Tuesday, December 13, 2011
If you are chanting you cannot be depressed
Q: Guruji, sometimes I feel I am wasting my life by doing common things which people do like getting a degree, a job, marriage and children. I want to do something for the world. At the same time I want to fulfill the expectations of my parents and life partner.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, you want to take care of your personal life and you want to do something for the world. Now, if you think they are in conflict with each other then you cannot move even one step forward. First of all know they are not in conflict.
If you are already married and have the responsibility of your wife and children, you should take it and then along with this add social responsibility for the knowledge, for the dharma to your life.
Know that you can do both.
If you are single and you want to dedicate yourself 100%, that is very good. You are most welcome; you are free to travel everywhere and take care of the world and achieve something great.
Q: Guruji, sometimes I feel bored with seva, satsang and knowledge. Is something wrong with me and am I on the path?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know there are 9 obstacles in the path of Yoga.
I have already spoken about it in the Patanjali Yoga Sutras.
Vyadhi, Styana, Samsaya, Pramada, Alasya, Avirati, Bhranti Darsana, Alabdha bhumikatva and Anavasthitattva. These are the nine obstacles.
Physical disease, mental inertia, doubts coming to your mind about the path; and then not attaining any state, not having any interest in anything.
These are all momentary obstacles that come to any yogi. But when you continue with one pointed devotion you can overcome all these obstacles.
It is not a big deal, they come and they go.
Many of you have had this problem, sometimes you don’t feel like meditating and afterwards suddenly your meditation became deep. Or sometimes so many doubts come to your mind and then suddenly one day they all disappeared.
Q: Guruji, what is the technique behind, ‘you are everywhere yet nowhere and you are nowhere yet everywhere’, can you teach us?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Hollow and Empty!
Relax and let go.
It is the ego, that ‘I am’ is separate from everything, from existence. That causes the sense of not being part of the whole or not being the whole itself.
Q: Guruji, how I can be independent of the result of my actions?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When you surrender all the past actions and are ready to face the consequences of those actions.
If I stole something and I say, ‘yes I have stolen, give me whatever punishment you want to give me.’ I am ready to take the punishment. That is what surrendering really means.
I have stolen but don’t punish me does not mean surrendering.
Now, when you are ready to accept the punishment, then the giver of punishment says, ‘no, I won’t punish you’, and he relieves you of the action.
An action has already happened through you and there is a result. So as an antidote to that you do some good action, this is called Prayaschitta. Suppose I said some bad words that hurt someone, then I do prayaschitta.
That the Guru can give or the person who was affected can give, or with your own intuition you can decide what prayaschitta you will do.
‘I will bring happiness to so many people’ or ‘I will do some good work’
Q: Guruji, in the Bhagavad Gita Krishna says, ‘Ananyashchinta yanto mam ye jana pari upaasate teshaam nitya bhi yuktanaam yogakshemam vahaamyaham.’ What does it mean?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: One who thinks of me and me alone; who keeps me in his mind and heart, I will free him; protect what he has and give him what he needs.
Q: Guruji, what is the significance of Mangalsutra? Why do parents say that it should never be removed after marriage? Is it okay not to wear it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Once I was coming from Paris airport and I was boarding the flight. One lady came and asked me, showing me her ring, ‘is this necessary?’
I just looked at her and said, ‘no, not necessary, it is okay if you don’t want to have a ring.’ All that it meant to me was a ring.
She went back and sent a divorce letter to her husband. Her husband wrote me an email saying, ‘Guruji, did you tell my wife to divorce me?’
I said, ‘I never did anything like that, put her on the phone.’ She said, ‘Guruji, in the airport I asked you is it necessary to have my ring and you said no!’
That ring was her wedding ring.
So if you remove the wedding ring in the west it means you have said goodbye to your once upon a time sweetheart.
There is some sacredness in marriage. To establish that sacredness mangalsutra is worn.
Mangalsutra means that thread of auspiciousness, holding which you walk on the path of dharma, so it is not removed and it is always with you.
You don’t want auspiciousness to go away from you, that is why people attach that sentiment to it and it is worn.
At the same time there are some superstitions attached to it. Someone has to undergo an operation and the doctor says you have to remove your jewellery and they say, ‘how can I remove my mangalsutra. I cannot remove it’.
You don’t have to go through such mental or emotional turmoil. It is just a thread or chain like any other chain.
So when it is really necessary you can remove it, it doesn’t matter. But generally sacredness is attached to it. So it is good to wear the thread.
Q: Guruji, I get fooled a lot of times. What is that I should do to be wise?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When you get fooled it is not only because of lack of intelligence but also because of greed.
People who are very greedy get fooled very fast. That is what I have noticed.
If you are over ambitious and greedy it is easy to fool you, but if you are centered, calm and stable, it is hard to fool somebody like that.
Q: Guruji, we should not expect anything from others but is it wrong to expect from ourselves?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It’s ok if we expect but if it is not met then doesn’t matter, relax!
Q: Guruji, I am entangled into a relationship but now I realize it’s holding me back from doing seva. I now really want to get out of it and it is not easy. What can I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Do chanting! If you are chanting you cannot be depressed.
When you chant ‘Om’ it calms down those centers of emotions and once that is done the depression vanishes.
So if you are depressed it is because you are so engrossed in the material world. Day and night thinking what about me you get depressed.
What you should do is, in the morning when you wake up, say, ‘what service you can do?’
How best I can be useful to all these people or to the world; to this knowledge or to this organization. If none of that comes, then how can I be useful to Guruji. At least think that way. If your focus is on this direction and you continue you’re chanting and your meditation knowing this life is temporary and everything here vanishes, and chant ‘Om Namaha Shivaya’, you cannot be depressed.
Depressive negative energy will simply vanish.
That is why in ancient days people would do Sandhyavandanam three times. In the morning you wake up, look at the Sun and think of the beautiful day it is going to bring you and thank the Sun for life and for the planet earth. Our life and planet is dependent on the Sun, so you thank the Sun. Again in the afternoon you do Sandhyavandanam and again in the evening you thank the Sun for the beautiful day and feel connected to the whole universe.
When you do this, there is no question of getting depressed. When you don’t know that you are connected with the whole universe and you think you are just some small person wanting small little things and you are bickering on your own weaknesses saying, I am weak, I don’t know this and I don’t have that. I sit for meditation and I did Kriya but nothing happens to me. This type of bickering in the mind shows the small mindedness. You have to come out of that. You take responsibility, I will come out of this and I’ll dedicate my life.
All these people who want to commit suicide, I tell them it is such stupidity. You want to commit suicide because you are so bent upon your own pleasure, your own happiness, and your own comfort. You dedicate your life for a greater cause then depression will vanish.
When you say, I am not going to take my life away but I am going to dedicate it for the world, for humanity, for the country then so much happiness comes.
Come what may I am going to fight.
I think all the depressed people should be made to realize this truth and chanting will elevate them.
Either you dedicate yourself to the world, to the nation, to culture, to dharma or you dedicate yourself to God, to the Supreme Being, to the sacred knowledge.
That dedication can pull you out of this rut.