Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A saint is like a newspaper

When scam after scam is being exposed and there is depression in people's minds, spiritual leaders cannot confine themselves to their ashrams, writes Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

A saint cannot be indifferent and apathetic, nor can a newspaper. At the same time, he cannot be partial and take sides either. Saints should not align with any party or any single ideology. Or else they wouldn't do justice to the very party they align with. It is simply not in his nature. In the same way, a saint will always have to respond to the need of the vishwatma (society). He cannot shy away from any aspect of life, whether it is counseling in personal affairs of people, airing his opinion or guiding in the collective concerns of society.

When scam after scam is being exposed and there is depression in people's minds, spiritual leaders cannot confine themselves to their ashrams. Even in Mahabharat and Ramayan saints have been proactive. What the saints have to guard against, like newspapers, is bias and prejudice.

Saints cannot be like old newspapers. Everyday, they have to be fresh and respond to the current situation. Newspapers cannot exclude any aspect of life - similarly a saint also cannot exclude any aspect of life. They will have to cover all fields whether economic, social, obituary, entertainment, sports and even spirituality!! Whether good or bad, right or wrong, they have to intervene. Saints will not wait for people to come and ask for help. They plunge into activity. They do not need an invitation before the action or an appreciation after the action is completed.

Apathy is not the nature of saints. Similarly, newspapers cannot be apathetic to any happening. If you look back in history, great sages such as Sri Aurobindo, Swami Vivekananda, Samarth Ramdas, Gadge Maharaj, Sant Tukadoji Maharaj, Sikh Gurus and a host of others, have never limited themselves to one thing and never shied away from political responsibility. They never showed an iota of apathy for the happenings of that time on the planet. There used to be a seat created in every king's court for the Rajaguru to occupy and to advise the king. Even the power to dethrone the king was vested in them. Though today, fortunately for the saint community, this job now is being taken care of by the Supreme Court.

Great Rishsi of yore like Vasishta, Vishwamitra or Ashtavakra have never seen life as one-sided nor said that people should go inwards alone and turn insensitive to societal needs. They have always emphasized both Nivritti(inward serenity) and pravritti (outward duty). They have encouraged nishkama karma - taking responsibility along with a spiritual awakening.

In our times, we need to spiritualize politics,socialize business and secularize religion and make life multifaceted like the newspaper!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Walk the Path

Q: Guruji, how to maintain the purity of teaching Yoga in today’s commercial world?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: First of all we shouldn’t blame the world and we should not blame the cause. Purity of Yoga is there when your intention is clear, you are here to serve. If you count that there are twenty people and I will get this much money, if you think that then it can spoil the purity. That is why we have kept our courses in such a way that the teacher gets a very little amount to cover whatever expenses are there. You know you are doing it as a service and you are keeping a charge because without any charges people don’t value it and of course you need some finances to make arrangements like the durries and the microphone and all this stuff. So if your intention is pure, if you are financially and otherwise okay and this is only an added support or income to you then it is okay but if you are thinking only on these lines that I want to make money out of teaching yoga then your whole attitude is changed.
Just imagine a school teacher is teaching the children only to get money and not to see that the students are passing or they should get better. A teacher comes for tuition for an hour and he keeps looking at the watch then within fifteen minutes he runs away, what is the quality of such a teacher. So there is no individual, personal attention that is given, so if the commercial thing doesn’t enter your mind then you are there for the cause, you are there for others.
Q: Even after being born as a human being who is the highest among all the species on this planet why do we desire freedom? Is there anything more beautiful than this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See wanting happiness is natural, everyone wants happiness but happiness does not come alone. Happiness brings along his twin sorrow also with him but no one likes sorrow and everyone wants freedom from sorrow. Freedom one wants from what? Sorrow and to want freedom from sorrow also is natural. Just as much as wanting happiness is natural the same way wanting freedom from sorrow is also natural. Okay, now the faster one realizes that happiness is there but sorrow is also there then the desire for freedom becomes stronger.
The one who does not wish for happiness receives freedom and the one who does not even wish for freedom is the one who receives devotion.
One who does not crave for happiness is already free but if one craves for happiness then one will also crave for freedom. When happiness does not please you then you have achieved freedom but when freedom also does not please you then you receive DEVOTION!
Devotion brings so much happiness and pleasure to you.
Q: Guruji, you say the love is great and fearless. Then why is it that the person I am in love with is so fearful?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The one you are in love with is fearful? Okay! That we don’t know how much you have scared him that he has become so fearful. First see whether the person you are in love with is also in love with you.
See, sometimes we think we love someone but we don’t even know how to properly express our love to another. It is very hard to express how much love you are feeling in your heart to someone else. How are you going the express? With words you will not be able to express. Something as deep as love does not come in the realm of expression. It is very difficult to express and sometimes when you try very hard and with a lot of effort to express this love people get scared. The other person should also know how to accept and receive your love isn’t it? That’s why it is important to know to how to express and how much of our love to express to each person, yeah!

