Saturday, May 5, 2012
From your heart don’t encourage animosity with anybody
April 27, 2012
Bad Antogast, Germany
You should sing, dance and dwell in knowledge. Knowledge does not mean simply information, like you read books and get some information. That is not knowledge.
Knowledge is experiencing the reality the way it is. When knowledge becomes very strongly embedded in our consciousness, it is called wisdom. Wisdom is knowledge very well lodged in our self. That makes you wise.
Everybody has wisdom. Some may have a little and some may have more. It is only a matter of time that life takes you from a little wisdom to more wisdom.
Words appear very futile. Still, we use it sometimes since we need to use it. You go to a hospital and ask someone ‘How are you?’ You know they are not well, still you ask them, ‘How are you?’ And they say, ‘Fine’. They know they are not fine, still they say, ‘Fine’.
Similarly, I see you are all so happy and still I ask you, ‘How are you?’ I can see that there is so much happiness and radiance on your faces. It is just to engage on another level of communication.
The wise communicate first from the heart, from the being, and then engage in the outer level of communication, just to keep in touch. The ignorant rely on the outer communication. Between a mother and a child, whatever the child says is immaterial, because the child has not even learnt the language. But the mother communicates to the child from a deeper level.
Even before you learnt a language, you started communicating with your mother, and your mother started communicating with you. This is a deeper level of communication.
Similarly, when you communicate with your dogs or cats, you are doing it from a very subtle level, from a deeper level. It is not language. Later on, you try so much to put some language into its brain. They don’t require language. You just make a sound and they will come to you. You don’t have to say, ‘Come, come, come.’ Simply make any sound and they will come.
They don’t relate to you with language.
Similarly, the entire creation is relating to you; the trees, the breeze; all the creatures are communicating with you. There is a certain communication happening at a very subtle level, at a deeper level.
There is an old Sanskrit proverb that says, ’Vacarambhanarh Vikaro Naamadheya’, which means that words are a distortion of truth. There is already a communication that is happening. Through words you are distorting it a little bit.
I don’t mean that words should not be used. They are necessary. But underneath the words, there is that feeling that needs to be there. You can tell someone, ‘I love you so much!’ But underneath the words there should be that feeling. Don’t just say, ‘Oh, I love you so much’, on the surface level.
So, the wise always communicate on the subtle, and then they use words just to complement that. But the unwise rely only on the external communication. That is why misunderstandings crop up in life.
Why are there misunderstandings? It is because there is no inner connectivity. You say something and some others understand it differently.
You look back and see in your own life. You were judging, judging and judging. Thinking bad about that person and this person, and the anger was so intense. After some time, after a few months or a year later, you started laughing at yourself, ‘Oh, why did I worry so much! This was all nonsense. I was bothering myself unnecessarily.’
You should turn back and see. Then you will realize. Many times, we don’t even turn back and look.
The other day, a lady came to me saying, ‘Oh, my relationship is going very badly, and my boyfriend is so angry that he is leaving me and I am so upset’. She was crying and crying.
The same lady, after two months said, ‘Oh, it is good that it is finished. I was so blind. I was trapped by this guy. Now the relationship is not there anymore and I am happy’.
So, many times we don’t even know what we want, and what blessings we are asking for. That is why, time and again, not all the time; you must turn back and examine where the mind was and how it is moving.
Time and again, if you turn back and examine your mind, you will feel such a satisfaction and relief. One is a relief that you have learnt something from the past, and second, whatever happened has happened for some reason. It has made you richer, wiser and given you some depth. At least this understanding comes up in you.
What do you say? How many of you feel this way?
If we don’t turn back and look every once in a while at the events that have passed, we continue to make the same mistakes and we don’t learn.
In the Jain tradition, they say ‘Pratikraman’, which means going back, erasing those karmas and learning from it to move forward.
The Jain saints sit for hours together every day and introspect. In fact, they don’t need to do so much because they don’t do much.
