wrong deed has hurt someone, resolve you will not repeat it. Say,' okay, I did something that has hurt someone; from now on I will not do it'. This resolution may help, you may fail once, twice, thrice but continue with the resolution.
Q: For this shloka from the Upanishads, ‘Thailya Dharavat Anu Sandhaanam Nairantarya Dyaanam’ You have given the explanation like a flow of oil when a faint idea persists in the consciousness. What is this faint idea? Is it about the knowledge of the principle in life or is it the flow of energy within us?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Flow of energy, there is a faint flow of energy. When you are doing Sahaj, the mantra is there, the faint idea, that’s what it is.
Q: What is the difference between Avtaar and Guru?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You tell me the definition, what is Avtaar, what is a Guru? You define both, then I will give you the difference. You know names and names, we give meaning to it. Whatever meaning we give a thing,that is what they become.
Q: Guruji, in deep meditation can we sleep?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes it is okay. In deep meditation sometimes tandra comes and you fall asleep, never mind. Wake up and do a little more pranayam. Today, did you feel every cell waking up? (Many answer YES). How many of you felt your body became so light?
Q: Guruji … (a member of the audience asked this question. It was inaudible.)
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Why should we not? Listen, now why should we have so many types of vegetables? You should have had only one egg plant. You should have asked why there are so many types of fruits. There are grapes, oranges, so many types of oranges, so many types of bananas. You should have had only bananas. Nature should have created only bananas. You eat the banana and go bananas. You would have really gone nuts. Nature loves diversity. So nature made so many types of rice. You know, in rice there are 152 types in India alone. World over if you count there are thousands of types of rice. There are types of rice, types of cows; different types of vegetables, fruits. The Divine loves diversity. So the Divine can manifest itself in so many diverse forms. That is what the ancient people said. You should give the freedom for Divine to wear whatever clothes it wants to wear. Don’t say that the should come in the same dress all the time.
Q: (A member of the audience asked this question. It was inaudible.)
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Divide is created by the minds of people; it is not religion that is responsible. Even within one religion how much people fight. Forget about religion, in the family don’t brothers fight, right or not? Same family, children of the same mother and father. If there are four brothers or six brothers, that’s it, there are court cases against each other. People fight because they lack spirituality and they have not learnt meditation.
Q: You say from movement to stillness is meditation, but to attain stillness through karma would be a bondage, isn’t it Guruji. So how do you attain stillness in spite of karma?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That is what the whole skill of meditation is. In meditation, you somehow skillfully make the mind settle down and then, those few moments it settles, it is really still. It can’t be still forever, then again it starts, and some karma gets released. You know, not all karmas are active all the time, some are dormant, and some are active. So the dormant karma starts becoming active. When it is active, then you open up and you come to the surface. And then again after sometime, karma cannot be active all the time, so in-between, again and again you go and become quiet again.
Q: Guruji, in conferences in and out, usually a lot of people have stage fear, you know a lot of people have their minds really swaying here and there but you are always still wherever you go. You are always relaxed, so in such a state of awareness you answer everything. So how do you attain that state of being relaxed always?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Practice and dispassion.
Q: Guruji, what is the significance of wearing saffron color?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Now we have given different symbolism to different colors. Saffron is like red hot, means you have become like fire. You have renounced everything; you are looking for yourself, that is saffron. But if it becomes too hot then it becomes white hot. Do you know about iron? It is red hot, then it becomes white hot.
Q: Guruji, is it okay to believe in God and not pray?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, it is okay. You be part of spirituality. That is what is important. See, you are born with some religion. Your name indicates the religion. You will be either cremated or buried. These things, your birth and your death, is determined by your religion. So denying a religion or going with it is all matter of choice. But what I would say is, you be spiritual and when you are here, this knowledge raises you to such a platform that gives you the essence of all religions.
Q: Guruji, the Dalai Lama says that dreams are the deepest form of meditation. Guruji what are dreams? Are they thoughts or are they actually events?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, there are different types of dreams and there are different levels of meditation. Sleep is not meditation. Right now you meditated, was it sleep? Or was it waking? Was it dreaming? No! it was different right, that is meditation. Was it good? Ha!
Q: I am scared to talk to people.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You are talking now to everybody. Yes, for today it has gone, okay.
Q: Guruji, corruption has escalated so much in the country. We protested, Anna Hazare protested. Yet the government is doing its own thing. What should we do next?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes. I am also thinking about it. One thing you can do is expand awareness of our stance – ask ten people to speak to ten thousand. This way we can make people conscious, create awareness about it: a new battle for independence.
Q: Guruji, how to increase patience?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I will answer this question two years from now. You will wait for two years, won’t you? That is patience.