Just imagine you have someone day and night calling you again and again and telling you, ‘I love you, I love you, I love you’, then what you will say, okay, yes, you love me, fine what next, right?!

So until we do not turn towards wisdom we are not able to properly express or receive love, for that also there is some eligibility. With wisdom one is so full of love that love exudes from every action. In life when we embrace the divinity then all our relationships blossom by themselves but if you try to fix your relationships one by one it does not work. From one side things will get better and from the other side it will get worse, so you be centered in yourself, be in devotion and everything else will be taken care of.
Q: Something binds the body to the soul. What is this binding factor and what prompts it to part ways after sometime?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Impressions in the soul binds it to the body. That is what is called Karma.
Q: Dearest Guruji, you are my favorite in the whole world and my world revolves around you. How do I become your favorite?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Walk the path!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The deeper you go in meditation your intuitive ability develops

Q: What is the meaning of the opening of the third eye and what do I feel when I experience this happening?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is intuition, don’t think there is an eye opening like this and 
something is popping up from your head. You get a bump or a hole in your forehead, no! 
You know you close your eyes still you feel some light; you may see or you may feel, it can be both ways. If someone says I am going to open your third eye and this and that, just don’t go into those things. I tell you, definitely not, it is simply hoax because I have seen so many people claiming to open the third eye and nothing happens really, people get a headache, an incurable headaches many times and you get into problems. You know many such cases come to us for repair, so if someone says I want to open your third eye tell them, thank you very much, I am happy with two eyes. The deeper you go in meditation your intuitive ability develops.

Q: Guruji, why is the opening of the third eye associated with the destruction of desires?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know the third eye is associated with alertness and awareness. When you are alert, awake, more into knowledge then naturally the energy has moved from the lowest chakra to the highest. The lower things no more interest you. You know when you are very alert and awake the sexual energy has transformed itself into a different quality of consciousness. The sexual energy is when the back portion of our brain, our head is activated. Alertness, perception and awareness happen when the front portion of the brain is activated; the pituitary and pineal glands are getting activated. In the brain also they are on the opposite sides of each other. So it is mythologically said when the third eye opens then the gross desires simply evaporate, not that it is bad but they simply don’t make much sense anymore. That is why the intellectuals and the highly spiritual oriented practitioners always put something on the forehead, some sandal wood paste because they are focusing; doing some yoga and meditation so they put some sandal wood to cool the forehead, to cool it a little bit.When the frontal lobe of the brain becomes more active, more alert, then thinking, intellectual work, creativity, memory they are all enhanced because all of these things are in the frontal lobe of the brain and sensory pleasures are all at the back of the brain.
Q: Dear Guruji, in the Buddhist tradition it is said that there is no such thing as God, the creator where as in Christianity there is the father, the son and the Holy Spirit. I am therefore wondering what is God?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Lord Buddha never said there is no God, he simply refused to speak on it because in those days there were so many traditions. The Vedic tradition was so alive and there was Jain tradition. There were so many other traditions and people knew it all by books and they could give great talks on peace and meditation but forgot the experience of meditation. So Buddha didn’t want to get into controversy like what we do, we don’t want to get into any controversy. We have a simple message to say, here is the way to become peaceful. Do this breathing and you will become peaceful.So similarly Buddha said I am not going to speak on God but I want to speak about sorrow and there is a way to get rid of sorrow. It is possible to be free from sorrow. So his focus was very practical and very simple. He spoke on liberation, Moksha which is common to all different sects of Hinduism.Two and half thousand years after Krishna’s time there was nobody to reform the knowledge, so Buddha came and reformed it. Then later on Buddhism also became into so many sects. Five hundred years after Buddha the whole knowledge got misinterpreted, they started making everybody a monk, the whole system started collapsing then Adi Shankara came and he reestablished the knowledge. So that is why it is said time and again whenever people start forgetting the knowledge then the nature brings on the path someone to revive the knowledge and bring people back on the path of light. So this is happening, so whatever Jesus has said that is again the same ancient truth what is said in the Vedas, the trinity, all those things Jesus has said. Love is God, is said in the Vedas, in the Upanishad, same thing Jesus said.What is most essential is to find the harmony among all the different traditions. Traditions are one side but humanity, spirituality is most important. No Hinduism, Vedic religion, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism nothing is of any good if humanity, human values and spiritual values are missing.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