Who should do it all the more are those who are engaged in a lot work and activity. They should sit for at least ten minutes a day and look back and see - what did I do? What did I learn in my life? How was today? What can I learn from what has happened?
Again, you don’t have to latch on to what you have learnt or hold on to it. Sometimes what you think you have learnt may not be correct at all. That is why being hollow and empty is so important. It breaks all the concepts and makes you free.
Q: Dear Guruji, is it good to donate our blood?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, it is good to donate. In 24 hours you can recuperate. Your body is a blood making machine. Donating blood will save lives.
Q: Dear Guruji, can you please speak about the palm leaf Nadi reading?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: In ancient India, the Rishis used to have schools or universities in which they used to train psychics. Psychic means the one who can see into the future.
So, people would stay for twelve or thirteen years and meditate, go deep within and then the master would give them a task. He would say, ‘In 2015, on this particular day, at this particular minute, somebody will be born. Astrologically, you calculate and predict how their life will be.’
It involves two things – astrological calculation and an insight into space and time. So, this is what they used to do. However, since these were written by the students, it need not be hundred percent true. Students can make mistakes. They will be seventy to eighty percent correct. Some will not come true in the future too. That is a possibility.
Second thing is that they can only give you a possibility, saying this may happen. If you are a meditator and if you are on the path of spiritual knowledge, you keep changing your destiny, since you are bringing more positivity into your life.
I want to tell you what happened on the third of this month (April 2012). A monk from China had come. He is known as a very big clairvoyant. Two to three thousand people go to him every day. He called one of our organizers when I was in Indonesia and he said that he wanted to come and take blessings from Guruji. He said, ‘For enlightenment, there is no bar of any religion. I am a Buddhist, but it doesn’t matter. I know Guruji has come to this world and a lot of people will get benefited. I want to take his blessings. He has come after a long, long time; several thousand years. His blessing is something that I definitely need.’
He is a very nice person, a very nice soul. He just came, silently sat for some time, took blessings and went back on the next flight. One of the devotees, who was very inquisitive said, ‘You should predict and tell us what is going to happen with The Art of Living and Guruji’.
He said, ‘No, I cannot predict. I cannot predict about someone who is free. I can only predict if the mind is caught up. I cannot predict about one who has no mind’.
I also thought let me also hear what is going to happen.
He said, ‘Where there is no mind, there is only space, I cannot predict. Guruji is just space, I cannot predict him’.
If you chant, meditate and do pranayama, your free will increases, your freedom increases. You are not bound by certain events in life. They say, ‘You may come across these problems, so take precaution.’ It is like a doctor who says, ‘You have high cholesterol, you should take care and work out’. Similarly, if you have diabetes, you should be careful.
Their predictions are according to what medical problems you have, and they give you some remedies – if you do these things, you will have no problem.
In the same way, astrologers also say, ‘Oh, you are going to have Jupiter come into the eighth house and so your mind will go topsy turvy. All the faith will go. You will have no confidence in yourself, no faith in anybody, no faith in the work you do and you will be worried. This will continue for one whole year, but it will be too much during these four to five months. So, do your meditation, pranayama, prayers regularly and you can pass that stage. Also, don’t take any decisions at this time’.
So, these are little predictions about the tendencies of the mind and how it goes.
Q: My question is, how do I know what am I on the planet for? What kind of job should I do? I feel so confused sometimes. I have a lot of talents but then I feel so insecure of my capabilities. Now I am thinking, ‘Who is asking this question?’ Again, I don’t know.
I am fed up with this not knowing.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Now, if I answer something, you will also wonder, ‘Who is listening?’
Don’t go on examining yourself too much. This can become an obsession. All the time thinking, ‘Who is asking? Who is witnessing? If I am witnessing then who is this I? Who is speaking?’
This self-enquiry is good. Self-enquiry is needed, but if it is over done, it can leave you in a lot of unnecessary confusion and restlessness. It should only be done when you sit in the course, or when you take some time off. Then, you can ask, ‘Who am I? What is this universe?’