Q: (A member of the audience asked this question. It was inaudible.)
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You are trying to please them in your own way. If they are not happy, it is their fate, their luck. That is why there is a saying in Sanskrit, ‘No one can cause suffering or bring comfort to anyone. Everyone experiences pleasure or pain according to his/her own karma.’
Q: Guruji, you had said last time that one’s focus should be on oneself or on the master. But the mind tends to be drawn to others frequently making comparisons.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: At least you are aware that the mind is comparing with others. That means you are already becoming free from it, somewhat. Gradually it will move away completely.
Q: What is politics and what is the significance of politics for a true saadhak?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Politics is awareness of the needs of the public, working for the welfare of society, doing seva (service) to society – this is politics. Politics is necessary and it is very important for good, honest individuals to enter politics. If you wish to go you should, my blessings are with you.
Q: Jai Gurudev! Some of my co-workers do certain things that cause frustration to some of us. Should we tolerate it or oppose it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: We should oppose it. Using our intelligence, wherever we think it is appropriate, we should oppose, without anger or angst, but peacefully, patiently, with equanimity.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The world is full of people and mistakes. Forgive the mistakes & love the people.

June 22, 2011

Q: Can a devotee’s love for the Divine reduce and if it does what needs to be done to change it.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: In time, it will become alright.
Q: Guruji, in Mahabharata Krishna supported both Pandavas and Kauravas. Why did he not lift a weapon in support of Pandavas where as he send his whole army to Kauravas?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Krishna has his own ways, most mysterious, you can't understand. Better give up. Whoever is trying to understand Lord Krishna doesn’t, different people, different groups see different aspects of Sri Krishna. That is why he is called Purna Avatara, he is so complete from every side. Very, very unique.
Q: Guruji, very often I get bad dreams. How to get rid of them?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Meditate and even before going to bed meditate and listen to some nice chanting, that will help.
Q: How to forget betrayal? Someone has betrayed me long back and that man keeps coming to my mind. After doing yoga, meditation, pranayam, etc., I am able to get these thought occasionally. Earlier it was coming frequently. How to completely drive away these thought?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It’s already less, isn't it? How much has it reduced till now?. Once in a while, it comes, right? So what? It doesn’t matter. The more you resist it, it’ll keep coming back. Just take it, it’s an experience in life.
Q: Guruji, my life has been difficult for so many years that I feel like giving up. My father says that someone has done black magic on my family. Do things like black magic exist and how do I get over them?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Do sadhana, seva and satsang, and no black magic can touch you. Chant the mantras, listen to vedic chants, Rudram, Om Namah Shivaya. All this will help.
Q: Guruji, if someone is a compulsive liar and keeps asking for a second chance what to do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If someone is a compulsive liar, what to do? Somebody asked me a question yesterday, “Guruji, are you angry with me?” I said, “No.” That does not mean you can go on lying. Now, I know some people do wrong things, say wrong things and misuse the trust of other people. They say, “I have just spoken to Guruji on the phone and he has said like this.” I forgive and I don’t get angry but I feel compassion for them because they are putting mud on their own heads. They are causing trouble for themselves. So why should I spoil my mind getting angry with such people? I don’t feel angry but feel compassion that they go and create trouble here and there. Pitaji had written a quote, ‘The world is full of people and mistakes. Forgive the mistakes and love the people.’ What a wonderful thing he has said!'
Q: What is the role of emotions, body, mind, anger?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Keep your body healthy and keep your emotions positive. Very simple. It is like asking, “Where do I put on my pants and where do I put on my shirt?” You put your shirt on top and pants at the bottom, not the other way around. So everything has its place: ego has its place, emotions have its place, our body needs to be healthy and strong. So you need to respect the laws of nature, okay?
Q: Guruji, can you tell us something regarding Bhav Samadhi. Can we also experience it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, Bhav Samadhi. Just sit and completely dissolve in the music, in the feeling, in the connectivity, being full of bhav, with one’s feeling. When your mind is still and full, you feel like dancing in that moment. Thoughts cease, worries cease.
Q: When I am in US I want to come to India and when I am in India I miss US, what do I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Well, do exactly what you are doing, miss here and miss there but don't miss your meditations, don't miss your sadhana, seva and satsang. That will be everywhere.
Q: I left my previous job because there was too much of jealousy and back-stabbing. How do I work with such negative people?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Skillfully. Negative people bring out lots of skills in you. You should thank them, they teach you how to deal with them, how to maneuver through all those situations and make you move ahead. And they push all the buttons and make you free from buttons
Q: How do I know the path that I choose to take is the right one when there are so many different paths that I can take?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When doubt comes, then know for sure it is the right one. Generally, we doubt only that which is true. All that is good, we doubt. If someone asks if you are happy you say, “Well, I am not sure.” But you are so definite about your unhappiness, right? Similarly if someone tells you that they love you so much, you will say, “Really?” And if someone says, “I hate you,” you never say, “Really?” So most of the time, our doubts are about something that is positive. So when you are on a path that you like, the doubt whether this is the right path or not will come.