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

August 31, 2011

Q: Jai Gurudev, is wonder only when one has faith or does wonder increase faith? How is it correlated?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See whenever you see anything surprising it causes you to wonder. When so many surprising things are happening every day the wonder disappears. You think okay this is just ordinary. Is it not? When something which rarely happens takes place, then it creates a sense of wonder. In the same way, by observing the various wonderful happenings that are taking place in the world and absorbing the wonderful sights and scenes of the world, if a sense of wonder comes about, that wonder createsYoga.
Q: That means wonder will increase faith?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, it must be happening to you. So it is happening to you already. In devotion to God there are three things: Stuti (praise), upasana (being connected) and prathana (prayer).Praising the qualities of God, meaning viewing the wonderful creation of God and being wonderstruck by it. To realize the presence of a creator and say, 'what a wonderful creation you have created oh Lord!', and then praising the qualities of the creator that is stuti (praise). Just because you praise don't think you are persuading God to grant you some favors. It is to hope that by praising, those qualities would come to you. Now see the boys who love cricket, they will also be cheering. Later on they will also become players, is it not? Will they be sitting simply in front of a cricket bat? They will be smart, is it not? They will also play. Similarly whatever qualities of God we praise it will come to us. Suppose we praise God as mother, then motherly qualities will come to us; suppose we praise valor and strength, then that will come to us. Do you understand? This way, whatever qualities of God we praise, at least a little bit of them we will acquire. Whoever praises someone as being generous can never be a miser? Then praise him for being patient, and then you will also acquire patience. You say, 'see what a patient person he is', then that patience we will also acquire; a little bit of that patience, is it not! When you say my grandmother and grandfather were very patient people, won't you also get that quality of being patient? That is why when we are praising the qualities; those qualities will come to us. This is Stuti (praise) Upasana means to create a near or a close relationship. To think God is mine. See if you think it is public property, do you develop love if God belongs to everyone. See, the bus stand belongs to everyone; do you ever feel that the bus stand belongs to you? No. But if you think that this is our house, inside my house, this is my room then your attachment to that will be more, is it not? Assume that in your house there are 5 rooms and all the rooms have been painted well except your room. How will you feel then? You will feel dejected, is it not? If you are painting the house, you will insist on doing your room first. Why? Because you feel that room belongs to you. The same way, a close relationship is to be developed with God. To develop a close connection with God, through mother, through father, through Guru, through your favorite Godhead (idol, name, and symbol) is called upasana. Now prathana (prayer); what is prayer? It is a request to God to help you out in something in which you are deficient in. Make up the things in which I am deficient in. Then yes I am thankful to whatever you have given me so far, this is prayer.
Q: Why are there so many Gods with us?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: God is one but the names are many, forms are many. Shiva -Shakti both are one. Ardhanarishwara, Both are one. Hari hara is not two it is just one. Half isHara and the other half is Hari. Half woman and half man: ardhanaarishwara. Everything is one, God is one but names are many. There is only one God 'Bhagavanta'.
Q: (A member of the audience asked and question and it was audible)
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The horse was not being scarified. Do you know what Ashwa means? Shwa means for yesterday and tomorrow. Ashwa means atma which means self purification. So what were they doing for self purification? They used to let loose a chosen horse free to roam about and whatever ground he walked on was considered purified. Therefore it is nowhere mentioned that the horse used in the Ashwamehda Yagna was sacrificed. All this was imagination of people.
Q: Guruji in Ramayana the monkeys in battalion did they have tails?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Whether the monkeys had tails or not we will leave it to the researchers to find out. Now there are many monkeys without tails. The monkeys without tails are plentiful
Q: Can you have wonder without faith?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes you can have wonder without faith. But faith will come into your mind by itself.
Q: Many countries are engaged in wars. How to stop this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: How to stop the wars between countries? As we develop the feeling to stop the wars it will stop. This feeling should come not only to us but also to the neighbors in the countries who are fighting. This has come to a little extent. Formerly this feeling never came. Formerly they promoted torture and killing. Now that itself has come back on them. See what happened, I will tell a story. Two brothers were living in neighboring houses. The younger brother was very angry with his elder brother. So the younger brother consulted someone to find ways to trouble the elder brother. That fellow told him bring a dog to his house. Now the dog would not do anything, he would only bark people passing by here and there. And because the dog realized that the neighbor was his master's older brother, he would not even bark at him. So the younger brother got even angrier because the dog was not giving any trouble to the elder brother. So he asked his friend what to do. His friend told him to give an injection to the dog to make him crazy and delirious and then he will go and bite his brother. Only when the dog is mad, will he trouble other people. So the younger brother gave him medicine and made him mad. The dog which is mad does not realize who the younger brother is and who the older brother is. So he first bit the older brother and then began to bite the younger one also. This is exactly what is happening to our neighbors. They did it for us, but it is hurting them now.
Q: Should animals be sacrificed in the name of God?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Definitely not! Animals should never be sacrificed in the name of God. This must be stopped immediately. None of the scriptures say that animals should be sacrificed. This is superstition. The human being wants to eat chicken so he thinks of killing an animal in the name of God to eat it as Prasad. He will call it as Prasad and eat it. In none of our scriptures torture of life has been prescribed. There is not a speck of evidence to indicate torture to life and killing. Have you understood? No one has the right to torture life. People torture the chicken and think, what does it matter it is only a chicken. One who cannot give life has no right to take life.
Q: The saying “The way to heaven is only 3 palm lengths long” what is the meaning of this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Only three palm lengths to heaven means heaven is not far. Let us try a little bit, heaven is not far away, it is near here itself. From the head to the nose and to the heart it is only 3 palm length. Head connected to the heart is heaven but if the heart gets into the head then it is confusion