Self-enquiry cannot go on for 24 hours. Otherwise you will not be able to function at all in the world, or do any work.
It is like bathing. You cannot take a shower for 24 hours. Then you will have to be a fish in the water! So, if you keep on enquiring and examining yourself at every step, you will be like a fish out of water.
Do your work. What work you do is not important. You do any work because you have to sustain your life. For sustenance of your life do any work, whatever work that pays well.
Now, you must know that work is separate, your seva (service) is separate and your entertainment or hobby is separate. If you try to make all of them into one, it will be a challenge. If you want to make your work a hobby, that is what many people do and they get fired!
If you want to make your entertainment as your work, then you cannot make enough money, and all the time you will be in a sense of lack. You will feel the dearth for money. So, you must have the decision and discrimination.
When you have responsibilities in life, you have a family to take care, children to take care, choose a job, which is stable and which gives you enough money and time. Once that is done, don’t think about it again. But if you find something better, you can go for that, no problem.
Then, take some time off and do social work. If you are spending your whole life in just earning your bread and butter, life will be so meaningless, so worthless.
What will you do? Earn, earn, earn and then you buy an Audi or a Benz car. Then you make a house and buy jewelry and that is it! This will not give you satisfaction. Take some time off and do some social work. Come and be a part of The Art of Living family.
Alone, you cannot accomplish much. Ten or fifteen of you make a group and take a project. There are children who need your help. If you cannot give time, keep a box at home and put a few Euros, whatever you can, in it. That can support a social cause. So many people from Germany and other countries in Europe are supporting schools. We are running 185 schools in India now. Around 25,000 kids are getting good food, good education, and medical help because of people donating one Euro a day.
Like that, you engage in some social activity. That gives you some satisfaction, ‘Oh, I am supporting this cause. I am part of a project.’
If you can run one project, it is good. If you can’t run, you can at least be a part of it. You can be a brick in the building. Contribute towards one brick. That will bring you satisfaction.
Then, take time off, like you have taken time off now (referring to the course participants) to meditate and uplift your spirit. When you go back, you feel fully charged. How many of you feel so charged when you go back? You have this experience.
At least twice a year, it is good to do a mental rejuvenation and rejuvenation of the spirit. It is very important.
You do this and after some time, forty, fifty or sixty years, retire and then come and go totally into knowledge. Then dedicate yourself to the cause of higher knowledge, higher wisdom or for social causes. Do some good work in society. And then life will be gone! One day you will be gone (snapping his fingers), you will not even know! Others will make arrangements to take the body away. Done! Finished!
One day, they will do a memorial service (folding his hands) saying, ‘May his soul rest in peace.’ You are already at peace by then! Their wish comes much later.
Once we leave the body after that we are at peace, then that is no fun. We have to be at peace while we are alive and be useful to people around us. What do you say? Isn’t it?
That is what wisdom is. Wisdom brings happiness to you now and here.
I don’t say, ‘You do something for ten days or ten years and then one day you will be happy.’
Is it that way? No.
We have two weapons – So Hum and So What. Everything changes. Everything is changing in the world. Friends become enemies and enemies become friends. This is what happens in this world. Doesn’t it happen?
People who say, ‘I cannot live without you’, later say, ‘I cannot stand you!’
This happens so often. Not once, but twice, thrice, four times.
There was a lady who was giving a seminar on how to make love work. That lady was divorced seven times! I said, ‘That lady is very much qualified because she has gained knowledge seven times on how it didn’t work and now she can share it!’
See, when we go in search of friends in the world, we find that we don’t get a good friend. But, when you search inside, make friends with your own higher self, with your inner spirit, you find that friendliness comes out of you naturally.
When you are friendly, the whole world becomes your friend. Everybody turns to you. Even your worst enemies become your friends in front of you. When they go away from you, they may think you are their enemy.
From your heart, you don’t encourage animosity with anybody. That is my policy. From my side, I have no enemies.