Q: Dear Guruji, we have read that Ramkrishna Paramhansa was blessed by Vivekananda with Goddess Kali’s vision. Can people get the same experience today also?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is the other way around. Ramakrishna blessed Vivekananda. Many experiences happened. It was just the energy that transformed the whole atmosphere. Spiritual energy transformed the relationship and transformed the mind
Q: Guruji, who was your first crush when you were a teenager?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The first crush is continuing. It is the same Divinity, yes!
Q: Guruji, can a person get more than one beej mantra in his life time?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, no problem.
Q: It is said that practice makes a man perfect, but nobody is perfect, so why practice?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Why practice? Because anyways, nobody is perfect. Yes. You eat food, and then the stomach gets empty and then again, you eat and then again, the stomach gets empty and then again you eat. So then, why eat? If the stomach keeps getting empty, then no need to eat at all.
Q: How can I be a non-violent person when I live in a neighborhood where if I don’t carry a gun with me I will be shot dead? What do I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Violence does not mean self-protection nor does non-violence mean lack of self defense. You should be prepared for your self defense no doubt, but in your mind and heart you nurture non-violence. And you will see in the presence of non-violence, such strong non-violence, even violent people will drop their violent tendencies. It has happened several times with me, when I was in Washington DC, another time in Los Angeles. On both occasions a gentleman wanted to attack me. He cursed me in the name of Jesus and said that this was all satanic, Yoga was satanic. As soon as he came, this tall hefty guy, I said, “Wait.” We didn’t have any weapons and we didn’t have any defense. He just went down on his knees and started crying. Everybody was so surprised, it was a satsang, like this, nobody expected a man to attack. I just said, “Wait, wait,” and he bowed down and started crying. Later on he took the course. You know, it is a misconception that could cause violence. It is stress and a sort of victimization that could cause violence. But when we believe in non-violence and we walk with that power in our hearts you will find a big change. There are so many such events. A long time ago, I was in Delhi and Noida. Thousands of people came with torches to burn my car. I just showed my hand and said, “Wait okay, you can do whatever you want. I just want ten minutes to talk to you. But that’s it, in those ten minutes they all changed. In those days, in 1980, Noida was not developed, it was all a jungle, a village with dacoits. So we must believe in non-violence and I don’t mean you should not carry a weapon or learn self defense. Until you get so well established in non-violence you can have those arms, you can keep your self defense that is okay.
Q: Guruji, the fact that meditation alters attitude is clear, does meditation alter aptitude as well?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, of course.
Q: Guruji, can you tell us something regarding Bhav Samadhi. Can we also experience it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, Bhav Samadhi. Just sit and completely dissolve in the music, in the feeling, in the connectivity, being full of bhav, with one’s feeling. When your mind is still and full, you feel like dancing in that moment. Thoughts cease, worries cease.
Q: I am confused most of the time about any decision in my life. What do I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Confusion is good, you are so lucky to be confused all the time. That means you are progressing. Confusion happens when a set of ideas break and a new set has not yet formed. But that’s a temporary state. When new ideas come, you move on to that and again confusion comes when that breaks. So you are moving ahead.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The more dispassionate you are, the more the power of Sankalpa comes to you

July 29, 2011
Q: Dear Guruji, what to do when people start using knowledge points or start using your name to hide their lies or to get their work done?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: : What can you do for that? I can’t teach them, you can’t teach them. You can only pity them. They will bear their own cross; they will bear their own Karma. With compassion, tell them, 'why do you do it, don’t do it'. If they don’t listen, then what do you do? You can’t agitate, you can’t go on a hunger strike! what will you do? Pray, bless them, pity them, disassociate with them and if you have the strength, then counter them. How you will counter - you think about it.
