Sri Sri Ravi Shankar lovingly called as Guruji, the founder of Art of Living Foundation through which He relieves the stress at individual levels, thus reducing violence, sufferings and conflicts and spreading the love, harmony, peace throughout the world in various societies.
What a single glance can convey, a thousand conversations cannot. And what a moment of deep silence can convey, even a thousand glances cannot. Meditation is deep rest, and only your faith (in the Divine) can bring that deep rest. And what is the faith you should have? Faith that the Creator of this world belongs to me.
Three kinds of faith are necessary in life. The first is faith in yourself.
Three kinds of faith are necessary in life.The first is faith in yourself. The second is having faith in the fact there are good people in the society, and there is goodness around you. The third kind of faith is faith in the one Supreme power.
The second is havingfaith in the fact there are good people in the society, and there is goodness around you. If you think that everyone around you is wicked, then you also become like them. We then tend to give ourselves a certificate of our wickedness if we think in that way. That is no good. I believe that 90% of the people in the society are good and righteous. It is just 10% of the people who are engaged in wrong deeds. The remaining 90% have a pure heart.
The third kind of faith is faith in the one Supreme power, which you do not know, but which is ever present and which is making everything happen. So have faith in that Supreme power. The sign of God is that He is omnipresent, and is present in you as well. Is it not so? If you think that God is only present in the temples, then he is not omnipresent. If he is omnipresent, then he is surely present in you – this is the unshakable faith that you should have.
Then you should have this firm belief that ‘when God belongs to everyone, he belongs to me also’. Just have that deep and personal connection with God, with that Supreme power. Usually we never give much attention to anything that is public property. You never say, ‘Oh, I am in love with the public hospital, or railway station, or the bus stand’. Do you ever say so? No. We usually do not get attached to something that is universal and belongs to everyone. We usually get attached to that which is very personal to us, or that which belongs to us alone. This is why there is a tradition of having an Ishta Devta or an Ishta Naam in India (referring to the belief of having a personal or family deity, or a mantra, which is held sacred and in high reverence over others). So since ages, we have had this tradition in the form of your Ishta Devta, so that you can have that special and very personal bond with God. It would usually be some deity who appeals a lot to you, and with whom you feel that special connection with. You feel, ‘He is mine and mine alone’.
Then, was there ever a time when God was not there? No, God has been present at all times and everywhere. This is why you should feel that ‘God is present right here and right now’. Just have this faith, that’s it. This might appear confusing and difficult to believe at first. But gradually when you practice to reinforce this belief within you, again and again, you will start to feel that there is nothing beyond this. People usually say ‘I cannot see God’. I tell you, I see nothing but God everywhere! Everything is full of the Divine. This knowledge dawns within us from a deep experience, and not just from the level of the intellect. I strongly believe that every person can have this experience. All that is needed is deep faith. That’s it.
When we meditate, not only will we be able to fulfill our own needs which are very small, I tell you meditation will give you the ability to fulfill the needs of anyone around you also.
Meditation is an art. Once you know this art, then it becomes very easy for the mind to settle down. There are many benefits of meditation. It keeps your body healthy, brings joy to your mind, sharpens the intellect, increases your enthusiasm to work, and brings sweetness in your behavior. Meditation also cleanses the environment (of negativity). There are so many benefits of meditation. I was just reading about all this before coming here.
In the Harvard University in USA, and in the Oxford University in England, researchers have conducted experiments to see, what changes happen in the body as a result of Yoga and meditation, and how the DNA get transformed. Even at the physical level, both yoga and meditation, brings about many positive changes. We have already seen this happening. When we are transformed from within, then even the world around us changes. Today there is a lot of change needed in the world. How many of you would agree? Do you also desire for changes in the country? That change begins now, from here, and from within us.
We all have to attend to how we can change for the better. It is very easy to point fingers at someone else (blame), but it is difficult to change and improve oneself. You must have found yourself saying this very often. But I tell you, it is not at all difficult to bring that change within you. It is definitely possible, and one must do it. The first thing we need to do is to take out some exclusive time for ourselves every day; some 15-20 minutes. In those moments, just relax, sit quietly and think, 'Who am I? What do I really want?' It is very important to reflect upon this. This one thought can help dissolve all the negativity in the mind, and life is once again gets filled with the enthusiasm and joy.
All the crime that happens in society, today happen under the influence of addiction to some substance or another. Why does a person get addicted to something in the first place? It is because they experience a loss of enthusiasm and dejection in life, and so to compensate for that, they resort to different kinds of addiction. I would urge all such people to come here to the Satsang. I promise to give you such an (spiritual) addiction, that you will never be able to let go of. Just look at all the youth who have gathered here. They have left all sorts of addiction and bad habits and are completely soaked in the bliss of Satsang. Once you experience this joy (of satsang) in life, all negative tendencies simply disappear.
A person who himself is troubled from within will create only trouble for those around him. And there is only one remedy for this – a wave of spirituality. Today, whichever place of the world you go to, you will find people doing Pranayama, meditation and Sudarshan Kriya. If you go to the city of Tromsø, which is the farthest point of human in-habitation in the Northern hemisphere, there also you will find people doing Pranayama and meditation. Similarly, if you to the city of Tiera del Fuego, the last inhabited city in the Southern Hemisphere beyond which there is no habitable land, there also you will find people meditating and practicing the Sudarshan Kriya. We must work to bring transformation in the individual first.
A person whose mind is content and who thinks, ‘I am content, I need nothing’, becomes very powerful; his mind and thoughts become sharp like a laser beam. And the blessings given by such a person definitely bear fruit.
What are the problems we face? We get angry at many things; or we feel dejected and uninterested in everything around us. We suffer from jealousy. We are restless to quickly earn a lot of money, regardless of the way we can earn it. We do not think about ethics and morality at all. Why does all this happen? It is becausesomewhere inside, we do not have faith on ourselves and our capabilities. We do not have this faith that whatever we need will surely be provided, in much more abundance that what we actually need, and even before the need arises.We have lost this faith, and neither have we had an experience of this. When we meditate, not only will we be able to fulfill our own needs which are very small, I tell you meditation will give you the ability to fulfill the needs of anyone around you also.
There is a tradition in India to always take blessings from the elders in the family before starting any good work. It is followed even today. When we print out invitation cards for some grand function, we first write the names of our elders on the card before anything else. There is a psychological and scientific significance to this. As a person grows older, he should become more and more content (implying a sense of fulfillment).When a person is content from within, then the blessings he gives surely manifest. The blessings given by a person whose mind is constantly stuck in cravings and aversions will not bear fruit. A person whose mind is content and who thinks, ‘I am content, I need nothing’, becomes very powerful; his mind and thoughts become sharp like a laser beam. And the blessings given by such a person definitely bear fruit. That is why it has always been the norm to go to elderly people to seek blessings, because they do not want anything from life. Having lived so long, they have reached a stage in life where they are content.
You can see this even in small children. Just ask a small child who is around five or six years old, ‘What do you want?’, they will answer ‘Nothing!’. In this stage of childhood, when the child is full of this feeling ‘I do not want anything’, they too have the power to bless. The same goes for the elderly people also. But nowadays unfortunately, we do not see this with the elderly. They become old, but despite having lived so long, their mind still does not give up its desires. There is no reflection of any contentment in their mind.
(Note: The discourse was given in Hindi. Above is a translation of the original talk.)