Thursday, October 27, 2011
Anytime you feel that I am total, I am complete, death can come this moment, I welcome it. Then that completion is Nirvana
October 11, 2011
Q: Beloved Guruji, could you say something about the meaning of purnanava?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: ‘Nava’ means new, ‘purna’ means again. Making something new again, that is ‘Purnanava’, bringing new life, infusing newness.
Q: Could you speak on Yogamaya?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yogamaya is intuition clubbed with delusion. From inside as you proceed in the path of yoga, the more meditations you do, sometimes you get these visions and these visions would be 90% correct. Then you start believing in your own visions and then they all go wrong, this is called yogamaya. So you should not be too attached to the visions that you get, the psychic ability. In the psychic ability there could be some delusions that mix up and come, that is called yogmaya. And you are a yogi and suddenly some siddhis come to you and you gallop on using those powers or siddhis. Then suddenly you will go down, everything will vanish and that is again yogamaya. You know the illusion and the ego that comes with yogis then they become fallen yogis. So that is what is called yogamaya.
Q: Guruji, what is the relationship between free will and doer-ship?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Doer-ship and freewill is connected. Doer-ship is when that ‘I’ is very strong, ‘I want to do it’ or ‘I do it’. The ego is very strong. So when you asserting your free will attach yourself to the achievements you have done, then you will find that your will is there. I won’t call it free will, it’s a will attached with too much of doership. It might fructify but with a lot of effort and in the end it does not give you so much happiness. You have achieved something but find that it was not worth all that effort that you put into it. But free will without the doer-ship is not called free will, it is Divine will.
Q: Dearest Guruji, how do I know what is my dharma? And is it even important to know what it is?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, your dharma is your nature. It will be very easy for you and something will compel you from within to follow that, yes! Understand?!
Q: Guruji, sages have predicted our lives so accurately on palm leaves, Nadi Vidya. Is there really any role that I have in my life when everything already seems so predetermined? How does the path of sadhana change anything?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See life is a mixture of accepting what is and wanting to make what you feel like having. It’s a mixture of both. You have an intention in your mind and that’s how you move on. See, you had an intention to come here and you came. But if you look into the past you say it is all determined, it is all destiny. That’s why I say a simple formula just listen to it. Look at the past as destiny so you will not keep regretting the past and see the future as free will so that you don’t procrastinate or become lethargic and say whatever, ‘god willing it will happen’. So you don’t become lethargic and do nothing if you consider the future as destiny. You should not say let’s leave it to destiny, no! The future is freewill, past is destiny and live in the present. This is wise way of living. Not so wise way is seeing the past as freewill and keep regretting about it, ‘oh I shouldn’t have done that’. Even after you became a medical graduate you say, ‘oh I should have taken engineering, I made a big blunder’. So you keep blaming yourself and keep regretting the past when you think the past was freewill. And you think future is all destiny, you want to leave everything to destiny and you just do nothing about it and you’ll be miserable in the present moment. This is the unwise way of living, got it?
Q: Dear Guruji, I understand from your knowledge that we have not one but several bodies. Can you please talk about subtle bodies and casual bodies? I’ve heard about them but I don’t know how or what they are.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, physical body in the waking state. In the sleeping state physical body is at rest, the subtle is active; in the dreaming state and that is why you get dreams. In deep sleep both of these go to sleep but the casual body is still there awake, aware. And casual body becomes cleansed in deep meditation. And in enlightenment the casual body is completely free, yes. So when one dies what happens, physical body separates, the subtle body remains with all its impressions. The subtle body and casual body they both go like a balloon and remain and look for a right opportunity, a right womb to get into. So when the soul finds that the couple is having union and depends on the energy level and harmony between the couple and the energy level of the soul, at that moment it comes into that, so that type of parents. Sometimes the soul brings two people together. A soul chooses I want this lady and this man as my father and mother. So they bring those two people together and they will have terrible attraction, unbearable attraction. So the moment the child is born, you’ll find suddenly the attraction between those two people is gone totally, completely gone. This happens, and after the first child many people divorce. How many of you have seen this happening? This happens that intense feeling of separation comes and then you should know that the soul made this thing happen. It is so amazing; all these things are so interesting. On one hand it is amazing on another hand if you are not so much in the present moment you’ll go crazy, seeing how many subtle worlds we live in simultaneously. Simultaneously how many things are happening in the universe, it’s very interesting! So you come into the physical body to cleanse the subtle body. There is no way you can cleanse the subtle body hanging in the space. So you come to human body so that you get rid of all those impressions. Once you have gotten rid of the subtle impressions in the subtle body then the casual body with the divine grace also becomes free, that is called Nirvana. No more craving or aversions, nothing, totally hallow and empty. Wanting nothing and totally satisfied. Anytime you feel that I am total, I am complete, death can come this moment I welcome it. If you say that, if you feel that rather than saying it then that completion is Nirvana. That has touched the casual body; the casual body gets relieved not by your effort but by just the Divine will and Divine grace. The universe decides that whether the casual body should be there or should be removed, should be dissolved. It’s amazing, you can work on the physical, and you can work on the subtle that’s all you can do. The rest you can only wait, but this itself is a great job, this itself is good enough.