Q: What is the significance of worship? Worshiping the idol, worshiping the nature and worshiping oneself, is it all the same?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, worshiping is just creating an environment for the mind to become like a flower. Your heart opens, your mind opens, and your whole consciousness opens. And worship is just an act. It doesn’t matter what you do. Its all just in the outer; the main thing is your inner feeling. That’s why Pooja is good but Manas Pooja is superior. Manas Pooja is mentally doing the Pooja. My heart is your throne; Ratnaih Kalpitamaasanam Hima-jalaih Snaanam Cha Divyaam… all this in mental prayer, everything is yours, this whole universe is yours. My heart is a flower, mind is a flower. And when you rest, when you penetrate into deep rest, what happens is your solar plexus also blossoms, becomes bigger. Solar plexus is called the mid-brain and what scientists found out is that the solar plexus is usually the size of a small gooseberry and it becomes as big as a mushroom or a plum in the yogis. Those who do yoga and meditation regularly, they found out that the solar plexus is bigger. From a small little peanut size or a little gooseberry to a bigger plum’s size it becomes. When the mid-brain or solar plexus becomes big there is more control over the autonomous nervous system. This is what yoga does. This is why they say Padmanabha; you know, there is a word Padmanabha. Padmanabha is what? He is resting, in Yoga Nidra. His Nabhi (naval) has become like a flower. Padma means lotus, like a flower. When your naval has blossomed like a flower, then what happens? You are a yogi and if you are a Padmanabha you become so creative. What comes out is the creator. It is just symbolic that from the naval a lotus came up and the creator came on that. There is an inner meaning. When you are doing Yoga Nidra or when you are doing meditation, when you go deep into the fourth state of consciousness, what happens is that your Nabhi (naval) becomes like a lotus, Padma, flower. You know, all the negative emotions are stored here in the stomach. That is why when you are in fear something happens in the stomach. Anxiety, something happens in the tummy, isn’t it? How many of you have experienced this? Whether it is fear, anxiety, negative feelings, greed, jealousy - something happens in the stomach. A sense of loss, all the traumas - something happens in the naval center. It shrinks, becomes small, it is not a Padmanabha. When the naval blossoms, only generosity, love, creativity - all these things come. So Padmanabha means one who is very creative. So inner Pooja is just offering, everything is yours; my mind is yours, my body is yours, my thoughts, emotions, the whole environment, everything is only one. See, you are saying, 'there is no me, there is no you, there is only one thing' and that is Pooja. Aarthi means let the light of my life always go around the Divine and that I accept all the knowledge. I take it; I take the wisdom inside me.
Q: Dear Guruji, when you say I am different from the body I understand that, but when you say I am different from the mind I do not understand that. How am I different from my mind?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Okay, now are you your thoughts or the thoughts are yours? Mind means thoughts. Thoughts come and they go. So many thoughts come and so many thoughts go. Many you agree and many you disagree and those you agree, later on, you disagree with those same thoughts, isn’t it? You sit and write down all your thoughts. Later on, you will find, 'oh, am I the same person who is thinking all this?' You would wonder, correct? So, in that sense, you are different from your thoughts. Thoughts come and go but they come in you and go in you. Its like clouds in the sky. The sky cannot be clouds. But when there are so many thoughts, and it is so cloudy, you feel, 'oh sky means clouds'. But if you have had a taste of clear sky, a few moments of open sky, then you see, 'oh the sky is beyond the clouds, not just the clouds' and that is the beauty in the sadhana. In the very first Sudarshan Kriya, what happens? The very first time you experience few moments without anything. Just a few moments; that opened up your awareness through the clouds. You think the clouds are what the sky is, but you got a little hole, and you could see the blue sky beyond the grey clouds right? isn’t this your experience? Now you turn back and see what were you before you did your first course, first meditation or Sudarshan Kriya? Who were you before that? Who are you now? How many of you feel you can’t relate to the person who was ten years ago? (Many raise their hands) See, that very clearly shows you are not the thoughts. What you think as a person ten years ago is just a bundle of thoughts, the mind. But you got a little space, glimpses outside the mind into the no mind or the space that we are; and meditation is being that no mind. But sometimes clouds come and thoughts come and they go and skillfully between them you just stay centered.
Q: Dear Guruji, how to improve the power of Sankalpa? How to drop the Vasanas?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: By silence. The more dispassionate you are, the more the power of Sankalpa comes to you.

Monday, August 1, 2011


July 28, 2011
Guruji gave a surprise visit to Bangalore by coming earlier than the expected date of arrival. Satsang took on a festive color. After several bhajans and few verses of the Bhagvad Gita (15th chapter),Guruji enquired about the TTC participants and led everyone present in to a beautiful meditation. In the meditation, he made everyone bring their awareness to the body, breath and mind being separate dimensions and then chant "Satyam Param Dhimahi" several times before delving deeper into the profound silence.

Guruji: Start chanting classes everywhere - chant 'Satyam Param Dhimahi' for 10 minutes with a few minutes of silence before and after. Don't chant for too long, not half hour, one hour, just 10-15 minutes. Let us create a wave in this country (India) from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. From (chanting)
Satyam Param Dhimahi (Let Truth, Divinity and Knowledge shine through me), it will move into 'Satyameva Jayate' (Truth alone shall prevail). This will certainly happen.