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Take refuge in me, then I will rid you of all sins.

August 28, 2011 Sharing: Guruji, I want to share an experience in front of everybody. I apparently had this health problem called systemic lupus erythematosus. It is a weird autoimmune disorder for which the doctors said that for the rest of my life I will have to be on steroids and I will have to be dependent on somebody else, but since then I have just been practicing Sudarshan Kriya and following everything that Guruji says, seva, sadhana and satsang and smiling and it has been one year and I haven’t taken a single dose of steroids. Thank you, Guruji. We all love you a lot.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There are people sitting there in their air-conditioned rooms in Mumbai and in Delhi and criticizing left, right and center, Art of Living. They have no idea! They write whatever they want to write, cynical, sceptical...they don’t realize how much this can help the society. The world is appreciating, all over the world, so many countries! Kamal was in Pakistan. She was sharing her experience, how people in Pakistan welcome this whole knowledge. She was on three television shows and people were calling in and they were all saying, ‘this is what we need’. And in Pakistan the courses are happening. Just imagine if the whole of Pakistan does Sudarshan Kriya, and nobody started hating anybody, terrorism would simply be finished; not necessarily even the whole of Pakistan, at least ten percent of the population started doing, it will make a huge difference.
Q: All the scriptures we have, in all the religions say the same thing that God is love, and love is God. Then why are there so many scriptures all over the world?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Why should there not be,tell me why should there not be?
Q: Guruji, the entire India knows that all the people came together and through peaceful protest we have compelled the parliament to go through a resolution. But what is the way forward now? How can we really eradicate corruption from the nation? What is the practical way and how we should go about it, especially all the youth of this nation?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know I have said there are three formulas: One is everyone take pledge, ‘we will not give bribe’, second youths like you go with a sticker, ’I will not take bribe’ stickers and put it in all the government offices and the third thing is a strong Lokpal bill. For that we have already impressed it on all the members of the parliament. See, unless the electoral reforms happen, and the parliamentary democracy has some loopholes, those things are corrected, just a legislation alone will not help. There are many legislations in this country, but they are not being honoured.
Q: I am the mother of an eighteen-year old. My son used to have a lot of problems just like any other teenager and I had reached a stage where I used to wonder how I could change my son, And then I came to know about the YES plus course and I put him through it and there is a whole lot of changes in my son, a huge transformation. I see him doing yoga. And the reason why I am here standing in front of you is because of my son - I saw the transformation in him and I am here. Okay, I am hooked on to you now, thanks to my son. Now my point is there must be a lot of mothers like me suffering silently, trying to figure out what exactly they can do to change their children, because especially the way things are going on these days, so much money, pubs, whole lot of things happening. Why can’t Art of Living reach out to schools? Talk about all that you have to offer, reach out to 16 year olds and 17 year olds. Please. Reach out with this course. I am sure a lot of people are going to change.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know mothers like you can contribute. Mothers like you, few of you can join together. If you talk to principals in various schools, colleges, in your free time; take a little time and do this seva, do this service - that would be even better. Our approach, any way we are doing, it has its limitation. People think we have an ulterior motive. Oh, they want to increase their...whatever. They may need something for themselves that is why they are doing. They don’t realize we are doing for the sake of the children and for the sake of our society. So we will do that, we are anyway doing. We have done here in Karnataka, all the second year engineering college students in Maanyavati college project, twenty two thousand of them. It was one of the best projects because the youth had such a transformation, just engineering college students. But they should do it for all the students in all the degree colleges, all levels, but for that you all have to write to the government, and the education department.