Q: Guruji, when we die the body and breath are left behind and our mind, memory, soul are still together with the impressions. Do the intellect and ego also still stay with us? Can we use our intellect to calm our mind then?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The impressions of the intellect and the cravings and aversions of the mind go with the subtle body. So when you die what happens is for sometime the soul is in confusion, it does not know. It has just come out of the body but it does not know what to do. It doesn’t want to get into the body because the body appears like very gray matter, very dark and completely unbearable. So it doesn’t want to get into it, it feels very bad and averse to its’ own body most of the time. Sometimes they go in. So the soul is out there and very peaceful, the soul is totally at peace. They see people crying, wailing. It tries to tell them, ‘hey I am okay, don’t worry’, but they cannot communicate. There is a tradition to keep the light burning at the bedside of the body. It’s in Christian tradition as well, right? It’s in the Hindu tradition as well. Why you keep a light burning near the head so that when the soul suddenly looks at that light and knows that it is light. Let it be reminded that it is light, if it is still craving for something. Just to remind the soul that the nature of the soul or spirit is light, a lamp is kept or a candle is kept burning near the body. It’s not for us, it’s for the soul because the soul can still see, and smell. It has lost the sense of touch but smell and light are still there; smell, sight and sound all three will be there. So the ancient tradition is just before cremation the son or daughter; son usually, takes the head of the person into his lap and in the ear he says, ‘you are light, you are soul, you are not the body. Drop all your attachment to this body’, he tells them. And then the body is given a bath and then taken to cremation. These words are all in Sanskrit, and people simply repeat it in Sanskrit without knowing it because the priests tell them to say these things. To tell the departed in his ear that, ‘the five elements will go back to five elements. You are not just these five elements you are light, you are soul, you are spirit, you’re free and you move on now.’ This is what you say in the ear of the corpse, in case the soul is still hanging around and it does. It does hang around because it doesn’t know what to do. So it takes nearly ten days for the soul to get use to this other plain where it has gone. And once it reaches that plain of ancestors, one day there is one year for us. Our one year is just one day and one night for them in that realm. So there are three levels or lokas there also; one is Vasuloka, second is Rudra, and then Aditya. Three lokas are there and so they remain in this for some time. And there are three different Devas, they take them to those places. Someone who is a pious and died in a very good life they are taken direct to these lokas and three angels called Pururava, Ardrahva, and Vishvadeva. Three different Devas come and take the soul according to the level. It’s interesting! So in a yearly ceremony that is done, the day you remember the ancestors. First you invite these angels to bring them to you, for you want to honor them. These angels, they are the custodians. So you tell them ‘Visvadeva you bring my father, my mother or my grandfather or grandmother for this ceremony. Bring them for I would like to honor them.’ Ancient people knew all these so well, they had access to those realms. Even today people do this, they do the ceremonies and they do all this.
Q: Dear Guruji, does the devotion to a person to a guru get carried on to his next life? And does an enlightened soul also have devotion to his guru? If not then I don’t desire enlightenment.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, devotion is your nature it won’t leave you. Devotion is abiding in your own nature. So like sweetness cannot leave sugar, the coolness cannot leave ice, the nature to flow does not leave water right! You can’t call it water and it does not flow. Similarly devotion is there in your nature; don’t worry about it, okay.
Q: How can we know if we are suppose to get married and have a family or live life as a single person in service?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It depends on your type, what you want to do. You choose, choice is yours and blessings are mine. There are challenges both ways, being single is also a challenge and being married is an even bigger challenge, that’s what I have heard. But one thing I want to tell you whether you remain single or married I don’t mind but what I really mind is you be happy either way. You’re married be happy, if you’re single be happy. Don’t think only by getting married you will be happy, that is a blunder and if you think if you were single you would have been happy after having been married that again is another blunder. You got it? So just be happy whatever you are doing, okay. If you want to be single fine, be single, very good. But sometimes if you feel that it’s too much for you to be single and you want to be married, I give you blessings. We’ll make some arrangements here in the ashram so that anyone who wants to get married you can come here. We have a nice hall, we have a very good dining hall, and we have everything. We will have a permanent priest here who can explain to you about the ceremony. Some people here who want to become priests we will get them training. Come for two months or three months to India and we will train you the Vedic way of marriage also, with meaning and with everything. We will do that and we will hold classes to train someone to conduct good weddings, okay. The ancient type of wedding is very nice, the vows and it’s very beautiful. You marry with, not human beings as witness but as the five elements as witness. You keep water in a pot and the water, fire, the space, the sun and the moon is witness for your marriage. So it is not just marriage between two people, two persons but it is also connecting with the universe that two are getting married with feeling their connectedness to the entire universe. It’s very nice, very beautiful. Of course you can have other type of marriages also. We can do all that, what do you think? Good idea! Only single people are clapping (laughter). Now idea is idea, you can tell other people, your friends. We will do something like that here, some nice birthday celebrations and all that and people can come.