When I was a little kid, I learnt a Sanskrit verse from the Vedas, which says, ‘Ajatashatru ajaraswarvarti’. It means, ‘I will never become old because I am dwelling in myself.’
I was about ten or twelve years old. Out of ten thousand verses, this caught me.
If you dwell in yourself, you never age, but you remain. Aging means, getting tired, unenthusiastic, appearing as if everything is no good, hopeless; a negative commentary in the mind saying, ‘Oh, I know it all. I have seen it all’ – this sort of attitude. No freshness, no aliveness.
Ajara means not getting worn out or not becoming old. You know, there are old people who are so enthusiastic and so active.
I was in Taiwan and we had a big satsang with about 8000 people in the stadium. People were so happy. After that, when I came back to my place, an 80 year old gentleman came. He was all enthusiastic. He said, ‘This is so great! I want to do some work. I want to spread this knowledge. There are so many millions of people suffering from cancer and other diseases in Mainland China. Guruji, I want to take you to Mainland China. I will organize it and I will do this.’ He is above 80 years old and he is ready to travel anywhere. He looks fragile but his spirit is so high! He brought his friend along, who was of the same age. They said ‘We are your soldiers!’ They are seeing me for the first time.
Similarly, in Japan, an elderly man of about 78 years was so full of enthusiasm. He organized a talk for me and called many people. He didn’t say, ‘Oh, I am old, I cannot do anything.’ No, nothing of that sort, but instead he is so high spirited.
He declared, ‘The whole of Japan needs this knowledge.’ He is a very well accomplished gentleman.
Thirty thousand people commit suicide in Japan every year. It is huge. Today, what is needed is a wave of happiness. The GDP is quite high in Japan. You have to spend fifty dollars just in toll tax when you go from the airport to your home. Can you imagine? You make a trip twice and you have already spent two hundred dollars. You go to the airport to pick someone up and then drop them and you spend a hundred dollars. The distance is so much. Living is very expensive there. Americans find it very expensive to live in Japan. People earn money but there is no happiness.
It is not just Japan. Many countries in the world today are in this syndrome, no happiness. They don’t smile, they don’t laugh, and they are not at peace with themselves. We need to create a wave of happiness and that is possible only through wisdom, only through knowledge, only through expanding one’s vision about life. That is what The Art of Living is.
The Art of Living is not a dogma. It is not a set of concepts or just some practices. The Art of Living is expanding one’s vision towards life and making life a celebration. That is the main aim of The Art of Living.
There is a Sanskrit verse that says, ‘The real worship of God is to create happiness in the hearts of men’.
Yena Kena Prakarena Yasya Kasyaapi Dehinah,Santosham Janayet Praagya Tadeveshwarapujanam - Happiness in the hearts of people is the real worship of the divine.
What great wisdom, such nice words have been said in the past. That is why it is timeless wisdom.
You don’t even know who wrote it. They didn’t even put their signature, but they gave these gems for life. That is The Art of Living; honoring the ancient tradition, looking at the modern science in the future, and taking both of them together.
Science and spirituality are never in conflict. They go together. Religion and science have been in conflict since a long time, but not spirituality, the experiential part. That’s why I say that we should look with a scientific mind and an ancient heart; a new mind and a loving heart.
We need this. Don’t you think so?
The world is so interesting, I tell you! So, be in this world, enjoy this world yet not getting caught up or drowned in it. Keep yourself a little aloof. Keep yourself untouched by the external (events). Save your soul, save your mind, save your spirit and save your joy. Don’t let it get muddled up by the events in the world. Are you getting what I am saying?
Don’t let others or any events take away your freedom, take away your joy and your inner peace. This is The Art of Living.
It is a big task. It is a challenge. It is not too easy. I am not saying that it is very easy. It is not flowery-flowery, buttery-buttery, no! Life is not flowery, not buttery, I tell you. There are so many challenges, but the wisdom or knowledge equips you to face the challenges.
The difficulty is when you think life should not have challenges. Then challenges will appear much bigger to you. Life has challenges, but wisdom equips you to face them.