Q: Guruji, how to implement ‘sampoorna sharanaagati’ (total surrender) in day to day life? How to be conscious while doing daily tasks? That ‘I’ factor is there.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Let it be there. Don’t worry. Don’t try to erase your ego; if you find your ego sticks, never mind, let it be there. Keep it in the pocket or your handbag.
Q: Would writing in a newspaper help? I am a journalist myself.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yeah, yeah, sure! There is ABC, Art of Living Bureau of Communication here.
Q: Guruji, what is the effect of tantras?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Now that you are on this path and you have your mantra, you do not have to worry about tantras.
Q: Gurudev, I was thinking since you spoke about Pakistan, so don’t you think Art of Living is a better option than educational reforms in Pakistan because any educational reform in my opinion is going to cover people of age group, let us say, five to twenty five; any one older than that might be reluctant to go to school or attend educational seminars or things like that, but Art of Living is such that it covers the whole range of population?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That is what we are doing. We are educating people in all levels.
Q: (A member of the audience asked a question and it was inaudible)
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: How do you feel today? Very nice! If those things are coming up, let it come up. Do a little bit yoga, some walking, some exercise to supplement that.
Q: (A member of the audience asked a question and it was inaudible)
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Because ‘Sarva dharmaan paritajye, ma mekam sharanam’. Take refuge in me, then I will rid you of all sins. He puts a condition for it. Bheeshma Pitaamah didn’t do that. This is my dharma, he was holding on to it. He didn’t totally give up, right?
Q: You were talking about people criticizing and all that. I did a lot of reading up about you on the net. There are a whole lot of negative things written, and there is nothing contradicting it. Also, whatever is there on the net, it is not very clear cut. It is more like a publicity thing, I am sorry to say this. I think the real essence of Art of Living is not really coming out. If I did not know about my son, believe me, I am sorry if I can be honest with you, I didn’t believe in you before. What happened to my son, I am a non-believer in all this; but I am here because I saw it happening in my life. But how many people are going to know by just reading your postings etc? No. So I believe that what you probably need is effective writing, books, maybe on the net, giving proper contradictory statements, giving answers. There are so many things being said which are not right! Why isn’t it being answered?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: (Sri Sri Laughs)Correct, correct, correct. We need good writers, yeah! You all can come forward and you can just write. You know one thing, some of these people who write negatively, I tell them write as much as you want. It doesn’t matter. It is that if one person is benefited from there, all the people around are benefited. Like this it catches on. Nothing can stop this flow. It will go on. And I like critics. Critics are very good. We should welcome critics. But cynical people, they are suffering themselves. We can’t tell anything about them. Cynicism is bad. Criticism is good.
Q: Guruji, I am from Gujarat and am a school teacher in a tribal village. When I taught them Surya Namaskaar, some of them refused because of conversion. So much conversion is happening that they think that by my making them do Surya Namaskaar, I will change their religion. What can I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Show them videos of westerners and nuns doing Sourya Namaskaar. Take one of the American teachers from the ashram and have them teach it. The whole world is doing it, why can’t you?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Whoever you think of, you imbibe their qualities

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When anyone does something wrong he should be punished. But so that people do not do anything wrong, our Yuvaachaarya (youth leaders) are working towards these efforts. It is necessary to have a remedy for illnesses, but I am saying illnesses should not be there; to achieve this, all of you, Yuvaachaaryas, are working. In several villages you have demonstrated how we can successfully root out corruption, injustice, vices and misconduct, and how capable we are of making a village Self-reliant. The real work has been done by you.
The rest is like a two-day carnival - people will come, sit, lecture and leave, but you are the ones who work in the fields, ploughing out the fragrance from this land, making lotuses blossom, mining the pearls and diamonds and bring out the good qualities in people. This is the work we, our yuvaachaarya have to do. Three thousand yuvaachaarya were gathering here, so I decided to come today, and have set the whole day aside tomorrow as well. (The crowd cheers enthusiastically.) Look, there is so much joy in doing seva (service). Tell me, whatever you want, is it all getting done? How many of you get whatever you want? Many in the crowd raise their hands. This is the strength of spirituality. You just heard from Maharajji, that you can get comforts and conveniences, but inner peace and joy are extremely important. Without it all comforts and conveniences are of no use, they cease to exist. Now what are our country’s politicians doing? The entire congress is depressed; they made a lot of money and acquired all conveniences and comforts, but blackened their faces. They plundered the country, and stashed the money abroad.
Someone asked me how money is transferred out of the country. I said, ‘I don’t know how; I know how to bring money in from outside.’ We have a lot of work to do for this country. Whatever you are doing in the villages, I am very happy! I wish that each one of you bring thousand more into this path. Then there will be no need to implement the Lokpal bill. The chairman of the Lokaayukta will have no job to do. We have to make him jobless, this should be our aim. Unless a wave of human values sweeps in, corruption cannot be removed from the country. No matter how many laws are passed – so many laws are already there that are not being implemented in this country. There are more than one lakh thirty thousand (130,000) rulings of the Supreme Court that the government has not implemented.
You have worked in Kathiawadi, and so many other such villages towards building an ideal society, you helped resolve all the conflicts there and people are living together in friendliness. Corruption disappeared, sense of accountability came through satsang and meditation – this is why it is so important! Meditation and satsang satisfy the hunger of the soul. Unless the soul is at peace, corruption and misconduct will continue to thrive in society. Why are people so corrupt, why do they rob others? Ever wonder? Because belongingness and intimacy has been lost and wherever belongingness or intimacy is absent, corruption grows. That is why it is necessary to cultivate a sense of intimacy. Are you doing it? (The crowd responds enthusiastically. How many of you are experiencing success? Virtually everyone raises their hands.)
Some people ask, ‘what is the point of closing the eyes?’ I say, first close your eyes, and then see what happens! Death will shut your eyes. Even if you leave your eyes open, you will see nothing. So while you are here, close your eyes and experience your eternal existence.
Man has a tendency to walk with his eyes closed, and sit with his eyes open; I say, walk with your eyes open and sit with your eyes closed. Even a blind person will begin seeing if he sits in meditation, and a deaf person will begin to hear. Without meditation everything remains unheard and unseen in spite of your ability to see and hear. One continues to exist in one’s own small world. Our vision should be broad, honour and share life, live simply, speak kindly and work diligently. Work should be solid, and the heart blossomed. Do not have any attachment or enmity towards anyone.
On the battlefield, when Lord Krishna tells Arjun to kill everyone, he also asks him not to be attached to anyone in his heart. Remove all impressions and ideas from your mind. Only keep the awareness of the Self (soul) – that is called Self-knowledge. Repose your mind, intellect, memory and ego in me, and then fight.
Samarth Ram Dasji said the same thing to Shivaji, ‘Assume that you are working for me, not for yourself.’ Arjun got the same advice, ‘Remove all sorrows and sufferings from your mind; just keep Me there.’ Why is He asking you to remove all anger and attachment from your mind – so that the mind is unburdened; because whoever you think of, you imbibe their qualities. You think of your enemy, and all the qualities of your enemy become yours. You think of anyone else, and you absorb their good and bad qualities. So how will you empty your mind? Through meditation. Be in knowledge of the Self and you will begin to feel light and happy. If you think of a joyful person, your mind will also become joyful. Just relax, and watch how many miracles will begin to unfold in your life.

Ananyascintayantomaam ye janah paryupasate
Teshaam nityabhiyuktanam yogakshemam vahamyaham

Those who sit close to me and meditate only on Me; I take full responsibility of fulfilling all their wants and preserving/protecting what they have.
Once a speaker began to lecture his audience on how to be happy, lost all track of time and made everyone unhappy!
We do not have to get into the habit of giving sermons. We just have to remain joyful and observe silence, that is, speak minimally. Speak in a way that what you say hits another’s mind like an arrow bringing about a positive change. Then our speaking is worthwhile. If your speech creates a joyful silence in another, then it has achieved its aim.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Whatever situation you have you can make that situation as a step for your growth

Q: (A member of the audience asked a question and it was inaudible)
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know whatever situation you have you can make that situation as a step for your growth. Pleasant situations you can definitely make use of it for growth. Unpleasant situations also you can make use of it as your next step for growth.Q: Jai Gurudev, this world, the creation, the karma, the suffering whatever it is. It is said that it is all God’s play. Don’t you think God is playing a very dangerous, never ending action sort of game to pass his time?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You are talking like a villager, who 40 to 50 years back who sit in the cinema house and if their hero is losing he will throw eggs and tomatoes on the screen. Do you know? Have you heard about that? If Rajkumar were to lose the battle in the screen or MGR would lose the battle. What they would do in the villages some 30 to 40 years ago, you may not even know. People would throw stones and tear the curtain, tear the screen because their hero was losing the ground. But see from the eyes of the director, what would he say? One is the player, another is the spectator and the third is the director. From the director’s eyes it is very different.
Q: Guruji, sometimes I feel connected with you but sometimes there is link failure. How it happens and why it happens? My son got blessings from you and has become mad about you. And my wife says you are taking him on the same path on which you are going, it will ruin our family. What is the result for it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: No, we never take anybody or tell anyone not to listen to their parents. Our main thing is listening to your parents. Don’t worry about it, he won’t run away from the home. (Q: What about link failure?) – Charge your batteries! You know for a cell phone to work there should be charge in the cell and then a sim card and it should be within the range. Range is already there but if your battery has lost its charge, you have to plug in and charge your battery again, that is all you need to do.
Q: Guruji, I want to learn how to make friends and how to sustain them because I really find it difficult.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Okay! You are in the right place okay, it will happen automatically, don’t worry.
Q: Guruji, I come from Morocco from Sufism. In the spiritual stories of Islamism there are a lot of examples of openness like the Indian Guru. The experience was very beautiful but today it is more closed. What is your advice for opening more to Sufism?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, that openness is necessary now. That is the only way to go forward. You should have an open mind.
Q: Guruji, we all have learnt in our path of knowledge that we are connected to you like the hair of your head. My only doubt is that somewhere in-between suppose we miss our Sudarshan Kriya or we deviate, will you disconnect us?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: No, no, nothing like that. Doesn’t matter even if you miss one or two days never mind. We are all anyways connected; the whole world is all connected.
Q: Jai Gurudev! I have a typical question which majority of the people experience. Basically when I start doing meditation, even if I sit half an hour, still I am functioning and thinking of different things. Even if I concentrate on my breath in and out, still I am not able to get that 30 seconds or 1 minute of a controlled mind?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Have you done Sudarshan Kriya? (Ans – 'No yet') That is where Sudarshan Kriya helps. It quickly takes you deep in meditation.
Q: To be a successful entrepreneur what principle one should follow?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, first is confidence that ‘Yes I can do it!’ Second is ethics; you should not move from ethics. Your entrepreneurship should not move away from ethics, otherwise you will find a quick rise but you will fall that fast, as fast as you rise. Got it!
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: 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: 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.
Q: There are so many Sadhgurus but why is the experience with you so unique?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I have no idea!
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: Jai Gurudev, today a lot of inter-cast marriages and marriages between religions are happening. It has become a way of life. Are we moving towards a universal religion? What is your opinion?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You have answered your own question; actually it is just a remark. Yes it is happening, inter-religions, inter-caste marriages are happening. As long as there is harmony and there is respect for religion and people don’t force one to convert to another religion there is no problem. But if they are forcing someone to convert then there is a problem.